UAE 08/23 – Sea World, Warner Bros. + Ferrari World

Ah, China. The bane of my life, but I can’t get enough. It’s been three-and-a-half long years since I could visit and they’ve built and closed hundred more things I want to try in that time.
Oh wait, what’s this, a layover?

Day 0 – Sea World Abu Dhabi

Yes, fortune favoured the flight schedule and I had financial reason to just ‘pop in’ and bag some newness on Yas Island. Had about 12 hours on the ground, perfectly adjacent to park opening and closing times and just enough to go hard, though with a relative lack of sleep either side.


The taxi dropped us off in 45 degrees of sunburn and flames and we hotfooted it into the beautifully air-conditioned, and presented, entrance building.


The whole place is pretty stunning, they’ve gone overboard with theming compared to your average indoor aquarium, though less so with the route planning as it can be a bit of a maze at times. I’ll leave you with all the wonderful visuals to begin with, before things become a little less than stellar.


In typical Abu Dhabi fashion, no one gets to the park for opening, so we ended up on the Hypersphere 360° first, with it all to ourselves.


I didn’t know much about this, other than it was a cool bit of new tech from Intamin. It certainly is that, a ring shaped flying theatre style attraction set within a ‘360 dome’. It didn’t quite deliver for me though. The pre-show felt overly long in setup, introducing this over-excited robot navigator and more deadpan computer system(?) who were going to be hypersphering us around the worlds oceans to see some animals. With all that build up, then a rather jarringly long loading sequence, all the wind is taken out of the sails as you waft around a mere three locations with only a couple of actual creatures to look at, with quite often the opposing section of the ride vehicle partially obscuring the view.


This narrative all hinges around your very typical ‘we’re here on a sightseeing mission, but things are gonna get a bit adventurous at some point’. The robot keeps hinting at wanting to take the controls, but is reminded that it’s not a good idea ‘because of what happened last time’. I guess we’ll never know what happened last time because he does take control at the end and… nothing happens. There is no adventure to this story. You see some stuff, you go home. I had thought it might even move a bit faster at some point, but oh well. Flashy filler.


Navigated past some real Sea World stuff to eventually find the main cred at the back of the park.


They were running #1 Manta ok, managing to half fill each of the two trains on track with the low crowd levels for now. I knew literally nothing about this ride coming in, except blue and Intamin. Fairly sure I heard the phrase 80Mph while powering through the queue and suddenly internal excitement stepped up a notch. It’s that big of a boy? We’re in Toutatis territory here.


It’s not that big of a boy, I either misheard or that was a lie. Things start off very IMG Blue Fire with a left turn into a tunnel, some projections, doors opening, launch into blinding sun and burning heat.

It’s a winding and varied layout interspersed with a couple of booster sections that don’t quite deliver that ever-satisfying feeling of a multi-launch. These tiny LSM boosts feel frustrating to me. Say what you want about the speed of a Mack launch, but I think there’s something more satisfying about dragging the process about a bit, at the cost of pure acceleration, letting it feel a bit more significant and special rather than just half a second of ‘NNGH’ as an afterthought. Just feels like unnecessary to the design, almost as annoying as trims. Anyway, the short little peps keep things going though mild to decent airtime moments, some semi-interesting inversions and lots of twisted pops in between.


I’m not quite sure what to think though, it all felt a little lackluster in my semi-comatose yet fight or flight ‘get me out of this sunburn’ state. A significant memory of all these outdoor UAE coasters for me on a previous visit was that you don’t feel the heat until the brake run, the wind in your hair takes the edge off of the insta-death. This wasn’t true for Manta, I could feel it the whole way round, and the ride was rattling already too. Was it simply not fast enough? I’m often overly cautious of being jaded these days but the ride did very little for me. A spark was missing. I went through the motions but I didn’t care.

The closest comparison I can think of is Abyssus – this looks like it should kick ass, even while I’m on it, but it doesn’t. It’s just… serviceable.
A worrying start for a trip.


Elsewhere in the building is one more coaster.


This #2 Eel Racer lives in an underwatery themed area with other family rides and was pretty solid for what it was.


Then you hit a wall. That’s it. Attractions over. If you’re here for the visuals, the animals, more power to you.

In terms of staying power as a theme park however, there’s nowhere near enough action to be had yet. They don’t even do the regular Sea World stuff everyone hates, as far as I can tell either. And will they expand? It feels pretty tight-nit. Would need another building.

We were done in an hour and a half, taking it easy, stopping at animal exhibits, getting lost more than once, and with rerides. For £70.

But that suits me, I’ve got places to be.

Warner Bros. Movie World


The taxi dropped us off in 45 degrees of sunburn and flames and we hotfooted it into the beautifully air-conditioned, and less well presented, entrance building.

First impressions here were that I liked the fake sky, a healthy red glow with clouds over the canyon. There’s something about these larger scale indoor parks that do have a bit of a magical quality to them, it’s not something you can get in many places.


First ride we came to was the Flintstones water ride, Bedrock River Adventure. It had a queue? I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that. After 20 minutes or so we were on, and into the land of Bedrock. They’re planning some festival. The festival happens. It’s declared the best (first) version of the festival. Party time (festival).

Not much going on narratively then, but it all looks good. If you’re a fan of the show (do the Flintstones have a cult following?) then you’ll have a good time I guess. I enjoyed it regardless, and not too wet.


Round the corner is the also well presented Intamin suspended coaster #3 Fast and Furry-ous feat. Wile E. and Roadrunner. Again this took around 20 mins to clear the queue, 2 trains, but short ones, not too bad.


It rides rather well, there’s good theming on route. A solid family attraction and worthy rival to the lesser Vekoma/B&M equivalents for sure.

Oh dear, I exclaimed, as we entered Cartoon Land (haven’t we just done cartoons?). The Zamperla spinner was posting a 70 minute queue on the board. That’s unprecedented for me, here, and a hard pass for now.


Scooby Doo and the Museum of Mysteries was next door though, at another 20 or so. Queue had some good moments to keep it interesting, and then it was time to board those trackless mystery machines. Really rated this one, it’s got a lot of clever use of the trackless technology – an absolute must for me if you’re going to have it at all. In a low-key Symbolica kind of way you’re going to get three different rides based on which position you start in the station, as there’s several split off scenes for individual cars.


It uses some simple but clever tricks to deliver its ghost train vibe. Lights out, scene flips, that type of stuff. This all feels like it plays very well into the theme and the show itself. The story contains all the classic beats of an episode, really well stylised and to great effect. Love it.


