Sea Paradise Park

The last day of the trip had us hitting two parks both in the Yokohama area of Japan. The first was Sea Paradise Park, or Happy Island as this sign portrayed. This park has a small number of rides but a huge Aquarium, so like Higashiyama Zoo wasn't really a theme park, just something else to visit with some coasters to break the monotony that comes with looking at enclosed animals pacing back and forth all day.

The park has two rollercoasters, one big and one small. I'll let you decide which of the two this is! In the computer game Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 when building a coaster I always seemed to end up having ones with ridculously long helixes (should that be helices?). So I was already liking the look of this coaster as whoever designed this clearly had the same thinking as me.

The park does have a record breaking attraction in "Blue Fall", a drop tower that is over 100 metres tall. The car visible on the right wasn't moving and I can only assume that the people who had ridden it when the accident had happened were too high up to be rescued and were eaten by passing seagulls over several days. Would this also make the attraction the world's tallest bird feeder?

Some people were brave enough to ride this knowing what happened to those who rode before it. I gave it a go and the ride had 2 surprises.

Firstly the ride was really really fast on its decent. The distance covered gave the ride plenty of opportunity to pick up speed. The second surprise was that it moved from side to side on the way down giving you lateral forces, which shouldn't really happen on rides like this.

107 metres is pretty damn tall! It's definitely a reason for coming to this park. Although critical of the ride experience, I did enjoy it! 350ft is very tall, the views from the top, once you eventually got up there, were great.

The ride has 5 sides but when we got to it only one was running. Realising there were three coach loads of people wanting to ride they soon opened the birdfeeder side. For some reason they'd chosen to leave the ride half way up rather than resting it at the bottom. This gave some of us queueing up concern that it could get stuck again. It didn't though.

Next to the Blue Fall were some smaller attractions including another ice room. This one was closed rather sensibly because the weather didn't warrant it.

The haunted walkthrough was pretty tame but then everything is going to be in comparison to The Haunted Hospital at Fuji-Q earlier in the day.

The small coaster is called Dolphin Coaster, and is quite a punchy little ride with a lot of track in a small footprint.
The white dolphins are the park mascot and also the most popular animal in the aquarium. This ride apparently closed shortly after our visit, which is a shame as it was actually pretty decent.

Whilst not a theme park as such, money had been investing on random objects to make the park a little more memorable than most. This vintage bus was driving around but didn't appear to be picking anyone up to ride it.

Their tea cup rides had been themed to look like barrels. I'm assuming the "keep out" signs were part of the theming and not an instruction to people wanting to ride it, otherwise the red barrels would be extremely popular.

The park had a dinky pirate boat ride, smaller than even a normal sized pirate boat.

Now this old attraction was one of the reasons for coming to the park. It's a water chute ride into the bay, which doesn't sound that exciting. But each boat has a guy standing on the front who launches himself up into the air when the boat hits the water. It would have made for an exciting photograph.

However the ride wasn't in operation on the day we were there was talk of it never reopening again. So unable to take the pictures I had to make do with a notice board explaining the history of the ride.

With all the attractions but one out of the way it was time to save the best for last on the Surf Coaster.
Surf coaster takes its name because it is built out into the sea, and on one day in the year the planetary alignment with the moon causes a huge wave, around 80 feet in height, to make its way towards the park. This wave washes through the ride and if the ride is despatched at just the right time it can be made to look like its riding it.

The seats looked a bit odd with restraints that didn't do much restraining. There was plenty of room to wiggle around inside them. The ride was actually a lot of fun and perhaps the biggest surprise of the trip. After Dodonpa this was my second favourite coaster of the trip.

The helix offered some great G-Forces that pinned you back to your seat very nicely indeed. Maybe my opinion was biased because I liked the look of the elements in the ride but they rode really well regardless.

The park did have a wheel so it was a perfect opportunity for some shots overlooking the park.
The island is man made and split into 2 zones, a park zone and a leisure zone. Free of traffic, the island markets itself as an escape from the city life and an opportunity to relax at either the park, the aquarium or the many open spaces perfect for picnicing (not "picnicking", as I'd originally typed it which sounds like some form of selective theft).

Somehow I managed to fit all of the Surf Coaster into a single shot. Who needs stitching software here! A quite long circuit with nice airtime hills and plenty of helixes.

I was going to write some stupid gag around this coaster driving you round the bend, but that would just be lame.

One of the many parks in the area, quite strange having the expressway running under it like that though.

Looks like the ride has gotten stuck again, this time with both sets of seats. Looks like the seagulls are going to get their fill again.

This is the area that joins the theme park to the left with the Aquarium on the right. It also seemed to be the main meeting point for people...

...and also for pelicans. This was one of the few side attractions that the park would put on for the public. I don't know how the training took place but the pelicans would not cross the circle of water that the handler had drawn. All very weird, but strangely without any training on our part whatsoever, none of us would cross the line either. The fear of attack was too great as subconciously you took the circle as being their territory. Derren Brown would have a field day with me for thinking like that!

This building on the side of the harbour is the main aquarium arena. There wasn't much time for us to see much of either the aquarium or the show, and there was some hesitation about whether we should risk it at all, but a couple of us decided in the end to give it a go as it would be our only opportunity.

Hidden away on this side of the park was a rapids ride. It wasn't overly wet and definitely wasn't wet enough to justify having to wear the ponchos. A few of us gave it a go and came off with marginal amounts of soaking, not enough to make us complain though.

These guys seemed to like it too, and they, like us, came off relatively dry.

Tim, the self proclaimed "Rapids God" actually found a way of getting completely soaked on this ride however. He refused to believe us when we said that it was a dry ride. He wasn't happy at all!

This sign is pretty straightforward, it made me laugh but it wasn't the most amusing cartoon. I don't know if the implication in the bottom pic is that if you do lose any loose items then you'll kill our animals, or if it is just making out the fact that some of the park animals liked to swim upside down!
A final pic of the Surf Coaster before myself and Talhat decided to venture into the aquarium.


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