mentioned the animals already. What I didn't realise before coming to
Flamingo Land was what an integral part of the ride they are. For a start
there's the Lost Temple area that makes up a large part of the central area
of the ride. This consists of some themed ruined walls, and some glass
screens to separate you from a pride of lions living in that area. If that
isn't enough on the other side of the track you've got several huge open
enclosures, in which a variety of animals roam around. All that separates
you from the animals is a barely perceivable ditch. It's not that unusual
for you to end up very close to some of the animals. The first time we tried
it one of the Rhinos was only about 10 metres from the boat.
The ride is also very well presented. The whole area is well themed, there
aren't many examples of such a large area immersing you in an experience
like this. There's also some commentary at some points on the ride, that
gives you a chance to take everything in as the boat stops, and helps by
telling you what to look out for, such as to keep an eye out for the hippos
when going up the hill lift.
The last thing I have to mention is this rides in the charts. I have
the feeling there will be controversy on my decision to put this ride ahead
of the likes of Storm Force 10 and Valhalla. A lot of this will be due to a
divide by those who are more enthralled by the animals and the experience of
getting in with them like I am, and those who are not. All I can say it's a
matter of personal taste, and if your taste doesn't match mine your rankings
will be different. It may not technically be as good a water ride, but it's
the one offering the ride experience I enjoy the most, which is the criteria
I base the charts on. If I did it any other way I'd have to put
Colossus ahead of Nemesis for
more inversions, and put a boomerang coaster near the top, because
other coasters don't go around the track backwards at any point.
As you've probably gathered I like this ride a lot. It's an experience I
won't ever forget, and is a big factor in my desire to want to make future
visits to Flamingo Land.