Condor Posted October 11, 2015 Share Posted October 11, 2015 I ventured down to Mexico City for the first time over the weekend of October 3-4 to visit Six Flags Mexico, home of what would be my third RMC, and La Feria Chapultepec, a park I never imagined I would actually visit. This was also my first time visiting Mexico in any capacity outside of uber-touristy Cancun, which was guaranteed to be interesting considering I neglected to use any of my high school Spanish for the past nine years and had forgotten almost all of it. What made this opportunity possible was my chance meeting at Cedar Point a year ago with fellow TPR member, Carlos. We were on the same Millennium Force train and he apparently recognized me from another photo TR and we ended up hanging out and have stayed in touch since. He extended an open invitation for me to visit his home in Mexico City, so I figured the absolute least I could do after over a year was to stop blowing all my money on other trips within the US and finally go to Mexico and visit him! We did a lot more besides the two parks, and while I won’t get into that here, it was an eye opening experience for me and I found that much of Mexico City is extremely nice, in many ways more so than major US cities. I had a great time and plan to return. Onto the parks and coasters: Six Flags Mexico – I had read that this was aesthetically one of the nicest SF parks. After about three minutes inside the place, I had already seen enough to support this. It’s still missing one more quality coaster (a B&M dive or wing coaster would do wonders here) away from rounding out its collection, but even without, it’s still my favorite of the midsize Six Flags parks I’ve been to (others being SFNE, SFStl, and SFDK). Landscaping was as nice as you’ll find at this kind of park, theming was a cut above the usual, and operations and cleanliness were exceptional across the board. I only ate Johnny Rockets so I can’t comment on the food, preferring to preserve my authentic Mexican dining experiences for establishments outside of theme parks. I was also able to attend Six Fags Mexico’s version of Fright Fest, called Festival de Terror. Since I live in Southern California and have access to Universal, Knott’s, and the Queen Mary for Halloween events, I have never visited a Six Flags, including SFMM, for Fright Fest, so I can’t make that comparison here. But I will say that I had a much better experience than I did opening night of Knott’s Scary Farm this year, where I found production value to be high, but the scares to be light (I plan go back again later in the month). SF Mexico can’t compete with Knott’s on budget, but it’s definitely a case of doing more with less. So many haunted mazes at US parks these days are overly well-lit to showcase set design or a particular IP, and since SFM doesn’t need to concern itself with that they aimed instead for making the darkest, creepiest, most unsettling atmosphere possible in every maze. There were nine in total and I remember at least six of them being exceptionally scary, in particular Witches, which takes you outside the park into the forest with loads of fog, dark tunnels, and places where you can’t even be sure you’re still following the path. The event heavily reminded me of Knott’s around ten years ago. Medusa Steel Coaster – This ride was everything I hoped it would be. It’s my favorite of the three RMCs I’ve ridden (ahead of Outlaw Run and Twisted Colossus) and by the end of the trip it made its way into my steel top 5 (behind only Skyrush, Maverick, I305, and MF). Like all other RMCs the general ride experience is a known quantity by now – superb smoothness, relentless pacing, sustained ejector airtime on every hill. But what oddly enough stood out to me about Medusa was the sound it makes. This coaster is LOUD. My home RMC, Twisted Colossus, is almost silent, yet Medusa roars like an old school B&M funneled through Tom Hardy’s Bane mask. I asked Carlos about this and he said the sound is a recent development and that it was quiet like Colossus until just recently. Thinking this might have been a result of the park tinkering with the wheels, we observed them and indeed, each train seems to run a different arrangement of at least two types of wheels. Not sure which ones are polyurethane, nylon, or whatever else. I’ve seen similar comments about Wicked Cyclone on here too. Does anyone know more? Superman El Ultimo Escape – One of two big surprises on this trip. By now I have ridden several Morgans and while Phantom’s Revenge and Lightning Run belong to one category, I find that their distant cousins Steel Force and Mamba fall into a slightly *ahem* lower class, even though I still enjoy them. Just by looking at Superman you’d think it would be fairly easy to discern which class it belongs in. But Holy Kryptonian-Feaux-Messiah-Figure