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Photo TR: Larrygator returns to Europe with TPR


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Bobbejaanland

Although I did not take any pictures at Bobbejaanland, I'd like to give my opinion on the park since my last visit 10 years ago.

The VR on two coasters and heavy crowds made this the only park of the trip that couldn't be finished if taken at a leisurely pace. I was in no need to rush around so I skipped Dreamcatcher which I had ridden previously without VR. VR slowed down the line on Revolution even for those not wearing since it caused 10 minute dispatches on ALL trains.

 

The park always had a "clean" layout, but as others have mentioned trying to squeeze existing rides into newly themed areas has made getting around a little messy.

 

I liked Typhoon years ago and still like it. Fury was the most pleasant surprise of the trip. I expected to like it but I was overwhelmed. Every medium sized park looking to expand to short on space should put this on their short list. Although it would be a capacity problem for larger parks.

 

Forbidden Caves was a new attraction for me. Maybe compared it to Universal's Kong, but I never rode it. I loved the concept but apparently missed many effects sitting in the front row.

 

The park recently added an upcharge horror themed escape room that I would have liked to try but no one in every group seemed interested.

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Efteling

 

This was my third trip to Efteling. Before we get into the comparisons to Disney, let me state that I'm not a huge Disney fan. Although I like dark rides, I prefer the gritty ones, not the sanitized ones. With that said I have always enjoyed Efteling.

 

The park is still beautifully manicured, but they have been adding more exciting and thrilling attractions since my first visit, while still holding on to their heritage. I owe a bit of gratitude to the Efteling team member who took some of his personal time to walk us around the Fairytale area and explain some of the stories, point out some eggs and sort out the chronology of additions.

 

We had four hours in the park the first night and ERT on most coasters the following morning, so the group I was with took the park at a very leisurely pace.

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Here is part of the park entrance, since I always stayed at the park hotel, this was the first time I walked to the front of the park to witness the WOW factor.

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I have no idea what the plaque says

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I was more interested in the support structure of the front entrance.

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I'm a big fan of old school dark rides but Symbolica blew me away, not as good as Pooh Hunny Hunt, but very fun and re-ridable. Although the interactive part could have been better

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Just as I was about to get a grand tour of the castle...

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Efteling's mascot and court jester, Pardoes shows up

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He parts the staircase and takes everyone on the special tour.

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I was able to ride all 3 tours in 5 trips through the single rider line (single riders can not pick their tour)

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Many felt the best part of the ride was when the animatronic whale

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cracked the glass in front of the vehicle

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I enjoyed the King's feast even though the dancing part wasn't as good as Pooh's Hunny Hunt

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Baron 1898, is a fun a well themed Eurofighter

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I don't think the Flying Dutchman would "fly" at any other major park, but it works for Efteling

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BTW - this is the rescue boat in case something goes awry on the Flying Dutchman

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I can not believe they rebuilt Python, nor the fact I rode it again.

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It is much improved over the original.

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An inside look at Villa Volta - damn Goatriders

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Droomvlucht (Dream Flight) was the parks first big ride, but I prefer Spookslot

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What do Efteling and New York Mayor diBlasio have in common?

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No respect for Asians.

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The park has an awesome carousel

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with an antique paper feed calliope

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This view from the Flying Island shows how large and well shaded the park is.

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First Aid Station

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ATM

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Restaurant Menu

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I'm still not sure if we were stealing the eggs or protecting them.

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I tried to enjoy Raveleijn show I picked front row seat so no one would stand up in front of me

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Except someone had other thoughts on the topic.

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Thanks for the wonderful parenting!

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Yup, she stood up for the whole show.

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Luckily horse on fire emerges from the right side.

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Good night all.

Edited by larrygator
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BTW - this is the rescue boat in case something goes awry on the Flying Dutchman

 

This is the kind of in-depth park analysis I read a Larry TR for...

 

but I prefer Spookslot

 

...and this is not.

 

Great write-up. I enjoyed this park on my first visit in 2016 and I think I liked it even more this time around. Good weather and reasonable crowds always help. I missed one of the three side-quests on Symbolica, but as you mention, those weren't the best part of the ride anyway. The first room and the whale room are really spectacular.

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I tried to enjoy Raveleijn show I picked front row seat so no one would stand up in front of me

Except someone had other thoughts on the topic.

Thanks for the wonderful parenting!

Ooof. Sorry that happened, at least you got to see the horse on fire!

 

No respect for Asians.

I saw that during the ride and kind of just sat there in silence until we moved onto the next room. I don't think I've ever seen two sumo wrestlers represented as one gigantic two-headed person before!

