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2014-02-21 11:54:30|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Sochi Park opens just a little

Boasted to be the Russian Disneyland (and it may yet be), the soft and small opening of Sochi Park has disappointed Olympic athletes and observers. Twitter has abounded with pics and comments of wistful visitors wishing they could enjoy the coasters in the distance but, alas, it is not to be. Like so many things in Sochi, what was promised has not been delivered in full. And that’s pravda.

Olympians tweet regret over Sochi coaster

Some locals have pushed back against snarky rhetoric by those disappointed with facilities and Sochi Park’s non-existent premiere saying that a few years ago the city wasn’t there at all and arguing that it’s all been constructed from naught. That’s a fair statement, but there was also a lot of expectation because Sochi Park continued to promote an opening date to coincide with the Winter Olympics that just didn’t manifest.

See the fence keeping guests from the coasters?

If you look closely above, you can see that although guests have been allowed in some areas of the park, a fence blocks them from the red and yellow coaster in the distance. “Main Street USSR” seems to be open, as is the carousel, oversized game boards where kids can play chess, checkers and Monopoly (does anyone see the irony in this last one?), along with some retail shops and snack kiosks. But the full glory of the park is inaccessible as of yet.

Open village area of Sochi Adventureland

US $9 will get you in the gates to poke around, but no firm information is available for the hard opening date. Try to buy tickets on the park’s website and you’re denied digitally no matter which dates you select. There is also no information about prospective launch dates anywhere on the English language version of the site other than a banner that misleadingly states: “The magic begins – Join the fairytale at February, 8”.

Carousel at Sochi Park is open for business

But here’s what we do know and can see (even if we can’t access it) so far. The big draws will be the roller coasters, dark and drop rides. See the pic below of the giant inverted Vekoma boomerang called Quantum Leap. Click here for a video simulation of the ride (start from 4:00 for best effect). This coaster looks fab from the forward perspective but terrifying on the back-end going through the entire ordeal in reverse. Don’t hit the borscht kiosk before you hop on!

Quantam Leap - Vekoma boomerang at Sochi Park

Mack has designed three rides for Sochi Park – the Dragon, a wild mouse and a teacup ride. The Dragon is 2/3 of a mile long, 125 feet at its apex and hits a blistering 62 miles per hour. It features a 105 foot tall loop, a twisted horseshoe roll and in-line twist. The Dragon sounds fiery indeed…

Mack Dragon at Sochi

Mack’s wild mouse ride at Sochi is called Sharolet – it’s themed after a popular animated show “Pin Code” about a penguin that creates a ship (the Sharolet) that can travel in air, underwater or in space. While some of the Mack wild mouse iterations are dark rides, this one looks to be firmly ensconced in family-friendly daylight with its bright yellow track.

Mack teacup ride cast in classic Russian ceramic style

The Mack teacup ride design is reminiscent of classic Russian Gzhel ceramics. Also open are the swings, but little else. What can be seen of the park is beautiful in an old world style. You can also see some really cool (if not quite lush yet) topiary designs throughout the park – a dragon near the teacups, a man on horseback and a cyclist near the front gate and a train engine and concert pianist in the eco-village.

Lonely, remote protest park at Sochi

For now, the only thing more painfully empty than Sochi Adventureland is the park set aside for protests of the Olympics. Crickets chirp as a lone protester holds a flag – is it still a protest if no one hears? The designated protest area has been set up off a dead end street, below a freeway off-ramp accessible only by a pedestrian path and nowhere near any Olympic venue. And people say Russians have no sense of humor.

Vladimir Putin - architect of Putin World aka Sochi Park

I’ve got fingers crossed that when Putin World (so nicknamed for the Russian leader’s heavy involvement in the project) does fully open, it will launch with a shirtless Vlad sitting proudly astride one of the plaster ponies in the carousel…

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