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Euro Madness 2016 - Photo TR


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Howdy do, dudes and dudettes? Welcome to my not-quite-huge-just-yet-but-eventually-will-be-huge-as-I-add-more-stuff trip report for my three week trip to Europe tagging along with TPR! Alright, that last sentence was a lie. It wasn't three weeks. It was 20 days and 15 hours. Ish. I'm not a mathematician. I work in entertainment. Stop judging me.

 

Stop 1 - Tivoli Gardens. It's this post. No link here.

Stop 2 - Bobbejaanland

Stop 3 - Walibi Belgium

Stop 4 - Toverland

Stop 5 - Efteling

Stop 6 - Efteling

Stop 7 - Amsterdam and Walibi Holland

Stop 8 - Pott's Park

Stop 9 - Heide Park

Stop 10 - Hansa Park

TBC...

 

Rather than wasting everyone's time with the pleasantries and what have you, let's just dive right into this mess, shall we? First stop? Copenhagen! More notably, Tivoli Gardens! I've been curious about this park for years as I've always heard wonderful things about it. They've got a great collection of rides for all ages and a couple decent coasters, but they also have the monster known as Plane On A Stick...er, Vertigo.

 

 

We'll get to my review later, but it's safe to say it's similar to everyone else's in that video. Moving right along to the rides!

 

Rutschebanen - First ever scenic railway credit! Fun ride that got surprisingly speedy and even had airtime in a few spots, definitely not what I had expected. I was more thinking it'd be a leisurely roll around a fake mountain. Instead I got long, shockingly steep drops, great laterals, and a brakeman wearing a spiky foam hat and laughing maniacally in the tunnels. That is a man who loves his job.

 

Odin Express - Yayyyy, a powered coaster. Three laps, good length for a powered, but certainly nothing to write home about. Watch your head and arms around the trees.

 

Daemonen - A great, compact B&M floorless that's pretty darn snappy! I loved the funky beginning prior to the drop and the main portion of the ride is something that'll make you forget where you are because it's so twisty and flippy in such a short time. Great ride!

 

Fatamorgana - The new ride for 2016, it's a new twist on a classic Condor attraction. Two of the four vehicles are the classic design while the other two are outward-facing non-swinging seats on a disc. It creates some interesting forces but it doesn't spin so fast that it'll get you dizzy. It's certainly not a "thrill" ride like the signage would have you believe but it is a nice addition to a park that already has a great variety.

 

Den Flyvende Kuffert - A very long, multi-leveled, Small World-style attraction in an omnimover rather than a boat. They really maximized real estate with this thing because the track and the scenes are constantly twisting over and under each other. I don't think I've ever been on an omnimover attraction that changes elevation as much as this one does. It's nothing thrilling but it's cute and technically impressive.

 

Det gyldne Tarn - Turbo Drop. Moving on.

 

Himmelskibet - Star Flyer. Not the tallest but still always good for a thrill, at least for me because no matter the height they still terrify me.

 

Minen - A dark ride in a boat through a mine that has been retrofitter to have a shooting element. The only problem is the guns are awful and you can't see where you're shooting at all. I gave up after the first few scenes and just rode through the rest watching the ride unfold. Beware of the huge splashdown drop halfway through!

 

Skaersilden - Fun House O' Death! People are allowed to go pretty much anywhere that's not gated off. Kids literally bouncing off of walls, slides, turntables, hamster wheels, etc. This was a collection of things you'll never find in America unless it's covered in six inches of curved-edge foam.

 

Monsunen - It's a Falling Star that's been squashed and then inverted. Strange description, yeah, but that's the best I can come up with. It's a lot of fun and threatens you the entire time with fountains that fall out of your way just in time.

 

Plane On A Stick AKA Vertigo - Holy. Flapjacking. Crap. This is easily the most balls-to-the-wall insane flat ride I've experienced. Just watch the video at the top of the post. Words, photos, and video can't do this ride justice. You'll get off of the ride laughing and shaking and you'll immediately want to jump right back in line! It is absolutely insane in the best way and I want to buy one and put it in my back yard. The world needs more of these, but unfortunately I think the capacity issues (max 8 people per cycle) killed any chance of the concept getting picked up. It's a shame because while it's incredibly crazy and intense it's still a very approachable ride!

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Daemonen's twisty opening.

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Fatamorgana's two types of vehicles.

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Monsunen

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Plane On A Stick in action!

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Edited by KBrylczyk
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After sometimes waiting so long, but then getting an insanely stupid ride out of Vertigo,

I thank Tivoli for not considering that they ever make it an upcharge ride. I have had amazing

rides on vertigo, the two visits I was there with TPR. And watching some insane flights too, lol.

 

Gawds Bless Tivoli! And great start to your TR, Kyle. Looking forward to more of it all.

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Alright, a couple days have passed, I'm fairly certain I'm now completely recovered from my jet lag, and I just finished an incredible dinner of homemade cheesesteaks, stuffed portobello mushrooms, and a fresh salad. I think I'm good to post the second stop of the trip.

 

Bobbejaanland!

 

I'm gonna save half of you guys the trouble right now. There's no pictures here. Why? Because I didn't take any. I know you probably were expecting something more as an explanation but no, that's all you get. I didn't take any. I was too busy having fun and fighting the insane allergies this park apparently awakens inside me. Oh well, we'll all somehow survive this ordeal. Let's get to it!

 

Typhoon - The first ever Eurofighter. Yeah, it might give you a love tap every now and then and it might also shake like southern California in the helix, but this is still a solid ride that does some really weird crap. The vertical lift and beyond vertical drop are an excellent start, the vertical loop has some good forces, and the rest of the ride is just a twisty mess. I really enjoyed this one!

 

Dizz - Hooray! A spinning coaster! It's got an interesting layout but unfortunately doesn't spin much. We tried with different weight combos but even the best spinning ride we got was still very tame. It's great for the park, though, as they're much more family-oriented than thrill-oriented. Fun little ride!

 

Dream Catcher - The rethemed Air Race, AKA Vekoma suspended. Nothing crazy, just helix after helix. There's no real swinging that happens but the ride is still a good time and has a great location over the lake. Just watch out for the shrubs before the final brakes. They'll get your feet.

