Synopsis : Small cute theme park with plenty to like, and a few glaring flaws.
Megazeph, their signature coaster, is not a disappointment.
First Impressions :
Poor landscaping throughout; but the park is brand new. Maybe better
plantings are coming later. Not nearly enough shade for a park in
New Orleans, Louisiana, although most queues have sort of covering.
The entire park is physically four feet off the ground from
nearly one end to the other. It is odd to be able to look under
buildings and rides.
Highlight : Megazeph. Steel structured wooden coaster with Gerstlauer (sp?)
trains. Fast, beautiful, with a tiny bit of trick-track along the
way. Unfortunately, its only been operating 14 days, and already,
it got a bad case of "Dinn Shuffle". :-(
I put the blame on the trains, not CCI's wood. I can only imagine
what the ride would be like with real PTCs on it. I'm sorry
if my prejudices are showing. :-)
Lowlight : Employees. New Orleans is famous for its lackadasial atmosphere
and lack of concern for the outside world. Jazzland's crew
could almost be "picture-postcard perfect" examples of this
lassez-faire attitude in (in)-action. It is infuriating to
see a ride which should have a capacity of 2000 people an hour
barely making 1000 riders since the ride-crew can't be bothered
to load, dispatch or even BLINK.
My best advice would be to either wait until fall or go late in the day
(since the park's operating hours will soon extend until 10pm). The
Louisiana Gulf Coast heat *will* cook your head unless you're made of
sterner stuff than *I* am. The park is small enough that most of the
major rides can be ridden in the hours between dusk and closing.
And don't forget you're in New Orleans : Most of the restaurants are
still quite busy at 10pm. N.O.er's think nothing of eating at 9pm or later.
Another pat on the back goes to Jazzland for having plenty of large, clean,
well-marked restrooms. There must be one for every section of the park.
My biggest pet peeve about SFoG and some of the other SF-properties is
how well they hide their restrooms. Not so at Jazzland. A clean restroom
is never more than a few steps away.
Another kick in the pants to Jazzland for the poorly planned parking lot.
I realize they are probably not to blame for this oversite, though.
I seem to recall that the state of Louisiana built the parking lot *for*
them, and they have to pay rent on the land (or some such deal which
could ONLY take place in Louisiana == America's own Little Banana Republic).
To have regular "Mall Style" parking, with one main entrance/exit on
the same road, instead of something more "circular" so that people leaving
aren't running over people trying to get in, is going to be a headache
when the park truly gets its feet under itself.
Overall Impression : Worth a visit
p.s. Blue Bayou Waterpark / Dixie Landing amu***t park in Baton Rouge,
looks no closer to being ready to open today then it did six months ago.
Everytime I drive past it on my way to New Orleans I notice some new
detail which wasn't there before, but now they've apparently decided
to have the parking lots across the street, and the admission booths
(or maybe the changing rooms) are going to be located near the parking.
These buildings barely have walls, still. And they've recently begun
cutting trees from the one section of green space the park still
contained. I have no idea what they're building.
Rendell H. Bird + voice: (318) 482-6421
Help Desk Supervisor + fax: (318) 262-5165