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South Pier - June 2018

 

Hello everyone!

 

From June 23th to June 26th 2018, I went for my first ever time to the United Kingdom to visit the major theme parks the country has to offer. I spent my first day at Thorpe Park, my second day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and South Pier, and my third and fourth day at Alton Towers.

 

On June 24th, I visited South Pier. The park is located about 200 m from Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which I visited earlier that day. South Pier is one of three piers in Blackpool, and it actually was my first park I have ever done on a pier. South Pier has a very solid fun fair, which despite its rather small size manages to pack a punch with a good mix of travelling-model rides. There are some pretty extreme experiences available, including Sky Coaster and Sky Screamer, but they both require an up-charge (£15). New for 2018 is Crazy Coaster, a very solid spinning Wild Mouse. Sadly, it is currently the only Mouse coaster in Blackpool. South Pier also has a great bar, good food, some typical fairground games and an arcade.

 

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Welcome to South Pier!

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It was my first ever park on a pier.

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The first half of the pier is mainly home to bars, fairground games and the arcade.

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Lots of different games are available in the arcade.

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The second half of the pier is where all the rides are located, except for the log flume, which is placed next to the entrance of the pier. The log flume was fun, but nothing too special. I didn't get too wet either.

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South Pier also has quite a few rides for kids.

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BrakeDance is the first thrill ride you will come across. It is probably one of the better ones I have done.

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The carousel looked nice, but I didn't ride it.

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They even have a bouncy slide.

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The pier is also home to the Dodgems, which were one of the fastest ones I have done. I always love a good dodgems, and this one was very, very good.

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While I absolutely love airtime, these type of rides make me feel really sick really fast. I did consider riding it, but the cycle lasted for at least 5 minutes. I am pretty sure that would have been too much for me, so I didn't ride X-Factor.

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It is maybe hard to believe, but this was the first Waltzer I have ridden. The ride was okay, I probably wouldn't ride it again.

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I was really looking forward to trying the Sky Coaster, but unlike what the sign says, it was closed. Bummer.

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Sky Screamer - the bungee ride - was open, though! I have done quite a few of these bungee rides now, a lot of them being a lot taller than this one. But Sky Screamer is at the top of my list. This ride is awesome! The launch is pretty forceful and I flipped upside down a good few times, but the highlight of this ride is clearly the view that you get while you are up in the air. In my opinion, this is the best ride South Pier has to offer.

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Some other bungee rides I have done have better launches, but this one has the views!

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Maybe the closed Sky Coaster would have given me another opinion, but this ride is the star attraction of South Pier.

Crazy Coaster (5/10)

Crazy Coaster is the standard Reverchon spinning coaster you see a lot at local fairs. While the layout is pretty much identical, the main advantage Crazy Coaster has, is that it is located right near the end of the pier. While riding the coaster, you get some amazing views from Blackpool's seaside. Also, because it is located on the end of the pier, you feel a lot higher up than you actually are and on the corners it really feels like you might fall into the deep. I am not a massive fan of spinning coasters, so the ride itself was okay. The drops and the little airtime hill near the end of the ride did give some pretty solid airtime. I didn't spin too much during my ride, but I saw other cars spinning like a top. The ride is also very smooth. Because of its location, Crazy Coaster is probably my favorite one of this model.

 

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It is time to ride the new-for-2018 coaster - Crazy Coaster.

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The first part of the ride is non-spinning, while you will spin like crazy on the second part of the ride.

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Because Crazy Coaster is located on the end of the pier, you are literally riding a coaster above the water.

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Spinning around on Crazy Coaster.

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Really, the location of this ride is what makes it worth a visit to South Pier alone.

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The little airtime hill near the end of the ride provides a good pop of airtime.

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You get some crazy views on Crazy Coaster.

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On the corners, it really feels like you might fall into the water.

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It is the best Reverchon spinning coaster I have done.

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Hairtime!

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The proof that the earth is flat...

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You can get some stunning views from the end of pier.

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South Pier is located nearby Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It is really worth a visit after a day of riding classic rides, and Icon!

So overall, I had a great time at my first ever visit to park on a pier. The highlight was defenitely the bungee ride, followed by Crazy Coaster. I can highly suggest visiting South Pier after a visit to the Pleasure Beach. It is a brilliant way to end your day.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Great report! Glad to see South Pier added another spinning mouse.

 

I'm a bit shocked you weren't impressed by the Waltzer. That really is one of the best flats I've ridden. The operator was running that thing ridiculously fast.

