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Skegness et al.: Sunburn, sweat and shame!

SilverArrow

Giga Poster
It's that time again for another group trip report! This time it was for the rather sunny and hot Lincolnshire! The fab "Sunburn, sweat and shame" name credit goes to Liz! (P.S. I’m having trouble with my login so am posting from mobile so forgive me if it has come out weird. It doesn't seem to want to let me embed photos into the text and won't let me upload them in decent quality.)

So, like many UK goons marooned on our little island for the summer we had resigned ourselves to a return visit to Fantasy Island. The fact that they have added two new coasters, including one more-interesting-than-normal-one that may leave for Saudi Arabia at any moment really sealed the deal for me. It was inevitable. Skeggy was calling.

As Skegness is pretty far from me I opted for a pre-trip stay in Boston before the big event. 4 of us were planning on doing so but didn't quite go to plan, that rollercoaster of a story is one for @Howie and @Sandman though!

I had decided that I must get the 40ish year old Supercar credit on Cleethorpes Beach. The tide comes up underneath it, it's rusty as heck, it's on questionable stilts. What a gem! It was so weird that I just had to make the detour to get it and ended up convincing some others to join me.

After spending what seemed like eternity getting out of the local Tesco car park, driving around and around looking for a car space and wading through the crowds on the seafront I made it to the cred! it was so bad that it was good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do like a unique +1.
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What's not to like??

Then it was time to meet up with everyone else at Fantasy Island. After another kerfuffle trying to find a parking space in the blistering heat and ending up next to a tractor I had arrived! Spinning racer looks a lot nicer on the skyline than ice mountain did and it’s really opened up that area.

First up was Rhombus rocket as Chainedbanana and the kids needed the cred. We completed the first circuit no problem and it was time to go round again, we rounded the first bend into the oddly over-banked section and came to a vey slow stop before e turned left out of the station and onto the awkwardly tilted track before slowly rolling backwards into the station. I had to grab onto the side of the train to stay upright as it was so banked! I can't say I was expecting a rollback credit of m a powered coaster but I'll take it! Maintenance had to come we all escaped except Del Pierro and small Del Pierro who were left to live out the rest of their days riding Rhombus Rocket as their bar wouldn’t open and they didn’t seem to be able to manually release it. I believe they had to climb out in the end! A close shave!

Next I think it was time for the moment Sue had been waiting for for over a year. Stuck on 999 coasters throughout the shutdowns it was finally time for that big milestone. Family coaster had been chosen for the honour and I had the opportunity to ride with Sue on this momentous occasion, one all of us under 1k creds dream about! It is a true badge of dedication to the cause!

I think Odyssey was next which I almost didn’t ride because I had had a horrible previous ride a couple of years ago but riding in the middle instead of the back made a considerable difference and it was just about tolerable. The first drop and loop are good and then it deteriorates from then on. Not something I’d ride regularly but ok once in a while. There are a couple of pretty headbangy bits. We concluded that the new style restraints would do wonders for the ride.

Calamity struck when Spinning Racer went down before we could ride it. A mild sense of panic rippled through the group as this was our main reason for making the trek to the park in the first place! I’m not quite sure why we didn’t do it first thing but the risk had been taken. Apparently a sensor had malfunctioned and needed replacing. Luckily for us after a short hiatus the ride was back in action and it was our turn to ride! This was the 4th time I’d ridden this layout (Steel Dragon at Waldameer, Laff track at Hershey and Whirlwind at Seabreeze) and it was as expected, a fun, compact coaster with lots of twists and turns. These are certainly one of the best types of travelling coasters out there and I would probably consider Maurer Spinners as my favourite spinning coaster type (having not ridden Time Machine or The ride to Happiness). It is a nice addition to the park (and country, sorry Germany!) and I was glad to nab the cred in case it ends up in Saudi Arabia or goes back to Germany or anything else. It retains a lot of the German fair circuit theming so is nicely presented.
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We went inside and did the waterslide which I hadn’t done before for fear of getting soaked. The ominous cave loading station and queueline built up the suspense well and the ride was very dark! I was bracing myself for a crazy drop or splash at any moment but managed to come out the other side under control and only relatively mildly wet which dried pretty quickly in the scotching weather. Every time I visit Fantasy Island I notice more and more theming detail in the pyramid. There’s really a lot packed in there and once the two new rides open they’ll be even more things to do! We could see an animatronic-looking merlin, castle and dragon theming supposedly for the new ride which is rumoured to be a robot arm ride but that was it. I didn't notice anything for the other ride but to be honest wasn't sure what I would have looked for.

