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  1. I vowed to ride The Voyage one day after watching a TPR onride years ago and as it happened my brother and I finally made it from the UK for Hollowood Nights 2019. Thus my first experience of this incredible coaster was trimless, in total darkness, with absolutely no prior knowledge of what was coming up. I clung on for dear life! Amazing. When we hit the double-down I had no idea what had just happened!
  2. Thanks everyone for your help. Actually Google Maps was pretty good at all the train and bus information, even advising me to get off the bus a stop early to be nearer the Efteling hotel which was a great help. The bus was very easy, paying with credit card. I bought a train ticket from a machine at Schipol (17.50 euros) and was slightly confused as it offered two Hertogenbosch stations, neither being s'-Hertogenbosch but in the end I went for just the straight Hertogenbosch option and when the ticket printed it had the s'- bit so that was obviously right. From Schipol I was at the hotel in about two hours which was amazing. The staff at the hotel gave me the park ticket and I left my luggage in a room. There's a back entrance into to park 5minutes walk away so then the only decisions left was what order to explore! I rode the indoor coaster which I enjoyed. It was very dark and from my middle of the train seat I could see nothing. No crazy elements so perfect for younger kids. Next I did the Carnival dark ride which I thought was very enjoyable. There are some delightfully suspect bits - did I see a doll urinating on another, and I'm sure there was another doll stroking its nipple suggestively? Next was the Pagoda to get a nice view. Single rider for Symbolica which likely had the longest main queue of the day at around 25 minutes - wow this really lived up to my expectations. Such incredible detail in all the scenes. I'm looking forward to riding this a few more times today to see how it varies. Then it was as a pancake for lunch, a quick walk round to catch the 1400 outdoor show in the amphitheatre. As everywhere the detail in the architecture was spectacular - and the show was good fun even if I didn't understand a word. I had the English headset but I gave up with that after failing to get any sound out of it for the first 5 minutes. The fire-breathing multi-headed beast was very impressive, and I loved that the effectively killed this by dousing it in water! Walking out of this I went into the fairy dark ride - again quite spectacular with a beautiful atmosphere. My daughter will love this when I bring her. The finishing section was really unique. I then decided to do some water rides and cut through the Enchanted Forest bit to the Central American land to do Pirana. This had a 15minute queue perhaps so again it was pretty swift and my rain coat proved useful for the times it drifted very close to some waterfalls. Then it was a short walk to do the Flying Dutchman - a highly-anticipated ride for me. My mouth was hanging open once again at the themeing and atmosphere of this ride. 15minute queue perhaps - but I would have been happy if it was longer so I could take in more detail in the earlier rooms. And the ride itself - going through the thick fog with just the lantern at the front of the boat was incredible. The track section is short but those boats must be incredibly heavy so it likely does just about as much as it can and it was still more fun than the usual big boat splash. It was now getting time to head back to check into the hotel properly but I couldn't walk past Jorik en der draak as soon as I noticed it had the same articulated trains as Twisted Timbers. Wow - the most fun I've ever had on a racing coaster since doing Blackpool's Grand National too many times as a kid. Gwazi contributed to my slipped disc I'm sure when I rode it in 2008, and the three I did in an earlier trip this year at KW, KD and KI were all mirror layouts and pretty dull if classic like Blackpool. This feels as if the two tracks are properly unique layouts like Gwazi (did), and the trains allow it to have a tight, twisting and fast layout like Twisted Timbers. I'll be definitely back on this today to do the other track. Given that the last woodies I rode were at HW it was nice to experience one again where I wasn't hanging on for dear life (not that that is a criticism!). On returning to the park I headed straight through to go and see Caro, the evening show, which was only 6.5 euros with my hotel booking so an easy box to tick on the order page. I had wondered whether to bother as it had been a long day with a 6am flight from the UK, but it was so worth it. What a spectacular show. Don't miss it. I've seen a large number of the Vegas Cirque shows, and others, and this was easily up there in terms of invention and visual spectacle if on a smaller scan, but the show still felt unique and most importantly had real heart with a genuine European flair rather than being a copy-cat. I was really quite stunned by it. So another day in Efteling now, then back to Amsterdam for work. This place has lived up to my expectations - it is so beautiful and the quality of the architecture and theming is up there with Disney - but it has its own unique style too. All the staff I've interacted with are very friendly and seems happy to be working here. I can't wait to return with my wife and daughter. Queues can obviously be long but all the shortcuts were open yesterday so it is definitely out of season and nothing seemed too long to skip. Lots more to do today (including Baron of course). I did a US trip with my brother in early June and we did KD, KW, CP, KI and HW and all the parks were brilliant of course but the dark ride count was low. Just KW and HW felt like they had the odd unique experiences in that area, so booking to come to Efteling on my return was an attempt to address that balance. It was a really good decision! Make sure you have it on your European tour list (and don't skip Caro).
  3. I'm heading to Efteling tomorrow from the UK! I'm flying into Schipol and expecting to take the train and then the bus. Any tips on how to manage the travel? Can I get a travel card which covers the train and the bus or are they separate payments? I am in the Efteling hotel for the night so hope to get two reasonably full days to check it out, though it'll be a little odd being on my own. Any single rider queues? Can't wait - it is very exciting to get to visit this amazing-sounding place!
  4. What a great evening we had. The staff were so friendly and welcoming. The two water coasters are unlike anything we’ve experienced before and just incredible fun. To be able to just ride them again and again was an experience I’ll never forget. We worked out some great air-time techniques for Wildebeast - the last magnet always so to give you a final kick and once or twice I swear we just soared straight over the crest of the hill. Riding The Voyage has been a life goal after watching Robb’s video some years back, and our first ride - in the middle for safety - but in darkness when we had no idea what was coming at any point was just a religious experience. I echo thoughts above, as the second section is quite extraordinary in the way it gets up to maximum speed again so quickly. The double-down in the tunnel was quite a shock! We rode a second time in the front row but a bug hit me in the eye halfway through and that made me nervous, and my body was not sure I could survive a third. Sounds like we’ll have to try the back today. After riding The Beast earlier yesterday I found The Voyage definitely the smoother of the two. It’s hard not to wonder what it’d be like with the articulated trains it was intended to have at one point as those were amazing on Mystic Timbers. With more time in the park today we left The Raven and Legend to be experienced with fresh heads. We’ve had a crazy week of KD, Kennywood, CP, KI and now HW and I’m already so glad we hit the road to get down here and am already planning how to get our respective kids over from the UK to do those water coasters.
  5. Seriously?? Guess I’ve missed my chance then. Skipped it today to make use of my fast pass and was only planning to come in tomorrow first thing to ride SV before heading to Kings Island. Ah well, I’ll be back In another 22 years. Did get to do Twisted Timbers at KD at the W/e and all those bunny hills were far too intense for me and not fun. Maybe SV isn’t for me anyway. I loved MF today, and though Intimidator felt faster I hated the quick changes of direction and way preferred MF’s focus on speed alone. What an awesome ride and we’ll worth the trip from the UK alone!
  6. Hey bro; I reckon it was September '92. Would be great to work in Kennywood - we need to tick off the Noah's Ark!
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