One of Australia’s biggest theme parks has revealed major expansion plans that could rival Disneyland.
Dreamworld could become a new mini-city on the Gold Coast if development plans for the “historic all-inclusive tourist destination” submitted to the local council this week get the green light.
Parent company Ardent Leisure Group is proposing to expand the area of the attraction from 55.3ha to 85ha to also include hotels, high-density residential development, function centres, theaters and restaurants.
The major projects are aimed at all ages, with daycare centers and a retirement home in the works.
The news comes just weeks after it was revealed that Australia could soon get its own Disneyland theme park near Avalon Airport, southwest of Melbourne.
Taking inspiration from Disneyland resorts around the world, Ardent called on the council to ignore current development codes imposed on the site.
asked the council to override current development codes imposed on the site.
Dreamworld’s parent company has revealed plans to transform the theme park into an “iconic all-inclusive tourism destination” on the Gold Coast.
Ardent Leisure Group wants to extend the site to 85 ha which would be divided into four districts
“This application seeks to protect the existing major tourism intent of the site, while also allowing for the possibility of an expanded set of supportive and complementary land uses in certain locations, where they reinforce the major tourism character of the site and do not do not harm the neighboring town of Coomera. Center,” the report said.
“The proposed development aims to create four land use zones on the site, each with a different purpose and which will each respond to particular land uses.
“Future development of the subject site will result in an all-inclusive historic tourism destination supported by a range of complementary and ancillary land uses.
Dreamworld, the adjacent Whitewater World and surrounding lands owned by Ardent will be divided into four districts.
Existing theme park attractions and facilities fall within the “major tourism core” zone.
A ‘gateway’ precinct fronting Whitewater Way will be developed as a mixed-use area with food and drink outlets, function facilities, a hotel, childcare, shops, sports and leisure indoors, threats, a major sports and recreational facility, markets, offices. and short-term accommodation.
The “Oaky Creek” district will be dedicated to nature-based tourism, such as guided tours, walks, nature viewing platforms and camping.
The redevelopment would radically transform the northern Gold Coast region if plans approved by council
Hotels, high-density units, function centers, theaters, bars and restaurants are proposed in the grand plans
The city center precinct will be a transition zone linking the main tourist core with the adjoining Coomera city centre. It will also be mixed use with a bar, education facility, health services, high-rise buildings of up to 16 storeys, offices and a care home.
“The proposal will create significant long-term investment opportunities for the city, strengthen the tourism industry in the northern Gold Coast and support the vision of a world-class city,” the report adds.
“Each of Ardent Leisure’s future and current initiatives will further increase their employment levels and support a positive impact on local small businesses and the regional economy.”
“Increased visitor volume to the region will require additional labor requirements to deliver each project with the expectation of more than 20 percent growth in employment levels over the next two years only.”
Major projects can be viewed publicly on the Gold Council Council website.
Ardent Leisure Group’s projects are inspired by Disneyland resorts around the world. Pictured are Mickey and Minnie Mouse at Disneyland Tokyo
Separate from development plans, Ardent will pump $50 million into theme park upgrades and new rides over the next 18 months in hopes of increasing visitor attendance by 30 percent as it continues to recover from the Thunder River Rapids tragedy.
Next month will be seven years since four guests were tragically killed at Dreamworld after a Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned.
Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and partner Roozi Araghi from Canberra and Sydney, mother-of-two Cindy Low have died after being thrown into a mechanized conveyor when their raft collided with another and partially overturned. Two children on the raft survived.
Other cities such as Sydney, Adelaide and the Gold Coast have already tried to attract Mickey Mouse and his friends, but without success.
Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp last month backed the idea of a Disneyland Down Under near Melbourne, describing the city as “Australia’s entertainment capital”.
She believed a deal with Disney could revitalize Melbourne and help it regain its status as a world-class tourist destination.
“I know a Disney theme park in our municipality would be a huge hit with residents – myself included – visitors, students and businesses,” Ms Capp said.
Ardent to pump $50 million into Dreamworld improvements and new rides over the next 18 months