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Photo TR: Coasters and Culture of the UAE!


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Cool report Michael! Glad to see you made it out to that part of the world and can't wait to see the rest of the story.

Thanks! I'm excited to share it!

 

That mosque is absolutely beautiful, and more interesting than any of the coasters on this trip in my opinion! Awesome report, it's cool to see something like this that doesn't come up often on TPR.

Thanks! There's still plenty of culture and coasters coming, so stay tuned!

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Thanks for the awesome report!

Now I'm really looking forward to our visit to Dubai in May.

Already booked our ticket to Ferrari World and gonna combine it with a visit to the mosque.......should make a great day!

 

Paul

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Thanks for the awesome report!

Now I'm really looking forward to our visit to Dubai in May.

Already booked our ticket to Ferrari World and gonna combine it with a visit to the mosque.......should make a great day!

 

Paul

 

You're welcome! I recommend doing the mosque before Ferrari World. If you can get one, you don't want to miss a night ride on Formula Rossa!!

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You're welcome! I recommend doing the mosque before Ferrari World. If you can get one, you don't want to miss a night ride on Formula Rossa!!

Ah, didn't think about that, thanks.

Originaly planned to do FW first but now I'm thinking about switching those 2.

 

Paul

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PART 3: Yas Waterworld

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love a water park

 

Cheesy Dr. Strangelove reference aside, I'm not a water park person. At least, I thought I wasn't until I visited Yas Waterworld. Our primary reason to visit the park was for Bandit Bomber, but on arrival we found it CLOSED FOR UPGRADES! It was the first credit of the trip to be closed, and we were so bummed. If we hadn't bought our tickets already, we probably wouldn't have entered, but we decided to go in and make the most of it.

 

The collection of tube slides here was fantastic! My favorite was Dawwarma, the world's largest launched slide. I had never ridden one of the launched slides before, and I was shocked by how fast it went, especially since it's a six-person slide! The best part is the final drop before the funnel; the airtime is great and you go CRAZY high up that funnel!! Dawwarma shares its loading platform with Falcon's Falaj, another launched slide, but even though it had some amazing airtime, I didn't like it nearly as much as Dawwarma.

 

Also in the tube department are the six snake slides, each one delivering a unique ride! All of them were fun, but I wasn't very impressed with the purple/teal one and the red/purple one. The purple/teal slide was strange with its rooms that were wider with higher walls. I'm not sure what the purpose of these are, but all I did was "rock" a little more. The red/purple one had an enclosed "toilet bowl" that traveled very slow. Keith actually stopped moving inside of it, and I had to push myself to prevent me from stopping.

 

Next door, the mat slide racer Sebag, was a great one! It started with an enclosed helix that ended with an incredibly fast run! I have great memories of riding the one at Idlewild, and Sebag blew all of those away! We also enjoyed the nearby Yadi Yas, which can best be described as a "not-so-lazy" lazy river. I've never seen one travel so fast before! I was shocked by how quickly we went around the loop, and sometimes it seemed more like a raft ride than a lazy river!

 

But then....there was THE slide of the park, Liwa Loop. This was the slide that I was most terrified to ride. It's one of the trap-door slides, and it has a loop! Not an inverting loop, but still...a loop. I had no idea what to expect from it. There was a small group in front of us, and I made Keith go before me. After hearing all of those screams from my fellow riders, I was petrified. I contemplated chickening out, but I knew I was better than that. I was wearing a swim shirt, which they made me remove as well as my glasses. I clutched them with a death grip as I stood in the capsule...waiting for the floor to drop. Then came the sudden freefall; I screamed like I hadn't screamed in years! Once I hit the bottom of the drop, I was overcome with water shooting up my nose and the rest of the ride is a blank to me. It was easily the most TERRIFYING ride I've ever ridden in my life, and I'd NEVER do it again!!! That being said, I definitely don't regret doing it, and I recommend everyone ride it at least once!

 

And onto the pictures! Again, some of the pictures were taken by Keith, and they're marked (KK). I hope you all enjoy!

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On the way to Yas Waterworld, we had to pass by Ferrari World. This place is MASSIVE! I couldn't believe how HUGE this building is in person!

