Oakwood Theme Park 26th May 2019

Discussion in 'Your Trip Reports and Plans' started by Matt N, 26th May 2019.

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  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. Today, me, my mum and my nan made the journey to a little gem of a park in Wales called Oakwood. Now, we are presently staying in the area, so I gave Oakwood a little recommendation after taking a school trip there in July 2016. I was personally interested to see how some of the park's rides stacked up to what I'd remembered, as I've more than doubled my coaster count since I last came to Oakwood. When we initially arrived at around 11am, it was raining, and the car park and entrance looked quite quiet:
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    We then took the train ride to the park, and this was actually surprisingly pleasant, with some nice greenery and ride views, and a surprisingly long ride time! After getting off the train, we headed to our first ride...
    Creepy Crawler
    Now, Creepy Crawler had opened since my last visit to Oakwood, having opened in 2017. I must say that the queue theming is very nice and sets a somewhat spooky tone; I like the whole "Spooky Street" area they've got going on around there! Good job, Oakwood! The ride was also only about a 1 train wait, which was a pleasant surprise! This would turn out to be the longest wait of the day, but I'll get onto that later. So, how was the ride itself? Well, my expectations were not set high, as Pinfari do not have the greatest reputation, and I wouldn't say my expectations were exceeded as such. The ride actually wasn't too rough to start with, but it was quite slow and it got progressively rougher as it went on to the point where it was quite the headbasher (or kneebasher, as I would find out when we hit the brake run) by the end. Overall, I would unfortunately say that Creepy Crawler ranks towards the bottom (#60, to be exact) of my 65 coasters I've ridden, but I suppose it's a nice starter coaster for young kids if they have a high roughness tolerance. I must again commend the area, though; I must say it's really very nice:
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    After Creepy Crawler, we headed to our next ride, which was a somewhat more anticipated one for me...
    Megafobia
    Now, I was interested to get back on Megafobia, as it was the first wooden coaster I ever rode when I went on it in July 2016, and it ranked very highly for me at the time. I rode it in the front row, so today I went for the back, as I'd heard stories about its scary levels of ejector airtime. So, how was the back? Well, the first drop was fantastic, and there were some other great pops of airtime, however it was actually quite rough, which did impact the experience somewhat for me. Thankfully, the ride had no queue whatsoever, so we went straight back round and did the front. Strangely, I actually thought I preferred it in the front to the back, as the ride was quite a bit smoother up front and despite not getting the first drop airtime in the front, I found you got better sustained airtime over some of the other hills. So all in all, Megafobia in the front definitely lived up to what I'd remembered, but I found the back a bit too rough for my personal taste, despite the fantastic airtime. I'd definitely say I prefer the likes of Mine Blower and Wicker Man, but Megafobia is still an extremely solid wooden coaster that definitely lived up to my memories of it in the front row:
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    After our 2 rides on Megafobia, me and my mum headed to ride...
    Speed
    Now, I rode Speed twice when I last came to Oakwood on my school trip, and I actually remember rather enjoying it, so I was intrigued to see how it would stack up after nearly 3 years. Now, the buildup to us getting on Speed may potentially have been one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had in a theme park, as we were the only people in the area apart from the staff on Speed. We didn't initially think it was open, but the queue entrance wasn't blocked off, so we decided to investigate. Turns out, it was open and we were the only people who'd even approached it, and the ride op let us go with only me and my mum on the train! I must say that was a first for me; I've never been the only person on a coaster train before (well, apart from my mum, of course)! So, how was Speed? Well, I'll start with the positive; that airtime hill provides a seriously fantastic moment of sustained airtime, which I swear I don't remember being that strong before! However, the rest of it disappointed me, as it was far rougher than I'd remembered. I actually found the headbashing very unpleasant through elements like the loop, the turnaround and the final helix. So all in all, I'm afraid Speed was somewhat of a disappointment in terms of seeing how it had aged since I last rode it. I quite liked it in 2016, but I wasn't a fan this time. However, the airtime hill was far from a disappointment; I'd argue that that and Megafobia's first drop in the back are potentially fighting for the best airtime moment in the UK! So unlike Megafobia, I think we can conclude that my memories of Speed might have been best left alone, unfortunately:
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    After Speed, we met back up with my Nan and sat to eat our packed lunch while looking at this wonderful view:
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    I must admit that I enjoyed looking at people's reactions on the back row as they plunged down the first drop! After our lunch, we headed to ride...
    Treetops
    Now, Treetops is a coaster that I remembered being OK as a children's coaster last time I rode it, but nothing overly special. However, I must say that it definitely exceeded my memories of it this time, as I thought it was a really fun family coaster for what it was! Despite the lift hill implying a somewhat rickety ride, I actually found it to be very smooth, and it carried a better pace than I'd remembered! Those long trains actually provide some surprising whip towards the back, and all in all, all 3 of us thoroughly enjoyed it! In fact, despite how sad it might sound; I actually think I enjoyed it more than Speed, strangely! So overall, I must say that Treetops was an extremely positive surprise for me:
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    After the surprising fun of Treetops, we headed over to Neverland, a section of Oakwood I've never really explored before. I must say, the quality of finish within this area is wonderful; the theming is lovely, and there's lots of very nice landscaping! Look at this, for example:
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    The 3 of us decided to walk through the Journey to Neverland attraction first, which was a very nicely put together walkthrough, in my opinion! Have some pictures I took:
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    After that, me and my mum headed to ride...
    Skull Rock
    Now, Skull Rock was a new ride to me, as it was closed when I came in 2016. It isn't exactly the largest of log flumes, but the exterior looked nice, so I was excited to try it out. Now, I wasn't exactly expecting a particularly wet ride, but our boat was full of water, so I wasn't sure if this was a sign of things to come. So, how was the ride? Well, the dark ride section was really nice, for starters, and as for the drop itself; the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" comes to mind! Skull Rock is potentially the most deceptively wet water ride I've ever ridden; despite being quite small compared to other log flumes, the splash it generates is quite large, and me and my mum both got very wet! It was certainly a surprise, that's for sure:
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    After Skull Rock, we headed for a reride on Treetops, which was just as fun as earlier on, and then for two final rerides on Megafobia, one in the front and one in row 5; these rides definitely maintained my opinion that front is my favourite row to ride in on Megafobia! Have another picture of this wonderful wooden coaster that I took while heading over:
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    After those final 2 rides on Megafobia, we headed home.

