There are many fantastic and amusing ways for parks to annoy coaster counting enthusiasts, deliberately or otherwise. One of the best has to be when an old Wacky Worm is retired in favour of a brand new one, thus necessitating a return visit for a relatively uninteresting ride. Readers may remember that I wasn't exactly enthusiastic about the appearance of the late Petite Chenille, and I'm glad to report that the park has done a much better job with their new Chenille (#1802), a bright and colourful ride that looks great. I'd have preferred to not have to wait in a twenty minute queue to ride, but sometimes one has to make sacrifices! I caught a lap on both the Roller Coaster and the Papea Express before heading for my car.
Parc des Naudieres
2nd September 2012
Parc des Naudieres is a family park that survives primarily on its collection of bouncy castles, of which there are an impressively large number. The selection is geared at all ages, with some aimed at the young, and some aimed at the young at heart. There are only two mechanical rides in the park, one of which is the Roller Coaster (#1803). There was a three quarter hour queue when I got there, a time that felt much longer thanks to smokers, line jumpers, and people devoid of both deodorant and volume control. If the coaster had been fun then it the wait might have been worth it, but honestly, it wasn't; a shark fin on the seat and some pretty bumpy track work turned the overall experience into an endurance test.
Enthusiasts should be aware that this roller coaster only opens for extremely limited hours. It was pure luck that I happened to arrive in the middle of today's window, a two hour period from 2:00pm-4:00pm. Those masochistic enough to visit should probably phone ahead before any visit.
Lunapark La Palmyre
2nd September 2012
My adventures this weekend were planned around a trip to Lunapark La Palmyre in the full knowledge that I'd be visiting on the final night of the park season. Given that, it wasn't a particular surprise to find that a number of rides were already in the process of being disassembled, including the Mouse Coaster. There were also some obvious empty spaces along the midway that would probably have held other rides if I'd been in the area a few weeks earlier.
My reason for visiting tonight was the classic Jet Star (#1804), one of six left in operation around the world, and a rare gem. This version originally operated at Knoebels in the late 1970s, followed by a seven year stint at Morey's Piers. It was exported to France at the turn of the millennium, where it continues to thrill riders some forty years after it left the Schwarzkopf factory.
Also at the park was Le Dragon (#1805), a ride that looked like a standard Big Apple from a distance, but on closer inspection turned out to be a far superior Pinfari ST31 model, an enjoyable family coaster with a similar basic footprint. The first three or four laps were great fun, but the enjoyment began to wear off when it became clear that the operators were going to leave the train cycling until there were enough people to board the next one. I'm guessing we completed around twenty laps before we were allowed to disembark.
I finished off my visit with the Phantom Manor, a haunted house attraction with an extremely impressive facade. Unfortunately the interior of the ride didn't live up the promise, with relatively tacky theming and no particularly frightening moments other than when a live actor jumped out at me as the train broke back into daylight.