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ACE UK! 2015 Add On – Part 7: Drayton Manor

Drayton Manor On Sunday, July 26 we headed from Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow to Drayton Manor in Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire, England. Operating since 1949, this is a midsized theme park. It is divided into themed areas, but the theming is somewhat limited except in a few sections. I will review the park by themed section. While we had rain most every day as you would expect in England, this was the only day that it rained pretty much the whole day. PEEL PLAZA This is outside the park near the Drayton Manor Hotel and has Crazy Golf, miniature golf, for […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 6: Joyland, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach & Pleasurewood Hills

Joyland Amusement Park On Saturday, July 25 we expected to have our most challenging day of the trip as we had 3 parks and 10 coasters to get in over 6 hours. We drove from Park Inn By Radisson Petersborough to Joyland Amusement Park in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. We arrived at about 9:45, but the park let us come on in and begin riding. This is a very small children’s park, but it is amazing how much they fit into such a small space. Tyrolean Tub Twist: (Horace Cole, Wood Powered Junior Virginia Reel, 1950) The debate will rage […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 5: Flamingo Land

Flamingo Land On Friday, July 24 we left the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre in Leeds and arrived at Flamingo Land in Malton, Yorkshire, England around 9:30. Operating since 1959, this park has a zoo and lots of rides. Of 9 coasters, 5 are family coasters. Although theming is not overly elaborate, I will review it by themed sections. METROPOLIS Home to 3 of the park’s coasters, this section, despite its name, does not display Superman theming. Velocity: (Vekoma, Motorbike Coaster (Custom), 2005) This was expected to be the main attraction for our stop, but unfortunately when we […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 4: Pleasure Beach Blackpool

Pleasure Beach, Blackpool On Wednesday, July 22 we arrived at Pleasure Beach Blackpool in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. Operating since 1896, this is the park I have most anticipated visiting. No other park in the world has 5 wood coasters. It has so many historic attractions – the first ghost train, the only remaining vintage circle swing, the world’s first haunted swing, one of only 3 Derby Racers, one of only 5 operating wooden wild mouse rides, one of only 3 Mobius wood coasters, and the list goes on. We arrived at the park’s Big Blue Hotel around 3:00 and were […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 3: Alton Towers

Alton Towers For some the most anticipated stop of the trip was Alton Towers in Alton, Staffordshire, England. Hands down the U.K.’s best theme park, it first opened in 1980 and has grown steadily through the years, building quite a collection of coasters and other rides. It is operated by Merlin Entertainments that owns several other theme parks in the U.K. that we would visit later in the trip. Here, the emphasis is on elaborate theming of both the sections and the rides. What really sets this park apart, however is the castle – Alton Towers – that sits in […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 2: Oakwood Theme Park

Oakwood Theme Park On Monday, July 20 we drove from the Hilton Newport Hotel in Newport, Wales to Oakwood Theme Park in Narberth, Pembrokeshire, Wales, arriving just after 9:00. Operated by Aspro Parks out of Madrid, this is a park I have wanted to get to for a long as its wood coaster is highly acclaimed. Although they use the term ‘Theme Park’ in their name, most of the park is not highly themed. They do have several sections that are nicely themed, but since many of the rides are not in a themed section, I will review this park […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 1: Paultons Park & Stonehenge

Paultons Park On Sunday, July 19 171 ACEers boarded 4 coaches to begin ACE UK! 2015, our 11 day tour of the U.K. Our first stop was Paultons Park in Romsey, Hampshire, England, where we arrived around 11:30. Operating since 1983, this was a new park for almost everyone on the tour. It is a beautiful family park and I was especially amazed at the amount and detail of topiary sculptures. Crowds were minimal, so we had a fairly easy time getting to most of the major attractions. The Cobra: (Gerstlauer, Bobsled Coaster, 2006) Although this model of coaster called […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Prologue: London

London On Thursday evening, July 16 I flew out of Atlanta to London. This would be my second trip to the U.K. but my first visit for amusement parks as my previous visit was only sightseeing in London. I arrived on Friday, July 17 and met up with Richard Bostic, David Lipnicky and Cliff Herring for a couple of days of sightseeing in London before the ACE UK! 2015 trip began Saturday evening. Richard and I arrived at Heathrow Airport just after 9:00 Friday morning. Since we had a little time before we would meet up with the others, we […]

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ACE Coaster Con XXXVIII – New Jersey – Epilogue: A Shore Crawl, Seaside Heights and Coney Island

Playland’s Castaway Cove Our informal ACE Shore Crawl event began Friday afternoon, June 26 at Playland’s Castaway Cove in Ocean City, NJ. In addition to the rest of the group that had done the Con together, Vanessa Thomas joined us for these 3 days. Python Coaster: (Pinfari, Zyklon ZL42, 1996) The entry and exit to the loop on these are always painful – 1 ride. Flitzer Roller Coaster: (Zierer, Flitzer, 1994) Another great Flitzer. This was Tina’s 500th coaster – 2 rides. Pirates Gold Rush: (E&F Miler Industries, Family, 2013) This coaster replaced Sea Serpent (E&F Miler Industries, Family, 1997-2012), […]

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ACE Coaster Con XXXVIII – New Jersey – Part 2: Storybook Land & Morey’s Piers

Funplex On Wednesday, June 24 we left for Storybook Land. On the way we made a stop at Funplex, a family entertainment center in Mount Laurel, NJ. Operating since 1997, they recently added a coaster. After we had taken some pictures we were asked not to, a rare occurrence at parks. Therefore I will only post pictures that I took from the parking lot. FunCoaster: (SBF Visa Group, Spinning Wild Mouse, 2013) This was my first ride on a coaster from this manufacturer, and the spinning was excellent – 1 ride. Other rides include: Free Fall, a 40 foot drop […]

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