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Favourite Ride

Found 4 results

  1. Busch Gardens Tampa - 12/11/23 https://www.parkz.com.au/search/photos/location/busch-gardens-tampa (Plenty of photos) 3rd time back to this park, which remains one of the best rounded in the US, with pretty decent theming, impressive coasters and a good collection of Animal exhibits too. Perhaps the one thing that has gone backwards is the operations. Previously Busch parks were usually pretty rock solid with operations, but this time around you'd encounter one train ops and sluggish speeds which kind of surprised me! Arriving at the Moroccan themed entrance: Its right there next to the entrance, so of course I started off with Iron Gwazi Wow, what to say, this ride is crazy. More intense than my previous favourite, Hakugei, but IMO more imaginative than Steel Vengeance. Pretty wild how they have made a hypercoaster out of what was once a pair of 28m high dueling coasters, and it almost looks bodgy how they have added extra steel tubes to hold up the ride. Once the muck around of the loading is done, a steel drop and turn out of the station leads to the huge lift. The first drop is out of control, being slightly steeper than vertical, a true freefall. From there you come up and up onto a huge outward banked hill, down and around an up to another apex, followed by a roll that spirals towards the ground. The pace continues with a quick flick into an overbanked turn, and then an element I wasn't really aware of, a drawn wave turn that crosses over the front of the station. The rest of the ride is a bit lower (relatively), banking and dipping around, really throwing you out of your seat. Frequently you look at the messed up looking track ahead and wonder how on earth the train is going to get through it with the speed it is carrying, but somehow does. The finale really shines, with a zero g stall, and then an airtime hill where it has double humps at the top, perhaps the most agressive airtime in the ride. A couple of turns later and you hit the brakes with plenty of speed. So there you have it, its neck and neck between this and Velocicoaster. Continuing around the park, I grabbed a ride on Tigris, another one of those Premier SkyRocket coasters. Turns out I've been on half of the ones operating worldwide, Ill recycle my review from the one at Sarkanniemi: A punchy launch, really fast vertical twist, good pop of airtime as you transition at the top, then a fun heartline roll. The 2nd half rapidly picks up speed as you dive down again, with more air in the non inverted loop. So despite looking quite simplistic from the outside, it's quite forceful and varied. I disagree that it is anything like Buzzsaw. Continuing around, it was time for Falcons Fury Along with Ikaros, would be my favourite dark ride. There's nothing like being slowly rotated to face the ground, and then freefalling, seeing it rush up towards you. It was telling though that it was virtually a walk on all day. They probably overbuilt the thing, with capacity for 32 people, so would take time to actually get enough passengers to cycle it. I had hoped to ride the new Serengeti Flyer, but every time I went by it was closed, and I don't recall seeing it operate all day. The other new coaster I had to ride was Cobras Curse, a unique Mack Spinning coaster with short little 2 car trains where everyone faces the same way. Also had a nifty conveyor belt loading system (Wouldn't it be great if Scooby got this!) The queue goes through a well themed queue with an archeological exploration theme. The ride has a vertical lift like scooby in front of a giant cobra statue, with some cringe audio, but what was interesting was they figured out a way to keep the platform level as it ascends (though it does shake a bit as a result). It's a ride of 3 parts. The first third is forwards with a first drop and couple of quick turns. The next third is backwards around a couple of helices, and the final 3rd has actual spinning, through 3 horseshoe turns in a row. I think it must have the energy efficiency of a brick though, its a large drop, but it seems to run out of momentum after a few turns. There's a 2nd lift to give it a bit more height, but even after that its slowing down by the end. The ride does look great, and integrates well with the theming, but perhaps a bit mid overall. By that point I was just about around the park so it was time for a few re-rides