Next on the circuit was Animayhem. A simple queueline sets the tone, you’re partnering up with the Acme delivery firm, those crates full of cartoon contraptions most commonly used by Wile E. and crew


As an interactive dark ride, you intervene with various shenanigans set through all types of scenes containing characters from the Looney Tunes world. As an enjoyer of many of these growing up, I caught up with a ton of references and little details and thought it was pretty great for that alone. In terms of a shooter, it was varied and interesting enough to keep from getting stale at any point. Love it.


One more clever nod upon departing the cartoon area is a poster on the wall of the coyote in his winged suit complete with Batman reference.


Sure enough the adjacent area to this is Gotham City, which is where we headed into next. There’s a very well presented and ominous looking Disk-o here, which was skipped of course.


Mr. Freeze gets a bit of a raw deal here too.


I only had eyes for the Batman Knight Flight dark ride.


It became clear at this point that the park has a problem with overselling fasttracks, as the priority queue was longer than the main queue. A preshow takes place in one of two elevators and they were getting one entirely to themselves, and then some. Nevertheless the wait wasn’t too bad in this case, we were soon being whisked down to the bat cave, with a quick lowdown on what was happening along the way.

Joker was happening of course, and as brave volunteers we were going to test drive a prototype winged vehicle and assist with some damage control throughout the city. The entrance to the station itself is rather cave-like, which works I suppose, and our vehicles of choice are the rarely found robot arm dark ride of course. These are the type that begin in one of several fixed positions along a corridor, behind closed doors, allowing you to get another quick briefing from Alfred before being strapped in.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this one too. With the word prototype alluded to, there was opportunity for the vehicle to fail at certain moments, adding extra movements and jeopardy into proceedings, along with the technology being hacked and taken control of by the bad guys at some point. This, plus some decent physical sets, screenery and some of the better fight scenes I’ve seen on any ride all added up to a highly varied and exciting experience. Love it.


Also in DC land is a Green Lantern: Galactic Odyssey flying theatre. Wasn’t sure how this one was going to play out and I knew absolutely 0 about the franchise in this case. The green lantern folk are aliens anyway and you get invited to visit their planet. There’s a lot of talk about willpower going on, which is what their powers run on apparently. Turns out there’s other coloured lantern folk too (who knew), some good, which you meet, then some bad, which you end up encountering as well.


Things get a little scary, but most significantly for an attraction of this nature, things get more than a bit violent. I’ve never experienced such a wild flying theatre, it was bucking about and crashing into things hard all over the place, definitely spicing things up a bit. The conclusion was all about willpower too, we defeated the yellow lantern folk with our minds and headed home. S’alright, different at least.


Also also in DC land is a variation on the Justice League: Warworld Attacks! rides found all over Six Flags and beyond. It looked to be a bit of an upgrade of the Australian version, with a remake of the Starro storyline and some shiny new hardware but sadly it all went horribly wrong.


After the most painfully slow queue of the day so far it was finally our turn, but it was clear as soon as our vehicle reached the first scene that something was amiss. The motion base on the car wasn’t functioning at all. We couldn’t rotate, we couldn’t be thrown about, we couldn’t even see 90% of the screens for being pointed in a singular direction the whole time. It was just noises and neck craning. We arrived back in the station where the whole car kicked off about how the ride wasn’t working properly for us and the attendant simply laughed, apologised half-heartedly and said that we were welcome to queue again. Hate it.


One more DC based attraction on the list involved Superman 360° Battle for Metropolis. This was a bit of a dud after the rest of the lineup though, just standing in a big room with screens all around while Superman beats up some villain I’ve already forgotten, while Lois looks the other way. The most striking part of the sequence was the old Poseidon’s Fury disappearing wall trick, but used to far less effect. It was also uninteresting to the point that most of the guests left before it had actually finished, as soon as the opportunity arose. Meh.

With that, all that was left to conquer was the other cred, no matter the cost? Positive signs were that there was a show going on at that very moment, hopefully drawing the crowds away. Sure enough, the queue board was down to a mere(?) 50 minutes at the entrance so decided to suck it up. And then decided not to.


10 mins passed and the only progress we made through the queue, which starts out quite nicely themed to be fair, was through other guests leaving in disgust. I found a vantage point from which I could observe the station batching and from there saw a total of 8 guests from the main queue make it onto the ride in a further 10 mins. Fastrack was absolutely wrecking the joint, along with awful capacity and terrible operations. At 48pph and a good hunge in front of us, there was no way that the projected 50 was accurate and thus it was time to bail. Better things to do.

Mixed bag of a park overall, I really liked a lot of attractions along with the general look and feel of the place. Obviously it needed a bit more time than I had in a single day, but that was only through it operationally being the worst I’d seen for anything in the UAE, including customer service. Whether that was simply due to having more visitors than anything I’d seen in the UAE was yet to be determined.

The taxi dropped us off in 45 degrees of sunburn and flames and we hotfooted it into the beautifully air-conditions Yas mall to grab a quick bite to eat before the third and final park. I had rather hoped to relive my fond memory of downing a footlong Which Wich? and half a litre of Sprite before powering straight to a Flying Aces marathon, the stuff dreams are made of, but things never work out that way.
Said establishment was gone from the mall and there might be a ride or two that need attention first.

Ferrari World


Everyone knows the tale of #4 Mission Ferrari, the slowest coaster project in history. It’s not just a coaster though, being at least 50% dark ride and offering up a few surprises not seen before. Well, it’s open now, let’s take a look.


I couldn’t make much sense of what was going on in the queue. As with most things Ferrari, there’s some both self-centred and convoluted plot for the attraction that appears to involve being like a James Bond character, in a Ferrari. We can fly, we can shoot missiles, we can change our number plate. Some bad organisation (venom?, poison? something icky.) is out to get us or be defeated however and so, conflict.


The queue moved rather slow but wasn’t overly busy in the dying hours of operation thankfully. They offer the same weird oversized goggles here from Formula Rossa, ones that allow you to still wear glasses underneath. While a bit gross, the sentiment is appreciated as you do really need to see what’s going on here.


I’m still reeling a bit now from what was going on. I had managed to suppress any further detail of what went on beyond that one outdoor inversion thing you see, and was sufficiently shocked and surprised with the result. Things begin in nicely decorated scenes, somewhere in Italy, before trouble goes down. A similar setup to many a UAE coaster with a stop on a launch by a screen. The launch packs a good punch given the seemingly bulky and awkward vehicles and hits up said outdoor portion with a distinct lack of finesse. The bulk and awkwardness shines through once any speed is obtained and suffice to say it doesn’t ride well, more in an amusing way than an unpleasant way at the very least.

