xVicesAndVirtues wrote:I have always been fascinated with the look of those "roll caged heartline rolls", but never got to experience one.
A little late to the party, but Pyrenees looks like bae. I love how it starts as "giant BTR", then has all those extra elements added in. As a huge B&M Invert fan, this one is absolutely goals for me whenever I make it to Japan. The snappy cobra roll has me longing for Ice Dragon.
The caged and non-caged heartline rolls feel pretty much the same to me from a rider perspective. It's definitely funky seeing the pipeline support structure on an otherwise normal coaster, but I'm glad Togo did what they had to in order to incorporate in such a fun element.
Pyrenees really is a fantastic invert. I too miss Dragon, but at least Raptor and Alpengeist are two inverts stateside that have really snappy cobra rolls.
JordyC wrote:Excellent update! I really enjoy exploring these different quirky Japanese parks.
It is great to hear that there is a good "Manhattan Express" out there. Who would have thought?
Thank you! There must be something about a Togo being in Japan that makes it infinitely better. The backwards one should have killed us, but it didn't. The Manhattan Express one also should have killed us, but it didn't. Then later on the trip I rode a stand-up that didn't squash my nuts. Then Bandit and Sea Coaster Leviathan (especially this one) ended up ranking far higher on my personal list than I ever thought they would.
cfc wrote:Mega Coaster was surprisingly decent, and the pirate version of Desperadoes was a plus.
I didn't realize what Pirates Adventure was going to be, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it was one of those Desperados. Usually those things are a pretty steep upcharge at FECs, so it was refreshing to find another one at a park.
Lagunasia has one of the oddest ride lineups in the world. In the center of the park, you have a massive pool, a lazy river, and a few water slides. Then around the perimeter, you have a few highly themed attractions with emphasis on few. It was hard not to be amazed at the amount of detail in each attraction until you realize there isn’t much beyond that.
One part water park, one part ride park.
It really was a beautiful park.
Pudgy mascots are so much better.
The most populous area of the park for attractions is the kiddie area which is booming with color. You can probably guess the reason we were in this area was for the kiddie coaster. Though to our defense I’d say this was more of a family coaster since it was more akin to an extended roller skater.
It was called the Stellar Coaster, but stellar isn’t how I’d describe it as an adult. It didn’t really have any drops or exciting turns, but it was relatively smooth and serves its target audience well. I don’t know what it is with Japan, but they always exaggerate their attractions. First Fantastic Coaster Rowdy and now Stellar Coaster. 4 out of 10
Stellar may be going too far, but it is ok for a junior coaster.
Pirates’ Blast is an odd duck. Off-ride, you can barely see any of the coaster. You can only see this slow, wonky outdoor segment with some awkward transitions. A majority of the attraction is housed inside a well-themed queue building. For this reason, I’m perplexed as to why they offered VR on the attraction (much like Space Fantasy). Fortunately this VR was 100% optional and I happily declined it.
The location of the theming was strange. The lift hill was pitch black, but there were show scenes once the coaster started gaining speed. It’s the exact same thing that the Six Flags Dark Knight coasters do. It’s really a shame here since the level of detail looked to be pretty impressive. Once the theming ends, the outdoor segment that rides every bit as awkwardly as it looks. It reminded me of Mystery Mine’s first half minus the shaft drop.
Pirates’ Blast had potential. However, it wasn’t fully realized since the ride speeds through the themed portion and crawls through the unthemed portion. The coaster section isn’t all that thrilling and has some jerky turns, but it never became what I’d consider rough. I have never ever advocated a ride adding trims, but I honestly think Pirates’ would be better with them during the dark ride portion. 5 out of 10
The photo is a bit out of focus like VR.
The star of Lagunasia is Legend of the Labyrinth. Going into the park, I knew they had a log flume. What I didn’t realize is that it would be the best themed log flume I’ve ever ridden outside of a Disney park. The ride travels through a mystical temple complete with all the usual paraphernalia plus an impressive dragon animatronic and a star tunnel that felt like it should belong on Space Mountain.
