Victorian kids have been deprived of a decent theme park for decades. Luna Park has its place, but it’s no Disneyland.

For many Victorian youngsters the best they could hope for were those gigantic water tricycles, a staple of water parks statewide. At first glance they looked like heaps of fun. But those alluring bright yellow wheels are nothing more than 60 straight minutes of pain.

This is all about to change according to the new owners and developers of Gumbuya Park, the classic wildlife and amusement park in Tynong, Victoria.

With a $50 million makeover, Gumbuya Park is soon to become Gumbuya World. While the giant pheasant sculpture guarding the park will remain, beyond the gates visitors can expect several exciting new features, including a waterpark, dinosaur attractions, river rides and a drop tower (although we’re unsure of its scale).

The former pheasant farm was founded by builder Ron Rado in 1978. Since then, it has become a little bit “old and tired” owner Gerry Ryan told the Herald Sun.

As for the animals we all used to love, the park will continue to care for the 300 critters it houses, including dingoes, wallabies and koalas, among others. Developer Ron Weinzierl told 3AW: “We want to stick to the wildlife that everyone knows and really add the animals to the interaction.”

The reinvigorated park wants to expand its reach and hopes to attract new local, interstate and international guests; those arriving by helicopter will be accommodated for with a brand new helipad.

The first stages of the development will be ready this summer; the park hopes to host overnight guests at a hotel, cabin guesthouses and a campsite. Who wants a terrifying mouse with man-hands when you can have a southern hairy-nosed wombat instead?