was I wrong. Superman may look like Mexican Mamba, but it doesn’t ride like it at all. Not only do the pre-lift drops and the main drop all provide actual airtime, the pair of inclined spirals are packed to the gills with positive and lateral g’s! And the craziest part of all is that when the train plows over the crest of the second spiral it enters the oddest moment of sustained, borderline ejector air I’ve ever felt. It’s a truly wonderful and surreal sensation, especially in the front car, and I can’t think of another moment quite like it on another coaster. There’s more quality air to be found on the cammelbacks after the MCBR and also unlike Mamba and Steel Force, this MCBR doesn’t rob the train of any speed whatsoever. It only came on for blocking purposes once out of my six laps on it. If you can’t already tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this coaster and I’d even say it’s better than half of the B&M hypers I’ve ridden. The rest of SFM’s coaster lineup is all clones and kiddie coasters you can find just about anywhere, so I won’t detail them here. But I will say that Dark Knight, Joker, and Batman: The SLC all ran pretty well. La Feria Chapultepec – Oh my god this place is so ghetto. There’s trash everywhere, I got sick from the water, the toilets don’t work, the rides are dirty, the employees are untrained, and I almost got pick-pocketed four times!!! I’m sure that’s what at least some people might expect of this park. But in my experience, almost none of it is true! La Feria is obviously not the nicest park in the world and it’s clearly intended to service a particular clientele. However, I found it to be a pleasant enough place with a decent collection of eclectic coasters and flats you just don’t see in many parks. I really enjoyed it and easily could have spent more time here had we not planned for an afternoon’s worth of sightseeing around the city. The closest comparison I can make is of an urban, Mexican version of a place like Waldameer. I’d definitely go back again. If I’ll complain about one thing, it’s the operations. No one has any clue what’s going on at this park. For one example, the process to get a front of the line wristband went something like this: (1) Go to Guy A at guest services stand. (2) Guy A tells you to go see Guy B who will give you a piece of paper to bring back to Guy A. (3) Guy B gives you the paper, but says to talk to Guy C, not Guy A like we were just told. (4) Guy C says he has no idea what Guy B is talking about and to go back to Guy A with our paper after all. (5) Guy A writes something on the paper from Guy B and tells us to take that to Guy D to get our wristbands. (6) Guy D finally gives us our wristbands. Montaña Triple Loop – Like everyone else, I’m a lover of all things Schwarzkopf, so I was really looking forward to riding this. It’s also likely the closest I’ll ever get to riding Olympia Looping (but then again, I never thought I’d be here either…) so I was going to make myself enjoy it no matter what. And I did. We rode it three times and two of them were awesome. Good old fashioned Anton g-forces and kind-of-but-not-really heartlining were just what I was in the mood for. Some of the transitions felt a bit more jarring on my third ride, but nothing to complain about (I like to think I'm above complaining about unimportant things like pain). A solid ride you won't find anything similar to in the US, but it was surprisingly not my favorite coaster at the park. Cascabel – My second Schwarzkopf shuttle loop. It experienced mucho downtime during my visit so I only got to go once, but my lone ride on “Rattlesnake” was an interesting one that I’ll detail later in the photos. Montaña Rusa – When you see a massive, old wooden coaster like this at a park with less than stellar operations it’s hard to feel encouraged. I’ll be honest, I expected this thing to go full Lex Luger and put me up in the Torture Rack. But it turns out if you know where to ride it, Montaña Rusa is pretty good! We employed the strategy I use for all suspect coasters running trains with 3-bench cars: Ride only in the middle row of any car (i.e. seats not above the wheels) or in the front seat of the first car. This coaster feels mostly like a monstrous scenic railway with a lot of sudden drops to make sure you don’t gaze at the Mexico City skyline for too long from any one angle. And I call them drops only because that’s the commonly accepted word for them, but they’re more like steep ramps with sharp pullovers and pullouts that occasionally create some startling airtime or positive g’s. Since it's already made it this far, I hope Montaña Rusa never changes. It even crawled its way into my wooden top 20, something I never would have believed had you told me a week earlier. Ratón Loco – I know most people seem to be pretty high on the