Over the last few years I've been to a number of cities where the driving standards are probably best described as interesting. Be that as it may, Mumbai manages to outdo even Cairo with its automotive chaos, the only saving grace being that road speeds rarely exceed thirty kilometers per hour. Our overnight hotel was less than fifty kilometers away from EsselWorld, but the journey by road still took us the better part of two hours.
EsselWorld opened to the public in 1989, and has since grown to be the largest amusement park in India with some thirty-four attractions. The Zyclone is the only one of the five coasters to date from that time, and coincidentally the only one we couldn't try out today; it is currently in pieces awaiting reassembly in a different location within the park. We were fortunate enough to meet with a member of management, who told us that the park is continuing to expand, and that additional coasters are a definite possibility in the future.
The ride that brought us to the park in the first place is one of two wood coasters in India, both of which were built by consultants from Blackpool Pleasure Beach towards the end of the last century. Zipper Dipper (#1577) is a clone of the Blackpool ride of the same name, and it's a winner. Though a relatively small ride, maybe thirty feet high with three decent drops, it nevertheless managed some worthwhile airtime, particularly in the rear of the train. It was telling that quite a few of the locals exiting this ride were running right back to the entrance for another go, a sure mark of a popular attraction.
The newest coaster in the park at the time of writing is Hoola Loop (#1576), a standard Pinfari ZL42 that was one of the smoothest I've been on in my travels, though part of that might be that it is only three years old. There is also a standard Big Apple (#1579) that adults are not normally allowed to ride, but the park was kind enough to make a special exception for our group, something that I'd like to thank them for again here.
The most unique coaster in the park is Aqua Dive (#1578), which can be thought of as a steel version of the classic wood water chute, and in all honesty it might be considered solely as a giant splash were it not for the cars climbing a small hill out of the water trough under their own momentum. To describe this ride as drenching does an injustice to the word; a similar effect can be achieved by diving into a swimming pool. I'm guessing that I could have filled a two litre bottle from the water wrung out of my t-shirt alone.
Beyond the coasters, we also tried out Monsters in the Mist, a superb dark ride with animatronic creatures and effects appearing out of the gloom as the lighting effects faded in and out. Part of the fun of haunted attractions like this one is identifying which coaster enthusiasts the monsters resemble, though it's a tiny bit harder to do that with a straight face when all the usual targets are in the car with you!