 

Speedy Bob - A wild mouse with minimal braking but it manages to not be painful! Hooray! The group loaded the most weight into one car as they could and the ride op told them afterward that they were 1/10th of a second from throwing a speed error and having the ride e-stop itself! So close!!!

 

Oki Doki - Creepy clown ride! It's actually a custom(?) Vekoma Rollerskater that has some surprising forces in the turns! Lots of fun but the creepy clown on the front of the train is weird.

 

Revolution / Montmara VR - One of the strangest rides I've ever done. As Revolution it's a loooooong lift hill and a loooooong drop sequence. As Montmara it's a ride on a four-wheeler up a volcano which then explodes and you run over monkeys on the way back down. Confused? You should be.

 

Bob Express - A long powered coaster. Probably the longest one I've been on. Fun ride but it's still a powered.

 

El Paso Special - AKA Donald Trump: The Ride! Probably the most racist attraction I've ever seen but in the most hilarious way possible. Want to shoot Mexicans who are just pooping? This is your ride. Want to shoot Native Americans who are clearly surrendering? This is your ride. Want to see a Mexican prostitute give a handy to some dude in a saloon? This is your ride. Want to go on it again a thousand times? Yep! It's so ridiculous that you can't help but love it, kinda like your grandpa after he's had a few too many drinks.

 

El Rio - A very tame and fun rapids ride complete with a whirlpool drop. The only way you'll get wet on this ride is at the end when you come around a corner and people get you with the coin-operated fountains. Which they always will.

 

Indiana River - This ride had absolutely NOTHING to do with Indiana, be it the state or the archaeologist who works for Disney. All I know is it's an indoor log flume that has Mayan or Aztec things and soaks the hell out of you.

 

King Kong - It's a ride that should be way more wild than it actually is. It's still a cute and fun ride but it needs to be taken off of the kiddie program.

 

Sledgehammer - Super huge Giant Frisbee run with one WILD program! I loved this thing! It's huge, it's fast, the program is long, and I'm pretty sure it's responsible for keeping the bug population in check. I think I swallowed 10 and also had a big one smack into my forehead.

 

Again, no photos. I had a great time at Bobbejaanland, though! Nearly every attraction was unique, something I love to come across.

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I felt guilty leaving an update with no pictures. That means most of you probably didn't read. Allow me to amend that! Let me just crack open this brewski first, guys. New Belgium Heavy Melon Ale. Sounds weird, right? I thought so too. It's actually pretty darn tasty. Anyone out there actually reading this part? No? That's cool, too. Let's move right along...

 

Walibi Belgium!

 

Walibi Belgium was a place that wasn't even close to being on my radar. The only reason I was interested in visiting was for Pulsar, to be honest, and even it wasn't seeming like too huge of a draw. However, Mack hasn't let me down yet so I'm always excited to try something new from those beautiful German psychos. Unfortunately the rest of the park is essentially a Vekoma showcase. An SLC, Boomerang, mine train, and a 20-year-old woodie were all present and accounted for. Let's just say I was more than prepared to overdose on ibuprofen in the afternoon. Aside from the Vekoma powerhouse, there was the issue of previous reports about the park being less-than-stellar. I knew it'd be an interesting day, for sure, but I wasn't expecting anything noteworthy.

 

Wanna know something really cool, though? I was wrong. Way, way wrong. This park came out of left field and I had a GREAT day here! Maybe it's because I straight up skipped the boomerang, but I was extremely pleased with this park! Let's get down to the good stuff!

 

Pulsar - Full disclosure, I ended up deciding to not ride at first. It was a gray and cool day and once I saw the size of the splash I really didn't want to get soggy socks and underwear. The rest of the group jumped on and rode and when they came back they were all smiles and laughing, then they told me that the splash, while huge, doesn't really drench the riders and everyone's feet were bone dry. Well, that sold me, so I jumped in the next boat. Holy wow, this ride is a winner! Sure, it looks so simplistic from the outside but it delivers one CRAZY ride! The launches kick with some force, the surprise backwards airtime is intense, you get HIGH on those spikes, and the splashdown is perfectly refreshing! Thanks to the turntable loading platform, too, this ride pumps people through when two boats are operating! Mack has done it again! I really hope this ride gets the attention it deserves and more parks worldwide pick it up. It's a fantastic twist on the typical splashdown attraction that delivers a solid thrill and plenty of laughs!

 

 

Psyke Underground - Fully enclosed shuttle loop with the neutered launch. The flywheel is gone and replaced with LIMs (I think, maybe LSM, does it matter?). The launch sequence begins as some kind of weird rave party with cartoon characters that gets interrupted by the cartoon matriarch (again, I think) and then there's a countdown as the train slowly accelerates, and when the countdown hits zero the launch fully hits and you go flying down the track. Entering the loop there's some kind of bat blob ghost monster thing looking at you. Then you go it backwards. It's weird, it's funky, and it'll make you a bit dizzy since it's fully enclosed, but it's a lot of fun like all shuttle loops!

 

You guys ready for the Vekoma roundup? Here we go!

 

Vampire - It's an SLC. It's painful. We rode in the rain so that didn't help. Have you been on an SLC? Are you not a fan? Congrats, we have the same view. This one is noteworth because I rode while wearing a poncho, so I had a weird flutter effect going on the entire time.

 

Loup Garou - The 20 year old Vekoma woodie. I was fully expecting to be sterile at the end of this. You know what? I almost was. Almost. It's a good layout and wants to be a good ride, and it is surprisingly rideable but I base that ENTIRELY on the super-cushy trains. It's like you sit on a cloud. There's so much soft padding it'd be impossible to actually hurt yourself. If any other train were on this ride it would be putting people in hospitals, but luckily the park knows better. Hooray!

 

Calamity Mine - We rode this as a massive black cloud was rolling in above us. As we came off the lift hill the rain was already starting, though it wasn't super heavy yet, just a steady rain. By the time we unloaded the train it was a torrential downpour outside. Our timing couldn't have been better, haha. Anyway, the ride itself, yeah. IT'S AWESOME! I don't know what it is but Vekoma's mine trains are always GREAT! They're not high thrill but they're generally smooth, very long, and have great laterals and occasional pops of airtime. This was no different and it had superb themeing to boot! Great coaster and a fun surprise!

