Visitors return as Dreamworld ends six-month hiatus


Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld has finally reopened after a six-month closure sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dreamworld shut its doors to the public in March, but after a lengthy lay-off, a steady stream of visitors arrived for the park's return to business on Wednesday morning.

While Dreamworld's rivals Sea World and Movie World returned to trade several weeks ago, the Coomera theme park and its sister attraction WhiteWater World set a more conservative timeline, aiming to reopen just before the September school holidays.

It has been a challenging time for Dreamworld, with the shutdown coming just weeks after the delivery of scathing inquest findings over the 2016 Thunder River Rapids tragedy.

A judgement on court charges levelled against Dreamworld parent company Ardent Leisure is due next week.

However, Wednesday was a day to celebrate for guests and staff at one of the city's biggest employers.

Most of the park's rides and attractions are open, with park management using the lay-off to revamp parts of the water park and redesign the Sky Voyager flying theatre attraction.

Dreamworld chief operating officer Greg Yong said he was optimistic about the park's future.

"Just prior to COVID-19, Dreamworld's performance was better than it had been for a long, long time," he said.

"We are here to make sure this place succeeds."

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Originally published as Visitors return as Dreamworld ends six-month hiatus