The Trip of a Lifetime (FL &LV) (7/14/02)

Associated parks:

Friday, September 13, 2002 8:30 PM

(Flamingoland & Lighwater Valley)

“What am I doing here?”…………

I didn’t realize how early 6:00am could be until this morning. We were to be at the coaches at around 7:00am because we got in a bit late the night before. Due to the driving regulations of out coach company (and certain official laws), the coach drivers require a certain minimum amount of sleep each night. Each coach driver has to insert a paper disk into his dashboard everytime he starts to drive. Data is recorded on the disc to show the drivers speed, time off, and regulated stops. Someone was complaning on the coach about Nigel not driving fast enough the night before, but I don’t think they understood the regulations each driver has.

My roomate for the tour, Jeff Johnson was already up and in the shower. I could hear him mildly cussing every minute or so. I had no idea what was going on in the shower, but I was to soon find out. Once Jeff was done showering, it was my turn. Jeff warned me that a hot shower just wasn’t possible unless I could figure out some ancient code to operate the temperature control on the shower. After about two minutes, I figured it out. By pressing in on a dial on the outside of the water pressure knob, you could rotate the knob past a series of clicks. Unfortunately, the clicks weren’t exactly helpful in accuracy for water temperature so I had to estimate where the most comfortable temperature would be. As it turns out, Jeff got an ice cold shower and didn’t even know about the knob, thus the reason he was cussing.

I prefer a hot shower but I ended up getting a shower that was on the verge of burning me. Still, it was better than nothing at all so I have little to complain about. Right? Well, as luck would have it, my shower only lasted a total of about 30 seconds, not to mention the water pressure coming out of the shower head was very minimal. So minimal in fact that I had to rest my head on the wall underneath the shower head just so I could rinse the soap off my head. There was a steel button located near the shower control. In order to get a shower that lasted more than 30 seconds, I had to depress the button every 30 seconds. Yep, we got timed showers!

Once I showered, I made my way to the breakfast hall and took a look at what they had to eat. Despite the opinions of quite a few people, I thought the breakfast selection was fine. Pretty much everything we are used to eating at breakfast was available. Cereal included! Being a cerealholic, I was very happy. Listeing to others talk about their showering adventures was humours. Soon after breakfast, we all headed to our coaches and waited for some stragglers to show up before departing Pontin’s for Flamingoland.

I was very proud of my coach. So far, we had a perfect record. We didn’t have to leave anyone behind because they were late, and we were all on the coach at the time I had announced. Of course, this was just the start of the tour and we had a long way to go so anything can change. After all, we were dubbed the “Party Bus” very early in the tour.

The way to Flamingoland was beautiful. This is where we got to see our first real taste of the real English countryside. Due to the early morning wake up time, most people decided to sleep, while a couple of others amused themselves in various ways. I spent my time taking photos and video of the beautiful area, as well as talking a lot to Nigel. On the way, Nigel pointed out many points of interrest, as well as throwing in a joke here and there. We listened to some of the BBC as well. For some reason, it seemed strange to hear a lot of US hit songs while in England.

Due to the late start we got this morning, we had to either make up some time on the road, or hope that Flamingoland would honor our full hour of ERT once we arrived. The total drive took about 2 and a half hours and went by rather quickly once again. The 5 hour drive we had the night before seemed just as fast IMO. This was a sign that I was still on an amazing adreneline rush not only from the incredible rides, but from the fact that I accepted the fact that I was in a different part of the world. A few times I would even have to question myself what the heck I was doing in England. It just didn’t make sense at first.

We arrived at the park before the park opened to the public. The general public had already started to show up so the park was to open soon. However, thanks to the kind folks at Flamingoland, they told us they would honor our 1 hour ERT on The Bullet and Magnum Force. Yaaaaaaaaaa!

