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Photo TR: Chuck Looks Back at TPR's Europe Trip 2008


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^^Liz also won the awesome shark! Of course, it's from the Dollar Store, so it only sort of resembles a shark. The Dollar Store has quite the array of mutant stuffed animals. She also received the Official Elissa Bingo Drink Coaster. It's actually a CD of music, but I figure no one ever listens to them, so that's why it's a drink coaster.

 

And no one receives immunity from the giant carnivorous bees. Except those that make generous cash donations for the establishment of the island nation of Davonia. Just so we're clear.

 

Awesome report so far, Chuck. I look forward to the next installment.

 

dt

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^^Liz also won the awesome shark! Of course, it's from the Dollar Store, so it only sort of resembles a shark. The Dollar Store has quite the array of mutant stuffed animals. She also received the Official Elissa Bingo Drink Coaster. It's actually a CD of music, but I figure no one ever listens to them, so that's why it's a drink coaster.

 

We still have all that stuff. The shark is not bad for $1. I think I'll give the CD a listen just to see if I can make it all the way through it.

 

Oh, and Big Mike, the plaque made it through Continental's baggage check 100% unscathed. It's still in great shape and I'll keep it for years to come.

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Great report Chuck.

 

 

The Walibi waffles were also a great way to avoid getting French Crunched (AKA Belgium Waffled) while attempting to get food. I made the mistake of getting a "burger" instead.

 

Yes, the quotes are really really needed.

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Ok, I have to ask. Did anybody try the waffles while in Belgium? Seriously...

 

When I finally attempted to hunt down a waffle, no one was making one! It wasn't until we got to our TPR buffet at Bobbejaanland that I spotted a lone waffle sitting in a tray. I snagged it and heated it up.

 

mmmm...

 

Didn't satisfy my sweet tooth though. It was saying "Uh uh. Where's the custard and cream filled goodies?" It would be days until it said "That's it! That's it!"

 

Terry

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^I had some pretty good apple-filled goodies at a few of the parks.

 

Chapter 4: The Wild, Wild Weirdness—Bobbejaanland

 

I just don’t know what to make of Bobbejaanland. Don’t get me wrong. I love the place, but it left me quite befuddled—in a good way. After all, what can you make of a park where

 

1. Indiana has Mayan ruins and waterfalls;

2. The shooting of Mexicans, women, and, well, just about anybody is not only allowed, but also encouraged; and

3. Darwin’s theory inspires a roller coaster.

 

Yes, I knew that European parks would be “eccentric” by American standards, but Bobbejaanland tops them all, I think. Everybody needs to visit this place. If Walibi Belgium is roughly equal to Fuji-Q, then Bobbejaanland might be Europe’s Mitsui Greenland—a cool mix of the weird and the wacky.

 

As for the coasters, here how they shake out:

 

Evolution—I’m going out on a limb here, but I think this is the park’s best coaster. Why? Because it sums up the eccentricity of the whole place. Think of it as the Enchanted Tiki Room meets Space Mountain. You board the longest coaster train I’ve ever seen (50 cars, as I recall) and head up the longest, circular lift ever (around a “volcano”), while catchy techno/jungle music plays and jungle scenes are projected on the roof. The TPR takeover of this ride, with the whole crew “dancing” up the lifthill, was one of the highlights of the whole trip. But what about airtime and laterals and stuff? Bah! This ride fulfills the main requirement of any park attraction: Is the damn thing any fun at all?

 

Typhoon—This is a good, solid Eurofighter with a compact layout. Not as good as Oakwood’s Speed, but lots of fun.

 

Dreamcatcher—Hey, I have a great idea! Let’s use Native American mysticism as a theme for a Vekoma suspended coaster! A pretty good ride, if not up to the level of Chessington’s Vampire.

 

Speedy Bob—This very wild mouse reminded me of Chessington’s Rattlesnake. It’s rough, not heavily braked, and kind of scary, but I liked it. Nice western themeing, too.

 

Oki Doki—A huge Vekoma Rollerskater with clown cars. Well, why not?

 

I don’t think there was anything at this park that I disliked; then again, I didn’t ride the “George Foreman Grill” version of an Enterprise. But who could hate the El Paso Special (one of the best shooters ever, even if it doesn’t keep score), the 4D haunted-house flick (from a cat’s point of view), the bizarre Desperado (another strange shooter), and the Indiana River (which has nothing to do with Indiana)? Who could not love Bobbejaanland?

