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


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Chapter 12: So, You Mean this Isn't Indiana?--Holiday Park

 

Two things make Holiday Park stand out:

 

1. Burg Falkenstein, a very good dark ride through medieval depravity; and

 

2. Oh, do I really need to say its name? Do I need to say its name! DO I NEED TO SAY ITS NAME?

 

Expedition GeForce--Yes, the cream of the crop! The top of the line! The Intamin steel coaster that stomps all other steel coasters into the dirt, ties them to the bumper of its car, and drags them down a gravel road--where it really hurts them! This is the most insane airtime machine I've ever ridden this side of Balder. There are no dead spots. And what's better than ERT on Expedition GeForce? How about free beer--and "extra, extra" ERT on Expedition GeForce? Yes, the ride's crew kept that bad boy going for an extra 15 minutes or so. And we had free hot dogs and beer! Thank you, Holiday Park!

 

Super Wirbel--That being said, what the hell is this thing doing there? Yet another pile of steaming Vekoma corkscrew.

 

So, how does one kill time when waiting for ERT and beer on Expedition GeForce? Well, let me show you some of the interesting weirdness to be found at Holiday park.

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"Please, please tell me it's time for GeForce!" More to come.

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. . . only on LSD.

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. . . this is Living with the Land, . . .

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Hmm--let me see if I have this straight . . .

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"Hey, sorry about the 'Wirbel thing.' I'll ride this monorail though. You'll love it!"

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Oh, how I envied Larry.

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"Please don't force me to ride Super Wirbel, Mr. larrygator, sir." He needn't have worried--Larry already had this lousy credit, so he bailed.

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Well, there's one other credit to be had. May as well get it over with.

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. . . his very own "larrygator."

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The leader of Team Larry worked hard to earn himself . . .

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The rapids ride was OK.

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"Remind me not to eat the fat guy who ate the bad mutton."

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"Oh, god, I knew that last leg of mutton didn't smell right! Why the hell did I eat it?"

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Oh, well--there's always bestiality.

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Hmm--that sly minx was a bit too fast with the sheet for me.

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As a prisoner of Burg Falkenstein, I am entitled to one ice-cream cone.

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Goin' down to Holiday Park, gonna have ourselves a time . . .

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And the GeForce countdown continues . . .

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Thanks for the extra, extra ERT Holiday World, but if we don't get back to the bus, Elissa's gonna kill us! That's all for now.

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There's even air to spare as you head back to the station.

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Fast and smooth--yet relentless!

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There really is no way to get enough of this ride.

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Yosemite Sam mode disengaged. Back to normal speech patterns.

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"Great horny toads! What y'all doin' way up thar?"

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"And I'm gonna have beer while I do it!"

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. . . and I'm a'gonna see Expedition GeForce!"

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"I come to see Expedition GeForce . . .

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"What? I didn't come here to see no guy's bare butt!"

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Wait a minute--are those two guys trying to cop a feel?

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. . . and beer, either.

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Disney never thought to include boobs . . .

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Here's a wrinkle Disney never thought of.

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Sheesh! This ride has more checkpoints than the old Soviet Union.

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Hmm--so far, this seems to be a particularly grim version of Disney's Storybookland. Don't recall any crucifixions at the "Happiest Place on Earth."

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Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Talking Heads! "This ain't no party! This ain't no disco! This ain't no foolin' around!"

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. . . military checkpoints?

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Not yet, Dave. But there is this charming little boat ride through the world of fairy tales! Why, I bet it's filled with happiness and joy and . . .

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That day was an epic day of vineyards and boobs (Tripsdrill) and then...

 

Expedition Ge-Force My First Star Flyer Beer/German Hot Dogs

 

...and boobs.

 

Great shots of this awesome Holiday Park coaster, Chuck. I like that Ge-Force seemed to look even better in some pics, when the sun was starting to set, near the end of our XX-ERT.

 

Looking forward to more.

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Chapter 13: “Gonna Have a Big Mac(k) Attack”—Europa Park

 

I’m just gonna say it right now: Europa was the best park of the whole TPR trip. Yes, it was better than Paris Disneyland (which comes in second, in my opinion). Best hotel, best operations, best food, best landscaping . . . what else can I say? My congratulations to Mack—this is one helluva showcase they’ve put together.

