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Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Many people consider Six Flags Magic Mountain or Six Flags Great Adventure to be the best park in the Six Flags chain; however, I think there is one park that stands above the rest.  It's a park with a beautiful setting, some theming, and friendly service.  It's a park that doesn't feel like a Six Flags park outside of the thrilling ride lineup.  And that park would be Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

Ever since I set foot in this park in 2017, I knew it was my favorite Six Flags park.  And I only liked it more after my 2020 visits.  I visited during Holiday in the Park.  Lines were very minimal outside of Joker and Wonder Woman.  The weather was a comfortable 60-70 degrees.  And the lights added around the park made Fiesta Texas look even better.







My favorite ride at the park (and one of my favorite coasters anywhere) is still Iron Rattler.  While it was one of the older RMCs, this one stands out for the unique quarry setting and several amazing elements.  Iron Rattler's first drop is my favorite drop in the world.  Getting sustained ejector airtime while simultaneously performing an S-bend down a quarry drop into a tunnel sounds like something out of a fantasy park in Planet Coaster.  The rest of the ride keeps riders out of their seat as well in a myriad of ways- ejector airtime, sustained hangtime on the zero-G roll, and lateral hangtime on the wave turns/90 degree banks.  10 out of 10






Next door is Road Runner Express, an Arrow mine train that also uses the quarry wall.  You can tell Arrow was getting more ambitious with their later mine trains since this one has an airtime hill and some forceful helixes.  And it's smoother than the earlier ones.  6.5 out of 10




The final coaster to use the quarry wall is Superman, my favorite B&M floorless coaster.  This ride has two thrilling drops twisting off the quarry and six strong inversions.  I'm not a fan of the cobra roll, but the zero-G roll gives excellent hangtime, the two corkscrews are snappy since the MCBR does nothing, and the vertical loop offers a mix of positive Gs and hangtime.  8.5 out of 10






Wonder Woman was the coaster I typically went to first.  It was the hardest attraction to ride since it wasn't eligible for Flash Pass and was one of the only coasters skipping rows between parties.  Wonder Woman had two trains going and seating a maximum of 4 riders per train.  I rode it several times and was reminded just how relentless this coaster's pacing is.  The first drop, turnaround drop, dive loop, and S-hill are four of the most powerful ejector airtime moments in the world.  And the latter two elements also mix in great laterals too.  The second half is a little tamer, but it still has two nice inversions and a forceful final turn.  9.5 out of 10





The park has quite a few clones in their supporting coaster lineup, which is fine since most of them are good clones.  Poltergeist is the park's only launch coaster and it's a fun ride.  The launch may not be as strong as other launch coasters out there, but the twisted spaghetti bowl section has a mix of forceful inversions and snappy turns.  I prefer this to Flight of Fear for the visuals and lack of a mid-course brake run.  7.5 out of 10



Goliath has an awkward location to the left of the main entrance and a weird name, but it's a fun Batman the Ride.  You'd never be able to tell this one was relocated twice because of how smooth it is and the inversions pack the usual mighty punch.  8 out of 10





The coaster actually called Batman the Ride is the original S&S free spin.  This one ran a lot crazier for me in 2017 and 2018.  It still flipped more unpredictably than the other ones in the Six Flags chain, but Batman only was giving 2-3 flips for me this time as opposed to the 5-6 I got in my prior rides.  It's still a fun and chaotic ride though.  6 out of 10


Due to covid, Pandemonium was loading one party per car which guaranteed an off-balanced ride.  Since I couldn't visit Six Flags New England last year (and I really hope they get permission to open this year since I think MA is the only state still banning theme parks right now), I was glad I could at least ride one Pandemonium in 2020.  6 out of 10



I was skeptical the park would run their water rides during Holiday in the Park.  While Gully Washer was closed, Bugs' White Water Rapids was open.  I love this ride's medieval themed queue and this flume has two great drops.  The first has some funky coaster bits to it while the second is taller and gives a faint pop of airtime.  Just watch out for that dragon.  8 out of 10



