EuroOd 1.8 -- Dreamland & Rotunda (July 20)

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, July 25, 2002 11:32 AM

Two rather small parks today. Being on the week one bus finally had an advantage. People doing both weeks of the tour had to catch the ferry over to the mainland, and so were to get only an hour at each park. As the White coach had no such deadline, we got over 2 hours at each park. We received wristbands at Dreamland that would be good at both parks.

Dreamland:

While the people doing both weeks were literally running from coaster to coaster, the few of us doing only the first week (under 30, I forget the exact number -- there had been 29 people on our bus at the start, but a few of those were doing both weeks and had switched to another bus) kept a very leisurely pace. Even so, we hit all four coasters and a few of the other attractions, and grabbed food before heading over to the next park.

Looping Star (1 lap, back row) -- a single-loop Schwarzkopf, with the intensity you'd expect from such a beast.

Wild Mouse (1 lap) -- The usual steel mouse.

Blue Coaster (1 lap) -- another kiddie

Scenic Railway (1 lap) -- the oldest wooden roller coaster in the UK (but see below). This coaster is a classic. It's long, it's slow, it has two lifts, and...it has an on-ride brakeman. The 3-car train (5 benches in the first, 4 in the second, 5 in the third) has the operator ON the ride, pulling a brake lever to keep it under control. I'd only seen this in old pictures before, and it was VERY cool to see it in person.

We also rode the Frisbee, which was a bit slow, the Mexican Hats, an odd spinning flatride, and the King Kong Horror Haus, quite possibly the lamest darkhouse I've ever seen (so bad it HAS to be done).

Our stay at Dreamland was also marked by two very odd occurrances. For one thing, a very sudden, and very brief, period of thunder and lightning erupted while we were there. I saw one bolt of lightning come down literally right across the street, accompanied by a correspondingly quick and loud thunderclap. We only felt a few drops of rain, and it vanished within minutes, as suddenly as it began.

The OTHER odd event was a car fire in the parking lot. Black smoke started billowing from the lot. I took a few pictures of this because it was just so weird. It's unclear to me what started the fire, but we were certainly relieved when it was put out.

Eventually we boarded our bus and left to head to Rotunda, where the other 4 buses had already been for a while. The original schedule had us arriving just as they would be leaving, but we'd been given permission to spend a little extra time at Dreamland (beyond what was already scheduled), so we weren't sure if they'd still be there when we arrived.

The drive to Rotunda took us literally right past the White Cliffs of Dover. I haven't mentioned many landmarks up to this point (and we did pass a number of them on the tour), but these were just fabulous.

We arrived at Rotunda to see that the other four buses WERE actually still there, but were quickly loading up to get to the ferry. Tim Baldwin, the tour director, greeted us and informed us that the operations on the Mouse were "horrid". He also said that the kiddie coaster was down, "but we're out of your hair so you should be Ok for the others." With that, the other buses departed. This was actually a rather depressing moment, as we watched our friends pull away for further adventures while our own were just about at an end. However, we did still have one more (tiny) park to attend to.

Magic Mouse (1 lap) -- Reverchon spinning mouse. They were only allowing one car on the entire circuit at a time, resulting in VERY slow cycle times. I'm sure that MANY of the "both weeks" people were unable to get both this and Runaway Coaster in before they had to leave, but as they had another full week of rides to hit I think they'll take the tradeoff.

Runaway Coaster (2 laps) -- A wooden side-friction coaster. The only other operating one is Leap-the-dips at Lakemont. This roller coaster has a very interesting story. Talking to the park owner, we learned that this ride had been found rotting in a field in Holland. They bought the ride and salvaged what they could, and built the rest based on pictures in 1997. Nobody knows exactly how old the original was, but it's from the same era as Leap-The-Dips. So, while Scenic Railway is the oldest coaster in the UK, this is possibly older in many ways. As a ride, it's faster and rougher than Leap-the-Dips. While LTD has no restraints to speak of (just a grab bar), this has a simple "put this over your shoulder" strap and a metal lapbar. The wooden siderails have some gouges in parts, and overall the coaster could use some work, but it's still fun, and nice to see a park running such a classic ride.

As mentioned before, the kiddie coaster was down, and is the only credit I missed on the entire tour (since I don't count powered coasters)

An interesting end to the massive first week of the European Odyssey. Now I, like the rest of you, eagerly anticipate the return of our friends on the second week...

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--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 7/25/2002. ***

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Thursday, July 25, 2002 11:41 AM
Nice TR! After I read all your TR's I noticed there are a lot of kiddie coasters and wild mouses.

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Sean

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Thursday, July 25, 2002 11:43 AM

Well, after reading all of your reviews, i'm pleased to see that you had a very nice time. I myself hope to make it across the pond at least once in my life. If I do, i'll be sure to request Greg as my personal tour guide. We can even rent a big bus if it helps the experience. :)

Good job Greg!

Coasterman Mike

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Kennywood, Celebrating 75 Years of Racing Sperm ;)

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Thursday, July 25, 2002 11:50 AM

I am envious of you and all those who could go on this monumental trip. Nice series of TRs; it's so nice to read about parks that aren't SFMM or PKI.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Thursday, July 25, 2002 12:02 PM

It's so nice to GO to parks that aren't CP and PKI (Haven't been to SFMM myself yet, need to fix that)

Thanks for all the comments, everyone. Just WRITING all these TRs was a big undertaking, so it's nice to know people really were reading them.

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--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 7/25/2002. ***

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Thursday, July 25, 2002 12:49 PM

Yes, Greg, great series of TR's and a pleasure to hear about the UK side of things. Can't wait to hear from the folks that went on to the Continent now!

