The Queensland Premier, Mr Peter Beattie today witnessed the biggest fall in his political career after launching the tallest free fall ride in the world at Dreamworld.
The Giant Drop, Dreamworld's new $12 million high-tech thrill ride created three world firsts on its maiden despatch.
Aside from being the tallest free fall ride in the world, The Giant Drop has created structural design and construction history for rides of this type, sharing the physical tower that supports the fastest, tallest rollercoaster in the world - the Tower of Terror. The dual 8-seater gondolas are being used for the first time on a ride of this height and design.
Peaking at 119 metres high, passengers experience the exhilaration of falling from 39 storeys at the speed of gravity (up to 135 kilometres per hour) aboard one of two 8-seater gondolas. Until now the tallest ride of this type was the Blue Fall in Hakeijima, Japan which is 107 metres high.
Mr Beattie joined Mr Lawrie Stapleton General Manager of Dreamworld’s listed owner, LeisureWide Property Trust, Dreamworld Chief Executive Officer Mr Fred Maybury and invited guests for the official launch and ride preview experiences.
Commenting on the world first coups, Dreamworld CEO Fred Maybury said new state-of-the-art rides and attractions such as The Giant Drop benefit Dreamworld, the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia as a tourist destination.
"Tourism, the local economy and theme park visitors are the winners - being able to experience the world’s most technologically advanced rides and attractions in Australia".
Mr Maybury said the Tower of Terror which opened in January 1997 and set the world speed record for rollercoasters was engineered with the opportunity to develop a second ride from the Dreamworld Tower.
"This Christmas guests will be able to experience the best of both worlds - being blasted skyward on the Tower of Terror at speeds of up to 160 kph and free falling downward from 0 to up to 135 kph."
The commissioning process on The Giant Drop will continue up until Boxing Day but the ride will be operational at intervals leading up to December 26 - the start of the Christmas holiday promotion period.
The Giant Drop will add to Dreamworld’s Triple Thrill Christmas line-up which includes four shows daily of Michael Edgley’s All New Moscow Circus (26 December until 24 January 1999. Extended hours 9am to 6.30pm) and the arrival of Tiger Island’s first Bengal tiger cubs.