 

Someone whose soul has been sucked away, perhaps.

 

It was a bit gloomy and rainy that day, so many of my photos came out a bit dark. Enjoy, I hope.

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Guess I'll just enjoy the ride. More to come.

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Sigh . . .

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"Actually, this ride symbolizes my people's mystic, Manicheean ties to . . . oh, I'm fulla crap! Sorry--got nothin' here."

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"Hmm--not sure why I'm here. But it's a living."

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And now a touching tribute to our proud Native Americans.

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Sorry--gotta decontaminate the mechanical bull on account of the yerpies outbreak.

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Hmm--looks like this cowpoke's got a bad case of "yerpies."

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"OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN, WHY?" (Actually, I think Rich liked this ride.)

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"OK, it just got a little worse."

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"Hey, this isn't so bad."

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We even had ERT on this alien torture device. I passed.

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Unless I miss my guess, this is the "What the hell is that?" element.

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Comfy?

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Yep--looks like a Eurofighter, alright.

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First, up, a bit of ERT on Typhoon. The park gave us ERT on a wide variety of rides, which was pretty dang cool.

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"Hi there! I'm an alien tree! Hang around long enough, and I'll ram my ovipositer down your throat and lay eggs in your chest."

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"Through this portal, 'Weird' has sex with 'Wacky,' who gives birth to 'WTF.'"

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More weird wildness from Bobbejaanland.

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"Yer-r-r-r-pee! Gotta get me some penicillin!" One more set of pics to come, pardners.

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"Ill teach you hombres to mess with a man's garden tools!"

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"So, that's what happened to my wheelbarrow."

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The park's powered mine train is very good.

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OK. So I got a little carried away on the El Paso Special.

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Good to know. And this little baby can be yours for less than 2,000,000 euros!

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Reach for the sky, varmints!

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I didn't take any pictures inside--I was too busy blastin' people!

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Yes, there is more than corn in Indiana. How about faux Spanish moss? Fun flume ride, though.

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"Uh, go, Irish?"

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Time to explore deepest, darkest . . . Indiana?

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"Yeah--quit lookin' at my butt!"

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"Tee hee! Chortle! Guffaw! Oh, I just can't look!"

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You know, the themeing of this ride could not be more appropriate.

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One more time from Bobbejaanland.

 

This TR certified "yerpies free."

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And one last look at Typhoon as we head out for Toverland. Thanks for a great day, Bobbejaanland!

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Just for the hell of it, Larry and I checked out the chair swings.

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And it begins! The epic conflict between Kristie "Dublin Deuce" Hoffman and Melanie "funkybadger" Bitner! Yes, it's a Bobbejaanland Hardcore Puppet Match!

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"Pretty birdie with bananas!" By the time the TPR takeover was done, this bird and bunch of bananas had evolved to a higher plane of existence, metamorphosed into an ethereal state, and sold their story to the Sci-Fi Channel.

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"Ooo! What's that up there?"

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Santa Spaghetti Menu--the reality. (Pretty good, actually.)

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Santa Spaghetti Menu--the ticket.

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Rich has flashbacks to the 'George Foremen Grill' ride, and tries to kill himself to stop the pain.

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'Ai, yi, yi-yi! I'm the Bobbejaanland Bandito!"

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I pity the poor guy who opened a Denny's in this town. His customer base is shrinking daily.

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"Psst! Bob! He's lying, and we think he has the 'yerpies'!"

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"Bob, I didn't lay a finger on your daughter! I swear!"

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By the time we finished riding, this bird and monkey had evolved to a higher state of consciousness and written a script for "Hamlet."

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You have to cut through a building and past a Splash Battle ride to find the entrance to [R]Evolution.

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^ Is that why I still suck something awful at that game? No, I just pull the trigger like every other Chuck, Rich and Larry. And I still fail. Boo! Maybe if I could hear the directions in English just ONCE!

 

Fun TR Chuck! Every update is a little better than the next! Keep 'em coming!

 

~ Melanie

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^Ahem. I gave you advice to go for the waffle and not other park "food."

