Let's talk theme parks in Australia: Perth's Adventure World announces new $12 million roller coaster, Abyss

September 13, 2013, 6:22 PM · Australian theme park Adventure World took advantage of Friday the 13th to announce details for its new underworld-themed roller coaster, Abyss. Here are the specs:

Abyss is the single largest investment at Adventure World since it launched in 1982 and features a unique 10 storey high vertical lift, a more than vertical 100 feet drop, giant G-Force turns and head spinning twists.

The Gerstlauer custom built coaster also includes four inversions through daylight and a secret dark ride section as well as a zero-g-roll, rollover loop, cobra roll and inline loop. Offering a hair raising journey over 630 metres, riders will experience turns, drops and disorienting twist while they travel in the open air and in the dark.

Photo illustration by Adventure World

Adventure World also is offering fans the chance to be the first to ride at the coaster's VIP and media event, by playing an online game called The Chosen Ones, which also will introduce fans to the ride's backstory. Adventure World opens for the season on September 26 (remember, it's the Southern hemisphere!), and Abyss will open in November.

We haven't been in the habit here on Theme Park Insider of providing much coverage of Australian theme parks. None of Australia's theme parks cracked the 2012 TEA/AECOM Global Attractions Attendance Report's top 20 theme and amusement parks in Asia and the Pacific. The park in the last spot on that list drew 2.1 million visitors last year, so the Australian parks all come in with fewer visitors than that. For reference, the last park in the U.S. top 20, SeaWorld San Antonio, drew more than 2.6 million visitors last year.

However, Australia remains a strong tourism market, sending visitors to Universal Studios Singapore and other destinations throughout the region. We'd love to hear from Australian theme park fans in the Theme Park Insider community. What are your favorite parks, in Australia, and beyond? Is it worth the trip for visitors to Australia to include a theme park visit during their trip to the country? And what do you think of Abyss?

Replies (6)

September 13, 2013 at 7:18 PM · That ride track looks suspiciously similar to Thorpe Park's SAW ride.

This is a brave move by Adventure World. The west coast, aside from Perth, is sparsely populated. Perth is pushing 2 million people. The other major population centres are on the east coast - several hours by plane.

Australia's major theme park coridoor is on the East Coast by Brisbane. Brisbane has over 2 million, and Sydney and Melbourne 1-2 hours by air away. There you'll find Disney inspired Dreamworld, Sea World, Warner Bros Movie world, and Wet n Wild.

Theme park attractions away from there dont have a great record, the two luna parks aside- Australias Wonderland/Wonderland Sydney closed a few years back citing low numbers (critics however point to a lack of investment), Sega World in Sydney closed well before that, Fox Studios abandoned most of its theme park style attractions for a cafe/bar precinct, and attempts to build anything in Melbourne keep getting shot down.

Brave and courageous, but not sure its the smart move.

September 13, 2013 at 8:16 PM · Love dreamworld and movie world on the Gold Coast :)
September 14, 2013 at 8:00 AM · Just some background: Adventure World is a regional theme park in Perth, on the west coast of Australia. Perth is in a very remote location, it is on the west coast of the country, and the nearest city is an overnight drive away. For US readers, imagine San Francisco is the only city on the west coast, and then picture that the closest city to it is Houstan, and you've pretty much got how remote that part of the country is. Adventure World is Perth's only park, so as you can picture, this is a huge ride for them. Is it worth a trip for US park fans? Probably not.

However, allow me to step into the role of tourism ambassador for a moment: I do think the Gold Coast and it's 3 parks would be a superb way to kick off a trip for US travellers doing a theme park tour of Asia. Just think about it, it's a clean, safe tropical paradise which is set up for tourists that speaks the same language you do, which makes it a nice easy step to get your head in 'holiday mode'.

It's 3 parks each offer something unique for visitors; Dreamworld has Aussie wildlife displays which international visitors would love, as well as a pretty decent thrill ride collection. Also they tacked a drop ride onto another ride 15 years before it was cool.

Sea World Australia isn't connected to the parks in the US, and as such for foreign visitors it's like entering an alternate reality. All the staples are there; Seal Show, Dolphin Show, animal exhibits and a small collection of rides, including 3 coasters for thrill seekers. The only thing missing is Orcas, but they do offer a pretty unique alternative as an up charge: If you visit between June and November each year, Sea World run Whale Watching cruises. And I'm not talking Orcas, I'm talking about Humpback Whales.

Warner Brother's Movie World is another studio's take on the Movie theme park, and boasts a few unique attractions to make it note worthy: The indoor Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster (arguably the Workd's best mouse coaster) and Wild West Falls flume are both 'best in class' type attractions, and I should point out that the later is probably the closest you'll ever get to rising the Western River Expidition. For the thrill fans the park also boasts an Intamin Accelerator coaster (Superman Escape), S&S El Loco, and a SLC, featuring new Kumbak trains that provide a head bang free ride.

The Gold Coast is also a family friendly tropical paradise (no really, it is!). In many ways like Miami, but much, much nicer, and with more for tourists to do. There are 2 big water parks, as well as all the usual tourist traps (Theatre restaurants, nightclubs, mini golf, shopping galore, casino, arcades, bowling alleys). Like I said at the top of the page, I'd say that adding it to a holiday that takes in Hong Kong, and Japan would be a worthwhile investment for theme park fans. I mean you're over this part of the world anyway, may as well chuck another country on the itinerary while you're at it :)

September 15, 2013 at 6:11 PM · As someone who lives in Perth I doubt that Adventure World can really be categoriesed as a 'theme park'. For me, it was the place where I was first introduced to the fun of adventure type parks and rides - but the main draw of the place is not so much what's there as going with your friends and making a day of it - This new rollercoaster won't change that much really - and i'm very surprised it managed to get a mention on this site (I've always kind of figured it was off the radar of any real theme park fans!)

However, Chad - it isn't true to say that Adventure World won't reap benefits from putting in the coaster - it does have a high local presence - and that's about it - no one actually comes to Perth to go to Adventure World and i'm pretty sure Adventure World know that!

Either way - at least I can say I have a home park, which, other than if I lived on the Gold Coast, would be almost impossible in Australia!

Also James - I love your description of the Gold Coast parks - they are really Australia's best theme parks and my first real introduction to how awesome a theme park can be - Movie World is my favourite - Dream World for me is less of a theme park and more of an amusement park - and SeaWorld a wifelife/marine life park. Movie World, while small, has an atmosphere to it. I'd really encourage any US visitors coming to Australia to make the Gold Coast a destination to visit - apart from theme parks you have Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef and Islands relating to that just a bit north and lots of shopping and lovely beaches - plus the whole place feels a little like a smaller version of Orlando, a resort/holiday town...the Gold Coast is also only a short flight from Sydney :)

September 15, 2013 at 11:48 PM · Dear Chad.... It IS a clone of SAW, but the layout has been tweaked to fit the location. I think it'll have an extra inversion rumoured to be a Cobra roll, as unlike SAW it won't turn out of the show building, instead it'll go straight out of the building.

It's Gerstlauer and they also made SAW, hence it's pretty much the same ride modified for a new theme and location.

September 17, 2013 at 6:33 PM · Due to Australia's small population (22 million), none of our theme parks can really be compared to those of the US. If you are a Disney and/or Universal regular, you're likely to be disappointed with our offerings.

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