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Photo TR : Copenhagen, Bakken, Tivoli Gardens, Bon Bon Land


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The day after the Dodentocht, there was an event called Antwerpen Zingt (Antwerp Sings) and my oldest daugther and I together with some colleagues from work decided to go.

Antwerpen Zingt is an event without any real bands, but the intention is that the crowd 'performs' and sings the songs.

It's a real success and last year about 40000 singers sang together.

But weather was beautiful last year, and this year, heavy rains were to be expected. 3/4 of the colleagues didn't show up because of the rains and also there were 'only' 25000 persons in total for this year's edition.

Still, we had an awesome time.

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3 hours before the start, there were already a lot of people and also a few preshows

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A few times during the evening, there was no rain for about 5 minutes.

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Time for beer :-)

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Some die-hard colleagues who did show up and my daugther

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My daugther took this pic. Me in the back

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My daughter checking out the lyrics of the songs.

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Another die-hard colleague showed up.

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Snacks

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More preshow

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Rain startied pouring down

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As long as there was beer, we didn't mind the rain ;-)

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Let's sing

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We were completely soaked but had a great time.

Next TRs will be themeparks again.

Edited by Groteslurf
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With our Plopsa funcard, we get 50% reduction on the ticket price at Aquatopia.

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Aquatopia is located next to the Antwerp central station in the middle of the city.

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Some details of the central station

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Aquatopia is located in this funky hotel building

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Entrance

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Funky frogs

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Funky piranhas

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Transparant fish made my kids transparant.

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Funky longneck turtle

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Aquatopia is nicely themed

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Funky seastar

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Funky octopussy

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Funky stonefish.

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Beautiful aquarium

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OMG, Megashark

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Aquatopia is spread of 3 floors. This is the escalator to the 2nd floor. Funky isn't it ? ;-)

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Funky seahorse

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Funky fish

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Funky lobster

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We killed megashark

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Blue funky fish

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Funky ray

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Reptile section

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Funky snakes

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You're doing it wrong

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Funky reptile.

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Guess those things aren't dangerous because I could really get very close with my camera

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Wouldn't it be nice if we humans would eat our burgers like this at McDonalds

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More funky fish

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Hey, I may look like the dumbest fish out here ...

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but I'm really funky.

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Escalator to the 1ste floor.

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Funky sharks

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It's just like seaworld ;-)

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My kids with a giant octopussy

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Escalator exit out of the shark

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Hootie and the ...

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blowfish

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it was raining outside, so we spent some more time at the Aquatopia shop.

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I was amazed by the variety of stuffed animals they are selling.

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stuffed ray

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stuffed seastar !!??

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Stuffed octopussy

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If your kid wants this as a stuffed animal, I would start to worry.

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Thanks for reading this update

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We have of course free access to Plopsaland, so since I didn't have the chance yet to ride Anubis, it was time for a revisit to Plopsaland.

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Arriving well before opening time does make your day at a themepark.

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The door was open already.

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YAY !!!! Mega Mindy :-)))

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Even though we were there half an hour before opening, we could enter the park's 'mainstreet' already. And that's the way it should be.

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Meet'n'greets going on.

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YAY !!! Mega Mindy !!!!

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Carrousel

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Since we were there well before opening time, we had time to check out some Plopsa shops. And since I'm a HUGE fan, I was happy with all the Mega Mindy merchandise ;-)

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My kid disturbing my moments with the Mega Mindy merchandise.

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Don't remember Mega Mindy wearing this ....

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Of course, that's a K3 dress.

Isn't it strange for all you living outside the Benelux, that you don't know these characters while they are 'world' famous over here ?

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It must be strange to all of you not living out here and not knowing these characters. While there are already 4 Plopsa themeparks and K3 even have their own museum at Plopsaland.

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OMG !!! An original K3 dress ...

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Hey, some stuff from ancient history. From the time Plopsaland used to be Meli park.

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Okay, the park opened in the meanwhile so we headed to Anubis. Here we pass Storm op Zee on our way to Anubis.

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Anubis waiting row/station building

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Anubis.

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Anubis is another 'world' famous tv series in the Benelux. I admit I haven't seen a single episode of it, so I have no idea what it is about. But judging from the waiting row, dark things happen in Anubis.

