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Walibi Holland

 

Walibi Holland was one of my most anticipated parks in Europe. It was both due to the coaster lineup and the unhealthy amount of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 I used to play. And the park didn’t disappoint.

 

But I have a question. Were the designers on acid when they came up with the themes at this park?

 

And I mean that as a compliment. The themes are so bizarre and eclectic, but Walibi Holland goes all-in so they end up working.

 

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At first Walibi Holland may look like your standard pretty park.

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But then you see theming like this. WTF?

 

Since I only had a half day after work, I was absolutely getting a Fast Lane. It didn't matter that it was dark, dreary, and rainy, Europeans still come out in droves since they aren’t wimps like Americans.

 

It was the biggest help for Untamed. The new-for-2019 RMC was only running one train and the regular queue was almost 2 hours in length. I felt a little guilt riding Untamed as many times as I did, but I couldn’t help myself. It’s truly one of the world’s best coasters.

 

Untamed kicks things off with an amazing first drop and speed hill. And as you’d expect from RMC, both delivered fantastic airtime. That’s then followed by the double stall thing that is loaded with crazy hangtime. It may have been my favorite element on the ride.

 

You then rocket through this curved hill mixing ejector airtime and laterals. That’s then followed by this massive camelback. The sustained ejector on this hill rivals Storm Chaser’s second hill. You then have a wave turn/hill that feels exactly like the one on Twisted Cyclone.

 

After a wonderful zero-G roll, you go through another wave turn/hill. This one’s airtime was more of the floater variety, but any airtime is extreme when you’re perpendicular to the ground.

 

The return run is glorious. I can see it being too much for some. You have 8 straight bunny hills with powerful pops of ejector air. The only reprieve is this low-to-the-ground barrel roll, which is also wild. Would you expect anything else from RMC?

 

I love coasters that are perfectly paced and that is most definitely Untamed. There isn’t a single dead spot on this ride. Untamed feels like a wilder and faster paced version of Twisted Timbers. And now it’s my second favorite steel coaster, only behind Steel Vengeance. 10 out of 10

 

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Does anyone know what this ride is called?

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It's impossible not to love Untamed. The lift hill commands you to love it.

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So much airtime and twisted track. It truly is untamed.

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I think Untamed is themed to a hippies in the wild. But your guess is as good as mine.

 

The easiest way to tell that Walibi Holland used to be a Six Flags park is the presence of a ride called Goliath. And I was definitely looking forward to this junior hyper. That’s why I was a bit nervous when I saw the back row blocked off and people wearing what appeared to be VR headsets.

 

I say appeared to be since Walibi Holland was doing this blindfold challenge. I didn’t partake, but it seemed to be a hit with teenagers. And because it was like a sleep mask, it didn’t slow loading one bit.

 

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Because just closing your eyes is too much effort.

 

They were loading the back row with non-blindfold riders every other cycle and I’m very grateful since that’s the money seat on Goliath. The second hill is sustained ejector in every row, but the finale’s airtime is considerably stronger in the back. Plus you have the great air on the first drop.

 

I loved the beginning and end to Goliath, but the ride does hit a bit of a lull towards the middle. You can still appreciate the ride’s speed, but the S-hills had no airtime and the helices had no force. 8.5 out of 10

 

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Unlike most Six Flags parks, this Goliath is actually the tallest coaster in the park.

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If only Goliath had a middle. Then it would be the perfect coaster.

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Goliath was temperamental all day. Hence the lack of a train in this photo.

 

Lost Gravity was basically Mack taking a Gerstlauer Eurofighter and pumping it with steroids. This thing was nuts! And it all started with that violent first drop. It has some Expedition GeForce levels of ejector air and crazy laterals.

 

That’s followed by a powerful speed hill (similar to those on RMCs) and a funky top hat that offers another dose of airtime and laterals. Next is a camelback with some good ejector air. You then get a quick pop of air as you enter a turnaround and hit the MCBR.

 

The second half is noticeably slower, but that works to Lost Gravity’s advantage. The dive drop and zero-G roll have some fantastic hangtime. But if you prefer more traditional airtime, don’t worry. There are still 2-3 other tiny pops before you hit the brakes.

 

I really liked Lost Gravity, but I need to mention this ride had a serious rattle to it. It didn’t bother me after my first ride, but I definitely had a headache after 3-4 consecutive rides. Really that’s the ride’s only weakness. 9 out of 10

 

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Yes, you really do enter through this school bus. WTF?!

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This drop is wicked.

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Lost Gravity really is a bizarre ride. And that's what makes it so good.

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Can you find my gravity?

 

Drako was a respectable junior coaster, but there was nothing memorable about it. I actually like the whip on the first drop on the large Zierer tivolis, so it always bums me out to ride the castrated medium Tivoli model. 3 out of 10

 

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Since Walibi Holland has arguably the world’s worst SLC, they are at least considerate enough to have arguably the world’s best boomerang. Speed of Sound has the Vekoma vests so I could appreciate the Gs without the pain.

