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Everything posted by AstroDan

  1. Great to see these results. Looking forward to finally getting on Colossos in April, too! Delighted to see Troy hanging on in there - and Tonnerre de Zeus I felt wasn't running its very best last year when I rode in October, but nevertheless a brilliant woodie that in my eyes should be higher. Does anyone else feel El Toro at Freizeitpark Plohn is a little on the high side? I haven't been on it, but am puzzled as to why it's quite that high... sure it looks like a hell of a lot of fun, but in a Joris en de Draak sort of way - which is down at 25? Thoughts?
  2. Blackpool is one of these places that seems to be absolutely adored by TPR - but actually a lot of UK park fans think it is dirty, scruffy with rude and disrespectful staff! That said,it does have its fans and does have some truly classic rides however loads of these have been removed in recent years in favour of the likes of Infusion or newer dodgems. Nickeoldeon Land does look good on the other hand, and Valhalla is brilliant. The Nash isn't half bad either! I'd say it is worth a trip, though. Blackpool, Camelot (if only for Knightmare - plus it's close to Blackpool), Alton Towers (best overall park in the UK by some distance), Thorpe (great thrill rides but not much else), Chessington (cute family park with nice theming), Oakwood (for the two big coasters but it's an absolute ballache to get to), Drayton Manor (not far from Alton Towers), Flamingoland and Lightwater Valley (just for The Ultimate) are worth a visit. Flamingo and Lightwater are also quite close. Alton is particularly worth it at Halloween and for Fireworks in November.
  3. I am really looking forward to this park, but - doesn't the MS Spinning Coaster look like just about the lamest of them yet!? Really does look rather poor. They could have packed in a hell of a lot more tightly twisting track than what they have done.
  4. It often is technically closed. But there are never any signs at the FV end to tell you as such, and if you get to the buzzer -they never don't let you through! Annoying though.
  5. RE: Alton Towers access via Woodland Walk to Forbidden Valley. I am a few days late, but - thought I would share this! The Woodland Walk is only available for ENTRY to the park from 10:00-12:00 (which is totally stupid). However, you can leave the park via it at any time to get to the hotels/parking. There is a simple turnstile (as you are probably aware) with a buzzer and they will let you out with no problem! Just a tip for the future!
  6. El Diablo at PortAventura is smooth, although it's very lame!
  7. Th13teen is a cracking family/thrill coaster. It is not Nemesis. Or Rita. Or Oblivion. However, it is certainly one of the best family/thrill coasters in the UK (that is, a coaster which appeals to both children and adults alike). Alton have been completely out of touch with much of the marketing for Th13teen, claiming it as the "ultimate", "most thrilling" rollercoaster etc. however, it is really not. The theming (for the UK) is exceptional, with a great soundtrack. Trains are comfortable, and the throughput is very good. There are only 3 trains which have been numbered 3,4 and 5 just to be a little silly. The ride is silk smooth, but the outdoor section is really rather slow and uninspired. Trim breaks reduce possible airtime opportunities although in the rear carriages it is pretty decent. The first drop on the front is not very good at all. The indoor section is unique, I won't go into detail - and most enjoyable. It does create some sense of alarm and brief shrieks from riders! The theming in here is also very good, and the end section is also good. Overall, a good ride but not a thrill ride. The way the ride operates is so slick - there is no hanging around at any stage, the switchbacks and everything work like clockwork. Fantastic work from Intamin there. It also didn't break down much at all - just a couple of brief periods over the weekend. Lots more SFX to be added to the latter stages of the queue and the Crypt section too. Just speed up the outdoor section, get the trims off and market it as a decent family coaster with an eerie storyline. It's like the new Vampire at Chessington - but marketed as the next Oblivion.
  8. Wow. I had no idea of this place. Looks like a couple of Mack rides there? It's amazing there is no major park around Berlin. I hope it re-generates as Berlin is an amazing city and a theme park would give you yet more reason to go!
  9. Black Mamba's break run drums are pretty superb. Nemesis ends in a wild fashion, with a corkscrew. And you can't fault Blue Fire's wild inline twist!!
