Magic Springs - April 15, 2007

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007 9:35 PM
I went to Magic Springs amusement park in Hot Springs, AR with my girlfriend Amanda on Sunday, April 15, 2007. We did not know what to expect from this little out of the way park, but we were quite pleasantly surprised! You can find my trip report below. You can also see some photos we took at the LiveJournal of my girlfriend. (Page down some to see the Magic Springs photos.)

On Sunday, we spent the entire day at Magic Springs, which was open from Noon until 7:00PM. The weather was sunny, and it got into the upper 60's.

We both found the park to be clean, charming, and beautiful with lots of trees, and nice seating areas tucked away in various places around a pretty lake. The park blended well with its natural surroundings, and was not filled with tacky ads or garish decorations. The area was surrounded by the Ouachita Mountains (large hills really!) where the trees were many shades of vivid green. The park itself was hilly in places, and had some gorgeous sitting areas where you could relax in a comfortable chair and watch the hills and the rides at the same time. Even the unopened water park was prettier than many water parks I have seen. This was not a mega park like Cedar Point or Busch Gardens, but it had lots of charm with unique-looking buildings and themed ride stations. The only food we had there was pizza and nachos, but both were really good! They also offered FREE soft drinks, which is always a plus.

The park was not crowded at all, so nearly all the rides were a walk-on. This enabled us to ride all we wanted, with many re-rides. We were also able to relax and enjoy the environment and take lots of photos. It was nice not to be rushed and be able to leisurely enjoy the park. I love amusement parks because they make me feel like a kid again and have an atmosphere that is unique and really fun (as long as you do not have massive or rude crowds to dampen things.) The staff here was almost universally friendly, and we even had nice little conversations with other customers in the park. It was a nice place!

We rode 12 rides, including 6 coasters. This brought our coaster count up to 189! The most unique coaster there was also their newest from 2006 called the X-Coaster. This amazing coaster is short but really intense and unique. It is the only one of its kind in the United States. It has the highest inversion of any coaster in the world. But that is not all. Your coaster car is equipped solely with a large lap bar that keeps you firmly in your seat. That is good because this coaster takes you upside down and does not have any over the head restraints. Now when I say upside down, I do not mean that you are quickly turned upside down in a loop. No, it is wilder than that! You go up a steep 90 degree incline looking right up at the sky. Then when you reach the top, you are taken upside down. At this point, you are just hanging there upside down 150 feet in the air, feeling all your body weight pulling you down. But the comfy and innovative restraints keep you firmly in your seats. Then you are slowly turned upright as the track twists you around. Then you plunge downward and then back and forth through the station until the ride ends. It is hard to explain, but if you look at the photos, you will see what I mean. I worried that hanging upside down would be really uncomfortable, but it really is not. You are staring straight down at 150 feet and it is quite a sight! There is no way you can really explain the sensation, you have to experience it. Amanda and I loved it and rode it three times that day.

We also rode their wooden rollercoaster named the Arkansas Twister. We worried because the coaster had the rather uncomfortable Gerstlauer trains, but it was a really fun out-and-back wooden rollercoaster that was not really rough at all. It had amazing speed during the first half of the ride and some good moments of air-time. This coaster was the real surprise of the day and we rode it 6 times. I may even place this in my top 20 wooden coasters by the end of the year. The view of the mountains while on the ride was gorgeous.

We also rode their steel mine train coaster called Big Bad John twice, which was great fun. This was a classic family mine train coaster which had an interesting history. Before coming here it was located at both Six Flags St. Louis and Dollywood. I found it to be one of the best mine trains I have ever ridden! We also rode their kiddie coaster called the Diamond Mine Run (twice), their steel mouse coaster called Twist n Shout, and their yellow Vekoma SLC inverted coastered named The Gauntlet. I found The Gauntlet to be a little smoother than some of the other Vekoma SLCs we have ridden, although Amanda found it just as rough as the others.

We also enjoyed the Carousel, Magic Swings (twice), Dr. Deans Rocket Machine — an S&S tower ride) (twice), their antique car ride called the Ozark Mountain Taxi Co (which seemed a little speedier than normal), their swinging ship ride named the Rum Runner, and a spinny flat ride named Pirate's Rock Sailship Adventure that was not all that fun (too much force pulling you to the outside while it spins.) We did laugh hysterically on it though!

We also did some shopping in their gift shop and lots of walking around and lingering around, soaking in the beautiful day and the atmosphere. *** Edited 4/19/2007 1:35:55 AM UTC by Mikewhy***

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Sunday, April 22, 2007 6:49 AM
Nice trip report. I love that park. Hopefully I can get back there to try out the X-Coaster also. I was also surprised by the good ride on the Arkansas Twister when I was there.
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Sunday, April 22, 2007 11:40 AM
I think GCI retracked The Arkansas Twister and Big Bad John if I am not mistaken according to their website but, awsome trip report I want to get out there in the near future.
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Sunday, April 22, 2007 1:41 PM
I checked their website and didn't see any news on retracking. Can you supply a direct link, Audio? Big Bad John...retracked? Maybe re-supported given that the ride is a wood-supported steel coaster [like Gemini].
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Sunday, April 22, 2007 2:03 PM
http://www.greatcoasters.com/retrack.html

It took me a while to find but they did retrack Arkansas Twister and did do the supports on Big Bad John.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007 2:09 PM
Cool TR! I haven't been there since Preservation Con a few years back but I DID enjoy the park. I was pleasantly surprised.

Are they still playing all 80's music all around on the sound system?

;)

-Tina

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Sunday, April 22, 2007 2:49 PM
Sorry, Slaved, but those projects have been on GCI's page for a number of years now. The retracking and support work did not happen in this most recent off-season.
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Sunday, April 22, 2007 3:15 PM
Does anyone know when Arkansas Twister got Gerstlauer trains?
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Monday, April 23, 2007 9:16 PM
For some reason I can not recall the music they had playing in the park! That is unusual because I usually pay attention to that. I also do not know how long they have had the Gerstlauer trains on Arkansas Twister. But despite that, the coaster ran great, at least from the front row!
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