 

Europa meets my main criterion for any great theme park—Does it have a good mix of “stuff”? That is, the park doesn’t rely on just coasters or a few big thrill rides, and it goes that extra mile with themeing.

 

As you’ve probably guessed, the park uses the countries of Europe as its theme, including France, Russia, England, and, of course, Germany. (Hey, it’s no stranger than Disney’s California Adventure—in California.) One of my favorite dark rides of the whole trip, Ghost Castle, is in Italy, and Holland has my favorite POTC ripoff yet—Pirates in Batavia.

 

And there’s a good mix of coasters, too.

 

Euro-Mir—To call this a gigantic spinning mouse just doesn’t cut it. With its enclosed spiral lifthill, techno music, twisty layout, and series of drops, swoops, and banked curves, Euro-Mir is, well, Euro-Mir, and that’s quite good enough. I enjoyed this ride immensely, and the “party train” during the TPR takeover was one of the highlights of the trip.

 

Eurosat—Hmm . . . Space Mountain meets Spaceship Earth? Sort of. This knockoff of the classic Disney coaster is pretty cool in its own right, with yet another bizarre spiral lifthill and a good, twisty layout with some cheesy space effects (and, yes, a rough spot here and there). We got to ride it lights on and lights off, too.

 

Silver Star—OK, here we have a mild, over-braked disappointment. Europa’s one B&M ride, following a Mack layout, I understand, is a hyper that looks like it should be so much better than it is; both Apollo's Chariot and Nitro in the States are better rides. That being said, it’s still fun, with some floater air and a catchy, 1980s’ style theme song: “Rock on, Silver Star!”

 

Swiss Bob Run—This ride was a bit disappointing, too. It seems rather ironic that my least favorite Mack Bobsled of the trip is in Mack’s own park. Still, this coaster does have some cool drops, which are unusual for a ride of its type. But the pacing seems a bit off. Still, not bad.

 

Roller Coaster Matterhorn-Blitz—Mack does a very good job of tarting up one of its Wild Mouse rides by using an elevator lift and themeing the queue and loading station to a farm in the Swiss Alps. A good, solid ride.

 

Pegasus—Greek myth provides the theme for this family coaster, and Mack, once again, does an excellent job. The trains look particularly cool.

 

I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, but I want to mention something else that makes this park special. In the Austria section, there is a walkthrough called World of Diamonds, which features gnomes, trolls, and a mechanical dragon toiling in a gem mine. But it also provides scenery for a powered mine-train coaster and a log ride. It is very well done.

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Rich observed that the guy who came up with these "guys who climb ropes or poles" animatronics must've made a fortune. Damn near every park we visited had at least one. Much more to come from Europa Park.

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I thought this was really cool--a little creek that runs down a street.

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Hmm--I do believe this area is meant to represent Switzerland.

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"Yep, time to air out the ol' groin. Yeah, that feels good."

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Here we see the cars coming off the ride's elevator lift--a rather cool system, I think.

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"As do we all, Chuck."

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Er, I hope that's "themeing" running down the sides of that light.

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. . . while his kid does actual work while being attacked by a rabid goose.

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. . . . but we do have a guy sleeping in . . .

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Hmm--we don't have a mountain . . .

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"Rock on, Silver Star," right guys? Actually "Float, Float On" might be more appropriate.

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We were the first riders of the day on Silver Star.

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Here's a look at Eurosat's layout, courtest of the park's Mack museum.

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"Good ride, but I lost my pack of C4 back there someplace."

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Off TPR goes into the trackless, er, tracked, void of space.

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Hmm--what loading station in some other famous theme park does this remind me of?

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"Enthusiast alert! Enthusiast alert! Energize defensive fields!"

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Hey, you know what would make this look even better? A giant magic wand and some sparkly lights!

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We got a bit of monorail ERT before our Eurosat ERT.

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"You're not actually going to wear that in public, are you, sir?"

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Er, you're not going to have much of a future as a gondolier until you put that gondola in the water. Just a suggestion.

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Hi, Erik.

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You can sit up here and give "thumbs up/thumbs down" to the juvenile gladiators doing battle in the fountain below.

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Welcome to Eruopa--and the best hotel of the entire TPR Europe Tour.

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More of my pointless rambling about Europa Park begins now!

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"Save yourself, nimrod! I'm not even there. Why don't you just post more pictures of Europa, OK?"

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Angus! Save us from these sick seamen!

