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Scotland Trip – Aug/Sep 2015 – Codona’s and M&D’s

witchfinder

Member
This is my first trip report, covering two Scottish parks that don’t look to have had a lot of coverage on here recently. I’m fully aware these aren’t the greatest parks in the world (or even the UK!) but thought I’d try and give a balanced review of both parks…

So these trips were part of a 10-day holiday for my wife and I, touring around Scotland. Early in this trip was a visit to see some friends in Aberdeen so I took the opportunity to pick up the two creds at Codona’s Amusement Park.

The park is sandwiched between Aberdeen’s beachfront and a large retail complex. The main building features a large amusement arcade, tenpin bowling, indoor mini golf and more, while outside there is a small selection of generic fairground type rides, another mini golf course and some other attractions.

We booked the ‘all day outdoor wristband’ package in advance, which cost £15 each. For this you get unlimited use of all rides, one game of outdoor mini golf, one admission to the ‘Dino Safari’ 6D motion ride, one go on the high ropes course and a game of bowling (which is only available if booked online in advance). So a pretty good package for the money! :--D

Just as we arrived it started raining, so we did the ‘Dino Safari’ motion ride first. It was billed as 6D but assuming the 4th ‘D’ was the limited environmental effects I’m not sure what the 5th and 6th ‘D’s were! It was nothing spectacular but a fun enough clone of Jurassic Park with some good sound and a lot of chair shaking. A good way to spend ten minutes until the rain passed over.



So with the weather looking brighter again, we headed outside to the rides. First up was the main reason for being there, the Looping Star. The main attraction of this ride is its location, three stories up on the top of one of the buildings!



It’s not a great coaster of course, but since the park was pretty much empty I had five rides in a row (getting out each time to then get into the other train) and rode both trains front and back. The tip from the friendly ride operator was that the back row of the yellow train was fastest, but I didn’t notice much difference. It’s certainly more fun on the back than the front though I feel.



For an old Pinfari I didn’t think it was too rough, although the brakes seem to kick in way too early which leaves you trundling towards the exit station in an annoying fashion.

Next up was the only other cred, the less than spectacular Apple Coaster. Nothing more to be said really!



After this we wandered round some of the other outdoor attractions, including the Animal Barn with its giant rabbits…



We then played Pirate Island Mini Gold, which was really good, especially the hole that is located between a pirate ship and an island, which is motion activated so that a full scale battle ensues as you play the hole, with cannons booming and smoke billowing across the course. =D>





Following this we did a few more of the rides, including the astroglide, the generic fairground log flume (which got us reasonably wet) and a ride on the big wheel to get some better views of the Looping Star and the park as a whole.









I didn’t get chance to do the high ropes course (my wife wouldn’t have done it anyway) and I also skipped the Waltzers and Pirate Ship, but we had a go on the Skydeck Dodgems, which are located inside on a suspended floor above the arcade – nice idea!





The Dodgems were included in the wristband price, which is fairly unusual, and we got a good long ride, mainly because the operator decided midway through to jump in a car himself and join in the fun. There was definitely no restriction on bumping either – in fact it was encouraged.

Finally we had a few games in the arcade and had our game of bowling, along with my friend who had joined us by then.

So in summary, Codona’s is a small but fun park. None of the rides are spectacular but they’re all in reasonably good shape and the operators are friendly. The park is pretty clean too, so nothing to complain about really aside from it being incredibly hot in the arcade.

I don’t think there are many places in the UK that you can get unlimited rides plus one-shot admission to four other attractions for £15, so in terms of value for money I don’t think it can be beaten. I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit there but if you’re going to be in the vicinity anyway then it’s definitely worth checking out, and picking up the two creds of course! :wink:

Next up, M&D’s…
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Scotland reminds me a lot of Finland when it comes to creds. They have nothing exceptional but they have a fair amount of unique types - such as the only suspended Pinfari in the UK, a rare Barbisan coaster and the only operating Pinfari RC70. Ok, so not much to shout about but for us geeks, it's rather special.

I remember being underwhelmed by Codona's, with the exception of the Cred On A Shed. And I'll await you opinions on M&Ds before I comment ;)

If you do Scotland again, make sure you take a day to do Landmark Forest Park which is about 2 hours west of Aberdeen. It's by far the best park in Scotland with it's plethora of quirky **** and lonesome cred!
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Great first trip report!

I love when a ride has loads of Dimensions but you can't figure out what they are. The mystery of Dino Safari!

I look forward to hearing which coasters gave you the biggest headache at M+D's!
 

peep

Well-Known Member
Nice report, sounds like you had an enjoyable time. Intrigued to see how your time at M&Ds panned out.

Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk
 

witchfinder

Member
Ian said:
I remember being underwhelmed by Codona's, with the exception of the Cred On A Shed.

Well yes, in terms of the rides it's pretty dismal, but when you take into account everything you get for £15 then I think it's a good amusement centre overall. Just the bowling and mini golf would cost a tenner in most places so you basically get everything else for £5... :lol:

I'm sure I'll be up in Scotland again sometime so will give Landmark Forest a try.

Radaxian said:
Great first trip report!
Thanks! I see from your avatar you're a Bubble Bobble fan - that's my all-time favourite game! :--D
 

witchfinder

Member
After spending just over a week touring Scotland, including four days in the Outer Hebrides, we stopped off at M&D’s during the last day of our holiday.

