Thursday, June 6, 2013

Around The World In One and a Half Days - Part 2


This is the second part of my look at Worlds of Fun, stemming from my first ever visit to the park. If you missed the first part, it might make more sense to start here!

Heading down the Nile
One ride that I left out of the Africa section last time is the Fury of the Nile, the park's river rapids ride.  Those kids in the photo are a bit mad if you ask me, it was really cold that day!  Ahh, youth.  Anyway, the ride has some neat theming that helps set it apart from other rapids rides, including a nice tunnel section.

In the first part we looked at Scandinavia and Africa, which means we have several additional continents to cover today.  Next up is Americana, by far the largest section of the park and home to many thrilling rides and attractions.

Ready to strike!
If you enter Americana from the Africa section it won't take long to encounter the coaster that surrounds the length of one side of the park, Mamba.  With Dorney Park as my homebase I was curious to check out Mamba, since the coasters have obvious similarities and opened only one year apart.

Where's Thunderhawk? Wait a minute...
Even the entrance plaza set up is similar at Mamba when thinking of Steel Force, set up on a hill above the entrance below.  The queues are different, but the stations are generally the same only Mamba has some nice skylights. 

As for the ride, well I won't pick favorites but the experience was pretty much as I expected, and that's not at all in a bad way!

Oh you stinky gray clouds... go away!
Mamba is able to take advantage of the landscape of the park, including a longer second drop.  The helix portion is also unique, and I remember back when it opened there was much discussion of the head-choppers that take place, and I was pleased to see that they were just as described.  Makes you want to duck!

Another reason I hold back some judgement is that it was quite cold and very windy when I was there and Mamba was moving slow, really significantly slower than I've ever seen it run in videos, etc.  Something to look forward to on a future trip, I guess.

Everyone's favorite beagle.
Like so many of the Cedar Fair parks in the past few years, World of Fun also received a large expansion that turned their Camp Snoopy into Planet Snoopy.  The brightly colored area sits at the top of the park, up on a hill, tucked against Mamba and a couple other attractions.  That's one thing I didn't quite understand about Worlds of Fun before visiting, there really is more of an elevation change at the park than I ever expected.

Plenty of rides for kids in Planet Snoopy!
But back to the beagle.  Planet Snoopy is filled with tons of rides that families with smaller kids can ride together.  They really have a huge line-up of rides that are offered, a mix of older ones from the Camp days, and plenty of newer ones as well from when the makeover took place.  Like the other similar renovations throughout the chain you can still see some parts of the old, like the waterfall above, mixed in with the new.

Quick diversion to Europa.
Let's take a quick detour to Europa, which is a fairly small part of the park all things considered.  This part feels much older than some of Americana, and connects it to Africa right in the center of the property.  Above gives you a general view of the section, filled with some of the park's classic attractions, including Le Taxitour, a gas powered car ride, and the Autobahn, bumper cars.

Europa's Flying Dutchman
Europa is also home to the Moulin Rouge Theatre where I rested up for a bit and caught a performance of "Party Rockin' 40 Years".  The theatre is pretty tiny, but in my opinion that is what makes the experience so great.  No vast open space filled with seats here, you're right in front of the performers - plus the snack bar is a perfect touch.

Blasting up!
Okay, now that we quick hopped over to Europa there's plenty more Americana for us to explore.  Right up the hill near Planet Snoopy is one of the first rides that Cedar Fair added to the park when they purchased it, Detonator.  The pair of S&S Space Shots pack quite a punch, as some of the earlier models are known for.  Since the ride is located at a higher elevation in the park they can be seen from most sections, and also offer some stunning views when you're briefly at the top.

Ooo, what's this?
I had heard of Cyclone Sam's, and indoor flat ride with some minor theming, in the past and was curious to check it out.  Sadly as that sign out front of it proclaimed it was not meant to be, and did not open while at the park.  Still, the outside of the building is pretty neat to check out, cow included.  Oh and an interesting thing to note, three rides were down all day when I visited so the park's go-karts were free to make up for it - I've never seen a park go to the effort like that!

Ignore the former kiddie area and look at the coaster!
Another staple attraction of the park, and quite a big ride when added in 1989 is Timber Wolf.  The wooden coaster was designed by Curtis Summers and built by Dinn Corporation.  The same duo behind some other big wooden rides like Dorney Park's Hercules and Mean Streak at Cedar Point.

Heading down the first drop.
Well, what can I say.  Timber Wolf rode much like the other Summers/Dinn rides that I've been on.  Much like the weather affected Mamba, Timber Wolf was also having a bit of a hard time with the temperatures that day, adding in the wind made it even worse.

I think of Candy Stripers when I see this ride.
I hate to keep comparing attractions at Worlds of Fun to my homepark, but there are also a great many similarities between Talon at Dorney Park and the Patriot.  Patriot has a wonderfully patriotic paint scheme, decked out in red, white, and blue.  It's a fantastically photogenic ride as well, its location (again perched on the side of a gradual hill) greatly helps that.

You can travel under several parts of the ride for shots like this.
The layouts of the two rides are close, really close if you think about it.  By no means a clone, however.  Patriot starts off with a curving drop off the lift and into a vertical loop, followed by a heartline roll and immelmann.  Actually, I won't transcribe the rest of the elements as they're really the exact same as Talon.  But that's a great thing if you ask me, and Patriot, much like Talon, heads through those elements at a good clip and keeps the fun factor up throughout the ride.

Pretty, but cold, at night!
It is interesting to see the design changes between Steel Force and Mamba, and Talon and Patriot.  In both cases it seems like the designers were able to 'push it' just a bit more with the second ride.  You know, make Mamba's helix more intense, angle Patriot's helix more dramatically, etc.  I promise, that's the end of me comparing rides.

Really pretty shot of the park's rides.
After you head out of Americana you're almost done with the circle of the park, but there's one small section left to visit, and that's the Orient.  Almost just a blip on the park map, the Orient actually only has two rides and a couple food establishments.  The larger of the two rides, seen above, is Spinning Dragons.  The ride is a clone of the Fairly Odd Coaster at Nickelodeon Universe, and honestly it's really just a lot of fun.  The individual cars spin like mad throughout the course, especially if the weight distribution is off. 

Through the coaster shot!
The other ride in the Orient is the Bamboozler, which spins riders around and holds them in place with all that force.  You can see it rising behind one of the Orient's snack stands in the photo above.  The theming in the section is really nice, and while it is quite landlocked I'd love to see the park be able to add something additional to the area, so long as they keep up the level of detail!

And that wraps up our trip around the world in one and a half days.  If you ever have the chance to stop by the park I'd suggest doing so, I trust after all this writing most readers could find at least a few reasons to want to stop by. 


2 comments:

Dustijn Hollon said...

Mamba is in the Africa section of the park. Yes, I know it gets confusing with Coasters Drive-In being right next to it, but take a look at your map. Monsoon is still technically in Africa as well, but has since been annexed into Oceans of Fun with the combining of the two parks.

Mike said...

Indeed, and with a name like Mamba you'd think I would have caught on!