Great trip report Chuck! It's bringing back some great Japan memories.
One thing though. I can't believe you found Bandit to be worse than White Canyon at Yomiuriland! My feelings after riding that (and even more-so after riding "Regina" at Tobu Zoo Park) were that I never want to hear a fellow coaster lover complain about Mean Streak at CP again!! You don't know what real pain is until you've experienced Japanese Wood! Regina took the title away from Son of Beast as the roughest woodie I've ever ridden. White Canyon & White Cyclone at Nagashima weren't far behind.
^Hmm--actually, I did prefer Bandit (especially "Splash" Bandit) to White Canyon, Rich. Sorry if I gave you the wrong impression, but my point was that White Canyon (ditto for Cyclone) wasn't as bad as I had been led to believe. Maybe I've just had a few rides too many on Kings Dominion's Grizzly (White Cyclone really wasn't any worse than that, I thought).
White Canyon was actually pretty smooth where I sat near the back IIRC. All that extra rollbar/cage padding was intimidating looking at first and prepared me for the worst, and then when it was over I was like that wasn't that bad. Not that it was great or anything, but I've certainly ridden much rougher wood...like Jupiter lol. Now that was a total letdown.
OK, I'm back from Knoebel's, so it's time again for the TR that just keeps on giving.
Chapter 6: TPR 2, Typhoon 1—Central Park, Tegarayama Yuen, and Kurashiki Tivoli Park
Mark Twain once said that everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it. Well, that’s not entirely true. Elissa and Robb did manage to get everybody back to Nagoya, even though a typhoon churning up the coast did do its best to see that we’d have to spend the night in a train station.
The day started out beautifully at Central Park, yet another mass of amusements up in the mountains of southern Japan. This quirky little park had five suitably quirky coaster credits—but those weren’t what interested me the most there.
Diavlo—What’s a nice B&M inverted like you doing in a rustic setting like this? Seeing this Batman clone here was like seeing Nemesis at, say, Knoebel’s; it just didn’t seem right. But it was damn good ride, fast and forceful, so no complaints.
Labyrinth—This was a sort of Wild Mouse with mine cars. Kind of rough, but still fun (lousy color scheme, though).
Jet Coaster—Yes, another one of those enormous, rambling family coasters that in no way resemble jets in flight (or dolphins, for that matter). OK, but nothing special.
Hurricane—A loop screw that’s OK through the former, but rough through the latter. If they took out those corkscrews and put in some airtime hills, they just might have something.
Imorinth—This was a standard Wacky Worm (and credit number 200 for me).
The park also had a first-generation Intamin Freefall that appeared to themed after a rusty oil derrick (a real “tower of terror”). Remember how these rides would pause for a moment then drop you? This one just shoves you over the edge and you plunge into sheer pain.
But the coolest attraction at Central Park was the Castle Guardians walk-and shoot! Yes, you’re given a pump-action “shot gun,” and trained in SWAT team tactics. You have to blast your way through three “practice” rooms before being sent on a mission to blast aliens! (Be sure not to blast any hostages!) Then you’re assigned a rank. How many “Silver Chieftains” and “Diamond Lords” are out there?
The “Shoking” Horror Museum walk through was pretty good, too, with plenty of surprises and red buttons to push. They actually give your group a flashlight (it’s pretty dark in there), and the biggest scare is when the op reaches out to take it back from you at the end.
Central Park also had a good mirror maze and a bizarre “fortune-telling” attraction. All in all, a nice place to spend a few hours.
Tegarayama Ruen, however, looked like a good place to pass up—a water park surrounded by a small amusement park, which was closed by the approaching typhoon, thus affording no amusement at all. We did not linger long.
Kurashiki Tivoli was more like it —a beautiful little family park modeled on Copenhagen’s legendary Tivoli Gardens. KidTums got her first credit there (as many of you probably know), thanks to the Tivoli Railroad (which slower than the average Wacky Worm). Odin Express, yet another “jet coaster,” was fun thanks to its eccentric layout that shared a mountain with the park’s rather odd, bone-dry log flume (which featured a spiral lifthill out of the station).
This “family” park also featured a fairly gory haunted walk though, in which your guide was a Viking who spoke Japanese (those Norsemen really got around), and the BEST SIMULATOR EVER—Ultraman! Yes, join the Science Patrol and help this Japanese super hero keep the world safe from guys in rubber monster suits.
After Tivoli, it was a race against a typhoon. Well, there was mostly race and wait against a typhoon. Long story short, Robb and Elissa’s quick action got us back to Nagoya before all the trains shut down. (Thanks again for that, Alveys!)
Next up—déjà vu all over again
This was the day's cause for concern.
But this sleep-deprived crowd in the hotel lobby doesn't seem too concerned.
Our bus driver was so unconcerned that he didn't even bother looking for the missing "e" in "Theme."
"Bw-a-a-a-a!" to your concerns!
See? No weather to be concerned about at Central Park.
Hurricane's loop is certainly no cause for concern. (Hmm--just dawned on me how ironic that name was.)
Now you have permission to be concerned!
Ow! Ow! Ow! Level of concern rising!
I'm Batma . . . er Diavlo!
You see? Nothing at all like Batman!
Now you may think this is some sort of wild mouse.
Actually, it's the staff's fitness trail.
This was the creepiest thing at Central Park.
Wait--I stand corrected!
It looks like Jeff really needs to find a squat toilet in this picture.
I don't have a sign, but this was credit no. 200--trust me. More to come from Central Park.
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