Our target coaster was still under active maintenance when we arrived at Parko Paliatso Luna Park at the posted opening time, and rather than wait around we decided to relocate to the nearby Hard Rock Café for our dinner. This proved to be the right call, as the problems had been rectified by the time we returned. We lost no time taking our places in the back row. I'd pulled the lap bar into place on autopilot before the operator told me I need to do my seatbelt up too; sure enough, the train now features a backup restraint with Intamin-style buckles. Though not a change calculated to please the average enthusiast I can report that these do not impact the ride experience in any way, though it is possible that they may render it inaccessible to larger guests.
The coaster now known as Looping Star is the ride that operated for thirty-seven years at Attractiepark Slagharen, though it has been completely refurbished and is essentially unrecognisable. The track is now a glorious royal blue with white supports, and the rolling stock now features red fiberglass coverings in place of the old mine train design. The vehicles look brand new, though a clue to their provenance remains in the embossed Handen binnen de trein houden warning on the back of each seat. I found myself wondering how many visitors to the park speak Dutch; if the flight schedules at Larnaca and Paphos Airports are any guide the majority of tourists travel from Israel, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
Appearances aside, I'm delighted to report that the ride is running every bit as well in Cyprus as it did in its former home. The lift hill remains excruciatingly slow, but that is quickly forgotten as the train squeaks its way over the apex and drops into a layout that represents the very pinnacle of single loop coaster design. We found that the front seat had a definite edge over the back today, possibly because we were riding in a near-empty train, and for that reason we selected it for three of our four laps.