Castles n' Coasters, AZ
Total Timber Tour 2 Blog Day 17
Hi all again. Your blog endurance is so commendable.
We made the news!!!
Last night’s 2-hour time gain paid big dividends for us, as we got to bed early and had, what was effectively, a 2-hour lie-in this morning, and not before time. The lack of sleep and long drives had taken their toll and we needed to recharge in readiness for the last onslaught.
So, after a hearty breakfast, as today’s park didn’t open until 4pm, we had a leisurely drive down through Arizona to Phoenix. Scenery was ever-changing as normal – parts of Arizona were much as expected, but there were some greener parts that came as quite a surprise. We passed a forest fire which could be seen from miles away and also went through a couple of very spectacular mountain passes. 6000 feet up, the temperature was 80°F, the next minute, at sea level, we were up to 107°F!
We had wanted to visit Castles & Coasters in Phoenix for a number of years. There were a number of routes we could have taken into L.A. from Albuquerque with Phoenix dropping us down into San Diego. Before we tell you about our bizzare visit there, we must say it’s one of the most picturesque parks we’ve ever visited – a true oasis in the Arizona desert.
The reason for visiting was to ride Desert Storm. It’s a very unique “one-of-a-kind” coaster and very ridable. It has some weird banking that has you sliding from left to right in the undivided seat, held in only by a lap bar – rare these days for a looping coaster. The absence of seat belts and lack of controlled air-gates on the loading platform indicated quite relaxed health and safety in this State. The ride also features a second loop like no other we have ridden. It’s quite tight, so high-g’s, and you enter it head on, but exit in a sort of corkscrew manner, quickly followed by a tight helix that has you threading the same loop moments later.
All in all a great park, 2 enjoyable coasters and friendly and efficient ride ops. Recommended except that...........
After an hour of riding and filming, the ride ops were happy to allow video and still cameras on the rides, however an employee told Ian, while he was taking a picture of a fountain, that we were not allowed to take pictures without asking the Park Manager first. So we went to the ticket desk and asked to see the Park Manager. After a couple of minutes we were greeted by the Assistant Manager who was unable to give us permission to take pictures of the rides. “Only photographs of family members are allowed” he said. He indicated that if we wanted to take pictures of the rides, we would have to return the following day as the Manager was on a day off!
This meant we couldn’t even take photographs of each other, let alone the coasters! We enquired where this was written as we couldn’t find any notices of it. He said it was a verbal request from the Manager. It had obviously not been “verbally” communicated to the ride ops, who had happily taken photo’s of us on the rides moments earlier! Had it been posted on the internet, we could have sought permission prior to our visit.
It’s not the fact that the park had a rule about photography that annoyed us, it’s the fact it wasn’t posted anywhere and our park-going enjoyment was suspended for a while as we felt as though we had done something wrong and been “told-off”.
Travelling half-way across the world, choosing this park as part of our holiday and not being allowed to take some treasured memories home with us and in a park that happily entertains guests with the word f*~k in big letters across their tee-shirt playing golf next to a family with young children is just plain wrong in anyone’s books.
Ah well, apart from the most ridiculous park rule we think we’ve ever encountered, we did have a good time and got lots of goes on the coasters. Oh, and by the way, we had been at the park for an hour before being told off, so had all the photos and video we needed. So, here are the pictures they tried to ban. Enjoy!