Once inside the park, we had to wait for clearnace to make our way over to The Bullet. I was standing next to Larry Scott. I noticed he was swating at some bugs. The strange thing was I didn’t have any bugs around me. I came to the conclusion that either Larry didn’t find out how to work the shower at Pointin’s, or the bugs were being attracted to just him. As shocking as it sounds, the bugs were indeed being attracted to Larry and him only. It only took a few minutes before he had a swarm of very tiny flying critters all over his shirt. He swatted at them madly and even tried running away a few times, but the bugs would follow poor Larry wherever he would go. Then we saw another man swating madly at them. When park personnel approached us about taking us back to the coasters for ERT, we asked the man about the strange swarm of bugs surrounding Larry and another person.

As it turns out, those bugs are attracted to yellow mustard plants. Both Larry and the other man had bright yellow shirts on so the bugs were attracted to them. Something to remember when wearing your 2002 Stark Raven Mad t-shirt in England as one of the people getting covered in those bugs was wearing that shirt. Of course, one remedy for getting rid of those bugs would be to go very fast, in the form of a coaster.

We walked through a large chunk of the park including a large grassy area before reaching it. I have seen the pictures. I have read the articles. I have wanted to ride this coaster for a very, very, long time. Now it was sitting in front of me in all its glory.

===The Bullet=== (#407)

This Schwarzkopf creation is quite unique. It used to operate in the US in Florida, but was purchased and moved, eventually ending up at Flamingoland. It’s hard to describe what The Bullet looks like. It has two tall spikes angled diagonally from each other, a vertical loop that threads the loading station, a very tight turn, and a warped loading station. The track in the loading station is partially tilted to prepare for the sharp turn after being blasted through the station.

For my first ride, I decided to wait for the front. The park was allowing us to take video cameras onboard so I took advantage of this. Joe Campanella and I both decided to wait for the front as he was taknig video as well. This meant that we had to wait for a 4 train wait while others rode. We ended up getting some great shots of the ride in motion while we were waiting, but the highlight was when Alan Conceico came back into the station. His response was priceless and has to be shown rather than described.

The only thing that I was even slightly concered about was the restraints. First off, I am one of the few people that I know that has very little issues with restraints. Most overhead restraints don’t bother me with the exception of a select couple. Thriller being one of those coasters. When I rode Thriller (a.k.a Texas Tornado) at Six Flags Astroworld the year it was opened there, I had a very difficult time enjoying the coaster because of those restraitns. Mind you that they didn’t hurt me in terms of headbanging, but the thing with those restraints is they ratchet down on you in a accordion style manner, and if they are not properly adjusted correctly, they will continue to press down on your shoulders. My experence with them drew to a level of discomfort that I said I wish to never ride Thriller again. It actually cracked my back because of the compression. I tried many different ways of riding but didn’t have any luck. The Bullet uses the same exact restraint design.

Once Joe and I sat down in the train, I pulled the restraint down and prepared myself for either something amazing, or a possible very painful ride. Soon after, our train moved forward a few feet, and then shot us backwards through the station with the aid of some seriously powerful drive wheels. The acceleration continued up the back steep spike. The drive tires then reverse and send the train flying down the spike and through the loading station. The sharp turn after the station pulls some serious positives while remaining smooth .The loop that threads the loading station is just as smooth and even more powerfull. We then hit another curve before being whisked to the top of another spike thanks to some more tires, then shot back down rapidly and doing the entire course in reverse.

“Whoa! What a ride!!”

The Bullet was pretty much what I thougth it would be. A fast, smooth, and very intense ride. I would have given it another ride but I still wanted to ride Magnum Force during ERT, and by looknig at the line for The Bullet, I might have missed that chance so Joe and I walked over to the other Schwarzkopf coaster that resides at the park.

We walked over to the ride and were welcomed by a pretty long line. At first we thought the reason for the long line was because of a one train wait, but we noticed there were two trains running. Then it dawned on us that this was a ride that uses a 4-point harness rather than those accordion style shoulder restraints. I didn’t care how long it took, I was just happy this ride had those restraints as I expect a ride on this powerful looking coaster could have been bad with the old restraints on it, although I didn’t’ have that much of a problem with those found on The Bullet………….so what do I know?

Joe and I waited about a half hour before taking our seats and figuring the harness system out by ourselves. We were also allowed to videotape on this ride and both of us took advantage of it.