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^Thank you!

 

I'm a bit shocked you weren't impressed by the Waltzer. That really is one of the best flats I've ridden. The operator was running that thing ridiculously fast.

 

Hmm, that is very interesting. When I rode it, it was pretty tame, to be honest. It was fun, but not as fast or crazy as you are describing. If that has anything to do with the operator, than it is a real shame I didn't get to experience the ride at its full potential...

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Alton Towers (Wicker Man) - June 2018

 

Hello everyone!

 

From June 23th to June 26th 2018, I went for my first ever time to the United Kingdom to visit the major theme parks the country has to offer. I spent my first day at Thorpe Park, my second day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and South Pier, and my third and fourth day at Alton Towers.

 

On June 25th and June 26th, I visited Alton Towers. Alton Towers has always been on top of my bucket list, so it was my most anticipated park of the trip. If you have read my previous reports, you know that I love theme parks with a lot of natural beauty. So yes, my expectations for this park were pretty high. And guess what, Alton Towers surely lived up to its billing - I loved this place! It has a very good collection of coasters combined with the gorgeous gardens and, of course, the Towers itself. It really is one of the most beautiful parks I have visited, it was even better than I expected it to be. Alton Towers is also very well maintained, that goes for the rides, the Towers and the gardens. The park is spread across a huge area, so be preperad for a ton of walking. I am used to walking big distances between rides, since my home park is Efteling, but Alton Towers is on another level though, mainly due to the park being very hilly.

 

Just like the previous days of my trip, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Combining the beautiful sunshine with it being one of the last weeks of school in the UK, it resulted in the park being very, very busy. Queue times exceeding 60 minutes were not an exception. The biggest queues were for Smiler, Wicker Man and Galactica (thanks VR). For my two days, I decided to buy Fastrack. With Fastrack, the longest I have waited was about 30 minutes for Galactica. Most of the other rides were a 5-10 minute wait.

 

The most annoying about Alton Towers was the fact that the park shuts at 4 pm. Fortunately, I was staying on-site, so I was able to get in 30 minutes of early ride time (which was actually more like 30 minutes of early queue time). But still, 6.5 hours at a park this massive with such big crowds is unbelievable. I barely got to do everything once with Fastrack on my first day, and I really had to hurry. So I was very happy I had another day to experience the rides this amazing park has to offer.

 

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I am finally here at Alton Towers!

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As soon as you enter the park, you are greeted by the frogs on Towers Street.

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What an impressive view when you enter the park.

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Let's explore CBeebies Land.

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It is a very busy kids area, with most of the queue times around 30 minutes.

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It is a very well themed area.

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With lots of great rides for kids.

Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure (3.5/10)

Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure is an excellent kiddie coaster with some very cute theming. You get two laps on it, and each time the whale shoots out water and there are coming bubbles out of the station. The coaster was very smooth, too. The real star of the ride was the operator, though. He was making sure everyone left the ride with a huge smile on their faces, including me.

 

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Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure is the park's junior coaster.

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The whale shoots out water everytime you pass by.

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It is a very good coaster for the smallest children.

Spinball Whizzer (5.5/10)

Spinball Whizzer is one of the larger spinning coasters. The ride was fairly well themed, and had a better-than-average layout. You get a few pops of airtime here and there, which I didn't expect. The second drop is the largest one and we were spinning while going down this drop, so that was most likely my highlight of the ride. I am not a massive fan of spinning coasters, which is the reason why I don't rate this one higher.

 

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Spinball Whizzer is the park's spinning coaster which is themed to a giant pinball machine.

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The ride itself is actually pretty good for a spinning coaster.

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The highlight for me was the second drop, where you spin while you are going down.

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It is actually one of the better spinning coasters out there.

Smiler (9/10)

I have heard a lot of different opinions about the Smiler; some find it very rough and do not like it at all, some call it one of their favorite coasters. I tend more towards the latter group. While the ride isn't the smoothest one out there, it is definitely not rough. It has a few bumps here and there going through the 14 different inversions, but that is about it. It didn't take away from the ride experience at all. The Smiler is simply amazing! It just keeps on going and going, inversion after inversion. The ride starts with a small drop out of the station, whereafter you go through an heartline roll with excellent hangtime, before going up the first lift hill. The drop itself wasn't memorable, but like most coasters at Alton Towers, it gives the ride the speed that it needs. Next, the first part of the inversion party begins. Some inversions provide hangtime, while others whip you around - It is an excellent mix. I did expect the ride to be more forceful though, maybe a helix at the end of the ride would have been a bonus, but the two ejector airtime hills going through the "smiling device" more than made up fo that. After the first half of the ride (which doesn't feel like half a coaster at all), you climb the ride's second lift hill. Other than the lift hill being vertical, the second part was very similar to the first half; same type of inversions and same ejector airtime hill. Also, the theming was rather unique, but well done. I actually liked Smiler a lot more than I originally thought I would. It really is a fantastic coaster. Smiler ended up being my favorite coaster at Alton Towers.