Turns out we did win somehow, and it trundles back past the usual have a trophy, go buy a million pound car stuff back to the station.

So I can see why this project took forever to complete. It’s ridiculously complicated and I rather respect that really, now that it’s finally up and running. Sure it’s unrefined as hell, but what it does do is impressive and an absolute blast when you aren’t expecting any of it. It’s a bit of a gamechanger in this new era of ‘multi-dimension’ coasters for sure and I hope the stigma now attached to the model, along with it’s dormant cousin, doesn’t set back the development of the technology, I rather hope it drives some competitors to do it better in fact. The possibilities are endless, and incorporating plot and theming into these elements on a high thrill coaster may well steer us away from any of these moments that feel ‘faffy’ or ‘pace-breaking’ these days.


Speaking of faffy, #5 Junior Formula Rossa is a thing now and of course needed to be obtained, at the very least just to offset the failures of the previous park. Worrying looking statements were being made on the signage at the ‘entrance’, to the effect of this is a family rollercoaster, we’re not going to stop adults riding, but you won’t be a priority. Strange, but gets the job done.

It was hideously slow though, everything about the procedure seemed invented to purposefully drag the time out. I’d almost forgotten what this feels like, but I suppose it felt like a warm up of what was to come.


Speaking of warm ups, it was finally time to get reacquainted with a top ten rollercoaster. Giddy excitement began proceedings, heading through the richly detailed queue line and being noticeably less deafened than previously by the planes flying overhead. Things ground to a halt in the final room, with only a train and a halfs worth of guests in front. Despatches were taking up to 15 minutes a time, for no disclosed reason. All the minor efficiencies were adding up, along with just leaving the train sitting in the station empty behind the closed doors for a couple of minutes each lap. Was it running too hot?

Well it certainly seems that way, because God Damn Flying Aces. I already loved this ride to death and then it went and blew my mind once again. It’s not that long ago that I was trying to downplay it in my head, during some discussions in the Toutatis queueline. That’s the trouble with time, you haven’t ridden something for 6 years and you begin to doubt yourself. With all I’ve done since then, was it really that good?

Yes, yes it was. With how much faff was going on, I made 1000% sure they were exclusively giving me back row, winged seats, because obviously that’s the only place to be. The ridiculously fast climb to the top, set against a fading backdrop of desert sun was magical once again. It’s so fast in fact that you get floater over the crest akin to better hypers, before the ridiculously wild and twisted drop. Intense as anything down the bottom and up into the non-inverting loop which I don’t recall being a particular highlight before. This time it did all manner of dangerous things, immediately showing off why these trains and those winged seats are so special, as I almost fell backwards and sideways out of the restraint while half upside down at the top. What?

The rest of the ride is just a glorious sequence of confusing moments like that, points on a ride where you don’t expect to get destroyed and then do, whilst being packed with either awesome airtime or powerful positives in between. The roll at the end puts you out of kilter before one more twisted moment that tries to remove you from restraint once more. I hit the brakes and immediately had one of those top ten moments, again, while everyone else burst into thunderous applause. What just happened? How do I process that?

Things need to be reconsidered. But later.

Straight round again and the queue was somehow even worse, while not being any longer, to the point that I decided to end on a high with the second lap, with both having been utter perfection.

The revelation that came after I had slept (albeit poorly) on it was that I now prefer Aces to Skyrush. Both wings are so much my bag and I love them almost equally for being like nothing else on earth when those lateral based restraint incidents happen. While Skyrush also remains a top ten too, some rerides have felt like they’ve lost the slightest of stings. The first drop isn’t quite kicking how it was before and you can have too much of a good thing over a layout that short and relatively simplistic.

Aces got even better and quite simply does the same stuff and so much more. The variety and the length are all there. The more daring manouevres. The even better lift. Love it.


Choosing to sit out on another bad queue left time for a couple more cheeky attractions. The quirky shooter Benno’s Great Race was completely cooked sadly. The spanner guns just weren’t working and it all falls rather flat without the interactivity.

Surprisingly managed to walk straight onto Formula Rossa, the fastest coaster in the world, for the final ride of the night. As with most record breakers I’m not overly enamoured with it and things like that are why. Like Ka has little to no fanfare, this had no queue while people were all over the way loving everything about a far superior rollercoaster.

Well I like this more than Ka at least, and had rather enjoyed my very first lap before a headache inducing wheel seat lap put me right off. This time I landed mid-train, non-wheel and it was a thing. Hadn’t done it in the dark before at least.


Cheat shot.

The sensation of speed just doesn’t make all that much of a difference once you hit a certain limit of face wobble, especially with the silly hill, trim sequence anyway. It’s acceleration that you really feel, so seems like you’re just chewing up track for the sake of it once things get going. The corners are reasonably intense, with a slow, stewing, slightly grey out feeling that’s nothing when you’ve been murdered by Titan in the last few months. The airtime hills at the end are moderately thrilling, making it all in all a better Rita. Plus I like the water on the brakes.

And with that it was back to the airport after a jam-packed 10 hours of theme parking. Lots to process, but no time.

Day 1

Sweden 08/23 – Furuvik

One more long morning drive took us back over to the far side of Sweden, primed and ready for some final creds and a quick escape from Stockholm again.

Day 4 – Furuvik


Furuvik was the name of the game, somewhat poorly represented by its photos of concrete and rides from most trip planning resources, when in fact it’s more of a zoo with an amusement section. We had been wondering what could justify it costing more than Kolmården.

The opening stroll is rather pleasant before you hit said amusement section if you head in the right direction. The Dragon wasn’t quite ready for us yet, so ended up on the shooting dark ride first.


Boo Blasters on Boo Blasters Hill Version 2.0 is in Europe? Spökjakten was news to me.


Having thought the recent experience in Alabama was somewhat one of a kind, I hadn’t expected to be reliving it so soon, but it’s good. For some reason the room with the skeleton army advancing was toned down, though otherwise a very solid dark ride.


The #1 Draken was ready for us and delivered the +1 as promised.


As was/did the #2 Fireball. That standard Vekoma junior boomerang layout.


#3 Lightning, the brand new coaster that makes this place a bit more worth seeking now is around the corner, looking nice and shiny.


Those smooth Vekoma curves and slick looking train make for an attractive package and it rides real good too. It was just like Big Bear Mountain without the faff in fact, and for me that makes it better. Pure twisty, bouncy fun with a near-excessive level of refinement that befits the family target it’s trying to hit.


