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Photo TR: RUSHING through Europe


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I recently, and unexpectedly, had the opportunity to travel to Amsterdam work on September 28th- October9th. My coworkers did not want to go on the trip so it was offered to me and I couldn’t say no! This was my first trip to Europe and I was extremely terrified and ecstatic at the same time. My work itinerary had a lot of downtime so I started to research where I would be for work and what was near me, and this is where my “rushing through Europe” trip begins!

 

I flew out of Washington Dulles on 9/28 to land in Copenhagen the next morning. From here I must have pissed off every travel god because every flight I took in Europe was delayed and my baggage took an extended stay in Copenhagen. I landed in Amsterdam around 10:30am and waited around for my “bag” until 11:45 and filed the claim and proceeded to get my rental. I was in my rental at 12:30pm and had a 2.5 hour drive south to Herleen for my first event. On my drive down I found out I would be about 35 minutes West of Toverland so I stopped there for a quick visit. I arrived at the park around 3:30pm after getting extremely lost driving to the entrance( The signs that I thought that were do not enter signs were actually caution signs) I handed the clerk my pre-purchased ticket and was informed of the 5pm closing. The park was fairly quiet minus a few families and what looked to be a business retreat.

 

I meandered for a little and then headed to Troy. WOW I’m not sure if it was the exhaustion from the trip but this coaster was incredibly fun. I rode in the back row twice without getting out and loved each ride. I’m spoiled with having Lightning Racer in my backyard, and Troy easily made it to my favorite GCI! This was also my first GCI with a station fly through! After Troy I meandered for a little to take in the park, but I wanted to head to the Mack Spinner. The park doesn’t have a map, but rather posts with ride names and arrows on which direction to head. There weren't many of these, but the few they do have point you to the general area of where things are.

 

Der Whirlviend was my first Mack of this type and I didn’t know what to expect. My first ride was in the back row, but upon entering the lift I was flipped to facing forward. This ride definitely packed a great punch and had some unexpected whips and snaps through the elements because of the spinning. I rode this again with another rider on the opposite side and the experience was not as out of control, but I cannot wait to see this ride with inversions at SDC next summer.

From here I wandered over to the Boosterbike and took a spin on that. It was nothing to phone home about, but it was a fun ride. The launch is very family oriented and the rest of the track is smooth. Yes, a smooth Vekoma! At this point my exhaustion was setting in so I walked inside and queued up for the Mountain coaster. I don’t recall the name of this but it was a lot of fun. It had about a 25 person wait and was definitely the longest wait of the day. I really enjoyed this, but it was the only type of this ride I would encounter on the trip and my first ever so I opted to wait since I've never been on one. I did miss the Vekoma coaster inside, but I will not sweat that

Overall I was incredibly impressed with this place! There is a nice touch of quirk and sophistication in the theming of the rides and the park that a visit in the future is a must if I’m ever back in The Netherlands.

 

Once in the car I headed straight for the hotel. It was about a 55 minute drive until I pulled into the parking lot of my hotel and saw that it was under construction. I guess I missed this when booking on a fully Dutch webpage. However, I found the entrance and checked in smoothly, but unfortunately my bags had not make it yet (I didn’t expect them to). I fortunately packed a work outfit and day clothes in my bag just in case of this. I walked over to the restaurant next door and had my first experience of Dutch cuisine at the farm to table Dutch buffet restaurant. Once I finished my meal I immediately went to bed at 9:20pm.

Unfortunately, the jetlag and excitement for the next morning woke me up at 3:30am ready to go…… I ended up laying in bed texting my husband back in the states until 5am. While doing this I was watching the TPR videos of the group roaming through Europe and thought it would be really cool to run into TPR while I was here in Europe.......Little did I know that this could potentially happen in a few hours at Phantasialand......!

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The missed credit of this visit :(

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My first encounter with a "never in America" playground.

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Today would end up being the only day with sunshine on my entire trip.

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Some of the awesome theming on the Mack Spinner,

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Continued into the station!

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Automatic storage containers were common in Europe.

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The wave swinger had a lovely hookah as part of its theme.

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My first glimpse of the entrance.

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My first look at Troy (it was running 2 people per cycle when I pulled in)

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The first windmill I was able to get a picture of! I saw 4 windmills to the 74 McDonalds in The Netherlands (yes I counted)

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My first plate. My next one had some cucumber salad which I shortly fell in love with afterwards.

Edited by gilly_bob
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Before I know it is 8am on 9/30 and I look out the window to see it POURING down rain. I decide I am still going to make the 55 minute drive and head out on my way to Germany to visit Phantasialand. The 9am opening and 55 minute drive allowed me enough time to get there before I had to meet a client at 2:30. I knew this was going to be a quick trip, but I am just happy I get to see the park in person! Even though I packed day clothes and work clothes I didn’t pack any clothes for being absolutely SOAKED.

