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 Review of Primeval Whirl @ Animal Kingdom
1 Rating Posted by: Canobie Coaster on 9/4/2008 2:15:00 PM
Amazingly with all of the production model spinning coasters that have been popping up lately I haven’t had the chance to ride one yet (unless you count Pandemonium as one, which I don’t since it really is an original design that has since been copied, but anyway…). This turned out to be the first real spinning wild mouse I’ve been on and technically two spinning mice since there are two separate tracks right next to each other with the left side for standby riders and the right side for fastpass-users. Of the two I slightly liked the left side better, but honestly it’s not big enough of a difference that fastpasses should be skipped for this, so my review really addresses both sides at once.

Addressing the theming (or lack there of as I’d heard from others), I really just ignored it. The whole theme of Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama is meant to have the appearance of a tacky roadside attraction according to Disney. If that’s the case Disney has indeed succeeded in making the attraction appear like a carnival coaster just plopped down on a parking lot, Six Flags style. Some of the cutouts were kind of comical though, but I do admit that it just lacks that Disney charm that their other attractions have. I mean, it just lacks that top-notch atmosphere their other coasters feature.

Loading moved pretty slowly for a Disney coaster, but at least there are two separate tracks and the operators were efficient, just the design itself doesn’t allow for all that high of a capacity. Still, the standby line was never longer than 20 minutes during my visit, and as I mentioned earlier, Fastpasses are available if you so choose not to wait at all, or want both credits. One comment before talking about the actual ride, I really disliked the vehicles and their restraints. The way that the restraint just kept lowering caused problems not just for me, but it was clear others were in some pain as well.

Once dispatched, the car quickly ascended the brief lift hill, and as most mice begin, this one begins with a series of hairpin turns high above the ground. But instead of being the typical showcase of intense, fun-filled laterals like they usually were, they were far different. Laterals were definitely present, and in fact I’d call them really strong, but they were unfortunately quite painful at the same time thanks to the sheer abruptness of the turns, but more importantly the horrid design of the vehicles. Even with bracing, the slamming that occurred during this section definitely deterred me from multiple re-rides.

But after those horrid hairpin turns, the ride really picks up, becoming much more thrilling and smooth. The two “big” drops immediately following both were very good, providing a pop of air and an excellent tummy-tickling sensation. And it wasn’t just the drops, as the spinning section that followed had some intense spinning throughout on each of my rides. Amazingly I didn’t find the hairpin turns during the spinning section to be painful at all like during the first half since the force of the turns was converted into even more intense spinning rather than painful laterals. In fact I looked forward to them instead of bracing for them since they got the vehicle spinning even faster. Unfortunately though, the smoothness doesn’t last for the brief finale, which consists of some horridly aligned track that leads to some really painful slamming. Ouch!

I actually enjoyed Primeval Whirl more than I had anticipated since it did provide some decent thrills during the spinning section and those two aforementioned drops. However, what stood out more were the absolutely painful moments experienced during the horrifying hairpin turns and abysmal finale that left my side begging for mercy. When I was at Disney lines weren’t too bad for this, but fastpasses might be necessary on busier days since I could see this being a capacity nightmare. While not Disney’s best attempt in theming for sure, Primeval Whirl is mixed-bag of a coaster, but still it’s Animal Kingdom’s better rides, but then again that’s not saying too much.
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