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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Gillian's Wonderland Pier- The calm before the Gale Force

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Six Flags Magic Mountain

 

I apologize in advance, but this update won't have many photos. With limited time at a park this huge, I was too busy riding coasters to take many photos.

 

Every time I visit Six Flags Magic Mountain, I fully expect that I’ll need a Flash Pass. It seemed especially likely on a sunny 70 degree weekend day. But the coaster gods were on my side and the park was relatively empty.

 

It did require me to make some concessions. For the most part, rides were a walk-on but there were a few exceptions. Twisted Colossus was running at half capacity so that ride had a 60-90 minute wait all day. Fortunately my Diamond Elite skip-the-line passes worked like a charm there. Full Throttle had a 30-45 minute wait, but I’m not willing to skip that ride.

 

I did skip Goliath though. As far as hypers go, it’s at the bottom of the barrel. But it’s still a hyper. However, it was only running one train and posting a 2+ hour wait all afternoon. The other ride we skipped was CraZanity. It’s a fun ride, but I have a similar flat back at SFNE.

 

Our first stop was X2. Even with a Flash Pass, X2 was a tedious 30-40 minute wait back in December due to one train operations. Fortunately X2 was back to two trains and even better, it was just a one train wait. I have never seen X2’s line that short, so I was ecstatic.

 

I was even more interested to see my buddy’s reactions on X2. Every other time I’ve been to SFMM, no one in my group wanted to ride X2 with me. Since it would be his first time on X2, I graciously offered to take the outside seat, knowing full well it was the bumpier of the two. But he wanted the extra freedom.

 

X2 had both of us laughing like preschoolers. The whole concept of the ride is absolutely insane- a vertical drop with a 360 degree flip, a zero-G roll mixed with a back flip, some sort of side flip, and ridiculously forceful raven turns. Without hesitation, he proclaimed X2 as his favorite ride ever.

 

So naturally we went back around. This time I took the outside and while it was noticeably bumpier, I am willing to look past it simply because of how unique and ambitious X2 is. Much to my shock, my buddy actually preferred the outside seat since he thought the bumpiness added to the ride, so there was zero conflict on any subsequent rides. It’s not perfect, but it’s truly breathtaking. 9.5 out of 10

 

I was also happy to see Viper reopen after its rehab. Now I really like Viper, but I only ride it once per visit simply because of the rest of this park’s lineup. The first half is very forceful. You have a snappy first drop followed by three loops that had me seeing grey. Arrow loops are very underrated in this department.

 

I could see others complaining about the second half, as the MCBR brings the train to a complete halt. This causes the second half to drag. However, I love the unintended effect of the batwing and corkscrew having really funky hangtime for an Arrow looper. 8 out of 10

 

Tatsu barely had any queue, so we decided to wait a few extra trains for the very front. Outside of Flying Dinosaur, this is my favorite flyer. The ride’s placement on the hill is what makes this ride. Well that and the absolutely bonkers pretzel loop. All pretzel loops are awesome, but the Tatsu’s is gargantuan in size and you can feel the additional G-forces. 9.5 out of 10

 

Superman was also closed during my fall visit, so I was interested in reriding it. Luckily we rode it earlier in the day since both sides were operational. This allowed us to board in 20 minutes. Later in the day, the posted wait was an hour. Plus it allowed me to finally get my credit on the right side.

 

Superman’s launch isn’t the most forceful, but it lasts forever. You reach a point where you keep thinking you can’t possibly accelerate anymore, yet you keep doing so. I remember all the old Discovery Show channels showing Superman giving ridiculous hangtime. Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t feel it. I never really do on vertical spikes.

 

That being said, I did appreciate the sheer height of the ride and the amazing view though. Plus by riding in the front row (or back row, reversed trains are confusing), we got one heck of a breeze speeding back towards the station. 7 out of 10

 

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Not only was the coaster open, but the Superman midway was open too! It's the small victories in life.

 

My buddy had never been on a suspended coaster, so he was caught completely off-guard by Ninja’s violent swings towards the end of the ride. I love those final swings by Jet Stream, but the ride does take a while to get up to speed. That’s something where Vortex and Bat don’t have an issue. 6 out of 10

 

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Note the progress on West Coast Racers as of January 27.

