Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

PTR: [Study] Abroad - The world and its coasters

Recommended Posts

Hey guys!


I’ve got a pretty incredible season unfolding, and have a ton of pictures to share. The short of it is that I’m studying abroad in Copenhagen this semester, and have the opportunity to do a ton of traveling on weekends due to a carefully arranged class schedule and close attention to the allocation of the overly-generous financial aid I’ve been given for studying abroad this semester. I’ve had to scrape by in a few instances, and sometimes forego things like “food” or a “good place to sleep” [who needs it, am I right??], but pretty much I’m using the financial aid money I’ve been given for meal plans and out-of-program boarding and personal expenses and housing to pay for all of this.


It certainly helps that everything in Europe is pretty easy to get to from Copenhagen, and I like to think that I know how to travel as cheaply as possible, but all in all it’s just been the biggest blessing, and I can’t even begin to describe how incredible this semester has been so far.


Small parks, Big parks, I’m hitting them all. I am indeed a credit whore, but more than that, I actually loooooove going to small parks – I find them fascinating. The more out of the way, the more nobody ever has (or ever should go there), the more I love the place. I think it’s hilarious. There ARE some parks here nobody on TPR has hit before (hello Trans-Caucasus region) and some that you’ve seen a million times. But at any rate, I hope you guys enjoy. Be prepared though, I was able to go pretty much everywhere.


The way I travel is mostly by one cardinal rule – the more other people have been there, the less I’m interested. I’m not afraid to take risks, I love extreme scenery, always look for a good ol’ adventure, and I think the best way to travel is with no expectations, a goofy sense of humor, a trusty map, and by talking to as many people as you can manage to meet.


My PTR style has generally more writing than most others, and then only the best pictures, unless there really aren’t a lot of pictures from the park in question (I find it refreshing when picture reviews are sharp and to the point, and try to do the same in my own reports). And there will probably [definitely] be a fair number of jumping shots. And I’ll also definitely include some of my favorite pictures from along the way that have nothing to do with roller coasters, because sometimes, although we go through a lot to deny it, there is more to this world than the next credit. And I’ve decided that the most confusing and interesting way to do this will have nothing to do with chronological order in the long run, so be prepared for THAT!


Anyways, I’ve learned a ton getting the opportunity to travel so much. But I suppose the two biggest things are:


1) The world is an enormous place. You will never ever ever run out of things to see or people to meet, and the beauty of it all is overwhelming

2) The world is smaller than I’d ever imagined. Really, if you want to go somewhere, anywhere, there’s a way, and finding that way is terrifically exciting.


I hope you guys can get something out of this!


A brief estimated trajectory of this PTR (stuff in blue is now up on the page that's listed):

Gardaland, etc (because Raptor seems to be a topic of controversy I’d love to chime in on, and nobody told me this place was full of MAGIC!) - now up just down below

19 hours in Paris (including Disneyland, of course, and a whirlwind of crepes) - page 3

The parks of Turkey!!!!! And why it's my favorite country - page 3-5

How little there is to do in Cologne (except of course, ride roller coasters), and why you should go to Berlin, despite it’s lack of theme parks - page 5

SO much UAE, featuring Dubai (which I’m still not convinced is a real place it’s that unbelievable) and also “it’s-hard-not-to-poop-yourself-Formula-Rossa” - Page 6

Chakazoolu and Adhari in Bahrain, during the protests (not my best trip pla… actually no, that WAS my best trip planning) - page 6

The UK [Cheers!] at its finest (including my 300th credit on Nemesis) - page 8

Greece - Meteora, one of the most underappreciated sites in Europe, Athens, and Allou fun park - page 8

Things to do in Norway. Tromso, Fjords, Arctic Circle, Northern Lights, then Oslo and Tusenfryd - page 9

A shortstop tour of Scandinavia, Bergen, Sojnefjord, and Liseberg - page 9

Then back to Italy. Milan, Europark Idroscalo, Mirabilandia... and the rest of Northern Italy - page 10

• Then to Germany. Or maybe the Netherlands.

