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RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

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Robin Hood Goes Untamed: Walibi Holland


Walibi Holland is a park that’s gone through a lot of changes over the years. It started out as an educational/agricultural park (Flevohof), which went bankrupt. The Walibi Group took over in the early 1990s, and developed it into Walibi Fievo and built the first-ever Satan’s Looping Coaster, El Condor. Then Premier took over and transformed the place into Six Flags Holland, which explains why it has a big Intamin coaster named . . .




The park was sold once again and reverted back to Walibi. It’s been improving pretty steadily since then, too, and now boasts three of the best coasters in Europe (El Condor aside).


And what ride is now the park’s biggest star? The Coaster Formerly Known as Robin Hood: Untamed! Yes, RMC has worked its magic again, taking an old Vekoma woodie that was, well, OK on its best day and building a crazy air-time machine on the same footprint. It has all the RMC touchstones, such as the weird ride to the lift hill, the crazy inversions, and an insane double-down. It throws you around like a rag doll, and you’ll love every minute of it. Even the theming is cool--sort of a hippy music festival/post-apocalypse look.


The park’s other two top coasters, Goliath and Lost Gravity, are still great, and I’m rather fond of Xpress (or “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Unboxed”). They even did a nice job theming a Boomerang (if you like that sort of thing).


Robb set up some great filming/ERT sessions on the top-three coasters, and the park treated us really well. Thanks for the best day at Walibi yet!


Wait? How did Steve get here first? What’s he up to?


Oh, he’s scouting ahead and marking the trail to Untamed for us.


It’s both a car and a driving range--the ultimate in luxury!


It took us three days, hiking through the Wilderness to reach . . .


. . . the abandoned music festival site that was once Sherwood Forest.


Do not mistake the Untamed test seat for an outhouse.


The trains do look kind of trippy.


They took Verbolten’s “nature out of control” theme and ran with it.


I like how the trains look like giant bugs . . . oh, wait, that’s just the TPR members.


Yes, the train actually makes it up this thing.


Hmm--I guess the empty seat was mine.


Untamed is perfectly named.


Oh, man! I hate it when you really need to take a dump, but the last person forgot to mow the toilet.


I know, right? (Untamed had some of the most unusual theming ever.)


The answer to so many questions; particularly, “What do you want for lunch?”


Next up was Lost Gravity--the ride that looks like it has no right to be as great as it is.


One of Mack’s best creations.


I’d love to see other parks build rides like Lost Gravity. I think we have enough Dive Machines and Wing Coasters, thank you.


Are you breathless after mowing the toilet because someone neglected to do it? Try Toilets XPress--the Self-Mowing Commode! OK, there are bathrooms in this building along with the entrance to the XPress launched coaster. This sign has nothing to do with self-mowing toilets.


XPress gets points for including a classic horror movie poster in the queue.


The queue does give you a “weird feeling,” like “Dracula’s Daughter.”


This is where you wait for the train. Lights flash through the windows on the doors, and there are creepy subway noises.


Well, if you’re gonna operate a Vekoma Boomerang, at least jazz it up a bit and use the good trains and restraints, right? Heck, even I was OK with riding this one.


But there was no way I was riding El Condor, again.


I think the guy in the green shirt behind Larry is dead.


I salute this gentleman for his testicular fortitude and devotion to his charity. More to come!

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One more look at a great day at Walibi. My thanks to Robb, Elissa, and the park for making it so.


Er, Merlin? You OK? The HOA has some concerns about how you decorated your magic castle.


I didn’t know Merlin was a Kubrick fan. Or maybe he’s spun around in his Mad House for too long.




. . . unless you clean my garage.”


Time for a backstage look at “Rock ‘n’ Roll Coaster: Buck Nekkid.”


Ever wondered what listening to Aerosmith was doing to you?


Now you know.


Yes, this is your brain on Aerosmith--kind of clunky, but you still kind of enjoy it.


Yes, it’s rough around the edges, but I still like this ride, whether it's in the Netherlands or Florida.


We moved on to a little ride named Goliath.


Perhaps you’ve heard of it.


Intamin strikes!


The Dutch seem to like it.


It looks like they’re doing calisthenics.


The new Intamin Workout Plan: Just ride your favorite Intamin hyper- or mega-coaster and feel the burn!


One last look at this crazy air-and-hair-time machine.


Who’s ready for some more Untamed?


RMC likes weird runs to the lift hill. Untamed’s just leans way over, and it’s my favorite--nicely done.


Untamed is, indeed, “frekking fresh” and “ice ice creamy.”


Remember: All you need is love, . . .


. . .a wide-open mouth, . . .


. . . and the hope that you won't swallow a bug on Untamed.


