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Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR


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That's great that you got to see so much, I was completely enthralled by the Vondelpark and didn't really see anything else.

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I never really liked Amsterdam when doing the more 'touristy' stuff. But like you, once we kind of strayed off the beaten track it grew on me more.

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When is the full photo TR of the red light district coming?

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That was an amazing look at Amsterdam, Andy. I really want to check out that science museum now!

 

Honestly I do too now! I looked at it a bit online and it looks really cool inside.

 

That's great that you got to see so much, I was completely enthralled by the Vondelpark and didn't really see anything else.

 

Well, next time I'm gonna have to check out the Vondelpark. We can trade itineraries!

 

I never really liked Amsterdam when doing the more 'touristy' stuff. But like you, once we kind of strayed off the beaten track it grew on me more.

 

Yep -- and it's not like I even went that far off the beaten path, perhaps aside from that "art" installation under the bridge. But honestly I could just walk around random neighborhoods and parks in these old European cities for hours and never get bored.

 

When is the full photo TR of the red light district coming?

 

About the same time you publish yours from Krakow.

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There is honestly lots and lots of things to see and do in Amsterdam, all within walking distance.

We stay mainly in a small hotel opposite Oude Kerk church...and The District edge. It's makes for

interesting evenings and weekend afternoons. We once heard, from our room opposite, the bells

player (?) of the church do a Saturday afternoon "West Side Story" medley! It was awesome.

 

So many things you saw! A good thorough tour, I felt. Thanks for sharing it all.

 

But did you eat anything else besides those....stroopwafels?

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Amsterdam is a unique, beautiful city. I hit the Amsterdam Dungeon, and it was fun, but pretty cheesy.

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But did you eat anything else besides those....stroopwafels?

 

Yes -- more stroopwafels!!!

 

Amsterdam is a unique, beautiful city. I hit the Amsterdam Dungeon, and it was fun, but pretty cheesy.

 

Yep, that all sounds about right to me. The coaster had already been closed for two years when I went there in 2016, so I didn't even get a credit out of the deal.

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Amsterdam is a unique, beautiful city. I hit the Amsterdam Dungeon, and it was fun, but pretty cheesy.

 

Yep, that all sounds about right to me. The coaster had already been closed for two years when I went there in 2016, so I didn't even get a credit out of the deal.

 

TPR spent one night in Amsterdam in 2008, and the plan was to visit the Dungeon for that credit; unfortunately, there was a power failure, so that was that.

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I love the all the weird buildings in Amsterdam and the mix of historic and modern infused throughout the city. I did that swing at the ADAM Lookout the evening before the official trip meetup and it was fun to try out and only a 5 Euro upcharge. I caught the sunset up there which was really nice. I also had a really funny canal boat guide on one of those "hop on hop off" canal boats that was included with my Stromma City Pass that made fun of all the touristy things in the city and kind of gave a Drunk History story of the city's history and pointed out at that cool looking science museum building and said it's a great place to visit if you like being around a bunch of children running around. I missed out on the Foodhallen but I'll have to check it out next time I'm in Amsterdam, it looks like my type of food place.

 

Great TR so far and looking forward to see it continue.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Day 10: Walibi Holland

 

Out with the old, in with the RMC.

 

Walibi Holland was another return visit from the 2016 trip. We enjoyed the park and its sort-of-corporate, yet sort-of-offbeat theming. I was curious to see how they'd continue down that road. I was also curious to see what became of that lousy old Vekoma woodie, Robin Hood.

 

But first, let's back up a bit, because Walibi Holland is very different from the other parks in the Netherlands. It originally opened as an educational theme park in the 1970s, and went through some stops and starts before re-inventing itself as an amusement park in the 1990s. It also spent some time in the early 2000s as a Six Flags-branded property, under the ownership of Premier Parks. As might make sense, this was a park without the kind of well-defined identity that you'd see across the country at Efteling, for example. But as Elissa pointed out in Chuck's TR, when Efteling, Toverland, and some of the smaller parks in the Netherlands have the family demographic all wrapped up, why not go in a different direction? So, Walibi Holland has focused both their marketing and their ride selection on the thrill demographic -- young adults and teenagers.