Joker had the longest line in the park because of its long cycle and severely reduced capacity, but thankfully it was eligible for my member skip-the-line passes.  This frisbee has an awesome fun house themed queue line that could be an attraction in itself.  As a comic book nerd, it was cool seeing each villain get their own themed room with some gags and light effects.  The ride itself was fun too.  I actually prefer the Giant Discoveries to the Giga Discoveries.  I find the former to offer airtime on more swings while the giga ones take a very long time to start up and slow down.  That being said, the max swings did deliver some sustained floater airtime and a gorgeous view of the park.  7.5 out of 10



The two other flat rides I rode were Scream and SkyScreamer.  Both give great views of the park and quarry.  Scream is unfortunately one of the tamer S&S drop towers though, even though it does run the superior combo program.  I just missed Dare Devil Dive by a few weeks, but I did see them testing the ride and fire at points.



Dare Devil Dive Entrance.JPG

One ride that I was looking forward to and rode far more than expected (due to a rainy day I'll touch on) is Pirates of the Deep Sea.  This retheme of Scooby Doo has a much better queue than you'd expect from any Six Flags park and all the targets worked on this one.  It was a unique theme for one of these shooters and I enjoyed it.  7 out of 10



There were only two negatives in my visits in 2020.  My first day was spoiled by rain.  I knew the park would close early, but I was shocked how early they closed.  They closed after just 2 hours of operation.  I got the first train of the day on Iron Rattler and then almost all rides closed for the next 1.5 hours.  Even the covered Fender Bender Bumper Cars closed due to weather.  Maybe it was just a coincidence, but the ride reopened once the rain let up and ran fine the other days I was at the park.  SeaWorld San Antonio also closed early that day and kept the outdoor rides closed, but thankfully ZDT's stayed open all day so I had a back-up option.

The other were these awful French Fries I purchased by Iron Rattler.  I couldn't even finish them.



Thankfully, the park is home to one of the best food items I've had at any theme park, the brisket sandwich.  I don't know if I just went to bad BBQ places in Texas and New England doesn't know how to do BBQ, but this is the best brisket I've had anywhere.  It was moist, juicy, and extremely flavorful.


Six Flags Fiesta Texas feels like a SeaWorld/Busch Gardens park in terms of the overall atmosphere and when you combine that with the park's ride lineup, you have a winner.



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SO sorry I missed you on this stop. . .it just wasn't "safe" for me to go :(


for sure next time you're back in Texas lemme know and I absolutely will come meet up with ya to ride coasters!

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Fiesta Texas is truly the underrated gem in the Six Flags portfolio.  The setting in the quarry is just amazing and I love the interaction with several of the coasters.  We did a Holiday in the Park Texas trip in 2019 to hit up both SFOT and SFFT.  My youngest had just barely hit 54 inches, so it was fun having her ride all of the big rides for the first time.  Her favorite on the whole trip was definitely Superman, I think we rode it 3 or 4 times that day (thanks to Flash Pass).  Anyone who hasn't been to SFFT should absolutely put it their list of parks to visit.

SF Fiesta Texas 01.jpg

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15 minutes ago, Canobie Coaster said:

The 48" and 54" marks really are magical numbers for young enthusiasts.

Yeah, I've got one just over 54 and one over 48 that should be at 54 by next summer. When they're both tall enough for everything Fiesta Texas is on the short list of "parks not in Florida" that I really want to take them to. The short list is pretty much Carowinds, Kings Island, Hershey, Cedar Point, Silver Dollar City, and Fiesta Texas but Fiesta is way up there.


Great report as always, I kind of forgot about the Road-Runner arrow mine train. I think the only time I visited Fiesta was in that thing's opening year way back and /i remember that one being really good for a Mine Train, glad it's still around. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

SeaWorld San Antonio

I was in San Antonio for 4 days and the original plan was to only spend one of those days at SeaWorld San Antonio.  However, I needed 3 separate days to actually ride all three of the roller coasters.

My first visit had torrential downpours all day.  Fiesta Texas closed after just 2 hours of operation and when I arrived at SeaWorld, I was told the park would not operate any rides in the rain.  So that gave me the opportunity to really soak in the animal exhibits.  The weirdest part about SeaWorld San Antonio is that Discovery Point isn't actually in the theme park.  It's a free admission area to the left after you get through the main entry plaza.