 

As mentioned, the skip-the-line passes were absolute saviors at Twisted Colossus. Interestingly, Twisted Colossus wasn’t even listed as an option on the Flash Pass board for the day, so I was shocked our skip-the-line passes were even valid for the park’s awesome RMC.

 

Back in December I seriously debated if Twisted Colossus was better than Steel Vengeance. I must have been high on Flags Famous Chicken Strips or something. Twisted Colossus is still a world-class ride, but the intermission mid-ride is a major downside compared to the non-stop nature of Steel Vengeance.

 

The halt in the middle does allow riders to experience the first drop twice. The ride is littered with abrupt and forceful ejector air with the strongest moments occurring on that first turnaround. The entries and exits to that turnaround are among the best airtime moments on a RMC. 10 out of 10

 

Scream is a ride that would be a star attraction at most parks. At SFMM, it’s just another coaster. That being said, I always ride it at least once and it is a solid floorless coaster. The parking lot setting is Six Flags at its finest, but I prefer to focus on the barrage of inversions. Now while I enjoy this ride, is it wrong I sort of prefer Viper? 8 out of 10

 

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The parking lot theming is top notch. Prestine lines and plenty of cars.

 

As a whole, I didn’t have an issue with SFMM’s operations. Dispatches were tolerable, most rides were open, and the staff was friendly. The one issue I had all day was at Full Throttle. It was the shortest queue I had ever seen for Full Throttle; we started near the end of the tent.

 

Anyone who has ridden Full Throttle knows there’s that awkward plaza between the first and second part of the queue that intersects with the exit. Unfortunately, the park was not monitoring this so people were immediately getting off the ride and getting right back onto the second part of the queue. Meanwhile the employees weren’t allowing us to proceed into the second part of the queue until it shortened.

 

I know Full Throttle usually has assigned seating, but I figured I could try requesting the front row. We were told the front row queue was too long, so instead we were assigned row two. Except the messed up part was that the front row queue actually had the shortest wait. Instead I had to wait an extra 3-4 cycles for the second row plus a 10-15 minute breakdown.

 

These operational hiccups aside, Full Throttle is an absolute rush. The juxtaposition of the slow, hangtime filled inversions and fast launches makes for a neat ride. And then you have that bizarre top hat that delivers two major pops of ejector air, one over the top and another when you engage the brakes on the way down. 9 out of 10

 

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Yes having a big drop into a brake run sort of stinks, but this is more of a ride than Ka or Dragster.

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I just love how they have a picture of monks riding the Scandia Screamer (RIP).

 

In the last hour, we made a lap getting a reride on X2 and hitting the three looping coasters we had missed. The first was the New/Classic Revolution. Outside of the loop, which naturally delivers, Revolution isn’t the most forceful coaster. But it does have a wonderful setting through the woods. 7 out of 10

 

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In classic Six Flags fashion, there were conflicting signs out front if this was the New or Classic Revolution. Which is it?

 

I thought it was a Christmas miracle getting good rides on Riddler’s Revenge and Green Lantern (Great Adventure’s, not that lawn ornament at this park). But Riddler’s Revenge again delivered a comfortable and intense ride. I feel like I’ve finally cracked the code how to properly ride these B&M stand-ups. For me, the key is to have the OSTR bottom out on my shoulder so I can avoid headbanging. 8 out of 10

 

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Ecuador

 

My buddy was blown away by Batman. To me, it’s one of the best clones out there. To him, it felt completely unique. He had ridden Great Adventure’s Batman clone a few years ago, but that was while they had the backwards train. Batman was absolutely hauling, even more so than usual. My legs felt like they were about to explode as we surged into the brake run. 8.5 out of 10

 

We finished the night with one last ride on Twisted Colossus. Even though the queue was only 1.5 switchbacks deep, I believe it took us 30-40 minutes to board the front row of what ended up being the final train of the night. As an added bonus, we got a half duel. I would have loved to have ridden Twisted Colossus more than twice, but it just wasn’t feasible with that queue.

 

While we only had time for one lap on most coasters, we had a fantastic time. My buddy proclaimed it as the best amusement park he has ever visited. While I won’t go that far, it does have the best coaster collection outside of Cedar Point. For that reason alone, it is one of my favorite parks. Plus they’ve been revitalizing different sections of the park with each new addition.

