I also took several pictures and I will get those online ASAP.
Now, for my trip report to VL on Saturday, May 14, 2005:
It was a beautiful, sunny day--the perfect day for visiting a park of any kind; thrills, chills or in Visionland's case, both.
The first thing I noticed on my way to VL, about halfway between my hometown and the park, was a billboard on the Interstate featuring Zoomerang, the new boomerang coaster at VL. I thought to myself; cool, can't wait to ride it.
I decided to pull my camera out of the bag to catch any other signage along the way, since I missed this opportunity last time. I knew of the sign about 3 miles from the new Visionland Parkway Exit that says 'Visionland Freeway' so I got a shot of it.
For anyone that doesn't know, Visionland Freeway is the stretch of highway, on I-59N/I-20E, that is about 10 miles in length and serves as great marketing aid for the park.
After exiting onto Visionland Parkway, I took the short drive past the WaterMark Outlet Mall and came to the Visionland entrance/exit gates. After I pulled into the gates I pulled off to the side to take a few more pictures. I called these next few pictures I took, "First-Impression" Pictures. I got shots of the Space Shot's tower, which is currently the tallest structure in the park at 185 feet; the parking lot, which was pretty full on the left hand side and parts of the middle with vehicles including several buses; the parking ticket booths; the backside of 3 of the major rides in Splash Beach Water Park and the Front Entrance Gate and Ticket Booths.
As I walked up to the front gate, I noticed again that there was no security presence there, even though, I knew they were situated inside the building with the dark tinted-windows off to the left. As usual, I let the attendent scan my season pass and I was once again inside my home park.
I wanted to continue taking "First Impression" pictures so I got several shots of all of the landmark items, shops, games and I even got a shot of a Ford Mustang that was parked there, obviously for some kind of contest. I didn't inquire on it so there are no details available.
I did get a chuckle from this couple who thought I was the cameraman for the park. They were about to pose, but I told them I was a guest, they laughed and I was off to Magic Adventure. Before I entered this area I got a shot of the children playing in the water fountains shooting up in front of the entrance to Magic Adventure.
Now that the park was open to the GP, I noticed that they had 2 attendents there checking wristbands and season passes. I flashed my pass and walked on in. I took a few shots of the games area, food shops/stands/carts, retail carts, and the Coca Cola Ampitheater.
Still with 'first impressions' on my mind, I walked into the spinning flat rides section of the park, which is to the left of the Sky Wheel/Games Midway. I noticed, right away, Rampage's massive structure on the hill and I was able to capture a great shot of the train coming down the first drop.
I also noticed how the landscaping builds anxiety of what's to come just around the bend.
This is a very nice compliment to the park and can be viewed throughout.
As you round the bend, you are met with 2 flat favorites, the MindSpinder (Break Dance) and The Patriot (Round-Up). In the near distance you see the bright yellow structure of Zoomerang, just waiting to turn you for a loop or three.
After passing the Wild Scrambler and the Hurricane (Himalaya), you notice the entrance to Marvel City, the kiddie park.
I walked around Marvel City taking pictures of the shops & rides. I even got a shot of 2 huge boulder rocks, which are historical in the fact that they are the only thing, besides a few trees around Rampage, that were there before the park was built. They decided to keep them there as landmarks. Then I took several pictures including & surrounding the Zoomerang coaster, which included the new walkway from Marvel City to Zoomerang/Space Shot, the retail shop in its preliminary stages, the walkway from Zoomerang/Space Shot to Rampage, the queuing, station, and the ride layout of Zoomerang, Rampage from the foothill of Zoomerang, the rest of the park from this area, and many more.
I left this area after a ride on Zoomerang, which was a pretty nice ride for a boomerang, and Rampage, of course, to walk up to Wild River Gorge. Sadly, for some reason, I didn't get any up close shots of this ride, which was running well with the geysers on and all. I did however take a few shots of the Zoomerang & Rampage from a distance and I even took a shot of the drop slide in Splash Beach water park.
After I left the Wild River Gorge area, I decided to check out how the construction was going on the newly remodeled Log flume ride. It looks like they have replaced the lifts and motors, but the ride layout looked similar to the old Cahaba Falls. Maybe they will just add more trees to hide some of the ride, add new logs, and add some other features that will guarantee a wet ride. I got one shot of the last drop.
I then walked around to various areas I had been to get more up-close and detailed pictures of the games, rides and other goodies. I met up with a friend from church so I rode Zoomerang again (ride review coming soon), Rampage again, Space Shot, and the Wild River Gorge. I decided to catch rides on all the other rides and visit the water park on my next trip to the park.
Overall, I had a great time at the park and I was pleased at how it was clean, the rides were still all operational with the exception to the log flume ride, the park brochures were available, etc. I was impressed with Zoomerang even though I had ridden taller, faster, and more innovative versions, I heard positive feedback from different guests and I feel that everyone was thoroughly pleased with the park as a whole. I even took a survey and you know I mentioned adding more bigger and better thrills for the future. Visionland is definitely making a better name for themselves now and forever. This may very well be the 'Sleeper' of the decade.
TR for Memorial Day at Visionland!
Stay Tuned . . .
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