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We came back past Jellikins again and I decided it was time to give it a go. I’m around the height restriction depending on the time of day (yes that’s a real thing, look it up), what shoes I’m wearing and how bad my posture is that day so I thought I’d give it a shot as I’d never actually tried to get on it because I was scared of getting rejected and it was kind of embarrassing asking to ride. Well, turns out it was fine and I made it on for a glorious solo ride to cheers and woops from the considerably large crowd of goons watching. As I made my way around the 5 or so solo laps in the front car I took in the moment as one of those momentous cred experiences of my coaster enthusiast journey and also enjoyed what is actually quite a fun ride. I then proceeded to fall over trying to get out of the car on my way out but I did not care!

Next we did Millennium which was as smooth as always before mopping up some of the others rides like the log flume and shot tower. The shot tower wasn’t as forceful as I was expecting but it was fun and had a nice view of the coast (definitely make sure you sit facing that way!).

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I had mentioned to a few people that there was a go-gator over the road that people say is really strict about not letting adults on. I think DelPierro or someone had seen it and we realised it was so close to the park that it would be rude not to go over and ask. As we had kids with us it would be worth them getting the cred even if us big kids couldn't. Fully prepared for rejection we popped over and Del Pierro had a chat with the guy who was pretty chill about who could ride so we all pile on, huge smiles of disbelief on everyone’s faces. It was almost like we'd all won the lottery! The op got really into it and started cheering along with us as we went round again and again, everyone laughing and smiling! I only noticed half way through that he was helping to push it round, what a guy! Yet another kiddie cred related euphoric moment of collective joy ensued that I won’t forget in a hurry with everyone cheering and having a good time with the op going round this silly little go-gator.
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The girls did come flocking, but for the go-gator not the Waltzer! 😂

I was not expecting to get +5 that day but was very pleased to have done so! We said goodbye to those only doing a day trip and the rest of us went into Skegness for a nice meal. I felt so hyped when I went to bed and I genuinely think half of it was from the two unexpectedly awesome surprise kiddie creds. Expect the unexpected eh!
 
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MouseAT

Hyper Poster
“Go to Skegness”, we all thought. “Get some new creds”, we all thought. “It’ll be burdenous”, we all thought.

We were mostly wrong on that last one. Mostly. Sue was there, after all :p

(We all love you really, Sue!)

We were converging on Ingoldmells from a variety of directions, with many of the group coming up from the South. Emily and Liz both needed the one-of-a-kind beach cred in Cleethorpes, and as my route from the North took me within a few minutes of there, I decided I’d stop by on my way down, stretch my legs, take a few photos, and observe the madness. It led to a pleasant 90 minutes or so of chilling/melting on the seafront, having a brief chat, and watching the expressions of “WTF, I don’t even” from Liz and Emily, as they experienced Little Dipper for the first time.

With that out of the way, it was on to Fantasy Island. That meant the first major parking burden of the weekend, with the car parks being crammed pretty much to capacity, and being nigh impossible to navigate. I eventually managed to squeeze into a slot right down at the far end of the car park, pay for parking, and made it to the meet up point by Volcano, just in time to catch the rest of the arrivals.

Rhombus Rocket is bland. Rhombus Rocket rollbacks at least make Rhombus Rocket vaguely more interesting. At least those who needed the cred got a full lap in, before the ride decided to spite us.

By the time we escaped from Rhombus Rocket, Sue had arrived, and was ready to go and ride her 1000th cred. In typical Sue fashion, she didn’t have a goon sign, and had forgotten to write the number 1000 on a face mask ahead of time. I threatened to edit a goon sign into a photo after the fact (in Comic Sans, no less); Fortunately, Sue and Emily had a better idea, so you are all spared that particular horror. Check out the photo gallery link at the end of this post for their creative way of celebrating Sue’s 1000th.

With the wacky worm done, and Spinning Racer being… uncooperative, on we went to Odyssey. I’ve done the back few rows on previous rides, and it’s not pleasant once you get past the loop and it starts trying to make tight turns. The OTSRs sit so high on that thing, there’s no contact with the shoulders to help dissipate the laterals, which means my head just gets smashed into the restraints repeatedly. This time, I ended up riding in the front row, which I hoped might be a little better. Pro Tip: It’s not smoother in the front, and I lost yet another fight with the SLC. Vest restraints would probably fix the problem, and vastly improve the ride, but given that the trains were refurbed a couple of years ago, I can’t see that happening any time soon. Right now, the size, speed and layout through to the loop are awesome, but the rest of the ride is just too vile to enjoy.

