TR: Malibu Jack's - 11/27/20

It has been a very long time since I have posted here; I don't think I have posted since I was a teen. However, I am back into coasters and other rides and just got my password fixed on here after having forgotten about this site for years.

I now live in Louisville, Ky where I work as a braille proofreader. Last November my friend Kellie and her fiance Steven came to visit me the day after Thanksgiving on the way back to Virginia; they changed flights so as to fly out of Louisville instead of Cincinnati so they could se me. They let me pick what we would do while they were here. I decided to see if we could go to Malibu Jack's, a relatively new fec that opened up a new location in Louisville in December 2019. Yes there is a coaster there. Happily for me, they agreed to take me there for a few hours.

After helping me take care of things around my apartment and after I made sure my ride recording system was working and ready, we headed for Malibu Jack's. It is located in a former Wal-Mart and is pretty big, big enough to put an SBF spinning coaster inside called Twist N Shout.. When you walk in it is the first thing that grabs your attention as they gave it the prime real estate at the front of the building.

Owing to the covid restrictions the park was only running at 50 percent capacity but that was absolutely no problem as the place was nearly deserted. When we got there the coaster was down mechanical but a mechanic was working on it so we hoped for the best. Let's see what else we have here. We have go-karts, Spin Zone bumper cars, laser tag, mini golf, bowling (which was never open while we were there), some games, and a Super Himalaya called Wave Rider. Yes, an indoor Himalaya.

We first headed to the Wave Rider. I had been dared by a fellow enthusiast who is also blind to get a recording of a Himalaya for him. I had also never ridden one of these before; I mainly ride the Flying Bobs-type rides. So I decided that now was as good a time as any and Kellie agreed to ride with me. We paid for the ride and proceeded to find a car. First off, I never knew that you were tilted to the side on these things. Sitting at an angle was a very weird feeling. The lapbar was fairly snug but not tight; I think it may have been a single-position bar. Bare in mind that I have never ridden a ride like this. The ride was great fun and very long, going both forward and backward. The backward ride was the longer one. I actually thought I was going to fall out and I instinctively put an arm around Kellie's shoulders thinking she'd fall out; it was that fast. It got up to speed very quickly and without warning. This was a great ride and the recording turned out fantastic. I will be doing one of these again...

Next up was the Spin Zone bumper cars. I love the newer version of these where the car spins when a target is hit on its side. These were a bit sluggish, however. That ride was followed by some games including skeeball which I played twice.

When we finished playing skeeball Kellie noticed that Twist N Shout was running. Right! Time for the main reason I am here. This was going to be my first SBF spinning coaster. Having ridden the Reverchon, Gerstlauer, and Zamperla coasters I was anxious to see how this one compared. This one was only running one train but I think they all do if I read certain sources correctly. Kellie's fiance Steven rode with me for the first ride. I wish these seats had more padding and that the lapbar didn't feel so hard. It was comfortable but also a bit unsettling. The op gave us a respectable number of laps; I lost count. We got great spinning throughout although there were times when we stopped. These things are great.

After that great ride we walked around until we came across the 7-D dark ride theater. This was another thing I had heard about so decided to give it a try. They let me pick the movie we'd interact with so I decided we were going to blast zombies. I really liked this. Not only did the guns give great tactile feedback and sound effects; but the theater itself moved and there were wind effects. I ran out of ammo toward the end but it was still awesome.

Next Steven and I decided to see if they would let me drive on the go-kart track. These go-karts were the electric Thundervolt karts. Seeing as there were no other people riding the track we decided to ask if I could drive despite being blind. Believe it or not they said yes. We decided we'd go slow and that he would tell me where to turn. Sadly the two of us could not fit in one kart so we got a refund. Too bad as I've heard a lot of good things about these. If people want me to tell the story about how I did drive a go-kart and wound up in the emergency room I will

Kellie and Steven had a plane to catch but we had time for one more ride. This time all three of us hopped on the Twist N Shout coaster.. Steven and Kellie rode in the front and I rode in the back. Now there are spinning coasters and then there was this. I was the only one in the back car and there was relentless spinning from the moment the ride started until the end. I think this model of spinning coaster has catapulted to being my favorite one. The Gerstlauer ones have great layouts but for pure spinning I think the SBF model has it where it counts..

Sadly our day ended after that. We had some excitement when Steven thought he'd lost the car keys and he found them again. We got Arby's before heading back to my apartment for lunch before saying goodbye.

This was a great place to hang out for a few hours. Wave Rider was great and the spinning coaster was running very well. If you have time to kill in Louisville stop by and get the coaster credit or just ride year-round as it is indoors. I don't think it is worth it to spend a whole day here as you will get bored quickly but you could easily fit it in before or after Kentucky Kingdom.. The staff is great as well.

Thanks for reading.

John Moore

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