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Mega-Lite

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  1. I would apologise for how long it's taken me to finish this report, but at the end of the day I wanted to make sure I was at least half satisfied with how it came out, unlike most of the trip reports on the internet... #NotShadeButHonesty Day 15 Today was the last full day of the trip but it was easily going to be one of the most memorable. It began with a short metro journey to... Lotte World - https://rcdb.com/5016.htm This was my 2nd time visiting the park, so if you want a much better write up go see my last Korean trip report. The main reason for visiting today was to reride Atlantis Adventure and ride Pharaoh's Fury, which was down on our last visit. Because we had a much more important and pressing matter to attend to later, today's visit was going to be akin to a hit and run. While waiting for the doors to open, we devised a plan... Sprint to Atlantis Adventure, grab a fast track, ride Atlantis Adventure, ride Pharaoh's Fury, mince about a bit, fast track Atlantis Adventure, then leave. I saw with my own eyes last time that Atlantis Adventure can get 3+ hour queues and that the free fast track can sell out in the first 20 minutes of the park being open, so we knew we'd have no option but to absolutely run full speed to the attraction. Our only worry was the PA outside the park repeatedly telling us that running wasn't allowed in the park, pfft, details... As soon as the doors opened we went for it, sprinting full speed up escalators, over bridges and through castles, all while slithering past Koreans at speed, which in turn caused them to start running too. At one point a security guard screamed "STOP RUNNING", which caused all the Koreans to stop dread infront of me, causing me to shout "JESUS CHRIST" and almost cause an international incident. Thankfully I was able to crash between a bin and a wall and continued to give it all I had until I reached Atlantis Adventure. We managed to get 11:15 return tickets for Altantis Adventure and then quickly joined the currently 20 minute queue. By the time we reached the ride, the tickets were completely sold out, the park was open until 11pm by the way, I told you they sell out quick. Atlantis Adventure - https://rcdb.com/1646.htm I still really enjoy Atlantis Adventure. The seating and train design is awesome and very exposed, the first launch is alot quicker than I remembered, it has 2 insane ejector moments and lots of twisty goodness. It's just almost criminal that the coaster blocks to a complete stop, then goes up a slow lift mid course. I think I've reached my daily quota for moaning about pacing issues but I just really wished Atlantis had the launch mid course and the lift to start, never mind eh, it's still pretty awesome. With our first ride on Atlantis done, we tried to go ride Comet Express, the park's awesome powered Intamin spinning indoor space themed coaster of craziness but it appeared to be down today. One of the tallest towers in the World looking pretty next to Lotte World's castle. As you'll remember Lotte World is a mostly indoor theme park, with only Atlantis Adventure, Comet Express and the large flat rides living outside. So next we headed indoors and to the top floor to ride Pharaoh's Fury. Pharaoh's Fury Pharaoh's Fury is yet again another Indiana Jones knock off and has a bit of a cult following within the enthusiast community. Now the story goes that it used to features insane amounts of real fire and loads of special effects with some calling it as good as the real Indiana Jones but then it was tamed down for whatever reason. In it's current state though I'd probably put Indy on par with Qin Dynasty Adventure and Pharaoh's a small step down from those 2 but that's not to say I'm slagging it off because it is very good. What really is impressive though is how they have managed to fit this monster dark ride on the top floor of a multistory building that's part of a theme park in the middle of Seoul. I'm certain black magic was used when building Lotte World because it all defies logic and it adds another layer of enjoyment to the park in my mind. After using our Atlantis fast track tickets that we almost died obtaining, we hit up another ride we missed last time before leaving. Fly Venture My 2nd flying theatre attraction and it was even worse than the 1st, that is all... After leaving Lotte World, we decided for lunch to try Taco Bell and despite my hesitations it was lovely. Now the following magnificence needs at least some explanation and I hope you find it amusing. Gfriend, one of the best Kpop groups to ever be etched into existence were holding a full blown concert in Seoul the day before our trip ended. From the very moment I noticed online that stars had aligned for the timing to be that perfect, I knew we had to go, no matter what. This was the perfect ending to the trip and knowing it was happening but not being able to go would have seriously tainted the trip, whether it liked it or not. The day tickets went on sale, me and my friend were ready. He had snuck out of an important meeting at work, got in his car, synced his laptop to his phone and was waiting 5 minutes before the timer hit 0. While I was hiding behind and under shelves at work ready to assist at any possible moment. 10 minutes passed the tickets going on sale and no response from him, now 20, 30, an hour. At lunch I phoned to be presented with, "I've been sitting in this car trying and trying again for over an hour now, it 99.8% sold out in 1 minute and me and many Koreans are trying and failing to buy the last 2 or 3 tickets and it keeps crashing the stupid website." Without thinking anything other than, "we are going, there's no other option", we headed to Stub Hub and purchased 2 incredibly inflated tickets. It wasn't long however before we discovered that we had just made a terrible mistake. First I read an article on a popular Kpop website, explaining that the industry is heavily cracking down on resold tickets, including fining those who use them... Then it became apparent that you cannot talk directly to the ticket seller on Stub Hub and that the customer service team are dreadful. The tickets wouldn't be delivered to the seller until after we landed in Korea, so we needed it explained to them that they CANNOT mail them to England, they need to either meet us or post them to our hotel. Well the customer service team just kept repeating bulls**t like, "it's your job to make sure you can receive them" and not answering our questions or passing anything on. Fast forward 2 days, we went back on the official Gfriend ticket website to discover that thousands of tickets had been cancelled and were now up for purchase. Very much doubting we'd ever even get our Stub Hub tickets, let alone if they'd work, we bought 2 official tickets and decided it was time to cancel the Stub Hub ones. I'll take no credit for the mammoth task my friend went through with getting the Stub Hub tickets refunded. It took nearly 3 weeks, many emails to banks and paypal and no help whatsoever from Stub Hub. In the end he beat the system but moral to the story, f**k Stub Hub. In our understandable excitement to get to the venue we made many hilarious mistakes, with the best one being taking the wrong fork on the metro line, ending up at a dead end, then being sat on the train while the driver walked through switching ends, he took it in his stride, the thousands of Koreans outside did not. Once at the venue I luckily made a new best friend, who helped us pick up our tickets and understand the slightly strange system of you getting let into the standing bit depending on the number on your ticket, which is ultimately pointless because nothing stops you from slithering through the crowd once inside and the Korean populous weren't even pushing to be at the front either way, strange. My new friend asked me about how and why I got into Kpop and Korean culture, after explaining in detail and bigging up his country, he replied with, well you guys have got Harry Potter... He didn't understand me when I called him racist for that... There are no words to simply describe how good the concert was. One of the best bands ever created, a massive arena, huge impressive staging, PYROS, 2 hours long and the perfect audience. In London for Dreamcatcher we had tons of fake fans not even paying attention and spoiling it for the real fans. In Japan for Oh My Girl, because the Japanese audience are so reserved and quiet there was a slight sense of awkwardness. For Gfriend in Seoul, we were presented by thousands of people all there for 1 purpose, united, going mental at all the right moments, which combined with the perfection occurring on stage made for a magical experience. Buzzing so hard on the way back to the hotel we made even more metro mistakes but it didn't matter, life complete. Day 16 It is the end. The end of the best trip ever and the more I look back, the more I stand by the statement that it can never be topped and even if it is one day, it will forever remain special to me. After some last minute Kpop shopping and a hastily eaten Quiznos, we boarded the plane back to England and back to reality. Thank you for reading.
  2. Mega-Lite

