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Everything posted by Heth

  1. I literally JUST POSTED a whole rant about people being rude and obnoxious and you go and post this. As much as I'm sure you are all aware we support the LGBTQ community this is NOT the appropriate place to bring up whatever issues you have. Take your drama someplace else. We don't need to hear it. So people should keep their mouths shut when it's been rightfully pointed out that a percentage of guests would have to hide who they are to visit without being arrested? Sounds like some great LGBTQ+ community support there.
  2. 1. Name 3 of your favorite roller coasters, but not your top 3. Not my top 3, but close: Joris en de Draak (Efteling), Stealth (Thorpe Park), Nemesis (Alton Towers). 2. About how many different parks did you visit in 2018? Only 3. Thorpe Park, Efteling, Alton Towers 3. Which 2018 park visit was your favorite? Efteling. Quiet and madly cold day which meant much was closed but what was open was walk on. 4. Your favorite 2018 park addition (ride, food, show, etc)? Wicker Man at Alton Towers 5. What ride exceeded your expectations the most in 2018? Walking Dead The Ride. For a cheap X refurbishment it was well themed and fun 6. Best meal/food at a park in 2018? Krokets at Efteling. 7. What was your favorite new coaster of 2018 NOT made by RMC or Larson? Wicker Man, the only new coaster I did in 2018 8. Name one park you will definitely visit in 2019. Efteling (only one I've booked). 9. Best ride themed to a bird? Vogel Top at Efteling 10. Lamest ride/coaster you rode in 2018? Walking Dead The Ride. I rode so few rides this year so the lamest ride is also the one that exceeded expectations. 11. What roller coaster currently sits at the top of your bucketlist? (degree of difficulty: NOT a new-for-2019 ride) Taron at Phantasialand 12. What new-for-2019 ride or coaster are you most looking forward to? I almost certainly won't get to ride it soon / ever but Yukon Striker looks cool. 13. Name the first totally middle-of-the-road (not bad/not great) park that comes to mind. Thorpe park (comes to kind first as it's essentially my local park) 14. You're in Orlando and magically have a 1-hour ERT session on 1 coaster of your choice at any park in the city. You choose... Revenge of the Mummy! 15. Holiday In The Park vs. Winterfest. Who reigns supreme? Holiday in the park 16. Mystic Timbers mystery shed or Wicker Man fire infusion? Wicker Man fire for sure. 17. Which Six Flags have you been to most recently? None! 18. Intamin or Schwarzkopf? You may only choose one. Intamin. 19. Battle of Kings Coasters: Island or Dominion? Pick one. Been to neither but Island interests me more. 20. What was the longest you waited for a ride/coaster in 2018? 2 hours for Wicker Man. Park was insanely busy. 21. What roller coaster have you ridden more than any other? Hard to know as I don't know how many times I went on Big Thunder Mountain as a kid, but as an adult it's probably Boris an de Draak at Efteling by virtue of a 4 day visit there in a very quiet January week. 22. Best drop tower under 150 feet? Tower of Terror (the drops themselves are below 150 right?) 23. Maverick or Millennium Force? (If you haven't been to CP, pick what you want to ride more) Maverick 24. Log flumes or sky rides? You can only choose one. Log Flumes are underrated. Love 'em. 25. What are 3 things you enjoying doing at your home park other than riding rides? Eating pizza pasta buffet, scare mazes and meeting friends. 26. What is your second favorite Cedar Fair park and why? Errr....no idea, but Cedar Point? 27. What is your home park and give us two good reasons why we should pay it a visit. Thorpe Park. It's not the best but it is a fun day out and it's compact which makes it easy to navigate. 28. Launch or Lift? Launch. 29. Did you buy fast pass at all in 2018? Once for nemesis Inferno because I was impatient. 30. What is your least favorite wooden coaster? Gwazi (ridden 6 and it was easily the worst) 31. Disney fanboys: cool or cult? Mix. Can be cool when the find hidden details and history of the parks but cult like in other ways. 32. Best Batman themed ride? Batman: The Ride 33. Name something that tend to take home from parks that you didn't bring with you. Soundtrack albums. 34. Best wooden coaster over 110 feet tall? (rcdb will help you) Colossos at Heide Park. 35. Have you ever been hit with something (loose change/a tree/vomit/etc) while riding something? Tree on vampire at Chessington. 36. Skywarps: credits or no? State your case. Yeah...why not...It's just a bit of fun anyway. 37. Turkey legs: nah or yaaaaassssss? Nah 38. What is the most recent B&M that you rode? Nemesis Inferno 39. You can eat nothing but corn dogs, churros or funnel cake for the next 48 hours, which do you choose? Churros 40. Post a great on-ride shot of you from 2018. (DO IT!) I have none!
