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


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NOTE FROM CHUCK'S INTERNAL EDITOR: This is the last set of Toverland photos. Then you can get on with your lives.


And, for one last time . . .




Thanks for an awesome night, Toverland!


Yes, the mayhem continued all the way back to the bus.


"Lookit me, Mom! I'm a satellite dish!"


Uh oh! Looks like the conflict that started at Bobbejaanland continued at Toverland, wrestling fans! Melanie deftly blocked Kristie's spinning round kick. Can the dreaded over-the-shoulder legbreaker be far behind?


TROY! (Well, we hadn't seen it for a few minutes.)


"Oh, God, just make it stop!"


Not to mention opportunities for bodily harm.


Yes, there were quite a few hijinks.


And I'm thinking these members of Team Larry have had a few, too.


Yeah, I had a few by the time I rode the Bobkarts (which were lots of fun, I might add).


Did I mention there was beer? Oh, I did?


Don't forget--we got Booster Bike, too.


I think I see Philly Girl somewhere in all that water.


Hmm--looks like a few folks have drunk enough courage.

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Wow, those are some fun memories to relive! Kristie and I about killed each other (and drenched each other) every chance we got! And yes, I do remember the evening - it was probably my favorite day of the trip. Though I'm pretty sure you could take our group just about anywhere and we'd find a way to have fun! Nice job, Chuck! You're motivating me to finally work on some of my photos.

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Chuck - looks like you got a picture of Kristie right after she leg whipped TPDave (you can see him writhing in pain) and right before she fell off the spinning thing and conked her head on the ground.




Melanie - work on the Bowcraft and Quassy PTRs, also.

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


Got a good chuckle out of that line, but glad Rich is ok.


Funny stuff at Toverland and kinda wierd to see Christie with beer in hand. Hey, glad you all had a good time and it's been fun to watch Team Larry's adventures through cfc's perspective.

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Chuck - looks like you got a picture of Kristie right after she leg whipped TPDave (you can see him writhing in pain) and right before she fell off the spinning thing and conked her head on the ground.




Melanie - work on the Bowcraft and Quassy PTRs, also.


You're right, Larry--Kristie was flat on her back on the grass right after I took that picture.


And get on those PTRs, Melanie.

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awesome tr chuck, and the RCT comment got me laughing too.

Agreed with everyone else that Toverland was just so much fun, sure the hospitality we got from the park was amazing, but they too were genuinely thrilled to have TPR there.


Troy was defo my #2 coaster of the trip and defo #1 Woodie.


Great night, loads of fun!



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^Did someone say "beer"? Excuse me while I go get one.


Ah, now that I have a cold, refreshing glass of Sierra Nevada Summerfest, it's time to move on.


Chapter 6: Good Things Can Come in Both Large and Small Packages—Efteling & Drievliet

June 26, 2008 was certainly a day of contrasts in scale. We started at the huge, beautifully themed Efteling, with its spectacular gardens and views, and ended at Drievliet, a little park that does all it can to cram a lot of fun into a small space (without being just a “kiddie” park). Both were definitely worth the time.


Efteling envelops you in a fairy-tale world of haunted ships, ghosts, goblins, elves, and even Arabian nights. As we walked through this enormous, Epcot-sized park, we couldn’t help but be impressed with its beauty and sheer scale. It seemed as though we’d walked for miles through thick forests and gardens (and maybe we had) before we encountered any of the park’s big attractions. Efteling had a very good mix of whimsical attractions and playgrounds for kids, eccentric dark rides, and one very “Disneyish” attraction in the Flying Dutchman.


That being said, I think this place could use a world-class coaster. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Efteling and would definitely visit the park again, but the coaster mix was on the mediocre side. Here they are:


Vliegande Hollander (“Flying Dutchman”)—This combination dark ride/roller coaster has one of the most impressive queues I’ve ever seen. It’s an attraction in itself, as you wind through the Dutchman’s mansion. The loading station looks like it’s surrounded by a small city. The ride itself isn’t quite as impressive, although the brief “storm” segment is fun, as are the coaster portion and splashdown at the end.