    The Small Parks Thread

    Well... Have you actually seen how much effort Wanda put into theming in their parks? It wouldn't surprise me if the clone looked as good if not better than Taron... As I mentioned in my trip report recently (read it), riding a cloned layout, if it doesn't live up to how you remember the original riding, can cause you to question if you've remembered/rated the original correctly. I'll see you at the meet! In all seriousness though, can we all actually go ride this coaster and then debate who's bae it's beating. I don't want me and ChiapasC to be the only 2 who go and ride it because that will solve nothing!
  3. Mega-Lite

    Phantasialand

    More walls? Really lads...?
  4. Mega-Lite

    Parc Asterix

    Was dreading coming in this thread after reading elsewhere people coming out with outlandish comments concerning the new coaster, but TPM you've done me proud. So I'll begin with it looks absolutely amazing and I'll sell my body parts to be standing in the queue (as it's probably broken down) on opening weekend. But I have a question, not a complaint. Why have they gone for putting a triple launch switch track section mid course? Is it just to be able to claim all those silly records, I really hope not... I know NOTHING about Parc Asterix, other than 1 visit I enjoyed but it appears to me that they have the space and ability to have run this as a full course layout but haven't. I'll echo Benin and say my first thought other than "holy s**t that looks insane" was, "oh no, why have they put that bit in the middle..." If the coaster started with the triple (if they MUST have it), then it would have flowed sooooo much nicer, just imagine hitting a Taron style running launch with that layout... Either way, not moaning, just spewing words, I'll see you on opening day.
  5. Mega-Lite

    Park Count - 2018

    Sure....
  6. Mega-Lite

    Park Count - 2018

    Me and my credit counting friend have tried no less than 4 times now with no result, it quite simply is not as simple as you make it out to be... On the up side, the very same day they last ignored us they made national news for "trapping screaming children 200 feet in the air for 4 hours", so who really is the loser here? I'm not bitter honest... Tempting...
  7. Mega-Lite

    Park Count - 2018

    You sir are the true winner here!
  8. Day 13 I woke up today feeling an awful mixture of sadness that today was our last day in Japan and dread for just how insane today was going to play out, you'll see. Tokyo Dome City - https://rcdb.com/4982.htm After a solemn but quick train journey, we arrived at Tokyo Dome City, the home of Thunder Dolphin. I had it in my head for some reason that Tokyo Dome City was going to be a bustling, large amusement park next to the legendary Tokyo Dome, when actually it feels much more like a collection of rides inside of, outside of and on top of a massive mall. For this reason, finding the entrances to attractions was a lot more confusing than you'd imagine. Following a confusing search, which was constantly interrupted by screaming at Thunder Dolphin, we found the ticket counter, which was literally hidden in a line of your standard looking mall shops. Thunder Dolphin - https://rcdb.com/1845.htm You know how in this report I keep bringing up coasters that in my head have a legendary status, well most certainly among them is Thunder Dolphin. Look at how this beauty absolutely towers over the mall area below. After going up an elevator and 2 flights of stairs we found ourselves at the entrance. Now as a huge fan of Expedition GeForce and Goliath and a previous advocate of the Mega-Lite, I was extremely excited to see what Tokyo's own Intamin monster would ride like. The outcome unfortunately, aligns with exactly what I had previously read online, that it is infact nowhere near in the same league as the other Intamin Hyper coasters. Thunder Dolphin's first drop is by far the best part of the coaster, providing an awesome ass out of seat experience during the whole decline. It is from the bottom of this drop however that things take a turn and Thunder Dolphin becomes an Intamin Jet Coaster. While it is still an amazing experience to fly over building tops and through massive Ferris Wheels, you can't help but be disappointed when knowing what this ride hardware is normally capable of. Thunder Dolphin looks visually outstanding and provides an experience I very much doubt you'd be able to replicate, sadly as an Intamin Hyper though, it's a let down. The Dive Next up we did the park's shooting dark ride, the only reason I mention it is, you ride it standing up, which is different at least. Wonder Drop So I was going to keep alluding to how crap my shoes were in this trip throughout this report but I forgot. The short of it was, they'd fill with water any time the floor was even slightly damp and with the insane weather we'd be facing on this trip, I'm lucky I'm still able to walk as I type this. With that in mind, today was a lovely sunny day, we didn't have a hotel tonight and the shoes were currently performing fantastic, untill... Wonder Drop is the park's log flume attraction and was absolutely evil! In the ride's defence, one of the most attractive women I've ever seen appeared just before the drop, to remind us to stay seated in a manner of cute smiles and amazing hand gestures. This probably took me off guard, because the main drop kicked my ass. Water braking redefined and probably the wettest drop on a conventional log flume ever. My shoes were absolutely ruined yet again and good God was I going to feel it later. The park is/was home to a Spider Man knock off called TOKYO PANIC CRUISE, which looked amazing but for whatever reason, was completely boarded up, I want to believe they were getting it ready to be a Halloween maze. Big-O The park's famous spokeless Ferris Wheel where I got lots of lovely pictures of Thunder Dolphin. Rather amazingly it featured touch screens and could play videos in multiple languages about the park's attractions. After a few more laps of Thunder Dolphin we left the park but kept our wristbands on incase we found time to return later today, spoiler, we didn't. Tobu Zoo - https://rcdb.com/4978.htm The train ride to Tobu Zoo took a good 45 minutes and really did feel like it was in the middle of nowhere. The park is apparently a 20 minute walk from the station, so we jumped on the bus that departs from just outside the station. While I'll sit here all day slagging off Japanese trains, the buses in Japan are fantastic. The drivers are so incredibly friendly, the buses are clean as anything and all the patrons are so respectful. And I used to bad mouth Thorpe's entrance... When we got to the ticket counter, an old Japanese women told us that Kawasemi wasn't operating. When we replied with, "oh ok, that's what we came for, so thank you but we'll leave", a younger women jumped on her phone and told us to wait. She then informed us that, engineering were going to try to open the coaster. Now I can't be 100% sure they opened Kawasemi just for us but I do strongly feel that's what happened, I LOVE Japan. With that we bought entry only tickets and while 2 of my friends went to check out the zoo, I went to scope out Kawasemi. Almost as soon as I arrived outside the completely deserted entrance area, engineering smiled and gave the thumbs up to the ride team. Now we have a problem, we have entrance only passes and as far as we can tell you have to walk all the way back to the park entrance to get wristbands, or not... After explaining the situation to the Kawasemi ride op, he walked us to a GAMES COUNTER, where an incredibly friendly lady sold us some wristbands, oh Japan I love you so. Kawasemi - https://rcdb.com/3799.htm Kawasemi as everyone knows is an Intamin Mega-Lite, a coaster type and layout I used to praise immensely based on the wonderful Piraten at Djurs Sommerland. Now let me once again moan about clones (I promise I'll be quick), it turns out riding layout clones that don't live up to the first example you rode, can quite seriously harm your perception of that first coaster. Piraten, from memory blows the aforementioned GeForce and Goliath out of the water, it is a coaster I rode over 10 times and literally only stopped when I started to go blind in my left eye, so yeah, it was awesome. Then earlier this year (I'll do a report at some point I hope), I went to Nigloland and rode Alpina Blitz, same layout as Piraten but built by Mack. While a very good coaster, it came no where near how awesome I viewed Piraten. Is Alpina Blitz considerably worse despite have the same layout with better trains? Or was I wrong in how I rated Piraten in the first place? Stupid clones man... And now we come to Kawasemi. Literally the exact same ride, trains and all as Piraten and while it was clearly better than Alpina Blitz and had hints of what I remember lapping up on Piraten, it ultimately once again failed to be as good as I remember Piraten being. Is Kawasemi considerably worse despite being the exact same as Piraten? Or was I wrong in how I rated Piraten in the first place? Stupid clones man... Though I won't deny it was seriously cool on one of our laps to be the only 2 people on Kawasemi, a Mega-Lite almost to myself, I just wish the ride type hadn't been seriously tarnished by this point. Regina - https://rcdb.com/1243.htm From an Intamin Mega-Lite to an Intamin woodie, sadly not a prefab... Regina falls in with woodies that are exactly meh, such as Robin Hood, Loup Garou and Mammut. The best part of the whole ride is that it has a removable extra cushion for every seat and it won't deny it's a pretty looking beast. Tentomushi - https://rcdb.com/1426.htm Regardless of how good this coaster is, I'm just happy to be able to say I've ridden Tentomushi. Tobu Zoo's other coaster, some small kid's thing wasn't playing ball today unfortunately. After this we rode the park's Ferris Wheel and had a real quick dash around the zoo. With the right people in your group and with no deadlines, I've no doubt you'd be able to spend a lovely day out at Tobu Zoo. See the animals (including Capybaras), ride Kawasemi, then chill out looking at the nice scenery, everyone's happy. From here we went to the Tokyo Pokemart, followed by a free to visit observation desk, neither of these are really my style but the Pokemart did feature a scene they couldn't have defined Japan better, a TV screen showing Slowpoke dancing with 40 Japanese school girls, culture. Following this we collected our bags from the hotel and made our way to the airport. Just a heads up for anyone interested, the airport monorail was laughably poor compared to what you'd picture when you hear Japan and monorail. Day 14 Our plane back to Korea was due to take off at just after 2am and at first I thought I was coping quite well but that didn't last. I can't remember the flight at all, not sure if that's a good or bad thing though. Once back in Korea we collected our Music Bank tickets from the angriest man ever at the airport information desk then once again boarded the airport to Seoul train. Falling asleep despite your best efforts not to is a horrible experience but that was me for the entire journey, man it was tough. Though it was funny watching the Koreans opposite me do the exact same thing on their morning commute, I felt part of the team. We arrived back at the Seoul Station K-Pop Hotel at I think about 8am and despite telling my friend during the booking that I very much doubt I'd be able to sleep during the day, as soon as my destroyed body hit the mattress I was out. The reason for the aforementioned crazy flight and sleeping during the day, was today, as with every Friday in Korea, was Music Bank. Music Bank is a weekly Korean music show, where the currently promoting Kpop artists all perform their latest hit, then based on statistics around album sales and on the day voting, a weekly winner is crowned. Because it's so hard to truly know in advance which artists will show up, it's a bit of a risk just how good each show will be. Last time around, no less than 5 bands I was a fan of ended up showing up, with 2 of them being among my absolute favourites, it was a truly amazing experience. This time around things were a bit more sparse, which (G)I-DLE being pretty much the only band I had heard of beforehand. Either way it was still a really good show, with the only true downside being that BTS (who weren't there) ended up winning, so all the artists just stood on the stage waving while BTS played on video screens, awkward... With this being our last weekend, we now had full reign to spend all our money and fill our suitcases. So after Music Bank we went to Myeondong, Seoul's biggest shopping area and started ticking off the Kpop albums we came for. After going to sleep I woken up by sirens wailing, knocking on the door and shouting. Waking up thinking the hotel was burning down, it ended up being my friend, "feel like going to Lotte World again tomorrow?", "yeah why not, night". Thank you for reading, next time the finale, featuring Lotte World round 2 and the best part of the trip (nah the 2nd best) [nah the best] {nah that 2nd best}....
  9. Mega-Lite

