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Gazza

Parque Espana - Worth a look

3 posts in this topic

It’s normally the kiss of death for a trip report if you post it at time when bigger news is happening, so after waiting it out, it’s time for the next instalment from Japan.

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Parue Espana – Shima Spain Village

 https://www.parkz.com.au/parks/JP/Shima/Parque_Espana_-_Shima_Spain_Village/

(over 200 pics published in the Parkz gallery)

This place is in a bit of a pain in the butt location at the bottom of a peninsular on Ise bay about 90km South of Nagoya as the crow flies. However it’s  over a 2 hour train ride because its so mountainous.

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I got to the town of Ugata (the station used to reach the park) the night before after my day at Nagashima Spaland. I did this by getting a bus from Nagashima to Kuwana, then using a Kintetsu limited express train to Ugata.

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The train is a bit pricey because you have to purchase both the base point to point ticket, plus an additional surcharge ticket to cover the fact its limited express.

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A word of warning. If rain is forecast, you’re probably better off rescheduling if you can. Neither Pyrenees nor Gran Montserrat run in any sort of rain or spitting, so you’ll end up doing a lot of waiting around if the weather isn’t good.

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In hindsight, if I was planning on doing this again, I probably would have based myself in Nagoya and daytripped rather than trying to work in a loop through destinations / parks and had a spare day. Would have meant the option to shift things around, plus return to Nagashima for re-rides (A subject for a future trip report)

 

The park is quite good, and if you are going here, there’s really no need to visit Lagunasia.

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The main reason for Parque Espana is of course to ride Pyrenees, a superb B&M inverted coaster. There was a brief break in the rain earlier in the morning so it was testing when I arrived. However it started raining again so no dice.

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The day started on Iron Bull , an indoor coaster with some over the top restraints and a couple of lift hills.

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Moderate drops and helices abound. At the midpoint you come to a stop in a boiler room themed environment where there are a few special effects and flashing lights.

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Kiddy Montserrat was my 600th coaster since still no Pyrneees.

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I did like the Gaudi theming. The park did seem to make an effort to stay on point.

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The section it was in was probably the emptiest feeling.

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Batalla Del Alcazar Adelante was nearby.

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Like that magic powder ride at Lagunaisa, its a revolving dark ride, except the vehicles always stay facing towards the middle, where there is a big diorama in the middle of the ride where you shoot killer centipedes. What set this apart was the way the vehicles could slide back and forth on the spot, bringing you closer to the middle of the turntable.

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There was also an Alice in Wonderland walkthrough where you were given a magic wand to interact with some rudimentary effects. Credit to the girl running it for reading out a full english instruction card for me!

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Illumination Ride Nutcracker was also up this end of the park.

The classical ballet soundtrack gives this ride illusions of grandeur, in reality its a detuned version of its a small world, with 2D sets and lots of fairy lights.

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Had a chicken katsu curry here for lunch:

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With no signs of the rain abating, I made my way down to the lower section of the park.

The place is quite impressively themed, and carries that mid 90s vibe when theme parks seemed to be at their peak.

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One hidden gem everyone bangs on about is the Escalator ride. Flashing lights meets spanish pop music. It was ok, and yes probably unexpected for most guests.

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Down the bottom is slow boat ride called Feliz Cruise. It used to lead into a full on dark ride, but they chopped it short and now it's just outside.

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As well as big sets it had some funny dioramas too.

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There was a ship you could have a wander around in.

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There was a low key funhouse called Choquy's Mystery House.

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Not much in terms of physical obstacles, but plenty of optical illusions. One i thought was cool was a false hallway that actually turned out to be a prisim type shape pointed towards you when you got a bit closer.

 

 

The main attraction at the lower end of the park turned out to be Don Quixotes Magical Flight

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A peter pan rip off, and probably of similar length, with some good production values.

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I decided to hoof back up the hill, where you pass through a Spanish Village.

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If i had been smarter i probably would have gone downhill through the village and come back up via the escalator.

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One of the buildings had a trick art exhibition.

