When it comes to overpriced and under value theme parks and accommodations on the beautiful Gold Coast, it has to be Seaworld & Seaworld Resort . Owned by Village Roadshow this theme park and accommodation manages to charge at 5 star rates for caravan park quality services. Not being mean to caravan parks, as i have had better stays and experiences at many of Australia's wonderful caravan parks, but the charges for a family of 5 to visit Seaworld, makes it out of reach of most families. You could easily spend $550 for a day at this park as we did, and all we got for that was getting through the gates, a hamburger and chips ($16) and an icecream cone each ($5) . The place hasnt changed in 30 years since i went there as a child. The dolphins do the same tricks they always did. Poor bloody animals. They will roll out the old chestnut, "we do all this for the preservation of our wonderful sealife"what they actually mean is we do this for the preservation of our gluttonous bottom line. The polar bear exhibit is atrocious. the poor bears are filthy and depressed, while google eyed tourists flash away with their camera's at the bears misery. This place sucks. There are only a few rides there, that are inclusive of the admission price and you will line up for these for in excess of 40 minutes . Thats value for a 3 minute ride. They even charge the kids ($5) to throw a half cup of crumbs to the stingrays. Every where you look at seaworld, they are trying to extract as much money from tourists. It costs $10 just to jump in a peddle boat for 10 minutes. Cant go far on one of those plastic units in 10 minutes. The japanese must feel the corporates hand down their pockets, as i never saw one smiling asian face in the crowd. Seaworld is a rort. And as someone said to me, they will only ever sting you like this once. You will never go back. They are so tight fisted, they search you at the gate to make sure you are not bringing in food. Ensuring you have to buy the tasteless fare on offer at seaworlds fast food dumps.
The Resort and waterpark accommodation is just as ordinary. The studio apartment we were told would be overlooking the pool in our booking, turned out to be overlooking the car park of the volunteer rescue service, at the very rear of resort. Now this 4 and 1/2 star (supposedly) rated studio room was no better than a cabin in the caravan park. They say you can cook there in room, but you cant use any apliances that arn't supplied with room. Hence there was no toaster or cooker. Just an 80's electric kettle. Another sham to make you buy their "good value" breakfast of bascon and eggs for $25 pp. or hows a chicken and lettuce sandwich for $15 sound?. This entire stay with seaworld, i felt their grubby corporate hands in my pockets the entire time. Now as for the shows that seaworld do, i thought the seal show was well done and the dolphin show was well, just the same as it was 30 years ago, but well done to the poor dolphins, for they are totally reliant on humans for their lives.
As i have said, they will only get me like that once.... Does anyone every revisit seaworld?.