Alexander: Today is the last day of the ACE South of the Border tour.
But we still have an amazing last day of Mexicoasters!
We have our highly-anticipated day at La Feria Chapultepec Mágico with a bonus visit to a surprisingly great indoor kiddie park, Perimágico!
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After our whirlwind tour of La Feria Chapultepec Mágico’s coasters two days ago, we’re ready to take a closer look at this amazing park!
As mentioned before, La Feria Chapultepec Mágico is the amusement park (literally “the fair”) at downtown Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park (“Grasshopper Park”).
The word “mágico” in this context doesn’t necessarily mean “magical” (although that is the literal translation), but in afigurative sense, meaning “splendid” or “excellent” (as is the case with parks like Bosqué Mágico, Selva Mágica, and Perimágico).
Having said all that, it would be fair to say that La Feria’s coaster collection is nothing short of magical.
I mean . . . look at this! This is nothing short of sorcery!
First order of business:
We all gathered in Montaña Rusa‘s station for a very special dedication! Montaña Rusa is the first American Coaster Enthusiasts Roller Coaster Landmark in Latin America! As a token of their appreciation, La Feria gave ACE a special piece of 50th Anniversary artwork — painted by a local artist on a retired piece of Montaña Rusa!
As more and more coasters are inducted into ACE Landmark status, the diversity of the pedigree continues to yield wonderful and unique inclusions; Montaña Rusa isn’t the oldest or most famous of the ACE Landmarks, but its place the wooden coaster timeline cannot go unnoticed.
La Montaña Rusa opened as the tallest, fastest, and (technically) longest roller coaster in the world.
The enormous National Amusement Devices möbius loop coaster took its height and speed records (and probably more than a little inspiration) from Long Beach California’s legendary Cyclone Racer.
Mexico City was home to the height and speed records for an impressive 12 years; they returned to the United States on its Bicentennial when John Allen built his magnum opus, Screamin’ Eagle, at the five-years-young Six Flags Over Mid-America. Just two years later, the records were broken again – for the first time by a steel coaster: Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Loch Ness Monster.
One ride on Montaña Rusa is a ride on just 1/2 the coaster; a trip dispatching from the left side of the station requires a 2nd trip dispatching from the right side (or vise-versa) in order to cover all of the ride’s 8,000 feet of track. While Kings Island’s Beast demolished the record for longest ride in 1979, Montaña Rusa’s technical record for longest total track length wasn’t broken until Nagashima Spa Land’s Steel Dragon 2000.
In celebration of the park’s (and the coaster’s) 50th Anniversary, an incredibly detailed scale model of Montaña Rusa was built.
The model is incredibly precise; Montaña Rusa’s signature radial hill / drop parabolas are perfectly captured in miniature.
While Montaña Rusa‘s two tracks run almost entirely side-by-side (a la International Amusement Devices’ next generation Montaña Rusa incarnation: Magic Mountain’s Colossus), the ride is not billed as a “racing” coaster. Typically the park runs one train (alternating between stations for loading), and on two-train days, they’re deliberately staggered, probably to help keep from prematurely wearing out the bottoms of the drops.
The incredibly heavy International Amusement Devices trains that opened with Montaña Rusa still run today (Colossus retired its IAD trains after one season), albeit with a cosmetic re-design. Diligent maintenance of these trains, as well as maintaining the ride’s high-stress areas to their original specifications (the sharp, almost circular valleys between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd drops) are why La Feria is so deserving of the ACE Landmark designation.
Montaña Rusa isn’t the only benefactor of La Feria’s commitment to preservation; its two Schwarzkopfs are in the best shape of their lives.
Quimera really steals the show at La Feria, but the delightful Cascabel shuttle loop is a star in its own right.
Cascabel has been a citizen of Mexico City since 1994, following a ten-year stint at Pittsburg’s Kennywood as Laser Loop.
Cascabel is a big hit with ACE! Just one Schwarzkopf looper is enough to completely win us over, but two had us positively in raptures.
This’ll be the only time you hear me say that a Schwarzkopf shuttle loop isn’t the most outstanding ride at its respective park.
