Canobie Coaster wrote:Sky Streak/Titan always intrigued me. It looked like that ride could give some nice air.
Oh, it does, but it's a little strange because it's like the hills aren't shaped quite right. That will be in the next update!
djcoastermark wrote:Oh, the boot looking wheel ride was a Chance Sky Diver.
bert425 wrote:that "rotating boot" wheel is a classic carnival midway ride!
Thanks guys! That ride is a definite "no" from me!
DirkFunk wrote:The trip over to Boblo is still definitely possible - you jump on a small car ferry in Amherstburg, ON and it's a 5 minute ride over to the dock for the residential area. As a non-resident, you sign a release form, turn left at the Anchor statue, and you'll be in the old park in a few minutes. Lots of wacky stuff is left from the old power house to the big docks to the Observation Tower (!).
I might just have to do this some day. Maybe a Windsor/Amherstburg/Boblo day trip if I'm home in Michigan!
Heading northbound from downtown Guadalajara, we found our way to the next theme park on our agenda -- Selva Mágica. Translating roughly to "magic jungle" or "magic forest," the park is one of several underneath the Ventura Entertainment umbrella, which also includes La Feria in Mexico City. The two parks have some similarities -- both are relatively small, and both have an assortment of oddball flats and relocated coasters. As we'd find, however, Selva Mágica's better operations and relaxed feel were much more to our liking.
We started the day with film sessions on the park's three operating coasters, beginning with a lengthy run on Bullet. When TPR visited Selva Mágica in 2013, Bullet's track and trains had just arrived -- presumably from its former home in the UK. In 2015, the one-of-a-kind ride was up and running!
From there, we headed to another relocated coaster -- the one teased very heavily in the preceding Boblo Island post. Formerly known as Sky Streak, the coaster now known as Titan provided some rather interesting rides. We finished the coaster run on Tornado, another Schwarzkopf with an interesting history. I'll get into that a bit more in the ride reviews below.
After riding the three coasters -- and noting that the park's other two coasters were not going to be operating -- we made our way to our group lunch. Once that was finished, we had a date with Alicia! Perhaps the most famous theme park attraction in all of Mexico, Alicia opened herself up to us, and we headed in. How was the experience? Read on to find out!
We checked out a few more attractions along the way, including Cataratas (giant bouncy slide) and Los Troncos (log flume). Finishing off with a few more rides on Bullet and Titan, we left the park in the mid-afternoon.
If I'd had another hour or two, I would have loved to check out the adjacent Guadalajara Zoo, which looks like a really nice zoo by any standard! The zoo was much busier than Selva Mágica -- we didn't really run into any waits throughout our day.
After we left the park, we did some more exploring around downtown, which was covered in the last full trip report segment. That ended our time in Guadalajara!
It's always a huge plus when a park just seems to have their stuff together, especially with regards to the details surrounding a visit by a group like ours. Selva Mágica did great, which was a huge contrast to La Feria, which was a bit of a cluster. We had plenty of time for filming and other activities in a well-structured day, and even got a private group tour through the innards of Alicia!
Selva Mágica has an interesting assortment of attractions, though there certainly isn't one huge star attraction to drive a visit to the park by itself. Bullet's the best, and it's more than just a curiosity -- it's a legitimately good coaster. Overall, though, the coaster collection is more remarkable for its quirkiness than for its aptitude. There's some odd flats, much like at La Feria and Six Flags Mexico -- a Nao de China looping boat, a magic carpet, a log flume, and the nigh-impossible bouncy slide. There's also some of the other Mexican park staples -- a dolphin show, a wacky shack, and a year-round haunt. Since our visit, Selva Mágica has added a ropes course (which looks really nice) and VR on Titan (which, well, yeah). I have to preface my one complaint about our visit by noting that we were there during what was obviously not the peak season for the park. With that said, there were several attractions that weren't operating, in various states of repair. Certainly more than you'd like to see.