 

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X-Sector is the area of the park where Smiler and Oblivion are located.

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Smiler is a fantastic coaster, that just keeps going and going.

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The ride has two lift hills, one of them being vertical.

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The first drop isn't memorable, but it gives the ride the speed that it needs.

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Let the inversion party begin!

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Smile. Always.

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Smiler also has two ejector airtime hills.

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I was expecting more positive G's, but the ride was still very intense, nonetheless.

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The second part was very similar to the first half, but still excellent.

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Some inversions provide excellent hangtime, while others whip you around whereafter you plunge towards the ground.

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It really is a mess of track.

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Smiler isn't the smoothest coaster, but it definitely isn't rough.

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A helix after the double corkscrew would have made this ride even better.

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It is also very easy to get a two train shot on the Smiler, thanks to park's great operations.

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Another two train shot.

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Smiler ended up being my favorite coaster at Alton Towers.

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The park is also home to an Enterprise.

Oblivion (7.5/10)

Oblivion is the original Dive coaster, so I was very excited how the drop would compare to some of the newer ones out there. The layout isn't anything special, but that drop is truly amazing. The tunnel looks like a black hole when are you hanging there at the top of the drop. The drop has got an outstanding freefall sensation, where I was out of my seat the whole way down. It is my favorite drop on a Dive coaster. The rest of the ride didn't do much, just a turn towards the brake run. I also love the theming of Oblivion, it is so well done and it really builds up the hype. I prefer Baron 1898, but for being the prototype it is a really great ride.

 

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It is time to ride the original Dive coaster - Oblivion.

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You are looking straight down into a black hole you are hanging there at the top of the drop.

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The layout is very basic, just a drop and a turn.

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The ride might be very short, but the drop really is outstanding. It is my favorite drop on a Dive coaster.

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Don't. Look. Down.

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Hex is a fantastic dark ride located inside the Towers. I knew it was going to be a Mad House, but I was pleasantly surprised with how awesomely themed this ride is. The storyline is also very well put together.

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The Towers are located in the centre of the park. You can see them from almost anywhere.

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What a fantastic location for a theme park.

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Alton Towers is one of the most gorgeous parks I have done.

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You wouldn't say that I am in one of the biggest theme parks in the Europe.

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Alton Towers is also home to another kids area; Cloud Cuckoo Land.

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While CBeebies Land was rammed, this area was pretty much deserted. I can definitely see why, because CBeebies Land has a lot more rides and looks a hundred times better.

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You can learn how to drive a car at Alton Towers! Well, sort of..

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Time to explore the next area of the park - Dark Forest, which is home to Rita and Thirteen.

Rita (7/10)

Rita was my next coaster. I already rode Desert Race at Heide Park, so I knew what to expect from this ride; a very solid launch coaster. The launch had some good kick to it, but was nothing compared the Stealth's launch I experienced a couple of days earlier. The two hills provided a quick pop of strong floater airtime and the turns were pretty forceful. It actually has a decent length to it, which can't be said about most of these models. The theming was okay, probably one of the weaker themed rides at the resort. Rita is one of my least favorite launch coasters, but it still is a very solid and fun ride.

 

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Rita is very similar to Desert Race at Heide Park; a very solid launch coaster.

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The launch was probably one of the weaker hydraulic launches, but even then it is still pretty forceful.

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The two hills provide a good pop of airtime.

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The turns provided some good positive G's.

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Rita wasn't as short as some of the other launch coasters, which is always a bonus.

Thirteen (7/10)

I was pleasantly surprised by Thirteen. It is a family coaster, but not the standard one. The first drop provided some unexpected airtime in the back, but that was about it for airtime during the ride. It weaves through the forest, which was the best part before the indoor section. The real highlight of Thirteen was the second half of the ride. It was actually my first coaster that had a drop track, so I didn't really know what to expect from it. But it was awesome! The ride ends with a pitch black backwards section that has some tight turns and some surprising forces. The theming is very well done, and the drop track is very well hidden and themed, too. I liked Thirteen more than I expected, it really is one of the better family coasters out there.

