Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby jynx242 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:02 pm

As always, I loved your reports. I'd heard of Castles and Coasters, but didn't know that Wildlife World was a thing. If I ever make it out to that area, I'll definitely check them out.

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:42 pm

Thanks! It was the same thing for me about Wildlife World until I was poking around RCDB one day and noticed it. That happens quite a bit on RCDB.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby JimmyBo » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:46 pm

Glad to see you "enjoyed" what little this Grand Canyon State has to offer in terms of Theme parks. If you ever make it back out here, be sure to check Schnepf Farms. It is only open occasionally but it has the best coaster in the state. It may not be very tall but it sure has some "OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL" airtime moments when you sit in the back.

We visited Wildlife World the month the new Roller Coaster opened (our third time at the park) and it was a nice addition. to the park. I really dislike that you still have to pay for a ticket to get into the park and then pay additional charges for EVERYTHING ELSE! And you are correct, there is no ATM in the park (although I believe there was one at the restaurant when we went). So expect to spend a lot of money if you want to do everything. I believe it still is one of the largest Privately Owned and Operated Zoos in the country...but that might have been a worker talking BS when we visited.

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:46 pm

Thanks!

I just looked up that kiddie coaster at Schnepf Farms and the back seat riders really look like they're getting yanked down those drops. That looks right up there with Knott's Timberline Twister for a kids coaster that gives way more air than it should.

I have heard somewhere that Wildlife World was the largest privately owned zoo (maybe another TR on this site?) and maybe that helps explain the pricing structure.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:11 am

Galaxyland

The West Edmonton Mall has always been on my bucket list; however, getting there from Boston is a royal pain. After a work trip to Mexico dumped me off on the West Coast, I saw my opportunity and jumped on it. And I have no regrets whatsoever.

The mall is an attraction in itself and I’ll post a separate TR covering the World Waterpark, the aquarium, and all the other goodies in the West Edmonton Mall. This report will focus entirely on Galaxyland, the park that they claim is the world’s largest indoor theme park.

Entrance 2.jpg
This is just one of the 4-5 entrances.


Was there any doubt where my first stop would be? After being denied Quimera, Mindbender seemed like one heck of a consolation prize. And I have to say that it’s one of the most imposing coasters I have ever seen. The scale of the coaster is astounding considering it’s indoors. Plus it has a deafening roar that echoes through the park. When Mindbender is running, everyone knows.

The recent reports I’ve seen from Galaxyland have called Mindbender uncomfortable. The ride’s layout is aggressive for sure, but painful? Not if ridden correctly. It is absolutely imperative that you let the accordion restraints bottom out on your shoulder. This will prevent any unwanted headbanging or neck-chopping. If you don’t follow this step, I can see how one would call this ride rough.

When everyone anyone talks about Mindbender, they always talk about the insane Gs those loops pull. All three loops are among the most forceful on the planet. The second one in particular is a real doozy since it occurs immediately after the first and you have no recovery time.

But I rarely hear about the rest of the ride. The first has a ridiculously tight curve and the steepness yielded a freefall sensation. All of the subsequent drops and ascents have equally as abrupt twists and offer some powerful laterals.

And for good measure, the finale doesn’t peter out. I find quite a few of these Schwarzkopfs just mail it in after the final inversion. Mindbender has a surprise hill with some excellent floater air and an extremely disorienting final helix. The helix isn’t overly intense, but it encircles a mirrored support column, which can only be described as mind bending.

As an added bonus, all of these crazy elements occur in the tight confines of the mall. The ride also contains a non-stop barrage of headchoppers with the ceiling, supports, and pathways. Mindbender was the main reason for my visit to the Mall and it did not disappoint. This may be Schwarzkopf’s crowning achievement and it’s a coin-flip if I prefer this to Quimera. 9.5 out of 10

Mindbender Drop.jpg
Everyone talks about the loops. No one ever talks about the drops, but they were awesome.

Mindbender Ascent.jpg
Just look how abrupt the twists are.

Mindbender Loop 3.jpg
Hidden Mickey!

Mindbender Helix.jpg
Mirror mirror on the wall, whose the best Schwarzkopf of them all?

Mindbender Lift.jpg
I swear you could touch the ceiling if you tried.


In total, I racked up 13 rides on Mindbender. And to be honest, I would have gotten more if the operations weren’t so brutal. Going in, I knew Mindbender closed for periodic inspections. There were three scheduled inspections over the course of the day, each about 45-60 minutes in length.

What I wasn’t expecting was 10 minute dispatches. The ride had two trains and two operators. But in one of the most bizarre operational policies I’ve ever seen, each operator “owns” one train. What this means is that one operator sits off to the side while the other operator admits guests, checks restraints, and dispatches the train. It didn’t seem very efficient to me. Further, they often wouldn’t load the train until the prior completed its run.

That’s one piece of the puzzle. The other are those restraints, which consist of a seatbelt, lap bar, and accordion shoulder bars. Riders are not allowed to adjust their own restraints, so the operator takes about 30-45 seconds per person to adjust these click by click, soliciting feedback from riders at every click if it’s tight enough.

