4-6th August 2006

Oakwood
Oakwood
Oakwood

 

Tony Hall
A big thanks to everybody involved in the weekend as it was another enjoyable visit to Oakwood and the weather was very kind to us yet again 🙂

Nice to ride Hydro again and it is as wet as ever although the new seats are bloody uncomfortable!

Speed was the real surprise of the trip. INSANE doesn’t sum it up. It looks like the sort of thing you would build for a laugh on rollercoaster tycoon or no limits and it rides like a beast. The speed it does over the airtime hill and round the overbanked turn is just silly, and the barrel roll and helix finale is blackout material 🙂 Let’s hope it doesn’t get trimmed!

Only negatives were how much rougher Megafobia had got since we last rode it two years ago but then 10 years for a CCI is good lol and the general state of the park i.e. litter everwhere which of course attracted the wasps. The toilets were also pretty grim on Sunday morning as well, don’t they ever clean them?

Apart from that great trip …

Tom Marshall
A huge “shout out” to everyone who makes the Oakwood trip what it is – apologies if I miss anyone!

* Justin (organising)

* Liz FK (registration)

* The Setup Weekend Crew (site clearance and bridge-building!)

* The Thursday Setup Crew

* The Pyro Team (for want of a better name!)

* Kev “Pub Quiz” Winkley

* The BBQ team (all 10 or 12 of you)

* Stuart “Chilli God”

* Everyone who helped tidy up on Sunday

* All 160 or so of you who turned up for the fun!

* The nice people at Fosters, Bulmers, Stella Artois, Carlsberg, Kopperberg and various other breweries… 🙂

and of course…

* Oakwood Park for letting us do this madness every year, and all their hospitality

Tim Herre
Another mad Oakie weekend. Hats off to everyone involved.

I have arrived Friday morning *very* early (i.e. 2 am) to find out that Justin, Marin and all the others are building a TOWN there. That was no more like the Oakwood Overnighter I know from 2002 – with all positive and negative consequences. I know from the FKFs Fort-Fun-Overnighter that it’s a lot of organisation, espacially if you provide food, but there we have huts we just hand the keys out for and that’s it. Oakwood must be much more in terms of organisation and stuff. You must have gone through nightmares. Three thumbs up for such an outstanding effort.

ERSs where a blast – as usual. Love Speed, but not before Dave “Save Speed” Scott introduced me to the DST (Dave Scott technique), which made the ride even on the outer seats in the first row ridable. Call Dave for details – this man is a genius!

Food was lovely as well. Being used to the “in the dark” buffet in the show theatre, I didn’t find it to complicated to pile the stuff up on my plate that I like. Others had more problems. Why not bring torches next time?

Loved the campsite BBQs as well, even though I moaned about the Friday night one. I tend to become even more off an a..e when I’m starving. Sorry, cookers – my rant was not meant personally. And those capacity problems (we’re *really* in the theme park industry, aren’t we?) with the jacket potatoes were more than substituted on the Saturday with loads of food for everyone. Top notch! Those burgers were delicious plus Stuart’s chili is a weapon that should be listed in the Geneva conventions. Good!

To sum things up: A great Oakwood event! Thanks very much again to everyone for the good work!

Richard Scott-Clark
What a great weekend. The effort put into ‘Idlewild’ deserves a big round of applause.

The site / entertainment / food / fire were all fantastic, you should go into business.

Speed was lovely, except front left at night (the seat of pain) when it ran 8 seconds faster according to Justin, wow! And, Megafobia as usual was air poppin loveliness. I thought the park looked really nice, especially all the hanging baskets and flowers – could teach 2swords a thing or two on presentation.

On the way back some of us dropped into the Cardiff Fair. Nice selection of rides, all really well presented and looking in great condition. Space Roller (Top Scan) on seriously insane setting 🙂

Looking forward to next year…

David & Susan Ellis
Many thanks to all who were involved in organising the Oakwood Trip.

Susan and I had a great time (apart from Susan getting stung twice by a wasp in the first 30 minutes of arriving Friday!).

I loved Speed, and got several rides in…Susan found it “not really her thing” and rode it just the once (she isn’t really a fan of the Eurofighter coasters…she finds them a bit too shaky). Megafobia was flying as usual…but that bottom of first drop “slammer” (felt in the back few rows of the train) needs sorting out in the closed season…I think it needs a bit of retracking to smooth that out…otherwise very good.

We also enjoyed the quiz (even if I failed to spot the Air lifthill that I had walked only last year) – thanks to “pub quiz” Kev for some great entertainment! The BBQ on Saturday was superb…I have never seen so many burgers being cooked at once, ever! The Chilli was excellent Stuart, as usual!

Apparently there were about 160 members present this year…which made it a very social trip…although I think that having any more than that would present too many logistical challenges re food and riding / queueing in the ERSs.

