I went on a short cruise (3 days) with my family that went down to Seattle, so our plan was to head to Seattle Center and go to Fun Forest. It turned out to be less than ideal weather; rainy and cloudy. Now I've heard that Fun Forest barely has anyone there, even on a nice summer day, so I wasn't surprised that barely anyone was there on a rainy day. It was like the park was operating the rides for my sister and I. We were the only ones to buy ride wristbands that day. Excluding us, only about 6 other people rode more than one ride. There were also a few little kids there throughout the day whose parent's bought them a couple tickets for a ride. Honestly, it was kind of depressing to see this little park almost completely empty. The employees outnumbered the people in the park! When we asked how long they were open to, the guy at the ticket booth responded, "I don't know, it depends if anyone shows up." Wow, you know a park isn't busy when they say that. Anyways, I'll stop talking about how empty the park was, and head onto some ride reviews.
Roller Coaster Reviews:
Rainbow Chaser-A cute little kiddie coaster. I just rode it for the credit, but it would be a good ride to start little kids off on. It even has a bit of airtime, which I found interesting. Nothing really special, though, Rainbow Chaser is the park's oldest ride, and you can definitely tell by the screeching noises. Something I found kind of weird is that the chain lift was more like a launch section. Instead of being pulled slowly up the lift, we were launched up and reached the top in less than a second. Now, the ride isn't that tall, but I still surprised that it was so quick. It's low rating is simply because it's a children's coaster, nothing more, nothing less.
Windstorm-Windstorm is small, around 60 feet tall, but it is intense. The ride is crammed into a small space, and therefore has many intense, tight turns. Windstorm has a simple lap bar, similar to the ones found on Schwarzkopf coasters. These simple lapbars allow for a few pops of airtime throughout the ride. The highlight of the ride is the nearly 90 degree dive. You dive down about 30 feet at a nearly 90 degree angle, but before you know it, you zoom right back up again. If you're sitting on the right side of the car, your head is pushed down and your mouth is blown open from the forces! Then you head into a nearly 90 degree diving helix, then you go straight for a little bit, and finish off the ride with another nearly 90 degree helix. I took off-ride video of Windstorm and compared it with other footage, and my footage was much faster. I think the ride was much faster because it was raining. Also, on videos I've seen, it was crawling into the dive, but it was going very fast when I rode it. When we headed into the brake run, we were still going really fast. Windstorm is not very smooth, but the slight roughness adds to the intensity. The speed that is kept up through this ride is really awesome. You are still recovering from the previous element when you hit another element that throws you around, like a helix or bunny hop.
Major Ride Reviews:
Orbiter-I like to call this ride the scrambler on steroids! The Orbiter is freakin' insane. I wasn't really expecting that much out of the ride, I actually thought it was just going to be a normal scrambler, but boy was I wrong. The ride starts picking up speed and rasing higher up in the air. Before you know it, you're zooming around, staring almost straight down at the ground, then almost straight up! The forces on Orbiter are amazing, you can feel them pushing you around as twirl around at, what feels like, light speed. I'm very prone to motion sickness, but most rides don't affect me much. However, this one did. I came off of Orbiter feeling sick and dizzy. It was still cool, though.
Music Express-A classic Music Express. This one is a clone of the Mack ones. It didn't go too fast, but like all Music Expresses, it was still great. It wasn't quite as fast as other ones, but still pretty fast. Yet another ride where you can feel the forces pushing on you! For some reason, these rides don't make me too sick.
Galleon-I don't know why, but I like Zamperla Galleons much better than HUSS Pirates. I quite enjoyed the Galleon, and I rode it a few times. For the fourth time in a row, another ride that you can feel some nice forces on... but hey, I'm not complaining!
And now, on to the pictures! A few of my pictures are a tad out of focus, sorry, it wasn't exactly ideal lighting conditions that day.
I see the space needle! We must be in the right place.
Here's Tornado, one of the park's bigger rides. Didn't get to ride it as there was no ride op at it all day.
One of the kiddie rides.
Yay, a credit (I need all the ones I can get)! I mean, here's Rainbow Chaser, AKA, screeching metal death trap.
Rainbow Chaser yet again.
Here's a blatant Disney rip-off. Every small slightly-ghetto amusement park needs one.
A very interesting, cute little pirate ship. I would have ridden it, just for the heck of it, but there was no ride op at it. It did test early in the morning, though.
Where are we again?
In the right hand corner is the kiddie bumper cars, and near the center is the Century Wheel. The Century Wheel didn't operate, like some other rides in the park. I doubt I would have ridden it anyways. Ghetto ferris wheels, no thanks.
Snow Convoy, a little kiddie truck ride.
The Century Wheel, yet again.
The Carousel, which obviously, was not open at the time of this picture.
I can't remember the damn name of this ride.
Century Wheel and Space Needle.
Here's the monorail from Expo 62. Since we arrived at Fun Forest before the rides open, we took the monorail downtown after checking out all the rides.
I quite like this shot. The view of the Century Wheel is slightly artsy.
The Musical Projection Experience, no wait, the Experience of Musicality Project... no, isn't it the Experience of Music Projects... The Experience Music Project, there we go, that's it :-p
Ahh, here we are, the major ride area. The park is seperated by the monorail, with the major rides being on this side.
This log flume is called Wild River.