    Park Count - 2018

    Thanks to Coaster himself making this a thread last year, I've been happily spread sheeting my park visits this year, he's a saint, I'm a nerd, let's go. Delete as appropriate for what counts and what doesn't. Sea World (Australia) Warner Bros. Movie World (Australia) x 2 Dreamworld (Australia) Aussie World (Australia) Oriental Heritage Xiamen (China) Fantawild Dreamland Xiamen (China) Happy Valley Shenzhen (China) The Milky Way Adventure Park (UK) Crealy Adventure Park (UK) PortAventura Park (Spain) x 3 Ferrari Land (Spain) Tibidabo (Spain) Alton Towers (UK) x3 Dymchurch Amusement Park (UK) Thorpe Park (UK) x2 Chessington (UK) West Midland Safari Park (UK) Treasure Island Amusement Park (UK) Big Sheep (UK) Camel Creek Adventure Park (UK) Flambards Village Theme Park (UK) Funder Park (UK) Animal Farm Adventure Park (UK) Funland At The Tropicana (UK) Clacton Pier (UK) Pavilion Fun Park (UK) Old MacDonald's Farm (UK) South Pier (UK) Blackpool Pleasure Beach (UK) x 4 Oakwood (UK) Barry Island Pleasure Park (UK) Coney Beach Pleasure Park (UK) Walygator Parc (France) Nigloland (France) Parc Saint Paul (France) Parc Du Bocasse (France) Dennlys Parc (France) Bagatelle (France) E-World (South Korea) Gyeonju World (South Korea) Suzuka Circuit (Japan) Parque Espana-Shima Spain Village (Japan) Nagashima Spa Land (Japan) Enakyo Wonderland (Japan) Japan Monkey Park (Japan) Higashiyama Zoo And Botanical Gardens (Japan) Lagunasia (Japan) Hamanako Pal Pal (Japan) Tokyo Joypolis (Japan) Yokohama Cosmoworld (Japan) Yomiuriland (Japan) Fuji-Q Highland (Japan) Tokyo DisneySea (Japan) Tokyo DisneyLand (Japan) Tokyo Dome City (Japan) Tobu Zoo (Japan) Lotte World (South Korea) Southport Pleasureland (UK) Knightly's Funfair (UK) Tir Prince Family Funfair (UK) Family Fun Fair (UK) Lightwater Valley (UK) Ocean Beach Pleasure Park (UK) Flamingo Land (UK) Bayside Fun Park (UK) TusenFryd (Norway) Liseberg (Sweden) x 2 Total: 77
  10. Mega-Lite

