When in doubt ask the Caravanning with Kids online community… that’s my new motto! Once again this amazing bunch of people came through for us with great advice and tips – let me tell you more… When we headed to the Gold Coast we knew we wanted to take our girls to the theme parks, the challenge of course was, which one? There’s lots to choose from and knowing what’s age appropriate, value for money, easy to navigate and of course – the most fun – is a daunting decision! We only had two days available to conquer two parks so we knew we needed to call in the experts – our very own Caravanning with Kids family – and we were flooded with suggestions and feedback… Go to Wet n Wild with older kids, Movie World doesn’t have much for kids, Dreamworld is great for the teens, Sea World for the whole family… round and round the comments went and to be honest it was so much advice we still weren’t sure what to do.
In the end, sentimentality won the day! Wayne and I both have fond memories of visits to Sea World & Movie World so were keen to explore these again and see our girls reactions. Would it be the same? What changes would there be? Are our children too young? There was only one way to find out!
Off to Sea World we went.
We were blessed with a gorgeous day, the sun was shining and the weather was hot. We knew we had a jam-packed day ahead so we arrived 10 minutes before entry and waited patiently with a small crowd. Our backpack was loaded with plenty of water, snacks and lunch. We were ready! On entry we received a map. This was to become the day’s bible clearly setting out where everything was and what time the shows were on. This map was brilliant. Wayne is methodical and likes an organised approach, so, as the crowds swarmed into Sea World, we took 5 minutes to sit down and plan our day. Boy, we are so glad we did. This brief planning session allowed us to see everything we wanted and move easily from attraction to attraction – walking around without a plan could definitely see you miss things!
We saw all the shows – the girls loved the both the Seal Experience and the Affinity Dolphin Show. The Shark Encounter at Shark Bay freaked out the girls (in that ‘terrifying but exciting’ way) and we were all amazed at the underwater viewing section (there was no shortage of oooohs and arrrhhhhhs!) With so much more to still experience it was then off to the kids rides and (non animal) shows. The 3D movie was outstanding; Ashlee could have watched it over and over again. Younger daughter Kate was beside herself with excitement watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle concert & Dora’s Adventure show. There was loads of fun for kids (big and small!) in Nickelodeon Land…but the highlight was – joyfully – the very ride that Wayne and I loved when we were there all those years ago! The Viking Ride! Now called Viking Revenge Flume…The original water log boat – simple, classic and still thrilling! The girls both loved it so much they just didn’t want to stop! So, in the heat of the day, we had seen all the shows, enjoyed the exhibitions and chatted with the animals so that is just what we did. We kicked back on the Viking Ride over and over, and over again. It was just like we remembered it – but better doing it again with our own kids! Plus…it produced the funniest and most memorable photo from our entire holiday….
Tips for having the best Sea World Experience:
* Get there early if you are only spending one day.
* Take time to study the map and show times so you don’t miss out – plan your route!
* Pack some snacks – we found the abundant choices of food available were reasonably priced but it can make a very expensive day if you are buying snacks, drinks and lunch as well.
* The 3D movie was very loud, so if your little ones are sound sensitive, this might be best avoided.
The verdict: Sea World is a great choice of the Gold Coast amusement parks for a young family. There’s plenty for all ages, lots of shade and food options, both animal experiences and entertainment and a true ‘full day’s’ worth of fun!
Next stop…. Movie World…
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