Mindbender Inspection.jpg
Seeing the premier ride go down for about 30% of the day was annoying, but at least it was no surprise.

Mindbender On-Ride.jpg
This is what 13 rides on Mindbender does to you.


Galaxy Orbiter is an interesting spinning coaster. The coaster has a modest height, but goes on forever thanks to a standard lift plus two booster sections. Without a doubt, this has the best layout of the Gerstlauer spinners. It basically tours the whole park a la Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Streak, mixing in 2-3 solid drops and an intense figure 8 finale.

But while all the other Gerstlauer spinners are smooth as glass, this one was extremely bumpy. I was not expecting that at all. In the end, I think I’ll take it over the Pandemonium clones, but this could have and should have been so much better. 6 out of 10

Galaxy Orbiter Sign.jpg
This may be one of the best ride signs ever.

Galaxy Orbiter Turn.jpg
If you want a full tour of Galaxyland, you mind as well ride this coaster.

Galaxy Orbiter Helix.jpg
Hats off to Gerstlauer for even fitting this thing in the mall. If only it tracked better.


The last obtainable credit for adults is Autosled. This is Galaxyland’s version of the Zierer coaster with an absurdly long train that aimlessly winds around like Jaguar. I remember there being one drop with some good whip in the back, but for the most part it rode more like a monorail. 5 out of 10

Autosled Station.jpg
By Zierer's standards, an 11 car train actually felt short.


Beyond the coasters, Galaxyland had a small but solid flat ride collection. Unfortunately their Chance Unicoaster was closed for its annual rehab and they had removed some notable flats like Solar Flare, but I did find two that I really liked.

The first was Space Shot, which is actually a double shot. I believe this ride stands where the old Intamin freefall once stood. The ride stands inside a giant column complete with cutouts to the rest of the park and the outside world. Normally I’d take an Intamin Gen 1 over an S&S tower, but not in this case.

The ejector pops at the top are tied with Hershey’s towers for the strongest I’ve experienced on a ride of this type. And the descent actually produced an honest to god freefall sensation better than most of the turbo drops. Maybe it’s the ride itself or maybe it’s mental since it’s pretty disorienting shifting from a view of the outside world to a darkened column and back to a chaotic amusement park. 9 out of 10

Space Shot Launch.jpg
On one hand, it's very cool being able to look out and see the snow-covered Edmonton. On the other hand, I sort of wish they had some space/star effects up there.


Havoc is the parks newest attraction. I think it’s one of those KMG Spinouts. The one I rode at the Alameda County Fair had a cycle focusing entirely on sustained hangtime. Havoc mixed it up with some abrupt, airtime inducing swings not unlike a frisbee before finally holding us upside down for an eternity while all the blood rushed to my head. 9 out of 10

Havoc Flipping.jpg
I love how Autosled wraps around Havoc.


I’ve always been intrigued by Coney Island’s El Dorado Bumper Cars because of the ride looks like its housed in a nightclub. Cosmo’s Space Derby had a similar (albeit cleaner) vibe to it, so I was intrigued enough to ride. The atmosphere was cool, but the cars were weak. They were so weak that head on collisions were allowed. Too bad they were nothing more than a love tap. 6 out of 10

Cosmo's Space Derby 1.jpg
When a family park allows head-on collisions, that should be a red flag for bumper car fans.


Galaxyland also has an odd mix of dark rides. The most notable is Quirks in the Works. This ride is an absolute WTF. I don’t know for sure what a Quirk is, but I think they’re the random aliens you take aim at during the ride.

The actual ride building is pretty small and there aren’t many targets. But the ride cleverly gets around this by utilizing slowly moving rotating vehicles. This allows you to cycle between the same few targets again and again without it feeling repetitive. 8 out of 10

Quirks in the Works Station.jpg
I just love how the vehicle plows through the curtain, slapping riders in the face. Canada gives 0 effs.


There’s also a building tucked underneath Mindbender that houses both a fun house and a haunted walkthrough. The Fun House was a major disappointment. 90% of the attractions is a gagless stroll through a blacklit room. The other 10% are actually a solid door maze and vortex tunnel, but it’s not enough to save this attraction. 3 out of 10

Haunted Castle was better. I think the age requirement was 16, so I figured it may have some good jump scares. However, the gags were slow developing and often delayed. But it is cool how there’s barely any walls or guards in there. Some of the props have a pretty wide range of motion and there’s no way this would be allowed in America as someone would stupidly grab a scissor lift or something.

It’s worth noting that there are no live actors and the finale is a vortex tunnel that’s actually shared with the Fun House. 7 out of 10

Haunted Castle.jpg
Because everything is literally on top of each other, it's nearly impossible to get a clean shot of the Haunted House.


The last ride worth mentioning is the Galaxy Express. At first glance, this looks like your standard kiddie train. But upon closer inspection, you may notice that it has 2-3 tunnels. These tunnels actually have some cute little dark ride scenes. 5 out of 10

Galaxy Express Route.jpg
Do not be fooled; this isn't your usual kiddie train.