    The Small Parks Thread

    I love you, you've just made my day! If it makes you feel any better, I've been joking that Helix will be cloned and looking weird as hell propped up on massive supports in a random city in China for a while now. Does that announcement bother you at all is my question now? Knowing that your bae is now no longer unique in this World? Oh and still not as good as Helix...
  11. Sorry lads, I was struck down in my prime by a nasty cold and didn't want to taint this trip report with my cold medicine infused delusions. Day 12 After actually seeing the typhoon first hand and hearing all hell going on during the night, I was sure I was going to open my curtains today to see Japan in a post Godzilla state, but nope all still standing and better yet the weather looked lovely. After checking the Disney site to make sure they were unaffected, I hastily jotted down the attractions that tickled my fancy (thankfully more than DisneySea...), then we headed out to... Tokyo Disneyland - https://rcdb.com/4959.htm Now while I 100% stand by my comments about DisneySea being slightly disappointing, I do feel bad for having to report that, so you'll be glad to hear that whilst I still absolutely prefer Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney park had a much better showing than it's resort counterpart. In order to get to the entrance for Tokyo Disneyland you have to walk on an overpass over the coach park, well now they are just rubbing salt in the wounds... Once in, things felt much more "Disney" than they ever did at DisneySea. There was a proper atmosphere in the air and while it never reached that of Disneyland Paris, it was great to feel that "magic" again. Tokyo's castle looks so beautiful. We first headed to Adventureland to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder. It turns out that you can't just trust where you think attractions will be located because neither of these rides were in Adventureland, never mind... Correcting our mistake we made our way through Adventureland and over to Critter Country to experience Splash Mountain. That looks awesome. Splash Mountain For years of following Disney parks online I'd been really interested to try Splash Mountain and it didn't disappoint me for one second. Incredibly detailed theming, an adorable story (this time featuring a defined ending), a nice long ride time and a surprisingly thrilling final "splash", to coin a phrase, this thing was fab. Owing to it's location in relation to Critter Country, we next headed over to ride... Haunted Mansion Phantom Manor is one of my favourite dark rides and is joint first in regards to my favourite attractions at Disneyland Paris. It's a stunning attraction that has stuck with me since I first rode it all the way back in 2005. Because of this, I was so excited to try out the alternative mansion, but there was a problem... For reasons only known to the insane, Tokyo Disneyland had their Haunted Mansion in Holiday Nightmare flavour in EARLY SEPTEMBER! So instead of getting to experience the legendary Haunted Mansion, I got some emo Christmas bulls**t featuring A Nightmare Before Christmas. For principle I'm not even going to give an opinion of Holiday Nightmare and I guess I'm going to have to wait till I go to the US to finally get to ride the Haunted Mansion... Following this crippling disappointment we finally made our way over to Big Thunder Mountain. Big Thunder Mountain - https://rcdb.com/1183.htm Sorry to keep mentioning Disneyland Paris, but I'd rank their Big Thunder with the list of coasters that sit just below the top 10. The theming, the dive under the water to start the coaster, the truly out of control feeling it creates and the insane ending, I absolutely love it. During this trip, me and friend kept saying to each other, it almost feels like every ride here is a far tamer version of their great other halves. The more I think about it now, the more I agree with that statement. For reasons unknown, the country that's home to Flying Dinosaur, Eejanaika, Arashi and Pyrenees (4 of the most intense roller coasters ever made), seems to also be home to the Disneyland with tamed down rides. Big Thunder Japan was no different. While the theming as expected is outstanding, the coaster itself rides much more like a Vekoma Junior than the out of control French version and the ending is much much more lacklustre. It's still a great ride but when you've done other Big Thunders it doesn't quite live up. Making our way back to Adventureland, it was time for me to experience my first Jungle Cruise. Jungle Cruise After almost doing Hong Kong Disney before, I had seen on their website that their Jungle Cruise contains pyros and all sort of madness kicking off, so this probably didn't help in regards to forming my opinion of Japan's version. While Jungle Cruise was a lovely little sit down and bless the poor skipper girl who really was giving it all she had. Sadly due to stupid Hong Kong I was destined to come off disappointed, when the ride just ended without any major pay off. Star Tours Much like the French one, to a man who hasn't seen Star Wars, this was just a rock dodging simulator. It's good but it ain't no John Cleese dark ride... Space Mountain - https://rcdb.com/1185.htm Next up was Space Mountain, another attraction I'd be longing to experience for a long time and sadly another attraction that led to some disappointment. Now this time, the disappointment doesn't stem from the Paris one being better, probably because I haven't ridden the Paris one... This time it comes down to the experience as a whole falling far short of what I was promised. The coaster itself is super super tame, which would have been fine if there was anything decent to look at but there wasn't. So after the interesting lift hill section, you just end up mincing around in the dark while space sound effects play quietly on the on board audio. I'm sure the American Space Mountains feature a score that causes instant orgasm among Disney fanboys, so why doesn't Tokyo have that? It's not all doom and gloom though because on the first dispatch our train got hand pushed into a maintenance bay and we got evaced, the aforementioned fanboys wouldn't of been able to keep it in their pants, I just laughed. Though if I ever get a VALHALLA evac I'm sure I'll be in the same boat... It turns out I didn't take any pictures of Space Mountain, but you all know what it looks like. After this we had lunch at the pizza place in Tomorrowland, after the pizza place in Fantasyland refused to take the pineapple off the pizza for me, fools... Pirates Of The Caribbean Exactly the same as I remember the Paris one but this time featuring really lifelike looking Jack Sparrow animatronics, it's really good, though nothing new. Western River Railroad After using the statement, "might as well do the train", we were certainly glad we did because it was great. A nice sit down, with fantastic views of the area and even some surprise sections out of nowhere. Gadget Go Coaster - https://rcdb.com/1184.htm While they have certainly done a lovely job of fitting this Vekoma Junior in, it still doesn't really excuse that Disneyland has a Vekoma Junior to start with. Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin I still can't believe that Roger Rabbit has a ride at all at a Disney park, so for that alone, I love it. Monsters Inc Ride & Go Seek Even though I had no idea how to make this interactive ride work properly, I absolutely loved it. Monsters Inc is one of my favourite Pixar movies and this ride did the source material justice and then some. With everything we wanted to do (and some extras) knocked off, we took things easy for the next few hours and hit up various other attractions that sounded worth our time. PhilharMagic This 3D theatre based musical adventure was fantastic, easily the best surprise at the park. Next up we did the essential photos infront of the castle. Yeah, still beautiful... Pooh's Hunny Hunt To say anything other than it's amazing, you NEED to try it, will completely ruin this awesome trackless dark ride. Hilarious to the point of tears and a technical marvel, essential. Pinocchio's Daring Journey Exactly the same as the Paris one but still a great little ride. Small World I'm not sure if it's a Tokyo exclusive, but this variation featured Disney Princesses within the attraction and that added an extra element of enjoyment to the ride. We had a couple of rerides and then got ourselves in position for the nighttime castle show. Now for the last few hours I had really started to get into the Disney Magic and as the sun went down, I didn't feel a million miles away from the feelings I felt while walking through the Paris park. Unfortunately, things were going to turn sour to cap the day off... Disney Dreams at Disneyland Paris moved me in ways I rarely feel like expressing and with my friend who's done all the Disney's except the US ones telling me that ALL the Disney castle shows are near enough as good as Dreams, I was unbelievably excited to see how the Tokyo one was going to play out. Well... Instead of the show being featured around Disney movies, tied together with a magical story, this time the show was based around the park itself. This meant instead of seeing Rapunzel swinging from the turrets or hearing Elsa singing Let It Go, you were treated to crudely animated recreations of the park's attractions, while each ride theme played. Tied together by an out of tune overly pretentious song about how great the park is. The 2 most insulting parts were, the Haunted Mansion section, when you can't even ride the proper ride at the moment and an extended part about a paddle steamer... Worst of all though, no fireworks at all, only a few flame throwers that went off every once in a while. I could literally feel the magic being sucked out of me every second this waste of time continued. Disney Dreams in person > watching Disney Dreams on YouTube > thinking about Disney Dreams > going back to the hotel > Tokyo Disney's current castle show Thank you for reading, next time, our last day in Japan, featuring, Thunder Dolphin and Kawasemi.
