I can definitely see how Tremors may not have the best airtime on a cooler day since the middle of the layout sapped quite a bit of its speed. But by my night rides, it was flying through this section.
Canobie Coaster wrote:Thanks! If they could cut their dispatch speeds down by combining the seat belt and restraint checks, the lines would probably move fast enough that a second train isn't truly needed.
Doesn't the train have a hold-up scene?
There is a hold up/stunt show on the train and they donate any money collected to a local charity (can't remember which one). The lead up of the story to the show is pretty good with the buffalo and some relatively elaborate sets, but the second half after the show really gets me. It doesn't flow as well and it plays off the British Expedition theme they try and mix with the wild west and it just doesn't work for me.
It was better when they just turned on some music and let you enjoy the woods on the second half.
I don't work for a theme park, but I wish I did! Wooden Faves: 1. PHOENIX!!!! 2. Timber Terror 3. Timber Terror 4. Timber Terror... Steel Faves: 1. Hersheypark's Wild Mouse 2. Corkscrew (at Silverwood) 3. Everything Else!
One of my biggest bucket list coasters has been Coaster at PNE Playland. Not many enthusiasts make it out to Vancouver, but those who do have nothing but rave reviews for this classic coaster.
Fortunately, I was in the Seattle area for work on Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, this was the part of the year when Playland is absorbed into the PNE Fair. This means Playland gets absolutely slammed.
If you plan to visit the PNE, make sure you buy a Rapid Pass in advance online like I did. I cannot emphasize this enough. When I arrived in the early afternoon, they had already sold out and all major rides had queues of 1-1.5 hours. I wish there was an unlimited option, but I was grateful for anything they had.
Casually parking on a horse racetrack.
Tim Hortons Stage...I'm definitely in Canada.
So many people. So much fried food.
Coaster was undoubtedly my first stop. Going in, I knew they were down to one train. So it wasn’t surprising to see the queue at the 1.5 hour mark all day. People kept asking why they only had one train going and the ops kept apologizing saying they weren’t allowed to run multiple.
Rapid Pass had me on the train in no time for my first ride, but I probably spent a total of 7 hours in that unshaded hellhole. It was one of the more miserable queues I’ve waited in due to the sheer length and lack of shade. But I had no regrets. Coaster was that good!
The trains 100% make this ride. No seat divers. No seat belts. And a single position lap bar. It’s a coaster enthusiast’s wet dream. The airtime and laterals on this thing are insane.
Just look at the room between your lap and the bar.
The first drop gets things started with some good airtime. That’s followed by the first turnaround which finds front seat riders hovering against the lap bar. Then comes the second drop. Back seat riders are treated to some serious ejector air. From that point forward, I couldn’t keep my hands up.
Front seat riders get a taste of that terrifying ejector air on the third hill; back seat riders just get a weak pop. The second turnaround does nothing for the back, but front seat riders get some nice floater and insane laterals.
From this point forward, Coaster goes nuts. The drop off the (I think) mid-course is ridiculous. Imagine the intensity of Raven’s fifth drop or GhostRider’s MCBR drop with a freaking buzz bar and no seat belts. It was physically impossible not to stand up. Even Colin Kaepernick would be forced to stand.
The third turnaround then dishes out even crazier laterals. That’s followed by this twisted bunny hill. Front seat riders get a lethal combination of sustained floater and crazy laterals. Back seat riders just get another burst of ejector air. Turnaround 4 delivers the laterals of the prior turnaround, but this one is kinked entering and exiting so everyone gets strong pops of air as well.
Then comes the finale. I honestly don’t know how the next two bunny hills haven’t killed anyone. The airtime is so powerful and abrupt. It’s like the Phoenix’s finale on steroids. After another lateral-heavy turnaround, there are two little dips with quick pops of air before hitting the brakes.
Coaster is unbelievable. The airtime this coaster delivers with such a minimalistic restraint system is mind-blowing. And when you mix in laterals stronger than the Legend, you have one of the best and wildest coasters in the world. 10 out of 10
This drop gives good air. And it isn't even the craziest part of the ride. Not even close.
This is Phoenix on some Barry Bonds level steroids.
It was hard to pull myself away from Coaster, but there were other things at the park. With the crowds, even the junior coasters had sizable queues. I think I waited 20-30 minutes for both Kettle Creek Mine Ride and Bug Whirled. The wait was 100% due to crowds and not the fault of the operators.
Kettle Creek Mine Ride was an enjoyable kiddie coaster. It had some whip on the drop and it had arguably had the nicest landscaping in the entire park. 3 out of 10
I really liked how this kiddie coaster fit into the park.
These are about the extent of the trees on the midway.
Bug Whirled was a good SBF spinner. This one had a constant spin that was particularly forceful passing through the station. I think it only gave 4 laps, but it made sense given the crowds. 4 out of 10
The SBF spinners have migrated across the border to Canada too.
I was also surprised to see Corkscrew still standing. RCDB lists the infamous Final Destination coaster as removed, but it’s still there rotting in the corner of the park. I guess Playland hasn’t found a buyer yet.
The star of Final Destination 3 in the flesh.
With the coasters knocked out, I decided to utilize my Rapid Pass to knock out some of the park’s notable non-coasters. The top dog for me was Beast, an odd KMG frisbee. Not only is this one massive, but half the seats face inwards and half the seats face outwards.
