The Roller Coaster

We went to a theme park today down in Pembrokeshire. Oakwood Theme Park. It’s an hour-and-a-half drive from us. Set in an old glade of oak trees – roller coasters among oak trees. Today was a stunning spring day too and all the spring flowers were out. Bluebells, daisies and periwinkles blossoming under the trees.

I bought seasons tickets. I’m going to try to get to Oakwood more this summer before we go back to Quest. The season ticket is handy as well because you only need to use it twice and then every visit after is free. We’ve been twice before to Oakwood and both times have been awesome. Though the roller coasters themselves – hmm. They are a bit old and well, if not actually passed it, have definitely had their monies worth. We went there last Halloween, just before the park closed for the winter. We’ve come back as it reopened this week. I was expecting lots of new attractions. Or at least something new.

Instead, it looks like they turned the key on the 1st of November and reopened it this April Monday morning. Of course I’m sure they didn’t. Engineering works probably took place over the winter but those are the things we don’t see. The rides that were defunct and closed last year are still defunct and closed. Still, being set among that Welsh oak glade feels good.

Going with the wooden theme; the best ride Oakwood has for me is their wooden roller coaster. Overall I’m not a huge roller coasters aficionado. I know my brother and his wife, when they went to theme parks, lined up for longer just to sit at the front of the roller coaster. I’m not one of these adrenaline junkies. Anything too steep and too fast I will pass on. But there is something about a wooden roller coaster.  

The first roller coaster I ever went on was wooden. It was in Ocean City, Maryland right at the edge of the boardwalk. I remember after going up to the the top of the roller coaster, the cart went steadily to the edge of the track. It seemed it would fall off until you took a hairpin turn. The roller coaster did this many times waving back and forth giving you the same sensation of dropping off the edge before turning suddenly away. It was a nerve-jangling thrill. 

Megafobia, this Welsh wooden roller coaster, gives me the same old feeling. It is probably faster than the one in Ocean City – it dives and twists and turns and falls. And yet there is something about a wooden roller coaster. When the metal of your cart turns against the wooden tracks, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to make it, until the cart forces its way around the bends and the wood finally relents.

A rickety, extra-bumpy experience. You might not invert or rotate or go faster than a bullet train like a slick, super-smooth metal roller coaster. Instead, you acutely feel the craziness you’re putting yourself through with each wooden plank jolting through your body. Each twist and timber turn.

Are you in? Please say yes. Let’s go! 

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