Last summer we did the Fair at the Pacific National Exibition (it was the PNE's 100th anniversary) and made the wise decision not to do any rides, promising the girls that we would do rides another time. Almost a year later, we finally made it back to Playland for the rides.
We got a bit of a later start than we wanted, arriving well over an hour past the 10 AM gate opening. We decided to drive since we figured the bus would probably cost almost as much as parking. As we pulled up to the parking lot we saw that parking was $10 - better than I expected. But the streets were lined with enterprising local residents selling spots for $7. Being the Mennonite I am, I could hardly pass up a great deal like that. So we cracked open our window at the first parking spot hawker and the lady says, "down that alley, 2nd house on the left - just follow that lady" and there goes a Chinese lady sprinting down the street, frantically waving and coaxing us on. It was rather comical. Karla was a bit apprehensive, but we got a sweet spot in a garage and saved 3 bucks to boot. A good start to the day as far as I was concerned.
Unfortunately, I forgot the camera at home, so the only pictures available were the ones they take with automatic cameras set up to catch you during the scariest part of the ride, and then charge you an arm and a leg for a 4x6 print.
But we'll get to that later.
We started on the basic swing ride - the Wave Swinger - which just goes around, and around, and around. I don't do spinning. Makes my stomach hurt. I'm more of a rollercoaster guy. And Karla doesn't do rides in general. So the girls were on their own for this one.
We did manage to convince Karla to go on the kiddie roller coaster - Kettle Creek Mine Coaster. It's in the "Kids Playce" area - so it's for little kids. Definitely not scary. All I could hear during the ridiculously tame ride, coming from the car behind me, was a high-pitched "I don't like this! I don't like this! I don't like this!" I believe that was the last ride Karla did.
A couple of summers ago, we were at MarineLand in Niagara Falls, and they have this ride - the Sky Screamer - that shoots you up really fast, like a rocket and then sits at the top for a bit and then drops like a rock. Very scary, but fun. And the view of Niagara Falls at the top is incredible, because the ride is built on the top of a large hill, so you can see for miles and miles around.
Hannah was a bit too little to try it with me then, but Playland has a very similar ride. A touch smaller and slower, but still crazy. And Hannah was all over it. It's called the Hellevator. It shoots you up at speeds reaching 75 km/hr until you're over 200 ft in the air, and then free falls. Love the G's. Sorry, no pics, but here's a video from YouTube (not my video). Skip to 0:25 to get to the launch.
Playland has a new ride this year called Atmosfear. It's the same deal as the basic swing ride, except it's way faster and it way, way higher. It's their tallest ride at 218 ft. 70 hm/hr at 218 ft! Yeah. And the girls did it twice. Now, like I said, I don't like spinning rides, but Sasha would only do it if I went with her. So, being the good Daddy I am, I did it - for her. Twice.
I love roller coasters, and Playland has a couple of doozies. The Corkscrew goes upside down, as the name implies. Ellie and Sasha have hardly done rollercoasters before, never mind coasters that go upside down. But I explained the physics of centrifugal force, and this convinced them that they wouldn't feel like they're going to fall out when they're upside down. Bwah ha ha ha ha!! Suckers! It's still scary!!
I was very proud of Ellie, our cautious one, for being brave enough to do it. And Sasha, cause she's our youngest, and barely tall enough to meet the minimum height requirement of 48 inches. And Hannah too - because she just loves it.
Actually, I think the scariest roller coasters are NOT the highest or fastest ones, or the ones with the most loops or the craziest corkscrews. No! The scariest coasters are the rickety, old, wooden ones, where the bar is all loose and you feel like you're going to be thrown from the car. And Playland has one of the best. Simply called the "Wooden Roller Coaster", and built in 1958, it truly is historic. And rickety.
Either Ellie agrees with me, or she might have been a bit shell-shocked from the Corkscrew, because she decided to sit this one out. But Hannah and Sasha were game. The weather was beautiful and it was mid-afternoon peak time, so the line was really, really long. Karla was gracious enough to stand in line for us while we sat at a picnic table and snacked on cookies in the shade.
That was probably the scariest roller coaster I've ever been on. And we bought the pictures from the photo booth because they are absolutely classic. Especially Sasha's. We laughed our asses off when we first saw it at the booth, and I just knew I had to buy them, no matter the cost. So I spent $18 on these two pictures, so you'd better enjoy them . . .
I still laugh when I look at Sasha's face in that picture!
We had done the classic log ride - the Flume - early in the day, and the girls loved it so much that they wanted to do it again. And since Ellie didn't get a picture of her yet, I had to shell out another $9 for another 4x6. But I think it was worth it . . .
A fantastic day, full of thrills.