I think the little girl liked it. Just a hunch. Not so sure about the little boy behind her.


This doesn’t look natural, but it’s still amazing.


I think RMC rides are built by contortionists.


I took a lot of rides on Untamed, but this double-down caught me off guard each time. The poor dude in front was forced to comfort himself.


And just when you think it can’t get any crazier, . . .


. . . this is the finish! Untamed is very intense, yet very re-rideable.


Yes, sometimes I appear on Robb’s rider cam. That’s all for now.

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Did we seriously ever figure out what the actual theme of that ride is!?!? I don't care because the ride is awesome and the 'theme' works, but I would love to know what was going through the designers minds when creating it...wait a minute, I figured it out...They went to the NeuroGen attraction first, and then came up with that craziness!

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Did we seriously ever figure out what the actual theme of that ride is!?!? I don't care because the ride is awesome and the 'theme' works, but I would love to know what was going through the designers minds when creating it...wait a minute, I figured it out...They went to the NeuroGen attraction first, and then came up with that craziness!


I accept this hypothesis. It would certainly explain the whole "fever dream" atmosphere of Untamed.

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I figured it out...They went to the NeuroGen attraction first, and then came up with that craziness!


Yes, that must be it. You know I'll be writing about NeuroGen shortly, since no one else braved the line to get raped in the butt.



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Great report! Thank you for describing Untamed's theme perfectly. All the theming in this park is strange, but it just works.


Thank you. One has to give Walibi points for original thinking with how they themed Untamed, Lost Gravity, Speed of Sound (the Boomerang), and XPress.

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Wacky theming aside, I really do appreciate just how much Walibi has invested in its parks to make them their own thing compared to feeling like Six Flags' old European parks. Their recent investments really show that they're serious about keeping these parks vibrant and revisit-friendly!


Thank you for sharing all of these great photos! I'm living vicariously through all of these TPR Europe reports!

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Wacky theming aside, I really do appreciate just how much Walibi has invested in its parks to make them their own thing compared to feeling like Six Flags' old European parks. Their recent investments really show that they're serious about keeping these parks vibrant and revisit-friendly!


Exactly. I think all this park really needs is a first-class shooting dark ride like the ones at Walibi Belgium. It's been fun visiting every few years and seeing how Walibi Holland keeps improving.

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^^&^ To be fair though, Six Flags actually did a really nice job with their European parks.


Yep--and Walibi got Goliath out of that deal. The park has an interesting history, and it's good to see it growing and thriving.

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^It kind of makes sense if you think about what are the two closest major parks to Walibi Holland. Efteling and Toverland. They've pretty much got the family market locked up and for good reason. Walibi Holland was smart to go after a slightly different demographic.

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How to Kill Time Before Going to Poland: Drievliet & Duinrell


It was time to check out of the Efteling Hotel, but we had plenty of time to kill before our flight to Poland. So, why not visit two nice Dutch “family parks”?


This will be the last time you hear “I last visited [PARK NAME HERE] in 2008,” but that was the last time I was at Drievliet with TPR. Oddly enough, aside from a new section of flat rides themed (or perhaps re-themed) to being “under the sea,” and a big highway construction zone out front, this little park hadn’t changed much. Its big attraction was still Formule X, a lunched Maurer Shone X Car coaster. This ride had become a bit rougher than I remembered from last time, but it was still pretty good. The launch is intense, and you get some good air time on the hills. It was a good filming session on this coaster.


I was pleased to see that the wonderfully bizarre "singing barn" animatronic show was still there. It's both hilarious and disturbing.


Duinrell was all new to me. It’s sort of the “Dutch Knoebels,” because it’s surrounded by a heavy stand of woods, and many people camp there. You can even pitch a tent in the amusement area (lots of people did).


The big ride here was an old Eurofigher named Falcon, and it was OK. The park had two other family coasters (a Gerstlauer and a Zirer Tivoli), which were pretty good for what they were, along with a good-sized assortment of flats and those crazy Nautic Jet jumping boats (with the obligatory pond filled with green slime).


Duinrell was a pretty park, and it was very busy that day. I liked it, and it was a good way to kill time before heading back to Amsterdam to catch our flight.


Is Drievilet an amusement park or a construction zone? Why not both? We had to park in a lot across the highway and walk a bridge over a construction zone to get to the park.


This is weirdest “Cirque” act ever.


Where’s the entrance to Formule X? If only there were a sign to tell us!


This is an interesting ride to find in a little family park. The launch is pretty crazy.


You’re tigers! Show me your claws!


Now let’s see some jazz hands.


It does this, too. Yes, such an interesting choice for a “kiddie” park.


The giant owl landed, spread its wings, and said, “Arise, Twistrix! I invoke thee!”


