Korea + Japan 08/18 – Nagashima Spa Land

Previously on my trip reports:
Today there was a slight drizzle in the air and umbrella signs on the roads as we trundled towards the park, not too concerned. Japan had been amazing to us, thus far.
Straight round to Steel Dragon with its permanent physical sign saying 90 minute wait in front of it. Joined the queue and killed time watching some painful operations up at the station. Moved a few feet in half an hour…
That sounds like a ride closure announcement.
Everything else was closed and remained that way.
Had some pizza for lunch and by the time that was done (around 2pm), it had stopped drizzling, but all the school trips had left the park, leaving us to wander around aimlessly in despair.
Staff were busying themselves around Steel Dragon, both in the queue and in the control box. We got as far as walking up the exit and standing on the platform looking at the train (could have sat in the seats if we wanted) but they all completely blanked us for the duration.
Lost for words, left the park 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.

And now…

Day 5 – Nagashima Spa Land

Rocked up at opening to find a reasonably substantial queue for tickets. They seem to have improved on the old system of ‘nobody knows what’s going on’ and have a screen up showing queue times and what rides open. Everything but a couple of flats today, apparently. Sounds good.

Straight to Steel Dragon then, for a 45 minute lesson on how to redefine 2 train op.

#1 Steel Dragon 2000

Actually got on it though.

I like how long the lift goes on for, as well as the exposed feeling on the left side. The ride itself felt a bit underwhelming to be honest. First drop isn’t particularly special and makes 300ft seem like no big deal, the following hill didn’t do much, nor do the massive corners after that.
It does get a bit more interesting and weird as it transitions into the mid course block section and then the second half is decent fun with its many, many little airtime hills.

#2 Acrobat

Moved onto the other busy ride, a B&M flying coaster. Sadly it’s a clone and it has a bit of an identity crisis with the name and showing videos of people doing acrobatics in the station, but then keeping the manta on the front of the train from the original iteration in Florida and copying the fancy splash effect. Quirky or lazy?

It’s a solid entry. I love a good pretzel loop, and it stays interesting and varied throughout the rest of the layout unlike a certain superhero. Lacks the over the top crazy elements of its Asian cousins though.

#3 Ultra Twister

Hey, it’s my ride.

Love it.

Did the one side of the Bobkart that was open and it sucked. The track has somehow managed to develop potholes so there was some unpleasant jarring involved. Didn’t think it was possible to not enjoy one of these.

Did the old school Intamin drop tower. The unnerving part of the ride when it shunts forward over nothing but open air hasn’t got old yet, then I still have no idea what it’s trying to doing to you at the end. Mad things.

#4 Looping Star

Though there are several still around, this was my first Schwarzkopf Looping Star. Have to admire them. Lap bars and loops and ahead of their time.

#5 Shuttle Loop

As was this. Same Schwarzkopf trains twice in a row is very homely. Better than the obnoxious Walibi one.

#6 Children Coaster

Did the Tivoli medium. Well this is going surprisingly well.

Had some lunch and hopped on the Ferris Wheel to mix things up a bit.

Bit of future RMC porn for you. Bit of a downer for me. I’ll never get to ride stupid Spite Cyclone now.

I’ll start the rumour now – a guest was wearing a shirt that said ‘Thrift Whale’ that day. Will that be the name of the new ride?

#7 Wild Mouse (Right)

Only one side of the mouse was open, but I’ll take that as Nagashima Spa Land complete. Wow.


I remember liking Arashi a lot before. It was the highlight of the day when nothing was open. It was also intense and messed up, but in a smooth, good way, right?

Not many rides get me nervous now, but giving this another go was up there with one of my most fearful moments. I don’t remember the restraint biting into my collar bone quite this much and… oh now it’s not even sitting upright on the lift and… oh <insert shouting here>.
It was 10x more intense than I even remember. As soon as it goes over the top the flips come out of nowhere, pounding you back and forth in your seat until you can’t stands no more. The ride is a ridiculous, stupid thing, but it’s still endearing and I somehow ended up on it more than once even after declaring it a ‘once a day’ job.

Discount Monsoon was fun.

Oops. They broke it. Evacuated the queue and gave us free fastrack this time though, so fair play to them.

Cheers for ruining the shot lads.

Had a couple of re-rides on the star attractions and managed to bring the day to a close with a smile on our faces. You’re alright Nagashima, you’re alright.

You’re better than alright. That’s made my day.

For the sake of loyalty, we went back over to have ice cream at the shop that cheered us up last year. It was even better than before, with many songs being sung and even an improvised light show from the staff. Too good.

Day 6

Korea + Japan 08/18 – Suzuka Circuit + Parque Espana
Korea + Japan 08/18 – Nagoya

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