 

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Thirteen is an excellent family coaster. I was pleasantly surprised by this coaster.

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The gardens look amazing!

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Mutiny Bay is another themed area of the park.

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It is home to quite a few family rides.

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What a beautiful park it is.

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The Splash Battle was very popular. Not that surprising, because it was absolutely roasting that day.

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The park is huge. You can choose so many different paths to go to an area of the park. You are easily walking 10-15 minutes between some rides.

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Katanga Canyon is home the park's rapid ride.

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Congo River Rapids.

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It always like a good rapids. I didn't get too wet on this one, though.

Nemesis (8.5/10)

Nemesis was my most anticipated coaster at Alton Towers. It is considered by many as one of the best Inverts out there, and I can definitely see why. Nemesis looks stunning. The amount of landscaping around the ride is incredible and the theming of the station looked really good, too. You start your ride with a right turn out of the station whereafter you start climbing the rather small lift hill. The first drop wasn't really a first drop, but more of a gradual turn into the first inversion. This corkscrew whips you through it, and at this point I knew I was in for a real treat. What follows is a very, very high-G helix, probably the most intense part of the ride. The zero-G roll that follows is fast and furious. It is only after the turn that follows that Nemesis will hit its max speed. The next inversion was the vertical loop, which was again very forceful. The ride ended with another intense and very whippy corkscrew. To add to all of this, Nemesis was full of foot-choppers, which made this coaster even better. Nemesis is intense, but not as intense as some other Inverts out there, like Monster or Batman: Arkham Asylum. However, I prefer Nemesis because of the incredible landscaping and the rather unique layout. I still prefer Black Mamba over Nemesis, though.

 

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It is finally time for one of my most anticipated coasters of the trip.

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"The world's most intense ride experience".

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You start your ride with climbing the surprisingly small lift hill.

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The first inversion of the ride was already very forceful.

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The amount of landscaping around this ride is incredible.

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Nemesis will hit its max speed right before the vertical loop, halfway through the ride.

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The most intense part of the ride was probably the helix right after the first inversion.

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Nemesis is very intense, but not the "world's most intense ride experience".

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What makes Nemesis really unique is the amount of foot-choppers and the excellent landscaping this ride has to offer. Combined with a unique layout and a very intense ride, you really have one of the best coasters in Europe.

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Nemesis is my new favorite Invert.

Galactica (6.5/10)

It was time to ride my first ever Flying coaster, Galactica. I really dislike VR, so I only rode it the way it was meant to be ridden (also because the queue for VR was four times as long). The ride starts with a straight drop without any airtime through the portal (that is very photogenic, by the way), whereafter the fly-to-lie inversion gave some good forces that I had never experienced before. That was probably the highlight of the coaster. The rest of the ride doesn't do much, you are just meandering around the terrain. It was fun flying around, but the ride could have used a few more exciting elements and some more forces. I also really didn't like the restraints, you are so strapped in and have no freedom at all. I know, that is the only way to make you feel like flying, but Galactica wasn't really my cup of tea.

 

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Galactica was my first ever Flying coaster.

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I didn't really like the restraints on Galactica. I prefer coasters where you have more freedom.

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I didn't ride the VR version, because 1) I don't like VR at all, and 2) I am not going to wait in a queue of 60 minutes.

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The ride starts with a straight drop through the portal.

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Galactica doesn't really do much, it just meanders above the pathways and the terrain.

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It would have been a lot better if the coaster had more unique elements and a bit more force.

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It was fun flying around, but it is not one of my favorite coaster types.

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The fly-to-lie inversion gave some good forces that I had never experienced before.

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Duel was a very good interactive dark ride with a few good scares. I really love these kind of rides.

Runaway Mine Train (4/10)

Runaway Mine Train is one of the best powered coasters I have done. It has a very unique layout, good theming and a tunnel. Also, it interacts very well with the park's rapids ride.

 

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Runaway Mine Train is the park's powered coaster.

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The ride was very fun. One of the better ones I have experienced.