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"Er, with all these pirate pervs around, I think I'll stay right here."

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"Bah! Good old S&M with yer shipmates is good fer what ails ye, I say!"

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'As fer me, I prefers tarantulas! They be soft and furry, plus ye can hide them in yer pants, if need be."

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"Avast! Belay all that pig ridin', ya scurvy swabs! We gots a city to sack!"

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"Ye speak right and true, mate! Nothin' like a wee bit 'o' swine ridin' to takes the edge off, sez I!"

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"Aye, when I comes ashore, there's nothin' I likes better than a little sport with a pig!"

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Ahoy! Pirates 'o' the Caribbean knockoff off the port bow!

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Again, courtesy of the Mack museum--a look at Euro-Mir's layout.

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Euro-Mir was one of my favorite coasters of the trip.

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Dance, wench, dance!

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. . . or a rave?

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Hmm--am I going to a coaster . . .

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Next stop, Euro-Mir.

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. . . as is the splashdown.

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The coaster portion is pretty good . . .

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All this themeing says, "Don't screw with Poseidon!"

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Once again, Mack went all out--nice loading station.

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"Er, little help here? Stupid Atlas talked me into holdin' this thing, and it's heavier than it looks."

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This is the queue for Poseidon, the park's big water coaster (and the standard for which all other such rides should be judged).

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Look--it's the butt of . . . TROY!

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And it's a good ride, too--even with this rather funky looking element.

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For a kiddie coaster, this ain't too shabby at all. (By the way, that blue track is for Poseidon, the park's water coaster.)

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This is all part of the themeing for Pegasus, the park's family coaster.

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"Pardon my salivating, but all of you just look so succulent! I hardly know who I should eat first!"

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OK, Angus, OK--don't get all worked up. More from Europa.

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And there's dancing every night at the Moldering Corpse. And, yes, you can "Time Warp" and "Monster Mash" here. More to come.

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How about a nice, energizing formalydehyde flush in the hotel spa?

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You can enjoy fine dining in the Cafe Reaper. Be sure to try the chef's specialty--"Filet of . . . YOU!"

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Ah, such a beautiful lobby!

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"Care to check your soul, sir?"

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Let's take a tour of another one of Europa Park's fine hotels, shall we?

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"Oh, man! Someone totally puked over here!"

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"See you in your dreams tonight, kiddies! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

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OK, here's one of the creepiest kiddie rides ever.

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OK, officer, OK. Don't mess with the trash cans! I get it!

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What? I'll teach some stupid trash can to kick me in the butt!

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You know, this guy looks like he'd be the toughest supervisor ever.

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"OK, breathe fire. Check. Crush rocks with teeth. Check. Yeah, I got all the qualifications for this job."

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. . . is how they interact with the walkthrough gem mine.

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. . . right Anneliese? . . .

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But what's cool about Europa's mine train and log ride . . .

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You know, if must be some sort of EU law that all major theme parks have a powered mine train. (Europa has a very good one.)

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"Guys, look at the new little friend I found! Can't we all just get along?"

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"You want it! You got it, Bitner! But I'm so bad, I'm gonna cut my own head off, then stomp all over ya!"

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"Alright, Hoffman Girl! Any of you wussies! Bring it on!"

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Right, guys?

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. . . before you get soaked.

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The layout is identical to Supersplash rides elsewhere, except you get to "bounce" over a shipwreck . . .

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Hmm . . . er . . . no comment necessary, I think.

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Here's Mack's Atlantica Supersplash--which, once again, is really "themed up."

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And at 9:00: "Girls Gone Wild . . . with Sharks!"

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Tonight on Shark TV, at 8:00: "Funniest Shark Home Videos!"

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This picture makes the ride look a lot wetter than it really is.

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The line for the rapids ride was long, but it never stopped moving, thanks to the park's excellent operations and staff.

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Thanks for sharing the pictures again, Chuck. Hotel Colosseo sure was a winner. Any hotel that gives you an assortment of fresh fruit when you check in, sells great ice cream until midnight in the lobby at bargain prices, and has vending machines that distribute Coke in glass bottles is a winner in my book. The place rivaled any of the Disney Deluxe hotels in Florida.

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This should do it for Europa. I already want to visit the place again.

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Here's one last look at Euro-Mir. Thanks for a great time Europa!

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Except that you weren't allowed to take silverware, coffee cups, or naked children on it.

