Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby cparkes92 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:03 am

I'm jealous! I'd love to take a month or so and just go around Europe visiting theme parks and also getting some culture credits.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:33 pm

Honestly this was the best time of year for me to visit. The parks (outside of Thorpe) weren't that busy so I was able to ride to my heart's content. Then the reduced hours gave me time to sight-see.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:24 pm

Port Aventura

After whetting my whistle at Ferrari Land, I moved on to the main course, PortAventura. This was one of my most anticipated parks on the trip. While trip reports of the park aren't quite as common as Cedar Point or Universal, every single photo I have seen of the place has looked gorgeous and the ride has a nice ride lineup to boot. After spending two days at the park, I'd say it's Busch Gardens with worse operations and no orgasmic bacon pretzels.

Upon setting foot into the park, I was immediately blown away by how nice the park looked. The massive lake combined with the quaint feel of the shops and lush scenery was breathtaking. Ferrari Land was a cool little land and all, but PortAventura looked like a world class park. Having visited in late September, I got an added bonus of seeing the park's Halloween theming. I don't think I could walk anywhere in the park without seeing a pumpkin.

Woody Woodpecker Fountain (Close).jpg
Woody welcomes you.

Woody Woodpecker Statue.jpg
I wasn't kidding about all the pumpkins.

Park Skyline 1.jpg
PortAventura is one of the most beautiful parks in the world.

The only thing disrupting the serenity of the main entrance was the ferocious roar of the massive Intamin wing rider trains. My plan was to make it back to Shambhala first, but I figured I'd hit anything without a wait along the way. Furius Baco is the first ride you see entering the park and with a 10 minute wait, I eagerly queued up. The vineyard theming is incredible. Honestly, to me it looks like it could actually be a vineyard.

Most of the reviews I've heard about Furius Baco praise the launch but warn the rest of the ride is akin of being shuffled around in a blender. Knowing that, my goal was to get the front row, inside seat. Unfortunately, PortAventura doesn't allow you to wait for a seat on any of their roller coasters. On some of them such as Furius Baco and El Diablo, you're at the mercy of the grouper. On others such as Shambhala and Dragon Khan, it's first come/first serve for each row on the ride. I was incredibly lucky since I was assigned row 1 for my first ride. For a coaster enthusiast, that's like winning a slot machine down in Vegas.

The launch sequence was weird, something that describes the entirety of the ride. As you roll into the launch room, there's a professor turning a huge crank and then an evil monkey appears. The professor is then flooded with red wine and you suddenly launch out of the room like a rocket. If you check out the ride's website, the story actually is that a professor develops a new grape harvesting machine but if you pull the wrong lever (which I'm guessing that monkey does), it turns into a catapult. I'd say it was a language barrier, but I don't think there was any speaking during the launch so I'm not sure how someone is supposed to get the story.

Back to that launch, with the larger trains, it didn't quite have the power of the other accelerator coasters. However, you'd be hard pressed to find a stronger launch outside of that. The acceleration is intense, particularly in row 1 with the wind against your face. With an 80-something mile per hour launch, you'd expect a massive top hat or colossal inversion. Not here, Furius Baco is a terrain launcher that probably doesn't get more than 20 feet off the ground. Needless to say, the ride maintains its speed from start to finish because of that.

The launch is followed by a subtle little hump that provides an incredible 2-3 seconds of airtime. The final inline twist is just as amazing. It’s long and drawn out, so the hang-time is fantastic. However, the ride’s downfall is the middle section between these two elements. There’s a series of high-speed slalom turns. Usually I’m all for a ride maintaining its speed, but in this case the turns were overly aggressive and lead to quite a bit of headbanging. In the inside seat on the front row, the ride was still pretty comfortable, but in later rides further back in the train, this section was more of an endurance test. If I could select my seat this would not have been an issue, but alas PortAventura gave me the hometown feels of 2016 Six Flags New England, where the SLC was the only coaster you could select your own seat <shudders>.

Furius Baco is a love-hate coaster for me. The launch, subsequent hump, and inline twist are absolute perfection, but the middle section is brutal. During that section, I was just praying for it to be over. I would honestly like the coaster far more if it was a straight shot to the inline twist. As is, the inside rows are an absolute must (it’s like riding X2 on the inside versus outside seats). Ultimately, Furius Baco is an 8 out of 10 in the front row, inside seat and probably closer to a 6 out of 10 in any other seat. I’m just thankful I got my one ride in the front row since I wasn’t so lucky the next 2 rides.

