TR: Osaka Expoland

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Monday, September 1, 2003 7:02 AM
Hi everyone, this is my first TR ever, I hope I can do half the job others have done in the past.
First things first, Osaka Expoland is of course situated in Osaka, Japan. It is built on the site of the 1970 World Expo.
The park is in the outer part of the city, in a large park. The park is asymetrical, but if you know the general direction you want to go to, it is difficult to get lost, especially with the free map provided at the entrance.
You have the option to pay 3.900 yen (around 46 CDN$) to get in and have access to all rides, or pay if I remember about 2700 yen, and pay for each rides, with costs running from 100 to 800 yen (1.25 - 10 CDN$). Considering Japan's cost of living, this is quite reasonable. Some discounts are available, but mostly on the access ticket. My girlfriend and I arrived a little late, around 2:00, as we had decided to go there around 11:30 when we got out of bed.

We decided to try the mouse first, called, you guessed it, Wild Mouse. How original, but the ride made forget the name. I think it is a classic design, with 7 180 degrees turn in a gentle slope in the begining, each time thinking the car will flip over, followed by a series of sharp turns and ups and downs. It was only my second mouse, and it was much better than the one at Fujikyu Highland (also in Japan). We rode it a second time in the evening. It didn't scare me as much the second time around, but I had the feeling it was faster, maybe because it was dark, or because I was riding the other side, I dunno. But was still a lot of fun.
Beside it, was a Tornado flat ride with jets of water giving the riders a nice shower and offering a nice view from the mouse queue, and a Condor ride, both of which we did not try (we only rode one flat ride, of which I'll be discussing later, as most of them make my girlfriend sick and the others we find boring).
But the park was quite well stacked with thrill gentle and thrill rides of many description, mostly Zamperla from what I could see, but I'm not an expert on the topic.
The two that looked the most interesting were a Zamperla Roto Shake (imagine a inverted ship with the ship swinging on the horizontal axis like on Tornado) and G-Force (maker unknow), a "spinning machine ride" that also rotates 360 degrees along the horizontal axis, allowing gyroscopic roatations. To quote RCT characters (from which many of my coaster descriptions will be based lacking the proper slang), just looking at G-Force made my girlfriend sick.
So, after the mouse, we headed for Expoland's prime attraction, Orochi (a type of Dragon), a clone of Cedar Point's Raptor B&M Inverted. And wow, what a ride. Of course my appreciation of the ride is biased in as much as it was my first ever inverted/suspended coaster, and a B&M on top of it. Now I understand why people call them Beamers... The queues were always short (probably in relation to capacity and intensity), having to wait on average 15 minutes.
Well for those who've never been to Cedar Point, here is a rundown of the ride. Off the station and 180degrees to the lift up. I don't know how high it is, but I'd say probably around 30-35 meters. Little dip leading into a down banked left turn, into a steep drop. Nice high loop with a small trench in the entry. Followed by an uphill topped with a zero-g roll left (i.e. the left side starts the roll; again I'm not sure if I'm using correct terminolgy, please excuse this neophyte). Not so steep drop into a cobra roll started on the left side. Uphill with a slight rigth turn, into a 3/4 helix up. Breaks (not so strong). 3/4 helix steep down followed by a small uphill topped with a zero-g roll right. Slight rigth curve down, trench, zero-g roll left followed by 1 1/2 helix down rigth with many leg-chopper trees. 180 banked left into the station.
My first ride was on the left side, car number 4 or 5 (One sad thing about parks in Japan is that you do not get to choose your seat, i.e. choosing the back seat if you're not in front, and you cannot skip a train to be in the front train) and when it was finished, I thought I had just had an orgasm. I couldn't believe all the twists and inversions I had just experienced. And the ride was SO smooth, I would never have believed it before. B&M sure did a wonderful job with this coaster.
But my best rides on this coaster would occur later, as I got to ride front seat, right side, after waiting 40 minutes in queue during the inspection (small time to wait in my opinion), and when I rode 7th row, both right and left, on my last 2 rides (I rode it 6 times). I prefer the right side slightly just because you are closer to the ground during the final helix.
It is propably the best coaster I've ridden in my life, although Fujiyama hyper at Fujikyu Highland was pretty awesome too .
Then we headed to Daidarasaurus, the park's oldest coaster I believe. I think it might have been built for the 1970 expo, but I couldn't be sure. It used to be a dueling coaster, but they've joined the 2 rails so you actually get to ride the 2 slightly different tracks on the same ride. The coaster has no steep drops, but it makes for longer downhills. It features a few hills that provide a bit of airtime, and large banks and helixes. The curves are not so banked, therefore the lateral Gs are stronger than the speed would provide on another coaster.
The main and exciting feature of the coaster in my opinion however is the sounds it makes. I've never heard such a loud coaster, with a sound similar to the higher frequency of a jet fighter passing close by. It sure adds to feeling of speed and enjoyment of the ride. I rode twice (day and evening) and although it is not so intense (therefore the most crowded coaster, about 40 minutes queue), it is pretty exciting.
Then we headed for the Space Salamander, a classic Schwarkopf coaster from what I understand. Lift, small dip, small banked right 180 degrees, big drop, loop, large bank right 180 degrees. double corkscrew, large bank right 180 degrees, flat to station. The queue was short (20 min afternoon with the op letting us go to the back seat, walk on to front seat in the evening), the ride well-maintained, and the trees and night lights offered a bit of excitment, so I enjoyed it enough. Rode twice, day and evening.
Then we headed to a boat splash down ride, with the drop measuring between 10 and 15 meters. Got thouroughly wet, I only wished more girls were wearing white t-shirts .
Then, to dry off, we went to Fujin Rajin II (God of Wind and Thunder). It was brought in from a different Expo in Japan, where I think number 1 was also on display. Coasterbuzz say it is a TOGO coaster, but when my girlfriend asked the name of the maker, the operator answered convincingly Union Steel. Maybe it is the same company, don't ask me, I don't work here.
Fujin Rajin is a stand up coaster (my second after Cobra at La Ronde, Montreal), with only 2 seats per row, 4 per car, with 6 cars. The seating module is similar to a bicycle bench with a pelvis restraint and two seperate shoulder restraints. I was afraid for my "Mothra" as my girlfriend calls it, but as I was trying not to sit down, it was not so unconfortable. It does not feature any inversion, but it has many ups and downs, usually combined with curves, which offers decent airtime and plenty view of the ground 20m+ below. But the best part of the ride is the double helix up right preceded by a substantial drop, therefore you really feel the G in your legs if you are really standing up.
The right side of the ride is better, not only because of the helix, but also because of some of the other turns. It ends with a helix down left followed by a small uphill which was badly drawn or produced, cuz it bangs you quite a bit. The ride is sometimes a little rough, but it still quite enjoyable. I rode it 4 times, never in front on in the very last row, and it is my girlfriend's favorite coaster in the park.
The last coaster I rode was a kiddie coaster featuring only right turns and 2 runs around the double circle-ish track. The speed is decent, but of course not so exciting as it is a kiddie coaster (to be honest, I just wanted to add a coaster to my already limited list).
The only other ride we did was a Dynamic Motion simulator, i.e. a big screen with moving rows of seat. The movie put you on the first seat of a coaster set in a kids room stacked with toys. The concept was interesting, and a few times the simulation with the image and movement of the seats was pretty well done. Maybe it was because I was on the far side, but the image was little blurry at times.
Well this concludes the rides I've been on. I really want to go back, not just for the coasters but I'd like to try some of the flat rides. Some of the other flat rides included Flying Carpet, Pirate Ship, Astronef type double inverter ship (but better themed), Flying Chairs, Flying Planes (going very high), Mont-Blanc type ride, Ferris Wheel, two haunted houses, and others I do not remember. The food was decently priced, again by Japanese standards (large gelato at about 3$ and a can of beer at 4.50$), and it also had a water park, but with no real slides, mostly fountains and structures to climb on. Some of the rides (including Orochi saddly) closed a little early for a fireworks display. If you ever make your way to Osaka, I would greatly recommend the park. I will go again in the future, as I have just mentionned.
Hopefully, I didn't forget anything too important. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. Sorry for making it so long.

