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Explore Dublin

22nd May 2024

REVIEW: I jumped on Emerald Park’s 2 new roller coasters and here’s what I thought

Valerie Reid

The sun was shining, the ribbon was cut, and the tarmac was freshly poured – all was ready to go when I queued up among plenty of eager visitors to be one of the first to try out Emerald Park’s two new roller coasters, Na Fianna Force and The Quest. 

The two rides are part of their new land of Tír na nÓg, which boasts 3 new attractions across the 6.5-acre park. The crowd were clearly all vying to check out the main attraction first, Na Fianna Force – which is the longest intertwining rollercoaster in Europe. 

I was super impressed by the theming of the ride – much like their flume ride which was built in 2018, the lines leading up to the ride are all heavily decorated, presumably to help distract people in the queue on a busy summer’s day. For those worried about queue times, there’s a handy sign at the entrance of Tír na nÓg which gives estimated wait times for each ride.  

The ride itself can carry about 18 people at a time, and a new carriage sets out every 2-3 minutes. The track is above the rider’s head, with the seats dangling below. It all feels very safe, with the lap bars not budging an inch and the staff double-checking to make sure it’s all locked in before you set out on your ride. 

The track slowly brings you up to about 32 metres high, letting you bask in the full glory of the Meath countryside before the dreaded drop. For those familiar with the Cú Chulainn rollercoaster, the drop for this is not quite as sharp – the main thrill is in the number of inversions and the speed at which the ride goes at (up to 90km/h). The ride loops around, dips, and falls, at some stage appearing to crash to the ground as it hits lows of 1.2 metres. 

As someone who has been on all the rides at Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida, it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to roller coasters. I can happily admit that this ride took the air out of me – the 5 inversions were in such quick succession, and the speed was so fast that I nearly felt dizzy at the end. This is definitely one for the thrill seekers of the group. 

It was also impossible to not notice the public reaction to the ride – every single person getting both on and off the ride was smiling, which is a pretty impressive feat in this day and age. 

Now, not to be dismissed is the smaller rollercoaster of the two, named The Quest. This is a boomerang ride aimed primarily at families and maybe those a little too nervous to get on the bigger ride. It’s intertwined with Na Fianna Force, travels at speeds of 60km/h and hits heights of 25 metres. Although it might seem smaller, it really will leave a smile on your face. The ride travels backwards for much of the track, as it dips and dives through trenches and castles. This is definitely not one to be sniffed at! 

Tír na nÓg and its 2 new roller coasters are brilliant additions to the bustling theme park, with 40 rides already part of their repertoire. For those who have made the trip to Disney or any other large amusement park, you won’t be disappointed with Ireland’s own contender. 

Have you been on it? Let us know on [email protected]

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