Amusement parks, theme parks, ride photography

Ride Photographs

Mumbo Jumbo, Flamingoland, Behind the scenes

IMG_2039Mumbo Jumbo the UK’s newest record breaking roller coaster opened in Flamingo Land for the 2009 season.

The ride manufactured by S&S boasts the world steepest first drop at a angle of 112 degrees. The ride cost varies depending on who you speak to but the average price tag seems to be around 4 million pounds.

When the questioned about the strange name of the ride its a reference to other parks falsely boasting about their latest attractions been the worlds first etc… hmm wonder who they mean :).

The photographs were taken at various times of the day as you may notice from the dull skies.

Big Wheel at Liverpool One, Liverpool

IMG_2141I was fortunate enough to get to ride the Big Wheel that has been installed in Liverpool one at the weekend. The wheel sited on Chavasse Park and clearly visible from the Liverpool waterfront will stay at this site until the end of January.

Ride tickets are £6 for adults and kids over 1.4m in height. £5 for concessions and £36 for a private gondola and for the really extravagant £40 for the private VIP gondola. Each gondola seats 6 people apart from the VIP one which only seats 4.

The wheel is 60 metres high but because of its elevated position it stands 80 metres about ground level.

The Wheel takes 10 riggers a week to build and is transported from site to site on 11 trucks.

On the day we rode it the wind was very strong and the gondolas do rock about a fair bit especially a height. but saying that we really enjoyed it and the great views of the city and would definitely ride again on my next visit to Liverpool.

Follow the post below and take a look at the rest of the photographs and video to accompany this.

Manta at Seaworld Orlando.

IMG_1825

Opened in 2009 Manta is the third B&M coaster at Seaworld in Orlando. Manta is the second flying coaster I have ridden after Air at Alton Towers in the UK. I really enjoyed Manta and at the time of year we visited in September the ride had hardly any queues.

For anyone who hasn’t rode I would recommend the back seat, its very intense and enjoyable.

I don’t really have that much more to say about Manta other than if your in Florida and you get the change to ride it, enjoy it 😉

Lightwater Valley Rapids for 2009

IMG_0825

New for the 2009 season at Lightwater Valley is a rapid ride rented from Showman James Mellor. The ride will be at the park for the 2009 season after which point both parties will review it’s suitability for the park.

I visited the park in April on a warmish day and the ride has a constant queue with at least 15/20 minute wait times, I can imagine this will get alot bigger over the coming summer months when the temperatures rise in the UK.

The ride has took the place of the Pinfari Grizzly Bear coaster which stood at the park from 2004, this ride has since been sold. I certainly wont miss it.

This update contains approximately 25 photographs taking during April at the park.

Southport Lakeside Miniature Railway

Picture 082

Originally built by G.V. Llewellyn in 1911 the Southport lakeside miniature railway has been operating for nearly 100 years on the site alongside the marine lake in Southport. The first train ran on the 25th may 1911 when the railway was called Llewellyn’s miniature railway after the builder and creator, this was later renamed to the Southport lakeside miniature railway as it’s known today.


The original route was a straight line which was extended in 1938 to add a sharp turn under the pier into the second station on the line the Marine Parade Station. The original station at this end of the line was called Princess Park which was closed when the extension and Marine Parade stations were built.

Millennium force at Cedar Point

DSC03442Standing at over 300ft Millennium force dominates the skyline at Cedar Point in Ohio. The one time world record breaking coaster standing at an impressive 310ft has riders gasping in awe as they stare up at the huge skybound lift hill whilst waiting in the queue to ride.

I was fortunate enough to ride Millennium force a number of times during a visit to Cedar Point in 2007, we counted about 6 or 7 rides during our visit. After those experiences Millennium force dropped straight in at the number one spot as my favourite coaster.

Hydro Oakwood Theme Park

DSCN2396Hydro at Oakwood is a ride thats had its fair share of media coverage since opening for the 2002 season. It’s a ride built by Intamin and is over 100ft tall with a almost vertical drop into a pool of millions of gallons of water, so much so that the first drop can generate a wave nearly 50 ft in height.

Dare you stand on the bridge running over the track when the ride train, they don’t call it a soak zone for nothing. Hydro gets you that wet Oakwood even went to the length of building a changing room just for Hydro customers to get dried out and a change of clothes.

Pleasure Beach Express, Pleasure Beach Blackpool

IMG_1258Pleasure beach express has been operating at the park since 1933. Its made up of a collection of three 21 inch gauge trains and a number of carriages.

Nemesis at Alton Towers – Behind the scenes

IMG_5124opened in 1994 Nemesis at a cost of ten million pounds quickly became a favourite coaster amongst enthusiasts and the public alike.

I dont count coasters or number of rides on a particular coaster but if i were to look back over the years to 1994 my count would be well into the hundreds if not more.

A trip to Alton towers just isnt the same without a ride on Nemesis for me and many other enthusiasts. I hope you enjoy the photographs.

Backlot Tour, Disney Studios, Disneyland Paris

DSC04544

This is a set of photographs taken during July 2008 of the Back lot tour ride at Disneyland Paris.

The ride is similar to the one at Orlando but the tour doesnt start on foot, each tour is done on the trams which you stay on until you return back to the loading bay.

Each trip lasts about 15 minutes and you have plenty of time for taking pictures during this trip.

I actually preferred this ride to the one we had done previously in Orlando back in Febraury, apart from been allot newer than the Orlando Back lot tour the duration was just right and didnt involve the pre show antics which are featured in Florida.