Furius Baco Monkey.jpg
Beware the monkey.

Furius Baco Final Turn (Day).jpg
The final turn is very picturesque.

Furius Baco Water.jpg
Unfortunately, it also feels like riding a jackhammer on an outside seat.

Furius Baco Inline Twist (Bottom).jpg
When the coaster is traveling straight, it's fantastic. Like on this inline twist.

Tutuki Splash was having some downtime (they appeared to be working on the top of the lift), so I continued my trek back towards Shambhala. But not before going down Sesame Street and boarding the roller skater. I had flashbacks to my credit whore stop at Sesame Place earlier this summer, but far less out of place this time (though Oscar’s Wacky Taxi is going to get me back there next year since Gravity Group hits a home run with those mini woodies).

As far as roller skaters go, Tami-Tami was a Lamborghini. The landscaping around the ride was beautiful much like the rest of PortAventura and the park gave two laps as well. I’ve never seen another roller skater give two laps. I’m not sure if that’s the norm or they did it solely because of there not being a line. I don’t really feel guilty riding roller skaters as their decent little family coasters. 5 out of 10

La Granja de Elmo.jpg
Sesame Land made me feel more at home than Sesame Place.

Tami-Tami Entrance.jpg
Not sure what Tami-Tami means, but it's a really nice roller skater.

Tami-Tami Helix.jpg
Just look at that landscaping.

Enough stalling, it was time for Shambhala. The ride had a posted half hour wait, which ultimately didn’t seem too bad (until I found out why). I honestly would have waited in it without second guessing if I was allowed to wait for the seat of my choice. But since seat selection wasn’t guaranteed, I decided to try the single rider line. Without fail, the single rider line usually gets you on faster than the main line. I wasn’t quite so lucky with Shambhala. Due to 1 train operations and the grouper pairing up groups of 3, single seats weren’t as common as you’d think. I probably waited close to a half hour with only 7 or 8 people ahead of me. Luckily I was assigned the very back row so in the end I was satisfied.

The ascent up the lift hill gives stunning views of the park and surrounding area. PortAventura really has one of the nicest backdrops for a park. B&M hypers normally have outstanding drops. Yet Shambhala absolutely blew me away. For those of you who have been on Fury or Leviathan, you know those drops feel a little different. Shambhala’s drop was just like that. Butt completely out of the seat combined with a stomach dropping sensation. After those two gigas, I can’t think of a better coaster drop.

Even the following camelback hills were better than your average B&M hypers. I’m not sure if they were profiled differently or what, but they definitely felt different. The excellent air was present as usual, but the real shocker was a stomach-dropping sensation on each hill. The only other coaster I have had that happen on recently is Steel Eel, which I figured was because of the oddly shaped Morgan hills. Except Shambhala was perfectly comfortable thanks to those trains and had much stronger air by comparison.

Shambhala also has two other unique elements. The first is a tiny speed hill after the turnaround. For those of you who want ejector air on a B&M hyper, come to PortAventura. I personally preferred the glorious floater air on the longer drops, but the curveball intensity of the little hill was certainly welcome. It felt closer to those return hills on Fury 325 than the hills on any of their other coasters. The second unique element (for a hyper at least) is the splashdown. Diamondback has one, but it’s at the conclusion of the ride. Shambhala sticks its splashdown at about the halfway point and creates an amazing photo opportunity. Usually I stick out like a sore thumb on the midway trying to photograph a coaster at an exact point, but for Shambhala you’d see people huddled around the splashdown pool with their phones in hand.

Shambhala was simply amazing. I already love B&M hypers (probably more than most people) and this one was a huge step above the others. The air was stronger and the drops had some extra oomph to them. Shambhala snuck itself into my top 5 for this reason. I ultimately got 5 rides in over the course of two days due to the one train operations. With how long the single rider line took, I chose to wait in the regular line so I could have a better chance of riding towards the front or back. They don’t assign seats per say, but its first come/first serve as you cannot wait for a row if it’s already taken. I was extremely fortunate as all 5 of my rides were in one of the back two rows or the very front, with the very back being my favorite seat (as with all B&M hypers). 10 out of 10

Shambhala Entrance.jpg
Not sure what a Shambhala is either, but it's an amazing hyper coaster.

