For the last few months I've been devoting almost all my spare time to the Saint Bartholomew's Choir Christmas CD. With it finally out of my life I decided to make a day trip to London, taking in a west-end show as well as a major fair. There is no doubt that the organisers of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland have put on an impressive event. However, it is marred by what can only be described as obscene pricing. London is not a cheap city at the best of times, but no sane person could be happy at paying over £20 for four rides and a half-sized bratwurst, an amount that actually exceeded what I had to pay to fly to the country in the first place.
Worse yet, the ticketing system in use is positively demented; patrons have to purchase ride coupons from booths (which conveniently do not display the prices for individual rides). These coupons come on flimsy yellow receipts, and despite them all looking the same they can be for different values; I saw one token, two token, and four token versions. Some rides accept these directly, giving back change in the same form; others exchange them for more traditional ride tokens which are then handed to ride operators. Surely there must be a simpler way!
Two of the three coasters are owned by Buwalda of the Netherlands. Santa's Flying Sleigh (#1479) a rethemed Big Apple operating with one of the most ornate trains I've seen on a coaster of this size. The larger Christmas Coaster (#1480), aka Euro Coaster, is the second inverted mouse coaster from Reverchon. To be blunt, there is a reason only a handful of these rides were sold; the design frankly isn't up to much, with its only saving grace being that riders at least don't get beaten up by the restraints. Beyond the new credits it was a pleasure to renew my acquaintance with the Schneider Power Tower 2, as well as the Black Hole.