This is where that style of Vekoma belongs, not on the big boys. Great stuff.


The front car was a nice touch, shame the dials didn’t move.

Thinking we were done with rides, headed off into the animal section to see what was what.


Sadly their red panda was MIA, but good views


Sheep in a hat?


Wait, what’s this? A boat ride that enters a tunnel? Well now we just have to know.

The little tub boats float around an area of not much for a while, some animals are far in the distance and it’s not the most intimate experience, except perhaps with your fellow riders.


Once in the cave, skeletons with treasure and a big kraken thing. In summary, yes.

And with that revelation we were done.

Thanks for reading, will be back in a jiffy with something a bit more further afield.

Norway 08/23 – Tusenfryd

Back down Oslo way it was time for our supposed revenge with spite: the dragon legend. Things looked rough on arrival as we were directed into an overflow car park I never knew existed before, though actually ended up closer to the gates than the regular car park, with less stairs and better views of the rides, so bonus.

Day 3 (still) – Tusenfryd


Season passes slowly starting to pay off now, for the wrong reasons, we slid in up that classic escalator and headed straight for the main event.


#1 HuriHuri had a bit of a queue, but geography. It’s an underwhelming little spinner type thing that is at least custom or unique, for now, I think.


A touch of rain filled the air as we headed to the actual main event. Will this thing cease operation for the weather again? Better not. Things got ominous with breakdown announcements and operational delays the instant we entered the queue, getting more than a little wet now. Thankfully they fixed whatever teething troubles were going down and after a few overly low capacity cycles we were primed and ready.


Or was I ready? #2 Storm – The Dragon Legend kicks more ass than perhaps it would suggest. It begins with no more than a trundle of a forwards launch and up an incline that has nothing to offer yet, but the backwards part of the triple launch sequence has a surprise kick to it and then, if seated towards the rear of the train, the last inversion has some wicked hangtime to offer. Lap bars, lap bars, lap bars. For some reason I didn’t think Gerstlauer would do it for this, they make all the difference.


The layout proper is short and sweet of course, but each of the three inversion shapings have decent forces to offer and the airtime hill is pretty great. There’s a bit of positive imperfection and character to it that I found too – in the most positive-heavy parts of track, a solid moment of being forced into the seat suddenly turns into an amusing rattle as though it can’t quite handle it.


Overall I thoroughly enjoyed it, and couldn’t help but think that I’d like to see more of this style of attraction, but longer. There’s still an opening for this type of invert to become a gamechanger in the market right now, with Intamin still sleeping on it since Duelling Dragons Someone put some money down, these things have potential.

The rest of the visit didn’t go so well, in true Tusenfryd style. Was spited the dark ride for the third time on the bounce.


Thundercoaster was walk on and I was looking forward to getting reacquainted with the somewhat sleeper hit of a revamped Vekoma woodie. Though they’ve obviously done some retracking recently, it was riding hilariously poorly in the back row, with everyone up in front being visibly assaulted through any high force moments. The vibration was so bad to the point of blurring vision at times, but otherwise not detrimental to health like some woodies can be to me. The good parts were still there in principle, it’s a decent layout, but they were so sapped of energy from the carnage that it was all a bit of a shame.

As was the fact that they broke Speed Monster before we got round to reacquainting with that one too. It never reopened either, so closed the day with a few more flights on the dragon. Some success I guess, but perhaps I can never truly complete this park.

Day 4

Norway 08/23 – Hunderfossen Eventyrpark

That wasn’t much of an installment, so let’s go again.

Next it was a long morning drive to Norway, a little more off the beaten track than usual – they have more than one amusement park you know. Hunderfossen had intrigued me for quite some time though it is often the victim of being left off an itinerary for ‘better things’, on paper.

Day 3 – Hunderfossen Eventyrpark


Up in the scenic hills there’s a pleasant natural beauty to the place. The location on the side of a valley gives this ever present view of the greenery on the far side, on this day coupled with some moody clouds. You could believe that trolls lived here.


First attraction on the agenda was the new-ish #1 Fyr & Flamme. The name alone sealed the deal for me, with the train design being the cherry on top. It’s very nicely presented, the titular characters appear to be stars of a kids TV show and while the coaster completes its two lap circuit, guests waiting in the station are treated to a little video sequence and accompanying music.


Intrigue got the better of us next, with that age old question of ‘is it a dark ride?’ A highly themed barn scene stood separately to an animatronic farm show.


Beyond that was a tractor ride, Traktorbanen, with some outdoor decorations, stopping points and what turned out to be three separate ‘indoor scenes’, in which a projected video would play, telling a story of a rooster tracking down his chicks.


In summary, yes.


The moment we’d all been waiting for was further along the bottom of the park. #2 Il Tempo Extra Gigante is one of those names you just have to have in your coaster collection. The fact that the train looks ridiculous only enhances that. The only downside is that it’s a Force One clone, but at least it was riding better than the OG counterpart these days.


I had been rather excited to try the award winning simulator Reodor Felgen’s Hyperakselerator, from what little I had learnt about it beforehand. A short queueline full of curious contraptions on posters leads to an elaborate pre-show room. Various farm-inspired gadgets adorn the walls and ceiling and these are all linked together in a mousetrap-type sequence. These sheep eat from the tubes, something spins, something inflates, you get the picture. Meanwhile on screen, another set of animated TV characters including Mr. ReFe himself talk about some invention they’ve got going on. Soon enough it’s time to hop aboard.


As with the coasters, they’ve gone above and beyond with the presentation of the ride vehicles here, which look rather fantastic. The big red button is used at one point in proceedings, though sad to say the simulator itself is a bit something and nothing. Some things felt a little off, exaggerated happenings on screen far outweighed the overly timid range of movements of the vehicle making it harder than usual to suspend the disbelief. Beyond that the perspective was a little confusing. The implication surely is that the guests are riding the contraption itself, but you’re also following one of the/the contraption on screen as though you’re more of a fly on the wall, or a floating third person camera. This is most notable when the vehicle up in front gets perilously suspended on a frozen cliff edge and you just sort of slide around to the side of them, and then turn to face them, unphased. Hard to describe in words really, but it confused me.


Talking of things that were a little off, how’s about a wax museum with Hitler looking shiftily through a window?


Not to worry, you can’t go wrong with a ride name like Trollfallet. This impressive and elaborate building can be entered in the upper regions via a little forest walkthrough.


A pre-show room and further indoor walkthrough, with highlights like these little rats appearing, set a fairytale scene before boarding a small drop tower in the dark. As the ride reaches its summit, a lit scene of a princess at a spinning wheel slides into view. You’ve come to save her, but hall of the mountain king, here comes the troll. Drop.


