Venue: Oakwood Theme Park
Who Went: Me and a large number of other RCCGB members, including Andy Hine, Alan Chilvers, Brian Smith, Dan, Dave Perry, Doug, Charlie and Emily, Gareth Arkell, Gareth Preece, Mary and James, Planenut, Ryan Hackett.
DISCLAIMER: The above is NOT intended to be an exhaustive list of everyone who attended. It's a small sample of attendees; mainly those I spoke to and/or rode with at Oakwood. I sincerely apologise to anyone I've not listed.
N.B. Any use of "today" in this report means Friday 10 August 2012.
Friday First ThingHaving awoke at 6:30am I had an early breakfast at 7:30am consisting of a bowl of cornflakes, glass of orange juice, beans on toast, four triangles of toast and a cafetiere of coffee. I chose beans on toast as I felt it would be a lighter alternative to a full traditional breakfast; important to bear in mind before riding Megafobia. Just before 8am the taxi which was booked for me the previous evening was waiting outside to take me to Oakwood.
Welcome To OakwoodWhen I arrived before 8:30am, only one or two others were there. More members gradually appeared during the following half hour. I was particularly excited because this was my first ever attendance of Mega-Glow-Mania since joining the RCCGB in March 2005 (for various reasons I did not attend Mega-Glow-Mania 2005 to 2011 inclusive); indeed it was my first ever visit to Oakwood at all. I think some members already familiar with my regular annual attendance of Blackpool Bash 2008 to 2012 inclusive, and Summer Bash 2005 to 2011 inclusive, but non-attendance of Mega-Glow-Mania 2005 to 2011 were surprised to see me at Oakwood on this occasion.
Megafobia ERSThe day began with a one hour ERS on Oakwood's famous wooden coaster Megafobia, which has been operating since 1996. It was designed by Dennis McNulty and Larry Bill, and built by Custom Coasters International, Inc. According to the RCDB, Megafobia is the fastest and tallest wooden coaster in the UK. Surprisingly though with a track length of 2956 feet it's only the UK's fourth longest woodie. Unlike Blackpool's Big Dipper, Megafobia is not an out-and-back coaster as the track crosses over a few times. Also the wood is unpainted unlike the wooden coasters at Blackpool.
To avoid splitting the group up too much when so few attended, only one train ran. Even so, everyone enjoyed plenty of goes in our allotted time. During the ERS I enjoyed six goes on Megafobia as follows.
First go: my first ever go on this woodie. I got on the very first train of the day, and sat alone in the fourth row. The train left the station at 9:07am.
Second go: I was in the back row with Ryan Hackett.
Third go: Planenut and I sat together in the fourth-from-back row.
Fourth go: roughly central with Martin.
Fifth go: in the front row with Planenut. From the front seat I had a clear view of the track ahead of me all the way around.
Sixth go: my final go for this ERS, Planenut and I sat together in the sixth row. Ryan was in the fifth row.
My verdict on Megafobia: an amazing wooden coaster. In some respects better than Nickelodeon Streak and Big Dipper at Blackpool. Obviously this can't be compared with Grand National as Megafobia lacks the racing element. The train ran quite fast and gave an exciting ride, I was forced side to side on some bends and there was plenty of airtime. Most importantly I experienced several rows including front and back; the back seemed to give the roughest ride.
Normal Opening TimeWith the ERS now over, the Club took over a series of rides.
BobsleighThe Club took over Bobsleigh, which is a toboggan run. You sit on a toboggan and are carried up a lift hill to the top of a steel track. At the top you set off downhill along the steel track (set in the hillside), around a series of U-bends, under gravity. To control your speed along the way, use your brake. You must slow down as you approach the station. Thus with the lift hill, and going down the steel track, one could argue this is a coaster of a sort. I actually asked some other members in the queue line whether or not they thought this was a coaster, they said it's not. When it was my turn the attendant asked me if I'd been on this before. I told her that, although it was my first ever go on Bobsleigh here, I'd previously been on the Toboggan Run at Woodlands near Dartmouth; therefore I was already familiar with what to do. During the descent it became necessary for me to brake a bit sharply on one of the bends, fortunately I stayed on my toboggan. For now I only had one go.