on some old favourites, starting with Montu Get out there and ride some of these older B&Ms, they really keep their pace up, and alternate between hard pulling inversion and hard pulling turns. Montu is extra interesting, with a few elements sunk into trenches, themed like Egyptian ruins. Cheetah Hunt So it wasn't until it was pointed out to me that the first element is supposed to be like a giant tree that a cheetah is jumping in and out of. I think maybe at the early stages it was meant to be an actual themed tree, but of course the reality of budgets means it is what it is. A decent launch coaster, but perhaps a bit more drawn out and less intense than the others, since a lot of the ride is this big long run with shallow drops in and out of trenches, though there is a slalom, barrell roll and airtime hill towards the back of the layout that amp it up a bit.. I think the likes of Taiga, Toutatis, and even our Superman Escape eclipse it. SheiKra Was my favourite in the park last time, and probably still is, with its huge scale, hang time through the elements, and just the sense of fun with such a large group of riders screaming together in the front row, with kids on the ground being soaked by the water splash. Kumba Still holds up, with its non stop elements perfectly sequenced to flow into each other, and runs pretty well still. Scorpion Another ride type you should get out and see while you can are these old schwarzkopf looping coasters. They were ahead of their time, with fun well designed layout and lots of intensity. Always wondered why Arrow sold more rides than these guys. There are plenty of bad arrows, but no bad Schwarzkopfs. Serengeti Express Train One thing I have never done until now. It's quite a long ride, and the only way to really see the animals on the open range section up close (Rhino Rally is long gone, and I wasn't gonna fork out for one of the safari tour feeding experiences) As the day wound to a close I checked out a few of the Animal exhibits, wish I had allowed more time for them, since they are genuinely excellent, and typically slightly off the main paths which makes them a quiet escape. And a couple of night rides on Iron Gwazi, fully warmed up. Wahooo! And a few more photos....
  2. So something I’ve noticed lately on various theme park podcasts and discussion groups is talk about the difference between regional “action/amusement parks” and theme parks. One notable example is a recent podcast episode I listened to that spoke about Gumbuya World’s new coasters. The hosts claimed that “Gumbuya has transcended it’s action park status and is now a proper theme park” with the addition of these two new attractions. I disagree with this statement. In my view, Gumbuya has always been a well themed park with dedicated “lands” and areas just as any legitimate theme park would and I’ve always classified it as such. I don’t think simply adding one type of ride should suddenly change the entire category the park is labeled under. Meanwhile, I’ve also seen other people claim that Gumbuya needs at least 4 or 5 more major attractions before it can be classed as a true theme park. So that’s got me thinking, what truly makes a “theme park” a proper theme park and at what point does a park like Gumbuya cross-over to become universally regarded as a theme park instead of a simple action park? Is it when a certain level of theming is installed? When a certain amount of rides and attractions are brought in? Does it matter what kinds of attractions the park has? Does layout have anything to do with it? There are parks like Adventure World and Funfields which have fantastic theming and story telling in their rides and tick a lot of the “theme park” boxes for me, yet I’m sure many still see them as action/amusement parks. At the same time, there are other parks that have coasters and big attractions but are widely regarded as simple amusement parks. To give my opinion, I see parks like Adventure World, Adventure Park, Funfields, Gumbuya World, Aussie World, Magic Mountain and Jamberoo as a unique “Australian style” of theme park (similar to how Europe and the US have distinctive styles of theme parks) as let’s face it, it’s what the majority of our parks are like and isn’t really replicated the same way anywhere else (particularly the wide open spaces and mashup of dry rides and water rides sharing the same space). I’m interested to hear your thoughts and opinions on this matter.