I returned the following day and 3 of the 5 major roller coasters were operating.  I knew Journey to Atlantis was down due to it being December, but Steel Eel was unexpectedly down due to mechanical issues.


That allowed me to focus most of my attention on Texas Stingray.  I admittedly rode this in some of the least ideal conditions for a wood coaster (half loaded trains, cold temperatures), but the trains held their speed very well throughout the course.  I loved the first drop in the back.  It's rare to get a straight drop on a GCI and it delivered some nice sustained airtime.  The first half had a mix of floater airtime and stronger pops.  The second half's airtime wasn't as consistent, but it was still fun.  And the ride is impeccably smooth considering it just opened.  8 out of 10

One tip with Texas Stingray is to avoid riding after one of the orca shows concludes.  The ride is adjacent to the stadium and the end of the show caused the line to quintuple in length.  Combine that with the fact that SeaWorld was running just one train on most coasters and skipping rows between each party, lines crawled if you didn't time them well.

Texas Stingray did get the second train added and it became a walk-on by nightfall.  I got several rides before it closed due to low temperatures.





Wave Breaker had the longest line in the park since it was running just one train, but it's a fun ride.  The ride doesn't have any airtime or laterals, but the launches have more zip to them than you'd expect, a few of the turns pull some good Gs, and I love the ride's placement over the water.  6 out of 10



Great White is a solid Batman the Ride clone.  I think I've ridden almost all of these Batman clones by this point, but I always look forward to riding these inverts.  They're consistently smooth and forceful.  Great White was no different.  8 out of 10


I returned the following weekend for Steel Eel.  And I was not disappointed.  Steel Eel is still my favorite coaster in the park.  The sustained floater airtime on the drops is fantastic.  You do hit the unpadded seats rather hard after each airtime moment, but I was willing to take the pain for that level of airtime.  8 out of 10





I was also visiting during the park's Christmas event so beyond the coasters and animals, the park had some beautiful light displays scattered across the park.



Of the 3 SeaWorld parks, I think the San Antonio one is my least favorite.  The operations tend to be the spottiest and the park feels a bit hollow at points from all the empty space.  However, the park is actively working on the latter with their new additions that are filling in the dead spots in the park.  And this park has plenty of room to grow.  The only thing limiting it is how much SeaWorld wants to invest.

Of the 2 San Antonio area parks, I far prefer Fiesta Texas, but I'll always make sure to pop into SeaWorld for at least a quick lap on all the coasters.


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ZDT's Amusement Park

November 28 saw a major storm system come through Texas.  I gambled I would have the best luck in San Antonio since there were multiple parts there.  Fiesta Texas closed after just 2 hours.  SeaWorld San Antonio closed 5 hours early and never opened any rides.  When all hope seemed lost, I called ZDT's and asked if Switchback was open.  I expected it to be closed, but the staff enthusiastically confirmed the ride was open as long as I was willing to get wet.

So I drove an hour east and was greeted with a near empty parking lot.  ZDT's was a ghost town.  I give the place major credit for honoring their hours and staying open.  Every single ride was open except the water slides due to it being winter and the silo climb due to the rain.


Switchback is the reason ZDT's is on the map for most enthusiasts.  It's extremely impressive Gravity Group found a way to cram this coaster into this tiny park.  Not only is the park limited in terms of acreage, but they want to honor the site's former history so badly that they will not demolish old structures.  As a result, Gravity Group made Switchback a shuttle coaster out of necessity with some super tight turns.  And the ride even blasts through a former grocery store twice.