 

Really my biggest gripe against the park now is the hours of operation. Yes it’s awesome that the park is now open 365 days (assuming none of those 365 days have rain), but I just wish the park was open longer than 6-7 hours. Even with no queues, you really can’t do everything in one day.

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It is not wrong that you prefer Viper. I think it's a great old Arrow with the intense transitions of a classic Schwarzkopf, even though it can be a little rough at times (I found it very smooth in the front seat)

 

But great trip report as always!

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Put me in the camp of preferring Viper over Scream as well. It is much more forceful, unique, and better-placed (scenery wise). And you can brace for the rough parts on Viper and avoid head-banging if you're the right height, but on Scream, you can't do anything about a ride that runs on octagonal wheels.

 

Glad you had a good day. I'm going sometime during the week of March 11-15, so I'm hoping I will luck out with crowds and not need a Flash Pass.

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Gunstock Mountain and the World’s Largest Arcade

 

I’m a pretty bad New Englander. Until two years ago, I had never gone skiing. And until last weekend, I had never gone tubing. If I’m going to live in a snow-covered freezer for a quarter of the year, I figured I should at least make use of one of the advantages.

 

We ultimately decided to visit Gunstock Mountain. There were tubing places closer to my apartment, but Gunstock offered a trump card over the others- a mountain coaster. I always forget I can ride these in the winter months. Instead I always think Fun World’s indoor Orient Express is my only coaster option in New England in January-February.

 

Gunstock sold tubing blocks in two-hour intervals. In theory, that should limit crowds. However, the tubing hill had a 30-40 minute wait. Did they oversell tickets? Possibly. But there were two culprits I saw- unsupervised children who refused to relinquish their tubes and the fact that Gunstock wasn’t checking anyone’s tickets.

 

We visited on a day after it had rained. When temperatures plummeted into the teens, the hill froze over. This resulted in some wildly fast conditions. They were so fast that they weren’t allowing double rides unless you had two small kids (another factor that may have contributed to the wait).

 

While my initial ride was fast, something seemed off. It almost felt like I was dragging a sack of bricks. All of the other tubes breezed past me, including little kids. Unfortunately Gunstock failed to mention there was a difference between the tubes and I grabbed a red tube.

 

Blue tubes with a black bottoms are the fastest; the bottom was slick as ice and smooth as a baby’s bottom. Blue tubes with white bottoms and red tubes are slow. Upon closer inspection, the bottom surface of these tubes felt like sandpaper.

 

My two subsequent rides were much more enjoyable. I comfortably overshot the runoff area and careened into the inflatable barrier at the end. That’s when you know you built up some serious speed.

 

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In icy conditions, we flew down the hill.

 

Honestly our biggest mistake wasn’t riding the Mountain Coaster more. Unlimited rides on the coaster were included with the two hour tubing time slot. However, it seemed like most people seemed hell bent on tubing so the coaster line wasn’t more than 5-10 minutes. Better yet, Gunstock had no qualms letting people wait an extra minute or so to avoid slower traffic.

 

As far as mountain coasters go, this one is probably towards the bottom. None of the turns made me feel like my sled would careen off the track. However, there were 2-3 dips that delivered tiny pops of air and it was neat riding one of these in almost total darkness. 7 out of 10

 

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Other than a little light on the front of the car, the course was in complete darkness.

 

At the end of our two hours, we very well could have stuck around but our moral compasses told us better. Instead we drove to Fun Spot. No, not that that Fun Spot. Get those images of Mine Blower and White Lightning out of your head. We aren’t crazy enough to drive 25 hours after a day of tubing.

 

Just 10-15 minutes from Gunstock Mountain is Fun Spot, the Guinness World Record holder for the world’s largest arcade. In terms of footprint, the facility is impressive. It comprises two different buildings, one of which is three stories tall.

 

So I feel like they sort of cheated to get the title as the world’s largest arcade though. In terms of square footage, it’s definitely the largest arcade I have visited. However, there’s a ton of empty space. Most arcades I’ve visited have games shoulder to shoulder like an airline’s economy seating. Fun Spot was like a first class suite. Some game rooms literally had nothing in the center.

 

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You know you're in New Hampshire when paved parking is an attraction.

