One can only describe Flambards Village Theme Park as an experience. The word is badly overused in the place, with just about every section of the park being a something experience. The only crucial experience that wasn't labelled as such was the beer experience, though we found that one in good time. However, I should recount the other, er, experiences first. I promise the readers of this report that they won't have to experience that word again.
The Hornet (#1024) is proudly advertised as Britain's Most Southerly Coaster Experience, and this is indeed true. It is in fact the only roller coaster operating in Cornwall now, following the closure of Killarney Springs a few weeks before our visit. As coasters go it's not a bad ride by any means, though riders should be ready for the simulated car crash experience as the train hits the brakes.
The Colorado log flume is not a dry flume experience. In fact it can better be described as a giant splash experience with log flume boats; I was the only one in my boat and got roundly soaked first by the water spray and then further by the main splash. Those two features were incidentally the total sum of the ride experience, which featured no more than fifty metres of trough in total, making it singularly pointless. On the positive side, it did provide a good location for photographing the Hornet; Martin, George, and Andy elected to ride a second time for just this purpose. I preferred to take the camera and capture them getting truly soaked. It should be noted at this point that Martin only wins the wet t-shirt competition if one uses the dictionary meaning of these words.
Outside of thrill rides, the park is home to a variety of spin rides and some semi-educational tours for children involving science experiments and the like. It is amazing how much fun adults grown people can have in the halls of mirrors, et al.
Milky Way Adventure Park
5th August 2007
Milky Way Adventure Park is a small park on the way to bigger and better things. This year it has made a major investment, building the tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coaster in Devon. Their claim is entirely accurate, although when you consider that the only competition is Pastil Loco, it seems a little bit on the cheeky side. Cosmic Typhoon (#1025) is an Interpark creation and not a particularly bad ride, although the braking system is wholly inadequate for dealing with a car with four adults in it. We hit the final brake very hard, to the point that the operators insisted that we go round in two cars on our second go. This was probably just as well; I'm sure I was bruised by the experience, though nothing like as much as I was from the Dodgems!
At this point I'm left with possibly the most challenging task of the day, namely describing in words the oddity that is the powered coaster, Clone Zone. The first thing that potential passengers come to realise is that the designer of the seven minute experience was clearly overdoing it on some controlled substance. Exactly what is anybody's guess, but given the abundance of fluorescent coloured lights, well, something in the psychotropic category seems likely. Passengers are greeted by a park employee who advises all present that you are now on board an alien space ship, and things go from there. You enter a transporter room, where everyone must stand on a beam of light, otherwise you might be left behind! Then, assuming you make it, you crawl through several tunnels in the mothership (those without physical dexterity need not apply) and finally board a powered variation of the Caripro Batflyer. The actual coaster ride, if you can call it that, probably lasts thirty seconds, a fortunate length really given that the ride seems to run two cars. I think there may have been aliens on the course somewhere, though I'm not sure where they were hidden among the coloured lights.
Brean Leisure Park
5th August 2007
We elected to stop at Brean Leisure Park on the way to Bristol Airport in the hope of riding the new-since-my-last-visit Magic Mouse. Unfortunately, it broke down between the time we arrived in the car park and the time we made it over to the ride. We watched mechanics disassembling one brake section, then putting it back together. This took half an hour or so. When they started working on a second we decided to cut our losses and left the park, pausing only to use up our pre-purchased ride tokens on Shock Wave.