Switchback is still running smooth and it's a unique ride.  The first drop gives great airtime in the back and the following bunny hills alternate between sustained floater and aggressive ejector pops.  The spike offers some great weightlessness.  And then the return run is weak on the airtime, but the visuals of performing those tight maneuvers in reverse is quite the sight.  8 out of 10




I also took a spin on the Dizzy Toucan frisbee above.  This looks like a children's ride, but it's an aggressive little attraction.  It just keeps popping you out of your seat and it's better than frisbees 3-4 times its size.  7 out of 10

I didn't spend too much time indoors, but it is cool how the wristband includes unlimited arcade games.  That is something you don't usually see.  The one indoor attraction I did was the MaxFlight simulator that allows riders to design their own virtual roller coaster and ride it.  This brought back memories of Cyber Space Mountain at DisneyQuest.  The key is to add as many inversions as possible.  6 out of 10



ZDT's is well deserving of a pit stop on any trip to the San Antonio area.  The park may be small, but it dabbles in a lot of different areas and it has some of the nicest staff around.  And as I saw, don't be afraid to go on a day with rain.

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Tom Foolerys Adventure Park (Texas)

Late in November, the new Kalahari in Round Rock, Texas opened and it included an indoor amusement park in Tom Foolerys Adventure Park.  This is the second Kalahari to include a Tom Foolerys.  Unlike the water park that is included with a hotel stay, Tom Foolerys is not.  Tom Foolerys is free to enter and you can either pay-per-ride or buy an unlimited wristband.

The park has an electric feel on the inside between the cycling rides and loud, flashy arcade games.  If you're an arcade fan, know most of the games are the modern ones you'll find at Dave and Buster's.  But unlike Dave and Buster's, the rides and attractions are what makes this indoor FEC stand out.




The most intriguing ride here is the Screamin' Centipede, one of the first SBF Big Air Coasters.  The trains on these coasters feature both their common spinning cars and a rare hamster wheel.  This allows the ride to cater to both thrill seekers and families.  However, I think there is an issue combining these two rides together.  A hamster wheel works best traveling in a straight line with elevation changes.  Look at what S&S has done with their free spins.  Meanwhile, spinners work best with a twisted layout.

I actually think this is my favorite SBF Visa spinner.  The twisted first drop starts the spinning and the bunny hill gives a faint bit of airtime in the back row while you're still spinning.

As for the hamster wheel, I got 1.5 flips each lap.  There appeared to be actuators on the bunny hill that forced a flip.  This first flip was fast and powerful.  On the subsequent turn, you then stall upside down.  The problem here is that this turn is unbanked so while you're suspended upside-down, you have some headbanging.  Thankfully the restraints are extremely cushiony (softest restraint padding I've ever seen) so it doesn't cause pain, but it is nauseating getting jostled like that while upside down.

I also wish the flipping was more randomized, but it seemed very controlled and consistent ride-to-ride.  Ultimately, I think the concept is neat on paper, but I'd love to see an evolved layout that can unlock the potential of the hamster wheel more.  4 out of 10




The other coaster is an embarrassing one for coaster enthusiasts.  Star Force Orbiter is among the smallest coasters out there.  It wasn't rough, but it was a bore with more laps than I could count.  1 out of 10



The other notable ride is Red, White, and Woo, one of the few Zamperla Nebulaz out there.  This ride was having a lot of mechanical issues the day I visited, so it ran a 60 second cycle.  The movement and near-misses are cool, but I wish it was able to give the full cycle as designed.  6 out of 10


Beyond the rides and games, the park has some other FEC staples like a ropes course and a rock wall.  I wanted to try the latter, but unfortunately it closed with no advanced warning in the middle of the day.  I completely understand the need for rotating ride operators on an off-peak day, but I wish they provided a schedule when certain attractions would go down so I could plan ahead when the rides kept closing for 45-60 minutes at a time.



Tom Foolerys is a decent indoor FEC that I'd recommend visiting if you're traveling between Dallas and San Antonio.  Screamin' Centipede is unique enough that it alone warrants a visit.

I visited during the covid-19 pandemic, so I wanted to touch on the precautions they were taking.  The park was very quiet since I visited just after they opened for the day, but the employees were strict about forcing guests to keep their masks on.

Last but not least, I want to know how Tom Foolerys ended up with this kiddie ride.  They have a roundabout that is very clearly Blue from Blues Clues.  But they painted him in different colors with stars all over him.


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Nice reports! I am excited to get back to SFFT in June. I really enjoyed my visit during HITP 2019. I will admit I was a bit underwhelmed with Iron Rattler though. Perhaps it was running slowly, even though it was warm out. The section at the top of the quarry wall just kills all the pacing and excitement for me, personally. I also only got three rides on it that progressively improved throughout the day, so who knows. Still a very good ride.