 

I apologize for the TERRIBLE picture quality on this leg of the trip. The rain had me trying to hide my phone majority of the day.

 

I arrived just shy of nine and was at the gate by 9:05. I parked in the Chinese hotel area and ran into the park. After parking I realized I never saw a sign that welcomed me to Germany. Unlike the states where it is an extravagant to cross into another state I saw nothing welcoming me to Germany....

 

Once I entered the park I rounded the corner and there was Taron and the rest of the new village. This place was absolutely INCREDIBLE looking. Soon after this though I see signs stating the rides open at 10. This KILLED my enthusiasm for being able to get as many rides in before I had to rush out of the park. After the initial 10am ride opening upset I meandered for a little to get my bearings in the park and ended up camping out under an awning by Black Mamba to stay dry. This is when I heard it…… The ride was cycling and I heard a distinguished hollering coming from that train. In my head I immediately thought and new it had to be Robb Alvey. (I had no idea where the exit was for the ride and unfortunately never found Robb or any of the gang from Black Mamba ) It was about 9:20 and the ride was cycling a few times with a small amount of people on it. At 9:40 I was on the first public train in the back right seat. I was so excited for this ride! I remember watching it being built and was just amazed at the detail and theming. Sure enough it didn’t disappoint. The pacing, near misses, and interaction with the environment on this thing are incredible. They would not allow us to stay in the same seat so I walked back around and meandered through the long queue (insanely long queue) and hopped right back on, but this time in the middle and had the same experience. This ride was a blast!

 

From here it was about 10 minutes until 10 and I wanted to get to the inside rides before the mass horde got over there to stay out of the rain. I made it to the rope under the awning (thank god) and then at about 9:59 they let the rope drop and I ran towards wherever I thought Winjas was. I ended up at the Flight of the Nighthawk (which I completely forgot about) and took a spin on this. There was no wait and this was a nice DRY and surprising ride. I had no idea this ride was so long and it was very welcome break from the soaking rain all morning. There was nothing special about the ride besides how disorienting the dark is. After this I ran into the building that houses Winjas which has been a dream of mine to ride. The posted Queue was about 15 minutes and ended up being about 20. I rode on Force and wow this ride was so much fun. I’ve read reports about how special and unique this ride is and I can attest that it is very unique and FUN.

 

It was nearing 11am and I needed to hit Taron before I left. A friend persuaded via Facebook messenger to ride Maus Au Chocolat and it had a 10 minute posted wait so I did. It was extremely well themed, but I’m just not a fan of this type of ride. However, this one did stand out to me more than Toy Story.

After getting dry I bolted into the rain for Taron which had a posted 60 minute wait. I opted for the single rider line and there were about 11 people in front of me. This ride just looks incredible and after about 20 minutes I was told to go to the back row! SCORE! This ride is extremely well themed but definitely no Maverick. The pacing is different compared to Maverick and Fahrenheit, and the way it interacts with the environment around it is key to its charm. This ride was just plain fun but nothing mind blowing. I appreciated the length of the ride too! I feel the second launch is the end of ride one and your preparation for a completely different ride experience until you hit the ending brakes.

 

After Taron I checked out the Mine Train which had a stacked queue and no operating trains so I headed over to Mystery Tower. I’ve always been curious about this ride and it had a 1 cycle wait. The operators were totally into the character and we were in the seats and ready to go quickly. I wasn’t expecting the launch upwards like an S&S tower, but this is exactly what it felt like with some fun show elements added in! I would definitely ride this again and love to see more of these pop up .

12:10 is what time is was and I knew my time was getting very limited limited. I walked over towards River Quest and saw a rain jacket that read “Theme Park Review”. My heart skipped a beat and I ended up riding the infamous River Quest with Stacy and the gentleman she was with (I’m terribly sorry for forgetting your name) This ride was just plain never in America fun! No seatbelts, crazy elevator lift, insanely steep drop, and whirlpool tunnels. It was fun and I got soaked! After the shock of this ride and actually realizing I needed to run I said goodbye to the TPR members and dripped my way towards the Chinese gate. My orientation was off since the lot was now full and I spent a good ten minutes trying to find my little black rental car that looked like every other car in the lot. Once inside I stripped my shoes, socks, jacket, sweatshirt, and unzipped my pants in hopes that I would dry off a little before I arrived back at the hotel. Yes I drove across the border with my underwear hanging out.... I did notice once I did find the border of the country (still no signs) there was a pull off area for a border gate/check to be set up if needed.

 

I arrive back to the hotel and made my way towards the desk hoping my luggage had arrived. It was 1:20 and I had to meet a client at 2:30. Thankfully my bags had arrived and I wheeled them to my room and took the world’s hottest and quickest shower. I immediately changed into DRY clothes and headed to visit my client at an event ten minuted down the road until about 11:30pm that night. The event was outside and it rained the entire time, but luckily we were in a lounge of the venue and had a great time not getting soaked! Once I made it back to the hotel I had a beer and passed out from exhaustion. My body was telling me to sleep and not wake up in the morning, but my mind was in “YOU’RE GOING TO OKTOBERFEST TOMORROW DUDE!” and constant fits of excitement were unable to be ignored.

