Attractionmania had fewer rides than its neighbor but what it did have seemed to cater more toward thrill seekers. Granted, it contained a duo of Pax coasters, so it wouldn’t take much else to label this the more extreme of the two—like, Attractionmania could have contained only the Pax rides and a kiddie motorcycle ride and I’d still consider it more extreme than Attrapark.
WTF doesn’t even begin to describe it, but if you can imagine designing a coaster while in a state of delirium, preferably hallucinating about how totally trendy it would be to break the laws of mathematics and then downing a pound or two of chocolate covered gummi bears with three espresso shots while watching Game of Thrones before you put pen to a paper that your cat then decides to walk all over while you try to scribble with both hands because you’ve decided that now is all of a sudden a prime time to see if you’re ambidextrous, which you definitely are not, you can start to get the idea.
But it’s only a start.
Let’s begin by looking at the photo on RCDB I viewed when researching the parks on this trip.
I am not kidding you when I say my jaw dropped and I voiced a “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT THING?!?!” even though no one was around to hear me (probably a good thing, in retrospect). I clicked through the photos, eyes wide and mouth agape, the latter closing only when my dog wanted to give me kisses and I didn’t want toxic dog breath tongue in my mouth.
I was intrigued, to say the least. Truth be told, I really wanted Cobra to be #500 because something told me it would be more than a little memorable, but alas, it did not work out that way.
My Pax initiation instead occurred on Formula. There were lockers by the entrance (free, BTW, which was good because this place was just as expensive as Attrapark), which suggested something right there.
It starts with a lift whose angle of ascent is approximately Why Is The Sun Burning My Eyes Oh It Is Because I Am Staring Straight Up At It Because I Am Practically Lying On My Back Right Now degrees.
Following is this drop whose moment of ejector airtime occurs just as the car passes under a magnificent headchopper.
Then there’s this double up thing, made more awkward than it already is by the fact that your body was airborne a second ago, so don’t even think about sitting up properly and at a comfortable angle in your seat.
It’s this part. You remember how in Roller Coaster Tycoon, you had the option of banking a completely straight section of track and you did it to up your ride’s excitement level even though you thought about how weird it looked because no one anywhere did that on a real coaster?
At this point, your car, which looks far too oversized and bulky to be maneuvering around such a track in the first place, is slowly lolling around these hairpin turns like a drunkard. It was thanks to this part that I took home my first Russian coaster souvenir: bruises, and lots of them, compliments of the restraint’s metal bar smushing my thighs.
A few more rambunctious drops taken with a middle finger to the laws of physics round out the experience.
We hit the brakes and I knew I was smitten.
So then what would this be like?
In a word? Terrifying.
In a word plus an absolutely necessary expletive modifier? Fucking terrifying.
It starts with this bell tolling. No, really. It does. Really doesn’t get any more bad omenish than that, folks.
The cables attach and the train is slowly pulled up the back spike.
Which happens to be vertical. Which happens to mean that all your weight is pressing against the restraint. Which happens to be frightening.
It takes a few days to make it to the top. Or maybe it was only a few minutes. I dunno. My knuckles were white for a long time, that’s all I know.
Yeah fine, I screamed out of genuine fear when the train was released, although I regained the ability to think coherently by the time we looped, during which I discerned that the car in front of me was rocking side to side a good deal. A very good deal.
Up the front spike, backwards through the loop and I expected the brakes to catch like they do in a boomerang but they didn’t. How naïve to assume Pax would play by the rules! No, instead the train rushes right back through the station and reaches this point in the loop again before the brakes take over. It’s like Pax is trying to tease out that irrational fear that the train is going to gain that perfect combination of momentum and balance to valley upside down.
You win, Cobra.
I admit, this was a bit nerve wracking. That’s why I liked it. It’s not often anymore that a coaster can elicit genuine fear, but this sure did. I’m pretty sure the physical aspect of the ride experience was shaky and I know there were a few knocks on my head from the restraint, but to be honest, it was easy to overlook the discomfort amidst a sense of apprehension and disbelief that this garish magenta and yellow thing was actually a roller coaster.
One more visit to the kacca booth was in order for a final ride on Formula before heading out.
Well, Richard and I rode again. These goofs, well…
Oh yeah, there are other rides here. We didn’t ride any because the clock was ticking and we’d already sunk enough rubles into the place. Also, it’s just…kind of tough to follow up Pax with anything except maybe hurtling off a cliff.
Isn’t that right, fully licensed Mickey?
Onward and upward, for the Big Apples await!