  3. Hi, Since it's a weekday on the 16th and in the low season you should be fine with one day. The only issue there might be is the weather. If it's too cold the outdoor rollercoasters may close. In February 2018 there was a freak cold chill that took it to -1 degrees Celsius, which closed all outdoor coaster except Baron 1898. I went to the park last on a weekday in February and got on 23 rides in only 7 hours (including 5 on Baron and 4 on Symbolica). I still had a great time and sure you will too.
  4. Don't get me wrong, I love the park, but Carnaval Festival is a bit tacky.
  5. I'm glad they're planning on wedding a new coaster but I must admit a circus theme doesn't excite me much. I worry it might be a little bit tacky.
  6. Thank you for setting up this poll Robb, AJ and Chase, I had great fun completing it. I find a few things on the results interesting, especially compared to the Mitch Hawker polls. I noticed Nemesis dropped much further down the polls than I expected. I imagine this is due to the new rides that overtook it, but it was still surprising. I also noticed Space Mountain Mission 2 in Paris was higher up than I expected. In the old Mitch Hawker polls it was one of the worst, yet it was ranked much higher in this. I wonder why?
  7. UK resident here, I've never visited BlackpoolYelford so can't comment on that. I have however been to Thorpe and Chessinot on a fair few times. Out of the two, Chessington is actually the busier of the two, so if pushed for time I might recommend buying some fastrack tickets. The fastrack packages do not save you much money, so would honestly just recommend buying on the day if you need them. Both parks will be busy in summer. Despite what people about the UK, you won't need a raincoat...it's not that bad, unless very unlucky!
  8. Efteling for me. It's got a fantastic charm to it and a great selection of rides. Not the best for thrill-seekers, but an all round brilliant park otherwise. Europa Park is an extremely close second for me, and honourable mentions go to Phantasialand and Disneyland Paris.
  9. TDS has always had a coaster. https://rcdb.com/1501.htm Forgot about that one (I was thinking for a second that Raging Spirits was the only one).
  10. Although since around 2006 (I think) it's had a credit, Tokyo Disney Sea didn't have a credit when it opened and it looked amazing even then (though I've never been there myself). EPCOT again needs a mention as it's (to my recollection) the only cred-less park I've been to in the last few years.
  11. I've never been, but Flying Turns interests me the most! Thorpe Park
  12. Also there's more to Liseberg than just Helix. There's more to most of these parks than just one coaster. Though Heide Park has Colossos for example I'd say Europa Park would be a better trip since it's more well rounded. Blue Fire doesn't hurt either. I'd argue a park with nice settings, efficient operations and a rounded selection of rides would be a better choice than one with a few 'noteworthy' rides but less of the rest. You will miss a lot of of great parks in the world if focussing just on "this ride craps of that one".
  13. Whilst it's true that there are not as big coasters in Europerror, that doesn't mean that they are bad, and in fact many world class rides live here. Maybe they're not as tall but many are very unique. In my native UK Alton Towers or Thorpe Park are your best coaster park options, both of which have rides which are exciting and thrilling, especially Nemesis and The Swarm. Germany is a great country for coasters, with Heide Park (Colossos ), Phantasialand (Taron, Black Mamba) and Europe Park (a little bit of everything). I think the main thing about a lot of European parks is that they blend thrills and theming more. The thrills are maybe weaker on average but they are often enhanced by theming and setting. This makes a lot of these worth a visit and most are enjoyable even if you ignore their coasters. If you want coasters I would advise Alton Towers or Europe Park. I would also advise Efteling or Phantasialand as parks overall, but not for coasters, as these two are not nearly as thrilling. I actually enjoy these a lot but of different reasons (theming, dark rides etc) If you go to Europe expecting the greatest thrills ever you will be disappointed. Go in expected something different to the USA and you'll love it.
  14. It is my favourite park I've visited, but yes, there can be a lot of overhype....odd when the park could speak for itself (as it did when I first visited only 3 years ago). Great reports Robb.
  15. This is an excellent report. I missed out on Hansa Park on my Euro-Trip last month and now I wish I'd had the time to go there.
  16. This is very sad to hear, but his legacy will live on.
  17. I'm surprised you found it that long, I really enjoyed the pre-shows and didn't find that I was waiting around that long at all.
