Touring the stars

Very cool – Star Tours from the outside…  (this is the DLP version, link via ScreamScape.Com)

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Oakwood and the Blue Lagoon

inandoutNo, not that Blue Lagoon

I’m referring to the Waterpark at the new Bluestone resort in South Wales, which is conveniently located right next door to the Oakwood themepark.

After a great day at Oakwood, with light crowds and great weather (although one criticism would be that they were only running one car on Speed, it really needed a second to be added as it had the longest line in the park) – a day at Oakwood tends to be more about chilling out with friends than riding the rides – although the rides they do have are a nice quirky collection of attractions – dare I say “rabbits” – alongside one of the best wooden coasters in the UK and a notable example of the Eurofighter – which puts it’s counterpart at Thorpe Park to shame!

This is a stunning facility – far beyond anything I’ve seen elsewhere in South Wales, and is presented to a very high standard indeed – with a lazy river, spa pools, wave pool and several slides and chutes (some of which are pretty extreme…)

Saturday night also featured a Carribean Barbeque, which had good food being served poolside for a nice feel, and steel-drum versions of some fairly well known songs being played over the PA.

If you’re spending the day down at Oakwood, you could do far worse than spending an hour or two in the pool at Blue Lagoon afterwards to relax before heading home.

I came, I Saw, and finally, I rode.

P3170351 Note, this post does not include spoilers for Saw: The Ride’s storyline or theming.

Right, straight the point – I am not a fan of the “Saw” films – however the effort and attention-to-detail that has gone into Saw: The Ride speaks for itself.

Unfortunately it seems that the actual ride is a different ball game entirely.  To be blunt, it’s a rough beast.  In keeping with the nature of the films, it’s a torture machine, it’s painful, it beats you up.  Whether this is intentional, (as it does fit with the ride being one of Jigsaw’s hideous traps) I hope not.  The ride clearly needs some work…

As for the rest of the park, you have to wonder what they’ve been doing all winter, with a couple of major rides completely unprepared for the new season, the log flume, Slammer and Stealth all not available.  The new 3D film is frankly terrible – the sound is so poor you can’t hear what’s going on, and as such the storyline is utterly incomprehensible.

Todays photo gallery is here

Farewell Dreamland

In a terrible turn of events for the groups trying to save the historic Dreamland amusement park in Margate – today saw the destruction of the centrepiece of the park, the classic Scenic Railway in a fire which is apparently being described as “suspicious”.Deliberate

Now, this is a coaster I never made the (fairly long) trek to ride – and I now regret not doing so, as another ride which is part of the heritage and history of the amusement park has been lost. In recent years so much of the heritage of the British seaside has gone – with the loss of the Runaway at Rotunda, the traditional park at Southport, with it’s classic Cyclone coaster – lost to the chainsaws in 2006, and the recent closure of the park on Rhyl seafront.

We now only have one classic Scenic Railway left in the UK – at Great Yarmouth – there used to be loads of them.

More links to photos of this after the fold, but for now, a link to happier times at Dreamland, thanks to the ECC…, and a gallery of the ride in better times at RCDB.COM

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It’s only a few hundred miles.

P9070205 …with some ups and downs along the way

Well, it’s been an interesting week or so. Driving the best part of 900 miles in 5 days, visiting 5 themeparks, 1 snow-dome, and spending time with some friends. Overall it was a good week, although there were a few moments when things didn’t go quite to plan, and the strain of the journey took it’s toll… But anyway, on to the trip reports… Continue reading