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Photo TR: Divv's Japanese Adventure


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I'm just sad I no one has photos of the moment where the idiots actually wiped out!

 

I was too busy breaking to avoid running over Steve.

 

I probably would have crashed as well if Steve hadn't crashed in front of me as a warning. That thing went crazy fast. No going all out on that one.

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^And the skin you left there misses you too.
And I´m still not sure, whether I should present the video of Steve and TPDave´s stunt show ...

 

 

Thanks Divvv!

 

I loved Vuurvogel´s TR and your TR freshes up the hype about Japan now! And,...

 

... you´re not late... I still work on all my videos I took, maybe I´ll post one TR of Japan next year

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Parque Espana was probably my favorite park in Japan, outside of Disney. (I didn't really have much time at Universal to judge, and that was before they added the two latest coasters.) It's one on my main motivations for the stop I'll be doing this year in the Osaka/Mie/Nagoya area. Combined with Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, Parque Espana makes for a very worthy side trip.

 

The park turned out to be quite a surprise, too. We all knew that Pyrenees would be great, but not HOW great it turned out to be. Some of the strongest G-forces on any steel coaster I've been on, especially with that amazing section in the middle with the cobra roll and helix, although the trim brake kind of kills the last third of the ride. But it was my #3 steel coaster, now displaced a notch by NTaG. A very old-school "B&M with balls"!

 

But probably the biggest surprise was Gran Montserrat. We weren't expecting much from a mine train, but everyone on the trip loved it. I wanted more rides, but with minimal time and slow loading, and Pyrenees and the rest of the park calling, I didn't have time to get back. Perhaps it was a good thing, though, that the Bullfight coaster was down. The boat ride was amazing, unexpectedly long and well-themed. And who doesn't love the bizarre escalator "ride"?

 

Are you guys aware what a perk the ERT was on Pyrenees, though? Trying to ride during the regular day was a huge frustrating chore, thanks to literally the single worst loading procedures I've EVER seen anywhere. There was maybe a two train wait, and it ended up being around 30 minutes each of the several times I rode, while they took forever to completely clear the station before even starting to very thoroughly clean the seats before even contemplating letting anyone even into the station, slowly checking each wristband and assigning seats and still not opening the station gates until everyone was in the station for that train -- never mind the actual loading and checking of the ride. I've never seen anything even remotely like it, even in Japan. If the ride wasn't so amazing, I'd never have put up with it.

 

As such, I'm kind of dreading the day there, strangely. Unfortunately, I'm going on a national holiday (Health and Sports Day.) If Pyrenees was a 30 minute wait with hardly anyone in line, I'm afraid to find out what it will be like on a busy day! Maybe people will be too busy working out and playing and going to sports games. But I think it's going to be a frustrating day. Luckily, Pyrenees is worth it! Hopefully, with the whole day there, ll get more than 2 rides on it!

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^Actually we got doubly lucky on Pyrennes as the park was empty. After ERT the ride was a walk-on all day. Since they weren't allowing re-rides we just exited, walked through the queue and pretty much immediately boarded the train for take-off. Never any delays and waiting was only necessary if you wanted the front row. I think at one point Hanno rode it about 20 times in a row. I do have to say the exiting and walking through the queue each time was necessary exercise since there was so much great food in Japan.

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The last park of the "Southern Japan" portion of the trip was Nagashima Spaland! This park is renowned in the theme park world for possesing the Morgan gigacoaster, Steel Dragon 2000.

 

Steel Dragon was good though it's not quite of the same calibre as the Intamin 300 giga coasters. Much like the other Morgan hypers it's not bad but just doesn't blow you away. But I did certainly enjoy the ride.

 

The park has gained a bit of a reputation for being like a Cedar Fair park in some ways and I can kind of see where that comes from, though this park certainly looks a bit nicer than a lot of Cedar Fair parks. What the park does lack is those quirky Japanese dark rides that we'd become accustomed to over the trip so far. That said, there's a good selection of coasters there and certainly plenty to do.

 

Here's some photos from our day...

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Everyone get in your teams and get ready for another taxi ride to the finish mat!

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Today’s park – Nagashima Spaland! Or as some call it - 80s Japanese Cedar Point!