Treetops CoasterThe Club's next takeover was Treetops Coaster. This Zierer Tivoli – Large steel family coaster has been operating since 1989. My first go on a steel coaster for today, I sat in the back row with Nev. The train left the station and climbed the lift hill. After the first drop, the train followed the track through twists and turns amongst the trees. In certain places the track went close to the ground. Finally the train was back at the station. The group had one go which consisted of two laps. Tame compared to Megafobia, but still great fun, definitely worth riding to add to my coaster count.
WaterfallAfter Treetops the Club waited by Waterfall before taking over another ride. There was time for me and another member to race each other on Waterfall. Two giant slides descend from the top of a tower. You launch yourself at the top on a red or yellow plastic tray; for this reason some members call this the tea tray ride. At the bottom of each slide you float across a shallow pool of water before hitting the run-out, which is a shallow uphill slope covered in artificial turf. Depending how you hit that shallow pool, you may get wet. I put a cagoule on to prevent my T-shirt getting wet. However I didn't bother putting leggings on; I just risked getting my jeans wet.
The other member and I had two goes together as follows (he went down the opposite slide to me each time):
First go: me on the left slide (as viewed from the launch platform)
Second go: me on the right slide (as viewed from the launch platform).
SpeedThe Club proceeded to take over Speed: No Limits. This Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter (Custom) has been operating since 13 April 2006. Each ride car seats eight riders (two rows of four seats). Considering it was August, I was surprised to discover only one ride car (number 4) was running. After leaving the station, the ride car ascended the vertical lift hill, and down the first drop, which is beyond vertical to begin with and vertical the rest of the way. Next it went uphill, downhill, uphill again, around a bend on an angle and down into a vertical loop. After another climb there was a heartline roll and further twists and turns until the car returned to the station. Altogether a thrilling and fun steel coaster; to me the ride experience seemed more like Rage (Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea) than Saw (Thorpe Park). By the way, Speed is not the same model as Rage which is a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter Model 320+. For now I only had one go on Speed.
At this point the Club spread all over the Park. For now I remained with Ryan Hackett and Dave Perry. For about half an hour we took a break from riding by the Ice Cream kiosk (near Megafobia). Dave had an ice cream there, but I decided not to have one for now. I showed Ryan and Dave some of my photos.
Spooky 3DThe next stop for Ryan, Dave and me was the dark ride Spooky 3D, on which we had one go together. When we got on the train, we were given 3D spectacles to wear for the ride. The train set off on its way around the dark building. Along the way there were illuminated 3D scenes, and a few special effects. Back at the station we handed back our 3D spectacles and alighted from the train. Worth a go just to count it, but not a particularly exciting ride in my opinion. One of us thought certain features on this ride no longer work properly. This was my only go on this ride all day.
After that, I chose to ride alone, and continued as follows.
Brer RabbitA train ride. The driver sits in the loco at the front, and I sat in the front seat of the front carriage. The train went through a mock-up of Brer Rabbit's burrow. Brer Rabbit and other rabbits were on display there. After one lap the train was back at the station and the ride was over. Another ride worth riding once just to log it on ridecount, but not particularly thrilling. This was my only go on here all day.
After that I took a walk around the Park. Along the way I passed the entrance to Drenched, and noticed it doesn't open until 2pm. An explanation as to why was on the gate blocking the entrance. It occurred to me, at 2pm I'd be playing baseball with the others. I hoped they'd keep Drenched running today long enough for it to still be open after completion of our baseball game, which I guessed could last at least an hour.
TrainEventually I found the station next to the main restaurant, and a train happened to be on the platform about to depart. Thinking this was another of the Park's rides, I got on. The train proceeded along the track to the Park's main entrance / exit, where it stopped for a few minutes. Some other people got off whereas others got on, but I remained seated. The driver asked if I actually wanted to stay on, I told him I did. After that the train continued forwards until it was back where I first got on, i.e. the station by the main restaurant. I got off at this point. Basically I'd travelled one complete clockwise circuit of the track and finished up where I began. This was my only go on this ride all day.
Interestingly the aforementioned train only runs certain times of the day. My foregone conclusion is that it's really a transport ride, intended to take visitors from the main entrance to main restaurant when they arrive, and back again when they leave, i.e. to save walking the long path in between. I don't think it's really intended to be ridden as a pleasure ride, unlike the others.
Circus ClownBack to the proper rides now. This, the smallest of the Park's four coasters, is located in the Playtown Rides area. This Pinfari Circus Clown steel coaster has been operating since 1997. Being a kiddie coaster the rises and falls are very small. Adults can ride it, but for them it's clearly for coaster tickers rather than thrill seekers. The train climbed a slight hill and descended to go through the giant drum. After two more small rises and falls it was back at the station. One ride consisted of a few laps of the track, though I didn't count how many. I only had one go on Circus Clown now and didn't return to it later.