Silly, but effective. And I think this picture alone speaks a thousand words.


Also housed in the depths of the same building is a trackless Sally dark ride I’d never heard of being talked about before, Eventyrslottet.


It takes a lengthy trip through very many individual fairytales, ranging from castles to villages to troll caves.


It runs rather slow to fit all the storytelling in though, being narrated in the local tongue, this meant it lacked a certain dynamic for ourselves at the very least.


We only learnt after the fact that you can apparently slip the operator a fiver and have it put in English. Oh well.


Though a more relaxed pace than usual in such a pleasant environment, time was a-ticking and there was one more attraction on the list left to tick off. Is it a dark ride?


The new for 2023 4D Musikkfabrikken houses an elaborate pre-show featuring a self-playing piano positioned against a projection and made to look like these elf things are virtuosos, with one more bumbling one causing shenanigans in the background.

Inside the cinema itself, things get more than a little confusing this time. An animated baby introduces us to a world where music and rhythm are seen as wisps of colour, before the video changes to an actual human experiencing the same phenomenon while washing dishes in an industrial kitchen. They break the dishes, get fired and depressed, walk home in the rain, catch the eye of a girl on rollerskates, go to bed, get up, find a magical factory outside their house, enter said factory and get sucked into the machinery, conduct an orchestra a la Philharmagic (with all them colours again), meet the girl again who works there or something, get given a lab coat. Dance number. Fin.
In summary, no.

Had some pizza in a decent food establishment near the entrance before hitting the road. A mixed bag in the end, but I enjoyed the place for the character and charm, the creds, and the troll. Worth a look for sure.

Day 3 cont.

Sweden 08/23 – Kolmården

For logistical reasons we spent the whole of the next day giving courtesy to Kolmården. Don’t have a whole lot to say on the matter as there was nothing new on offer, and I’m not sure it was justified given the original spiteful saga back in opening year, but RMC right?


I guess.

Day 2 – Kolmården

Well first up we were spited out of a discount promised by their out of date website, no biggie.

Most of the animals were hiding along the legendary long walk to the back of the park, but we saw the red panda so that was enough to keep me happy.




Soon enough it was Wildfire time.

Eh. I wasn’t wrong when it was my first RMC and now I’ve done every layout but Medusa (damn, that’s an ever-tantalising set prospect), it definitely doesn’t stack up.

My original criticisms were that it doesn’t feel like wood (which always felt a bit of a farce when it topped wood coaster polls) and the second half is very underwhelming.


Now it does feel like wood, but that’s a bad thing because it was doing an Outlaw Run and insta-headaching me in the wheel seats. So only Lightning Rod was enhanced by feeling wooden, and we all know how that went down. I guess it’s best they stop doing it.

The second half remains underwhelming, it just has none of the spice of pretty much any other RMC out there. To the point that this time I got that ‘I am on a wooden rollercoaster’ feeling that’s become so prevalent over in the US, albeit a good looking one.


First half still has the spice, but it’s weaker than many a sequence out there. Drop has good momentum going into it. Stall is no longer special to me sadly, while it used to be the king this element has gotta be more common than the vertical loop by now. Outwards corner is like the Lightning Rod bits that are more visual than visceral. Tunnel! Airtime hill with no airtime. A roll over the rocks. And that’s the good bit.

After that you can sit back, relax and have fun. Maybe that’s all you want in a coaster and I could (and did) happily sit on it for most of the day. Just doesn’t quite get the heart racing.


They have other coasters too you know.

Then we got hideously assaulted by wasps for the duration of dinner.


Then we saw some good stuff on the cablecar.

Then we rode Wildfire some more.

Then we left.

Told you I’m no good at revisits.

Day 3

Sweden 08/23 – Gröna Lund

The Scandi season is a harsh mistress. Time had flown since our frozen and failed attempt at Tusenfryd earlier in the year, and suddenly there was very little opportunity left to make it right.

Not having enough faith in the revenge target being a strong enough headline act however, the horizons were broadened in light of other newness further afield. Needs to be worth the faff after all.

As such we landed in Stockholm one early afternoon and took a leisurely drive in our freely upgraded Citroen (?) down to the city centre. Gröna Lund recommends this big underground car park not too far away and it was surprisingly cheap given the location.

Day 1 – Gröna Lund

A stroll through scenic Stockholm soon had us being frisked by teenagers in order to enter the park, where we immediately got confused as to where to collect the wristbands. A gesture in the direction of a new machine, like the Liseberg ones, that it turns out doesn’t work here, led to more machines that were boarded up and some aimless wandering before realising the gesture had been towards a human ticket desk all along. Got what we needed the old fashioned way and then proceeded to get what we came for.


Namely #1 Monster, the first culprit to break my ‘all B&Ms in Europe’ set and, perhaps more scarily, the last unique B&M Invert layout left for me in the world. We had a free fastrack booked with the online tickets but this was entirely unnecessary. I assume as a consequence of recent unfortunate events that a park that should have been thriving on a summer’s day was a relative ghost town and two trains were ensuring this could hold nothing but a front row queue.

So, how was the ride? Good! I’ve become a cliché by ragging on modern B&Ms as of late, though I believe it’s more justified now than it was 10 years ago. The invert however remains the quintessential model that retains the prestige that was once synonymous with the manufacturer. It was forceful, fun and full of surprises.


The steep, curved drop has a pretty wicked kick to it, particularly not one you’d usually be used to on an inverted coaster. The compactness of the subsequent turn and pullout immediately brings the signature positives that get the old feet tingling. A floaty inversion happens in a solid moment of contrast, though a few weeks later I’d struggle to name what and how many there are of those on the ride – a sign of seemlessness or a bit of blandness? You decide.


From there the surprises keep on happening, the integration of the layout into the surroundings have you guessing where things are headed next while it treats you to more tight turns. Things culminate in an effective footchopper moment and surprise airtime hill before swinging you round into the weird brake run. With space at a premium, an unusually steep downwards incline has you slowly chugging back into the station.

Talking of the station, it’s rather elegant. I liked the vibe (and the music), though any semblance of storyline that there’s meant to be a subway monster chasing you is never made obvious. Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed our several laps front and back, with back winning out for the drop of course.

There are other things in this park though, right? Well the lineup was a little wounded, what with Twister also being unavailable. The only other new thing we needed was Ikaros, for which we also had free fastrack booked and, on pure principle, held out on.