Shambhala First Drop (Close).jpg
The first drop felt like those on B&M's giga coasters. Floater air the whole way down.

Shambhala Splashdown (Left).jpg
Splash!

Shambhala Splashdown Exit.jpg
There were people huddled around the splashdown all day long.

Shambhala Snow Caps.jpg
Not sure if the hills were profiled differently or something, but the hills all made my stomach drop, which is a rarity for me.

Up next was another half hour wait for Dragon Khan. I was expecting to find a single rider line on this one much like Shambhala or Red Force, but there was no such thing on Dragon Khan. Like Shambhala, Dragon Khan was only running one train (it’s almost as if they were trying to convince people to buy Express Passes or something…), but unlike Shambhala, seating was completely assigned as opposed to first come/first serve. I would have loved to have tried Dragon Khan in the very front, but instead I got rows 3, 6, and 7 for my three rides.

As an older B&M, Dragon Khan was certainly more forceful. I haven’t been on Kumba (though that will change next month), but the layout seemed fairly similar. I was excited to see a long, straight drop on Dragon Khan. The drop looked very similar to SFDK’s Medusa, which gives some fantastic air and is the highlight of the ride. Unfortunately Dragon Khan’s drop was just merely good. It had good whip, particularly in the back, but it didn’t have any air. It felt more like the straight drops on Green Lantern or Rougarou.

But the drop does built up a full head of steam for the arsenal of inversions that were to follow. The vertical loop and dive loop were both heavy on the positive Gs and that was followed by arguably the best zero-G roll I have experienced. I hear tons of praise for Kumba’s zero-G roll, so if Dragon Khan’s isn’t comparable, Kumba’s must truly be something otherworldly. Like all zero-G rolls, Dragon Khan’s has excellent hang-time, but the difference here is the ferocious whip associated with it.

Usually cobra rolls are a ride’s downfall for me, but Dragon Khan’s was actually smooth while maintaining the intensity of the first few inversions. The second vertical loop wasn’t quite as good as the first, but it was still good. Then the final two corkscrews were outstanding. They were extremely snappy maneuvers compared to the calculated grace newer B&Ms take them at. Despite the ride’s intensity Dragon Khan manages to be mostly smooth. Sure the aggressiveness of the ride causes some minor headbanging here and there, but I’ll take that in exchange for this intensity. Dragon Khan is the perfect complement to the airtime extravaganza of Shambhala. 9 out of 10

Dragon Khan Dive Loop.jpg
Dragon Khan appears to be having an identity crisis.

Dragon Khan First Drop (Front).jpg
Does anyone else find it funny just how much Shambhala dwarfs Dragon Khan?

Dragon Khan Cobra Roll.jpg
Dragon Khan is so much more forceful than the newer B&Ms.

Dragon Khan Vertical Loop 2.jpg
And it still somehow manages to be smooth.

The rarely talked about mine train was next, El Diablo. The ride has an odd location, a dead-end walkway in the center of the park, but as far as Arrow mine trains go, it’s definitely one of the best ones. Like the rest of PortAventura, the ride has some great landscaping around it and really captures the feel of a mine. I was amazed the ride was running 3 trains after consecutive one train operations on the park’s two top coasters, but I certainly wasn’t going to complain about a walk-on.

If you are lucky enough to ride towards the front (they load this one back to front, no choice seating), you get some rare mine train airtime. There are 2-3 hills shortly after the first lift that give tiny pops of air if you’re in that first car. Even if you ride further back, the first segment is still the strong point of the ride because of the interaction with the park’s log flume. The segments after the next two lifts (yes the ride has 3 lifts) rely more on the terrain, with the last segment in particular having a great tunnel thrown in as well. El Diablo is a really long ride and unlike the other Arrow mine trains, not jerky at all. 7 out of 10

El Diablo Shed.jpg
What's in the shed?

El Diablo Second Drop.jpg
That's a pretty big drop for a mine train.

I then decided to cross the border into Mexico for the park’s most intense ride, Hurakan Condor. While the S&S towers in Ferrari Land were cute, Hurakan Condor is a real drop tower. Like many of these Intamin 2nd gen towers, this one wasn’t exactly running at full capacity. In fact, it was running far from that. Only two sides were open, which resulted in a 40 minute wait. Even worse, the sides that were closed included the stand-up, tilting, floorless ones.

