Crazy Park

11th February 2017

Crazy Park occupies a rectangular plot of land in Dar Bouazza, roughly ten kilometres south-west of Casablanca. It was set up in 2005 by a Lebanese expatriate whose family operates Dream Park in Beirut. We chatted to him for a few minutes about his business, and it quickly became apparent that he was an enthusiast living the dream; he waxed lyrical about his favourite parks in Europe, including Europa Park, Gardaland, and Liseberg, and when he realised how interested we were in the business he spoke openly and enthusiastically to three complete strangers about the challenges he faces every day. The major issue is unsurprisingly financial, as local ticket prices don't fully reflect the upfront investment required to install mechanical rides. Costs are kept under tight control, and maintenance work is done in house; during our visit several members of staff were working on pieces of the Tren Fantôme in a makeshift facility next to the administrator's office.

Crazy Park

Our first ride ended up being Chenille (#2324), a generic Big Apple supplied by Lebanese company Master Park; the manufacturer's name of douda is the Arabic word for worm. There were six cars in use today, with the seventh in the maintenance workshop; we were told that they are generally taken out of service individually in order to minimise overall downtime. The experience was much the same as every other example of the genre, with the few bumps fully absorbed by the soft brown leather cushion in each seat. The restraint was a fixed-position bar that left just enough room for an adult to sit comfortably.

From there we went to the Roue Panoramique, an aging sixteen car unit with an illuminated sign labelling it as Fares Wheel. The machine was clearly designed to be portable, with a base frame and an extended support structure, though satellite imagery on Google Earth shows it in the same spot for over a decade. The positioning was ideal for overview photographs, and it also had an unobstructed view of the Montagne Russe (#2325), a Zyklon equivalent from Interpark that at first glance looked like it would be something to ride once and forget about. Much to our surprise, however, it turned out to be an unexpected gem, with perfectly smooth tracking and and a gentle pop of airtime on each drop. The six cars were decorated in a variety of bright colours. Four were on circuit today with the remaining two under cover on the transfer track. Efficient operation could in theory allow for as many as six hundred riders per hour, though one doubts that kind of throughput will ever be necessary in its current home. We treated ourselves to a second lap before heading back to our car.

 

Travel Note

11th February 2017

Our second stop for the day was at Magic Park in Salé, just north of the Moroccan capital of Rabat. Online information had suggested the presence of a small coaster from American manufacturer Wisdom Rides, but it turned out that we were too late; Dragon Adventure had been scrapped two years earlier as the hardware had reached the end of its service life. It was replaced by a full size pirate ship, an eminently sensible decision albeit one not calculated to please three travelling credit whores. Today the only sign that a coaster had ever existed at the park was a mural showing the train on the wall of an indoor play area.

Mural