This tunnel of love dark ride, Kärlekstunneln was… interesting. I like a bit of quirk.


Courtesy laps were taken on Kvasten and Vilda Musen, which were both riding better than before, along with the kiddie creds, because why not. Anything is better than Insane.


Blå Tåget was awesome, can’t recall if they’ve changed something up or I didn’t know what i was looking for in a Ghost Train back then, but it’s certainly one of the best examples of one in the world. Tons of cool effects, well paced, not over reliant on obnoxious noises, they even let us go round twice for lack of queue.


Having not fully appreciated the park before, took the time to chill on some flats too. The magic carpet ride was terrifyingly vicious, took me back to the old days of trying to do quantum without bracing. This one is either better, or I’m not as good any more.


Blackfisken was my first ever one of whatever these things are, spinny and bouncy. I believe people make a fuss about them and it was pretty hectic and funny.

Fritt Fall remains a beast, though I’m not sure stand-up golden drill can ever be topped when it comes to these old Intamins now.


As for new Intamins, it was time for Ikaros and we did actually manage to skip a single cycle with the fastrack. No time to get nervous then, straight in and straight up. Well, straight apart from the facing the floor bit. I like the gimmick for the fear factor, but I still get a better feeling out of a regular decent drop tower. There’s simply less room for internal organs to shift in the horizontal. Better than the Busch one.

We left before the tallest man on earth could make things any more rowdy. All in all a highly satisfying evening, Gröna Lund redeemed itself by not giving me a headache. I wonder what to blame for that.

Day 2

USA 06/23 – Alley Cats, Prairie Playland + Summary

Time to tidy up.

Having seen all there was to see at Six Flags Over Texas we headed out into the city, to a cred that had been spotted by the side of the road the night before. No new discovery or anything exciting, the various internet tools were well aware of its existence (except Captain Coaster), I just hadn’t planned on being done here so early.

Alley Cats

The establishment in question was a beautifully air-conned arcade and bowling alley, but that was besides the point.


Outside, the spirit of the #8 Rattler lives on in an SBF spinner. Unlike our friend Frankie and his mine train, this performed far too many laps and was extremely inefficient given the weather.

With that bonus out of the way, enough was enough. Just the one day to go.

Day 15 – Prairie Playland


A ride we had planned for, to finish up, given no other Texas based disasters. This large outdoor market and camping ground has an amusement section and as of quite recently, the world’s largest coaster from E&F Miler, formally from California. Seemed worth a shot.


They’ve painted the #1 Prairie Screamer green, done up the trains and given it an amusing name and logo. We were knocking on the ticket window for opening and ended up on the first cycle for the day.

I expected clunkiness, it’s the defining feature of the medium ones of these. What I didn’t anticipate, as we approached speeds of 50Mph was that it just isn’t built for that sort of force. The track isn’t straight, so the base of the dips have a prominent set of jolts to them. Being bigger and more drawn out in the hills and turns was also detrimental to the usual wild airtime and laterals, though it still had its highlights in surprise places. Fun, still prefer the Kissimmee one.

With nothing left to do but drive to the airport, we stopped off on route to Austin in the town of Waco, at a far more upmarket market built next to some old magnolia silos.


Apparently it’s famous, has been on TV and stuff. Had some food trucks and did what it says on the tin.




Total states – 15
New creds – 62
New dark rides – 8
New parks – 17
New wacky worms – 2
New RMCs – 5
Best new coaster – ArieForce One
Best coaster – ArieForce One
Best new dark ride – Mystic Mansion
Best dark ride – Monster Mansion
Best new park – Fun Spot America Atlanta
Best park – Dollywood
Distance travelled – 4,518 Miles
Spites – 4/66 (6.06%)

Thanks for reading.

USA 06/23 – Six Flags Over Texas

Six Flags Over Texas

Following on from Frontier City we arrived at Over Texas sometime late in the afternoon and immediately had our Six Flags Day moment. It was something ridiculous like 37 degrees, 150% humidity, there were weather warnings saying don’t go out in the sun, you nutters. In our haste we had chucked an assortment of drinks in the bag, as they were going to be essential for the upcoming exertion. Yet for the first time in my Six Flags history, most of these were removed from our possession during a security check that put Austin airport to shame.


The logic was that they have ‘an alcohol problem’, so one bottle that was already open having been sipped from in the car (subsequently uncapped and sniffed), along with one that was still sealed but had the label torn in order to distinguish whose was whose, all had to go. We were assured that free water was available on park, though the where or how was left entirely to our imagination. Having not gone out of our way to look for it, I can at least say that they weren’t going out of their way to distribute it, though ride staff were giving reminders to stay hydrated.

With nothing but horror and inconvenience out of the way, we had clocked on the way in that #6 La Vibora was operating. In my head this is never running, so this was the first place we headed in order to bag the ‘rare cred’. Sure enough, upon our arrival, it had gone down. The queue was closed off in a confusing manner and they were cycling empty cars. Not wanting to backtrack much, or even move, we opted to wait it out and ensure the win.


Victory came soon enough, I was interested to learn once in the station that the seating is single file, unlike the deceased Dutch counterpart and my only other experience with an Intamin Bob. It rode with a decent vigour, I quite liked the unrefined and out of control feeling it delivers by not being on rails, more so than any Mack really gives you. The uncomfortable clattering sideways into each block section was what defined the experience of Bob for me, this was far less jarring here. You’re alright La Vibora, you’re alright.

Skirting round the 100th Larson Loop of the trip, we headed for RMC’s other catalogue offering. If there was anything that needed to be secured on this preview visit, it was the #7 New Texas Giant.


The sweaty scream shields on the sides of the train were something to behold, it doesn’t quite have the aesthetics of the Rattler. On-board pouchies are a plus, they always amuse me. We settled down towards the back of the train and ended up with two inaugural laps on the bounce as no one came to fill our row in the meantime – no one else was stupid enough to be riding rides in this heat.


Sad to report that this one didn’t quite justify the ambient discomfort. It’s far more clear here that they were onto a new thing, being the first project, and simply hadn’t dialled up the insanity meter. I’ve also ridden it far too late in the day. Maybe the drop was something special, maybe it wasn’t, you know how that’s been going on this trip. For an RMC that’s comprised entirely of corners and airtime hills, I’d expect both to deliver something substantial, yet there are more misses than hits.