===Magnum Force=== (#408)

The ride starts out with a curving lift hill followed by a very wicked first drop with a strong lateral kick in it. Joe and I weren’t expecting this so it caught us totally by surprise. A rise and pass through a block area sent us flying down another impressive drop before entering two tight vertical loops packed with loads of positive gs. I am talking about “seeing stars” gs here folks. The ride then shoots up into another block area, this one on a strange upward angle, before plummeting down into some supports and ending the 3rd vertical loop. What follows next was even more of a surprise. The ride curves and drops again and surprises us with more laterals. Another rise and a VERY sharp left turn/drop providing another strong snap that made Joe and I comment loudly at the same time. Another rise and drop ends the ride before hitting the final brakes.

Joe and I were very impressed. We both thought that we would never see this ride run this way in the States and were both glad we got the chance to ride it. As we were cresting the final turn before the station, we both noticed what looked like old wooden coaster cars sitting just outside of what looked like a maintence shack. I am not familiar with the history of this park that well so perhaps they had a wooden coaster at one point, or perhaps something is cooking for the future. Hmmmmm.

Joe continued to make comments about the ride. He seemed like he had not a care in the world. So much so that he accidentally dropped the wide angle lens he was using on his camera as we approached the station. It dropped to the ground. Once we were off the ride, he saw it sitting underneath the track before the station. Luckily a ride op came over and retrieved it for him. There wasn’t a scratch on the thing. Joe was very lucky considering the lens wasn’t even his. =:^)

The line for Magnum Force was even longer than it was when we got in line so we declined a second ride. The Bullet was also closed at this time. Both coasters we had just ridden have strange (at least to us) operating times so we never did get to ride either coaster again, but I was very happy with my rides I got. We still had a lot to do before we had to leave mid-day. Joe and I hung out together for the rest of the day and went around sampling as much as we could.

===Thunder Mountain (#409)===

We had heard this was a capacity nightmare so we headed there next. The park was open by this time and we weren’t sure if we would get on every coaster in the park at this time. We enter the dark indoor quene for this and soon found ourselves on the coaster. Basically this is a Wildcat-type coaster in the dark. It wasn’t uncomfortable to me and provided a nice ride with sharp turns and steep drops. I don’t remember much about it othat than that.

===Corkscrew (#410)===

While standing in line for this one, I started to get a small swarm of bugs over me. I wasn’t wearing a yellow shirt, and I know I took a shower because, well, it was a memorable one, so I couldn’t figure out why I was being covered by the same bugs that followed Larry. I was wearing a bright orange shirt so perhaps these bugs were color blind? Naaaa, I just think they wanted a free ride.

The layout for this coaster was unique to me. Being a Vekoma design (as stated by the plaque outisde the operators booth), I was expecting a version of a ride I had ridden before, but that was not the case. First thing I noticed was how the lift chain went all the way down in the station. Joe and I sat in the back. The ride up the lift provided a very strange vibrating sensation. Once at the top of the lift, we made a slight curving dip to the right before going up again and dropping to the ground.

I was expecting this coaster to be rough by the looks of it but found no roughness. The tigh layout included two corkscrews as well as a helix and a couple of mild bunnyhops. Joe and I both were impressed by this. We didn’t have to ride in a defensive manner and could just enjoy the ride. Near the Corkscrew was a small kiddy coaster but we declined on riding that due to the huge line of other ACE members. We then headed to another area of the park.

===Wild Mouse=== (#411)

This mouse looked very simlar to the same one found at Dorney Park. It was made by the same manufacture (Maurer Sohne) and featured the same layout if I am not mistaken. While the ride was running, a maintnence man was working on the cars while standing below them in the loading station. As a car would come to a stop, he would stick his head between the tracks, make a small adjustment, and then duck so the ride operator could dispatch the car. Joe and I were amazed by this and watched as we would probably never see this happen back home. It was kind of neat actually.