Aside from its trio of star coasters, La Feria boasts a wonderful collection of flat rides. . .
. . . INCLUDING A HUSS CONDOR WHICH IS LIKE MY FAV OF ALL TIME!
Condor shadow is best shadow!
Of course I went back for some more abuse from Quimera.
ACE reactions to Quimera were polarizing. I heard everything from “this might be my new #1 coaster” to “I cannot believe something this awful actually exists.”
One of the longest lines of the trip was actually for Condor, but it was SO WORTH IT! Nice long ride cycle with great views!
There’s lots to admire while waiting in line for Condor, including this unique kiddie suspended monorail . . .
. . . and an Eyerly Aircraft Loop-O-Plane!
The colorful Huss Top Spin is out of commission, sadly. These rides seem to be disappearing rapidly from parks.
Not a lot of my Condor shots came out. The program is almost too thrilling to allow for photos!
Mexico loves their little 2-story merry-go-rounds.
They also love their old school flume rides!
Troncos is an excellent old log flume with a long, low layout and one big drop (similar to the flume at Selva Mágica).
I love the way this ride is integrated with the park. Also like Selva’s flume, much of Troncos is situated in a beveled out trough that can be easily admired from the midway.
Any Coney Island / Astroland fans out there? One of their signature rides was a rocket-themed motion simulator just like this one!
The park’s gift shop is full of beautiful works of art made from bits of Montaña Rusa – just like the one we ACE received. So many cool pieces!
The winner for best shrubbery goes to La Feria for this plant-based recreation of their logo.
Winner for most aggressive roller coaster experience belongs to Quimera, of course.
Although their spinning mouse has to be one of the most intense rides I’ve been on as well. It’s no coincidence, since both coasters operate without any of their prescribed incremental trim-braking.
As ACE gathered to the front of La Feria for the coach ride to Perimágico, we were treated to great views of the Schwarzkopf coasters.
Bye Quimera! I’m gonna miss you! You hurt so good!
A short coach ride to this unassuming shopping plaza proves fruitful if you’re a coaster enthusiast!
We were lead into Perimágico as a group through the park’s back door, which also serves as access to its tiny and uncomfortably hot outdoor portion.
What we’re looking for, however, is chillin in the A/C of Perimágico’s much larger indoor portion.
Stamp of approval!
Time for a ride on a surprisingly good custom Zierer Tivoli!
Not only does Huracan boast a really cool layout that entwines itself around the whole park, but you get to ride twice!
Coaster aside, Perimágico’s signature ride is this beautiful Ferris Wheel that reaches all the way to the highest ceiling of the shopping mall above.
Most of the rides here are kiddie rides; all the better for cramming into a park / arcade that’s no larger than a typical department store.
Though quite small, the park has a lot of polish and some very nice rides.
The Ferris Wheel is just amazingly cool. Why are there not more Ferris Wheels jutting up through 6-story shopping plazas!?
The park’s arcade seems to have recently transitioned out of redemption-style games. Additional kiddie rides have invaded what had been gaming space.
Aside from the direct parking garage entrance on the ground floor, Perimágico can be entered from inside the shopping mall via some impressively tall escalators.
The escalators provide some nice views of Huracan and the rest of the park.
Once you pop up out of Perimágico, you’ll find yourself inside an enormous food court.
We didn’t have but two hours to spend in Perimágico, but I made time for some homemade spaghetti to enjoy while watching the Ferris Wheel.
Upon re-entry to Perimágico from the food court you can catch a nice look at the park’s most thrilling ride, which appears to be a cross between a Flying Bobs ride and a Trabant.
Huracan wraps a helix around this peculiar flat ride, which features a ride cycle of approximately 4 minutes!
Well, that’s a wrap! Thanks for showing me such a good time, Mexico! Hasta la vista!
Thank you to the American Coaster Enthusiasts for putting on such an amazing international tour. This is the fourth one I’ve done with ACE and look forward to doing more in the future!
ACE South of the Border is complete, but CCCK’s adventures have only just begun! We have SO MUCH planned for this summer! I can’t wait to take on more adventures with you!
Until next time. :}
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