Our original trip line up did not include Nagashima Spa Land but Heartline went to an immense effort reordering everything so we could have a day at what I consider one of the two (other one is Fuji Q) legendary Japanese parks. After this experience however my opinion of Nagashima Spa Land has been forever ruined, am I going too far, I’ll let you decide.
We had planned and tried every option of getting to the park for it’s 9 opening but due to the worst case of car hire faff to ever exist we pulled into the car park at 10.
Nagashima Spa Land
It was lightly spitting with rain as we walked to the ticket office and noticed a sign saying half the park was closed today. Then we looked at another ride closures sign on the ticket office window that said only 3 rides were closed today. So we asked the very rude man selling tickets what was occuring. The 3 mentioned rides were down all day (note the website did not mention this on it’s maintenance page) and the sign with half the park listed as closed was because of the slight rain. We made sure to ask him extemely carefully, “if the rain stops only the 3 rides listed on this sign are closed?”. “YES!” he snapped back, well we’ve no reason to believe he’s lying, let’s do it.
We ran to Steel Dragon and joined the back of what looked to be at least an hour queue. On the way there we saw a sign that said that Steel Dragon was closing at 3 for maintenance. It was now half 10, Steel Dragon’s going down at 3, the park closes at 5 and there’s at least 10 more coasters to ride, plus the rain has just gotten heavier. With that in mind we decided to leave the queue and buy fast track for Steel Dragon from the Steel Dragon photos kiosk. The very rude woman snapped at us and responded that the ride was closed.
Arashi – With everything going to hell we joined the 45 minute queue for the park’s brand new S&S Free Spin coaster. At the time I really wasn’t a fan of Arashi but with a revisit I love it to pieces, so just call my first opinion based on the mood at the time.
We noticed that Steel Dragon now had a very rude man blocking the entrance and we were getting desperate for answers so went over to him. “If the rain stops Steel Dragon WILL reopen?”. “YES!” he angrily snapped back.
Corkscrew – All I remember of the park’s Arrow corkscrew coaster was getting wet, the staff being very rude and all hope for today being lost.
Jet Coaster – As well as the staff being very rude, the visitors to Nagashima Spa Land were disgusting. We’d seen school children in almost all the parks and they were completely fine elsewhere but at Nagashima Spa Land they were awful. We were queue jumped, barged into and then had our seats stolen on Jet Coaster. I spent the whole ride wondering if this whole day was just setting out to annoy me because it was working.
Peter Rabbit Coaster – Amazingly the park opened their children’s powered coaster in the rain but almost nothing else.
4 attractions that we wanted running in the entire park, so we went looking for food and a place to sit down. We ended up in a children’s oriented pizza restaurant because like the rides almost all the restaurants were closed too. During our meal the rain stopped completely, not only that but the sun came back too, so we sat there waiting and watching to see if anything moved for over an hour.
We got bored of waiting and because we’d heard it multiple times that things would reopen when the rain stopped, it was time to ask again.
Off to Steel Dragon and we stood at the entrance for over 15 minutes while the staff completely ignored us. A very rude staff member was in the control box, 4 or 5 were cleaning the queue, all could see us, none of them wanted to help. So getting angry we walked up the exit stairs and stood on the station platform, the very rude man in the control box hid under the console and those in queue still pretended they didn’t see us, unbelievable.
We asked a member of the Arashi team when was Steel Dragon going to reopen and she said tomorrow. It’s now 2pm, the sun’s shining, there’s 3 hours of operations left but Steel Dragon’s not coming back and nothing else is happening to the other closed rides.
It was clear then that the park had just given up because there was a few hours rain in the morning. I’ve since ridden Japanese coasters in downpours and witnessed Japanese park’s reopen as soon as bad weather stops so there’s no excuse at all for what the park was doing. Not only that but the fact that several staff members told us that when the rain stops everything reopens just made it even more insulting.
Talking of the staff they for the most part were all extremely rude, condescending and very un Japanese.
Nagashima Spa Land managed to morph from one of the most exciting parks of this trip into a park I’m in no hurry to ever return to.
In case you are wondering I deleted all my pictures of the park in disgust, I apologise for the lack of visuals in this report.
Thanks for reading, click here for day 8 where Japan redeems itself and we visit Hirakata Park.