I skipped a posted 90 minute wait and grabbed an outer facing seat. I expected your usual frisbee ride focused on airtime. But on this one, only the last swing gave any real airtime. Instead, I got some downright terrifying laterals on Beast.
Instead of forcing your body upwards, most max swings force you forwards into the restraint. It’s sort of unsettling because of the ride’s height and just how odd the sensation is. But I definitely enjoyed it. 8 out of 10
This is about as high as Beast goes. So instead of airtime, you get these bizarre outward laterals.
Up next was Hellevator, which is one of my favorite ride names of all-time. I’m probably partial to it since Riverside (aka SFNE in a former life) also had a S&S turbo drop with the same name.
This one had your average drop, but the view of Vancouver was spectacular. I knew I’d see skyscrapers, but I had no idea the city had a mountainous backdrop as well. 7 out of 10
I spy a helicopter.
That view is why I was eager to ride the star flyer, Atmosfear. However, there was a problem. The cycle was pitifully short. Immediately after we reached the top of the tower, we started descending. It was a buzzkill since the view was even more impressive.
With a longer cycle, this would be one of the world’s best star flyers. So I have a question for those who frequent the park. Is Atmosfear’s cycle always this short? I’m guessing it may have been modified due to the PNE’s crowds. 7 out of 10
This has one of the best views of any star flyer.
I also took a lap on the Flume. I know it’s technically a custom layout, but it basically feels like the standard portable flume just stretched out a bit. And since the drops were nothing special, this flume is probably one of the poorer ones out there. 3 out of 10
I know it's technically a custom layout, but it's basically the standard portable layout.
The ride lineup is bolstered for the PNE with a few traveling spinning rides, haunts, and fun houses. In the interest of time, I skipped most of these, but I did try the Stampede Fever fun house.
The fun house wasn’t the best to begin with. It just had some spinning discs, rollers, and vibrating floors. But it became downright unenjoyable since the narrow pathway turned into a conga line with all the people that were admitted at once. 2 out of 10
In retrospect, this doesn't even look that great off-ride.
When the sun started to set, I returned to Coaster. I was determined to get as many rides as possible before the park closed. The line never died down, but at least I wasn’t baking in the sun.
With each ride, I loved Coaster more and more. I always thought Coaster was the west coast Phoenix. But I was wrong. The airtime and laterals on this thing are on another level. There’s no way this thing could exist in America.
I found the park’s closing procedure interesting. 15 minutes before closing, the park closed Coaster’s queue. At that point, the park exercised a staggered close on all other rides. It seemed like every other ride was timed perfectly to finish its last cycle with Coaster.
I spent way too much time in line for this.
Chaser lights are my weakness.
As a park, Playland was fine. It really did feel like a glorified carnival. It just happened to have a world-class coaster. For me, Coaster defines the place. It’s truly a destination coaster if you ask me.
If you’re a coaster enthusiast coming from a distance, I don’t recommend visiting during the PNE Fair. Yes the fair food is great and you do have some bonus rides, but if you want to maximize your rides on Coaster (and you absolutely will since that ride is amazing), visit during another time.
Here are some of the bonus fair rides. Including this creepy looking thing.
^ Great TR on your (of all weekends) Labor Day weekend visit to the PNE. Closing weekend. I was there for the Friday and the Monday of it, just to stroll around, drink beer, people watch, drink more beer. They had Happy Hour between 3 and 5 pm every day there, so it was nice to have that.
Well, you knew about Coaster and the one-train thing. They used to ALWAYS run two trains, of three, during the PNE. But on the first Monday of August (our stat BC Day) the purple train stopped dead on the curved track, above the station and before the straight-a-way. Only took the ride ops less than an hour to evac everybody from it, down the lift hill. And Coaster was down for nearly two weeks. They then re-opened with just the yellow train running. For the rest of the season, and the PNE.
But prior to this happening, they had (sniff) gotten rid of the red train, since they "never used all three trains".....ever. They even put one red seat in the middle of the purple train. Then this 'event' happened, they had to figure out what was wrong with the purple train, and that left only one train, the yellow one, for the entire season, including the PNE.
So honestly, they're telling people "not allowed to run multiple trains" was kind of a little white lie, since they only had one train to run, lol! I guess it's a better shorter excuse, than the real reason(s).
Glad you could make it to The Fair and the rides, if only at a really REALLY busy time. Getting the RapidPass for the big attractions is good advise, especially if one is only going to get there for one day's visit during The Fair.
P.S. As for AtmosFEAR's cycle time...yes it was a shorter cycle. When it first opened in 2011, it was a much longer time at the top, before descending. I'm not too great on heights, but I enjoyed the thrill and speed of it, way up there. When I rode it this past season, I was shocked how short a time we were at the top. Maybe somebody got too freeked out, and complained. Who knows the reason? Still a thrill when they run it, and it's a bit windy!
^ Thanks again for warning me about how Coaster was down to one train and that the queue would be massive. It helped me mentally prepare.
I think a lot of the questions stemmed from the fact that the other train was sitting on the transfer track. You can see it in the station shot I have below. But based on what happened on BC Day, that makes sense why it wasn't running. I'm just glad they were able to reopen Coaster. I am interested to know if Coaster got new trains if they could keep the same restraints.
For the Fair, Atmosfear's queue easily looked to be 60-90 minutes, so that makes sense why it was shortened for the event.
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