Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:04 pm

^ Honestly that would have made for a better feature film than that abomination with Halle Berry.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:50 am

Fuji-Q Highland

Fuji-Q Highland has one of the most impressive ride lineups of any park in Japan. However, if you ask someone to talk about Fuji-Q, chances are that they talk about soul-crushing lines, painstakingly slow dispatches that make Six Flags look like Disney, and incomprehensible weather policies. For this reason, I went in with extreme trepidation.

The fiery entrance helps create a feeling of dread.

Photo Op.jpg
If you do have a bad day, you can stick your butt to the camera. It's Fuji Q approved!

The day wasn’t perfect, but we had a (dare I say) great day at Fuji-Q. It just required a beautiful weather, an early arrival, several skip-the-line passes, careful planning by Robb and Elissa, and some luck. But most importantly luck. Another TPR member visited a few days after us and had a much different experience.

Entry Plaza 3.jpg
But we actually had a good day!

Fuji-Q’s operations matched their dubious reputation. We visited on a weekday, so the park wasn’t particularly crowded. Despite this, the major coasters all were posting waits around 60-90 minutes. The only coasters with average dispatch speeds had laughably poor capacities. The coasters with improved capacities countered with glacial operations. I shudder to think what this place is like when it’s actually crowds.

Two other operational notes. First, choice seating wasn’t allowed on any coaster except the kiddie coaster (of course that would be the case :lol: ). Second, loose articles were strictly forbidden on any attraction that traveled more than 10 mph. Fortunately these fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo are free and are positioned right before the loading area so you still have your phone as time seemingly stands still in the dark depths of Fuji-Q’s queue lines.

We knew going in that Fujiyama would be closed. It was a bummer seeing the self-proclaimed “King of Coasters” down for maintenance. I’m not going to lie, I’m intrigued by a Togo hyper. By all accounts, the finale literally tries to kill you, but after loving Surf Coaster and Bandit, I hope I can experience this monstrous coaster during a return trip.

Fujiyama Closed.jpg
The king of coasters was resting today.

With skip-the-line passes in hand, we were guaranteed at least one ride on the big 3 coasters assuming the weather didn’t screw us over (a big if with Fuji-Q). That being said, we were advised to rope drop the attraction we cared most about. Without question, for me that was Do-dodonpa. Eejanaika (if it was like X2) would probably be my favorite, but at least I could ride that stateside. There’s nothing quite like Do-dodonpa left in the United States.

Do-dodonpa probably had the fastest dispatches of any coaster in the park; however, there’s only so much you can do when the train holds just 8 people. We probably waited 10 minutes and were miraculously assigned the front row. I was both excited and terrified by the raw power of the launch. Yes Top Thrill Dragster is slightly faster, but Do-dodonpa reaches its max speed in a third of the time. That’s insane!

With all loose articles tucked safely away in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo, we rolled into the launch tunnel. The ride’s theme played on loop as anticipation mounted. Then a recording exclaimed “Launch Time” (yes it was actually in English). 3, 2, 1…and holy guacamole! I felt like I was rammed by a NASCAR. The launch was so powerful that it caused my stomach to drop, a feeling only Xcelerator has been able to replicate.

The rush of wind wasn’t quite as intense as expected due to a windshield, but you can definitely tell you’re flying. I definitely regret missing arguably the most intense and painful moment of airtime from the former top hat, but the vertical loop is really smooth and has a copious amount of hangtime. The turns are pretty shaky, but the spacious shoulder bars and shock-absorbing tires yields a bouncy experience that never becomes painful.

Do-dodonpa’s launch was every bit as good as advertised. Honestly the coaster could have launched right into a brake run and I would have been satisfied. But it also threw in an impressive loop. There are definitely more complete coasters out there, but few offer the absolute adrenaline rush of Do-dodonpa. 9 out of 10

Dododonpa Loop.jpg
Here's where one of the most insane moments of airtime once stood.

Dododonpa Launch Photo.jpg
Saying the launch is insane is an understatement.

Dododonpa Turn Photo.jpg
Do-dodonpa is fast!

Dododonpa Loop Photo.jpg
I enjoyed the loop. Not sure if others did from their facial reactions.

Dododonpa Car.jpg
Hi Robb!

We briefly contemplated saving our skip-the-line passes for later in the day, but we decided to use them just in case a single drop of rain fell from the sky and caused all coasters to go into Orphan Rocker mode. That made Takabisha the next stop. I was assigned the back row and was hoping the coaster was on the smoother side like the Smiler. As a precaution, I leaned my head forwards to avoid any bashing.

The ride started with an intense indoor drop and a hangtime filled inversion. That was followed by a launch. On paper, Takabisha has one of the more impressive accelerations out there. Reaching its top speed in 2 seconds is nothing to snuff at. But after riding a coaster next door with twice the acceleration, Takabisha’s launch merely felt decent. I guess it’s all relative.

It’s impossible to remember the sequence of inversions. What I do remember is that the banana roll and loop were funkily profiled and pulled some good Gs. Then there were also one or two tiny hills with quick pops of air. But the strongest pop of air was on that beyond vertical plunge. I was worried the holding brake would kill the air like Dare Devil Dive, but those fears were unnecessary.

