M'nar Park

12th February 2017

M'nar Park is one of two parks with roller coasters along the north-east coast of Morocco. In its early years the place had a proper web site located at www.mnarparktanger.com, but the domain was allowed to expire and since mid-2015 has pointed to a site promoting prostitution in Japanese; you have been warned! Opening hours were never listed anyway, and thus we decided to show up on a weekend and hope for the best. It was shortly before 11:00am when we arrived, and a number of machines were undergoing testing. A few cursory inquiries revealed that the coaster would be opening at noon, and this gave us plenty of time to explore the place and take our photographs.

It was quickly apparent that the only section of the place open during the winter was the amusement ride area, which featured a good selection of equipment for both adults and children. Most of the attractions were standard enough, though we were intrigued and horrified in equal measure by Nube, a flying carpet ride retrofitted with stand-up cages. I would have liked to have ridden, but I'm not sure my stomach would have cooperated; before I became old it was my privilege to ride a pirate ship that had been upgraded in a similar fashion, and the memory of that experience stays with me today.


There was a security guard standing in front of a closed barrier that led to a series of residential blocks and a hotel. We were not able to get close, but a walk in a different direction led us towards a water park with a variety of slides and pools that had been completely drained. There was a pleasant view of Tangier from our vantage point, but after looking at that for a few minutes it became apparent that we'd seen all that there was to see, and we duly returned to a bench next to the coaster and waited while a series of test runs were completed.

Around 11:50am we were able to board Montaña Rusa, a Zyklon equivalent built by Spanish company Mundial Park and a duplicate of its namesake at Tivoli World. The ride was if anything even better than the Zyklon at at Crazy Park, thanks to some extremely low track clearances that would not meet today's construction standards. There was good airtime in the front of each car that became excellent in the back, and the fixed position lap bar allowed us to enjoy the sensations in full. The twenty dirham ticket cost seemed like an absolute bargain, and we'd probably have completed more than two laps if it hadn't started to rain.


Travel Note

12th February 2017

Our second planned stop was at Smir Park, and as with M'nar Park we were unable to source any information about opening hours. All we knew was that it would take us around ninety minutes to get there, and a further ninety minutes to get back to the airport for our flight home. Our GPS tried to navigate us along back roads, but we decided to ignore her advice and follow the coast, which took us past the ferry port and within a few kilometres of Ceuta, one of two Spanish enclaves in the area. Sadly though our luck ran out; it was apparent on arrival that the park had been closed for some time. The signage and much of the equipment was wrapped up in plastic sheeting, and the large car park was completely empty. A security guard sitting in one of the control boxes was able to tell us that the park is only open from May through to September, and thus our cunning plan to ride all the coasters in the country came to a screeching halt.

In the planning stages of our trip I wrote in an optional stop at the Grottes d'Hercules, and the loss of Smir Park meant that we had just enough time to make a quick visit. The caves are famous for an opening to the sea which was carved into the shape of Africa in times past by the Phoenicians. Today the sight was particularly impressive as the waves battered the opening, and we spent a very pleasant half hour there before departing for the airport.