In a non-TPR-group setting, this is probably a fun half-day park. Unlike the stressful environment at La Feria, though, you'd actually enjoy that half day quite a bit! What do you do with the other half of the day? If I'm ever back there, I'm hopping over to the zoo. That's a pretty impressive one-two punch of major attractions on the north end of Guadalajara.
Bullet: Selva Mágica's star attraction is a coaster that's way more fun than it deserves to be. Bullet's a strange little thing -- sort of like if a standard Schwarzkopf shuttle loop got twisted up into a knot. You've got the banked track through the station, the intense vertical loop around the station, and two drive-tire spikes at either end of the circuit. What simply doesn't make sense to me is this -- why is there only one version of Bullet, when there are literally dozens of vastly inferior Vekoma boomerangs? I will never understand. Bullet's one issue is the rather uncomfortable accordion-style shoulder restraints, but that didn't stop me from riding 14 times. Click here for Robb's video from our filming session.
Bullet has had a storied history. Built in the early 80s, it started out at Wiener Prater in Austria, then went to Boardwalk and Baseball in Florida, then into the European fair circuit. It found a home at Flamingo Land in the UK from 1991 to 2005, and was finally installed in its new home at Selva Mágica in 2013.
Titan: Finally, that whole Boblo Island post should make sense to everybody! I saw this coaster with my own eyes when I visited Boblo in the late 80s, but was much too young to ride. Crazy to think that over 25 years later, I'd finally get to try it out, and I'd have to go to Mexico to do it. This coaster was built at Boblo Island in 1973, and re-installed at Selva Mágica in 1994, shortly after Boblo's closing. The ride was made by Sansei Yusoki, a company who is now more well-known as majority owner of S&S (and now Vekoma as well). Yep, they built a coaster well before those alliances were formed!
As for the ride, Titan uses an almost laughably simple out-and-back layout, but it's the hills that make the experience. I really don't know how else to describe it, but it's like the contours of the hills weren't designed with any sort of mathematical principles in mind. Depending on where you're sitting in the train, it makes for some very uneven and unexpected airtime. It's like it's good for the wrong reasons! Oh, and we all enjoyed the epic "straight bit" near the end of the ride, which has seemingly no reason to exist. My Boblo pictures prove that this wasn't part of a themed tunnel or anything. It was just as baffling in Canada as it is in Mexico.
Tornado: Yet another Schwarzkopf that's been around the block. It'd take a coaster veteran to have seen this one in its original home at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, where it opened in 1975 as Glissade. When it moved south, it actually opened first at La Feria, before heading west to Selva Mágica in 2002. It's one of only three Schwarzkopf spiral lift rides still operating in North America, along with Whizzer (SFGAm) and Jet Star 2 (Lagoon). It can't compare to Whizzer, which is much longer, but it's still a pretty fun ride (with a pretty awkward seating arrangement).
Cataratas: These bouncy slides are evil. They are not as easy as they look, and they don't even look particularly easy. Good luck getting down without embarrassing yourself. The good news (or bad news) was that unlike the one at La Feria, adults were allowed here!
Los Troncos: This is actually a decent little log flume! Just ... be very, very careful with how you sit in the boats, especially on the big drop. I'll share the story of my mishap in the captions. Robb, do you have pictures of this?
Alicia En Sus Años De Juventud: Oh my, how do you describe a walk-through attraction that explores the insides of a young pregnant woman? Well, I guess that'll do. Anyone who isn't familiar with Alicia should go watch TPR's video from 2013, like, yesterday. I will say that Alicia was in somewhat a state of disrepair during our visit -- some signs of wear (poor girl) and a few effects not working properly. Looked like she could use to have the cobwebs cleaned out. Still didn't keep it from being one of the most bizarre theme park attractions I've ever seen. I guess it's supposed to be educational, but to my eyes and immature sensibilities, it's just too weird to accept at face value!
After our meeting with Alicia, we tried out the evil bouncy slide, Cataratas.
Calling it a "slide" is generous because whatever material it's made out of, it's not easy to get down.