Vogel Rok—Yet another strange indoor coaster, this time themed to a giant bird out of ancient myth. A fun ride, but you will think “what the hell was that all about?” when it’s over.


Bobbaan—Or you can call it just plain “Bob.” This is an Intamin Bobsled ride that, unlike the Mack Bobsleds, uses single-car trains. (Hey, you've built 'em in RCT2; you can ride 'em at Efteling.) It’s fun, but those cars really slam on the turns (I prefer the smoother Mack ‘sleds).


Pegasus—This is an Intamin junior woodie. It’s OK, but not terribly exciting.


Python—Oh God, a Vekoma, sit-down double loop screw. Ouch! Rather rough with rather “industrial” looking trains.


There’s a very good madhouse (Villa Volta) with bombastic music—but why do supernatural forces always have to flip rooms upside-down? The Droomvlucht dark ride is quite entertaining, but will test your patience for scenes involving elves and fairies. Carnaval Festival is a boatless “Small World” ride in which political correctness is not an issue, and Fata Morgana is a very entertaining boat ride through the Arabian nights.


There’s definitely a little something for everybody at Efteling. The park is worth visiting just for the atmosphere alone, not to mention it's excellent hotel (comfiest bed of the trip). We had a nice ERT session in the morning on Pegasus, Python, and "Bob," too.


Drievliet has no pretensions to being a great “theme park,” but it’s a fun little place with one very good coaster.


Formule X—It’s tempting to say that this ride beats the any other X-Car coaster I’ve ridden, but that would be damning it with faint praise (being as my only other X-Car credit is the wretched G-Force at Drayton Manor). This launched version of the X-Car is lots of fun, but here’s a tip: Don’t keep your wallet in your left front pocket, unless you want the ever-ratcheting lap bar to fuse it to your leg.


Kopermign—This is a rather painful wild mouse with pretty good wild west themeing (yet another ride reminiscent of Chessington’s Rattlesnake).


Twistrix—A very strange kiddie coaster with free-spinning, pod-shaped cars. Kind of pointless, actually.


When in Drievliet, don’t miss Zingende Stal, a very odd animatronic show where a stable comes to life and sings “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” in Dutch (I think). You have to push a button in front of every robotic critter to make the show work. There’s a good powered coaster (Dynamite Express), a cheesy haunted-house ride, a monorail, and all kinds of other stuff crammed into the park. I’m glad we stopped there—I really enjoyed the place.


That blur is Farquardt tearing through his course. More to come from Efteling.


A lifthill called Wanda.


This train is rather pretentious, and would rather be addressed as "Farquardt."


Here's Bob's loading station. You can call him "Al."


Here's Bobbaan. But he'd rather you buy him a beer and just call him "Bob."


Hmm--looks like a good bridge for a troll to trap a few billy goats.


Herein lies madness.


Here's the smoothest part (but that's a "relative" term).


The trains look like they've been stripped to their bare essentials.


Sheesh! When Efteling builds a line maze, they don't screw around.


"You fools! Don't you realize this is a Vekoma loop screw?"


Nothin' special, though.


Pegasus is an OK ride.


We did have to hack our way through the forest to the station, though, keeping a close eye out for trolls and such.


Why do you look so troubled, Rich? You got something against winged horses?


I could easily just wander around this park for hours. It's quite beautiful.


Hey, this way in, gang! (Please don't hurt me, Melanie!) This is the entrance for hotel guests.

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What? You want to see more of Efteling? Well, OK . . .


The Cisco Kid is also looking downright cutting-edge. One more set of Efteling pics to come.


You know, I've seen old Tarzan movies that were more enlightened than this.


"Ya know, it seems wrong, but those rasslers are kinda turnin' me on!"


"Impassioned lovers wrestle as one." (Looks like their bodies have fused together.)


"Remember kids--drink lots of beer!"


"Aye, laddie! Ye think I'm playin' the pipes! But the bag's fulla whiskey, and I'm just suckin' it down!"


And now, the ride where political correctness came to puke and die.