The ride consisted of a lot of sharp hairpin turns and a few nice drops. However, the last half of the ride was braked heavily to the point of throwing us into our lap bars at great force. It caught us off guard (What is it with this park and surprises?), and in a way, enhanced the ride in a strange way because Joe and I were laughing about it. Just for the record, I am not one of those people that consistantly complains about braking on a coaster nor thinks a coaster is “ruined” because of braking. I just found the braking on this ride to be strange.

We then headed back to the one coaster we were missing.

===Dragon Coaster=== (#412)

This is a very small kiddie coaster that can be found at other parks and fairs although I have never ridden this particular layout before unless I am mistaken. We waited about 40 minutes for this ride considering the line was filled with other ACE members trying to add this to their lists. In line I talked a bit with Dana Schwartz. We both had many stories to tell regarding our positions as reps in the club. This made the wait for the coaster go by fast. I also got to talk a bit with Dave Sandborg and Tim Melago. Both of them are great friends that I haven’t seen in a while, much less on the tour so it was great to spend some time with them.

Once again, we were alllowed to bring cameras on board so I decided to have fun with it. Dana was sitting in the front seat, as I was sitting directly behind her. I had her do a rather humorous play-by-play deals that we have come to see on the likes of Discovery Channel and other places. She did a fantastic job and we had great fun in the process.

With all the coasters in the park ridden, (I didn’t ride the powered coaster. I didn’t even see it), it was time to check out some other things. Joe and I wanted to ride a few flat rides before departing so we went around and rode a few things. We rode a HUSS UFO that provided some serious force. Our extended ride was also enhanced thanks to the antics of one Joe Schwartz who provided us with some humor, even though he wasn’t even in the same “capsule” as Joe Campanella and I were. We were all surprised at the length of the ride cycle as well as the strange “fake out” ending.

We approached a flat ride that I was originally going to pass riding. I had ridden Six Flags Great Adventure’s Evolution last year and didn’t care for it. I really love flat rides but the Evolution at SFGADv is not something I think I would ride again. I have never gotten sick on a ride before but the Evolution didn’t sit well with me, even though I didn’t get sick. Flamingoland has a much smaller version of the same ride called Terror Riser. For some reason, I sometimes don’t watch rides before I get on them. This was the case with Evolution. I didn’t watch it for a second. For some sick reason, I decided to do the same thing for this version, although it was made easier because it wasn’t running when we approached it. The ride operators were waiting for people to ride it.

Luckily, once we were seated and on our way, I noticed this ran much different than the version I had ridden before. This version was much slower yet had many different gyrations. Both Joes and I enjoyed this ride. As with the ride we rode before this, we were surprised with another fake out ending as well as a very long ride cycle. After the ride ended around 1:00pm, it was almost time for us to be back at our coaches. I went outside and relaxed a bit before the majority of people showed up to board. After a quick head count, we were ready for our next destination, Lightwater Valley.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ INTERMISSION

For those of you that have made it this far in the report, I say, “Congrats!” This report consists of two parks but I wanted to post it as one day to kind of give you the idea of what we went through in one day. So, go take a break, get something to drink, take a nap, do whatever, because here comes the second half of the day.


The drive to Lightwater Valley took around an hour and a half. About 20 mintues into the drive, everything seemed to be going as planned. We were the first coach in the convoy of eager coaster enthusiasts who were having the time of their lives. With each drive, more and more of us became closer. It seemed weird, but for some reason it felt like everyone was from the same state. There wasn’t any “Wow, you live up in Washington? That’s far!” type of mood because everyone was far away from home. I got to talk with old friends like Chris Trotter, Larry Scott, Jim Raimar, Mike Parker, and Jerry Flemming, and also get to talk a lot with people I have never done a trip with such as Danielle Miller, Matthew Bacoulis, Steve Gzesh, Don Tuttle, Carol Deeble, among others. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, myself included.