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Ferrari World construction shot from the road! Don't worry, I'll have more of these!

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Here it comes!

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I see a Vekoma!

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Welcome to Yas Waterworld!

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I love how they built the main entry in a traditional architecture style. (KK)

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The entrance area of this park is GORGEOUS. (KK)

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Noooooooooo! Our first closed coaster of the trip. (KK)

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One of the first things you're greeted with is a park map!

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Such a beautiful centerpiece!

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One of the first looks at all of the intertwining track that encompasses most of the park.

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Here's the loop in the terrifying Liwa Loop slide.

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Another victim, er, rider splashes down after their ride on Liwa Loop. (KK)

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Looking up Bandit Bomber's skirt.

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I love how Bandit Bomber interacts with the central mountain and the other slides!

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Is that an Aquatrax??? ;)

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Sebag's curves and the Gerstlauer-esque slide.

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Such care went into the design of this park!

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Nerd shot!

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Trying to get a good shot of the construction. I'll have much better pictures in my Ferrari World update!

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Here are the snake slides! You can go down them by yourself or with a friend on a double-tube!

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The green/tan one is the fastest of them all!

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This was the strange one. You can see the enlarged "WTF?" rooms, as I call them.

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The toilet bowl that tries to trap you inside!

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Do you feel lucky?

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The attention to detail is amazing.

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Here's where they were working on Bandit Bomber. Well, they were below here.

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Yep, this sucker's not opening today.

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Nerd shot!

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The Bandit Bomber plaza is quite nice.

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Across from the Premium entrance for Bandit Bomber, you can dive for your own pearls! It's such a nice nod to how UAE's economy first started years ago.

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More Bandit Bomber!

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The entrance to Bandit Bomber with a lady telling you its closed.

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Bye, Bandit Bomber! Hopefully, you're open on my next visit!

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The kid's play area is very nice! We waited 15 minutes for that bucket to empty, and it never did.

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You can even have your birthday party here! I hope you get to pet the camel!

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These glass beads were such a nice touch to the paths.

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Here's Dawwarma and its crazy high funnel!

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Next door to Yas Waterworld, there's a big construction site! Only earthwork is being done on the other side of these walls right now (we could see it from the slide platforms; sorry, no pics). We suspect that this is the site of the proposed Warner Bros. park.

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Here's the lazier of the two lazy rivers. The not-so-lazy river was difficult to photograph. (KK)

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More of the gorgeous landscaping! (KK)

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Goodbye, Yas Waterworld! You've opened my eyes to water parks, and I'll definitely be back!! (KK)

 

Stay tuned for Part 4: Ferrari World!! Will we get to ride Formula Rossa, or is Bandit Bomber's closure an omen? FIND OUT SOON!

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Cheesy Dr. Strangelove reference aside, I'm not a water park person. At least, I thought I wasn't until I visited Yas Waterworld. Our primary reason to visit the park was for Bandit Bomber, but on arrival we found it CLOSED FOR UPGRADES! It was the first credit of the trip to be closed, and we were so bummed. If we hadn't bought our tickets already, we probably wouldn't have entered, but we decided to go in and make the most of it.

 

I probably would have done the same time, gone for the credit but made the most of if afterwards.

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I always thought Yas Waterworld looked really cool but are the slides as good as they look? I didn't get the " Victim" thing. Are "looping" water slides uncomfortable?

 

Yes, the slides are as good (if not better) than they look! The victim comment came more from the terror I experienced than the pain. I didn't find Liwa Loop uncomfortable, but some people did have large friction burns from it. Honestly, there didn't seem to be many people who were dying to ride it again.

 

 

I probably would have done the same time, gone for the credit but made the most of if afterwards.

 

Considering it was over $60 for admission, it would have been stupid for us to skip it. Honestly, I had such a good time that Bandit Bomber didn't matter in the end. I'd go back regardless if it were open or not!

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I probably would have done the same time, gone for the credit but made the most of if afterwards.

 

Considering it was over $60 for admission, it would have been stupid for us to skip it. Honestly, I had such a good time that Bandit Bomber didn't matter in the end. I'd go back regardless if it were open or not!