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Toverland

 

A lot has changed in the world over the past 10-15. I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to say in the world of amusement parks Toverland has made the biggest changes. On my first visit in 2006 I encountered a small FEC that was primarily focused on playgrounds and physical play areas. On my second visit the park had introduced its second major outdoor coaster and Troy gained the park some worldwide notoriety. Over the following ten years the park continued to grow into a full fledged amusement park but has maintained it playful heritage.

 

Many non-local enthusiasts do not realize that Toverland is owned by Gelissen Group, the only other holding of Gelissen Group is Gepla BV. Gepla BV is responsible for finishing and furnishing of buildings and supplies and assembles total solutions in the form of wall and ceiling systems. The imagined finishes in Toverland have also been realized by Gepla's craftsmen.

 

If you read up on the company it is clear that Toverland will continue to grow and their buildings serve as a proving ground for Gepla's talent. Some of the designs in the newest park areas (Magic Valley and Avalon) may remind enthusiasts of other parks, but in the information age practically every new design gets inspiration from someplace else.

 

For whatever reason, I just wasn't feeling myself this day at Toverland and my aging body had no desire to challenge Toverland's play areas. I remember spending a lot of tie indoors just chilling out. I thought I took more pictures and the ones I took are just off.

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The former amusement park in a box has a proper entrance now.

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Let the inevitable comparisons begin.

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and let the comparisons continue

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Not going here for the unlimited ribs was my biggest regret of the day.

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The Flaming Feather is not as blurry in real life.

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Toverland's playful heritage continues in the new outdoor areas, where you have the opportunity to take a more challenging path if you wish.

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After walking on cobblestones for so many days you wouldn't think this would present a challenge.

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Oh yeah, there is a big new coaster here

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It was quite enjoyable

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Merlin's Quest is a boat ride that interacts with Fenix and even has a dark ride section

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Swinging Pirate Ship themed to a scorpion is unique

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I'm usually not too excited about BobKarts but the new version now has theming and was an upgrade over the original

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Chuck and Brad both enjoyed it too

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No play areas for me this time

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The original amusement park in a box

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It appears the coaster is in the middle of nowhere

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More of the "original" design work

Edited by larrygator
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Walibi Holland

 

Going into this trip, Walibi Holland was one of the parks I was looking most forward to because of the improvements since my last visit. Previously, there was the beloved Goliath surrounded by a subpar supporting coaster cast and an unimpressive flat ride collection.

 

Ten years later there was certainly a huge change in the coaster collection with the addition of Lost Gravity and Untamed and improvements to two other coasters. I definitely expected to have one of these new coasters dethrone Goliath as king of the park. They were both great and Untamed was my favorite coaster in the park. However, unbeknown to me the park had added a ground breaking VR simulator that no one talks about. I asked the person leading us on the coaster walk back about this building that said Neurogen Clinic. He started laughing as he tried to explain the ride, but what I got out of him was that the storyline revolves around you reliving your memories with a really trippy portion with you drinking and sampling drugs. Either this guy was completely lying or this could be a phenomenal experience. Since we had plenty of ERT on all three major coasters I figured I would give Neurogen a try if the line allowed.

 

I got into the a line at what was stated as a 20 minute wait with about 12 people ahead of me. After 5 minutes of not moving, "doctors" in lab coats started leading patients into the building about every 2 minutes. There was a second line that people started entering and apparently you can pay to reserve a spot in the line. I ended up waiting 35 minutes before entering. I entered a clinic waiting room and was asked to take a seat, while high tech ads from the TVs touted Neurogen's promise to increase brain capacity by at least 20%. I then proceeded to walk down a hallway through scanners that read and recorded my memories. At the end of the hallway I signed in and selected a background (Waterfall or Seaside). It turns out that it doesn't matter which one you choice.

 

Afterwards, a new doctor led my into an observation room where I sat in the simulator chair that looked like a real comfy dentist's chair. I was fitted with a VR headset and the action started.

 

SPOILER ALERT IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED ON YOUR NEXT TRIP TO WALIBI HOLLAND DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING

One computer voice talked about memory sequencing and memory bubbles floated across the screen, another computer voice implied that there might be an issues with memories being swapped. The visual then settles on one memory bubble.

 

Computer Voice: "Earliest memory, 4 months old"

I was lying on my back in a bassinet being rocked back a forced and this woman's head lower the me and says "Don't worry I won't let anything happen to you" I'm pretty sure they were pumping scents into the room, as it smelled like a nursery at the time. Instead of fading to black memory bubbles appear again.