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Back at the top of the park and still no sign of Pyrenees opening, so I delved further into the park.

Grabbed some Pizza in the main street. Japanese style with Teriyaki chicken, seaweed flakes and mayo,

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This section was an entire indoor kids area.

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More Gaudi stuff

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I saw there was a 360 cinema, and here I got a proper dose of Japanese eccentricity, being treated to the most surreal kids 3d movie i have ever seen.

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I had no idea what was going on. It was a couple of kids wandering around in a spooky forest with seemingly random wierd stuff going on. It was all in Japanese of course, so even more baffling.

I thought perhaps that would be the end of it, but a couple of weeks ago, I found who produced the film, and there's an english dub!

https://www.thejuice.com/#https://www.thejuice.com/portfolio/hansel_gretel/

The linking seems to be wierd, but its the 45th movie in the portfolio:

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Skip to about the 4 min mark to see how im not lying about the wierdness.

Hmmm, what else to do in the park. I was gonna wait till the very end to make sure i got on Pyrneees. At one point it seemed like the rain had stopped and they had commenced testing, but nope they got a few laps in before halting again. Arrrrgh.

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I had a good look around the Spanish museum in the park. The highlight was a cinema showing 80s stock footage from Spain that had evidently been produced just prior to park opening and never updated since.

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I did a re-ride on Don Quixotes Magical flight....

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(Photo not good enough for database, but at one point you went under the sea)

I also took a wander through the Fairytale village they had.

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I had been keeping a keen eye on the rain radar all day, and it looked like the last of the rain bands had passed over the area, and right on cue Pyrenees commenced testing, so I parked myself at the entrance...If i was gonna get a ride, i wanted to snare the front.

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After around 45 mins of testing, and with about 90 mins of park opening time to go, Pyrenees opened, to some high fives with a couple of locals and the attendant who had seen this funny foreigner waiting out to ride this thing.

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In the end I got 3 laps (front row, a back row, and then another near the back) until i had to leave, would have happily done more, but beggars cant be choosers, and i was thankful to have not missed it, the memories of missing both Eejanaika and Ultra Twister still there.

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As for the ride? It's mental, and lives up to the hype of being one of the best inverted coasters.

Steel first drop, a loop that whips you around, a good zero g, another tall, but tight loop with plenty of force. The ride then really shines when it takes a downhill left turn at full speed into a trench and does a cobra roll with plenty of kick.

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From there it does a forceful helix, almost like a horizontal loop.

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The latter part of the course is a bit more drawn out, but still fast, doing a corkscrew along the way.

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For good measure theres actually a bunny hop right at the end that gives a good bit of air....enough to elicit a few screams on the train anyway.

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So there you have it, i came, i saw, i conquered.

Last but not least i got a single lap on Gran Montserrat. Again, would have liked to ride more, but i had also been closed all day, and with the time till i had to get my bus it was either another go on this or a 3rd go on Pyrenees.

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Normally mine trains are slow and crap, this one isn't. It was built by mack, and just blitzes through the course at high speed, with heaps of helices. The only other that comes close is Mine Train Ulven at Bakken.

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I skipped the flume that runs through it due to the cold wet weather.

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As the sun set rapidly i got a night ride on Pyrenees before heading to the exit.

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So yes, definitley try to get here. Its worth the trip. Pyrenees is one of the best coasters in Japan, and the rest of the park is good quality (Abeit a little stained, though in better nick than Lagunasia)

In normal circumstances, i think you'd be done here in 4 to 5 hours if its quiet, though with my bad luck with the weather i stuck around all day and spent a bit of time sitting around.

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Edited by Gazza
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Of all places to find a kinda weird dedication to gaudi, i guess japan ranks highly on the "what is this doing here" meter. 

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Great update thanks @Gazza! I love the tightness of those loops on B&M inverted's - those hectic G's that push you outward and the way they eject riders from the loops & on to the next part of the course. 

Would love to see MW replace AA (when the time comes) with a decent B&M inverted.

 

 

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