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My initial entrance view of Taron.

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This coaster is just beautiful.

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Such great theming.

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Another overview.

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Sorry for the blurry picture. I was able to watch a cycle of this once it opened and everyone seems to be mesmerized by the elaborate set up!

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The beautiful wave swinger.

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Black Mamba with some familiar chanting on the lift hill.

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I'm fairly certain there were TPR members on the back of this train, but my awesome photography skills missed catching anyone....

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Beautiful.

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The beautiful wave swinger with some Vekoma construction in the backgroun.

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Another shot of the swings.

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Here is the swarm of people waiting to get into the back section of the park.

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My first view of Winjas. I think I was more excited to see this than i was Taron!

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The themed soda machines.

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Again, this place is just beautiful.

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Maus Au Chocolat

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Mice getting married.....

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More of the queue for Maus au Chocolat. I was so happy to be drying off a little

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My lucky back row ride on Taron. I'm not sure what or why I took this picture but here it is.

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I can't believe this is a free fall ride.

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One last look at the park before I ran out.

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That's crazy you were there the same day we were there (I was with that Oktoberfest group). Was it pure coincidence you were there the same day? That was the wettest day of our trip, as it was pretty nice weather the rest of our trip. I really enjoyed Phantasialand despite the rainy weather, which finally cleared up during evening hotel ERT on Taron. Even being at Phantasialand open to close there were some rides I missed out on that I would have liked to ride like Talocan. I'm glad I didn't miss River Quest though, that was a crazy rapids ride with the elevator lift leading straight into a ramp drop. I was trying keep my feet/shoes from getting soaked so I almost fell off my seat on the second drop. By the way, we actually popped into Netherlands the next day for three hours at Slagharen before heading to Movie Park Germany in the afternoon.

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Sadly I never found the entrance to Chiapas and with my time constraint it wasn't on my priority list. The ride looks incredible though! This entire trip was just a coincidence. I found out about it 11 days before I was set to leave so it was a lot of scrambling to get flights, hotels, and figure out where and how I was going to places. Luckily all of my work functions were the first two days and last 2 days of my time in Europe and I had a nice "break" in the middle that allowed me to head to Munich and Stuttgart.

Edited by gilly_bob
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Great report! Too bad I didn't catch you while I was there; I was with TPR as well.

 

Basically every ride at Phantasialand was amazing. Even though we had a full day there, I could have easily spent more time there trying the things I skipped or reriding my favorites.

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]Continuing with the theme of rushing through Europe I’m up at 7am for a flight out of Amsterdam to Munich the next morning! The A1 ( I think that was the road) was closed and I had to take a detour through some smaller towns. Little did I know that going with the speed of traffic in the left lane in The Netherlands was a bad idea and 3 weeks later I would have a 120 Euro bill for being 14km over the speed limit show up in my mailbox…. Oops Besides not knowing I was speeding the only other hiccup was the construction at Schipol airport that made me miss the rental car garage and do the entire terminal loop of the airport to find it. UGH

 

Check in was smooth and behold my plane was delayed 20 minutes…. That’s not the best part as I sat on the tarmac for another hour before we could take off because of fog. Luckily I was so tired I texted my friend letting him know I should be landing in Munich around 12:45 and once I landed I made my way to the train to meet him at our AirBNB near Oktoberfest. I was meeting up with a friend from home who just happened to be in Switzerland during the time of my unexpected trip. I asked him if he wanted to meet in Munich for two days and he was all about it! On the train I met a lovely British woman who told me a bunch of must do things in the area. Once I made it to the street I was blown away with all of the charm I immediately felt in this city on my quick walk to the AirBNB. I made it up the sketchiest elevator ever and met Chad at our AirBNB for the next two nights. The train station was behind the complex and Oktoberfest was a 10 minute walk. This place couldn’t be beat! We both lounged in the room and shared a bottle of wine (left by our host) until about 4:45 and then we decided we would head to Oktoberfest and find some food and fun!

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Beautiful view heading to Munich. This would be the last day of sunshine.

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Leaving the airport. Not sure why I took this, but it is here now! :)

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Our AirBNB host was seriously the best.

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The view from the room. The train station is just beyong the next block.

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The other side of the street. There was an office building on the first floor that everyone had dogs with them at their desk. I need to work there!

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The sketchy elevator (holds 1 person and a bag) and the awesome looking stair well.

