Today's visit to Happy Valley was a relatively relaxed one, with an entire day to play with and only one required coaster credit. The aforementioned ride wasn't due to open until half way through the day, due to filming work, allowing a relaxed morning. We decided to begin with a quick lap on the Mine Coaster, where my good mood was abruptly shattered when the operator insisted I should remove my secured glasses. On a mine train? Seriously?
Things went from bad to worse after disembarking, when it became apparent that the three haunted walkthroughs nearby, all of which were supposed to be open at this point, were not. Two of us joined the queue for Spirited Space anyway, which eventually opened some twenty minutes behind posted schedule. I'm not able to remember any of the specifics as I write this trip report a few weeks later, only to say that I enjoyed both it and the Haunted Glacier next door.
The opening hours sign had been removed from the third walkthrough by the time we got back to it, indicating an attraction that wasn't going to open today. Instead, we decided to ride Big Hat. I'd never actually been on a Sombrero ride before, and while it wasn't exactly a life changing experience it was nevertheless good fun. The same could not be said for Wild Elfin, Baby Coaster, or the awful Snow Mountain Flying Dragon.
It was at this stage that the news began to spread that our intrepid trip organisers had managed to arrange us an early ride on the Bullet Coaster (#1856), a spectacular looking launched coaster from S&S. We'd been warned that normal operations on this ride were normally extremely slow, topping out around eight trains per hour, and thus early access was a huge unexpected bonus.
Regular readers may remember that I was very impressed by the S&S launched coaster in Beijing, and as such I was eagerly looking forward to this version. The build quality here wasn't quite of the same standard, with a definite rattle from the trains, but the lap bar restraints meant that this didn't spoil what was fundamentally a top notch coaster. It was without question the best coaster in the park (not that that's saying a whole lot) and well up there with the best coasters of this trip (not that that's saying a whole lot either!).
We spent the rest of the afternoon on some of the smaller rides, doing the North Pole Adventure, the 3D Cinema, the Frisbee, the Tunnel Warfare show, and finishing with all four sides of the Space Shot.