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ONE WEEK AT UM: PAGE 4
by Gary Radice
Article: Added October 2004
Swings and Roundabouts
UM has its fair share of these nestled away in the foliage.
Right, where do I start?
China has: -
1) Cobra Imperial. Think the Southport Pleasureland's Caterpillar ride without the canopy but much quicker. This animal has bite.
2) Tea Cups. Always a pleaser.
3) Fu-Manchu. Large chairoplanes. Those that go up and down as well.
Mexico has: -
1) Tono De Pacal (Pacal's Throne?). Also called a Rainbow ride I think (I'm no expert on these things - it's a Giant whirling arm that spins six times one way and a few times the other).
2) Yucatan. A Snake with a dragon's head that goes around in circles. Similar to a Bayern Curve type of ride.
3) Serpiente Emplumada. Think Blackpool's now defunct monster ride but faster and spinnier although it doesn't go as high. Spew inducing.
Far West has: -
1) Carrousel. Aaah, your family gallopers.
2) Volpaiute. Spinning cups on a base that lifts up at an angle and delivers spin (see picture right).
3) Crazy Barrels. Spin and more spin.
Polynesia has: -
1) Waikiki. Childrens chairoplane.
2) Loco-Loco Tiki. Kids version of a giant whirling arm.
3) Kon-Tiki Wave. A Galleon that seems to go higher and higher.
I would like to mention here Wild Buffalos in the Far West section. Dodgems to you and I. Approx 30 cars on an enormous area...great to drive...no queues...You could reverse in them easily as well. Kids have their own version...Buffalo Rodeo.
I should also mention Los Potrillos. Kids horses a la Steeplechase at BPB without the bumps. Neat.
Canoes. Kids version of The Log Flume. One tiny hill and a bit of a track.
Armadillos. Think a ladybird ride with...armadillos.
Oh and there is the steam train that takes you from the starting point in Mediterrania to The Far West.
Unless of course The Far West segment is closed (i.e. before noonish) in which case you get off where you got on.
It's fun to look at the riders' bemused faces. You can almost hear everyone saying: "All that queuing up for what? We're back where we started!"
Heh! Heh! Rapid transport systems.
There is also a boat that transports you to various parts of the park but queuing times can be long and besides getting a good view of the Kon-Tiki Wave galleon ride themagiceye recommends you give it a miss if time is short.
Right, well that's all the rides mentioned...er...Have I mentioned Dragon Khan yet??
On the coach from the airport, the rep claimed that if we all looked out of the window as we approached Salou we would be able to see the tallest roller coaster in the world.
Everybody looked out at Dragon Khan in the distance and gasped. I felt like standing up, grabbing his mike and pushing him over before informing everyone that the rep must have brilliant eyesight if he could see Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, Ohio, USA from where he was sitting. But that would have been a bit, well, anoraky, and not the done thing on the first day of a holiday.
(Update: As at June 2005 Kingda Ka at Six Flags New Jersey USA is now the tallest roller coaster.)
It's a great but intense ride. Words of warning: Do not go on (as themagiceye did) following a glass of beer.
To be fair, themagiceye has a problem with intense rides like this. Personal you understand. Something to do with the fact that two revolutions are enough before the old body begins to feel it's had enough.
However, amongst the majority of coaster enthusiasts out there and those who rode it when themagiceye did, this ride is considered up there with the best. A magnificent technical achievement and a great addition to an excellent park.
For the roller coaster statisticians out there, the ride consists of eight inversions, reaches speeds of 65mph over a course of 4,165 feet and lasts for one minute 45 seconds. There are two loops, one dive loop, one zero G roll, one cobra roll and interlocking corkscrews (this courtesy of the great Roller Coaster Database website).
To s(UM) up:
A Great park that is beautifully presented.
Brilliant Woodies...Mr Wardley you did good.
Slow/undermanned on the food stalls when themagiceye was there but always a "smiling, happy service".
Great Fast Pass on less crowded days.
Could do with a dark ride or two.
Chances are you will have great weather.
You will get wet on the water rides.
Slightly too scary at Halloween for young children.
Hated the way a section of the park was closed until late morning.
I believe some rides don't operate when it is windy.
Average shows on the whole...Wild West Stunt show was by far the best of the bunch.
Very good value souvenirs for sale.
Hurakan, a 100 metre high drop ride manufactured by Intamin is currently being built (June 2005 Update: now operating) and will be situated next to Tempo del Feugo in the Mexico area.
themagiceye will certainly go out and back again in a few years time..!!