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There was some other boat ride with elves or hobbits or something--I don't remember much about it.

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"Spin the wheel, make the deal--about how you want to die!"

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"Haw! Haw! Death from above, kiddies!"

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We are so there!

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What? A kiddie train with more creepy clowns?

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You do? OK.

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How's this picture, Melanie? I have a worse one that I left out. Care to see it?

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And it has creepy clown puppeteers, no less--great.

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"Oh, boy--another spinning-boat ride."

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Whew! I know I felt relieved to have survived this terrifying ordeal.

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"Hey, wanna bite of my iguana? I'll want a piece of you in trade, of course!"

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Then they grow up and eat you.

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Aw, they're so cute when they're little.

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Hmm--"Universe of Energy"? This reminds me of something--but what?

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Hmm--is that a Coke bottle, or are you just excited to be riding a dinosaur?

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Tweak, tweak!

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You watch your hands . . . er . . . hand, fella!

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Right, Rich? Hmm--you've got more than water on your mind.

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That's OK, folks--jump right in!

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Again, we have a gondolier who just doesn't grasp the basic concept of what to do with a boat.

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OK, I could totally . . . not do that.

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During a hot day, it's OK to just take a dip in the park's fountains and pools, it seems.

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Best park of this trip! Best park of any of the TPR trips I have been on! Maybe, my favorite park of all time. The operations were amazing and they even ran 2 trains on the family coaster. They had somewhwere around 30 rafts on the rapids ride, it was just insane the amount of people this place was putting through on rides.

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The operations were amazing and they even ran 2 trains on the family coaster. They had somewhere around 30 rafts on the rapids ride, it was just insane the amount of people this place was putting through on rides.

 

Yeah, the operations were pretty tight. When Liz and I went to board the rapids ride the goofs in the raft didn't leave us two seats next to each other and wouldn't move. So, we started to walk towards the next raft when the operators stopped the rafts in the station, asked us what was up, and then went over and made the people in the original raft move. This process took like 10 seconds top. It was pretty amazing.

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Chapter 13.5: And Now a Brief Intermission--Walygator Parc

 

We spent roughly a day and a half at Europa, and had a long drive back to Paris. But Robb and Elissa did throw in a "rest stop"--Walygator Parc.

 

I have no idea what the backstory of this place is, or of the significance of the "Walygator" character to French culture. Apparently, not too many others did either. Apart from TPR members and staff, the place was practically deserted.

 

It's hard to know what to make of Walygator. The park looks fairly nice, and it probably has the potential to be a good park. However, while we were there, most of the food stalls were closed, and many of the rides weren't operating--including their Huss Topple Tower, which was what I was most interested in, anyway.

 

Well, they did have a pretty good haunted walkthrough (Terror House) and a good, if slow, waffle stand. But I wonder if the place will be in business a year from today?

 

I think Robb's theory that the park is owned by space aliens who use zombie slaves as ride ops is as good a one as any. What an odd little place.

 

Here's a look at Walygator Parc.

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For some reason, this pile of rocks sums up the Walygator Parc experience for me. Maybe it's the hole. Oh, well--Disney awaits!

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. . . and the next time Fatal Bazooka is back in town."

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"Well, Chuck, I think when this new ride opens . . .

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So, Big Mike. When do you think your Road Show will return to Walygator Parc?

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But hooray for chair swings! Whee!

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It bumps, rattles, shakes, grinds, bangs--hell, it just does everything wrong.

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This really is the best part of Anaconda, a brutal woodie that makes Movie Park's Bandit seem buttery smooth.

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The suspension bridge was closed. The reason should be obvious.

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I'm not sure why this is here, but I'll stick my head in it, anyway.

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Hmm--not as heavily as one would've hoped.

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Hmm--I wonder how heavily themed the log flume is?

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Don't abandon us, Hanno!

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You definitely have a problem.

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You've just bought a park. It has three coasters. The second-best coaster is a Wacky Worm with an alligator train.

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You may have a problem.

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OK, you've just bought a park. It has three coasters. The best one is a Vekoma loopscrew.

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Hmm--obviously, the neighborhood homeowners' association is pretty lax when it comes to enforcing their aesthetic regulations. Or maybe the neighborhood is zoned for "gothic."

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Behold the terrifying portal of Terror House!

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Ghostly boats make their way through what seems to be a ghetto version of POTC.