 

That might explain why Walibi Holland sort of feels like the most Cedar Fair / Six Flags type of park on the trip, and perhaps the closest thing to a typical coaster park. That doesn't tell the whole story, though, because Walibi Holland has really leaned into the offbeat theming. The whole park isn't quite there yet, but the areas they've focused on over the past 5 years or so have really been a refreshing look at how you can get creative with this type of park. Don't expect the immersiveness of Efteling or Phantasialand, but that's not what they're going for -- Walibi Holland is fun, quirky, and just plain different.

 

None of this would matter if Walibi Holland didn't have the coasters to back it up, but they do. Goliath, a hold-over from the Six Flags days, is a really good Intamin mega coaster. Lost Gravity, one of the strangest things Mack has ever built, is criminally underrated. Finally, that old Vekoma woodie? It's now one of the best RMCs on the planet. That's a top 3 that I would put up against any other park in Europe, and quite honestly is better than all but a handful of US parks as well.

 

What would I like to see for Walibi Holland's future? It might be time to add a couple of high-end flats, with the coaster collection in such good (if top-heavy) shape. Perhaps a giant frisbee to replace the old Tomahawk? I do find it interesting that they've got fantastic coasters by Intamin, Mack, RMC, and of course the local Vekoma, but not a single B&M as of yet. Also, while I don't mind the park layout as much as some others have said, the Goliath dead-end is kind of a chore. Would love to see them find a way to sneak a path from the Goliath plaza to somewhere near the exit of the rapids ride. Regardless of this, a quick look at the map would indicate they should have plenty of room to expand, and you know whatever they do next is going to be interesting.

 

How was our day? Fantastic. We met up with Walibi Holland's Scott Bravenboer and Marco Wensveen, who'd be spending quite a bit of time with us during the visit. We started right off with filming/ERT sessions on Goliath, Untamed, and Lost Gravity -- multiple rides on the best coasters in the park before it had even opened for business for the day. Before turning us loose for the morning, we all received personalized gift packages and postcards, which are among the most unique and thoughtful things I've ever received on a TPR trip. We had a group lunch in the early afternoon, followed by a lengthy backstage photo tour of Xpress, Goliath, and Untamed. We then went back to Untamed for another ERT session after the park closed.

 

All of that said, AJ put it best when describing the day's real highlight...

Honestly, the best part of the whole day was Larry's completely serious recounting of the [NeuroGen] 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.

 

If you don't know what NeuroGen is, well ... ask Larry, because I still don't know either.

 

But I do know that Walibi Holland is pretty great, and we had a fantastic day.

 

Ride reviews!

 

Untamed: It's not as grandiose as Steel Vengeance, and it's not as scenic as Wildfire, but this is probably RMC's best-paced coaster. The arrangement of elements is just about perfect, and avoids the repetition that keeps Storm Chaser and Twisted Timbers a little lower on my rankings. The ride's brand-new element, the 270-degree double inverting stall, is epic RMC weirdness at its best. With how much I love Outlaw Run, I'm glad to see they borrowed a ride-ending barrel roll for this one too. There's lots of airtime, lots of quick turns, and lots of sideways / overbanked weirdness. The theming is pretty wild, as well -- it's like nature taking over, if nature was informed by younger-Millennial / Gen-Z social media culture. Really hard to describe, but it mostly works, and it's almost as fun as the coaster.

to see some of the fun we were having!

 

Lost Gravity: Mack's first "Big Dipper" coaster, it's a remarkably unique attraction with virtually no fitting comparison to any other coaster on the planet. There are other coaster types that try to do weird things with small coasters and small ride vehicles, such as the S&S El Loco and Gerstlauer Eurofighter models. Mack seems to have taken that idea and made it better and weirder in just about every way. Lost Gravity is smoother, more creative, and more re-ridable. It's a crazy mix of airtime, hangtime, intensity, and crazy twists and inversions. Throw in Walibi Holland's masterfully-bizarre theming (which I'll cover in the pictures) and you've got an awesome ride.

 

Goliath: Somewhere between a hyper and a mega-lite, Goliath is a very nice Intamin. Built in that same era as Millennium Force, Superman (SFNE), and Expedition GeForce, it's got many of Intamin's classic elements -- airtime hills, curvy bits, an emphasis on speed, and a Stengel dive. Whether painted green or blue, this coaster is a lot of fun. The middle segment is more good than great, and perhaps it's just me, but I felt like it kept its speed up better in 2016 than it did in 2019. Those are just minor issues, though. Intamin made a good one.