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Ample time left for a second ride before the GP would arrive.

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Anubis is a great ride. Without a doubt the best coaster in Belgium at the moment.

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Great launch, a lot of different elements, smooth, ... I liked it.

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Skipped this ride.

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In stead we went for a ride on the Supersplash.

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Plopsaland is also without competition the best themed park in Belgium.

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Koffiekopjes

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Dongo's race.

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Spring flyer

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Restaurant theming

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Another credit.

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A beautiful park with 5 credits : TPR should include this park in their next Europe trip ;-)

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Only going through a washing machine makes the park already worth a visit.

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More theming

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De Vliegende Fietsen

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Like CF buying Windseekers, Plopsa bought Vliegende Fietsen for every park.

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More Spring flyer

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Wait, why is that lamp themed like Mega Mindy ???

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Isn't that nice :-)

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There she is :-)

 

More about Mega Mindy in part II of this report.

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Plopsaland part II

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Tadaaaa !!

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Of course she has her own attraction.

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Us on the Spring flyer

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Time for lunch.

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Parkmap.

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Logflume

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Excellent theming all over the park.

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Powered coaster station building

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I forgot this coaster in the previous update. The park holds 6 credits !! Or wait, actually 7 credits as this coaster has 2 sides to ride.

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Didn't ride it this time because the park was quite busy in the meanwhile and this coaster probably has the worst capacity of any coaster in the world.

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More theming

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De Konijntjes

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Funky frogs

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De Kikkers

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The park also holds a few non themed rides.

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My daughter told me that this horse is also from one of their tv series. So they theme horses ;-)

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Mega Mindy kids

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Adorable

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Goat-Attack IV

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Too bad I could only take home the right one ;-)

 

Bye Mega Mindy, see you soon, but today we still have 2 other parks to visit.

More about those in the next updates.

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After our morning visit to Plopsaland, on our way to home we decided to stop at Earth Explorer, Oostend at the belgian seaside.

 

Earth Explorer is a science based attraction park, focusing on the way the elements shape our planet. The park belongs to the Merlin Entertainements Group.

 

We got 50 % reduction on the ticket price with our Plopsa funcard.

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It's an indoor park so it's open all year.

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I didn't know the park had something to do with Merlin, so at the time of our visit, I really wondered why this Legoland shark was there.

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Before you enter the actual park, you do a preshow and get to be God (or an astronaut if you like) for a moment, looking over mother Earth.

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My daughther the weathergirl.

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Small overview

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First ride : Richter 7

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The attraction simulates an earthquake

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before ...

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during ...

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after

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Abyss

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It was a weird experience. It's not a 3D movie, and not a 4D experience. Although the seats were buzzing is a strange way. If were no effects. It was more a constant buzzing during the complete movie.

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Volcano the ride.

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First real ride.

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It even has a lifthill and a giant (approx 3 ft high) splashdrop.

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I still haven't figured out how exactly the lift mechanism worked.

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Another overview

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Twister.

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It's nowhere like the Universal twister. This version is a tornado shelter and a tornado passing by outside is being simulated.

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I liked this pre-after show 'attraction' better.

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And last attraction : Apollo 3000. This is a small spaceshot ride. No camera's allowed inside.

 

Not that I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the park. This is basically what the park has to offer. Well, it was a nice stop over and we had a fun hour at Earth Explorer. So time left for a 3rd park on the same day. More about that in the next update.

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Great overview of Anubis from Starflyer! I was so interested in Anubis at one point it looks really cool. A nice park and I'm Sure TPR will add it to their next Europe trip! The guys wouldn't wan't to miss out on another couple of credits!!!

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Time for the 3rd park of the day. After De Panne & Oostend, it was time for Bruges & Boudewijn Seapark.

 

The park is named after our previous king : Boudewijn the Great or something. Yes, I live in a kingdom. It's like a fairy tale. We have a king, a queen (well actually 2 queens I think), princes, princesses, and their children etc. They are paid a LOT of money for doing absolutely nothing. Most of the time they are on their yacht somewhere in the Med, and if they are in the country, they open up exhibitions and schoolkids are forced to be present and wave with small paper belgian flags. Or in case there is one or the other disaster, they act as our national disaster tourists. Well, in case it wasn't clear yet, I really hate them because they are there in a totally undemocratic way and I'm totally in favor of having a president. I'll send our king, queen, etc to whomever who wants them.