Beyond the theming, Legend of the Labyrinth offered thrills too. There’s a really well done backwards drop plus a surprisingly tall outdoor drop. If you navigate the park clockwise, you’ll see the drop beforehand. But if you navigate the park counterclockwise as I did, you won’t see the drop beforehand. The resulting splash was more soaking than expected after riding so many dry flumes on the trip.
Legend of the Labyrinth is not only the park’s best attraction, but it’s also one of the best flumes out there. I won’t take it over Splash Mountain, Chiapas, Ripsaw Falls, or Valhalla, but I can’t think of a better flume beyond that. This flume was the entire package- fantastic theming and solid drops. 10 out of 10
It's pretty clear from the start this will be no ordinary flume.
But it does have the familiar drop at the end.
Up next was Aqua Wind. I have to take a moment to applaud Lagunasia for their twisted sense of humor. First they name a coaster Aqua Wind (aka wet fart) and then they name a coaster Pirates’ Blast. Ok immature humor aside, this was one of those Gerstlauer wild mice that also mixes in banked turns.
I found out after the fact that the layout was identical to Six Flags Mexico’s Joker. You’d think I’d prefer the spinner, but I actually preferred Aqua Wind for the themed building and superior forces. The curving first drop was surprisingly steep with a pop of air. Then instead of modest spinning, the hairpin turns dished out some strong laterals. Then the indoor helix is quite disorienting. But the best moment is shared between both coasters, the final bunny hill which delivers some really good airtime.
I would love to see these Gerstlauer mice pop up more than the standard Mack or Maurer ones (and especially over those Zamperla ones). They really are a jack of all trades mixing in the traditional laterals plus some airtime and stronger forces. 7 out of 10
I wouldn't complain one bit if every single US mouse was replaced by one of these.
It even has legit airtime!
And the winner for the most baffling theme ever goes to Lagunasia for Magical Powder. What is magical powder you may ask? I rode the ride twice and still don’t fully grasp the mystical compound. All I know is that it can transform a broken rocking horse into a live horse, cause people to lose weight faster than Jenny Craig, and switch genders faster than you can say RMC.
In some ways, I preferred the queue line to the ride. In no way was the ride bad, but I could casually stroll through the queue line to appreciate all the little details in the different formulations of magical powder and watch the scene where magical powder is applied to fix all sorts of random things.
The ride does progress a little slowly, but the scenes are well done. I think the plot of the ride is that the elves lose their magical powder and it causes everyone to get depressed. But then they get their powder back and everyone is happy. I think they need to go to Magical Powder Anonymous for their addiction. I don’t see anyone around here going nuts for Gold Bond. The premise is so absurd that it makes the whole experience enjoyable. 8 out of 10
Yes this is a ride. And yes, it's as screwed up as you'd expect.
This magical machine hits creatures/things with powder and then they improve.
All the different varieties.
Just in case you had any nutritional questions, Lagunasia has you covered.
So are we being eaten by the can of powder?
Unfortunately that plush Magical Powder was not for sale. Though it was probably for the better. Explaining that one to TSA would have been fun.
The final dark ride is called Fire Fire (no Microsoft Word, this is not an unintentional repeated word you should delete). It was extremely difficult to find as it was tucked away in a corner of the park underneath a building, but it was worth the hunt. The scenes were extremely well designed and expansive.
The one downside with the attraction was the level of difficulty. It was extremely hard and quite possibly not for the right reasons. It seemed like I had to shoot most targets 4-5 times for the shot to register. Others in our group noted the ride’s difficulty, so it doesn’t seem to be related to my specific vehicle. Still the set design and sheer amount of targets compensates for this quirk. 7 out of 10
If you think you're good at shooters, this ride is the real test.