Takabisha really is two coasters spliced together much like the Smiler or Twisted Colossus. Having the breather in the middle is a bit different. But do I care? Not one bit! Both halves are a whole lot of fun and the experience feels noticeably different having a launch versus a beyond vertical plunge. The coaster was also pretty smooth considering it runs the gambit of inversions. A few of the transitions were a bit abrupt, but leaning forwards negated any pain.

I’m excited the long delayed Meadowlands Mall will have a clone of this coaster. It will sure beat riding an Orient Express to get my coaster fix in February. 9 out of 10

Takabisha Drop.jpg
If HangTime is considered a dive coaster now, does this count too because of the holding brake?

Takabisha Inversions.jpg
Takabisha is a launch, drop, and non-stop inversions.

Takabisha Overview.jpg
Coaster or Food Stadium?

Most wild mice have wretched capacities to begin with, but Fuji-Q’s takes their mouse to another level. Rather than the standard 4 person vehicles, Fuji-Q’s Mad Mouse has 2 person vehicles. Oddly this was the one coaster where loose articles were permitted and actually required to come with you, bags included.

It didn’t rattle as much as Hamanako’s Jungle Mouse, but it didn’t track as smoothly as its Mack or Maurer brethren. The hairpin turns in the second half were extremely powerful (borderline painful), but outside of that, the coaster didn’t offer any thrills. I think I prefer the more standard mice. 4 out of 10

Mad Mouse.jpg
The mouse was definitely mad.

We happily bypassed a 90 minute queue at Eejanaika and walked right into the station. It was a two train wait, which took 20 minutes. Why? One, the train is in typical Fuji-Q fashion shortened. While X2 has 7 rows, this only had 5. Two, multiple operators came by to check every single part of the restraint individually. Three, the ride has one of the strictest loose article policies I’ve ever seen. Everything must leave your pockets and all riders even have to remove their shoes.

Eejanaika had the potential to be the best coaster on the trip. On one hand, X2 ranks very highly for me and I heard Eejanaika is faster. On the other hand, I also heard Eejanaika is rougher. The moment of truth on the ride’s comfort would come at the base of the first drop. Would I love the sheer insanity of a flip at the base of a 200+ foot vertical drop or would I be crying uncle? Thankfully it was the former.

Diving towards the ground Falcon’s Fury style is ridiculously intense on its own, but having a wild flip at the bottom really makes this one of the top drops in the world. Yes the train shook a bit (occurred on all valleys), but at no point did my head hit against the spaced out restraints.

When I name my favorite inversions, I usually say zero-G rolls. However, I always forget how ludicrous raven turns are. Those things pull the Gs of a pretzel roll and are usually accompanied by sudden flips on the 4-D coasters. But just when I think the raven turn is my favorite inversion, Eejanaika followed up with a breathtaking zero-G roll where the seats simultaneously invert. The result is absolutely disorienting and also yields some sustained hangtime.

The one dead spot on X2 is the far turn, but Eejanaika has different profiling and hauls through this element. That’s followed by another crazy zero-G roll with flipping and that’s followed by yet another nutty inversion, the final raven turn. The whip on this element is incredible, especially if you’re assigned the back row. Then there’s one last barrel roll into the brake run that makes Kumba’s zero-G roll seem like child’s play (and I absolutely love that inversion so this is no insult).

I hit the brake run absolutely speechless. This is definitely one of the most intense coasters on the planet. It’s baffling how all the crazy flips can be incorporated onto a coaster this massive, but Eejanaika succeeded. It’s not perfect since it does rattle noticeably at the bottom of each element. For me, this didn’t cause any pain, but I know others didn’t have the same opinion. I think if you like X2, you’ll love Eejanaika. Likewise if you hate X2, you’ll want to see this ride burn. 9.5 out of 10

Eejanaika Drop 2.jpg
I'm pretty sure you should be able to see Mt. Fuji back there, but Mt. Fuji was the hide-and-seek champion of the trip.

Eejanaika Zero-G.jpg
Eejanaika supposedly means "Ain't it Great" and I agree wholeheartedly.

Nagashimasuka is a mouthful to say or type, but it’s one of the top 2 river rapids rides I’ve ever ridden. The queue looked short, but it took about 20 minutes thanks to the smallest rafts I’ve ever seen. We had two adults in our raft and I’m not sure if we could have comfortably fit anyone else. They were selling ponchos for 100 yen ($1) in the queue, but we foolishly declined. How wet would we get? Famous last words.

The ride begins with a massive lift and it was followed by a ridiculously steep plunge. It looked like one of those vertical slides where you question if it’s safe to even go down. And like all rapids rides, the drop was followed by a colossal wave that doused the entire raft. Instead of moving into a slow river, the raft then moved down a long chute more akin to what you’d find on a water slide. That too culminated in a massive splash.

But there were still two more drops waiting for us. There was a double down and the Hafema whirlpool of death. The former was actually slower than expected, but the latter was pretty scary. It feels really wrong getting laterals on a rapids ride, but that’s exactly what happened. Both drops also offered soaking splashes and there were a few geysers and sprayers at the bottom for good measure.

If you don’t want to get wet, stay far, far away from this ride. Three TPR members saw how wet we got and they immediately bailed out of the queue. However, if you don’t mind being soaked to the bone (or aren’t stupid and purchase the poncho), this truly is one of the best rapids rides in the world. Only River Quest can match it for thrills and maybe Popeye for the overall experience. 10 out of 10

Nagashimasuka Cats.jpg
Hello Kitty! All I could think of was that awful Avril Levine song when I saw these golden statues.