  18. Yeah, I have often found these to be rather US-centric. To see the absence of last year's Chiapas from the water rides section in particular seemed odd, alongside the absence of Tokyo Disneyland itself. Mystic Manor as well seems like a ride that would be an obvious contender for best dark-ride, and Arthur at Europa Park, and it seems each year nothing much changes in that category (excluding Gringotts appearing on the list).
  19. I think people are missing the point with this. It's not a comment about theme parks, it's more a comment on society framed within the subject of a theme park. Theme Parks are simply the display mechanism.
  20. Should people not review bad films as such because it might make people not go to see the film? No, that would be absurd. You'd have though, given the potential social media influence mentioned earlier, that parks would be aiming to ensure that they run as smoothly as possible. Why should it be Robb's problem if he wants to review it as badly as he found it? They're the ones providing the bad park experience (if it was the park rather than guests causing problems). For me it would depend entirely on what caused the bad visit. The worst visit to a park I've ever had was Thorpe Park, but that was mainly down to crowds. My solution was to go there the next time during an off-peak day. I am generally more forgiving of parks that are nearer me as there's less of a difficulty to get there again to 'try again'. Travelling internationally if I don't like the park I won't go again unless there really was a lot of stuff I wanted to try that I missed. I didn't have an especially good time at Busch Gardens Tampa when I went there in 2006, and as a result I've not been since despite having been to Florida twice since then. It's a long way to go from the UK to risk having another poor experience. To its credit Busch Gardens was not actually a bad park, but given my Florida trips have been based on Orlando I was unenthusiastic to travel to Tampa just to go to a park which underwhelmed me in the past.
  21. I've only been on three 'new' attractions/rides this year, so it's kind of a 'winning by default' situation. I've been on Baron 1898 in Efteling, I'm a Celebrity Maze in Thorpe Park and the rejuvenated Whale Adventures splash battle at Europa Park. Baron 1898 was excellent with some wonderful theming, story experience, preshows, and on-ride effects, and was an exciting layout considering its short stature. Whale Adventures was fun, and I'm a Celebrity maze should sit in the 'naughty corner' and think about what it's done! Wicked Cyclone and Twisted Colossus look the most fun out of the (many) 2015 rides I have not experienced.
  22. On the whole different languages don't bother me. As long as I can get by in terms of eating and negotiating the park I don't mind if I don't know the stories of shows, so long as they're visually fun. I have visited a lot of these parks solo and with German or Dutch speaking friends in the past, so have had some back-stories explained to me previously (Heide Park excluded). Efteling - virtually all the staff speak English, and so ordering food, asking advice, buying items etc. will be no issue at all. The vast majority of rides have no English, and most shops/restaurants do not have any translations for food. My advice would be to take a phrasebook for working out what food you actually want, and then you can still converse with the staff in English once you know what you want. Regarding the rides, most of them are very visual, so you won't suffer for not knowing the language in most situations. Villa Volta is very exposition-heavy, but it's still fun to be in the madhouse anyway! Villa Volta does have a sign in English in the queue explaining the story, but the preshows are totally in Dutch. I have found this site to be helpful - 'An Englishman's Guide to Efteling'- http://aegtte.weebly.com/ Baron 1898 is an exception. This ride has signs in English and some of the preshow is in English for the "foreign mine-workers" and forms part of a new push by the park to cater to a more international audience. I wouldn't be surprised if in the future more rides get English signs and translations. Heide Park - this park was quite hard. This is the first foreign park I've been to with no English park maps what-so-ever. The only English thing I recall was the Express Butler I bought being set in English for me by the staff there. Their website is also only available in German. Some staff speak English, but most do not, and so I'd advise getting to grips with some basic German before going. Altogether the explicit German-only approach reinforces my opinion that this park is more a 'big' local park moreso than international destination. Europa Park - this park caters mostly for Germans and the French, however many staff speak English. Signs are generally in German only, but due to a larger international audience the staff have flags under their name-tags showing which languages they speak. When I had trouble with one food order (not the park's fault, my own) they had to go find English-speaking staff to help me. Was a bit of hassle, but not a deal-breaker. Shows were in German with some French, but, as with Efteling, they were visual enough to impress without any need to know the language.