Today, we decided to go back to Lowestoft via Rhyl, to ride the coasters and the last remaining wooden water chute there, in case the rumours about it being the park’s last season proved correct. We made it there in 4 hours 15 minutes, due to a mixture of narrow winding roads and being stuck behind 2 cars that refused to go over 40mph. Having ridden the coasters there we popped along the coast to Tir Prince Leisure Park, Towyn, where they have a Pinfari Z40 Zyklon coaster…a very odd arrangement with just one 4-seater car with OTSRs!!

We left there at 3.45pm but didn’t get home until 11.20pm, due to dreadful problems on the M6 around junctions 18 to 14. We tried taking an alternative route to avoid the congestion…unfortunately it seems that everyone else had the same idea, and it took us 1 hour 45 minutes to cover 18 miles. So this weekend I drove 840 miles spending nearly 19 hours at the wheel (today 460 miles and 11.5 hours). Of course, it was all worth every minute…we had a great weekend! Many thanks to all.

John Livesey & Alexa-Jane Dold
Just to add our thanks to the Oakwood team for another STUNNING weekend.

It’s the only trip of the year that I have NOTHING to do with (probably why it’s so good!!)

The whole event ran like clock-work and just goes to prove how much hard work and planning the team put in to the event before the actual weekend.

The trip really does get better and better each year and God knows how it’s going to bettered next year. Thanks to EVERYONE involved you efforts were very much appreciated. It was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones too. We can’t wait for the next one! Oh, and apologies for our drunken state on Friday evening. It must have been something to do with the Welsh air… ish! 😉

Chris Hull
Another great weekend – good to see some old faces (some from quite a few years ago!) and get to know some new ones.

Many, many thanks to ALL concerned – it was a fantastic event. I haven’t been able to attend since 2003 and it was clearly evident all the hard work that had gone to improving the campsite. It’s also certainly clear to see that camping has became a really popular way to attend the trip! The BBQ ‘production line’ proved that. 😉 To top it all we even had a cake (although not edible 😉 ) for ‘fobia and our own firework display! So cool!

Speed has once again changed Oakwood’s skyline and is an amazing addition to the park. Much bigger than I thought and what a great ride!

It still amazes me that a park the size of Oakwood actually succeeded in getting a coaster like Megafobia 10 years ago. Ok, perhaps she’s showing a few signs of ageing but she’s still got a great ride. Add to that the addition of Hydro and now Speed and you have 3 very significant rides that any park in the UK would cry out for just one.

Oakwood just sits there in the beautiful Welsh countryside quietly getting on with life and doing a great job too.

Cardiff fair looked like it was well attended and the rides were being run well. Space Roller was being run on a great and insane programme.

Never before on a top scan (even at the German fairs) have I had to wedge my right shoulder into the inside of the restraint to gain some control of what my upper body was being subjected too. I always try and get an outside seat (it’s the best seat in my opinon 😉 ) so am used to high g’s but Space Roller just blew me away. Great fun!

Thanks again and see some of you at the next bash!

Phil Ariss
I’d like to express my thanks to everyone who went into organising the trip. Bit annoyed at myself for not saying thank you in person, as I try to do on each trip. So to everyone responsible, thank you =)

As a vegetarian, I thought Fridays food choice was excellent, so a big thank you for that. I’m not a massive fan of veggie burgers and stuff, so BBQ’s are not normally my thing.

Once again, many thanks =)

Dave Reavy
I would like to add my thanks to all those involved in making it another good trip.

This year was particularly special for me.  My long suffering fiance, Claire finally got on Megafobia! Considering that last year I could barely get her on Tree Tops (yet she would ride Hydro without a problem) its a particularly crowing achievement for her that has opened a whole new world of wooden coasters to her.

Once again thanks for a great weekend.

Dan Roach
Once again, thanks for all the organisers, chefs, etc. etc. The barbecue on the saturday was excelent.

This trip was my first:

-trip to oakwood,

-coaster club trip

-and the first time I got the first rride of the day on something (Speed)

I got up nice and early. had porridge for breakfast, and waited for the taxi to Paddington, which should have arrived at 7:15 – no sign of it at 7:25. so I rung the company to be told “oh – no sign of the booking… can’t get another car for at least an hour” Tried other companies, and couldn’t get a cab there either.

SO – I had to struggle to the tube station with all my stuff – not fun! andthen negotiate Kings Cross at rush hour – not fun again! Good job I left plenty of time – arrived at the station with a few minutes to spare!!

Train was delayed (unusual for British trains… 😉 ) so I missed the connection at Swansea – thankfully the next train to Carmarthen caught up with it! On the train from there to Narberth, I saw a couple of people with camping stuff – I wondered whether they might be going to Oakwood, and up for a taxi share – sure enough one of them was!

