The next day was spent at Drayton Manor after some morning ERT at Alton on Air and Nemesis. I don't know if it was the lack of ERT at Drayton, the rain, or the new management, but the park seemed to really be different than last time, and not in a good way. I had a much better time back in 2002, but rode less and was stuck in the park with loads of school kids. This time the park was empty, we rode pretty much everything in the park, and still didn't really feel like we were having a lot of fun.
G Force was the newest coaster at the park, taking the place of the Pinfari looper. I wish the Pinfari was still there instead
The X-car was just painful with its constricting and restraining restraints
Nicole scores the Super Dragon
I finally got to ride the Intamin version of a frisbee. Good stuff
Shockwave, still being painted, but no longer sponsored by 7-up
The only standup zero-g roll. Not a painful element, or coaster for that matter, just not really thrilling
I was thinking about riding this...
But after the drenching ride at Alton and seeing this, I opted out
The Pirates of the Caribbean rip-off had no wait
The hottest action this pirate has seen in quite a while. Oh to be that pirate
This ride was new since 2002
Malaria Lake 3: Jacuzzi Springs
Still one of the best drop towers out there. Sadly it was running at really terrible capacity mode
Nicole was starting to get homesick
The Zamperla Buffalo Coaster wasn't a very thrilling powered coaster
Yeah, here's your vertical loop shot for the day
Tommy and James enjoy the shooting darkride, one of the best rides in the park
"Quack! Take us with you, we won't poop on everything like we do here!"
James enjoys his 19th Rollover for the day before the bus departs early for Blackpool
After Drayton Manor, the next day had a few hours at Southport before heading back to Blackpool. I was really looking forward to Southport, since it was so cool the last time I was there. Of course, a lot has changed in 4 years; the flying scooters were in pieces, the ghost train didn't spin anymore, the helter skelter slide and wacky indoor whip-like ride were removed, and 2 coasters were closed. The wheel in the funhouse was still there though, and I'm sure it was great, but I didn't wear socks that day, so I couldn't partake.
Everyone died on the wheel, pretty much
King Solomon's Mines was still really scary and fun, though the restraints hurt when 2 people ride together
We had ERT on this bad boy
Ted and Catrina enjoyed their ride together on this wooden mouse
Dave takes a dive filled with airtime
The original dark dark dinosaur was filled with random oddities
Guess we won't be riding any flyers today
Cyclone also gave us some ERT. Too bad it was running kinda sluggish
Looks like the lift was constructed by old Lazy Eye
The park had a few dark rides. Too bad the Ghost Train didn't spin anymore, and the haunted swing was closed
James forgot sunscreen, so he took this umbrella. No one expected the weather would be nice in England for once
The Traumatizer was also closed. Too bad?
Nicole still managed to get a few credits, like this Wacky Worm
Loaded to the gills with random theming and a photo drop
Southport got a new rotating Ferris Wheel
Very strange looking ride
With 2 credits closed and little crowds, we devoured this park and still had time to go bowling
After Southport, we headed back to Blackpool for some ERT on Big Dipper. After that was a credit run to South Pier for some people, where I finally experienced the evil super spinning Waltzer there. Riding when we did worked to our benefit, Nicole and I were the only ones on the ride and the ride ops were double teaming our tub, spinning it at unbelievable speeds. It was the most insane spinning ever, and my neck really hurt.
The following day would take us back to Blackpool, a park I still can't seem to get enough of. Its so classic and historical, with ride upon ride upon ride. I pitied the people there for the first time who went off on their own, as even I was still having trouble remembering what was where. Blackpool is definitely in my top 3 parks in the world and has some great coasters and darkrides too.
The time at Blackpool started off with some ERT on Big Dipper
Nicole liked the classic feel to the station with the fountains and such
This trash can offered a warning to people like Dave and Bret "don't fall over me while gawking at all the dark rides"
Tommy and James enjoyed the "carousel spinny coaster" I mean Crazy Mouse at South Pier. Sadly the guy would not pull the pin for us
The best flatride experience ever!
The ride ops really enjoy making you spin even more than you normally would
Ride ops would come from other rides just to spin people, but no one had a ride quite like Nicole and I
Dinner was held at Coasters, I got the salmon, which was awesome!
Our very posh hotel room at Big Blue. I could have slept on the floor with the heat on and it would have been better than Pontins
Here for 3 nights, so I got settled in with my beers
The following morning would give us ERT on Steeplechase, but only 2 sides were running
Roller coaster was also ours for ERT, shame they added seat belts
Bling was also opened for us. It looks better than it is
It didn't flip enough for my tastes, nor did it spin fast enough. Gimme a TopScan over this any day
The Big One was also a ERT gift. Would we have anything left to ride when the park actually opened?!
