‘Amazing’ Sea World ride will open on this date
A NEW thrill ride is almost ready at Sea World as more Gold Coast theme parks prepare to swing open their gates once the border opens to interstate visitors.
Village Roadshow is putting the finishing touches on the Vortex, part of the new $50 million Atlantis precinct ahead of the border restrictions easing on Friday.
The company has welcomed back up to 3000 of more than 4000 workers before Movie World and Wet'n'Wild reopen on July 15.
Sea World is open and limited to 6000 guests, which it has not yet hit. Outback Spectacular, Paradise Country and Top Golf are already open.
Village Roadshow Theme Parks chief operating officer Bikash Randhawa said it has been a big job readying to reopen, particularly at Wet'n'Wild.
"In terms of Wet'n'Wild there's a lot of water quality issues we need to address. We need to refill the pools, we need to have the water running through the rides and we need to make sure the chemicals and quality are to standard. Once it has stabilised we are in a position to open rides," he said.
"We've been doing necessary maintenance, critical maintenance."
Mr Randhawa said work on the Atlantis precinct, which will include a huge wooden rollercoaster called the Leviathan, was their "main focus" and the Vortex was "almost ready".
"We're just waiting on engineers being allowed to come to Australia from Germany," he said.
"Once they arrive they'll commission the ride. It takes between 4-6 weeks and the ride should be ready.
"I can tell you that ride looks absolutely amazing. We'll be only place that has an attraction opening during this time. Getting the Vortex going will be a big tick for tourism.
"And we're working through the wooden coaster to see when that will happen. The ground works are completed, now it's a matter of getting the Americans down to install the ride."
Mr Randhawa said Sea World "has gotten fairly close" to 6000 guests some days.
"The borders haven't opened, we have zero interstate visitation and zero international. When you look at that, we feel like the domestic market has embraced Sea World well," he said.
Village Roadshow typically hosts about six million guests per year.
"It's evidently clear that theme parks play a critical and crucial part in driving attendance and driving visitation to the Gold Coast," Mr Randhawa said.
"It will a big blessing in many ways to have all the parks open and operating at a reasonable level to start with and then the hope is it ramps up towards September.
"We should see a reasonable attendance. It will be quite interesting to see what happens on open day."
Dreamworld, operated by Ardent Leisure, has announced a staged reopening of the park and WhiteWater World "in time for the September holiday period".
Specific dates have not yet been announced.
Originally published as When 'amazing' new Sea World ride will open