  12. Well this is going to potentially start riots but here goes... From people I respect to randoms on YouTube who can't even name the park's lineup, Tokyo DisneySea is branded the best theme park in the World. If the statement were "best THEMED park in the World", you might be able to convince me but as for being the single best park in the World, I'd strongly disagree. Hell I'd even say it's not even the best theme park in Japan. Now come with me on a journey to discover why or just stop reading and leave a comment telling me I'm wrong. I do urge you to stick around though, the way this day ended makes for an interesting read. Day 11 So today was the day the typhoon was set to hit Japan. Our group made the decision that if we looked out the window and saw carnage we'd spend the day in the hotel watching Korean variety shows but if things looked OK we'd stick with our original plan of hitting DisneySea. I opened the curtains expecting the worse but just got blinded by the blazing sun, I think we're going to Disney lads. Now I remember many moons ago a member on here stated that you should plan Disney trips MONTHS in advance, well in almost direct contrast to that I opened the Disney website 5 minutes before leaving the hotel and crudely jotted down on a piece of paper I later lost the rides and attractions that sounded interesting, each to his own. Tokyo DisneySea - https://rcdb.com/5073.htm Despite there supposedly being a typhoon, the weather today started off insanely hot again and as I chose to wear jeans expecting the worse, things were rather uncomfortable... Once we arrived at DisneySea we purchased the 2 day Disney Resort Pass. Sadly with the 2 day pass they force you to pick which park you do on which day and you aren't allowed to visit both parks on the same day. This was a bit of a shame because that was one of my favourite things about Disneyland Paris, the ability to mince between parks at your leisure. The entrance plaza area reminded me alot of Port Aventura. That's either an insult to Disney or a compliment to PA but I'll let you lot decide... Not knowing where we were going or even wanted to go (maybe we should have planned better after all) we accidentally ended up in the Mysterious Island area of the park. This is the area to bring up if you're trying to convince me it's the best THEMED park in the World, because Christ this area looks beautiful. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Noticing that this submarine based ride had a 0 minute wait time, we walked straight onto our first dark ride of the day. Picture Legoland's Atlantis done properly and without the real fish and that's basically what this was. While I really enjoyed it, I couldn't help but think that it ended without any major climax or WOW moment. After picking up a fast track ticket for Journey To The Centre Of Earth, we made our way over to Lost River Delta... Raging Spirits - https://rcdb.com/2424.htm Japanese flavoured version of the Indiana Jones coaster from Disneyland Paris. It wasn't as bad as I remember the Paris one being but I've taken many a beating since then so it's probably not fair to comment. Indiana Jones: Temple Of The Crystal Skull Holy crap, this thing was absolutely amazing! After loving Fantawild's outstanding knock off, Qin Dynasty Adventure, I was desperate to ride the original and Christ was I not disappointed. Incredible from start to finish, I am so sad I only got to experience it once. Nemo & Friends SeaRider This giant simulator attraction featuring the characters from Finding Dory was good fun. Journey To The Centre Of The Earth With our fast track time up, we ventured back over to Journey. What can I say really, it's fantastic, but much like 20,000 Leagues, it feels like the ending is missing. The dark ride part of the attraction that starts you off is incredible, the lava monster itself is insane and the high speed section after you meet the monster is damn good fun, but then it just ends suddenly with no final payoff. Tower Of Terror After making it back from the centre of the Earth, we made our way over to the Waterfront section of the park to ride one of my most anticipated rides in the park, Tower Of Terror. I absolutely love the Paris version of this ride and knowing the Japanese one had it's own unique story made me incredibly excited. Up until the actual elevator section, Japanese ToT is AMAZING. The new story and effects used to convey it in the preshows made me prefer this over the Twilight Zone version. Then the ride itself happens... Call it lost in translation but I really didn't like the way the new story is applied to the actual elevator section, it didn't really make sense and left me thinking that this story would of suited a tracked dark ride much better than the very limited elevator system ToT is tied to. Also, either I've changed or Japanese ToT is incredibly weak when compared to Paris. The drop sequence was about as effective as Legoland Billund's Ghost... At least you can't deny the building itself looks breathtaking. Something I'd glad to say DisneySea did do better than it's French cousin was food. We had a lovely pizza and when compared to what I expecting it to cost, it cost almost nothing. Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster - https://rcdb.com/1501.htm Why is this a thing? +1 Toy Story Mania I really enjoyed Toy Story Mania, though credit where it's due, Maus Au Choc is a far superior example of the interactive screen based rides. Did I just give Phantasialand praise? I feel dirty... After exiting Toy Story Mania, it became apparent that while maybe the typhoon wasn't striking Tokyo, it was making it presence known by providing us with extremely strong winds. I had never felt anything like it, but testament to Japan's familiarity with such events, the locals didn't seem bothered at all and the park made no announcement. Sinbad's Storybook Voyage Fighting the wind we made our way to the Sinbad dark ride. This water based ride takes you through various scenes based on Sinbad and is heavily focused around music. I rather enjoyed it and it had me laughing out loud at points, wondering when Sinbad was going to break into song next. And with that, Tokyo DisneySea was complete and here lies my major issue with calling it the best theme park in the World. I count 9 attractions in my opinion that are worth doing, which without going any further, to me is far from enough to keep you busy for a whole day. But you have to factor in that only 4 of those attractions are unique to the resort, 1 is a terrible Togo junior coaster that couldn't feel anymore out of place and ToT can be experienced in a far superior form elsewhere. From my personal experience, only Indiana Jones exceeded my expectations, with the other attractions either leaving me slightly dry or doing exactly what I expected and nothing more. Much like Universal Studios Japan, Tokyo DisneySea also suffers from a distant lack of magic. Now here me out, at Disneyland Paris the atmosphere was at points overwhelming and I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel quite emotional just being there. To contrast this, for all the time I was at DisneySea the "magic" of the place never struck me. With Universal Studios Japan lacking the atmosphere that it's Singapore cousin emits, perhaps the issue is country based? This isn't to say I didn't have a good day out at Tokyo DisneySea because I did, it just didn't live up to my expectations based off of Disneyland Paris or live up to the immense hype placed on it's shoulders. With everything done, we headed for another go on Indiana Jones, however it was closed due to a breakdown. While waiting for it to open the parkwide PA system announced "your attention please, the train line linking the Disney Resort to the rest of Tokyo may soon close due to extreme weather conditions". We decided it was our best interest to heed this advise and make our way back to the hotel. After getting off the monorail that links the parks to the Disney train station, we knew we were f**ked. Thousands of people milling around outside the station with screens listing the closed lines, of which there were many. We headed up to the rammed full train waiting in the station, due to depart any minute and there we stood for over 20 minutes, cramped and confused, as the train just sat there but more and more people piled in. To save myself having a panic attack we got off the train to ask a guard what was going on, he blanked us and walked off... So we walked back down the station stairs to the ticket office and asked the lady at the barriers what was happening, "I don't know" she shouted back, so we asked another staff member, who just walked off... See I wasn't joking when I said the Japanese train staff are absolute bastards. It turns out the trains had been stopped, but no one there thought it would be helpful to tell us that. Not knowing at all what the f**k was happening or the best way to get off of the Disney Resort island, we ventured into the Disney WELCOME Centre and couldn't have felt any less welcome. As we walked in, the 2 staff women behind the counters stared us down. "hi, it's madness out there, can you please help us find the best way to get back to our hotel?", "oh no no no no no no, I can't help you", "sorry what?", "I don't speak English, I cannot help, sorry", "right....". So you work at Disneyland in the WELCOME centre and don't speak English, I don't believe it but I can at least accept that, but outright refusing us help as we stand in the WELCOME centre for Disney is just unbelievable. There was a mall next to the Disney station that upon searching was home to the Disney annual pass centre, so in we went. Inside we found a women who put the WELCOME centre staff so much to shame it's laughable. She got translators involved, maps up on her computer and the bus schedule. Thanks to her helpfulness we were told we needed to catch bus number 1, easy right? Into the bus rink we went and into madness we descended. There were many bus stops, with none of them showing the destination we were meant to be heading. After awhile we spoke to a member of the bus staff and he told us that we needed to be in the coach park. Fine we thought, we are on track now... On approach to the coach park, we saw a sight that will forever haunt me, thousands and thousands of people, all waiting to catch buses. Thinking no, this CAN'T be real, we spoke to a member of staff who informed us, we needed to catch a bus from stand number 1, but the queue was going to be, "many many minutes"... What followed was over 3 hours of waiting for a bus, in a Tokyo DisneySea of people, in typhoon strength winds. No this wasn't Disney's fault, it was mine for going out in a typhoon and the train companies for being s**t at their jobs, but either way this wasn't the way I wanted this day to end. Moments before getting on our bus, we were informed that the train line had just reopened. Well that's a lovely insult to injury... When I finally got back to the hotel I was tired enough to sleep through the immense wind trying to blow the hotel over. Thanks for reading, next time, Tokyo Disneyland.
  13. Mega-Lite