Mauer spinning coasters, but their counterparts from Reverchon just might be my favorite after riding this one and Kennywood’s Exterminator. A big part of that is how La Feria runs theirs almost trim-free except where absolutely necessary. I’ve never been on a more thrilling spinner. Crazy laterals all over the place and unlike the two Mauers I rode recently it---and I almost didn’t believe this--- actually spins! Probably would be too extreme for overly sensitive American families. We passed La Feria on the highway to Six Flags Mexico. We'll return later. Front parking lot was already full when we arrived, so they directed us to the back lot, allowing some interesting views of Superman. It's an impressive structure no matter how many hypers or gigas you've seen. This is where the Kryptonian-level airtime happens. Superman's drop looks identical to Steel Force and Mamba's drops in profile, so I'm not sure why this one has so much more airtime. I thought about making a "leaps the future Justice League building in a single bound" joke here, but then I realized it was lame. Batman: The Rough This SLC honestly isn't that bad. It was one of the more comfortable ones. Superman's and Batman's entrances aren't anywhere near each other, but the complementary layout placement makes for some good photo ops. At least SLCs usually look pretty cool. The presentation of this one is especially nice. Kilauea is the park's volcano themed S&S tower. Apparently the program this one used to run was insane, but nowadays it's been toned down. I couldn't tell you which Festival de Terror maze this werewolf is supposed to represent, but at least it's theming! OMG Halloween theming!!! Wtf is that!? WTF IS THAT??? Medusa is perched on a hill overlooking the front entrance, making it appear much taller than it is. SFM as a whole is situated higher than the rest of Mexico city, making for some incredible lift hill views from Medusa and Superman. Most of the park is heavily shaded and well landscaped. Especially this area right around Medusa. Scare actors are out in the daytime here. In general they were more aggressive in scaring people than what you'll find in the US. Shows what you can do when you don't have to worry about morons suing for things like emotional distress. I had this terrible feeling standing in line that my expectations for Medusa were so high that it couldn't possibly meet or exceed them. The problem inherent to this type of thinking is that even if the coaster is extremely good, every ride on it will still feel somewhat disappointing even though you're enjoying the experience. I have just this second decided to dub this "the coaster enthusiast's paradox." And it almost happened on Medusa. After my first ride on it I thought, "Well, that was really, really, remarkably good, but is that good enough?" After several more laps, that feeling subsided and I came to understand that Medusa was very much a top 5 coaster in my book. I feel like a minimum of three rides is required to truly appreciate and analyze an elite coaster. I had the same experience with Intimidator 305, where after that third ride, I was more in tune with it and could better understand the nuances of the coaster. Every hill has ejector air on Medusa, and not just in certain rows. It's in every row. There are no bad seats. I like how RMC was able to preserve so much of CCI Medusa's layout while still being innovative. I'm told this is the original Vekoma boomerang and the park was even thoughtful enough to paint it in the same colors my local one at Knott's once sported just to make sure I felt at home. I have been pretty lucky with my SLCs. Most of them have treated me gently, including this one. Come to think of it, the only SLC that has not treated me with the respect I like to think I deserve is Kong. I believe the full, proper name for this ride is: Superman la Atraccion Muy Importante Grande Escape de Acero It looks decent in this shot, but Superman badly needs a repaint. Maybe one next year to coincide with the opening of Justice League. Joker was the second best spinning coaster of the trip. The inverting drop was great, but it's still not my second, third, fourth, or even fifth favorite element on this coaster. I really like Medusa's station for some reason. But will it hit the bolts? It appears not. Guess these Rocky Mountain Construction guys are pretty good at their jobs, eh? If you're fat, ride like this. This is how Carlos and I pregame for Festival de Terror and more Medusa. Very impressed with SFM's ability to do more with less in their mazes. Dolls was one of the better ones. We came back the next morning to catch Sky Screamer. This is a 250 ft model, but with the park's elevation above the rest of the city, it felt more like the 400 ft version. I put Medusa in my pantheon of coasters with great views from the