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Photo TR - Julie and Kevin Go to Spain! ~The Coastery bits~

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It's time for another installment of "Julie and Kevin go to..."!


From May 9th to the 18th, I travelled around central and southern Spain with Kevin, hitting three theme parks and tons of other awesome, unique, beautiful and fun things along the way! I'm using this thead to post the pictures from the parks we went to, and will make a thread in the Random forum for non-park pictures.


First up, Parque de Atracciones de Madrid!!

May 11th, 2006


Let me start by saying that in no uncertain terms, I am completely in love with this park!!! In the planning stages for this trip, I found myself with only about a day and a half in Madrid, which did not leave time to hit both Parque de Atracciones and Parque Warner Madrid. After looking at everything both had to offer, we agreed to hit Paque de Atracciones. The rides just seemed a bit more unique, and the park seemed more European to us than Parque Warner Madrid, which looked nice, but like lots of other parks we'd been to. It was also very easy to get to on the Metro, and was less expensive.


The park opened at noon, and the only rides closed all day were the Condor, the Top Spin and unfortunately, Fantasia. We started out the day with the suspended shooting dark ride Cueva de las Tarantulas (Cave of the Tarantulas) which was very odd, but fun! Everything about this ride is completely hidden from view except for the loading area, so it was a bit of a surprise!


Tarantula was closed at the moment but was testing, so we headed over to Tornado next. There seemed to be only a few people around, but when we got up to the station, the ride op yelled "veinte cuatro!!!" (twenty-four!!!) and all these people came *sprinting* towards the coaster! We rode somewhere near the middle, and I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Just as we engaged the lift hill, the coaster dropped a big black glob of stuff onto my leg! I got spooged on by a coaster!! Whatever it was, it stained my leg, and was still visible at the end of my trip!


After a bathroom break and a stroll through the Bosque Jurasico, we rode El Rio Encantado (the Happy River). What a screwed up yet completely wonderful ride! It was the epitome of random...a sleeping giant, a unicorn, some trolls, a yeti, all in a spinning raft ride. Next we rode the suspended blimp monorail, which gave a great view of the park.


The next ride was La Jungla (The Jungle) which was certainly a high point of the park! It was such a rip off of the Disney Jungle Cruises it was hilarious! We laughed our heads off through the whole ride. I will let the pictures say all I need to say about that ride!


We were hungry by that point, so I grabbed a burger and he grabbed a hot dog and we ate on a bench in front of the drop tower. The burger was very weird...it had almost no taste at all, which meant it was sort of like I was eating nothing. It had texture to it, but no flavor at all! The fries were great though.


Next up was Tarantula, which was a very nice little coaster which offered fantastic views of Madrid. We browsed through some gift shops where I desperately tried to find a Parque shirt in XL, but they only carried shirts up to size large. From there, we went over to the kiddie area.


We tried to get the kiddie coaster credit but were promptly denied, so we decided on the extremely random "trip around the world" themed antique cars. The ride was short because the cars really booked it around the track, and the theming had virtually nothing to do with the counties they were supposed to represent. Most people wouldn't like that, but I thought it was great.


After the cars we rode Caballos de Oeste (Horses of the West), these bucking mechanical horses that travelled around a little western town. For whatever reason, we both found this ride to be hysterical! We had the greatest time taking pictures of each other riding it! This was probably my favorite ride in the park...better than the coasters! Fortunately for us, there was a similar ride in the other two parks we went to also!


We rode the cute little elevated train ride next, then messed around with the shooting gallery for a bit. We attempted to climb to the top of the "observation tree" but it was closed, so we opted for the Ferris wheel instead so we could get aerial pics. At some point we also thought about going into the paddlewheeler on the lake, but once I got up to it, I saw that it was a walk through fun house and booked it the other way quickly! Kev went in for a few seconds but ultimately didn't go all the way through.


When we were done, we popped into the main gift shop so I could find something to commemorate my awesome day. They had some very strange merchandise, but what I ultimately ended up with was two little clip picture holders, a square blue toiletries bag and a change purse (since I had neglected to think about that I'd be carry around lots of Euros in change). I told the cashier, in Spanish, that I had really loved the park, and she gave me a red rubber Livestrong type bracelet that said "Tarantula" on it.


