These pages are dotted with park visits that haven't gone completely to plan for one reason or another. Today was a particular testament to Murphy's Law, with no less than four missed credits. Three of these were shopping mall parks, and a real disappointment as they were all substantial rides. Maybe some day I'll make it back to Fun City Marina Mall, Sparky's Khalidiyah, and Fun City Bawadi Mall.
The story of the fourth, however, is sufficiently bizarre to merit further explanation. The group decided to visit Madinat Zayed Garden, a city park well off the beaten track about ninety minutes south-west of Abu Dhabi. Fairly solid internet gossip had put a small roller coaster here, and indeed on arrival we discovered an Interpark-built Tropical Track. However, it soon became clear it had not run in a considerable length of time.
A few of the more intrepid members of my group decided to take the time to find out why. Some twenty minutes later we were being welcomed into the local government office (seriously!) where three of our group were able to chat with the responsible council member. It turned out that a child had been thrown from this ride some eight months earlier and that it had been closed ever since. Given the limited forces generated by this layout one has to assume that this was rider misbehaviour rather than equipment failure, so we offered to sign a waiver if he'd let us ride. The councillor said that they'd be delighted to let us see the train in motion if we wanted, but that they couldn't allow passengers on board regardless of circumstances. Apparently plans are afoot to replace the ride in due course with something new, and that we'd be welcome to come back when that happened.
11th October 2010
The Mazyad Mall was the only shopping mall on our list today with an operational coaster, if the smallest by far in the entire United Arab Emirates. Adults without shame are allowed to ride the ridiculously small Speedy Coaster (#1571), though even those do feel a little embarrassed afterwards.
Hili Fun City
11th October 2010
Hili Fun City first came to the attention of many coaster enthusiasts some years ago with the publication of a rather unflattering trip report showing a decrepit park with lots of rides "closed permanently for safty purpose". The park closed soon afterwards for an extended renovation, and has just reopened to the public after eighteen months of work that has transformed the place into one that would hold its own in a competition with any other mid-sized family park worldwide.
One of the new rides added in the refurbishment is Twister Mountain (#1572), a new spinning mouse from Zamperla. The only unique feature of this version was two queues, one for families and gentlemen, a second for ladies only. This double queueing arrangement turned out to be standard across the entire park, though on a night as quiet as this one it was completely unnecessary.
From there we began a slow meander around the park. The Hili Mouse (#1573) proved to be an exact duplicate of the version we'd missed earlier in the day at Madinat Zayed Garden, albeit in this case fully operational. The Lighthouse tower ride looked at first glance like the common family design from Zierer, but on riding we discovered that it was in fact a clone without any rotation hardware. Finally, we passed a few minutes at Sindbad's Farm, an antique cars ride, only the second time I've been on one of those rides in my life.