 

But the real star is the dance club atmosphere. You have booming on-board audio and an enclosed lift that I’m going to call the party tube. 6 out of 10

 

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It may look like your ordinary boomerang.

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But it's really a dance club.

 

If you ever wanted to know what it would be like to ride Rock “n” Roller Coaster with the lights on, go to Walibi Holland and ride Xpress. While the launch is good, particularly due to the lighting effects, the rest of the ride is sort of uneventful without the darkness. It is still smooth though.

 

My favorite part of Xpress was actually the queue. I had no clue it was essentially a haunt. The queue had several jump scares and the theme of a haunted subway station was downright eerie. 6.5 out of 10

 

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I preferred this to Platform 9 3/4s.

 

Larry, shield your eyes. I too experienced NeuroGen, but I didn’t find it earth-shattering. Just good.

 

It’s definitely cool a VR attraction like this exists at such a big park. And the health clinic theme is well executed. I just wasn’t wowed as wowed by the quick-cutting, acid trip plot. I will admit the VR was as crisp as any I’ve ever seen though. 7 out of 10

 

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I'm currently in the outpatient clinic.

 

Crazy River was a much more elaborate flume than expected. I was already excited for the double down, which was quite good, but I had no idea this thing had a backwards portion. That seems to be a common theme with European flumes. 8 out of 10

 

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I never used to like double downs, but maybe that was because they were from KFC.

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Yes, the park even has a joke about child labor.

 

SLCs are arguably the most maligned coaster model out there. And it’s for good reason. They are multi-million dollar concussion machines. And it had to start somewhere. El Condor is the original.

 

As I approached El Condor, the heavens opened up. It was all too fitting. It was like the stereotypical movie scene when the villain’s lair is always accompanied by a torrential downpour.

 

But I have to be honest. El Condor wasn’t *that* bad. It was still wretched. But it didn’t reach the true turd levels of a Flight Deck, MP-Xpress, or Blue Tornado. 2 out of 10

 

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El Condor is Spanish for pain.

 

I then returned to Untamed and the rain only intensified. If they chose to shut the ride down, I would have totally understood. But since they didn’t, you can bet I was going to ride it.

 

I’m thankful my favorite seat on Untamed was the back row since I had 22 human shields in front of me. Riding a coaster as wild as Untamed in a rainstorm as ferocious as it was seemed surreal. It made me love the ride even more.

 

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I think this is the hardest rain in which I've ever ridden a coaster.

 

It’s worth noting that Goliath had been closed for a few hours at this point. Since it was just 15 minutes prior to closing, I found it unlikely they’d reopen it. But for peace of mind, I had to check. And the coaster gods answered my prayers; it was testing.

 

It was quickly apparent what the issue was. The drive tires on the brake run were too slick to pull the train back into the station. SFNE’s Superman has the same issue on rainy days. After much squealing, the train returned to the station and Goliath reopened.

 

The smart decision would have been to ride in the back. It was the better seat and less painful with the rain. So of course I chose the front. After the acupuncture, I had just enough time to a final ride in the back.

 

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No pain, no gain.

 

Since I’m a coaster nerd, I of course wanted a souvenir. But the apparel was as odd as the park’s theming. While it may be acceptable to wear a shirt that says “F#ck slow, hard gaan (go fast)” in the Netherlands, I don’t think that’ll fly back home.

 

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Hmmm, this seems like something I couldn't wear in America.

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But in the Netherlands it's perfectly fine. Look at the employee modeling the shirt.

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If I had a greater connection to Robin Hood, these would have been super tempting.

 

Any of the top three coasters alone would make Walibi Holland worth visiting, so having all three together is a real treat. The theming is downright odd, but it can’t help bring a smile to your face.

Edited by Canobie Coaster
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Nice report, as always. I suspect the theme of Walibi Holland is just to intentionally be as bizarre and confusing as possible.

 

Also, you may want to fix this typo:

Since Walibi Holland has arguably the world’s worst boomerang, they are at least considerate enough to have arguably the world’s best boomerang.
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Wilder and faster than Twisted Timbers?! That's insane. Twisted Timbers is the most intense RMC in my opinion and I really liked it, but I thought that was about the limit of crazyness they could achieve. Stupid of me to think there is a limit on anything they do Great report!

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^ Thanks! It really is insane how far RMC has come. They keep adding even crazier transitions with less time in between them.

 

Untamed doesn't have that throwaway overbank at the end or those mini hills of Twisted Timbers, it's relentless ejector airtime from start to finish.

 

Nice report, as always. I suspect the theme of Walibi Holland is just to intentionally be as bizarre and confusing as possible.

 

Also, you may want to fix this typo:

Since Walibi Holland has arguably the world’s worst boomerang, they are at least considerate enough to have arguably the world’s best boomerang.

 

Thanks! I just corrected the typo. It must have been a side effect from El Condor trying to concuss me.

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Larry, shield your eyes. I too experienced NeuroGen, but I didn’t find it earth-shattering. Just good.