Nagashimasuka Sprayers.jpg
If you come off dry, it's a borderline miracle. It'd be like going to Fuji-Q and finding everything a walk-on.

Nagashimasuka Nudity.jpg
No nudity.

The nicest themed area of the park was the park’s Thomas Land. Barring a miracle from Kennywood, I can confidently say that this puts all of the US Thomas-themed areas to shame. I watched an unhealthy amount of Thomas the Tank Engine growing up, so the area was rekindling fond childhood memories.

Thomas Land.jpg
I remember when Six Flags had Thomas Land. It didn't look this good.

It also helps that the area has a legitimate dark ride in Thomas’s Party Parade. Maybe party means something different in Japan, but all of the trains looked too sad and depressed to be attending a party. Nonetheless, the sets all looked fantastic and there was this weird rotating platform in the middle of the ride that wasn’t something I’ve seen on a dark ride before. 8 out of 10

Thomas Party Parade.jpg
At least Thomas looks happy to be at his own party. None of the other trains did.

And for the most embarrassing moment of the day, you have two contenders. First there was the Rock n Roll Duncan kiddie coaster that was ridiculously slow even by kiddie coaster standards. Second there was Everybody Twist. Basically it was one of those kiddie roundabouts, but the difference here is that they give all riders a tambourine. How could you not get into dancing to the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song?

Rock n Roll Duncan.jpg
This was sadder and more pathetic than most kiddie coasters on the trip.

Everybody Twist.jpg
Photo credit to PeoplemoverMatt.

Fuji-Q has also hopped on the trend of installing one of those flying theaters in Fuji Airways. The queue videos and preshow videos were odd. Prior to boarding, you are told that you’ll ride on the wings of a plane. Because riding inside the cockpit is too mainstream? And for good measure the test riders are shown to be aliens and the safety briefing is given by a dude with hair styled like Mt. Fuji.

The cruel irony is that Fuji Airways was the only time I saw Mt. Fuji all day. You’d think it’d be impossible to miss a volcano over 12,000ft in size, but Mt. Fuji was ducking behind thick clouds all day. Meanwhile the ride video featured several scenes around the iconic peak. The ride was extremely well done outside of the transitions being a random black fade. 9 out of 10

Fuji Airways Outside.jpg
Fuji-Q has joined the flying theater trend.

Fuji Airways Mural.jpg
The only Mt. Fuji sighting of the day!

Fuji Airways Seating.jpg
My spider sense tells me that this isn't the safest way to ride a plane.

Fuji Airways Aliens.jpg
Indiana Jones 4 anyone?

SFNE’s former Time Warp was one of my favorite flats growing up. While it looked similar to the Zamperla hawks out there, Time Warp was a rare Vekoma Air Jumper and offered far superior hang-time thanks to the restraint design. I never thought I’d ride one again, but I was stunned and excited to learn that Fuji-Q had the exact same model still in operation.

While SFNE’s was called Time Warp, it had positively no clock theming. Meanwhile their old Double Trouble (Chance Inverter) had clock theming yet only ran one side. Alternatively, Time Warp ran both sides. So it’s a longtime joke that SFNE mixed up the two names, but the more I think about it, I honestly think it may be true!

But back to Panic Clock, this ride actually had incredible clock theming. We were lucky enough to be seated on the end and it reminded me why it’s the best inverting swinging ship out there. The cycle wasn’t overly long, but the hang-time was everything I could have wanted. The one other element I forgot about is that the individual arms tilt at the start of the ride to create the clearance with the floor. I can’t think of another ride that does that. 8 out of 10

Panic Clock.jpg
Now this is how SFNE's old Time Warp should have looked.

For the most part, weather was on our side but a gentle breeze was wreaking havoc with three rides- the star flyer, the sky roller, and the hamster coaster. I queued for Tentekomai (sky roller) twice, but both times the wind gave a 5-10 mph howl and shut the attraction down. Guess I wasn’t getting my 40-50 flips today.

Yes! The wind subsided enough for one of my favorite flats to open.

Tentekomai Records.jpg
I was ready to show the ride who was boss. But then it closed for wind again.

Once it opened, Voyage Dans Le Ciel (hamster coaster) remained open. This is a funky looking suspended coaster that looks like Pteranodon Flyer with much cuter cars. Because of the 1-2 person capacity per car, we waited just south of a half hour. That ended up being our longest wait of the day at Fuji-Q, which is a pretty remarkable thing to state.

The ride didn’t swing as much as I had anticipated due to frequent braking. It also doesn’t offer any large drops. But it does offer some nice views of the midway below as you slowly fly overhead. 5 out of 10

Cloud Coaster.jpg
I really do wish I could have ridden this in its originally flying incarnation.

I was also able to get second laps on all three of the major coasters. I still had my skip-the-line pass saved for Do-dodonpa, but Robb and Elissa also had some extra passes available for Takabisha and Eejanaika. I’m really appreciative since I had actually considered queuing again normally for the latter since I liked it so much.

Eejanaika Drop 1.jpg
The skip-the-line passes were absolute saviors. They're a must in a visit to Fuji-Q.

