Parque de la Costa

26th January 2012

The largest amusement park in Argentina is Parque de la Ciudad, located in the centre of Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, the rides at this park, including four classic Schwarzkopfs, have been closed for almost a decade due to maintenance reasons. While the coasters still stand, it seems improbable that they will ever roll again.

This may perhaps explain why Parque de la Costa is flourishing. Located thirty kilometres north of the capital, the park of the coast is filled with brightly coloured rides and excellent theming, and is evidently extremely popular with the locals. I'd rate it very highly but for one major caveat; the operations may be the slowest I've seen anywhere in the world, to the point that they make Indian parks look efficient. I'm deliberately getting this out of the way here so as to not make the rest of my trip report sound like a stuck record, so here goes; it was taking between four and eight minutes to unload, load, and dispatch the train on the SLC, and similar times were observed on all the other rides in the park. Maybe I'm too cynical for my own good, but would it be stretching the imagination to think this a deliberate ploy by management to help sell more fast pass tickets?

Parque de la Costa

Whatever the case, this writer finds it difficult to understand why anyone would want to ride Desafio (#1727) more than once, and indeed the relatively short queue in a busy park said quite a bit. The ride experience was even more violent than that of a week earlier, with a particularly unpleasant jolt as we rounded the corner after the brake run at a speed of no more than five miles per hour. In contrast, the Boomerang (#1728) was actually reasonably smooth as such rides go, though the term is of course relative. We managed to get on the last train before the ride broke down, though whatever happened was apparently short-lived as we saw it operating again later in the day.

Torbellino (#1729) is a Chinese-built copy of the ubiquitous Reverchon spinning mouse. There was a definite sense that the designers worked from a photograph rather than actual measurements, as there were some subtle differences in the layout that anyone familiar with the original would spot in an instant. We noted that the various drops were all shorter than they should be, and the climb out from the big drop was completely absent, possibly to avoid roll backs. The four seater cars do look like the genuine article, even down to the restraints, but the spin locking mechanism seems temperamental at best; we saw some cars spinning at points where they shouldn't be, and vice-versa. Oddities aside, however, the ride experience was actually fairly good, and far better than we'd expected. The spinning was very intense at top speed, but in a good way.

The last coaster, Vigia (#1730), had a walkway constructed in and around the ride that appeared to be completely closed off, a real shame as it would have provided some unique photo angles for what is otherwise a production model coaster. It was a ride that I'd been particularly looking forward to, as having completed it I've now ridden all twenty-five operating installations of this design. This pleases my inner nerd, even though I'd possibly be better off if I didn't publish facts of this nature!

The park features three horror walkthroughs, of which we tried two. Infierno and Maldicion de Anubis were both very good, with live actors spread throughout to provide a thoroughly immersive experience. We also went through the Tierra del Dinos walkthrough, which I'd rate as missable. A guided attraction in the same vein as that at Salitre Magico, the animatronics here were fairly low level and not something that we'd have bothered with if we'd realised.

The park features two excellent locations for photography. The first is the Vuelto Al Mundo wheel, though enthusiasts should be aware that the staff fill each car completely (a minimum of five for the six seats), so choose your angle before you sit down. The second is even better; an observation deck in the shape of a lighthouse named El Faro, which towers over everything, providing a fabulous view, even if you do have to climb an awful lot of stairs to get there!

 

Neverland Park Haedo

26th January 2012

On the way back into town from Parque de la Costa our rental car was attacked by two gunmen. George floored the accelerator and we managed to escape, though it was pretty damn scary for a few moments, not least when one of the weapons was smashed against the passenger window, which fortunately held. The experience was all the more surprising in Buenos Aires, which we'd figured would be less dangerous than some of the locations we'd visited earlier in the trip (such as the mountains of Colombia). Those attempting to repeat this trip would do well to take precautions on their car journeys.

We were more than a little shaken by the time we arrived at Neverland Park in Haedo, but the powered Dragon did serve to steady the nerves somewhat. One of the ride operators spoke good English, and was able to confirm our information on the other Neverland parks. We asked if the place was always as quiet as it was for our visit, and were told that most guests visit on the way to or from the cinema, making evenings peak time.

Neverland

2012


Parque de la Costa

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Neverland Park Haedo

Reports from this park:

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