TPJThemeParkJames

ECC Turkey Tour

Day 5: Fun Land, Sincan Luna Park and Park Lunasan

Continuing our route through Turkey, from Ankara to Istanbul via three amusement parks along the way ...

Wednesday 19th September 2018

Ankara

Wednesday would see the last long drive of the trip, as we shifted our base from Ankara to Istanbul

Mall

Before that though was a trip to the Mall

Nata Vega Outlet

Nata Vega Outlet is a large shopping centre on the south east edge of Ankara

Fun Land

We were there to visit Fun Land, a fairly large Family Entertainment Centre in one corner of the mall

Grand Prix

First on the agenda was a ride on Fun Land's rollercoaster, Grand Prix

Grand Prix

The coaster is an IE Park JR-40 - currently the only one in the world

Grand Prix

Grand Prix sits in a separate room across from the rest of Fun Land, with a curious combination of racing car and outer space theming.

Restraints

The seemingly unnecessary overhead restraints were uncomfortable and slowed throughput to a crawl, with the operator doing two or three checks up and down the train before dispatching

Grand Prix

Although very smooth, the ride itself was fairly slow and uninteresting, but it did have a nice helix towards the end

Disco

If a Disk'O mated with a tea cups ride, what would you get?

Lech

It was Lech Coaster tshirt day for those lucky enough to have already experienced Vekoma's new ride!

5Di Game Box

A highlight was Fun Land's interactive Wild West shooting game - a 5Di Game Box from Alterface

Win

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner!

Coach

After a couple of hours it was time to leave the mall and drive across to the other side of the city

Harikalar Diyari

Harikalar Diyari ("Wonderland") is the largest public park in Ankara

Sincan Luna Park

Wonderland is home to Sincan Luna Park

Empty

Apart from us, the place was deserted

Opening

Triggered by the arrival of fifty customers, we waited while the park was hurriedly spun into life

Tickets

Once again, Faruk was on hand to help with the purchase of ride tickets

Dragon

Sincan Luna Park has two rollercoasters - the first one we tried was Dragon

Dragon

Dragon is a powered coaster from Zamperla

Dragon

Looking forward to the ride

Dragon

Despite its faded paintwork and unkempt look, it was actually lots of fun

Dragon

There was a nifty helix at the end

Dark Ride

A long queue had already formed at the other coaster, so we headed to the park's aptly named "Dark Ride": there was almost nothing inside apart from a ride through the darkness.

Dark Ride

Excited to see what scares await inside - don't get your hopes up Bill!

Dark Ride

That's the face of a man unimpressed!

Elma Kurdu

Time to ride Elma Kurdu

Elma Kurdu

It was a fairly standard Big Apple kiddie coaster

Elma Kurdu

The operators seemed keen to only half fill the trains, making everyone sit at the front

Elma Kurdu

The coaster was clearly past its best - we were warned to duck inside the apple to avoid hitting our head on a warped piece of metal hanging down

Elma Kurdu

Today it was Anita's turn to celebrate a major milestone on a kiddie coaster!

Break

Finally everybody had got a ride, and the ride ops were able to take a well deserved break

Sincan

In comparison to other Turkish parks, Sincan Luna Park was very disheveled, with faded paintwork and abandoned rides scattered around. In particular, the toilets were the kind of place where it felt more hygenic not to wash your hands!

Mickey Mouse

I'm sure I've seen this mouse somewhere before

Ice Cream

Time for a (pre-packaged!) ice cream

Park

After an hour and a half it was time to head back through Harikalar Diyari (much more attractive than the Luna Park it contains!) to board the coaches

Mountains

There way another long drive through stunning scenery on our way to Istanbul

Service Station

We stopped off en-route at a service station for lunch

Lunch

The food was delicious - much better than the standard food you get at motorway services in the UK!

Roads

There was still a long way to go

Park Lunasan

Night had fallen by the time we reached our final park of the day, Park Lunasan in Izmit, about 50 miles outside Istanbul

Twister

We headed over to Twister Coaster, a spinning wild mouse from Zamperla

Twister Coaster

Unfortunately, the ride was quite tame and didn't really spin very much at all

Spinning Coaster

Park Lunasan's other rollercoaster, Spinning Coaster had been closed for the season the week before but, thanks to some awesome negotiations by Faruk, the park agreed to reopen it especially for us

Spinning Coaster

It was a gesture greatly appreciated by all of us. I rode with Bill, and we spun like crazy!

Wheel

Something a little more relaxing next: a trip on the wheel with Mary, Darren and Maggy

Wheel

Looking down on the park

Twister Coaster

A nice view of Twister Coaster ...

Wheel

... and across to Spinning Coaster

Octopus

Octopus was fast and furious!

Octopus

It was bags of fun though

Park Lunasan

Time to leave

Park Lunasan

We congregated at the exit, then boarded the coaches again for the final journey into Istanbul

15 July Martyrs Bridge

We crossed the Bosphorus from Asia into Europe over the 15 July Martyrs Bridge to the strains of Istanbul (not Constantinople) by The Four Lads - an inspired suggestion from David!

Hotel

It had been another long day of travelling plus three park visits, so two coach loads of tired coaster enthusiasts were very glad to finally reach our hotel for the rest of the trip, the Holiday Inn Istanbul City