When I rode it in 2012, it was smooth. Wild but smooth. In 2016, the 2 last turnarounds were brutal but the rest was smooth. This year the ride was smooth like 2012. It looks like Luna has taken good care of it from my rides.
What a wonderful whirl around Coney Island 2018!! With Coney being my closest 'home park' (I'm in NYC), I love to follow its growth and its wild and crazy vibe. (Or as Jerry Garcia & the Grateful Dead would put it, "What a long strange trip it's been!") Having gone, as a very small child, to the original Steeplechase Park (its last year before demolition), I can never forget the fantasy of that 'place-in-time' (alto I DO appreciate all that is currently underway to continue Coney's heritage -- and thrills!).
Nevertheless...walking into the historic Pavilion of Fun -that huge old building of Steeplechase Park - was a joy unlike any other I can recall from childhood. It seemed daunting and mysterious....filled to the rafters with rides quite unlike the theme parks of today. I just recall being transported into a very magical, euphoric land.
I actually remember so many of the old rides and would be happy to share any experiences, if anyone ever has any questions. The best thing to do, though, is to go online and follow some of the amazing links that are filled with Coney Island's history and photos/descriptions/videos of the original rides. Just do a search for Steeplechase Park, Coney Island and you'll find so many great shots of a special era.
As for TODAY'S Coney Island, outside of Steeplechase Park, the Cyclone remains my fave experience. Am SO glad it's been maintained so well!
Alice P.S. Not to incite political wars here on TPR, but, believe it or not, Donald Trump's FATHER, real estate -ahem- 'tycoon,' was responsible for the 'undercover' tearing down of Steeplechase. And so it goes.....
^ Having ridden Steeplechase at Blackpool last year, I know just how fun that coaster would have been. Blackpool really did a good job strapping you in, but you still felt extremely exposed on those horses. It is easily one of the most unique coaster experiences I've had.
Coney Island's history is fascinating. Even though a majority of the rides are modern Zamperlas, I still do appreciate the remnants of the past that do remain like the parachute tower, carousel, and (of course) the Cyclone.
When Six Flags New England opens for the year in April, the weather is almost always frigid. It is New England after all! But usually 2 weeks before that, a spring carnival pops up in a comically oversized Showcase Cinemas parking lot. The Revere Spring Carnival really should be called the Late Winter Revere Carnival. The weather never resembles anything close to spring. It's always 30-40 degrees with high winds. And 2018 was no different.
I had every intention of heading to just the Revere Carnival. Usually Fiesta Shows brings their A team to this carnival and it was highlighted by their brand spanking new Interpark Super Cyclone last year. Sure it's only 30-40 feet tall, but for a portable coaster, that's really impressive (in the US at least). Fiesta Shows (the midway supplier) actually has a really well designed website. One of my favorite features is that you can click on a carnival and see the expected ride list.
It's really a 50-50 chance whether or not it'll be posted. It must depend whether or not the carnies have strong enough 3G from their trailers. And I'm guessing Metro PCS dropped the ball in this case because the Revere ride page was empty. I noticed they also had another carnival in Lawrence. I figured they'd have the B team, but decided to hit the ride list anyway. And sure enough Lawrence had the ride list posted.
As I browsed through the list, nothing was standing out. A Ferris Wheel, a swinging ship, a himalaya, a kiddie coaster, etc. Everything was exactly as I'd expect. But then I saw something I hadn't seen in almost 15 years. Viper. I refreshed my page to double check it wasn't an error. And Viper was still there.
Well that changed my plans and I immediately high tailed it over to Lawrence, which is something very few people in Massachsuetts ever want to do. I think it's pretty telling when one of the town's landmarks (and Poke Stops) is an abandoned Showcase Cinemas that has been closed for 4 years at this point. And sure enough that's exactly where this carnival was located.
Nothing out of the ordinary so far.
So what exactly was Viper and why did I just go out of my way to ride it? One way to describe it is a sped-up, horizontal sky wheel. Or another would be the offspring of a paratrooper and a scrambler. Regardless the ride looks pretty messed up. I remember really liking the ride back in the early 2000s. But then it completely disappeared from Fiesta's ride lineup (at least in the many fairs I attended). I always assumed the ride met its untimely demise, but here it was standing in front of me.
I forked over $5 for a single ride and plopped myself down into the gondola. The vehicles leave you completely exposed. It's basically a sky ride gondola. For that reason, I was sort of nervous when the ride started. After driving out of my way for a stinking flat ride, I was worried my expectations wouldn't be met. With that open of a vehicle, it probably wasn't as wild as I remembered. 10 year old me probably didn't know better. And sure enough, 10 year old me was wrong. I had actually underrated this attraction.
One of reasons I love Zippers, Power Surges, and Free Flies is the unpredictability. While scramblers and himalayas have repetitive motions, Viper kept me on my toes. If the rotation of the large arm synced up with the rotation of the gondolas, it felt like a turbo boost. Experiencing laterals while simultaneously having your vehicle swing horizontally is extremely disorienting and awesome.
It's a shame there aren't more of these around since they're incredibly fun flats. Honestly, I'd be happier if I just saw this attraction pop up more frequently than once every 15 years on FIesta's fair circuit. The lone foil against the ride was a shorter than expected cycle. Usually Fiesta excels in this area, but maybe they want to keep the nausea down on this attraction? 9 out of 10
The perfect combination of intensity and sketchiness.