  3. Wet N’ Wild, Seaworld & Movieworld Theme Parks Gold Coast Trip Report Early November 2016 We hadn’t been to Wet N’ Wild nor Movieworld for over 12 years, nor Seaworld since Nov 2011, and our crew all enjoyed a visit to each last week. Firstly, we mostly used public transport during our week in & around the Gold Coast (using QLD transport Go Cards we’ve had for years), and it was great – the new light rail tram from the Uni/Hospital to Pacific Fair is excellent, those theme park buses e.g. TX2 are great, the airport 777 coach was excellent, and it all cost a fair bit cheaper than a few years ago for some reason. Also, these days we always plan a less-busy week to visit the Gold Coast & theme parks, i.e. out of NSW/QLD/VIC school hols, not during a big race event nor schoolies weeks etc., AND try & get to theme parks during the Mon, Tue or Wed during weekdays. We managed this for Wet N’ Wild & Seaworld (Monday & Tuesday visits when seemed OK), but couldn’t get to Movieworld until the Friday – and it seemed noticeably busier. --- Wet N’ Wild: Wet N’ Wild on the Monday was quite enjoyable, few queues were longer than 15mins especially after ~2pm. The park entrance was pretty good – a large shaded area & welcoming staff to assist before heading to the gates themselves. They opened the processing booths ~5mins before official opening time of 10am which is good, thereafter the turnstiles to actually enter the park were a bit of a bottleneck – they could have opened a couple more of those right on 10 to help. There seemed to be a fair amount of shaded areas (much more than I recall last time) which is essential, also quite a lot of lifeguard staff around, most of whom seemed fairly friendly. - Calypso Beach: Big gentle river float was nice for the little ones, though there was a bit of rubbish/litter throughout which should’ve been cleaned up regularly. - Black Hole: Slides were good, though not dark nor long enough for mine, would be far better if longer, darker 7 perhaps with a couple of scary-type face shapes lit up partway along. - Kamikaze: Never did it myself but family reports indicated it was fun. - Tornado: We did it ~10 times later in the day with no queues which was great (& a pretty good workout carrying the large inflatable up those stairs). - Mach 5: Fun, kids loved it, though the exit should have a safer quick option straight back to the inflatables when it’s not busy. - Jetstream Bodyslides: Pretty cool if short, did them several times whilst carrying the inflatables up to the Mach 5 for the kids. - Constrictor: Never did it myself, family reports indicated it was OK but a big queue. - Aqualoop: Awesome. Did this several times with barely any queues, even got most of our less-adventurous crew onto it for lots of laughs. Quite like the back-strapped board etc. Would love a taller/longer faster version with double-loop or something. - River Rapids: (4 waterslides with 2 enclosed, 2 open): Longest queue I found, thus only did it once, pretty cool. Would’ve done it a few more times if there were no queues. - Skycoaster: We all had a look, but couldn’t bring ourselves to strap-in for that insane freefall. - Surfrider: Never did it myself (looked too intense for me honestly), those in our crew that did enjoyed it. - Family fun areas: Pretty good, thankfully pretty varied. Though the restriction for much of it to not wear any eyewear / goggles is ridiculous (many kids benefit from swimming goggles etc.) The toilets were mostly fairly messy, they should have more regularly cleaning etc. The overall layout seemed basically OK, those zipline cables running from the River Rapids to near the Skycoaster looked like a flying fox ride thingy – I don’t know if they are/were but they should be and it should be open, looked pretty cool. The exit through the shop was a bit dodgy – much tiled flooring that got slippery when wet etc. but no biggie. Overall a better experience than I expected, especially when using a good-value pre-purchased multi-park multi-day pass or something. I’ll look forward to taking the family back there in a couple of years on a nice warm sunny day again. --- Seaworld: Seaworld on the Tuesday was also fairly enjoyable, moreso than I expected. The park entrance was a bit dodgy as usual, a mess of people about the place, with little shade. Staff to initially assist & direct you as you approach, from say 9:30am to ~11am) should be implemented. We followed somewhat unclear signage & queue arrangement to the left into some weird processing area, had some token photo taken, then moved to a booth actually fairly promptly. The staff at the booth were pleasant and fast, and we got through the turnstile pretty quickly actually, which was good. There were a few shaded areas about the place, but it could do with more. The new big animal models about the place looked great – shark, kraken, dragon, whales, with informative plaques, sounds & movement etc. the kids loved, good to see. - Monorail: Would’ve liked to ride it once to get across the park & relax a bit in (presumably) cool aircon, but it seemed to travel so slowly and infrequently with no apparent schedule nor signage indicating ETA etc. we just bailed both times we tried. Shame. - Creatures of the Deep: Pretty cool. Some faults with some