Well, I had a lovely sleep last night, and I'm ready to vomit my two-pence worth into this conversation. ;)
[Ok, this has ended up being quite a long essay... deal with it! :P ]
I'd only been to LWV once before, and unfortunately it was on a day when the park was rammed with school trips... we queued two and a half hours for the Sewer Rat :yikes: So I was looking forward to a less jaded view of the park. :lol:
My trip began with a three hour tube / train trip to Nottingham on Saturday. It was slightly odd to be staying with the parents of a guy ten years younger than me, who I met online... :? Put it like that and it just sounds dodgy! 8-[ :P
But Both Sam and his folks were great hosts. Thanks mate. :D
Compared to the 04:30 alarm I've been getting up to for work, 6am was a lie for me. So stop moaning Sam, you bloody student! :P
Anyway, the car journey with Ellie, Pete, Matt and Sam was great fun ;) No better way to start the day! It definitely feels like more of an occasion to travel with a group, compared to just me and Kelpie driving on our own (No offence, love!)
It was great to have a nice quiet day this time. My ride count in the end was: Eagle's Claw - 3
Whirlwind - 3
Raptor Attack - 2
Ultimate - 6
Rapids - 2 (without leaving the boat)
Ladybird - 1 (Woo! A new credit!)
Black Widow's Web - 1
Wave Swinger - 1
Dodgems - 1
Treetops Twister - 1
Pirate Ship - 1
Lightwater Wheel - 1
Anyway, on to Raptor Attack. I was a tad concerned when I heard the Rat was being re-themed. It's rare to feel good about being wrong, but this is one of those occasions. :D It feels like a new ride. From the entrance to the station is barely recognizable now. Only the stair wells with water falls feels familiar. The animatronics dotted around the ride are brilliant, although the movement is not exactly lifelike, you fly past them so fast it really doesn't matter. The final raptor (eating a corpse) made my laugh out loud. :lol:
It's a brilliant improvement on the already good Sewer rat, and far exceeded my expectations. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come at Lightwater Valley. [-o<
The only problem with it is that I skinned my ankle getting into the car in the wonderfully dark station. (Note: this does not in any way mean I want more light in the station!) It hurt and bled, but I figured it wouldn't matter in a minute, when we ride The Ultimate. :lol:
Ah, the Ultimate. What can be said that has not been said already? There is just no way that any human being could ever have designed this ride to entertain. It surely is intended as an instrument of torture? I think it's designer must have REALLY hated knees. :P
It hurts. A lot. At one point, despite a close fitted restraint, I was thrown up and sideways out of the car completely! How, I'm not quite sure, but it happened. Had I not been holding on for dear life, I am convinced I would now be lying dead in the woods, with a fox chewing on my rotting corpse. :P It was on the second air time bunny hop I think.
It just kept getting faster throughout the day (as all good rides should). My first ever front row ride was in the rain. now that
really hurt. Not so much from the coaster, but from the rain smashing into my face like millions of bits of gravel! :P
Despite all this, somehow, for some reason, The Ultimate IS
the second best coaster in Europe (not counting Nemy) :yes:
Don't ask me why, for I cannot explain. Its sheer insanity has to be experienced to be believed. It is the most violent thing I have ever endured... but not nearly as painful as BPB's Big Dipper. Don't let the pain put you off. It's the kind of bruise you can be proud of... A bit like a hangover: "yeah, I hurt, but boy
, it was worth it!". :P
I was amazed at how fast their Wave Swinger spun. :mrgreen: If only they all did that.
It's also nice to get a good program on an afterburner. Ditto a Topscan. Are you listening, Thorpe? :hano:
Ah, the memories of Samuri in it's Chessy heyday. Oh, and I agree with you, John: The generator is badly located. I've had worse at fairs though.
It was good to go for a curry after. A nice chance to have a chat without thinking "hurry up and eat so we can go on more rides!" :P
My journey home was borderline frantic at times. The weather conspired with roadworks to mean I had no chance of getting the last train from Nottingham. Thankfully there was a later one from Newark... With no ticket inspector as well :D Although as my ticked said "Nottingham to London terminals, route: any" I don't think it would have mattered. Plus I got to ride in a much more comfy 225, rather than a clapped out 125 [/nerd].
So I just managed to make it for the last train to London, then the Last Victoria Line, the last Central line, AND the last bus! Again, thanks Matt!
I came home with a big grin on my face. Roll on my next meet! (Whatever that ends up being) Lowlights:
*Not getting home till after midnight when I had to get up at half past four.
*My failed prediction. :(Highlights:
*Meeting y'all again / for the first time (delete as applicable)
*Expectations being surpassed on Raptor Attack.
*The Ultimate (duh).
*Staff being amazingly friendly. Special mention to "The Fudge Packer" here. I've never seen someone so enthusiastic about selling sweets! :P
*The curry. Not for the food, but for the banter. Erm, 'Woof' :lol:
*Pink Floyd (enjoyed as it should be) in the car. ;)
*Minimal (almost zero) faff. :mrgreen:
EDIT: I've created a page for Ultimate on the wiki