Playland, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Coaster (or Wooden Coaster or Roller Coaster -- Playland's own signs and maps are inconsistent) is a great woodie. Excellent (almost violent) airtime in both the front and back rows. The turns are slightly banked and very smooth. Overall, it's not as good as The Phoenix, but just as good as The Comet (Great Escape) and other classic woodies. Coaster has no seat dividers, no head-rest, only a single-position lap bar to grip onto. Solo riders really get tossed around -- there are signs all over saying everyone must pair up, but ride-ops were not enforcing this last Saturday.
Corkscrew is a typical Vekoma Corkscrew, although it was surprisingly smooth, and the post-corkscrew elements are very long and lack intensity.
Wild Mouse is a very old model, with manual controls and apparently with no mid-course block brakes. Ride ops push cars onto the lift hill at a time when the car on course should reach the brake run slightly before the recently launched car crests the lift hill. Capacity is very limited.
Kettle Creek Mine is the only themed coaster in the park. It's just a kiddie coaster, but there are mine-like elements and a bit of greenery around the track.
Hellevator is a tower ride (S&S Combo Ride) with great views of the city. A nice addition to the flats.
Flats: a modest collection of typical flats. All of them look like the carnies forgot them after the PNE exhibition last August.
* Ride ops are not empowered to enforce safety rules. Several times we saw ride ops allow under-height riders on thrill rides including the S&S tower. Line jumping was witnessed and never addressed.
* With the notable exception of Kettle Creek Mine, none of the attractions have any theming -- they are just scattered around the perfectly flat black-top. No trees. No grass.
* Playland is a babysitter park. Season passes are cheap, and the inner city park offers easy access. Teens and tweens swarm the place. Playland offers 'Guardian discounts' (50% off regular admission for adults visiting with kids), but the only parents we saw were with kids under 10. I think Playland should consider eliminating season passes or pricing them in line with local ski areas to minimize babysitter park issues. (Season passes: $275 for a winter at Grouse Mountain vs. $75 for a summer at Playland).
Overall, the park reminded me a lot of my first visit to La Ronde nine years ago. It's a black-top park full of kids. There is not a lot of family appeal, but it's worth stopping just to ride the coasters. *** Edited 5/1/2007 7:58:25 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
The mouse was cool, but God RULES you...
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