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Photo TR: Texas goes to West Texas


Jakizle
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After all these years of living in Texas I had never made it to the West Texas parks. I've driven through Lubbock and Amarillo and SEEN Wonderland operating but the folks refused to stop. Finally 2 weeks ago the opportunity to go very easily and cheaply came about in the form of a bus ride. With my friends Byron, Greg, and Nathan we took on Wonderland, Larson International, the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives, and Wonderland in one day. The PTR will be in 3 parts!

 

Joyland BELOW

 

NRCMA, Larson Intl, and a never before seen ride HERE

 

Wonderland Update

 

Onto Part 1:

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Just outside of Lubbock, TX down in a very nice public park is Joyland!

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We were the first ones at the park! I felt like the Griswalds and kept on saying "First one's here!"

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How about starting on the classic Herschell mouse???

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Byron and Greg squeezed into the tiny cars for MAXIMUM SPEED!

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Gotta love the old school cars and operations.

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Yup, still no one else here!!!

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I'm not sure what they are trying to do! I would be bracing myself for the brutal turns :p

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Hows it going guys??

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One last shot before it was my turn to ride.

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Lift hill enthusiasts rejoice.

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Seriously I will never disappoint the lift hill enthusiasts.

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What the hell is that up on the hill? More on that later. Anyways the mouse was really fun :)

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Byron enjoys one more round of solo rides!

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Lets see what else this nice little park has to offer!

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How about another credit?

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Galaxi lift hill...and with people on this ride!

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This Galaxi kicked major ass! Good speed on the drops and NO brakes before any of the helices! Really fun

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Mad Mouse was starting to gain a bit of a crowd

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This sign didn't really matter to us with an empty train waiting during whole park ERT :)

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Time to head over to the other side of the park.

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The last coaster in the park is Dipsy Doodle!

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Ready for the ride guys?

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First drop action haha. Luckily this operator wasn't too ridiculous and only sent us like 5 times.

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Any park with an ARM/Larson drop tower is WIN!

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Make sure you have some buddies with you to enjoy this one.

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Ah, it looks so much taller than it really is! Such an amazing drop.

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One side of the ride gives you a look at the park...

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...while the other gives a great view of wonderful downtown Lubbock and Texas Tech off in the distance

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We have time to kill and it's hot outside, so we rode the log flume too!

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We won't be taking these logs.

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First mini drop not too bad! Still an acceptable amount of wetness.

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Oh god, here we go!

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Not bad yet! We seem to be enjoying it.

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Greg looks satisfied, Byron is happy, and I'm terrified that a small wave might still crash over the side of the log.

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They couldn't play Rock Me Amadeus :(

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They have a cute little train ride too! No creeks to be worried about either, but we did take the tunnel...twice

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At this point we were still waiting on this bad boy to open...

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After the train ride we saw some operators head up to this area! Finally woo :)

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Is that a roll-o-plane I see up there too???

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The Roll-o-Plane opened up first! So of course the 4 of us squeezed in for a ride.

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Such a cool ride! Ran so much faster than Knoebel's

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I forgot that these things went horizontal too. Awesome ride :)

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But after, it was time for the BIG SPLASH.

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Greg shows us how it's done first!

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And does so like a true professional! You catch some awesome air off the water.

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Byron goes down (the really steep drop, btw) next!

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And cruised across the waves so fast it could hardly be captured on camera.

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Finally my fatass made the plunge :)

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Oh no, this isn't going to end good.

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Woo I made it across as well!

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Classic reaction...this ride is so insanely fun! I wanna go back :(

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I did suffer a bit of water damage.

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With time running short we rushed to grab a few more rides in!

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Here's another one for the super greased up chain lift enthusiasts.

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We had time for one more spin on the Galaxi as well!

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Gotta love that the park has 3 trains in excellent condition and runs them all even on an empty day!

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One more lift hill shot...for now

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And this was the only other picture that turned out, lol.

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While I jumped on the Galaxi Byron and Greg decided to take the Rock-O-Plane for a spin

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OMFG! These 2 guys did front flips INSANELY fast all the way around the ride. The ride op was amazed and even called over a supervisor because they had never seen so much flipping before. I wish it was on video :(

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yeah, these 2 guys are the rock-o-plane champions...amazing they were even able to think straight after that!

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...but it was time to head out for the day. The park was starting to get busy now too!!

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Good bye Joyland! This park really surprised me at how nice and fun it was! Look forward to going back one day!

 

Larson International and NRCMA is next!!!

Edited by Jakizle
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Thanks for the great TR.

 

In California, some of the old Huish family fun centers used to have Rollersplash, an attraction similar to Big Splash. The sleds were the same, but the slide was made of steel rollers. Instead of ending on a runout, you would glide across a pool. These were popular during the 80's and early 90's, but unfortunately there are none in operation here that I know of.