 

The one exception is the retro arcade room. If you’re a fan of retro arcade games, you should grab some Vaseline and a box of Kleenex. It’s lined wall-to-wall with classics- retro pinball machines, Donkey Kong, Galaga, 1980s IPs, and the list goes on and on.

 

And unlike most newer arcades, the prices are still ridiculously cheap. Most games required only one token. $5 was all we needed to stay busy for an hour. We probably only played 10% of the games in that room, but it was an absolute blast. Yes I love the playing Red Dead Redemption on my HD TV, but it’s nice appreciating what was available before PlayStation and XBOX.

 

Two of my personal favorites were probably the Hercules pinball machine and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Hercules is a comically oversized pinball machine. It’s like playing with a golf ball instead of the little metal ball. Then I love Indiana Jones and I was dying at some of the text boxes like “You have failed to rescue the caged children. Mola Ram is pleased.”

 

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I felt like I stepped back in time.

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I had never played Donkey Kong so I corrected that.

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"You have failed to rescue the caged children. Mola Ram will be pleased."

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Well that sounds promiscuous.

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You had this hulking pinball machine.

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Or you could play Robert Kraft's favorite.

 

In terms of redemption games, Fun Spot is definitely lacking. If you want to win 2000 tickets and walk home with a giant teddy bear, this is not the arcade for you. But if you love retro games, Fun Spot is a must.

 

They also have a gigantic bowling alley. For New Englanders, they have candlepin. For tourists, they have 10 pin but I don’t know why you’d ever want to play that. You get one less ball and can’t get nearly as much velocity.

 

They also had a really neat mini golf course. There was no attendant, so balls were dispensed from a vending machine for $5 a piece. As I’ve said in other reports, I love mini golf courses with obstacles and Fun Spot’s fit the bill. Most holes were themed to classis New Hampshire structures like train stations, churches, and schoolhouses.

 

But I was porked by one of the last holes. I was just barely ahead of my girlfriend until we came across a hole with a His hole and a Her hole (that sounds wrong). The Her hole is a perfect straightaway, on which she got a hole-in-one. The His hole jutted off to the side and required you to hit this tiny slanted wall. Needless to say I missed and I still put an asterisk next to her victory.

 

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It's impressive they fit an 18 hole mini golf course in there.

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Self service.

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I was doing so well until this hole.

 

If you’re traveling between Canobie and Story Land/Santa’s Village, chances are that you’ll pass near this arcade. They’re open quite late on weekends, so it’s well worth a stop if you love classic arcade games.

 

Plus you can also get a photo with the best named road ever, Rollercoaster Road. I thought my girlfriend was BSing me when she said we were turning onto that road, but that’s how you get back to the highway from Fun Spot.

 

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If I were ever going to swipe a street sign, that would have been the one.

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Nice! I love retro arcade games. So glad there is a barcade less than .75 from my house.

 

And I loved playing Indiana Jones back in the day at my local arcade. "Soon Kali Ma will rule the world."

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VR Park Dubai

 

The concentration of theme parks in Dubai is incredible. For that reason, it sat on my bucket list. But Dubai is so much more than just parks. It’s a melting pot of different cultures. It’s a wonderland of bold buildings. What’s not to love?

 

Ok maybe not the 120 degree weather, so that’s why I visited in March.

 

My flight landed at 9:30 pm. The smart decision would have been to climb aboard a cab and check into my hotel in Abu Dhabi. Instead a hailed a cab to the Dubai Mall.

 

Going to a mall at like 10-11 pm at night is a lost cause in America, even on most weekends. But this is totally possible in Dubai on your average Wednesday night. And this was no ordinary mall. It was massive and a complete sensory overload.

 

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Well this is a *bit* nicer than my local malls.

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I'd go to more malls if they all looked like this.

 

Step one was to locate the luggage storage area. It was pretty tricky due to the lack of signage for it. Fortunately the security guards were sympathetic towards the lost American and eventually I found it on the outskirts of the mall. Conveniently it was exactly two levels below the VR Park in an area called the Village.

 

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If you have luggage, know the drop off is in the Village. Remember that and I will have saved you at least 15-20 minutes of wandering.

