Thursday, 29 September 2016

RCCGB Mega-GLOW-Mania 2016

Date: Saturday 13 August 2016
Venue: Oakwood Theme Park
Who Went: Me and a large number of other RCCGB members, including Andy and Christine Hine, Alan Hunt, Big Stevie B, Dave Wells, Doug and Charlie Turner, Mark and Margo Lewis, Planenut, Ryan Hackett, Wendy Adams Evans.

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 Saturday 13 August 2016.

Rationale for Trip
The RCCGB's annual visit to Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire, to enjoy a one-hour ERS on the wooden rollercoaster Megafobia before opening time, a one-hour dark ERS on Megafobia with party music and (for the first time ever) disco lights after closing time, and more riding in between. This was my fifth consecutive year of attending this trip. Just like 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, I also took along my fluorescent yellow cagoule with Skatedrive on it. Also just like 2014 and 2015 I took my self-designed pink hi-vis waistcoat with "Coaster Crazy Kid on Tour!" on the back, and my fluorescent yellow and fluorescent pink sports shorts. The intention was that I would wear the fluorescent yellow cagoule, pink hi-vis on top and either the pink or yellow shorts during the dark ERS in the evening.

Saturday First Thing
Having awoke at 6:30, I had an early breakfast at 7:45. It consisted of a choice of cereal (I had cornflakes), a glass of orange juice, a full Welsh breakfast (1 fried egg, 1 hash brown, 1 sausage, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 grilled tomato halves, baked beans, chopped mushrooms), four triangles of toast and a carafe of coffee. Around 8:40 Mark and Margo arrived to give me a lift to Oakwood.

Welcome to Oakwood
When Mark, Margo and I reached Oakwood, several other members were already waiting outside the park entrance. A few minutes later Nev gave his welcome speech. After that everyone entered the Park and walked to Megafobia. Near the entrance to Megafobia, I noticed the area on the hill set aside for UV powder paint throwing. There was a considerable amount of paint on the grass there and on the path in front of the stage.

Megafobia ERS
The 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. During the ERS I enjoyed seven goes, as follows:

First go: Not only was this my first go on Megafobia this ERS, it was also my first ride of the day. I sat alone for this go.
Second go: Once again I sat alone, but can't remember which row.
Third go: with Emerald Evans.
Fourth go: In the second-from-back row with Planenut.
Fifth go: In the second row with Christine Hine.
Sixth go: I sat alone for this go, but can't remember which row.
Seventh go: In the back row with Andy Knight. This was the last train of the ERS. The general public were already waiting at the entry platform as this train was despatched.

Altogether a great ERS on Megafobia, and best of all it was dry and sunny at the time. The perfect way to start the day at Oakwood.

Morning Free Time
When the ERS ended, members dispersed around the Park. I headed for Bobsleigh next, largely due to it being close to Megafobia.

A toboggan run. The queue line for this was being rebuilt at the time of Mega-GLOW-Mania 2015, so this was my first time of accessing the ride via the new queue line. Once at the boarding point, the toboggan run itself is completely unchanged from before. 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. The queue for this was reasonably short when I first got there, so now was the perfect time to ride this. I ended up having two goes; the queuing time was fairly short for my second go as well. After my second go the queue was starting to get substantially longer, so I turned to riding something else next.

Afterwards I walked up the hill, past Woody's Burger Bar and Waterfall, and on towards Treetops Coaster. Along the way someone asked me where the toilets were. I think that person must have thought I was a member of staff on two counts: (i) my Mega-GLOW-Mania trip badge, and (ii) my white T-shirt with the Megafobia 20th Anniversary logo on the front and Real Coasters are made of Wood logo on the back (some staff members had similar white T-shirts which had the ColourFest logo on the back). I said I was a RCCGB member attending a Club trip here, and clarified that any person wearing a Mega-GLOW-Mania trip badge like mine was not a member of staff.

Treetops Coaster
This Zierer Tivoli – Large steel family coaster has been operating since 1989. The train leaves the station and climbs the lift hill. After the first drop, the train follows the track through twists and turns amongst the trees. In certain places the track goes close to the ground. Finally the train returns to the station. I enjoyed two goes, as follows:
First go: in the third row.
Second go: in the back row. Sitting in the back meant it took me longest to clear the station when the train was despatched, and I was able to see the front of the train around the bends as it went around.