By the time I reached the front of the queue, I realized that I missed out on an unmarked single rider line. It was a bummer for sure, but I made good use of that thing for my many rerides over the next 2 days. Without fail, the single rider line would get you on within 5 minutes unlike Shambhala’s where it was honestly a debate whether or not the regular line was faster. On day 1, the sit-down tilting seats were the only option.

Intamin drop towers are one of the few rides that still genuinely scare me. The ascent up the tower is surprisingly quick. The views at the top are stunning, particularly if you’re on the side facing the coast. But soon enough you reach the moniker atop the tower and the seats tilt forwards. I personally didn’t notice the tilt too much, but I don’t even think it was needed. The sheer height of this tower was terrifying enough. The drop is somewhat spoiled by the camera (it flashes a half second before the drop), but it’s probably the best single drop of any tower I’ve been on.

You drop like a rock. There’s floater air the whole way down and the final deceleration inside the ruins is very sudden. It honestly feels like you plunge into a hole after looking at the bright, sunny coast of Spain. The drop was also gut-wrenching, a feeling some of the Intamin towers with larger vehicles cannot replicate. 10 out of 10

Hurakan Condor Ascending.jpg
Hurakan Condor was a fiesta. It even had a hat.

Hurakan Condor Gondola.jpg
In typical 2nd gen Intamin fashion, several sides were closed.

VolPaiute was a rare flat I was interested in trying. It looked like a combination of a trabant and a tilt-a-whirl. While the ride looked visually exciting, it was a major dud. The ride felt more like an inclined Ferris wheel than a spinning ride. I never once got a full spin in my vehicle and from what I saw, it appeared no one else did either. Instead it was a relative snooze fest. 1 out of 10

VolPaiute.jpg
Is VolPaiute Spanish for Inclined Ferris Wheel? This ride was a snooze fest.

Tomahawk was a junior wooden coaster I had honestly forgotten about. But with no line I hopped aboard and was assigned somewhere near the back. I believe the ride is sporting those mini-llennium flyer trains and they were quite comfortable. It was nice being able to ride a junior wooden coaster and not have my knees up against the seat in front of me.

As opposed to the other junior woodies I’ve ridden, Tomahawk has a unique layout that interacts well with Stampida. Honestly, you’d be hard pressed to tell the rides apart unless you see the trains. The first and last drops were surprisingly steep for a junior coaster and came close to providing air. There was also a sweeping turn midway through the ride that provided some surprise laterals. As a family coaster, Tomahawk is a major win for the park. 5 out of 10

Tomahawk Lift.jpg
Tomahawk has a much better layout than the other junior woodies I've been on.

At this point it was 6:50, so I was making good time in my loop around the park. I still wanted to hit both sides of Stampida, the flume, and then make my way back to Shambhala for one last ride on the day. I figured I had plenty of time since the park was scheduled to close at 8. Up first was the blue side on Stampida (surprisingly they actually do let you choose that). I was honestly pretty nervous about this coaster. I had no experience with the Kumbak trains and hadn’t heard much about the ride. Knowing how CCIs can get rough without TLC, I went in expecting something as rough as Mean Streak.

I was assigned row 2 and thought the ride was decent. I didn’t really notice the racing/dueling aspect due to the ride’s layout, but the ride had some solid air in the first half. The first hill in particular and the double up launched me out of my seat. There were also some solid laterals too on the mostly unbanked turns. However, the ride absolutely petered out in the second half.

I couldn’t help but notice the trim on the first drop. Had that trim not been there, the last few hills of the ride probably would have given some solid air. I do understand why the trim is there though since the ride is very bumpy. In the second row, I still found the ride ridable, but I’m guessing that was a different story in the back rows considering they were roped off. 6 out of 10

Stampida Drop.jpg
Stampida had its moments.

Stampida Final Turn.jpg
I wish I could have ridden it during the inaugural year before the bumpiness and trim brake.

I planned to get back in line for the red side, but saw the queue was roped off. Did Stampida just close early due to low crowds? As I made my way towards the flume, I noticed that it was closed as well. It was at this point I found out the park closed an hour earlier than scheduled. I have no issue when parks close early, I just ask they make a loud announcement at least an hour before they close. On the bright side, I did see Skeleboner.

