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Gillian's Wonderland Pier- The calm before the Gale Force

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Hansa Park

 

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

 

Schwur des Karnan

Then the king appears on the ceiling and starts yelling at us in German.

I have no clue what he said, but he’s clearly pissed.

 

He tells forever to be tied to the tower and take revenge.

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Speaking of Oktoberfest, I did not see a report this year. Oktoberfest has not really had anything new and noteworthy on the midway in a few years, seems like there are no new ride ideas out there that companies are making for the fair circuit.

Besides the usual pendulum and high swing rides.

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Even if Oktoberfest's ride lineup remained stagnant, there is plenty there to make it worthwhile.

 

I vaguely remember seeing a spinning wild mouse with a launched lift on the fair circuit this year. Maybe that was Oktoberfest?

I saw it on YouTube. It's called Heidi The Ride... lol no joke!

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Heide Park

 

Pop quiz- what ride do you think I rode first at Heide Park?

 

A) Colossos

B) Desert Race because Colossos was closed

C) Something else because all the Intamins were closed

 

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If you picked C, you’d be correct!

 

However, this was sort of a trick question. Heide Park lets guests into the park an hour early. They stage you in the entry plaza and since Nostalgiekarussell is in this area, they have it open.

 

As far as carousels go, this one was a bit funky. It was a small double-decker with some odd vehicles like spinning tea cups and swings. However, this was one of those carousels that sadly doesn’t play music. 5 out of 10

 

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If riding the carousel for an hour isn't your thing, you can admire the architecture. Heide is a really underrated park for its looks.

 

It was a cold and rainy weekday. In America, a fast pass would be unnecessary. In fact, the bigger concern would be whether or not the park even opens. But Europe is a different animal, so I got the Express Butler and it was worth every penny.

 

Heide Park’s system works through your smartphone. You sign into this website and can reserve one ride at a time. When it’s your turn to ride, you get a QR code. You also have the option to buy an instant ride if the return time isn’t to your liking.

 

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If getting on now isn't good enough for you, you can pay extra for instant access lol

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I smiled when I saw Limit cost less than every other ride. It's like they know it hurts.

 

When the park officially opened most people flocked to Colossos. Can you blame them? The coaster looks absolutely massive and dominates the park’s skyline. Plus it had been closed for almost 2.5 years.

 

In a move that made me chuckle, they had the balls to spin the ride’s closure as part of the ride’s theme. Only Merlin could turn their lack of maintenance into a thematic element.

 

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Everyone is being educated that the ride closure was all part of the ride's theming.

 

Colossos starts like El Toro. You have an epic first drop with some powerful ejector air and two camelbacks with some major sustained ejector air. Now the air on the first drop and second camelback isn’t quite at the levels of El Toro, but the first camelback is. You then rip through a turnaround and over a speed hill with a hint of floater air.

 

Instead of going into the Rolling Thunder hill, Colossos decides to do its own thing. Colossos goes into this boring and forceless helix. I think the ride would be better without this since it kills the pacing and bleeds off a ton of speed.

 

That leads into the finale- 3 bunny hills. I was under the impression these hills would give the crazy airtime of Balder. Sadly, they do not. They do give some floater though and that Wicker Man statue is stunning.

 

So while Colossos has one of the best starts of any coaster, the second half lets up. But it’s still a blast and the refurbishment made it smooth as glass. This is as smooth as opening year El Toro. 9 out of 10

 

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The first 2/3 look very much like El Toro.

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While the drop isn't as steep, it's still awesome.

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The finale has airtime. It just isn't Intamin levels of airtime.

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Feed the monster. And then shoot out his bum.

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If you don't feed him, he gets pissed.

 

I intended to hit Desert Race next, but Intamin accelerators and rain don’t mix. So I sought refuge in Ghostbusters 5D, the park's screen-based shooter. This one had an element true to the film that made it quite tricky. On this one, you don’t just shoot the ghosts. You need to hold your blaster on them for a few seconds to catch them.