 

But yeah, there are a lot of brainwashed people out here, and higher lobby circles do whatever they can to keep the kingdom dream alive (because otherwise they'll loose their priviliges of course). And while not as obvious as like in North Korea, Saoudi Arabia or Italy, the media obviously is also deeply involved in promoting them for some reason. But they all are doing a great job unfortunately because there are actually still people in favor of the kingdom.

Ok, end of the rant. Ventilating this won't give me a president but hey, it felt good

 

So, the park is named after our previous king. My last visit to the park was long before his death which was some 10 years ago. And this is strange, because I remember riding a rollercoaster at the park and according to rcdb, the ride is only open since 2000.

Well, I guess, this is one more mistery of life.

 

Anyway, I was very surprised the parking lot was as good as full when we arrived at approx 3 pm. The park was really crowded, though except for the aquariums, nothing was renovated since my last visit. To be honest, it is the worst park I've visited after Gorky Park in Moscow. Let's move on to the pictures

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Entrance

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Map

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So Seapark, means they have birds. Of course, a seapark without birds ... that would suck. This bird looked a bit sad though.

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Since the park isn't yet in the index, I wanted to take pictures of all the ridesigns. But couldn't find this one's.

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Aha, ride sign.

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I think I prefer the one at Castle park. It was a photofinish though.

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The park being quite a dump ride-wise, I was very surprised of the huge crowds in the park.

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Yay, seawater !!!!

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Waterslides. The line was like an hour but probably more !

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Steamboats. At first it reminded me of Disney.

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Till I saw the boats

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There is a miniature train in the park. But it's very small. I haven't seen the train during our visit. Guess it's very miniature. At least I have the ridesign.

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Playground

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OMG, there is something in the seawater.

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Horsetrail

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Ok, ok. This is actually nice.

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Storm

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Not sure whether the name Storm refers to the ride or to the weathertype which brought the supermarketcar at this location. In any case, the ride was SBNO.

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Bobo's Minifarm

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Inflatable attractions rock at themeparks.

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Blowing in the wind

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No ridesign found.

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Bumper cars

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Swing

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La Sancta Maria

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Wonder what this ride will be...

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Explorer II

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Orca

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So the park is ghetto, but there are onride cams on the coaster.

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Actually, the coaster wasn't that bad.

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Tunnels

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Time for the sealions show.

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The show wasn't bad either

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Birdshow

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Big Bird

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El Condor Pasa

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Indoor playground

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Dolfinarium

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Sha-mu, Sha-mu, Sha-mu, ...

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Bummer ! Only dolphins

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No splashzones, so as on coasters, we sat on the frontrow.

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We ended our full day in Elissa-style.

Thanks for reading.

Next update : another belgian themepark.

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2 days after Boudewijn Seapark, it was time for a revisit to Bobbejaanland.

 

I think my last visit to Bobbejaanland was 3-4 years ago.

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Entrance

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Surfin' bird

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Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-

Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-ooma-mow-mow

Papa-ooma-mow-mow

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Well everybody's heard about the bird

 

Bird bird bird

Bird is the word

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That's were the new 4D theatre is.

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Overthemed entrance of the 4D theatre.

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Mariolaanland

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Parkshop

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Nice green place.

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'The only good Indians are tame'

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First ride of the day....

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Girls .... that's a picknickplace !!!

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El Paso Special.

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Indiana River

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Oki Doki

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Probably the junior coaster I like most.

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OH NO ....

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Kinderland

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That's not a ride either !!!

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Scary clown

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Nice carrousel

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Random theming

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Dreamcatcher

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Horse Pedalo

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Too bad ;-)

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Lifthill

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and track

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Still, most of us don't consider this a coaster.

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Pony ride

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And now an example of what I really hate at themeparks. The Speedy Bob.

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What would I hate a wild mouse ?

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Everything perfectly normal from a distance.

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But let's have closer look

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It used to be a double wild mouse. Never understood the point of having a double wild mouse at a park, so don't actually bother they took away 1 side and moved it to Madrid.

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But what annoys me is the fact that they took away the ride, but left EVERYTHING else just there : station, waitingrow, etc. It's all still there.

