La Qua (The Second Time)

With the weather having let up and a little bit of time to spare I checked with hotel reception to see if Thunder Dolphin was running. After a little convincing that Thunder Dolphin was a roller coaster and not two words put together at random, the receptionist called the park and we got the confirmation that it was but would be closing soon. Knowing that the Metro was unlikely to let us down, there was still enough time to get up there and ride it.

When we eventually arrived at the station platform we could see that the ride operators were being more efficient than we had seen so far. All loose items had to be put into the lockers including those securely fastened around the waist regardless of whether they were under a jacket or not. They really weren't taking any risks and I guess with a busy city under you there was a high chance of an injured pedestrian should something fall. They also insisted that you queue in the first available seat, the concept of waiting for the front or back seat didn't matter. Some other members had skipped the journey back to the hotel from Disney and made their way up here and were already riding. It looked like they had been trying to position themselves in the right place to get the back seat but kept failing. So it was fortunate that having just joined the queue at random I found myself getting them.

Before the ride departs the station the ride operators put on a little show, which I think was linked to the dating promotion the complex was running. Funny how they can change from being super draconian when you board to super friendly when you leave.

And how was the ride? It's not as exciting as Expedition G-Force (it's sister ride in Germany) but it does have some great views going for it, especially at the top of the first lift hill. Not being stuck behind a piece of reinforced glass as happened at both the Government Offices and Tokyo Tower meant that the view was as pure as you were going to get it, up until the coaster train starts it's descent that is. The course is pretty gentle really, only the first drop having that "whoooooooooa" moment. The dive through the hole in the building comes on the exit to a corner so you don't get the time to appreciate it. Similarly going through the wheel, looks great from the ground, but the wheel is so damn huge it loses impact when you're on the ride. A piece of trick track on the final lap throws you from side to side and looks great if everyone has their hands in the air. There's a lot to be had for having high thrill rides that offer views of the cities they're in, particularly at night when everything is lit up. I was blown away when I rode the Big Shot at the Stratosphere in Vegas, and riding this had a similar effect.


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