Enter a world of minarets and bumper cars, djinni and miniature golf. Castles ‘n’ Coasters is an amusement park for the whole family with a fantasy-Persian theme (think “Prince of—”; à la Ali Baba). It’s a great place to bring the kids for an afternoon’s fun under the palm trees, and the fun to be had comes in all varieties.
There’s two of the titular coasters, flanking the bank of assorted rides that make up the core of the park. To your left as you enter is the massive Desert Storm, a rollicking ride with two loop-the-loops, steep climbs, stomach-churning drops and whirling spirals along its track. The go-kart track is situated right underneath it, providing a high-speed sensory experience like none other. On the far right is the Patriot, a star-spangled roller coaster that’s slightly less intense—with enjoyment for all, its thrills are intense enough for the experienced but not too terrifying for the beginner.
Between the roller coasters are the rest of the rides. As you might guess from the Patriot, the theme here is not homogenous. Splashdown is a log flume combining Old West decor with animatronic elephants. Skydiver lets you experience freefall from 120 feet and walk away without a scratch, while the ride actually named Freefall does the same from a somewhat less vertigo-inducing height. The carousel boasts a total of 60 exotic creatures, but if you prefer animals never found in any circus, there’s the Sea Dragon, a swinging longboat featuring berserker shields and a saurian prow. No amusement park is complete without bumper cars (known here is Ram Rods), but a ride you don’t find everywhere is the music express—this one’s called Magic Carpet, bringing back the central theme as you whirl both clockwise and counter- through Aladdin’s Castle.
There’s a handful of rides exclusively for the youngest children as well, with Spinning Tops and Flying Bugs splitting the difference on the strap-in-and-rotate genre while the tiny ferris wheel Dixie Jr. provides the vertical motion. In the center of it all is the Party Pavilion, where you’ll find much in the way of concessions, plus rooms for banquets and birthday parties.
That’s only half the park, though. Beyond the realm of the rides are all manner of other things—a bumper boat lagoon, a 200-game arcade inside of a castle, a three-storey obstacle course, a zip line that whizzes you over the heads of mini golfers and then finally the miniature golf courts themselves, taking you around the world to Japan, Russia, the Netherlands and back again. There are four of them, each sporting 18 holes, trick shots, and putting pleasure for all ages.
But just when you think you’ve seen it all, simply stay a little later. After sunset the park is magically transformed into a carnival-lit Thousand and One Nights, worthy of renewed exploration—and on Friday and Saturday nights, the rides stay open until 11pm.
The amusement park is located next to the Metrocenter Mall just off the Black Canyon Freeway, between Peoria and Dunlap Avenues.
Castles ‘n’ Coasters
9445 North Metro Parkway E.
Phoenix, AZ 85051