Jungle Coaster



Back in 2004 the Jungle Coaster opened at Legoland, Windsor, to what wasn't a huge amount of excitement really. It was a wild mouse coaster, and by then there were loads of mouse coasters around the UK, so another one wasn't that big a deal. For the park though it was a step up, expanding to more of a family market, rather than a more kiddie orientated one. Not having kids it was actually the addition of this that prompted my first visit to the park.

The best thing about this ride was the first drop, a comparatively large affair, and one of the better drops I've done on a mouse coaster. After that it was a standard affair, lacking any stand out elements, and with surprisingly little theming, most of the effort having gone in to theming the queue and area in front of the ride.

In 2009 the ride was removed to make room for the new hotel. The coaster actually ended up in Legoland, Florida, when that opened. To be honest though, even without the hotel the removal wasn't a huge surprise, as it had encountered a few problems.

There had been noise complaints about the ride. Normally I'd get annoyed by people who choose to live near an established theme park, and expect no noise. Here though I think there was some justification as the ride was on the edge of the park, very close to some people's houses, and it did increase the noise produced by the park by a notable amount. I think more should have been done when installing the ride, such as partially enclosing it, or choosing a better location.
Because of the noise large Perspex cubes were put over the cars to muffle the noise. The fact these stopped adults riding in the front row and slowed the loading reduced the rides capacity to an almost unbearable level. To be honest I never rode it after that as the queue didn't seem worth it. I'm told I wouldn't have missed much as the cubes made it a lot less exciting to ride. Perhaps it's for the best this went then, although it does leave Legoland feeling like it needs another good family coaster.

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I can't help feeling Legoland is leaving this a little late. Mouse coasters are so late 90's. Now there a standard ride that a large number of parks have, so a new one isn't going to be that big a deal.
This does have one thing worthy of note though. The first drop is one of the best drops I've tried on a mouse coaster. It's a big drop that has a nice jungle building creating a nice tunnel, and had a good amount of g-force on it.
After that it's business as usual, it has all the familiar mouse features, with the tight u-turns and a few other drops. It's a good ride overall that fits in nicely with Legoland's family appeal.