 

The rest of the ride didn’t really have any tie-ins to the events of the films. I was stunned the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was nowhere to be found. That being said, the ride was still enjoyable. 7 out of 10

 

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This Ghostbusters fan was excited to ride.

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I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

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Ok, maybe I'm a little terrified of Slimer's butt. Does poop come out or slime?

 

I decided to hover around Desert Race since the day's weather would make that one a challenge to ride. So I killed time riding Indy-Blitz. But even by kiddie coaster standards, this one wasn't all that great. 2 out of 10

 

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This isn't racist, right?

 

The rain stopped again, so I made a beeline to Desert Race and got back-to-back rides. Even though this is a smaller accelerator coaster, the launch still packed a mighty wallop and gave me that stomach drop sensation.

 

The rest of the ride consists of a series of S-hills with great pops of ejector air. And because of its compactness, you really feel the speed. More so if you’re lucky enough to get the front. 8 out of 10

 

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The true desert race is Formula Rossa, but this is fun too.

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If you've been on Rita, you'll be familiar with Desert Race.

 

For as long as I’ve known about Heide Park, I’ve always been intrigued by their towering slides of death. Hyping up a slide is never a good idea and let’s just say they failed to live up to expectations.

 

As I discovered at the City Museum, cargo shorts and slides do not mix. Along with being slow, I felt every single connection. On the bright side, the views of the park were amazing. 3 out of 10

 

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As slides, the Slides of Death were disappointments.

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But the views were stunning!

 

Big Loop is one of the park’s most photogenic coasters as it’s situated on the water. And thankfully it rides well too. It has some nice air on the drop, forceful loops, quick corkscrews, and no headbanging. 6 out of 10

 

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Heide Park doesn't falsely advertise. The Big Loop has loops.

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It also walks on water.

 

Krake is one of those coasters that looks better than it rides. This is a true one trick pony. The vertical drop into the shop and subsequent splashdown are breathtaking to watch. Just be careful you don’t get hit by the wave. It isn’t worth the photo.

 

Krake’s drop had some great air, but it does nothing else. The Immelmann and camelback have zero force to them. 7 out of 10

 

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Krake is a very picturesque ride.

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Just don't try to get this shot unless you want to get soaked. Whoops.

 

Flug der Damonen was a great wing coaster. This one started with one of those awesome wingover drops where you get some nice hangtime into heavy Gs at the bottom. You then rip over a speed hill with better airtime than most B&M hypers.

 

Per usual, the Immelmann did nothing for me. I’m just not a fan of this inversion. But the following zero-G roll and demonic knot were loaded with hangtime. I was also surprised by this funky wave turn/turnaround thing before the brake run.

 

Flug der Damonen was great. I think it may be my favorite wing coaster after Thunderbird and Fenix. This one was odd in that the back was more floaty and the front was more whippy. 8 out of 10

 

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This speed hill was seriously awesome.

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Here's the world-famous, one-of-a-kind demonic knot!

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Here's the not one-of-a-kind zero-G roll.

 

I felt like I was back at SFNE since Heide Park also had a drop tower called Scream. Except this one isn’t a subpar S&S tower. Rather, this one is a sizable Intamin gyro drop situated on a hill with a great drop. 8 out of 10

 

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Apparently this used to be an observation tower, which is odd because the park has an observation tower on the complete opposite side of the park. I'm happy they upgraded this tower!

 

I have a confession to make. I am not a fan of Mack bobsleds. They vibrate way too much. And this is from someone who found the Mount Olympus wooden coasters perfectly fine. My ride in the front row of Bobbahn felt like a shopping cart rolling down a cobblestone hill.

 

In a moment of stupidity I decided to give it another shot. It was probably because of the layout. When I saw the short lift, I didn’t think Bobahn would be particularly long. Much to my surprise, it rips down a hill and actually has a second lift to return to the station.

 

And I learned an important lesson. Lean forward! I did this and the vibration disappeared. In retrospect, it made sense. I do that ride position all the time on rough woodies. I just didn’t think to do it on a steel coaster. 6 out of 10

 

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Screw the Jamaican bobsled team. I'm rooting for the Transylvanians!

