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The Graf family around the world - Trip Reports

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Hey TPR,


as our theme park trips are getting more and more, we wanted to have a central thread to summarize our trip reports!


Comments, thoughts and tips are always welcome!


As our family went from two to three in May 2018, we decided to bring Paul to theme parks from the very beginning - and try to socialize him in a manner that he won't be one of these folks we all don't want to see and be around with in parks.

We hope to educate him to behave well, to acknowledge how unusual it is to have parents who will take him anywhere in the world and how to treat the theme park employees right.

Besides that, we want to have the best days possible as a family, far off our daily routine.

If everything works fine, there will be four of us up from May 2020, so our journey will get some new aspects!


Our first trip reports were written in the particular threads, but up from now, we'll post them only here!


The Graf family in October 2019!

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Photo Trip report from Holiday-Park, October 30th 2019


As I was able to have a half day off and the weather was beautiful, we decided to make a fast last trip of the season to holiday park. Sarah took some last rides with Paul on the Flip ride and the carousel (the only things she could do due to her pregnancy), I took him onto the frogs (his favorite ride) before we got us some food and I hit the two coasters, while Sarah and Paul went to Holiday Indoor to go to the playground and the wooden carousel, where he took a lot of rides. He also loves this Indoor playground - maybe we'll hit that again during the off season.


The coasters:

Expedition GeForce: The line was about 30 minutes due to one train operations. I don't get that. It was their halloween event and the park was packed. And the loading procedures in Holiday-Park are so awful - when I was next in line, my seat was 1:40 minutes empty before they opened the air gates. I looked at the clock, because it took so long for every time. It's a shame because I really think I would have had two or three rides in the same time I had one if this coaster would be in Cedar Point.

The positive side is, that it went dark while I waited in line, so my ride was a night ride in my favorite seat (back left). As soon as the front of the train went downhill, all my anger went away and I had an awesome last ride of the season. This coaster is so good, and has been all the year! The only thing it might need would be some paint.

Sky Scream: Nothing good or bad to say. I really like it, it was glass smooth as always. If the line is under five minutes, I'll always be riding it on and on!


Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed our trip report. Here are some photos of our tour:


Beautiful weather - blue sky!


Nicely themed flip ride...


...well enjoyed by Sarah and Paul!


Ye olde carousel


Themeing for the fright nights starting at 6pm


Just a beautiful looking and well themed coaster


Where's the train?


Here it is!


As I waited, the sun set


The wooden carousel


Night shot 1


Night shot 2

Edited by Pedrinho
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how great to have them all in 1 thread.


can't wait to go back thru your trips to enjoy the pics!




Geforce's operations have always been an issue if i'm not mistaken. They are so un-german; incredible inefficient! I think a train left the station every 6 minutes or so when I was there in 2015.

Yeah, sounds about possible. I waited one and a half minute before the gate opened, plus seating, checking seat belts, checking restraints, cycling the train and unboarding it seems to can easily be more than four or five minutes.

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  • 3 months later...

Photo trip report from Europa Park, Rulantica, Freiburg and Straßburg, January 10th to 14th 2020


After we had a really tough December with illness, family in hospital and no Christmas or New Years feeling at all due to this, we decided to make our long planned short trip to Rulantica, the new water park that belongs to Europa Park. We went with my best man and his fiancée.

Due to Sarah's pregnancy we only planned for one day at Europa Park. The second day we went to Rulantica. On the third day, we visited the Schauinsland near Freiburg and on our way home we made a stop in Straßburg and visited the European Parliament.


We stayed at Kiefer Apartments for the second time. If you plan to visit either Europa Park or Rulantica and don't want to stay onsite, we very highly recommend Mrs. Kiefer's apartments. They are a five minute walk away from the park, you'll get free parking and the apartments are huge, clean and cheap.


We went to Europa Park on Saturday 11th. As Rulantica was already fully booked for this day, we expected an also full park, but it was nowhere near crowded. The longest wait we had was for our night ride on Wodan - 25 minutes. Weather was perfect - especially for mid-January.