"Crap, I couldn't even make it to my nest last night, I was so hammered!"


"Oh God, I should not have let Steve talk me into 'one last round.'"


Note to self: Don't walk underneath Vogel Rok when he's flying around. Could be nasty.


. . . which was also suffering technical difficulties. (We rode it later that day.)


St. Nicholas blesses us on the way to Droomvulcht, . . .


"Hi there! I'm Mystical Elf Dude! I'm here for all your hallucinogenic needs!"


Yep--I was definitely looking forward to riding it later that day.


The level of detail rivals Disney and Universal.


The ride hadn't opened for the day (technical problems), but they let us check out the queue. (Thank you, Efteling.)


"OK--I'll let you get away with that one. But watch it."


Hmm--looks like this ride is "Angus McNasty approved."


Who wouldn't want to queue up after seeing this building?


I mean, this is just some of the facade.


The Flying Dutchman is the park's showcase ride.

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One last look at Efteling.


I wonder where that fish could be? It is a most elusive fish! On to Drievliet!


Coolest ATM ever.


I'm tellin' ya, it's good to be the sultan.


"No I did not! I was in that nasty kennel where you left me. Jerk!"


Oh no! Angus McNasty has followed me to Efteling!


Hey, move your ass, pal! (Melanie: "You are skatin' on thin ice with all these puns, punk!")


From snails to the mysterious Arabian nights--Efteling has it all.


Hey, Joey's here.


Uh oh! Snail stacking.


Team Larry tried to find this McDonald's the night before and totally failed.


"Aghh! There's no paper! Could somebody please give me a few squares of paper?"


It does give you a nice view of the playground, though--those are pretty funky see-saws.


I dunno. There's something sort of "half-assed" about this as a transportation system. (God, Melanie's gonna want to kill me for that one, too.)


Snail monorails are the transportation system of tomorrow--today!


And, hey--I'm riding a snail.


Smile, ladies--you're riding a snail.


"Heh, heh, heh! We are so gonna make you think you're upside-down, thanks to my 'curse' and 'intemperate greed' and stuff!"


As a public service, here the ride's backstory in English.


Hey, there's Villa Volta! I never get tired of rooms that flip upside-down.


Here are a few TPR members, though. They're pretty scurvy.


I mean, I don't see Davy Jones (or even any other members of the Monkees) or any scurvy "fish men."


Hmm--this looks nothing like the Dutchman in "PoTC: Dead Man's Chest."


At last, we were able to "French crunch" our way onto the Flying Dutchman.

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And now, Drievliet in the afternoon.


Assume crash positions now! More to come (not of crashes--of Drievliet).


The expressions on Brian's and Steve's faces speak volumes.


The double drop into the Cave of Cracked Ribs.


Hey, Jeff--you didn't need to rent any kids to ride the wild mouse. Just thought I'd mention that.


I think this is Dutch for "Ride of Pain and Contusions."


That's the best I've got--sorry.


Sigh! I fail at taking pictures of the powered coaster.


"Hey, I could get arrested for packing these guns, baby!"


. . . and roll and spin.


Here's Twistrix, where you roll and spin . . .


"Er, sorry--this is as far as we got with the 'ancient wonders' stuff. But you'll like what we got."


Yes, Drievliet! Where you can experience all the wonders of the ancient world.

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Nearly time to stick a fork in this segment.


Everybody in the group seemed to like it. That's it for Drievliet--thanks for a fun time, folks.


Maurer Sohne has hit on a good use for the X-Car, I think.


This ride really was shockingly good (at least to me).


Well, if you aren't, too bad!


Everyone comfy in their X-Car restraints?


Time for ERT on Formule X.


Look, Scott--a state-of-the-art Mark VII Monorail!


We didn't have a disturbing "cat-pig," though.


Hey, this reminds of summer back on Dad's farm! We'd just break into spontaneous hoedowns every 15 minutes or so. No wonder we never got any work done.


"Ooo! Yes we are! Yes we are! Ooo! Ooo!"


"Admit it! You're petrified with fear!"


"Damn it! Stall door won't lock!"