 

I had put it off long enough. It was now time to risk a concussion on Limit. And while this SLC wasn’t the worst, it was pretty darn bad. Every time I ride one of these, I’m extremely grateful SFNE spent the extra cash to put the new trains on their SLC. 2 out of 10

 

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Limit will test the limit of your skull.

 

The last credit (depending on your perspective) was Grottenblitz, one of those Mack powered coasters that are all the rage in Europe. This one was absolutely forceless, but it had a surprise indoor section. 4 out of 10

 

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Heide Park is quite underrated in the landscaping department.

 

One of the oddest rides at the park was Drachengrotte, a How to Train Your Dragon themed boat ride. The outdoor section excels at landscaping. The indoor section...exists.

 

I applaud the park for trying, but the execution was a bit flawed. For example, there’s a point where you hear a dragon roar. So naturally you turn around and look. But instead of seeing a figure, you just see a giant box fan with a speaker next to it. The few figures they had did look good though. 5 out of 10

 

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Oddly the outdoor scenes looked better than the dark ride part.

 

Since the sun was now making an appearance, I figured I might as well get wet again on the flume. If you could make the most average flume possible, that is Wildwasserbahn. 6 out of 10

 

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Huss land has been ravaged. When you ride the observation tower, you can see all the empty pads. But fortunately, the rare Magic survived. Basically it’s an inverted break dance.

 

While it wasn’t as fast as a standard breakdance, the funky riding position was a novelty and it mixed in some tight spins with good Gs and drawn out spins with good whip. 7 out of 10

 

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The last time I saw one of these was at MarineLand. So of course it was closed.

 

I finished the night with an hour marathon on Colossos. I was optimistic it would be faster, but the finale was just as slow as it was earlier. Maybe it was the cooler weather, but it always seems to be like that in Europe. For those who rode the original Colossos, did the finale used to have stronger airtime?

 

Colossos is definitely behind El Toro and Balder, but it’s still a very good wooden coaster and a worthy star attraction. I think I have it 15th out of the almost 150 wooden coasters I’ve ridden.

 

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This was an accident in Google Photos, but I sort of like how it turned out.

 

Heide Park was arguably my favorite park of my Europe trip. It was a gorgeous park with an excellent ride lineup and a pinch of theming. Originally I was going to visit Heide Park in 2017, but I postponed my visit until Colossos reopened. While the park would have had plenty to keep me occupied, I’m glad I waited.

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Spot on review of Heide Park! I enjoyed it very much too. Great landscaping and good to great operations! Colossos is probably the worst of the intamin pre-fabs but still amazing! I rode it on a cold day in april and preferred the front as I did experience some (mild) ejector on those last bunny hills. The new theming was also very welcome, the friends I was with actually found it to be the best part of the ride.

 

I actually found flug of der damonen to be one of the worst wing coasters I have ridden. Except for the first speed hill, the ride is slow and forceless and has a pretty bad rattle to it in the back. Though I'm not a fan of most wing coasters in general.

 

I'd put Heide Park just a notch above Hansa Park, while Hansa's main coaster is better than anything Heide park's got to offer, the ride line up of Heide Park is one of the strongest in all of europe.

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I'm so envious of all your overseas park visits.. tho can't be too green with envy, as I DID just get back from Japan

 

the Heide Park update is fantastic - thanks so much for sharing.

 

of course what caught my eye was among your 1st pics:

 

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it looks like the same model I got to ride at Yokohama CosmoWorld!

with the upper level being fairly small, and the options to ride including teacups, swings, and bouncing horses.

 

how funny that I just saw my 1st ever Carousel of this type, and then you put up a report with one too.

 

loved it.

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^ Thanks! Japan is a pretty awesome place. I miss that country, but especially Tokyo Disneyland.

 

I definitely loved all the variety on the carousel. And I honestly probably would have missed it had Heide Park not opened it an hour before everything else.