Coffee Break
By now I felt like a coffee, so I went to Pit Stop near Speed for a coffee. Whilst drinking my coffee at one of the outdoor tables I met Penny and Sam, and spoke to them for a few minutes.

This Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter (Custom) steel coaster has been operating since 13 April 2006. Each ride car seats eight riders (two rows of four seats). I enjoyed two goes as follows:

First go: I sat in car 4. 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. Whilst passing through the photo kiosk on the way out, I met Wendy Evans and spoke to her briefly.

Second go: I sat in car 2. The ride experience was just the same as on my first go. Although I enjoyed my second go just as much as the first, at the end of this go I felt "two's company, three's a crowd". In other words I felt that two goes on Speed was enough for me. I don't think I could have comfortably stuck a third go.

This is a tea cup ride just outside the enclosed circus area of Oakwood, and is therefore self-explanatory. I fancied a go, so I got on and enjoyed one go on it. The ride experience was what one would expect from a tea cup ride. This was my only go on here all day.

At this point I went into Neverland to try some of the rides there.

The Streets of London Tour
This ride consists of miniature cars which resemble London taxis. Having waited in the station, I got into the back row of an empty cab. The cab followed a winding track around an enclosed part of Neverland. Along the way there are miniature replicas of various London sights, e.g. Nelson's Column. After one complete lap the taxi was back at the station, and that was the end of my ride. Undeniably this was a rather unexciting ride, but nonetheless worth riding once just to say I'd been on it. My one go now was my only go on this all day.

Crocodile Coaster
This powered kiddie coaster formerly operated at Camelot Theme Park as Junior Dragon Coaster from 1992 to 2012. Since 25 May 2013 it has been operating in the Neverland section of Oakwood as Crocodile Coaster. Although this is a very mild coaster, with a minimal rise and fall, it was still worth riding anyway. I enjoyed two goes as follows:

First go: I sat alone in the second row.
Second go:I sat in the back row with Wendy Adams Evans. From the back we were able to see the front of the train around the bend. Apart from that the ride experience in the back seemed about the same as in the second row.

Coffee Break
At this point I felt like another coffee break, so I went to The Little Darlings' Café in Neverland for a coffee. After I had finished my coffee, I headed towards the front of the park as it was almost time for the baseball tournament.

Around 13:30 many members included me gathered on the field at the front of the Park for baseball. When I got there other members were waiting for the game to begin. Eventually Nev asked all those who wanted to play to get into one of two teams, Woodies and Steelies; I played for Woodies. As usual Nev played on the Woodies team. Those who didn't want to play sat and watched the game. The final score was Woodies 396 Steelies 17.

Afternoon and Evening Free Time
After the baseball ended, some members returned to the camp site for a rest. Others including me returned to the Park for more rides. Drenched was still closed when I walked past it, which seemed odd as I thought it was due to open at 14:00, and the time was now around 14:30.

At this point I felt like a light snack, so I went to The Little Darlings' Café in Neverland, where I had a hot dog and coffee. Afterwards I went for a walk around the park. Eventually I ended up at Waterfall and decided to ride that next.

Two giant slides descend from the top of a tower. You launch yourself at the top on a plastic tray; for this reason some members call this the tea tray ride. The correct riding procedure is to grip the tray handles tightly and lean forwards. 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. For this reason I put on my navy cagoule. Since I was intending to have multiple goes, I wanted to leave my rucksack at the launch platform and collect it after my last go, but the attendant said I would have to take it with me on each go. Hence it was necessary to put it on my back each time, which wasn't ideal. I ended up having two goes as follows:

First go: right slide I sailed across the landing pool without keeling over and almost reached the end of the run-out.
Second go: left slide having landed I keeled over mid-way across the pool and got soaked! My trainers and bottom got a dunking. This ended up being my final go on Waterfall for the rest of the day.