  10. Silver Star is a great coaster. I've been riding it since 2004 - and it gets better every year. Some people I know claim it has "no airtime" which is just utter rubbish. Sure, there are trims - but the first set these days do practically nothing and anyone who says that the second set then "ruin" the ride - please. They trim the speed by only a small few kph and then the ride continues on and blasts out of the MCBR (especially at the back). The first drop is literally a floatfest and then every hill you're right out the seat. Based on rides in 2007, I enjoyed Silver Star equally as much as I enjoyed EGF days earlier. Silver Star gets nothing other than a complete slating on internet forums and polls, whilst people seem to worship EGF as Gods Greatest Gift. I am not saying Silver Star is better than EGF - but I don't think the ratings business really fits for either coaster. SS is underrated whilst EGF is over. I would even go so far as to say that, in October 2008 when I rode Silver Star on front row, with a loose restraint, in the dark, in the rain - it was one of my most memorable coaster experiences ever. I love it! Although choosing between it and Blue Fire is tough...!
  11. Saw: The Ride. Sure, the inside is fairly pretty but the coaster is very average at best.
  12. Apparantly, whilst Wakobato is one of the nicest themed Splash Battles, it is very boring to ride with riders not getting wet and there being no interaction.
  13. It's OK - I already lived in Strasbourg for a year...! I haven't been on Maverick nor Farenheit, but from looking at POV's Blue Fire doesn't look anywhere near as "wild" as the former. However, I can compare Blue Fire to several coasters, Colossus at Thorpe Park probably being the most appropriate. It beats Colossus in every way...! This rollercoaster is not particularly "G Intense" but it rides as beautifully as Air, whilst having 10 x the fun. The seating arrangement really is a sensation, and the dark ride just adds to the experience. This coaster isn't out to leave you entirely breathless - it's out to give heaps of fun - and it does that more than any other coaster I have ever had the pleasure of riding. Mack are on to a winner. (and yes, for me now. 1. Nemesis, 2. Blue Fire, 3. Black Mamba). For the record - Silver Star is also running beautifully now, I swear that ride gets better every year!
  14. Blue Fire Review (from 5/6/7/8 April) I managed to ride on Blue Fire around 8 times over my recent break at Europa-Park with TowersTimes, and went into the ride very uncertain as to what to expect from all aspects of the ride. Upon arriving into the new themed area from the stone tunnel under Fjord Rafting, you are greeted by the imposing vertical loop, which stands pretty impressively high. There's various large scale rocks and the colour of the coaster is beautiful on the eye. You make your way up the Iceland street, which features various shops and food outlets, and the Iceland Museum. Blue Fire's entrance is currently a very unimpressive temporary sign, possibly as they had to rush to get the ride open for the start of April - so hopefully this is to be rectified as we go through the season. The present queueline, which still has a lot of theming/electrical/lighting work to be added, consists of a stone wall-lined pathway, through various rock caverns and under various wooden structures. There is ride audio as you wait, and the trains are frequently passing overhead. From the queueline, the ride doesn't look particularly fast, and you really aren't sure what the sensations are going to be like. Before long, you arrive at a split in the queue, for front row and rows 2-10. It is at this point that the Blue Fire experience, for now, begins - the external queue still needs much work to make it into that immersive experience that Europa-Park usually provide. You enter the Energy Research building and meander round various tool sheds, oil cans etc. while the station audio plays overhead. Trains are despacted quite frequently from the platform, although the ride is only operating at around 75% of capacity at the moment from what I understand as they are still waiting for delivery of 2 more trains. You are batched (a first for Europa-Park) into the onload area, and board the trains. On-board sound pulses behind you, and the heart-rate monitor generally gives you an indication of your heart-rate. The over the shoulder lapbars are incredibly comfortable, and the seats are spacious and your feet can't quite touch the floor. The train departs and enters are very dimly lit laboratory area with scientists doing research and various effects. The train passes slightly too quickly for my liking, but nevertheless it builds suspense. You enter a short rocky cavern, before bearing left through a cage with red flashing lights. The music at this stage is quite loud. Smoke begins to pump out of various pipes and furnaces burn. The train stops, you hear several bangs, the gates open at the far end, and the train accelerates! You launch via LIM from 0-100km/h in 2.5 seconds and it flows beautifully to top speed and then begins the ascent to the top of the