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It gives visitors the impression of a park being a dump.

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Throw the owners in prison ;-)

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Easy to miss, but an awesome ride : Desperado City

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General Store ...

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where one can get his/her arcade games supply.

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Hotel ...

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El Rio

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My daughter leading the fun brigade.

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Another ride removal. That building used to be the entrance and waiting row of the Bobby Drop.

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Ride station. Even the water is still there :-((((

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Time for a ride on this.

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Oki Doki

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Dream Catcher

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Speedy Bob

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Bob Express

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Typhone

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Revolution

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Which is actually called Xrevolution nowadays.

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King Kong

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Great to view.

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It's not that great to ride.

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Banana Battle

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It only opened shortly after noon.

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This splash battle is VERY wet. We came out soaked. And then I wondered. WTH did they build that indoor. People are not going to ride something that wet if it's too cold/wet outdoors. Right ?

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Fly away

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Typhoon

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Sledgehammer

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Thanks for reading

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Ok, next update wouldn't be themepark related but is something very special. It has a lot to do with giants which invaded the city of Antwerp for 3 days last August. Nearly 1 million people followed the giants during those 3 days and so did I. I really felt like being in a Gulliver's Travels story.

 

Now, I have a question for you all. I took lots of pictures during those 3 days and I can make a very extensive report about that weekend, or I can just make it a very brief overview. So post what you want on here.

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Hi Benny,

 

thanks for all the great reports, you sure visited lots of parks this seasonn, that Fun Card was a great deal! And I'm really happy for you that you finally got to ride Anubis, Belgium's best, indeed!

 

About the Giants: post your bests! I've seen some great pics on your FB, I think a selection will do fine. And like Larry already mentioned, you can always post more if asked...

 

Well, take care and keep up the good work!

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Thanks for sharing the Bobbejaanland part. Brings back memories. I loved this park late 80's early 90's. The park used to be a first class park at least in my memory but I've also been there this year and the place really is a dump. Well not the whole park but some parts like you mentioned.

 

Hope they do something about those deserted places.

 

...and yes I completely missed the cool looking shooter ride.

 

 

 

---Hans

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The more times I check back in on this thread the more jealous I get. Thank you for sharing your adventures this season. It really looks like you got your money's worth out of your Fun card. All the other little adventures that you included are awesome as well.

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I guess everyone knows Gulliver's travels. It were by far my favorite stories when I was young, and though I should read the books again as I hardly remember anything about the stories, I think it are to date still my favorite stories I ever read.

 

Well some weeks ago I had the chance to be a lilliputian for 3 days. I wasn't alone. Over those 3 days, almost 1 million people followed the 2 giants which stayed in the city of Antwerp over the weekend. There is no massive publicity campaign about it, no fixed schedule on beforehand. The locations where the giants will hang out are only announced a few hours earlier and still, it's like magic. Everybody is fascinated by the giants and a magical vibe is spread over the city.

 

The 2 giants were called The Diver and the Giant Little Girl, performed by Royal de Luxe.

 

Royal de Luxe is a French mechanical marionette street theatre company. They were founded in 1979 by Jean Luc Courcoult. Based in Nantes, the company has performed in France, Belgium, England, Germany, Iceland, Chile and Australia.

 

The weather was great during the 3 days and I'm proud having been a lilliputian for 3 days.

 

Here some highlights. (I borrowed some pics from the official website because I wasn't able to follow the giants the complete 3 days)

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The diver's arrival in Antwerp

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And the Giant little girl

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Showering

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Peeing

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In front of the cathedral

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My first encounter with the diver.

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Impressive

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There was also a statue of my favorite Flemish artist on this plaza : Panamarenko. The guy is obsessed by humans being able to fly. No chance any of his work would be able to fly, but still I'm a fan of his work.

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The giant girl. This last pictures were take by me on Friday evening. At that time the giants were already sleeping. My daugthers were impressed big time by the giants so we decided to be ready to watch them waking up the next morning.

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So after checking the newspaper on Saturdaymorning, we knew the little giant girl would wake up at 10 am and look ... she's awake.

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I was really awesome to see the giant in operation. Especially how the Royal de Luxe guys get the giants moving. Watch above teaser video to have a real good impression.