Having left Waterfall, I sat at one of the outdoor tables outside Woody's Burger Bar. I removed my trainers and tried wringing out my soaking wet socks. Someone on a neighbouring table passed me some serviettes so I could dry my feet, and try and mop up some of the water from inside my trainers. At this point I admitted to others near me that I couldn't nip back to my hotel to dry myself properly and change my pants and socks, and in any case, my wet trainers were the only footwear I had as I didn't have a spare pair of trainers or shoes back at my hotel room. A few minutes later I had no option but to put my wet socks and trainers back on. Afterwards I tried standing by a hand dryer in a nearby toilet to partially dry my shorts and pants, but it quickly became obvious my best hope was to just return to riding and hope I would dry off naturally in the sun. Although my clothes gradually dried as time went on, my socks and trainer insoles remained wet the rest of the day, which was uncomfortable. My next port of call was Neverland.

Oakwood Aerodrome
This Neverland ride features a set of planes on spokes which go up and down around in a circle. Each plane is themed around a particular country, bearing a name and the applicable country name. I rode in plane number 5 Juan Carlos - Spain. Although it wasn't particularly thrilling, it was worth riding to say I'd been on it today. For now I only had one go.

I left Neverland and walked across to Drenched. Thankfully it was now open, and since the queue was reasonably short when I got there, I decided to ride this next. As soon as I joined the back of the queue, I met Planenut, Doug and Charlie. Just before getting into the boat, I put on my orange cagoule and navy leggings. This Intamin River Plunge opened in 2002 as Hydro, but was renamed Drenched in 2011. 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. This was my only go on here all day.

Having left the ride I didn't bother standing on the bridge to watch the boat land on a later run. Once I was well clear of the bridge, I removed my wet rain gear. A few minutes later I headed across the park towards Waterfall. When I got to top of the hill in front of the stage, a cheerleading show was taking place on stage. I tried joining in with some of the actions, but doing so was difficult with my rucksack on my back, and I didn't want to put it on the grass. It wasn't long before I resumed walking in search of a ride I hadn't been on yet. I ended up at Snake River Falls, and decided to ride that next.

Snake River Falls
A 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. Facing the slide entrances from the launch platform, from left to right they are as follows:

Cobra: a closed tube slide with many twists and turns on the way down. The slide is enhanced by lighting effects.
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.
Right open slide: a straight, open top slide identical to the left open slide.
Python: a closed tube slide with many twists and turns on the way down. The slide is enhanced by lighting effects.

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.

On this occasion all four slides were in operation. I rode all four slides once each in the following order: Cobra, left open, right open, Python. Riding all four slides once each took me almost an hour, even though the queues only stretched about two or three steps down from the top. The attendant was despatching the four slides one by one, round robin. Presumably that procedure was seen as fairer to all queues than giving priority to clearing one queue that was longer than the others.

Once I had ridden all four Snake River Falls slides I unexpectedly met Planenut nearby. I suggested we go on the pedalo boats together, and he agreed.

Boating Lake
Planenut and I headed for the Boating Lake. When we got there the queue was quite short, and within a few minutes we got into one of the pedaloes together. We were allowed to go around the island once only. Together we pedalled around the lake, staying to the right of the island all the way around. On the way back I noticed a lot of weed close to Megafobia, so we steered well clear of the weed. Having disembarked my legs felt a bit tired after all the pedalling. There's no way I could have had two goes straight off.

Afterwards I returned to riding alone. Being as I was near the Pirate Ship, I decided to ride that next.

Pirate Ship
A run-of-the-mill swinging Pirate Ship, which is made by Huss Rides. 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. When I approached the ride, I could have got onto its very next run, but when the attendant told me the next run was going to be a half-swing run, I waited behind the entry gate whilst that half-swing run was in progress. When that was over, the run which followed was a full-swing run, so I sat in an end row for maximum thrill. As expected the most exciting moment was when the ship swung backwards sending me to the highest point. Although a fun ride, once was enough for me, I don't think my body could have stuck two goes straight off.

Having left the Pirate Ship, I left this area and headed towards Neverland.

Skull Rock
You will get wet (or possibly soaked) on this log flume whatever the weather. This formerly operated at Camelot Theme Park, and began operating at Oakwood in 2013. The queue for this was quite short; presumably not many people wanted to ride it early evening as the hottest part of the day had now gone. Although it was a dry sunny evening, I donned my orange cagoule to prevent me getting wet. I sat in log 3. The log sailed around the canal and up the lift hill, ready for the drop and mighty splash which followed. Having disembarked I queued again for a second go, and again the wait was quite short. This time I sat in log 1. After my second go I removed my cagoule before going on anything else.