Skeleboner (Side).jpg
Hello Skeleboner.

I Love Woody.jpg
I pity the child whose parent actually buys this for them.

Horror in Texas.jpg
Also what's so scary about Texas?

On day 2, I knew that I wanted to hit Shambhala before it developed a line. I navigated my way through the park and reached the ride first, only to discover it would open a half hour after the rest of the park. Aw drat. I decided to wait it out since it was the only way I could guarantee myself a front row ride. By 10:30, the ride had already developed a decent sized line so my plan for a few rerides was thwarted. The front was excellent as well, but I still preferred the back. Since the line wasn’t quite as long as yesterday, I got back in line and in about 20-25 minutes I was in the second to back.

Shambhala Camelback 1.jpg
Over Dragon Khan, which is one of Shambhala's specialties.

I got a quick ride (well 30 minutes) on Dragon Khan before heading back to Mexico. I wanted to complete the loop with some of the attractions I had missed yesterday. I heard good things about the Temple Del Fuego, but unfortunately it was down all day. As a consolation prize, I tried El Secreto de los Mayas. I had absolutely no clue what it was. I figured it’d be some time of walkthrough. As I boarded I was given a cheap pair of gloves and then realized it was a mirror maze.

It was easily the hardest mirror maze I have ever done and it whoever designed it is a cruel human being. The gloves combined with the dark lighting in the room conceals any dead giveaways where there is and isn’t a mirror. But the spawn of all evil is the center of the maze. The center of the maze is a revolving wheel. When you head back out into the maze, you may be rerouted right back to the center. The revolving wheel makes it impossible to tell which ways you had already tried. I was probably in the maze for 10-15 minutes until I found my way out. I enjoyed the challenge, but I could see this leading to a lot of temper tantrums and pissed off people. 10 out of 10

El Secreto de los Mayas Turntable.jpg
Someone must have pissed in the designer's Cheerios the morning he made this mirror maze.

I decided to use my good friend the single rider line for a few rides on Hurakan Condor. This time all 5 sides were open, so the line absolutely flew. Even better was that the two sides with the tilting floorless seats were available. In typical PortAventura fashion, they do not let you wait for those sides even though they are definitely more unique than the other sides. They did let people wait an additional ride to avoid those seats, but you couldn’t specifically wait for them. Since the single rider line got me on in less than 5 minutes, I just kept reriding and probably got the stand-up side 3-4 times.

Simply put, the stand-up, tilting seats were absolutely bonkers. I rode Acrophobia at SFOG last year and was surprised just how much more intimidating it was standing and being forced to stare at the ground. While I didn’t notice the tilt on the sit-down side, I definitely felt it on this side and the drop was just as outstanding. Hurakan Condor is a vast improvement on Acrophobia, which I already loved. This tower is an extra 100+ feet taller and also isn’t quite the ball buster that Acrophobia was. I’m not sure what Intamin did to fix it, but I could ride this one without feeling like I could never have children. Outside of Tower of Terror, this is my new favorite drop tower. 10 out of 10

Hurakan Condor Stand-Up, Floorless.jpg
Don't be afraid, your balls will be ok. If you have an issue with heights, then be afraid. Be very afraid.

I then hit another rare flat, Serpiente Emplumada. It was a weird polyp type ride with large spinning cars. The individual cars spun surprisingly fast and really piled on the Gs. This spinning was amplified as the ride bobbed up and down, as it created a whipping effect. I don’t quite remember how long the cycle was, but the ride was a ton of fun. 8 out of 10

Serpiente Emplumada Loading.jpg
Is the center figure a girl straddling a snake? This park isn't subtle at all.

I returned to get my red Stampida credit. This time I was assigned the back of the fifth car, which was as far as they’d seat people. Does PortAventura always block off the back row of Stampida or was it due to the crowds? I’m thinking it wasn’t crowd related since they were still running two trains per side. Needless to say my ride towards the back was considerably bumpier. In the ride’s first year before the trim brake, I could have seen this being a really awesome ride. But as it stands, the ride had too little speed on the drops to give good air. Due to comfort and extra air, the front really is the place to ride Stampida. Too bad your fate lies with the grouper.

Stampida Double Up.jpg
The double up is hands down (or hands up depending on your perspective) the best part of the ride.

