Worlds of Fun8th June 2003
One of the major selling points of large roller coasters is the free advertising. The skyline of Worlds of Fun came in to view when we were still ten minutes away from the park, which has to be tempting for those driving through the area. We were told prior to arrival that we'd have an hour long ERS split between the two largest coasters in the park. Given the demographic of the RCCGB it was inevitable that most people would be spending their time on Timber Wolf (#146). This ride had a particularly interesting layout, but it was marred by some incredibly rough track. One nasty knock was enough to prevent me from riding a second time.
Instead, I wandered around the corner to Mamba (#147), which initially appeared to be down. The reality was somewhat different; it was up and ready to go, but nobody else had gone over to it yet. With the whole train to choose from I decided to begin my exploration with the front seat. This was to be my first Morgan coaster, and as such I had no idea what to expect. To my delight, the tracking was very smooth, making the ride as a whole very pleasant. There was a particularly good head-chopper effect in the helix in the middle of the ride, which is taken very close to the ground. The supports from the track above were designed to get lower and lower until the rider is convinced of an imminent collision. There is of course plenty of clearance, but it certainly doesn't look like that when you're approaching at considerable speed.
The only downside was a particularly aggressive block brake mid way through the course that came very close to stopping the train outright. The effect of this was to remove any chance of airtime over the bunny hops back to the station. This complaint is, however, a nitpick; the coaster as a whole was superb. By the end of the day I'd totalled twenty seven laps of it, and I'd gladly have done even more.
The park had laid on a complimentary breakfast for our group, which was very much appreciated. Following on from this, a group of us began wandering the park, ending up beside the obligatory Boomerang (#148) which we had rather hoped to postpone. Chris spotted me taking some photographs before riding and was rather scornful about the whole thing ("what, you've never seen a Boomerang before?") although he did admit wjem pressed that he had gotten his pictures already. The ride was as good as any other Boomerang out there, which is to say that once was enough for me.
Our next stop was the kiddie coaster, the Wacky Worm. We were not able to ride this, due to a restriction allowing those over 54" on board only when accompanied by a child. This ruling seemed pretty arbitrary to me; it might have made sense were there a queue for the ride, but there was nobody near it except a few club members wanting their credit. Apparently a few of the more shameless people borrowed other people's children in order to get their lap in, but there's no way I'll ever do anything that sad.
After several failed attempts to find it we finally located the Orient Express (#149). This coaster is one of the most photogenic rides out there, thanks to two interlocking vertical loops. We ran into Chris again as we watched, and I asked him whether the ride was any good. His exact wording was inappropriate for this trip report, but concluded with the words "typical arrow!". This assessment was, I'm sorry to say, entirely correct. The tracking was very rough indeed, propelling the ride firmly into the useful addition to the park category. Clearly management felt the same way, as a few weeks after our visit the ride closed down permanently and was demolished. It will not be missed.
We were given complimentary vouchers for what would normally have been an upcharge karting track. Like every other kart track in an amusement park the vehicles were underpowered with very limited acceleration, at least compared to those on the karting tracks available in Dublin. This did mean, however, that it only took me about a lap or two to get used to handling of a kart with ridiculously sensitive steering. My relatively regular practicing a few years ago served me very well, allowing me to overtake quite a number of the other karts during the brief five minute session. I was a fair way out in front when the session ended.