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. . . this beloved cartoon character from the 1960s.

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Welcome to Walygator Parc, which is in no way to be confused with . . .

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Hey, you know what would make this look even better? A giant magic wand and some sparkly lights!

 

That and "airing out the ole groin" made me roar.

 

Still catching up on your updates and enjoying as always. Very kind of you to include YET MORE rapids pics. I think I owe steak dinner or something. Much appreciated.

 

Now I return to the updates....

 

EDIT: Now caught up and STILL laughing over the captions. Great stuff!

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The operations were amazing and they even ran 2 trains on the family coaster. They had somewhere around 30 rafts on the rapids ride, it was just insane the amount of people this place was putting through on rides.

 

Yeah, the operations were pretty tight. When Liz and I went to board the rapids ride the goofs in the raft didn't leave us two seats next to each other and wouldn't move. So, we started to walk towards the next raft when the operators stopped the rafts in the station, asked us what was up, and then went over and made the people in the original raft move. This process took like 10 seconds top. It was pretty amazing.

 

I was just at Great Adventure they ran about 5 boats total on the rapids. Europa always had more than that in the station at all times. That ride and that park had awesome operations.

 

I don't remember who was on my boat with me (Shane and Michael?) but the three guys we rode with went to three separate seats, but they were cute, so we each rode with one .

 

 

Chuck, I completely missed your Europa updates till now. Add me to the list of the lovers of this park. As far as Wallygator's history, I don't know much but I do know that it was SmurfWorld at one point. There are still smurf like buildings in the kiddie area.

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Chapter 14: Well, It's No Walygator, but What're Ya Gonna Do?--Paris Disney

 

As the pirates say, we put our rudder to Walygator, n'er to return, after voting against staying for our ERT session on Anaconda. (Yes, it was that bad.) But at least that got us to the Paris Disney Resort all the earlier. . .

 

. . . only to wait for over an hour to check into the Hotel Santa Fe--yes, the service was that slow. But that was my only real complaint about the accomodations there. Even though this was one of the resort's "budget" hotels, I thought that the room was pretty nice, the breakfast was pretty good, and the funky Southwest themeing was fine. One nice touch was making the main building resemble a desert drive-in movie theatre.

 

Paris Disneyland was my second favorite park of the trip (next to Europa), and the Walt Disney Studios Park, which has received quite a bad rap, was a very pleasant surprise.

 

DL has the usual mix of themed lands you find in the other "Magic Kingdom" parks, with some variations. Discoveryland takes a look back at the future as it was envisioned by Jules Verne. Fantasyland reminded me of California's version, only larger. Adventureland has the best version of Pirates of the Caribbean, while Frontierland's Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor (nee Haunted Mansion) are also the best versions of those Disney classics. Paris DL does, indeed, have a lot going for it.

 

But there are a few problems. The park has two of the worst coasters anywhere, and the customer service, it seemed to me, wasn't quite up to the level of what you find in Tokyo, Florida, or California (the serivce wasn't bad, it was just a little "off"). Food selections were a bit weak, too--not to mention expensive.

 

Still, I had a great time there, as I did at the Studios. The interactive show Stitch Live was suprisingly good, even if Stitch did give it away that we had previously met at "Space Prison." (Yes, I'm a very dangerous man according to Stitch.) The car stunt show, although unevenly paced, is great, as is Cinemagique, a bizarre journey through and in the movies starring Martin Short. And, of course, let's not forget the Tower of Terror; sure, it's a clone of the California version, but any version of ToT is a helluva lot of fun. The new Pixar themed area is small, but well done. One or two "big name" attractions would put this park over the top.

 

Here's how the coasters at both parks stack up:

 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (DL)--Yeah, this is the king of the Disney mine trains, I think. The layout is huge, and it's island setting is unique. Plus, Disney gave us surprise ERT before the ride opened to the general public, which is pretty rare. Thanks to Paris Disneyland and to R&E for arranging this unxpected perk.

 

Crush's Coaster (WDS)--Here's was another very pleasant surprise. This mostly indoor/slightly outdoor spinning mouse was great, with a very nice "dark ride" section at the beginning and very disorienting lighting effects during the rest. The only drawback? The incredibly huge, slow-moving queue. If only they'd built more than one track.

