Sea World Gold Coast visitors were gutted as the brand new Leviathan ride closed in the Atlantis district

Visitors to Sea World have expressed disappointment after the new Atlantis district, featuring the much-hyped Leviathan roller coaster ride, closed just days after it opened at the Gold Coast theme park.

Lacy and Mali Muller traveled from Victoria to visit the new district and were “very disappointed” by Tuesday’s closure.

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“It makes it difficult because we can’t use the kiddie ride,” Lacy said.

“So it limited us to two rides and then one wasn’t open at the start of the day either.”

“There was a ride going on and she was still 20 minutes late I think early in the day,” Mali said.

They paid a lot of money to visit the park, says Mali, and didn’t get to see what they came for.

Lacy says they spent about two hours at the park on Tuesday “when it should have been a full day.”

Lacy and Mali Muller traveled from Victoria to visit the new Atlantis district and were “very disappointed” by Tuesday’s closure. Recognition: 7NEWS

Both women say they “definitely” felt ripped off.

“It’s very expensive,” says Mali.

“There’s really nothing else for people our age to do, that’s what we’re here for.”

The women and two other people paid $179 per person to visit the park, for a total of over $700.

Lacy says they were told the precinct could be open by the end of the week, but were given no details.

“No dates, no times, nothing,” says Mali.

Open too early

Both women say they “desperately” want a refund.

The women were told that the precinct was closed for maintenance, possibly due to mechanical failure.

Mali said it was clearly not ready to open.

“So they opened it up and then they said, ‘oh, it’s actually like we weren’t ready at all,'” she said.

Brisbane’s Jeff Hooper said it was “disappointing” that Sea World’s Atlantis wing was closed. Recognition: 7NEWS

Brisbane’s Jeff Hooper said it was “disappointing” to see the precinct closed.

“They said they were doing more testing, everything was closed and staff (were) parked outside,” he said.

He and the group he was with were excited to try out the new rides, especially given the hype they’ve been receiving.

Leviathan a huge attraction

Hooper said they were looking forward to “at least seeing the Leviathan in action.”

“We were waiting there for another ride and they had a few laps without anyone, but that was it,” he said.

He said the staff “just kept saying the entire precinct was closed.”

Many people have taken to social media to express their disappointment at the closure, with one tourist declaring that they have “come a long way for this once in a lifetime family trip”.

Sea World visitors have expressed disappointment that the Atlantis district was closed days after it opened. Recognition: REGI VARGHESE/AAPIPICTURE

While many are angry at the impact the closure will have on their summer holiday plans, some concede safety should always come first.

“I think I would rather have closed it than not safe, but still it’s a bit disappointing,” said one visitor.

“(But) they should let you know before you come in.”

In a statement, Sea World said, “The New Atlantis cruise (Leviathan, Trident and Vortex cruises) will be temporarily closed while our team makes minor fixes and improvements around the cruise this week.”

“This is not an uncommon process as new attractions open around the world, with our team fine-tuning the technical and guest experience elements in the ride’s operating systems,” said a spokesman for parent company Village Roadshow.

“Our team is working diligently to get the attractions back open as soon as possible and we expect the precinct to be operational in the coming days, ready for a big summer.”

$50 million attraction

The new Atlantis district is worth $50 million with three new attractions that took four years to build.

It was originally scheduled to open in June 2021 but was pushed back to April this year before finally opening last week.

The Leviathan is Australia’s first wooden roller coaster in 35 years. The 90-second ride reaches speeds of 80 km/h.

“Big win for tourism”

Village Roadshow Theme Parks’ Bikash Randhawa previously called the ride a “major milestone for Sea World” that is a “major win” for tourism and the Gold Coast.

“It’s something that’s never been done before,” he said.

“The level and the intensive thematization that we have used here is phenomenal.”

Billed as more than just a ride, the Leviathan and Atlantis District has garnered a great deal of interest across the country.

“It’s all about entertainment, it’s all about fun, right? And that’s what we do best.”

Dream World also recently announced plans for a new attraction called Jungle Rush, which is the park’s largest investment in its offering.

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James Brien

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