I can pinpoint just a single ‘great’ hill in the layout, on the second circuit before the mid course brake fun. The rest are like my impression of a B&M hyper that’s not delivering. When it comes to the turns, sure they look wacky and are a marked improvement on some old nasty woodie, but they reminded me of all the ‘weakest’ moments that punctuate RMCs – overbanks and stuff that don’t really excite. Rattler had them, even Wildcat had that one. Arie didn’t. Oh Arie…


Nevertheless it’s a noticeably long ride, and always at least decent fun throughout. Good visuals, speed, variety, some structural interaction, unpredictable tunnel sections at the end. A fine attraction, one that I’d be happy to sit on all day were it not unbearably hot, but not one that I’d be busting to. On a world stage, you’ve still got yourself a headliner coaster. On an RMC pedestal, it’s probably the worst.

With that successfully figured out, time kept running and the game was on to see what else we could mop up before close. For both geographical and significance reasons, #8 Titan was up next, the other, bigger giant.
As someone who probably likes the other Giovanola hyper more than most, and would take it over other low tier hypers for the sake of variety, it rode exactly like that one, but in 37 degrees.


In other words, it kicked my ass. Two incredibly sustained and intense grey-out sequences that would make Intrimidator 305 blush, and I could barely leave the station due to some sudden wobbly legs. It’s not a criticism in this case, just a warning that this monster goes hard. I really like the first drop, something about that shape manages to draw things out just right and not undersell the 240-odd-ft. The openness of the trains and the rarity of being on something this huge, with thinner track/two-wide seating gives the turnaround a more unnerving and exposed feeling than the comforting arms of a B&M.


The speed over the speed hill always delivers and then it’s time to start your breathing exercises. Exiting the first helix of doom often garnered a range of reactions from surrounding riders, from the primal instincts of punching the seat in front to screaming various expletives about having passed out. A god damn Titan or two.

It stops dead on the mid course, and I’ve often read that as a criticism, but quite frankly it needs to. They’d be taking people away on stretchers if it didn’t, especially in climes like these. It fades in and out of some of the most sustained positive forces in the business while winding back down towards the ground in a long series of nothing but twists and turns before the sweet relief of the final brakes.

Sad to see they didn’t have another shirt in the Six Flags series here. ‘I blacked out on Titan’, with a giant figure curb-stomping a stick person could well have earned a sale in this instance, though I think the snake one still wins.

Given this area is a dead end of the park, we moved as quickly as we dared back towards the middle regions, tactically aiming for known capacity nightmares. The first of these was another #9 Pandemonium, thankfully not breaking down every 5 minutes. Couldn’t find the entrance in our weakened bodily state (seems to be a park-wide phenomenon of poor signage) and ended up brute forcing the fast track stairs because it was quicker, and no one was in any line at all.


Same one as Fiesta Texas but purple and not by a cliff, it happened. I think the 420/4 model remains the most spinningnest of all the Gerstses.


Below it was #10 Aquaman: Power Wave, though I don’t recall a single thing on or around it that bore any relation to the character. It has far less character than Pulsar through both a lack of vibrating walls and not being integrated in a more ‘natural’ environment. The surging of the LSMs was more satisfying than I recall, amongst a sequence of forwards, backwards and a splash in surprisingly comfortable seating. S’alright.


With 10 mins on the clock we intended to close out on yet another Justice League, but it was a waste of a walk as arrival in the station had staff telling us it was broken. Could have done with a sign. It was time to head out, and soon after collapse from heat exhaustion.

Day 14 – Six Flags Over Texas

Right back at it again, we keenly rocked up for opening and opted for the VIP entrance for one last abuse of the system. The tune had already changed from the previous evening here, apparently it didn’t matter whether bottles were open or not, they didn’t want to allow outside drinks at all. But, because they were feeling nice, or maybe the privileges of the season pass saved us, they let us off ‘on this occasion’. Can’t waste that sweet Georgia peach tea.

Heading in the opposite direction to previous we wound up at Spite E. Coyote’s cred. A short trip up the stairs led to us being awkwardly informed that we couldn’t ride because we had no children. Bah.


#1 Judge Roy Scream knew what was up, with the amusing ‘appeal denied’ banner at the crest of the lift. Day 4 of ‘I am on a wooden rollercoaster’ closed out the woodies of the trip. I think we peaked on Switchback. Out, back, hills, rumble. This one has it all and the staff were already soaked in their own sweat, dripping, after their second cycle of the day. Did I mention it was hot?


Too hot for this rubbish, it was time to endure yet another Freespin in the form of #2 Joker. My usual thing about they worry me, how they’ll behave etc. No harm done on this occasion.


Time to endure yet another #3 Batman, this one ran super fast and brought out the old foot sensation. Interesting how it looks far less intimidating than usual, in the shadows of a highway intersection, which I’ve somehow managed to obscure from view here.

#4 Mr. Freeze‘s air-con went down a treat, but then he went down himself. Again, too unpleasant to move, we camped it out in the station while engineers were called and eventually landed the front row for our first non-reverse blast (forwards) experience. This was fast becoming ‘positive Gs: the park’, with yet another assault of speed and heavy heads. Think I preferred the St. Louis one, the dominant sensation here being that the return journey messed up my hair in an unpleasant fashion.


Speaking of unpleasant, the operator announcements on #5 Mini Mine Train were unbearably loud for some reason, and they just never stopped talking. An endless, headache inducing loop of hype package, welcome back riders, and more dumb policies about not leaving articles on the platform of a single train attraction. +1 though.

Unlike its neighbour, the not-mini mine train. Staff were busying about, cleaning the train and the queue and giving a vague indication that it might have opened later. A poorly placed sign outside, however, implied that it was undergoing a refurb until the ‘summer season’. Any news on when summer is going to hit the US in 2023 yet?


A path from there to our next destination had then been inexplicably closed since the night before, taking us the long way round to #6 Shockwave. Not sure why it looks Mindbender green from this angle.

It kicks Mindbender’s ass though, the return of positive-Gs: the park interlaced with wild pops of unexpected Schwarzkopf airtime. Reminded me of the best of Nessie, several times over. Might be my new fave of his loopers.


Towering above it is the Oil Derrick, an elevator leading to observation platform not masquerading as a landmark from France. From here you can see that Shockwave isn’t green, along with its attractive surroundings.


The giants.


And some other filler. Note how Judge Roy is out on its own, separated by a road and a lake. Fun facts.

I believe this only left #7 Runaway Mountain on the to do list, given that the Speelunking pirates dark ride was devastatingly closed for flooding, again.


This squirrel had the right idea.


Somehow the longest queue of the day went to this weird indoor coaster from Premier Rides. I guess for shade reasons. Weird trains, weird restraints, curved station, poor loose article management, it had it all. It didn’t have the character of a Skull Mountain, but had a couple of intense whips in the layout, in the dark. Unique, I guess.