Two other closures were the walkthroughs- Labyrinth of Fear and Ultimate Fort 2. I believe that someone said one of them may be rethemed before it reopens, so I guess that’s an item to look forward to on a return visit.

Closed Dark Ride.jpg
A rare Fuji Q closure that isn't for "weather".

The park also boasts an S&S drop tower and a Huss giant frisbee. Unfortunately I ran out of time to experience both. I almost rode the latter, but the painfully slow unloading policy would have caused me to potentially miss the bus. The park wouldn’t let you unload until all oncoming riders stored their loose articles in their fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. Policies like this are what I can see leading to frustration on a busy day.

Giant Frisbee.jpg
Now I want pizza.

All in all, I had a very pleasant day at Fuji-Q. That being said, it may not have been possible without luck, excellent planning by Robb and Elissa, luck, good weather, and luck. It’s unfortunate when operations can negate such an awesome ride lineup, but based on the past experiences of the rest of the group and even others who visited mere days after us, they certainly can have that effect.

But based on my single day at Fuji-Q, I came away smiling. The skip-the-line passes were absolute saviors. That allowed us to enjoy the thrilling rides and attractions instead of painstakingly timing some of the world’s slowest dispatches. For that reason, I definitely would return to Fuji-Q on a return trip to Japan. I’ll just make sure I plan accordingly.

I mean their operations can't get any worse, right?

Dododonpa VR.jpg
Of course they're adding VR. . [shudders]

Edit- Thank you to Ccron10 for clarifying this isn't actually VR goggles, but rather you can sit down and watch a POV of the coaster. That makes a whole lot more sense. I wonder if it'll load slowly and make you empty all your pockets for the full experience. :lol:
Last edited by Canobie Coaster on Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:02 pm.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby coasterbill » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:03 am

Great report!

I can't wait for the horror stories once VR comes to Fuji-Q. :lol:

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:53 am

^ Thanks!

Just when you thought Fuji-Q's operations couldn't get worse, they delivered the ultimate "hold my beer". I think it's astounding that VR is planned for not one, but two major attractions. Then there's the insanity of throwing that on something with a launch like Do-dodonpa. That headset is going to be plastered into the faces of riders.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Ccron10 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:50 pm

^^Don't worry, they're not adding VR to the coasters. They took one of Dodonpa's old ride vehicles, set it up in a tent, and added VR headsets to play the old version of the ride and Fujiyama. BUT, imagine if they did? Could you say world record for the longest wait time for any type of attraction?

Always interesting to read a Fuji-Q trip report. I'm going back in a month so this should be interesting.

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:01 am

Thank goodness and I appreciate you clearing that up. I immediately thought of Samsung Gear VR like what keeps popping up at other parks.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:28 am

Tokyo Joypolis

Tokyo Joypolis can either be classified as the world's best arcade or a unique theme park. As a ride fan, I'd consider it more of the latter, but really this place is what DisneyQuest would have been if it were successful and actually received new attractions. Immediately after entering into the park, it was easy to be overwhelmed by the 360 degrees of lights and sounds.

I felt like I was traveling to the future. It's hard to get this feeling now that Back to the Future 2 takes place 3 years ago.

The park offers an after 8 special. We figured lines wouldn't be an issue. While that was true for the coaster, it was for basically every other ride due to their low capacities. Because of this, 2 hours was definitely not enough time to experience everything, especially since we arrived a bit late to grab food.

Our first stop was of course the coaster. It's called the Gekion Live Coaster, but really it should be called the Guitar Hero Coaster. The first half is an odd rhythm based game where you hit colored buttons on the restraint when prompted a la Guitar Hero. It was a very neat concept. It worked extremely well even though my uncoordinated self royally butchered the game. Still it was a whole lot of fun.

The second half was more my speed. For everyone who thought Time Traveler was the world's first launched spinner, think again. Gekion Live has a short coaster bit with a well orchestrated launch with fog and light effects. At first the launch isn't any better than a Backlot Stunt Coaster, but by the end of the launch track, the car starts spinning which is a cool sensation. Without delay, that launch leads right into a barrel roll loaded with hangtime. The combination of spinning and lighting makes for an extremely disorienting element.

Off-ride, the launch and inversion are the only visible bits of the coaster, so I figured the ride was over. Wrong! There were 2 compact helices that were pretty forceful, especially since the cars were spinning like a top. I don't know if I'll ever ride anything else quite like Gekion Live Coaster, but I really liked it. It was the perfect mix of an interactive dark ride combined with an exciting little coaster. 8 out of 10

Gekion Live Coaster.jpg
If you thought Time Traveler was the first inverting spinner, think again.

Our next stop was basically the one other non-simulator, the Tokyo Halfpipe. Basically every single Joypolis TR shows this odd attraction, yet I wasn't quite sure what it did. After a 20 minute wait, we boarded the skateboard back to back.

Turns out it's another rhythm game. Both riders need to hit their foot pedal in unison at the valley of the halfpipe. Doing so scores you points and sends the vehicle wildly swinging. We thought we were doing quite well, as we were spinning pretty much non-stop, but we came in dead last. It was ok since it was a ton of fun. The spinning is faster than it appears and very disorienting with all the flashing lights around Joypolis. We definitely would have gone again had the line been shorter. 8 out of 10

Tokyo Halfpipe Loading.jpg
We weren't quite sure what we were walking into.

Tokyo Halfpipe in Motion.jpg
But it was another rhythm based game and apparently we stunk at it.