    Liseberg

    They are free and I didn't see anything about time limits, we were naughty and left stuff in them after finishing up with Valk, with absolutely no issues. Liseberg have only implemented them because of lack of room for storage lockers on the ride platform, it's hard to really argue with that logic. Quick reviews because I'm so far behind on trip reports but want to say these things before it's too late, a report will follow though. Helix is still the best coaster in the World, even after having nightmares about it not living up to how I remember it, I came off my 1st of 19 laps during last weekend on the verge of tears and shaking. #TeamHelix Valkyria is HANDS DOWN the best dive coaster I've ever been on and has transformed a coaster type I normally roll my eyes at into something truly special. Everything has purpose, the fast lift, the fast turn around, the tight intense layout and the lovely forces it provides. It's an absolute winner and I must retract my previous statements about not being excited for it. Loke is fantastic and adds yet another fantastic flat to Liseberg's outstanding line up. The new Max restaurants are great and a massive improvement over the BKs. I second those complimenting the Halloween event at the park, the place looks stunning and the scare zone near Balder and Valk was hilariously good fun. I'm now promoting Liseberg to my favourite park out there, the line up, the atmosphere, the food and the location, it all finally came together and dawned on me this time round, I apologise for being late to the party on this one.
  14. I feel more so than any park in the World that since I first learnt of it's existence many years ago, that Fuji Q was both the most intriguing and most unobtainable park out there. Way before I actually got off my arse and went to see what the theme park World offered outside of the UK, this place was already at a legendary status in my mind. Dodonpa, Takabisha and Eejanaika were on pedestals and the fact I was going to get to experience these icons was almost unbelievable. I know some of you find it annoying that I'm against cloning certain rides, let my respect and intrigue for these 3 legends be a perfect example of why I am. The sheer thrill of being able to say "holy s**t I'm about to ride Dodonpa, something I've dreamed of doing for years", is almost completely ruined if there's a clone of it chilling somewhere else in the World, I guess some will never be able to see it that way and that's fine but I do. Day 10 Today we woke up early to make the almost 2 hour drive from central Tokyo to Fuji Q. It would be fair to say we were absolutely expecting the worse in regards to this park. Way before I saw it myself in Nagashima, China and Korea, this was the original park that I heard closed everything in anything but perfect weather. It was spitting with rain and looking disgusting as we approached, so things weren't looking good at all. Also I'd read far too many trip reports saying X was closed but that's to be expected, I'm just glad we got Y, so that was a concern. Fuji Q - https://rcdb.com/4961.htm When we got to the park our spirits were lifted by a digital board in the car park showing all the rides open today and the times they were due to open. To further reinforce that idea, Fujiyama (which is mostly in the car park) starting testing as we parked. I got such Thorpe Park vibes in the car park toilet, with chart music, a "welcome to Fuji Q" announcement and youths assaulting each other in excitement, all on display. We've all heard of exit through the gift shop but you actually enter Fuji Q through the gift shop, which was odd. While buying tickets, Dodonpa started testing and Christ does it sound absolutely terrifying. After entering the park we made our way straight to Dodonpa, which it turns out is located right by the turnstyles. We entered the queueline and as soon as we did 2 things happened, 1) it began to rain heavily and 2) I felt the most nervous I've felt in a queueline in YEARS. The queue was probably only about 20 minutes and contrary to what I've read online the operations appeared to be fine, with a ground shaking launch sending one of the 8 person trains out of the launch tunnel every couple of minutes. Despite it raining heavily, Dodonpa launched full train after full train for about 15 minutes, before operations were suspended due to the weather. At first I was honestly glad they stopped the ride, something about being launched 112mph into heavy rain doesn't appeal to me. Sadly my initial appreciation for operations stopping was short lived. For almost an hour we stood in the queue, hearing them power down Dodonpa, watching them close Takabisha and seeing no sign of the rain stopping. Then suddenly the queue started moving again, I was sure the ride was still powered down so didn't understand why. Then when we reached the ride station it became apparent as we were handed priority passes to come back later and got an apology and a bow from the ride staff. See the internet had me believe that when it rains Fuji Q close everything and the staff go home, so an apology and a ticket to return later blew my mind. Well, that's an hour and a half wasted. We know Dodonpa is shut, Takabisha (which is next to Dodonpa) has it's entrance gate locked and Eejanaika hasn't even tested yet... So we entered the queue for Fujiyama. Despite the ride testing with 2 trains, possibly due to the weather it was only running 1. This meant an almost 8 minute coaster (including loading) was running 1 train with no other coasters in the park open. The queue which was quickly filling up was displayed at 4 hours as we entered... This is us screwed then. When we leave this queueline it's going to be 3pm, we absolutely have to leave at 7pm and there's no sign of the rain stopping and who knows if they'll close Fujiyama in a minute... About an hour into the most frustrating queue of my life the rain did stop and about 30 minutes after that a parkwide announcement proclaimed "ladies and gentlemen we are happy to announce that Takabisha has now reopened". Before we could even think of how to react to this information, nothing short of a swarm of people began running in it's direction and almost everyone behind us in the Fujiyama queue bailed too. My friend left the queue to get an update on what the Takabisha area was looking like, he returned with the simple statement, "it's a mess". Desperation made us draw up a plan on how to react to Dodonpa reopening. It appeared the Fuji Q way of queueing was to leave 1 member of your group in the queue, while the others go to the toilet or to get food, then simply slither back in no questions asked. Ok we thought, if Dodonpa reopens, we nip out and use our priority passes, while the non rider in our group holds our place here. 30 minutes after coming up with this plan, this happened, "ladies and gentlemen we are happy to announce that Eejanaika has now opened". Eejanaika - https://rcdb.com/3254.htm A swift nod was all we needed before we jumped over several queue fences and began to literally sprint in the direction of Eejanaika. The thing was, we didn't even know the way, so we just followed the crowd and overtook as necessary. I'm not even sure why we expected anything less but when we got to the coaster the queue time was listed as 5 hours... We had seen literally hundreds of people purchasing fast track for Fujiyama while we queued, so now with the situation being desperate we decided to join them. As we got to Eejanika so fast and everyone had just piled into the massive queue without thinking, when we did purchase our fast track from the vending machine, we got offered the very first slot to ride. So before even seeing the coaster test, we entered the fast track queue and were immediately batched into the station building. After being told to remove our shoes and put anything loose in the locker, it finally dawned on me that I was moments away from riding Eejanaika and because it all happened so fast I wasn't prepared at all. With the S&S freespin Arashi being one of the most intense coasters I've ever ridden, the idea of being spun while riding a coaster this time doing almost 80mph from a height of 250 feet was honestly terrifying. The reviews of S&S 4D coasters range from best coasters in the World to absolute hatred and I could easily see it swinging both ways for me. The seating and restraint set up for Eejanaika only further helped to make me even more uneasy. A very small over the shoulder restraint holds your top half into the seat while absolutely nothing at all holds your legs in. I have never felt so improperly secured in a ride seat before, we will get back to this on the ride itself. With the restraint set up already looking absolutely insane, it was also extremely complicated. 