 

I loved Bobbejaanland, even if it had a vendetta to get me soaked. You managed to capture the spirit of this park fairly well.

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Chapter 5: Playgrounds and Coasters and Beer, Oh My! Toverland

 

NOTE FROM CHUCK’S INTERNAL EDITOR: As you may recall from our last episode, Chuck rambled on and on about how eccentric and awesome Bobbejaanland was. Yes, he just wouldn’t shut up about it. No matter how much people begged him. So, he’s promised not to ramble as much about Toverland.

 

Even though Toverland threw one of the single coolest parties ever, Chuck’s not going to ramble on about it.

 

Even though it’s another eccentric park, with indoor and outdoor sections crammed full of Greek myth and space aliens and elves and trolls and magic mushrooms and croquettes and beer and implements of death and destruction, he’s not going to ramble on about it.

 

Even though TPR had two-and-a-half hours of awesome ERT and food and beer, he’s not going to ramble on about it.

 

Why, he’s not even going to talk about the coasters and how he ranks them, which would’ve looked something like this (were Chuck to do it):

 

TROY!—He would’ve told how this was his second-favorite woodie of the trip thanks to it’s great mix of awesome laterals, ejector air, insane speed, and Trojan Horse themeing.

 

Booster Bike—He would’ve told how he liked the ride, but didn’t find it any better than Flamingoland’s version. Then he would’ve asked what was up with the alien-plant themeing.

 

Boomerang—He would’ve thanked God that this was not an actual Vekoma Boomerang, but an extra-large, indoor Rollerskater with a train theme. He liked it fine.

 

But he’s not going to say any of that. He’s going to show some rare restraint and just right into the pictures, such as they are.

 

That is all. Thank you for understanding.

 

Oh, he is allowed to say this: Thank you Robb, Elissa, and Toverland for the single best night of the entire TPR Europe Tour!

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Yes, Booster Bikes need love, too. More to come.

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Let's not forget the Booster Bike, now--if we can get past the man-eating space plant.

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The answer is buried in the sands of time.

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Would Paris have passed up a steamy, passionate night of Helen ERT for Troy ERT?

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OK, let's hear it: TROY!

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You know, if Agamemmon and Priam had had a great ride like this, they would've been having too much fun to fight.

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"Hi there. I'm the Trojan Horse! I'm a great gift! Well, unless you're a Trojan, and I'm full of Greeks ready to sack and burn your city."

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Is this the ride that launched a thousand ships?

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Toverland really crams a lot of stuff into this building.

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"Memo to Toverland Marketing Dept.: Following reports of three accidental hangings, numerous incidents of whipping or flogging, and this apparent accidental nose piercing, we think it is time to rethink the 'lanyard' concept."

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And everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

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Relax, Jeff--it's just a big Rollerskater.

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"Oh my God! Please tell me this isn't an actual 'Boomerang'!"

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They gave us lanyards for the ERT session instead of the usual wristbands. Hmm--in retrospect, this may have been a mistake. Or maybe they wanted TPR on a leash.

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Just cross the Three Stooges with Wonderland and Star Wars, then mix in a little Greek myth, and you have Toverland.

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NOTE FROM CHUCK'S INTERNAL EDITOR: More pictures from Toverland. That is all.

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But then this happened. Well, it isn't ERT until someone gets crushed by a wooden horse on wheels, right?

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I had to lie on my back to get this picture of Melanie.

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. . . we gotta!

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What? We gotta ride Troy some more? Well if we gotta, . . .

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. . . and ERT!

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. . . fire, . . .

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. . . beer, . . .

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. . . to the appointed place of food, . . .

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Through the Magic Shroom tunnel . . .

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Here's a weird little attraction. You're given a wand, which you point at targets to trigger little effects, like pictures spinning around and such. It reminded me of the "Alice in Wonderland" walkthrough at Parque Espana.

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Chair swings. Purty.

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Rich, however, crashed his raft into the wall and burst into flames--a true RCT moment.

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You actually get airtime on this water slide. Here we see Melanie sticking her landing.

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Nope. Not one beer had been drunk.

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At this point, the bar wasn't even open.

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I haven't seen a space-alien-themed flume since Space World.

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"Yoda, I am. Spit on you, I will. Reverse on my flume, you do."

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