 

It’s definitely cool a VR attraction like this exists at such a big park. And the health clinic theme is well executed. I just wasn’t wowed as wowed by the quick-cutting, acid trip plot. I will admit the VR was as crisp as any I’ve ever seen though. 7 out of 10

 

No one should give a rating below 11 out of 10. This rating is unacceptable (and misleadingly incorrect). This happens when one becomes a credit whore and doesn't fully appreciate the whole park experience. With age comes maturity and greater intelligence. But at least you gave it a try.

 

Having ridden SFNE's Superman Ride of Steel multiple times in the front row during a fierce rainstorm, your acupuncture comment is quite right on. Luckily you had glasses, acupuncture on the eyeballs is not fun.

Edited by larrygator
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I was thanking the universe that I had chosen a back car seat on Hakugei for the ride we ended up having in the pouring rain.

 

I mean, it's going to (probably forever) be the best ride I've ever had on a coaster.

 

We were shrieking and laughing the whole way - since the downpour started the moment we left the station, and ended the moment we hit the brake run. but I could just imagine the ride if we hadn't had a dozen or so rows in front of us a "buffer"

 

LOL

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Slagharen

 

Slagharen is a perfect example why I love Europe. It was cold; it was rainy. I'm pretty sure most US parks would have closed without any hesitation. But in Europe, there is nothing to fear. That is unless you hate water. Then you should be very afraid.

 

Until 2 years ago, I had no clue Slagharen even existed. But a shiny triple launching Gerstlauer put it on my radar. I wasn't able to join TPR in 2017 for the post-trip, but I was able to squeeze this western themed park in on my most recent Europe trip.

 

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What a cute park.

 

I had no clue this park was owned by Parques Reunidos going into my visit, but I wasn't the least bit surprised once I entered the park and found that almost everything had a delayed opening.

 

One of the earliest rides to open was Gold Rush and even that didn't open for a half hour. I guess the moral of the story is to not rush to Slagharen for opening. I know that now, but there was nothing on the site mentioning they did this.

 

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On the bright side, the delayed openings let me fill in the Park Index. Here's the new-for-2019 Black Hill Ranger Path. The course does include a zipline coaster, but it was closed due to technical issues.

 

But Gold Rush was worth the wait. Unlike the Mack triple launchers, Gold Rush's second and third launches actually have some kick to them. However, my favorite part may have been the hangtime on the reverse spike. It's strong and very sustained, particularly towards the back.

 

The top hat surprisingly offered no air towards the front, but it instead offered some strong laterals. The back was the opposite, as the laterals were minimal but the drop had some great ejector air. That's followed by an overbank that had me seeing grey and a camelback with strong airtime throughout the train.

 

Last but not least was Gold Rush's wild finale, the dive loop. I got the hangtime I expected, but I was not prepared for the wild laterals on my front row ride. This whip was much less pronounced towards the back.

 

I think I preferred the front on Gold Rush because of the laterals, but the back was great too for the better airtime/hangtime. I know it's cliche, but both Slagharen and Gerstlauer struck gold with this ride. 8 out of 10

 

I also have to note the operations on Gold Rush. They were efficient. In fact, they may have been too efficient. There were several instances where guests were placing their belongings in loose article bins and the ops accidentally closed a restraint. But instead of unlocking them, they would open the airgates and make you wait for the next train. I've never seen this at any other park.

 

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Gerstlauer packed a lot of ride into a small space.

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I love the tramp stamp.

 

After riding Gold Rush for a half hour, everything else opened. So I made the Wild West Adventure dark ride my next stop. This dark ride is a bit odd since it's housed in a giant tent rather than a traditional show building, but it was perfectly fine.

 

Wild West Adventure basically uses a river rapids ride system minus the rapids. I was expecting a relatively cheap and basic dark ride, but this had a wonderful atmosphere, some solid Indian and cowboy animatronics, and a few bonus effects like geysers synchronized with gunshots. 8 out of 10

 

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This was almost the most racist ride of the trip. But Bobbejaanland had this beat.

 

I then backtracked to the front of the park where it was noticeably busier. And when I say busy, I'm referring to 5-10 minute waits. It was actually impressive things weren't walk-ons considering the weather.

 

The roller skater was fittingly themed to a mine train. It was also unoriginally named Mine Train. This was one of the extended versions. I've said it before, but I find the smaller ones to be a bit smoother and punchier. 3 out of 10

 

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I was already soaked, so I took a lap on Ripsaw Falls. There was no Dudley Do-Right or crazy drops on this flume, but you could get equally as drenched.

 

You see, the second lift comes dangerously close to the splashdown. And when I saw a full boat coming, I knew I was screwed. But outside of that, it wasn't a particularly good or memorable flume. 4 out of 10

 

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Where's Dudley Do Right?

 

Slagharen is home to arguably the coolest looking swinger out there in Apollo. But does it ride as well as it looks? Not really.

 

While most swing rides get their height from the base rising, Apollo gets all its height from centripetal force. This results in a meager max height and the lack of tilt made it duller than the other wave swingers or yo-yos I've ridden. 4 out of 10

 

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Is this one of a kind?

 

The hardest ride to check off was Free Fall. This was the only ride I saw close when the rain was at its worst. But when the rain reduced to a drizzle, I was finally able to ride this drop tower.