 

Cobra - Boomerang. Ride one you've ridden them all. Skipped. I heard the wails of pain from the ground, though.

 

Coccinelle - Teeny tiny Zierer kiddie coaster. Also skipped. Why? Read the first five words again, then remember I'm 30. I could bring up the topic of self respect but we all know I have none and I don't wanna lie to you.

 

Moving along to the non-coaster rides -

 

Dalton Terror - Good ol' Intamin 2nd Gen drop tower! Can't go wrong with these. Excellent views of the Belgian countryside, too!

 

Le Palais Du Genie - It's a Vekoma Mad House. You might think it's nothing special, but hooooooo boy are you wrong! This one needs to be experienced for the preshow! The ride portion is the usual Mad House experience, but the preshow on this one is probably the best one I've seen! Great effects, awesome animatronics, and easily the most sophisticated projection effect I've seen yet in an amusement park! Do it!

 

Flash Back - A reversing log flume with inconsistent and kinda odd themeing. Was it a time machine? Was it a disco log flume? Were there angry plants growing into the ride trough trying to attack you with thorns? Did it get you wet? Yes to all of the above. The double down drop is always a nice touch on a flume ride, too!

 

Challenge of Tutankhamon - An excellent Sally shooter with large sets, great animatronics, trackless ride vehicles, and multiple endings! It's also super long! Shooter dark rides have always been hit or miss for me but this one is definitely a hit! It requires some skill to get a high score rather than just aiming at thing further away. It also has mummies murdering archaeologists after you've saved the day so, yeah, mummy murder!

 

Picture time, guys!!!! Check it out! Oh, before you get too excited, these are pretty much ALL photos of Pulsar.

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Oooo, pretty.

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Spiky.

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Skloosh.

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Angles make everything better, right?

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Splish.

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Wheeee!

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SKIDOOSH!!!!!!!!

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I'm really liking this report! Looking forward to more!

 

Pulsar looks like tons of fun, and this is coming from a person that almost never rides water rides with huge splashes. That's one that would be hard to pass up.

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^ Whoohoo! Feedback! It's funny, but stuff like that is what encourages me to continue on with this report. Let's see, two replies from people that aren't me, 695 thread views, 447 photo views on the most recent update. That means ~445 people have simply loaded the page, most likely skipped the words (the best part, really), and then glanced at the photos before going on to the Cedar Point thread to talk about boats or something.

 

I'm just messing with you guys (kinda)! I love y'all! So come on, settle in, and join me for a trip to the hugely surprising and fun...

 

Toverland!

 

Spoiler alert, there's two photos here. Shut up.

 

I honestly had no idea what to expect from Toverland. I knew years ago they were a mostly enclosed glorified and oversized Chuck E. Cheese on steroids. I also knew recently they had made the decision to begin expanding the outdoor sections with larger rides and some themeing. I didn't know that the themeing would be on-par with Disney! Seriously, the Troy and Wizard's Grotto (?) areas are fantastically put together with tons of detail. Also, those larger rides? AWESOME! We'll get to those in a minute.

 

The indoor areas are pretty much as I expected. Large, loud, sparsely themed, but still fun while being aimed at the younger crowd. That being said there were still a few huge surprises in here!

 

TROY! - One of the best theme songs for a ride you'll ever hear. Who knew that the Trojan War was best represented by an extremely bouncy and happy song where they shout "TROY!" throughout? I didn't, but I didn't care! I was too busy dancing in the queue! Take three minutes to listen -

 

 

Awesome, right? If you disagree, well, you're entitle to your own opinion, no matter how wrong it may be. But enough about the theme song! Let's talk about the ride! HOLY CRAP HELL YEAH!!!!!! This is one of the best non-RMC woodies I've ever ridden. It doesn't lose speed throughout the course and there's airtime friggin' everywhere! Speaking of RMC, there's elements on this ride that would make them proud. Airtime in places you wouldn't expect, constant changes of direction, weird banking, everything! I love the hell out of this coaster! Here, watch my bald head bounce around in the backseat POV -

 

 

Boomerang - Indoor modified rollerskater(?) that plows through the course at a good clip. Still, nothing special aside from almost clunking your head on the rafters on the lift hill.

 

Booster Bike - Oh so THIS is what Pony Express at Knott's is supposed to be like! I get it now! The launch was fun, the turnaround gave me the opportunity to slap grass, and there was even some airtime on the bunny hops. It's not a high thrill ride but it sure is a fun and funky experience and WAY better than Zamperla's poor imitation.

 

d'Wervelwind - Mack spinner!!!!! Wahooooo!!!!! This one isn't the craziest spinner I've done but it sure was a good time. There's even onride audio! It's a pretty good length for a spinner, has a good range of elements, and you get really close to the ground in some of those turns. It also has the greatest location for an onride photo. Good luck smiling for the camera. You'll never see it coming!

 

Blitz Bahn - I love these things! Powered alpine slides may seem like a dumb idea on paper but they're actually a LOT of fun! The fact that this one comes with extensive themeing and great onboard audio (complete with a shouting Swiss dude at the beginning) makes this excellent! Good luck not shouting along with the Swiss dude at the launch if you ride multiple times. When the light turns green you can't help but yell "OOOYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!" with him! Also, don't hit any chickens.

 

Aquachute - Holy crap airtime! I'm pretty sure my entire raft went airborne on the second hump and I was about six inches from crashing into the wall at the end!

 

Backstroke An indoor, outdoor, reversing log flume. This was a ton of fun, was refreshing without being soaking, and the backwards drop was larger than I'd expected! Also, the turntable is on an incline so it's extra funky. The outdoor drop is pretty darn big for a log flume, too!

 

Djengu River - A rapids ride that focuses on fun rather than soaking the riders, something that is much appreciated in my world. Don't get me wrong, when a rapid ride is done right I don't mind getting drenched, but if I come off the ride with a light sprinkle I'm just as happy. This one is a nice, long ride that ges pretty speedy at times and has moments where you think you'll get soaked but manages to not destroy you.

 

Klimhoed - We probably spent a half hour trying to climb this blasted thing. We had a ton of fun and laughs trying but I don't recall anyone being successful. Whenever someone got close another one would body-slam the pyramid and make them lose their grip. I was generally too busy sprinting as high as I could, falling towards a grip, then promptly slipping and flipping back down to the ground, landing on my head, tailbone, or chest most of the time. Seriously, if gyms installed this I would be at the gym every day and I'd lose so much weight. Why do adult gyms focus on torture machines? Just give me a fun way to sweat my butt off like this thing and problem solved!