 

Computer Voice: "Next memory, 4 years old"

Now I'm on a seesaw facing a boy. As I rise up in the air he gets this devilish grin and jumps off the seesaw at the bottom and I crash to the ground. I'm crying, the boys mother comes out to scold him and I have to take solace in the same lady from the first scene saying everything will be OK. I assume that is supposed to be the mother of whoever I swapped memories with because I sure don't recognize her. At this point I realize, I'm not even sure if I'm a boy or a girl. I never get to see a reflection of myself. Then the scene transitioned into another memory bubble.

 

Computer Voice: "Next Memory"

Now I'm standing in front of three boys who push me to the ground (I must be in middle school). As they mock me a young girl pushes through the boys yelling at them to stop and she tells me it will be OK. Then her face and body start morphing into a young lady.

 

We (myself and the young lady) are now standing and she as leading me into a night club. As we approach the bouncer some guy hands me some pills. We are dancing and my friend is approached by the guy that gave us the pills and they start dancing. I head to the bar and a big hairy bartender gives me four flaming shots. We head back to the dance floor and I watch as my friend is being groped by the pill pusher. Apparently someone is behind me dancing as I'm feeling hands on my back. Then the walls start to melt and there is a big man painted in gold dancing in front of me. Then I see four happy penguins dancing but they turn into 4 angry alligators. Then my friend yells "what was in those pills" as the screen fades, so I assume I passed out.

 

Now we are in the back of a taxi and my view is really fuzzy. My friend is frantic telling me to stay awake it will be OK and she starts yelling at the driver telling him to drive faster to the hospital. Then she reaches around him grabs the wheel and turns left as we are going over a bridge and we head right into the headlights of an upcoming truck. The crash violently jolts my chair and the screen goes dark, so I must be dead.

 

Then the screen comes back on and I see my friend trying to open the back door of the cab to let us out as the cab is filling with water. And just to make it authentic I'm being spritzed with water. Then all of a sudden the car is full and the screen fades to black, so I must be dead.

 

Then I start hearing beeping and medical talk and I see that I'm in an emergency room. Doctors and nurses are looking over me and I have a oxygen mask on. Then there is scrambling around as I flat line, but I can still see the action and someone cuts my shirt open to resuscitate me. Curiously I look down to see if I'm I have breasts but I can't see that in my view. I still have no idea what sex I am. Then the paddles of life shock me and resurrect me. And now the ride is finally over.

 

SPOILER ALERT OVER

 

No matter how much I tried to persuade others to ride this gem no one would follow me, so I went back to ride it again by myself. I guess riding Untamed 30 times instead of 29 times was better than the greatest experience of your life. Either that or I suspect people didn't believe me. So while I was again explaining the ride to trip participants prior to the Untamed line clearing for ERT a park employee heard my conversation and interjected saying how much so many employees liked Neurogen, because it is so different and odd. I felt vindicated but some said they still didn't believe it. Neither did I, that's why I did it twice.

 

Anyway, anyone who read all of that will now be subjected to crappy photos.

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So nice to arrive at an unopened park for ERT.

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The park is artsying up the main street area.

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Great for solving a system of equations using graphing (sorry for the math joke)

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Not a standard paint job for this car model.

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We rode this to start the day and debating the theme the rest of the day.

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Some settled on nature run wild, some fixated on untamed love, I was just glad the designers ideas were not tamed.

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We got a lot of pictures from restricted areas during the walk back tour.

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Including the giant infield (Bobbejaanland's Fury and Typhoon could probably both fit inside Untamed's layout)

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Recycled Track

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and the old train are used in the queue.

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Twisty

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If you saw a picture of us in front of the LOVE sign, this guy took the photo

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NERDS!!!!!!!

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My favorite piece of Untamed themeing

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I remember when this opened the locals weren't quite as impressed as those who traveled from afar to ride.

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I loved the ride really couldn't think of anything to complain about . I would rather ride this than a big, long coaster that has no forces.

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And the third great coaster at this park was one I rode before and it still runs great.

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It really carries its speed and then ejects you over the hills.

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Low to the ground on the turnaround

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I rode Speed of Sound to try the restraints, quite an improvement.

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Outdoor Rock n Roller coaster with special guest Hanno taking one of 5000 photos on that day. We also had EB join us at Walibi Holland. Hanno brought his camera, EB brought homemade candy and snacks for the group. EB > Hanno

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Hanno again, but on the left is the park employee who made my day and made my trip but ruined all future rides by introducing me to......

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NeuroGen - How can anyone not be intrigued by the building?

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The wording on this sign is just perfect. After experiencing the attraction's content it makes more sense why you must be over 13 years old to ride

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This is the real reason wait time can increase significantly. You can buy a ticket to cut the line and I think only 8 people can experience the ride at a time.

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Although I dogged the park's flat ride selection, Merlin's Magic Castle is a good madhouse, just ignore the graffiti.

