Thursday, 21 June 2012

Belmont Park

San Diego has a rather nice little beach front park with a large wooden coaster that has been there for a very long time.

That there is the coaster, the San Diego Giant Dipper, which was originally built in the 1920s. That's older than most club members. It can be found in the Mission Beach area of the city.

and this is the park, Belmont Park on Mission Beach. Mission Beach gets its name because it's a mission to get here.

With wristbands in place it was time to enjoy the wooden coaster.

Some other enthusiast decided to jump the queue. It's not who I thought it was as that guy's dead. So whoever he is, he can't be that well famous.

The coaster is pretty diabolical, and as bad as I remembered it back in 2002. On a positive note it wasn't the worst wooden coaster on the trip. Ghostrider still had that claim to fame.

This plaque indicates that at some point the colleagues in the American Coaster Enthusiasts attempted to make the ride runnable. Now I can draw two conclusions from this; 1. It was a really really bad ride that is now just a really bad ride. 2. They broke it. 

I knew what to expect from the ride and I wasn't disappointed. So I decided to head off to find something to redeem the visit.

The hurricane simulator is nothing more than an enclosed wind tunnel that gets up to 80mph. A good way to dry off from the water rides that the park don't have...There is always the sea but then using this to dry out from there would leave you salty and windy.

A rather cool looking aerial walkway. I've yet to give these a go, maybe one day.

Nice old style tilt a whirl ride. It's the older rides that I think fit well at the seaside parks. Keep a bit of history and have people ride for sentimental reasons.

This is a unicoaster, a strange ride that has the car going round a circle and there's a joystick in the middle that allows you revolve the car. So you can ride it normal, turn it into a flying coaster, a flying coaster on it's back (like Air at Alton Towers) and even upside down and backwards. 

Bear in mind there are 2 seats and one controller so prepare to have a fight over who's going to control it. I started out OK but a rather excited European sat next to me quickly wrestled control from me whilst shouting "wheeeee" and I just left him to do what he wanted. That aside it's a really really really fun ride, and deserves to be in more parks.

Near there park there's a really nice beach front bar area that has a wave rider attraction that I've seen in a few parks before. It's perfect for those who wish to surf but have a salt allergy. How considerate.

They also have a larger tunnel version called BMax, short of "Bruticus Maximus". This was quite a spectacle and I spent a good amount of time watching the people of varied ability give this a go.

Must hurt when you fall though.

The beach here is the main draw with the obligatory volleyball playing crowd.

Pelican crossing.

Some old guys rocking it on rollerskates. Good for them, in fact the whole place a really nice laid back vibe and I could quite happily hang out here.

Some nice architecture and art in the area.

There are plenty of eateries in the area and I know some of the group checked these places out, and had good things to say. I just kicked back at the beach and drank beer whilst the dj played classic hip hop; early Beastie Boys and Snoop Dog. Good times.

Today was going to be a busy day with all the places being visited so San Diego ended up being a nice place to chill out and relax. I only rode the coaster once, more than enough to be fair.

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