Got to the park at about 2, put the tent up and headed into the park.

Hydro – Great ride – a drop almost as good as Oblivion, and a soaking!

Waterfall – Surprisingly steep for a sitr on sledge water ride – great fun though – second time, the sledge went faster than me and I ended up in the pool! yay!

Speed – this one grew on me – the first ride seemed a bit rough (the front left hand seat) – loved the airtime bump, and the whirlpool spin at the end!

The Bounce – fun, but not as good as Dr Doom’s Fearfall at IOA

Megafobia – Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun – sit at the back for more airtime than you can shake a stick at – or sit at the front and get lots of impact!

Treetops – nicely done trhough the trees, and gave you some nice twisty turny stuff!

Bobsleigh – good fun – I’m sure they had something similar at alton towers the first time I went there…

Plane Crazy – cute queue line, reasonably good fun.

Brer Rabbits Burrow – cool ride! the rabbits had disgusting habits!!

pirate ship – Was running nicely!

Spooky 3d – the one disappointment! Glasses which you had ro hold onto yourself, and didn’t give very good 3d effects, only scary bit was the bloke at the end asking for the glasses back!!

the Crystal Maze and bowling made a nice diversion – was pretty impressed by the Crystal Maze, even if the graphics were a a little “c64″esque!

The mist descended on the Speed ERS in the dark, making the first drop a little like Oblivion! (talking of Alton, I can imagine the Ropers really appreciating a Eurofighter…)

On Sunday, I got in a final fill of Speed and ‘Fobia before heading to the Cardiff fair, which had some insane rides! Did the Roller Ghoster, which was better than Spooky 3d. Space Roller which was MAD (but the seats and restraints were comfy!), another one before going on the Rotor (despte warnings not too) – was my first ride on one since the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach one closed – Gave me a good facelift! I’d go on one again, but maybe not this month….

Then traveled back to London – paid for the first class upgrade as the train was packed!

Simon Baynham
What a time I had at Oakwood.  You know, there’s so much behind-the-scenes activity you wouldn’t believe.  From extending the field by cutting down hedges and trees, to plumbing and building a bridge!

I arrived Thursday morning to witness the campsite being readied:  mowing the grass, erecting the lighting, barbecue set up, acquiring/repairing seating etc…  It really is a case of so much achieved by so few; so thanks to all involved.

I’ve said it before… If I went to the Oakwood Overnighter and rode nothing, then I would still have a good time.  I believe that a trip is largely what you make it.  As a general rule, if you take the time to say ‘Hello’ then people will say hello back and a conversation occurs.

Personally speaking, I enjoy the social side the most.

The rides were running well, however the rear seats on Megafobia are running rather bumpily (is that a word?) down the first drop – the rest of the circuit is OK though.  Speed (the beyond vertical coaster) is a thrilling ride and quite forceful – Loved it, though the general consensus is that it is intense.

I rode the Brer Rabbit ride (children’s train into Brer Rabbit’s burrow) for the first time and got a face full of water – a direct hit on the nose!  It was so unexpected that I was quite shocked – it was funny.

Spooky 3D has been spoiled in my opinion.  They used to issue you with 3D glasses… now they give you a lens that you must hold infront of your eyes – my arm became tired, so I decided to experience the attraction without the lenses.  The change is probably a response to Health & Safety concerns regarding guests poking their eyes with the arms of the glasses…

Thank you to all those who made the trip so enjoyable, and thanks to those who took the time to chat.

One last note.  I left the campsite Sunday afternoon with a copy of Phil Ariss’ new DVD.  If you were fortunate enough to get a copy, then put it in your DVD player and enjoy!  There’s some wonderful footage of European rides and fairgrounds – just my cup of tea!

James Lloyd
A big thank you to all involved in this years Oakwood Trip.  It was as good as normal and the weather behaved (bar a bit of rain at about midnight on the Friday).

Thanks also to all the Oakwood staff – they were as friendly a lot as normal and made us feel very welcome.

The only idea I can come up with to improve the trip further is to offer people a choice of either a cooked breakfast -OR- the brunch buffet on the Saturday (make your choice on the trip booking form).  The Park used to do us a cooked breakfast [at extra cost] a few years ago, so it is in theory possible.

This would give people a choice as to what they eat on the Saturday (I’d have the breakfast personally) and it would also free up some space in the Premier Theatre for those who choose the brunch buffet.  I think most people will agree that we had that room pretty much full on Saturday.

Hope everyone enjoyed the BBQ on the Saturday evening – I enjoyed helping out with the cooking, even though it was “somewhat” hot standing next to the BBQs.

See you at Oakwood next year!