Plane CrazyFrom outside the queue line building resembles an airport terminal building and inside you walk through what looks like an airport security scanner. Basically this is like a carousel, with planes suspended from the top. I got on plane number 3. As the ride spun round the planes were forced outwards by centrifugal force. I quickly discovered that by turning the rudder in front of me left or right, I could force the plane to twist whilst the ride was in motion, which added to the fun. For now I only had one go.
BounceA drop tower made by Huss. This has seats on all four sides of the tower. Upon launch the seat unit rose rapidly to the top. This was followed by a gentle fall and rise half way a few times, and a gentle descent to ground. I thought it was all over then, but after a short pause, the seat unit rose again (albeit much more slowly than at the start) and dropped rapidly. Wow, not for the faint hearted or those with a fear of heights! The view from the top was breath-taking, I could see for miles, albeit blurred as I took the wise precaution of putting my spectacles in my rucksack before riding. For now I only had one go, but knew I'd want more goes later.
LunchHaving left Bounce, I approached Speed but backed off when I saw the queue length as the time was now gone 1pm, and I wanted to get some lunch well before the baseball which I still thought was at 2pm. Being as I'd had a cooked breakfast, and was intending to get a cooked meal early evening, I really only wanted a sandwich for lunch. Unfortunately no catering outlet in the Park seemed to do them. Eventually I returned to the kiosk called Pit Stop near Speed, where I had a takeaway bacon baguette.
Afternoon BaseballWhilst there I met Doug. He and I waited for Charlie to finish riding Speed, and then we walked to the park exit together. We expected everyone to be waiting there for baseball, which we still thought was due to start at 2pm. Although the time was now around 2pm, no-one was there. I phoned Nev, only to be told the baseball had started at 1pm (earlier than originally intended), but was abandoned due to the excessive heat. We all re-entered the Park. Back inside, we met Nev near Drenched, which was now open. I spoke to Nev for a bit and showed him a few photos.
DrenchedNow this was open, this was unsurprisingly popular among members (and the general public), presumably to cool off at the hottest part of the day. This Intamin River Plunge opened in 2002 as Hydro, but was renamed Drenched in 2011. Planenut and I had one go on Drenched together. Despite it being a hot sunny afternoon, I donned a waterproof cagoule to prevent myself getting wet. However I didn't bother with leggings as I was wearing shorts anyway and it didn't really matter if the exposed parts of my legs got wet. The boat left the station and climbed the lift hill. There was a noticeable pause at the top before the boat went around the u-bend and down the tall, steep drop. Upon landing there was a mighty splash. Finally the boat went under the bridge and around a u-bend back to the station.
Having disembarked I met Charlie on the bridge and Doug at the exit end of the bridge. Doug looked after my bag whilst I stood in the centre of the bridge to watch the next boat land. Charlie and I were hit by a mighty splash from the front of the boat when it landed. I still had my cagoule on, but removed it when I left the bridge.
After that I queued for a second go on Drenched. This time I faced quite a lengthy wait to get on it. I didn't time how long I had to wait, but it must have been at least half an hour. When I eventually got on to the boat, I put my cagoule back on to minimise my chances of getting wet upon hitting the water at the bottom of the drop. This was my final go on Drenched for today. I don't recall seeing any other RCCGB members on the boat this time; put it this way, there were none next to me.
The rest of the afternoon and early evening I went around the Park on my own. Although queues for some rides were quite lengthy, I don't recall seeing any other RCCGB members around. I got the impression some may have returned to the camp site for a rest and/or barbecue, or alternatively gone elsewhere nearby for a few hours.
BobsleighSo far I'd only had one go on Bobsleigh this morning, so time was now overdue for me to have another. Unfortunately there was a lengthy wait, I joined the queue at 3:55pm and took me about half an hour to get to the front. It was worth the wait though. During the descent this time, I was better at controlling my speed than earlier and didn't need to brake sharply. Due to the long wait, I only had one go.