"Buddy, could you get me a magazine? I'm gonna be a while."


And now, we enter a world of darkness and dread--Spookslot!

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Chapter 7: The Big Blank, with a Big Green Exception—Walibi World


You know, I’m having trouble remembering much about Walibi World. I’m not sure why.


It’s not like I had a bad time there—had a pretty good time, actually.


And Walibi World was definitely better than Walibi Belgium—more attractive with a better mix of rides, although WW lacked a dark ride. Yet the place was unmemorable, like a somewhat better-than-average Six Flags park, while WB was like an average one.


I dunno. Maybe I should just press on with the coaster rankings (at least what I can remember of them).


Goliath—This Intamin mega-, hyper-, ginormous-, whatever you call it coaster was the definite star of WW—smooth and exciting, with lots of air. I loved it. In fact, it was my favorite big steel coaster of the trip, until one particular day later (I think you know what I’m talking about). ERT on this bad boy was a blast. Definitely blows away Superman at Six Flags America.


Robin Hood—This was an OK woodie, but kind of slow and shuffly, as though Robin’s men had made a bit too “merrie” the night before and were seriously hungover. Still, not a disgrace.


Flying Dutchman Gold Mine—Yet another brutal wild mouse (but more like Ricochet and less like Rattlesnake, as I recall).


Wok’s Waanzin—Yeah, this is the kiddie coaster with the Chinese dragon. I’ll give the European parks credit—they do a really nice job landscaping their kiddie coasters. And, hey, I’d rather ride this again than . . .


El Condor—This isn’t just any Vekoma SLC. It’s the first Vekoma SLC. And, for some reason known only to God, Satan, or both, they’ve sprouted like weeds ever since. A most unpleasant ride.


Two coasters were down for the count—a boomerang and the “buck-naked” version of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. This is just as well.


Actually, I think I’ve figured out why Walibi World was so unmemorable: Goliath is so damn good that it just eclipses everything else.


Well, let’s see if these pictures trigger any other memories of Walibi World. But even the pictures are kind of fuzzy, too (thanks to the cloudy day).


"Yes, he shoot many, many balls!" More to come from Walibi World.


"Hey, I shoot and break many balls, yes?"


Find the TPR members! Win a seegar!


My sentence--a thorough thrashing on the wild mouse.


Oops! Looks like I asked too may questions about Jim Morrison.


Wait a minute! Jim Morrison is supposed to mouldering in the grave in Paris! He can't be in the Walibi World Jail! Didn't he "break on through to the other side"?


"Tra-la-tra-la-a-a-a! Lustily do we sing! Like men, tra-la-a-a-a!"


Worry not! For the king of Davonia hath returned! He has heard the anguished cries of his people!


Odds bodkins! What skullduggery is this?


And so ride we did, singing lustily--like men!


Yea, verily, we merrily did ride.


And so we betook ourselves to Sherwood Forest to joineth up with Robin Hood and his band of merrie outlaws.


Aghh! Enormous snake! Phew! It's just Goliath.


Not even this murky shot can hide the awesomeness of Goliath.


Welcome to the most memorable part of your day, folks--first thing in the morning.


Ah, now here we go! Goliath!


This is "Hollywood: The Main Street," or so my park map tells me.


Hmm--it looks like the walibi is about to do something most unpleasant on TPR's slap-happy little band.

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One last look at Walibi World--or what I remember of it.


"Citizens! This is not a boomerang that you see! It is merely an a) weather balloon, b) a reflection in the atmosphere, or c) an example of mass insanity. Please carry on with your normal routines!" That's all from Walibi World.


. . . because you just can't get enough of the big green machine!


OK, two more shots of Goliath . . .


. . . just before the raft broke in half and they were lost forever! (Or until it was time for the bus to leave.)


We caught a brief glimpse of the TPR Walibi River Expedition . . .


What's this? Coaster enthusiasts eating? Who'da thunk it?


You can't do this at Euroburg anymore--sniff! (Well, we did get Griffon out of the deal.)


"Push the button, Max!" (Name the movie.)