Carolyn Buckley
The morning ERS on Megafobia was a bit disapointing, I found myself being reminded of Boulderdash just after the first drop (OWWW!) and the statutory unnecessary CCI change of direction is getting rougher every time I ride it. Or perhaps it’s still the same and everyone on the USA trip earlier this year was spoilt rotten by the silky smoothness of the GCI alternatives, Kentucky Rumbler and Lightning Racer. Echoing what others have said, PTC trains certainly don’t help matters!

Although Alan & I paid for the bowling and Crystal Maze on the Saturday, we decided to give it a miss as we were baking alive by 12.30 in the Oakwood sun. Instead, we put on our wetsuits (in an attempt to keep cool, we filled the inside of them with cold water from the campsite hose – it worked!) and headed off for an hour on Hydro, then stood around on the Hydro bridge for a while deliberately getting re-soaked. I hadn’t tried Hydro before and was impressed with the ride itself but disappointed at the loading. I know they have to put safety first but rather than having to fasten your own seatbelt and then wait for the ride ops to lower every OTSR, it would be much better with the Intamin rocket coaster OTSRs, if the OTSR failed the belt would still keep it in place and people could pull down their own restraints, having them checked by the ride ops. I was quite painfully stapled in by a ride op on my first ride, it’s the same old thing about male ride ops not taking “rather large” ladies into account. Guys, we’ve got bits you haven’t and it’s rather painful to have them squashed flat!

The Speed ERS was certainly different in the dark. Four rides was more than enough, following Dave Scott’s instructions abount jamming yourself in on the back row certainly helped, but the point of all coasters is that you shouldn’t have to have an instruction manual to be able to ride them without pain or potential injury. I’ve got huge bruises on my right shoulder from Speed and can’t ride it for long without a headache due to the excessive -2G. Oakwood are bragging about the negative Gs on their website, if the design spec is -2G, then how long before it’s dangerous? I’d hate to be in the park’s shoes if someone with a latent aneurism or other similar medical condition gets on Speed if it’s giving hardened enthusiasts a headache/nausea after a couple of rides.

As for the rest of the trip, the good points were:

Frozen Fanta

Nice weather

The Welsh couple we got talking to when we found somewhere to sit in the shade Saturday night barbecue Remembering to take our own cafetiere so we could have Starbucks on the campsite The camp fire Fireworks

And the not so good points:

Having a cold all weekend

Oakwood Slush Puppy – yeuch!

Bad visibility on the Saturday fireworks

Rather an interesting weekend and our trip to St David’s on the way back on Sunday was nice.

Terry Lyon
Just a few lines to say thanks to all those who helped with the clear up on Sunday, it makes a massive difference.

Thanks to Lutz for all the work that he kindly put in, completly un-asked for and always willing to do a bit and get on with it.

It took over 150+ man hours, (maybe a bit more) to set the campsite up on the Thursday and Friday, runnign out for food for the BBQ.

It took a total of 2 hours 30 min to get prety much ALL of it packed away, this we could not do without your help, please keep it up in the future!

Glad you all enjoyed it, next year will be a bit more on the “normal” side then we have our own 10 Years of Camping at Oakwood in 2008, what the hell are we to do then? well you’ll just have to wait and see…..

My only gripe?

The so called educated people who think that Drinks Tins and Bottles burn, they don’t, you would think that after 8 years of being reminded that they would get the hint, why do they think that we go to the trouble of lugging a ****ing great rubbish bin onto the field for?

Gripe over.

See you all at Oakwood next year,

Lutz Konerding
After a few problems I got (healthy and happy) home a day late (hey, Bristol is much nicer than I thought …) and I want to say thanks to all the members who made it a fantastic weekend for me (my first time at Oakwood).

I don’t want to repeat everything positive that was said on the list (Yes! I’m of the same opinion!!!!) and add just some things that are ‘new’:

Treetops is one of the best family coasters I’ve ever been on (the trees make the diffrence).

– Hydro was the best shower I got on the trip (just missed some shower gel). And normally I don’t like this kind of rides (this does not mean that I liked the OTHRs).

– Tesco has bad charcoal. Don’t use this at home.

– lamb burgers and lamb kebab were new to me, but a real cool alternative to beef and pork.

– not only Germans can do really good sausages (I only tried the Welsh one and liked them very much)

– thanks to the fantastic “DieMeister” (the trackball queen Maren, Daniel the Brain and Jan the Tarzan) at the Crystal Maze (I think this is something for kids, but hey, we are all big kids!!!). It was real fun.

– thanks to Liz for this wonderful bacon-and-eggs-start on friday morning.

– thanks to all the other members that were at the campsite at friday morning. After some minutes I don’t felt ‘new’ anymore.

– thanks to Justin for this unwanted waiting for me on Thursday night. Next year I know how it works. It was really nice.

– and a special thanks to the team that cleaned the campsite on sunday morning (you were so quiet, I got a lot of sleep…)

As I said: I don’t want to repeat the things others said before … I hope to see you all again next year.

 

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