Wicker Man (8.5/10)

The newest coaster at Alton Towers is Wicker Man. It is clearly the best themed coaster at the park, it is a world class experience. The coaster itself isn't the best GCI out there, but what really makes this coaster superb is the theming, the atmosphere and the music around the area and the ride - it really is phenomenal. It all starts with the incredible pre-show. I won't spoil it for anyone, but it is one of the best pre-shows I have seen. The ceremony commences when you make a right turn out of the station into a pitch black tunnel that is full with smoke. Next, you will start your climb on the quirky lift hill that has two different angles of ascent. The turn towards and part of the first drop is completely enclosed. After some decent floater airtime on the first drop, you will enter an airtime hill that provides very good airtime in the front and back seats. This airtime hill is also enclosed, which really gives you a feeling like you're flying through the course. What follows is arguably the best part of the ride; the airtime hill ends with a sharp declined right hand turn that gives some surprising forces, followed by a fast and airtime-full transition into a left turn towards the first interaction with the massive Wicker Man structure. You make a turn over the entrance and the queue line of the ride before going through the structure for a second time, whereafter there is some more airtime going in the following turn and another airtime filled transition into a left turn. The ride then makes an unbanked right turn providing some good lateral forces, before dipping down with loads of airtime towards the third and final interaction with the Wicker Man. The following turns give again some airtime in the transitions. A slight unbanked turn to the right guids the train towards the brake run where the ceremony doesn't end just yet. After the brakes, you wil enter another pitch black tunnel with some fire effects inside, that will bring you towards the station where there is "no escape to the right".

 

You interact with the Wicker Man itself for a total of three times, when the Wicker Man bursts into flames. At least that is what it is supposed to do, because the fire effects weren't working the days I was there. That was a bit of a shame, because I bet that would have looked stunning! Wicker Man is also very smooth, most likely the smoothest GCI I have done. In terms of other GCI's I have done, I probably rank it just behind Wodan and Troy. Wicker Man is one of the best overall experiences I have done, it truly is a stunning ride.

 

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The time has come for the Wicker Man to rise!

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You pass through this stunning Wikcer Man structure for a total of three times.

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The lift hill has two different angles of ascent, which looks kind of odd.

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The coaster itself isn't the best one out there, but the theming and the atmosphere that is built around the ride really makes this coaster phenomenal.

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Almost all of the transitions are full of airtime.

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Wicker Man is the smoothest GCI I have ridden.

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The interactions with the Wicker Man are all fantastic.

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Such a shame the fire effects weren't working, though. I bet it would have looked even better.

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Another look at the quirky lift hill.

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Despite there being a good amount of airtime in the back seat on the first drop, the tunnel makes it even better.

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The first airtime hill after the drop provides very good airtime in the front and back seats.

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The ride starts with an incredible pre-show, one of the best ones I have seen.

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After the unbanked turn, you drop down with loads of airtime towards the final interaction with the Wicker Man.

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This ride really is a world class experience.

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Wicker Man is full of airtime.

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It is a very impressive ride to look at.

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The highlight of the ride is this sharp declined right hand turn after the airtime hill, followed by a fast transition into a left turn.

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One last photo of the amazing Wicker Man to end this report.

So overall, I had an excellent time at this park. The highlights of the day were clearly Smiler, Nemesis and Wicker Man, which are three world class coasters. Out of the parks I went to on this trip, Alton Towers is for sure my favorite one. The natural surroundings and the theming of the rides at Alton Towers were just excellent throughout.

 

Thanks for reading!

Edited by JordyC
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Great report! Glad to hear that Wicker Man is a really great experience. I was a bit worried the modest stats and insane marketing campaign would lead to another Th13teen letdown, but it looks like Wicker Man actually has a solid ride to go with the theming.

 

As for Nemesis, I really think the only drawback is its short length. But I'd be hard pressed to name more intense inverts.

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^Thanks!

 

I was expecting Wicker Man to be a fun ride, like all the GCI'S. But it was way better than I expected. It truely is one of the best experiences in Europe!

 

I agree thet a longer layout would have made Nemesis even better, but I thought it still had a pretty decent length. As for the intensity, Nemesis is clearly a very intense ride. But when I rode Batman earlier this year, that ride tried to rip my face off! Maybe it is just me, but I just didn't quite get that sensation on Nemesis.. It still is one of the most intense coasters I have done, though.

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I did this exact trip late last summer and let me say it was wonderful to revisit in this form! I'm glad you got such great weather overall and low crowds at Blackpool.

 

I echo your sentiments exactly on Smiler and Nemesis, Smiler is totally the better coaster, Nemesis is super-short AND less intense than Batman the Ride. Also it's crazy that they are doing 4PM closes. There can't be another park in the world that is doing a 4PM close in late June...cost-cutting gone mad! Between the huge layout of the park and the queue times Fast Track is a necessity on literally any day.

