Korea + Japan 04/17 – Nagashima Spa Land

Oh look, another ferris wheel.

It was a bit of a long shot tagging this park on to the trip by means of another dedicated hire car and turned out it certainly wasn’t worth doing this time around.
Every day of the trip so far had been >30°C and not a cloud in the sky. Today there was a slight drizzle in the air and umbrella signs on the roads as we trundled towards Nagoya, not too concerned. Japan had been amazing to us, thus far.

There’s a massive sign up outside the entrance with some overwhelmingly confusing descriptions of what is open, what is meant to be open, what is closed, what is meant to be closed, what opens in ‘bad weather’, what is meant to be open in ‘bad weather’, what closes in ‘bad weather’ and what is meant to close in ‘bad weather’.
3 different members of staff gave 3 different answers to these questions, but they were mostly positive responses so we went for it anyway. Even pulling into the car park, the rides were already running and the park appears to be a ghost town, so what’s the worry?

Day 7 – Nagashima Spa Land

We headed straight round to Steel Dragon 2000 – the worlds’s longest coaster and a legendary name in the industry that we were very excited to ride, with its permanent physical sign saying 90 minute wait in front of it. Joined the queue and killed some time watching some painful operations up at the station. Moved a few feet in half an hour…
That sounds like a ride closure announcement.
A few school kids dropped out of the queue in front of us at this point but the majority of the guests remained and the staff seemed to keep things running for a while. With the pace at which we were moving however, it was clearly going to be well over the advertised 90 minutes and we have 12 other creds to hit today! (No, just no).
“There’s a thing about fastrack on that sign, let’s check it out.”
Gave up on the dismal queue and went round to the ride shop to try and buy some.
“The ride’s closed boys.”
Seriously?
In the time it had taken for us to walk around, they had begun closing it all off and sending people away.
Spite Dragon 2000.

#1 Arashi

The S&S freespin was next door and actually open so we sucked up an hour queue for that, all the while saying “what the hell has become of this day?”
Was sort of dreading this, with Insane in the brain, but it was actually rather awesome.
It does a lot of crazy flips, particularly at the start, but smoothly with none of the horrible lurching that you get on a Zacspin, providing a very intense but in no way disgusting ride.

Highlight: The video in the queue of a couple of Japanese girls having the time of their lives on it, summed up the ride experience perfectly.
Lowlight: Shouldn’t have been the best ride of the day.

#2 Corkscrew was open, with an hour queue, and the light drizzle was starting to collect on the inside of my coat.
Yes, this was the point where I noticed the true extent of the damage from the underfloor heating. Given the current situation, I was not amused.
Slowly descending into insanity at this stage, the ride produced similar results to Rolling X-Train in that it was unnecessarily hilarious, but I couldn’t say why.

Highlight: Comedy
Lowlight: Shouldn’t have been the second best ride of the day.

The #3 Jet Coaster was open and it seemed guests were already starting to disappear from the park as quickly as they had appeared.
Highlight: No queue
Lowlight: The magic was lost on this one, Nagashima managed to kill the concept.

This #4 Peter Rabbit powered Coaster was the only other attraction open. Might as well.

And that was Nagashima Spiteland.

Everything else was closed and remained that way.

Had some pizza for lunch and by the time that was done (around 14:00), it had stopped drizzling and the skies had cleared, but all the school trips and other guests had left the park, leaving us to wander around aimlessly in despair.
Even those few rides from earlier had since closed, with the exception of Arashi, which it looked like they were just getting practice operation laps on, still being a new ride.

No member of staff could bring themselves to tell us what was going on now. What’s the procedure here? The park is open for another 3 hours. We are paying guests. The weather has cleared. What happens?

Staff were busying themselves around Steel Dragon, both in the queue and in the control box for the ride. We got as far as walking up the exit stairs and standing on the station platform looking at the train (could have sat in the seats if we wanted), ready to ask what was happening, but they all completely blanked us for the duration, actively avoiding us. I have never seen such a poor display from an amusement park.


Lost for words, we left the park in disgust and went to get ice cream. Japan immediately redeems itself as the staff ask: “Can I sing to you while I make it?”
“Yes. Yes you can.”
With big smiles back on our faces, we leave it all behind.

Day 8

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