Worlds of Fun 7/1

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007 4:41 PM
After seeing the White Sox beat the Royals in Kansas City Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, my father and I headed over to Cedar Fair's Worlds of Fun to get their $20 Twilight admission deal Sunday night. We arrived at 5pm (deal had been going since 4) and had more time than we needed in the park before close. My father is 58 and never was a roller coaster person, so I took nearly every ride solo.

We started on their flume ride and waited 25 minutes because they only had one side of the station open and were not running near enough boats. Otherwise it was a typical one drop (40') flume ride with Viking boats instead of logs. When my father wanted to buy the picture after getting off the ride, I knew I would not be able to get him on many other rides.

Next I rode Boomerang alone after a two train wait. The identical ride at Hershey Park had terrified me a few weeks ago since it was the first time I had ridden anything like it. I didn't think my second boomerang coaster would live up to the first, so I rode in the back seat to get maximum height on the lift backwards with only the shoulder restraint holding me in. The shoulder restraint that I trusted my life to at WoF would not click tight at all, and had plenty of give to it even from the loose position it was in. On the way up the lift hill backwards, I realized I could stand on the back of the seat in front of me, avoiding death if the restaint failed, until of course the ride turned upside down, but I am used to inversions, so only the lift backwards worried me. The restraint did hold the entire ride, and was loose and flexible enough to allow me to get tossed around and fully experience the ride. I wouldn't have wanted a tight confining restraint in hindsight. The Boomerang is disorienting and lots of fun. Way above average among all the coasters I have ridden, but not one of the elites. 7/10.

For some reason my father wanted to see a singing show at 6pm. After joking him about it, we split up and I headed off to Timber Wolf and Mamba.

Timber Wolf was only running one train, and at 6pm the wait was 20 minutes even though the line was barely out of the station. I was not expecting much from Timber Wolf, and I got more than I expected. It was bouncy and jerky, but not terribly rough, and it had some good floater air on the first 2 drops. The brakes did make the second half of the ride much less fun. Aside from the brakes, it did feel like a classic wooden coaster, and having most of the track hidden from the rest of the park made the ride more surprising. I like Timber Wolf, but I have been on so many great coasters the last two summers I can only rank this one as average among all of the coasters I've ridden. 5/10.

The first half of Mamba was flawless, and there was practically no line all night with two trains running. It's got a slow lift, and the park is on high ground, so you can see for miles off to the left, and can see the entire park to the right. The train creeps over the top of the lift hill and nearly stops, leaving the front car hanging looking down the drop. The track gets steeper part way down, accelerating the train. The back car gets pulled over the lift hill at a decent pace, and gives floater air when the track gets steeper until it begins to level off. The front of the train gets all the air at the top of the second hill, but the back still has a good ride down it. The helix exerts some nice G's, but then the ride turns bad. The mid-course breaks nearly stop the train, and that may be for the better. The bunny hills are tiny, yet jerky even at low speeds, especially in the front. The Mamba could be an elite coaster with some re-tracking to allow the brakes to be removed, but as it stands, the first half still makes it a great coaster. 8/10.

After Mamba I met back up with my dad and we rode the rapids and boat plunge. The rapids didn't get us very wet, but it was unseasonably not hot in KC, so they may have turned some elements off by 7pm. The boat plunge was a walk on, and it didn't have any restraints, just a grab bar. The drop was a double dip, but it was so unsteep that there was no need to hang on, even though it did get some good speed. After two re-rides on the Mamba, I rode the Detonator. It was the first time I have been launched up a tower except the tiny one at Celebration City. It was fun, but I still prefer the drop towers. I was able to talk my father into riding Timber Wolf with me and it made the ride much better having a terrified passenger next to me.

My favorite ride of the park was Patriot in the front seat. I waited 3 trains instead of 1 to sit in the front for my first ride, and it would have been worth an hour. I loved the track layout and being able to feel the wind in my flying chair. I immediately re-rode it in the back seat. The back has a lot more G forces and I even felt some floater air, which I have never experienced on a full circuit invert. When I found out they had an invert built last year, I wondered why, but now I know. This is my favorite inverted coaster I've ridden. Incredibly smooth, even for an invert. 8/10.

The worst experience I have ever had on a coaster occured on Spinning Dragons. The ride started out fun with an unexpected drop (out of site from the queue) after the lift hill, but then it began spinning out of control. I had watched a few cars in my short wait, and none of them had gone crazy like my car did. Some didn't even spin much at all. The problem was that I was a single rider, and I got put in a car opposite a larger couple, causing uneven weight in the car. At first the spinning was fun, adding G forces to the ride and making it more interesting, but I can only take so much spinning. I would still have been ok even with the excessive spinning during the ride, but when the ride ended, the spinning didn't. The car stopped moving forward just before the station, but would not stop spinning. We spun around in a circle in the same place on the track for way too long before we were let into the station and a worker stopped the spinning to let us out. I could barely walk, and the female across from me seemed just as bad. The experience I had on this ride would give it a negative rating, but in an evenly balanced car, it would probably have been a fun ride, so I can't rate it.

After getting off Spinning Dragons I had just over an hour left before 10pm closing, and no lines whatsoever. It seemed like re-ride heaven after I got my balance back, but one ride on Mamba showed me I had not recovered yet. Just the non-dizzying helix on Mamba was enough to make bring back the nausea, and even the jerky slow up and downs after it messed with my head. I never get sick on roller coasters, but Spinning Dragons nearly did me in. After a slow walk across the park I rode the Patriot again and the cool breeze of fresh air it gave made me feel better. I took one last ride on Mamba, and then decided not to push my luck since I had gotten more than my money's worth on 17 total rides since 5pm, so we left a half hour before the park closed.

Worlds of Fun was a lot of fun and I can't think of a better way to have spent Sunday evening in KC. Any coaster fan who goes near KC should budget at least a few hours to check it out. It would not have been worth the 6 hour trip just to go to WoF, but being in town for the Sox games, I would not have wanted to miss this park.

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