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Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:49 pm
by joelwee
I'm to Phoenix, AZ for New Year's weekend, and used this opportunity to check out this local park. It boasts that it is the home to AZ's tallest, fastest looping coaster (it also happens to be AZ's only looping coaster) - Desert Storm. Its other coaster is Patriot, a steel family coaster.
I hadn't researched the park much before going, and figured I'd end up leaving after riding the coasters and playing mini-golf, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much there is to do there besides the two coasters. The park has a decent selection of flat rides, a log flume, and even a zip line; I'll delve more into these in the pictures. One thing that impressed me is how well the park uses the little space it has. Desert Storm takes up about 1/4 of the park, but the go-karts and some of the flat rides are nestled underneath it.
The park has different tiers of passes; their main package deal is the Gold Pass, which includes unlimited rides, 18 holes of mini golf, and $10 worth of arcade games. I wasn't interested in the arcade, so I bought a Silver Pass - which is a Gold Pass minus the arcade credit - for $35.
Without further ado, let's dive into the pictures.
Desert Storm was the first ride of the day. It's a Hopkins looper with two awkward vertical loops, which are both quite jerky. The restraints consist of a lap bar only; said lap bar sat quite loosely on me, so I slid around quite a bit on the turns. For that reason, I really enjoyed this ride.
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Why you shouldn't drink and design coasters...

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The trains looked a bit like Arrow trains.

Patriot, the park's family coaster, sits at the other end of the park. It was an enjoyable little coaster that was surprisingly forceful. It rattles quite a bit - not surprising, considering its age.
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Sorry for the bad pic... the sun was in my eyes.

There are a couple of places to find grub around the park. Waffles -N- Stuff sells some of the best waffle cones I've tasted, topped with a generous serving of ice cream. =)
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That waffle on the roof rotates, tempting the riders of Desert Storm.

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Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture until I had finished 2 of the 3 scoops of ice cream and part of the waffle cone. :P

King's (Re)treat is the main restaurant. It offers standard theme park food - burgers, fries, pizza, Doritos chili cheese nachos... :Pr
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These tasted much better than they sounded.

Some other sights around the park...
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Splashdown, the log flume, nestled underneath Desert Storm's lift hill.

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This drop tower was a blast, and actually scared me more than Lex Luthor.

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This painting of Disney knockoffs scared me more than the drop tower.

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The park was full of these weird Disney knockoff paintings.

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The go-kart track, underneath Desert Storm's helix. The mini-golf course is in the background.

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Bumper boats - perfect for a warm, Arizona winter day.

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This nerve-wracking obstacle course was in the front of the park. Some of the obstacles were blocked off due to snapped ropes, broken steps, etc., which added to the suspense.

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The zip line

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The park's main building, which houses the ticket office and arcade.


Overall, I really enjoyed this park and highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Phoenix area.

Re: Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:39 pm
by prozach626
This is the first actual TR I've ever seen from this park. I've been by it a few times, but I never stopped in. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:01 am
by bf9
^It's worth an hour or so to experience the Hopkins weirdness with Desert Storm, and the drop tower which is one of ARM's 120ft models so it absolutely kicks A$$. Totally agree that it's better than Lex Luthor as I rode them about a month apart a couple years back. Free entry too (tickets per ride/wristband type system), so it definitely can facilitate a cheap and quick in-and-out if needed. (That's what she said).

Re: Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:04 am
by coasterbill
I really want to get to this park just because it's so f*cking weird. :lol:

Great report.

Re: Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:28 am
by ThemeParkJunkie51290
Amazing report! =) I've passed by this park coming through Arizona in 2016, and I must say, I was tempting to stop by. Unfortunately, I just didn't have the time.

Re: Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:39 am
by PKI Jizzman
My group has been trying to pick a place to go over President's day weekend, and Phoenix is an option. Thanks for reminding me there is a theme park open year round out there! Flume, coaster, and ARM tower are enough to grab my attention.

Re: Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:03 am
by Canobie Coaster
Great report! Wow the profiling on Desert Storm's loops is pretty weird. I hadn't seen an angle from behind like that before.

And yes those Larson/ARM towers pack a bigger punch than towers 3 times their size. I dream of them making a taller version of one someday.

Re: Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:25 pm
by prozach626
ARM towers are fun, but there's something to be said about the unsettling feeling you have when dangling a few hundred feet in the air. The fall is never as thrilling for me as the nervous anticipation.

Re: Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:58 am
by cfc
^Yep--those towers are pretty damn scary!

Re: Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:59 pm
by Sheep-O-Matic
I'm from California, but moved to AZ in 2011. Castles 'N' Coasters is trash compared to a lot of parks. It's good for kids though. Over the years there have been talks of them demolishing the nearby mall (Metro Center) and expand the theme park out that way, but that never happened... and never will now that they built a new Walmart store near the park. The Disney knock-off character paintings are major cringe and unsettling. Being an adult, the only rides I found to be suitable for my age were Desert Storm, Sky Diver, Splashdown, Magic Carpet, and Sea Dragon.

It sucks that this is the only theme park in the state of AZ, but whatever. Maybe one day they'll put up a Six Flags park and we'll finally get some real entertainment. :p