Day 6 -- Small Parks of Mexico City Friday, March 27, 2015
Alright, just being honest here -- none of us signed up to go to Mexico with the intent to take a few spins on a Wacky Worm. In fact, our itinerary was originally laid out to do a long day-trip to a distant park that was building some new attractions. Once it became clear that those attractions wouldn't be done in time for our visit, we had to re-assess the plans, and opted to fly out of Guadalajara to head back to Mexico City instead. Why not take a quick run through two small parks in the area, and perhaps check off a credit or three for the coaster enthused among us?
Day 6, Park #1 -- Perimagico:
After flying back into Mexico City, our first adventure was to head out to the city of Cuautitlán Izcalli, one of Mexico City's northern suburbs. In fact, it's a suburb so large that it ranks in Mexico's top ten most populous cities! When we arrived, we found an environment that was honestly pretty similar to suburban life back home. The park? A small family entertainment center in the Galerías Perinorte shopping mall. In the parking lot? McDonald's. Next door? Home Depot.
Originally known as Divertido, the Perimagico park (more of an FEC) is found on the lower floor of the mall, with a mix of indoor and outdoor attractions. I know that explaining our presence to the manager -- and what we were there to do -- was an interesting event! Nonetheless, we were successful in getting on both of Perimagico's coasters. The first coaster, El Huracan, is a custom indoor Zierer Tivoli. It's not a bad ride, actually. It's fun to zoom around past the other rides, through a tunnel, and even around a helix! Yep, Robb has footage, and you can watch it here.
After that, we headed to the outdoor segment of the park, which was perhaps not in the state we were hoping for. The park's website, which hadn't been updated in a while, showed an array of human-powered bizarre attractions -- almost the kind of stuff you'd expect to find at an obscure European family park. None of that existed -- all that was left were a few kiddie flats and our next target, a wacky worm called Oruga Feliz. If RCDB is to be believed, Oruga Feliz no longer exists. It did not appear to be in great shape during our visit, so I guess that's no huge surprise.
Overall, I had a pretty positive impression of the indoor sections of Perimagico (or Divertido, as the signage still indicated during our 2015 visit). It would probably be a fun place for its target audience, which is assuredly not us. The mall looked kind of nice, too. Had some tacos I was not at all disappointed with.
Day 6, Park #2 -- Parque Francisco Villa:
I shouldn't skip over the adventure that was the drive from Park #1 to Park #2. It was massive congestion through the heart of Mexico City, punctuated by the occasional street vendor selling things in between the lanes on a freeway. Want some fresh fruit? They've got you covered. Need some flowers? They're on it. Dying for a selfie stick while you're driving? They were selling those too.
After a two-hour 20-mile commute, we arrived at our last park of the trip -- Parque Francisco Villa. Who was Francisco Villa? Perhaps better known as "Pancho" Villa, he was one of the most famous figures of the Mexican Revolution. The park is also known as Parque de los Venados (Deer Park) apparently for the random statue of a deer found in the center of a fountain. I'm not sure how to describe this place other than calling it a sketchy assortment of random questionably-licensed kiddie attractions plopped down without forethought in the middle of a public park. So, we did what we had to. We got in, we took some pictures that will make Disney's lawyers squirm, and we grabbed our last credit of the trip -- another wacky worm, this one named Crazy Worm. To be fair, it was in better shape than the (now departed) Perimagico worm. We made the most of it and had a good time! Robb even did a mounted POV! And then we got ourselves out of there, because dinner was waiting at the nearby Don Asado, a Uruguayan restaurant that can apparently make just about any kind of meat you could possibly want (and a few kinds you might not).
We returned to our hotel at the Mexico City airport, though a few of us ventured back into the airport for dessert. Sadly, though a few of us would see each other in the airport the next day, it was time for most of the group to say farewell.
But before we get into all that sad stuff, let's get to the pictures!
So, let's take a look at the sights along the way. We'll start with a pretty typical grocery store.
So sad we didn't stop at the Mexican Pizza Hut!
Hooters also brings its classy (klassy?) presence to Mexico City.
Clamato? More like Clamat-NO.