After we entered the park, we first separated. My best man and me went to the coasters, his fiancée went with Sarah and Paul for the smaller things Paul could do. As it was my best man's first visit to the park, all coasters were new for him, why it was cool for me to see his reactions. We had a 15 minute wait for Eurosat CanCan Coaster in the front row. It was very good, perfectly smooth. I kind of miss the old "effects", but I'm also good with the new setting. He liked it pretty much.

After that, we went to Silver Star. Also a 15 minute wait for the back row (front would have been plus another 15 minutes, so we skipped that). It was running pretty good. In April, with really warm weather, we had two terrible rides and skipped it for the rest of our stay. This time there was no rattling and strong airtime. Seeing that it was the second to last day of their season, it was running awesome. I love the Europa Park maintenance crews.

Our next coaster was Euro-Mir. Back in the days, it was one of my favourite rides at the park. Now I hate it. I was so glad the effects (music and spinning cars) on the lift were working again (which didn't in April), but the first drop with all the rattling, shaking and banging it has was only the start of a terrible ride. I'm pretty sure this was my last ride on this coaster unless someone I really trust tells me different things. It's shocking for me to see, that this piece of scrap metal is eight years younger than the perfectly smooth old Eurosat they tore down in 2017.

Now our stomachs and spines needed some rehab, so we went for a walk to Scandinavia. I could explain some interesting facts to my best man and we enjoyed the incredibly nice decorations they made for the Wintertraum. The park was so peaceful and pretty, so very different than in the summer.

Next on our list was Blue Fire. A 20 minute wait was proclaimed on the entrance. In reality we waited six minutes plus one train for row 2, which is always a good alternative against ten to fifteen more minutes for row 1. As my friend was really blasted by the ride, we invested the saved time for a second ride in the back row and I told him to ride on the left side, the best seat if you ask me. There's this awesome hang time on the first overbank and this sudden acceleration when the train drops down from it. And, of course, this pop of ejector air you get out of the MCBR!

Hyped up as we were we took Wodan as our last ride before lunch and got on row two after a 15 minute wait. Wodan was really hauling and provided a stunning ride. My friend decalred it the most intensive ride he ever had on a coaster.

We met the girls and Paul for lunch in the pub in Ireland. We got told that they did numerous kiddie rides without waits and Paul also tried out every single bobby car. We had a very good lunch, not to believe this was park food! We strongly recommend to get lunch there to everyone visiting the park.

After lunch we did the Old MacDonald's Tractor Fun, which Paul loves very much. My friend convinced his fiancée to do the Ba-a-a-Express and she really enjoyed it. Now they have a credit I don't have! But I want to wait to ride it with my kid(s). Now Paul was done for the day, so he took a nap in the hand cart an we went to the ferris wheel, which provided a pretty good view over the park. I went dark now, so my friend and me wanted to do a final ride on a coaster and, after my recommendation, we decided to do a night ride on Wodan's back row. We had a 25 minute wait, but it was well worth it. I love the disorientation you get on Wodan in the dark. It really reminds me on Mystic Timbers, but Mystic Timbers is a bit more aggresive and the feeling at night is even more out-of-control.

We rejoined with the others and took a slow walk home through the nicely lit up park. As Paul woke up again, we made a stop at the sleigh ride in Russia. I love his looks while being on this ride.

After a little snack I convinced the others to do the Voletarium. It was my plan to leave this for the very end to get them a incredible last action before leaving the park for the first time. It was one hour to park close, but there was no line at the Voletraium. We got seats in the middle of the top row and even if I knew every single thing that came on the screen, it was still awesome. But the most awesome thing for me was the looks of the other two when the curtain opened and the cart went outside. I won. They were baffeled! So we ended our visit there, went home and to dinner.