Monday, September 1, 2003 8:12 AM
G-Force is likely a Soriani and Moser Top Star Tour. Zamperla distributes Soriani and Moser's rides these days, so if the park has a lot of Zamperla, this would make even more sense.

What do I Listen-To?
May the Schwarz be with you.

Monday, September 1, 2003 6:48 PM
Just so you know , Space Salamander is an Arrow Ride.

Yeah..... The Pheonix , Raven, Cornball, And Cyclops are all cool , But Superman the Escape still has the biggest single moment of airtime!

Tuesday, September 2, 2003 12:47 AM

thepinkdoomofmonkeys said:
Just so you know , Space Salamander is an Arrow Ride.


Sorry about this, the same issue was brought on a different forum. I assumed it was Schwartzkopf from what I kew about coasters (which is not very much). Thanks for pointing it out though.

Tuesday, September 2, 2003 3:08 AM
WONDERFUL trip report! Thanks!

- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson

Tuesday, September 2, 2003 12:18 PM
nasai's avatar First off, did you go into the -37 degree room? That is nutso! Second, you liked Fujin Raijin II? I swear your the first person to actually admit it! ;) I do enjoy Expoland, but it's funny because I enjoy it for the opposite reasons (outside of Orochi). I like the flats there a LOT more than the coasters. They are old, loud, and rough. Then again, I am kind of a coaster snob! I try not to be, but after 200, things get fuzzy. :)

I can't believe you actually liked their mouse better than Fujikyu's either. Peabody, why didn't you say something? ;)

Great TR, Bob! Glad Japan is treating you well. Enjoy it while you can. America sucks.
Rob - Jerk/Loser - Standing up for the unfunny and unattractive. - Click here for details

Tuesday, September 2, 2003 4:18 PM
Nasai, I didn't go to the -37 room. As I've said in my TR, we concentrated on the coasters, as my grlfriend is not a big fan of flat rides. But next time I go, save for the mouse, Orochi, Fujin (which I mostly enjoyed for the banked up and down god knows how many meters above ground and the 2x helix up, and the stand up feeling was bit novel for me) and maybe Daidarasaurus once, I'll try to go on as many flat rides as I can.

And about America sucking, no comments on that one, this is not a political forum.

"I have a dream, where coaster enthusiasts of every nation, every colour, every faith, can come as one in a Coaster Promise Land, filled with wonderful roller coasters of every type imaginable, flat rides of every description, and free munchies for all to enjoy."

Wednesday, September 3, 2003 4:57 PM
nasai's avatar Cool, Bob! You have to hit that room. It's not a flat, so much as a weird opportunity to see that OSHA doesn't even kind of exist in Japan. ;) By the time you are halfway through, you will want to run out! Truly wacked.
Rob - Jerk/Loser - Standing up for the unfunny and unattractive. - Click here for details

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