So yeah...I really thought this was an awesome park! Granted, it's not a park to everyone's liking because it is very high on random "wtf was that??" type of stuff, but that is the stuff that I love the most in amusement parks! The only thing we waited for all day was Tarantula, and that was probably not even 10 minutes. Some things didn't open with the park, like Tarantula, the chair swings and a few others, but after about an hour, everything was up and running. I also thought the park was very pretty...it has lots of natural shade in the kids area, and seemed to be very well landscaped. The rides were also themed very well, like Los Fiordos (the Shoot the Chutes) which was absolutely beautiful.


So on to the pictures. I really hope everyone will at least consider this park if you are planning on a visit to Madrid any time soon.


-Julie (Kitsch-fanatic)


As you can see, Parque de Atracciones is a wholesome, family friendly park.


Rumor has it that next year, this show scene will be replaced with some handymen spackling drywall.


No seriously. Best. Ride. Ever. Don't believe me? Get your ass to Parque de Atracciones and try it for yourself!


Best. Ride. Ever.


Kevin does his best Atlas impersonation


Kevin follows the blimp rules and does "not take out the arms."


We saw these guys a bunch. They drove this ice cream truck themed vehicle that played really loud music, but they apparently didn't sell ice cream *confused*


The shooting dark ride had these funky laser guns that projected red targets. Unfortunately, I didn't get any points for hitting the back of Kevin's head.


La Maquina, the well themed frisbee


The blimp suspended monorail...don't see many of these any more.


Los Fiordos, with it's Scandinavian castle entrance


I love the Tarantula warning signs. Please do not ride if you have a heart, have a huge bulge, or are currently being struck by lightning.


While this might look like an impressive shot of two trains in one photo, I just barely missed having three in the photo :-(


The spider theming fits very well with this ride I think, especially because it sits on top of the spider themed shooting dark ride.


Tarantula's spider entrance


Coaster spooge!!!!


"VEINTE CUATRO!!!"...Spanish for "Get your ass over here! This is the one time this hour I'm gonna cycle this coaster!"


Time for our first Intamin invert credits!


And here is the station for any station fanatics out there.


Rats, no Abismo credit for us today. But I did get this testing shot! They only tested the coaster twice this day, from what I could tell.


Time to head into the Zona de Maquinismo for our credits!


Here's my tattoo. If you look closely, you can almost see every cell in my skin.


Here, Kevin demonstrates the proper tattoo application proceedure.


This is the tattoo wetting fountain for your unlimited ride pass.


Julie loves Parque de Atracciones!

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Who wouldn't love a Parque de Atracciones first aid kit as a souvenir?

Next park...Isla Magica!


Coaster theming in the gift shop


Kevin, also very sad that Fantasia is closed


Me, very sad that Fantasia was closed


Darn you, awesome Smurf ride that is too small for adults to ride!!


Parque had very cool kiddie carousel full of colorful animals.


Enough fun and games...time to ride the random trip-around-the-world antique cars!


This could lead to a dead end...or it might be like everything else, and lead us to another gift shop!


Y'know, I hired these guys to break camp, and it looks like they broke almost everything!


Here we've got another law in the jungle called survival of the fastest. See the low man on that totem poll? I guess he'll get the point in the end!


Here's the secret bathing pool of the Indian elephants. It's ok to take pictures... they've got their trunks on


Uh oh...a downed airplane! That can only mean one thing...hippos!!!


When the natives dance around in circles like this, it can only mean one thing... this is a bad place to be headed! I love disco!


I like to call this Inspiration Falls. I call it that because it inspires me to go...futher into La Jungla!


This is crocodile country. These are 2 of our oldest here in the river... Smiley & Ginger. Be careful...Smiley bites, but Ginger snaps.


Wow...this guy looks like he's straight out of an out of business Chuck E. Cheese!


Next up...La Jungla! AKA Blatant Disney Jungle Cruise Ripoff!


Disturbing see-sawing on the Rio Encantado


The yeti on the Rio Encantado...this makes this ride on par with Expedition Everest.


Creepy trio on the Rio Encantado


Kevin thought it was very strange that papier mache unicorns make me so happy.


Whatever this character is supposed to be, it has fallen over flat on it's face!


