This weekend's adventure began with a flight from Dublin to Vienna operated by Lauda Europe, a Maltese subsidiary of Ryanair set up to operate a fleet of second-hand A320 aircraft. The service on board is broadly comparable to that of the parent company, albeit with marginally more comfortable seats – and yes, that is indeed a relative statement. The flight was fine, with one small caveat for those who like exit row seating: row one has a large bulkhead in front of it instead of the extra legroom found on the Boeing fleet. I'd have been very irritated if I'd paid extra to sit there.
23rd June 2022
It was a little after 5:00pm when I arrived at an almost empty Merlin's Kinderwelt, but the gate was open and music was playing, which I took to be a good sign. I quickly made my way to the back of the park to ascertain the status of the coaster that eluded me on my last visit. There was music playing from an adjacent speaker system, but that was the only sign of life in the vicinity. For the heck of it I bought three ride tokens from a vending machine using spare euro coins I'd been carrying around for months, but the turnstile at the ride entrance rejected them immediately.
After about fifteen minutes developing my suntan I decided I'd need to try some directed action if I wasn't going to leave disappointed. I made my way to the information desk close to the park entrance, where I explained what I was looking for to a bemused member of staff with the assistance of Google Translate. She told me that she'd send someone to the ride for me, and sure enough a few minutes later an operator in an orange t-shirt turned up to press the magic buttons.
Space Roller Coaster (#3016) was everything I hoped it would be and more; a decidedly shoddy improvised restraint mechanism that had to be twisted tight by hand, tracking akin to an Arrow multi-looper on a bad day, and a train that overshot the station after three laps forcing me to disembark a third of the way up the lift hill – but I wasn't about to complain; I had ticked off my credit!
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