 

A major part of this trip was not having a plan at all. We walked towards the fest grounds and after rounding the corner we saw the massive drop towers, ferris wheel, and heard the joy waiting for us. Once we went through the gate the first site we encountered was a lovely gentleman in lederhosen hunched over a tree vomiting. WE HAVE ARRIVED! The grounds were packed as we were expecting and our goal was to find food. This was our biggest mistake….. Neither of us could speak Deutsche and were intimidated by a lot of things so we ended up with a collection of Bratwurst from a stand and then meandered the grounds eventually parking at the Hoffbrau Haus tent. We met two lovely German girls who allowed us to sit across from them and then after 2 liters of Weis Bier over 2.5 hours Chad exclaimed he wanted to ride some rides. Mind you Chad mentioned that he would not be riding any of the rides as he hates them, but with some liquid courage he seemed to be into it. My thinking was that I had a riding buddy and couldn’t wait! We leave the tent and head towards the Drifting Coaster and I hear a sudden scream and see a frantic pointing motion. He wants to ride High Energy the crazy flat that looks like a ferris wheel and a top scan had a baby. This was on my list as on of the top things to try! The cycle was long and both of us enjoyed it. I repeatedly asked him if he was alright with all of this and he said he was generally just scared of heights and won’t do spinning (even drunk).

 

From here we went to the Drifting Coaster and we were both perplexed at how this thing could even be fun. Well, once we were on it and the 2 liters of beer did their thing we were both laughing hysterically the entire ride. The forces were unique and the ride was just unexpected. We went forward the entire time and I can only image what going in reverse feels like. Next up was Alpina Bahn which is the little sister of Olympia Looping. There were no loops and these was a very compact large coaster. I honestly don’t recall much about this ride other than the animatronic bear greeting us as the front and it just being enjoyable.

 

After Alpina I’m not entirely sure where we went next. I think we may have gone to find a restroom as it was the breaking the seal point in the night and I think my counterpart needed a break from all of the rides. Next we went to Hollenblitz and boy was this insanely odd. The ride is themed as some type of demon mine train. The cars spin and majority of the ride is enclosed. We were seated in the second to last row and as soon as we went up the lift and we knew this was going to be odd. There was fire and crazy disco lights/music inside the building. The first drop is the sweeping turn out of the building and from here it suddenly becomes Christmas as there are large Christmas tree like structures visible everywhere. I can’t speak for much of the ride but you’re spinning and maneuvering coaster track and it is just weird all together. The only element I remember is the drop out of the building. When the ride was finished we both just starred at each other and were trying to comprehend what was going on and realized we had no idea what that was and needed to hit Olympia next.

 

Somebody got cold feet for this one, but still pulled through with the ride. We were seated in the back row (HUGE MISTAKE considering our diet for the night)

 

WOW does this thing pack some punches!

 

From the first drop to the end of this ride it was nonstop action. I’m fairly certain we both blacked out on this as I don’t recall any of the ride. After this Chad said he was done and we willingly started to exit the grounds and headed back to the AirBNB. I think Olympia Looping mixed the booze up in our system as we were both feeling extremely gone after the ride. We got distracted on our exit and somehow ended the night with a ride on my hole… I mean fart in my hole or whatever the darkride was called.. The alcohol made this enjoyable (it was terribly lame watch the TPR on ride video) and after this we OFFICIALLY called it a night.

We met a lovely French couple on our walk back. I am certain they were trying to pick us up (the girl was at least) but we were only interested in her boyfriend and not her. LOL... We finished our ten minute walk, inhaled what felt like an ocean of water, and immediately went to bed.

 

The next morning we went on an 11am bike tour around Munich and saw a lot of the touristy things. I was originally planning to take this time to ride all of the rides Chad wouldn’t, but since we did a good bit the previous night I went on the tour with him. The tour was a lot of fun and luckily this morning and yesterday were AMAZING weather.I'm really glad I decided to do this and learn a lot about the city of Munich and get some exercise! After this we took a quick nap and experienced downpours for the remainder of our time in Munich. We headed over to the grounds around 5pm and we both vowed not to drink as much this time. We found some food and booth had half a litre. It was drizzling at this point and I made my way to the crazy flats that he didn’t want to ride. My first stop was the Skater (Top Scan). I’ve been on the one at Canada’s Wonderland many times, but that doesn’t even compare to the speed and insane cycle this one had. I honestly thought my legs were going to fall off from the insane lateral forces! I flipped multiple times and felt some insane forces that were nowhere to be seen on the Canadian version. My right leg had a bruise for the remainder of the trip from this ride. This was just the start of some crazy rides.

 

Next I thought it would be a good idea to head back to Olympia Looping and give it a redemption ride sober. This time I rode in the middle and still had an equally intense ride, but this time I remembered it. It’s insane how old this ride is and that it is on the travelling fair circuit. I’m absolutely honored I had the chance to ride this piece of history. After this Chad still hadn’t recovered fully from yesterday, but I took a spin on the Break Dancer across from Olympia and had an amazing 8 minute cycle. I’ve always been a huge flat ride fan since I was in middle school and this trip was definitely a dream come true!The Gremlins assaulting half naked women on the back-wall was an interesting choice in theming. After the Break Dancer I rode decided to queue up for Voodoo jumper. This ride had the longest queue and didn’t look that appealing to me, but once you are on this thing the ride cycle is incredibly fun! It definitely feels like you are much higher in the air when you are on the actual ride. After this we decided to meander around and walk up the steps by the Lady Bavaria statue and get some pictures.

