Parque de Atracciones de Madrid12th September 2003
One might have assumed that an amusement park in a capital city would have access roads suitable for coaches. A low bridge on the approach road had our driver shaking his head in disbelief; though we did make it through there was nevertheless no more than four inches of clearance between the top of the skylight and the concrete. Fortunately there were no speed ramps.
We began our day with the two water rides; Los Rápidos and Los Fiordos, the latter being a particularly wet giant splash ride. Suitably refreshed, we made a brave attempt to ride Cumbres, the junior roller coaster. However, adults are not allowed to ride this under any circumstances, not even when accompanying a child. Maijkel tried to explain in broken Spanish that we had come over to Spain just to ride coasters, but the operator stood her ground, making this the first coaster of the trip we were not able to ride.
The Fantasia dark ride brought us on an animatronic tour through many different countries along similar lines to the famous small world attraction in the Disney parks that I hope to see for myself some day. Although the boats were only designed to seat nine, the ride operator allowed all eleven of us to board, with the premise that he had not noticed us doing so, at least I think that's what he said. The German contingent of our boat got particularly excited when we passed through the German section of the ride, much to our amusement. From there we went to La Reina de África, a very similar ride to the previous one albeit outdoors. The operator once again tried to let us all into the same boat, but it began taking on water, so splitting up seemed a better idea!
We took a ride on the park's ferris wheel, Noriavisión, which had been strategically located in an area with no other rides in shot. We were also disappointed by the Simulador Virtual, which was far too aggressive to be fun, much like the one at Terra Mítica yesterday. In the interests of finding a decent ride we moved over to 7 Picos (#214), the oldest fifty-four metre Schwarzkopf Wildcat still in operation at its original location. The ride operators were happy for us to use our cameras on board, allowing me to get some excellent pictures.
I've been building up more of a tolerance for flat rides of late. After a ride on the Rotor, one of the last remaining Huss Condor rides, I decided it was time to try my first ever Enterprise, which in this park goes by the name of La Turbina. The only thing this ride managed to do for me was induce acute boredom; it seemed to go on for ever. The length of the cycle did cause problems for others in our group mind; there were a few green faces as we disembarked. Two more flat rides followed; the T.I.R. flying carpet and the Cadenas wave swinger. The latter was not quite as fast as the one at Tibidabo but it was well up there. We also tried the Zeppelin ride purely so we could giggle at the Spanglish; "Do not take out the arms" could be read on the side of each car!
On disembarking, I was abruptly hit in the face by a blast of water. It turned out that Bart had acquired a water pistol and was shooting at club members from behind a tree. This gave rise to a good humoured chase which brought us all the way into the queue for the second and final adult coaster. Tornado (#215) is one of only three full circuit inverted coasters by Intamin, and it takes advantage of the park terrain to provide a particularly interesting layout. There was some pretty nasty vibration in the back seat, but everywhere else in the train was smooth and comfortable. Several rerides made for an excellent finish to the day.