Ah, the horrifying Mexico City traffic. Even the ambulances are stuck. Meanwhile, as mentioned, people were walking and selling things between lanes.
I took this screen capture of Google Maps traffic while we were driving through the city. This is just LOL.
Ooh, the Olympic committee!
And suddenly, we're in Nebraska.
Porcupine Tree / Ste-ven Wilson fans will recognize: la Avenida de los Insurgentes, the longest avenue in Mexico City.
Oncoming traffic and an articulating bus.
Various products for sale on a street corner.
And now, we've arrived at Parque Francisco Villa.
It's also called Parque de los Venados (Deer Park) for obvious reasons relating to this statue.
Some interesting wall art at Parque Francisco Villa.
I see rides in the distance!
And is that...
...my second-ever wacky worm?
Yes, yes it is. I went from 0 wacky worm credits to 2 wacky worm credits in the matter of a few hours.
Oh, but this one isn't a wacky worm, it's a crazy worm.
A look up to the ride station.
They are not responsible for all kinds of stuff.
One ride -- 20 pesos.
More warnings for this wild ride.
Oh hey, this worm looks a little happier!
Look at that grin!
So, let's compare the faces of the two worms. The first one is missing an antenna, has cracked paint, and strung-out LSD eyes. The second one is happily smiling and in far better shape! What a difference!
Time to climb in.
This used to be a manufacturer's sign.
Getting ready to ride.
Oh, are we excited? You bet we are.
Another epic lift hill shot!
Yep, we're really doing this.
Nozzy leans into the curve like a pro.
Careful with that phone, Joe!
An overview of the Crazy Worm layout.
Big drop incoming!
Heading for the curve.
Riders in awe.
A look over the park and the nearby street scene.
So, let's see what we can find in the rest of the park. We've got some kiddie bumper cars here.
The Astro Liner, which makes that rocket simulator at La Feria look good.
Small vehicles on a small track. Anyone want an M&M?
Oh, wait, there's something going on here I'm not entirely comfortable with.
Is that Eeyore? Tigger?
Oh, oh no. This isn't right.
I presume this use of a glossy-eyed Winnie the Pooh and friends is fully licensed. Because why wouldn't it be?
Oh, and we've got Ursula and King Triton...
We've got Flounder and Ariel...
We've got Mrs. Potts and Belle, the latter casting some serious side-eye...
...and this is truly one of the saddest things I have ever seen.
Hello, Buzz Lightyear on the Spanish setting.
I can't wait for this to be installed at Toy Story Land in Orlando!!!
Every single one of these drawings and figures is uncanny-valley Toy Story-esque. It's just ... off.
I would not go inside this little shack for any reason whatsoever.
Oh, here's another classic -- one of Mexico City's many VW beetles. I think KT was trying to find all of them.
Next on the agenda -- well, last on the agenda -- was our final group dinner of the trip.
This is Don Asado, a Uruguayan restaurant.
See, it says so right there.
They cook lots and lots of meat.
As we ate, we watched music videos from the 80s.
I'm not joking, they literally just played a bunch of 80s pop/rock music videos through the entire restaurant the whole time we were there.
Sorry to all the meat lovers, but that green oily stuff was easily the best part of the meal!
But, there you go, an entire plate full of meat, way too much for me!
Have at it, TPR! That was a fun dinner and a nice "official" end to the trip.
Day 7 -- End of the Mexico Trip Saturday, March 28, 2015
Hey, there was one more ride on the trip -- the airport train from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1, where most of the international departures were scheduled to leave from.
Funny story on my flight out of Mexico City. I selected a window seat as is normal for me, as I like to do some photography while flying. Imagine my surprise when, as I'm getting my camera out for takeoff, the lady in the middle seat next to me pulls out a camera twice the size of mine, with a lens three times the size of mine. And she was very clearly intending on taking pictures out the window that I was fully planning on occupying. Needless to say, I got more pictures than she did. Like, are you serious? You want to take pictures out the window with a $4000 camera and you pick a middle seat? Thankfully, she went to sleep shortly after takeoff.