 

Villa Fiasco - Two level fun house with plenty of "never in America" elements. Lots of fun! I even managed a full loop in the hamster wheel (proof below).

 

Twist & Turn - Teacups meets ferris wheel meets gyro tower. Holy sweet jesus, this was the most insane ride of the day. Three of us in one car spinning faster than light speed, screaming the entire time while the ride op gave us a super-extended cycle to torture us in the best way! It doesn't look bad from the ground but once you're on this thing and start spinning it's a device straight from the mind of some evil genius. I loved it!

 

Survivalparcours - The old school ropes course over a swamp. It turned out to be way more challenging than it looked! I believe only three of us attempted it and we all made it without falling and needing rescue, but there were some obstacles that really threw me out of whack! It was a lot of fun but a LOT of work!

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Hamster wheel full loop!

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TROY!

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toverland seems like such an awesome and whacky place, I've heard nothing but positive reviews from this park!

How did troy hold up as far as smoothness, seeing how it's nearly 10 years old?

Furthermore am I loving the trip report so far, rather have a detailed review/report than a few photos slapped on a page without any commentary.

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I was kind of skeptical of the Pulsar concept initially but it seems to have overwhelmingly positive reviews from everyone that has been on it. I wonder if MACK has plans to expand that concept on future additions or if it's kind of an as is product offering, would be interesting to see if there are any alternate layouts in the future.

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Hiya, lads and ladies! I'm back! Thanks much for the kind words, you guys are awesome. Now I wanna get this show on the road, but first I need to address gardyloo about Troy and Hilltopper39 about Pulsar.

 

toverland seems like such an awesome and whacky place, I've heard nothing but positive reviews from this park!

How did troy hold up as far as smoothness, seeing how it's nearly 10 years old?

 

It holds up incredibly well. I'm clueless on Toverland's maintenance routine and whether or not they've retracked portions, but the ride ran like you'd expect a newer GCI to run with Millennium Flyers. Not glass smooth, of course, but it didn't beat you up at all. It's right up there with Thunderhead at Dollywood for my favorite GCI.

 

I was kind of skeptical of the Pulsar concept initially but it seems to have overwhelmingly positive reviews from everyone that has been on it. I wonder if MACK has plans to expand that concept on future additions or if it's kind of an as is product offering, would be interesting to see if there are any alternate layouts in the future.

 

You and I are in the same boat (get it?) about Pulsar. It looks very one-note but it really shocked the hell out of the entire group with just how awesome it actually is! It's funny you mention expanding the concept because myself and a few of the other guys were discussing ways to make the ride work for a park with a larger crowd to handle. Ideas like making two tracks side by side with a larger, 4-boat turntable station in between them. I'm no engineer and I'm sure Mack is already hard at work on new ideas as this ride certainly looks like a huge hit with guests.

 

Alright, we all caught up? Cool. Let's head to...

 

Efteling!

 

Good news! Lots of pictures here! Wahoo!

 

Can I let you all in on a little secret? I had no idea what to expect from Efteling. I'd seen the old TPR Coaster Expedition vids where they visited and I knew about Baron 1898 because the Dutch won't shut the hell up about it. Other than that I was clueless. Did I know it was one of the parks that Walt Disney took inspiration from before making Disneyland? No. Did I know they based everything around fairy tales? No. Did I know they had a freakin' horse on fire? No. I was going in about as blind as one could. I had no idea what this indoor/outdoor Vliegende Hollander (Flying Dutchman) coaster was. I had no clue what Vogel Rock was. I had no clue what Python was (and I wish I still didn't). The entire place was a mystery to me.

 

That being said, I had an awesome day! Sure, there's nothing crazy and super thrilling (the Dutch will fight you about that over Baron, though) as the park is aimed directly at young children and families, but they go full force with the themeing and experience. The rides were all fun (except Python) and the Fairy Tale Forest was way more fun than I ever anticipated it to be. Let's get right down to the nitty gritty starting with everyone's sole purpose for visiting Efteling...

 

THE POOPING DONKEY!!!!!! - Oh shut up, you know this is the best attraction in the park. Insert coin, donkey poops out a gold coin for children to play with. Or adults, as it turns out. Yes, I happily caught flying donkey poop and giggled. Then I had a coffee and watched the creepy witch from Snow White yell at me in a dark room. Look, we all have our fetishes, alright? Stop judging mine, you weirdo.

 

Baron 1898 - Opera-singing ghosts at a mine or something. I dunno, I don't speak Goldmember. I just know it had a pretty cool preshow with projection mapping effects, an animatronic of some greedy old dude, a second preshow with more ghosts and projection mapping, and a dinging bell at the top of the lift. Yeah, the themeing was on point. Other than that, though, it's a standard baby dive machine by everyone's favorite nap-machine company, B&M. Is it fun? Hell yeah it's fun. Is it anything to write home about? Well, other than the themeing, no. Again, it's a baby dive machine. It's not particularly tall, it's not long, it doesn't pull any decent forces, it just kinda exists. Wanna know the best part of this ride? The immensely thick mist-tunnel at the base of the drop. You might as well go on a water ride because that mist is so dense!

 

 

Vliegende Hollander AKA Flying Dutchman - What the holy crap?! Alright, like I said, I had no clue what to expect from anything at this park. This ride is AWESOME! It's 50% indoor dark ride, 50% outdoor coaster, 100% water ride. The less you know about this ride before riding, the better, so I won't spoil anything. I'll tell you that the indoor dark ride portion is kinda creepy and totally awesome with some wicked effects. The outdoor coaster portion isn't wild or crazy but it sure is fun! You hardly get wet from the splashdown, too, so anyone on the fence doesn't have to worry. Just ride and have a good time!

 

Vogel Rock - Simple but AWESOME! This is another ride that I don't want to spoil anything, just know that the ride is built for sustained speed and involves a pissed off mama bird. Ride towards the back and just enjoy the constant speed and sustained Gs. Again, they're not crazy intense Gs like you'd find on Goliath but it's a great family ride. It's fantastic.