 

Valhalla is the star of Blackpool. I have a soft spot for Boat rides, and my favorite two Disney attractions are Splash Mountain at WDW and Pirates at DLP. I would ride Valhalla over BOTH of those. If Maelstrom at Norway had been that good then it would have been worth saving!

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That 4 pm closing time is nuts. I went on a day where everything was a walk-on and I barely got on everything because of how long it took to get between each attraction. I really wonder how late they stayed open prior to the Smiler incident.

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I did this exact trip late last summer and let me say it was wonderful to revisit in this form! I'm glad you got such great weather overall and low crowds at Blackpool.

 

Thanks! The weather was indeed outstanding, much better than I anticipated.

 

I was planning to buy Fast Track at Blackpool, but I started my day with 4 rides on Icon in less then 30 minutes. So I thought maybe Fast Track isn't really necessary. luckily I hadn't bought it yet!

 

Also it's crazy that they are doing 4PM closes. There can't be another park in the world that is doing a 4PM close in late June...cost-cutting gone mad! Between the huge layout of the park and the queue times Fast Track is a necessity on literally any day.

 

It really is a shame the park closes this early. There were huge crowds, so they easily could have stayed open for a few more hours. Really, if I wouldn't have bought Fast Track, there is no way I could have done everything in one day. I am not even sure if my two days at the park would have been enough.

 

Valhalla is the star of Blackpool. I have a soft spot for Boat rides, and my favorite two Disney attractions are Splash Mountain at WDW and Pirates at DLP. I would ride Valhalla over BOTH of those. If Maelstrom at Norway had been that good then it would have been worth saving!

 

Valhalla is definitely a world class attraction. That ride alone is worth the trip to Blackpool! Now even more with their brand new coaster Icon.

 

That 4 pm closing time is nuts. I went on a day where everything was a walk-on and I barely got on everything because of how long it took to get between each attraction. I really wonder how late they stayed open prior to the Smiler incident.

 

The early closing is really unacceptable. I mean, it is one of the biggest parks in Europe that is open for only a 6 hour a day?

 

Acoording to this site, in 2015 the park was open from 10 - 18 at the end of June.

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Toverland (Fēnix) - July 2018

 

Hello everyone!

 

On Sunday July 8th, I visited Toverland to check out their two brand new themed areas; Port Laguna and Avalon, that both officially opened to the public the day before.

 

Port Laguna is Toverland's new entrance area, themed to an idyllic harbor town with shops, entertainment, a water playground and various interactive elements. When you have passed through the new entrance, you are in the middle of a harbor area with an atmospheric boulevard: the Via Magia. Several well-detailed buildings are located on this boulevard, with as eye-catcher the 27 meter tall lighthouse Solaris. The entrance area is also home to a large stage for entertainment in the summer months. However, the new entrance area Port Laguna isn't the only novelty at Toverland this year. They opened another themed area, called Avalon, which is themed to the Celtic legends around Merlin, King Arthur and the magical sword Excalibur. Avalon is home to a boatride with a dark ride section, Merlin's Quest, and a B&M Wing Coaster, Fēnix.

 

What are my thoughts?

 

Well, first of all, I can not stress enough how impressed I am that a very young park like Toverland has opened two fantastic new themed areas in the same year. Who would have thought that we would ever see a massive Wing coaster at this park? So massive congratulations to Toverland!

 

The new entrance area Port Laguna is the entrance this park really needed. From here, guests are able to enter the various themed areas of the park. The music and atmosphere around Port Laguna are excellent. The area looks gorgeous and there are lots of details everywhere you look; on the floor, in the walls, on the buildings and behind corners. You really feel immersed in this magical harbor town. Of course, the highlight of this area is Solaris, the beautiful lighthouse.

 

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Welcome to Toverland!

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The new entrance looks great.

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Port Laguna is the all new entrance area.

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It is themed to a magical harbor town.

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The (literal) highlight of the area is Solaris, the lighthouse.

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There are various shops and games around Port Laguna.

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The buildings around the entrance plaza look amazing.

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There even is a talking parrot.

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The entrance area is home to a large stage.

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The theming of this area is excellent, but the music around Port Laguna makes it even better.

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Lots of play equipment for the kids (and adults, too).

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It really is the main entrance area this park needed. It has such a lovely atmosphere.

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I really like the look of those buildings.

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There are lots of little details everywhere you look.

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Port Laguna is the proper entrance area this park really needed.

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Even the lockers are themed.

