I've been considering posting some pictures and making a trip report of them for some time now. While I get nervous standing in front of a camera I'm less bothered about capturing a specific moment in time forever. They help help stir past memories after all, so here goes.
There wont be many, if any antics, more likely just pictures of rides. But they do come with free associated mumblings which you are welcome to. I prefer pictures myself so think of it like a DVD with optional commentary.
I'm going to start with a park that I never see mentioned, and one I have recently come back from my first visit. I chose to attend this park on this day as it was on the way to a few fairs up north. Wicksteed Park www.wicksteedpark.co.uk/ RCDB
lists it as having a couple of coasters on the go. There is also something very TPR at this place which was new for 2011, Magic Ice!
I was really impressed with the thought that had been put into Wicksteed park. It is pretty basic stuff but done very well, everything was decently presented given what they have to work with. There were no intense thrill rides at all, not a spin 'n' pukes in sight, but its not that kind of place. They have been doing "Family" long before other parks joined the band wagon.
This is the UK's first, and by association oldest leisure park with children's play equipment. A bit of a mouthful but its considered to be a selling point to the park. Anyone is free to enter and walk around which must be good if your a local as you get a playground area like in any town in the UK, but with additional motorised fun.
Once you have gone through the main gate you are in the first section called "The Playground". Its full of slides and climbing things
One of the newer play structures with a splash at the end of the slides.
And a close up of the word on the floor that does indeed say HAGS
There is lots more to see and do near by, but currently the most important thing is to get a wristband and seek out the bigger rides the park has to offer.
At this park you can by just the tickets you need, or get a wristband for the day. They are very similar to the ones you get on TPR trips, except mine said ADULT.
Wicksteed park covers a lot of land but a large part of this is a field in the middle, spreading out the attractions.
Over there is "The Arena", home to the 2 roller coasters and a few other rides, all of which are surrounded by a go kart track. Apparently there is a bar as well (that must be a large sign).
To get in you need to cross over the bridge on the right, there are ramps if needed. Hopefully you have spotted at least one roller coaster by now. Something else that is very evident from this photo, and a reoccurring trend is the dull weather and lack of people. I really hope and expect that many people come on a better day during peak season. Even if it would be just for the free playground, some of those people would drift over to the rides. But this was was a cold day in October so we will have to make do with whats there, a few scattered random strangers.
These strangers were especially random, although I would like to see the end result of the home movie.
They are on the parks biggest ride at the park called Pinfari.
Or Roller Coaster. Probably Roller Coaster given this sign and name on the park map. That makes it 2 against one - China syndrome perhaps?
No matter, whatever the name I was pleasantly surprised. Its a good fun ride, very smooth and much more than just another notch, they must take great care of it given its almost 20 years old. There were even 3 trains on the track, maybe overkill for the days attendance but I didn't spot any transfer track. There is a separate load and unload station and room for a train to wait in the middle. This meant that bags could potentially cause a problem, but instead it showed up the friendly and helpful nature of all the staff as my bag beat me to the station. But before we get to the brakes (which slowed the train gradually with knee padding as a backup) we have to go up.
Thanks to the attendant who waited for me to take this and then put away by camera, again friendly and accommodating staff.
My experience on the kiddy coaster called "The Ladybird" was sponsored by a technique shown to me by Robb on many occasions. Its a variation of the line "Can I please only go round once". And it worked, meaning I was off the ride in no time yet I was still able to notice how smooth this ride was as well.
In addition to the Go Karts entrance and a few games stalls, the left hand side of the Arena has a couple of rides with questionable names
The Parasol is called Racing Car Ride
And this is called the Honey Pot.
Much better, a great sign for what is hopefully the log flume I spotted earlier.
I think that splosh confirms it. When your floating round the course the fence and foliage cuts you off from the surroundings. All you can see is the drop and most of the course back into the station. I got a little bit wet from the drop, but more from "other".
I guess her wig did as well. I didn't like to ask and I didn't want to be too creepy by checking the on ride photo. Both coasters had on ride photography as well.
Time for one last lap on Pinfari Coaster, this time in the back row. It had a bit of shaking but nothing major. As for the restraints, well it doesn't go upsidedown but the overheads didn't bother me. No head banging or neck chopping.
This sits at the exit to the Roller Pinfari for those who are too intimidated to ride. Its also next to the drying booth for the flume so it serves a dual purpose. It also started a foolish temporary fascination with the coin operated rides at the park. One that I am putting all the blame on forgetting about the third area of this park called Lakeside where the highlight for me would have been the water chute ride. Its number 1 on the park map. But no, I would head straight back to the main area and take photos of the fairground style rides I had briskly walked past earlier. Starting with more dated coin rides.
Does seeing a Mr Bloody coin ride make up for missing a classic ride? I think not but I was happy at the time. As for actual rides in the area there is a Carousel
Where you can ride a cock (when in England)
Or ride one of 2 pirate ships
Its a double!
Only the British ship was swinging today
The dastardly pirates must have been out drinking rum or looking for sandpaper.
Or distracted by something else.
Could they have been musing over what the new attraction may be. The foot print of the ride means its obviously not an aqua track so don't even go there. A Blue fall clone perhaps. What about a roto drop tower where the clown coaster from Blackpool is raised high into the air while going round and round endlessly as you failed to ask the ride op to only send it round once.
I think not. No it is much more likely that the pirates were over at the most surprising and unexpected attraction - Magic Ice.
My fingers were crossed for something along the lines of Astrosphere. I was close but way off.
Its a Penguin Disco!
You can join in if you want.
Young master flippers here needs a dance partner so come get your boogey on under the lasers.
Back in the real world, the red slide and the blue slide has a race. I guess I missed it.
Another nice touch in this park was something called the Wicksteed Experience.
In this building was information covering more than 100 years of history at Wicksteed. It was a very basic and simple room, the most fancy thing here were lights that turned themselves on as you enter. I didn't read it all but it did explain why a particular photo was all over the place. If you want to know more check the website, I'm just going to show some photographed photos.
This is what the water shoot looked like before it was upgraded.
Hello the past, hows it going back there?
Outside of the experience was another coin operated car circuit that reminds me of Baby Park. The DS version as this one does have a roller coaster in the background either.
It was good of them to tell you
There were more play areas
There was even one with a tent over it. This was next to one of the few places to eat. It looked like your standard fish and chip offerings which I would have gone for as I was hungry but they only accept cash so instead heres something I spotted in the car park.
It probably wont be there if you visit. Which you should if your in the aread, even if just a few hours.
Thanks for reading.