• Why you should travel throughout Eastern Europe, including Vampires in Transylvania, Vidampark in Budapest (from the outside- it’s closed on weekdays until… the week after I was there), The Baltic region in midwinter, and 1 picture of the Czech Republic’s only park from a regional train in the rain super zoomed in out of focus and through a large forest

• Parks in the Republic of Georgia and some mountains (holy Kazbegi!!)

• Among other things


And there will be more of course, I’ll let you know when I get there.


Also, I’m very much anticipating that the actual order of this report won’t in fact resemble what I’ve listed here, but I’ll try my best. And I’ll update the order of the report here in this first post, as the TR is actualized.


Awesome, thanks soooooo much for reading, I’d love for you to comment or just say hi, and I hope you guys enjoy!


WOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!



Edited by coasterer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 99
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Alright Raptor. I know you’ve seen a few reports on this baby by now, some with good things to say and some with a few less good things to say… so let me just start off by complaining. Now I’m not one to usually start things off with a list of how horrible things are, but I have some grievances to file, while we’re on the subject.


The biggest problem I have with Raptor, is that NO ONE HAS EVER MENTIONED HOW BEAUTIFUL THE SURROUNDING AREA WAS!!!!! Holy CRAP, have you seen it??? Situated right on the lake, the most beeeautiful small Italian towns you’ve ever imagined right on the water, and the mountains rising up behind it all as the sun sets on the fragrant beauty of a romanticized evening dinner, reflecting off the silver cliffs behind you as you eat, a color palette fit to burst spilling out golds and reds and blues on the greenest trees at the water’s edge, the cobblestone roads trailing off like poetic sentences and the beauty of it all drowned in a delightfully affordable bottle of Prosecco and a heaping dish of authentic Italian pasta, your laughter at it all drifting away lazily on the evening breeze with the faint sounds of a local accordion player.


YOU GUYS! I mean Raptor was all well and good, but regardless, I could drop everything right now and move to Garda without ever having an ounce of regret.


But okay okay, Raptor. Honestly I thought it was fine. Fun even. I don’t know if anybody was expecting it to be a top ten ride (I certainly wasn’t), so I don’t see what there is to be disappointed about. 1) It was a prototype. 2) Since when in the last 8 years have we been expecting Magic-Super-Forces out of B&M anyways?? 3) Gardaland isn’t exactly your white-knuckle thrill capital, anything more just wouldn’t have been a good fit for the park.


As it was, the ride was enjoyable. We had a good time. The restraints were awesome, (even though I’m not the biggest fan of the soft chest paddy things like on the flyers [i find they cut into my clavicle and my super huge muscles]) the seats were SO comfy! And what’s more than that, the ride was SMOOOOTH! SO smooth. Inside, outside, front or back, there’s a little lullaby of a bounce, but honestly, I could think of probably a million and a half rougher things I could do to my body (hm hmmm). And what’s more than THAT (!!), I definitely got a strong sense of durability. It seemed (although it’s of course impossible to tell), that the ride will be in good condition for a while, and that B&M made sure to build us a sturdy ride that will last.


The views are incredible with the open seating, and especially sitting on the outside, you just get some really cool views and some really cool forces through the inversions, that, while from a long way from ‘super-intense’, are really ‘nifty’. I actually thought the layout was surprisingly creative, given B&Ms recent track-record, and the respectably small footprint.


Also, the theming IS AS GOOD as it looks in the pictures. Actually, I thought it was even better. From the reports I’ve seen, I never got a sense of how well the ride interacted with the ground. But really, the park has done a FANTASTIC job with the whole area, and the head-choppers and foot choppers and integration with the landscape and the ride queue and the mist sprayers (take note Six Flags), were all integrated incredibly well.


I mean for me, the ride was kind of like Black Mamba, except with less Africans and more radioactive aliens. OBVIOUSLY it isn’t a thrill-seekers dream or a top-ten breaker, but it is a fun, well-integrated ride that is as smooth as you can ask for, and the perfect fit for a place like Gardaland. My expectations were met and even surpassed.


Not every ride has to be the best in the world, but every ride should strive to at least accomplish what it’s setting out to do. That’s my take on the matter. And Raptor does just that, in my opinion.