We then explored the park’s simulators. Since the driving ones all had lengthy queues, we settled on Wild Jungle. If you take the Indiana Jones ride vehicle and roll it into a tiny little omnitheater, that basically describes Wild Jungle. Since we were the only riders on the train and the operators for some reason thought we spoke English (no clue what would give that away :lol:), we were treated to a surprise ride in English. The narration was comically childish as we drove, swam, and flew (yes our car somehow flew) through the jungle. Ultimately it was a pretty solid simulator, but can't hold a candle to the Disney or Universal ones. 7 out of 10

Wild Jungle.jpg
Board the Indiana Jones Adventure inspired jeep and travel into a mini omni-theater.

By this point, it was 9:40 and several of the simulators had 20-30 minute waits, so their queues were closed off. Fortunately Wild River was next door. Using the same ride system as Wild Jungle, the ride felt a bit tamer and was in Japanese this time. It was an ok simulator, but lacked the stupid humor of the other (well maybe it did have humor but we couldn't understand it). 5 out of 10

Wild River.jpg
The river wasn't as wild as the jungle.

Wild Wing.jpg
And they completed the trifecta of land, sea, and air with Wild Wing.

It was 9:50 and since we saw no one in line for the coaster, we decided that'd be the perfect way to end the night. Sadly it wasn't to be. Even though there hadn't been a line all day, they closed the queue 10 minutes early to start cleaning the vehicles and the queue. And then we realized they had closed everything except the gift shop. I guess a 10 pm closing time in Japan truly means a 10 pm closing.

This simulator had the longest wait and appeared to be the only one that inverted.

Racing Simulator.jpg
These were some fancy looking cars! Too bad only one of the simulators appeared to have been operational.

I'll definitely budget more time at Joypolis next time since it's a really cool place. The amount of simulators would even make Universal jealous, but I have no issue with that provided they're each done well. To say the arcades back home aren't that good is an understatement.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:53 pm


Even though a busy day at Disney is still incredible, I braced myself for the oppressive crowds of a Saturday. However, I had planned a sidetrip to visit Yomiuriland and Sea Paradise originally for the Monday. The longer hours of these two parks combined with the opportunity to avoid Disney on a busier day made it a no-brainer to visit these two parks on a Saturday. Since Yomiuriland closed 3 hours earlier than Sea Paradise, I started there.

Just getting to the park is an experience in itself. After arriving at the nearby rail station, we needed to take a 5-10 minute gondola ride up a hill to reach the park. The only other park I've visited like this was Ober Gatlinburg and I hesitate to call that a full fledged amusement park. Yomiuriland was a true amusement park. That was immediately clear after cresting the hill and seeing the two Togos beckoning.

Cable Car.jpg
If only one of my local parks had a sky ride up a mountain...

After grabbing a wristband, our first stop was the eclectically themed spinning coaster, Spin Runway. I don't know who dreamed of theming a coaster to fashion, but Yomiuriland embraces the ridiculousness of the concept in full and runs with it. The theming began with the queue as you pass through a fashion factory, though in many ways it felt more like a haunt because of how dark it was. I half expected Carson Cressley to pop out around a corner with a needle pointed right at us.

After loading everything into a mandatory fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo, we immediately noticed buttons on the lap bar a la Joypolis. While I'm sure there were instructions in Japanese, the two American tourists were clueless. But once we reached the spiral lift (yes this thing actually has a spiral lift), we discovered what they were for. The sides of the lift are fitted with screens so you play a quirky version of Flappy Bird where you retrieve clothes to dress your character. It wasn't the least bit challenging, but it was plain ole goofy fun.

Our car was severely unbalanced, yet it didn't spin as much as expected. Despite this, the helices were still fairly disorienting thanks to the dance club-esque lighting. There was no real drop on this spinner, which was a bummer, but it really is all about the theming and helices. There are definitely other spinners I prefer, but this is definitely the one with the best theme. 7 out of 10

Spin Runway Building.jpg
I was ready to walk (err spin) down the runway.

Spin Runway Entrance.jpg
The random game on the lift combined with the wacky theme made this better than it should have been.

Next was the coaster that supposedly inspired Cedar Point to build Magnum, Bandit. The prospect of riding a Togo with a 250 foot elevation change and OSTRs was terrifying, but after a backwards Togo looper didn't kill us, we figured the odds were in our favor. Bandit runs two trains; however, they will not load the second until the first completes its circuit and everyone unloads. That basically negates the second train, but fortunately it was never more than 2-3 trains. Each dispatch is accompanied by a little dance by the operators and party music.

On the day we visited every other train operated in “Stop-Go” mode, which meant the train would pause for 10 seconds for riders to admire the view. And what a view it was! Yomiuriland's position on a hill grants you an impressive view of Tokyo. But soon enough riders are lifted out of their seats for the first drop. The first drop is “only” 170 feet tall, but the ride gets progressively faster as it goes since the second half is built in a ravine.

The second turnaround was uneventful in a good way. It answered the question whether or not Bandit would have headbanging, so we were in the clear. That's followed by a very fast and forceful upwards helix. Bandit then speeds deeper into the woods, flying over an fantastic hill offering everyone sustained floater air. Then the finale consists of some surprisingly tall drops where it feels like the coaster reaches its max speed and also includes 3-4 hills with surprising pops of ejector air.