    So all in all, I think all 3 of us had a lovely day at Oakwood! It has definitely grown on me compared to my July 2016 school trip visit; a quiet day really helped me appreciate what a lovely, charming park Oakwood is! Megafobia is a very good wooden coaster, and Oakwood definitely has other charming parts to it too, like Neverland and Spooky Street! Things seem very bright for the park; operations were good, and Dizzy Disk, the new Zamperla Disk'O opening later this year, looked to be coming along well:
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    On another note, I'm thrilled with the ride count we got today! We got a total 9 rides in, and that's excluding the Neverland walkthrough! Trust me, we could have done more if we'd wanted; we actually only spent around 3-4 hours in Oakwood!

    So, in conclusion, Oakwood is a lovely, charming park that's well worth checking out for Megafobia alone, in my opinion! I think things look very bright here, and I hope you enjoyed my report!
     
    Mikw, Alsty, Rojo and 2 others like this.
    Posted 26th May 2019
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  2. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    Nice report Matt. Did you see The Bounce in operation? It's supposed to be reopening. I take it you didn't brave Drenched either. :p
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 26th May 2019
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Bounce is still under refurbishment currently.

    No, I don't think we were quite brave enough to try Drenched in today's weather, even though it definitely got nicer as the day went on! We could have done if we'd wanted to; the whole park was dead!
     
    skyscraper likes this.
    Posted 26th May 2019
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  4. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Nice report :)

    I agree with Fobia, it's good fun on the front but the back is too rough to be enjoyable.

    Treetops is actually quite nice even though it's only a "kiddie coaster".
     
    skyscraper and Matt N like this.
    Posted 27th May 2019
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  5. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks @Alsty!

    I agree on Treetops; such a pleasant surprise! Especially considering I don't remember it being that good last time!
     
    skyscraper likes this.
    Posted 27th May 2019
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