And also, in regards to the most recent TR on Raptor, I also was surprised at how short the seat belts were. For such a ‘freeing’ restraint setup, they sure don’t leave you a lot of leeway with the length of the buckle strap.




Like Raptor, met and even exceeded my expectations. The theming was excellent, the attention to detail was great, the landscaping was BEAUTIFUL, and the whole place just screamed ‘MAGICLAND’. There were characters, good original music, the park was clean as a baby’s bottom, and the rides were surprisingly well-maintained. We actually rerode the SLC! Twice!! What a pleasant surprise.


Anyways we had a great time. I was there with my friend from home, Ben, who is actually in the Air Force stationed up at Aviano about an hour above Venice, and he had the weekend off, which was great, since it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other.


And that newish water ride, something about Greek Gods or Atlantis, was awesome! It was the perfect amount of wetness- just a light refreshing spray that avoids the pants and the shoes entirely. And reeeeally well themed as well.


Just promise please, that when you visit Gardaland, take some time to enjoy the Lake. It really is incredible.


WOOOOOOO Baby thanks for reading!



This man is likely unaware of the facts that he is about to be featured as the first picture in a TPR post, and that his shirt is a horrible color choice for anyone with a sunburn, unless he's trying to go for the whole 'naked' look


Ladies and Gentlemen, this is literally less a kilometer away from the park


Too cool for school


Down South, toward... the rest of Italy


Yayyyyyy haha


First stop - Blue Tornado


I read that some people thought this guy was really rough?? It was far and away the smoothest SLC out of the 9 I've been on


I mean we actually rerode it - twice even! And the bonus helix was a great little touch


Any ride themed to a giant mammoth is alright with me. Actually any ride themed in general is alright with me.


Reminds me of Ice Age


Really fun, really long, really well themed, all around solid


The landscaping here was fantastic, by the way


THIS guy means business


Actually a huge surprise hit! The perfect amount of wetness, too


Good thing that giant shell is there, or this could be awkward


OK enough dillydallying!!


In answer to everyone's questions, yes, the theming is as good as people say it is. In fact, I was even pleasantly surprised


Sitting on the ends gives some GREAT views


And they way they themed the whole area was really nice


And the super wide trains made for some really impressive pre-ride visuals


Although three rolls might be pushin it, the way I usually look at rolls is the more the merrier


Through the TREE!!!!


The weather was beautiful too


From the queue, things look a little bit concentration-camp meets apocalypse


The station looked great too! I'm not the biggest fan of the Italian loading system with the whole number count down thing, but I guess it keeps things nice and orderly





I got a lotta Raptor shots guys, bear with me




I'm no Hanno, but the ride looks great




Yup, just as weird as I expected. You guys sorry I'ma have to do this in two posts, but I should get the second half up in the next twelve hours. I'm getting kicked out of the common room. To be continued!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A "little lullaby of a bounce" is probably my favorite description of how a coaster feels that I've read on this board.


Cool TR, and thanks for trying to show another side of Raptor. While I haven't ridden it, I get the impression that I'll agree with your assessment of it whenever I finally do. A coaster is so much more than just the coaster - its surroundings, theming, and whether it "fits" all affect how good the ride is, and from what I've seen Raptor seems to strike a pretty good balance. I get that some people don't like it because it isn't forceful or thrilling enough, but to me it looks like a pretty great ride that "belongs" at that park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Annnnnnnddddd I'M BACK!


I really can't give Gardaland enough credit for the landscaping and flowers and upkeep of the park - lovely, just delightful haha


Magic Mountain was just... too magical


And this guy was closed at first but finally opened up in the last hour. WHAT A RELIEF


Towards the back, I gotta say, there have been less brutal things I've put my body through, certainly, but in the middle it was fine


The longest of alllllll the 12 foot tall roller coasters


We farted around this corner of the park long enough for Sequoia to open back up, and then headed back up into Raptor-land


Hard at wor -ooaaahhh look out!!!