Crocodile Coaster
Now for a few more goes on Crocodile Coaster. When I approached the station, the train was already standing there, and the attendant was eagerly awaiting a rider. I ended up having two goes, as follows:

First go: Being as I was the only person approaching the ride, I was able to sit anywhere I liked. In order to have an unobstructed view of the track ahead of me, I sat in the front row. I was the only person on the ride during this run.
Second go: A few more riders were now waiting to ride, but nonetheless I was able to go on again without having to recirculate via the exit and entry paths. This time I sat in the second-from-back row. This was my final go of the day on Crocodile Coaster.

Neverland Chase
A tractor ride in the Neverland area. When it was my turn I got into an empty tractor, which worked its way around the circuit and back to the station. Not a particularly exciting ride, but worth one go just to say I'd been on it. This was my only go on Neverland Chase all day.

Oakwood Aerodrome
My second and final go of the day on this aeroplane ride in Neverland. This time I rode in plane number 8 Siobhan - Ireland. Just like when I rode Oakwood Aerodrome during the afternoon, I limited myself to one go. This ended up being my final Neverland ride of the day. Shortly afterwards I left Neverland for the final time in order to ride something somewhere else in the Park.

Although I had already ridden this beyond vertical drop coaster mid-morning, I was determined to have at least one more go on it this late in the day. I ended up having two goes on it, both of which were great fun. The waiting time was fairly short for both goes.

Moon Landing
A drop slide called Skyleap until 2012. In 2013 it was renamed Moon Landing and given Moon theming, including some information about the Moon at the top of the stairs. Adults are allowed on it and, even though my socks were still wet from earlier I was keen to have a few goes. 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 the aforementioned drop slides which all have flat run-outs, Skyleap's run-out has a hump at the end. If you go fast enough along the flat section you will go over the hump. Since my socks were wet I tried to minimise my foot contact with the launch point and run-out. For that reason, I limited myself to just two goes on this occasion.

Evening Dinner
Around 20:30 I went to Woody's Burger Bar to get something to eat. Now seemed the ideal time to go there, so I could order something, consume it and leave this area well before the ColourFest UV paint party began at 21:15. I ordered a double burger meal, which included large fries and a large drink; I chose Sprite. As soon as my order was ready, I ate it in the indoor seating area. When I had almost finished my meal, I noticed some people carrying bags of UV powder paint up the hill, so I wanted to get away from this area as soon as I could.

After leaving Woody's Burger Bar I began setting off towards Neverland via Circus Land. As I passed Circus Land, Clown Coaster (which I hadn't yet ridden) was in operation, so I went to see if I could get a go on it.

Clown Coaster
This Pinfari Circus Clown steel coaster has been operating since 1997. It's the smallest of the Park's five coasters, and is located in Circus Land. Being a kiddie coaster the rises and falls are very small. Officially adults can only ride it when accompanying children. However on this occasion I showed the attendant my trip badge and RCCGB membership card, and I was allowed to have one go on it; he said a few other members attending the trip had asked to ride it earlier. The train climbed a slight hill and down the first drop. After two more small rises and falls it was back at the station. One ride consisted of six laps of the track. Although a very mild ride, my one go now was definitely worth it to say I had ridden all five coasters at Oakwood during this visit. This ended up being my final ride during normal opening time.

After Dark

The ColourFest UV powder paint party was billed to run from 21:15 to 21:45 as part of the After Dark event. Visitors could buy UV powder paint packs from the Megafobia shop to throw at others in the designated area towards the bottom of the hill in front of the stage. The coloured powder was intended to glow under the ultra violet lighting in the designated area. For several reasons I didn't want to take part in the UV powder fight, and I definitely didn't want other people (whether RCCGB Mega-GLOW-Mania 2016 attendees or the general public) throwing UV powder at me, so I decided to stay well clear of the designated powder throwing area. Unfortunately some visitors were throwing UV powder in other areas of the park. Thankfully the Oak Tree Restaurant was still open, albeit now serving drinks only, so I went there to have a white coffee. I stayed there until the firework display was almost due to start as I felt that was the only place in the entire park where there was no risk of me being hit by UV powder.

