While Selva Magica is the main amusement park in Guadalajara, several cities in Mexico feature up to a few smaller amusement parks and fairs that offer a variety of smaller rides. Some of these parks and fairs are a bit more temporary in nature than a traditional amusement park, but tend to stick around longer than your typical traveling carnival. The first one that I made my way to was Parque Infantil Plaza de la Bandera. The park itself features a number of smaller rides, including the coaster that I was hoping to catch a ride on Dragon Feliz.
Upon arrival to the park, however, it looked quite closed as many of the rides were covered in tarps. I did find a gentleman who was working on cleaning the rides and drying them off from a band of rain that had passed through earlier, and from what he said (or at least what I understood from my limited knowledge of Spanish), the rides would be opening later, so he said to check back.
Since it would be a while before the park would open, I thought I would head to the other small park to see if I could get a ride on it, and then head back for the first. The other park, known as Fantasia Alegre, was also closed at the time of arrival, but it appeared that they were testing their rides out, with opening coming soon. Much like the previous park, this one also had a Dragon Feliz.
A ride on Dragon Feliz was not in the cards though, as I spoke with one of the employees who spoke English, and he said that because it had a mechanical problem after some adults had ridden it in the past, they no longer allowed adults to ride it. So I would miss out on this credit, and wondered if I would run into a similar situation at the first park.
As luck would have it though, it did not mean that it would be a coasterless run, as the same gentleman told me about a festival that he referred to as Octoberfest that was only about a 10-15 minute drive away, which also had rides, including those for bigger kids like me. Thinking that this could end up being a better option than going back to the first place, I went ahead and set up and Uber and rode on down to the Benito Juarez Amphitheater for Fiestas de Octubre.
When he mentioned it as “Octoberfest”, I was under the impression that perhaps it was their version of the popular Oktoberfest celebration based out of Germany, and while it is not exactly the same, there are many similarities. Take Oktoberfest, but shrink down the size of the beer tents to smaller sizes with some of them focusing more on tequila while others are still all about beer, add a big amphitheater in the middle for concerts with a lot of additional food and merchant stalls, and you essentially have Fiestas de Octubre. If felt a lot like a state fair without the animals, and a greater emphasis on the concerts. The festival itself is a month-long celebration marking the ending of the rainy season for Guadalajara. The concerts definitely appear to be the main draw of the event, as large groups of people would gather along the edge hoping to see over the barrier of the bowl for the amphitheater.
The offering of rides at this event was pretty diverse as they had several carnival operators that brought rides to the festival, although with the multiple operators, there were several duplicate rides. One of the more confusing aspects of the event though was how many of the rides would accept the same tickets as others, while the rides operated by Atracciones ROCA did not, rather they had individual booths for the rides like that of Oktoberfest’s rides.
One ride that was rather unique as I had not seen before was a larger variation of a mechanical bull, where the bull head was attached to a long-padded bar that riders sat on, which was attached to a moving platform. The goal for riders is to stay on as long as possible.
As for the day’s quest for coasters, this would be a great alternative to the two from earlier in the day that were missed. Even though this was part of the earlier mentioned duplicate rides, it still meant that there were four coasters that were not a part of the original plan. In all, there were two wacky worm style coasters (Crazy Worm from Alcazar Diverciones and Wacky Worm from Atracciones Espectaculares), and two spinning wild mouse coasters (Crazy Mouse from Atracciones Roca and Wild Mouse from Parque Movil). The Wild Mouse would have some of the fastest spinning that I had ever experienced on a coaster of this model, probably as I rode with a family of three, with mom and young daughter on one side, and I sitting next to dad on the other. Probably not the best arrangement if the plan was to avoid spinning.
While there was a shower that passed through, the rain generally didn’t make a huge impact on the day when it came to getting on the coasters of the fiesta, and after getting on each of the coasters and riding another ride or two, I made my way back to the Airbnb for the night as the next day would be a good full day of fun, including a return to a favorite amusement park.
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