 

I have no clue who the manufacturer is (Fabbri?), but the restraints were bulky. You had the normal OSTR plus this chest plate component. Because of this, I didn't feel any air on the drop. I did get a nice stomach drop sensation at the start of the drop though, probably because of how sudden it was. There was zero warning. As far as drop towers go, it was decent. 7 out of 10

 

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I'm a sucker for a good drop tower.

 

I also rode the Observation Tower at one point, but I have nothing to show for it. Picture a car windshield in a rainstorm without wipers. That was basically my ride in a nutshell.

 

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So many observation rides.

 

Before leaving, I took a few more laps on Gold Rush. It had some technical difficulties in the middle of the day, but it was still able to run in a downpour. Gold Rush is such a nice fit for a park like Slagharen.

 

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I'll say it again, the park struck gold with Gold Rush.

 

Slagharen isn't in the top tiers of European parks, but it's an enjoyable place for what it is. Gold Rush is a very good coaster and the park has a solid atmosphere. Just don't order a burger. I ordered a "plain burger" and got this vile thing.

 

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*Barf*

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I should've eaten at Big D...

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Was that just a bread bun dyed black, or was it of some other "food" substance? It reminds me of that Halloween publicity stunt Burger King did a few years back with the Whopper.

I immediately thought of the Halloween Whopper when I saw that.

 

The bun was dyed black and dry, but even the patty tasted off.

I usually go for the local food in other countries over a burger unless the place is known for their burgers. Then again I rarely ever get a burger in any amusement or theme park because what park actually makes a good burger?

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I usually go for the local food in other countries over a burger unless the place is known for their burgers. Then again I rarely ever get a burger in any amusement or theme park because what park actually makes a good burger?

 

That's a fair point. I had a good burger the day before at Walibi Holland, so I was a little too optimistic.

 

UGH on that burger. You should post it in the Burger Thread, as "one NOT to get" lol.

 

I forgot that thread existed.

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Movie Park Germany

 

Most of the Parques Reunidos parks on this trip weren’t too bad. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell had I not looked it up. But Movie Park Germany was textbook Parques Reunidos.

 

Rides had both delayed openings and early closures. One train ops? You bet! The park was empty, but a Speedy Pass was 100% necessary under those conditions.

 

Now that I have that off my chest, I want to talk about the good. And there was a lot of good. Movie Park Germany is a true theme park. Every area and most rides have some sort of theming accompanying them.

 

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Ride the movies!

 

And the premier attraction is Star Trek: Operation Enterprise. As a Star Trek fan, I absolutely loved the attention to detail in the queue and pre-show.

 

What I didn’t like was the capacity. Star Trek can run multiple trains thanks to a switch track, but it was down to one train. Even worse, the entire front car was blocked off. Even with Speedy Pass, it still took 20-30 minutes to board.

 

Mack launchers are great rides. Just don’t expect a good launch. While the hangtime on the twisted reverse spike is fantastic, the force on the launches just isn’t there. It’s sort of ironic just how good Mack launchers are considering just how bad the launches themselves are.

 

The top hat had some decent airtime, but the best part was the double barrel roll. The hangtime through that element was sublime. That’s followed by an aggressive turn, a double down with some weak air, a bunny hill with some strong air, and a wonderful zero-G roll. 8 out of 10

 

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Red shirt. That guy is totally dead.

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Star Trek catches your eye when you enter, but the entrance is in a galaxy far, far away.

 

Van Helsing’s Factory was a very neat indoor experience. I call it an experience because while it’s undoubtedly a coaster, the ride has some incredible theming. This ride could exist as a standalone dark ride and it would still be one of the park’s best attractions.

 

I don’t think the coaster is more than 25-30 feet tall, but it’s deceptively wild. The drops are quite abrupt and there are a few turns you don’t see coming. 7.5 out of 10

 

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If only that movie with Hugh Jackman was this good.

 

I loved Acrophobia at SFOG back in 2016. The standing floorless position was bizarre, but it was downright terrifying being tilted towards the ground. Honestly, I found it far scarier than something like Falcon’s Fury. For that reason, I was bummed it was closed during my visit last year.

 

Thankfully, Movie Park Germany had the same ride in High Fall…or so I thought. The gondola was the same, but when we reached the top something was off. We never tilted. Between this and Highlander, I guess I’m just not meant to experience a tilting drop tower in Germany.

 

Even without the tilt feature, the drop was still incredible. I was floating the whole way down. Plus, I was caught off-guard since I kept expecting it to tilt before it dropped. 9 out of 10

 

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High Fall is so tall that you can see the Santa Monica Pier (themed area).

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Maybe it's just me, but this riding position isn't nearly as painful as you'd expect.

 

I then entered into Pain Central. I knew Movie Park Germany was home to two of the most painful coasters in the world in Bandit and MP-Xpress. What I didn’t know was that they’re literally right next to each other. Whoever designed that has to be a serial killer.

 

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Whose idea was it to place these two things next to each other?