Hmm--I think the giant owl may have also invoked demons in the form of barnyard animals.


Behold the Goat of Mendes--the Devil himself!


Is it a cat or a rat? This question has baffled scientists and theologians alike for centuries.


Er, get a room . . .


. . . or perhaps a teacup.


I do believe these young fellows enjoyed the break-dance ride. At least I think it’s a break-dance ride. Flats aren’t my thing.


Spookmuseum is more my speed.


I cannot share the exquisite terror of this attraction, as I’m not sure your minds could take it! (Plus, my photos of the inside didn’t turn out.)


“I got it! I got it! I got it!”


“I don’t got it.”


Welcome to Duinrell! Nothing political here. Sometimes a frog is just a frog.


What sorcery is this? Burn the witch!


“Hello! I’m an apolitical frog reminding you to put your trash in proper receptacles. Thank you!”


Duinrell is right purty.


Hmm--interesting way to theme a jump-boat ride. They should get "Game of Thrones" to sponsor this attraction.


“Almost there . . . dammit! Still failed to cross the pond!”


Andy has found a more practical way to get across the water.


I think the ducks could walk across this stuff if they wanted to.


Let’s explore the rest of . . . hey, watch out, you little bastard!


Like many European parks, Duinrell offers plenty of opportunities for you to injure yourself.


Last chance for poffertjes before Poland.


I don’t think even Knoebels allows guests to put up tents in the amusement area.


They even theme their rides a bit here.


Falcon was OK for an old Eurofighter.


It bangs you around a little bit, as you might expect.


But they seemed to like it.


Dragon Fly is pretty educational . . .


. . . for a family coaster. Onward to Poland!

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Nice report!


I thought Drievliet was a lot better than I remembered. Front area was cleaned up, less 'concrete' around, and once that front path gets done it will be really easy to get to!


Duinrell doesn't have the best rides or anything, but I just really like the atmosphere and the food!

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You know, having never been to Drievliet before, and not having done any real researched, I just assumed that Formule X was the park's big new ride. In fact, I assumed that until just now when I read your update!


I really liked Drievliet. It was cute and interesting and fun. I would've called it the surprise of the trip, until we got to Legendia.


Duinrell, on the other hand...well, I was going to say, "is a park." But it's not really, is it?

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“Happy Valley Poland”: Energylandia


Energylandia has the potential to be the greatest mini-golf course ever. That is, most of the park’s park’s theming looks like it was bought during a half-off sale from some company that specializes in making statues designed as obstacles for putt-putt golfers to circumvent in their quest for a free game.


OK, that’s a bit harsh. Energylandia is a good-sized, fairly new park in Poland that seems in quest of an identity. I didn’t know what to make of it. The park did have a nice “Scandinavian” section, and the new “Dragon Zone” (which was soft opening while we were there) looked pretty good, too. Hyperion, the big Intamin coaster out front, certainly looked impressive and boasted an elaborate, sci-fi themed queue. The new RMC, Zadra (not ready when we were there), should be excellent, and Formula, a new launched Vekoma coaster, was a great ride.


But then there’s the rest of the place--a visual cacophony of fiberglass dragons, demons, aliens, and giant flowers, not to mention a huge collection of kiddie coasters. This is what brought to mind the Chinese theme parks I’d visited with TPR on a past trip. But, in all fairness, the Happy Valley parks usually boasted more-defined themed areas (such as a “circus” or a “Wild West” town). Energylandia had “zones” (such as “Dragon Zone” or “Extreme Zone”), and it looks like they just slapped some random thing up wherever they had space.


Outside of the still-under-construction Zadra, there were three noteworthy coasters at Energylandia:


Hyperion--this huge Intamin coaster with a 270-foot first drop was, let’s say, a mixed bag. If you sat in the two inside seats, you could get a good ride with some crazy air. But the train rattled badly, and a ride in the outside, “wing” seats was uncomfortable, at best, and painful, at worst.


Formula--this launched Vekoma was the second-most pleasant surprise of the whole trip (the first-most pleasant would be the next day). The launch was nice and forceful, and the ride is smooth with air time to spare. Great work, Vekoma! You’ve come a long way from the SLC and the Boomerang.


Speed--this Intamin Water Coaster was the wettest ride ever this side of Bluto’s Bilge Rat Barges. The coaster part of it was OK, but the finish! I was sitting in the back row on the right side. We hit the last splashdown, an enormous wave engulfed the front of the boat, and the back of the boat filled with water up to my knees. Er, was it supposed to do that? I thought the damn thing was going to sink for a moment, but the water drained out as we returned to the station. Check out Robb’s video if you don’t believe me.



