After getting to enjoy some sleep in an actual bed, it was time to get into this visit to Mexico! Monterrey was a new city for me as it was not part of the previous TPR Tour in 2013, and there were two theme parks to visit, but with later opening times that day, it made sense to take advantage of the morning to do some exploring nearby. One of the main concerns for the day however was the potential for rain throughout the day as it was raining when I woke up, and the forecast was calling for rain through a large portion of the day. While this was a possible hindrance for the parks and their operations, it was the one day I had in Monterrey as I was scheduled to fly out the next morning to Guadalajara, so I was going to go and make the most of it.
With some time before the two parks opened, I ventured into a large city park known as Parque Fundidora. Monterrey has been an industrial leader for Mexico, and this park sits on one of the city’s former industrial sites. After to closure of some of the facilities, the land was re-purposed as a beautiful park space, and some of the old industrial buildings were converted into museums. Throughout the park grounds you will find tree-fill areas, nice and quiet walking paths, and great landscaping to enjoy.
One of the parks main highlights is the Riverwalk of Canal de Santa Lucía. This river walk continues toward the west of the main park space and museums, offering a place to enjoy a leisurely stroll, and for those wishing to take advantage, a ride on one of the canal boats that traverses the majority of the canal’s length.
While it was a very pleasant morning walk through Parque Fundidora, there were two other parks to see today, and the first was the theme park, Parque Plaza Sesamo. This park is themed after the Latin American version of Sesame Street, featuring both characters from the American version of the show such as Elmo, Cookie Monster and the Count, along with a selection of characters that are featured on their version of the show, such as Abelardo, the cousin of Big Bird.
Like Sesame Place in Pennsylvania, the park is primarily geared to families, especially those with younger kids based on the ride selection. While they do feature mostly family and children’s rides, there is an area of the park that features larger and more thrilling rides for the older visitors. On this visit, however, those larger rides were not open. It does appear that even though the park operates to some level through much of the year, there are periods of time where a number of the rides will be closed as was the case with the bigger rides in this section.
But that wasn’t too much of a worry as the main reason for coming was the park’s two roller coasters, Expreso Minero and Catariños. Well, it wasn’t as much of a worry until coming to the entrances of both coasters and seeing them blocked of with a gate or bench. This certainly wasn’t a good sign as often times the use of such objects would indicate a longer closing, at least with the bench.
As the day went on, and I had a chance to try a couple of the other rides, I did manage to find someone who may have some information about the two coasters, and using my poorly remembered high school Spanish, I did find out that they were slated to open at 2 in the afternoon, so I just had a little extra time to spend. Eventually Expreso Minero would open ahead of that 2 o’clock time that was mentioned, so I went right for it so as to avoid the potential of it being closed due to the pending rain that lingered around. The ride is a Mack custom powered coaster that features a rather large layout giving riders multiple laps through the course, and when going through the helix at the end of the ride during the final lap, it made for an interesting experience as it slows down to come to a stop in the station, as you go through a rather well banked turn at a fairly low speed. I would imagine that it would be like driving at a slower speed through the banked turns at Daytona International Speedway.
Unfortunately, Catariños would not open on this day as it seems to be down potentially for a more extended period of time, so that would be the first missed credit of the trip. On the bright side through, this wasn’t a majorly unique coast as it is a fairly common Zierer junior coaster with a common oval layout. If nothing else, a reason to come back to Monterrey in the future along with just seeing more of the area.
With the clouds getting a bit darker, and the rain not arrviving yet at the forecasted time, I went ahead and grabbed an Uber over to the other main stop of the day, Bosque Magico. This is a larger park with more of a mix of rides.
With those looming gray clouds getting darker, it was time to seek out some coasters, the first of which was Tornado. This Vekoma Whirlwind coaster is a fairly simple layout with a drop followed by a single corkscrew, a turn and another single corkscrew, and a couple turns into the brake run. Not the most thrilling of coasters, but it wasn’t the worst as older Vekoma made coasters do have a tendency to be rougher, fortunately this one was relatively smooth.
The park’s spinning mouse coaster, Policias Y Ratones, was closed for this visit, and from the looks of things it is currently under a long maintenance period, so even a day or two before or earlier would likely mean it being closed. While the downside of this meant that 2 out of the 5 planned coasters for the day were closed, they at least were more commonly made versions that were not of a more unique variety, and as mentioned before, adds to the list of reasons to come back to Monterrey in the future.
The star of the park is the newest of the three coasters at Bosque Magico, and that is Zombie Ride. While most of the park has more of a basic amusement park feel, this was actually a fairly well themed coaster that had a lot of detail in the queue to give the feeling of being in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, and the indoor section of the queue features videos to help tell the story of this particular apocalypse, as well as some animatronics in the queue as well to help pass the time while in line.
The ride itself is a standard Premier Skyrocket II coaster with the forward-backward-forward launch sequence to help it get up to speed to reach the top before crawling through the high in-line twist and then going through the non-inverting loop to end the ride. Having been on several of these before, they definitely become an instant featured attraction for smaller parks like this, and a great supporting coaster for larger parks. This one gets bonus points over the others I have ridden in the past because of the themeing around the ride and in the queue.
It was at this point that the rains that had held off for a good part of the day began, as the clouds just couldn’t hold it any longer. Fortunately there was an indoor attraction to enjoy in the form of a haunted house. These haunted houses with actors seem to be really common in larger Mexican amusement parks as they had one at La Feria Chapultepec and Six Flags Mexico when we were on the TPR Mexico tour. In many cases there is an additional charge for them, but at 30 pesos (less that $2 during this trip), it can be worth the extra cost to enjoy some frights.
This particular one, Mansión del Terror, had scareactors that were really into it and provided some good scares inside. The one downside was that they kept the groups really small which did lead to a lengthy wait to get in, but the line was at least under cover and out of the rain.
Unfortunately, the rain began to get heavier with little to no sign of stopping anytime soon, which led to the closure of a large number of the other rides. So having gotten onto the two coasters that were available and seeing the haunted house, I decided to head back to the hotel, and to prepare for the next morning’s flight to Guadalajara. While it was a bummer to miss out on the closed coasters for the day, I did like both parks, Bosque Magico probably a bit more than Parque Plaza Sesamo, but mainly because of the offerings between the two. I’d certainly come back again sometime down the road for the sake of trying to get the other two, as well as to see what else Monterrey has to offer, and perhaps to take the time to see what is inside of the museums of Parque Fundidora.
Next, it’s time to fly to Guadalajara, which is then followed by a mini Mexican road trip for some slightly more obscurely located Mexican roller coasters.
See more of the 2018 Mexico Trip:
1: The Journey South / 2: A Day in Monterrey / 3: More Mexican Coasters / 4: Exploring Guadalajara /
5: Looking for Guadalajara Coasters / 6: Selva Magica / 7: A Night of Lucha Libre / 8: Cancun / 9: Back to Mexico City /
10: Día de los Muertos Parade / 11: La Feria Chapultepec Magico / 12: Six Flags Mexico / 13: ¡Kataplum! /
14: Día de los Muertos in Mixqic