Got into Chicago, went through a lengthy wait for customs, then had to go back through security again in order to barely make it to my flight to Cincinnati in time.
Arrived in Cincinnati very late, and that was the end of that.
What a cool trip this was!
This really was a great introduction to traveling in Mexico, and I can guarantee it won't be my last time in the mainland of the country. Yeah, I had a quick stop in Cozumel in 2017 on a cruise to the edge but that hardly counts. I feel, after doing this trip, like I would be far more comfortable with going back to Mexico on a trip on my own (i.e. not part of an organized group). It's definitely not as easy as, say, booking a flight to Orlando. But it's worth the effort, worth learning a bit of Spanish, and worth the flight well to the south!
I loved visiting the parks we visited, but as I'd expected, the cultural experience was probably even more important. And that's the best advice I can give to anyone heading to Mexico. Go to a beach resort if you must, but try to make time to visit the real part of the country. See the cities, see the museums, and yes, see the theme parks. But more than anything, just walk around and explore, as long as you're doing so safely. It's such a great experience to be somewhere different. That's what travel is all about.
But, let's be honest -- Medusa was still perhaps the biggest single highlight of the trip. I'm not surprised that it ranked so highly in the recent TPR coaster poll, but #1 steel is an amazing accomplishment! I can certainly suspect that our 2015 trip had something to do with it.
Thanks to Robb and Elissa for making my third trip with the group an awesome one. I'm up to five now and still going so obviously they're doing something right. And thanks to the rest of the group for being cool to hang with. This might have been the smallest group trip in a while but we all got along great. Some really fun shared experiences, for sure.
So, will I move right on to the 2016 Europe trip report? Not likely soon, as my travel schedule is pretty nuts from now through September. I will, however, try to wrap up that mini-report I was doing on the 2017 US trip before I head out again!
Now, go eat worms...
From a gift shop at the Mexico City airport, I am very amused by this Mexican knock-off Lego version of Air Force One.
Waiting to board.
Please tell me my luggage is in there.
Leaving the terminal.
Rode on this train before getting on my plane! It was fun!
Cool bridge thing for the terminal-to-terminal trains.
A final view of the Benito Juarez airport.
Lifting off over the city.
Smaller cities on the edge of the metro area...
...fading into mountains further away.
Clouds in the sky.
A coastal area south of Tampico, Mexico.
Looking down at the Pánuco River near Tampico.
Wide view over Houston, Texas.
Rows upon rows of clouds.
Hey, if you know where to look, Six Flags St. Louis is in this shot!
Chicago off in the distance.
Fermilab! Yay science!
Coming down into O'Hare.
Another view of Chicago from the airport.
It's dark and I'm headed out on my last flight of the trip.
A terrible airborne picture of downtown Chicago at night.
The gridded lights are seriously awesome.
Oh, and there's Midway, an airport I've yet to visit -- though that should change in a couple weeks.
As usual, Cincinnati's airport is deserted late at night.
And that does it for the trip (and for the short self-indulgent travel photo set at the end). Thanks to everyone who read the stories along the way!
Great report! I considered hitting that indoor mall in the event thunderstorms prematurely ended my Six Flags Mexico visit last weekend, but fortunately the weather held out. Looks like a decent little Tivoli coaster.
Great seeing the rest of your TR Andy. This is tempting me to finish my 2015 Japan TR. Also I would never thought about using rollercoasters as an excuse to visit Mexico DF until TPR visited and documented it and now with Medusa Steel Coaster being the top ranked steel coaster in the World Mexico is even more on my radar. Of course I want to experience all the cultural and culinary things as well and might want to visit Guadalajara as well after reading this report.
http://coaster-count.com/userinfo15854.xhtml and http://www.coastercounter.com/805Andrew (I don't count traveling fairs and casinos as parks, and I count Coney Island as one park)[url=http://www.clubtpr.com][img]http://www.clubtpr.com/images/memberbanners/07c56b6e6c57795b5e848cab51dd406e.jpg[/img][/url][url=http://www.clubtpr.com][img]http://www.clubtpr.com/images/memberbanners/4bcb6d715cbe293b80fdfea5d0baf0b0.jpg[/img][/url]
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