I then got in line for Silver River Flume and about 5 minutes later I was off, seated in the very front of the log. I was really looking forward to this flume after seeing how expansive the layout was from the mine train and it delivered in that area. It was a long ride. I believe it had 3 drops. The last drop in particular was noteworthy as it was quite tall and went over the side of a hill.

When I ride a water ride, all I ask is that my shoes don’t get destroyed. I accept that it’s inevitable on a shoot the chutes ride, Valhalla, or Ripsaw Falls, but otherwise I shouldn’t have to worry. Soak my shirt and pants? Fine I can live with that. Well I got hosed sitting in the very front of this flume as the entire front of the boat flooded on each drop. I knew to lift my feet for the second and third drops, but the damage was already done on the first drop. Thankfully it was warm enough out that they were able to try off relatively quickly and it didn’t sour an otherwise good flume. 8 out of 10

Silver River Flume Entrance.jpg
All decked out for Halloween.

El Diablo Flume Interaction.jpg
The interaction between El Diablo and the flume is pretty cool.

I rode Crazy Barrels on the way by, a Huss breakdance. New England used to have a breakdance at Six Flags New England and Palace Playland. Both parks removed theirs in the past few years, which is a bummer since I really do like these flats. So when I see one and am not pressed for time, I try and ride them. PortAventura’s was run somewhat slowly until the second half when the speed was cranked up. The second half had the whipping and spinning I have missed. 7 out of 10

Crazy Barrels.jpg
I miss SFNE's Rodeo.

Since my shoes were already soaked, I decided to ride the river rapids. Grand Canyon Rapids looked amazing with the amber colored walls along the ride’s path. When the raft disembarked from the station and rapidly gained speed, I was bracing for some massive rapids. I was surprised that the ride’s many rapids were far from soakers. Instead, they were little splashers. In fact, the flume got me far wetter. Even the waterfalls on the ride were relatively small. The wettest element on the ride were 3 well-hidden sprayers, but those were no worse than a Super Soaker. I still did enjoy the ride since it was pretty long and did try to get you wet, albeit very slowly. Maybe the effects were turned down since it was cool by Spain’s standards (70-75 degrees), but I wouldn’t know. 6 out of 10

Grand Canyon Rapids Bend.jpg
Their river rapids ride was an absolute beauty. And I'm not just saying that because my shoes didn't get wet.

I made it a trifecta with the water rides with Tutuki Splash. I saw the ride down earlier in the day, so I figured I may miss out on it. I mean it is an Intamin after all. But it did reopen and I sure am glad that it did. It’s an extended shoot the chute style ride with some great theming and an extra drop. The first drop comes after a long, dark cave. It’s tiny (probably 10-15 feet), but has some good zip to it. After a relatively small splash, I figured I may come off the ride dry. Guess the level of wetness is reversed at PortAventura.

Not so fast. As we ascended the main lift, another boat went down the main drop and the wave went directly at our boat. So needless to say we got soaked. The final plunge is really good. It has a hump about 2/3 of the way down that gives a brief pop of air. Then the resulting splash barely was on par with most log flumes since it was sent away from the boat rather than upwards like the Hopkins ones. Honestly had we not been hit by the wave on the lift hill, I probably would have come off no wetter than I went in. Still the theming and great final drop makes this the park’s best water ride. 9 out of 10

Tutuki Splash Final Drop (Front).jpg
This isn't your garden variety shoot the chutes ride.

Tutuki Splash First Drop 2.jpg
It has two drops and some great theming.

With an hour left, I wanted to get my final rides on the B&Ms. Dragon Khan was only about 20 minutes. I came off and made my way over to Shambhala. I was hopeful I’d be able to get two rides in. And I was lucky enough to! Even better, I was able to pick the back row on two consecutive rides. I don’t know why Shambhala’s hills are better than the other hypers, but they are and it’s why it’s in my top 5 steel coasters.

Shambhala Camelback 5.jpg
"I hope to ride you again soon." - Bill Clinton to Monica Lewinski

Quick aside about the park’s operations. The inability to wait for a row on any of the coasters is frustrating for sure, but I can accept that in exchange for fast operations (see Fury 325). On the days I went (weekdays in September), the crowds definitely didn’t seem to warrant Express Passes. Nothing had more than a 5-10 minute wait with the exception of Shambhala and Dragon Khan which were at or above 30 minutes all day. It’d make sense the park’s two marquee coasters posted the longest wait times, but then I saw why. The park was only running one train on these two coasters.

