January 10, 2003

    I got to the park at about 8:00 pm, after being delayed on the trip from Tucson due to car wrecks on the interstate heading to Phoenix. We even saw a car flip over in front of us from the other lane. Scary stuff.

    My mom gave my brother and I only an hour to be there so we paid for a four ride pass. $12.

    This park (which seems to be sorta themed to the Middle East) has a confusing layout. There are twists and turns all over the place, but we found a bridge with a neon sign telling us to cross it to get to the rides. We crossed it and Desert Storm was right above and around us. We walked up the stairs and to the queue. There's a little machine you put your ride pass in so it counts rides off and opens the turnstile.

    The gates are set up kinda weird, you have to turn to get to each car since there's a little bar that makes you turn a bit. I don't know why they don't make it just a straight walk to the cars.

    My brother and I wanted to get to the front car since it was open, but the ride op (the only op on the entire ride) said it was reserved. Hmmm. Weird. We got in car 4. Desert Storm would be my first O.D. Hopkins coaster, my first coaster in Arizona, and my fifth coaster with lap bars and inversions.

    We waited in the station for about five minutes before leaving. I don't know why, but I think the ride has to have a minimum number of people on it to operate. I heard from some people that it was pretty rough so I braced myself on it. It's got a nice drop, and good Gs at the bottom of the drop. The first inversion, a vertical loop, has nice Gs in the entrance, but the most Gs are at the peak of it! It pumps through it, like it was made in No Limits by a bad designer! You can see this even clearer from the back.

    The rise into the hill after the loop is smooth, but the turning drop after it starts is rough. Then we go into the loopscrew! I've never been on a loopscrew before, and this was cool (with the exception of the peak. It was rough, like the vertical loop)! You get good positive Gs in the entrance of it and great laterals in the exit. A helix follows that and there are nice forces in it. We pass through a cool bendy support that I like and keep turning to the left. There's a final quick, tight (rough) left turn and we run into the brakes. There's a palm tree within reach in the helix, but I refrained from touching it.

    The op let us go again since not many people were there. After a second circuit of roughness, we got off and tried for Patriot. We walked to it and the ride op there told us 20 people had to be on the ride to run it. There weren't 20 people there so we walked back to Desert Storm.

    We rode it four more times for a total of six rides. And in those four rides, we never had to exit and enter the queue again, we just switched seats. We never got the very front since they were reserved and people always had the back, but we got the car next to the last car and the drop was pretty fun there. You could really catch the (what we who play No Limits call) "pumping" in the inversions and turns.

    Then it was 9:00 and we had to go meet my mom. She went to the mall across the street to call and chat with a friend. We met her where she parked and came home.

    So, I spent an hour at this park and got six rides on the biggest coaster in Arizona. I hope to go again to ride Patriot. I wish I could have ridden it, because I am now only one coaster away from 75! Darn you, Patriot! Okay, I'm done. I think I typed way too much for a short hour to spend at this tiny park. I had a good time. Desert Storm is fun stuff and I could marathon it. I hope to sometime.

    Desert Storm gets a 6.5/10 and the park gets a 5/10 from me.

    This was the earliest in the year I have ever ridden a roller coaster in my life.

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