Creepy randomness on the Happy River


God, I love this park


El Rio Encantado...the epitome of random


Ok, so I totally screwed this one up. It was supposed to be up there with the La Jungla pics with a great "Pimp my Chief Nammie" caption, but I uploaded the wrong pic and couldn't fix it. Oh well.

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Great TR!


The horse ride looks really random and LOL @ "coaster splooge."


Anyway, I've always wanted to go to Spain, especially now that I have two (soon to be three) years of Spanish under my belt. Looks to be a very nice, beautiful country.


Julie, have you tried paella? It's one of the strangest Spanish dishes, and one of the most common.

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Isla Mágica!

May 12, 2006


After a busy morning of sightseeing in Sevilla, we boarded the tourist bus at the riverfront and rode halfway around it's circuit to the entrance to Isla Mágica. We got to the park around 4:00pm or so, and since we were so late, our admission was half price!


I had looked at the park's website and a few fan pages before arriving, but the park that I found was actually much nicer than I was expecting! First, it's in the middle of a busy area of the city, not on the outskirts like I was assuming. Second, it was HUGE! It was easily five times bigger than I assumed it would be! The park was very lush, with lots of trees growing over pathways, and flowers and plants lining all the guest areas. And I found the theming to be really top notch...overall it was a great looking park! Much better than I was expecting.


The only somewhat downside to the park is that since it is so big, it requires a lot of walking to get between the attractions. When we entered, we really only passed about three attractions before we got to Jaguar the SLC, which was pretty much at the back of the park! At least all the theming and lush landscaping made for pleasant and scenic walks.


The first thing we did was head for the credits since there were only two of them, figuring that we could ride the flat rides afterwards as time permitted. I really wasn't looking forward to riding another SLC, but I figured I'd take the beating for the sake of getting the credit. Being true masochists, we rode in the back row...but I thought the ride was great! I can't believe I'm saying that about an SLC, but this was BY FAR the smoothest, most pleasant SLC I have ever ridden. My ears only got slighly boxed one time, which left me with plenty of time to actually enjoy the ride! And when it was over, I could have very easily ridden it again! We didn't since Kevin didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I had, but still, I was thoroughly surprised at how pleasant it was. Why can't all SLCs ride like this one???


When we left, we proceeded on and ran across what was described on the guidemap as "a ride on our wonderful llamas" or somthing. I halfway assumed it was real llamas, but to my pleasant surprise, they were ride-on llamas like Parque de Atracciones' horses! Of course when we queued for it, we were the only two adults without kids in the line, but I didn't care. Still not sure why I love that kind of ride, but I do!


Next we headed for our Tren de Potosí credit, which was pretty much your standard kiddie mine train. Not a bad ride, but we weren't running back around for another ride As we continued on, we passed this huge log flume, and decided that since it was rather warm, a ride might be nice to cool down. The ride had three drops that got inceasingly bigger as the ride went on. The best part was that we got just wet enough to cool us off, but not soaked. All log flumes should be like this!


Feeling refreshed, Kevin stopped for an ice cream while I found a restroom. When I was done, Kevin had discovered a jelly tongue in the middle of his ice cream! It was too funny looking. We also noticed that the drop tower had a program schedule...like, they would run different programs every hour, all varying in intensity. Some were "high thrill" and others seemed to be more just elevator mode where it takes you up and brings you down slowly. I thought that was an interesting thing to do with a tower, though I doubt it would go over well in the States (imagine getting in line for a thrilling ride and ending up with the elevator program!)


The next ride we came to was Quetzal, Furia de los Dioses (Quetzal, Fury of the Gods). This was basically the poor man's Dinosaur or Indiana Jones. It had a Flintstones car looking vehicle on a motion base, and you travelled through ten "challenges" during the ride. It was pretty strange and random, but a good ride. Afterwards, we rode Ciklón, the Disk-o. Neither of us had ridden one before, and we both really liked it! I must remember to tie my hair back before riding next time though!


Wanting to get off of our feet for a while, we rode La Travesia next, which was a boat ride that circled the park. The boat was full of a big group of teens, and apparently Kevin and I were the only two English speakers on the ride, so we had no clue what they were talking about! One guy started telling jokes, and then he and another girl had a conversation that was the attention of the whole boat, but we had no clue what was going on. I did catch the boat driver say that we didn't speak much Spanish, then the group of people laughed and undoubtedly made fun of us some, but we still couldn't make out anything that was being said hehe


The park was just about to close at this point, so we wandered back towards Fuente de la Juventud (Fountain of Youth), stopping briefly to watch a live action show with some birds in it. The Fuente area was cute, but pretty much everything was closed already. When we left, we tried to get into the 4D theater, but it was closed also, so we went ahead and left.