 

I started with Bandit. I braced for the worst, but something odd happened. I didn’t completely hate it. The ride was definitely bumpy, but I didn’t find it painful. And that included a ride in the very back. I think I may be the anomaly though since the dude next to me was angrily yelling in German.

 

Honestly, my biggest issue with Bandit was its speed. The ride looks and sounds awful. It sounds like nails on a chalkboard as the coaster crawls through the course. That being said, the second half did still manage to provide a little airtime. 4 out of 10

 

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I didn't hate Bandit. The guy next to me sure did though.

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I found it more slow than rough to be honest.

 

MP-Xpress is every bit as bad as its reputation suggests. Like most SLCs, this one was filled with non-stop headbanging. However, this one took the pain to a whole new level by also kidney punching me at several points throughout the ride. 1 out of 10

 

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That guy now realizes he made a mistake.

 

The nearby disko seemed like a safe attraction to catch my breath, but there was something very wrong with this one. Diskos are usually one of the most visually appealing flats with their oversized vehicle and vibrant lighting package. Crazy Surfer looked rusted and weathered.

 

The appearance would have been forgivable, but the sack whacks were not. The valleys on this one were quite jolty. In a normal riding position, this wouldn’t have been an issue. But it results in pain when the restraint has your crotch pressed against something. 2 out of 10

 

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I never would have thought this could be more painful than Bandit.

 

Fearing the water rides may have early closures, I figured it’d be wise to start knocking those out. I made it onto Area 51 with just 5 minutes to spare. Maybe it was because the ride was being soft opened, but it closed 3 hours before the rest of the park at 5 pm.

 

For the most part, the indoor sets are extremely well done. The sets are large and the park’s take on aliens is unique (picture a brain for the head instead of the stereotypical green body). The only part that didn’t fit in was this gratuitous backwards section where you pass through an ancient temple.

 

The ride also included two drops. Neither drop was particularly steep, but the splashes were refreshing. I was also stunned the lap bars released during the final drop. I’m unsure if that was intentional or not. It’s a shame the ride closed early because I would have loved to go again. 9 out of 10

 

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I lucked out with the timing for this ride's soft opening.

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The sets inside the mountain were exceptional.

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For some odd reason, the restraints unlock before you return to the station.

 

Thankfully, the other water rides only closed a half hour before the park. Excalibur is technically a river rapids ride, but it’s best considered a dark ride. This ride has barely any rapids. In fact, it barely has any sprayers to boot.

 

But what it does have is exceptional theming. The sets are grand and detailed. And it’s a long ride too. I know this ride was recently renovated, but I was blown away by the amount of detail on this ride. 9 out of 10

 

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I thought I learned all the secrets of the Dark Forest on Verbolten.

 

I thought the log flume would be the driest of the water rides, but I was wildly mistaken. Dora’s Big River Adventure will soak you. And the culprit is the first drop. Since the splashdown occurs in this narrow tunnel, the entirety of the splash is redirected back on the rider.

 

If you don’t want to get drenched stay far away from Dora. While it looks like a highly themed flume, there isn’t any theming in the mountain. And beyond that, the drops are nothing special. 5 out of 10

 

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That tunnel is pure evil. Or as Dora would say, "No bueno."

 

I then picked off the three coaster clones in the Nickelodeon area. My first stop was Ghost Chasers. You’d think that were themed to Danny Phantom based on the name, but it’s actually themed to SpongeBob. Poor Danny Phantom never gets any love.

 

As a ride, Ghost Chasers is your average mouse. This one had a brake towards the end of the top section that dialed back the laterals and airtime for the remainder of the ride. 5 out of 10

 

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Is the Flying Dutchman shooting a laser booger at SpongeBob? WTF?

 

Jimmy Neutron’s Atomic Flyer is a junior SLC. But unlike the ones at the Cedar Fair parks, this one has lap bar trains. It sucks getting a concussion on a SLC, but it especially sucks to get one on a coaster meant for kids.

 

Jimmy Neutron was pretty slow and uneventful, but the ride was perfectly comfortable and I loved the amount of freedom granted by the restraints. The operator also gave two laps. 4 out of 10

 

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Thank goodness this thing doesn't have OSTRs.

 

My final coaster was Backyardigans: Mission to Mars. This was your typical roller skater. The only thing noteworthy was that the op had a devil of a time locking and unlocking restraints. These suckers wouldn’t lock and when they finally did, they wouldn’t unlock without a Herculean yank. 4 out of 10

 

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I never realized Backyardigans were a Nickelodeon property.

 

After some rerides on Star Trek, I had 20 minutes before closing. I still wanted to hit Time Riders, but on the way I figured I could squeeze in High Fall since it had no line.

 

However, that assumed the op would actually load the dang thing. The op said he was only running it on the half hour if he didn't have a full load.

 

Compare that to the ride op at Time Riders. He was a fellow coaster enthusiast (turns out he too wants RMC Bandit) and really got into the pre-show. After the first pre-show, there was a second pre-show with a giant and elaborate time machine.