Off my Viper high, I drove a 30-40 minutes south to my original destination, the Revere Carnival. As I approached, the steel structure of the Super Cyclone was missing. At least they had one operating coaster on-site.
No not this...it was closed due to weather.
FIesta was probably worried the Larson Loop could valley in such cold and windy conditions. The weather posed some problems for a few other rides. The Ferris Wheel was closed due to wind, the bitter cold prevented the Round-Up from reaching its minimum rider requirement, and then the Starship Exodus was closed for some unknown reason.
Even Mother Nature has the power to close one of the few indoor attractions.
Alas there was one lone operating coaster, the creatively named Spinning Coaster. I'll give you one opportunity to guess the coaster type. If you said one of those SBF spinners that are spreading like wildfire, you'd be correct. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'll take these things over conventional kiddie coasters any day. The trains are plenty roomy for adults and it's possible to get a few decent spins. 3 out of 10
Soon the SBF spinners will be more populous than the Vekoma Boomerangs.
While not as rare as the Viper I rode earlier, Fiesta is also the proud owner of another rare spinning ride, the Scat. Even more impressive is the fact that they own not one, but two of these attractions. HyperSpin has a solar powered (who knew carnies supported the environment with those big trailers) lighting package and looks more impressive than the other one in Fiesta's fleet (Twister). However, it's not as fast as Twister.
Is that an issue? It could have been, but HyperSpin somehow compensates. I say somehow since I'm not quite sure how. I'd think slower spinning would sap the ride of its enjoyment, but the slower spinning somehow made the ride more disorienting than it had any right to be. Combine that with a crazy long cycle and you have a winner for the most nauseating ride at the fair. 8 out of 10
HyperSpin seems to move in slow-mo, but it somehow works.
The carnival had two himalaya-style rides. One was a Chance Thunderbolt, which is just meh. The other was the Arctic Blast, one of those non-swinging himalayas with insane laterals. And Arctic Blast is run about as well as any himalaya out there. It has a long cycle both forwards and backwards, side-splitting laterals, and even some weak pops of air once the thing reaches its maximum speed. 9 out of 10
I'll take this style himalaya over the swinging bobs ones 99% of the time. For the 1%, see my Oktoberfest report last year.
And of course the carnival had plenty of pendulum rides. I rode two. The first was actually a ride that scarred me as a child, Pharaoh's Fury. While the ride had a posted 48" height requirement, I distinctly remember riding it when I was 4-5 years old and well below that height. And it absolutely terrified me. I came off crying and swore off swinging ships for 10-15 years.
Now I will occasionally ride them, but I have to be careful since they're basically the only ride that can make me queasy. I don't know why I decided to ride Pharaoh's Fury, but I figured I should try conquering my demon someday. And conquer it I did. I didn't get sick and got some mild air. 6 out of 10
Goats in a parking lot. Typical carnival.
But the undisputed airtime king of the carnival was probably the most popular ride at the fair, the KMG Freak Out. While every other ride was operating at less than half capacity, Freak Out always seemed to have a full load of happy, screaming riders. And like clockwork, it seemed like at least one rider would lose their phone or keys per cycle. People never learn. Zippered pockets are a must at theme parks or carnivals.
The Freak Out takes a bit to get going, rocking back and forth at a quarter height for longer than you'd expect. But then you hear the motor rev and the ride kicks it into overdrive. Once you reach max swings, you're guaranteed to be launched skyward. It's impossible for your shoulders not to be smashed into the top of the restraint. 9 out of 10
I'm more likely to freak out on the dang swinging ship. Go figure.
As I was heading out, I saw an employee working this weird gyroscope attraction begging for riders. Come to think of it, I probably made 2-3 loops and never once saw anyone board his attraction. The poor fella. Guess his commission wouldn't be high on this bitter night.
But as I passed the attraction, I decided to get a ghetto preview of Great Adventure's Cyborg Cyber Spin for $5. I handed over the $5 and the employee was shocked. Of course he took my money without hesitation, but he was shocked. Was the gyroscope really that lame? It looked pretty cool! I quickly found out why. I think it was meant for kids. Actually I know it was meant for kids since my 5'10", 165 pound frame almost got walk-of-shamed.
After constantly complaining how difficult it was to secure me, I was eventually locked in place and I have to say, I felt like a prisoner. The OSTR wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but the straps placed around my ankles and arms sure were. I can't think of any other ride with wrist straps like this. It quickly became apparent why. The clearance between the levels of the gyroscope was impossibly tight. If I stuck my hands out, I'm pretty sure I would have lost a limb.
The dude working the attraction was complaining the whole time how tricky it was to operate. Instead of pressing a button like 99% of the rides out there, the worker had to manually spin a massive wheel that felt like it should be on a submarine hatch. The spins started slow, but once the carnival worker peaked during his arm workout, the ride became an absolutely disorienting experience. Unfortunately my head did get jostled around quite a bit, but other than that it was an interesting ride. 7 out of 10
Oh and it was called Space Ball.
Will this be my last carnival of 2018? Absolutely not. In fact, I actually just hit another one this past weekend on the way home from Six Flags New England. But this will probably be the lone carnival I purchase a wristband for this year.
Haven't seen an old-school Cobra in years. Doubt I'd be able to handle one at this age!
Wisdom Rides makes a "modern day" version called Viper. The differences are the OTSR's, both wheels load and unload at the same time, and that it's a piece of garbage from Wisdom. http://www.wisdomrides.com/viewnew/3
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