Trans Studio Bandung7th June 2012
Indonesia currently has two parks branded as Trans Studio. The first one opened in Makassar a few years ago, a fairly remote location that I've not managed to get to yet. The second, at Bandung, opened in the middle of last year, and received quite a bit of coverage in the coaster enthusiast media thanks to the Yamaha Racing Coaster (#1761), a LIM-launched coaster supplied by Premier Rides.
The new ride is a shuttle design that follows the basic layout set by the earlier launched coasters from Premier, such as The Chiller and Mr. Freeze; a horizontal launch, a turnaround, and a vertical spike with a second bank of LIMs ensuring the train climbs all the way to the top. I'm thrilled to report that the quality of the track work is excellent, resulting in what is in many ways the perfect launched coaster; a fast launch, comfortable restraints, and a ride time that is just about right.
Better yet, it is obvious that no expense has been spared on making Trans Studio as good as it can be; all the rides are high quality, and include elaborate theming. I'd like to particularly highlight the amazing looking log flume (part of which is pictured above), as well as a balloon ride that tracked overhead through a large area of the park. I'd have spent more time exploring the park if it hadn't been jam packed with children, resulting in long waits on everything. The one ride I did try was the Dunia Lain haunted house, which was superb. The only strange bit about it was the loading procedure; passengers were grouped into fours, and asked to move sideways through the station in their groups until reaching the boarding point. A system like that could only ever work in countries with good queue discipline!
One small caution; all payments within this park have to be made using a special card which you can load with money at the main entrance. This includes all food outlets and shops. As far as I could determine, money put on this card was not refundable. Rather than randomly guess how much money I might need, I decided to purchase my lunch elsewhere.
Bandung Carnival Land7th June 2012
Enthusiasts choosing to visit Bandung Carnival Land are definitely scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel. Though relatively close to Trans Studio, the drive between the two locations took almost an hour, which felt more than a little ridiculous for a tiny park geared entirely at children. The powered Ulat Gila was sufficiently slow that I've got trouble considering it to be a coaster at all; it felt more like a train ride that happened to have a height differential. It was interesting to see the continuous stream of sparks coming from underneath the train; it appears that the manufacturer of this ride hasn't quite mastered the art of picking up power from a rail.
The drive from Bandung back to Jakarta Airport took just over four hours, more than double the time taken for the outbound journey and considerably longer than I'd anticipated. It was only a heroic effort from my driver – a real life version of Crazy Taxi – that allowed me to catch my flight with just minutes to spare. Let the future traveller beware!