 

Xpress: Platform 13: Xpress has sort of been shunted down the list as Walibi Holland's fourth-best coaster, but it's a pretty good ride. It's also one just about everyone should be familiar with -- it's a mostly-outdoor clone of Disney World's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. The launch and the first few elements are a lot of fun, though it kind of meanders later on, and the ride's second half isn't as exciting without Steven Tyler and a miniaturized Hollywood sign. The queue and the indoor portion are really well themed, and the little surprise after the brake run might just be the best part.

 

Speed of Sound: I'm pretty comfortable calling this the world's best Vekoma boomerang, but that still means it's a Vekoma boomerang. Walibi Holland has done everything they can to improve the experience, though, including a massive re-theme in 2011 as an electronic-music-themed ride with fun visuals and on-board audio. It's got the newer vest restraints, and as far as boomerangs go, it's on the younger side (originally opened in 2000). It's a vastly superior ride to...

 

El Condor: This is a piece of coaster history -- the first-ever Vekoma SLC. It would probably be better for everyone involved if it were left to the history books. I rode it in 2016, and saw no need to ride it again. It's bad. However, that didn't stop Joey Schadenberg from riding El Condor over and over again to raise money for charity. I think he ended up with over 200 rides.

and it's quite entertaining.

 

Crazy River: Yet another fun log flume at a European park, and yet another one with a reversing segment and two drops. The double-down on the big drop is a nice touch.

 

Tomahawk: An inward-facing SBF frisbee installed in 2000. It's pretty small, it takes a while to really get swinging, and it doesn't swing very high even when it does. It's no match for the newer Huss and Zamperla frisbees.

 

Merlin's Magic Castle: It's a Vekoma Mad House. It was formerly housed in a castle-type building painted like a castle. Now it's housed in a castle-type building painted in graffiti. The magic theme works well for a ride system built on illusion.

 

Walibi Express: The park's train ride -- it's unfortunately kind of short, and doesn't offer many views that you can't get from the walkways. Still, it's better to have a train than to not have a train.

 

Vlot: It's a raft! We had a thing with rafts on this trip. Not the first, and won't be the last. Stay tuned.

 

----------------------------------

 

Pictures are below. As with the last few reports, I'll mix in a few from the 2016 trip along the way.

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We have arrived at Walibi Holland!

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Marco passes out our personalized gift packages, while Scott models the classic #HARDGAAN slogan on one of the best theme park shirts ever created.

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Here's my personalized postcard! I will have to ask Daniel and Barry if screaming is an approved part of "the method."

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We'd soon be headed to Untamed for some morning filming ... but I'll save those pictures for later.

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We'll start this photo set up front, on Walibi's very strange take on a theme park "main street."

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In 2016, the main street area was sort of a half-assed version of a traditional main street, and it wasn't very convincing. The new version (complete with a grass-covered Cadillac) is definitely way out there, and a better fit for Walibi Holland's overall park theme.

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This giant typewriter keyboard is one of the new additions. Ryan, David, and Stacy are spelling out "RTP"

 

... oh, now I get it.

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Walibi Holland's best kept secret is just past the main "Hall of Fame" building. This is the Oliebollerie.

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Oliebollen are traditional Belgian/Dutch fried beignets. They're served hot, sprinkled in powdered sugar, and they're ridiculously good. If you aren't getting one or two of these for breakfast at Walibi Holland, you're doing it wrong. They also serve up waffles and chocolate-covered bananas and apples, if that's more your thing.

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Walibi Holland's antique car ride, Le Tour Des Jardins, has been transformed into Le Tour Des Speed Dates.

 

It's another one of Walibi Holland's thematic decisions that I'm not really sure I understand, but that I'm nonetheless incredibly amused by.

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Really, the only change was some added signage at the ride's entrance. It's still a pretty typical antique car ride through a very nice section of the park.

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Some TPR friends on another car...

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...and even the park's Walibi mascot is taking a spin!

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Who said wallabies can't drive?

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A nice fountain and a large Ferris wheel -- La Grande Roue.

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I didn't get to ride the wheel in 2016, so it was a high priority this time. I'll start the aerial views with a look at the park entrance.

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Airtime on Lost Gravity!

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Words can't describe how quick this drop is. It's an intense moment.

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Just over there to the left is El Condor...

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...which I will not be riding ever again.

