Flamingo Land

29th July 2013

Megan guessed that the second park planned for this weekend would be Flamingo Land, reasoning (correctly) that it was the only location in the United Kingdom where I needed three credits. Two of those were new this year, most recently a Zamperla Volare that opened to the public in the middle of last week. The park describes their latest attraction in colourful terms which I feel bound to reprint in full:

Hero (#1951) delivers the sensation of free flight like never before. Climb aboard and join your fellow cosmonauts for a suspended side-by-side journey delivering a truly unobstructed front seat view. And, as you climb the unique corkscrew to the launch platform, be sure to prepare for swooping turns, breathtaking drops and two heartline inversions, creating the incredible sensation of zero gravity.

It was very entertaining to watch the first cars of the day being loaded, as one passenger after another tried to face backwards in the ride car before the operators pointed out their mistake. In due course we were on board, facing forwards, and though we did try to prepare for swooping turns et al, we found ourselves concentrating more on self-preservation. This turned out to be the correct approach, as the new £8 million attraction (seriously?!) really hurt. It is a shame that the park felt the need to replace a perfectly good Wild Mouse with this.

Zooom!

Our next stop was at Zooom! (#1952), a family coaster themed with a runway and an air traffic control tower. The ride is definitely aimed at children, with a ride car that I could barely get into (let alone get out of!) and a top speed that could not have been more than ten miles per hour. Having said that, it was a treat to ride even though my knees got stuck underneath the lap bar!

Twistosaurus (#1953) is the fifth installation of the Junior Twister design from Zamperla, and the sixth if you include the original version from Reverchon. The loading speed on the ride today was a bit painful, not least because the lap bar was stuck closed on the back car, but fortunately we only had to wait for one train. We also enjoyed a ride Pterodactyl, a Soriani-built Star Flyer clone with a rotating tower, presumably to avoid the patents on the Funtime original.

We were able to get in one lap on every coaster over the balance of the day, though the final one, Kumali, was a near miss; it was closed all morning for maintenance reasons, but finally opened to the accompaniment of very dark clouds. Our train, the first of the day, had just returned to the station when the heavens opened in spectacular fashion. Most of the park closed immediately, but a few of the rides continued to operate even amidst the torrential downpour. Five minutes later, even those stopped as a crash of thunder signalled that we wouldn't be riding anything else today.