Our choice of Lodging for the weekend was the Country Inn & Suites, which was just across the highway from the park. The hotel was really nice and the rooms were very clean. They had an Indoor pool, whirlpool, free breakfast, and best of all, there is a great view of Mamba from all the rooms on the North side. The price was right at $69.99 a night. You could also walk from the hotel to the park in about 10 minutes if you desired to. We probably would have taken this opportunity if the weather were better this weekend. I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a place to stay while visiting Worlds of Fun.
Friday evening we spent at the Ameristar Casino which is just off the highway at the next exit, south from the park. This place was really impressive. In addition to a huge casino, it has many eateries, an 18-screen movie complex, an arcade, some shops and a hotel. I only lost about $30 but Tammy won $50 (on nickel slots of all things!) This was a great way to spend an evening before going to the park. After gambling and dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get some rest for the next day.
We were up early Saturday and under the threat of rain, we arrived at the park about 9:30. At this point there were barely any cars in the lot but we did notice there was some choir thing going on at the park. The crowds stayed light despite all the kids there during the day. We were allowed into the park even though it was still a little bit before the official opening of 10:00.
We made our way through the empty park towards the Boomerang. On the way I noticed how clean this park was and how great all the rides looked. All the rides looked great and seemed to be maintained very well. The park has a great atmosphere and there are plenty of trees and good-looking structures to compliment the rides.
As we arrived at the Boomerang, the crew was just finishing up the morning test runs. We walked on and got to jump into the front seat for the first ride of the day. The ride experience was very similar to my only other Vekoma Boomerang coaster (Mind Eraser – SFWOA). I did find this particular installation to be somewhat smoother than its sibling in Northern Ohio. One thing I did notice is that the coaster LOOKED great. If I didn’t already know better, I would have guessed it to be a brand new coaster. The trains and harnesses looked immaculate and the track and paint was in good condition as well.
Next we checked out a couple shops and then watched some crazy kids riding the rapids ride, Fury of the Nile. We both agreed that at 50 degrees, it wasn’t warm enough and we would not be taking on any of the water rides this weekend.
The entrance to Mamba was just across the way so we decided to get a couple rides in before everyone else made it to the back of the park. I counted no less than 8 employees in the station for Mamba and this would, for the most part, hold true for all coasters and rides throughout the park. All of the park’s rides were operating and were all adequately staffed. Another thing I noticed is that the ops on both Mamba and Timber Wolf would watch very closely as the trains left the station, making sure all seat belts were still attached. I seen at least three separate instances, throughout the day, where they had to stop the train on the lift and send someone up to make some MORON put his belt back on.
We were able to walk on to the second seat of the second car and were quickly off for our ride. My first ride on Mamba was really surprising because when we got back, I felt… well, NOTHING. It was a good ride, but not great. It definitely didn’t deliver the ride I thought it was going to. It was very smooth, very fast, and had some air, but not very strong like I thought it would. Since there was not yet a line and they were running two trains, I rode again towards the back. It was the same ride. I sat on the brake run, wondering where the strong airtime that I knew this coaster was supposed to have, was at.
A bit baffled, we left the area and headed back towards the front of the park. Tammy did some shopping while I rode Cyclone Sams. This is a pretty fun indoor spinning ride (Chance Wipeout?). The ride is in semi-darkness with some black lights, strobe lights, and fake wind for effects. This was my first ride of this type and I thought it was pretty fun.
Next I took another solo ride on Thunderhawk, the new for 2002 Huss Top Spin. I had ridden Tomb Raider last weekend and I was interested to see the difference between it and the smaller, outdoor version. The water effects were working on the ride but you don’t really get very wet other than your feet if you don’t expect it. I’m not sure if this is adjustable for different weather temperatures or not. I guess it’s possible that you may get wetter in the summer months. This ride is really a crowd-pleaser. There was always just as many people that were watching as there were riding.
I thought the ride itself was excellent. I’ll have to be honest and say that the ride program is much better than Tomb Raider. There was a lot more flipping and well, flipping (how else do you describe the ride motions?) than the PKI version. I’ll give Tomb Raider credit for it’s great theaming and story, but I thought the outdoor element and water fountains on Thunderhawk were pretty effective as well. Overall I enjoyed Thunderhawk a little more but keep in mind that, unlike TR, I never had to wait in any lines. In either case, I really enjoy this type of ride and will be riding more of them in the future. I ended up with 6 rides on Thunderhawk between Saturday and Sunday morning.
By this time Tammy was ready to take a ride on Timber Wolf. There was a short, 5 minute wait with two train operation and then we loaded into the second car for our ride. The attendant, or should I say ride ambassador, left my lap bar very high which, at the time, I thought was a good. Later on I would be very grateful for the additional seat belt restraint. Now I know why they watch for unlocked belts as the train leaves.
Timber Wolf has some amazing airtime. In a couple spots, I was well above the height of the seat divider and I was afraid I was going to land in Tammy’s lap. My hands stayed up for the first drop (no brake) and subsequent hill but after feeling like the train was leaving that second hill without me, I decided that maybe I should hold on. In addition to the insane airtime this thing has, it unfortunately has some of the worst shuffling that I have ever experienced on a wooden coaster. It shuffled to the point of making the ride so uncomfortable on my back that I had to think twice before taking a second ride later in the day. Tammy didn’t enjoy the ride at all due to the roughness and one ride would be enough for her.
