Today I decided to do what a good coaster nerd does, and go explore the local theme park.
I realize this park doesn't get a lot of attention but it has some pretty decent rides!
The park is located about 15-20 minutes west of the city of Catania in Eastern Sicily.
The water or 'aqua park' seem to be the main draw during the summer months, when the water park will operate during the day and the theme park in the evenings.
Currently just the theme park is open.
The main entrance plaza
Turnstiles were quick and efficient, but this was also a pretty quiet day when the waterpark was closed.
Once you enter the park, there is a large lake on the left side where you can drive some boats around. From what I could tell...there didn't seem to be any guide cable or track, so I think you can go wherever you want? Provides some great views of Mt. Etna which has been fairly active this week.
Sadly the cableway ride was not open during my visit.
Boat Hire mode (where are my RCT2 nerds?)
The first main pathway leading to the drop tower.
The main attraction is obviously their Mack 'Mega-Lite' called The Storm. which opened in 2013. The ride layout is somewhat similar to the Intamin version and almost a clone of Alpina Blitz at Nigloland. The difference being that this ride has the inline twist at the very end. (which is near impossible to get a good photo of)
The park has some decent theming throughout. Not always a cohesive one though....
The Storm has a 'tropical storm' theme on the outside, yet the station features a drum set and stadium lighting.
The station queue rows are divided by large 'speakers' playing what I think is an original song called 'Sweet Thunder Love' over and over. (felt bad for those ride ops)
Quick lift hill gets the ride started.
Lots of views of Etna.
This overbanked turn is one of the best parts of the ride. Was unexpected and forceful!
Nice pops of airtime throughout the ride.
You can see the entrance to the barrel roll at the bottom of this small hill.
This moment would be very unexpected for the GP. You can barely see it from anywhere inside the park. This was taken through a gap in the fence.
Serves up a quick hang time moment.
A few pics from outside the park.
Moving on the some of the other attractions.
There is a large mountain in the middle of the park that contains the S&S Family coaster 'ElDorado'.
This ride packs way more of a punch than I think most family's would be expecting. Nice positive G's in the helix's that wind in and out of the mountain.
There is also a cool small guest path that goes inside the mountain under the track where you can see the train fly by in the dark.
The first "drop"
Entering the mountain again to fly by the cave you can walk into.
Giving some Big Thunder Mountain Vibes.
Nearing the end of their rides.
Helix through the mountain
Emerging from the caves.
Station shot. The ride ops were all very friendly but in typical Italian fashion....not very efficient.
One of the park midways. Overall the park is very clean and the staff I interacted with knew enough English to communicate. (with my very little Italian thrown in)
They also have an S&S Drop tower
It seems to run the double shot ride sequence. Gives great views of the volcano from 2 sides.
One of the biggest surprises for me was this 'interactive' dark ride called 'The School'. I had no idea they even had a ride like this.
I couldn't follow the story, bu the vehicle do rotate to fave various scenes and they have 3 buttons that you can press to make a selection during each scene.
Labeled A, B, C with corresponding colors. From what I could tell, each selection you make in the scene gives you a different scare effect after the scene is over.
Clever low-tech system that worked surprisingly well!
The ride vehicles were simple and ran on essentially a powered coaster track.
*NOT A CREDIT* lol
Next up was time for a snack! And although all the food and pizza looked great, I couldn't resist some arancini!
These are fried rice balls that contain epic deliciousness. The main type you will encounter and almost every snack bar/cafe in Sicily is the Ragu.
Its filled with a hearty meaty tomato sauce with cheese and peas. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE. Even the bad ones are still pretty good.
It's a handheld food to eat on the go.
Photos do not do it justice.
Some of the other quick serve options.
There are 2 more traditional sit down restaurants in the park and the menus looked fairly standard for an Italian park.
Within the 'dry' park they have 4 main water ride.
The first and most impressive is the Jungle Splash.
The theming is pretty good and consistent throughout the ride. Once you dispatch the station you are in the dark...under the parks footpaths. There are various African warrior style scenes before you get to the turntable and elevator lift.
The main drop is fast and fun, and you will get wet. Which is why it's so popular on these hot Sicilian days.
The big splash.
Trying to be clever with the camera.
The station and queue are well themed.
The park does have a log flume called Dragon River....but its very much family oriented. The max drop height is about 20ft.
Again, some will thought out theming, but not so much on the upkeep/maintenance.
This is the main drop. So don't be expecting and massive thrills.
I think this is why its called Dragon River....cant be sure though.
To protect their privacy....
Theming! You don't get very wet on this one.
The first small lift. Nice themed station in the background.
Next is the parks river rapids 'Crocodile Rapids'....which I did not ride.
Most of the ride is hidden from the dry part of the park.
They are still dry...
The rides finale at the bottom of the hill.
They also have a Mack Twist'N'Splash.
Not much to say about that one.
There is also one other "water ride" which I have never seen before. Its called Aqua-Bum. While the ride vehicle do appear to be Bumper Boats....the pool is basically a circular track almost like a lazy river. I didn't see much bumping happening and people just seemed to be floating around in a circle.
Not sure of the appeal. But it must have the worst capacity ever during a hot day. And takes up a lot of space.
There are 2 kiddie coasters. Hip Hop coaster (Zamperla) and the Miao coaster (SBF)
Not sure what makes it 'Hip Hop'.
Cat in a Hat?
The kids area is called the Ciclopino Circus. Its basically in the middle of the park and has pretty much what you would expect from a small kids area.
The park has a 4D cinema and some Go-Carts.
The park has a few thrill flat rides.
A small inverting frisbee ride called Revo-Rock 360.
They have a Zamperla Disk-o called Quasar.
Like I said, not a busy day.
All in all I spent about 4 hours there from park opening at 9:30am.
Hopefully the park will add some more rides to the theme park in the future, but it appears most of the draw is to the waterpark and the water rides.
The main take-away is this....WHY IS NO ONE ELSE BUYING THESE MACK/INTAMIN MEGA COASTERS?
The Storm was honestly a great ride and super re-ridable. Its kind of a perfect blend of height/speed/airtime/helixes.
So if you ever find yourself in Sicily...make a stop at Etnaland!