Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rockin’ and Rollin’

Ok, ok I know the post titles are getting cheesy, so sue me.

Right, I’d just sworn off wooden coasters for life and decided that if I was going to be hurtling around a track in many and varied directions at the very least I was going to do it sitting down.

Next up was the Vortex. Bit of weird one this one. Imagine a phone cord stretched out and that’s what the track is like, except that it goes out and then comes back around itself, something like two phone cords stretched out and wrapped around each other. Plus it’s over one of the artificial lakes at the park, so it’s pretty too, what you can see of the view as you’re hurtling along and around. My recovery from this one was quite quick, I thought I was getting my coaster legs by this point. But then Wookiee convinced me to go on the Bat.

The queue for this was huge and was essentially under the track, so all the time you were queuing you got to see the faces and hear the screams of the people riding it. Twice Wookiee asked me if I was sure but there was no way I was backing out one I was in the queue, I do have a modicum of pride.

Now the Bat is a there and back again coaster, quite short really. Simply put they crank the cars, backwards from the loading stage, up to the top of this huge drop, pause for a moment and then drop you. You swoosh down the slope, through the loading area, out the other side, through a couple of loops and swirls and up another huge slope, as you start to lose momentum the system grabs the cars and pulls them the rest of the way to the top of the slope. This is where it differs from a regular coaster as you are now at the END OF THE TRACK. The system pauses for another OMGAWD moment and then drops you again. BACKWARDS. Off you hurtle doing the whole track in reverse.

Believe me when I say I had trouble getting my legs to work well enough just to get out of my seat at the end of the ride. I did enjoy it, but I was so wobbly and more than a little nauseous that a hot dog just wasn’t going to cut it this time (NOTE: the nausea that I get from thrill rides is most easily cured by some food, weird I know). This called for...


Well dammitall I AM British.

Fortunately there was a little stand selling hot drinks and cookies, so I got a very large tea and two maple, walnut and cherry cookies and sat down on the nearest stable surface to consume them, while Wookiee hunted up the nearest hot dog stand for his second of the day.

Stability restored we decided to browse the nearby gift shoppe to see what was on offer. That was when we discovered that, because it was their last opening day of the season, everything was half price. So I picked up the requisite snow globe for my collection (don’t ask, maybe one day I’ll explain that one, possibly even with photographs), a large stuffed moose (because it’s Canada, and hey, moose, and also cuddly, and stuffed plush moose are cute), and Wookiee bought several ChupaChups lollies.

These purchases then had to be delivered to the locker for safekeeping, and we were back on the coaster trail.

The last one of the day for me was Dragon Fire. A very conventional coaster but still fun. Wookiee went on it twice while I sat and waited for him. At this time the sun was going down and it started to get cold, very very cold. Because it had been very warm when we arrived at the park (by our standards anyway, I was actually worried about getting burned while we were waiting to get into the park), we were only wearing t-shirts and hadn’t got anything else with us. Wookiee was ok but I was freezing, so we hit the shops again. I picked up a great fleece jacket, also half price, with a discreet park logo embroidered on the front, for a measly £7.50 (12.50 CAD+tax). Thus warmed, off we went again.

By now we’d actually done a full circuit of the park and there was only about an hour to go before closing. I’d seen a couple of places selling these HUGE funnel cakes with ice cream and strawberries and decided I had to have one before we left. Wookiee wanted to go on Top Gun again, so he rode while I ate, in fact he rode twice and I was just finishing my cake as he disembarked for the second time.

We had another quick peek at the queue for the Italian Job, but it was still huge so we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.

Tomorrow: Stratford and beyond.