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Actually the guys in red are officially called Lilliputians

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A weekend of following the giants just started.

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We drove to the place where the Diver slept and he would wake up at 11 am. We arrived just before the lilliputians operating the diver.

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Jean Luc Courcoult

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The Diver leaving for his exploration of the city of Antwerp

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Lilliputians have to work hard.

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Last giant day, Sunday.

The giants invited Antwerp for a picnic at the park.

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In the meanwhile, nearly everybody living in Antwerp was following the giants

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We had a fun afternoon. About 2 hours before the giants would pass here, we took pole position to have a last look at the giants when they would pass here.

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It made me think of Mad Max for some reason.

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I love it when crowds take over control of a city.

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Borrowed picture again, but it gives an excellent overview of the giants leaving the city.

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My daugther won a dayticket to DLP a while ago, and I had to chance to buy additional daytickets with 50% off, so because of our busy schedule the next few weeks, last Saturday was the only day which would work for us.

The weather forecasts were excellent so DLP here we come.

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We left home shortly after 6 am. As told earlier, I suck at nightshots.

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But soon the sun was there

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If that sign would have shown Copenhagen, we definitely would have taken the wrong turn.

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Great !! We arrived. Lets start queueing.

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YAY !! Empty parking lot.

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Dammit. I was looking the wrong way.

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I love it when most people make the same plans as me .... NOT !!

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Oh god ... isn't anybody leaving yet ???

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Hotel New York with a balloon ... and a LOT of cars.

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Since we held 1 voucher with which we still had to pass the ticketbooth, we decided to think different and visit Disney Village first.

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There was some kind of oldtimers event at Disney Village

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My youngest going cray ;-)

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I simply love shopping at Disney. Actually last year on the WCT, except for a few single ride attractions, I did nothing else than Disney shopping on the last day of the WCT.

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I love this. But nearly 800 euro was a bit out of my range.

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YAY. Starbucks :-))))

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This is great too.

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Loved this. It just as in the movie.

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Balloon

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Crocs

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Disney magic ;-)

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WDS time

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Look happy !!

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That's better

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Great

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Everything ok so far.

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Cool down station

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Backlot tour

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New Generation land

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First new ride

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Loved this

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The new parkpart is great and the crowds were excellent :-(

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Another new ride

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The theming is great.

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It's a simple fairground attraction but the theming is making the ride great.

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Although my youngest daughter wanted to ride, I don't wait more than 1 hour for a ride like that.

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Next new ride : 80 minutes

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Without a doubt best themed waiting row ever.

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Woody

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Darth Vader voice < Kids .... I am your father !!!>

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End of part 1

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Those giants are absolutely incredible. I remember reading about them a number of years ago when they visited London, I believe. I enjoy reading this thread a lot! It's nice to see some parks that aren't really talked about too much on here. Can't wait for more DLP pics, as well!

Edited by BigDipper 80
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^Thanks.

 

Next part of our Disneyland Paris day

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That's where we were.

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Really beautiful

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Themed Tower

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Et voila : Non-themed Tower

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Yes yes, no theming ;-)

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Pay attention now : this is the inside of an attraction.

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Really. Pay attention !!

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Focus on this pictures !!!

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This are the only interior pics you will find in this TR because ..... we only did one attraction that day !!

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Yes, you read that correctly. We only did one (1) ride that day because it was so freaking crowded. Still, we had an awesome day. We explored places we've never been before at DLP/WDS. Like this place.

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It's there since opening and actually, I've been in there.

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That's what I like about THEMEparks. There is so much to see that you even enjoy your day while the park is PACKED.

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I'm not a 90-minutes-waiting-row-person.

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Though I really wanted to have another ride on Crush.

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If I would have been on the rides, I wouldn't have notice this awesome black grass.

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Yay. Family pciture with the black grass :-)

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I love my daugther but I also love Fantasia. Porbably my favorite Disney movie.

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Yes kids. Next time we'll be here, we'll stay over there again.

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Really ????

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The previous castle I saw was 13 months ago in California. Difficult choice, but I think .... I like this one better !!

