How to do Warner Bros. Movie World in a day
Parents may not immediately go to a happy place at the thought of a family day out to Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast. It conjures up scenes of standing in long lines with the kids in your ear pleading for their turn, minding bags and random things in the sun and dealing with meltdowns sparked by slushy machines strategically placed by the exit.
Hold onto your giant refillable soft drink, there are ways to have the thrills without the spills. Here is our ultimate guide to tackling Movie World in a day – the best insider tips for dodging crowds, conquering rides, seeing the best shows and keeping hangry little humans at bay.
Plan and patience
A successful Movie World day out with the family takes some pre-planning. There is a lot of ground to cover, so rather than fumbling over a park map by the entrance, know where you’re going by downloading the latest park map directly from the website ahead of time.
Prioritise the must-do things at Movie World with the crew, this way every member of the family has buy-in for the day ahead and nobody is left disappointed.
Be mindful that things don’t always go to plan. A dropped ice-cream cone, a distracting Bugs Bunny or wardrobe malfunction can derail your entire game plan. Keep calm, go-slow and allow for regular toilet stops and drink breaks. Remember to breathe – you got this!
TIP: Check the online ride maintenance schedule to see what rides are out of action.
Score discounted tickets online
Those in the know never pay for full-priced tickets. You can save $10 per ticket by simply buying discounted Movie World tickets online.
If you’re a Queenslander, RACQ members score a deal with a Three-Day Pass at $109.46 (instead of $119).
The Village Roadshow Locals One Pass for $139 is also great value for Queensland and Northern NSW residents, with unlimited entry to four parks for 12 months.
Outlets including Costco, Scoopon, Groupon and the Entertainment Book also offer great deals.
TIP: Single entry or two-day ticket holders can skip the ticket booth and go straight to the turnstiles by scanning the barcode from a printed ticket or from a phone or tablet.
Lunch like a local
If you’re self-driving, load the car up and head on the M1 to Movie World. The beauty of taking the car is that you can load it up with a spare change of clothes, raincoats, towels and swimmers – just in case.
Although food and drinks aren’t allowed into Movie World, pass-outs are available at the gate. Save a bit of cash on the food inside and tailgate like the locals do with a packed lunch in a chilled esky.
TIP: Park your car underneath the shady trees at the southern end of the parking lot nearest the car park exit. Whilst it’s a longer walk to and from the car, the car keeps cooler and the position allows for a quick getaway.
Go on secret Sundays
It’s no secret that outside of school holidays and the middle of the week draws the least amount of visitors to Movie World and remains your safest best for shorter queues and fewer crowds.
Unfortunately for most families with school-aged kids, it’s hard to avoid the holidays or the weekends. Here’s the secret locals don’t want you to know – it’s quiet on Sunday, particularly the mornings.
Most visiting families fly out on a Sunday or want a sleep-in, having hit the theme parks the previous day. Those without kids are likely nursing a sore head from the night before, leaving Sunday mornings the opportune time for smaller crowds.
TIP: For even fewer crowds, head to Movie World on a drizzly day.
Be an early bird
To maximize your time at Movie World and avoid the crowds, arrive at least half an hour before the 9:30am opening time and have first access to rides which run from 10am. By the time the late risers arrive, you’ll have dodged the long lines and be a few rides ahead of the pack.
Take advantage of your early-bird status by choosing the most popular rides that usually have the biggest wait times to ride first.
For the family rides, the junior Road Runner Rollercoaster fills up quickly as it caters to both pre-school and primary school-aged kids.
Get in first on the popular Yosemite Sam Railroad before the queue builds. The ride only has a handful of carriages and chugs at a sluggish 2km per hour.
The Justice League 3D – The Ride is another one worth hitting first as this shoot-‘em-up laser ride is notorious for a long wait.
For the older adrenalin junkies, make a beeline for the newest addition to Movie World and the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest, longest and fastest roller coast. Everyone is chomping at the bit to experience DC Rivals Hypercoaster a 1.4 km roller coaster which plummets 59 m and reaches a gut-wrenching 115 km/h.
Early birds should also take on the Arkham Asylum Coaster ahead of the crowds. The ride combines 360-degree virtual reality experience with ‘five stomach-churning inversions’.
Last, but not least, be sure to ride Wild West Falls Adventure Ride ahead of the crowds. The iconic flume ride draws people of all ages, which can lead to queues beyond the sheltered area.
TIP: Really hate waiting? Queue-jump on the popular rides with a Fast Track Pass, giving you a dedicated line and unlimited entry for select rides between 10:30am to 4:30pm.
Establish a family meeting point
Before any of the fun stuff, make sure you have a plan if the family becomes separated. Set a central meeting point and talk through what to do if the thrill-seeking temptation separates your group.
Some ideal meeting spots include the fountain by the entrance, Main Street’s Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream or the Looney Tunes Carousel in the kids’ zone.
TIP: To easily identify your little ones if they’re lost, take a photo of what they are wearing. Be sure to have your mobile number on your child to contact – a Sharpie works nicely.
Hire a locker
Never be the one stuck holding a loose cap or half-eaten bag of fairy floss again. Lockers are located by the park entrance opposite the photo centre on the main street, next to the Roxy 4D Theatre.
TIP: Bring gold coins to pay for the locker. They range from $10 – $20 for the day, depending on size.
Don’t miss a show or two
Between rides take a rest on the lawn under the shade of the giant awning as Warner Brothers favourites including Shaggy and Scooby-Doo uncover a murder mystery, Tweety and Sylvester offer selfies and Batman takes on just about everyone.
For the petrol heads, the twice-daily Hollywood Stunt Driver show is much loved. Go behind the scenes of an action film and witness burnouts, car aerial stunts, and extreme precision driving.
TIP: Check out Movie World’s online entertainment schedule to catch the show you want between rides.
Equipped with these handy tips (and more theme park hacks found here!), you might just get a carload of content kids on the drive home. Fingers crossed!
What are your tips for making the most out of a day out at Movie World?
Psst! Have you seen these 9 things you never thought the Gold Coast theme parks would do?