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Photo TR: Loudoun Castle & M&Ds Theme Park - July 16


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I took a trip up to Scotland with a few friends last weekend. We went to Loudoun Castle on the 16th (Saturday) and M&D's on the Sunday.

 

The short version is this - one park has a great Schwarzkopf coaster and some good little rides, the other park has the worst rollercoaster I've ever been on. Even topping Goudurix, and that's a mean feat!

 

Loudoun Castle is first, M&Ds will follow tonight when the photos are ready.

 

The photos tell a better story than I could, so look on and see what you think! I didn't take as many as I normally would as I was testing the new handycam this weekend. But anyhow, enjoy!

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Here's our group for the weekend! LTR - Andy, Nadia, Rory the park mascot, Chris (below Rory), Me and Peter.

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Final credit of the day was the Wacky Worm. A Pinfari Big Apple. Minus the apple.

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It's a looping rollercoaster, with ony a lap bar to hold you in. Haha, Californians can't do this! :D

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And, for European Tradition, they ran it without any brakes!

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Another cast-off. The park's Maurer Sohne Wild Mouse used to be at Dreamland.

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I dunno what this crazy flat ride is called, but it was serious fun!

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This park has such a good sense of humour, their dodgems were called French Taxis!

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This has gotta be the smallest swinging ship in existence!

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And this was awesome! Only the second lighthouse themed drop tower. And the cladding still goes higher than Flamingoland's one!

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At least the Inverting Pirate Ship was a bit better.

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...and look what it did to my arm! Stupid friction burn!

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They had an old-fashioned helter-skelter...

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Talking of cast-offs, this strange chair swinger was at Lightwater Valley last year as the Orbiter. It's now called the Plough. You make the link with theming...

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Well, not quite. It's the other Silverarrow Schwarzkopf of Dreamland and Camelot Fame.

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It's a guest appearance from BGT's Scorpion!

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Hey there Non-German Tom! Great pics. Elissa and I were JUST talking about this park yesterday as we realized that they got a bunch of Dreamland's old rides.

 

Looking at the pics it looks like the "greatest (or not-so-greatest) hits of the UK parks" collection of rides.

 

Maybe this place is the UK's Astroworld?

 

--Robb

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Argh!!! All the photos just turned to stupid red crosses!!

 

I'll try and sort that out when I come back later and do the M&Ds section.

 

The whole park is like a retirement home for ides on their last legs, with a few new attractions to keep upto date. So in that repsect, it's a lot like Astroworld!

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I've always been interested in Loudoun Castle as it is basically the same park as Dreamland used to be , years ago, before it turned into a wasteland.

 

I was really happy when we got the Silver Arrow a few years ago, but in my opinion, the original Looping Star we had in the 80's and early 90's was much better - i think Loudoun had this ride for a time too.

 

The Black Pearl is the old Mary Rose from Margate, my favourite flat ride as a kid - with those painful restraints.

 

The Plough! LOL! Little trivia fact that no one probably cares about, when it was orignally at Dreamland, from 1984, it used to have pods that would go up the side and rotate, then they refurbished it and painted it orange, theming it as a chairswing that orbits the sun, called "Heatwave" - i was the first member of the public to ride that, 1991 i think it was! Tho back then the chairs were all so close together and you used to smash your legs into the chair in front of you.

 

And don't get me started on that Wild Mouse! I hope they have given it some attention, because i took my nephew on it last year and it was the closes i've ever come to a near death experience!

 

By the way, just in case people didn't know, Dreamland has been leased for 2 years and a travelling fair operator has taken it over - it looks the best it has in years, but it is still nothing great. As well as the Scenic Railway (which i went on a few weeks ago and got slightly unnerved as we were in the queue and i heard an attendant mention something about "wheels" then he ran up the track with a hammer), it has a Fabbri Booster and a Mega Drop Tower, which holds you up the top for like a minute, and then a slection of travelling fair rides.

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Thanks for sorting the photos above, Robb. I haven't a clue what's up with them!