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Xpress: Platform 13's twisted mess of track is visible...

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...as is the big lift hill on Goliath, now painted in a very Millennium Force shade of blue.

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The Stengel dive from a distance.

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Looking north at the rest of the park, including the brand-new Untamed.

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Just below the wheel is ... a raft.

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I have decided that every theme park needs a self-operated raft. There's also no way that would fly in the US.

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Untamed is a beautiful coaster, and the Dutch countryside is an outstanding backdrop.

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Flags at the top of the lift.

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Proof that I have not yet exhausted this trip report's supply of wind turbine pictures.

Edited by The Great Zo
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Posted (edited)

Down from the wheel, and continuing our morning tour of the park...

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Here's the big drop on Crazy River, a very good log flume. (photo from 2016)

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Prepare for some air on the double-down.

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It's a small-ish splash as far as flume rides go.

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You'll still get a bit wet, though.

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This isn't Walibi Holland's only water ride -- they also have a splash battle and a rapids ride. Somehow, in both trips, I didn't get a single picture of the rapids ride. Oh well.

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And now, TPR takes on Crazy River. Here's boat #1, with Daniel in the front row on the backwards segment.

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Boat #2, with Ryan looking all confused for some reason.

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Boat #1 crests the lift, and prepares for their descent.

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Excitement on the drop!

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Airtime on the double-down!

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Hands across the water!

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Just slightly wet.

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Looks like they made it through alright.

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This is the worst attempt at the YMCA I've ever seen in my life.

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Splashing at the end of the drop.

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It appears Caroline is still alive but the others have fallen overboard. We'll miss the rest of you.

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Oh, they're still here.

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Well, I guess that's good.

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Obligatory kiddie credit coming up next.

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Drako is a Zierer Tivoli, so it's a decent ride as far as kiddie coasters go. (photo from 2016)

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The lead car looks nice!

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Half of our group is hanging on for dear life ... ok, then.

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I'm amused by the genuinely-scared people in this photo.

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Now we're getting more into it.

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Except for Colin, who has fallen dead asleep.

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Funny story from the 2016 trip! We broke the queue to the kiddie coaster. As in, somebody actually smashed their foot straight through a wooden plank on the walkway.

 

I've never heard of anyone breaking a queue before. (photo from 2016)

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Rest assured, the park has put up a "Beware! Smooth floors" sign. (photo from 2016)

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So ... this is NeuroGen.

 

I didn't go in. I just have this picture from the outside.

 

The shortest description I can provide is that it's some kind of VR-based psychological mind-screw, but I'm always going to remember it as the thing that finally broke poor Larry.

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Ride logo for Tomahawk, the park's year-2000 SBF frisbee.

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Tomahawk is pretty old in frisbee terms, and could probably use a replacement. (photo from 2016)

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Spinning Vibe is a Huss Magic -- and I think the only one I've ever seen. (photo from 2016)

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I didn't ride in 2016, which was dumb, because everyone said it was great. I rode it in 2019, and it was a lot of fun!

 

This picture from 2016 could almost pass for 2019, since Stacy was on both trips.

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The east end of the park, including Spinning Vibe, has sort of a music recording / production theme. The park was hitting that theme really hard in 2016, including developing two rival bands made up of various park mascots, but they've backed off from that a bit since then.

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There's also a splash battle over in this part of the park, and the kids area isn't far from here either.

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There's also a very IoA-inspired talking fountain. It speaks to nearby guests, perhaps taunting them to come a little closer. I don't really know for sure, because it speaks in Dutch, and I do not.

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As these things go, when you get too close, you get a bit wet. The kids seemed to be happy to oblige.

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Speed of Sound is over here as well -- and yeah, it's a Vekoma boomerang, but just look at it! (photo from 2016)

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It's got a guitar and giant speakers! It's also incredibly orange, and there's no way any coaster this orange could be bad, right?

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Well, John and Steve appear to be ... doing alright-ish.

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Daniel is holding his ears, and the others look to be in discomfort.

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Yeah, so, it's the world's best boomerang, but it's still a boomerang.

 

Hopefully these rider reaction pictures will help you adjust your expectations.

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That brings us to lunch! We had a private room with a great spread of burgers, kroketten, and fruit smoothies.

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Before we get back to the rides, how about some scenery? Here's a nice relaxing spot near the park's central fountain.

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...but what is the question?

