Parque de Atraccicones de Madrid

30th December 2023

Madrid has an excellent road system, though driving around the city with a GPS can be extremely challenging as several of the main routes are underground. My morning began with my trusty Garmin giving up entirely due to a lack of satellite reception, and while Google Maps did better it kept proposing new directions based on whatever was on the surface. The scene was set for an amusing presentation of colourful profanity, but fortunately I’d planned ahead and knew to take the M-30 as far as the exit for A-5/Badajoz, which surfaces right next to Parque de Atracciones de Madrid. In the interests of full disclosure I did had to make a last minute lane change that earned an angry beep and middle finger from the car behind, but I wasn’t going to let a little road rage dampen my spirits.

When I visited the park in 2008 (and again in 2010) it was home to a pair of Zamperla family coasters that were strictly off-limits to adults without children. I’d heard from friends that this discriminatory rule had been expunged, and as such they were my first priority today – not least because I expected both to develop substantial queues on a bright (if chilly) Saturday in holiday season. Once the park gate opened I headed directly to Paw Patrol: Patrulla Canina (#3105), a Zamperla 80STD manufactured in 2007. After about five minutes in line I was able to shoehorn myself into the rear car, though readers should be aware that it was a much tighter fit than I expected; my knees were absolutely wedged in place and it was not by any stretch of the imagination comfortable. I rather suspect that the ride has thicker seat cushions than are normal for the type, as I don’t normally find them quite so cosy.

Padrinos Voladores

After three clattering laps (the things we do for credits….) I joined the line for Padrinos Voladores (#3106), the second of four examples of the standard model Zamperla Air Force, and my third. In sharp contrast to its neighbour this ride had lots of leg room, to the point that the Parc Saint Paul security guards would likely be able to partake if they wanted to. (As a fun aside, the most recent version of this ride is one of the many SBNO coasters at Wonderland Eurasia. I don’t believe it has ever taken a paying passenger, and I suspect that the chances of it doing so at this point are only marginally better than my chances of becoming an astronaut.)

I’d walked past a posted ten minute wait on TNT Tren de la Mina (#3107) on my way to debase myself on the pathetic credits, and perhaps unsurprisingly this had ballooned by the time I returned – to a posted ninety minutes that in reality was closer to two hours. Standing in line amidst smokers and those with no volume control was an embuggerance, albeit one I decided to treat philosophically as a tax on my desire to count coasters. The wait would have been far shorter if two trains had been in use, but the second stood idle on a transfer track. Would it be awfully cynical of me to suggest that this might have been a deliberate ploy to sell more up-charge Speedy Passes? Every ride sign in the park had a QR code pointing to an online store, suggesting that they’re a good money maker.

When I eventually got to the front of the line I found myself assigned to the back seat, and from that location the ride was rather good, and a definite contender for the best coaster in a park not exactly replete with competition for that accolade. It was well paced, smooth, and thrilling, and I’d gladly have ridden more than once if the queue had been a little less ridiculous. I did look at whether I could have a second shot via a Speedy Pass, but the cheapest option was a €28 ticket giving me a single line jump on everything, and I’d already ridden everything on my shopping list I decided that was money better spent on a nice meal at the airport.

By this point the wait time on the two kiddie coasters that I’d covered earlier in the day had ballooned to 60 and 75 minutes respectively, indicating that I’d made the right choice by going their first. My vindication was tempered somewhat by a horrific realisation that people who (presumably) don’t count coasters are apparently willing to wait more than an hour for the dubious privilege of riding a Zamperla 80STD. Scott Adams had it right; you can never underestimate the stupidity of the general public.

I found a large green-coloured building that I felt sure must contain a ride, though there was no signage on it anywhere. I did a bit of digging online, and discovered that it was once home to Fantasía, a dark ride along the lines of Disney’s It’s a small world that has been closed since 2015. I’d like to think that the fact that the building has been left in situ means that it may return at some point; only time will tell.


I wasted forty minutes of my life in the queue for La Jungla, a cable-driven outdoor boat ride past mostly static models. This was eminently missable. A few of the sets looked like they might have been wired for motion effects, but if they were they were clearly not in use today. It occurred to me that replacing fiberglass animals with real ones might be be a worthwhile upgrade, even if that would mean they'd have to be kept a bit further away from the boats.

The oldest coaster remaining in the park is Tornado, one of just two extant examples of an Intamin Suspended Looping Coaster. The wait time was just fifteen minutes, probably because the ride is in a remote corner of the park at least five minutes walk from anything else. I decided to take a token lap, which ended up being in the middle of the train, and in that location the ride was respectable enough, if not overly imaginative – consisting of two loops, a corkscrew, and a helix.

I decided not to renew my acquaintance with Abismo, and Vertigo was closed for maintenance. As such, my final coaster became Tarántula, a Maurer Rides product that was sold as (and continues to be marketed as) a spinning coaster. My trip report from 2008 lamented a distinct lack of spinning, and I’m sorry to report that my experience today was the same; I spent virtually the entire course facing backwards. This set me wondering; why is it that Dragon’s Fury spins so well when many of the other SC 3000 installations don’t?


Feria Madrid Villaverde

30th December 2023

Towards the end of my stay in Parque de Atracciones de Madrid I happened to open the fairs section of the app where I discovered an entry for a roller coaster that definitely hadn’t been there the night before. I was thrilled; a tiny little Feria had appeared less than eight kilometres south of my location on a route not all that far from the one I was planning to take anyway. I programmed the coordinates into my GPS and set out, eventually ending up at a location directly adjacent to Villaverde Baja-Cruce metro station.

On-street parking in the vicinity looked like an absolute nightmare, so rather than faff about I decided I might as well use the underground facility attached to the nearby Lidl supermarket. I had to buy a box of chocolates to cover the minimum spend for parking, but that wasn’t a problem as I was already planning to buy something to placate my fiancée when I arrived back in Ireland. (Readers attempting the same should bear in mind that you cannot exit the store's self-service checkout area without scanning a receipt at the barrier, which you then need again in the car park. Fortunately a staff member with good English was on hand to explain the system to me.)


Though this trip report refers to the event at Villaverde as a Feria, the definition is being stretched well past breaking point. In reality the location was a small area of pavement that had been temporarily requisitioned by Atracciones Yaki.M for a carousel, a small coaster, and an inflatable slide. Whatever the best phraseology might be, a credit is a credit, and Transit Convoy (#3108) was a particularly sweet bonus for me given that just four enthusiasts have claimed the proverbial tick despite it touring around Spain since (at least) 2011.

The ride is an oval with a four foot height differential that looked at first glance like it should be much the same as Dinosaurioo. However, the ticket price of €2.50 made it clear that the experience would not be to the same level, as indeed it wasn’t. The train only performed forward circuits, and these were at a moderate pace rather than a crazy one. After ninety seconds or so there was a brief pause at the high point followed by a rollback, but that was just so that the train could be parked with minimum stress on the drive motors. I’d have preferred something slightly more macho for my final credit of 2023, but one doesn’t always get to choose these things!