By now, Spinning Racer was on the verge of returning to action, so immediately became priority ride #1. What can I say? It was awesome. It’s a fun little layout, we had a really good spin going the whole way around, and this particular model was smooth as silk. I’d love to see more parks install these on a long-term basis, as they’ve got a lot of re-ride potential.

Tom had his two young’uns, Jesse and Keeley with him, so a few flat rides were squeezed in at this point to break things up a bit. More laughs were had. Unfortunately, the Huss Magic was unavailable, but Fantasy Island actually has plenty of entertaining side attractions if you’re willing to dispense with the cred run mentality, and take the time to check them out.

After an ice cream and a drink for Mouse, and a load of chips for just about everyone else, it was time to head inside the pyramid. The pyramid is where the weirdness of Fantasy Island starts to become even more apparent; The outside is an odd mix of big, permanent coasters, travelling fairground rides, and an outdoor market, whilst the interior of the pyramid is actually a pretty solid attempt at trying to create an atmospheric, themed area.

With the weather being as hot as it was, we were all up for braving Dragon Mountain. I think most of us were light enough to get away without getting soaked going down the waterway, but I know from past visits that heavier riders tend to slosh around more in the final stages, and end up sitting in a flooded dinghy. Your mileage may vary, so beware if you've had a large lunch.

Toucan Tours and Seaquarium are both quirky dark rides that wouldn’t be out of place in a typical mid-tier theme park. They’re both a fun way to pass a bit of time with friends.

Emily braved Jellikins, and respect to her for doing so. Having passed as being more or less right on the height limit, she was rewarded with one of the UK’s most exclusive +1s. A round of applause is in order. The rest of us mere mortals are unworthy.

It was time to wrap up the remaining rides. Millennium was its usual smooth, if fairly predictable self. Shot towers are usually awesome, so Volcano gets a big thumbs up from me by default, especially if you can get the view of the coast from the top, as opposed to the surrounding caravan parks. The log flume is a little on the wet side if you pack the boats full of people, but good for a baking hot day like the one we were experiencing. All in all, we’d had a really great afternoon at Fantasy Island, probably the best I’ve ever had there, but the day was drawing to a close, and it was almost time to say our goodbyes to the day visitors, and check into our accommodation before meeting up again for an evening meal.

But first, there was some unfinished business, in the form of the “not-quite-a-go-gator” powered cred that had been taunting us from across the road. As it turns out, it’s the same cred that has been there for a while, and I’d actually already got the cred a few years ago with minimal shame. I seem to remember letting Jordan Wood talk the ride op into letting him on back then, and then quickly jumped in with a comment along the lines of “oh well, in that case…”.

Anyway, one powered cred, full of a couple of kids and lots of adult goons. The ride op was game, we crawled up the first hill, and completed the circuit, to a lot of laughing and celebrating. The ride op was having a good laugh himself, despite having to grab the back of the train and shove it up the hill every at the beginning of every lap in order to avoid a rollback. Props to the guy for effort; We salute you, sir!

With time rapidly passing us by, it was time to hit the road. Most of us were staying overnight in Skegness, at the Premier Inn on the seafront, which despite being a little on the expensive side at this time of year was actually a pretty good call. There’s loads of free car parking for residents outside, and a decent restaurant where we’d spend the rest of our evening, eating, drinking, chilling, and chatting. Given that residents can park there until 3pm the following day, it means there’s no need to faff with finding somewhere else to park, if, like us, you’re planning a follow-on visit to Bottons in the morning.

Anyway, I promised photos: https://mouseat.co.uk/albums/july-2021-lincolnshire-coast/

Jovial report aside, I do need to acknowledge the rotten luck that prevented Mushroom, Howie and Josh from being able to join us. (Insert your own, suitably sweary rant about how we all missed out on being able to see you guys here). Here's hoping that we manage to sort something else for later in the year, and that we all get to meet up in person before the end of the 2021 season. It's been far too long, and we've missed you guys!
 
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DelPiero

Strata Poster
What a lovely weekend away!

As mentioned, I brought the kids along to this one, Jesse is now 10 and has passed the 1.4m threshold and combined with a "give anything a go" attitude is well worth dragging on these trips. Keeley is only 7 however and still quite afraid of anything bigger than a worm :(

We drove up on the Saturday morning and made a beeline for the car park next to the shot tower. We got there quite a bit earlier than all the others so plonked ourselves on the beach for an hour and grabbed an early lunch before meeting up with everyone else.