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There are quite a few special effects in Port Laguna. When you move the handle, the broom starts to move.

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For real, this area is so well themed.

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The stage will be used for events like the park's midsummer evening event, when Toverland is open until 11 pm.

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Solaris towers over Port Laguna.

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Port Laguna is like the central hub that connects the various themed areas of the park.

Avalon is the other new area at Toverland. I loved Port Laguna, but Avalon took it to the next level. This area is stunning. When you turn the corner leading up to Avalon, you are greeted by one of the most impressive views at any theme park. The airtime hill and the zero-G roll of Fēnix going over the lake and the boats of Merlin's Quest, with the sword Excalibur in the foreground really is something else. My mouth literally dropped open. Once again, this area is full with little details and is literally build around Fēnix, which makes it a very photogenic coaster.

 

Merlin's Quest is the park's first dark ride. It is mainly a boat ride going over Avalon's lake and underneath Fēnix. The outdoor section is nice and relaxing and gives great views of the area. About halfway the ride, the boat sails into a ruin, where the dark section part begins. Toverland has really surpassed themself. Every scene is better than the previous one. What really makes this ride is the smells in the different scenes, it gets you immersed even more. There are also various animatronics during the ride, even though most of them barely move. The most impressive one is the tree-creature, which is massive. The only minor negative I have with Merlin's Quest is that the dark ride section doesn't last very long. But the quality of the indoor section more than makes up for that. If Merlin's Quest is a preview of a future full-scale dark ride at Toverland, then we are in for a real treat.

 

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Avalon is the other new area at Toverland. Of course, it features the magical sword Excalibur.

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The Flaming Feather is Toverland's first à la carte restaurant, that is also their newest event location.

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Toverland wouldn't be Toverland without play equipment.

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The toilets are themed to a horse stable.

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Merlin's Quest is the first dark ride at Toverland.

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It is mainly a boat ride that takes you around Avalon, but is also features a very good dark ride section.

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The boats are so well detailed. I really like the feather in front.

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You can get great views of Avalon and Fēnix from Merlin's Quest.

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It is an excellent way to relax and enjoy the gorgeous theming.

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The dark ride section itself is very well done. The different smells in there really gets you immersed.

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It is a perfect addition to Toverland. It makes me wonder how awesome a full-scale dark ride would be at this park.

Fēnix (8.5/10)

The main highlight of Avalon is, of course, Fēnix. Fēnix is clearly the best themed coaster at Toverland, and is a fantastic overall experience. The coaster itself is one of the best Wing coasters I have done, but what really makes this coaster superb is the excellent theming throughout the queue and around the ride - it is phenomenal.

 

It all starts when you enter the very well detailed queue line, that really gets you immersed in the story line. The ride begins with a right turn out of the station into a dark 'warehouse', that isn't yet themed. But the park announced they will be adding theming there throughout this year. Next, you will start your climb on the rather steep lift hill. You then make an unusual right turn into the signature dive drop, which gives excellent hangtime in the front seats and a forceful whip in the left back seat. I really like these dive drops. After some high G's on the bottom of the drop, you enter an airtime hill that provides very strong floater airtime in the front and back seats. Fēnix then makes its way into the second inversion of the ride; an Immelmann. This element has some good forces and a little bit of hangtime at the top. What follows is definitely the most intense part of the ride. The 360 degree helix is much more intense than I thought it would be. It pulls some very strong positive G's, that caused me to grey out every single time, no matter where I sat. Before you know, you are twisting over the lake into the final inversion. The right-turning helix causes the right side of the train to twist all the way up into the left-turning zero-G roll. This was my favorite part of the ride, especially in the right front seat. Next, you enter a highly banked turn to the left which is a very unique sensation on a wing coaster. The following turns give some decent forces, after which a gradual turn guides the train into the brake run.

 

Fēnix is also full of near-miss elements that really adds to the overall experience. I liked the ride more in the front, mainly because of these near-misses. The drop is better in the back, though. The coaster is also way more intense than I expected it to be. Genuinely, that helix pulls more G's (5, to be exact) than most of the Inverts. In terms of other Wing coasters I have done, I very slightly prefer The Swarm over Fēnix, mainly because of The Swarm's final inversion. But I'd take Fēnix over Flug der Dämonen any day.

 

Fēnix is an excellent addition to Toverland and one of the best themed thrill coasters in Europe. Toverland really has a really bright future ahead of it!

 

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It is finally time to ride the newest wing coaster in Europe -- Fēnix!

