TPJThemeParkJames

ECC Turkey Tour

Day 6: ViaSea, Via/Crazy Park and MOIPark

The first of two days visiting parks in Istanbul and one of two Intamin Blitz coasters in the area ...

Thursday 20th September 2018

traffic

It was another fairly early start from the hotel, to give us a chance to battle through Istanbul's traffic

Bridge

The first park of the day was in Asia, so it was back across the bridge - travelling over (and under) the Bosphorus would become a theme of the rest of the trip!

ViaSea

We were visiting ViaSea, a park set within a marina on the coast overlooking the Sea of Marmara

ViaSea

Sensibly, the guy on the snack stand quickly ducked down to hide as we came past

Red Fire

Before the park opened we had an ERS on Red Fire, their Intamin Blitz coaster

Red Fire

Red Fire has the same layout as iSpeed at Mirabilandia, but benefits from lapbars rather than overhead restraints

Launch

The LSM launch powers the train up and over the 180ft tall top hat element ...

Up

... Well that's the theory at least - we managed three rollbacks during the ERS!

Station

After trying a couple of times, the solution was to close off the back row

Brakerun

That worked a lot better and the train made it around - it didn't stop me being lucky enough to experience two rollbacks though!

Top Hat

Making it over the Top Hat

Red Fire

Overall, Red Fire was excellent and a real highlight of the trip

Sekiz

At the end of the ERS, most of us headed over to Sekiz, ViaSea's SBF Visa Spinning Coaster

Sekiz

Lots of spinning

Sekiz

We had a blast!

Nautlius

ViaSea's third rollercoaster is Nautilus Aile Treni (Nautilus Family Train), an Intamin Family Coaster

Nautilus

It was a decent rollercoaster with nice sweeping turns and swooping drops

Nautilus

There was a bizarre rule I never quite got to the bottom of ... the rollercoaster was stopped after every three rides for a mandatory fifteen minute break, but I wasn't clear whether that was for the benefit of the riders or the staff

Bumper

Standard bumper cars are so boring in comparison to bumper hovercraft

Torpido

James didn't quite know what he'd let himself in for!

Bambu Cafe

Lunch was at the Bambu Cafe

Cafe

Is that the waiter?

Table

Discussing the morning's adventures with Mr Rollback

Lunch

The park provided a very generous lunch

Food

The food was delicious

Aquarium

Alongside the theme park is a large aquarium

Fish

Taking a look at the fish

Fish

And more fish

Armchair

An aquarium with armchairs!

Tunnel

ViaSea claims this is the longest underwater tunnel in Istanbul, but I'm pretty sure we experienced a longer one in the evening on the next day!

Wheel

Next, we took a trip on Marina Eye, the large observation wheel just outside the park

:Lion

The Big Cat exhibit was taking delivery of a lion

ViaPort

The theme park is part of the ViaPort marina

Marina

There was some serious money parked out on the water

Shops

A large parade of shops sat next to the marina

Ronald

We found a familiar face

Ice Cream

Maggy got her ice cream fix

Lion

Seeing the lion in his new home, it was time to leave for our next park

Heart bridge

Eight miles north of ViaSea and across a heart shaped bridge, is Via/Crazy Park

Castle

The park lies adjacent to the Viaport Asia Outlet Shopping Centre, which is owned by the same company as ViaSea

Tickets

We waited while tickets were sorted out

Station

We had expected there to be two coasters at the park including an unusual spinning big apple coaster. Unfortunately it turned out that had been removed the previous year, leaving only one rollercoaster to ride ...

Dragon

... Dragon, a tiny powered kiddie coaster

Dragon

It was so small that only three of us were allowed to ride at once!

Bosphorus

Following that adrenaline filled excursion, it was about time we crossed the Bosphorus again ...

Water

This was quite a common sight in the Istanbul traffic jams: people would wander between the cars selling bottles of water and other goods

Mall of Istanbul

Our final stop of the day was the Mall of Istanbul

Tourists

Bloody tourists!

MOIPark

Inside the mall was MOIPark, a substantial indoor amusement park set over two floors

Blue

What happens when you squeeze a load of coaster enthusiasts up a narrow staircase? They turn blue!

Pir Döndü

Pir Döndü is a Zamperla spinning coaster

Pir Döndü

It's similar to a normal spinning wild mouse, but the custom layout takes the track all around MOIPark

Pir Döndü

It was a big hit with all of us!

Pir Döndü

The park let us re-ride as many times as we wanted, and it turned into an unofficial ERS

Pir Döndü

Trying out all the different seating combinations trying to get the maximum spin was awesome fun, and one of my favourite trip highlights

Çuf Çuf

MOIPark's other rollercoaster was Çuf Çuf, an SBF Visa kiddie coaster

Çuf Çuf

Was it really that uncomfortable for adults? Yes!

Çuf Çuf

Oncoming riders

Çuf Çuf

The coaster came complete with ridiculously catchy music which we all ended up singing along to as we went around

Çuf Çuf

I spy a Gloria

Istanbul Haunted Hotel

A surprise hit was Istanbul Haunted Hotel, a fifteen minute horror attraction in three parts: first a live-action scare maze, then mirror maze, then dark ride finale.

Istanbul Haunted Hotel

The actors tried very hard to translate the Turkish soundtrack for us and were all round superb, not least the extremely talented and creepy Artun at the front entrance!

Restaurant

The park had already gone out of their way to make us feel welcome, but they then hosted a special dinner for us at a nearby restaurant in the Mall

Dinner

It turned out to be a full on three course Turkish feast

night

The coach took us back to the hotel, but that was not quite the end of the night ... I accompanied Ben on a quick trip to pay the deposit at the top secret restaurant that was to host our Final Night Dinner the next day ...

Street

After a madcap taxi ride through the city streets, we arrived at the location

Lift

I did have to question exactly where Ben was taking me...

Roof Mezze 360

Roof Mezze 360 is one of Istanbul's top restaurants and is situated on the top of a tall hotel building

View

Check out that view! We'd be back the next day for an enormous feast and a huge celebration...