 

Spot on review of Heide Park! I enjoyed it very much too. Great landscaping and good to great operations! Colossos is probably the worst of the intamin pre-fabs but still amazing! I rode it on a cold day in april and preferred the front as I did experience some (mild) ejector on those last bunny hills. The new theming was also very welcome, the friends I was with actually found it to be the best part of the ride.

 

I actually found flug of der damonen to be one of the worst wing coasters I have ridden. Except for the first speed hill, the ride is slow and forceless and has a pretty bad rattle to it in the back. Though I'm not a fan of most wing coasters in general.

 

I'd put Heide Park just a notch above Hansa Park, while Hansa's main coaster is better than anything Heide park's got to offer, the ride line up of Heide Park is one of the strongest in all of europe.

 

Colossos was without a doubt a back row ride for me much like El Toro. While the first half didn't have the same sensation of speed as the front, I found the airtime stronger from start to finish.

 

Out of curiosity, did you ride Flug der Damonen on the wing seat? I've found most wing coasters have a bounce to them if you're on the outside seat, but I don't notice it on the inside seat.

 

I agree Heide is slightly better than Hansa, although it's a toss-up which park I'd visit if I only had one day since Karnan is just that good.

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Colossos was without a doubt a back row ride for me much like El Toro. While the first half didn't have the same sensation of speed as the front, I found the airtime stronger from start to finish.

 

Out of curiosity, did you ride Flug der Damonen on the wing seat? I've found most wing coasters have a bounce to them if you're on the outside seat, but I don't notice it on the inside seat.

 

I agree Heide is slightly better than Hansa, although it's a toss-up which park I'd visit if I only had one day since Karnan is just that good.

 

I have yet to ride El Toro, but definitely will next year as I will move to NYC. I often enjoy the backseat more due to the higher intensity but do prefer the front if the ride has large hills with strong ejector (more abrupt), I'll just have to wait and ride the heck out of El Toro next year.

 

As for Flug der Damonen, I did ride it on the outer seats, but the shuffeling/rattle was really bad. Gave me a mild head ache, and I've never experienced that on a B&M before, including their wing coasters. Wing coasters in general aren't really my favorite type of rides anyways, but they're crowd pleasers like most B&M's.

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Heide Park has always impressed me from afar with its lineup of attractions and refurbed Colossus looks awesome with all of the updates! It does still astound me found few Intamin pre-fab wooden coasters there are out there.

 

Thanks for sharing another great report!

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Colossos was without a doubt a back row ride for me much like El Toro. While the first half didn't have the same sensation of speed as the front, I found the airtime stronger from start to finish.

 

Out of curiosity, did you ride Flug der Damonen on the wing seat? I've found most wing coasters have a bounce to them if you're on the outside seat, but I don't notice it on the inside seat.

 

I agree Heide is slightly better than Hansa, although it's a toss-up which park I'd visit if I only had one day since Karnan is just that good.

 

I have yet to ride El Toro, but definitely will next year as I will move to NYC. I often enjoy the backseat more due to the higher intensity but do prefer the front if the ride has large hills with strong ejector (more abrupt), I'll just have to wait and ride the heck out of El Toro next year.

 

As for Flug der Damonen, I did ride it on the outer seats, but the shuffeling/rattle was really bad. Gave me a mild head ache, and I've never experienced that on a B&M before, including their wing coasters. Wing coasters in general aren't really my favorite type of rides anyways, but they're crowd pleasers like most B&M's.

 

You're in for a treat with El Toro. I'd recommend trying a wing coaster on the inside next time if the bounciness gives you a headache.

 

Heide Park has always impressed me from afar with its lineup of attractions and refurbed Colossus looks awesome with all of the updates! It does still astound me found few Intamin pre-fab wooden coasters there are out there.

 

Thanks for sharing another great report!

 

I think it's interesting to know how much these pre-fab woodies end up costing in the long-run. Colossos and El Toro both cost upwards of $20 million, which matches a large scale steel coaster. Heide just spent $12 million to retrack it, but it's hard to say how much maintenance they did over the years. I know Six Flags Great Adventure has been replacing track sections of El Toro each year.

 

They're undeniably amazing rides with some wicked airtime.