 

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (WDS)--This Vekoma launched coaster is a bit rougher than it's Florida cousin, but still fun. The lighting pacakge on the trains and in the building is great and adds another dimension to the ride. (Still, I do kind of like Florida's cheesy cutouts of SoCAL landmarks.)

 

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril (DL)--OK, what the hell is Intamin doing building a Pinfari ride? This is essentially a carnival looper on steroids with nice Asian-temple themeing, uncomfotable trains, and a rough ride. Still, I'd rather ride this than . . .

 

Space Mountain: Mission 2 (DL)--The mountain is beautiful (particularly at night), the music is good, and the space effects are fun. However, the ride is just flash-fried Vekoma launched crap--rough and painful no matter where you sit. What the hell were they thinking? All the other Space Mountains stomp all over this thing. A damn shame.

 

Enough yakking--here's a look at Paris Disney.

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You know, that turtle seems to be enjoying this way too much, and the raccoons are quite concerned. More to come later.

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"Of course, there is a bit of a pest problem in the basement."

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"Maleficient and Company Real Estate thanks you for coming to our open house today! Let's have a look at this beautiful property, shall we? Why, this castle is worth it for the stained glass alone!"

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"We're going to the Candy Mountain!"

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My god! Rich and Melanie have caused a total eclipse of the sun!

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"Hmm--five people crammed into one pirate ship. Tink, we need more pixie dust! And you people better start thinkin' really freakin' happy thoughts!"

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Hmm--Deja Vu, indeed. Where have I seen this before?

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"Well, that's the one thing you've got right, so far."

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Angus McNasty could so kick the Chesire Cat's butt.

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I think this is the most beautiful castle of the Disney parks.

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Quick--name the obscure Disney movie that inspired this restaurant.

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If S&M: Mission 2 needs a new sponsor, I recommend the makers of this fine product.

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Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Almost there!

 

"No novocaine--it dulls the senses."

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And check out that launch! This is gonna be so freakin' awesome!

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The Jules Verne-themed mountain is quite cool.

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Yes, it looks so inviting, doesn't it?

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The castle was all decked out for the park's 15th anniversary.

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Looking down Main Street USA at Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

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Like at Tokyo Disney, a luxury hotel serves as the park's entrance.

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First up, early entry at Disneyland for hotel guests.

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Yeah, that's nice--time for bed.

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We checked out the Disney Village, the shopping and dining area with balls. Lots of flaming, red-hot balls!

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As did everybody else. Holy crap!

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Here's where we went.

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I wish I could say we took a balloon to some sort of magical restaurant, where angels served us mountains of chocolate and rivers of champagne. But that would be a lie.

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"Go ahead--make my breakfast!"

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We now return to Paris Disneyland, which was once already in progress.

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"Hey, TPR people! Tell Jahan that we penguins say 'hi'--and that we're coming for him! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" Next up, a look at Walt Disney Studios.

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"Oh my god, Mother! Blood! Blood!"

 

"Oh, Norman, quit being such a pansy and fix me a toasted-cheese sandwich."

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"Wanted: Maid and Butler, preferably nonsmokers, to wait hand and foot on rich, arrogant jerks who will treat them worse than dogs. Must be willing to die on command and to continue serving their masters--in hell!"

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Hmm--don't be so sure about that.

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You can learn so much from Phantom Manor's graveyard. Looks like even ghosts have mother-in-law problems.

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Yeah, this picture is pretty blurry--and all the more ghostly for it, right?

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Lo-o-o-o-k into my eyes!

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But Phantom Manor is open for business--and it's great!

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We looked wistfully at the park's good coaster, but it was broken down. Sigh . . .

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"Professor Jones! Help me!"

 

"You're on your own, kid."

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"Yeah! You'll be begging for me to bite you after you ride this!"

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"Oh, I am so gonna curse you coaster dorks."

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Time for Indiana Jones and the Temple of OW!

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But not fast enough for this poor swab.

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This had the longest freakin' queue (also the best themed) I've ever seen for any of these rides. The line moved pretty quickly, though.

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They wouldn't let us drive the Coke truck to POTC, though--"bad show," I guess.

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Hey, just call me delicious and refreshing.

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And now one of the most pleasant surprises of the TPR Europe Trip--the Studios park.

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Then throw in even more fire! More to come from the Studios.

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Then set some guy on fire!

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Hmm--here's we can make this show even better. First, have a guy fall off a building.

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And that's having two cars do it.

