M&D's Scotlands Theme Park

19th April 2008

M&D's Scotlands Theme Park has seen some substantial changes since my last visit almost three years ago. To begin with the owners have attempted to solve the problems with Tornado by removing the corkscrew inversion. This certainly helps the ride considerably, though it strikes me that the real improvement would come from removing the rest of the track also. It was quite telling that we had to wait ten minutes for enough people to fill the train despite the park being relatively crowded. As a little aside, perhaps somebody could explain to me why this park calls itself a theme park. There is no theming to be seen anywhere in the place; Scotland's Amusement Park seems more appropriate. But what do I know?

The Mine Train (#1152) is one of two new coasters. This ride was built to be a spinning coaster, but was reengineered last year to turn it into a more traditional family coaster. The result is a moderately decent coaster for the whole family, though the track length is really too short for a ride like this. Evidence of re-engineering was also visible on Express (#1153), which is to my knowledge the only Pinfari coaster to operate with a cable lift. It doesn't have any effect on ride quality, but it presumably helps considerably with build up time.

Pinfari built its best coasters right before going out of business. Tsunami is quite possibly the only ride they built that I could happily reride all day long. I might well have done just that had the loading speed been a bit quicker. Though three trains were on the track they were being operated in a rather odd fashion; the second was only loaded after the first had been emptied. Needless to say this didn't exactly help throughput!

 

19th April 2008

There were two main reasons why I travelled to Scotland today. The first was a five euro return flight ticket; the second was a chance to visit the largest funfair in the country. The number of people attending Kirkcaldy took me completely by surprise; the crowds were the scale that showmen worldwide must dream of. The biggest challenge was finding somewhere to park my rental car, as all the nearby areas were completely full.

Kirkcaldy Links Market

There were an awful lot of machines present, but somewhat to my surprise there were no real stand-out attractions barring the Bomber Mark 2 booster. Perhaps I've been spoilt by Irish fairs of late, but it was a shame to see nothing from the German fair circuit at all, let alone any decent roller coasters, though to be fair the latter probably wouldn't fit on the ground. There were also quite a number of identical rides; there were two Twists, two Miamis, two Carousels, two Experiences, two Boosters, and so on. I chose to spend most of my afternoon alternating between people watching and photography. Needless to say I rode the three coasters present (Big Apple, Toboggan, and Wild Mouse), but I'd ridden all three of these at previous fairs. Beyond that I tried only two attractions; the Ice House mirror maze and the Ghost Train. Both looked pretty impressive from the outside, but turned out to be nothing of the kind. In the end I decided to return to the airport a bit sooner than planned, which gave me ample time to edit my photos.