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Echoing Adam this park has a really alluring line up and the Ghostbusters dark ride is icing the cake. The Colossus re-theme looks great! Glad to hear it's running so well after all the work they put into it. Wing coasters aren't my thing but damn, this one just looks badass. Really scrunched in there with some unique elements.

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Echoing Adam this park has a really alluring line up and the Ghostbusters dark ride is icing the cake. The Colossus re-theme looks great! Glad to hear it's running so well after all the work they put into it. Wing coasters aren't my thing but damn, this one just looks badass. Really scrunched in there with some unique elements.

 

Plus Flug der Damonen is built on a hillside. I didn't realize it would use the terrain like that.

 

Awesome report! I can’t agree with you enough on what the new trains and restraints have done to make SFNE’s SLC a fun ride.

 

Thanks! I went from not riding that coaster for 10 years to now trying to ride it each visit.

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I'm so envious of all your overseas park visits.. tho can't be too green with envy, as I DID just get back from Japan

 

the Heide Park update is fantastic - thanks so much for sharing.

 

of course what caught my eye was among your 1st pics:

 

thumb_nostalgiekarussell.jpg

 

it looks like the same model I got to ride at Yokohama CosmoWorld!

with the upper level being fairly small, and the options to ride including teacups, swings, and bouncing horses.

 

how funny that I just saw my 1st ever Carousel of this type, and then you put up a report with one too.

 

loved it.

 

I think it's the same model as Walibi Holland has, made by SBF Visa. Wiki

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Toverland

 

I have a guilty pleasure in life, playgrounds. That being said, I have a golden rule. A single adult shall not go to a playground without children unless there is no child present.

 

That was problematic at Toverland.

 

I had always heard this park was a wonderland of dangerous activities. I fully expected to leave with some battle scars. However, I left unscathed. It wasn’t by choice. It was due to crowds. I had never seen a trip report with this place busy, but basically every ride had a full queue. And it was a weekday.

 

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I felt like I was back at Islands of Adventure in terms of theming and crowds.

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So many ways to get hurt. So little time.

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So many kids.

 

Flash forward to the beginning of the day. I had no knowledge of the crowds that were soon to follow. Thankfully I had the foresight to start with the super low capacity bobkart, Maximus’ Blitz Bahn, since the ride had a posted 70 minute wait within an hour of opening.

 

I had previously ridden one bobkart at Skyline Park and thought it was a slow, boring ride. It felt more like an antique car ride than a pseudo roller coaster. I’m happy to say Maximus’ Blitz Bahn felt like a roller coaster. This thing felt fast.

 

I don’t think it went faster than 30 mph, but the enclosed sections combined with some tight turns and quick dips (with small pops of air thanks to no restraints) made the ride feel decently wild. I also liked the random theming throughout. 7 out of 10

 

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The correct riding position is shoving the levers all the way down.

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It was at this point I realized the park was going to be busy.

 

I considered hitting the Vekoma roller skater at this point, but I figured it wouldn’t have a line later in the day (spoiler alert, whoops). So instead I walked onto the funky looking flume, Expedition Zork.

 

The final drop was great; it was tall with a tiny pop of air. But it was the indoor part that made it stand out. There was some beautiful theming, a giant frog that spits on you, a backwards drop, and the world’s most screwed up turntable. Most turntables are located on flat ground. This one was on the lift itself. It felt so unnatural; I loved it. 9 out of 10

 

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At first it may look like a normal log flume.

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But then you see this theming.

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This is such an odd place for a turnaround.

 

Now it was time to make a lap of the coasters. I’m thankful Booster Bike was nearby since I beat the masses there. I waited 20 minutes for the front. By the time I got off, the queue had tripled in length. The entire queue was filled and it was overflowing down the midway.

 

I thought the launch was decently forceful in the motorbike position (it was comparable to a Zamperla). While the rest of the ride was pretty forceless, the rush of wind and riding position made it enjoyable. 7 out of 10

 

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Booster Bike puts you in a true motorbike position unlike a certain roller coaster in Orlando themed to a giant.