Bandit really surprised me. By the time the train hit the brake run, I was speechless. I love rides that finish with a bang and Bandit certainly qualifies. The combination of the wooded setting, sustained speed, smoothness, and airtime made Bandit one of the top coasters of the trip. I made sure to get a few rerides to verify I wasn't dreaming, but yes, this is actually an awesome Togo. 9 out of 10

Bandit Station.jpg
Bandit is like the Beast in that it travels deep into the woods. Bandit is unlike the Beast in that it has several awesome drops.

Bandit Lift.jpg
Stop Go Bandit offered some impressive views.

Bandit First Drop.jpg
The first drop was impressive on its own, but the ride didn't reach its max speed until later in the ride.

Bandit Helix.jpg
The helix of death had no death.

Bandit Turn.jpg
I said Bandit was the best Togo I had ever ridden, but then I went to Sea Paradise.

We had another Togo next on the agenda in Momonga Standing and Loop Coaster. As the name implies, you have the option to either ride sitting down or tempt fate by standing up. The vehicles are loaded on separate platforms and utilize a sliding station like Mr. Freeze. I had every intention of trying both sides, but I began with the sit down side to test the waters. Was I in for a head bashing?

Fortunately I wasn’t! The drop wasn’t steep enough to provide any thrills, but the coaster was smooth and had a forceful vertical loop and solid helix. Unfortunately that’s all the ride really had. I missed the bunny hills Star Jet or even Kings Dominion’s Shockwave had at the end, but what the ride provides is enjoyable.

I immediately tried the coaster standing up and was reminded just how awkward Togo stand-up restraints are. However, I will take them over the B&M stand-up restraints since the OSTRs are spaced far enough from my head that I don’t experience any headbanging. The ride was just as smooth, but I preferred sitting down to avoid the blood rush to my feet. 6 out of 10

Momonga Overview.jpg
How are the US Togos terrible if the Japanese ones are actually enjoyable?

Momonga Station.jpg
Choose thy fate, sitting or standing.

Since Yomiuriland was perched atop a hill, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to try their S&S towers. Crazy Stooon was the better of the two as it was running in turbo drop mode. The drop was pretty average as far as S&S towers go, but I could tell the view was fantastic even without my glasses. In the distance there was an impressive city skyline and nearby there was a bustling sports field. I sure am glad I didn’t play youth sports on those fields, as I’d be mesmerized by the amusement rides. :lol: 7 out of 10

I wasn’t planning on riding the space shot next door, but since Crazy Hyuuuu was loading, I gave it a whirl. The view was equally as impressive, but short-lived. But unfortunately that’s all that can be said since there was absolutely no air whatsoever atop the tower. 4 out of 10

Drop Towers.jpg
Drop (Stooon) or Launch (Hyuuuu)?

Haunted House “Hyudoro” was an odd walkthrough. I noticed several pairs of sneakers tossed to the side, so I figured shoes were banned a la Eejanaika. But an English speaking employee clarified that the shoes were part of the theming. Apparently the house was themed to the shoe bandits. I couldn’t help but think of the bumbling wet bandits from Home Alone upon hearing that name.

The walkthrough had no further references to shoes. It also had no scare actors. But it did have several effects that were uniquely viewed through tiny little peep holes in the wall. It sounds stupid, but the absolute unknown whether or not something would jump out at me or if I’d just see a random skeleton added to the appeal. I did notice that several effects were slow to develop, so my advice is to slowly move through the house. 7 out of 10

Haunted House.jpg
Shoes. Oh my god, shoes.

And of course I sampled the kiddie coaster, Wan Wan Coaster Wandit. The coaster was a pretty slow and smooth kiddie coaster offering two laps, but there was one standout effect. As you ascend the lift, you are bombarded with bubbles. This was extremely popular with the younger riders (aka the rest of the train). 3 out of 10

Wan Wan Coaster Wandit.jpg
This Snoopy wannabe is the park's mascot.

Usually I have zero intentions of riding the “Dumbo” type flats unless I’m at Disney with my sister since Dumbo is one of her favorite rides for nostalgia. However, I made an exception for Space Jet. While waiting for the kiddie coaster, I noticed the base tilted. I had never seen that before so I wanted to give it a whirl.

The effect wasn’t too noticeable while riding, but the ride did travel a bit faster than others and induced some laterals. We’re not talking adult himalaya here, but the laterals did compare favorably to those junior models out there. 6 out of 10

Space Jets.jpg
Like Disneyland's Astro Orbiter, Space Jets is located on the ground.

For the most part, I avoided lines at Yomiuriland. However, I wasn’t so lucky with Splash U.F.O, their indoor river rapids ride. There couldn’t have been more than 60 people ahead of me in line, but I waited almost 45 minutes. The dispatches were glacial at about one per minute and the rafts weren’t even fully loaded. They even allowed single riders to have their own raft, which was baffling considering the wait.

After Fuji-Q’s rapids ride obliterated my clothes for the day, I wisely spent $1 for a poncho. And it was a very wise investment. There was a very steep drop in the dark that induced some terrifying airtime not unlike what you’d experience on a water coaster like Wildebeast. I took the full brunt of the resulting splash. Then there was also a ridiculously fast whirlpool section followed by another sizable splash.