No one was interested in riding Tommy's Big One
Big One wasn't too bad, and the first drop is fantastic
Finally, Avalanche opened to close out our ERT. This is the shortest but the most insane of the Mack Bobsleds
A few of us actually rode Space Invader 2 before it broke down, too bad its just a retheme of the original, with different trains
The Wild Mouse really impressed me this time
Unique layout and awesome airtime
Just one of the many darkrides, Noah's Ark is much better than the redo Kennywood did
Lots of neat tricks and a long walkthru
James is preparing for next September's TPR trip to Japan
It may be the only vertical loop in Blackpool, but I still love the park
The crew scores the last credit at Blackpool before lunchtime
And then we head to the greatest ride ever built, Valhalla!
Next to Valhalla is the old Vikingar wooden shoot the chutes, or whats left of it...as the boneyard for Blackpool rides of yesteryear
Time for the darkride tour, with goodies such as the Gold Mine
And Trauma Towers, complete with a secret ride at the end!
Don't forget the River Caves, a really nicely themed old mill
Next we'll head to the Circle Swings
It dried us off nicely after Valhalla with its intense speed
and offers a really nice view of the park
Next up, the Derby Racer. Too bad it doesn't actually race anymore
Before evening ERT, we just HAD to finally get our 99s
Tommy needs another ride on the Wild Mouse, solo for the best airtime
Too bad the park closed so early, I could have so spent another 5 hours here
The following day was split at 2 parks, Lightwater Valley and Flamingoland, both of whom offered us ERT sessions.
Lightwater Valley hadn't really changed since 2002, except they removed the Bat Flyer and log flume and replaced them with 2 other coasters, a Wacky Worm and a Pinfari Galaxi. Lightwater is a strange park, with lots of walking to actually get to rides, then lots of empty spaces. There's a nice wooded area, and then the rest of the park is essentially in a field. The big draw here is the Ultimate, an inhouse built terrain minetrain of randomness. What is it the ultimate of, waste of steel? oddity? combination of 2 extremes, sleep and insanity? Whatever it is, its messed up!
After walking by the greenhouse, here's the park entrance
And here's the big draw to the park the Ultimate
World's slowest lift
You know its an inhouse creation when they need a "3rd lift" to get it back into the station
Rat Ride is an indoor Wildcat, built underground
The Grizzly is one of the newest coasters, a Pinfari Galaxy
Casey doesn't look too sure about this, especially with the gas cans in the backseat
Ladybird is an RCT-type Tivoli
Everyone is smiles on this ride, unlike in 2002! =)
Also fairly new is the Caterpillar Coaster, a kiddie
Rock on, Dave!
"now where the heck is the Toad Hole?"
That answers that question
Now exactly WHAT is the Toad Hole?
Its essentially a shuttle shoot the chutes
That ends up in this Malaria Lake 4: Toad Hole Basin
It left me more dumbfounded than the pseudo-hamburger we had for lunch that day
They also had one of these, but we didn't ride it because they loaded it slower than Gwazi
Flamingoland, on the other hand, changed a LOT since 2002. They got rid of 2 awesome Schwarzkopf coasters (not that anyone besides Joe would care anyway, and he was too busy filing papers to even go on the trip, so who cares about him ) as well as the indoor Pinfari Thunder Mountain. But at the same time they added a bunch of cool rides like the Disk-O, and 2 great Vekomas (is that even possible to say!?). The park's also been getting better and better theming.
Here we is, and not an hour late!
The booster bike, Velocity, was a really cool Vekoma coaster
Even BIG girls could ride!
The park wasn't crowded either, so it didn't take 45 minutes to ride this kiddie coaster
I opted to sit this one out, thank you very much
The Wild Mouse was on stealth braking death mode
The oncologist in me didn't like the amount of red or the peeling back skin on this Brit, so I left her my business card
The Evolution was the worst flatride of the trip, with lots of uncomfortable hang time
I tried to tell these ninjas they should beat the crap out of the Evilution, but they ignored me
The Disk-O was actually working, that's like the first time I've actually seen one working lately!
Kumali was the surprise coaster of the trip, it was actually baby's butt smooth!
I guess 2 good, smooth Vekomas in 1 park will open up a time vortex to the 1980s and suck a few patrons thru the portal
"Hey, do you see what I see?"
Yup, loop and sideloop!
This is how you turn 1 vertical loop into 2, just add water
and the same can be done with sideloops too!
We even stumbled upon a darkride
See, I'm not lying!
It was themed to monster guys, and even had the fartometer like BubbleWorks used to
Of course, we had to find the infamous flamingos of Flamingoland
And we saw a random peacock wandering about
Finally we took the skyride over to ERT
With a quick stop at a very disappointing ride
Doesn't Nicole look hot in this picture? I'm thinking about getting her a motorcycle =)
A great end to a well planned and executed day at Lightwater and Flamingoland, unlike the ACE trip of 2002
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