 

Python - Vekoma loop screw. It sucks. You can even tell Efteling didn't want to install it because there's zero themeing. It's like they dumped it in the back corner to appease the people looking for an inversion. It blows, it hurts, skip it.

 

Bobbahn - Ahhh, a good ol' old school, single-car bobsled! I love these so much more than the train bobsleds. They feel like they get so much more out of control and this one is no exception. There's some pretty darn wild drops and twists making the car fishtail a bunch! Tons of fun!

 

Joris En De Draak - Dueling woodies?! Sweet! Just like everything else these aren't huge, they're meant for younger audiences, but they sure were a lot of fun! No real standout moments but I can say that I had a huge grin on my face from beginning to end on both tracks. The giant dragon animatronic certainly made for some cool moments. If I had one complaint it'd be that there were no fireballs. Every ride should have fireballs. Do you disagree? You're wrong.

 

Carnival Festival - Well, this goes up against Bobbejaanland's El Paso Special for most racist dark ride! Buck-tooth Chinese? Check. Big lipped Africans? Check. This ride is basically a racist Small World that goes on far longer than it should.

 

Droomvlucht - Dream Flight, I think. It's an inverted dark ride through space, fairy lands, troll lands, and other crazy stuff. There's a huge amount of detail in all of the scenes and it's a pretty long ride with an excellent downward spiral finale around a 5-story set piece.

 

Fata Morgana - Not to be confused with Tivoli Gardens' version, this is extremely similar to Pirates Of The Caribbean, only it's a tow-boat rather than free-floating. The scenes are more compact than other Pirate boat rides but they do a good job with it. There's even a snake that shoot lasers at you.

 

Monsieur Cannibale - Yeah, it's a teacup ride themed to cannibals. Racist, big-lipped African cannibals. Makes sense that it's directly across from Carnival Festival, I guess.

 

Spookslot - The greatest haunt I've ever been through. Holy hell, this thing is incredible. If you're a haunt fan make sure you head straight here when you get to the park. Forget everything else, you need to check this out. It's intense. I have no idea how they managed to put this into such a family-oriented park. It's seriously wicked.

 

Villa Volta - Yet another mad house! I feel like every park in Europe has one of these damn things. This one, though, sells the illusion very well. The main ride room has a lot of detail rather than being a large, open room, so it really helps to trick you. Give it a shot if you're bored.

 

Raveleijn Flaming horse. That's all you need to know. Alright, I lied. Flaming horse and hot chicks in tight pants. There you go.

 

Alright, I know the vast majority of you crazies are foaming at the mouth for that sweet, sweet photo porn, so here you go -

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Baron 1898

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Great themeing!

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Wheeeee!

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Droomvlucht's entrance. Heh, balls.

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The park is gorgeous. Tons of landscaping.

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There's something SERIOUSLY wrong with this bird! Call a priest!

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So much green stuff everywhere. This isn't normal for a Vegas guy like me.

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Creepy tree!

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POOPING DONKEY!!!!!!Boob

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Boob credit!

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Is everyone ready for tales of debauchery, mayhem, booze, whores, and coasters?! I know I am! That's right, kiddies, it's time for...

 

Amsterdam and Walibi Holland!!!!!!!

 

Due to various international laws, the majority of this report has been censored ahead of time to protect those responsible. Namely myself. The others, well, you know who you are.

 

Let's start with everyone's favorite Destination O' Depravity, AMSTERDAM!

 

I'll be honest, I was seriously underwhelmed by Amsterdam. Shocking, right? You're all probably thinking, "But Kyle, you seem like the exact type of guy who'd get stoned and bang twenty hookers while drinking a liter of beer!" No, no, no, you little judgmental clown, you. Quite the opposite. Well, not exactly. Mostly I took great care to behave myself in this city to avoid any repercussions back home. See, my boss is just enough of a jerk to throw me on a random drug test after visiting Amsterdam (he didn't, shockingly) and if I got a bit too randy and found a good lady of the night my girlfriend would have my head on a stick. This meant one thing - sober Kyle for two nights in Amsterdam. Did I have a few brews? Of course I did, but I didn't get blasted and fall into a canal or a pit of despair (another name for a hooker's happy place). Mostly I wandered the streets rather aimlessly enjoying the people-watching and architecture for two nights. Now don't get me wrong, I had plenty of fun in Amsterdam. It's a much better place than many cities I've been to in America but I get the feeling you have to be drunk, stoned, or both to fully appreciate it. I even made it a point to escape the tourist areas to get a better feel to the "real" Amsterdam. I got on a trolley and rode it until I felt like getting off. Looking back I couldn't tell anyone what area of the city I ended up in, but it was much quieter and more peaceful. It still didn't wow me, though. Kinda disappointing but hey, can't win them all, right? Let's get onto the coasters -

 

Walibi Holland!

 

I was expecting mediocrity aside from two rides here. Lost Gravity and Goliath. The rest of the park seemed like a place I could dismiss pretty easily and while I wasn't completely right, it certainly has it's share of crap. First off, I'm ECSTATIC that Walibi has ended their love affair with Vekoma and have started talking with Mack more. Pulsar at Walibi Belgium and Lost Gravity here are both A+ rides and I'm really hoping this is the start of a new, beautiful chapter for the parks. Speaking of beautiful, the park sure was! The landscaping is great and, for the most part, the park's layout is very good. They missed the mark in a HUGE way, though, but not having the Goliath plaza attached to anything. You have to walk in a loooooooooooooong loop around a whole section of the park to get to Goliath and then walk all the way back around. If they threw a path connecting Goliath to the El Condor (ugh) area it would be a massive help to foot traffic. Other than that, no complaints!

 

Lost Gravity - Holy sweet jesus balls on my face what the crapping hell just happened?! THIS RIDE IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!! It's compact, twisty, funky, weird, awesome, and there's fireballs and geysers. If I had a checklist for an incredible ride, this one hit all of them. From start to finish this thing is completely ridiculous. Pictures and video can't prepare you for just how wild and silly it all is. Seat 8 is the best seat in the house, though. While all of the seats create an incredible ride, seat 8 is night and day compared to any other seat in the car. I don't know why, it just is. I know I said video doesn't fully represent the ride, but watch it anyway. It's excellent.