SeaWorld also looks like a nice park. I've never been and will likely visit in June when I also go to SFFT.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kalahari Round Rock

Since I saw a few people discussing the pricing of the Kalahari parks, I thought it would be a fitting time to discuss my experience at the chain's newest location in Round Rock, Texas.  I visited just over a week after it opened on a weekday.  Depending on the day you visit, prices can cost upwards of $120-130 if you aren't a hotel guest.  This is to minimize capacity so on-site guests can enjoy the water park with very little waits.  I suspect the fact I visited during an off-peak period before many people knew the place was open is why I could get a day pass for just $50.  That's still expensive for a water park, but it's significantly better than most days.

This was the first Kalahari I had ever visited.  While the water park looked hideous from the outside, it looked pretty good on the inside with the vibrant color schemes on the slides and murals on the walls.



Since I visited during 2020, I arrived right at opening.  I didn't want to risk dealing with crowds in a water park, especially an indoor one.  I didn't have to wait in a single line.  The only downside to arriving so early was that the Sahara Sidewinder drop pod slide was closed for a rather weird reason.  Maintenance had forgotten to unlock the ride for the day, so the employee couldn't operate the ride.  I kept checking if the slide was open, but maintenance never showed up to open it, which was a bummer since I love these drop pod slides.


The park has two main slide towers.  The first featured my favorite operating attraction in the Tanzanian Twister, a body bowl slide.  I always love these slides for the fast initial plunge and awkward final plunge into the splashdown pool.  8 out of 10



The other body slide on this tower is the Zig Zag Zebra.  This was an average body slide with a few decently forceful turns.  6 out of 10


The tower also had a series of tube slides.  Stingray was one of those slides with a giant wall and it had a thrilling drop.  The others were slightly better than average since the park allowed riders to experience them backwards.  Not many places allow that.



Across the park is another slide tower.  This one features two of the park's most extreme body slides.  The aforementioned drop pod slide was closed, but Screaming Hyena was open and it had a very steep and thrilling drop.  7 out of 10

This tower also included a tornado slide, another family raft slide, and a mat racer.  None of these were standouts, but they filled out the lineup nicely.


Beyond the kiddie rides, there was one other water slide off on its own.  I forget this slide's name, but it was a shockingly long name for a water slide.  I liked how this slide was built among this fake rockwork and I was surprised these body slides had a rather high drop off into the water.  6 out of 10


I mainly visited Kalahari since I had an extra day to burn and the state's major parks were closed on weekdays, but it was a fun water park.  The park has an extensive slide line-up covering most genres outside of a water coaster.  While the slides are fun, none are truly unique to this park and they all can be found elsewhere.  It's just rare to find them all in one specific park like this.  So I wouldn't recommend adding this on a Texas theme park trip unless you can get a great deal on a hotel room.


Wave Pool.JPG

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Kemah Boardwalk

I was trying to figure out how to cram Kemah Boardwalk into my December Texas trip figuring it would be on weekend only operations.  But much to my surprise, it was actually open on weekdays still and it was an absolute ghost town.  As a result, I was able to marathon Boardwalk Bullet to my heart's content.  While that ride was fully staffed all day with two operators, the other rides had a limited quantity of rotating ride ops, which was completely justified given the crowd levels.



Adding Kemah Boardwalk onto my Texas trip was one heck of a detour, but Boardwalk Bullet was worth it.  I only got two rides on this wood coaster back in 2018 due to crowds and time, but this time I got well over two dozen rides on this Gravity Group creation.  It's impressive Gravity Group crammed a coaster of this scale into just one acre of land.  This ride may be one of the finest layouts ever made given the available space.