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Walibi Holland has a place that sells poffertjes! I didn't get there before the end of the day to buy any. I'm sad.

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How about a wall full of American state license plates in a game booth? Find your home state and win a prize.

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Alright, let's jump into the big coasters now. Several people on the 2016 trip mentioned that Xpress: Platform 13 had an awesome queue, but I only rode the coaster during morning filming, and never saw the queue.

 

This time, I had to see it. We'll start off with this very normal-looking subway station area.

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As you get further into the queue, you'll run into a bunch of old movie posters, and the atmosphere gets a little bit darker.

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Things go haywire as you get deeper into the station, as the queue transforms from a queue into a mini-haunt.

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The final area before the station is the creepiest -- dark, with occasional flashing lights and loud noises. It creates an unnerving effect as you get ready to ride. Definitely one of the more interesting coaster queues I've seen, but it's rivaled in creativity by another one in the same park.

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Our backstage photo tour began at Xpress: Platform 13.

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Launching and inverting into the sun.

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With the way this coaster is so wrapped up, it's hard to get good rider reaction shots. There are a few decent spots, though.

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"Hey, look at all those nerds with the cameras!"

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Another view of Xpress from across the water.

 

Now, let's take a brief jump back to 2016...

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The date is June 19, 2016. TPR is getting ready for another ride on Goliath. Chuck liked it so much, he came back three years later!

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Goliath, still green, is framed nicely by surrounding foliage. (photo from 2016)

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A wide view of the Goliath lift hill, which is just about exactly one-half of a Millennium Force. (photo from 2016)

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A colorful shot with La Grande Roue in the background. (photo from 2016)

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And now, watch in amazement as green...

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...turns to blue!

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I'm not even sure how many trains we shot pictures of on this backstage tour, but it was a lot. Gave the camera a good workout.

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You can get just about right underneath the first drop, so rider reactions are pretty easy.

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We got just about as close to the first hill as well, for those airtime (and hairtime) moments we all love.

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The Walibi flag at the top is a constant, and it looks great against the crisp blue sky.

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It is possible we weren't the only group of American enthusiasts in the park? Three people in the middle of this train are wearing coaster shirts -- Lightning Rod, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and I think maybe Fury 325.

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Blue Intamin track and a guy wearing a shirt that mentions Detroit, Michigan. Am I sure I'm not at Cedar Point?

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Diagonal riders.

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Coasters and clouds.

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Framing this shot through the supports.

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A big curve heading into the ride's second half.

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A whole bunch of track visible from this angle.

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Goliath, like most Intamin rides from this era, is a "throw your hands up" fun time the whole way through.

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There's a pretty good angle of the Stengel dive, which I think is from a public pathway outside the park that we wandered over to.

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Coming out of the Stengel dive.

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Another support-framed picture.

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Catching some air on the bunny hills headed back to the station.

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An airtime buffet awaits.

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Oh, and Goliath's infield has pretty much been taken over by birds. This picture is from 2016, but they were still there in 2019. Let's hope Fabio isn't watching.

Edited by The Great Zo
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Before we continue on with the photo tour, we have to take one more step back in time.

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This is Robin Hood, as seen in 2016.

 

It's a rare Vekoma woodie built in the year 2000.

 

It was not good.

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We rode Robin Hood on the 2016 trip. I think we actually filmed on Robin Hood on the 2016 trip.

 

I gave it two rides just to try to be nice or whatever. It wasn't an enjoyable experience.

 

But hey ... what would happen if they called up those guys from Idaho?

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This is what happens. This is Untamed.

 

Well, this is the Untamed ride sign and the turnaround.

 

But you get the idea.

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It's a very nice ride sign, as Caroline has deftly modeled!

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Before we get to the coaster, let's look at some of the theming. You've got this bizarre doorway over by the exit area.

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The on-ride photo booth basically says you're ugly.

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There are weird posters up on the walls of the building, including this odd cat-person-thing...

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..."the fine art of goofing off"...

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...and an ode to the T-Rex.

 

Also, the Untamed test seat is in an outhouse.

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Looking up at the station and the lift hill, you can see some of the ride's weird theming -- large rusted-out lighted signs that say "LOVE" and "BE BRAVE" on the lift and station entrance, respectively.

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Inside the station, it's like if a greenhouse had been left untended for a year, allowed to grow wildly on its own.