On Sunday, 12th, we had tickets for Rulantica. As Rulantica was also fully booked on this day, we expected mayhem. But no, the whole visit was very good. If you are managing your sliding times by checking the screens, you'll have no problem riding everything you want multiple times, even on a fully booked day. I can't remember all the pseudo nordic names. As I also don't remember any order in which we did the attractions, I'll just tell you how we found them:

Snorris Saga: The lazy river. I goes through the wohle park, has a big tunnel with video screens, where the story is told. Very nicely themed. You've got tubes for two and Paul was able and allowed to sit between us. We did it dozens of times, one time we did four spins in a row. Really peaceful, the zen moment of your Rulantica day!

Wave pool: Standard wave pool, but it was interesting to me that there were three "areas". In the shallow (sha-la-la-la-low) even Paul was able to enjoy the pool. He's 20 months now and cannot swim. But he had so much fun there. I liked it. Im the middle of the pool are huge breaking waves. It's good that it's not too deep over there. But if you go to the very front, the amplitude of the waves may be up to four feet, but they aren't breaking anymore so you're just swimming up and down.

Slide ship: In the middle of the park are two ships. One has three family slides which are pretty fast, but just good for the wohle family. Even pregnant Sarah could do them without a problem. On the other one is a parcours where you can "walk over water", some swimming and moving platforms.

Free fall slides: Those went to be one of our highlights in Rulantica! Sadly, the green one broke down and never reopened, but compared to the only other drop slides I ever experienced (Cedar Point Shores) it was very stunning, disorientating and just good!

Wild river: Not as good as in the Center Parcs we have been, but a nice addition.

Double tube racing slides: A really good addition. Two almost identical slides, two people per tube. On both tracks there's an airtime bumb shortly after the beginning and a double down at the end. Very much fun.

Steep face slide: Kind of our highlight of the day! Four people per raft and after the stunning drop we went almost to the top of the wall on both rides giving an awesome airtime moment for the rider on top and a lot of Gs in the pullout. I highly recommend this!

Family raft slide: There's also a similar long family slide which is pretty fast an fun. My advice would be to ride it when the line is less than ten minutes. More is too much.

Jumping slide: My first time on a jumping slide. It was good - not more, not less. Solid attraction.

There was another racing slide we didn't do.

At the children's area there were quite many little attractions, but we could't do most of them because Paul was still too young.

The biggest letdown in Rulantica was the food. It was ba far the worst food I ever at Europa Park. It was just the bad side of fast food, like Mc Donald's in cheap. In no way recommendable. The second thing that needs improvement are the family changing rooms. They are bigger than the normal ones, yes. But we are two adults with one kid, the minimum requirement for a family room, and there was hardly enough place for us. Not imaginable for more people.


On Monday, 13th, we took a trip to Freiburg. We went to the suburb of Horben and took the lift to the summit of the Schauinsland and walked to the very top. Great views if the weather is on your side. Highly recommended if you are at Europa Park and want to do something different, do that! The city center of Freiburg is only ten minutes away, so you can easily end the day in the bars there.


On Tuesday, 14th, we drove home and made a stop at the European Parliament in Straßburg. You can visit it for free and were able to attend the debate. It was pretty interesting!


Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed our trip report. Here are some photos of our tour:


The living and dining room of our apartment


The Kitchen


Old MacDonald's Tractor Fun


Old MacDonald's Tractor Fun




Sunset over Austria


Sunset over Iceland


Blue Fire at dusk


Euro-Mit at night


Dinner at the Ochsen


Outside of Rulantica


Entrance of Rulantica


Inside Rulantica


Kronasar at night


Rulantica at night


Bubba Sven's at night


The Schauinslandbahn


On top of the Schauinsland


Freiburg in the distance


The Freiburger Münster


Inside the European Parliament


Outside the European Parliament


Outside the European Parliament


Outside the European Parliament

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  • 5 months later...

Photo trip report from Holiday-Park, July 27th 2020


For the first time of our corona delayed theme park season, we made it to our home park, Holiday-Park. During corona our daughter Emma was born, so it was her first time at any park and, in fact, the first thing we did outside of our family and friends bubble since she is here.


