Dreamworld has finally reopened their doors, but their visiting numbers are down; almost to the level of making the theme park a ghost town.
The tragedy of the theme park accident in October that left four people dead had attracted global attention, reports The Guardian. This loss has also loomed over the park and the authorities as one of the year’s worst examples of crisis management by an Australian company.
The scene of the Thunder River Rapids ride is still closed, and there are those that visited the park to visit the gates of the ride and leave their respects for Kate Goodchild, Roozi Araghi, Cindy Low, and Luke Dorsett that died that day.
The opening day was a charity event, but most of the rides will be out of operation for required safety checks. Those that are open during the charity event opening have gone through extensive tests, reports 9 News.
Park Less than Half Full
Despite there being plenty of excitement over the park’s opening, there were less than half-filled parking lots, and the opening day was silent. Street performers and animal encounters were the attractions mostly served up by Dreamworld, reports The Advertiser. Most of the rides were still closed; therefore, there were not as many attractions for visitors to experience.
The north-western portion of the park, including the permanently closed Thunder River Rapids, was off limits for visitors and it was shielded by a brown tin sheet so that investigators could work in peace.
Currently, Dreamworld is working on a permanent memorial for the victims that died on the Thunder River Rapids ride, but they have not announced when they expect to release it.
Most visitors will never forget the tragedy that took the lives of four visitors that day in October and left two children screaming in horror as they watched a harrowing accident kill their mother.
Water Rides Still Open
Dreamworld’s CEO announced that they were happy to reopen but still wanted to remember those that lost their lives. They said that it was a significant milestone for their park and that their staff was prepared for the reopening.
All rides have undergone safety checks, and the company did open their WhiteWater World which was next to the park.
The attractions that were open on the grand opening day included Tiger Island, Corroboree, Wildlife areas, kids rides, the slides and pools at WhiteWater World. All thrill roller coasters are shut down along with the Dreamworld Express, Rocky Hollow Log Ride, and Shockwave. There are no indications as to when these will reopen, but they are under mandatory safety checks by the government.
The Thunder River Rapids will be permanently decommissioned and replaced with a memorial.
The company emphasized that they were doing a respectful reopening and that they did not want to take away from the tragedy that occurred only six weeks before their grand opening.
The numbers of visitors to the park reflect on how others see the tragedy, and fear the lack of response from the company.