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The whole area around this coaster looks amazing.

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This way to Fēnix!

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There aren't many coasters out there that have a more beautiful entrance than Fēnix.

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The experience begins when you enter the queue line. It was very dark in there, so I wasn't able to get much photos, sadly. But believe me when I say that it looks amazing.

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You can choose to queue for the front seats or the back seats.

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Toverland really surpassed themself with the theming.

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Fēnix starts with its climb on the lift hill.

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At the top, you make a right turn and get some great views from the rest of the park.

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Before you know, you swoop into the signature dive drop, which gives great hangtime.

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In the left back seat, you turn really high before you drop down. This makes the drop even better.

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There are some very strong forces on this coaster.

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After the drop, you enter an airtime hill that goes over the lake and Merlin's Quest.

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You get some very strong floater airtime on this hill.

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The second inversion has, once again, some pretty good forces.

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You even get a bit of hangtime at the top.

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This helix is the most intense part of the ride. I greyed out every single time.

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I was expecting some good forces in this helix, but they are much stronger than I thought they would be.

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If you sit on the right side of the train, you get whipped all the way over into the zero-G roll.

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Once again, you pass over Merlin's Quest.

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The zero-G roll is my favorite part of the ride.

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After an excellent near-miss element, you enter a highly banked turn, which is an awesome sensation on a wing coaster.

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After going through a couple more turns, Fēnix then makes its way back to the station.

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Fēnix is clearly the highlight of Avalon.

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The trains look amazing, too!

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The views from up there are fantastic.

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The ride itself is alreay very good, but what really makes Fēnix is its immersive theming.

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Airtime for the win!

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The multiple near-misses made me like this ride more in the front.

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The drop and hangtime are better in the back.

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Twisty!

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It is such a gorgeous ride.

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The moment when the high intensity helix begins.

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Fēnix is very photogenic.

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5 G's are enough to make me grey out.

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This inversion is my favorite part of the ride.

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It is very impressive to look at.

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Because of the theming and atmosphere, I might say that Fēnix is my favorite coaster at Toverland.

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Because the entire area is build around Fēnix, you can get great views from almost anywhere.

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Fēnix is a fantastic addition to Toverland.

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One last photo of Avalon and Fēnix to end this report.

Thanks for reading!

Edited by JordyC
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Great report!

 

I had no clue Fenix was going to look so awesome! For some reason I just pictured the ride going in a big, empty field. The interaction with the water and near-misses look great. Plus that dive drop looks really unique with the turn before it.

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Awesome photos!!

 

Thanks! The ride is very photogenic, so that really helped.

 

It has been amazing watching Toverland begin as an FEC and turn into a complete amusement park.

 

Exactly, it is very impressive! 15 years ago, who would have ever thought that we would see a GCI and a B&M at this park?

 

Great report!

 

I had no clue Fenix was going to look so awesome! For some reason I just pictured the ride going in a big, empty field. The interaction with the water and near-misses look great. Plus that dive drop looks really unique with the turn before it.

 

Thank you!

 

Fēnix really does look amazing. Since the whole area is designed around the ride, it makes it look even better. The turn before the dive drop is indeed very unique, and it provides some great views from the park and the surrounding area.

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Toverland's growth over the years is astounding... I remember watching TPR videos from their earlier visits where the moto coaster and in the indoor FEC were the major experiences and now look at the park's lineup! I also really appreciate the effort that went into establishing a more formal entrance experience.

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Toverland is an excellent example of how a park should develop these days. I remember going there in its opening year (2001) as a small kid. It was just one indoor hall with mostly playgrounds, some family rides and a coaster. Literally nobody would have ever thought that 17 years later, Toverland would be one of the best theme parks in Europe. The new entrance area is like the park's final step to a full size theme park.

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Toverland new sections look great! I've always enjoyed this park, but it's been a long time since my last visit. Thanks for the report.

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Toverland new sections look great! I've always enjoyed this park, but it's been a long time since my last visit. Thanks for the report.

 

You're welcome.

 

You just have to visit Toverland again, especially if it has been a long time. The park has changed so much! I am sure you will enjoy it even more now.

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^Thanks!

 

Port Laguna and Avalon are gorgeous. They both have so many details. I walked around both areas multiple times, and everytime I still discovered something new.

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TOTAL WOW...10 short years later (seems forever ago) since my only visit with TPR and I hardly recognize you, Toverland. Stunning developments and photos. This is absolutely amazing looking and I would love to revisit one day. Thank you for sharing!

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