Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Photo TR: Castles -N- Coasters


Recommended Posts

I'm to Phoenix, AZ for New Year's weekend, and used this opportunity to check out this local park. It boasts that it is the home to AZ's tallest, fastest looping coaster (it also happens to be AZ's only looping coaster) - Desert Storm. Its other coaster is Patriot, a steel family coaster.

I hadn't researched the park much before going, and figured I'd end up leaving after riding the coasters and playing mini-golf, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much there is to do there besides the two coasters. The park has a decent selection of flat rides, a log flume, and even a zip line; I'll delve more into these in the pictures. One thing that impressed me is how well the park uses the little space it has. Desert Storm takes up about 1/4 of the park, but the go-karts and some of the flat rides are nestled underneath it.

The park has different tiers of passes; their main package deal is the Gold Pass, which includes unlimited rides, 18 holes of mini golf, and $10 worth of arcade games. I wasn't interested in the arcade, so I bought a Silver Pass - which is a Gold Pass minus the arcade credit - for $35.

Without further ado, let's dive into the pictures.

Desert Storm was the first ride of the day. It's a Hopkins looper with two awkward vertical loops, which are both quite jerky. The restraints consist of a lap bar only; said lap bar sat quite loosely on me, so I slid around quite a bit on the turns. For that reason, I really enjoyed this ride.

IMG_3495.thumb.JPG.32175c4a39a75710b366ecc9e2059ac5.JPG

IMG_3471.thumb.JPG.99cb054fa952fdf9515938ad1c26b364.JPG

IMG_3503.thumb.JPG.3e742dc1bd9271b99a2192d5bc0bc545.JPG

Why you shouldn't drink and design coasters...

IMG_3479.thumb.JPG.de8512991ea6bbc77966eff1f08944e2.JPG

The trains looked a bit like Arrow trains.

Patriot, the park's family coaster, sits at the other end of the park. It was an enjoyable little coaster that was surprisingly forceful. It rattles quite a bit - not surprising, considering its age.

IMG_3493.thumb.JPG.05e54bbf412ee6e297ca98fd845300bc.JPG

Sorry for the bad pic... the sun was in my eyes.

There are a couple of places to find grub around the park. Waffles -N- Stuff sells some of the best waffle cones I've tasted, topped with a generous serving of ice cream.

IMG_3496.thumb.JPG.a33288a59a6fe0d08b7904bbbd6e3185.JPG

That waffle on the roof rotates, tempting the riders of Desert Storm.

IMG_3483.thumb.JPG.bd04597f8273355d8bf58d85cc5b3b93.JPG

Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture until I had finished 2 of the 3 scoops of ice cream and part of the waffle cone. :p

King's (Re)treat is the main restaurant. It offers standard theme park food - burgers, fries, pizza, Doritos chili cheese nachos...

IMG_3484.thumb.JPG.985a63aa595642ccc3a3fea128f008ef.JPG

IMG_3482.thumb.JPG.5be878675ec0f6d6bfc401bef4e9c0cc.JPG

These tasted much better than they sounded.

Some other sights around the park...

IMG_3490.thumb.JPG.901eaa5dbab4cff65534a2b526cd8361.JPG

Splashdown, the log flume, nestled underneath Desert Storm's lift hill.

IMG_3491.thumb.JPG.f5454ec3946245d72f86b60990fb4bbf.JPG

This drop tower was a blast, and actually scared me more than Lex Luthor.

IMG_3492.thumb.JPG.4d43fad7681132de9ea9a830b331a405.JPG

This painting of Disney knockoffs scared me more than the drop tower.

IMG_3494.thumb.JPG.8caa6f44540e7a159b4df1cfe5c8f4a1.JPG

The park was full of these weird Disney knockoff paintings.

IMG_3497.thumb.JPG.a49db7c1775bf512af1e0541b3946556.JPG

The go-kart track, underneath Desert Storm's helix. The mini-golf course is in the background.

IMG_3498.thumb.JPG.a0e310891d67c1a4c45bb2106a3ccd3e.JPG

Bumper boats - perfect for a warm, Arizona winter day.

IMG_3499.thumb.JPG.caa5f89870849a0abdd2288a80b308c1.JPG

This nerve-wracking obstacle course was in the front of the park. Some of the obstacles were blocked off due to snapped ropes, broken steps, etc., which added to the suspense.

IMG_3500.thumb.JPG.3825ceb1ead7fd86fb132a7173c80b88.JPG

The zip line

IMG_3501.thumb.JPG.2d83c1d0d31d0b3d6710f64e4fd80032.JPG

The park's main building, which houses the ticket office and arcade.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this park and highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Phoenix area.

IMG_3493.thumb.JPG.4ef174bfd643f646d78dc0c6741752ae.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^It's worth an hour or so to experience the Hopkins weirdness with Desert Storm, and the drop tower which is one of ARM's 120ft models so it absolutely kicks ass. Totally agree that it's better than Lex Luthor as I rode them about a month apart a couple years back. Free entry too (tickets per ride/wristband type system), so it definitely can facilitate a cheap and quick in-and-out if needed. (That's what she said).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report! Wow the profiling on Desert Storm's loops is pretty weird. I hadn't seen an angle from behind like that before.