 

For coaster enthusiasts, the jewel of the mall is VR Park Dubai. VR Park Dubai’s entrance is a sight to behold. A mind-warping skyline starts on one wall and extends onto the ceiling. After purchasing the Ride 7 pass for about $25, I walked into a futuristic outpost of flashing lights and computer graphics.

 

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I thought this looked like a cool entrance...

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But then I saw the real entrance. Now this looked cool.

 

My first stop was the Gerstlauer spinner, Dubai Drone. It was here I learned Dubai takes loose articles seriously. They are right up there with Japan. I can’t name a single coaster I rode all trip that didn’t require me to empty my pockets or prove I had an athletic strap on my glasses, kiddie coasters included.

 

For my first ride, I rode without VR. The first half offers some great views of the park, but lacks thrills. Even with an unbalanced car, the dang thing wouldn’t spin. Conversely, the second half was in complete darkness and much better. It was short, but it had two quick drops. Still minimal spinning though.

 

I was apprehensive trying VR on a spinner. How would they account for spinning? If Universal wouldn’t do it on Space Fantasy, it’s a bad idea, right? Wrong! The concept worked well as a gyroscopic delivery drone through Dubai (hence the name). I still preferred the coaster au natural though. 6 out of 10

 

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The first half gives some neat views, but it's the second half that brings the thrills.

 

My favorite ride was Burj Drop. As you may suspect from the name, it’s a drop tower. While the tower itself probably isn’t more than 30 feet tall, the VR absolutely makes this ride. You are a window washer for the Burj Khalifa. As you may suspect, the cables did their best Intamin impersonation and snapped.

 

The cartoonish graphics made it difficult to convey the height, but it did offer some laughs. My co-working window washer was way too calm for the whole experience. A dude who can keep a straight face falling 2000 feet clearly is high on something. I’ll take this over your garden variety S&S tower. 8 out of 10

 

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VR makes this innocent looking drop tower quite enjoyable.

 

Hologate was a shooter where you don a headset and walk around an arena with a gun. I always support a ride that puts a gun in my hands. For the most part it was fun slaughtering killer robots, but it was held back by choppy VR and audio that was more incomprehensible than Ozzie Osbourne. 7 out of 10

 

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I'm sure I looked quite awkward for any spectators.

 

The lone attraction I disliked was Dune Bash. It appears they took an old motion simulator. Now instead of using the giant screen, you look at a little cell phone in front of your eyes. The image quality was poor and the ride simply offered no thrills. The real roads of Dubai were far more thrilling. 3 out of 10

 

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Many of my taxi drivers drove more wildly than this.

 

I did want to try their freefall simulator, but it was closed. They also had what appeared to be an inverting frisbee. I’m really intrigued how they’d implement VR on that ride, but it was closed. I dodged a bullet there.

 

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VR on an inverting frisbee is a hard no for me.

 

One operational note that I do want to note is the sanitation of the headsets. It did not appear they sanitize or clean them between uses. Take my ride on Burj Drop for example. The operator took the headset right off the head of another passenger and put it directly on my head.

 

I’m not going to lie, that irked me a little bit. And it didn’t appear to be an isolated incident at Burj Drop. The same thing happened at Hologate. But I figured I at least had some sort of barrier with my glasses (yes they allow headsets over glasses, but the fit was tight).

 

Coaster enthusiasts often look upon VR with resentment. But that’s because the rides weren’t designed for VR. Take SFNE slapping VR on Superman. That was an absolute disaster. However, for the most part, VR Park Dubai uses VR well.

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I was wondering what this complex would look like after if reopened without the Sega Republic theming. It looks like they made the most of losing those IP rights and with the exception of the note on the cleaning for headsets, it seems like a pretty neat operation. Thanks for sharing!

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Ferrari World

 

There was little doubt where my first full day the UAE would be- Ferrari World. That was because of the Intamins. Formula Rossa and Flying Aces looked awesome. But more so, I was terrified two cable-bearing Intamins in the desert could break at any moment. Maximizing my chance to ride them was a priority.

 

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza and reaching the park was a cinch thanks to the Yas Express. It’s actually a free service for anyone on Yas Island, hotel guest or not. Going in, I had no idea Ferrari World was located in the Yas Mall (Yas Mall TR). It was an unfair cheat code to make it my new favorite shopping mall.

 

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Now this is my kind of mall.