Mantis at Cedar Point

DSC03524Built in 1996, Mantis is one of the tallest and fastest stand-up scream machines in the world.

Built by Bolliger and Mabillard (B & M) Mantis is another unique ride experience at Cedar Point. Guests board stand up trains and fly down a 145-foot-tall first hill at a top speed of 60 mph.

This stand-up roller coaster turns riders upside down a total of four times, includes a 137-foot drop at a 52 degree angle.

Its a small world – Disneyland Paris


I visited Disneyland Paris in July 2008, we spent a total of 4 days on the 2 parks and 3 nights in the Santa fe hotel.

One of the many highlights for me of a trip to somewhere like Disney is the dark rides.

With attractions like It’s a small world and Pirates topping the list. This first set of photographs covers most of the small world ride, however some photographs and sets are missing due to the fact the ride is very dark in places and ISO 1600 on my camera is the best I have for low light.

Its a short ride and to me one of the great disney classics.

Behind the scenes – A closer look at Blackpools Monorail

One of the most relaxing ways to ever see a park is by taking a Monorail, the raised track can give a great view of the park and the various attractions on offer, as well as some parts of the park you wouldn’t see during a park visit like maintenance areas, offices and the in Blackpools case the Casino building.

The Blackpool Pleasure Beach Monorail is no different to this and the 10 minute journey around the park gives the visitor a great view of the world.

Pleasure Beach Blackpool bought the monorail in 1964 from the Lausanne expo in Switzerland and it was opened

Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls, Islands of Adventure, Florida

Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls®. Hop in your Log and Hang On! That villainous scoundrel Snidely Whiplash™ has made off with Nell Fenwick™! Will bumbling Dudley Do-Right™ save her in time? Will you stay dry when you plummet down Ripsaw Falls? Stay tuned for the watery conclusion of this side-splitting flume ride.

Taken from the Universal Islands of adventure website Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw falls is one of the most eloborate over the top log flume rides I have ever had the pleasure of riding, Based in the toon lagoon area of the park you cant miss this ride and the buzz of the crowds as they line up on the bridge to take photographs.

Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point Ohio

Top Thrill DragsterRequested by a few readers over the last 6 months, Top Thrill Dragster photographs taken during my trip in 2007, its almost a year now since I took the 23hr door to hotel room trip to Cedar Point. Amazing how time flies as you get older.

Top Thrill Dragster was introduced to Cedar Point in 2003. It was made by Intamin and has a height of 420ft, at one point it was the highest coaster in the world, only to be overtaken in 2005 by Kingda Ka at Six flags great adventure, New Jersey at 456ft.

The ride has a top speed of 120mph which is reached in a breathtaking 4 seconds.

For those that requested here’s some of my pictures taken during this trip. I hope you like them.

The Incredible Hulk, Islands of Adventure Florida

The Incredible Hulk was a coaster I was really looking forward to riding in Florida, located on the Marvel Super hero island themed area in Islands of adventure the hulk dominates the skyline, it can also be seen from most other areas of this superbly themed theme park.

 

Built by B&M in 1999 and with a top speed of 67mph the Hulk is still entertaining thousands of visitors daily.

Jaws, Universal Studios Florida

One of the most popular attractions at Universal Studios in Florida is Jaws the ride, considering its age its still drawing huge crowds. 
Offically opened in 1990 the attraction suffered some serious mechanical problems which took almost 3 years to iron out. 

The ride was redesigned during this time and following a soft opening in September 1993 it offically reopened in 1994. The ride was opened by two of the films stars Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) and Brody’s wife (Lorraine Gray)

Out of all the rides and attraction at Universal Studios Jaws is one of those rides I had most looked forward to visiting. Im a huge fan of the Jaws films especially the first one and can still recall with anorak accuracy some of the most famous lines from the film. 

Behind the scenes – Hex at Alton Towers

Hex was included as part of a behind the scenes tour of Alton Towers I did with Club Pleasure Beach earlier this year. The tours included attractions like Rita, Duel and Air, ive just never got round to publishing this set of photographs.

This article isnt going to be a ride spoiler as such, more an in depth looking behind the scenes of one of the parks most spectacular dark rides.

Hex is a Vekoma Haunted Swing ride, it has operated at the park since 2000. Its located in the towers and well you cant really miss a big great tower.

Peugeot 207 Driving School at Alton Towers

Last July (2006) Alton Towers opened the Peugeot 207 driving school with the primary audience of under 10’s. The attraction sponsored by Peugeot and costing the park £1m is based at the bottom of Cred street where a few other kiddie attractions are based. Its quite obvious from the description this is a driving school where kids not only drive small battery operated cars they also have the option of buying a driving license after the ride.

When queuing the kids all have their photographs taken and then they are lead out to a holding pen, once the pen is full the kids are walked through to the driving school where they get to pick their own single seat electric car. After a quick briefing by the staff the attraction is started on a 5 minute or so timer, after this period the cars just stop wherever they are and the kids get off and make way for the next bunch. In total they have about 20 cars operating at a time. Each car doesn’t go any faster than walking speed.

Behind the Scenes – Space Invader 2, Pleasure Beach Blackpool

I was fortunate enough to attend a club pleasure beach event in May which included a behind the scenes tour of a number of attractions including Infusion and Space Invader 2.

Space Invader 2 was originally called space invader when it arrived at the park in 1984, after been refurbished by Kumbak coasters in 2004 it reopened as Space Invader 2.

Anyone that remembers the original Space invader will remember the very uncomfortable and often bumpy ride.