1 part comes in from the side, the other part comes down from above, then no less than 3 belts hold it all together. I let the staff member secure me for fear of actually killing myself if I did it wrong. When they were finished they smiled and said "is this OK?", I smiled and gave a big thumbs up, while deep down thinking "I don't know, oh God I'm going to die". After all the ride staff do a dance and chant, the coaster is dispatched and immediately becomes terrifying. Between the station and lift hill the 3rd rail which controls the orientation of the seats is missing, meaning on the corner between station and lift you get a small teaser of what the ride can offer, as it quite violently tilts backs then wobbles around to centre itself. It was here I knew my fears for nothing holding in my lower half weren't for nothing, as my legs bounced around in a most unnerving fashion. On the evil, evil, slow lift hill I tried to remind myself of looking Arin in the eyes during the fan meeting, as I could literally hear my heart tearing through my chest. As we neared the top a massively unnerving thought sprung to mind, wait a sec, which way are we tilting for the first drop? And then it happened... It would be impossible for me to explain Eejanaika to you and unfair on the coaster itself. All you need to know is it's absolutely amazing, probably the scariest roller coaster on Earth and unlike any other coaster out there (apart from the other 2 4Ds probably). With the tilting of the seats, Eejanaika has you at it's mercy to experience the layout however it wants you to and that creates some truly crazy moments. Eejanaika bonded with me on a first ride like very few rides do. I respect the sheer terror it installs in me and adore the incredible things it's able to accomplish with the rotating seats. S&S 4D coasters are incredible and it's such a shame there's only 3 in the World, well 2 if you count X2 being Arrow. Fujiyama - https://rcdb.com/1190.htm We stumbled back to Fujiyama and slithered back into the queue where our friend was standing, still about an hour from the station. During the last hour of the queue we noticed Dodonpa had just reopened too, we might complete this park after all! Fujiyama was rather good, like not 4 hour queue good and it's easily the lesser of the park's big coasters but for what it is (a giant jet coaster) it's good. A great first drop, some properly decent airtime moments and wicked laterals near the end. There was 2 Japanese girls behind us screaming from the top of the lift to the brake run which added to the experience too. After leaving Fujiyama, we heard an announcement telling the people who had Dodonpa priority tickets to please head to the ride now, so we did. Dodonpa - https://rcdb.com/1423.htm Much like Eejanaika, things proceeded at such a pace that the fear from earlier didn't have time to build up again. We walked up the coaster's exit and met a smiling man, who put us straight us on the train waiting in the station. It's fair to say the fear came back as soon as Dodonpa dispatched though. It wasn't Eejanaika bad but I was certainly on edge while waiting for this monster to launch. Now put it down to Eejanaika before or having done Bullet Coaster in China but Dodonpa's launch didn't really pack anywhere near the punch I was expecting. In fact the whole experience was just really smooth and enjoyable, not the being hit by a truck I was expecting. Dodonpa absolutely glides (thanks to it's tire running wheels) through the rest of a it's layout and while it's not boring, it's a bit something and nothing. Even the loop which replaced the insane looking airtime hill is completely forceless and smooth as silk. And that was Dodonpa. Not the ultra intense coaster I was expecting but rather a big softy. I'm absolutely delighted to be able to say I've ridden this legend, so I won't hold that against it. 2 of the legends down, 1 to go. Takabisha - https://rcdb.com/9795.htm Another fast track to avoid a 4 hour queue and soon we were standing on the station platform of Takabisha. Takabisha is a Gerts Eurofigher, that really should of of been an Infinity Coaster and that really shouldn't be being cloned and themed to Spongebob (sorry...) It must be noted that Takabisha has much slimmer OTSR than any other Eurofighter I've ridden, they were much better and it's a shame they weren't implemented elsewhere. This coaster is good but sadly it's nothing too special. Pacing issues and a lack of forces hold it back from greatness. The first half is really good but then you are stopped dead before climbing the awkward looking lift hill. Much like Atlantis Adventure, putting the launch in the first half and the lift hill in the second causes some really bad pacing issues. Now onto the lack of forces. Takabisha's layout is much more suited to an Infinity, with many huge inversions. Taking these elements in a small Eurofighter car really makes them ride forceless and strange. The big 4 down but no time to relax yet, we had 3 more creds to mop up and I was determined to get another lap on Eejanaika. But first up was the Thomas dark ride which was surprisingly good. Rock n Roll Duncan - https://rcdb.com/1503.htm +1 Mad Mouse - https://rcdb.com/1192.htm This thing was awful. Voyage Dans Le Ciel - https://rcdb.com/1193.htm This coaster's station building was the closest we came to seeing Mount Fuji on the trip... Now with everything we wanted knocked off, we headed back over to Eejanaika but there was an issue... They had ran out of fast track slots for the day and the current queue time was listed as 2 hours. Now this shouldn't have been a problem, Eejanaika is easily worth waiting 2 hours for but the issue was we had to leave at 7 at the latest to get the hire car back for our 9pm drop off. Regardless we entered the queue with the plan to bail out at 6:45 if we didn't make it. I'm so glad to tell you that we did infact JUST manage to get on Eejanaika before we ran out of time. Second time around, this time in the dark, cemented Eejanaika as one of my favourite coasters out there and I'd currently place it at the bottom of the list of coasters that caused a deeply emotional reaction in me (Helix, Karnan & T Express being the others). Even after riding it earlier, if anything it was even more intense a second time round, I freaking love Eejanaika! Following this we literally sprinted from the Eejanaika area at the back of the park to the park entrance, which damn near killed us. And with that our day at Fuji Q was over. Now while I've got nothing massively positive to say about the park as a whole, other than that from our experience it's no where near as bad as the internet makes out. There's almost nothing you need to say when the park is home to 3 legendary coasters and one of them happens to be one of the best and more unique coasters in the World. Thanks for reading, next time Tokyo DisneySea in a typhoon...
  15. Day 8 Morning now and an attempt for the stupid hotel to redeem itself. Apparently it afforded fantastic views of Mount Fuji, sadly the reality was it offered fantastic views of a man's house and some trees, redemption failed... This morning we were headed to our new hotel (this time a real one) in central Tokyo, where we were going to spend the rest of our time in Japan. After dropping off our trusted car and paying over £200 in toll fees, we ditched our luggage at the hotel and jumped on public transport (we will get back to this later) on route to a very special event. My friend had discovered that K-Pop group Oh My Girl were in Tokyo for a 1 day only special event in a popular Japanese mall and through multiple emails with the event team I felt I at least half understood what was happening and when. To over simplify a ridiculously complicated process (trust the Japanese)... Oh My Girl's debut Japanese album was on sale in the mall and in every album was a photocard of one of the members and depending on how many photocards you had you got to claim various awesome rewards, I think you can see where this is heading. 