 

What I meant to say is I would not even consider visiting Yas Waterworld if it didn't have a coaster, then again I would certainly ride some of the water rides if I paid $60 to get in.

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What I meant to say is I would not even consider visiting Yas Waterworld if it didn't have a coaster, then again I would certainly ride some of the water rides if I paid $60 to get in.

 

Gotcha. That was our idea, too.

 

Such an amazing looking place! From the photos it doesn't look crowded, were the lines long that day? How's the park's operation?

 

It was absolutely empty during our visit! We went on a Sunday, which is the equivalent of a Monday in the West. We were only there for three hours, and we were able to do everything we wanted at least once. The only downfall was that we had Premium passes, their skip-the-line pass. We bought our tickets as a combo with Ferrari World, both having the Premium pass. Operations weren't an issue that day, considering there were probably less than fifty people in the entire park. Even at slides that had a short wait, they moved people through as fast as they could.

 

Great photos - I definitely plan to check this place out if I'm ever in Abu Dhabi.

 

Thanks! I highly recommend it!

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Part 4: Ferrari World & BONUS Construction Update!

 

After visiting Yas Waterworld, we made the short drive to Yas Mall for Ferrari World! For being an all indoor park, this park is HUGE. Just like the Burj Khalifa, you truly don't comprehend how large it is until you've seen it in person. We took many glances at the park while at Yas Waterworld, and we'd seen Fiorano GT Challenge cycle several times, but not once did we see Formula Rossa. It wasn't until we were pulling into the parking garage that we FINALLY saw it cycle, and a huge weight of nerves was lifted off our shoulders!

 

We walked into the park and immediately headed for Formula Rossa. We had the Premium passes again, but unlike Yas Waterworld, there were lines here. Formula Rossa had a 20 minute wait...and we waited less than five! All loose articles were collected by attendants before entering the loading platform, and they gave us a number to retrieve them after the ride. I was shocked by the thoroughness of this procedure. The attendants had eyes like a hawk, and they would snatch up any loose article in seconds! You definitely don't see that in the US! We were handed our safety goggles (with special ones that go over glasses), and we were on our way for a front seat ride! The launch on this ride seems like it never ends; like the Energizer Bunny, you just keep going, and going, and going! Neither of us felt the brake on the first ride, but we did on a few others. The rest of the ride is comparable to Millennium Force. The curves show off the speed, and the hills have some great floater air! Formula Rossa simply blew us away!

 

Of course, we also did the Fiorano GT Challenge racing coasters. I remember Robb describing them as bizarre rides, and it's an appropriate description. To a degree, it does feel like you're on a race track with the varied launches and curves. On the yellow (left) side, the turns are banked appropriately, but on the red (right) side, the turns are mostly unbanked, which makes for some painful laterals. Then came one of the more interesting parts of this park, the Bell'Italia car ride. It's a simple car ride through Italy, but we were stranded in the Alps! There we were...stuck in a traffic jam in the Alps due to a ride malfunction. Luckily, we were "rescued" in about 15 minutes.

 

As for the dark rides, it's quite a collection. First came Made in Maranello, which is reminiscent of the ride at Hershey's Chocolate World, but not nearly as elaborate. It didn't delve into as much information as the Hershey ride, and it was honestly more of an advertisement to purchase a car. Next was Speed of Magic; what a strange ride! It's the same type of ride as Spiderman or Curse of DarKastle, but with a very strange story line. Essentially, a kid is having trouble beating a video game, and his dad offers to take him for a ride in his Ferrari as a break. He asks his son to hold onto the keys for him while he gets ready, and the character in the game (Nello, who is also a park mascot) jumps out of the game, steals them, and takes the keys back into the game. Your job is to retrieve the keys from Nello for the kid and his dad. Bizarre plot aside, it's a well-done ride! The final dark ride was Viaggio in Italia, a Soarin' knock-off. As you chase a Ferrari through the streets of Italy, you'll find that the ride is incredibly boring.

 

We rode Formula Rossa several more times all over the train, and we even had a chance for a night ride! It's just as good in every row of the train, but you'll probably notice the brakes more when you reride it. A night ride should NOT be passed up if you have the opportunity!