 

If I do a Texas trip, I may try to include Joyland.

 

 

 

 

Chris "needs a death mouse credit" D

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Thanks for the great TR.

 

In California, some of the old Huish family fun centers used to have Rollersplash, an attraction similar to Big Splash. The sleds were the same, but the slide was made of steel rollers. Instead of ending on a runout, you would glide across a pool. These were popular during the 80's and early 90's, but unfortunately there are none in operation here that I know of.

 

If I do a Texas trip, I may try to include Joyland.

 

 

 

 

Chris "needs a death mouse credit" D

 

Yeah, this park really had a ton of rare rides that are hard to find, especially all together! I really really enjoyed it and wish I could have stayed longer...but we had to do the NRCMA and Larson tour, which will be uploaded Thursday afternoon! I'll probably just go ahead and post Wonderland, too

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^Yeah, I rode the one at Lake Winnie thinking it was going to be kinda lame. I was mistaken! That thing scared me more than any drop tower I've EVER been on. Definitely a favorite!

Thanks for the great TR.

 

In California, some of the old Huish family fun centers used to have Rollersplash, an attraction similar to Big Splash. The sleds were the same, but the slide was made of steel rollers. Instead of ending on a runout, you would glide across a pool. These were popular during the 80's and early 90's, but unfortunately there are none in operation here that I know of.

 

If I do a Texas trip, I may try to include Joyland.

 

 

 

 

Chris "needs a death mouse credit" D

Hurricane Harbor in Arlington has something that fits your description almost perfectly. However, there are only steel rollers on the dispatch area.

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Nice work, Texas!

 

I agree about those drop towers. They're pure frightening awesomeness. And that Big Splash slide is great too. They used to have one at Six Flags Atlantis, with a bigger splash pool though. My brother and I made countless runs on that thing trying to pull off the perfect 360 after you started skidding across the water. It's near impossible, but I remember coming close several times.

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What a handsome group of young men! Ahhhhh that was such a fun day! I'm so making T-shirts in honor of that Rock-O-Plane ride! EPICNESS to the max! Frontier City had a slide like Big Splash so I've been lucky enough to ride two of them and they are both scary and great fun! Joyland is a great park and anyone coming through should try to make it out there for sure.

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Frontier City has one? I hope I didn't miss it when I went last year!

 

And I'm really sorry about the lack up of update...I feel asleep after working all morning. I'll make sure to finish this up tomorrow for weekend boredom viewing time

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I know there is a lot of anti-ACE sentiment on TPR, but give credit where credit is due. It should be mentioned that this bus trip was organized by the ACE South Central region as an add-on (precursor?) to the Ace Convention in Texas. The region also hosted an amazing event at Schlitterbahn Galveston after the week of events.

 

I went to the latter, but had to skip the West Texas tour, since I didn't want to take another Saturday night off from the restaurant. I heard nothing but good things about it, though.

 

And to be totally honest, even if I'd taken off the Saturday, I'd have probably gone to the Electric Daisy Festival (of electronic dance music) that day instead. But I'm going to Ibiza next month, which should satisfy that itch!

 

And, as mentioned before, Hurricane Harbor in Arlington has a similar slide to the Big Splash. But that one lets out in a bigger pool, and you will almost definitely get wet. But it's in a water park, so you should be in a bathing suit anyways.

 

It was open during ERT at the ACE Con pizza party there. In fact, on my first try, I sank quite quickly, but did better my second time. Only one person I saw managed to skid all the way across the pool.

 

Nice pics, and good to hear that the event was as fun as I'd heard!

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I know there is a lot of anti-ACE sentiment on TPR, but give credit where credit is due. It should be mentioned that this bus trip was organized by the ACE South Central region as an add-on (precursor?) to the Ace Convention in Texas. The region also hosted an amazing event at Schlitterbahn Galveston after the week of events.

 

I went to the latter, but had to skip the West Texas tour, since I didn't want to take another Saturday night off from the restaurant. I heard nothing but good things about it, though.

 

And to be totally honest, even if I'd taken off the Saturday, I'd have probably gone to the Electric Daisy Festival (of electronic dance music) that day instead. But I'm going to Ibiza next month, which should satisfy that itch!

 

And, as mentioned before, Hurricane Harbor in Arlington has a similar slide to the Big Splash. But that one lets out in a bigger pool, and you will almost definitely get wet. But it's in a water park, so you should be in a bathing suit anyways.

 

It was open during ERT at the ACE Con pizza party there. In fact, on my first try, I sank quite quickly, but did better my second time. Only one person I saw managed to skid all the way across the pool.

 

Nice pics, and good to hear that the event was as fun as I'd heard!