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Mike Miller-On the gravy train to coaster nirvan***

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Thursday, July 25, 2002 2:24 PM
YES Greg, its been a pleasure reading your trip reports, and its great to hear from an american on how you liked the british parks.
Incidently, I was actually at Thorpe Park on the same day you were there, I was eager to come along and see what you all thought of the park and Colossus etc. The impressions I got that most of you liked the park, and absolutly loved Colossus, I dont know if I managed to talk to you because I did talk to quite a lot in your group but never actually looked at any name badges but can you remember talking to anyone who said they were from the ECC(European Coaster Club)??????
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Thursday, July 25, 2002 4:07 PM
Yes, I did talk to a few ECC members. Do you happen to work for the BBC? (I rode for a while with a gentleman who works for the BBC, getting a British version of TiVo ready for market, but I forget his name. Nice guy)

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--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

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Thursday, July 25, 2002 4:41 PM
Another Good TR. Sounds like there are a lot of Reverchon Mouse coasters in the UK.

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Steel: 1)MF, 2)Goliath, 3)Magnum
Wood: 1)Villain, 2)Beast, 3)Roar(SFMW)

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Friday, July 26, 2002 6:14 AM

PaulD said:
YES Greg, its been a pleasure reading your trip reports, and its great to hear from an american on how you liked the british parks.
Incidently, I was actually at Thorpe Park on the same day you were there, I was eager to come along and see what you all thought of the park and Colossus etc. The impressions I got that most of you liked the park, and absolutly loved Colossus, I dont know if I managed to talk to you because I did talk to quite a lot in your group but never actually looked at any name badges but can you remember talking to anyone who said they were from the ECC(European Coaster Club)??????


Were you the one in the single rider line for Detonator after it got stuck at the top? I don't think Greg was with us at that point, but Rich, Steve, and myself were chatting with a guy from the ECC after we got "rescued" from the top. :-)

Count me among one of the ones who absolutely loved Colossus. In fact, I consider it my favorite coaster of the trip, along with Megafobia, Pepsi Max Big One, Air, and Nemesis.

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Sue Barry
CoasterSue@aol.com

*** This post was edited by Sue on 7/26/2002. ***

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Friday, July 26, 2002 1:14 PM

Were you the one in the single rider line for Detonator after it got stuck at the top? I don't think Greg was with us at that point, but Rich, Steve, and myself were chatting with a guy from the ECC after we got "rescued" from the top. :-)

YES Sue, that was me(How freaky is that) I remember going up the single rider queue, and then saw the ride get stuck at the top for nearly a minute and then they finally got it down. I then remember you all waited at the exit, and were finally given exit passes because it was near your lunch time. Incidently did you manage to get another ride later on Detonator or not?? Also glad you liked Colossus, I've ridden it about 30 times already(Yes I like it that much)


Count me among one of the ones who absolutely loved Colossus. In fact, I consider it my favorite coaster of the trip, along with Megafobia, Pepsi Max Big One, Air, and Nemesis.

I'm very suprised most of you have come back and said you liked The Pepsi Max Big One, Obviously you're entitled to your own opinions, but in my opinion, I think the Ride is quite rough, The Drop is good but it should be smoother than what it is now, The rest of the ride just feels a little too bumpy too, I've ridden far worse coasters than this so I would always ride it again(Riding Desperado about 2 months ago actually makes this ride seem very smooth) but I wouldnt want to ride it every day if I had the chance.


Yes, I did talk to a few ECC members. Do you happen to work for the BBC? (I rode for a while with a gentleman who works for the BBC, getting a British version of TiVo ready for market, but I forget his name. Nice guy)

No Greg, that was not me, so I dont know who it was.

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Friday, July 26, 2002 1:32 PM

Sue said:

I don't think Greg was with us at that point, but Rich, Steve, and myself were chatting with a guy from the ECC after we got "rescued" from the top. :-)



Nope, I wasn't with you guys for that one. I was over by X:\No Way Out with Sean Flaharty and company, and we were all looking over at Detonator saying "Hey, look, they've been up there a while..." Sean filmed it even :)

-----------------
--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

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Wednesday, August 14, 2002 7:16 PM

GregLeg said:

Nope, I wasn't with you guys for that one. I was over by X:\No Way Out with Sean Flaharty and company, and we were all looking over at Detonator saying "Hey, look, they've been up there a while..." Sean filmed it even

Yep, sure did Greg! Just watched that bit on video last night. Funny stuff!

Let me add to those that have already commented on how cool it is to read this series of TRs. I am currently in the writing stages of mine and should have them done soon.

I also would like to say that I totally agree with you on the 'last moment' part of the trip for you guys. It really was sad seeing you guys go into the park while we were leaving. I am sure you guys had fun in that park but the next hour or so after that was pretty sad until we got well into our journey across the Channel.

-Sean



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Wednesday, August 14, 2002 7:35 PM
And you guys missed out on the car fire at Dreamland! I'm completely serious, see the Dreamland portion of my Week 1 Gallery

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--Greg
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 8/14/2002. ***

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Wednesday, August 14, 2002 7:40 PM
Okay, quick question. The latest news reminded me of Fantasy Island, and I was curious as to why you guys missed this park. Not enough time is my guess, but it would definitely seem like a park worth hitting.
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TOGO!
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Thursday, August 15, 2002 11:17 AM
Excellent Sean, cant wait to hear your reports, havent heard too many yet of the second leg of the tour, so it will be good to hear what you thought of the parks over here in England and europe :)

Be sure to let us know when they are ready for viewing :)

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