A wooden flash

Fun Spot America Orlando

Fun Spot America Theme Parks is a group of smaller sized amusement parks owned by the Arie family. The parks are all famous for their multi-level go-kart tracks and their notable selection of roller coasters. Fun Spot Orlando is one of the attractions on International Drive and is located right next to the Premium Orlando International Outlets centre and very close to the Universal Florida Resort.

Unlike its sister park in Kissimmee, the park in Orlando is gated and a security check is performed at both entrances. Tickets for the rides and attractions can be bought within the park. Like Fun Spot America Kissimmee, there is an evening wristband option, which I used during my visit.

Sea Serpent

The smallest roller coaster in the park is Sea Serpent. The ride by E&F Miler Industries is in the small kiddie ride section of the park and offers an oval layout, which is refined by many waves. The ride is enjoyable and a lot of fun for the youngest park guest.

Freedom Flyer

The Freedom Flyer on the other hand is a ride which satisfy basically everyone. Once we board the suspended family coaster, the ride starts with a short curve towards the lift hill. At the top we immediately fall in a wide left turn towards the ground. Far above the paths, we then climb up again in a similar way. A straight hilltop follows. With momentum, we now pass through a short dip, whereupon a labyrinth of narrow helices follows. Alternating right and left helices, we get faster and faster before we rush into the station at top speed. There we are gently slowed down and then come to a stop.

The Freedom Flyer is a top-class ride. The layout is fun, especially the young park guests. As the first big roller coaster I can hardly imagine a better ride. The pacing and the ride characteristics of this modern family roller coaster classic are very convincing.

White Lightning

Fun Spot Orlando’s star attraction is the GCI wooden coaster White Lightning. The ride runs along the Northern and Western boundary of park and serves as a nice background to most of the rides.

In a short dip we leave the station, whereupon the lift hill of the ride is climbed. Once the maximum height of 22m reached, we immediately plunge down the curvy first drop. Close to the ground, we are now swerving from one side of the ride to the other in a wild s-curve manoeuvre. This is followed by a double-up element with a double-down element ensuing. Back on the ground level we immediately shoot up into a turnaround where the banking of the track increases steadily before we fall to the ground. Rushing over hill and dale the track is now running parallel with the already experienced one.

After two high hills follows a slightly twisted S-curve hill, which flows into a small double-down. We now whiz over a very, very small hump before we are pushed to the right side of the train in a small curve. This is followed quickly by another very flat hill, before approaching in a short left-right corner combination the break run of the ride. 

Well, how should I judge the roller coaster?! After my first rides with Heidi – The ride at Plopsaland De Panne, which has a very similar layout, I was truly underwhelmed, but White Lightning has proven me wrong. This ride is fantastic! It is an overall very well paced coaster which is just fun to do one lap after the other.

Go-Kart Tracks

If you are looking to spend a bit of time on a go-kart track, Fun Spot got you covered. The four tracks named Commander, Quad Helix, Trasher and Conquest are pure fun. While the Trasher is a rapid track close to the ground, the other three are all multi-level tracks, featuring a bunch of helices, hills, steep drops, and tight curves. As the tracks are overlaying each other, you can hardly follow the layouts, which makes a ride on all of them a very challenging activity.

Miscellaneous

Fun Spot America Orlando offers a very solid selection of classic American flat rides, as well as some more exclusive rides, as the Enterprise or a star flyer variant featuring a new kind of flying sensation. As its sister park in nearby Kissimmee, the park also features a large Sky Coaster, which is also one of the largest of its kind.

Together with Gatorland – the alligator capital of the world –, Fun Spot America Orlando features Gator Spot – a small zoo housing Florida’s famous reptiles. Although it’s just a small attraction at Fun Spot, it is one you should not miss.

Pictures Fun Spot America Orlando

Conclusion Fun Spot America Orlando

Orlando’s Fun Spot America is a very solid amusement park, which offers a nice alternative to the picture-perfect theme parks by Universal and Disney. You don’t need to spend a lot of time (or money) to have a good time at the park.

A mine blowing Experience

Fun Spot America Kissimmee

Fun Spot America Theme Parks is a group of smaller sized amusement parks owned by the Arie family. The parks are all famous for their multi-level go-kart tracks and their notable selection of roller coasters.

In 2004, Fun Spot purchased the site of the world’s tallest Skycoaster in Kissimmee, adjacent to the leisure centre Old Town. In 2007, Fun Spot developed the 9 acres around the iconic ride into the amusement park Fun Spot USA – now called Fun Spot America.

The entrance to the park is free of charge, only the attractions must be paid. There are several options available, including a great late-entry offer, which we used during our visit.

If you enter the park through the main entrance, you immediately find yourself in front of a large lagoon, which is home to the Skycoaster. Alongside you can find two of the park’s major coasters and a very solid selection of flat rides.

Kiddie Coaster

If you follow the paths to the left, you immediately stumble across a large selection of kiddie rides. The most notable one of these is the Kiddie Coaster by E&F Miler Industries. The small coaster features an oval layout with a helix in the middle. The final curve back to the station features a bunch of waves, which overall enhance the wacky feeling of the coaster.

Mine Blower

Right next to the Kiddie Coaster is the almighty Mine Blower by the Gravity Group. This small-scale wooden coaster blew everybody’s minds when announced. The ride which became Florida’s third operational wooden coaster is famous for its barrel roll inversion over the loading station.

