There are some coasters and parks that one just shouldn't make a special trip for. Family Entertainment Centers (FECs) make up the bulk of this category, as they usually feature just one coaster, often with a maximum height differential of ten feet or less. Roller Coaster (#839) fell firmly into this category. We would not have stopped there at all had it not been only a few minutes drive from our second planned stop of the morning, at a nearby sports centre.
Unfortunately, the Thriller Coaster at Sports Plus was temporarily out of service, which was acutely frustrating. It appeared to be a combination coaster and dark ride, with a decent height differential probably approaching the forty feet mark. The ride track reached almost all the way to the ceiling, and it looked like a lot of fun. About the only mitigating factor was that the ride is in easy range of New York and, as it is indoors, is likely open all year round. Next time I'm in the area I will have to see if it is possible to get back.
Adventureland New York
31st July 2006
Bog standard tivoli coasters are not exactly a reason to visit a park unless it's on the way, but surprisingly enough the Ladybug Coaster (#840) was easily the best coaster in Adventureland. The larger ride, a SDC-built Hurricane (#841), was pretty jarring, and was certainly not something we could have ridden more than once. Interestingly, the park enforced a secured glasses policy on this ride, the first coaster this week where this has been required. It was, for the record, a very good idea; even things which were attached could easily have been shaken loose.
Beyond the coasters, there was a small selection of kiddie flat rides. Most machines were standard fare, but there was one machine of note; an unusual drop tower ride, sort of like an oversized frog hopper, with a tower that tilted from side to side even as the car was being bounced up and down. This looked like a lot of fun, and is something that I probably would have tried had there been adult seating on board. There was also a token adult spin ride, a Frisbee, that we elected to skip. As it was the only other attraction we did try was the Haunted House, being tempted by the effect outside it of a putrid corpse throwing up. Unfortunately this was probably the best effect of the attraction overall, with it garnering about a four out of ten. It wasn't the most embarrassing on the trip (see Sponge Bobyesterday) but it was certainly a long way from the best.
31st July 2006
We were originally planning to hit Bowcraft Playland today too, but due to heavy traffic conditions around New York this plan was shelved at short notice. This came with an unfortunate side-effect I hadn't anticipated, namely that I would be at the wheel as we drove into Manhattan, at rush hour no less. Perhaps it would have been easier if I was an aggressive driver, but as someone who has always driven defensively it was officially not fun. About the only positive thing I can say for the experience is that the car is still in one piece, though my nerves are currently off hiding a few miles from here.