Desert Race



One thing that's always difficult when writing these reviews is writing a number of different reviews for the same ride. Well technically not the same ride, but when you get multiple copies of the same ride in different locations. Sometimes there are differences in the theming or the way they run which allows me to make comparisons, sometimes though it's a struggle. In the case of a European park I may well just skip reviewing a ride, like I've done with Heide Parks suspended looping coaster. You may think I've done the same with their old double loop, double corkscrew as well, but in that case I never got to ride it due to a long queue and time constraints.

Here we've got another clone, and even though it's not a particularly overused layout it's still a ride I'm struggling with a little. It's a clone of a particularly well known ride, that being Rita at Alton Towers. As you probably already know it starts out with a high speed launch, and then tears around a relatively simple circuit at a high speed. My issue is that although it's the same ride as Rita this one feels a couple of notches inferior, and I'm not sure why.

I think part of it might be me, not the ride. When I first rode Rita I'd done very few other power launched coasters, almost none since the loss of the Thunder Looper. This meant the launch was a new and exciting experience. Almost a decade later though and there are a lot more power launched rides about, so this isn't as big a deal for me as Rita was, so doesn't have the same impact.

The other issue though has to be the setting. Rita is set in a heavily wooded area, on this ride a nice effort has been made with the desert expedition theming, but it's still in a more open area, meaning you don't get the same sensation of speed as you do when tearing around a number of trees.

Overall it's not a bad ride, and to be fair most visitors to Hyde Park won't be as familiar as I am with other launched rides, so won't be affected. If you've not done that many power launch rides this is still a must do. If like me though you've already done Rita, or have already done some other power launched rides this is one you can take or leave, depending on your mood and how busy it is.