Midwest Coaster Trip Part II: Magic Springs and Crystal Falls

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Monday, June 6, 2005 12:22 PM
On day two of my Midwest Coaster trip and drive down to Dallas I was off to Magic Springs and Crystal Falls in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I was looking forward to this park but I wasn’t looking forward to paying $34.99 plus $6 for parking just to ride their five coasters, since I hadn’t paid a dime at SFKK with my season pass and Beech Bend was $11. But like most enthusiasts I was willing to pay just for the fact that it will probably be years before I ever traverse through Hot Springs, Arkansas again.

I made the hour drive from Little Rock to the Hot Springs. It was a nice drive and then I pulled up to the park. The first thing you see is the parks new Hang-N-Bang called Gauntlet right out front. It actually stands out nicely in the hilly forests of the area. I pulled up to the parking lot and paid my six dollars and off I went to buy my tickets and enjoy another day of firsts.

I got to the ticket counter and asked if they had any military discounts and the nice lady at the counter told me they did, so I gave her my military ID and waited to see how much I would save. About 2 minutes later she handed me back my military ID with a ticket and said, “Thanks for your service, the ticket is on us!” Well needless to say I was shocked and thanked the lady so much. I couldn’t believe it! I just want to take this time and thank Magic Springs and Crystal Falls so much for their wonderful offer and letting me enjoy their park for free.

I entered the park and decided to head towards the bottom and work my way back up to the top and finish with the Arkansas Twister. As I walked towards the bottom of the park I realized this park is built right into the hills. They have to do some creative landscaping for all their rides and walkways. This park is extremely well kept and was nice just to walk around. All the employees seemed to be happy and having a good time. That is always a good sign.

On my way to Gauntlet I passed by the parks new ride Plummet Summit and saw a funny sign they had put up. It went something like this “Our boats missed the boat. Our boats being shipped from China (or wherever they were coming from) have been delayed and we would like to thank Western Playland in El Paso, TX for loaning us one of their boats until ours arrive.” I thought that was pretty interesting and a nice sign to let the public know exactly what is going on with the ride. Plus it shows how hard the park must have worked to find an extra boat just to get the thing open for everyone.

I decided to get this Vekoma out of the way first. I had no expectations since I had just ridden one at SFKK the day before. I have to say this was a much better ride. I guess since it is so new still this ride still gives a fairly smooth ride. Hopefully that trend will continue. I didn’t have to ride so defensively and I actually found myself enjoying this one! All the kids that were riding seemed to love it.

Next I went to ride Twist ‘n’ Shout. On the way there I passed Diamond Mine Run which is the parks kiddie coaster. It was closed. For a little coaster it looked like a lot of fun and was really themed up well. Well the mouse was another mouse. Good laterals and some quick little drops. Thanks for the ride.

Big Bad John is the parks mine train. This coaster has three small lift hills. It is a fun ride but the pacing for me was ruined with all the lift hills. It seemed that once the ride really got going I was going up another lift. But it was still fun and the kids loved it, especially the tunnel at the end.

I then started my hike back towards the top of the park to hit the Arkansas Twister. I started to quicken my pace because it looked like it might start raining in 5 minutes or so. Well two minutes later the sky opened up and decided it wanted to fill up the parks water park even more. I made a mad dash for the ride and decided to ride it in the rain. As we pulled out of the station it was absolutely pouring. By the time we got to the top I was drenched and then down we went. Everyone screaming as the rain pelted their faces! I was in the second row right behind two young girls in the front their screaming from the pain. The ride was a lot of fun and gave some nice floater air in the front. The final turn around for the station is a bit shaky but overall this is a wonderful wooden coaster. By the time we got back in the station we were all soaked and this coaster could count as my first water coaster based on that first ride. I decided to go back to the station and wait a few minutes to see if the rain would let up. After two cycles the rain pretty much stopped so I jumped in for a back seat ride. It was a good ride but I think the front gave a better ride on this coaster. So I took one last ride in the front before I continued my journey on to Dallas.

Thanks again to this wonderful park for such a great time in the little amount of time I spent at your park. All your ops were nice and your park looked fantastic. The water park looks really nice, too. This park reminds me a lot of Lagoon. It has some great coasters and a lot of fun flat rides with a nice hometown feel to it, just like Lagoon.

If you are anywhere near this park I would highly recommend it especially if you are in the military!

Next up Six Flags Over Texas.

Doug

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