“Crave the Coasterer” recently invaded the tracks at Sendai Highland amusement park in Miyagi, Japan. Here is the Ride It! video from the park’s Mad Mouse coaster built the same year as the Hurricane.
Mine-train themed coasters soar through the forest or dive in and out of a rocky tapestry. Hong Kong’s Ocean Park’s incarnation may be themed to the ‘Wild West,’ and while it’s certainly not tame, it has little do with cowboys. The Wild West Mine Train/越礦飛車 is perched atop a cliff providing one of the best views of any ride in the world. Your eyes are so busy snapping up intricate details of the gorgeous Aberdeen Harbor that each dip and curve catches you by surprise.
I disagree with the theming, and any reputable designer would have tried to exploit the cliff for maximum drops, though overall the Wild West Mine Train earns its sheriff’s badge. Ride it high urban cowboys!
Please Note: During our visit on Monday, September 20th, 2010, the Wild West Mine Train did not open until an hour after the park had opened. I’m not sure if this is a routine procedure, but plan accordingly. The wait time should have been under 4 minutes, though due to the slowness of the ride staff, and the unruly behavior of guests it averaged 15 minutes.
For me, Ocean Park’s The Dragon is a double-edged sword. First of all, I’m getting too old for Arrow Dynamics designed loopers, and as they get older the worse the head banging. No one said earning coaster credits was easy. In the Dragon’s defense, its structure is so colorful, I wouldn’t surprised to find a Leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of the track.
There’s nothing special about the elements of this coaster, though its hilly location provides for an unusual layout, namely a lift hill at the end of the ride to get the train back to the station.
Synopsis: A beautiful beast, an outdated and consequently bumpy ride that does try hard to stay above the curve.
Space Mountain, the pinnacle of enclosed coasters, is a Disney landmark and the symbol of Tomorrowland. Coaster outsiders may assume that every Space Mountain (Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Paris, and Tokyo) are a carbon copy of each other, though differences exist. For instance, Disneyland Paris’s version features 3 upside inversions. While Hong Kong’s ‘Space Mountain’ is the newest on the block, its similar to both Disneyland’s re-built version and the one in Tokyo.
Luckily for us the wait time was under 5 minutes. Since it was Halloween, we coasted through ‘Ghost Galaxy,’ a special format featuring a different soundtrack and alien/ghoulish images.
Since 2005, Space Mountain has been the only coaster in the park, but that will change in 2012 when two new siblings arrive.
Synopsis: While the que is not as ‘magical’ as Disney should be, it’s certainly a strong highlight of this low-budget effort of a theme park.
When you think of an indoor roller coaster, chances are “Space Mountain” blasts into your thought cloud.
It’s unfair to compare an indoor coaster to one located inside an indoor park. Thankfully RCDB identifies the former as ‘enclosed’ and the latter as ‘indoor.’ The difference being an enclosed coaster is contained within an exclusive structure whereas an indoor coaster hangs out in a pre-existing building/indoor park.
Looking at Berjaya Times Square, one immediately notices a massive hotel, but as the world’s fifth largest building it packs so much more. There’s a 13-floor shopping mall, and hidden in the back just happens to be Cosmo’s World, Asia’s largest indoor theme park. Thankfully designers decided to install the centerpiece coaster: Supersonic Odyssey opening in 2003 after 3 years of construction.
Respect goes out to Supersonic Odyssey’s predecessors, which started debuting 18 years prior. While 2008’s Spongebob SquarePants coaster has a beyond 90-degree drop, it’s merely half of the length of Supersonic Odyssey. According to some, Odyssey is the world’s biggest indoor coaster.
Though truth be told, I was disappointed. I blame high expectations. Odyssey is built by Intamin. For those not aware, this firm is the “speed demon” of the coaster community. They’re responsible for such record breakers as Kingda Ka (tallest – Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey), and Formula Rossa (fastest – Ferrari World, Dubai). Despite having researched this piece of steel prior to my visit, I envisioned a launched train soaring through a space themed environment over hoards of shoppers. Instead, I was given a beer: it was smooth, original, and refreshing. Putting the lift hill in the middle of the ride also added to the thrills. My hat (pants) is off to anyone who can cram such a beast inside the 5th-8th floors of a shopping mall. Still, I’m a sucker for theming, and felt Odyssey could use a dose much like Warner Brother’s Movie World’s Superman Escape.
Great expectations aside, if the competition doesn’t defeat you, you become the champ by default. Consequently, Supersonic Odyssey ranks as my “Interim King of the Indoor Coasters” until it is dethroned by a coaster I haven’t yet ridden.
NOTEWORTHY INDOOR COASTERS:
* I have yet to conquer this coaster.