First, a walk up the stairway to the top.
It's a nice view over the north end of Selva Mágica's property!
But, it's a tough go to get down, and those drop-offs are steeper than you'd think.
Pretty sure those at the ground are laughing at us still on the way.
Well, I have to say, it was an interesting experience.
Now, let's take a walk and see what else Selva Mágica has to offer. I like this dolphin fountain near the main entrance!
Trees blooming all over the park.
A gathering point for earthquake threats, presumably far enough away from anything that might topple over.
A marble-rolling game that looks almost like a low-tech version of Fascination.
The park has a selection of flat rides, and like La Feria and Six Flags Mexico, some of them are a little bit out of the ordinary. This one is a Downdraft or something similar.
Here's a standard swinging pirate ship.
A spinny flat ride in the kids area.
A few more low-key flats in the kids area at the north end of the park.
Nao de China, a looping boat ride, basically identical to the one at La Feria.
Sadly, the Huss Megadance was pretty much disassembled in 2015. I no longer see the ride on the park's website, so I think it's gone.
Some, uh, interesting artwork on the Megadance.
This park also has a year-round haunt -- La Casa del Terror de Freddy. Presumably Krueger, but I didn't go in, so I don't know for sure.
La Casa del Terror was described as small, but dark and entertaining!
Hey, how about some more coaster pics? Let's head back to Bullet!
Bullet starts out on the back spike.
Guests in the front car, waiting for the start of the ride.
After going through the station, Bullet makes a big turn...
...before completing a vertical loop /over/ the station! Find me another coaster that does that!
The train then heads up the back spike...
...where it slows for just a moment before doing the entire thing again in reverse.
Up at the top of Bullet's double-spike.
Drive tires! Yay!
This might not be the most advantageous location to build a nest...
A fun look at just how tilted the train is as it leaves the station.
Rounding the curve...
...and heading into the vertical loop.
Again, I ask, why are there not more of these? Why did this /not/ get cloned when Boomerangs did?
Heading out of the inversion.
A quick spin underneath the station.
Zooming past the palm trees.
Shoot the moon.
Round the curve.
Behind the spike. Bullet's a pretty great ride.
Next up, a run on the park's log flume -- Los Troncos.
It's a pretty standard flume -- a decent ground-level run through the woods, followed by a single lift and drop.
The splashes were not overly large, but still made for some good pictures.
And everyone ends up smiling at the end anyway.
A wider look at the drop on Los Troncos.
Hm, maybe that is a good bit of water. Am I sure I want to ride this myself?
They look a little wet.
About to make impact.
Kicking up water at the bottom.
The boat is in there somewhere!
Log #3 checks in.
Log #8 laughs.
Log #2 is kind of damp.
Log #7 is in disbelief!
Our next contestants on Los Troncos ... Nozzy and Caesar!
Doing a little photography on the way to the lift hill.
A bit of grit-your-teeth excitement...
That looks kind of uncomfortable, actually.
Yeah, hold your nose.
Hoping they didn't swallow any.
And now it's just funny!
Thanks guys for testing the thing out for me!
So, here's what happened. I decided to go on as a solo rider, hoping a light boat would keep the splash at a manageable level, as I wasn't particularly interested in a mid-day shower. I had my feet kicked up against the sides of the boat, trying to avoid the water sloshing around at the bottom. Unfortunately, I didn't account for the lack of friction that would provide once I hit the bottom of the drop, and I wasn't holding on very tight. Once the boat hit the splash and started to slow down, my unrestrained self flew from the back of the boat to the front of the boat, my head ramming on the padding attached to the front of the seating area. I actually scraped up my knee pretty good on the bottom of the boat, too. Thankfully, I had Elissa there ready to go with first aid, as I was all about disinfecting whatever was trying to enter my bloodstream from that Guadalajara log flume water! Several TPR people saw the incident, and there may even be pictures, but I haven't seen them!