Rhombus was up first and had a bit of a burdenous queue in comparison with most other things, but we were treated to a lesser spotted roll back, which was the definite highlight of the ride. Clambering out of the restraint which wouldn't release being the low point.

We then attempted to get @Mysterious Sue Jellykins as her 1000th, but unfortunately the ride op was having none of it, but with a bit of encouragement my two got the cred, brilliant, they will thank me when they're older.

The 1000th cred happened with a lot more enthusiasm that we are accustomed on a worm, I must congratulate Sue on such an awful cred as the milestone, top stuff 😉

The spinner was spiting so we did Odyssey which was new for me. Now I quite liked this. Yes it has a bit of headbanging, not as bad as a normal SLC but the drop, loop and cobra are pretty good! Shame about the sea of caravans below the thing.
I'm very happy to have got it this time around, as I would not have wanted to come back to try and get it again.

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The spinner was miraculously fixed so we piled on, everyone's cars went round no issue, mine however. E stopped on the 2nd to last brake block. Fab.
Even more fab was that I had been bundled onto it with a delightful family who luckily I did not cross paths with for the rest of the weekend. Ghastly.

Keeley wanted a go on a couple of the flat rides so @Libby_Liz was roped into those with her, this was a recurring thing, she doesn't like riding with Dad anymore, only Liz :rolleyes:

Grabbed a quick bite to eat/ice cream/nesquick powder milkshake then went into the pyramid. I didn't explore the pyramid at all on my last visit, we did a proper cred run that time, so I was very surprised to see how much stuff is in there! The Seaquariam thing was probably my fave of the indoor rides we went on, very random.

Everyone else went to ride Millennium, I took Keeley on the caterpillar bus thing instead, then we grabbed a cider while the rest of the group did the log flume.

The final ride at FI was Sea Storm, which had extremely rough seas 🤭

But then the best thing of the weekend happened;


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We all expected it to be a no-go for adults, but the guy was like, "Yeah, adults can ride", so I ushered everyone in before anyone could change his mind and off we went! The guy pushed us round about 10 times and was really struggling with the last 2. Bonus creds are the best!

Cred count for day 1;
Me +4
Keeley +4
Jesse +7 😲

Dinner was good fun as well, couldn't make up Sue's entrance, banter was great as per usual, just a lovely day with everyone, so glad we can do this again :D
 

MouseAT

Hyper Poster
Whenever a trip consists of a major park day, an overnight stay, and some miscellaneous mop-up afterwards, it’s difficult to know exactly how things are going to pan out on day two. Is everyone just going to want to cred run and move on, or are people going to be looking to check out a load of side attractions along the way? Are people looking to bang out the headline stuff quickly, and get on the road home by early afternoon, or do people want to make more or less a full day out of it?

Things got off to a good start. Breakfast happened, those of us who had stayed in the hotel checked out of the hotel, and made the short walk over to Bottons Pleasure Beach. Unfortunately for those who were visiting for the first time, the spinner was feeling spiteful. On the other hand, all of the other stuff seemed to be running, so we all got to riding.

I’d been to Bottons before, so wasn’t too bothered about re-riding everything, but Queen Bee seems to be a rite of passage for everyone whenever they visit. I’m not sure who came up with the idea of what’s essentially an inverted Big Apple coaster with three across seating, but I do wonder what sort of controlled substances they were taking at the time. It’s not the most exciting of rides, but it’s weird in a way unlike anything else I’ve ridden, so is always worth a re-ride with friends.

As we worked our way through the remaining coasters, I was happy to be on photography duty whilst others rode. On the other hand, there were a few flats that I was keen to experience whilst I was there; The Ghost Train (which unfortunately was remarkably bland), a full-size Huss pirate ship (which gave some nice floaty airtime, and awesome views of the coast), and a KMG Freak Out, which unfortunately was far more focussed on intense spin, rather than intense swing.

With early afternoon upon us, and the spinner showing no sign of re-opening, we decided to cut our losses, head back to the cars, and head onwards to Mablethorpe in search of the extra coasters at Dunes Leisure. Getting to the town was straightforward enough. Finding a place to park in said seaside town on a baking hot afternoon was an absolute pain in the ass. All of the major car parks near the seafront were at capacity, with people driving up and down, looking for non-existent spaces. Eventually, we figured out that the local Co-op car park had plenty of space, as the two-hour time limit tends to deter the beach goers. A quick drink purchase, and a short walk later, we’d made it to Dunes, and were ready to get creds!

Miner Mike was first up. I already had the cred, so once again, I became designated camera man, bag bloke, and catcher of flying hats. Miner Mike looks deceptively tame when it’s stationary. On the other hand, once it gets moving, everyone quickly realises it’s madder than it looks, especially once it starts running backwards halfway through the ride cycle.