Firework Display
Around 21:50 it was time for the After Dark firework display, set to music. In order to have an unobstructed view of the fireworks (plus lights and/or lasers if used) and hear the music at full volume, one needed to be on the hill at the front of the stage, as that's where the display was intended to be viewed from. This time I didn't want to stand on that hill as, although the ColourFest UV powder paint party officially ended just before the fireworks began, I was concerned some individuals might still be throwing paint powder around. Due to the time at which I left the Oak Tree Restaurant after finishing my coffee, and my subsequent visit to the adjacent toilet, I ended up watching the display from outside the Oak Tree Restaurant for the first time ever. From there I was able to see the giant rockets burst open high in the sky. Obviously I wasn't able to see any lower-level fireworks lights or lasers if used, and the music was somewhat muffled. Looking positively, it was a change to see the display from a different viewpoint to the past four years. When the display ended, the Park was officially closed and it was time for the public to leave. However for us the best was yet to come.

Megafobia Dark ERS
As the public left, members headed for Megafobia. I walked from outside the Oak Tree Restaurant to Megafobia, passing the entrance to Bobsleigh along the way. Walking alone towards Megafobia whilst a large number of general public visitors were walking the opposite direction felt odd to say the least! When I got to the entry platform, Mark and Margo already had their disco lights set up at one end of the platform, but no music was playing yet. The music began at 22:05, thereby officially signalling the start of the ERS which lasted one hour. Many members (but not me) were wearing or holding glow sticks; some had something with flashing lights. Just before my first go I put on my fluorescent yellow cagoule (with Skatedrive on it), self-designed pink hi-vis jacket and fluorescent yellow sports shorts (over my jogging bottoms). Several members liked what I was wearing. However I didn't have any glow sticks this time. During this ERS I enjoyed nine goes on Megafobia, as follows.

First go: In the second from-back row with Margo. I told her I didn't want anyone who had taken part in the UV powder paint party getting their powder paint on me during the ERS; she said she didn't want other paint powder on her either. At the end of this go I was just about to recirculate via the exit and entry paths when …
Second go: …following an announcement I took the remaining spare seat next to Mark Lewis from the exit platform. Unfortunately after I'd locked my bar I noticed Big Stevie B, who was covered in yellow UV paint powder, was immediately in front of me. By the time he said I would get winded with paint, it was too late for me to tell the attendants to stop the already despatched train and let me out. Some yellow paint powder went on to my jogging bottoms above the knees. After leaving the ride I tried shaking it off whilst recirculating for my next go.
Third go: This time I sat alone, but can't remember which row. Most of the tiny amount of paint powder that had landed on my jogging bottoms during my previous go had already disappeared, but as far as I was concerned I'd already received more paint than I wanted.
Fourth go: With a ride attendant, bit I can't remember which row.
Fifth go: With Planenut, bit I can't remember which row.
Sixth go: With Andy Knight, bit I can't remember which row.
Seventh go: This time I rode alone.
Eighth go: This time I tried sitting as close as I could to the front. I ended up sitting in the second row with Christine Hine. Being as the ERS was nearly over, I expected this to be my final go of the day. When I returned to the station, I was about to leave the exit platform when …
Ninth go: … suddenly I noticed Dave Wells was alone in the front row, so I took the empty space next to him. This was the last train of the ERS, and the day. It was extra special being in the front row, and thus having an unobstructed view of the track ahead, even though it was dark. When the train returned to the station, the music had already ceased and the ERS was officially over.

The party music which accompanied the one-hour dark ERS included snippets of "YMCA" (Village People), "My Old Silver Lining", "Glad All Over", Can-Can, "The Locomotion" etc. The final four songs, played in full, were:
Dancing Lasha Tumbai
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
New York

Finally the Warner Brothers cartoon "That's all folks" marked the end of the party music.

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. Riding Megafobia in the dark was totally 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 party music and disco lights in the station added to the fun; no wonder this has been called "the best ERS of them all". It's a pity my enjoyment of the dark ERS was marred by my fear of getting second-hand paint powder on me, both whilst riding Megafobia and between goes. As far as I'm concerned, the tiny amount of paint powder blown onto me as a result of my seating position during my second go was more than I wanted.