1 photocard got you a high five with said member, 2 photocards of different members got you the option to pick your bias and have a prolonged handshake and chat and 2 photocards of the same member got you a signing with that member and a selfie. Complimenting meeting the girls by redeeming your photocards, was those who bought 3 albums or more got to attend 2 mini concerts. The 2 hour queue to buy CDs flew by in minutes and soon I was holding 3 copies as if they were gold, they sure cost enough. I got spited quite hilariously in which photocards I received but thanks to trading with my friend I was able to be a position to get a handshake with my favourite member, Arin. After the awesome first mini concert I had my one on one meeting with Arin. If you've ever met one of your favourite K-Pop idols you'll know exactly how I felt, if you haven't you couldn't possibly understand. Now with only 1 card left I convinced myself to queue up again to get another CD, to gain the opportunity to get another handshake, this time with Seunghee. After an even better second mini concert (Arin recognised me from our previous meeting and waved), I got my handshake with Seunghee, who spent our entire life changing interaction in shock that a random English bloke had come to see them in Japan, for the record I'd do it again. The entire experience felt like it had lasted an hour (the best hour of my life) but had actually gone on for a little over 7, meaning that by the time we were finished there wasn't very much left of the day. On one of the previous days I saw on the tv in passing something about a typhoon. While in McDonalds still in a daze after the day's event, my friend told me that, that typhoon was going to hit Japan in 3 days and it was going to pose danger to properties and life, great I thought, I wonder if Fuji Q runs in a typhoon? Joypolis - https://rcdb.com/5256.htm With it now raining aswell as being late we gave up on original plan of doing Joypolis and Tokyo Dome and chose instead to just hit Joypolis. Rather luckily located 5 minutes from the mall, Joypolis is a sadly quite disappointing arcade featuring a Gerts spinner. When picturing a large scale arcade in Japan of all places, I thought of floor upon floor of countless ultra high tech arcade machines and an atmosphere that was bordering on too intense but alas no. Tokyo Joypolis is 3 floors of really not much at all worth doing, with Coral Island at Blackpool having a far better atmosphere. Gekion Live Coaster - https://rcdb.com/6453.htm Gekion Live is a Gerts spinner that's half arcade machine, half coaster. You start out playing a rhythm based game while the coaster slowly slithers past screens in the dark. Then you are tire launched out into the arcade and through an inline, which is by far the best bit of the ride. After the inline you leave the arcade again and enter a room with a light show and screens while the coaster doesn't really do much of anything. Nothing of note really took place in the final part of the coaster and hardly any spinning either. It's certainly interesting and different but it isn't very good. Day 9 For those keeping score at home, on one of the days we had the car we managed to knock off 3 parks in a day and came damn close to also getting a +1 too. Well today we were going to try that same approach but on Tokyo trains, what could possibly go right? The Tokyo transport system is an absolute mess. On top of the fact it's incredibly complicated (google the map, I dare you), different bits are also owned by at least 5 different companies. You need different tickets for each of the different companies, so it's not uncommon to need 3 different tickets for 1 trip on the metro. This means that the super value day passes you can buy from the many companies only work on their little bit of the network and as soon as you leave you have to go back to paying again and it's not obvious who owns which bit so you'll almost certainly be paying the fare adjustment costs and getting beeped at by the barriers for doing it wrong. Then there's the cost... 1 - 4 stops on the metro costs you 3 pounds, 4 - 8 stops costs you 6 pounds and so on, which is why the day passes would be super handy if it wasn't for the fact as mentioned they are company specific and once you the leave that company's bit you'll have to start paying those prices again. Also not helping things is the fact that Tokyo rail/metro companies seem to be staffed by the worst Japan can offer. Anywhere else in Japan they'll go so far out of their way to help you that it makes you feel guilty but on the trains at BEST you'll get "sorry no speak English". We originally intended to start our day at Sea Paradise but after getting not quite half way there and realising it had already taken an hour due to train faff, we came to the conclusion that we'd have to ditch it if we wanted to hit the 2 preferred parks today. Yokohama Cosmoworld was our next destination and we arrived in Yokohama station at 10am, it was just a shame the park didn't open until 11... Shortly after arriving it began to rain so we killed the hour in the second Starbucks of the trip, I really am starting to associate Starbucks with disappointment. Talking of dissapointment... We got to Yokohama Cosmoworld a little after opening to the site of both the major coasters being under tarp. After asking guest services they told us they'd walk the track at some point and if they looked dry they might open them. The coasters really weren't worth waiting around for so we opted to just move on to the next park. On the way out we ticked off the kiddie cred which rather insultingly was open. Yomiuriland - https://rcdb.com/4968.htm With 2 parks missed, hideous amounts of train faff and the rain still falling on and off we really needed Yomiuriland to lift our spirits and it certainly did. As we were on the cable car that takes you from the station to the park entrance it began to rain again and it really did feel like all hope was lost. Though when asking the man at the ticket office if the coasters were open he replied "they might close if the weather gets really bad", so there's hope you say? Bandit - https://rcdb.com/1218.htm We powered straight to Bandit, the tallest jet coaster in the World! Bandit is a monster, at near 260 feet tall and over 5,000 feet in length it almost doesn't seem real, but don't worry it gets even more insane... Not really paying attention in our rush to get to the coaster it turns out we entered the queue for "Wet Bandit", this is a special mode they put Bandit in during the summer months and oh boy was it something. Before being dispatched Big Bang's Bang Bang Bang (K-Pop) song played while the the staff made everyone clap along. Then you dispatch and as you take a turn to the right towards the lift hill, a giant water geyser goes off absolutely soaking everyone. I spent the entire lifthill laughing, thinking what the hell just happened, will anything else happen? As soon as you begin to descend down Bandit's massive drop, from the trees to the left of the ride water is shot an easy 200 foot in the air landing on you by the time you reach the bottom, Jesus Christ! Almost Valhalla wet now and laughing so hard I wasn't braced so getting the crap beaten out of me, this was awesome. Wet Bandit's final surprise was a wall of water awaiting you on the entry to the brakes, madness. So I just came from a park that's waiting for the track of a jet coaster to be dry while I'm riding the World's tallest jet coaster that's shooting water 200 feet in the air and then on the track, makes sense right? I'll more than forgive it for it's age and charm but it's fair to say Bandit is a bit of a rough monster, nothing serious but certainly some vicious jolts in places. Wan Wan Coaster Wandit - https://rcdb.com/3253.htm One the best named coasters out there. Momonga Standing And Loop Coaster - https://rcdb.com/1219.htm This Togo coaster gives you the option of riding in sitting or standing trains using a switch track in the station. The sitting train offered a rather meh ride but the standing one was quite fun. You are actually fully standing on the Togo coasters as opposed to sitting uncomfortably on your balls like on Intamin stand ups. The exposed feeling of truly standing with not much holding you in really makes the standing aspect appealing. Who knew Togo were the kings of the stand up coasters? Spin Runway - https://rcdb.com/13431.htm Spin Runaway is another Gerts spinning but this time themed to working in a fashion factory, no really. Unfortunately after the highly detailed queue, the coaster itself takes place in almost complete darkness and much like Gekion from earlier it really doesn't do much of anything exciting. Is this going to be a recurring theme for Gerts spinners or are Japan just unlucky? From disappointment to probably the best ride in the park, sorry Bandit. Splash UFO is the park's rapids ride, a rapids ride themed to cup noodles, how Japanese is that? This thing was insane and I'm certain it was built by those lunatics at Hafema. I was expecting a slightly tame indoors rapids with cup noodle theming but was presented with River Quest's whirlpool, bouncing off walls at 40mph, steep drops and sheer terror, I absolutely loved it. With all the rides we wanted to do done now, we went for a ride on the Ferris Wheel. Yomiuriland was great and brought the day back from total failure. Quality rides combined with a really wacky sense of fun made for a really enjoyable few hours. To end the day we picked up our hire car for our trip to Fuji Q the next day. We had forgotten to ask for the ETC card so discovered it was going to cost us £84 return in tolls to get to Fuji Q... Thanks for reading, next time Fuji Q and the awesome Eejanaika.
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