Gold Coast 2015 – Day 4 – Dreamworld (again)…

Wouldn’t you know it, the kids were up and awake at around 5am this morning. Don’t they realise we’re on bloody holiday!? Sandy was up before me as usual but I managed to lie in all the way through to 7am, which is at least a half hour earlier than I would normally be getting up when NOT on holiday – must be something in the Queensland water.

The routine that we have developed saw us make a lazy start to the day today, with the only real difference being that we ate cereals instead of bacon and eggs. The truth is that this was really only because we have run out of bacon, a situation that I plan to remedy tomorrow with the next supermarket sojourn.

As today is Joey’s birthday – double digits at the very big 10-years-of-age milestone – we spent a little time watching him open a couple of things we brought with us to celebrate this passing. After breakfast and presents, Sandy and Jennifer were the first out of the door, as they went over to the kids’ club to listen to a ‘bird talk’ followed by sand art activities. Joey and I stayed back for a spot of birthday lego building before joining them. Both kids were keen for a bit of a morning swim so we all eventually made our way over to the pool to spend some time with some of the other holiday village kids having a bit of a splash.

Joey has recently developed something of a liking for SubWay food. Since it’s his birthday today, we decided to pamper him a little and to pander as best we can to his wishes for the day. As such, we made our way to the nearby SubWay for a spot of brunch ahead of hitting another theme park for the rest of the day. Joey’s choice was to go back to Dreamworld for a second visit, so that’s exactly what we did.

We arrived at the park shortly before noon and found the car park to be somewhat less populated today. It’s mid-week and the schools are still in session, so we were going to enjoy a relatively empty park today. True to their word, the friendly staff at guest services, who did recognise us from earlier in the week, provided Sandy and me with a free entry ticket in light of our Victoria Carers cards.

Once inside the park, we split into pairs and set off in different directions. I took Jennifer to hit some of the bigger rides, whilst Sandy took Joey to the theatre to watch a movie short and then onto some of the more gentle attractions. Throughout the entire day, the longest I think we queued for any ride was less than 10 minutes with many rides sporting queues much shorter than this even. The whole family congregated again after about an hour, over at the tiger cub enclosure. One of the tiger handlers told me that the new baby tiger, Kai, was going to be on show at the front of the park shortly, so I took Jennifer over to the Claw, her new favourite ride, before we met up again at the front of the park. Both kids got to pet the 7 week old tiger cub for a bit before I took Joey into the theatre again, but this time to see a different 3D short. By the time we had finished with this, Jennifer was sporting a painted face and we had a Krispy Kreme donut lunch in lieu of a birthday cake for Joey.

With fresh new energy levels, we decided to make our way to the Corroboree area, at the rear of the park, where the koalas, kangaroos and other native wildlife were. We detoured along the way to do the log flume ride that we missed the last time around. Once again, a little bit of social engineering from Sandy saw us straight to the head of the queue and right onto the ride. Joey was having doubts about wanting to be on the ride AFTER the boat set off. There was little we could do about this, since we were all a captive audience and along for the ride at this point, but Sandy did a good job at putting him at ease right up to the big drop at the end. Fortunately, Daddy and Jennifer, who were in the front of the log boat, took the full brunt of the water that came at us, keeping Joey and Sandy largely dry. When we got off the ride, the extent of the ‘damage’ became clear, as the water had made Jennifer’s face-paint run, turning her into a dripping mass of mixed colours. Oops!

We finally made it over to the rear of the park, where are the native animals were on display. There’s a koala section there, where you can part with ‘shit loads of money’ for the benefit of having a photograph with a cute, cuddly, bear. Naturally, both kids partook and, fortunately, we have enough credit leeway to tolerate the experience, although I’ll probably be working for a few additional years before retirement as a result. Due to the staff having a few technical difficulties with the photo printers, we did manage to score a few free bags of food for the kangaroos, which the kids enjoyed trying to force feed the lethargic animals in the mid-day heat.

Joey and me took the train back to the rides area and the girls caught up with us shortly thereafter (at regular walking speed, they probably could have beaten us there).

What was really nice today was to see how well Joey was actually enjoying himself and revelling in that enjoyment too. It’s very rare to see him so relaxed and he was thoroughly having the very best birthday he’s ever had. I know this because he told me several times throughout the day.

We spent the rest of the afternoon milling around the various rides areas and pretty much let the kids dictate what they wanted to do. With minimal supervision, they spent plenty of time enjoying running between the various attractions Dreamworld has to offer. Joey got well and truly spoilt with a few more soft toys and other bits and pieces being added to his arsenal of possessions.

As the shadows lengthened and the temperature started to drop, the kids had a hankering for a KFC, so we made our way out of the park and over to the nearest one, which just happened to be a couple of kilometres up the road next to Movie World.

Back at home base, Joey and I cracked open another bag of his birthday lego set and we built the next section, as I offloaded the cameras. Sandy took Jennifer back to the pool again for a moonlight dip and we’ve now rounded out the day. At 9pm, we’re not doing too bad. Tomorrow is slated for Wet ’n’ Wild, although we rather think at this point that we’ll do that for 2-3 hours and then pop into Movie World, which is right next door. This evening officially marks the half way point of this holiday, and that makes us just a little bit sad.