Energylandia is also home to the worst shooting dark ride ever. I think it was named Monster Attack, and it was like a ride you’d see in a cheesy, made-for-TV horror movie in the 1980s. The operations were rather odd. There was no real “station,” and no sign of any ride ops. But a small vehicle did stop in front of Larry and me. Larry got in, and I had one foot in the vehicle and one on the platform when the thing dispatched. What the hell? We then rolled around a warehouse full of generic “alien” statues, with some light, sound, and fog effects and guns that may or may not have worked.


I guess I’ve rambled about Energylandia long enough. But I think I should end this narrative with something positive. Hmm . . . Formula was excellent, the new Dragon Zone looked nice, and the food there was pretty good.


Care to join me inside? It was pretty gloomy that day, so the photos are not as good as I’d like, but maybe it’s for the best. Who knows?


“Hi, folks! Welcome to Energylandia! My name is . . . er . . . I don’t know what my name is. Something to do with ‘energy,’ I guess.”


I guess this is, er, Energlylandia Guy's castle?


Looks like the park got a good deal on old Vekoma seats. They don't recline, though.


I think Western Camp is the park’s official resort, which makes sense as there is absolutely no “Wild West” theming here. The park map does indicate that a “Hotel Zone” is going to be built.


Many celebrities have endorsed Energylandia, ranging from, er, this guy . . .


. . . to Angerfist. I’m surprised he doesn’t have his own attraction.


Our first objective was a filming session on Hyperion.


OK, Hyperion. Don’t force me to get sideways with you!


The ride had a rather complicated back story that unfolded throughout the queue. Something about testing a new spaceship that looked suspiciously like an Intamin coaster train.


Here we go into space! That’s why it’s so dark.


There is no gravity . . . in space!


Prepare to turnaround . . . in space!


In space, no one can hear your train rattle.


Will these folks survive their journey to the "final frontier"?


I wonder if the guy in white and blue in the front row is some Polish superhero. He does seem to be wearing Spandex.


Can you putt the ball through the dragon and campfire, or do you have to go around them? The par is 3, right?


So that's what happened to Kings Dominion's volcano.


OK, you have to like any Vekoma Family Suspended Coaster in which the train is swallowed by a dragon.


Welcome to Monster Attack! They should have Sally come in and install one of those “North Pole Adventure” rides in this building. It would be a 1,000% improvement.


I think this is more accurate than any of the park’s computerized wait-time signs, in which nothing had more than a 10-minute wait no matter how full the queue was.


I detect a double joke here. Well played, Energylandia!


What’s the name of this ride? “The Bat”? “Vampire”? “Vampire Bat”?


Oh, of course. How silly of me.


This is probably the third- or fourth-best coaster in the park, pre-RMC.


At least they could’ve named it “Bat-a-Rang.” (Seriously, would anyone from DC Comics have even noticed?)


I think Angerfist would pay good money to sponsor one of those two rides.


Wow! What a facade! There must be a great ride here.


Oh, crap.


Ah, the oil-splattered charm of the old Vekoma!


You know, whatever the trains or restraints they use . . .


. . . that’s still just plain messed up.


Hey, the SLC has its own gift shop.


Made from the skulls of previous riders. More to come.

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Yes, there's still more Energylandia to come!


This “Viking-themed” mouse was also, er, not good.


But they got a great deal on this scary dragon statue.


Would you try a “spit cake”? They looked pretty good.


I didn’t get a photo of Speed’s infamous splashdown. Experiencing it was quite enough.


If you’re going to ride something called Frutti Loop . . .


. . . you should hide your head in shame.


Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.


This is a bit more acceptable than Frutti Loop.


Not so sure if this is.


Yeah, this is a step down from Frutti Loop.


The Viking section was kind of nice.


Here’s one of the nice Vikings now. The glasses really make the outfit.


Yes, it looks sufficiently Nordic, but . . . what the hell’s that?


Looks like Mater’s alcoholic cousin found himself a gig. But why is this here?


You had to walk through a tunnel under a road to get to the new Dragon Zone.


It looked pretty nice and Game of Thrones-like.


Behold Zadra--and a honest-to-god dragon!


I have no doubt this is an excellent ride.


But there was some work yet to be done while we were there.


For now we must be content . . .


. . . with this . . .


. . . and a Roller Skater.


Then again, there is a “brewery salon,” which could turn out to be one of the park’s best attractions, when they get more than one tap working (well, this was a soft opening).


Let’s have a look at the park’s best ride: Formula.


Vekoma did themselves proud with this launched coaster.


Smooth and just forceful enough.


I think everybody in the group liked this ride. Vekoma, my hat’s off to you. Well done!


Let’s close with one more nice thing about Energylandia--this cake. Kudos for the cake! Legendia awaits.

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