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Random mountain

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My kids don't like lines either. So the plan was walking to Small World and ride it. Hey, it's a capicity monster, and everybody will hate that attraction by now. BBBBBBEEEEEUUUUUUUUHHHHHTTTTT !!!! WRONG !!!!! Small World had a FULL waiting row !!! Sorry kids, there is no way I'm going to wait 45 minutes to ride that.

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Same story at POTC. I didn't even want to know how long the wait was.

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End of part II.

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^Yeah, hope so too.

 

Part III and last part of this DLP TR.

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BIG Castle.

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When crowds are that heavy, Disney puts in a train for the meet and greet with the characters.

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So the meet and greet is becoming a parade.

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Actually, after this 'parade' had passed, people were taking position to watch the real parade, which would pass more than 2 hours later.

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After waiting for 15 minutes to buy a drink, I found a quiet spot behind this car.

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Picture of the 2 drinks I bought. And in the back, Walt's Restaurant. Can you believe that I knew it was at mainstreet, but I actually never spotted the restaurant before.

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We totally had it with those crowds so left the park early.

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Luckily we know the places to relax at the resort.

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If you've never been in the hotel, you really should make a quick visit to the hotellobby next time you're in DLP. The rooms are really expensive and in fact terribly overpriced. The suites at Phantasialand & Europapark you saw in earlier reports in this thread, are a MUCH better deal than the rooms at the Disneyland Hotel. A standard room at this hotel is even more expensive than the suites at the other parks. Last time we stayed at DLP, we even stayed at the Castle Club of this hotel. The room wasn't bigger than a standard room, but we had some extras like a vip-fastpass. The rate for 1 night in a standard room at the Castle Club, was 3 times the rate of the suites at Phanta/EP.

Anyway, what I wanted to say, when you have the chance, enter the lobby for a few minutes and walk over the tick carpets, smell the perfume they put in the airco, breath the atmosphere at the hotel. It's really worth to sit down a few minutes at the lobby.

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And, if you go, try to go at 4 pm.

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There is a small show with some characters.

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After this show you have the chance to meet up with the characters WITHOUT 1 hour waiting rows like in the parks.

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These moments make worth the 7 hours drive (R/T)

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Even the chief was there

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5 characters in 5 minutes something.

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On our way to the shop of the hotel.

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We decided to beat the crowds and when eating at 5 pm already.

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A bit spooky for kids

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And certainly this.

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But dinner was good.

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One final shopping lap at Disney Village

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I would consider buying these.

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You can buy the castle

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And a guitar here ending. Thanks for reading.

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U2 was playing at Brussels last week. The 2 concerts were sold out since more than one year, and I didn't even try to get tickets because I thought they costed way too much. A week before the concerts, a friend called me because he got 2 tickets for free for the second concert and he asked me whether I was interested to join him. Of course I wanted to. I used to be a huge fan of U2 in their Boy, October, War period. Only like a few songs after that period. I knew they weren't going to play much of the period I liked them, but still I wanted to see what all the fuzz was about their stage : The Claw.

I can already confirm to you all : I'm now a fan of The Claw. The Claw was for me the star of the evening. (sorry about that Roxy. We'll definitely talk about this next summer).

 

I managed to take various good nightshots though as you know, I suck at taking pictures in the dark. Still need to sort them out and will post them soon.

 

Here already 2 videos I shot with my photocamera.

 

First song :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpR8BwiSz20

 

With or without you :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN8AAqXrgpg

Edited by Groteslurf
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U2 was playing at Brussels last week. The 2 concerts were sold out since more than one year, and I didn't even try to get tickets because I thought they costed way too much. A week before the concerts, a friend called me because he got 2 tickets for free for the second concert and he asked me whether I was interested to join him. Of course I wanted to. I used to be a huge fan of U2 in their Boy, October, War period. Only like a few songs after that period. I knew they weren't going to play much of the period I liked them, but still I wanted to see what all the fuzz was about their stage : The Claw.

I can already confirm to you all : I'm now a fan of The Claw. The Claw was for me the star of the evening. (sorry about that Roxy. We'll definitely talk about this next summer).

 

I managed to take various good nightshots though as you know, I suck at taking pictures in the dark. Still need to sort them out and will post them soon.

 

Here already 2 videos I shot with my photocamera.

 

First song :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpR8BwiSz20

 

With or without you :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN8AAqXrgpg

Edited by Groteslurf
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