With the park as complete as it could be, it was time to pay a courtesy visit to the two big boys. While they remained decent enough, it soon became quite clear that we didn’t have the drive or even the need to last out the day here. Which, no matter the weather, always brings up the question – any +1s around?

That can wait for next time though.

Day 15

USA 06/23 – Frontier City

Upon arrival in Oklahoma City, the ‘too hot to theme park’ heat had finally caught up with us. It had been ranging from pleasant to bearable thus far but, as is inevitable in this part of the world, with operating calendars only 2 months long, weather reports started announcing record highs and it got more than a little sticky.

Not too concerning for the first item on the agenda though

Day 13 – Frontier City


Again more pleasant than I had imagined, for whatever reason. Something about looking at lacklustre lineups on RCDB sometimes makes you think something else must be lacking too. It all looked green and pleasant from this vantage point at the very least. No concrete and rides here.


Maybe some tarmac. The wrong #1 Diamondback, or Not Revolution, can be found signposted from the gift shop that you enter the park through. The queue winds you upwards in a more merciful manner than the Blackpool counterpart. I don’t mind that one and I didn’t mind this, rides pretty much the same. The lurches in or out of the drops toe the line between exciting and painful depending on where you sit and the loop is… an inversion.


Round the corner is the only dark ride on the bill, Quick Draw.


Interactive of course, and themed to the same as everything in the park. It was perfectly serviceable, had a fun dynamite scene at the end.


Bonus cred? Sadly not, this tease of track appears to be the remains of the Nightmare Mine. It’s gone.

I had a bit of a milestone to check off here, so did a tiny bit of backtracking, though not even entirely sure what I wanted or whether it mattered – there was nothing particularly enthralling on offer.


#2 Silver Bullet was a candidate, but nah, clone. Good thing too because it rode horribly for one of these, a ride where the main redeeming feature is usually coming off thinking ‘rides good for its age, that’. Anton will be rolling in his grave.


Sure as hell wasn’t gonna be #3 Steel Lasso, though I had it in my head as an over the shoulder restraint version so that was a pleasant surprise. The guy in row 4 is definitely sunglasses on, not caring.


Thus, #1500 ended up being the Wildcat. RCDB tells me there are just 62 rollercoasters that have used this exact name, so it will always have to come with the appendix – the one at Frontier City. That bugs me, I wanted Big Bad John.
On the plus side, it has historical significance, is custom and allowed me to make a reference to Wildcat’s Revenge.

It joins the ranks of many a wooden coaster around the world that pays tribute to other wooden coasters around the world. Signs are up in the queue snapshotting a wide variety of what is/was on offer, from local deceased classics such as the Zingo to local revived classics such as El Toro, from nearby early RMCs that shall not be named to far flung Chinese duellers that may be misnamed.


I’m putting off talking about the ride experience again because, simply put, there wasn’t one. Three days back to back of ‘I am on a wooden rollercoaster’ continued in a pleasant romp through some trees and one rather unique turnaround – the elevation changed both up and down rather than just being flat.. I hear they ‘spiced it up’ during a retrack once, maybe that was it.


With the end in sight and the skin beginning to blister, it was time to power on and find #5 Frankie’s Mine Train. This ride might well win the award for our most efficient +1 ever. Walked up the stairs, got in the train, quick dispatch, single lap, left. Perfection.

In fact the overall experience was one of efficiency. I had made a late game prediction about this, but I doubt it took any more than a couple of hours. Good thing it’s free.

As such we had an afternoon to play with and at last made headway back into Texas to mop up one final Six Flags. Another sweet start was now confirmed to be on offer, or more accurately, sweat start. That one can wait though.

Day 14

USA 06/23 – Magic Springs

Having headed back into Mississippi the night before, the next state line took us over into Arkansas. It was the worst drive of the entire trip traffic wise, for some reason. Felt like the middle of nowhere and yet everyone was heading on that road to nowhere. Luckily it didn’t matter too much as there’s only one park here. And what a park.

Day 12 – Magic Springs


The car park looked surprisingly busy for what it was however, including several coaches. This was mostly due to the water park thankfully and didn’t impede our progress in the slightest, though it did cause other inconveniences.


First up was the #1 Arkansas Twister, a relocated woodie from Florida. Much like Rampage the previous day, it provided the perfect sensation of ‘I am on a wooden rollercoaster’, bouncing about on a daily basis and not offering much of anything. It managed to have an even more hilarious wobble over bits like that hill in shot, a rhythmic pulsing that sapped any other force out of the track shaping.

All in all we were simply glad it didn’t murder us, those trains look suspiciously like The Boss trains. What it did do for us was get us wet – all the seats were, because everyone was coming from the water park and riding it. Slimy.


Talking of murder, they have one of these. The recent news of Abismo,the extended version of this model, doing its party trick and getting stuck upside down again didn’t do anything to alleviate my fear of #2 X Coaster, but needs must. An amusing dispatch sequence added to concerns, a conversation between staff that went something like “did you push the button?” “what button?”, going into the control box for 30 seconds looking confused before we set off.

I do hate the upside-down-ness of these, it messes me up. The back passes through fastest in theory, and that helped to alleviate some of the discomfort. From there this particular version does more ‘coasting’, with a full forwards, backwards, forwards swing out of the starting drop. Mercifully most installations I’ve done haven’t even bothered with that much, though the OG at Skyline did it twice, catching and pulling through the top again – evil, but I was new to it then.

Mercifully here, this one was less rough than a number of those with shorter cycles, though not ideal. It got the job done, and with dryer seats.


#3 Big Bad John had wet seats, but could be forgiven both for the name and for being the best ride in the park. As a relocated mine train, it’s unusual at best. 3 lift hills worth of romp through the trees at odd elevations, culminating in a wicked final drop into a tunnel, accentuated by back row of course.


#4 Diamond Mine Run was another of these E&F Miler things, but it ain’t no Kozmo’s Kurves.

The SLC was closed for the foreseeable – what a pity, never mind.

Park complete and with no others in sight, we were at a loss as to what to do for the rest of the day, until realising I had planned for us to do another 5-6 hours of driving, so there was that.


There is a big observation tower around the corner and up a hill in the town of Hot Springs however, so we gave that a flying visit.


There’s the town.


Spot the spite.

After just a few minutes a staff member came up and evacuated us from the platform, as there were storms approaching. This resulted in receiving a full refund, so that was kind of a bonus. With that it was off to Oklahoma.

Day 13