Here's Jet Spin, a Top Spin ride. I've heard that is hasn't operated for a long time, probably due to high maintenance costs. Today was no exception.
Wild River wasn't shown any love today. Even if it was operating, I doubt there would have been any riders. A water ride in the rain sounds less than appealing.
Here's the main reason why I'm here, Windstorm!
Gee, I wonder what ride this is?
The obligatory lift hill shot...
Anyways, this is the front of the blue train. The ride runs with two trains, a blue and red. Each train has three cars. I don't really know why, but I like short trains, and these are no exception.
You can see the nice, simple metal lap bars here. The lap bars allow for a few pops or airtime throughout the ride. The red train behind the blue train wasn't shown any love today :(
I bet this pictures never been done... the Space Needle through Wild River through the ticket booth!
The Music Experience Project or whatever the hell it is through Wild River, through the ticket booth.
Orbiter is visable here. And to the right, the midway games through the Galleon through the ticke-okay, I'll try to stop now, but no guarantees ;p
Here's the fun Mack knock-off Music Express. Surprisingly, this one had it's speakers pumping, which sounded strange amidst the quiet park.
The fun Galleon pirate ship.
Music Express yet again.
Just in case you forgot what the pirate ship is called.
Back up to the kiddie area, here's the carousel and Fun Forest concrete bench thing.
The kiddie bumper cars again. Two pictures of the kiddie bumper cars will have to replace a picture of the adult bumper cars, as I forgot to snap a picture of them.
And now, heading on to the Monorail, you can see Windstorm.
The monorail... not much else to say.
And now, back after the Monorail, the rides are open, yay!
Another never before done picture, the Space Needle through the trees through the Century Wheel through the Carousel. I promise, I'm done with these lame jokes now ;p
The indoor area has a whole crapload of video games, as well as a few rides, mini golf, laser tag, and a couple blow-up attractions. This ride is the frog hopper, as you can see.
Back to the major rides, here's Windstorm's almost 90 degree dive of death complete with a headchopper! The dive of death is quite possibly one of the most extreme moments on a coaster!
Just in case you forgot what this coaster is called.
The dive of death complete with signage... and a tree!
The first drop isn't very big, maybe 30 feet at the most. It's still pretty awesome. I thought the ride wouldn't be scary at all, but once we headed down the small first drop, I was already freaked out! The fast, rough, and violent nature of this ride really adds to the scare. Then take a whole bunch of sweet elements and toss 'em in, and you've got a first class scream machine.
The turnaround that heads into the largest drop of the ride can be seen here, as well as the first nearly 90 degree (diving) helix.
The final element of the ride is another steeply banked helix, but this one is kind of odd. It first heads up, then snakes it's way down. Windstorm is quite a short ride, less than a minute from the time it leaves the station to the time it hits the brake run. But the ride is so intense, it doesn't even matter. It packs a lot into that minute.
And now, one last visit to the kiddie area and games building before we leave.
The Fun Forest bench thingy again.
The Dumbo style ride located inside the building...
Finally, one last photo of the kiddie area.
And I'll end this TR with this photo... "I'm crushing the Space Needle, I'm crushing it!" And yes, it is bigger than Disneyland's castle.
Overall, Fun Forest is a neat little park I would recommend to anyone if they're in Seattle. Windstorm is not a ride you want to miss, so make sure you ride it before the park closes in 09.
The Tornado reminds me of ours, always broken. Right now the compressor is out and we can't release the car brake. It's literally down atleast 2-3 days a week. It's a 4 year old indoor Wisdom Tornado (themed Dust Devil). It's been a maintainance nightmare since the day we bought it. Boo Wisdom Industries on their crappy rides.
Anyways great photos. I've never heard of this place before. I'll be heading to Seattle in a few weeks so maybe I'll have a chance to check it out.
Yes, I Am Looking Forward To Rattlesnake
Wisdom Rides Are Maintanence Nightmares
I Hate Coaster Fans That Complain About Everything
@Robb: Yeah, it was kinda creepy, walking past all the rides and just having the ride ops stare at you. It didn't really have that amusement park feel, you know know, popcorn smell in the air, the sound of kids screaming, all that kind of stuff.
@pgathriller: I don't know if the ride was broken down or not, I'm willing to bet it's not popular enough for them to justify having someone operating it. They do sound like pretty unreliable rides though, so I'm not sure why it was closed.
Thanks! Not a lot of people have heard of it, infact, I hadn't heard of it until a few months ago! If you're there, I would check it out. The $23.00 ride wristband is worth it, IMO, if you plan on being there for at least an hour.
@Nrthwnd: Yeah, Playland, while not very big, is doing much better than Fun Forest. No problem, and yeah, it will close for sure at the end of 2009. I'm trying to convince my parents to go next year so I can get some more rides on Windstorm before it is (probably) scrapped, or relocated.
Angry_Gumball wrote:That windstorm seems shrunken compared to SCBB's...mainly because SCBB's coaster is perched on top of a building. Definitely fun/intense rides for their compact size.
Well, it might look smaller, but Santa Cruz's Hurricane/Windstorm is exactly the same as Fun Forest's. The only differences being Fun Forest's Windstorm is slightly newer and nobody ever rides it, heh.
Agreed, probably the best portable coaster out there, in my opinion.
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