Trip Start Jul 17, 2006
Trip End Jul 22, 2006

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Flag of Australia  ,
Thursday, July 20, 2006


Snow skiers can travel from 0 to 100kph in 7 seconds, sky surfers can do it 5 and a Porsche 917 racing car (think Le Mans) can do the same in just 3 seconds.

To Belinda and my delight, there is something out there that can accelerate even faster, speeding up from 0 to 100kph in a mere 2 seconds!
What is this wonderous machine that is capable of acheiving such greatness I hear you ask? To give you a hint, it towers 40m above the ground at its tallest point, pulls around 4.2 positive G forces and is painted red and blue, with a touch of yellow. Still not sure? The machine of which I speak is of course the new Superman Escape roller coaster at Warner Brothers Movie World on the Gold Coast. This 750m long twisting and dipping track of excitment was definitely the highlight of our trip and is the driving force behind an ever-growing desire to return to the coast of gold in the not too distant future.

Our Lives Before 01002

Our day began in the usual uneventful manner; with breakfast consisting of cereal out of a mini box and a hot chocolate or coffe (or both mixed together!). We did manage a small hitch in being late for the transfer bus because we could not find it. Turns out that it stops about 100m down the road (across an intersection) from the apartments, even though the lady at the call centre failed to mention this when the transfer was booked. Once we had clambered onboard, the bus continued on its merry way, winding through the lodgings around our part of Surfer's Paradise before continuing express to Movie World.

We could already see Superman Escape's towering "high hat" from the highway as we approached on the bus, increasing our level of excitement in anticipation of a fun day at the park. Through the main enterance gates into the park, we stopped at the entry round about and fountain to inspect Movie World's latest addition up close. Following this, no time was spared in proceeding under the launch track to join the queue waiting for the ride to open in 10 minutes at 10:00am.

Queuing to join a queue is a strange concept, but at least it gave us time to observe the no loose items "this includes even 5c coins!" policy by Belinda hiring a special locker next to the queue for our bags. Being outside also gave us an opportunity to enjoy the Superman movie theme being played endlessly on the speakers in the adjacent gardens and also see the train rush past on the empty test run of the ride prior to openning. The ride opened on time, although we had a bit of queuing to do before we could actually board the train.

The following section details what it is like to experience Superman Escape, if you do not wish to know and experience it for yourself first, please do not read this section.

The theming for the attraction begins in the queue, which is themed as a station of the Metropolis Rapid Transit system, featuring maps and posters on the wall and a sign or two directing guests to the platform. Queuing time can be killed by watching the safety breifing (all in theme of course) several times or perhaps enganging in other less formal queueline activities. Periodically announcements can be heard saying that the city engineers had detected tremours, but not to be alarmed and that the situation will be monitored. At the head of the queue, 4 guests are allocated to each door (1-5), with door 5 corresponding to the first wagon of the train and door 1 to the last wagon.

When train arrives at the platform the doors open and guests move into the train, pulling down the shoulder harness and connecting it to the seatbelt so that it will stay down in the event that it releases. As the yellow "MRT" train departs the platform with its valuble human cargo, passengers are notified that the tremours are intensifying and told that the train is to continue to Metropolis Square station quickly. Trudling around the corner we can see that the walls are beginning to crack and a few gas pipes burst overhead, spewing out gas (water vapour) at us. Arriving at Metropolis Square, we see the signs on the wall are shaking, the lockers moving around on the platform and gas is spurting out of the wall. In response to this sight we are told not to stop at Metropolis Square and to continue on as its getting too dangerous! Rounding another corner the walls crack even further as we pass a flooding stairwell and a crashed police car and taxi that have fallen through the tunnel. With this we round a final corner and are told that tunnel colapse will occur in just 8 seconds, what are we going to do!?!

Next thing we know, a flash of light passes and someone shouts "it's Superman!", just as the man of steel instructs us to put our heads back as he's going to get us out of there fast... Superman fast. Before we know it we're cable launched out of the subway at 100kph passing through a water vapour screen as we exit the building and are in the sky teetering over the 40m high top hat we had seen earlier. A thrilling 90 drop follows as we rush down towards the ground, hitting the banked turn hard before we bunny hop (with a nice bit of airtime) over the launch track. We cross back through the launch building, being once more sprayed by water vapour jets as we speed down through nicely banked turns, popping up one last time (more air) before hitting another highly banked turn and rising for the descent into the magnetic brakes.