And we're back. We got 6 rides in on it, which was just about the right amount before we got bored, and the thing was pretty much a walk on all day


Fun fact, I'm an expert at timing things


Also, the misters were on fullllll force today - and the water cannons were a really nice touch


And I guess that's it. The singing and dancing as we left was just icing on the cake. Goodbye magicland...


and hellooooooo magicland


This is lake Garda, about 15 km up the coastline, and easily one of my new favorite places.


We drove up and down the coast aways before settling down in town


I think this was farther up



the Alps in the distance are a real nice touch


On the shores of Garda [the real Garda]], everything is just wonderful all the time


It's funny though, the people here don't seem to recognize the fact they're surrounded by the most incredible beauty - I can't imagine getting used to a place like this


"What'd you do today Phil?" "Oh you know just sat around again, did a little nothing, some thinking, I think I dozed off a little bit, but mostly just parked it on a bench again." "Oh how was that?" "It was probably the best day of my life"


This is the dock from which you can walk on water


You know what this area needs? Some bluffs, that would make everything just perf- oh, nevermind, there they are


That woman sees something terrifying - probably a small whiff of cloud


So when it came to dinner, in the States an experience like this, with a view like this, at a table like this, with food like this, would easily run you up to $30, especially with the whole bottle of wine we split. But Ben was explaining to me, in Italy, that's just normal restaurant life for them, it's how they eat, all the time, and it's... the best


And then night sets and it gets even prettier. Who knew THAT was possible


What I've learned most about traveling, is that for most people the life we as Americans live, with college and jobs and settling in suburbs and getting fat off of junk food - is a completely foreign style of living, and in the rest of the world they just don't do that. Like take this guy for instance. What a life


And I'll leave you guys with this one - moral of the story, the world is more than theme parks, even if it's just for a nice quiet evening - And don't you dare go to Garda without exploring the surrounding area. Take care guys! Thanks for reading

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of the smartest people I know are people who have been outside of the US and are culturally intellectual.


And this is so true, and everyone needs to know this!

1) The world is an enormous place. You will never ever ever run out of things to see or people to meet, and the beauty of it all is overwhelming

2) The world is smaller than I’d ever imagined. Really, if you want to go somewhere, anywhere, there’s a way, and finding that way is terrifically exciting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of the smartest people I know are people who have been outside of the US and are culturally intellectual.


And this is so true, and everyone needs to know this!

1) The world is an enormous place. You will never ever ever run out of things to see or people to meet, and the beauty of it all is overwhelming

2) The world is smaller than I’d ever imagined. Really, if you want to go somewhere, anywhere, there’s a way, and finding that way is terrifically exciting.


I love it when your on a plane and you see the curvature of the earth. It's a beautiful thing to see, and it makes the world look smaller than it actually is, but there is so much to explore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^They have a countdown ticker with a green or red light.


If the capacity for the ride is 32 people, the turnstile will allow 32 spins of the turnstiles as people enter the loading area. I think a couple of the rides even had a digitally displayed counter that will decrease each time the turnstile spins, but I could be imaging the counter. Once the turnstile spins 32 times the light turns red and the turnstile locks until the next ride cycle.


In theory a logical system. However, stupid Italians think it is a fun to spin the turnstiles without entering the loading area decreasing capacity.


Edited by larrygator
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Larry - F those turnstyle things! Of the millions of good things about the European parks, this was one of the bad.


I totally agree about the area surrounding Gardaland. On the TPR trip, we loved being on that flying spaceship thing and looking at the gorgeous area.


Looking forward to this thread!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey guys!! I love reading your comments, thanks so much for all the positive feedback!!


Yeah, Sue and Larry, the turnstyle things should work great in theory. Maybe they're recent additions, I have no idea, but just about all the rides I could remember did have countdown things on them - which was fine til there always seemed to be one or two spots left, and nobody not at the front of the line was paying attention to fill those spots. Not to mention that the counters would allow 2-4 people less than the full capacity of the ride, leaving empty seats all over the place. Plus, add to that the problem that a "line", in the sense that you stay behind the people who enter in front of you (makes sense, right?) doesn't quite exist in Italy, and it's all a bit free-for-all-ish. But to their credit, it did alleviate the mess you always get in the station with people vying for spots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahhhhhhh Paris!!