  23. I'm glad people got that from the review, I was worried I wasn't explaining myself very well! I must concede that, objectively, Efteling is not as good a park at Europa Park, mostly down to the size and number of rides. What has still allowed Efteling to remain at the top for me is how charming and quaint much of it is, the attention to detail and the standout rides it has, particularly in terms of dark rides, which I am a sucker for. Also having studied it academically as a case study for a Masters paper did mean I developed something of an affinity for the park. Comparing Europa Park and Heide Park and Phantasialand (I was there the year before for 3 days) is interesting. Phantasialand is great, but it kind of the anti-Europa Park. It's rides are generally standout and super well themed, but it has a lot of neglected and forgotten rides which are rather naff. Heide Park felt very un-unique, and lacked the in-between rides and attractions Europa Park has. Europa Park just has the greatest balance of rides of these 3 parks, and is probably in my top 5 parks.
  24. To be honest a lot of screen-based rides (Forbidden Journey included) make me nauseous, which therefore makes the number of media attractions in the Universal parks a problem for me. Spiderman and Gringotts I can manage however as the screens are big enough and far away enough to not be a problem. Up close screens make me very sick!
  25. PART 3 – EUROPA PARK The journey from Hamburg to Europa Park was a very long one! I left the hotel at 9am and arrived in the apartment with my friends at 8pm. The train was first, travelling to Frankfurt, at which point some Dutch friends picked me up and drove the remainder of the journey. The group of us had 3 full days at Europa Park, staying in an apartment in Rust. Rust is a town which is comprised almost entirely of guest-houses and hotels, and there are not many facilities. My time at Europa Park was very good. I have been once before, but that was a 4-park trip, with only one day at each. Whilst this was fun, it was too little time to enjoy the park, and the 3 days was much more appropriate. Over these 3 days the park was incredibly busy, but since the park has so many little attractions to enjoy it is very easy to fill 3 days and have a fantastic time. For the sake of the report I won’t review the days in strict chronological order, but will instead go through and review the rides more broadly. Europa Park's main entrance doesn't convey how much this park has within Entry into the park starts at 9am, which definitely feels unbelievably early! The park gets busy super quickly, especially at the park’s B&M Hyper Coaster – Silver Star. The group of the 4 of us walked right across the longest length of the park to reach our first two rides: Blue Fire and Wodan. The park is huge, something that should not be underestimated when visiting. It is much like Efteling in this sense, but the park is much more jammed with rides than Efteling. The park’s scenery is excellent throughout, with each land’s buildings themed to different European countries. The park can sometimes feel a bit cluttered and haphazard, but it is rammed with themed elements throughout. Our walk through the park to get to the back took us past a lot of these themed buildings. It's enormous! [view from Euro Tower observation tower] Theming in Italy Theming in France/Switzerland Theming in Iceland - theming, theming everywhere! First ride of the day (and my favourite in the park) was the multi-inversion launched coaster Blue Fire. This ride is just wonderful. I am not the biggest fan of really high forces, and so this fast-paced, smooth and ‘floaty’ coaster is just my style. The ride may not satisfy people who like really high G-forces, but it is an amazing ride to me. It also looks amazing, and this ride is situated in probably the best part of the park, the Iceland themed section, which also contains Wodan and the Whale Adventures splash battle ride. Blue Fire Blue Fire Blue Fire Wodan was also an excellent ride. It is a wooden coaster by GCI and is the second tallest wooden coaster I’ve been on (I’ve only been on 5 so far – 4 of which featured on this trip [i’m counting Joris en de Draak as 2]). The theming is top notch throughout, and is better themed than Efteling’s Joris en de Draak. However, I do prefer Joris en de Draak’s track due to its more exciting air-time hills and curves. Wodan is excellent nonetheless. Wodan is hard to photograph due to its long length and buildings being in the way. In the same area was my first experience of a splash-battle ride: Whale Adventures. It was very fun! I enjoyed the ride most when the sun was out and more guests tried to interact with the ride. Of particular note was a model puffin on the rock-work which squirted at pedestrians if they tried to shoot water at the boats. I had not been on the ride before its 2015 refurbishment, but it was very well themed and much fun. Whale Adventures Me in front of Wodan, Blue Fire and Whale Adventures Continuing with the train-of-thought regarding water-rides, Europa Park has them by the (water) bucket-load. Atlantica Supersplash is a Mack splash boat ride in ‘Portugal’, Poseidon is a water-coaster in ‘Greece’, Fjord Rafting a river-rapids ride in ‘Scandinavia’ and Tirol Wildwasserbahn a log flume which interacts with a walkthrough and powered coaster themed to a gnome-filled diamond