SkyleapNext I spotted Skyleap on the Park Map, so I went to see what it was. It's a drop slide; adults are allowed on it. Its vertical drop didn't seem as tall as Demon Drop Slide at Flambards, Buzzard's Swoop and Red Devil at Devon's Crealy or the red drop slide at Puxton Park, but it was still great fun. Furthermore unlike those other aforementioned drop slides all of which have flat run-outs, Skyleap's run-out has a hump at the end. If you go really fast along the flat section you will go over the hump, but I was unable to go over it. By the way, I wore denim jeans on this slide, perhaps if I'd worn jogging bottoms I'd have slid along the run-out fast enough to clear the end hump. Altogether I enjoyed eight goes.
Plane CrazyBack to a proper ride: Plane Crazy. The queue was surprisingly long for the time of day; I joined the back of it at 4:58pm and took until 5:15pm to get on a plane. This time I sat on plane number 8. For now I only had one go, partly due to the waiting time.
Treetops CoasterI felt it was about time I had another go on Treetops Coaster. This time I sat in the front row, and thus had an unobstructed view of the track all the way around. Just like this morning, one go consisted of two laps. The ride attendant told me they decided to do all today's runs as two laps, to ensure everyone who rode it got exactly the same ride.
Pirate ShipNext I spotted the Pirate Ship, which is made by Huss Rides, so I decided to go on it. This is set in a low-lying dip, and therefore riders have to go down a hill to reach it. This pirate ship looked bigger and seemed to produce larger, more exhilarating swings than the pirate ships I've been on at Paultons or the two Crealy parks. For maximum thrill I sat in an end row. As expected the most thrilling moment was when the ship swung backwards sending me to the highest point, at which moment I got a pop of airtime. A fun ride, though once was enough; I don't think my body could have stuck two goes straight off.
Afterwards I went to Woody's Burger Bar to ask how late their burgers were being served tonight. They were going to be served until 10pm
BounceTwo more exciting goes on this Huss drop tower. Obviously I knew what to expect this time. I spotted neighbouring Bluestone and its water park building from the top of the tower. Between the two goes I asked if it would be possible to see the Preseli TV transmitting mast from the top of Bounce. The trouble was, I'd almost certainly have needed my glasses to have seen that, and I decided it was best to keep them in my rucksack during both goes.
Snake River FallsA set of four water slides which you ride fully clothed in dinghies. The slides leave from the top of a tower. The staircase leading to the top is split into lanes, each one clearly indicated by an overhead sign at the bottom; therefore you have to decide which slide you want to queue for before you start climbing the stairs.
Cobra:a closed tube slide with many twists and turns on the way down. The slide is enhanced by lighting effects. I had one go.
Left open slide:a straight, open top slide. It starts with a downhill slope, followed by a much shallower (albeit wavy) gradient. Finally there's a fairly steep drop before the run-out. The water is at its deepest just before reaching the run-out; depending how you land there you may get wet. I had one go.
Right open slide:a straight, open top slide identical to the left open slide. I had one go.
Python:a closed tube slide with many twists and turns on the way down. The slide is enhanced by lighting effects. I had one go.
N.B. references to the two open slides: left and right are as viewed at the top of the tower, i.e. with your back to the top of the stairs and facing the tops of the slides.
Altogether four thrilling and fun slides. I didn't bother donning cagoule or leggings to go on them. Someone noticed I looked displeased to have got my shorts a bit wet, and said something like "The whole point of going on a water ride is to get wet" to me.
SpeedTwo more goes on this Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter (Custom), as follows:
First go: front row far right seat.
Second go: back row far left seat.
To be honest I didn't notice much difference in the ride between the front and back row. Obviously sitting in the front allowed me an unobstructed view of the track ahead. All I can say is that two goes straight off was fine, but I'm not sure my body could have stuck a third go straight off.
BounceOne more go on this Huss drop tower. This time the gondola went up and down the tower four times. Evidently the ride operator decided to give riders a bumper length go.
I considered going on Bobsleigh next, but due to the longish wait didn't bother joining the queue. Instead I headed for Skyleap. I wondered whether or not Skyleap would still be open, thankfully it was.
SkyleapMy final four goes on this drop slide for today.
After that, I unexpectedly met Gareth Preece, so I sat and talked to him briefly. This was my first known sighting of another RCCGB member since standing on the bridge with Charlie to watch Drenched land this afternoon.
Plane CrazyMy final go for today on Plane Crazy. This time I managed to get on it quicker than my previous go. Once it was my turn I sat on plane number 1.
WaterfallTwo more goes on Waterfall:
First go: left slide (as viewed from the launch platform). Upon landing I was slightly splashed, but it was only a few odd drops.