 

Then came the ride itself. I was hopeful it would be an immersive dark ride, but it was a simulator. This one was among the more jerky (think Wild Arctic), but the image quality was solid. I was a bit lost since I don’t speak German, but I still had fun. 6 out of 10

 

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You enter here, but the show building is actually way behind that top spin in the distance.

 

The operations at Movie Park Germany leave a lot to be desired. Between one train operations, inefficient dispatches, and staggered closing times, I could tell this place was owned by Parques Reunidos.

 

However, I really liked everything else about the park. The staff was super friendly and the park had some great theming, particularly on their dark rides.

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I liked Operation Enterprise quite a bit, and Van Helsing's Factory is fun. I didn't bother with Bandit the last time I was there (that ride nearly beat me to death years ago).

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Great report!

 

If I ever did make it out to Germany, Movie World is definitely a park I'd want to visit. Operation Enterprise looks mandatory for any Star Trek fan. It's a teensy bit further away than Star Trek: The Experience was in Vegas, but that didn't have a coaster either. Then... is it bad that I kinda want to ride MP-Xpress now just to see how bad it really is?

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I liked Operation Enterprise quite a bit, and Van Helsing's Factory is fun. I didn't bother with Bandit the last time I was there (that ride nearly beat me to death years ago).

 

I think Bandit actually had the longest line in the park.

 

Great report!

 

If I ever did make it out to Germany, Movie World is definitely a park I'd want to visit. Operation Enterprise looks mandatory for any Star Trek fan. It's a teensy bit further away than Star Trek: The Experience was in Vegas, but that didn't have a coaster either. Then... is it bad that I kinda want to ride MP-Xpress now just to see how bad it really is?

 

Thanks! Operation Enterprise definitely used the Star Trek IP well. As for MP-Xpress, imagine the headbanging of Kong with some punches to the back mixed in for variety.

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I honestly think Movie Park gets more hate than it deserves. It's just because you have about four (far) superior parks within a two hour driving distance. The park doesn't excel at anything, but it doesn't do anything horribly wrong either... well maybe the operations... yea those suck.

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Bobbejaanland

 

Bobbejaanland originally wasn’t on this trip. However, the rave reviews of Fury changed my mind. There was a way to squeeze it in, but it would come at the expense of a full day at Efteling.

 

I was optimistic I could make a quick lap of Bobbejaanland before crowds hit, but I was a bit nervous. The park’s major rides didn’t seem to be people eaters and two of the coasters had VR.

 

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Thank you Bobbejaan Schoepen.

 

I arrived for rope drop and joined the rush for Fury. The ride had a delayed opening, but the line was never shorter. It had a full queue (~1 hour) all day.

 

What makes Fury special is that you can vote to go backwards. While the voting system was neat, I sort of wish the station was split into forwards-backwards rather than forwards-voting. I got the outcome I wanted, but it would have been annoying if I wasn’t able to experience it.

 

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Make sure to stuff those ballots for backwards.

 

Unlike Mack triple launchers, Fury had some force to the launch. But the highlight of the launch sequence was still the copious amount of hangtime on the reverse spike. After the launch, you fly over a top hat with great airtime over the top and wild laterals on the way down.

 

That’s followed by a massive zero-G roll with some great hangtime. Fury then weaves around itself before entering a wonderful loop that starts with positive Gs, but you run out of steam so you get hangtime over the top. You then travel up one last spike (getting hangtime of course) before hitting the brakes.

 

Fury wasn’t quite as intense as I expected, but it was just pure fun. 8 out of 10

 

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Fury 325...minus 184.

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It appears they're about to be impaled.

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I'd love to see one of these come to America.

 

I then figured it’d be wise to knock out the VR coasters, so I made my way over to Revolution. I always thought Zierer Tivolis had comically long trains. However, Revolution puts those coasters to shame. This thing had a 30 car train!

 

I know Revolution is a coaster, but it felt more like a Himalaya. The entire downhill sequence is one big helix that gets progressively faster. Or maybe it just felt that way thanks to the lighting. 5 out of 10

 

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See this long station. You're only seeing 2/3 of the train.

 

Dream Catcher wasn’t yet running VR, but it was still a half hour wait due to its putrid capacity. While I loved Dream Catcher’s placement over the water, it was far too tame for my tastes. I don’t recall there being any real drops and the lack of speed negated any swinging. 4 out of 10

 

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Dream Catcher's capacity was a nightmare.

 

Up next was the coaster with arguably the best capacity, Oki Doki. This extended roller skater was sporting two trains with lightning fast dispatches. I wasn’t expecting much of it, but I was pleasantly surprised.

 

The first drop had a surprising amount of whip to it. We’re not talking Skull Mountain or anything, but it was better than it had any right to be. The rest of the ride was fairly tame, but I enjoyed how it went over the midway and lake. 5 out of 10

 

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This drop is no joke.

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So many clowns.

 

I then made my way over to Indiana River, the park’s enclosed log flume. It was at this point I realized the crowds had arrived. While the line never stopped moving, I think it took ~40-45 minutes.

 

Indiana River was exceptional. It felt more like a dark ride than a flume. The ride had way more theming than expected. It was a mix of animatronics and grand sets with rockwork and statues.