mine in ‘Austria’. That’s a lot of water! Needless to say these rides were experiencing severe queue times over the 3 hot days we were there. Atlantica Supersplash The aftermath of the 'splash zone' of Atlantica Supersplash Poseidon Poseidon Tirol Logflume 'The World of Diamonds' The park is notorious for the number of little rides the park has crammed into every conceivable space, and dark rides are something the park has in droves. The big new ride from 2014 is one of these. Arthur (themed to the French franchise ‘Arthur et les Minimoys’) was the best of these. The ride is part-powered coaster part-dark-ride and has wonderful theming mixed into its exciting track. The other dark-rides aren’t quite to this level…in fact many are very far from it. There’s Piccolo Mondo in Italy (themed to Italy’s festivals), Schlitterbahn (AKA Bench – The Ride, themed to Russian snow and ice), dinosaur themed Universe of Energy and the laser-shooter Atlantis Adventure. Two dark rides which have proven somewhat controversial are Piraten in Batavia and Geisterschloss. Whilst these two rides are both fun, both have an undercurrent of copying Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion rides, which some scenes sadly ripped (poorly) from those rides. Both are good fun, but pale in comparison to their Disney cousins. (I'm afraid I have no photos of most of these) Geisterschloss Geisterschloss's interior Whilst there are some outstanding examples in the park (see Blue Fire, Wodan and Arthur) these dark rides sum up what is great and what is less-great about Europa Park. Few of the rides in Europa Park are outstanding, but what the park lacks in internationally amazing rides it compensates for in its generally good standard and the sheer quantity of rides. None of those water-rides are the best-themed or best layouts ever, but all are good quality and the amount of them fills 3 whole days. Where Efteling is better themed and has rides like Droomvlucht and Fata Morgana, Europa Park has fairly good theming and 3 times as many rides. Many of the outdoor rides in Europa Park have well-themed buildings, but don’t have much once on the ride. Overall I prefer Efteling for this reason, but Europa Park is still firmly in my top 5 parks world-wide for the sheer number and variety of rides. Europa Park’s roller-coasters don’t just stop at Blue Fire and Wodan. The park is filled to the brim with some exciting coasters, many of them quite rare to find. The Swiss-themed section, my second favourite themed section, contains a Mack bobsled track, which was just ‘ok’ and a rare wild-mouse with a vertical lift-hill and a lot of theming called Matterhorn Blitz. EuroMir and EuroSat, a spinning coaster and indoor coaster respectively, are well-known and popular in the park, but did not prove a hit with me or my friends, the former making some nauseous and the latter being rather rough. Bobsleds viewed from above Excellent Swiss theming Euromir Towering above the park, and most of the car park is Silver Star, the B&M Hyper coaster. Rather mundanely themed to racing (and apparently in love with the colour grey) the ride was scary for me due to its height (remember than European rides are rarely this tall) and very enjoyable, though it had something of a rattle to it that provided me with a bit of a headache. As pointed out at the beginning, this ride gained ridiculous queues due to being at the front of the park and extremely obvious from the car park. Silver Star Silver Star [viewed from the Euro Tower] As you might be able to tell from this review, the park is very difficult to review on an individual attraction basis. One look at the park-map would reveal that the park has far too many rides and attractions to review in one typed review. There are a ton of tow-boat and leisurely-paced boat rides through gardens, loads of car rides, flat rides tucked aware everywhere and even a laser-maze! On each day we rode/saw/experienced 15-20 attractions or shows. That is huge! Even on day three about half of the things we did were first-time rides for the trip. Despite my comments that the park only had a few ‘stand-out’ rides the park is just outstanding as a whole. Even when the park was absolutely full to bursting with people on the second day of the trip we managed to completely fill the 9am-8pm day with shows and attractions. Even for down-time and relaxation there were lots of park-like spaces, rivers and secluded spots to be able to properly unwind. The variety of food on offer was also excellent, often themed relevant to each land of park. Relaxed gardens Sure, Europa Park may not have that many outstanding rides, but the park as a whole is definitely one of the best European parks, if not one of the best internationally. No park I have been to has the variety of attractions this park has and very few have as much theming on their buildings. Whilst I have come out of this trip holding Efteling at the top of my mind, Europa Park has launched much higher after having 3 days to dig my heels in more thoroughly. My obvious choice for 'final' picture for this theme park trip. I hope you have enjoyed it! Following this part of the trip I spent a few days back with my girlfriend in the south of France....sadly no theme parks there, but it was a great and relaxed 'antidote' to a hectic theme park trip Thanks for reading, Heth.
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