Lagunasia also has a Ferris Wheel located beyond the park’s borders. If we had more than 2 hours, I probably would have checked it out, but instead I used the remaining time to reride the Legend of the Labyrinth, Aqua Wind, and Magical Powder. That flume seriously was one of the best rides of the trip.
The obligatory jumbo Ferris wheel since we were in Japan.
Everything Lagunasia is very nice. However, it’d be hard to spend an entire day there due to the lack of attractions. The park clearly prefers quality over quantity. Usually that’s my mantra as well, but this park has drifted so far towards quality that we had already finished all the attractions in about an hour. I can’t think of another park that could use a package of flats more.
This wasn’t at the park, but it was so odd and bizarre that it needs to be included. After leaving the park, we wanted to grab dinner by the hotel and tried this bar called the Lockup per Robb’s recommendation. It was among the most memorable dining experiences I have ever had and definitely the most screwed up!
First there was a pre-show with a jump scare or two. Then they locked us in a jail cell. Then at the top of the hour, a disco ball dropped and rave music played as the staff members donned masks and danced outside the cell.
All of the items were morbidly dressed up. Drinks came in faux blood bags, test tubes, beakers, or pills. Food items were on the lighter side, but they were pretty tasty considering the place’s calling card was the atmosphere. I don’t quite think I’ll ever have a dining experience quite like it again...unless I return.
What have we gotten ourselves into?
If all prisons are like this, I think more people would want to go to jail.
What other prison has a blacklit dance party on the hour?
How daring are you?
These time capsules were pure alcohol. No one liked the taste, but they were a rite of passage.
I didn't walk over to that side of Higashiyama's amusement section, but I remember the vending machine listed at least two indoor attractions. One was a fun house that I believe was located next to the staircase. I thought the other was a mirror maze from the image, but could be wrong.
If breezing through one zoo wasn't enough on this trip, we did the exact same thing witg Tobu Zoo. I have no problem with our furry friends, but I always prioritize coasters over animal exhibits. That's especially true when that coaster would be my first Intamin mega lite.
Tobu Zoo is first and foremost a zoo. That's why zoo is in the name.
My first thought entering the park was that Tobu Zoo is simply massive. I knew it'd be on the larger side considering it was a zoo, but I didn't realize just how spread out the amusement park section would be. It took a good 15 minutes from the entrance to reach Kawasemi and the kiddie coaster was even further back. While I do enjoy making a fool of myself on kiddie coasters, I wasn't going to waste my limited time walking back there when the alternative was a mega lite. I'd think most enthusiasts in my position would do the same, but I'm sure the allure of Diggy and Daggy’s Tram Coaster is too much for some to pass up. Now I would have ridden the Tentomushi tivoli coaster since it was on the way, but sadly it was down for the day.
I had a one (Intamin) track mind.
Maybe the monorail would have sped things up, but it didn't appear to be an option.
Kawasemi was without a doubt one of the most anticipated coasters of the trip for me. Enthusiasts always rave about the airtime. With no wait, we started in the front and were stunned a coaster this short would have a cable lift. It almost seems unnecessary, but it does whip you over the top. The turn at the bottom of the drop isn't quite at the level of I305, but it was really intense. On each of my rides, I was definitely seeing grey. Then instead of flying over the second hill, Kawasemi really crawled.
The next airtime hill appeared similar to the picturesque one on Maverick and delivered some strong airtime, but not the sustained ejector like Maverick's hill. The next bit was the highlight of the ride- the s-hills. There were three tiny s-hills traversed in rapid fire succession that each provided some strong ejector air to go with some laterals. After another quick turn there were two bunny hills that looked ripe with crazy airtime, but instead I just got a few weak pops. Then there was a surprise bit of air entering the brake run, but again it wasn't all that powerful. Kawasemi was good, but my sky-high expectations definitely were not met.
