Galveston Pier & Kemah Boardwalk
USA 2014 Blog Day 14
Yee Haa! from Texas ... yep we’re still here in the Lone Star state and it’s two small parks today. Our first leg of the journey took us 3hrs 45mins East through Houston and to Galveston, home to a small seaside pier with a coaster plus a few ‘spin & spew’ rides – one of only a couple of new parks to us on this trip. We purchased our ride wristbands and checked out the Iron Shark coaster first. It’s the smallest and most compact version of this coaster we have seen. Unusually there are no overhead restraints just lap bars, but unfortunately this it doesn’t make any smoother and it’s quite a rough ride - although the back row is slightly more comfortable. Still enjoyed it though and had several goes.
We did however get told off by the ride operators for filming and taking photos whilst in the queue stating that we were ‘not allowed’ to take pictures of their coaster? After an exchange of words we took our remaining pictures anyway and boarded the coaster. The person sat next actually took on and smoked an e-cigarette whilst riding and the ride ops didn’t batter an eyelid – which is just ridiculous! Afterwards we headed off to ride the other attractions to make use of the wristband.
Adrian had a word with guest services (I hid around the corner!) who apologised and confirmed that the ride ops were in the wrong and it’s only forbidden to take cameras onto the ride itself whilst riding, and suggested we went back at 10pm? Why we were supposed to go back 7 hours later when it would be too dark to take film or pictures anyway god only knows! We did however enjoy our time there and it was really nice to be at a beach location, however we don’t think it would be worth a 2nd visit.
The second leg of our journey took us to Kemah Boardwalk just 30 minutes away, and we had visited this park before on our 2008 coast to coast trip. Yet another wristband and walked straight onto the front seat of the Boardwalk Bullet coaster as there was no queue at all. As always we raised our arms up in the air at the top of the first drop but hadn’t quite expected it to be such a wild and out of control ride and it took us quite by surprise. There are not many coasters where we actually choose to hang onto the bar but we made an exception this afternoon! It was a really good ride in the front seat but rough at the back of the train.
We took a ride on the observation tower for some aerial shots and then a quick walk around the boardwalk before heading back to the coaster, only to find it had closed. Having asked a member of the public who had been turned away from the ride why it was closed, they advised that the ride ops had to clean up some blood from the train. It turned out that a young girl had hit her ear on the side of the train whilst riding, and within minutes two fire engines with sirens blasting arrived at the park closely followed by an ambulance! Slight over -reaction as the girl seemed just fine, a little tearful but not a drop of blood in sight. The ride ops said the girl was fine when she got off the ride and actually wanted to ride again - but the parents decided they wanted to get the emergency services involved. Knowing how Americans love to sue people, I think the parents saw a possible compensation claim or free season passes – sorry am I being cynical now!!!
The coaster shortly re-opened as the incident wasn’t due any technical fault so we were straight back on for our last few rides in the front seat before we had to leave. This is one crazy ride! Another 3 ¼ hour drive tonight to our hotel in Louisiana, ready for our huge drive tomorrow.