 

 

Goliath - Ahhhhh, Intamin hyper goodness! This one is a bit older but it doesn't matter. It still has airtime out the yin-yang and rides pretty damn smooth! It also has some serious positive Gs at the base of the first drop that I wasn't expecting at all! The Stengel Dive is still one of the standout moments on any coaster you'll ride, too! For added fun, lean to the right as you go through it. Tons of fun and tons of air!

 

Xoress - Recently re-themed and actually a lot of fun! Sure, the ride is just an outdoor Rock N' Rollercoaster, but they've managed to make the overall experience very memorable! I have no idea what the themeing used to be, if there was any at all, but the new story and queue line is great! It's apparently a haunted subway platform. The queue line is basically a walkthrough haunt that, if they're not doing it already, they should TOTALLY use as a haunted house for the Halloween event. All they would need it to add live actors. Everything else is already there. Triggered effects, forced perspective, sight gags, story, all of it is here and ready to go. The ride even has an explosion and and excellent launch tunnel light show!

 

El Condor - The world's first SLC. Dear god this ride is awful on a level I didn't think possible. If there were a microphone on me during my ride it'd be the most profane stream of words you could imagine. The FCC would forever prohibit me from opening my mouth again. I want this ride to get the mechanical version of crabs, herpes, gonorrhea, and the clap, then proceed to die a slow and miserable death screaming in agony. Did that go too far? I don't care. The hell with this ride.

 

Robin Hood - Remember that other old Vekoma woodie at Walibi Belgium that wasn't great but wasn't terrible thanks to the trains? That's not the case here. These trains are the same but with hard padding. It hurts. It hurts a lot. Skip it.

 

Speed Of Sound - This ride is proof that onboard audio can make any ride awesome. It's a boomerang, but it's a boomerang with a soundtrack, and that soundtrack managed to take my mind off the fact that I was on any ol' bommerang, which made it a lot of fun! It's still a boomerang but it's a boomerang that is not worth skipping.

 

Spinning Vibe - I've never seen this ride before and that's a shame, because this is one of the most fun flat rides I've ever been on! It's not intense, it's not a spin n' puke, it's just a huge laugh-fest that I want in every park! If I had to describe it I'd say it's a cross between a Scrambler, Breakdance, and Troika. I wasn't expecting much but it delivered in spades!

 

And finally, photo time!

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Pretty sight to see walking into the park.

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Twisty!

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Xpress queue

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Spinning Vibe! This ride rocks!

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I remember watching Spinning Vibe go through a cycle, and trying to figure out wtf it

actually did. Then I rode it. Loved it! Rode it three times. The ride op thought I was crazy.

 

The back seat of Goliath was an awesome find for myself. The pull was amazing. And yes,

Speed of Sound is underrated, since it is a Boomerang. But the soundtrack and the tunnel

added so much, to the whole ride.

 

Glad you enjoyed the majority of the park, with those couple of (Condor;Robin Hood) burps, aside.

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I've been reading your excellent TR and it's great that Mack has a couple of winners with Pulsar and Lost Gravity. Compared to Intamin and B&M they have seemed a little lost among the other manufacturers, at least in the States. I'm hoping we see more from them in the U.S. in the near future.

 

Spinning Vibe is a Huss Magic, which they no longer produce. I believe Marineland in Niagara Falls is the only North American park with one. With Huss bringing out 2nd generation rides for their Enterprise and Condor I hope we see more of their former rides like the Magic get a 2G remake.

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Did you utilize the Fast Lane system at Walibi Holland? If so can you please explain briefly how it works. According to their website you do everything through your smartphone!

 

No we did not as the park wasn't nearly busy enough to warrant its use. The longest line was 20 minutes for Lost Gravity in the afternoon. You are right about it being done through your smartphone, though. The system was explained in case we ended up getting it and it sounded like it was run like the usual Q-Bot system, just instead of an actual Q-Bot you used an app with QR codes for the ride ops to scan you in.

 

I've been reading your excellent TR and it's great that Mack has a couple of winners with Pulsar and Lost Gravity. Compared to Intamin and B&M they have seemed a little lost among the other manufacturers, at least in the States. I'm hoping we see more from them in the U.S. in the near future.

 

Spinning Vibe is a Huss Magic, which they no longer produce. I believe Marineland in Niagara Falls is the only North American park with one. With Huss bringing out 2nd generation rides for their Enterprise and Condor I hope we see more of their former rides like the Magic get a 2G remake.

 

Mack has always been a solid company, IMHO. They've never made a "bad" ride that I've been on. At their worst Mack makes fun family style rides. At their best they make Lost Gravity and Blue Fire. In recent years they've been knocking it out of the park every chance they get! Unfortunately it's been mostly in European markets but with the amount of success they've had with everything recently you can bet that the North American parks are going to be looking into them much more. Also, thanks for the info about Spinning Vibe. I really hope you're correct about the Huss Renaissance.

 

I'll continue this TR later on today. No time right now as I need to prepare for a pretty huge appointment this afternoon.

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I'm back! Wait, what the crap? This post ended up on PAGE 2?! Nobody goes to Page 2. I mean, not unless they're searching for something. Sheesh, guess I need to ramp up the quality of these posts. Let's start by having a ton of pictures of...

 

Heide Park!

 

Alright, we won't start with them. They always come at the end or sometimes not at all, kinda like your date on prom night.

 

Hey kiddos, guess what?! I lied again! We're not getting started with Heide, we're getting started with Pott's Park! What is Pott's Park, you ask? It's a traditional German family fun park full of death machines and other awesome crap! Here's some literature for you duders (and dudetters) -

 

http://www.pottspark-minden.de/

 

I'll be honest with you guys, I skipped the rollerskater. Why? More time on the slides o' death, obviously! Priorities, guys. I've been on rollerskaters before. I've also been on slides o' death before, but I prefer the thrill of possibly dying a horribly mangled and painful death on the slides over an "alright" family coaster. Let's get started with the truly unique ride here, though...

 

Turbo Dragons - It's a powered suspended swinging coaster crossed with an alpine slide because you're able to control the speed of your car. It's definitely a funky little ride and it doesn't go fast at all but you do manage to get some good swings! Unfortunately once you really get swinging towards the end the ride auto-brakes for the return to the station. Who would have thought there would be a safety feature at one of these parks? Cute ride.

