Dreamworld with a toddler

Today I said hello to happy in the most over the top way.  I also said hello to exhaustion and humour too, because it turns out that all three go hand in hand when you decide to tackle Dreamworld with a toddler.

It was 20 minutes before closing time, and six hours since we’d first stepped through the entry gates, when I stumbled up to the girl behind the food stall near the exit to get something for Mr O who had been saying for close to an hour that “my tummy is telling me that it’s hungry”.

The girl smiled at me and I smiled back. “Just some hot chips with sauce and an orange juice, thanks.  And how about a G&T?  Seriously, do you have any gin?”  

She must get asked that a lot, seeing people like me, people who have survived the last six hours and were still smiling because she didn’t flinch. One bit.

“I wish,” came her reply, and then to my surprise “there’s a roadhouse not too far away if you’re desperate.” 

I wasn’t. But she was my kinda girl.

Dreamworld is a big day. Big colour, big crowds, big rides, big walking, big memories. Most of all, big fun.

We specifically went to visit ABC Kids World, which only just opened in June.

It’s a special area of the park geared for younger kids. It’s a clever move by Dreamworld as we probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise as Mr O is really too little to appreciate a lot of the other stuff the park is famous for.

IMG_0474
Ready, set, go!

ABC Kids World literally is a real life cartoon – not just by its association with ABC faves The Wiggles, Play School, Giggle and Hoot and Bananas in Pajamas – but because of it’s fun Willy Wonka-esque backdrops.

Mum, can I have an icecream?

It really is a kids paradise. The dedicated area has rides, shows and pretty much everything a kid could ask for when visiting a theme park.

We went on most of the rides, The Big Red Car, Dorothy’s Spinning Tea Cups and the Big Red Boat.  Mr O wasn’t tall enough for the Giggle and Hoot Hop and Hoot ride but had fun exploring the Bananas in Pajamas maze and pirate ship instead.

Characters roam the area at set times and my biggest advice if you want to see them is to plan ahead.  Sounds kinda obvious I know but time goes into a Dreamworld vortex as soon as you step through those gates and all of a sudden three hours has gone by before you realise “far out, I need a coffee” and then “Oh shit, Dorothy was on at 10.45am and isn’t coming back today?”.

But we did meet these two…

Not sure if he’s waving here or saying “please, no more photos!”

Other parts of the park perfect for young kids are the Dreamworld Express, the Cinema, vintage cars  and the animals on show, both at the Corroboree area and Tiger Island.
We totally got to feed kangaroos…

Watch the tigers…

And see the 12-week-old baby tiger Kai.  He’s one of 12 tigers at Dreamworld and for a donation the keeper will take your phone into the enclosure so you can get pics like this…

Awesome huh!

As a parent you’ll love:

  1. Priority access: Book your tix online and beat the queues.  We literally booked at 11pm the night before and it saved us a heap of lining up the following morning.  I mean who wants to stand in line when there’s so much to see and  do?
  2.  All inclusive prices: Once you’re inside, all of the rides, shows and attractions are all free.
  3. Free wifi: A biggie for me, especially when Mr O falls asleep in the pram and I can feed my Instagram addiction.
  4. Good coffee: I was skeptical but the brew at the Green Bean Coffee Co was fantastic, and after just a couple of hours at the park, essential.
  5. Staff: they are just happy.  They get kids. Nothing is too much trouble and everything is fun. Even when Mr O was told he didn’t measure up for a ride, he didn’t mind! The fantastic attendant just told him he needed to eat more vegetables so he could grow for when he came back next time.
  6. Cleanliness: a big thing for me as a parent and seriously I couldn’t fault it anywhere in the park.
  7. Healthy options: if you want to avoid the greasy takeaways, check out the sandwich shop for freshly-made-to-order meals.  The Mister and I shared a ham and salad roll for $12.  It was delicious and ample for us both.
  8. Pit stops: there’s heaps of places to just stop. Not the communal food type places but shaded areas to sit and chill. You’ll need them so be on the look out.
  9. Map: an essential to save you taking a wrong turn {the park is seriously massive} and also to know where the closest loos are, particularly when your kid tells you they have a tummy ache after polishing off a chocolate icecream.
  10. Harry Helper: the happiest man alive who’s job it is to tell you how to make the most of your day.  He was awesome.  Hit him up near the entry and be in the know.

Not so much:

  1. Over the top fun means over the top prices: it cost us $280 just to walk through the gates and a small bottle of water was $5.   Then there’s the food, souvenirs etc.  Be prepared to pay.
  2. No food policy: you can’t take your own food into the park which means you’ll need to allow more budget for that.  We took some strawberries and grapes and let Mr O eat them in the car on the drive out there {about 30 mins from the Gold Coast} which was not only good on costs but also because it was about the healthiest thing he ate all day.
  3. Opening times: 10am – 5pm with last rides at 4pm.  If your kids are anything like mine, they’re early risers so it would  have been good to visit early and beat the heat.
  4. Crowds: we visited on a Sunday and it was busy.  People everywhere and there was some jostling for the best views to shows and spots in line for rides but everyone is there to have a good time so, while it’s busy, spirits are generally high.
  5. They do not sell gin.  Or beer, as the husband lamented at the end of the day “I could murder one right now”.

Have you said hello to Dreamworld?  Or are you planning a trip?

Let me know what you think, either here on the blog, or over on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to say hello to your experience!

sayhellojo_signature

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Dreamworld with a toddler

  1. Oh wow! It looks like you had such a great time! I can’t wait to take my son there (maybe when he is a bit older haha)! I used to go all the time in my early teens. It looks like it has changed a lot since I was last there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just about died with happiness at the coffee- I was expecting dishwater coffee options but that coffee was a Godsend. We had a family pass for a YEAR last year- great value but Dear God we spent a fortune on food each time we went! And an hour long trip from Brisbane each way. But the Tigers were beautiful and we explored some of the lesser known bits of dreamworld at our leisure- the indigenous section is brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s