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I can't wait for Tron.

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This is what Booster Bike's queue looked like by the time I got off.

 

Dwervelwind was still only a 20 minute wait, so I grabbed two laps. Mack spinners are a guilty pleasure of mine. While this one may be the least intense that I’ve ridden, it compensates with on-board audio.

 

This one did have a great start though. The drop is whippy, but my favorite part was the horseshoe turn. It feels like you’re going to stall out and then all of the sudden, you’re whipped to the ground. 7 out of 10

 

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Mack spinners are the best spinners.

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The landscaping at this park is top notch.

 

I then entered into Avalon and found the crowds. Merlin’s Quest had a full queue, so I shuddered to think just how long Fenix’s queue was. It was ~40 minutes, but it was enclosed and themed so I didn’t mind.

 

Fenix kicked things off with a wingover drop. It just feels wrong to start a wing coaster without this great inversion. I love how you get hangtime one second and then are pulled to the ground the next. I do like the airtime on Wild Eagle’s drop, but Fenix had me covered.

 

After the drop, there’s this speed hill with some serious and sustained floater airtime. That’s followed by an ok Immelmann and the most surprising part of the ride, this high speed, low-to-the-ground turn. Whoever calls wing coasters forceless needs to ride Fenix. This turn had me seeing grey!

 

Fenix that soars through a great zero-G roll and this s-hill with a pinch of airtime. And that’s it. Fenix may be short, but it’s one of my favorite wing coasters. The interactions with the paths and pacing makes it stand out. 8 out of 10

 

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I'm sure no one has seen this shot before.

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The entire Avalon area looked incredible.

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If you think wing riders are forceless, ride Fenix.

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This hill had better airtime than a lot of B&M hypers.

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I'll pick reverse cowgirl.

 

After two rides on Fenix, I made my way towards the imposing wooden structure of Troy. This is often considered one of GCI’s best coasters, so anticipation mounted during my hour wait. And to be honest, I was a bit disappointed.

 

It rode like your average GCI. In no way is that a bad thing. It just didn’t differentiate itself from the rest of the pack. I thought it was going to be different when it started with a floater hill, but it quickly became a fast-paced flurry of quick airtime pops.

 

Troy was basically Thunderhead to me. And in no way is that a bad thing. Troy is quite good, but it isn’t in the upper echelon of GCIs like Mystic Timbers, Gold Striker, and Renegade. 8 out of 10

 

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The last time I saw a Trojan Horse, I was at Mt. Olympus. I was happier to see this one at Toverland.

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Troy is such a massive wooden structure.

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I know a lot of people that call this one of the best GCIs.

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But I think it's more middle-of-the-pack.

 

I then had one coaster left, Toos-Express. By this point, Toverland was bursting at the seam. Trying to navigate through the indoor area gave me flashbacks to Disneyland. It was a challenge to find where ride lines began as they were spilling into the midway, which could only be described as a sea of people.

 

I think I waited almost a half hour for Toos-Express. It was definitely cool flying through the indoor section and it was more forceful than expected, but it was also jostled quite a bit. 4 out of 10

 

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Finding the start of this line was a bit challenging.

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I'm a sucker for headchoppers with a ceiling.

 

Since I’m a sucker for European fun houses, Villa Fiasko was a must. And I encountered a first here- an actual line for a fun house. This is when you know a place is packed.

 

After 20 minutes I was admitted into Villa Fiasko and it took ~10 minutes to navigate. I wish it were due to it being a long and elaborate house, but it was more due to bottlenecks at the gags. The sliding staircase with strobes (which is as disorienting as it sounds) was the biggest culprit.

 

While I liked the obstacles, theme, and whimsical music of Villa Fiasko, it was hard to enjoy it fully with people nipping at my heels. 7 out of 10

 

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Ugh, now I have this ride's theme song stuck in my head again.

 

I’m happy for Toverland. To see a place that started as a small FEC evolve into a full-fledged theme park in less than two decades is incredible. And I’m glad the park is drawing crowds. It was just unfortunate they all decided to show up on the day I visited.

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