Dreamworld – Big 9 Thrill Rides (SBTS)

Final episode of Science Behind the Scream took me to Australia, Gold Coast, again. This time it is at the biggest theme park in Gold Coast, Dreamworld. I have heard from so many people about the exciting, heart-stopping rides in Dreamworld such as the Tower of Terror II, so I was beyond thrilled to have the chance to finally experience the rides firsthand.

In the final episode, I had to challenge the famed Big 9 Thrill Rides, and challenged them I did. I have listed the rides in order of their thrill factor, from least thrilling to most. Just to make it clear, this list is my own personal preference of course.

Tail Spin, is a fun ride where you strap yourself into one of the mini-aeroplanes and then get rotated on an inclined circle circumscribing 1.0m off the ground to 22m high, at highest speed of 33km/h. You can choose to glide along or be like me, spun 360 degrees by controlling the carriage wings. But one thing to note, the carriage wings do require some skills to control before you can achieve the dizzying 360 spinning effect. It took some practice for me and a few takes before I could start the plane spinning. I ended up with pretty sore arms in the end, but I felt totally accomplished.

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Hot Wheels SideWinder, is one of the tallest, high-speed (90km/h) gravity rollercoasters in the Southern Hemisphere. The fun part is the music that pumps through the carriage throughout the ride, amplifying the adrenaline pumping in my blood.

The Claw,  propels its riders nine storeys high (approx. 27.1m high) and swings them back and forth like a giant pendulum up to a speed of 75km/h while twisting 360 degree full circles. It swung really high indeed, and I could see most of the park when I was high in the sky, but because of its relative low speed, the thrill factor was moderate at best.

Pandamonium, apparently has 2 lines, the ‘not-so crazy’ line and the ‘seriously crazy’ line. I only took the ‘seriously crazy’ line of course, whereby I was sent soaring 8 meters high round and round, side to side and upside down at up to 3.8 G-forces. It was a pretty fun ride, especially since the safety harness keeps the riders firmly in place, unlike the similar ride in Taiwan Lihpao, Energy Storm, where the harness was made up of a thin metal rod that couldn’t prevent me from sliding perilously to the edge of my seat during the 360 spins. Now I could scream and laugh without fearing for my life.

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Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster, has a track with varying elevation and sharp turn-corners, reaching just over 72 km/h. The tracks almost seem to emulate an off-road rugged course a motorbike racer would take. The highlight of the ride are the life-size replicas of 500cc racing bikes. It is the first time I get to ride a rollercoaster with my legs astride and hands on the handles of a bike. I definitely felt like a hot biker chick.

WipeOut was again, another ride similar to one that I took in Taiwan Lihpao, Galactuc Spin. But the ride’s thrill factor definitely was more than severals notches higher. Its two independent rotating arms lash out in erratic 360 degree twists and turns that reach 14.5m high. And just when I thought the ride is beginning to end, and I finally can get a breather, a second tidal wave surged and the arms break into spasmodic whirls again.

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WipeOut on the left and The Claw on the right behind me.

Giant Drop, was officially declared the ‘tallest, vertical free-fall ride in the world’ by the Guinness Book of World Records in their 1999 edition. I was sent up the tower rather slowly, till I reached about 39 storeys (119m high). There the carriage just halted, suspended in mid-air. I was nervous, and babbled whatever little I could think of to the camera, because truthfully my mind was a blank. I didn’t know when the carriage would drop, and the wait felt like eternity. When the imminent drop came, the speed went up to a whopping 135 km/h, and my body lifted from my seat during the sharp descent.

BuzzSaw is the highest inversion ride experience in the Southern Hemisphere. It began with a slow and suspenseful 46m vertical ascent until I was dangled upside-down 15 storeys in the air before the carriage free-falls through a 360 degree heart roll, plummeting down a final vertical drop at speeds of up to 105km/h.

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Tower of Terror II, was the first ride in the world to break the 100 km/h barrier. The carriage blasts backwards rocketing out of a 206m tunnel at rapid speed hitting up to 161 km/h in just 7 seconds. I tried my hardest to keep my head to the headrest but the G-force was too strong. At its peak at 100m high, I was able to admire the entire park’s scenery for several seconds before plummeting back to the ground…face first screaming in exhilaration into the tunnel.

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The spine-chilling, blood-curdling entrance to Tower of Terror II
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At the back side of Tower of Terror II you can see a tiny carriage at the top. That’s the Giant Drop. Yes they are at the same tower.

With all this ranking you might think Tower of Terror II was my favourite ride, but strangely no. It was… (drumrollllllWipeOut! Why? Tower of Terror II, whilst being the most thrilling, was the shortest ride as well. BuzzSaw too, had a relatively short ride time despite its high thrill factor. But WipeOut lasted pretty long, and the crazy rotating arms really sent us passengers literally spinning over the edge. I am all for the length of the ride, because that to me, would justify the waiting time. Well, though I didn’t have to wait for the rides in Dreamworld because of awesome filming privileges. But still, as a normal ticketing customer, one definitely looks for value for the price they paid, and the time they waited. With an average waiting time of 2 hours for each ride during peak days, wouldn’t you want the thrill to last longer as well?

Now, just wanna throw in a few shots of my free time in Gold Coast. For you can’t really say you have been to Gold Coast without visiting its famous beach. It was fortunate we managed to end early on the last day so we could make a quick visit to the beach before the sun set. Now just soak in the beauty of nature. Wild, dangerous, gorgeous waves crashing into soft sand. And when the waves retreated, you could see the reflection of the sky above.

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Sometimes I manifest as an elf, sometimes I take the form of a daisy. But oftentimes, I wish I am a fairy.

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