So I'm back from my time at PA.
Shambhala is amazing, easily my favourite thing at the park. I've never ridden a hyper coaster before so it was a new experience for me, but the floaty airtime was just fantastic and the speed through that tunnel is immense. Speaking of which, not sure why everyone is dissing the tunnel, it's nicely themed on the outside and doesn't need theming on the inside really - it certainly beats Baco's random 'shed' halfway round the track!
The ride cars are also very good, love the seating configuration, outside is definitely best as you get a much greater sense of speed, but it's great from all seats. The harnesses are possibly the most comfortable I've ever experienced on a ride and give you the option of having them snug and tight or as I like it with a bit of room for extra airtime
The queue line, well yes this is a bit of an issue. I don't mind the cattle pen too much, but it gives the opportunity for queujumping far too easily. The Spanish seem to do nothing but queue jump from my experience and the amount of times it was happening in Shambhala's queue was laughable. The staff did try at times to stop it, but unfortunately just waggling your finger at them does nothing to stop these undesirables...
As for throughput, I was surprised that only one day I was there did we have all three trains running (not sure if there were problems maybe). Certainly opening day could have benefitted from having full capacity with queues topping 2 hours...
The opening was done very well though with red carpets down, ticker tape streaming everywhere and a general atmosphere you just don't seem to get in the UK. Towers drab openings for Th13teen and Sub-Terra paled in comparison.
And finally, the ride area. Come on, so many people including myself were saying that sticking a giant B+M over the top of Khan was a mistake. But it wasn't, Shambles fits in perfectly and the new area around Khan and Shambles ride area is beautiful and really well themed. This has been a massive positive to the whole park in my experience. I made a quick 3D panorama on my phone while I was there if you want to get a feel for it http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=4e8 ... aafdf595c5
So, for the short review, Shambhala is excellent, one of my favourite rides - if you get the chance, get to PA and experience it, you won't be disappointed!