 

It's a very nice park with GREAT employees, but it leaves something to be desired. It feels more like a bunch of undecorated buildings covered by a giant awning. Other than Formula Rossa, there's not a lot of "wow-factor" here, especially if you're not a car fan. This park has TONS of potential, and I think with this new Dynamic Attractions coaster, this park will be scores better than what it is now.

 

BONUS Construction Update!

 

Okay, we all know about the new Dynamic Attractions coaster, Mission Ferrari, but there's MUCH more construction than it going on at the park! First off, there's a new ropes course on the way called Racer's Edge, and it looks to be mostly (if not completely) finished. Then, there's the construction that can be seen from outside of the park. It's all next-door to Fiorano GT Challenge, and it's still in its beginning stages. So far, it looks like only groundwork has been done with the footers dug, but not poured. But then there's something else that I happened to spot. Unfortunately, my picture of it didn't come out (Sorry, my camera didn't like the lighting inside), but there is a POURED FOOTER in the middle of Bell'Italia's theming. Now, you may think it's just for lights, decor, or something...but I've seen plenty of footers in my time. This is a COASTER footer. So, unless Mission Ferrari is going to circle around the park, I TRULY believe that Ferrari World is building a second coaster. PLUS, this footer is on the other side of the park as the construction next to Fiorano GT Challenge.

 

Onto the pics! I hope you all enjoy!

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Here we are! The entrance to Ferrari World inside of Yas Mall.

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But first thing's first...to Formula Rossa! (KK)

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Floaty airtime goodness! (KK)

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Swooping turns! (KK)

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And a few bunny hops for good measure! (KK)

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I can't imagine how crazy that airtime would be if it didn't have the brake. (KK)

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The viewing platform gives fantastic views of the ride!

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And they're off!

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Their Chinese New Year celebration ended the day before our visit, but there were still plenty of paper lanterns hanging about.

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Would you ever have guessed that there are cars in here??

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The spacious walkways successfully accommodate the INSANE crowds here today!

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I love the support structures of the park. They really add to the "cool" factor for me!

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In case the bounty of non-moving Ferraris wasn't enough, here are two that spin around.

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Does anybody know why the drop tower that used to be here was removed?

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They didn't have a full outdoor viewing area for Fiorano GT Challenge like they did for Formula Rossa, but you still get a nice view of the ride from this window in the queue.

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Time for the racing coaster! (KK)

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The loading platform. The drop out of the station is pretty surprising! (KK)

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Our Italian chariot arrives! (KK)

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They did a nice job with the little villages. (KK)

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On-ride shot! The footer is just beyond this "hill." (KK)

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Oh, no! Traffic jam! (KK)

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The ceiling is so cool. Note the construction in the background.

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Looking back at the tunnel on the ride. I wonder how excited the riders stuck inside were!

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Back by Fiorano GT Challenge, we see some parts awaiting construction!

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An overview of the construction site.

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Zooming in on those footers...I don't see any concrete.

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There's still a lot more work to do here.

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Is that more construction I see?

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Yes! This is the new ropes course!

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Racer's Edge...coming soon to a Ferrari World near you!

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Another car. Who would've guessed? (KK)

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Another chariot awaits! This time for the factory tour ride. (KK)

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There's some old cars. (KK)

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Some for drag racing.

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And then one that brings you back to the '80s!

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Some new ones.

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There's even a playground for the kids!

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There are plenty of reminders of the Ferrari brand. Just in case you happen to forget. (KK)

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Near the entrance/exit, there's this lovely machine. (KK)

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Goodbye, Ferrari World! I can't wait to come back for Mission Ferrari and more Formula Rossa goodness! (KK)

 

Up next, stay tuned for Part 5: Yolo Works, the strange drifting coaster at Fun Works! Coming soon!

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I had no idea they were building a ropes course there.

 

Neither did I! And it doesn't look at all like a "normal" ropes course. Looks a lot like the "challenge" activities that Elissa had us doing at the ultra-crazy ropes course on last year's Scandi Trip. Check the right-side of the tower in the photo - looks just like an activity we did in Scandi where a challenger stands on the platform and has to jump out to grab onto the trapeze-style handles.

 

Fun stuff! Might need to make it over there this Summer to try it!

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