When we came to the park, we had to process our season passes (which are extended now until September 2021 because of corona - kudos to Holiday-Park!). There was a little line before the season pass center, but no lines at all at the entrance. Even with limited ticket availability and holiday time there were still tickets available for this day.

We didn't expect anything from our visit, we just wanted to do a trip outside and let Paul do some rides. In the aftermath, it was one of our best visits in the last years!


For those who are interested in the corona safety measurements: You had to wear your mask on the entrance/exit of the park, in every line, in every building and on the outdoor rides Expedition GeForce, Free Fall Tower ans Sky Scream. On all other outside rides, you were allowed to put it away after sitting down in your verhicle/seat. In addition to the masks, there were the spots painted green in every line where you were allowed to stand to ensure social distancing. 98% of all visitors followed the guidelines without a problem and corona wasn't a real subject on that day.

And - it's important for us to say that - it is really no problem to ride rollercoasters or other rides with a mask! In fact, after my second ride, I barely noticed that I still wore it. It's not the same, but riding with a mask may be ten times worse then without, but it's indefinitely better then not riding at all!


After going through the entrance without any line, we decided to do the park clockwise, passed the Free Fall Tower and wanted to hit Expedition GeFroce first - but we couldn't: power went out in 99% of the park and everything was halted, so we decided to move on and hit some playgrounds for Paul. On that way, we passed the construction site for the new Wickie land. Just see the photos below, it's a huge part of the wohle park and looks will be very different once it opens!

About one hour later, when we just passed Sky Scream, the park came back to life and Sarah took the opportunity to get on it in less then ten minutes.

After that, we took Paul to the Balloon Race and to the Red Baron. It's so awesome how he developed since our last theme park visit in Europa Park in January. With his 26 months he non stop told us, what he wanted to ride and with who he liked to ride it. And the best is: He has no fear of anything!

We then did Burg Falkenstein and had lunch in the sit down restaurant. We had a seat outside, so the masks were only required while ordering and picking up the food. Food was great this time!

After lunch, we finally hit Maja Land, where Paul could do his favourite rides, Flip and the Frog Hopper. On that way, we got a good look at the newly designed rapids ride with the new dino animatronics. We're really looking forward when he reaches 85 centimeters and is able to ride even more, because this is one of the rides we didn't do.

By then, he was mostly done for the day and it was one hour to park close, so we went over to GeForce for some adult rides. On that way, the Free Fall Tower nad no line at all, so we both did one ride. Thanks to baby switch, we had three rides in 40 minutes on GeForce while Paul could play on the playground under the first drop. It amazes us how close you can get to one of the best Intamins on this world. If you go close to the bushes that are between the playground and the coaster, there are less then ten feet between you and the riders slapping hands. Now it was past park close and we headed home. Paul fell asleep seconds after we put him in his seat in the car.


Ride reviews:

Sky Scream: Awesome as every time. Perfect fit for the park. Glass smooth. I personally skipped it for another ride on GeForce because the line was up to 20 minutes.

Balloon Race: Paul really loves it and we enjoy watching him enjoying the ride.

Red Baron: New to all of us. Very funny, as you can change the altitude while flying your own plane and "shooting" the others.

Burg Falkenstein: Very cheesy. But even Paul had fun.

Flip der Grashüpfer: Still a fun kiddie ride with a lot of figures to watch. Nice to see that Paul is getting more interested as he sees more things.

Die Frösche: Paul really enjoyed that and, with a little more than two years, already puts his hands up when the airtime hits! So still a must do. We look forward how Emma will enjoy this!

Free Fall Tower: I had one of my best drop tower experiences. I sat with my look to the back of the park for the first time. The look over the newly themed Dino Splash was amazing.

Expedition Geforce: Awesome. Just awesome. Line was down to three trains. Sarah got a front row ride without having to wait because of baby switch. It's still a loud (not compareable with Taron), airtime filled experience. Is was in the last row of the second to last car on both rides. I just love this coaster. If there will be a day without that special feeling shortly before reaching the top of the lifthill, I think I'll stop riding coasters. One downer: THere's only one train left. Pieces of the second train are sitting under the maintenance bay. According to the ride host, it will not come back this season and it is not sure it will come back anytime after that.


Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed our trip report. Here are some photos of our tour:


In the front is the line for the season pass center. In the back ist the line about 40 minutes after park opening.


Corona line for Free Fall Tower shortly after the power outage.


Construction site for the new Wickie Land. The structure ist for the new Disk-O.


Another overview over the construction site


More construction site.


Log flume car on top of the lift hill during the outage.


No shows during corona.


Standard photo of mine from Sky Scream.


Here was a sortcut beween Airshow 71 and Pfälzer Dorf - now closed for construction.


Paul and Sarah at the Balloon Race.


Emma says "HI!" to TPR!


Paul and me riding the Balloon Race.


Red Baron Paul and Red Baroness Sarah!


New animatronic for Dino Splash.


Overview of the final section of Dino Splash.


Flip der Grashüpfer.


Die Frösche.


Free Fall Tower.


Line for Expedition GeForce. With corona safety measurements, this was a three train wait.


Look how close you are!


The coaster in the woods (#nofilter #nozoom).


No second train.


Good bye shot!

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Chuck and Elissa!

Thanks a lot!

She was a darling. She had a hard time being born more than six weeks early in the high time of corona. She hasn't been much in crowds ever, so we were a bit anxious how she would accept that. But, in fact, she really loved looking around. So many things to see, she was so relaxed. So, it was a good first time. I hope she will enjoy Tripsdrill tomorrow, too.

So she really helped us having a great day.

This is a great photo of yours! We would totally love it to be on one of these pgotos 0ne time!

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  • 1 month later...

Photo trip report from Tripsdrill, August 3rd 2020


After having a blast with the kids at Holiday-Park the week before, we went to Tripsdrill with my uncle and his kids. The park was at about half corona-capacity, weather was between good and beautiful and most rides had an absolute tolerable waiting time for the fact that all states around the park had holidays.

We started our day at their new hotness, the new suspended Vekoma coaster calls "Hals-über-Kopf" (meaning "head over heels"). To our suprise my neice and me only waited about five minutes for a front row ride. Because the others did some kiddie rides with Paul, we even took two more laps in a 15 minute stretch (one back row, one second row) before meeting the others. They also went on numerous rides and after one hour we had ridden that new thing in almost every seat. It was not empty at all, but operations were awesome. They sent out trains about every 60-70 seconds.

After that, we took a walk through the park. We stopped by the laundry box flight which Paul wanted to ride. Then we headed to Karacho, which had a 45 minute wait, and Mammut with a 30 minute wait. When we walked through the entrace, Paul cried and threw a fit - because we went to ride without him! So after that it was obviously time to do something epic: Paul insisted to do the "bug ride", the "Rasender Tausendfüßler", the first ever roller coaster in his 25 month long life. So, my neice, Sarah, Paul and me waited about 20 minutes patiently for the kiddie coaster - and it was great. Yes, he was a bit terrified of the first drop in both laps but enjoyed the rest pretty much! Even until now he says "Käferbahn subber" (meaning "bug ride awesome") sometimes. I'm so proud of him that he really wants to share our hobby!

Now I needed a rest. Fortunately, Sarah and some others wanted to do the Badewannenfahrt (log flume) and my neice and me waited outside with the kids who took a nap. Despite a 45 minute wait we went on the G'sengte Sau and it was good. Nomally I don't wait that long for a middle class coaster, but we had a lot of time and the kids really wanted to ride. On our way back to the front of the park we took a final lap on Karacho and grabbed a pizza, which was surprisingly awesome!

Paul took a solo ride on the car ride again and for the closure of our day, we hit another ten laps on Hals-über-Kopf before we did the family boomerang, "Volldampf", as the last ride of the day.