 

I'm not anti-ACE by any means, I'm just not a member. I will agree it was very nicely put together! The South Central region is great and i've met some pretty awesome friends through it (and even some who post here!) Besides, you can't be 50 bucks for a round trip bus ride, all admissions (including the 4 upcharges at wonderland), like 3 meals, 3 hours of ERT, and a private tour. No way could I pass up the opportunity to hit these parks!

 

I still haven't been to Hurricane Harbor so I didn't know there was a similar ride there...will have to check it out sometime. It was so much fun! Wish it would have opened earlier in the day (at joyland) so I could try it out some more.

 

And I knew a lot of friends who attended EDC on Saturday, said it was quite the event. Not up my ally though, I'd rather hit some new parks

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The version of the Big Splash slide that they have at water parks is different from the version at amusement parks in that they let out in a big pool, rather than a little trough. In the version you rode, you generally just skim across the water and get out on the other side, relatively dry. In the water park version, it's much, much harder to go in a straight line and to stay up. And it takes a lot more balance and skill to stay up longer and not turn off to one side or sink right away.

 

I actually think that the water park version is more fun. But that's at least partially because you're in a bathing suit and don't care if you get wet -- which you WILL. But it's also a more challenging ride. I know that they had similar rides at

Busch's Water Country USA in Williamsburg and elsewhere.

 

EDC would have been fun, but they didn't have many manor headliners. There werre a few trance DJ's from Europe I haven't seen yet and would have liked to, but no one to justify taking a Saturday night off for (and losing $200 in tips!), plus paying for the admission and a hotel and car for the extra night. The same goes for the West Texas Round Up.But one club in Boston has been bringing a bunch of major stars here lately, plus I'm going to Ibiza after Scandinavia and Italy, and returning the Electric Zoo in NYC on Labor Day Weekend (and probably SFGAdv after.) So, I've had and will have my share of big dance music lately!

 

And on a totally off-topic note, could someone give me whatever's in the water of one of my fish tanks? I just looked over and something like 10+ fish from three different species are currently mating, including some I just got yesterday! Too bad they'll eat all of the eggs.

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Larson International and National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives update! Next up on our bus tour of West Texas was a private tour at these two facilities which share land in Plainview, TX, just about in the middle of Lubbock and Amarillo. The photos say it all:

 

P.S. There is also a never before seen ride below! And we got to ride it....

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We made it! In case you didn't know Larson is the manufacturer of those drop rides that EVERYONE loves (they are better than Intamins), fireballs, flying scooters, and many other rides.

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The only sign outdoors that we were at a ride manufacturer was a fireball/looper thing all ready to be shipped!

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But first, we headed into the building that currently holds the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives. This is the "display" room.

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The biggest and baddest (see what I did there?) collection is stuff from the Big Bad Wolf.

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Greg checks out the lead car of Big Bad Wolf.

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Silly old me with the BBW lead car. They actually have been donated a full train but only have space for one car in the display room. Maybe one day they could build the transfer track and have an entire train hanging from it! That would be incredibly cool.

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I also believe that this is the operating panel from Big Bad Wolf. It had no sign but was right next to the lead car!

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Moving on, the museum has some really neat functioning models of some VERY classic attractions.

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Being in Texas, the museum has lots of cool stuff from our state.

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But there is some love from California, Louisiana, and more!

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Hey RD, how's it going?

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Super retro train from the Big Dipper!

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This train one ups the other as it is from the Giant Dipper.

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Who cares though because this panel from the original Rattler is the best because everyone knows from San Antonio Sam that Texas is superior to everything.

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Any Arrow fans in the house???

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They even play with Coaster Dynamix models here at the NRCMA

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This tilt-o-whirl model is just badass and I want one in my house.

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And I believe this is a model of the Thunderbolt which used to operate in New York??? I might need some help here

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DOUBLE RACING ULTRA TWISTER ANYONE? WITH INSANE DIVE LOOPS???

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AND 90 DEGREE TURNS? Just Imaging if this would have been constructed...

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This coaster used to be a permanent fixture at the State Fair of Texas, the greatest fair on earth.

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Hmm, I think this is a coaster I will be riding tonight...

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Speaking of coasters I will ride in the next update...I believe these are old trains from the Texas Tornado?

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I still have no idea what this car is from, but i'm lazy.

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Of course being with Larson the NRCMA has a looper model. Cool.

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The last model to be found was that of Phoenix, still one of the best wooden coasters on Planet Earth.

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They had some cool pictures as well...this is the ORIGINAL Rattler.

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This is a map of SFNO...that will never be used again :(

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Sucks that only one ride from this list is currently operating

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RIP Mega Zeph...looked like a really cool wooden coaster (CCI) to me.

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I like neon signs.

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Just in case you forgot where we are. I really do hope this becomes a full out museum one day.