While I remember the sheer terror of that drop, the ride was also memorable for the eccentric theme. Splash U.F.O. sounds like it should have a space theme, but instead it was themed to a noodle factory. There were random animatronics along the way such as a colossal fork flying towards us along with these random dark ride bits. The latter had us being mixed into a stew and later doing battle with a (for a lack of a better description) noodle monster man. The theme was truly “only in Japan”.

The absurd theme combined with the crazy drop makes Splash U.F.O. one of the best rapids rides out there. The only better ones I’ve ridden are the ones at Fuji-Q, Phantasialand, and Islands of Adventure. It’s just a shame the capacity was so putrid as I would have loved to have ridden this a few times, especially on such a hot day. 9 out of 10

Splash UFO Outside.jpg
First fashion and now noodles? I love how odd this park is!

Splash UFO  Queue.jpg
Beware of the saucebeam.

Last but not least, I tried their Animal Rescue dark ride. I think the theme was to prevent poachers from harming animals. Instead of going all Martin Luther King Jr. and preaching peace, you are equipped with a hunting rifle and take aim at the poachers. For some reason I can’t see something like this existing in the United States. :lol:

After ending the life of each and every poacher, we then took aim at spiders. I guess spiders don’t count as animals and have no rights? The ride was pretty short, but the amount of targets combined with the hypocritical and insane theme made this a winner in my book. 8 out of 10

Animal Rescue.jpg
If you want your chance to be a terminator, Animal Rescue is the ride for you.

I sort of wish I had allotted more time at Yomiuriland. 3 hours was enough time to get all the credits and sample the non-coasters, but I wish I had more time for rerides. Bandit is the standout coaster of the park, but it’s supplemented by some rides oddly themed to fashion, noodles, and murder. Yomiuriland was definitely one of the strongest parks on the trip.

Last but not least are a few rides missing from the park index.

The Disko that was so new that it wasn't even on the park map.

Miracle Wan Room.jpg
Miracle Wan Room, the weird crazy house ride.

Bungee Jumping.jpg
It looks like that poor man is taking that straight to the nuts.
Go Karts.jpg
Top 3 Wood- Lightning Rod, Voyage, Coaster (PNE Playland)
Top 3 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Untamed, Expedition GeForce
Most Recent Trip Reports- Gardaland & Mirabilandia

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:54 pm

Sea Paradise

Continuing the tradition of forgoing the animal exhibits, it should be no surprise I visited Sea Paradise solely for the rides. More specifically, I visited for two rides- Blue Fall and Surf Coaster Leviathan. Extended hours on a Saturday night allowed me to cram in this seaside park after Yomiuriland. Approaching the park, it's impossible not to notice Blue Fall towering in the distance.

Subway Station.jpg
I think this looks like the right stop.

Blue Fall Overview.jpg
And there's Blue Fall in all its glory. It looks even bigger in person.

Sea Paradise Entrance.jpg
The entrance is sort of weird since you just walk down a street and then...BAM you're in the park.

After trying to find a ticket booth unsuccessfully, I settled on the self-service kiosk. I was wondering how I'd get an unlimited wristband from a kiosk, but sure enough it was an option. I bought a ride-only pass and the machine spat out a card. My phone's translator mutilated the translation, so I just decided to queue for Blue Fall and see what would happen.

I immediately realized everyone else in line had a wristband except me. Figuring I'd be turned away, the attendant happily took my ticket and handed me a pink poncho. I was a bit confused since it wasn't raining, but the park was worried grease could stain riders’ clothes so that was a very nice gesture and something you'd only see in Japan. I was luckily assigned Car 2, which is exactly the one I wanted. Blue Fall’s height (350ft) is impressive on its own, but two sides have a special trick up their sleeve.

The ascent was fairly quick and even without my glasses, I could appreciate the view. Off in the distance I could see the skyscrapers of Yokohama and in the nearfield I could see the beautiful ocean surrounding the park. But the freakiest thing was the fact that the tower swayed pretty darn noticeably due to the high winds.

Unfortunately there was a countdown before the drop which took away one of the greatest assets of a drop tower, the suspense. After a brief countdown (in English no less), we plunged a few feet before coming to an abrupt halt. The car then slowly passes through a set of magnetic brakes before continuing the long drop back to terra firma. It's certainly a neat idea and particularly shocking for unknowing riders, but I thought the drop was missing that stomach drop sensation Intamin towers reliably provide. Don't get me wrong, it was still very good but not as impressive as expected. 9 out of 10

Once my ride ended, an operator was waiting at the exit with a wristband. That's awesome! I immediately got back in line. You cannot choose your side and this time I got the normal side (well as normal as you can make a 350ft drop). And I have to be perfectly honest; this is the superior side of Blue Fall. By having an unadulterated and full drop, I got the wonderful floater air and stomach dropping sensation I expected. And they seemingly lasted forever. While I don't think it's the world's best drop tower, it's not far from the top thanks to the sheer size and spectacular views. 10 out of 10

Blue Fall Top.jpg
Make sure you get at least one ride on a side with these white fins. It's truly one-of-a-kind.

Blue Fall Ascent.jpg
Did all those riders coordinate their outfits and wear pink ponchos? No. Since Blue Fall can splatter riders with grease, the operators provide each rider with a free poncho. It's another example of excellent Japanese service.

