Parque Warner Madrid
After a week of cool and rainy temperatures, I was in for a rude awakening at Parque Warner Madrid. I had already started to melt earlier that morning at Parque de Atracciones Madrid, but that park had lots of shade. Parque Warner Madrid did not, which was a problem on a 100+ degree day.
I was actually stunned to learn this used to be a Six Flags park. It looked far too nice! The only things reminding me of Six Flags were the DC and Looney Tunes characters.
Pressed for time, I grabbed a skip-the-line pass and immediately ducked into Aventura de Scooby-Doo for some glorious air-conditioning. It was also a decent shooter. It wasn’t too long, but all the targets worked.
This was essentially Boo Blasters. The funny part is that the Cedar Fair Boo Blasters started as Scooby-Doo dark rides. I always thought those rides must have stripped out a ton of theming when they were converted, but it was indistinguishable from this ride. 6 out of 10
The AC was refreshing, but I needed a more permanent solution. So I took a ride on Rapidos ACME. As a river rapids ride, this ride is a failure. The rapids do nothing. In fact, the most powerful rapid is oddly located in the station itself.
But it succeeds as a soaker. Rather than using rapids, this one uses Looney Tunes themed sprayers and waterfalls. I actually prefer this approach for the uniqueness. Story Land does something similar with Dr. Geyser’s, but this one was considerably longer, wetter, and better themed. 9 out of 10
Soaked to the bone, I figured it was a good time to ride the junior coasters. Adults dread sitting in wet seats, but kids eat that sort of thing up. So I felt no guilt riding them.
Correcaminos Bip Bip surprised me. I was expecting something along the lines of a roller skater, but this thing had some good yank on the first drop and a pop of air midway through. Plus, it’s themed to Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote so it gets bonus points from me. 6 out of 10
Tom y Jerry is your typical Zierer Tivoli, but this one is dressed up quite nicely. Since you’re supposed to be the size of a mouse, you weave through and around all sorts of oversized items. 4 out of 10
Up next was my most anticipated ride in the park, Rio Bravo. And it didn’t disappoint. I was always fascinated by this flume. It looked massive and was tucked inside a faux mountain like all my favorite flumes. But the highlight was a surprise element in that mountain.SPOILER
I knew this flume went backwards. And per usual, the backwards section began with a drop. What I didn’t know was that there was an airtime hill with a bonafide pop of ejector airtime. Keep in mind this occurs in total darkness and you have zero restraints.END SPOILER
Most of the course is extremely well themed. The outdoor bits pass through a western town and all the indoor bits (except the 2nd lift) have props to look at. The ride also mixes in a few rapids. In fact, I’d say the rapids on this flume are better than those on the park’s river rapids ride.
Last but not least, the climactic final drop was quite good. You really felt the size and it even delivered a tiny pop of air. And the splash was just what the doctor ordered on a hot day. It was soaking! This flume is the complete package. It has thrills, spills, and theming. 10 out of 10
If you’ve read my reports, you know I can tolerate almost any wooden coaster. Taking a look at the worst coasters on TPR’s 2018 poll.
Hades 360? Amazing.
Predator and Zeus? Great.
Grizzly, Wilde Beast, & Mighty Canadian Minebuster? Not good, but smooth enough.
Bandit? Bumpy, but rideable.
I finally hit my limit. Coaster Express is the worst coaster I’ve ever ridden.
The scariest part is that Parque Warner knows this thing is brutal. They’ve pulled out all the stops to slow it down. Trims? Of course. Slow lift? Better, you come to a complete stop at the top before crawling over it. But none of this matters. This ride will destroy you.
I always thought Coaster Express was another Cyclone clone. But this is something much worse. It’s a 120 foot, 4500+ foot long twister. I can't recall any specific element, I just remember the constant jackhammering and concussive blasts.
I never rode Son of Beast, but I have to imagine Coaster Express is like that ride minus the loop.
In a weird twist of fate, one of the biggest issues are the beloved Intamin T-bar restraints. On a smooth ride, these minimalistic restraints are incredible. But on a ride that constantly jackhammers, it's a major problem. My legs mercilessly kept slamming into the center bar.
I’d say Coaster Express needs to burn in the Spanish sun and combust into flames, but I’m holding out hope RMC can do something with this colossal structure. 0 out of 10
I needed the glass smooth ride of a B&M, so I boarded Batman: Arkham Asylum. For those who thought running Batman backwards was too much, what about putting VR on the Caped Crusader?
The thought of greyout-inducing vertical loops, oppresive heat, and a phone screen an inch from my face did not sound appealing, so I rode Batman in its original state.
This Batman was every bit as forceful as the ones stateside, but it had this weird, audible rattle. I never felt a rattle, I just heard it. SFFT’s Goliath does the same thing. 8 out of 10
Compare that to Superman la Atraaccion de Acero. There, the rattle is very tangible. I always heard this was one of the best floorless coasters, but I think it’s one of the worst.
The one thing Superman did well was airtime. Unlike most B&M loopers, this one had a straight drop with floater air more reminiscent of a hyper coaster. The drop off the MCBR and the final bunny hill also had great floater airtime.
Beyond the rattle, the inversions on Superman simply are not good. And that’s a problem for a ride that goes upside-down 7 times! The zero-G roll had some decent hangtime, but the other 6 inversions were unbelievably forceless. Superman is still fun, but it was quite a disappointment. 6 out of 10
Usually I don’t look forward to riding a clone featured at my home park, but I was looking forward to Stunt Fall. If you’ve ever perused the SFNE thread, you’re almost guaranteed to find someone whining about the Premier trains on Goliath.
And you know what? It’s 100% warranted. Those trains blow. They turned a smooth and enjoyable coaster into a painful and unreliable mess. Meanwhile, Stunt Fall still had the original Vekoma trains.
And the result? I enjoyed it! It wasn’t perfect since there was some headbanging throughout, but I’m willing to accept that for such an intense ride. I particularly love the first drop on these giant inverted boomerangs. 6 out of 10
I was running out of time, so I made my way back to the Wild West for one last ride on Rio Bravo. But then, a dangerous thought crossed my mind.
“Just how rough could Coaster Express be in the back row?”
I was morbidly curious. I knew I was basically putting a hand to a hot stove, but I just had to know. I didn’t think Coaster Express could get any worse, but it did.
The front was non-stop pain. But at least the pain stopped when the ride ended. In the back, it felt like I broke my back. That’s exactly what I wanted to feel like before boarding a 7 hour flight home.
I definitely wished I had more time at Parque Warner. I love parks that go all-in on the theming like Parque Warner. Except unlike most parks that do this, Parque Warner focuses on thrill rides.
The lack of a signature coaster is the park’s biggest weakness, but they have a structure ready to be converted into a top 10 ride. Please Parque Warner. Get Alan Schilke and RMC on the phone.