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In case you didn't know, Gregs name is Zingoman and he used to work on this coaster...sorry man :(

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Alright sorry folks, this last part of the update from the NRCMA will focus on a Schwarzkopf coaster just for R.D.

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The legend.

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Greezed Lightnin' ride vehicle.

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It's weird to think that I once sat in these seats.

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Front end of the car!

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Okay, one last look at the sexy Schwarzy wheel bogies. I hope you had a tissue R.D.

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Next up the guys from Larson pretty much gave us an open house of their facility.

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They have lots of fancy machines that build rides. Ooooooh.

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They weren't too busy with new rides, but were working on a tower observation ride.

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And the pirate cars...maybe they are for a tea cups ride of sort? I honestly don't remember. Greg???

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This was the tower for that observation ride I told you about...they even turned on the lights for us to see! These guys put some pretty amazing light packages on their towers (see Kemahs or Morey Piers')

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But the main reason we were here was to be the guinea pigs on a BRAND NEW NEVER SEEN BEFORE ATTRACTION!

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Proof of us getting on! I was on the very first cycle.

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POV shot! The ride is called the Mega Whirl, and pretty much it was a giant whip ride!

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Even the local NBC station was out to cover this historical event!!!! I will try and find the coverage on line.

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There goes the ride with the media girl, camera, and the ride's designer. He designed it, Larson built it.

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The ride takes your classic whip, and instead of doing an oval, does a huge zig zag layout for even MORE WHIPPING!!! It was pretty neat to be able to ride a new attraction before it even leaves the factory. They even just put water dummies on it for the first time this morning!!!

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The ride was literaly finished being put together this day, so it was running kinda slow but there was some good whips still. I was told it will run much faster once perfected! The motor was only running at like 1/4 speed.

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After Larson gave use "ERT" on the Mega Whirl and provided soft drinks, etc (Great Texan Hospitality) we moved on to see the storage area for the NRCMA. Here is the BBW storage track!

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Like I said before, I really hope they put this together and hold a train on it.

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POV shot! Wanna guess what coaster this was from???

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Me standing inside the track from the helix of the OLD Texas Giant. You died for a good cause.

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Back inside, they also have a track section from Astroworld's Texas Cyclone....glad I got this credit.

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I think these are the cars that ran on the Cyclone, but I could be wrong. In Fact, now that I have been educated, they are from the original Mr. Twister at Elitch Gardens. Also RIP

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the rest of the Big Bad Wolf cars are in here too!

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Wow! My name was still written on this car from the 2008 season!!! ;)

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I'm gunna go ahead and guess that Larson maybe donated a looper car to the museum???

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Alrighty folks, this here is my last photo from the storage area...lots of coaster cars!

 

Thanks for looking. Next up is Wonderland!

Edited by Jakizle
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INCREDIBLE photos from Larson Jake. I can't believe how much has been added to the NRCM warehouse. I too love neon signs, and that Mega Zeph one rules. Thanks so much for sharing, and if anyone wants to see how far the museum has come check out my photos from my museum tour back in 2007 here: CLICK.

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I actually think that the water park version is more fun. But that's at least partially because you're in a bathing suit and don't care if you get wet -- which you WILL. But it's also a more challenging ride. I know that they had similar rides at

Busch's Water Country USA in Williamsburg and elsewhere.

 

Water Country still has theirs, David (Rampage).

 

Thanks for a look at the museum, Jake. I felt a bit melalcholy seeing the old BBW train, track, and sign in there.

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Jake I have no idea what those pirate cars were. I actually didn't see them when we were there. And didn't you buy the T-Shirt too? the ride was Mega Whirl not Mega Whip. haha. I'm pretty sure that the concept we've heard about said mega whip though. That prototype was seriously awesome! It did run slow but it will be an amazing and customizable ride for parks. I'm very excited to see these come to parks in the near future. Who will buy one first?

 

As for Frontier City and it's slide they removed it in the mid to late nineties so it's long gone.

 

The train you were thinking was for TX Cyclone was actually from Elitch's original Mr. Twister. The lead car is in the display room but the rest of the train was chilling in that other building with the Fireball cars.

 

Seems they have full trains from Zingo, Texas Giant, Mr. Twister, and Big Bad Wolf all tucked away in there. It was an amazing collection of very great stuff out there. I want to go back! And Jake Megazeph was a very fun ride. I was lucky enough to go when it was still Jazzland. My merch is more collector's items than ever now.

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Thank god for your nerdyness

 

When I was going through the pictures I was like crap, I don't know what this stuff is haha. But yeah I messed up on the Mega Whirl bad...gunna go fix that

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Thanks for the photos! It's awesome to see some of the Bell's stuff made it into the museum, I had no idea. It's nice to know a few little pieces will live on in some way. What else did they have from Bell's besides those two signs?

 

Strange that they have Zingo's train. I guess they're in the business of resale equipment as well?

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