I took a ride on the Bamboozler (Round-Up), followed by a ride on Rockin’ Reeler (Himalaya). Both were fun rides and seemed to be in great condition. Then we spent a short while downing a soda and some snacks while watching some people ride RipCord, the parks sky-coaster.
RipCord has a great location in the park and draws a huge crowd of people to watch those brave enough to actually ride. The ride is 180 feet tall but it looks to be much taller than that for some reason. Perhaps I’ve just never been so close to one of the rides before. I couldn’t talk Tammy into riding so I still have my first ride of this type to look forward to sometime this year.
Orient Express was our next stop and we took or first and only ride in the second row after a very short wait. Orient Express is a great looking coaster near the front of the park with interlocking loops. It’s really fun to watch the coaster run it’s course and it’s very photogenic. It doesn’t ride anywhere near as good as it looks though. It’s not the worst arrow I’ve been on but it does have some considerable head banging. I liked the tunnel between the station and the lift and the loops, but I really didn’t care for the rest of the ride. Unfortunately, this one joins the PKI vortex on my short list of coasters that are more fun to watch than they are to actually ride.
We began our second trip around the park with a stop in Scandinavia to ride the Finnish Fling (Rotor). This is the first rotor I’ve ridden in years and it was a lot of fun. The ride is in great condition. I got really dizzy (go figure) and had a little trouble walking straight afterwards. Afterwards we spent some time walking the park to take pictures and check out various shops and games. We took another ride on Boomerang and finally ended up back by Mamba again.
We took our third ride on Mamba in the front seat, which turned out to be a pretty long wait since they were only letting people board the front of one of the trains. One of the seat belts was stuck on the other train so they had to keep sending that row empty. They finally fixed the seat belt with us at the front of the line and Tammy ended up being the lucky first person (guanine pig) to try that seat.
Now I know I was a little hard on Mamba earlier but this time it was a completely different ride. I have no explanation on what happened but for some reason this ride was filled with wonderful airtime. The visuals on the turnaround are spectacular from the front and this time I was glowing with enthusiasm when we returned. The only difference I noticed is that we were in the train with the painted logo on the front this time. The previous two times we had ridden the opposite train (no logo). I can’t imagine the two trains give that much of a different ride though.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to compare Mamba to Magnum XL-200 but that’s really what the ride reminded me of. They both have great air and fast rides. I’d have to give Mamba the edge for the great turn-around and considerably smoother ride. Magnum on the other hand seemed a bit longer and has the great tunnels. I guess I’ll call it a draw for now. On thing I wish Mamba had was one more “BIG” hill before the turn around. The out portion of this ride is over before you know it and it makes the ride seem shorter than it could be.
We walked through Camp Snoopy to check it out and it seems like a pretty good area for kids. There are some great spots from here to snap pictures of Mamba and Timber Wolf. I noticed that the scrambler was not yet fully assembled but that was the only non-operational ride I seen the entire weekend. I took another ride on Timber Wolf and another on Thunderhawk before heading over to Detonator.
Detonator is an early S&S space shot ride, which is really amazing. We rode the left tower three times throughout the day and the airtime at the top is the strongest I’ve ever experienced on a ride of this type. This is now my favorite space shot and I think it’s really one of the best attractions at Worlds of Fun. I can’t get over how strong the ejection is at the top of the tower. Don’t miss this ride if you ever have the chance to ride it.
We made another trip around the park getting in some repeat rides and just enjoying the relaxed pace of the day. The park never did get crowded and we were having a great time, getting plenty of rides in with little or no waits.
Unfortunately, around 3:00 the sky opened up and the rain we had expected started falling. We took this opportunity to leave the park and get something to eat. We got some fast food and went back to the hotel room to eat and then watch it Rain for awhile.
The rain slowed a couple hours later and we made a second attempt at the park but it started raining harder once we got back so we just popped open our umbrellas and walked around for awhile. The park was really empty since it had been raining for a few hours and we spent some time talking to a lot of the employees who were stuck there. The employees at Worlds of Fun are really great for the most part. We didn’t notice any rude or lazy ride ops the entire day and most were more than willing to start up a conversation with guests.
The rain never did let up and around 8:00 it really started to pour. The park decided to close at 8:30 so we decided to make our way back to the hotel to dry off. We were one of about five cars left in the parking lot when we left. We spent the evening in the hot tub, being pissed off about the rain and planning our next day.
Although the rain essentially cut our day in half, we had a pretty good time. I really like the park and I think it has one of the best flat ride collections I’ve ever seen. If anything, the park needs one or two more quality coasters to draw people to the park.
We made some last minute changes to our plans on Sunday morning and decided to go back to Worlds of Fun for a couple hours. We would get multiple rides on Mamba, Timber Wolf, Detonator, and Thunderhawk. Mamba was running really well despite the cold and wet morning. Detonator was great again and Thunderhawk was still fun. We stayed at the park until about noon and then left for the St. Louis area to get our Six Flags passes processed at SFSTL.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for the great TR... Kind of sucks to drive all that way to get rained on, but it sounds like you got a good number of rides in.
I'll agree with you on Detonator... That thing is far and away the best S&S tower I've ridden.
FYI: On cold days, they turn the waterfall off on Fury of the Nile - you don't get wet at all.
He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.
I really wanted to try Fury of the Nile. It looks like a good ride. What really surprised me was that people were riding Monsoon. Don't people in Kansas City get cold?
Nope we Missourians are tough!
I commented on your TR over on URC, so I won't duplicate here, great TR again.
S W :) :) S H
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great trip report, I'll be posting WOF pictures from my trip on 4/12 probably today or in the next few days.
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