After a very tight turn to the left, we immediately enter the ride’s lift hill. Once at the top, another equally tight turn follows. Without mercy we then race over the crest of the First Drop. Pressurised, we cross the valley before dashing through the ride’s main element. A tight left-hander then leads us through the support structure and into a bunch of airtime hills. After a strongly inclined right-hander, we then rush towards the other side where we enter the first high to the ground turn around followed by a reasonable high s-bend hill. We then race through the support structure and experience another series of airtime hills before hitting the brakes.

Mine Blower is a very fun wooden coaster. Although the ride isn’t a particularly large one, the airtime, the inversion and the overall pacing of the ride speaks for itself. It’s also quite interesting how much track the Gravity Group was able to fit into such a small footprint.

Galaxy Spin

Passing the Vortex and Chaos go-kart tracks, we now continue our way along the lagoon. Close to the entrance, we then encounter the park’s Spinning Coaster: Galaxy Spin. This ride was once located at the nearby theme park Cypress Gardens – nowadays, Legoland Florida – and is made by Zamperla. For a ride of its kind, it features a reasonable spin.

Hurricane

As the park is split into two areas, we now visit the adjacent Old Town leisure centre. Once we reach the end of the main street, we encounter another open area with several rides. Here, we find next to a Tilt-a-Whirl and a Paratrooper the roller coaster Hurricane by E&F Miler Industries. This is one of the manufacturer’s rare large scale roller coasters and hence worth a try!

Once we leave the station, we immediately climb the lift to a height of 52ft. After enjoying the view for a while, we plunge down a strangely inclined left-hand bend that shakes all the riders.  Back in lofty heights, we then enter a very tight hairpin turn. After the second drop, we rush through a right-hand curve close to the ground. Once we reach the other end of the ride, we climb a hill and once again enter a very tight hairpin turn. This is followed by a series of smaller drops, airtime hills and hairpin turns very similar to the second part of a classic wild mouse coaster.

The Hurricane is a very fun roller coaster. The ride is simply nuts. Especially the first two drops with their highly inclined valleys are an experience on its own. The rest of the layout is by far more harmless, yet still very fun.

Pictures Fun Spot America Kissimmee

Conclusion Fun Spot America Kissimmee

Kissimmee’s Fun Spot America is a very solid amusement park, which is a nice change to the picture-perfect theme parks by Universal and Disney. You don’t need to spend a lot of time (or money) to have a good time at the park.


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Home of the DrageKongen

Since my initial visit at Djurs Sommerland, I always wanted to come back. Year after year, the park surprised everyone by its new additions, such as the overhaul of the children’s area featuring the family coaster Vilde Hønsejagt or the new themed area Wild Asia featuring Europe’s fastest and longest family suspended coaster DrageKongen and the large-scale Gyro Swing Tigeren.

Bondegårdsland

The kiddie area Bondegårdsland is home to a large selection of quality family rides, most of them by Zamperla and Zierer. The whole area has a very funny farm theme which neatly suits every ride. Vilde Hønsejagt for example features an impressive front car with a hungry fox and a very fearful hen. The ride itself is a Force Two coaster by Zierer offering a very smooth and fun ride for the whole family.

Wild Asia

The theme area Wild Asia is the makeover of the old area around the log flume Colorado River and the HUSS Topple Tower Ørnen. While the log flume got a new theme and with Long Cun Expedition a fitting new name, the rare HUSS ride sadly had to leave the park after just 13 seasons. It got replaced by Tigeren, a very wild swing ride by Intamin. Due to the open seating position, the fast acceleration and the overall very forceful ride, the ride is much more thrilling than most of the other swing rides out there.

Jungle Rally

Right next to the Long Cun Expedition, you can find the park’s newest roller coaster: Jungle Rally. The small Force Zero family coaster by Zierer features the classic Tivoli layout and hence offers a ton of fun to its riders.

DrageKongen

The mighty dragon king is a large-scale Family Suspended Coaster by Intamin. It dominates the Wild Asia themed area and offers an impressive layout containing a ton of close-to-the-ground curves and manoeuvres.  

The ride starts with a gentle tyre driven launch out of the station. After a short indoor section featuring two small hills and a right-hand helix, we reach the ride’s lift hill. On a height of 30m, we now drop down in a steep lefthander into a fog filled tunnel. A large, overbanked turn and a helix close to the ground complete the clef-like initialisation of the fast-paced ride. After a straight camelback, we now make our way towards the back of the station building in a close to the ground curve combination. Here, we take a small dip before crossing the building featuring two very impressive close call moments. Once again close to the ground, we then make our way over hill and dale, before taking a left hand turn leading into a tapered helix. Soon after, we hit the brakes.

DrageKongen is a fun roller coaster. After the gentle, but fun start to the ride, the dragon king surprises everyone by its fast-paced layout. Overall, DrageKongen is a harmonious yet thrilling ride for the whole family.     

Miscellaneous

To my surprise, the Tarzanland area next to the now demolished Jungle Safari boats ride also had to make place for the new Dinosaurland area coming in 2022. I just hope that a similar large-scale playground will find its way to the park soon.

The two flat rides Søulken and Drageskibet are also a great addition to the park’s portfolio. While Søulken is a modern Polyp ride by Gerstlauer, Drageskibet is the return of the classic Pirate boat swing by HUSS. It’s great to see Djurs Sommerland investing in such classic family rides!

Pictures Djurs Sommerland

Conclusion Bondegårdsland and Wild Asia 

I once again had a blast visiting Djurs Sommerland. The two themed areas Bondegårdsland and Wild Asia simply blew me away and I cannot wait until Dinosaurland is opening. I just hope to visit the park earlier next time.