M&D’s is described as ‘Scotland’s Theme Park’ but as the park guide on this site says, there’s nothing very typically Scottish about it. That said, there is one Scottish stereotype that this park could be themed upon – a drunken brawl between two Glaswegians on a car park. This is because you’ll almost certainly leave some of the M&D’s rides both disorientated and bruised! :lol:

The park is situated by a nice lake/loch in Strathclyde Country Park, near Motherwell. The weather on the day we went there was unseasonably gorgeous, with bright sunshine and barely a cloud in the sky.



The main entrance building consists of a large amusement arcade, bowling alley, pool hall, food court and restaurant. Entry to the park is free but in order to ride anything you’ll need an unlimited rides wristband or a ‘fun card’ which you top up with points to allow entry to the rides.

We’d got £30 worth of Tesco Days Out vouchers to spend on the park, so the cost for two adult wristbands was just an additional £7 or so. The wristbands give access to all rides plus one game of mini golf, which we got out of the way first, after eating a dire lunch in the restaurant. It’s another Pirate-themed course, this time with one hole situated within a pirate ship...



So then it was time for the rides, starting with yet another generic fairground log flume. This was exactly the same layout as the one at Codona’s (and also one we rode earlier in the year at Southport) but they must have filled it with more water as the second drop got us pretty well soaked – most welcome on a hot day!

Next it was on to the creds, starting with the Space Coaster. This is the same model as the Roller Coaster at Wicksteed park which we rode last year, but is in far rougher shape and only runs one train.



These coasters are so boring for the most part, given that they don’t even have a decent first drop. The best bit is undoubtedly the headchopper moment towards the end, which always makes me duck! I do also like the station flyover section but that’s better experienced while queueing than on the ride itself.



What I don’t get is why these tame rides all seem to have really uncomfortable OTSRs – pointless and annoying. :?

Up next was the Runaway Mine Train, which is unique as far as I’m aware, given that it was converted from having spinning cars and a spiral lift hill to its current form.



Whilst it is obviously designed for kids and is mostly forgettable, for some reason the initial lift hill is quite imposing and the little twist it does at the top of the hill is fairly unique for this kind of ride. The ride was also pretty smooth, which is more than can be said for the next cred...

Yes, it was time to ride the infamous Tornado, and the warning signs were literally not good:



Boisterous is an understatement – I would say ‘painful’ is a more accurate description of the entire ride experience! That started with the loading of the singular train, which was done by one lonely operator that had to check all the restraints by himself, including adjusting the little seatbelts that join the OTSRs to the seats. This meant that although there was rarely more than a train full of people waiting in the queue, it seemed like close to ten minutes elapsed between one ride starting and the next.

Anyway, the pain continued with the ride itself. I took the back seat on my own (my wife would never ride this!) and while the initial drop and the two loops are OK, it becomes incredibly rough and painful after that, with one section of track feeling like it is almost disconnected from the next. This results in some serious neck-jarring and by the end of the ride I was just glad it was over. I still went back for another ride later on though, again on the back row, just to confirm it was as bad as I thought it was!





I imagine it was quite a decent ride back when it first opened but now it is by far the roughest coaster I have ridden to date. Horrible! :roll:


After the horror of the Tornado we went on the water slides, which were fun, and then on to the Big Apple, which is a Big Apple...



The final coaster, and the one with the longest queue, was Tsunami. It’s another Pinfari travelling ride, but was certainly a far nicer experience than Tornado. Whilst far from amazing, the overall ride experience was fairly smooth (apart from the violent brakes at the end) and the two inversions are fun, although it runs out of steam after that and is over way too quickly – that’s what you get from a coaster that appears to fit in two trucks I guess!



The rest of the day was spent re-riding some of the creds and the log flume (which was even wetter second time around) but I didn’t bother riding anything else. They have a new ride this season, the Giant Condor, but it wasn’t really of interest to me.



The other rides are standard amusement park offerings such as a pirate ship, a teensy kids drop tower and a rickety old magic carpet that looked even more dangerous than Tornado.

Overall I have to say M&D’s wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, although Tornado was! I’d read some nasty reports but the park seemed reasonably tidy, had some green areas and most of the rides were enjoyable for what they are. Some of the ride operations were woefully slow and the ops themselves were mostly disinterested, but it was a pretty quiet day despite the weather so it wasn’t a major issue. It may have been partly due to the sunshine, but we had a fun time and for what we paid I think it was a worthwhile visit.

There was one unexpected surprise when we got to our hotel that night – the damage done to my shoulders by Tornado. As I said, you’ll almost certainly leave the park bruised! And I'm still suffering with some shoulder pain almost a week later... :cry:

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cjbrandy

Member
This was a really interesting read because not many people here have been to M&Ds plus the park has a very unusual and unique coaster selection.

Tornado is one of the very few coasters where I'd actually be scared to ride it! (I still would of course)
 

witchfinder

Member
cjbrandy said:
Tornado is one of the very few coasters where I'd actually be scared to ride it! (I still would of course)

Yeah, it's pretty rough to say the least. Gotta ride 'em all at least once though eh? :wink:

A few bonus photos from my trip to the Outer Hebrides. Virtually all the roads on the Uists and their connected islands are single lane, but really well maintained, which means you can drive nice and fast on them, and with an abundance of bends and uneven terrain, driving along them was more fun than most of the coasters! Hitting some of these bumps at over 40mph gave proper airtime moments...

A long downhill slope with some bunny hops and an uphill bend.
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The same road from the other direction.
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This was a quad down, or maybe more! :--D
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