I had just got done making an announcement about our next park when something happened. The hilly terrain in England was testing the durability of our coaches. Nigel was switching in between gears every minute or so. Since our coach was automatic, there were a series of buttons near the sound system that selected the gears he needed. We had just crested the top of a hill and were approaching flat land. Nigel went to press another gear button when the whole section of buttons fell back behind the dashboard into the unknown. To make matter worse, when the whole section fell, the ‘N’ button was pressed and I think we all know what that stands for. Nigel stopped the coach and asked for my assistance in helping him for a sec. First off, we had to turn off all the power to the sound system. Then, he took out the sound system and handed it to me. He then reached into the whole that once housed the gear buttons and got a feel for the buttons. He couldn’t quite reach the total box, but he could get the coach into gear again. The whole ordeal only took a few minutes and we were soon on way once again.

We caught up to the other coaches rather quickly. After some more driving through the beautiful English countryside, and down an amazingly steep and curving hill, we reached Lightwater Valley. Nigel took this time to repair the gear selector (turned out it had one screw that was smaller than the rest) while the rest of us were greated by park reps. The whole group of us were taken into a courtyard while someone from the park stood on a balcony and took photos of our group for some unknown reason. It wasn’t explained to us and even it it was, we probably couldn’t understand because 80’s pop was pouring from the speakers in the courtyard. I don’t know about you, but nothing says America like hearing Starship’s “Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now.” Ya’ know? Just kidding.

Once we were allowed to leave the front gate area, everyone split up and went their separate ways. A large group headed over to the Baflyer coaster because of the extreme low capacity of the ride. Joe C., Alan, and I decided to just find anything and ride.

We passed a very odd set of Wave Swinger like swings including a very large rotating moon-type orb sittting above riders. Already we could tell this park was funky. We continued our walk and tried to go for a ride on the Toad Hole. We had no idea what it was but it was not running at this time so we went for something else. We spotted a Crazy Mouse and tried to ride that but it broke down. So far we hadn’t come across anything to ride. We tried to ride the Ladybird coaster but it also was having problems. We then tried to ride The Rat coaster but we were told it was closed due to a filming. So far, everything we had tried to ride was closed. We weren’t all that impressed so far but what could we do? We went back to the Ladybird and saw it sending riders around its compact course.


This coaster is very similar to those Tivoli coaster found across the US. This version though had a slightly shorter layout. One ride consisted of 3 laps. One coaster down, four to go. We walked by the Crazy Mouse again but it was still closed. We then tried to ride the Batflyer suspended coaster but they closed the line earlier than expected due to the long line. The ride only operates one car and usualy with only one person per car so the line of 40 people was to take about an hour and a half. Sad to say, but we didn’t get to ride this coaster.

We wanted to wait until ERT to ride The Ultimate, the parks signature coaster, but we decided to give it a ride considering there wasn’t much else open for us to ride at this time.We were kind of bummed about the park so far and were kind of walking slowly to The Ultimate before something truly magical happened. I hear Alan say,


Joe and I look directly ahead and see a small red barn type thing. On the side of it was a very, very, very, VERY (you get the idea) odd looking thing. It was a small boat with a seat, and on the other side of the boat sat a pink “blob” with a disturbing looking face, with a coin slot and button on his chest. At first glance this looked like one of those children rides where you drop in a few cents and it moves back and forth for a minute or so before stopping. Oh no! This was much more. This was one of those children rides where you drop in a few cents and it moves back and forth for a minute or so before stopping rides for unsuspecting people who have no idea what the heck the pink blob is.

Ladies and Gentelmen…..

I give you….

Mr. Blobby.

True to his image, Mr. Blobby was a pink blob with a strange face. Joe was first to jump into the boat with the blobster. Alan put in a pound and away it went. The boat started to rock back and forth with Joe inside it. It was a very surreal visual. Joe decides to push the button on Mr. Blobby’s chest resulting in a sound sample that says something like, “Hooooray Blooby” but we are not sure.

I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. However, this was probably the closest feeling to being on crack that I can think of. All three of us were rolling on the ground laughing at what we had found. Alan took the second ride. While I didn’t ride, I did shoot some video of this magical moment. After Joe’s second ride, we left the area which resides one of the oddest things I have ever seen, and walked back over to the Crazy Mouse to find it running. From here on out the rest of the day was enchanced thanks to that pink blob. Thanks Mr. Blobby. We owe you dude!