crest of their lift hills. The others: Ravine Flyer II, Millennium Force, Sheikra, and Wildfire @ SDC. Prior to 2015 I had only ridden one RMC: Outlaw Run. So far this year I have added Twisted Colossus and Medusa, and then in December I will get to ride New Texas Giant and Iron Rattler. Very curious to see how they compare. Finally we arrive at La Feria. Some quick research shows that this coaster started out in 1984 as Dreier Looping on the German fair circuit, then operated as Triple Loop Coaster at Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia, then in 2000 became Magnum Force at Flamingoland (where I first heard of it) in the UK, and finally ended up here in Mexico City where it has run as both Montaña Triple Loop and Montaña Infinitum. Seems this Schwarzkopf has had quite a life. For such an impressive looking and accessibly placed compact coaster, finding good angles for photos is frustratingly difficult. I didn't attend La Feria's Halloween events. Not sure what the difference between the two is. Possibly just a way to drive ticket sales by offering two supposedly different products. Ended the night with a few other-worldly night rides on Medusa. We waited until night to try and ride Sky Screamer. Sadly this did not happen. The park has all kinds of nice little touches like the mountain backdrop behind the circle swing. If Anton is your man, La Feria has you covered. So I promised a story about Cascabel. Watching off-ride, the train never climbed much higher up the front spike than this, or slightly lower than I'm accustomed to seeing Montezooma's Revenge go. So Carlos and I climbed into the front row expecting a just so-so ride. But then something happened. Our train hurdled out of the station, almost blew our faces off in the loop, and shot sufficiently high enough up the front spike to alarm both of us. I know distance can be deceiving when you're riding, but we honestly felt like we were 3-5 feet away from being able to touch the buffer at the top. I have no idea how high we actually went, but never in my many rides on Montezooma, or in Carlos' rides on Cascabel, had we ever gone as high as this. After going what felt like equally high up the back spike, our train returned and actually overshot the station by about 2 car lengths. Now in America, since Cascabel doesn't have handrails out past the station, I imagine we would have been told to wait in the train for however long it took mechanics to pull it back in. But here the ride ops just popped the lap bars and looked at us like, "Well, what are you two waiting for? It's time to get out." So we did an followed a maybe 18-inch wide walkway back to the station like there was no problem. I love it when people are empowered to use common sense. Triple Loop was my first Schwarzkopf with a curved lift. I regret not getting a better photo of it because the engineering is kind of cool. Underneath every 3-4 feet of track is an individual driveshaft connected by a gearbox to the next driveshaft ahead of it. That's a lot of driveshafts. My Anton chariot awaits. What I didn't know is that Triple Loop had race car-like over the shoulder seatbelts added at some point in its life. They don't affect the ride experience at all except for being annoying, but they do slow down dispatches quite a bit. I usually grayed out a bit in the second loop. I LOVE graying out. As impressed as I was with Superman, Montaña Rusa was the real surprise of the trip. It has as big a station as you will ever see. One thing that was very cool is the sense of pride you can tell its ride ops and caretakers feel for working it. If you're buff, ride like this. None of the drops are that steep and you don't go over most of them that fast, but the sharp transitions from straight track to the pullovers make for unexpected airtime in several places. I'm pretty sure this is the only parabolic hill on the whole coaster. This is where most of the daytime scare actors roamed. I believe the building on the right is either a year around haunt or a dark ride. There were quite a few of them while were there and the park blared a siren right around when we were leaving to signal that more monsters had been released. Ratón Loco might be my favorite mouse/spinning coaster to date. It was almost violent. Great stuff. The first of two back to back moments of surprise airtime if you ride up front. I could have spent half the day riding this. Like I said, choose your seats wisely and there's no roughness to worry about. Not a philosophy that would fly on a modern coaster, but one I think is appropriate for a 1964 NAD woodie that still runs as originally built. My favorite coaster at La Feria. We did not get to ride Cascabel again. It reopened but the train in these pics overshot the station again and it remained closed. 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