|HOME ARTICLES GALLERIES ABOUT US FORUM LINKS CONTACT JOYLAND BOOKS|
ONE WEEK AT UM: PAGE 2
by Gary Radice
Article: Added October 2004
Tomahawk & Tami - Tami
themagiceye has always had a liking for the junior coasters of this world, but nothing prepared me for the greatness of Tomahawk, a junior woodie par excellence which kicks Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Zipper Dipper well into the shade.
A twenty minute wait was well worth the effort. This ride "kicked ass" from the minute it left the station.
It climbed what must be in excess of 40 feet, swooped, turned, rattled and rolled around the small layout but delivered air time, two 'head choppers' and offered up great views of the twisting Stampida track just to whet my appetite.
I loved this CCI ride and by the looks on all who rode her as the ride braked, so did everyone else.
Tami - Tami is an intense Verkoma steel coaster nestled away within the trees of Polynesia. An exact duplicate of a ride called The Mini Mine Train at Pleasure Island, Cleethorpes in the UK.
Short. Sharp. Enjoyable.
Stampida was always going to be top of my list for riding at UM.
Situated in the Far West themed area (where else?), it should have been just a short walk over the bridge from Mediterrania each morning. However each morning we would be greeted by a sign on the bridge saying: This (Far West) area opens at Noon (or something of that ilk).
I'm used to rides being shut but never entire areas of theme parks. Resource Management gone mad and just one thing that really annoyed me about this Park. Stopped from going over the bridge early morning by one smartly dressed (probably fed up and hassled) young lady, the wandering hoards had no choice but to walk through and experience the sights and sounds of Polynesia, China and then Mexico linking up with Far West a few hours later via the back route. Never Mind.
Let me explain the Fast Pass system: Because I stayed on site, my room key card was enough to allow me into the fast pass lane for the major attractions...And when you are allowed to use your room key card in this way - what an advantage! (I say WHEN because during a busy Saturday at the park we had to queue up with our room key card at a hut near the ride and be allotted a time to ride - it certainly wasn't as fast this way and more hassle.)
Fast Passes were on sale to the general public for about £10 a day.
Strangely Fast Pass entrances were nowhere near the official Queue Entrances. They seemed to be hidden some distance away behind a few bushes. Sometimes it was a task to find them!
Back to Stampida...We entered the Fast Pass lane and found ourselves in a rather dark area under the structure of the ride having to decide whether to go straight ahead for the Blue Train or take a right up some stairs for the Red Train. We chose Blue and found out later that this was the faster of the two trains.
Within five minutes we had been loaded onto the ride.
One thing I didn't like the look of was all the marker pen graffiti on the seats of the train. It wasn't pleasing on the eye and for a park like this disappointing in my opinion. My wife, however, thought it gave an edge to the ride (there's that word again).
Right. No messing around with this ride. The trains leave the station and straightaway (and very quickly) climb over 80 feet. They then take a right turn and, no matter which train you are in, give you just a few seconds to take in CCI Inc's wonderful twisting, turning 3000plus feet of track.
Then...WOW!...It's 'head chopper' time. Then not in any particular order. It turns to the right, the left, through a tunnel on a turn then drops...I felt it delivered an extremely rough ride with a fair share of air time. it rattled left and right. My back ached, the sky shook, the track rattled, the lapbar was gripped tighter...
If there was one problem I had with it though it was that I never felt I was in a race with the other train, unlike the Grand National at Blackpool. In fact it was only when the Red train came hurtling very closely past us in the opposite direction that I remembered that there was another train running. The 'Fly By' was a great touch though. Oh and somewhere along the track I noted Tomahawk swooping below us. Three trains running in the same enclosed space!
Overall impressions. Certainly not disappointed. Great ride (tried Red train after but preferred the Blue. Not too much difference in the overall ride). It was a very rough ride though (perhaps rougher than I had hoped) and like its little brother Tomahawk there was some very sudden braking at the end which jolted my body a little too much for my liking. But hey, who's complaining?
I skipped the on ride photo of myself which showed the full effect of the G Forces on my face. It looked like I should be plying my trade somewhere within the depths of Psycho Circus!
...My wife and daughter didn't think I looked any different!