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We have taken the trip.

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Even the lighting in the station is interesting. They left no stone unturned with this ride.

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Coming out of the station, Untamed begins...

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...with an outward banked turn on the way to the lift hill, for no apparent reason.

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RMC loves to throw in pre-lift weirdness, just because it's amusing and fun.

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As a train crests the lift...

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...our photo tour has begun!

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We headed backstage along the right side of the lift hill.

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This might be the most TPR picture in TPR history.

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We basically had free reign to find all the good camera angles for Untamed. There are several good spots to view the entrance and exit to the 270-degree stall.

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From below, it looks like it's just heading into a normal inversion.

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But this is RMC, so normal is out of the question.

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I've gotten some of my favorite rider reaction shots as coaster trains are just heading into the brake run.

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Here's another example of that.

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We moved into the infield to continue the photo tour.

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Absolutely love this camera angle coming out of the 270-degree stall.

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A sideways twist coming out of the turn-around.

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Looking up at the second inversion in the stall.

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You're never going to have a problem with dull rider reactions on an RMC.

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Off-kilter airtime heading into the turnaround...

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...and weird sideways airtime coming out of the turnaround.

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Another fast-paced low-to-the-ground turn as Untamed heads into the final stretch.

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One thing I should mention -- unfortunately, Untamed was only running one train on the day we visited. However, we had so much time on this photo tour that it really didn't make much of a difference.

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A train heads into the 270-degree stall...

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...inverting into the stall...

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...inverting out of the stall...

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...and finishing the 270-degree stall.

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Another thing I love about Untamed is the design on the lead car -- some kind of weird bug thing. These are probably my favorite RMC trains.

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A look across the infield at the rest of the group. Untamed's infield is huge -- easily big enough to do something with. But if the park has any plans for the area, they weren't telling!

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More pictures of people taking pictures of coasters.

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Even more pictures of people taking pictures of coasters. This is the behind-the-scenes TPR content you're all here for.

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All you need is LOVE.

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A closer look at the rusted letters -- inscribed with button-copy-esque lights that probably look pretty neat at night.

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It's great when parks pay tribute to their old rides, and Walibi Holland did good on Robin Hood. Here's a preserved old segment for that ride in the Untamed queue, topped by one of the Robin Hood coaster cars. They rusted it up real good to make it fit the Untamed theme.

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Vekoma-henge? A bunch of Robin Hood track pieces were installed like some kind of art project in the Untamed queue.

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The "wilderness taking over" theme is pretty effective, and it will only be even more so once some of the foliage near the Untamed construction area has grown back in.

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Can you feel the LOVE tonight?

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Sideways airtime!

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Doing a barrel roll on the way back to the station.

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One more view of the first drop.

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Another train coming out of the 270-degree stall.

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Screaming or not-screaming?

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It really takes your breath away.

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More airtime near the end of the ride.

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No question -- this ride is a huge success.

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Upside down really, really close to the ground.

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RMCs are solid-gold crowd-pleasers, and everybody at Walibi Holland seemed to love riding it.

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The queue was pretty long during the day, but we'd be back for more ERT in the evening.

Edited by The Great Zo
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From the best coaster in the park to...

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...El Condor.

 

This photo is from 2016, when I rode El Condor, and regretted the decision.

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In 2019, Joey Schadenberg rode El Condor something like 200+ times to raise money for charity.

 

We've all got our things, I guess.

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El Condor is located in the park's Mexican-themed area. To be honest, as other sections of the park re-brand into the modern/irreverent Walibi Holland style, I wonder if this area may need a makeover soon. (photo from 2016)

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It's painful just looking at this picture. (photo from 2016)

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Speaking of painful, Colin and Caroline are obviously having a great time.

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Daniel is terrified, as anybody riding a 1994-built prototype Vekoma SLC should be.

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Chris, Ryan, and Barry almost look like they're ... enjoying it? No, that can't be.

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Barry is actually hanging on for dear life, while David ... is intentional smiling for the camera? Good acting.

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Welcome back riders, how was your ... oh.

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El Condor is certified rotten.

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Why is El Condor so bad? Well, you could start with the mark of quality on these wheels, for one... (photo from 2016)

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Walibi Holland might be the only park in the world with bumper cars themed to drinking and driving.

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There's also a ride themed to sombreros.

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It's a Moser Fiesta Mexicana, and it was very alright-ish.