===Twister=== (#414)

This was the first Crazy Mouse we rode on the tour. As we were waiting in line, we noticed a boy band playing on a stage 300 feet or so away. Although the guys in the band appeared to be playing live, there was no doubt they were lip syncing. Soon after they ended their last song, a group of girls came over and joined the line for the coaster. They had autographs of the band they just saw. Alan and I both asked what the name of the band was. The told us “Blue”. Sorry to say but I have never heard of them. Alan and I then amused ourselves by saying to the girls, “So, they blew?” The girls had no idea what we were doing and said, “Yea, they were Blue”. Priceless stuff.

Twister was a standard Crazy Mouse with some really good spinning. I believe this is a fairly new coaster as it seemed to be in great shape. As we crested the lift, we could see Mr. Blobby in the distance with someone else giving him a ride. As bad as we wanted to go check out the blob again, we decided to go use our meal tickets and get some food.

So far on the tour, I have had a very easy time with food. Being a vegitarian, I thouught I would have difficulty finding things to eat. So far though, it has been easier than expected. Dare I say easier than the U.S.? This was no exception. The food we got was great. I had a veggie burger than was loaded with all kinds of vegtables although I made a bit of a mess because it was such a large sandwich. After our food, we walked around the park a bit more. We rode the Beaver Log Flume (complete with many remarks from the three of us), as well as the swings we saw as we entered the park.

As if the day couldn’t get any stranger, we found out that the Toad Hole enterance was indeed open. We really didn’t know what to expect other than a flume type ride. To get on this ride we walked up a series of stairs that went around the outside of a hill. We entered the hill at the top, and walked through a dark corridor before entering a room. It is here that groups of people in 20 or so are taken into the ride area. We were confused at all of this because we didn’t know what to expect. We walk into the next room and took our seats in a large wooden boat. Before you know it, the lights go out. Alan makes the comment that, “Our lives will never be the same.”

A funky looking alien appears over some rocks to the left of us. It mumbles something that we couldn’t’ understand, then ducks back down in the rocks. The boat then coasts out of the station, down a drop in the darkness, up again, then down into the sunlight before splashing into a lake. The boat then comes to a stop via a rope, and then we are pulled backwards to a dock area where we walked out of the boat and back into the main area of the park. All of are once again confused at what just happened. What a strange ride.

Our ERT was just about to begin so we headed our way to the one coaster I have wanted to ride since it opened.

===The Ultimate=== (#415)

I love straight track. Yes, you read that corectly. I love straight track. (So sue me) I love being close to the ground and going fast. Perhaps this is why I live The Beast so much? From what I have seen, The Ultimate is kind of like a steel version of The Beast. Both share a similar idea (terrain and speed), while The Beast is still the longest wooden coaster, The Ultimate used to be the longest steel.

The park enforces a very strong loose article policy. I saw a couple people that refused to ride because they would not take off their glasses. I have never had a problem with a loose article policy before, and I didn’t have a problem with it this time so I was ready to ride. The ride starts with a very slow lift hill followed by a nice drop to the ground where it stays for a long while. There is actually some cool moments of airtime due to some cround level bunny hops. The train continues to follow the terrain before coming to some very tiny bunny hops that the train goes over very slowly.

The slow second lift towed us up to the top. Others have reported seeing bras and stuff on the second lift but I was talking to Alan and looking at the amazing topography of the area. At the top of the lift, we were then slowly pulled to the left and over the edge of a nice looking drop taking us into the unknown. This is where the ride becomes rather inteise. The train rips through a series of swooping curves, one taken after the other, all while diving under branches and trees. You have to be careful where you put your hands because some people said they nicked a few branches. After the intense curves, the train then follows the ground and over a bunny hop, then over some straight track which for some reason provided a rather rough bounce. The rest of the ride is kind of a blur. I knew we went into two tunnels and did a helix like element before returning to the station. I have to say, I was very impressed wih The Ultimate. I only ended up getting one ride on it due to the fact that I still had one coaster to ride. I would have liked to have ridden it at least once more, but at least I got one good ride on it.