Alright, back to the pictures, and what's going on at the turnaround on Titan?
Looks like a quick break for some maintenance.
Thankfully, Titan was up and running in no time.
Before we left, Nozzy got a few more rides on Bullet, and I was there to capture the fun.
That's some excitement.
Nozzy enters the loop...
...Nozzy rounds the loop...
...Nozzy exits the loop.
Looking for a spot for some quick aerial photography before we took off, I hobbled my way back up the bouncy slide, taking in this side view of Bullet from the top.
Oh, and there's Titan not far away.
Looking down into the park, there's a scrambler and a pirate ship...
...and Freddy's house of terror!
Meanwhile, Alicia's still just kind of laying there.
Had to take in the view over the city as well.
This is mainly a residential area west of the park.
That's a lot of satellite dishes.
More Guadalajara homes, heading up the hill.
Views up on a distant hillside to the northeast.
Mexico is a hilly place, and Guadalajara is no exception.
This is the most interesting geographic feature in the area, though.
These huge cliffs stand at the edge of La Barranca de Oblatos -- a huge canyon carved by the Río Grande de Santiago.
The canyon is out of view, well below those cliff faces.
In some places, the canyon is as much as 2,000 feet deep! There are hiking trails through the area, and if I ever make it back to Guadalajara, I might want to check it out.
An interesting vehicle seen on the way out of Selva Mágica.
Here's a mural that stands near the entrances to Selva Mágica and the Guadalajara Zoo.
It's not very peaceful.
I didn't get into the zoo, but I got a picture of the sign on the wall!
This fountain outside the zoo is pretty awesome.
All of the water elements are animal heads, carved in stone.
Snails and fish are also represented!
I guess I did get one animal picture. A nice little bird.
Seen on the way back to the city -- a torch to commemorate Mexico's 1968 Summer Olympics.
Another colorful, historic church on the way home.
OK, one last picture of Bullet eclipsing the sun. That's it for Selva Mágica, and that's it for Guadalajara!
Great photos and report, Andy. As for your log-flume story, a similar thing happened to myself and a friend of mine on the Log Jammer at Mariott's Great America in California when we were in high school. We didn't injure ourselves, but it scared the crap out of us.
That jumbo bouncy slide looks impossible, but so unique I'd still want to give it a try. It'll be frustrating to see the one at La Feria in a few weeks and not be able to ride it since my understanding is that La Feria's is only for kids.
Also that straight track section... And I thought it seemed out of place on Ride of Steel.
Great photos and report! It surprised me how nice of a park Selva Mágica actually is.
By the way, Alicia has been removed. They seem to be overhauling the kiddie land, and Alicia was nowhere to be found during my visit at the end of 2017. Too bad! But it's always good that there is a lot of maintenance going on.
cfc wrote:Great photos and report, Andy. As for your log-flume story, a similar thing happened to myself and a friend of mine on the Log Jammer at Mariott's Great America in California when we were in high school. We didn't injure ourselves, but it scared the crap out of us.
That's the fun of having a ride with no restraints -- if you aren't careful you'll take it in the chin!
Canobie Coaster wrote:It'll be frustrating to see the one at La Feria in a few weeks and not be able to ride it since my understanding is that La Feria's is only for kids.
Yep, unfortunately that was the case in 2015. Can't hurt to try if you're gonna be there, though.
fatdaddy wrote:Your camera makes my head look big! Great shots, that was an awesome trip!
Hahaha. But the camera doesn't lie!
Itachi wrote:By the way, Alicia has been removed. They seem to be overhauling the kiddie land, and Alicia was nowhere to be found during my visit at the end of 2017. Too bad! But it's always good that there is a lot of maintenance going on.
This isn't overly surprising, but sad to hear it's true. There was a little bit of talk about that possibility during our 2015 visit, but I didn't want to mention it since I wasn't sure if it was just speculation or not. She wasn't in the greatest shape 3 years ago, but still, it was one of the most unique (and strange) theme park attractions I've ever seen.
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