The drive from Thorpe Park to Pontin's had taken a bit longer than expected, due to traffic and required rest stops. We hadn't gotten to the "camp" until around 10:30, and we soon learned that the drivers were required to take a full 9 hours off overnight. As a result, our expected 6:30am departure for Flamingo Land turned into a 7:30(ish) departure instead. We were afraid this would cost us our morning ERT on a pair of Schwartzkopf gems, Magnum Force and The Bullet. Not to worry, as it turned out -- although we were late, the park gladly let us have our full ERT anyway -- as it turned out, both of these rides ran on limited hours, and usually didn't open until noon or 1:00pm ANYWAY, so it was actually quite simple for them to allow this.
As we were a bit rushed for time (we were to meet back at the buses at 12:30pm to depart for the next park), we only hit the coasters:
Wild Maus (1 ride) -- By the time we arrived at the park and got in, the park was actually opening up. Myself, my roommate Steve Fox, Sue Barry, and Rich Yekel (the group I'd be spending the most time with on this tour) decided to hit the mouse FIRST, while most of ACE was off on the ERT, to hopefully avoid some crowds. The idea seemed to work. This mouse was a fairly standard mouse.
Magnum Force (1 ride) -- This is a very intense 3-looping steel Schwartzkopf. In spite of having already ridden the mouse, we actually got to this
before most ACE members, and were on the second train out. This coaster has lap bars, but also a very strange 4-point harness that slows the loading time to a crawl. Still, the ride itself is great.
The Bullet (3 rides, 1 in back) -- my 150th coaster. This is a shuttle, but not your standard shuttle loop. Drive tires bring the train up the back hill slowly for a bit, then kick the train out of the station. The train goes down a hill to pick up more speed, through a turn, and into a vertical loop that goes around the station. Another turn and up another spike roughly parallel to the first, and then drive tires kick you down to repeat the ride in reverse. A lapbar and an odd ratcheting over-the-shoulder restraint keep the riders in place. By the time we got over to this, most of the tour members had scattered, so we were actually able to stay in for three rides right at the end of the ERT session.
Dragon Coaster (1 lap) -- This was a tiny kiddie coaster. They were allowing adults to ride, so naturally we had to. Hey, it's a coaster (and quite a few ACE people lined up to ride it :) )
Thunder Mountain (1 lap) -- An enclosed wildcat-type ride
Corkscrew (1 lap, front row) -- a standard Vekoma corkscrew model. Ow ow ow ow ;)
Having hit all the coasters, we found ourselves with enough time to grab a lunch before getting on the coaches. I found a yummy Indian meal (chicken tikka) at one food stand. A tad salty, but very good. One thing I loved about the parks in the UK was that many of them had simple Indian food available, which worked for me :)
Flamingoland also had some interesting flatrides, but I didn't get on any of them. Some other tour members did, though, so I'll leave it to Sean Flaharty (for instance) to comment on them when he gets a chance...
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
Hi, I'm here to talk about coasters, if you are not, shut up and leave.
Good Times!! Good Times!!
CCI Lives On!!!!
Is that Schwarzkopf shuttle the same one that used to be at Boardwalk & Baseball in Florida? The layout sounds familiar.
I wonder why this is one of the few Schwarzkopf models that you never saw cloned... was it exceptionally rough? I always thought that concept of looping around the station was pretty cool.
"When I was growing up, we were taught something called manners. You'd understand that if you weren't such an idiot." - Jack Handey
Yes, it was the one that ran in Florida.
While most of Schwarzkopf's rides worked well, this one had several things going against it:
-It was removed from Vienna because neighbors complained about the noisy drive system (the patrons screaming did not help, either)
-Intensity: It was eventually removed from Florida because it was much more intense than the average family (often taking a break from Disney or some other Orlando attraction) wanted.
For more info. check out Schwarzkopf.coaster.net or "First Drop 48" (the Anton issue)
You must be logged in to post