Magma

8

 
Paultons Park
4D Cinema
Cobra
Dragon Roundabout
Edge
Flying Frog
Gold Rush Falls Golf
Jumping Bean
Kontiki Ride
Land of the Dinosaurs
Magic Carpet
Magma
Peppas Balloon Ride
Peppa Pig
World Rides
Pirate Ship
Raging River
Rio Grande Train
Sky Swinger
Stinger
Tea Cups
Trekking Tractors
Wave Runner
Wind in the Willows

You'd think by now I'd have experienced everything the tower ride has to offer, so one that brought some new ideas to the table was a genuine surprise. Another surprise was how small an area it took up. O.K. tower rides don't take up that much space, but I was expecting a larger dinosaur themed area, instead it fits into a small area near the entrance of the Cobra. Thinking about it, the fact it conveniently fits in to a small space next to the parks signature coaster was probably a big reason why they choose this ride.

A less pleasant surprise was my first impression of the theming. I'd heard some good reports, and an effort has been made, but I found things a little to tacky. The tower itself is gaudily painted, and also has a load of light fixtures on it (despite the fact it will rarely be ridden after dark) that don't match the theme. Also the volcano themed structure that surrounds the tower looks like painted concrete, rather than a genuine rock structure. I wouldn't say it was bad, but my impression of it made me think of a well themed ride from the European fairground circuit, which isn't a great fit for the parks countryside environment.

 

Luckily things improve very quickly once you enter the ride. I was expecting to reach the ride itself very quickly, but instead the indoor queue area had Tardis like qualities, with a walk through cave like area, that include a couple of nice themed scenes. The structure also enhances things at the start of the ride, as the enclosed claustrophobic feel of the station helps raise the tension, plus the smoke effects created as you rise out of the volcano structure is a nice touch.

One nice feature as your raised up is the gondola spins around as your raised up the tower, meaning you get a spectacular view of the surrounding area, which is almost worth doing the ride for in itself.

The rides biggest surprise though came doing the drops. When this was installed I questioned the future of the parks Jumping Bean ride, as this looked like an upgraded version of that. Both are tower rides where the pod is moved up and down with some steel cables. Unlike other cable based tower rides I've been on, like the Jumping Bean, this isn't based lots of hops and changes of direction. Instead this one is based around a number of long drops down the tower. The intensity created isn't as high as the strait drops on free fall towers, or as high as on ones with a hydraulic launch, but for a ride that's the most thrilling ride at a park for family fun seekers the level of thrills is pretty much spot on. Obviously it's not one for the younger members of the family, but for me it's always going to be on my to do list.