Tayto Park

6th October 2019

Virtually all of my theme park visits are planned weeks and months in advance. Tayto Park today was an exception to the rule; it was a nice sunny day, and I decided on the spur of the moment that a carvery lunch and a roller coaster or two represented a far better way to spend my Sunday afternoon than tackling the mountain of ironing in my living room. (In my house laundry gets done when the basket is full and hung up right away, but the folding and ironing process can take up to ten working days and often waits until there is a movie I want to watch on television.)

There was a sign at the park entrance indicating that the Skywalk and the two Sky Glider zipline coasters were closed for the season, which didn't come as a surprise as the summer-only status of these rides is clearly stated on the park web site. Unfortunately there was no mention of the fact that the Viking Voyage at the Park was also closed all day, marking my second visit in succession that the €8 million flume has been out of service; my guess is that it may have been closed for upgrade work. (The Vortex Tunnel was also unavailable, though that was hardly a deal breaker.)

Viking Voyage

I'd intended to begin my visit with the new-for-2019 family coaster, but it was having technical problems when I approached; a number of staff members could be seen working on one of the lift hill motors. They were still at it thirty minutes later after I'd had lunch, and rather than hang around I decided to head for Cú Chulainn. Ireland's only wooden coaster is now four years old, though you wouldn't know it; there were no issues with tracking today other than in the not-an-inversion, which had the same shuffle that has been there since day one. I did three laps, the first in the back seat and two close to the back. In an an ideal world the ride would have dedicated front and back seat queues; maybe that will change at some point.

With that done I made my way to Flight School (#2839), a Zierer Force 281 and a clone of the design that premiered last year at Legoland Billund. The park has done a fine job on theming; the station building looks like an airport, with suitable signage and a departures board showing both well known cities and a number of alternatives to amuse older visitors: I spotted Emerald City, Farfaraway, Gotham City, Shower, Springfield, Womanchester, and Valhalla. The train has a propeller on the front and a paint job reminiscent of a light aircraft. The layout reminded me very much of the smaller Roller Skater with two bonus side-to-side moments that were handled very well. The ride was being run with a two lap cycle; I tried both back and row four, both of which were excellent.