I travel to Arizona each November, and after all of those years, I had never been to Castles and Coasters. I had driven by many times, but never really felt too inspired to visit.
I hadn't heard much about this park, but what I had heard wasn't too great. It appeared to be a typical miniature golf and go-karts park that expanded to add a roller coaster. Nothing special... I wasn't really ready to be impressed, so I was certainly surprised once I got into the park.
I arrived at about 11 AM, the ride area of the park did not open until 12. So, I decided to head over to the arcade. This place was huge! I'm not sure I have seen so many games in one place- ever! A really nice selection, from old-school to the latest in gaming.
I had never seen one before, but this park had the Cedar Point coaster simulator. I chose Magnum. It was okay, but not worth the two dollar price, as the motions of the simulator didn't align well with the action on the screen. Either way, it was cool to try once.
After am hour of games, the ride park was open. I had just one goal- ride the coasters. Because of this, I only bought two tickets. At 4.75 each, it wasn't really a deal. I didn't have time to stay too long, so I didn't purchase the POP card. Before buying those tickets, I read that Patriot, the junior coaster was not open today... Oh well. Next year.
So, I headed over to Desert Storm. This is a O.D. Hopkins double looping coaster. I had heard this was a real headbanger, so I was prepared to "try once and get off." Needless to say, I was shocked to see lapbars!! They apparently took off the OTSRS, shortened the train and added lapbars. My first ride was in the front seat. There was not many people in the park, and there was no wait.
A few minutes later, we were off. The desert scenery and perfect sunny weather made this a very pleasent time for a coaster ride! The first drop is banked sharply to the left, dropping into a loop. From there the ride takes a wide turn around into another inversion, which resembles a loop, but is stretched out and looks more like a dive loop or something. The ride then threads the needle through the first loop in a helix, and one final turn leads to the brakes.
There were times during the ride when I could feel a little roughness. But with a lapbar, it was not a concern. The ride was a little short, but great for such a small park. I rode again in the back seat, which I liked better than the front, but was a little rougher. Also, the ride had some great headchoppers in several different places. All in all, Desert Storm was a pleasent surprise!
I walked around the park for a while. They had a great looking log flume, which even had a cave section and some theming! Pretty good for such a tiny park. They had go-karts, minature golf, a swinging ship, bumper cars and bumper boats as well, but for 4.75 for a ride, none really seemed worthwhile.
My trip was quick, but I was certainly surprised by the fun to be had at Castles and Coasters!
Goodbye Shockwave(??)- 1988-2002.
Welcome one and all, y'all come have a ball!
Things a bear-y fine, ridin' on the old Knott's bear-y line!
I was mistaken. It seems that Desert Storm has always had lapbars.
I am certain however, that they did shorten the train somewhere along the line. There is a portion of the queue leading to a row beyond the current last car. No big deal, I don't think capacity is a huge issue in such a small park.
"I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe."
Great report, and I agree... it is nice to see a report on one of the smaller parks.
Do the Moo Shoo!
yeah, theres DDRMAX 2 and DDR USA...
oh yeah, and Desert Storm originally DID have OTSR's, but they were removed *years* ago, im guessing maybe the 2nd year it opened...apparently that thing made peoples ears bleed, and it mentioned the people were NOT wearing earings :\ if you can remember being on the train and seeing the orange reflectors on the sides of the headrests, thats what the holes are covered up with from the old OTSR harness. and i can understand why though, that thing has very bad transitions, very heavy lateral G spikes just about everywhere...
My mouth is gaping! Someone liked Castles N' Coasters?! Were you drunk, or high, or both. I live In Fountain Hills about 45 Min away and it is a waste in my opinion, the flume doesn't look to bad but I don't like flumes that much to go back again ,there are some plusses to Desert Storm, some negatives so it is one you would give a five on a scale of 1-10 because it isn't horrible but it isn't good just adequate for one ride and one ride only. Eveyones time will be spent better at a CA park or maybe Cliff's in NM (once it opens again I'll hit it so many times because it is about 4 hours away and the NMR looks like it is the crap, can anyone say the NM version of Cornball Express)
Well coasterkid, its a nice little park if you don't expect too much out of it. It is more than possible to love the big parks (heck, Knotts is my home park) and still have an appreciation for the little parks as well. I'm sure that there are more than a few people on the site that can attest to that.
Besides, nothing happened that day to give me any sort of negatives about the park. The staff was friendly enough, the ride was decent, and the place was clean. There's not much more I can expect than that!
Now, if I was in your situation and that was the only park around, I'm not sure how happy I would be either, but I found C&C to be a nice break from the major parks I am used to here in So Cal.
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