 

But in typical flume fashion there were drops as well. Three in fact. All the drops were really small, but the last one had a surprising pop of air thanks to the runway leading up to it. And of course you come off soaked since it’s always the little drops that get you. 9 out of 10

 

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Log Flume + Dark Ride = Happy Canobie Coaster

 

Europe had a lot of politically incorrect dark rides. But the king of them may be El Paso Special. Most dark rides have you shoot robots, aliens, or ghosts. El Paso Special has you shoot cowboys, Indians, women, children, drunks, etc. No one is safe.

 

You’re bound to feel like a dick when you come off this ride. I know this ride would offend some, but I loved just how wrong it was. 9 out of 10

 

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There is no way this could exist in America.

 

My biggest mistake of the day was riding Bob Express, the Mack powered coaster. Usually these things are capacity monsters and walk-ons. However, Bob Express had a deceptively long queue that took almost 45 minutes. Ouch!

 

While this had a nice layout going over the flume and water, it wasn’t worth the wait. That was especially true since it came at the expense of some Efteling time. 5 out of 10

 

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Bob Express travels over rocks, water, and rides.

 

I figured I’d have an hour wait for Typhoon, but it was surprisingly only 15 minutes. Maybe it was because no one could find the entrance? I knew the entrance was moved to Land of Legends, but I saw a ton of people confusedly walk where I believe the entrance used to be.

 

As one of the first Eurofighters, I suspected Typhoon may be rough. Thankfully, Typhoon’s transitions are taken relatively slowly so it isn’t a big headbanger. That allowed me to appreciate the great air on the drop, the surprisingly forceful loop, and the hangtime on the barrel rolls. 7 out of 10

 

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I feel like this layout was meant to be cloned. But it never was.

 

Naga Bay was dispatching trains with the efficiency of an assembly line, but it still took about a half hour to board. This is a Maurer spinner, but the thick track gauge looks more like a Mack version.

 

While Naga Bay had plenty of spinning, it was one brake run after another. What little speed you got was quickly taken away. I guess that’s the cost of running so many cars. 6 out of 10

 

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I love how many of the park's rides are built by the water.

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Look at that uncharacteristic Maurer spinner track gauge.

 

My last coaster was Speedy Bob, but that became a hard pass once I saw the queue spilling into the midway. If I had a full day, I would’ve waited. But I wasn’t going to waste precious Efteling time.

 

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Speedy Bob may have been speedy, but the line didn't appear speedy.

 

Bobbejaanland was a solid park. Fury is a worthy signature attraction and I loved the dark rides. In total, I think I spent 5 hours at Bobbejaanland. But as I quickly learned, this really is a full day park due to amount of coasters and their limited capacities.

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Efteling

 

Efteling was amazing. It was the complete package. It was beautiful. It was well-themed. It had friendly employees. And it had a great ride lineup.

 

What wasn’t amazing was only having a half day. And that was completely on me. I underestimated the sheer size of the park and assumed the single rider lines would be faster. The fastest single rider queue I encountered took a half hour. And in some cases, they were longer than the standby queue.

 

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Efteling's main entrance is huge.

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But it looks quite small when you have to park this far away :(

 

Speaking of Bob, rest in piece. The Intamin bobsleds are superior to the Mack ones since they don’t have the constant vibration. Even though Great Escape has a similar ride, I hardly get to ride it since it's always closed.

 

The layout seemed similar to Alpine Bobsled. Except this one was in a forest. The highlights were undoubtedly the moments when the bobsled momentarily leaves the trough. To say that’s a freaky feeling is an understatement. 6 out of 10

 

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Did this ride ever have issues with branches or leaves in the trough?

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Nerd shot.

 

Not only is Efteling massive, but it’s sort of tricky to navigate. By accident, I stumbled upon Spookslot, which sounded like a haunted house/dark ride. Since it was just a 10 minute wait, I gave it a whirl.

 

Instead it was more of a show. You stood on this 3 tiered viewing deck like Backdraft or Twister and watched a haunted house/graveyard scene play out. There was definitely a ton to look at, but it wasn’t as engaging as the park’s dark rides. 5 out of 10

 

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Compare that to Fata Morgana. I’m pretty sure this would be the result if Disney took Pirates of the Caribbean and themed it to Aladdin instead. This dark ride was fantastic.

 

The sets were grand. The ride was long. And the musical score was just perfect. This was the point that I realized Efteling wasn’t messing around with their dark rides. 9 out of 10

 

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The architecture at Efteling is stunning.

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As were the quality of the dark rides.

 

And the granddaddy of all their dark rides is Symbolica. This ride was jaw dropping. From the facade to the preshow to the ride itself, I was blown away.

 

And that was without me knowing any Dutch. I *think* the plot is that you’re on a castle tour that gets derailed, but I cannot say for sure. All I know is that the trackless ride system and detailed physical sets were astoundingly good. 10 out of 10

 

I used the single rider line and both times I was placed in the back. It seems like the front may be a bit better since they have an on-board tablet they can use in a few scenes, so just keep that in mind.

