Until this year coaster enthusiasts resident in Ireland had little choice but to plan their amusement park visits in advance. A flight or ferry booking was a prerequisite for a decent coaster, and for that reason it was always a bit of a wrench to return home from a trip in the full knowledge that it would be a while before the next hit. That changed for the better earlier this year with the debut of the magnificent Cu Chulainn Coaster, and despite lingering jet lag Megan and I decided to make a pilgrimage on a Thursday evening after work. The drive took far longer than normal, an unfortunate side-effect of trying to cross the M50 motorway at rush hour, but we pulled up at the park just before 7:00pm.
Tayto Park only opens during the evening hours for its special halloween event, during which the park is adorned with special lighting, fog machines, and scare actors – and much of the lodge building is repurposed as a walkthrough haunted house. It wasn't much of a surprise to find the park absolutely rammed with people, but despite that the wait time for Cu Chulainn Coaster was a manageable fifteen minutes thanks to two train operation and an extremely efficient loading crew. The ride was running noticeably faster than it had been on media day, and the tracking was almost completely smooth with the exception of a small judder in the over-banked turn. We did three rides in total and we'd have done more given more time.
The House of Horrors felt more immersive than last year's effort, and while I'd have preferred not to wait ninety minutes, the lengthy queue was a testament to the quality of the experience on offer.