Crawling through the brakes and back into the station is typically the laugh, clap, joke and relax time when it's fun to shout to the person about the experience you've just had because let's face it, what a rush?!!
We slowly arrive into the special disembarkation station, where we are forced to exit through the shop, giving us a chance to view our onride photos that were taken during the launch.

Life Post-01002

Naturally once disembarking from the coaster our first instinct was to queue again and reride... we were unable to resist.
Having made a second flight we got back to empty our locker just within the hour time limit, after which an extra $6 is charged. How one is to pay the extra $6 was beyond Belinda and my comprehension when one is not allowed to take even a single loose object onboard the coaster!

We could've stayed at Superman Escape all day, but we knew that there was a whole park of attractions to enjoy and we would feel guilty if we left that all out. Remembering her last visit, Belinda directed us to her recently demoted and thus now ex-favourite coaster, Scooby Doo's Spooky Coaster for a wild mouse ride through a haunted castle and Scooby Doo disco (go figure). It was a fun ride, with sharp turns, sudden drops, a funky rocking elevator lift for the coaster cars and a short section of track that is traversed backwards. From the exit of the ride we delved further into the park to the Wild West Falls ride, where we floated past various amusing show scenes and were almost drenched several times. There was also a section of this ride that was travelled rear-end first and of course it climaxed with a long drop and an almighty splash down (much to Belinda's horror). Even with the fear of getting wet, I managed to convince Belinda that it was worth another ride; "it's more efficient to get wet again now than once you've dried off".

Moving throughout the park we stopped to inspect the park's ex QR C17 steam loco display, viewed the official Matrix Exhibit, rode the Lethal Weapon inverted coaster (ouch my ears!) and Batman: The Ride 2. We also took the time to catch the Police Academy Stunt Show although we ran out of time to enjoy the Shrek 4D Adventure, which is another new attraction in the park.

Throughout the day we managed to get another 2 rides on Superman Escape within another hour block as well as another adventure on Scooby Doo's Spooky Coaster and have our fruit lunch during the parade, which featured memorable characters such as Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo and the whip-brandishing Catwoman.

The end of the day was crunch time - what to do with our remaining 40 minutes before the rides closed at 5pm. The decision was easily made to ride Superman Escape a last time or two, so it was off to the lockers once more. We disembarked from our first ride just over 30 minutes after we had deposited our bags in the locker, and at close to 5pm the queue was not any shorter. Despite the situation the decision was made to queue for one last ride, in the hope that we would be out of the park in time for our 5:30pm transfer bus back to the apartments. As the time ticked away we began to worry about our locker time exceeding the 1 hour limit, so Belinda went out to investigate. To our dismay she returned to the queue only to say that the computer operated locker had rejected her details as invalid! We were surely up for an extra $6.

Upon completion of our final (6th) ride on Superman Escape, on the 2nd last train of the day, we hurried to the lockers to asess the situation. To our glee the locker openned for us and did not require any extra fee, it must have been an end of the day thing. It appears that Belinda had had a blonde moment earlier and gone to the wrong bank of lockers (there are 2) to investigate, hence returning with the alarming results and causing us to worry.
We just made it to the transfer bus in time and headed back to the lodgings.

The fun did not stop when we left Movie World because we had a few fun activities lined up in Surfer's Paradise that evening.
We began with dinner at Pancakes in Paradise (a special type of Pancake Parlour restaurant), which was a few minutes' walk from the apartments. We both indulged in sticky date pancakes, with Belinda having an extra on her stack and I sampling a Belgian waffle. Thorougly filled from dinner, we walked on further to the Chevron Renaissance Centre to find Infinity.

We did know much about this place and weren't 100% sure of what to expect. I had seen the webpage and thought it worth a try, so we had ventured down. We begin to question what we were doing when we were given white gloves and shoe covers for the journey which we were about to take. We walked through pitch black rooms, rooms that looked like you were floating in space, over giant crevases, inside computer chips, inside cells and the like all through the use of funky optical illusions. A memorable rooms was a pitch black one with things hanging off the room that prompted much screaming from Belinda while she clung onto me as I tried to find the way out! In short, definately worth the price and I wish we could do it again because we were so excited that we kind of sped through.

Feeling inspired by our fun time at Infinity led us to try out Space Walker, a space themed concept that is run by the same people. Unfortunately by the time we had got there we wouldn't have had enough time to do it properly. It was subsequently added to the list with Shrek 4D of things that we hadn't done that require us to visit again!
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