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You know, there's one thing better than having one car do this.

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And let's not forget our Special Guest Star, Herbie, the Love Bug. (A bit of trivia: In the original movie, the bad guy pours Irish coffee in Herbie's carbareutor to make him drunk. On the story record I had when I was a kid, it was whipped cream.)

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Hmm--looks like the traffic around the Arc de Triomphe.

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First, this motorcyclist does a little attention whoring.

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Next up, the car stunt show. It's very good.

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Don't worry--we weren't.

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. . . they'll love it twice!"

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"Hmm--if those people liked fire once, . . .

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Not to mention water!

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But hey, there's fire!

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Oh, the dry, subtle wit of those Imagineers!

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Hmm--I'm guessing "Catastrophe Canyon" is just up ahead.

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I think this was a set from Dinotopia.

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"It was a rough mission. Panzers had our boys pinned down somewhere outside Fresno, and we had to fly in low and fast under their radar, guns a'blazin'! Too bad there weren't really any panzers near Fresno. Don't think that farmer will ever forgive us for strafin' his cows and blowin' up his tractor."

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Random props from something or other. Or maybe they were just lawn statues.

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"Why do I always get stuck with the clapper? And why are we listing to the right?"

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Hmm--where have I seen this type of conveyance before?

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It's not the Universal Studios Tour, nor is it an amazing simulation.

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Fast Passes go pretty fast for ToT--we had about three or four hours to kill, as I recall.

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Hmm--I do believe we've found a Hidden Mickey! Chris--we need a ruling.

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Nice use of forced perspective, I think.

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Now, don't be fooled and walk into the wall here, you silly tourists.

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The enclosed "Main Street" section is quite nice--if rather small.

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"Welcome to Walt Disney Studios! Not an actual movie studio, but an amazing simulation!"

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Walt Disney Studios, take 2.

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Well, not quite. We'll be back for a bit more tomorrow. But, for now, back to Disneyland.

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The end of the world, like any other major social event, requires good grooming.

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You know, if you hire a lawn-mowing service, and they show up with one of these rigs, you might want to reconsider.

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Well, after you've survived the Twilight Zone, what's left but the end of the world as we know it?

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Weird scenes inside the Fifth Dimension.

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But, hell, any ToT is good ToT, sez I.

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. . . not to mention atmosphere to burn (or boil).

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With some clever added touches here and there . . .

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Yeah, it's a clone of the California version.

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At last, it was time to use our Fast Passes.

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But it is a lot of fun--the best wild mouse of the trip.

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Even with continuous loading, this ride's capacity is pretty low.

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Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailor take warning!

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"Mine? Mine?" (Well, someone hadda say it.)

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At least there's some entertaining themeing while you wait.

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Well, the line wasn't getting any shorter. So we girded our loins and queued up for Crush's Coaster. Turned out to be a really good ride, though.

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Here's everyone's favorite Disney attraction that features recovering heroin addicts.

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Just to let you know, my photos are posted "mix-and-match" style from the two days we spent at Paris Disney. So, you might notice a "continuity error" here and there. Here's day two.

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Fire in the hole! More to come from Paris Disneyland.

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Oh no! The kids in that bus are gonna die! Close the drawbridge, quick!

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Yep--looks like it's time for the "Happiest Cruise that Ever Sailed."

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Hmm--not sure I like the looks of this.

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Yeah, like there's anything bashful about that bunch.

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"Just wave at the TPR people, and maybe they'll leave quietly."

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"You know what I'm gonna do, Hoffman? I'm gonna grate your thin 'n' pretty face like a block of cheese with these bars!"

 

"Oh yeah? We'll you'll be eatin' your strained peas through an IV by the time I'm through with you, Bitner!"

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Hmm--I think this is French for "Really Scary Ride that's Full of Monster Trees, Vultures, and Death."

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Luminere is the park's special 15th-anniversary host. (Well, he is French, so it makes sense.)

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I think it's the best of the Big Thunders.

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And it's great!

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This ride's layout is huge.

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. . . for our Big Thunder ERT!

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Robb contacted everybody about meeting on Main Street at 9:45 . . .

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Whew! Made it! Godspeed, Space Cadet Ryan!

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I can't hold her! She's breaking up! She's breaking up!

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Space Mountain in visual range! Arm photon torpedoes!

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I decided to check out the Orbitron (hardly any line thanks to early entry for resort guests).