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We started the day off with some early rides on White Cyclone!

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Can’t beat some morning ERT with TPR!

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It might not be amazing but if you’re having comparisons with Cedar Point let it be noted that this one’s better than Mean Streak!

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But of course, this is the big reason to visit: Steel Dragon 2000.

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TPDave has always dreamt of riding a 300 foot dragon.

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Jeez, I’m not sure I want to know what those bags are used for!

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Who doesn’t love a good “Coaster train climbs the lift hill” photo?

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So how was Steel Dragon? It was good, but much like the other Morgan hypers it just felt like it was missing something that would make it amazing.

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Plus I’ll take Steel Dragon over a Wild Mouse any day!

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Woohoo, another Ultra Twister!

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TPDave is quite a twisted guy so this ride is right up his street.

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Check out Jim’s “Do we HAVE to ride the Corkscrew?” face!

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As with any bad ride on this trip, you can always say “at least we’re in Japan!”

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No one on the trip is above a bit of kiddie credit whoring.

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TPDave has no idea what he’s bought. Here’s hoping its something horrendous.

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SHUTTLE LOOP BOX TICKED!

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Unfortunately the other Schwarzkopf looper was down for maintenance but if coming to Japan at this time of year means no crowds, I’ll take it!

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There aren’t too many of these Intamin first gen drop towers around any more so you gotta make the most when you get the chance!

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Quite possibly this is the only ride type in the world that actually scares me any more!

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Breaking Brad just loves to ride the Bob Kart!

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You will NOT find Scottish Steve anywhere near this place!

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You see Scottish Steve just hates the idea of seeing decapitated Jesus.

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Nagashima Spaland went for the DELUXE version of the Big Wheel which gives the benefit of added LED clock.

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The wheel gives some great views of the rest of the park…

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White Cyclone. From above.

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Great view of the bathroom from up here too.

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It certainly has a lot more trees than Cedar Point!

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One big lift hill and one big empty car park!

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Steel Dragon does it’s dragony thing.

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Not content with being terrible at skeeball in the US, Larry proves that he’s not very good at it in Japan.

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TPDave finally has a fan!

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If your meal smiles back at you then you know it’s gonna be awesome.

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Today’s lunch - Seafood Doria! This was REALLY good!

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In order to solve any arguments over what attractions we should hit up in the remainder of our time, Larry draws up an exhaustive list for us to follow.

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Unfortunately, “bathing with hot naked chicks” was not on the list.

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Hmm, those guys look familiar!

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In order to guarantee wetness, they put Erik in the front.

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Think it might have worked.

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Yeah, it definitely worked!

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Bathroom break!

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I didn’t need to go so I sat this one out.

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I always enjoy watching people on the Giant Frisbee though.

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Apparently this is how Larry prefers to shower.

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The list says we’ve gotta be on the car ride. So we’re on the car ride.

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Nagashima Spaland has some amazing merchandise!

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So is Nagashima Spaland the Cedar Point of Japan? Maybe, in some ways but it’s a nice park in its own right and well worth a visit!

 

Seeing as no-one is interested in the place we went to next I'll just end this trip report right here. Thanks for reading guys!

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If I had not written up this list we would have been lost all afternoon. Our group needed focus! I had to blow up the image to read of of the items. "Buy funny cup (Funnier than TPDave)".

 

Also, don't be dissin my skeeball skills, I got game. Look at that action shot, right in the 50 hole. I won a lot in Japan with skeeball, basketball, and even shooting games. It just took a lot more attempts with the shooting.

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If I had not written up this list we would have been lost all afternoon. Our group needed focus! I had to blow up the image to read of of the items. "Buy funny cup (Funnier than TPDave)".

 

Also, don't be dissin my skeeball skills, I got game. Look at that action shot, right in the 50 hole. I won a lot in Japan with skeeball, basketball, and even shooting games. It just took a lot more attempts with the shooting.

 

I confirm Larry's skill and stubborn determination when it comes to Skee Ball.

 

I'm a fan of the Morgan Hypers, even though they are like "mine trains on steroids." But my favorite attractions at Spaland were the Bob Karts and the haunted walkthrough.