===The Rat===(#416)

We waited about 20 minutes for a ride on this. The main reason being that only a small group of people are allowed in line at a time. It became very apparent once we started walking towards the ride area. You can’t see any of this coaster because it is buried entirely underground. You have to duck into a sewer to get inside the ride entrance. Once inside, our group continued to walk through a sewer, complet with nasty looking water and smells, before walking down a series of stairs with water crashing down inside the center of the room. Another walk down a sewer brings us to the actual loading station. The cars were themed to look like,(what else?), rats.

The ride itself was a Zyklon type ride in total darkness. While the layout may have been familiar, it was lost due to the darkness. The exit for this ride consisted of a walk, back up to the park level through areas that looked exactly like the way you came in. Some of us actually thought we were going the wrong way.

Once back up, we learned that ERT was going to be cut a bit shorter than scheaduled so we should start heading out. Luckily the park added Twister to ERT so Alan and I got another ride on it before we left. Soon, we were all back on our coaches and ready for a 2-hour drive back to Blackpool. Once again, the drive seemed to go by fast due to the fact that most of us were talking with each other.

Once we arrived back at Pointins, we picked up another sacked dinner (?) and went back to our rooms. However, Joe was in some dire need of some toilet paper as he ran out that morning. Pontin’s doesn’t offer maid services so you have to go hunt for stuff like this at times. We went to the front dest and asked for toilet paper and soap but were told that “the man in the van” was out delivering those things to certain rooms.

Chris and I found the van and asked the man inside if we could have some toilet paper, soap, and clean towels. He looked down at a list he had and said he would add our name to the list and he would try and deliver something a bit later. The van then drove off. Poor Joe was not happy about this. He ended up tracking the van down and telling the man he needed some toilet paper NOW! The man gave him a couple of rolls. Chris ended up going back to his room to sleep but only after he made me cry with laughter by joking about the whole strange ordeal that is Pontin’s. A happy Joe soon returned and wanted to go have some fun.

A lot of us were not ready for sleep so some people went to the pub, while a small group of us decided to walk down to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It only took about 25 minutes before we reached the bottom of the first drop of The Pepsi Max Big One. We couldn’t see much inside the park other than a few rides but we got an idea of how the park looks from the outside. We were also very hungry at this point but the places we passed to go eat were either closed, or didn’t have anything tasty looking. We also attempted to go ride the Crazy Mouse on the pier across the street but it closed 5 minutes before we got there so we headed back.

Once back at Pointin’s, everyone said their goodnights and went back to our rooms. I walked into our room and found out that we didn’t have any clean towels. I didn’t have a problem using the same towels again as long as they were dry so I used a heat rack in the bathroom to dry them out. Jeff Johnson soon walked into the room and was asleep before I even got finished getting ready to go to sleep. I ended up watching a bit of TV before dozing off. Tomorrow was another big day and we needed to catch up on sleep. I made sure Jeff set his alarm for 6:45am because the alarm on my watch wasn’t working correctly.

Next up……

Easily, the most fun I have had in my life! Southport Pleasureland & Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Thanks for reading,


*** This post was edited by Sean F. on 9/14/2002. ***

Saturday, September 14, 2002 10:50 AM

Sean, how many people attended the european coaster tour?

Saturday, September 14, 2002 2:08 PM

Sean F. said:

We had just crested the top of a hill and were approaching flat land. Nigel went to press another gear button when the whole section of buttons fell back behind the dashboard into the unknown. To make matter worse, when the whole section fell, the ‘N’ button was pressed and I think we all know what that stands for. Nigel stopped the coach and asked for my assistance in helping him for a sec.

Oh, so THAT'S what happened. All we knew was that suddenly your coach pulled off to the side and we kept going.

My memory is a bit hazy on this detail, since I was sitting towards the back for most of the tour, but I'm pretty sure our bus (the "White" coach) was a full-on MANUAL transmission. Interesting that yours was "automatic" with pushbutton overrides -- weird.