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The entrance bore some similarities to Ferrari Land.

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This is as close as I'll ever get to a Ferrari.

 

After a little entry show with a Ferrari and a camel, I made a beeline for Formula Rossa. In fact, that’s where most guests went. Having the MC of the entry show plant the seed they could ride the world’s fastest roller coaster probably played a large role there.

 

Before getting to the ride, I want to say that I loved Formula Rossa’s procedure for loose articles. Just before being assigned a row, they have a counter where you place all your items in a numbered bin and receive a corresponding wristband. It was fast, free, and monitored at all times.

 

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*Scans for sign ride is closed* All clear.

 

There was little doubt ride one would be up front. They have an assigned queue for the front and it typically was an extra 3-4 cycles in length. After donning a pair of mandatory goggles, which comfortably fit over my regular glasses I might add, I was rolling out of the station on the second train of the day.

 

The launch took my breath away, just not in the way I expected. While most launches wow me with the initial acceleration, Formula Rossa did things differently. The initial kick is strong, don’t get me wrong. But Formula Rossa goes into overdrive halfway through the launch. You feel all 149 mph for sure.

 

The subsequent hill is trimmed, but much like the post-launch hill on Maverick, you still have more than enough speed to produce some wonderful sustained floater air. Besides, you get trimmed about to the speed of Millennium Force. That’s still ludicrously fast.

 

The elements are drawn out, again much like Millennium Force. The key is that you lose minimal speed traversing them. While you won’t grey out, your cheeks will be flapping in the wind. Plus there’s airtime on every hill. It’s of the floater variety with the exception of one bunny hill with some nice ejector.

 

Formula Rossa basically takes Top Thrill Dragster’s launch and splices it onto Millennium Force. If you love speed, Formula Rossa is for you. It’s exhilarating in every seat, but like most launch coasters, Formula Rossa needs to be experienced in the front row. 9.5 out of 10

 

I also want to note the ride’s uptime. With Dragster, it always seems to break down on me. Meanwhile I only saw Formula Rossa briefly go down once over the course of two days. But they also weren’t cycling trains like Cedar Point. Formula Rossa only had one train with less than stellar dispatches.

 

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Everyone talks about the launch (and rightfully so), but Formula Rossa has some nice airtime too.

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How could I not buy an on-ride photo? It did some weird things to my face and hair.

 

Speaking of purchases, I originally wanted to buy a Formula Rossa t-shirt. But it cost a whopping $60! Clearly I was paying for the Ferrari brand. And as I discovered, this couldn’t be truer. Any souvenir with a Ferrari logo on it (no matter how small) cost way more than everything else.

 

Meanwhile Quick Pass was a very reasonable $40 and I found some coaster magnets for about $5-10 featuring the coaster’s logo, not the Ferrari logo. Just something to keep in mind if you’re into souvenirs.

 

Flying Aces really intrigued me. However, all I knew going in was that it had an insanely well-themed queue. It’s baffling that’s all I knew about an Intamin mega coaster that looked like Skyrush’s brother, but that queue was really awesome. It was like walking through an army barrack.

 

However, the only way you’ll see it now is if you visit for yourself. Unfortunately Flying Aces doesn’t allow any loose articles even in the queue line. Whereas Formula Rossa takes your loose articles just before the station, Flying Aces has free lockers adjacent to the entrance.

 

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I decided to take a break from cars and board a plane.

 

At first sight, the trains looked identical to Skyrush. They were so gloriously open. But upon riding, I did notice a subtle difference on the restraints. While Skyrush’s restraints have a rectangular strip that contacts your leg, the restraints here were more contoured on the underside.

 

I loved Flying Aces, but it wasn’t quite the coaster I expected. I went in expecting sustained ejector air like Skyrush. But outside of the first drop and one small speed hill, you don’t really get that. Some of the rapid directional changes induce pops like I305 and the larger hills felt like the camelbacks on a B&M.

 

Where Flying Aces excelled was the lateral department. You know that Stengel Dive on Skyrush that feels like it’s going to flip you over the train? Flying Aces does that at least 3-4 times, including on that huge non-inverting loop. Oh and it also has a zero-G roll with some awesome hangtime.