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On most overseas trips I've done there comes a day when the exhaustion (and sometimes the repetitiveness of a constant coaster trip) catches up with me, and I have a kind of miserable day that is not at all the park's fault. For my Japan trip, it was Nagashima Spaland. And it didn't help that their best coaster (SD2000) was down, since this was after the wheel falling off incident. (Like a year or more after it, but the Japanese don't tend to open rides quickly (if at all) after accidents.) And it didn't help that it was the hottest, most miserable day of the trip either. We were hot and miserable and pretty much done with the park once we got all the credits in and rode the awesome Bobkarts. Luckily, the park has a pretty decent water park attached, which a group of us decided to pay extra for, since we had plenty of time in the park and had managed to get all of the credits in pretty quickly.

 

We had a great time at the water park. The funny thing is that two of the three things I remember most don't seem to be on the English park map that's on their website, so I'm not sure if they're still there, or if the map is really old. (This was in 2005.) They had one of the toilet bowl slides, which was still fairly new back then, so we were excited to get flushed! And they had a flow rider set up, which was also new back then. The neat thing is that they had some real experts there who would do all sorts of tricks for the crowd that gathered in the small stadium they had set up around it. And I remember lying in the lazy river and at one point looking right up at SD2000 and just knowing that that was the spot where the wheel fell off the coaster and hit someone in the river. We were all joking about watching out for falling wheels -- even though the coaster was sadly not running!

 

A funny side note. One of the ladies in our group was commenting on how many of the people were looking at us, probably because they don't often get to see white skin in that part of Japan. I pointed out that they were actually staring at her ample chest, which they don't often get to see in Japan!

 

I'm going to try to stop in quickly on this trip, mainly just to try to finally get to ride SD2000. It will probably be a quick stop, mainly to ride SD2000 one or two times, maybe a ride on the woodie, and one on the Bobkarts. And I'll have to remember to check out the dark ride, which I think we missed last time. If the park is dead, maybe another coaster ride or two, then back to Nagoya for a bit of daytime sightseeing. Then it's the bullet train to Tokyo, maybe with a couple of extra hours at Disney before spending two days there, if time allows.

 

 

And it's good to hear that maybe our experience on Pyrenees at Parque Espana was the exception, rather than the norm. I'd really love to get a bunch of rides on one of my favorite coasters at what was otherwise a really great park. It's really the only park in Japan other than Disney that I'm going back to because of what they already had, rather than because they've added something new that I want to ride. But the loading on Pyrenees really was ridiculous that day. I'm not at all exaggerating when I say it was maybe one train every 15 minutes or so.

 

Were they cleaning every seat between each train on your visits. as they were that day? They were very thorough about that when I was there!

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Were they cleaning every seat between each train on your visits. as they were that day? They were very thorough about that when I was there!

 

I do not recall this happening.

 

And for those are are concerned, this PTR is not over! Divv stayed on board for the Disney add-on which was sandwiched between the Southern Japan and Tokyo portion of the trips and he also went to Fuji-Q with us.

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^ Cool. While I wasn't with you all, it will help refresh my memories of my trip, and help me look forward to making new ones, both at Tokyo DIsney and Fuji-Q and with you all in China!

 

We were amazed at the whole loading procedure on Pyrenees during our trip. First, they'd wait until EVERYONE from the previous train was out of the station. Then they'd close the exit gates. Then they'd put all of the harnesses down. Then they'd wipe each of them down. Then they'd lift each of the harnesses back up. Then they'd wipe down each seat. Then, and only then, would they START letting people into the station, scanning each person's wristband or ticket and assigning them to rows. But even then, the station gates were still closed. Only after everyone was in the station and in their rows would they open the station gates. Then everyone put their stuff in the other side of the station and sat down and locked up the harnesses. Then they checked all the harnesses. And eventually, they sent us out. And they did this every time. There were several times where I made it all the way around, and they still hadn't let the people into the station, never mind onto the train!

 

Luckily, it sounds like they've figured out a better system. You know, like how all of the other parks in the world, do it?

 

On a side note, where's Divv moving to? I was actually wishing I was in Manchester this weekend at local DJ Gareth Emery's big music label party at Sankey's nightclub. I've actually managed to see him 5 times in the past year and half, in Boston, NYC and Ibiza.

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