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At lunch the park served Kroketten (and other stuff) I love Kroketten.

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While Dutch amusement park desserts may be just as unhealthy as funnel cakes one can dream otherwise. I do prefer my waffles without worms.

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The stupid fountain walked right in front of the ferris wheel as I snapped the shot. The fountains are so f'n rude in Holland.

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Speaking of f'n let's buy a t-shirt

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And just so your lady has a matching shirt.

Edited by larrygator
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Honestly, the best part of the whole day was Larry's completely serious recounting of the experience to all of us while we were waiting for the park to close. I'm still not sure if anyone actually believed what he was saying at the time.

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Honestly, the best part of the whole day was Larry's completely serious recounting of the experience to all of us while we were waiting for the park to close. I'm still not sure if anyone actually believed what he was saying at the time.

I 100% believe that Larry's re-telling of the attraction will be better for me in every way than actually experiencing this attraction. Even if it is still there on my next visit I will not do it because I know I would be disappointed after what Larry has built it up in my mind to be!

 

Edited by robbalvey
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Honestly, the best part of the whole day was Larry's completely serious recounting of the experience to all of us while we were waiting for the park to close. I'm still not sure if anyone actually believed what he was saying at the time.

I 100% believe that Larry's re-telling of the attraction will be better for me in every way than actually experiencing this attraction. Even if it is still there on my next visit I will not do it because I know I would be disappointed after what Larry has built it up in my mind to be!

 

 

I'll make sure to retell it every time I see you! Anxiously waiting for NeuroGen II

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Drievliet and Duinrell

 

The next day was practically a rest day for me. I had been to both parks previously and I only rode two new rides (both at Duinrell). I'd first like to briefly describe Duinrell. Duinrell promotes it self as a Holiday Park, with an amusement park. This was very prevalent on the day we visited as people were not only filling up the campgrounds, cabins and bungalows (Duingalows) but also setting up sites in the amusements area. Apparently it was a special weekend event at Duinrell. For those that don't know camping is a big deal in Holland. I went into a giant sporting goods store in Amsterdam a week earlier and more than 50% of the store was about camping (and ancillary activities around camping).

 

The amusement ride selection at Duinrell is limited and later I found out, rides are free to anyone Holidaying at Duinrell, so the lines were longer than usual. I didn't even bring my camera into the park as I expected to ride the one new coaster and rest for the remaining 3 hours.

 

Drievliet was another story. This park crams so much into a tiny area. We were pretty much walked onto each coaster after ERT on Formula X. I found Formula X a little rougher than years ago but still a real fun ride. We tried to unbalance our Twistrix car but I wouldn't spin. Then I tried to enjoy the flat rides. One area of the park that was previously themed to space is now all about the ocean. Also, these tea cups were willing and able to spin.

 

The park had 5D movie, which I had not seen at any previous parks so I let every know and reminded them of the last showing (I did not want a repeat of everyone missing it after Neurogen). There was sign out front stating the small capacity of the theater and advising people to arrive early, I got there 15 minutes before showtime and got a seat. However, as the theater reached full capacity I saw Erik and Smisty turned away and then another TPR group turned away. I'd love to say how great it was, but only slightly above average with one good jump scare and an interesting way to get wet with water.

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Don't let the park entrance fool you, there is no Greek or Roman theming. Fuzziness provided by Samsung.

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The "front" part of the park has a few major Huss rides with a nautical theme.

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These Huss rides had a "space" theme during my previous visit to the park.

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At least I think this is a Huss model

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Formule X is a really fun compact coaster

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I only rode it twice on this day, as I said earlier I was just very tired this day.

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These were probably the best spinning tea cups of the trip.

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A 5D movie, I'm in. I'm really a sucker for these things. I entered the theater 15 minutes before show time and there were only about 10 seats left. I saw others (possibly Erik, Smisty, AJ, Andrew) arrive after I was seated and they were turned away due to capacity.

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The longest line of the day was for the flume, but I never think it is a good to travel with wet clothes, so I didn't take a chance.

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Classic dark ride vehicle

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The park does have play areas for kids.

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and slides for everyone to enjoy

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Both wet and dry

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There are a decent number of family style flat rides

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Gold Curse

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While the theming throughout the park is not complete, many rides have a pirate theme.

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But the mascot's are as baffling as Untamed's theme. Very open to interpretation. Next we're off to Poland for two (or maybe three) nights.

Edited by larrygator
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Drievliet and Duinrell were both fun parks I remember, in their own way. I liked Duinrell a bit better because all of the park was in the shade with lots of trees. But Drievlet had it's charm too, and especially with Formule-X as it's main coaster to ride. Much fun.

 

Thanks for the report and photos of these two neat Dutch parks, Larry.

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