I think we got a good amount done in the 3 hours we were there. I definitely think this is a nice park, and if it continues to grow, could be a world class park some day. They have plenty of space, so a couple of big B&Ms or Intamins would fit in very well here.


Onto the pics!




Finally, at long last, we go careening into the brake run!


We race around the hairpin turns at break-neck speed!


We round the first turn, then plummet down the double down!


Here we go, up the lift with blazing speed


Here is a shot of some of the detailing on the backs of the cars


This is the part of the TR that I like to call "Way too many pictures of Tren de Potosí." Here is the train.


Finally, Kevin's llama losens up and starts to have some fun!


Yes Kev, it *is* almost like a coaster, but no, I'm not going to count it. I know, surprising huh?


Uh oh, Kevin appears to be caught red handed riding that llama!


...SLC as seen through a tree!!!


The park is so lush that the rides almost get hidden, which can only mean one thing...


If this was a shot of T2, you could still hear the screams through your computer monitor.


Why are you laughing? No, I wasn't being sarcastic with that last caption!


Mmmm...Jaguar, the completely comfortable and enjoyable SLC.


Enough with all this theming mess, there are credits to be had!


They even have a well themed spinning TNT barrell teacup ride.


In most parks, this would be the kids play area, but at Isla Mágica, it was almost exclusively a teen play area! Not a kid in sight.


...and they've got even more theming over here!


...and more theming...


They've got theming...


Here, Kevin models the lovely foliage that lines the lush, winding paths of Isla Mágica.


Wouldn't you know that as soon as we entered the park, Kevin got attacked by a huge crocodile. I thought that only happened in Florida parks!


The bright and open Isla Mágica entrance


Ahh...the sign we rode halfway around the city to see!

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As we leave, we stop in a gift shop, where I present Kevin with an award for being my "Superamigo!"


Ahhh! Creepy!!!! I bet that the eyes move when the ride is operating.


This was a restaurant in the kids area. I'm not so sure I wanna eat there!


I also show how far from home I am. Please note that Nashville is the dirty, rusty spot in the middle of the map.


Kevin shows just how far away from home he is.


Kevin presents...La Travesia!


This is another "challenge." Some of the "challenges" were quite interesting, but those were the only two that photographed well.


This is one of the "challenges" we encountered on the ride.


This is the Flintstones-esque ride vehicle they use


Oh yes, time for Quetzal, the poor man's EMV adventure!


Why didn't anyone ever tell me how great Disk-os are?


Ciklón entrance


And this is the schedule of programs the drop tower used that day


El DesafÍo, the drop tower


There's a tongue in the ice cream!!!


"Disney themed and inadvertantly sexually named ice creams are my favorite!"


Kevin purchases a Slurp from a vending machine


A refreshing, well themed water feature entrance to the Quetzal/Ciklón area.


"...and these are my balls."


Kevin says "Hey Elissa! Mine's bigger!"


Please, no hiding things under your shirt, pouring stuff out, open heart surgery, accupuncture, pilates or walking on water like Jeebus during the log flume ride.


At first, I thought this was a well themed theater, but it's not...it's a food court!

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Hmm--that "Flintstones" vehicle looks as though Fred decided to "pimp" his ride.


Those Spanish parks do look bizarre--in a good way, of course. Looking forward to seeing if Flamingoland's Kumali is truly as "smooth as a baby's bottom."

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Isla Magica looks like a really well themed park!


How long did it take for you to get down there from Madrid?


We took the bullet AVE train from Madrid to Sevilla, which only took about 2 hours or so. Figure in the time it took to get from the tourist bus station to the park, and it would be about 2 1/2 hours to get there total. While it's a nice park, we were already spending time in Sevilla, so it was no big deal to hop over there. If you weren't already in the area, I'm not so sure it would be worth the money to get there (the bullet train wasn't cheap). But Sevilla is a beautiful area, so park or no park, it is worth visiting!



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