Leery that Splashute (the park’s boat chute) would close early, I made that my next priority. And my suspicion was correct that it'd close early. Unfortunately I just missed the last cycle of the day. Seeing the last cycle of this retro boat chute was somewhat torture, but it was cool to see nonetheless.

I definitely would fall flat on my face if I tried that.

I was optimistic I'd find another walk-on by Surf Coaster Leviathan, but it had a full queue. Even with one train operations, I was on within 30 minutes. Like many coasters in Japan, there's no choice seating. And I should add not once did anyone complain. I was expecting OSTRs, but much to my surprise, I saw a lap bar! The trains looked brand spanking new, so maybe they're a new addition? Because of the oversized padding, I had to cross my legs to fit. It wasn't exactly the most comfortable riding position, but it was well worth it to experience the surprise coaster of the trip.

To start, the coaster’s setting is beautiful as Surf Coaster is fittingly adjacent to the water. The lift and turn afford riders a relaxed chance to admire the view and they better take it because the rest of the coaster is action-packed from start to finish. The first drop offers a nice pop of air for backseat riders and the subsequent airtime hill lives up to its name, granting a pop of weightlessness for all riders. I braced for the worst from the oncoming helix, but it was actually smooth and forceful! Something was wrong, I was loving a Togo.

The awkwardly shaped s-hill looked terrifying, but somehow it offered a solid pop of air to go with strong laterals. Then came another airtime filled drop and a forceful upwards helix. The following drop is quite possibly the largest on the ride and easily the highlight. It plunges all the way down to the ground and offers incredible ejector air. A hidden hill afterwards again launches riders skyward. How come all Togos couldn't be this awesome?

By this point, you shouldn't be surprised but there was yet another solid helix. The last lap had 2-3 more solid airtime hills, punctuated by a very strong burst of air entering the brakes. I was speechless. I was expecting a glorified jet coaster and instead I got a wild, airtime filled coaster that was perfectly reridable. After several rides, I found the seats towards the back to be superior but really this coaster delivers in every seat. Togo must have sold their soul to the devil to create this coaster. Honestly I even preferred it to Kawasemi! 9 out of 10

Surf Coaster Sign.jpg
That's one of the coolest coaster logos out there.

Surf Coaster Lift.jpg
As the name suggests, Surf Coaster is right up against the water.

Surf Coaster First Drop.jpg
Surf Coaster just kept going and going and going.

Surf Coaster Drop.jpg
Most importantly, the ride had some surprisingly good airtime.

As darkness fell over the park, I wanted to grab some night shots on the park’s observation tower. And I certainly got what I wanted. The 360 degree views of the park, water, and distant city were truly spectacular.

The Sea Paradise Tower also had two odd features. One, the operators provided free binoculars to all riders. That's something I've never seen before and it really helped admire the distant cities. Two, there were 1-2 random upholstered booths in the cabin while the rest of the seats were hard plastic. Not that the seats were uncomfortable, but it was just odd a few lucky riders were treated like kings. While the view from Blue Fall is equally as impressive, you miss out on the opportunity to snap some lovely photos unless you ride this tower. 10 out of 10

Observation Tower.jpg
Here's the observation tower during the day, but I never rode it until darkness set in.

Observation Tower Booth.jpg
If you're lucky, you can sit on the throne for your ride.

Aerial (Night).jpg
Sea Paradise sure did look pretty at night.

Surf Coaster Overview.jpg
Surf Coaster's layout is more reminiscent of a wooden coaster than a steel coaster.

I spent the remaining hour grabbing rerides. I started with two quick ones on Blue Fall. It was utterly hopeless for me to admire the view sans my glasses, but the drop was just as breathtaking.

Blue Fall Night.jpg
It's not quite Tower of Terror, but it is a great fall.

I then finished by marathoning Surf Coaster. Yes, I marathoned a Togo, so I'm pretty sure the world's going to end now. The queue dwindled with each reride until it eventually became a walk-on. While I never got a true front or back row ride, I basically sat in every other seat. During this marathon, I realized the station had the exact same song on repeat so I pity the operators trying to get that out of their heads at the end of the night.

Surf Coaster Night.jpg
It felt wrong ending the night marathoning a Togo, but Surf Coaster is a really awesome ride.

I also want to note the walkways at Sea Paradise aren't exactly as they seem. I thought it was odd the whole park had sidewalks down the entire midway, but I soon realized why. The park literally has a road that runs through the park so every few minutes I'd see a bus or truck rolling on through. And I thought Kentucky Kingdom having a road separating the front and back halves of the park was weird! Now that seems pretty ordinary.

Make sure you stay on the sidewalks since a road runs through the entirety of the park.

For thrill seekers, Sea Paradise is all about two rides, but those two rides are certainly good enough to warrant a side trip if you find yourself in Tokyo. While I didn't experience any of the other flats, walkthroughs, or aquariums, the park definitely looks as though it has enough to fill an entire day. Also I definitely recommend taking advantage of the rare nights they're open after dark since the views are truly astounding.
Top 3 Wood- Lightning Rod, Voyage, Coaster (PNE Playland)
Top 3 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Untamed, Expedition GeForce
Most Recent Trip Reports- Gardaland & Mirabilandia

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Condor » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:18 pm

That's awesome you liked Surf Coaster so much. I knew from POVs that it will be a must-ride when I go to Japan next year. It's encouraging to see such a glowing review of it.


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