The caterpillar was next. Yay, +1, and all that.

A few other rides happened. I was tempted by the Rotor at the park entrance, as I’ve never ridden one before, but given that I was tired, melting in the heat, and still somewhat stressed from the aforementioned parking faff, I decided I wasn’t really in the best shape to ride. Some other time, some other place, I guess.

By this point, we were approaching mid-afternoon. Tom was keen to get back on the road with the kids, which left me, Emily, Sue, and Liz. Sue and Liz were keen to have a paddle in the sea for a few minutes, so we all had a brief wander down onto the beach for a few minutes, before coming up with a plan for the rest of the afternoon.

I’d been thinking of making a detour up to Bridlington on the way home, as the cred there is annoyingly out of the way, so this was probably the closest I was going to be for a while. However, when somebody suggested going for a nice meal instead, that immediately sounded like a much better idea. With limited parking time available, and a lack of obvious quality restaurants near the Mablethorpe seafront, out came trusty old Tripadvisor, and a search began for reasonable looking restaurants a few miles out of town. We were initially looking at a place called The Stables in nearby Maltby le Marsh, but on arrival, we discovered that they didn’t have room for us on short notice, so a quick re-think was required. It's a shame, as the place looked quite fab. We eventually settled on the nearby Woody’s Bar and Restaurant, a few miles further up the road, which served decent, if fairly by-the-numbers pub food. A good meal, a few drinks to rehydrate, and some nice relaxed conversation made for a fantastic end to the weekend, and set us all up for our respective drives home.

All in all, then, this was another absolutely fantastic weekend away. The weather was amazing, although bordering on uncomfortably hot, there were plenty of rides involved to keep us all entertained, and we all got to spend another weekend in the company of an amazing bunch of people. Bring on the next one!
 
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SilverArrow

Giga Poster
I'm having problems uploading photos so won't add any at the moment but will add them in later if I fix the problems.

On the Sunday morning I opted to pop to Natureland Seal Sanctuary before joining the others at Bottons as I had all the credits there and it was a short walk from the hotel. I spent some time studying the seals here back in 2012 for my dissertation and the entrance was a mere £8 something (discounted due to the lack of keeper talks but it's still really cheap anyway) and had a blissful hour or so viewing all the animals, including two seal pups and their mothers who were just one day old and three days old which was worth the cost of entry alone! The attraction is a small family-run affair that runs on a small budget but has a nice charm about it and is a well-loved Skegness tourism staple. They are known for their seal rescue work in the local area.

I grabbed a milkshake for breakfast which took forever to acquire as the group in front of me waited for every item in their 10 or so long order to be prepared before ordering the next one. Delightful. The tropical house and butterfly house were also a highlight. I enjoyed pretending I was abroad in a tropical paradise or a few minutes!

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I joined up with the group at Bottoms and did the ghost train, pirate ship and freak out. I can't remember much about the ghost train but I don't think it had much in it. I always like doing pirate ships but more often than not others never want to do them so I enjoyed getting this ride in, even if it wasn't the best if it's type. Nice to see a classic Huss ship too. The freak out was a bit spinny, as Mouse explained but was ok.

It was then time to head up to Mablethorpe for what was the biggest parking faff of the whole trip. I got stuck going into a car park and spent ages queueing to turn around as everywhere was rammed with people trying to get to the beach in the sun. After more faff the Co-op car park finally delivered and I had no issue popping in for a drink in the heat!

For some reason I had never done a Miner Mike and I was not expecting what followed! Not only does this thing zoom around its worryingly un-banked turns in quite the hurry it then speeds around backwards at a rate of knots! This was another one of those ridiculous trip moments where everyone was screeching and laughing their heads off in surprise. Some of Mouse's photos capture this. You really got your money's worth with this thing and I'd put it up there with one of my favourite types of tiny kiddie cred! What a ride!

I already had the wacky worm from a fair in Oldham but decided to do it for fun just in case I had somehow misread coaster count and also because everyone else was riding it so why not. You got some nice views of the beach which was an added bonus. A couple of people did the ghost train and then we split off into our different groups with some having a paddle in the sea.

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Positive vibes caterpillar.

Finding somewhere decent that had space on a Sunday afternoon for food was no easy task and we finally found a place that was surprisingly decent outside of Mablethorpe which was a nice end to the trip! It was a great weekend seeing everyone and the lower incidence of good quality rides and creds compared to some other UK trips didn't have any impact on the enjoyment at all!
 
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