Boardwalk Bullet is running like a dream.  I rode Boardwalk Bullet both during the day and night.  And with full trains and empty trains.  And it ran consistently regardless of the time of day or train load, which was great to see.  The ride is remarkably smooth despite its twisted layout and PTC trains.  The ride has many pops of airtime.  The large drops are incredible in the back row, but I prefer the ride up front since the airtime is more consistent start to finish.  The coaster also feels ridiculously fast because of all the near-misses and it seems to go on forever.  It just barely missed my top 10 wood coaster list.  9 out of 10





The rest of Kemah Boardwalk is a compact cluster of flat rides, many of which are from Chance.  The best flat ride is the Drop Zone drop tower, which is one of those intense Larson/ARM towers with a powerful drop.  It also helps the ride offers a great view of Galveston Bay.

The only ride I wasn't able to experience that I wanted to was the Observation Tower.  This ride was closed in my 2018 visit and it was down for maintenance this visit, although it was testing non-stop all-day.  I imagine the views of Boardwalk Bullet and the bay are incredible.




The one other ride of note is the park's train.  Kemah Boardwalk is more than just an amusement park.  It's a full-fledged entertainment complex with a hotel, shops, and restaurants.  The train ride gives a tour of the entire complex and it even includes a themed tunnel with a shootout.  I was not expecting that!



While Kemah Boardwalk alone may struggle to fill an entire day for coaster enthusiasts, Boardwalk Bullet is a coaster well worth the trip. 

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Earlier this summer, I took a day trip to Maine to hit all the parks that I had to skip in 2020 due to covid.  I had a goal of visiting Aquaboggan, Funtown, and Palace Playland in the same day since they're all within 15 minutes of each other.  However, I made one critical error.

I visited on a Monday.  As I would later find out, this is the busiest day of the week for Aquaboggan and Funtown.  Aquaboggan does a half off promotion on Monday, so that made sense.  However, I was confused why Funtown was so busy.  The line for Excalibur stretched back to the Camelot bridge and the park had to close the line for it early.  In my past visits, I've never had to wait more than 1-2 trains for Excalibur.  And many of those visits took place on summer Saturdays.


This is a fairly small water park, but the rules are far more lax than corporate parks.  The park allows you to ride backwards down most slides if you so choose, which is one of the reasons their halfpipe slide (Stealth) is one of my favorite slides out there.  Those halfpipe slides are downright freaky when you go down that steep drop backwards.


The park's other slides are located on a hill.  For 2021, the park added a new addition in Yankee Ripper.  For this slide, you lug this heavy sled atop the hill, travel down this relatively steep drop, and then skim across the water.  If you don't keep your balance, you will comically wipeout in the water at the end.




If I didn't get to Aquaboggan at opening, I would have had difficulty riding everything in a short period.  But because I got to the park a half hour before opening, I was able to ride all the major slides in about 90 minutes.

Funtown U.S.A.

Excalibur received a lot of trackwork this past off-season and I'm happy to say the ride is running better than it has since the early 2000s.  In 2019, the turn under the lift hill was brutal.  Now, it's very smooth and the ride carries more speed through the rest of the layout.  Excalibur is a great coaster when it's running like this.  The ride has an excellent setting in the woods, some strong airtime in the first half, and powerful laterals in the second half.



I spent most of my time waiting for Excalibur, but I also took rides on the park's best non-coasters.   Astrosphere was a spectacle as always.  Dragon's Descent is still one of the most forceful S&S drop towers.  Thunder Falls is a great log flume, but you have to watch out for the geysers at the end.  And then the kiddie swing ride still has Donald Duck on top pumping gas.





The one weird thing with this park is that it's impossible to get free water unless you're pregnant or a veteran.  That was especially annoying with the water fountains turned off.  In the past, water cups cost 25 cents but now they charge as much as a soft drink.

Palace Playland

But at least Funtown doesn't charge to use the bathroom like Palace Playland.


My visit to Old Orchard Beach was more about getting the food on the boardwalk.  The Shack makes amazing lobster rolls and Pier French Fries makes (you guessed it) amazing fries.

I did intend to take a few laps on Sea Viper, but the park's signature coaster was closed.  The park's kiddie coaster was also in pieces.  I'm unsure if that ride ran at all in 2021 and I wonder the ride is on the way out now that they have the SBF Visa spinner for kids.




I did ride Power Surge, which is still one of my favorite flats in New England.  The base no longer spins on this one, but it runs a pretty long cycle and offers a disorienting experience with plenty of flipping.