In a nutshell, it’s hard to go wrong when you have both the Eiffel Tower AND Notre Dame within two miles of each other. I could literally go back and forth between the two for a month, day after day, and not get tired of it.


So my stay in Paris was about as brief as things get – through a long series of unusual circumstances, I ended up with a free flight because when a friend and I booked at the same time, my booking stole her credit card information, and counted my ticket as paid for (by her card) while her order went to a ‘timed out’ page. So she called her credit card company and got reimbursed, but my ticket was still magically paid for, although where the money came from now, I just don’t know.


But the real reason my stay was so brief was because we had a huge project for school (literally, the only thing I’ve had to even remotely work towards all semester – what the Danish Institute for Study Abroad makes up for with a nifty acronym, it falls embarrassingly short in all the academic categories – which is another reason I’ve been able to travel so much, because I’m virtually on a 4 and a half month vacation, with the occasional hassle of having to actually show up to class… that and my grades don’t transfer, so everything I’m taking is pass/fail anyways haha) that we had to cut our trip short for (well, my trip now I guess, Diana never ended up buying another ticket). So with only 19 hours in France, and Disney an hour outside of the city, things were getting real tight.


But gosh, what a great 19 hours. Paris completely blew my expectations out of the water. This is probably because they were so low - I just get so sick of hearing how much everybody raves about it, that I was expecting to not like the city at all. But as far as big cities go (and this one is BIG), it’s right up there behind Istanbul and Bombay for me, in the league of extraordinarily-awesome-places-to-lose-yourself-completely-in.


Most of what I did was just run around. I saw as much as I could as briefly as I could, and have a whole lot of wonderful stories because of it. I almost missed my flight due to a sudden onslaught of that all too familiar ‘the-dinner-I-snarfed-down-was-way-too-saucy’ rumbledownunder coupled with Copenhagen airport’s untimely decision to close and be cleaning ALL of their bathrooms except for the one at the end of terminal B. I got stuck in the metro cuz I didn’t have enough change, skipped along the Seine at midnight with local jazz bars still floating music across the night air, got chased off the premises of the Louvre at 2 in the morning, (didn’t know the loose of assemblage of 8 metal gate things with huge gaps in between them meant you couldn’t run around the Pyramid taking jumping pictures, ok?) saw the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame all lit up, crashed in a horrible hostel with a room full of mask-wearing Asians around 3, and woke up two hours later for a sunrise Eiffel Tower photo shoot, and an early morning stroll down the Champs d’Elyssees, ate nothing but a pastry, a baguette, and 5 crepes (seriously, if you go to Paris and you don’t have a street vendor crepe in your hand at all times, you’re not traveling correctly. The nutella-banana crepes are heavenly), then ran [literally, was running] around Disney for 5 hours before getting back into the city to revisit Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower in the daylight. And for anyone who appreciates crazy modern architecture, the Pompidou Center is unreal. I actually usually don’t appreciate crazy modern architecture, and have studied this building in class without being impressed, but even just seeing it from the outside was enough to make me wet myself.


All in all, this was one of the few cities I really felt pressed for time on, and would definitely recommend NOT trying to cram the entire city of Paris and Disney into a one day period.


DISNEY, THOUGH, was fantastic. I don’t remember having that much fun at a park in a long long time. It might have been partly because it was my first park of the season, partly because I was giddy from the early morning’s sight seeing, partly because I think that Walt Disney is probably the second greatest thing to ever happen to the world right behind Jim Henson, and partly because I decided to end the day by crashing the blacklight sing along show with all your favorite characters with hundreds and hundreds of little French girls dressed up as princesses instead of waiting the 90 minutes for Crush’s coaster. So although I missed both Crush and the RC coaster due to eNORmous lines and no flash pass option, the day was an overwhelming success.