 

And yes those Larson/ARM towers pack a bigger punch than towers 3 times their size. I dream of them making a taller version of one someday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm from California, but moved to AZ in 2011. Castles 'N' Coasters is trash compared to a lot of parks. It's good for kids though. Over the years there have been talks of them demolishing the nearby mall (Metro Center) and expand the theme park out that way, but that never happened... and never will now that they built a new Walmart store near the park. The Disney knock-off character paintings are major cringe and unsettling. Being an adult, the only rides I found to be suitable for my age were Desert Storm, Sky Diver, Splashdown, Magic Carpet, and Sea Dragon.

 

It sucks that this is the only theme park in the state of AZ, but whatever. Maybe one day they'll put up a Six Flags park and we'll finally get some real entertainment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm from California, but moved to AZ in 2011. Castles 'N' Coasters is trash compared to a lot of parks. It's good for kids though. Over the years there have been talks of them demolishing the nearby mall (Metro Center) and expand the theme park out that way, but that never happened... and never will now that they built a new Walmart store near the park. The Disney knock-off character paintings are major cringe and unsettling. Being an adult, the only rides I found to be suitable for my age were Desert Storm, Sky Diver, Splashdown, Magic Carpet, and Sea Dragon.

 

It sucks that this is the only theme park in the state of AZ, but whatever. Maybe one day they'll put up a Six Flags park and we'll finally get some real entertainment.

 

You're correct, it's honestly not a very nice place. I've you've never been though, may as well spend an hour like I said to grab the credits and leave. I'm a former Phoenix resident so I've been a handful of times and the only ride I'd even consider "good" is the drop tower. The reasons they won't build a larger park there are a) insanely high summer temperatures (not uncommon to remain in the high 90's well past midnight in the center of town) which prohibits maximized attendance through the summer which is financially critical- even tons of shade wouldn't make much of a difference, and b) Phoenix is the only major market/place to pull from in a several hundred mile radius and Phoenix alone, especially with its demographics, would not be able to support any sizable park. If many people in Phoenix won't consider driving to SFMM because it's too far...people surely won't come out here from the Socal market for something that would equate to far less than that.

 

EDIT: Sidenote for an interesting tidbit of information, SFMM did actually advertise in Phoenix for a year or two via radio and other targeted internet methods and then stopped as far as I can tell. I think it was immediately before and after the opening of Twisted Colossus, but as I said I don't live there anymore so there is a small chance they still do although I definitely don't remember hearing much past a certain point. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^It's worth an hour or so to experience the Hopkins weirdness with Desert Storm, and the drop tower which is one of ARM's 120ft models so it absolutely kicks A$$. Totally agree that it's better than Lex Luthor as I rode them about a month apart a couple years back.

Desert Storm was definitely a unique experience. I love lapbar-only looping coasters, and this one really throws you around. It's one of the few coasters where I don't recommend putting your hands up, especially when riding in the back. Those inversions should be called "back crackers". Also, I think the lift hill is steeper than the drop.

I really want to get to this park just because it's so f*cking weird.

 

Great report.

Thanks! It really is a weird park. The theming is a mixture of Medieval Times, pirates, and Disney knockoffs. Patriot's lift hill is spanned with a wall full of Disney knockoffs.

Amazing report! I've passed by this park coming through Arizona in 2016, and I must say, I was tempting to stop by. Unfortunately, I just didn't have the time.

Thanks! I had the same conundrum in 2016, but finally made time to visit this year. I'm glad I did.

ARM towers are fun, but there's something to be said about the unsettling feeling you have when dangling a few hundred feet in the air. The fall is never as thrilling for me as the nervous anticipation.

True, but this ARM tower was pretty dang suspenseful on the way up. The catch car blocks the view above you, so unless you're facing the tower's shadow, you have no idea how far you have left to go. When you reach the top, it doesn't hesitate like Lex Luthor does; after a quick "ker-chunk", it drops you like a hot potato. The fall was just as thrilling as the lift, IMO.

I'm from California, but moved to AZ in 2011. Castles 'N' Coasters is trash compared to a lot of parks. It's good for kids though. Over the years there have been talks of them demolishing the nearby mall (Metro Center) and expand the theme park out that way, but that never happened... and never will now that they built a new Walmart store near the park. The Disney knock-off character paintings are major cringe and unsettling. Being an adult, the only rides I found to be suitable for my age were Desert Storm, Sky Diver, Splashdown, Magic Carpet, and Sea Dragon.

 

It sucks that this is the only theme park in the state of AZ, but whatever. Maybe one day they'll put up a Six Flags park and we'll finally get some real entertainment.

True. It's definitely not a destination park, but it's good for a visit if you happen to be in the area. I've wondered why AZ doesn't have any other parks. The ridiculous summer heat may very well be a reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the report of the only "theme" park in my home state. I do wish that Arizona offered more thrills or decent theme parks but in the long run, I really don't care because we usually just travel to Los Angeles on the I-10 or San Diego on the I-8 to go to more decent parks. There's even another park in the same driving distance in Albuquerque (Cliff's) that has an amazing wooden coaster.

Everyone says that Arizona needs a decent theme park in this state but for the majority of people that live here (freakin retired people and snow-birds in the winter) neither of those groups care about theme parks. I would truly love to see a new park but I've given up hope that it will actually happen and that opens up the fact that I can travel outside of this state to experience other theme parks.

This report was great and thanks for sharing all the unique rides that this place has to offer. I also really enjoy the arcade that it has because there are A TON of pinball machines inside and I love playing pinball.

 

Jimmy "My back is still broken from Desert Storm" Bo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Maybe Phoenix needs to go the Middle Eastern route....that being a mostly enclosed environment

and operating space for most, if not all, of the park?

 

Still, with the population locally not mostly condusive to such a venture.... worth a suggestion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/