Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Aerial Antics: Magic Springs & Crystal Falls

Some recent Google 45 degree image updates have provided us with a brand new park to look at from the sky... Arkansas' Magic Springs and Crystal Falls.

The park has a nice entrance area, at least from the sky.  I like the fountain design with a backdrop of flowers and trees.  The park originally opened in 1978 but closed in 1995.  It then reopened in 2000 after heavy renovations led by Ed Hart, who is currently trying to get Kentucky Kingdom back on its feet again.

Crystal Falls has seen a good deal of expansion in recent years, and that makes sense because it's hot in the Summer in Arkansas.  Really hot, actually.  This is the 'older' section of the water park, featuring a large wave pool, lazy river, and a colorful slide complex.

And this is an area that has been built in the past five years or so.  The park started with the big, colorful slide complex named Crystal Lagoon, then added the racing mat slides, and followed up with a surfing simulator.  This coming season they are planning a huge water play structure, and I wouldn't be surprise if it went in this area.

As for the rides park, well that has seen plenty of expansion over the years as well.  While I haven't visited the park, in photos Magic Springs looks very beautiful with rides thoughtfully set among plentiful landscaping.  One of the older rides at the park is the Arkansas Twister, seen above.

Originally known as the Roaring Tiger at Florida's Boardwalk and Baseball, the Arkansas Twister came to Magic Springs in 1995.  Scott and Carol covered the ride in a Blast post, check that out here.

Many of the park's family rides are found around a central lagoon.  The park has many staple attractions, such as the Old #2 Logging Company Log Flume, the Rum Runner Pirate Ship, and Plummet Summit, a shoot-the-chutes.

This is Big Bad John, another relocated ride - and an original Arrow mine train to boot.  It first operated at Six Flags St. Louis where it ran alongside another mine train.  This track was sold to Dollywood where it operated for many years, but eventually they sold it to Magic Springs.  It's been around the block but I think it is wonderful that it is still running!

Here's another two of the more thrilling rides at Magic Springs.  On the left is Dr. Dean's Rocket Machine, an S&S Double Shot tower.  On the right is the mighty X-Coaster (Maurer SkyLoop), built in 2006.  The park announced that the coaster would be leaving before the 2013 season, but then recently took that back and announced it would operate again this Summer.  It is the only ride of its kind in the U.S., so get out there and ride it before it is gone!

Jazzland, a.k.a. Six Flags New Orleans', loss was Magic Springs gain on this ride.  When Jazzland ordered a SLC from Vekoma but couldn't complete the deal, suddenly the manufacturer had a ready to go coaster and Magic Springs picked it up on a nice discount.  Named the Gauntlet, the coaster opened in time for the park's 2004 season.

If you'd like to check out Google's aerials of the park, follow this link.