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“Felt unsafe, utterly horrible experience” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Gold Reef City

Gold Reef City
Off Xavier Road, Johannesburg, South Africa
011 248-6800
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Ranked #17 of 57 Attractions in Johannesburg
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Attraction details
Owner description: Interactive gold-mining experiences are the highlight of this theme park, which also contains the standard thrill rides and games.
Kincumber, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Felt unsafe, utterly horrible experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

The park is very cheap to get in to. it cost 120 rand, which roughly exchanged to $12 for us.

The first ride that we approached was the 'lazy boat'. Lord. I have never felt so ridiculously unsafe and bored at the same time on a ride. It is obviously designed to be a slow, leisurely ride, however, slow and 'not moving at all' are not the same thing. Three of us were in a boat that was designed for 6 adults. The ride had no line, so we thought we were so lucky...evidently there was a reason for the non-line.
When we got into the boat it kicked off fine, after about 10 seconds, around the first bend it stalled and moved at a pace that was equivalent to a snail. We had to use our arms and legs to push off the walls so that we could propel forward at all. The displays on the sides were broken, knocked down and had electrical cords hanging dangerously close to the water.
After 3-4 minutes of pushing ourselves around the river, we ended back at the start where the boat stopped completely before the dismount area. We were trapped on the rocks and the attended yelled at us to 'just get out onto the rocks'. He didn't get off his seat to help us, he just sat there and watched as we awkwardly had to climb out of the boat onto one of the themed displays and climb over the rocks to get back to the platform. I have never, ever, been treated that way at ANY paid for activity.

The day continued to get better. There were hundreds of school kids at the park, not a single teacher in sight. The children were loud, not just in a child-like manner, they were screaming constantly wherever we went. They were incredibly rude, when walking through the entry to an attraction they would push forward and run to the front of the line, there was no supervision and our requests for them to stop pushing in were met with laughter and continued rudeness. It was a horrible experience.

After a roller coaster (where at least 12 children pushed in line) we went to the water rapids. We lined up, the attendant refused to allow us to go in a boat with just the three of us, making us wait to the side while she put 30-40 children on ahead of us. Eventually she put us in a boat with three other children, the ride was terrible and we came out soaking wet with disgusting, grotty, foul-smelling ride water all over us.

The only respite was lunch at wimpy because no children were there, the service was good and we fed the wild chickens that ran around.

The petting zoo is a miserable and sad sight. There was a tortoise stuck on some plastic in one of the open enclosures, my friend informed the person working there and he came over, freed the tortoise and then made a joke of stepping on it. I was horrified.

The people who work here are apathetic, rude, unkind, a cruel to animals.

What a horrible experience. I would HIGHLY recommend avoiding at all costs.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThembiMakhaye, Manager at Gold Reef City, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Thank you for writing your review. We take the quality of our guest experience very seriously. On behalf of the Theme Park team, we apologise for your bad experience and that your visit did not meet your expectations.

Kind regards,

Thembi
Public Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Malaga, Spain
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“A nice day out!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

Hitting my 30s now, I was a bit worried that this theme park might be a bit too young for me. However despite that, we managed a great day out!

As others have said in the reviews, it is worth checking what rides are open and closed. A lot of their rides have been around for a while, and do close for maintenance. Despite the age of them, they do seem very well maintained.

We were lucky to go on a quiet day so had barely any queue to get on any of the rides. There was enough thrill rides to keep me happy, and there is a huge childrens area for the younger ones to keep them happy. It was just a shame the anaconda was shut. But the other rides such as Tower of Terror, Golden Loop and Jozi Express were going.

We had breakfast here and that was nice. The cost of the attraction was pretty good.

The golden loop was very enjoyable. How it just shoots off out of the station like it does feels great! The Tower of Terror really is terrifying. Despite the same name, it is nothing like the Disney Tower of Terror. It's a rollercoaster, but not like normal rollercoasters, as it takes you up vertically in a lift, then slowly slides out down a vertical plumet giving some imense G Force. (apparently the highest G's in the world) There is even a notice saying that you need a 10 - 15 minute break before riding it again.

As this theme park is built on an actual old gold mine. There is the opportunity to take a mine tour. This is an additional cost on top of your tickets which you can buy in the park. The mine tour is pretty good. You're taken about 230 meters below ground and you walk through what were actual mines. They give you an appreciation for what it was like in those days working down there. However it is a very short tour, and expensive for what it was.

Overall a good day though. Get there early as a lot of the rides were closing down at 4.30pm.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThembiMakhaye, Manager at Gold Reef City, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
A nice day out
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. We are delighted to hear we met your expectation and had a wonderful time. We appreciate your comments about the rides and the mine tour. Since the beginning our goal is for all of our visiting guests to enjoy all what we offer and that is including our restaurants.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time and please do not hesitate to visit us again.

Your sincerely,

Thembi
Public Relations Manager
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Park old school fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Visiting the park after so many years was a great experience. Although at the time some of the rides were not available, it was good to revisit my youth playground.. a recommended visit for anyone who loves the thrill!

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ThembiMakhaye, Manager at Gold Reef City, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
We're all really pleased you had a great time at our park. Keep checking our website for all the latest news and offers.
Hope to see you at the Easter Festival of fun!

Best regards

Thembi
Public Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Very dissapointed in rides and food restaurants”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

It was unfortunate that we visited Gold Reef City on 6 March 2013. We were very dissapointed during our visit. food sold at the vendors was disgusting, the waiters of Pie Land and the Chicken fast food vendor were unfriendly. Not all of the bigger rides were operating during the week/out of season (especially the Anaconda that has earned top marks world wide) all in all, the Park only had attractions for children and would not recommend them to any young adults/Backpackers staying in Joburg.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThembiMakhaye, Manager at Gold Reef City, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Thank you for sharing feedback on your recent experience while visiting our park. We are sorry to hear you did not receive the quality of service you deserved and the food standards were of an acceptable level. The matter has been raised with our management team, especially our Head Chef, regarding your comments.

we will share your comments with our staff as part of our ongoing training to provide the best complete experience possible. We hope to have another opportunity to show you the quality hospitality you deserve should you return to the park in the near future.

Your sincerely

Thembi
Public Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Gold Reef City - bad service and over-rated”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

I dont recommend this as an outing. SO much is closed every time I go. The kids are always so excited, and when we get there all the rides that they really want to do are shut for the day. The person at the ticket counter commited fraud by putting a reduced amount through on my card and asking for me to pay the "short-fall" by cash. I tried to report it and no-one cared to know that the staff are ripping off the centre.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThembiMakhaye, Manager at Gold Reef City, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
We are really sorry about your experience at the Theme Park. We try very hard to be as efficient as possible offering guests a memorable experience and it is disappointing to realise that we do not always succeed. We spend quite some time before opening the park to train staff and we choose experienced employees for our cash counters. I sincerely apologise if you found our standards not satisfying and I only wish you would give us another chance to change your opinion. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

Your sincerely

Thembi
Public Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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