 

Day 2 was definitely more conservative and I got to ride a bunch of things that were on my list, but I didn’t ride as many flats as I could have (Flipper/Playball, Musik Express, Enterprise, XXL, Boosters, and others) since I would be seeing majority of them in Stuttgart the next day. That as well as the 6,50 – 9 Euro per ride price my budget was feeling it. I budgeted to spend 400 Euro on rides at Oktoberfest ( I didn’t) but the regret was kicking in and I had another Fest to get through the next day.

 

We called it a night and enjoyed a quick walk back to the AirBNB and both immediately passed out. We were up bright and early and I was off to the train station for Stuttgart, and Chad headed back to Switzerland about an hour after me. Why was I going to Stuttgart? Well, in my quest to find unique flat rides that we didn’t have in America I found that Happy Sailor (Mack Sea Storm), Shake (Mondial Shake), and Magic (Huss Magic) would be at this festival along with a bunch of other not in America rides. The three I was searching are all in the states, but I knew the German fairs would be running some CRAZY cycles on these rides compared to the Carowinds, Marineland, and American carnival versions all of which I haven’t been on. Oh there would also be beer at this fest too!!

 

Overall I really enjoyed Oktoberfest! It wasn’t what I was expecting and was extremely touristy at times, but I also didn’t have a plan other than to ride unique flats on crazy cycles and check this off of my bucket list. When I do get the opportunity to come back I will look into reservations at the tables and have a more genuine tent experience. I’ll dedicate a full day just to the culture aspects and then another towards rides.IMG_2060.thumb.jpg.ed0f0ca47c701379319b88b4c4d87ba6.jpg

Marienplatz waiting to get on the bike.

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Should've realized this was a bad idea.

 

The next update will have many more pictures. I had a lot of downtime at Canstatter Volkfest. Following Volkfest there will be updates from Efteling and Walabi Belgium where I had a lovely Six Flags day!

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Lady Bavaria greeting us after the gentleman greeted us.

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Some shots while walking. I'm pretty sure I was a kid in a candy store when I took this.

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The insane freefall tower. They were leaving cars at the top for 5+ minutes. No thank you!

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A shot of the heel from a beer garden.

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The only shot I took of this crazy contraption.

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Bier!

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So the photos from the rest of the night were terrible or all became drunken snapchats...... yea...... So here are pictures from the bike tour.

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Me on the left, 2 German girls, and my friend Chad on the right.

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Clearly starting to feel it.

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Back to Oktoberfest. You can see how dreary it is.

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Still extremely crowded.

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A shot down the midway.

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Another shot of the midway.

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Up top by the Lady Bavaria statue.

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Does this need a caption?

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The only photo I got of Alpina Bahn.

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This guy from hollenblitz. I'm pretty sure this is the same animatronic from when this was Star World years ago!

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After all of the touristy vibes I got from Oktoberfest it was time to head West towards Stuttgart.

 

It's 8am on October 3rd and I'm off to the Munich train station for a 2.5 hours train ride to Stuttgart. I’ve never been on a train in the states (I don’t count subways as a train) so this was my first experience on an extended train ride with all of the different cabin seating options so I was a little anxious. I got to the train station way too early and as the typical American I am I went to Starbucks instead of getting coffee from the lovely kiosk located right by my train. I stood in the long line and became Vobby from my accent and horrible mumble when I presented the barista with my name of Bobby. Oh well….

 

On the train I sat at the table with two younger guys across from me. The wifi was great and my office for the duration of the trip was incredible. The German countryside is absolutely gorgeous. I’m pretty sure my jaw kept dropping as we neared Stuttgart and we passed through all of the incredible valleys. This ride allowed to be put out any fires that may have started on my work email, and was one of the few times where my body thanked me for not trying to do everything. This would be my last full day free and upon arriving at the train station in Stuttgart I had about a 1.5 kilometer walk to my hotel. I could have taken a taxi, but the weather was gorgeous so I rolled my bag with me and realized my walk paralleled the Canstatter Volkfest grounds and my hotel was at the intersection right across the entrance! This was pure luck as I just picked a Hilton Garden Inn as it was the cheapest rate I could find last minute!

 

After checking in it was off to the fest! The skyline was packed with the Europa Rad, Jules Verne Sky Flyer, Skyfall, boosters on one end, another larger ferris wheel, and Test Track (Laser from Dorney) on the other. I was more impressed with this skyline compared to the Oktoberfest one. I completely forgot to mention that there was beer here too! My excitement is building and then my stomach growls and I realize I haven’t eaten anything all day. The first place I see is a pizza joint so I grab 2 slices and I’m on my way. The pricing at this event was nearly half of Oktoberfest. The 2 slices of pizza cost as much as 1 bratwurst and the rides ranged from EUR 1,50- EUR 6,50. The most expensive ride was the Infinity.