Time for the TPR takeover of the antique-car ride (which was actually pretty nice). Louise is the one person in this vehicle who doesn't have a license, yet she's driving. Go figure.


Well, wrestling fans, we've seen some pretty intense action from these two gladiators so far--but can either of them survive an Extreme WW Death Car Match?


There was only one thing for it--slam down some tequlia and smash up some cars!


. . . soon El Condor will have him in its evil clutches!


At the last moment, he tries to fire himself up, but . . .


Dave looks pensive and troubled as he winds through the queue.


The ominous darkness of this picture is very approriate, for this is El Condor--the first SLC!


And there was much rejoicing--at least by Jeff.


Wok's Waanzin--the only kiddie coaster that cooks its food with dragon fire.


You know, those are two lucky statues. Far luckier than if Terrance were around.

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Great update Chuck. Goliath was amazing and on most trips would have easily won best steel, but not on this trip. While this Walibi was much better, just like you I am having a lot of trouble remebering it.


Lou-you pull off the hoodie look amazingly well.

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Chapter 8: "A Damp, Drizzly November" in Your Soul? Have I Got the Place for You--Heide Park


June 28 was just rainy enough. That is, there was enough dampness to keep crowds away, but not so much as to spoil our fun at Heide Park, definitely one of the best parks of the whole trip.


Beautiful landscaping, nicely done themeing (even down to the loading stations for kiddie rides), and a great assortment of coasters, including the best woodie of the whole trip (at least to me). Yet there was still a "homey" feeling to the place that you don't get from other, "more corporate" parks. It's like an eccentric uncle, who appreciates a bawdy joke and hearty laugh as well as the next guy. You look forward to his visits, and you're sad when he leaves.


Here's how Uncle Heide's coasters stack up:


Colossos--I thought there was no woodie that could possibly top Toverland's Troy on this trip, but then I rode this Intamin airtime machine in the pouring rain. My face felt like it was being stung by Dave's carnivorous bees, but I didn't care--the air on this thing was amazing, and it doesn't let up until the very end. Only Balder and El Toro beat it (and then it's still close).


Desert Race--Intamin strikes again with another enjoyable launched coaster in the style of Alton Towers' Rita (in fact, this ride was dubbed "Desert Rita" by many on the trip). Nice and twisty, I prefer these to the high-hat rides like Kingda Ka.


Bobbaan--Another very good Mack Bobsled, with a surprising indoor helix.


Big Loop--A surprisingly smooth Vekoma double loop screw (easily the best Vekoma looper on the trip). Not terribly exciting, but not painful, either. But, then again, there is . . .


Limit--Yet another painful Vekoma SLC, with odd military-jet themeing. It isn't as bad as El Condor, but Heide should sell a commemorative sledgehammer or crowbar with the ride's name on it. They'd clean up. My limit was once.


Indiana-Achterbahn--Kiddie coaster with a Native American theme. OK for what it is.


All Heide Park needs is maybe one or two dark rides, but overall the place has a solid lineup of coasters and other attractions, like the Wildwasserbahn flume ride and "Huss Land" (an assortment of Huss flats). There are plenty of family rides, too, such as spinning boats, monorails, and swinging ships. (In fact, the park seems to have "two of everything.") All in all, a great day despite the rain.


The pirate-themed Hotel Port Royal is excellent, too. They put out a great spread for us the night we arrived, and there was even a cheesy magic show going on in the hotel bar (quite a hoot).


Here's alook at the hotel and park.


. . . or around a giant layer cake? It would be ACE's favorite ride ever! Still, it's a lot of fun. More to come.


I mean, wouldn't it be cool to race over lakes of bubbling chocolate pudding . . .


Actually, I think some people were disappointed that it wasn't "Dessert Race."


You see, it looks like a "desert," and your train "races" over it. Hence, "Desert Race." Everybody got that?


The control room for Desert Race is actually in this helicopter. Clever, no?


Hmm--whoever parked that truck gets no tip.


Yup--there she is! On to our Desert Race and Colossos ERT.


So, we rode the rails like hobos, and walked the cross ties like poor lost souls in search of an elusive idea of "America."