When you see a park running 3 trains on a mine train coaster, essentially 4 trains on their racing wooden coaster, and even 2 trains on their kiddie wooden coaster, you’d think the park would run their top two rides at max capacity as well. Nope. I can’t help but imagine the park intentionally did this to try and sell Express Passes on an otherwise slow day at the park. I was extremely tempted to get one to get more rides in on Shambhala and Dragon Khan (particularly the former), but decided against it. The primary reason ended up being that they’d funnel you towards the center of the train, but on principle I was tempted not to anyways because of how they probably could have avoided the two longest lines in the park.

Outside of the upsetting operations, PortAventura was a perfect park. It’s one of the most beautiful parks in the world, has a true world-class coaster in Shambhala, and a great mix of supporting rides. PortAventura definitely is a park I plan to return to sooner than later. The hotels and attention to detail in the main park definitely feel like a resort destination. The only thing PortAventura needs to do is turn Ferrari Land into a true full-day park because as it stands, it feels analogous to Universal Studios versus Fun Spot. Fun Spot is fun don’t get me wrong and you'll go there basically every time you pass it, but you really can’t spend a full day there with its next door neighbor.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby CaptainUnknown » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:53 pm

After your review of Hurakan Condor, I can't wait to hear what you think of Falcon's Fury next month.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby ThemeParkJunkie51290 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:39 pm

NICE! =) I'm sure it was breathtaking to visit such a beautiful park!
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:40 am

CaptainUnknown wrote:After your review of Hurakan Condor, I can't wait to hear what you think of Falcon's Fury next month.


I rode Ikaros at Grona Lund, which will be in my next update, so I think I have an idea how Falcon's Fury will be. Staring at the ground was definitely freaky, but I wasn't as impressed by the drop as I thought I would be. The drop felt slower than on other Intamin towers, but the novelty of staring at the ground redeemed it for the most part. It was still a great ride, but it was closer to a 9/10 than a 10/10.

ThemeParkJunkie51290 wrote:NICE! =) I'm sure it was breathtaking to visit such a beautiful park!


I'm a big fan of theming and that's one of the biggest things I noticed in the overseas parks. They place a greater emphasis on theming.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby Dombot » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:51 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:After spending two days at the park, I'd say it's Busch Gardens with worse operations and no orgasmic bacon pretzels.


Yeesh, you make the place sound like hell on earth. :p

Awesome pics. I don't care what anyone says, Furius Baco looks amazing.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby PKI Jizzman » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:29 am

Sorry to hear about the operations. That's just so annoying but it is what it is.

Glad to hear Shambahla lived up to the hype! It looks stellar. Baco is such a "fallen from grace" story, in my opinion haha. It had such immense hype/curiosity around it and has some great moments but what's talked about most at the end of the day is the roughness. Bummer.

Thanks for the report!
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby coasterbill » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:49 am

Great report! This has always been a bucket list park for me, it's a shame to hear about the operations but it still seems like an amazing place.

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:04 am

Dombot wrote:
Canobie Coaster wrote:After spending two days at the park, I'd say it's Busch Gardens with worse operations and no orgasmic bacon pretzels.


Yeesh, you make the place sound like hell on earth. :p

Awesome pics. I don't care what anyone says, Furius Baco looks amazing.


Being mentioned in the same breath with Busch Gardens is a major compliment from me.

I agree Baco looks amazing. The bad part isn't visible offride. :lol:

PKI Jizzman wrote:Sorry to hear about the operations. That's just so annoying but it is what it is.

Glad to hear Shambahla lived up to the hype! It looks stellar. Baco is such a "fallen from grace" story, in my opinion haha. It had such immense hype/curiosity around it and has some great moments but what's talked about most at the end of the day is the roughness. Bummer.

Thanks for the report!


If you could select the front every time to guarantee yourself a good ride, it wouldn't be as bad of an issue like it is with regards to Kingda Ka's roughness. Still the launch, hump, and inline twists redeem the ride and are very much worth experiencing.

coasterbill wrote:Great report! This has always been a bucket list park for me, it's a shame to hear about the operations but it still seems like an amazing place.


The only reason I brought up the ops is that this park had top 5 potential if they were good. Honestly that and the merely average food were the only things lacking. Everything else was top notch.
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