 

Hoppel-Hase - Hump a rabbit as you go around the track. If you got a funny feeling watching Zootopia this ride may not be best for you considering this is a family park, you weirdo.

 

Swingslopp - Hump a pig to go down the track. Then hump a pig backwards to go back the way you came. Same warning as Hoppel-Hase.

 

Wildwasserbahn Pottwal - It's a log flume! No log flume song from me, though.

 

Flying Fish - Self operated swinging ride that does a full loop without going upside-down. Kinda weird but fun. The only problem is it took forever to reset at the end and let me off.

 

Wave Runabout - Wet-dry slides with a ton of airtime! I almost took out a kid who was standing on the runoff area like a dope when I came careening down the slide.

 

Spring Boat - Self operated boat launcher! These things are a ton of fun as well as terrifying. I always feel like the structure is gonna collapse under me or the boat is gonna sink.

 

Potzi-Mobile - Self operated swinging ship for two! Pull the rope to activate the motor, keep holding the rope to poop your pants when you realize this thing is swinging WAY more than you anticipated! Holy crap it gets frightening. It won't do a full loop but it does go past vertical.

 

Rondo - Self operated looping weird thing, also known as a Luna Loop. Press this button to flip forwards, press this button to flip backwards, let go of button to hold the car in whatever position it's currently in. It's fun to flip it over then hold it upside-down while the person you're riding with has a panic attack.

 

Slide O' Death - While not the tallest I've seen these are all fantastically evil! The spiral slides threw me off the mat almost immediately and I spent the entire time bruising my shoulder at high speed and then fell off the runoff at the end. The triple-hump slide got me airborne. The near-vertical drop slide almost made me leave a brown streak behind me. Six slides in total and they're all friggin insane!

 

There's also a ton of other things to do like a children's museum, various playgrounds, water games, etc. Tons of fun! Now let's get this show on the road to Heide!

 

Heide Park

 

I really wish I could say the park has gotten even better since my last visit in 2012 but that's simply not true. The rides are, for the most part, great but unfortunately Merlin has turned this place from a wonderful park into a Six Flags wannabe. Tons of unsupervised kids running around being rude, line jumping, closed attractions, trash left on walkways, etc. Let's just run the gauntlet -

 

Big Loop - Skipped it. I rode it in 2012 and it sucked enough back then.

 

Colossos - The reports of this becoming very rough are outright lies! Yeah, it's slightly bumpier but it's still incredibly smooth by wooden coaster standards! The speed and the airtime are still there in spades, too! Nonstop awesome on this thing! You'll never get tired of hearing the Intamin burp while in the queue line, and that's a good thing because the queue takes forever because the park doesn't believe in using their front-of-line system every day.

 

Desert RitaRace - It's a black & tan copy of Rita at Alton Towers, which is AWESOME! Tons of positive Gs and big airtime on the hills. Unfortunately this was another victim of a long unnecessary line because the front-of-line wasn't in use.

 

Flug Der Damonen - Hey, it's a wingrider that's not completely boring! I mean, that's not saying much. It's still pretty drawn out and forceless but at least it's super twisty! Riding in the back on the outer seats is the best ride. If you're riding barefoot like I was (wore sandals this day) watch out for the local flora tickling your toesies. Someone needs to use a weedwhacker around the ride. Also this has to be the longest queue line outside of Dueling Dragons I've ever seen. It just kept friggin' going. It does snake around under the ride the entire time, though, providing some excellent photo ops. Take a ride with Derek -

 

 

Grottenblitz - Powered credit with broken horses. Yep, the fighting horses no longer fight. They just kinda stare at each other angrily. Oh, well.

 

Krake - Great little dive machine that only is saved by the themeing. If this ride didn't have the themeing and splashdown it would be forgettable in an instant, but it instead is awesome! Nice drop into a monster's mouth, huge skloosh, and surprise airtime! Here, check out the skloosh-zone -

 

 

Now watch what happens when my stupid ass stays in THE EXACT SAME SPOT for the next train -

 

 

Yeah, thought I was safe. Nope. Love this ride, though!

 

Limit - Shut down all day. Thank god.

 

Schweizer Bobbahn - Probably the longest bobsled coaster I've ever seen. It'll vibrate you in all the right places.

 

Grachtenfahrt - Tiny spinning boat ride that we almost sunk! The ride op started laughing when he saw three full-size Americans climb into one boat. I think we were an inch from flooding the boat when we left the station.

 

Dragon Cave - It's the new How To Train Your Dragon ride! Hooray! Oh, wait, I actually rode it. Ummm...at least there's fire? And fog? The rest of HTTYD-land is just Dumbo rides but this is the rethemed Kanalfahrt and it's truly a sight to see. I mean it.

 

Mountain Rafting - Europe really knows how to do rapids rides right! Long, fun, not super wet unless you get the magic seat, and the rapids throw the boat around pretty well.

 

Scream - Intamin Gyro-Drop! Wahoo!!!!!! Oh, wait, it's closed, too. Dammit.

 

Hotel Bar Show - There's hot chicks, acrobats, fire, pirates, and beer. Enjoy it!

 

We still had a lot of fun at Heide, it's just a shame to see how much it's fallen in four years. I hope Merlin wakes up and manages to get the park back on track. Onto the pictures!

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Pott's Park Slides O' Death!!!!!

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Psychadelic mirror dome in the museum area of Pott's Park.

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Toothless is attacking our hotel!

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Colossos is still intimidating as hell.

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Desert RitaRace with Colossos in the background.

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Pretty

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Splish

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Splash

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Hiya, Toothless!

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Ducks.

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Wheeee!

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Twistyness!

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Sploosh

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Fire!

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More fire!

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Acrobatics!

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Questionable content.

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I felt guilty leaving an update with no pictures. That means most of you probably didn't read.

 

 

WRONG! I even read the descriptions withOUT pictures. WHY? Because you have such a cool, edgy sense-of-humor. And I think writers with a sense-of-humor DESERVE to be read!

 

Thanks for a really rip-roarin' trip report.

 

 

Alice

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Everyone here ready for the huge surprise park of the trip? Of course you are! Journey with me to the magical wonderland of homegrown awesome that is...

 

HANSA PARK!

