Our plan for today represented a triumph of common sense over credit whoring instinct. It was just about possible to visit five parks within the time window available, but we took the brave decision to sacrifice Degtyarev Park in order to give ourselves more time at our other destinations. This came at the cost of a Wacky Worm, and though we managed nineteen others over the course of our two week trip the loss was still one that I fully expect to stay with us for the rest of our lives.
27th August 2019
Friendship Park (Парк Дружбы) is a small public park in the western suburbs of Vladimir (Владимир). I'd somehow assumed that the city had been rebranded to honour the current Russian president (ala Nur-Sultan), but I've since learned that the name originated with Vladimir Monomakh, the Grand Prince of Kievan Rus' from 1113-1125.
We arrived at the park shortly after the posted opening time and found things slowly coming to life. A number of staff members were setting up inflatable slides, and the odd regular visitor was wandering through. In due course we were able to buy ₽70 (~€0.94) tickets for the Boomerang (#2797), a locally built oval coaster with just seventy metres of track. This was, in a word, dire; the layout had a single drop of around a metre that wasn't profiled properly, resulting in a hard landing made worse by the completely unpadded hard plastic seat. The fifteen lap cycle was an endurance contest; those retracing our steps should probably bring their own cushions.
Electric Amusement Park
27th August 2019
Electric Amusement Park (Парк Электрических Аттракционов) is a collection of twenty-six rides and attractions on the waterfront behind the Silver City Mall (Серебряный Город) in Ivanovo (Иваново). Virtually all are targeted at younger visitors; the only real exception is the larger of the two coasters. Tornado (#2798) is a SBF variant of the Cyclon with three layers of track rather than the more typical four, though a blindfolded rider would be hard-pressed to tell the difference; the ride experience was much the same as the larger models. There was only one car on track today, which turned out to be because the ₽120 (~€1.62) ticket price covered two laps of the track.
A member of staff was welding the gate on the second coaster when we approached, so we decided to step into the nearby mall for some lunch. By the time we returned outside he was done, allowing us to pay ₽70 (~€0.94) per person for a five lap cycle on Caterpillar (#2799).
27th August 2019
The city of Yaroslavl (Ярослáвль) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered to be the unofficial capital of the so-called Golden Ring of Russia. It is also an essential destination for coaster enthusiasts, as it is one of only a handful of locations worldwide to have two fully operational roller coasters manufactured by the Pax Company.
Jubilee Park (Юбилейный Парк) is a 110,000 square metre park located in the center of the city. The vast majority of the space is devoted to greenery, but a few token amusement rides have been scattered around the facility: a twelve-car Ferris Wheel, a Pirate Ship, a Wave Swinger, several inflatables, and what is almost certainly the world's most thrilling figure eight coaster. Puss in Boots (#2800) occupies just four hundred square metres of space, yet it includes a seven metre high lift, a curved drop, and a floating airtime hill. The experience was great, and though we were only able to try the front seat (the language barrier made negotiating anything else impossible) the four lap cycle was easily worth the ₽150 (~€2.03) we paid for it. The lift hill was used to aid braking when our ride came to an end, giving us a gentle rollback into the station.
Readers should be aware that the ride has a turnstile at its entrance that doubles as a weight limiting device; those of a more corpulent disposition will not be able to get through it. I'd also caution that the hardware may not be around for much longer; the train was in very poor condition today, to the point that we were asked to sit on a black bag to protect what was left of the seat cushion.
Damanskiy Island Amusement Park
27th August 2019
Damanskiy Island is a recreational park located within a tributary of the Kotorosl River roughly three kilometres south-east of Jubilee Park. Unlike its neighbour the focus here is very much on amusement rides, of which there are twenty-seven in total. The selection covers all ages; ten are listed as for children, eleven are for families, and a further six are classified as extreme.
Crazy Train (#2801) is the only surviving example of a mid-nineties Pax design that is best described as bonkers. A diagonal lift hill leads to some side-to-side turns banked the wrong way, a descending helix, a drop, and a stupidly powerful airtime ascent that throws passengers' thighs into their lap bars with as much if not more force than modern-day hybrid coasters from Rocky Mountain Construction. The rest of the routing is respectable though pedestrian in comparison, consisting of a drop and further side-to-side turns leading back to the station. The ₽200 (~€2.70) ticket entitled us to a four lap cycle, which we very much enjoyed.
With that done we wrapped up an excellent day with a three lap ₽200 (~€2.70) cycle on Caterpillar (#2802) and what felt like a five hundred lap cycle on the powered Children's Family Hill. The best thing to be said for the latter was that we got value for our ₽100 (~€1.36).
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