Obscurity Tour 2005---Part #2---Magic Springs and Crystal Falls (Magic Springs, AK)

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, July 26, 2005 12:27 AM
***The review you are about to read is strictly my opinion of the park and rides. I come from an enthusiast perspective. Take it with a grain of salt…

On Wednesday June 29th I headed from Amarillo to Magic Springs to check out Magic Springs and Crystal Falls. My overall impression of this park is that it very clean and well landscaped. The waterpark is where the crowds are. The layout is quite confusing, even with a park map.

For example, the Arkansas Twister is easy to see from the parking lot and next to impossible to get to from within the park. I asked three employees how to get it and got three different wrong answers. The apparent problem on this hot and muggy day was that there was a concession cart partially blocking the one-way path to/from the parks only woodie. After 25-35 minutes wasted finding the Twister, I was finally able to start some coaster riding. The coasters I rode were as follows…

1. Arkansas Twister---This is a simple out-and back woodie located along the edge of the woods and apparently a junkyard. The back train was tied off and not available the day I was there. It had those cheap looking plastic trains (Gertaulers?). I gave it 3 rides in front, middle, and back. To be bluntly honest, there was not too much positive to say about the experience. It shuffled terribly in the turnaround and featured large and wide radius on most hills, which provided little to no airtime. The ride felt almost Colossus-like in that it was not a wooden coaster feeling (though not quite as bad).

    As an aside…I rode this ride as a youngster when it was located in Florida. The park was called Circusworld at the time I was there (not Boardwalk and Baseball) and I believe the ride was called The Tiger. I certainly remebered the old version much more fondly than the present. Anybody else rode this ride in both locations? Does a relocated woodie only count as one ride on the track record or is it two? :-)

    2. The Gauntlet---This is the standard Vekoma SLC. I got a 2nd row head-banging ride. These things suck in my opinion. They are advertising this thing like crazy though…

      3. Twist n Shout---This is a weak version of the “new school” mice. It was very short and offered next to nothing in the lateral force department. I thought that is what the hairpin turns were for? Anyhow, this is the weakest of all the “new school” mice I have been on. I generally enjoy compact steel coasters, but this was the 2nd day in a row (Zyclone at Wonderland) that I got a real bore of a ride.
        4. Big Bad John--- A nicely themed mine ride that offers next to no thrills and poorly designed transitions. It is a long ride though. The big thrill comes after the 3rd (?) lift when there is a small drop into a tunnel and an incline into the station. Anybody that rode the old mine ride at Dollywood will remember this ride as it was relocated to this park.
          5. Diamond Mine Run---I’m probably on a government watch list for riding this kiddie coaster by myself. If I’m not I should be. I’ve told myself time and time again to stop the obsession with credits, but my sickness goes untreated. A 33 year old male should not be caught anywhere near this ride by himself. Sadly, I think this is the best coaster in the park (which is not saying much). It is certainly the best themed and delivers the best thrills to its intended audience.

            As you can see from my less than stellar ride reviews…I was not at all impressed with this park. It featured next to no lines, yet the minimal staffing found reason to create 7-10 minute ride cycles. The park is impeccably landscaped and painted so that any non-rider would certainly enjoy a stroll if he or she did not get lost in the many dead ends. It offeres a hilly terrain with quite a few trees. The rides were mostly eye candy with generic watered-down designs that offered nothing in the thrill department. I rode a unique flat called Wild Thang that pretty much paralleled the coaster experiences. It looked good and rode like a bore.

            I’ve been to many a park and am unable to think of another I’d be less inclined to revisit that Magic Springs and Crystal Falls. I’m sure the general public would see it differently as it is not unimpressive to the eye. But the enthusiast will not have too many positive, or at the very least unique, experiences at this park. This has all been done multiple times before, and frankly it has been done much better.

            *** Edited 7/26/2005 4:30:46 AM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***

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            Tuesday, July 26, 2005 3:50 AM
            Jeffrey,

            The day I spent at the park last year was also very muggy. I didn't care for Hot Spring or Arkansas for that matter.

            I thought I wouldn't care much for the Arkansas Twister but I really like it. Then again, I rode it during a night ERT and the ride was flying. There was some airtime and I believe it tracked failly well. It doesn't sound like the park is taking great care of the ride if it runs like you mentioned.

            I also didn't care for Gauntlet. I had heard this version was "updated" so I hoped for the best. There wasn't a thing different that I could tell. I can't figure out is how a few SLC's I have ridden (like TraumaTiser at Southport) can run very smooth while others are downright brutal. I would be intrested in seeing what changes the smooth rides have over the rougher ones.

            I feel your pain when it comes to riding junior coasters alone. I am also untreated =:^)

            -Sean

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            Tuesday, July 26, 2005 7:20 AM
            You pretty much hit the nail on the head about the park Jeffrey. I visited the park last month and haven't felt that ripped off in a while. Maybe if we had done the waterpark, it would have helped to justify the nearly $40 we spent to get in. And we didn't even get the Diamond Mine Run credit as it was down.:( Naturally we found $10 off coupons at a Wendys in Little Rock on the way out of town.

            Unfortunately, the coasters and other rides they have to offer here just don't cut it. The one saving grace of the park for me was the Arkansas Twister as the ride wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be and the location is one of my favorites for a woodie. It's breathtaking looking out over the Ozarks on the turnaround.

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            Tuesday, July 26, 2005 7:51 AM
            I actually liked the Gauntlet (although I am not a SLC fan). For some reason all my rides were non-painful.

            I visited the park once last summer (during the Pres Con....the same time Sean was there actually) and DID enjoy the park although it didn't exactly blow me away.

            The heat and humidity at the time was the WORST I have ever experienced in my life, but it was still fun!

            The Twister was pretty awesome, especially the night rides. If I remember correctly I think it was slightly raining at one point, which made that baby FLY!

            I will say one thing, Magic Springs has the BEST "soundtrack" of any park I have been to. ;-)

            -Tina

            <---the 80's child

            *** Edited 7/26/2005 11:57:03 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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            Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:22 AM
            I do recall the music was great...It did not really fit the mountain/Ozark setting, but they had some good tunes!
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            Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:45 AM
            Whew! I am glad I am not the only one! :-P

            -Tina

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