 

Let's get something clear. This is another park that I was pretty well in the dark about except for two rides. Fluch Von Novgorod and Karnan, the park's two largest coasters, were the only thing I'd ever paid attention to. The rest of the park wasn't even on my radar. Not because it didn't look fun, it's just that all of my attention got pulled to the Gerstlauer funkiness. Can you blame me? Lucky for me, this park is like a German Knoebels (with way more themeing)! It used to be a Legoland and now it's a family-owned park full of excellent, unique rides and alcoholic crepes.

 

Speaking of the alcoholic crepes, I ordered a Gran Marnier crepe expecting a flavored syrup. Nope, she just poured a lot of liquor directly on the crepe with some sugar and folded it. If that isn't enough to sell you on a visit to this park I don't know if you can be helped. While we're on the subject of food, let's also talk about pretzels. See, Hansa has this amazing pretzel bar by the front of the park where they bake all kinds of delicious German pretzels fresh and sell them to you straight out of the oven. They're cheap, they're fresh, they're the tastiest pretzel you'll find, and like I said they come in all varieties. You can get plain, you can get spinach and tomato, you can get one covered with a pound of cheese, you can get one covered in two pounds of cheese, you can get one covered in five pounds of cheese with tomato and cocaine. I may be lying about one of those. Doesn't matter because you'll want to try them all anyway. It's kinda like Pokemon (gotta catch 'em all) but you eat the Pokemon in this case. I hear Pikachu is delicious. I've also seen some weird Pokemon porn where Pikachu was...well, you get the picture. Again, stop judging me. Look at your own internet history before throwing stones.

 

Still on the food topic? Sure, why not? Lunch at this park was an accident waiting to happen. For some reason the park felt it would be great if this group of foreigners lit their own fires and grilled their own various meats and potatoes. Luckily we escaped with minimal injuries but I'm sure the amount of chemicals we inhaled while attempting to light the fires will come back to haunt us like a coal miner's black lung. Oh, well, if I'm going out I'm going out having delicious dead animals in my mouth. Take that out of context, huh? The food was delicious as we were given bratwursts, sausages, turkey skewers, a thousand baked potatoes, potato salad, coleslaw, and maybe other things. I'm not sure exactly, I just know the park gave us an incredible amount of food and enough baked potatoes to make Idaho jealous.

 

Alright, enough about the excellent munchies options at this park, let's get to the reason you're all really here, the rides! Let's start with the best -

 

SPACE RACE!!!!! - Space Race, y'all! Take bumper cars that have serious power behind them, put them indoors with blacklights, strobes, and disco lights, add a soundtrack and laser guns, and you have Space Race. Definitely one of the top bumper car attractions I've done and they're made even better by the random people screaming obscenities in German. 10/10 would pew pew Germans again.

 

Karnan - Or Schwur Des Karnan if you go by the guidebooks. This ride, I don't know what to tell you guys. It's big, it's intimidating, it's fast, but it just didn't live up to the hype. I found it boring and forceless.

 

PSYCHE! HOLY FLIPPING CRAP BALLS FROM HELL THIS BEAST IS THE MOST RIDICULOUSLY INSANE RIDE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Yeah, it's THAT good. I won't spoil any of the surprises that happen inside the building, of course, just know that this ride was created by some sick people who really know how to innovate and scare the piss out of people. As for the exterior portion? Oh lawd sweet jesus, I didn't know forces like this were possible. I got extreme, murderous airtime EVERYWHERE! Not just over hills, I got airtime in twists, in overbanks, at the base of drops, at the downhill sections, at the uphill sections, on the brakes, after the brakes, in the turns, FRIGGIN EVERYWHERE, PEOPLE! THIS. RIDE. BREAKS. PHYSICS. How? I don't know. It just does. Gerstlauer is full of wizards who create their own gravitational laws. I cannot say enough good things about this ride. It is a psychotic machine that should not exist in this world. This is like the Captain Planet of rollercoasters. Take the best parts of Intamin, RMC, Mack, B&M (Twisty, airtime, innovation, height) and with those powers combined IT IS KARNAN! I said godDAMN this ride is incredible. The most intense coaster I've ever ridden.

 

Fluch Von Novgorod - Aside from Mystery Mine this is the best themed Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter on the planet. The queue line is creepy with a few interactive touches, the ride is a mix between a dark ride, an opera performance, and a coaster, and the exit is a fun house complete with a slide and a maze. The surprise launch has one hell of a kick to it and the outdoor portion is a fast and furious twisty ride only to be followed by another quick indoor portion that's pitch black. Loved it, just be prepared to brace against the Gerstlauer shudder.

 

Crazy Mine - Wild mouse with no brakes until the end. Well themed but painful.

 

Nessie - Classic Schwarzkopf goodness with one hell of a view! Being so close to the Baltic Sea provides wonderful views on the lift and long turnaround before the first drop. There's some nice airtime in places, too. Someone made the bad decision of putting the brake run indoors and anyone who's ridden a Schwarzkopf knows how loud those brakes are. Imagine that sound enclosed and echoed.

 

Rasender Roland - The longest Rollerskater I've ever been on. It's a very fun family ride that passes through Nessie's loop twice and has good laterals. It even goes over a pond!

 

Schlange Von Midgaard - The best themed kiddy coaster you'll ever see. Nothing thrilling at all but it's almost entirely over the water, has some cool effets, and you go under a waterfall. Nothing wrong with that!

 

Rio Dorado - Spinning raft ride where you don't get wet until the fountain squirters at the end. I've been on these before and really enjoy them! They spin like there's no tomorrow and this one is at least twice as long as the standard model. Tons and tons of spinning!

 

Spanische Glocke - AKA Bell: The Ride. The only thing this ride has going against it is the atrocious capacity. Six riders per cycle. I'm not joking. The ride itself is essentially a Frisbee that has fountains and fire and it's a huge amount of fun, the only problem is that it's so low capacity so this style will never be seen anywhere else ever. Who designs a ride to hold only six people at once?! It's madness, I tell you!

 

Wildwasserfahrt - Probably the wettest log flume of the trip. It looks so nice from the outside but holy crap it'll drench you! Lots of fun and it's a decent length, just watch out for that final splash because it's mean!

 

Let's get to the photos! Not many today, I was too busy riding Karnan a thousand times and my brain melted from the intensity.

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