overbank, before being whipped down into a compact tunnel, which makes you put your hands down for fear of hitting them. You enter the loop, which provides some brief hangtime before being whipped to the right through a very sharp corner, and then rise into the MCBR with some brilliant airtime. More airtime follows the MCBR, before a dip and small tunnel into a sensational corkscrew element, where you literally hang from the restraints before dipping into a helix surrounded by rocks. Into the horseshoe roll and again the restraints are all that keep you in, as you are liberated from the seat entirely. A slight airtime hill through the loop follows, before the train slowly coasts round another helix. You think it's all over but the train then enters an inline twist which for me, is now right up there as my favourite inversion ever (along with Nemesis' Zero G). You are flung from the seat and honestly feel as though you're going to be thrown out of the train. A short corner and into the brake run ready to disembark. Overall, Blue Fire is the perfect rollercoaster to compliment the existing line up at Europa-Park. Nobody in out 25 strong group was dissapointed with the ride, indeed most thought it was better than had been expected. The queueline theming (outdoor) needs work, but this will happen and was ongoing through our stay. The indoor dark ride section provides ample build up and gets the tension building. The coaster is glass smooth and the trains are a sensation to any coaster enthusiast. For Mack rides, it's a real coup - as they've just gone and taken my 2nd favourite rollercoaster spot and my favourite launched coaster spot. You wouldn't have thought this is a company which, until now, has created only family coasters of modest height and statistics. Many of our group have ridden coasters around the world, yet most said that this was right up there with the best of them. It's a must ride, a beautiful rollercoaster - and well worth the wait! Also a thanks to Roland Mack for offering us ERT on the ride on its second day of operatin after we also had ERT on Silver Star in the morning - this park looks after fans so well! Danke Schon!
  15. Travelling half way across the world JUST for Thorpe Park? Mind you, Blackpool and Adventure Island are open. God help you.
  16. Unfortunate, but to be honest it doesn't suprise me Robb, one bit! If the official EPFans website does not have photo's quite so up-close and personal, then there is no way anyone else should or would have them. Shame, but I guess it keeps it more of a suprise for April 4th!
  17. I have copied your post onto TowersTimes too (Alton Towers fansite) in an effort to get some images of Battle Galleons. Hopefully we'll get somewhere.
  18. Cripes... seems a bit of a harsh attack on BPB Guide here by some members! The facts are, BPB is suffering major problems at the moment, there's a lot of concern over its long term future. Next season, many rides will SBNO including the 1933 Rollercoaster plus many others. In addition, staff continue to be a law-unto-themselves, with staff smoking during ride operation, swearing at guests and much more. The site has a lot of content, and an active forum community made up of a mixture of members. Whilst, I myself, am mostly found on the Alton Towers forum "Towers Times", I do have an account on the BPB Guide, and use it for park news. TTF also held a joint meet-up at the Pleasure Beach in July 2007, and they're nothing more than a nice bunch, who genuinely care for what is one of the most historically important amusement parks in the world. The Pleasure Beach can't do anything right it seems, at the moment. NEW FOR 2009: "some fountains" and "ticket desks" following 2008's "RELOCATED TRAUMATIZER from SOUTHPORT"
  19. Perhaps, then, it is a coaster that is affected more-than-normal by atmospheric conditions. It was a shame really, as frankly without EGF Holiday Park becomes a little depressing - and we were all rather down about it!
  20. Home Park: Alton Towers Best Ride: Nemesis, although Hex is equally brilliant in its own way!
  21. EGF would also be cool if they turned of those damn trim brakes, which to me spoiled it equally as much as Silver Star's trims affect it too. I rode EGF several times, and found the front to be the best place, which is very unusual!
  22. Pfft. EGF was the single biggest let-down of a coaster ever! After you read time and time again how it's just "unbeatably awesome" you go on it expecting the thing to do just that. Most of my group got off pretty deflated to be honest. Sure, it's more airtime filled than Silver Star, but Silver Star gets nothing but a slating on coaster forums from what I have seen, and it was a really enjoyable ride - especially on the back!
  23. The latest pictures at EPFans show a new headchopper tunnel on the drop down from the Block Brakes, just before the close "valley" round into the horeshoe, where there'll be another head chopper. Looks like the rock theming on this is going to make it even better, so I can't wait! I still can't quite believe this is a MACK ride!!!
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