So the logical thing to do was try it again in the back row. And I can say unequivocally that is the right place to ride Kawasemi. The drop had some nice floater the whole way down, the already awesome air on the s-hills was even stronger, and the final bunny hills delivered some pops of ejector like I had expected. It still wasn't quite as good as I had expected, but it's still an excellent coaster. It's smooth, reridable, and few coasters of this size offer this much airtime. It just didn't have that out-of-control feeling that a similarly sized ride like Lightning Run provided. 9 out of 10
Was the cable lift gratuitous? Yes. But was it cool? Oh yeah!
See that hair standing straight up in row 1? That's what we call hairtime.
After a few more rerides, there was another Intamin waiting for us. Except this one was made of wood. Before getting excited, this isn't El Toro or Balder we're taking about. No, this is Regina. We walked onto the front row and prayed Regina wouldn't be abusive. While she doesn't quite reach the levels of 50 shades of grey, she does remind riders whose in charge.
The first turnaround delivered a very strong pop of air. Actually all the turnarounds delivered solid airtime, as well as the finale. It was a bit bumpy at points, but it never approached what I'd consider rough. My riding partner thought different, especially after I convinced him to ride in the back (after all, I hear that's where Regina likes it).
Again I didn't find it unbearably rough. It was definitely bumpier than the front, but the reward was some decent air on any larger drop. It's not the world's best wooden coaster, but it was the best one I rode in Japan. 7 out of 10
Regina sure is a beauty.
I mean look at those curves.
She's also a bit mean like Regina George.
Imagine that, Regina is a female that finds strong vibrations pleasurable.
Hoping Kawasemi was maybe running a bit sluggish on our first rides, we came back around 2 hoping it had sped up. Alas it did not happen. It felt like hill 2 was sapping a large chunk of Kawasemi’s speed on each ride. I think the low crowds were working against us. For one, I honestly don't know how many times it even ran without us. Then when we did ride, the train never had more than 6 people. Maybe others who have ridden Kawasemi or the other mega-lites can chime in, but I'm guessing a combination of the two led to me getting what were very good rides as opposed to world-class rides.
Those hills didn't quite dish out the insane air I expected. It was merely good.
Tobu Zoo is definitely way more than just the two Intamin coasters I rode. Animal fans definitely shouldn't do what we did, but it was the only way to cram Kawasemi into the trip. If and when I return to Japan, hopefully I will visit Tobu on a busier day (that feels like an odd thing for an enthusiast to say ) and possibly experience why these mega-lites always creeped into the top 10 on the Mitch Hawker poll.
My theory is you had what happened to me with New Texas Giant. I overhyped New Texas Giant so much, I expected it to blow me away like El Toro did. It simply didn't. Now I always just take new coasters as they are and try to keep hype manageable so I don't ruin the ride for myself. Also excellent reports from Japan!
I'm an accountant that's obsessed with roller coasters Knoebels > Everywhere
1. El Toro 2. Intimidator 305 3. Phoenix 4. Millennium Force 5. New Texas Giant
cfc wrote:^Personally, I was blown away by New Texas Giant.
Oh don't get me wrong I loved it it just didn't give me the "El Toro-like Euphoria" I was expecting. I wanted to ride it in the back but we needed to cover the whole park before it closed for inclement weather that day. Really need to get back to SFOT.
I'm an accountant that's obsessed with roller coasters Knoebels > Everywhere
1. El Toro 2. Intimidator 305 3. Phoenix 4. Millennium Force 5. New Texas Giant
Really enjoying the play-by-plays of all the parks on the Japanese trip. I sure hope I can get out that way sometime in the not-too-distant future, as it looks like you've all been having an amazing journey!
That coaster dad  and that coaster kiddo .Road trip buddies for life. Dad's faves: Fury 325. Phantom's Revenge. Twisted Timbers. Intimidator 305. El Toro. Kiddo's faves: Storm Runner. Banshee. Top Thrill Dragster. Valravn. Superman: Ultimate Flight.
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