Outside of Mindbender, the dispatches on individual rides were actually pretty good. However, there was one other frustrating operational quirk. At Galaxyland, a 7 pm close means a 7 pm close. Right at 7 pm on the dot, they power off the arcade games, cease the music, and gate off 3 of the 4 entrances.

And that leads to the attractions. I’ve seen parks close queues off early. Galaxyland doesn’t do this. Instead, they let people enter queues right up to closing. But the final train of the day must be back in the station by close. Indiana Beach is the only other park I’ve been denied a ride at closing even though I was in the queue.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed my day at Galaxyland. Mindbender is legit and Schwarkzopf fans should absolutely consider making a pilgrimage to Edmonton. The park isn’t particularly big, but they utilize every inch of space and indoor parks always have a unique vibe to them.

Cotton Candy.jpg
Also aren't these the most adorable cotton candies that you've ever seen?
Last edited by Canobie Coaster on Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:53 am.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby jynx242 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:58 am

Great report! This place has been on my bucket list for a very long time. Since the Canadian Mindbender's southern cousin SFoG Mindbender is one of my favorite rides ever - I've always wanted to ride it.

I also wanted to mention that one of the things I REALLY enjoy about your reports is that you can always see your joy at being at a park. Things have to be SERIOUSLY F&^@ed up for you to mention negatives. You seem to enjoy yourself, roll with things and you don't bitch about every little inconvenience.

Just wanted to mention that as I appreciate it.

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby bert425 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:58 am

HA. .that pic of you on Mindbender is Awesome-sauce.

still giggling over it.


really looking forwards to your full mall report, as I've always wanted to go to this place to check it out. (maybe not bucket list, but bubbling just under bucket list).

spoil a bit tho. . was the Aquarium worth it?
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Kw6sTheatee » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:05 am

=) Oh look it’s my boy Galaxyland! That one underrated park that nobody ever talks about, even with an incredible Schwarzkopf crammed inside it! I’ve been here multiple times— I have family in Edmonton and I have gone to this park since I was little. I rode Mindbender in July 2017, and it became my favorite coaster of all time for a few weeks besting Fury, Skyrush, Mako and Lightning Rod. You just have to lean forward on the restraints and get your neck above the “Accordions of Death”.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:18 am

jynx242 wrote:Great report! This place has been on my bucket list for a very long time. Since the Canadian Mindbender's southern cousin SFoG Mindbender is one of my favorite rides ever - I've always wanted to ride it.

I also wanted to mention that one of the things I REALLY enjoy about your reports is that you can always see your joy at being at a park. Things have to be SERIOUSLY F&^@ed up for you to mention negatives. You seem to enjoy yourself, roll with things and you don't bitch about every little inconvenience.

Just wanted to mention that as I appreciate it.

David


Thanks! Ultimately I'm at the park to enjoy myself and not criticize them for a bulb being out or paint chipping. I definitely will note if operations are poor or rides are closed, but usually I end up leaving on a high note so I have a positive impression in my mind. And honestly I can just poke fun at a park sometimes for its shortcomings (see Camden Park).

As for Galaxyland's Mindbender versus Georgia's Mind Bender, I think they're very different rides. The two share the same manufacturer and forceful loops, but the rest of the ride feels way different. Georgia's feels graceful while Galaxyland's feels like a bat out of hell.

bert425 wrote:HA. .that pic of you on Mindbender is Awesome-sauce.

still giggling over it.


really looking forwards to your full mall report, as I've always wanted to go to this place to check it out. (maybe not bucket list, but bubbling just under bucket list).

spoil a bit tho. . was the Aquarium worth it?


Thanks! The mall as a whole was a really neat experience.

As for the aquarium, unfortunately it wasn't what I expected. What they had was very good (in particular a sea lion show in the middle of a mall), but the place was extremely small. I'm talking walk from one end to the other in 30 seconds small.

Kw6sTheatee wrote:=) Oh look it’s my boy Galaxyland! That one underrated park that nobody ever talks about, even with an incredible Schwarzkopf crammed inside it! I’ve been here multiple times— I have family in Edmonton and I have gone to this park since I was little. I rode Mindbender in July 2017, and it became my favorite coaster of all time for a few weeks besting Fury, Skyrush, Mako and Lightning Rod. You just have to lean forward on the restraints and get your neck above the “Accordions of Death”.


I prefer the airtime centric rides of the coasters you mentioned, but I did really love Mindbender. Thankfully Robb taught everyone on the Oktoberfest trip how to ride coasters with accordion restraints since they definitely had the potential to ruin a great ride if worn incorrectly.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Postby 805Andrew » Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:59 am

That Schwartzkopf looks really good! I love how it almost touches the roof of that huge mall and those diving drops look sick. I had never heard of this coaster before and wasn't aware Edmonton had an amusement park as well but I am well aware of their indoor water park. Did you experience their water park too that looks really fun?
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