Cavallino Matto

24th May 2009

We'd allowed ourselves an entire morning to explore The Crazy Horse, an oddly named amusement park located about an hour south of Pisa. This turned out to be excessive; though a very pleasant park it is geared predominantly at young families, and thus anyone over the age of twelve is likely to be bored after an hour or two.

Cavallino Matto

The park is owned by the Manfredini family, who operate rides at many of Italy's fun fairs throughout the year. Given that it was no surprise to learn that the main coaster can occasionally be found on tour during the off season. Project 1 (#1346) is a clone of a design first introduced in 2003, and like its twin it's a winner. There are simply no bumps anywhere on this ride; the train even manages to engage the lift chain without a lurch. L&T Systems have managed to engineer a travelling coaster that is as smooth as the best coasters out there; the only pity is that they've not sold more.

The other adult coaster is an older L&T design that appears to have been developed before the manufacturers mastered the art of track bending. Wild Mine (#1347) is a wild mouse in every sense of the word, with passengers being thrown from side to side. Though six of these rides have been built only three remain in operation beyond this one; Raton Loco, Wild Lightnin', and Wild Mine Ride. The one at Pedroland Park hasn't operated in six years, and the final version, at Six Flags New Orleans, has been closed since Hurricane Katrina.

The smallest of the coasters turned out to be a surprise gem. Topozorro (#1348) appears at first glance to be a standard big apple, and indeed the layout is similar. However the heavily braked main drop from the usual layout has been replaced here with a descending helix which works really well. This alteration eliminates the mid course brake outright, allowing a much more fluid experience than is the norm.

The final coaster at the time of writing is another L&T product. Like its larger cousin Speedy Gonzales (#1349) is ridiculously smooth, yet it packs a punch. Those not lucky enough to have experienced the late High Speed Thrill Coaster might not appreciate that small coasters can generate ridiculous airtime, but this ride certainly delivered.

 

Cowboyland

24th May 2009

Cowboyland is a tricky park to slot into enthusiast itineraries, as it is only open on weekends. It quickly became clear why; though the park was jammed with people today the vast majority were present for the shows and the zoo. The Gold Mine Train (#1350) was only of minority interest, which was probably just as well; the loading speed was impressive for all the wrong reasons. Part of this was due to each train being sent round twice, but even still a relatively short queue still took almost half an hour to clear. Fortunately the wait was well worth it; the ride delivered far more than its size might have suggested, proving for the second time today that L&T Systems are the masters of small coasters.

 

Bergamo Luna Park di Primavera

24th May 2009

German funfairs tend to be very well documented thanks to a large community of nerds enthusiasts who record complete lists of every attraction at every show. There is no equivalent in other countries, and trying to glean useful information can be a frustrating experience. I'd managed to determine dates for a fair in Bergamo, but despite it running for a full month the only pictures on the web were a set of thumbnails that proved precisely nothing. In the end we decided it was worth the drive to see what we could find.

Bergamo Luna Park di Primavera

It was a pleasant surprise (and relief!) to find three coasters at the fair; two kiddie coasters and one adult. Only tiny elements of theming separated Bruco Mela (Collins) (#1351) and Bruco Mela (Pelucchi) (#1353), with the latter having shinier paint. At the other end of the scale was Wipeout (#1352), a full size wild mouse from Interpark. As far as I'm aware this is the only such ride in the world, which should be considered fortunate. What sane manufacturer would choose to put a car crash style brake half way down a drop? There were some good things with the layout, not least a helix towards the end, but they couldn't make up for the rest of it which, in a word, hurt.

2009


Cavallino Matto

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Cowboyland

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Italian Fairs

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