 

After 9 or so rides, I can unequivocally say that Flying Aces is a backseat coaster. My front seat ride was fun, but I thought I was going to die at several points in the back row. And again it’s not because of the airtime. It’s because of how crazy some of those transitions are on the wing seats. 9.5 out of 10

 

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The drop sure does look like that of Skyrush.

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But it focuses more on crazy laterals than airtime.

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There are a few great airtime moments though.

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And like any good plane, this one does a barrel roll.

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This last turn tries to flip you over like a hamburger patty. It's violent in the best way possible.

 

There’s also a third Intamin in Turbo Track. It’s much simpler than the other two, but still quite fun. Like Flying Aces, it too has a cool queue line but you need to put everything in a locker before you enter it. The ride has a sliding station a la Mr. Freeze, but it was only running one train the day I visited.

 

One of the most fascinating things about Copperhead Strike is the launched airtime hill. Little did I realize that Turbo Track did the same thing. The acceleration doesn’t really pick up until the apex of the hump, so it doesn’t offer any air up front. But in the back, you get a nice freefall sensation on the way down.

 

Another neat thing about Turbo Track is that you can ride either forwards or backwards. Of the two, I preferred going backwards for the neat view of the park’s colossal dome. In many ways, Turbo Track felt like a smaller version of SFMM’s Superman. 7 out of 10

 

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Turbo Track had an awesome lighting package.

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The lights moved with the vehicle.

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I'm taking a wild guess this is where that old drop tower used to be.

 

The last coaster (well technically 2 coasters for all you credit whores out there) is the racing Fiorano GT Challenge. And for this one, I think Maurer took inspiration from Disneyland’s infamous Rocket Rods.

 

Exhibit A- None of the turns are banked. Even immediately after a launch. This results in some very strong laterals.

 

Exhibit B- Shortly after accelerating, you slow down only to accelerate yet again. I think this ride had a total of 4-5 launches.

 

Despite these two oddities, it is an enjoyable coaster. And I’m sorry, but the park claims this coaster hits 59 mph. That’s absolute poppycock. Maybe they’re doing the Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster tactic and adding both launches together. 30 mph feels closer to the ride’s top speed. 7 out of 10

 

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Note the lack of banking.

 

There was also the new for 2015 new for 2016 new for 2017 new for 2018 new for 2019 Mission Ferrari. Who ever would have thought that mall in NJ may open before this?

 

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Opening soon...I'll believe it when I see it.

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I think I saw some wheel marks. That's a positive sign at least, right?

 

Ferrari World also has a large collection of dark rides and of course they’re all themed to cars. There’s no better example of that then Made in Maranello. It’s an educational tour how to make a Ferrari. If you’re a car fan, you’ll need a box of Kleenex for this one. 7 out of 10

 

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Essentially it's one big commercial for Ferrari.

 

The most screwed up one was Speed of Magic. A kid loses a video game to this creepy character that’s best described as a helium voiced Maz from Star Wars. To cheer him up, the kid’s dad gives him the keys to a Ferrari. Maz then escapes the TV screen, steals the keys, and lures the kid into a magical portal challenging him to a duel.

 

I swear I am not on acid.

 

The creators of this ride may have though.

 

The ride uses the same ride system as Spiderman. While the movement was well executed, the 3D didn’t add anything. It was just there. The physical sets were in the same boat. That being said, the ride is both literally and figuratively a joyride. 8 out of 10

 

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Even the station looks like an acid trip.

 

Benno’s Great Race had the potential to be the park’s best dark ride. It’s a unique take on a shooting dark ride. The ride had trackless vehicles and beautiful physical sets, but the key are the screens. Riders are given magical wrenches that let you complete a series of tasks.

 

It’s a neat concept, but I wish the ride did one of two things. I wish it either told riders how the mechanics of each mini game worked prior to playing or gave riders more time at each game. By the time I figured out how to play some of the games, they were almost done. As a result, this one had a forced reridability aspect to it. 8.5 out of 10

 

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I prefer to be handed guns, but a magical wrench will do.

 

They also had a flying theater (Viaggio in Italia) and racing simulator (Driving with the Champion). This may have been a stupid reason to do so, but I skipped them because of Ferrari Land PTSD. Note I said Land and not World.