of the interactive items should be fixed. - Polar Bears: Sad. That’s no place for such creatures (except for genuine rescued/treatment situations etc.), we didn’t see any bears, but just browsing the enclosures made me kinda sick. - Shark Bay: The huge underwater tank viewing is always pretty cool, kids loved it. Some of the plaques need replacing. - Ray reef: Also pretty cool, kids enjoyed petting some etc. - Nickelodeon Land: Good idea but layout’s a bit of a mess, queues were a bit nasty, the kids roller coaster boat was enjoyed greatly by some of our younger crew. - Castaway Bay: Actually pretty good, I expected it partly closed, but those pirate ships with water cannons are great fun for all, & the kids climbing fortress is great too. - Storm Coaster: Some big queues, for a damn short ride. Did it a few times later in the day with barely any queues, still: seems like a fair effort to design & construct wasted in part for a ride so short. Pretty good ride though. - Jet Rescue: Impressive! We quite like the similar Mick Doohan Motor Coaster @ Dreamworld, but this Jet Rescue almost blows it away – ended up doing it too many times, started really shaking us up. Good stuff. - Dockside Tavern: Love the idea, the fact it serves alcohol & good-looking food, and we enjoyed a refreshing beer or 2. When we were there it was under-staffed, and the wind really affected the balcony tables – perhaps some kind of roller sheets or something to roll down when it’s windy to help? The Dolphin, Seal & Jetski shows seemed OK, fairly well-organized amphitheatre seating for the animal ones etc. Some of the overall layout seemed a bit messy, with lack of clear signage etc. but not too bad. I’m unlikely to return there again for several years. --- Movieworld: Movieworld on the Friday was also fairly enjoyable, again moreso than I expected. The park entrance seemed ok with a fair bit of shade, and we got in quite quickly with our 7-day multi-park passes, good stuff. Staff to initially assist & direct you as you approach, from say 9:30am to ~11am) should be implemented. The grand impression & design within the main gate is pretty good, leads to a sense of excitement etc. There were quite a few shaded areas about the place which is good to see. - Junior Driving School: excellent idea, nice big layout, seemed well-organized with lots of shade. Queue was hefty when we first got the kids onto it, and once they were finally all on the cars and they all started off, it seemed only around 1 minute later they all stopped and that session was over! Ridiculously short duration! We later revisited it with far lesser queues & thankfully they run the sessions longer then. - Loony Tunes 4D Theatre Show: Pretty cool. - Road Runner Coaster: Kids seemed to like it, cool. - Kids WB Fun Zone: Some good stuff, little kids loved the Train & Taxis. - Stunt Driver 2 Show: Pretty cool, good to sit down for a while, though it was busy/popular. - Wild West Adventure Falls Ride: Very good, though the queues through the busy period were horrendous. Nice ride. Again later in the day revisiting with hardly any queues was great. - Scooby-Doo Indoor Coaster: Excellent. Again queues through the busy period were horrendous. Nice ride, & later in the day revisiting with hardly any queues was great. Kids loved it. - Batwing Spaceshot: Didn’t ride it ourselves, but it looked cool. - Superman Escape Coaster: Awesome. Massive queues through busy period, revisited when quieter later, want to do it more (could only fit in 2 rides on it this day). - Arkham Asylum Coaster: Awesome. One of the best rides I’ve ever done. Only did it once late in the day with hardly any queue, will revisit it and am keen to pay extra for it’s VR experience. - Main street entertainment, characters etc.: Pretty cool, Batman with the Batmobile looked awesome. Superman, Supergirl, Wonderwoman, Catwoman, Green Lantern, The Flash, The Joker, Marilyn Monroe all looked great, and most of them interacted with the crowd later in the day pretty well. Similarly the cartoon characters Tweetie, Bugs, Scooby-Doo etc. were cool. The Green Lantern Coaster was closed whilst we were there (we knew it would be), I’m definitely riding that thing next time. The Doomsday Destroyer was closed, didn’t concern me as it looks a bit nasty for mine. Overall a better experience than I expected, especially when using a good-value pre-purchased multi-park multi-day pass or something. Lookin’ forward to taking the family back there in a couple of years on a day that’s more mild than hot hopefully, again, where we’ll definitely hit that Arkham & Superman coasters multiple times again! --- Cheers.
  4. So, I am a huge fan of costumes and any excuse to dress up is a good excuse. I know Disney doesn't like adults to dress up in costumes as it can confuse guests as to who is the real face character and who is just a guest in a costume, but I can't find any information about costumes in Movie World. Do they prevent entry if you are dressed in a costume? I was planning on a costume I have never seen at MW and I'm not sure if it makes a difference or not, but I obviously don't think its a good idea to impersonate one of their main face characters like Batman or Catwoman.
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