 

Here's the M&Ds update.

 

Nadia & myself had bought our tickets online to get a small discount, but the others got a huge discount because they posed as a family of four!

 

The park isn't a theme park at all - it's just a load of fairground rides placed on asphalt! Tsunami/Vortex was broken, and could be for some time according the park staff. The Magic Carpet was out of action, as was the Bungee Ball for long periods - we did that in the end though.

 

Tornado is the worst rollercoaster I have ever been on. It's actually on a par with Goudurix in terms of roughness, but at least the Vekoma monster had some ambition with its inversions! All this Pinfari P.O.S. has to do is two loops and one corkscrew, and a few turns. It can't even do those smoothly.

 

The whole park was being run by a bad fairground, which is what it is to be fair. Bad queuing systems, unmarked staff, vending machines that don't work how they should, it all drove me crazy!

 

My dying wish is that Loudoun Castle runs this place into the gound so that someone with a bit of common sense can run this excuse for a theme park, which is located on a prime site next to the motorway.

 

Photos:

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Last shot of the day. And those people in that green train are doomed for the next minute or so.

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Chris just wanted to take that big ice cream back!

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Nadia & Andy get ready to be launched!

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This was the best ride of the day, priced at £7.50 upcharge. And worth all the whiplash...

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So good in fact, this kiddy ride got a 20 minute plus queue...

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Peter is loving it a little too much!

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The best working coaster in the park, and that's no lie.

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Lucky for us, we had Lene from Aqua to calm us down after our ordeal!

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No joke. This ride can damage your health.

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This element nearly knocked me out cold. I still can't believe I did this hunk-o-junk twice!

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We had to double check this height limit as we're all short! It seemed huge at the time, but after riding I can see why they have it!

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And here's the real killer.

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Not much tact being shown here! But I'm glad that this artwork is still up. Tsunami is a perfectly acceptable name for the ride, and in this day and age I'm amazed that parks have changed good names just to keep the PC brigade happy.

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Tsunami's name was changed to Vortex as a reaction to the big wave which wiped out a lot of the Asian coastline.

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Onto some coasters now. And this one is broken too!

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The clowns were as shocked as I with how the place was being run!

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Not open. This ejecto-carpet will have to wait another year...

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Kamikaze (Skyflyer ride) was great fun. I narrowly escaped a showering of vomit after a Greek schoolgirl threw up halfway around.

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U2 are now sponsoring simulators. God help us all...

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Why are these people looking at me? Because I (like the eejit I am) sat on the wrong side of the twist, so I ended up getting nasty bruising...oops.

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Andy & Nadia got pretty soaked as well - lucky for Nads, she was sporting the latest edition to my wardrobe.

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Peter, Chris and Bev all got rather wet! The ride has screen to stop water splashing over the side, but they actually also deflect the water back into the path of the boat!

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First ride of the day was the portable log flume.

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New York, Paris, Strathclyde Park. Why couldn't Del Boy stay in Peckham?

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Not a good sign when you see the van from Only Fools and Horses outside a park. Little did we know how right we were!

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LOL!!!! Great captions Tom!

 

"those people in that green train are doomed for the next minute or so..."

 

That sounds SO like us at parks whenever we see a trainload of people on a Vekoma or Togo ride.

 

--Robb "Thanks for posting these!" Alvey

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I've always wanted to ride Tornado (Pinfari RC70), and I had never heard from anyone who has ridden one of them (there are 2). Sucks that it' so rough, but I thought it would be. After all, Pinfari's are cheap and brutal, but I love 'em! Something about Pinfari doing a corkscrew is just so wrong.

 

 

-kip-

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Nice reports and photo's.

 

And there is one CA looping ride with only lap bars. Montezooma's Revenge.

 

Nice - The last home of upper limb freedom...

 

Good to hear that not all the old loopers got given the mandatory shoulders restraints - how does Montezooma manage to stay clear of the jurisdiction that governs all the other looping coasters then?

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