 

When I went to PortAventura’s Ferrari Land, they had two similar simulators. While enjoyable, each one had 4-5 different pre-shows and staging areas so it took almost 45 minutes to experience either attraction. The fact another Ferrari themed park had two similar rides also housed back-to-back gave me pause.

 

Like I said, it could have been a stupid reason. If anyone else has been there and can confirm if it shares Ferrari Land’s queue line from hell, I’d be interested in knowing. But I have no regrets getting extra rides on the Intamins.

 

It also wouldn’t be a Ferrari Park without some car rides. Most of them were upcharges- go karts, driving simulators, VR driving simulators, driving an actual Ferrari at 30 mph through the streets of Abu Dhabi. The one car ride I tried was the Scuderia Challenge. I think I rolled my vehicle over at least 2-3 times. It was just too tempting to floor it through the tight turns.

 

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This simulator reaffirmed why I should never buy a Ferrari.

 

Food was on the pricier side, but I did get a delicious wood-fired pizza. Outside of Via Napoli, this is probably the best theme park pizza I’ve had. Yes you read that right and no I did not forget about Knoebels.

 

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Mamma Rossella's > Cesari's

 

Ferrari World was a great park. It doesn’t have much in terms of flat rides (actually I think the park’s lone flat ride was down for rehab when I visited), but it does boast a unique coaster collection and several dark rides. Formula Ross and Flying Aces were two big reasons for my trip to Dubai and they did not disappoint.

 

Plus it has a distinct theme and carries it through the park. Most parks have themed lands. Ferrari World maintains the whole Italian car theme from the moment you enter the gate. That’s one of the most commendable aspects of the park if you ask me.

 

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Last but not least, check out that dress.

Edited by Canobie Coaster
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The car ride looked very nice with all the miniaturized sets, but it actually had the most downtime of any ride during my visit. By the time it reopened I wanted to dedicate time to reriding the Intamins.

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FunWorks / Yas Mall

 

Ferrari World isn't the only "amusement park" in the Yas Mall. Credit whores will likely discover FunWorks. Essentially it's a jumbo arcade with some rides. But the funniest part is that every single attraction has "works" in its name. No exception.

 

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Technically there are two parks in here.

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I hope you like things with "Works" in their name.

 

No seriously, look at these ride names:

 

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Loop Works

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Vroom Works

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Wham Works

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Wohoo Works

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Work in Works

 

Now people jokingly call a certain SFMM coaster YoloCoaster. However, FunWorks has the true YoloCoaster. They have some effed up creation called Yolo Works.

 

Usually compact indoor coasters are meant for kids. Yolo Works has the height and length of the smallest of kiddie coasters. However, for some baffling reason, this ride has OSTRs which force it to have the height requirement of an adult coaster. Wtf.

 

Yolo Works does have one trick to it at least. It's marketed as a drifting coaster, which basically equated to a spinning coaster. The spinning was too slow to ever become dizzying. So the resulting ride experience was more or less a bore, a bore that gave 15 or so laps. At least it was smooth. 2 out of 10

 

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I really want to know what was going through the heads of the designers when they made this ride.

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Here you spin at about the rate of Time Traveler, possibly slower.

 

The rest of the mall was arguably more impressive than FunWorks. I had a delicious burger for dinner at the Black Tap, which had a beautiful view of the mall's illuminated fountains. It was sort of hard to find a local eatery since the UAE is filled with popular US chains like Shake Shack, Texas Roadhouse, etc.

 

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If you look closely, you may be able to spot Formula Rossa.

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You don't have to look closely to find US chains.

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Like the Dubai Mall, the Yas Mall looked really nice.

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And it had some theming.

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Is it a coincidence the Virgin store is by the DC store?

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That Virgin store had this totally awesome free slide. Too bad it was a complete free-for-all with kids pushing their way to the front to ride.

 

Also it's not exactly part of the mall, but they're building this awesome looking climbing center adjacent to it called Clymb. They advertised they'd have the world's tallest (I believe 40 meters) and widest indoor rock wall. It's definitely something to look forward to in a return trip.

 

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As a rock climbing fan, I'm bummed out that I missed this.

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Those look like some great malls! I also don't usually care for malls, but when they look that good and it's that hot outside, definitely!

 

Yeah, I mean it's really unfair to call these UAE super entertainment/shopping/dining centers "malls". They offer so much more than a "mall".

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