Swabs such as ourselves are hardly worthy of such luxury. But we takes it anyway.


Aye, the bunks beat a hammock, mate.


Me last ship didn't have a rack near as luxurious as this.


And a head what's worthy enough for an admiral's aft!


Here's a shower fit fer a captain, sez I.


It be a place of quality, as ye can tell--a barrel of rum for each room!


Aye, mate--here be our first port of call at Heide Park.

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"Aye, drivin' rain there was! Like swarms 'o' carnivorous bees at Heide Park!"


This ride didn't hurt a bit. Still more to come.


Fortunately, our faith in the bear was not misplaced.


I mean, the bear wouldn't lie, would he?


Big Loop, however, is endorsed by a bear standing on a ladder amid a bed of roses, so it must be OK.


This is the "Big O" element of the ride. "O," in this case, meaning "ow!"


SLC = Satan's Looping Coaster.


Chris: "How bad could it be, really?"

Piers: "My God, the restraint's locked! I'm trapped!"


Yeah, I always think of jets when I see an SLC. I also think of ice packs and Advil. (Hey, a Vekoma ice pack would make a great souvenir.)


The stentch of evil hangs about Limit. And what the hell happened to my hand?


You know, I think Lou and Chris are enjoying this vibrating seat way too much.


"Please forgive us, o mighty Colossos!"


"I tire of your whining! One more complaint, and it's no more airtime for you!"


"Aghh! The bees! The bees!"


This is the only part of the ride without airtime.


Behold the cleavage of Colossos!


"Stop that groveling and ride, fools!"


"We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"

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"Aye, it were a ponderous storm, mate! Well, maybe I exaggerates a wee bit. Must be the rum."


. . . the birth of a "signature move"? One more set of photos to come.


But what's that I see? Could it possibly be . . .


The powered mine-train coaster was pretty good, too.


"You know, I'm a bitter little man with anger-management issues. I may not be the best person for this particular job."


"I applied at Knott's, but they weren't hiring."


"Hey, Fritz! Sending a sandwich your way!"


"We're dangers to ourselves and to others. That's why they keep us in this here cage."


Wildwasserbahn is as close as the park comes to a dark ride. It's a flume with a goldmine theme, along with a medieval torture chamber and a tavern scene thrown in. It was my favorite flume of the trip, too.


Behold Heide's "Gauntlet of Goofiness."


"Hello, sailor!"


"Hmm--Iron Horse come! Time to move."


A momentous occasion: Lou riding number 300!


Kiddie-coaster credits make TPRites happy!


Yeah, let's just sit right down to business here.


You know, I appreciate how the Germans get right to the bottom of things.


But it has an adorable gift shop.


This is Scream--a gyro drop tower with a very sudden stop.


Lar-ry! U-S-A!


The bobsled coaster has a pretty damn impressive station.


"Way to stick that landing, Jeckle."

"Eat me, Heckle!"


"Hi kids! I'm here to haunt your dreams!"

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"One last look at Heide Park before we puts our rudder to it."


Thanks for a great day, Heide!


I was very impressed that they took such care to add such detail to such a little ride.


Jon looks happy. Jeff looks stoned.


This rather elaborate station is for a little boat ride?


Some of us decided to kill a little time on the spinning-boat ride with the mildly scatatological name.


One last look at my favorite stack of wood from this trip.


Yeah, you really gotta work if you're gonna line jump Colossos.


This is Colossos's queue. Yes, I'm holding the camera straight this time.


Yeah--we're really gonna ride that today.


Hmm--either Heide Park is subsiding or I'm holding the camera crooked.


Sigh! One can never get enough Colossos.


Time for a spin on one of the park's monorails. I shared a car with Lou and John.


"Please, sir, can you spare a Euro? We're Americans, and the exchange rate stinks."


. . . Lou and me.


Our second feature will be "Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo," starring . . .


. . . Larry and Lou.


Time for a visit to "Huss Land." First up, "The Condor," starring . . .


I'm home!


Hmm--looks like we found another little piece of America.

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