 

The Rides –

Rockin Roller Coaster

This was an old Schwarzkopf wildcat with some additional theming added into the center. I haven’t been on one of these since the Wildcat at Williams Grove in the early 2000s. This ride was definitely showing its age, but it wasn’t as fun as I remembered the WG Wildcat.

 

Circus Circus

This was one of the flat rides I really wanted to try and it definitely didn’t disappoint. This is a Huss Magic like he bear ride at Marineland, but from the videos I’ve seen that one is very slow and this travelling one was insane. This was essentially a break dancer with some air and crazier forces.

 

Shake

Probably the main reason for this visit was the Shake. I was hoping one would be at Oktoberfest, but upon examining the ride list I saw there wasn’t one present so I pulled the plug on the day excursion to Stuttgart. I was probably most excited to ride this ride. I couldn’t stop smiling walking onto the platform (while the cycle was ending of course) to board my car. WOW this thing was insane. I’m pretty sure I had 4 consecutive flips at one point. You can feel the operator playing with the speed to insure everyone is getting crazy flips on this thing!

After this I was starting to get a little dizzy, but continued to ride.

 

Happy Sailor

This was probably my biggest mistake of the trip. Three spinning rides in a row. I’m 27 I should be able to handle this right? WRONG! The cycle was a lot of fun and this thing HAULS for a “family” ride. There is air and fortunately the cars change directions otherwise I would have probably thrown up after the cycle. This ride was complete with waterfalls, spitting dolphins, and animated pirates. More theming than an entire Six Flags!

 

Transformer

For some reason even though I was dizzy I thought it was a good idea to ride the Transformer. This is a Sorani and Moser contraption that looks like Maelstrom at Morey’s but is much larger. This s the first ride after the WildCat that I felt slightly unsafe on. The fiberglass shell was making a terribly screeching noise as we went upside down. This made the long ride cycle really painful to endure. The ride was fun, but the spinning and the noise really set me over the edge with nausea and nerves so I called it quits.

 

By now I was feeling it so I opted for a bratwurst and then slowly meandered back to the hotel to take a quick nap and replenish my body. At one point I thought about not going back and then my inner demon was pulling me to go back! I ate some more and re-hydrated and walked my ass back to the fair grounds. It was around 6:45pm and the sun was finally going down and the place really came alive!

 

Wilde Maus

This is where I started the night. I couldn’t decide between this or the XXL so I went with this for the credit. This is the exact model Faller made a model off that I always wanted as a kid so I was excited to ride this. It was your typical mouse and had very few brakes on!

 

Spinning Racer

This is essentially Laff Trakk at Hershey but not in a box, no line, and way more fun! I was excited to ride this as it was the first type of spinner like this I recall seeing when I was younger. I boarded going backwards up the lift and this just seemed so much more fun than Laff Trakk in Hershey. The absence of brakes may have had something to do with this feeling!

 

Shake

Went for round two with all of the lights on. INCREDIBLE like before. This is probably my favorite ride now.

 

Infinity

Holy crap is this thing intimidating! This is an insane looking KMG contraption which is like a Frisbee and a zipper had a baby. You are so high in the air on this thing and just a OTSR holding you in without seatbelts. I can’t tell if I liked this ride or was terrified of it. It was definitely an attention getter and had the highest price at the event of 6,50 EUR. At the end of the cycle the ops started spraying one of the passengers with a water hose. I think he was a new guy on the team, but you wouldn’t see this in the states at all.

 

One thing I noticed about the rides is that pricing changes throughout the event based on day/night and what day of the week. I saw there was a “pass” being offered for majority of the rides, but I didn’t want to try to translate it and look like an idiot. I also felt better just paying for each ride and helping the showmen out each time I paid. (this I what I kept telling myself)

 

Flipper

I rode the Tornado that travels with Reithoffer Shows in the states years ago and thought it was TERRIBLE. I had bruises on my ribs from the ride for at least a week. Well, in Europe they run their Huss rides correctly. This thing was so much fun! I think the version in the states was going so slowly that I was sliding around with my sister slamming into things. The Flipper did have some of this motion, but it wasn’t nearly as horrendous as I remembered. The ride operator was trying to make everyone have a great ride and you can feel the efforts of them making sure your cars flipped at the apex or face planted at the bottom. Such a fun experience.

 

Galdiator

I haven’t been on a booster type of ride in ages so I figured I’d try this giant version. I enjoy how the operators make sure everyone has a very long experience at the top of the ride. I boarded and the ride started and I think we did twenty or thirty revolutions before we stopped at the top and repeated the other direction and we then unloaded. Wow this thing was so fast and the wind definitely left me cold. My body was telling me that I was done after this and it was correct.

