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Everything posted by JaxStrumley

  1. The park is open year-round, so it means that attractions may be closed for maintenance in the off-season. The closings can be found on the Efteling website (https://www.efteling.com/en/park/information/in-maintenance) and these are usually quite accurate (provided there are no unexpected breakdowns of course)! Keep in mind that large walk-through attractions (such as the Fairy Tale Wood) may be listed as closed, but this usually means that one fairy tale at a time will be closed so the attraction as a whole will be accessible. One big closure this fall will be Python: this Vekoma coaster will be demolished (except for the lift hill) and then rebuilt the way it is now. So it will be closed from 9/11 to 12/1.
  2. Apart from the new making-of video, Efteling also confirmed that the roof of the Symbolica showbuilding will be themed as a palace garden, composed of sedum plants. This garden will also contain 800 solar panels, in line with Efteling's eco-friendly objectives. This is good news, as the park's observation tower (Pagode, an Intamin Flying Island) is located directly next to the showbuilding.
  3. Very nice report! It's amazing to see how well-behaved and polite people are over there! The Shanghai version looks spectacular indeed! Great use of projections and the few animatronics that are there look amazing. In combination with the new boats it makes for a much more action-oriented ride. However, personally I would like to keep the 'classic' versions of Pirates as well; for me a scene filled with animatronics (especially those of Disney quality) has a certain charm that would be hard to emulate with projections.
  4. Doesn't Phantasialand have a knockoff Great Movie Ride? Also Efteling has rides inspired by Small World & Haunted Mansion You are correct: in the 70s and 80s many European parks built attractions that were Disney ripoffs to some degree. Not many Europeans had visited the US Disney parks and Disneyland Paris did not yet exist. So who was going to know? So, indeed, Phantasialand has a Great Movie Ride ripoff, as well as a Big Thunder Mountain clone. Both of lesser quality than the Disney versions of course. But in recent years this park has also shown that they can come up with original concepts and execute these with attention to detail (Maus au Chocolat, Chiapas, Taron). Besides, the Movie Ride ripoff at least is expected to be removed in the coming years. As for Efteling: indeed, it has rides that are "inspired by" Disney attractions. That means that they share part of the concept, but the execution is very different. Carnaval Festival is a journey around the world, like Small World, but the style and message are very different. Eftelings haunted castle has very little in common with Haunted Mansion, except for the fact that it is haunted and Pepper's ghosts are used. But the theme is much darker than Disney's. Fata Morgana was inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean, in the sense that they wanted to build a high-quality darkride with boats. They were wise enough not to go with the pirate theme, but settled on the Arabian Nights. Efteling has used its own unique style from the very beginning and it shows. These examples are quite different from Europa Park: Europa Park has copied not only the concepts, but the executions as well. So they have a dinosaur ride, an Epcot-like dome, their haunted house has singing busts, their pirates darkride has scenes and vignettes that are almost carbon copies of the Disney originals. In my opinion such unoriginality is far below the level that a major player like Europa Park should aim for. Of course, these things were built in another era. But still, with all the big additions and improvements they are working on, couldn't they improve or change these relatively minor things? Just get rid of the darkride scenes that were copied from Disney and replace them. Then you can still have a pirate ride, but it will be much improved! By the way: Storybookland in Disneyland Anaheim was inspired by the Dutch park Madurodam (which contains miniature versions of famous Dutch buildings). Walt visited the Netherlands in 1951 and later sent his key designer Ken Anderson to study the park. So there was some inspiration in the opposite direction as well!
  5. Interesting interview! And nice to see how they keep adding to the park and improving existing attractions. I only wish that, at some point in time, they would allocate some budget to get rid of the obvious Disney imitations. Entire darkride concepts are copied, sometimes with extremely similar scenes (e.g. singing busts, locked up pirates who have to lure an animal to get the key). I know there are many other parks with Disney imitations, but as one of the leading European parks Europa Park should aim a little bit higher I think. Efteling and Phantasialand show that it can be done! Of course it would not be realistic to change the entire theme of a darkride, but adjusting some of the scenes would definitely be possible imho.
  6. Part 2 of the 'Making of'' series has been posted: It introduces the character of O.J. Punctuel (who will welcome visitors for their audience with the king) and provides a few brief looks at the interior as well. Looks promising!
  7. You will have to pay for it; it will not be milk, but rather milkshakes (and pizzas) that are sold in the little shop under the lift hill. The name of the store translates to "the little milk house". In old Dutch coal mines (on which the theming is based, even though this is a gold mine according to the story) miners were required to drink a certain amount of milk at the end of the day to clean their mouth and system of the coal dust. Hence the milk shakes, as a more modern, theme park-style version of that tradition The pizzas clash a bit with the historic mine team, but were missing in Efteling's in-park food offering so far. So they are probably there for a more practical reason. I am especially impressed with what we have seen so far of the Gustave Hooghmoed animatronic. Its motions seem very fluent and it looks like he is holding a pipe with real smoke. He looks like a typical 1890s 'robber baron', very fitting! Efteling has a history of creating compelling characters for their attractions and fairy tales and it looks like Gustave is no exception!
  8. ^ I think that in the pacing comparison the Oblivion dive coaster in Gardaland was meant (which has a layout comparable to that of Baron 1898), not Oblivion in Alton Towers (which is much shorter indeed).
  9. Yes, they will. All concept arts, as well as the miniature shown at the press event have them and they are visible on the new park map. And they will be quite huge! Also a big bell will be attached to the tower. Probably the wheels will turn while you climb the lift, then stop when you hang above the drop. The bell will ring and down you go The only thing that remains unsure is the design on the 'wheelcases'. On the side view-concept had a female figure was depicted on them, while on the miniature and track layout concept there were twp lion/griffon like creatures. Personally I prefer the latter design! But we'll wait and see. By the way, I really like the additional details that they are currently adding on the supports. This gets better every day.
  10. Great to see that the hat is gone! But I hope that the spires that used to be on the wings of the Chinese Theater will be restored; the view is a bit 'empty' without them. Does anyone know why these were removed in the first place?
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