Travel Note

17th November 2012

For several years now I've been making short trips to countries that wouldn't normally feature on the radar of the average coaster enthusiast. As interesting as the major parks are, it's also lots of fun to explore new territory, even if doing so can be seen in some circles as scraping the bottom of the credit whoring barrel.

Jordan is a constitutional monarchy in the middle east that shares borders with Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. At the time this visit was planned, it was known to contain a number of small kiddie coasters, most of them in shopping malls, as well as one medium sized park, Al Jubayha Amusement City, which was unfortunately closed for our visit. We found a few more locations on our own, and also discovered that a major new coaster is due to open next year, giving us a good reason to return in the future.

 

Dream Park Amman

17th November 2012

Our first stop was a medium sized family entertainment centre located on the top floor of the Amman Mall. All of the rides within this park appeared to have been supplied by SBF Visa, including a wheel, a pirate ship, a carousel, a wave swinger and a Traffic Jam, the latter being a ride type I've not seen anywhere else. In addition to the larger machines, the park also had several coin operated rides, a set of trampolines, and an air hockey table.

Around a quarter of the floor area was taken up by a figure eight roller coaster named Looney Tooter (#1864), the same basic model that I rode in Indonesia in June of this year. This version had no theming beyond a colourful hand painted back-flash bearing the ride name. We decided not to hang around after riding, given that we were almost certainly the only guests over the age of ten.

Traffic Jam

 

Jingo's Jungle

17th November 2012

Most of the family entertainment centres in Jordan were clearly targeted at small children. The exception to this rule was Jingo's Jungle, an elaborate facility found on the third floor of the City Mall. The ride list here included a Rockin' Tug, a Miami, a Wave Swinger, a Carousel, and the Bug Coaster (#1865), the smaller spinning coaster from Zamperla and a clone of the one I rode a few months ago in China. The operator gave us four laps of the track, which was three more than we needed, but a kind thing to do nevertheless.

I was having quite a good time in the park when an unexpected issue occurred. I'd taken note of a sign outside the park advising that photography for non-commercial purposes was permitted, and thus I was snapping merrily away when an aggressive and frankly unpleasant member of staff challenged me. He informed me that the only permissible pictures in the park were those of friends and family, and that I should delete any pictures I'd taken or he would call security.

Any travelling enthusiast quickly learns that some family entertainment centres can be paranoid about visitors taking photographs, and this is understandable for reasons of child protection and similar. It's worth noting that I'm always extremely careful to keep other people (and particularly children) out of my photographs, and if a park says no, then my camera will stay in its case. Be that as it may, it's wrong and deceptive to advertise one policy and enforce another, and abusive staff have no place in a consumer oriented business. Coaster enthusiasts wishing to visit this park should think twice, as it's very evident that you are not welcome.

 

Farah Park

17th November 2012

Our third stop was at the Hayat Mall, a particularly depressing facility that seemed to be little more than a supermarket, and a fairly run down one at that, augmented by a few small amusement rides on the second floor. A few coin-operated rides were accompanied by a small set of dodgems and the Fast Worm (#1866), which is quite possibly the most pathetic kiddie coaster credit I've ever felt the need to claim.

This ride featured a figure eight layout that was outwardly the same as the version we'd ridden earlier in the day at Dream Park Amman, but in this case the dimensions were halved, leaving a ride that could comfortably fit into an average sized living room. Once we'd ridden, we made a rapid exit.

Farah Park

 

Arda Al Farah Entrainment City

17th November 2012

The majority of the Jordanian population have a six day working week, with the sole weekend day being Friday. We were not aware of this prior to our visit, and thus it was a somewhat unpleasant surprise to find Arda Al Farah Entrainment City closed when we arrived. However, there were a number of staff present to do maintenance work, and one of them summoned the park manager, who spoke passable English. This man was evidently thrilled to have foreign tourists visit, and once he realised what we wanted he found someone who could run the rides and show us around.

We were able to walk around the deserted park, examining the various rides and taking lots of photographs. An operator was found to run the two rides that were of most interest to us, namely the Panoramio ferris wheel and the Roller Coaster (#1867). Though a standard Big Apple, the view from this ride was spectacular thanks to its mountain top location.

 

Luna Park Wasfi Al Tal

17th November 2012

The last stop of the day was at a tiny park on the way back to the hotel that we spotted from the road. It had a small powered Take Off, and while it did have a small ascent and drop on the track, this ride really did stretch the definition of powered coaster to breaking point. The members of our group who decided to count this ride should hang their heads in shame!

Take Off

2012


Dream Park Amman

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Jingo's Jungle

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Farah Park

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Arda Al Farah Entrainment City

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Luna Park Wasfi Al Tal

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