 

I was going to ride one of the ferris wheels to take some pictures, but I decided against to get back to the hotel and rest before my day of travel back to Europe. One thing I wish I would have done is actually gone into one of the beer tents at this fest. I usually love beer, but I think I was just so overwhelmed and excited to be at the event that I never walked into one.

 

I made my way back to the hotel and slept all through the night. The next morning I grabbed breakfast and didn't need to head to the airport until 11:30am so I opted to walk around the fest in the morning. A lot of the food stalls and beer tents were opening but most of the rides were static and closed. This allowed me to grab some quick pictures before I headed to the airport.

 

11:15 is when I headed for the train to the airport and I made it to security by 12:30 and had my worst experience ever. I was so tired I kept my belt on through the scanner and the guard working pulled me to the side and yanked my belt and shoes off. I figured he was just annoyed I left my belt on. He then began to wand me down and opened the front of my jeans and stuck his hand down the front, side, and back of my pants taking a proper grab and then asked me to raise my legs onto the platform to continue to wand my rear. It was totally bizarre and terrifying since there was a complete language barrier but I will never forget this moment.

 

My plane was delayed about 45minutes and I then made my way to Amsterdam in time to meet at a client's house for dinner at 7:30pm. The next day I had planned to go to Efteling with some very Sketchy weather, but I decided to stay at the hotel and meander around Amsterdam while I had the entire morning free. I was completely blown away with this city! I never felt threatened once and everything was absolutely charming and beautiful. Yes I went to the Red Light District, but this was only after I decided to not use a GPS and just see where I would end up in the city.

 

Not going to Efteling this day was a HUGE mistake because the next day the weather was even worse, but I still decided to go regardless. Efteling and Walibi Holland will be my last two park visits on this report. Both were morning visits with crummy weather before I had to meet with clients in the early afternoon. Those days will be up shortly!

 

Pictures below! Thank you for reading!

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Some of the view from the incredible train ride.

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Some of the countryside (and construction) on my walk to the hotel

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The Europa Rad

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Another shot of this giant wheel

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The XXL and the back of the Wilde Maus

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The front of the Maus.

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Spinning Racer (Laff Trakk outside)

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Another shot of the Spinning Racer

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Shot down the midway.

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The Transformer. Not my favorite

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The Huss Magic. Such a fun ride!

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Mondial Shake at night!

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The Gladiator booster ride

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One of the beer tents.

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A fun shot of the wheel at the entrance.

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A view from the parking lot.

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Early morning Midway views

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The fruit column and some views.

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The massive Hangover tower.

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A view of Revolution

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The Flipper looking extremely innocent.

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Another shot of the Flipper

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Rockin Roller Coaster

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Customized theme for each event on the statue.

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Close up

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More of the Circus Circus

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Notice the lack of fencing.

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The shake in hibernation

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The Happy Sailor- I wish there were more of these around.

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Shot down the midway

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Polyp and the previous Laser in the background.

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A shot of Infinity

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This thing was MASSIVE and went the entire way around.

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Laser!

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Opps I mean Testtrecke

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.... semi naked girl

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Another view of Infinity

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Back to Laser

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Another view.

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Wouldn't be a kirmes without a Break Dancer

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The King was dwarfed by Infinity.

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On the way to the airport.

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The Mondial Shake

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The Mondial Shake

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Nice report, I am surprised that you wrote that you felt safe in Amsterdam, why would you not? Any place in Europe is statistically safer vs any place in the States(and I love the States) The Red Light District is not really seedy, but we europeans have a different understanding of sexuality vs the US anyway. Out here in Frankfurt we have a red light district festival that turned into a family festival over the years,lol.

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Nice report, I am surprised that you wrote that you felt safe in Amsterdam, why would you not? Any place in Europe is statistically safer vs any place in the States(and I love the States) The Red Light District is not really seedy, but we europeans have a different understanding of sexuality vs the US anyway. Out here in Frankfurt we have a red light district festival that turned into a family festival over the years,lol.

 

 

I was alone the entire time in Amsterdam so that worried me a bit, but when I travel to places like Philadelphia or Baltimore in the states there is generally an uneasy feeling when it gets later. Amsterdam at 3am was just as secure feeling as it was during the day! Stereotypically The Red Light District is portrayed as being very sketchy and more than what it really is in the states. When I realized I was there I honestly had no idea.

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  • 1 month later...

After my somewhat nice and rainy day in Amsterdam I planned for my next day to be Efteling in the morning and then arrive back in the city to meet with my client at 7pm. Upon waking up I noticed the sky was gloomier and the rain was twice as hard as the previous day, but I already committed so I made the 2 hour trek to Efteling.