"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 9/14/2002. ***

Saturday, September 14, 2002 2:23 PM

O...M...G!!! I FORGOT ABOUT BLOBBY!! Unbelievable, I cannot wait to see your footage of that grotesque pink monster. What disturbed mind thought that thing up (and WHY did I ride it twice!)?

Sean, your TR's are continuing to kick ass. That day at those two random parks was unbelievable, and I think it was the first day that it *really* hit me that we were in the middle-of-nowhere England. Hence the start of "Dude, we're so in England" at Flamingoland that morning! I had such a blast hanging out with you and Alan at those parks (ALAN'S REACTION TO BULLET...:-O hysterical! Two of the WACKIEST parks I have ever been to, both in the same day no less! Too funny.

Remember after Blobby how we said it was all downhill from there? I *love* being wrong!

Can't wait to hear about the best day EVAH!

Joe, who cannot BELIEVE he dropped that damn fisheye didn't even belong to me!

It tastes like burning.

*** This post was edited by Legendary on 9/14/2002. ***

Saturday, September 14, 2002 6:26 PM

coasters5 said:

Sean, how many people attended the european coaster tour?

I believe around 190 the first week and around 215 the second week. Not too crowded if you ask me but I know there were a few people that complained that they found it to be too crowded.


Saturday, September 14, 2002 6:33 PM

GregLeg said:

Oh, so THAT'S what happened. All we knew was that suddenly your coach pulled off to the side and we kept going.

Yea, we were joking and saying that you guys probably thought we were just tired of leading the way so we stopped. We caught up pretty quick though as shown in the second link picture in the report.

My memory is a bit hazy on this detail, since I was sitting towards the back for most of the tour, but I'm pretty sure our bus (the "White" coach) was a full-on MANUAL transmission. Interesting that yours was "automatic" with pushbutton overrides -- weird.

For at least one day, we had a sub bus (hmmmm. Same thing spelled backwards) and had a manual transmission.

Joe, believe it or not but the whole "We're so in England" comment started while going to Chessington. I have about 15 different takes of you saying it as well as Alan and a few others.

Thanks for reading these reports guys. I didn't type them in hopes that people would respond, but it is always nice to know someone read them. I just felt that a trip like that needed to be written about.


Sunday, September 15, 2002 2:57 PM
Sean wrote:
We continued our walk and tried to
go for a ride on the Toad Hole. We had no idea what it was but it was not running at this time so we went for something else.

I was lucky enough to ride the Toad Hole. It was like a primitive Shoot-the Chutes ride with a bit of theming at the top before the drop and a not-wet-at-all drop. After you got off the boat, it's pulled back up to the top by a rope! There's a description and a picture of it here:

I'm bummed that I didn't see Mr. Blobby. I like weird stuff like that.


Sunday, September 15, 2002 2:58 PM
Joe C. wrote:

Joe, who cannot BELIEVE he dropped that damn fisheye didn't even belong to me!

That's what you get for playing with it.


Sunday, September 15, 2002 3:10 PM


First off, quit swearing.

Secondly, if you are into weird stuff, you need to get on the next plane out from Buffalo and back to England to see this freak show. OMG I just heard the "cheering" from his belly in my head! MAKE IT STOP!

Next time I'll know *not* to play with that lens...Oh wait, I dropped it on Superman Ultimate Flight three days after I got back! The Fisheye Lens hath been retired. :(

Are you going to OBF or what?!

It tastes like burning.

Sunday, September 15, 2002 4:06 PM
Joe wrote:


First off, quit swearing.

Hey, it's not me. CoasterBuzz wanted to tarnish my good name by turning it into a swear word every time I signed it.

Are you going to OBF or what?!

Sure, why not? Unless it looks like the weather is going to be awful. I don't mind riding in the rain, I just can't stand driving in it.

(Hey! It's not a swear word anymore!)

Sunday, September 15, 2002 8:55 PM

Janna said:

Are you going to OBF or what?!

Sure, why not? Unless it looks like the weather is going to be awful. I don't mind riding in the rain, I just can't stand driving in it.

I envy you all! I really wish I could make it to that event but I can't. =:^(



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