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I was able to really boost my score, thanks to some timely coaching from Captain Larry.

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You know, Buzz Lightyear is probably the best attraction in Discoveryland.

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Larry and I rode S&M again, just to check out the front seat. It was a major mistake.

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More Magical Morning madness at Paris Disneyland.

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Chuck, I thought it went, "Red sky at night, delight a sailor." All these years....yeesh!

 

You always write some of my favorite captions! And you truly have a gift when it comes to talking like a pirate. You must be a rock start on National Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day! (September 19 this year, by the way.)

 

Thanks for the great, great, GREAT trip reports!

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Still to come--Rage in a Cage!

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I've never been into these "character-dining" experiences, but this one was a lot of fun. By the way, Big Mike, this is Mr. Smee. He is not a dwarf. He is a pirate. One more set of pics to come.

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Time for the TPR farewell dinner at Cafe Mickey in the Disney Village.

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We checked out Cinemagique. You will believe that a hot chick can fall in love with Martin Short (after he's been shot at, punched out, and nearly blown up).

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Team Larry wandered back to the Studios for a while.

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. . . to Nemo's organ. (Er, pipe organ, that is--get your minds out of the gutter!)

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. . . from the airlock . . .

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It really is a perfect replica of the sub from the old movie, . . .

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It has a huge, rather empty queue.

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Here's my favorite of the bunch--the Nautilus.

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. . . which we found, much to Mickey's regret.

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We went back to Main Street in search of food, . . .

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You file past miniature dioramas from the movie (like the Sleeping Beauty's Castle walkthrough in California).

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The Aladdin walkthrough is unique to this park, I think.

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Only this one give you a nice view of the Temple of Extreme Discomfort and Excruciating Pain.

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The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse was pretty much like the one in Florida.

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But it could really use the "Pirate's Lair" treatment (like at California DL).

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Aye, it looks rather "piratey" and all.

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Larry and I checked out the park's waltkthough attractions, such as Adventure Isle.

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Like its California cousin, Paris's version of Casey Jr. takes you around the elaborate miniatures of Storybookland.

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Yes, it only you could see what was going on in that cage right now!

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It took every Disney security guard in the park to keep "Rage in a Cage" from breaking out on Casey Jr.!

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"Not a credit? Wake us when it's over."

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Time for Casey "not a credit" Jr.

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You wants Rage in a Cage?

 

Then you gets Rage in a Cage!

 

But first, more from Cafe Mickey.

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One last look at Sleeping Beauty's Castle. Thanks for a great time, Paris Disney! And thank you Robb and Elissa for another great TPR tour!

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Aw, such a pretty pile of Vekoma crap.

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Let's close with a few shots of the park after dark.

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See? He's much happier now!

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"IT'S SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL! IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL!"

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Larry looks so sad. He needs the "Happiest Voyage that Ever Sailed."

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. . . Rage in a Cage! So, you missed the pay per view? Too bad! The match was so brutal, the carnage so extreme, that they'll never let us show this one again!

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OK, wrestling fans! Here's what you've been waiting for! Hoffman! Bitner! It's time for . . .

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I hereby certify that these are bonafide metal bars--just like back in Space Prison.

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Yes, it's time! Back to Adventureland!

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Back to Paris Disneyland. The Studios park is definitely moving in the right direction--all they need is one or two more major attractions.

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"Pilot to bombadier! Approaching Agrapha! Open bomb-bay doors!"

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"OK, I changed my mind! This is now the bestest ride ever!"

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"Wait a minute! What kinda movie are we makin' here?"

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"Lights! Camera! Action!"

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"This is the bestest ride ever!"

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These cars get really close together as they whip around--lots of near misses.

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After a very nice dinner, Team Larry headed back to the Studios, hoping for one more ride on Crush. But the line was huge, so we settled for the Cars Road Rally.

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And now, the gracious host of Cafe Mickey (er, he's the one on the left).

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"OK. with me as your manager, there's no way you can lose that cage match tonight!"

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What do you think, Larry?

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Er, Gephetto is making me feel very uncomfortable. I think he's a bit of a perv.

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Hmm--which one is Baloo?

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As did other hats. (That's Brother Bear, in case you were curious.)

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Rich's Notre Dame hat really made the rounds that night.

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"What? Lou is here? She's my favorite British porn star! Can I get my picture taken with her?"

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