I was armed with a Macchiato and bagel for my drive which kept me alert for the pounding rain. I pulled into the lot and parked in the second row. Then I noticed the swarm of people coming from the buses further back in the lot which I was not expecting at all! I was expecting the place to be empty, but instead I ran into a steady crowd. I wouldn’t call it crowded but the park wasn’t dead. Immediately I was blown away with the entrance “tent” and the amount of detail that was present everywhere. I began to wander the park and eventually made my way to the closed Bobs which is one of the rides I was hoping to hit. I’ve never been on one of these Intamin Bobsled rides before and I was looking forward to the experience. Unfortunately this ride would be closed all day because of the rain.

 

From here I rounded the corner and saw Baron. This coaster is beautiful, but I’ve been spoiled by seeing the massive Busch Gardens dive coasters and most recently Valravyn. Baron however, has the best queue for any dive coaster I’ve seen! They have a great bag locker check and the pre show is well very engagin. It was all in Dutch, but I still think I got the story! After the pre show you board your assigned row and away you go! The lift hill was nicely themed and really distorted the perspective of what angle you were on rising to the top. The drop was nice and the overall ride was fun, but I don’t recall it being very memorable. That could have easily been the rain bashing my face the entire time too.

 

From here I walked around some more to try to make my way to the racing wooden coaster and the water coaster. I got lost somewhere in this process and stumbled by the new Symbolica Dark Ride which was showing a 60 minute queue. That must have been where everyone went! I didn’t ride this but the entire ride area looked INCREDIBLE! I made may way over to Joris en de Draak after realizing that this park is HUGE and the rides were no as close as I was anticipating. Once at Joris e de Draak I wasn't sure what to expect as I’ve never seen a POV of this ride and wasn’t sure of the layout. The queue for this ride was very long over the bog and out in the elements before finally arriving to the station area out of the rain. I rode the fire side first in a downpour. I tolerated the first half of the ride with my hood down and then I shielded my eyes for the remainder. The ride was hauling and a lot of fun! The banking was very different from the other GCI coasters I’ve been on.

After this I ran over to Python and realized I needed the virtual queue ticket so I downloaded the Efteling app quickly and went back to ride the water side of Joris en de Draak. I was armed with my hood from the beginning, but kept my eyes open more since I was more aware of the layout this time. I honestly couldn’t stop laughing because of the rain and just the humor in being in the elements riding like this. The entire train was giggling. It was such a cool experience. The only downfall with the ride was stopping on the blocks before the station without a covering and having the rain pound on you. I quickly got over this, but in the moment it was annoying.

 

Time for Python which was my first Vekoma with these new trains. Even though Hershey is my home park I haven’t been on Sidewinder with the new trains yet. I walked right into the station and sat in the third row. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the ride. It was a standard corkscrew coaster with minimal head banging which was great! However, it was the traditional oddly paced Vekoma.

 

Earlier in the day I saw Vliegen de Hollander was closed and now I saw it cycle through with partially full boats. I was extremely curious about this ride so I meandered my way back over there to check it out. The theming in this area just for this ride is insane, and the queue is a higher caliber than most Six Flags or Cedar Fair haunts! The wait was about 10 minutes and I found myself seated on the front right seat. I wasn’t sure if I should expect to get soaked or to prepare for a roller coaster so my excitement was high.

 

The ride starts as primarily a water attraction with 2 turns (well it felt like 2 turns) and then we were heading up a lift hill in the pitch black. There were some awesome sound and wind effects and then the doors opened and we were on a rather bumpy coaster track outside. The coaster section wasn’t very memorable and the final drop was nice and I didn’t get wet at all. The coolest thing about this ride is how low the track is under the water which makes it look the boats are just floating unguided in the lake.

 

I had been in the park about an hour and a half now and getting pretty annoyed by the wetness. I walked by Baron and noticed it had about a 15 minute queue so I decided not to ride. I headed across the park to Vogel Rok which is the one attraction I recall seeing from TPR reports ages ago. I knew this was a family ride and really had no idea what to expect. This had about a 5 minute queue even though it was inside. I think this ride ranked personally higher to me because it was so nice not to be getting rained on.

The ride was no Flight of the Nighthawk at Phantasiland in terms of length, but the skeletons and the large bird with its brain exposed really made this an interesting attraction! After this I made my way to the exit and left Efteling. The park is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Had the weather been nicer I’m sure it would have been PACKED. There a no details missed in this park as everything is landscaped and themed beautifully.

 

One thing I noted about European parks and in general is that parking lots are rarely marked with direction arrows as the direction of the cars should help you with how to leave, and exits are a lot harder to find. I actually circled the Efteling lot by accident trying to leave to the main toll gate (that wasn’t open).

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The Entry into Efteling. This is the only time the sun was visible!

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Symbolica!

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Vogel Rok

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Another view of Vogel Rok. Just a plain odd ride.

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Baron from across the way.

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The queue for The Flying Dutchman

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More theming for The Flying Dutchman

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Baron

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GCI Hotness. This was when I first arrived and the rain "went away" until I boarded Baron.

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Leaving for the the day.

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