Yes, as you read it and you'll see it in our ride list: we didn't do too many different rides because mostly the small rides had insane lanes compared to the coasters. As Paul was really tired from our great weekend with his godfather before, he didn't want to ride very much, so we were okay with focussing on the coasters and must-do's for us - and did tons of laps on these atrractions instead of hitting as many different ones as possible. But it really was a great day and the way they handled the situation was impressive. If there wouldn't have been any masks, you'd never felt something of the pandemic going on.


Ride reviews:

Hals-über-Kopf: This prototype of the new suspended Vekoma (Yes, it really is suspendend. But you don't feel a lot of sideways movement) is just awesome and the best fit for a park sized like Tripsdrill that you can imagine. It's exactly the thing I miss at Holiday-Park. It's by far not the greatest invention since The Beast, but it's a solid coaster, a ton of fun, rerideable and gives different rides in every different seat. It's the best Vekoma I've ever ridden. Plus: dispatches were out of this world! Having completely full trains, waiting times under ten minutes and dispatches between 60 and 90 seconds in a few cases, they rock!

Seifenkisten-Rennen: Some electric cars on a closed circuit, but it looks like they are driving freely. Speed is adjustable with a set minimum and maximum speed. Paul was able to ride alone and did that very well. He sat down the whole ride - I honestly didn't expect that. Kudos to him, a perfect theme park kid!

Wäschekorb-Rundflug: Similar to the balloon races at some parks, but somehow different. Definitely a big hit with the littelest ones!

Karacho: First things first - that ride is still awesome and I still love that dive loop into the tunnel! But I have to admit that - in correlation to Hals-über-Kopf - it has gotten a bit jerky. I really like jerky coasters that have character, but not all of my fellow riders do, so we didn't do many laps. But it remains a relly great coaster with a good themeing. Operations went better when they added the third car.

Mammut: That was the biggest line I ever had to wait in for this coaster. It's still a good coaster, but I feel that it somehow doesn't age well. It feels slower and more meandering then when it was new. I really like wooden coasters and we don't have much good ones in Germany. But for this time, sadly, it was a one and done for me.

Rasender Tausendfüßler: It really is the best kiddie coaster I personally ever went on. I love the the curve where you can let your right hand float through the grass if you are sitting in a right side seat. It's just a lot of fun. And now, it will forever be the first roller coaster Paul did in his life. I'm relly looking forward to our next visit.

Badewannenfahrt: The folks riding it found it really funny. Due to COVID the boats weren't loaded completely, so our three people went alone. It gave a good splash nontheless! And boobs. A lot of boobs.

G'sengte Sau: It had two breakdowns while we were in line, but the ride was good. I have to admit that I had more fun here then on Mammut. Great airtime on the bunny hops. Somehow unbelieveable how old it is and that it is the first Gerstlauer coaster ever!

Volldampf: Readers of our trip reports know: I HATE BACKWARDS SECTIONS! So family boomerangs are not the brightest candles in my coaster chandelier. But I liked the themeing of Volldampf and the interaction with Hals-über-Kopf makes it worth riding. The turning point looks like an unfinished camel back, which is very funny, and is located right over the station of Hals-über-Kopf.



Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed our trip report. Here are some photos of our tour:


Safety things


Hello sweetheart!


What a nice mess. Will be even better when themeing ist finished!


Provisional queue and station. This was our longest wait of the day, solid ten minutes!


Hello, Volldampf!


Nice g forces in the back row.


Such a beautiful park!


I love this view!


Coaster in the bushes.


Social queue distancing


Paul and the gang


Rain was in the forecast - but didn't come


Sinister mood


Here comes the splash


G'sengte Sau






Volldampf station




He was managing the traffic after park close (he's real!)


The one and only blurry photo of Paul's first coaster ride


Inversion of Hals-über-Kopf over Volldampf's station


Nice view



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  • 9 months later...

After a long, covid filled winter (all theme parks in Germany closed from the end of October until May), we went to Heide-Park and Holiday-Park an I will end my TPR hiatius!

Expect new trip reports soon!


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