Second go: right slide (as viewed from the launch platform). This time my T-shirt and jeans got quite wet; this must have been due to the odd way in which I hit the landing pool.
Getting wet at this time of day was rather uncomfortable because it was now dusk and starting to get cooler. I'd gone around wearing shorts for much of the evening, but had put my jeans on over them prior to going on Skyleap, and still had them on. I ought to have removed them prior to going on Waterfall as it wouldn't have mattered if my shorts and bare legs had got wet. Also I ought to have put a cagoule on before going on Waterfall. Fortunately despite it getting cooler, it wasn't too cold to go around in shorts the rest of the evening, so I was able to remove my wet jeans and put them in my rucksack.
Evening DinnerThe time was now 8:46pm, and I felt hungry, so I went to Woody's Burger Bar intending to have a burger and fries. Unfortunately there was a very limited selection now, just chicken burgers, hot dogs and chips. None of the range of beef burgers or cheeseburgers was available as the machine to cook beef burgers had broken down about an hour earlier. I had a large chicken burger meal (which included chips and a fizzy drink) and sat at one of the outside tables in front of Woody's Burger Bar to eat it.
Feeling I could eat a little more, I went across to the kiosk called Ice Cream (near Megafobia) to get an ice cream. However when I got there, I saw ring doughnuts which are served warm, so I decided to have two ring doughnuts instead, as it was now getting a little chilly for an ice cream. I sat at an outdoor table beside Bobsleigh exit to eat them. At that table I met Doug and Charlie again and spoke to them for a bit.
BounceAfter 9:30pm I wanted to go on Bobsleigh, but its queue was now closed. I headed for Bounce instead, and thankfully its queue was still open, so I had one go. Of course, it was now pitch dark. Riding Bounce in the dark was totally different to during the day. From the top of the tower I could see areas of Oakwood lit up, and parts of neighbouring Bluestone illuminated. This was my final ride of the day during normal Park opening time.
After that I returned to the hill in front of the stage ready to watch the upcoming light and firework display. I met Doug and his children again, so stood with them ready for the display.
Light and Firework DisplayThis was officially due to start around 9:50pm, but for some reason it started later than billed, at 10:04pm. It began with "O Fortuna" (from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana), which is perhaps better known as the Old Spice tune. Pop songs followed whilst spectators enjoyed an amazing display of lights in various colours and giant rockets exploding high in the sky. When the display ended at 10:14pm, the music ceased and an announcement was made "Thank you for joining us here tonight, we hope to see you again here soon at Oakwood, thank you and goodnight." At that point the public left, but for us the best was yet to come.
Megafobia Dark ERSWithout further ado, we all headed across to Megafobia for our dark ERS, aka the Mega-GLOW-Mania ERS. Many of us wore or held glow sticks in an effort to create a glowing effect. Before approaching the ride, Doug kindly gave me two of his spare glow sticks; he put one on each wrist. Also I wore a fluorescent yellow cagoule and held a torch on the coaster. A party music medley (similar to that used at the Blackpool Bash Saturday evening disco) was played in the station to add atmosphere; the moment I neared the ride with Doug and his children a snippet of "Relax" (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) was being played. Just like this morning, only one train ran, but everyone managed lots of goes. In one hour I managed eight goes.
First go: I sat alone in the back row.
Second go: I was in the back row with someone else.
Third go: Planenut and I sat together, but I'm not sure which row we were in.
Fourth go: I was hoping to have a go in the front row. Unfortunately it was taken, but the second row was empty, so I sat there, and Nev sat next to me.
Fifth go: This time I sat in the third row. Charlie was in the second row.
Sixth go: By now I'd lost track of where I sat on the train. When I got on this time, Verka Serduchka had begun playing on the sound system. Nev asked everyone on the train to do the actions before the operator despatched it. Those on the platform were also asked to do the actions. I thought this would have to be my final go.
Seventh go: Amazingly, there was still time for me to have a seventh go. At the end of this go, only a few were waiting to get on. Nonetheless I got off and stood by the gates.
Eighth go: After the people waiting by the gates had got on, there was still an empty seat (albeit a different row to my seventh go), so I sat in it to have an eighth go. This was my final go of the day, on what looked set to be the last train of the day. To be honest I wouldn't say I really enjoyed this go, as I was now very tired and a little queasy. By the time the train returned to the station at 11:13pm, the music had already stopped, and Nev was giving a speech.