Summary of my day in order of activity

Morning ERS: Megafobia 7

Normal time
Bobsleigh 2
Treetops Coaster 2

Coffee at Pit Stop

Speed 2
Teacups 1
The Streets of London Tour 1
Crocodile Coaster 2

Coffee at The Little Darlings Café
Hot dog and coffee at The Little Darlings Café

Waterfall right slide 1
Waterfall left slide 1
Oakwood Aerodrome 1
Drenched 1
Snake River Falls: Cobra 1
Snake River Falls: left open slide 1
Snake River Falls: right open slide 1
Snake River Falls: Python 1
Boating Lake 1
Pirate Ship 1
Skull Rock log flume 2
Crocodile Coaster 2
Neverland Chase 1
Oakwood Aerodrome 1
Speed 2
Moon Landing 2

Evening meal at Woody's Burger Bar

Clown Coaster 1

White coffee at Oak Tree Restaurant
Firework display

Dark ERS: Megafobia 9

Cumulative Summary of My Rides (ERSs and Freetime Combined)

Boating Lake
Clown Coaster
Crocodile Coaster
Moon Landing
Neverland Chase
Oakwood Aerodrome
Pirate Ship
Skull Rock log flume
Snake River Falls: Cobra
Snake River Falls: left open slide
Snake River Falls: Python
Snake River Falls: right open slide
The Streets of London Tour
Treetops Coaster
Waterfall left slide
Waterfall right slide

Rest of Saturday
When the ERS ended just after 23:00 Nev gave a short speech before everyone returned to the car park. At this point Mark and Margo dismantled their disco lights. Since they were going to give me a lift back to my hotel, I asked the attendant if I could wait on the exit platform until they were ready to leave; he said I could. Whilst I waited, the train was despatched one more time, and a set of points was altered, so that the train could be stored overnight in a siding, instead of the station. When Mark and Margo were ready to leave, I returned to the car park with them and they gave me a lift back to my hotel. After our final goodbyes outside the hotel car park I was back in my room around quarter to midnight, dead tired.


Morning ERS on Megafobia before Oakwood opened to the public.
Riding all five coasters and several non-coaster rides again.
Meeting Nev, Doug and Charlie, Mark and Margo, Planenut, Ryan Hackett, Wendy Adams Evans and others again.
Beautiful dry, sunny weather from dawn to dusk.

Bounce and Tink's Flying School out of action all day.
Keeling over into the water at the end of my second go on Waterfall, and consequently getting my feet wet.
Fear of being covered in UV powder paint during the ColourFest paint session, and/or dark ERS thereafter.

Summing Up
Altogether a coaster crazy day at Oakwood. Turnout was considerably higher for Oakwood than for Folly Farm the previous day, presumably because the Oakwood trip was on a Saturday, whereas the Folly Farm visit was a Friday. It was great riding all five roller coasters, including Clown Coaster which I didn't expect to be able to go on, and several non-coaster rides (including Bobsleigh, Drenched and Snake River Falls) again. It was unfortunate that Bounce and Tink's Flying School out of action all day, but you can't win them all, I suppose. Far more seriously though, it's a pity my enjoyment of the day was ruined by my constant fear of being covered in UV powder paint during the ColourFest UV powder paint session, and/or dark ERS thereafter. Due to certain individuals choosing to throw paint powder in parts of the park other than the designated zone, I felt the need to stay in the Oak Tree Restaurant during the paint session, and to watch the fireworks standing outside the Oak Tree Restaurant afterwards. I shouldn't have felt it necessary to do that. Furthermore from time to time I admitted to some other RCCGB members that, in some ways, I wasn't looking forward to the dark ERS on Megafobia as there was a possibility of me getting covered in second-hand UV powder paint from members already covered in it after taking part in the paint session. That aside, it was great meeting other Club members again, and the weather was perfect, dry and sunny from dawn to dusk, and still dry during the dark ERS. Many thanks to Nev for organising the trip, the staff for operating Megafobia before opening and after closing, and to Mark and Margo Lewis for providing the dark ERS disco lighting and for giving me lifts to and from Oakwood.

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