The road to Skegness could only ever be tolerated for the sake of creds and so with a potential +4 on the cards (pretty huge for the UK these days) we made the arduous journey up, far too early on a Saturday morning for what I’m used to these days – really need to get back into the swing of this business.
First stop of the day was Mablethorpe for their beachside funfair.
a.k.a. Dunes Leisure
There’s the beach.
And here’s the fun.
As I’ve now taken it upon myself to have a secondary counting obsession (dark rides), the first port of call was their Ghost Train. Foolishly anticipating cashless systems these days, we had arrived unprepared for such eventualities as “the card machine doesn’t work”, so this plan was immediately scuppered.
Tried our luck with #1 Roller Coaster the Wacky Worm in the interim where, after much tension and waving of technology through the air, the transaction went through. I was informed that “the back is the best row” (of course) and in jest that the Ghost Train operator “can’t even use a Microwave properly, say no more.”
Several glorious laps ensued, during which I took the time to observe the depth of the show building for the other ride (seemingly non-existent) and some donkey races on the beach.
I’d scraped together enough coinage to brave the Ghost Train alone and boarded in anticipation of a life changing experience. It was over in about 20 seconds, utilising no more than a handful of light up scary figures in each corner with the expected accompaniment of an overly loud noise. The building was impressively dark however, to the point of not seeing your hand in front of your face and there was a single effective scare with a mirror in which, for the briefest of moments, my brain couldn’t process what was happening and got spooked a little. Oh wait, it’s my face riding this thing. The most terrifying imagery of all.
Fair play to the operator, he was going for the classic jump scare at the exit too. Have to work with what you’ve got. I then contemplated for the first time such philosphical debates as – are low end attractions like this going to become the analogous +1s of the dark ride counting experience? Doing it for purely for the numbers and the entertainment of adventure, rather than the end result.
Probably, I decided, and I’m ok with that.
Some on the fly maths and geography dictated to us that the next stop on the trip would have to be Fantasy Island, and so we soon arrived at the familiar sight of surprisingly massive Vekomas in the middle of nowhere, except it wasn’t quite so familiar. That new Millenium paint job is… striking. At least you can tell them apart now, weather permitting.
The paint job of the new spinner, which resides in the prime parking lot coaster location, gave me vibes of Steel Curtain and the inevitable thought that I should have been riding that and a million other things next week instead of this but, you know… pandemic spite.
I count my blessings every day that I’ve already ridden Odyssey as it seems to be unavailable more often than not. Sure enough today the train is parked on the lift hill following a reported chain failure – that won’t be going anywhere for a while.
It potentially wasn’t worth it due to the pace at which the day was moving, but we had pre-booked wristbands for the wrong day – a last minute change of plans due to impending weather conditions had overruled proceedings and, thankfully, the staff were happy to swap the dates on the spot.
Headed straight back to the car park for the new and exciting stuff, beginning with #2 Family Roller Coaster, a second Wacky Worm on the bounce – I do like a bit of consecutive consistency in such matters and I wonder what the current record by anyone is for the most of these in a row.
The Maurer coaster #3 Spinning Racer is also from the travelling circuit, including certain visual clues such as the safety instructions inside the cars being written in German. True to form it was operating fairly efficiently and the layout is rather better than I remember from any previous iteration (somehow putting Laff Trakk in a building didn’t do it any favours), though the actual spinning was sporadic at best.
We had noticed on our way in and out of the indoor section that the queue for Millenium looked particularly grim, spilling well out of the entrance and into the surrounding area, as well as being complimented by plastic screening that looked straight out of a horror film – I don’t remember this one being great at the best of times.
Would have quite liked to get reacquainted with the ride but decided to pass on it. I like it, but not that much.
This sentiment was reaffirmed while we queued for a token lap on Rhombus Rocket and watched the single train despatch intervals for Millenium exceed 10 minutes. The powered coaster turned out to be a good decision as it was punching well above its weight, with some striking acceleration for one of these and there was a particularly violent transition that I have no recollection of, one that tried to cause serious injury for all parties involved.
The only other planned activities we had here were to revisit the two dark rides back indoors. Seaquarium was up first, with its simple circular boats and underwater scene theme. I never tire of the catchy soundtrack on this one, it’s an instant earworm.
Sadly Toucan Tours was also out of action for the day, so after a quick snap for the database it was time to hit the road again.
Final destination for the itinerary was a temporary fair in Lincoln (a second compelling reason to have changed this trip to the Saturday as this was their final day of operation). Cashflow issues arose again, getting in was fine with the token £1 entry fee on another card machine with signal issues. The operator for the Dragon however didn’t even own the necessary tools, resulting in the need for a quick trip to a nearby cashpoint, which the admissions staff were happy to let slide.
One tenner and many snacks later it was time for the final cred of the day, and what a way to end it, in helical powered #4 Dragon Coaster fashion. What can I say? It performed seven laps and I rather like the unpainted steel effect on this one.
4 new coasters by the end of the day then. Nothing spectacular among them of course, but what did you expect out of the cred hunting series?