Altogether another hair-raising ERS, definitely the grand finale of the day. The ride experience seemed considerably faster and rougher than during the morning ERS, presumably that was due to the ride having been running all day. Riding Megafobia in the dark seemed somewhat different to in the morning; it wasn't possible to see where we were going or the surrounding countryside, however lights in other areas of the Park could be seen. That coupled with use of glow sticks etc. on the ride, plus the music in the station added to the fun; no wonder this has been called "the best ERS of them all".
Once Nev finished talking the time was 11:15pm. Although the music had stopped, it looked as though they were getting ready to send another train load of riders around the track, and that the group was in no hurry to leave Megafobia. I politely told Nev I wanted to return to the car park as quickly as possible. A member of staff also had to leave now, so he guided me towards the exit. Near the gate I heard a voice "Don't worry, it's me". It was Shawn the taxi driver, I'd already seen the taxi sign outside. He'd noticed lights on in the direction of Megafobia and had heard music playing, so he guessed the ERS had gone on a bit later than expected.
At 11:20pm I began my taxi ride back to Myrtle House Hotel Tenby. Leaving five minutes later than the originally agreed time of 11:15pm wasn't bad going. No further money was required as I'd paid the return fare in the morning. Just as we were heading out of the car park, I had a phone call from Nev on my mobile, stating I'd left my camera by Megafobia. He now had it and promised to return it to me Saturday morning at Folly Farm. At 11:43pm I was back at the Myrtle House Hotel, Tenby. Obviously I felt exceedingly tired by this point.
Summary of my day in order of activity
Megafobia ERS: 6 goes
Bobsleigh (toboggan run) 1
Treetops Coaster 1
Waterfall left slide (as viewed from the top) 1
Waterfall right slide (as viewed from the top) 1
Spooky 3D 1
Brer Rabbit 1
Train round trip.
Circus Clown 1
Plane Crazy 1
Plane Crazy 1
Treetops Coaster 1
Pirate Ship 1
Snake River Falls: Cobra 1
Snake River Falls: Left (as viewed from top) open slide 1
Snake River Falls: Right (as viewed from top) open slide 1
Snake River Falls: Python 1
Plane Crazy 1
Waterfall left slide (as viewed from the top) 1
Waterfall right slide (as viewed from the top) 1
Light and Firework Display
Megafobia dark ERS 8 goes
Cumulative Summary of My Rides (ERSs and Freetime Combined)
Snake River Falls: Cobra
Snake River Falls: Left open slide
Snake River Falls: Python
Snake River Falls: Right open slide
Waterfall left slide
Waterfall right slide
HighlightsMorning ERS on Megafobia before opening time.
Club takeovers of Bobsleigh, Treetops Coaster and Speed.
Adding another woodie Megafobia, plus three more steelies (Treetops, Speed and Circus Clown) to my coaster count
Meeting Nev, Ryan, the two Gareths, Dave Perry, Planenut and others again; plus Doug and his children whom I don't recall talking to on previous Club trips.
Light and firework display just after 10pm.
Evening (dark) ERS on Megafobia, complete with party music.
LowlightsGetting my jeans wet on Waterfall at dusk when it was starting to get cooler and they ideally ought to have been in my rucksack dry ready to put on if needed.
Limited choice (no beef burgers or cheese burgers) at Woody's Burger Bar when I went there around 8:45pm.
Accidentally leaving my camera by Megafobia after the dark ERS; thankfully Nev found it and returned it to me at Folly Farm next day.
Summing UpAltogether a mega fun day at Oakwood. After my non-attendance of Mega-Glow-Mania 2005 to 2011 inclusive, whilst having attended plenty of other RCCGB trips since joining in March 2005, it was extra satisfying for me to attend Mega-Glow-Mania at long last in 2012. Not just for visiting Oakwood and trying out its rides for the first time, but also because in recent years certain members have asked me why I'd repeatedly not attended Mega-Glow-Mania each August. On those grounds, I see my first-time attendance of Mega-Glow-Mania in 2012 as Norway undoubtedly felt about their first ever Eurovision Song Contest win in 1985 since their first entry in 1960. Anyway it was great for me adding another woodie Megafobia, plus three more steelies (Treetops, Speed and Circus Clown) to my coaster count, and meeting Nev, Ryan, the two Gareths, Dave Perry, Planenut and others again. Many thanks to Nev for organising it, Doug for giving me two glow sticks and Shawn the taxi driver.