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  • 5 months later...


This was the park I was most excited for in Finland and it did not disappoint.  The park is located in the heart of Helsinki atop a hill.  So you have a mix of the city's energy and stunning views.  The park is small in terms of land, but it's very dense and many rides are stacked on top of each other.  My first day there was quite busy, but I returned for a few hours after Sarkanniemi on a rainy day and the park was a complete ghost town so I could marathon Taiga.


Taiga is easily the star.  This Intamin multi-launch coaster feels like Velocicoaster crossed with Helix.  You have some of the best inversions of any coaster, several nice moments of airtime, and impeccable pacing.  And the ride's placement on the hill allows the ride to offer great views and suddenly increase its speed throughout the ride.  This is definitely the best coaster in Finland.










Taiga was much needed since the park's other coasters, while unique models, were decent at best.

Kirnu is a ZacSpin run correctly...unlike the former Green Lantern that is now being scrapped.  This one actually rotates and the final flip is downright wild.


Ukko is a fun Maurer SkyLoop.  It offers great hangtime at the top and good positive Gs going through the station.  The restraints are less than ideal though since they sit on your stomach rather than your lap.



Salama is a Maurer spinner.  The layout circles above the rapids ride.  This one had a decent drop at the start, but it didn't spin as much as some others.


Linnunrata eXtra is a weird Zierer coaster built inside a former water tower.  There's a little space theming and if you ride in the back, there's one or two drops that will whip you down since the trains are so long.



Vuoristorata is a classic scenic railway.  This one still operates with brakemen, but this one is run super conservatively.  The operator had to push the train with his foot on some of the turns.  As a result, there were only 1-2 spots of airtime, but it was still cool to ride a piece of history.



Pikajuna is a Mack powered coaster that offers some nice views of the park's other coasters.


Tulireki is an abomination.  It's the only Mack E-Motion coaster remaining and I can see why there aren't more.  The vehicles are able to rock both side-to-side and forwards-and-backwards.  This makes the ride feel like a shopping cart riding down a cobblestone road.  Even if it tracked smoothly, the ride would be awful since it's trimmed extensively.


The park had some nice flat rides.  The best was Kingi, the massive Moser drop tower.  The view was incredible and I floated the whole way down.


Magia was another cool one.  This is a Technical Park Moondance.  I rode one of these at Playland's Castaway Cove a few years ago and was blown away by the centripetal force and sustained positive Gs.  This one started off similarly intense, but the final 2/3 were much more mundane.


There were a few dark rides too.  There was a classic haunted house, a walk-through, and Taikasirkus.  Taikasirkus should be avoided if you have a phobia of clowns.  You pass what seems like a hundred clowns while hearing the same song on repeat.  And there's even one scene where the clowns are scooping up elephant turds.



Hurjakuru is a fun rapids ride.  It has a themed tunnel at the start, some themed sprayers, and a massive waterfall.



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This was a park north of the major cities in Finland and I knew very little about it prior to my visit.  The park didn't have the atmosphere of the two city parks south of it, but PowerLand was clean and well-run.




The main reason for my visit was the duo of Infinity Coasters.  One was Junker and the other was junk.

Junker was excellent.  It's one of the most underrated coasters I have ridden.  The launch has some real power to it.  The rest of the ride has some strong airtime and awesome hangtime.  And you usually get great laterals as you're coming out of your seat as well.  I got nearly a dozen rides on this coaster after a marathon at the start and end of the day.  The best comparison I can give for a coaster stateside is Adventureland's Monster with the launch of TMNT Shellraiser.








One of the most puzzling coaster additions of all-time is Junker.  This is a Gerstlauer infinity coaster plopped right next to Junker with the exact same colors and exact same theme.  While Pitts Special has some good ejector airtime on the first drop and speed hill, the rest of the ride is sort of awkward.  The elements are too large and/or drawn out.






Thunderbird is the coaster that was cloned for American Thunder at Six Flags St. Louis.  Those who rode American Thunder in 2020 said the ride was running slower than usual.  That is how Thunderbird ran.  It was smooth, but it only had a few mild pops of airtime.