It might have been because I was only hitting the major must-see attractions because I was pressed for time, but did DLP seem a little small to anyone else? I might be way off on this, but I feel like it was just a wee bit underdeveloped compared to it’s American cousins. Mostly though everything was just as I remembered it being from the US, with a few small exceptions. Obviously Space Mountain was a big change, and Indiana Jones seemed like not-their-best theming integration, but BTMR was nice. The castle was unfortunately under construction, which I just managed to cut out in the picture I have of it. Haunted Mansion was the same, classic, Pirates was the same old-fashioned goodness, and Rockin Roller Coaster was about as similar to the other two as I could remember. While Space Mountain wasn’t particularly good, I was expecting it to be horrible based on reviews, so I didn’t mind it so much. All in all though, it was a great time (surprisingly crowded though, given it was an early March weekday), although I feel like the Studios Park has a little way to go before it can stand on its own. And then it was back into down town Paris, with just enough time left to grab a million pictures and shove down a few more crepes!


Thanks for reading!! Hope you enjoy the pictures. Thanks again for the comments everyone, you guys are all great. I really appreciate hearing back from you guys!!


Take care, see you soon!



Some Notre Dame photo magic


Oh wait, no, THIS is some Notre Dame photo magic


Oh, No, wait!! now THIS is some No... Oh dear


RIP Javert


So, I wouldn't say my Louvre adventures went as well as they could... I guess even at 2 in the morning, the guards don't mess around here


Pompidou. Go. Your mind will be blown.


I could literally spend months at a time under this guy and never get bored



Wakey wakey eggs and bakey [??]


Even cooler in real life than I thought it would be... and I was expecting it to be pretty darn cool


Arc du whoamIkiddingIhavenoideahowtospellthistheFrenchway



And then by 10 I had made it to Disney, the happiest place on earth [in France], having already spent the better part of 4 hours sightseeing


Big Thunder Mountain hooooooly line flash pass


Indiana Jones was fine I guess, just a little below Disney standards for my taste


But one can never get enough of the classic, mundane-object-in-the-foreground shots, can they?



Was literally running to get to Pirates


And good THING!! How can you pass up THESE GUYS!?!?


Dumbo. Gosh I wish I was 5 again


Here's to the future


Castle was really pink, and unfortunately under a great deal of construction, which I've artfully omitted for your viewing pleasure. You're welcome


And we're back... but we're broken. So it was a quick Haunted Mansion run, before making it over to BTMR, which was great


We're walking right down the middle of Main Street US,AAaaaaooooohhhhhh...


The studios park seemed a little underdeveloped in my opinion, and it was also suuuuuper crowded


Tower, looking fine, even though it's French


My two favorite people!!! Add Jim Henson in here, and we'd have a party


This scene from Peter Pan is... jeuno se pa! Incredible. hahaha


Unfortunately, however great Buzz looks, this corner of the park was PACKED


[take me with you]


Lines were real long and I wanted to get back to the city for some daylight touring, so I decided on the art of animation show instead of the 80 minute lines for Crush, or RC. It was ok, but this montage at the end was sweeeeet!!


I love you


Moving right along, Paris: a city for people of all emotional dispositions


No gothic cathedral would be complete without a bird man


George Washington???


you guys, it's incredible. Truly.


Also, if you've never read the Hunchback of Notre Dame, it's been one of my all time favorite books for a loooong long time now. So read it.


Nothing can keep me from you, baby


Although I didn't go up it (I was too busily engrossed in a spiritual conversation with a dude from Jamaica), I woulda, if I had more time, and there wasn't a line, and it was free, and wasn't getting dark


Haha.. ha


You guys, be prepared. The next handful of pictures maybe a little too much for some of the members or TPR. But what can I say, it's how I roll.


Evolution from child-ape-man


Also you may be wondering where the crepes are. Truth is, when you're double fisting crepes, it's awfully hard to take pictures


5. I had 5 crepes. The nutella-banana ones were unbelievable


My personal favorite. This is how I want my life to be all the time


hahahaha mid afternoon jog



This thing comes ALIVE at dusk!!


And one last shot, from the seediest district of them allllll. Thanks for reading, and get excited for Turkey. It's hands down my new favorite country, and there will be 5 parks that are new to TPR. Take care!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/