Joyland Amusement Park, TX and Wonderland Park, TX
Total Timber Tour 2 Blog Day 15
HAPPY FATHERS DAY!Hello Bloggies. If this is your first visit – where ya’ll been?
Today you join us in one of our favourite states – Texas. Why? Simple – the people. Texans are amongst the friendliest of the Americans and their sense of humour has a very British feel.
So high 90’s again and a drive through “no man’s land” in our “National Car Rentals” tour bus. We can’t decide if the name of the rental company is appropriate or not. Want a car to drive around the “nation” – don’t use “National”. Need to swap your car every few thousand miles – choose “National” – they have branches throughout the “nation”.
Arrived just after lunch at a new park to us – Joyland in Lubbock. You may remember we stopped by here on the last tour for a photo op when it was closed. We know then we’d have to come back one day and we’re so glad we did. Yet another gem of an amusement park of the type you only get in the States, and then they’re few and far between. Typical collection of rides along a midway running the length of the park. What makes these parks stand out are the staff. Smiles and friendliness aplenty – just brilliant.
It didn’t take too long to get it all done and a couple of hours were more than enough given the light crowds. Highly recommended to children of all ages (yes, that includes us!).
A couple of hours onto the second park of the day – Wonderland Park in Amarillo. Again, we stopped here for a photo op on the last tour and, like Joyland, this was our first visit to the park when it’s open. Just when we thought park hospitality couldn’t get any better we landed in Amarillo. Talk about welcoming – Paul and family made us feel very welcome and very special.
If Joyland was the “hard to find” American amusement park, then Wonderland was the same, only bigger and better. Serving the local community, here we found one of the best presented parks of its type, well run, friendly, clean and maintained. What we weren’t expecting though was the quality of the headline coaster there – Texas Tornado. We’ve ridden other coaster by this manufacturer and not been too impressed in the past. Today we were taught a good lesson – never assume what a ride will be like until you’ve ridden it!
The Tornado is one of the best steel coasters we’ve ever ridden, period. It would be easy to write that in exchange for the generosity and reception the park gave us, but this is not “lip service” – the ride is very good indeed. It has everything a good coaster should have , including killer “G” loops, one of the best sweeping turnarounds anywhere (akin to Schwarzkopf) and, quite possibly, the best finale on any steel coaster. It also holds the dubious honour of taking Ian’s cell phone – found after the park closed under the second loop!
The other rides at the park did not disappoint either. The other coasters were well presented for their types and there was a unique drop tower of a type we had not ridden before.
Special mention to Tornado operator Alan – you could teach hospitality to the big players! But, thinking about it, perhaps not because Alan and staff like him are the reason we keep seeking out these small family parks. May they stay prosperous and entertain for generations to come.
If at all possible you must try and get to this park – you’ll be so glad you did.
Thanks again to you all – we have another treasured memory of the trip to keep forever.