This is my entry for “G” for the A to Z Challenge.
In the interest of time, and for the sake of my overall well-being, I hereby ask to be excused for how this “G” post is going to be: more a showcase of photographs than my usual posts.. although I think I have done quite a number of those “travel moments” when I hardly have words that go with the images. Please forgive me.
I thought of choosing “Gordon Ramsay Burger” in Las Vegas for my “G” as it would have been shorter and with less images but I decided to take this opportunity to share with you Gold Reef City (“Gold Reef”).
Gold Reef is Johannesburg’s Disneyland, except we have less rides and instead of fairies, mice and princesses, we have an old previously operational gold mine converted to a theme park. It really was a real gold mine, but there is not a chance of finding a gold nugget there. It closed down in 1971, but visitors can experience the mine by going down the mineshaft. I have done that twice or three times.
Awesome, right? Obviously, it is not for the claustrophobic.
Visitors can also watch the gold pour once they’re back up from underground. It is a ten-minute (fifteen, max, I think) presentation so it’s worth it.
Let us backspace a bit though…
Gold Reef City has the Theme Park, Theme Park Hotel (inside the Theme Park), a casino and another hotel (in the casino complex). It is part of the Tsogo Sun group, so it’s the same family as my neighborhood casino and entertainment complex, Montecasino. When I made the hotel booking, I was under the impression that I was booking rooms in the casino hotel. I was taking advantage of the Sunbreaks promo. It was a blessing in disguise that we were booked in the Theme Park Hotel. We went with family and friends.
It was quite a stay we had in the theme park hotel as we were actually IN the park at night. I took a walk to take pictures at about 10pm. It was serenely quiet. I was fine until I remembered that it was a working gold mine and people could have had accidents and died. As I reached the chapel, I got positively frightened and I ran back to the our building where there was light.
I will do a separate post on the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel another time. In the meantime, here is the Theme Park Hotel side of Gold Reef.
It has some kind of romance that is appealing. It is beautiful. The hotel is not one building but several separate buildings.
For those not fond of rides, there is a Heritage Tour visitors can take. The houses are set up to showcase what a typical house back then would look. There is also a room used as a classroom. Visitors can check out the old toilets. It is a trip back to a world not known by the young ones. Even now when they visit, they probably ignore this part and head straight for the rides.
One of the favorite rides is the Anaconda. I will never try that. I even close my eyes when I ridet he rollercoaster. It defeats the purpose, right? The other scary ride is the Tower of Terror (see video). I was quite comfortable though with the giant ferris wheel although I would still skip a heartbeat a bit when the basket swings even a little. I also get weak knees when I look down.
So, for the weak hearts and less adventurous, there is a lot of walking around to enjoy. There are so many instagrammable photos one can take as it is not your every day background.
AROUND THE PARK
TRAIN RIDE AROUND THE PARK
And here we were…
While the young ones did what the young ones enjoyed, the oldies/moms went shopping a bit as there are stores in the park. They walked less and watched the little ones in the rides for young children. We divided and conquered the park.
It must be noted that Gold Reef doesn’t have the long hours Disneyland has. The park opens at 9:30am and closes at 5:00pm. The park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays except during Gauteng public school holidays.
For ticket prices and rates, visit Tsogo Sun’s website here.
Much love and hugs,