 

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I love how the Flying Island matches the architecture of Symbolica.

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I don't want to spoil what happens, but this staircase is magical.

 

If you look at the ride stats, Baron 1898 is one of the least impressive dive machines. However, it’s one of my favorites thanks to the theming. There is both an elaborate preshow and pre-lift show scene.

 

While the drop on Baron isn’t as tall as other dive machines, it’s still excellent. The Immelmann is a throwaway element per usual, but the zero-G roll has great hangtime and the bunny hill towards the end has some nice airtime as well. 8 out of 10

 

Also I found the ticketed boarding system quite unique. And it worked extremely well. When you enter the preshow room, you’re given a ticket with a boarding group. You’re then called to board in an orderly fashion. It’s like the boarding process at an airline minus the a-holes who crowd the gate.

 

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Is this the only dive machine without a turn after the lift?

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The lack of vests made me smile.

 

At this point I planned to hit Vliegende Hollander, but it went down for maintenance. In retrospect, I probably should have hit this ride earlier since it seems to be notorious for having issues. Shame on me.

 

So instead I rode Joris en de Draak. The single rider line appeared short, but I wanted to guarantee myself a front row ride. Even though this thing is a capacity monster like Lightning Racer, the stand-by queue took almost 40 minutes. There were just that many people waiting to ride.

 

Joris is basically an improved version of Lightning Racer. It takes the awesome racing element and near-misses of Lightning Racer. But instead of being a tamer GCI, Joris has a more frenetic and aggressive layout like the newer GCIs.

 

From the moment you crest the lift, it’s a slithering mess of turns and hills with quick floater pops. Joris does die during the finale, but it’s pretty much perfect up to that point. Oh and it’s perfectly smooth too. 8 out of 10

 

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This is the ride I wish Lightning Racer was.

 

After I saw how the grouper loaded Python I should have bailed out and gone in the regular queue, but I kept telling myself it shouldn’t take long with only two people ahead of me.

 

Well it took about 40 minutes. Usually groupers load front to back or vice-versa. That makes single riders fairly common. The grouper on Python would load front to back. But if he got an odd-numbered group, he’d start loading back to front until he got another odd-numbered group. That odd-numbered group would then be paired with the other one towards the front of the train.

 

Long story short, you basically needed the final group to be odd-numbered. I admire the way the op loaded since it’s the fairest way for everyone in the standard queue. It was just unfortunate for me.

 

As for how Python rode, it was basically a clone of Gardaland’s Shaman. It was immaculately smooth thanks to the refurbishment, so I was able to appreciate the Gs on the loops and helices. 6 out of 10

 

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By this point, it was only an hour before closing. And I still had a ton I wanted to do. I needed to prioritize. The other wrinkle was that Efteling confirmed they close queues early.

 

My top priority was Vliegende Hollander. However, that was still closed. I also wanted to ride Droomvlucht, but it had a 45 minute queue and I was afraid it would close before I made it to that side of the park. I also wanted a back row ride on Joris.

 

Since it was right there, I chose the latter. But I was faced with a dilemma as I reached the station. I noticed Vliegende Hollander had reopened. I contemplated bailing, but the queue for Joris had already closed. So I rolled the dice and tried to ride both.

 

That proved to be a mistake. By the time I got off Joris, Vligende Hollander’s queue had already closed. On the bright side, Joris was really good in the back. The uncharacteristically GCI straight first drop was a particular stand out.

 

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I forgot to take a picture of Vliegende Hollander, so here's a picture of the cannibal ride.

 

The park was set to close in just 15 minutes and most queues had closed. I noticed Vogel Rok’s queue was still open, so I hightailed it across the park to get the last coaster credit. And it was a walk-on.

 

Vogel Rok was an enjoyable coaster. Rather than being highly themed, it was mostly in total darkness. And that’s fine by me. This one was smooth and it had some solid Gs and laterals sprinkled throughout. 6 out of 10

 

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I hope this bird hasn't eaten any beans recently.

 

I figured Vogel Rok would’ve been my last ride, but there was a dark ride next door that was still open. And I’m very thankful I got on Carnaval Festival. It was a politically incorrect version of It’s a Small World. 7 out of 10

 

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Everyone knows the Germans love their beer.

 

Efteling is famous for their Fairytale Forest. It would’ve been a sin to miss it. Fortunately it remained open after park closing! The closest comparisons in the US are the Story Book Forest at Idlewild or Oregon’s Enchanted Forest, and it was a really cool area to walk through.

 

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It's really cool to see something like this in a major park.

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This dude might as well be a giraffe with a neck that long.

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This Little Mermaid is a bit more promiscuous than Ariel.

 

While I missed some major attractions like Vliegende Hollander and Droomvlucht, I will absolutely be back someday. My company is headquartered in the Netherlands and Efteling was probably my favorite park in the country. So it’s only a matter of time before I’m back.

 

I loved Efteling. The attention to detail rivaled a Disney park and the ride lineup was fantastic. Just make sure you give yourself at least one full day (if not more) since you’ll need and want it.

 

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I'll be back someday.

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