Cobra is one of the best boomerangs.  It's one of the newer ones, so it tracks very smoothly.  It also has a blast of fog as you careen through the station and a unique set of trains.


Joyride and Neo's Twister are the park's two family coasters.  Neither were standouts, but they were fine for what they were.




And I of course rode the kiddie coaster.  It was a royal pain to find since it was tucked in the far corner of the park only accessible by a narrow, hidden pathway, but I got the credit!


Beyond the coasters, there were a few other rides of note.  Pegasus was a crazy flat ride from Technical Park.  The ride program was throttled, but when it ran at its highest speed, I had no clue where I was going between all the flips and rocking.  It was a delightful blend of hangtime and positive Gs at its highest speed as the seats would randomly flip.


Kwai River was a bizarre log flume.  After the first drop, you don't hit a splashdown.  Instead, you continue speeding down this track and round an unbanked turn, getting some nasty laterals.  You then go down another drop.  The final plunge is pretty big for a flume and even gives a pop of airtime.


Dragon Tower is a great drop tower.  This is another Moser model, but the spinning seats grant a great view for everyone on the ascent.  And the drop had me floating out of my seat the entire way down.  One cool thing they do is that they alternate running it as a drop tower and an observation tower.  There are two separate lines, so you can pick the program you prefer.


Devil's Mine Hotel was a creeky dark ride, but the ride worked well enough and I really liked the western theming around the attraction.  The one weird thing with this ride is that you had "ammo" so you only had a limited number of shots you could take.  I've never seen a shooter limit this before.


 There were also some weird kiddie rides.  There was a line of mechanical bulls that was chucking children left and right.  And then there was this ball pit mounted on a rotating platform.  I don't think we'll ever see either of these in America.



PowerLand was a park I really enjoyed.  Crowds were manageable and the ride lineup was pretty unique.  But the reason to come here is for Junker.  That ride is fantastic.

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Sarkanniemi has an amazing setting.  This park is in the city of Tampere situated on the water.  The one downside with this location is that parking is a hot commodity.  I made sure to arrive over an hour before opening to secure a spot.  And it turned out the park was open for a private event, so I was able to ascend the Nasinneula observation tower (Finland's tallest structure at 551 ft) to get some unique aerial shots of the park.




Most of the coasters at this park are clones.  But they're cloned models I enjoy.

Hype is one of the best Sky Rocket II's because of the lack of comfort collars and view.  The rest of the ride has the usually strong bursts of airtime and great hangtime on the barrel roll.



Motogee is a fun Zamperla motorbike coaster.  I think these rides have underrated launches and the compact layout has some fun turns.



Trombi is the Zamperla Volare.  I know most people hate these rides, but I genuinely like them.  I've never found them uncomfortable, so I can enjoy the forceful turns and freaky barrel rolls.



I did have to skip the Vauhtimato kiddie coaster though.  That ride's queue line was spilling way out into the midway and I didn't think it was worth it.


The lone unique coaster and undeniable star is Tornado.  This is a rare Intamin invert and I really liked this coaster.  It rode much differently than a B&M invert, but it was still smooth and enjoyable.  The highlights are the two barrel rolls.  Both had oodles of hangtime and the first one has one of the best near-misses of any coaster as it goes through an underground tunnel above the load platform (on-ride photo was taken with an approved Go Pro).






The park had a pretty unique flat ride lineup.  They had a well-run Zamperla Power Surge in High Voltage and a really weird Huss flat ride called TakeOff, but unfortunately this one wasn't run all that fast.




I had to skip the rapids due to its line, but I waited 45 minutes for the flume.  It was scenic, but the drops were shallow and not all that thrilling.


Because of crowds, I ultimately decided to forego the second half of the day at Sarkanniemi to return to Linnanmaki.  This proved to be a wise decision.  Linnanmaki was dead due to a rainstorm.  I was able to ride Taiga 7 times in an hour.

I did like Sarkanniemi.  The coaster lineup may not have many unique ones, but Tornado is a really nice coaster and the park has a great atmosphere.  And it also has this adorable piggy train.



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