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Hey, remember the raft I saw from the Ferris wheel? Well, we're gonna use it.

 

In our last adventure at Toverland, we had the trip's first rafting experience, and it mostly went well.

 

How would we do at Walibi Holland?

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Daniel leads the way, steering our ship to shore.

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Pull harder, guys, and we just might make it.

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...and then we started taking on water.

 

You know, the raft advertised a limit of 8 people, and we only had 8 people. Don't blame us!

 

We sorta had to re-distribute our weight to balance things out, while the little engines that could pulled us the rest of the way across.

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Perhaps as some kind of penance for almost sinking the raft, Stacy and Colin returned to the other side to ferry a few other park guests across the way.

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And here I thought theme parks were just fun and games.

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A rafting success! And our feet were only a little wet.

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Speaking of wet, here's Blast -- a Huss Top Spin.

 

I don't ride Top Spins, but I do take pictures of people riding on Top Spins.

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As the ride cycle begins, our heroes have no idea what they're in for.

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Fear sets in as things start getting a little wild.

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The water kicks up!

 

(I think it's just a fountain in front of the ride)

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After several repeated cycles and fake-out endings, the Top Spin comes to a rest, and our participants seem to be alright.

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...well, mostly alright.

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So, it comes to a final stop, and then...

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...ha ha ha you're going one more time!

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Caroline was not pleased with the Top Spin's excessively-long multiple cycles.

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Aw just kidding she loved it!

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Another old picture -- here's what Merlin's Magic Castle looked like in 2016.

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Here is what it looks like now.

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It's covered in graffiti with weird pop culture references. The inside is still the same, though -- a dated magical story, told via Vekoma Madhouse.

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We've got one coaster yet to cover, and it's one of my favorites -- Lost Gravity. (photo from 2016)

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It's hard to describe this coaster, but it's a fantastic example of how to make a truly crazy ride with a small footprint.

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Any discussion of Lost Gravity has to begin with the queue, though -- including the ride sign. (photo from 2016)

 

The whole concept here is that gravity has been lost, reality is beginning to fade, and the laws of physics no longer apply. It was basically a fantastic excuse for Walibi Holland to get weird.

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The upside-down helicopter is actually a DJ booth! (photo from 2016)

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On the 2016 trip, Scott Bravenboer led us through the queue's old school bus.

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Getting closer to the main part of the queue, we come across a bunch of stacked-up shipping containers.

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A garden table and some chairs ... installed upside-down on the ceiling.

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A FEBO machine filled with Lost Gravity merchandise.

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A broken escalator leads up to another shipping container.

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The inside of the shipping container is an amazing phantasmagoria of color-changing lights and mirrors. (photo from 2016)

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It would not be hard to lose track of gravity in this place.

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Honestly, it's one of my favorite parts of any queue for any ride anywhere. (photo from 2016)

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This picture is from our filming session on the 2016 trip, and the rider reactions are fantastic. When this thing ends, it's a feeling of "what the heck just happened?"

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Track reflections on the shiny ride vehicles. (photo from 2016)

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Oh, and there's fire. Every ride is better with fire. (photo from 2016)

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Lost Gravity's elements include some sharp airtime hills, some slow inversions, and a weird mix of intensity. (photo from 2016)

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Here's one of the better airtime moments on the ride.

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The first drop is /extremely/ abrupt. You crest the lift and you're diving down to the side almost immediately.

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You really feel like you're getting yanked down, especially if you're in the back row.

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Steve loved Lost Gravity so much, he jumped in the single rider line multiple times near the end of the day.

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Can't say I blame him. Lost Gravity is a fantastic coaster. Somebody in the US needs to build one of these.

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Nearing the end of the night, our group walked around a bit more and rode a few more flats.

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We got a couple more rides on Goliath right before the park closed. The back car proved quite popular with our group.

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From there, it was back over to Untamed for another lengthy ERT session, wrapping up a very fun day.

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That's the end from Walibi Holland. Huge thanks to Scott and Marco for making this a really special visit for TPR!

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Great report Andy! (I really enjoyed the log flume commentary) It's interesting to see a park embrace such weird/quirky theming that you don't normally see in a theme park. That and the coaster lineup puts this park pretty high on my must get to at some point list.

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Untamed was my favorite coaster of the whole trip--beautifully paced and very re-rideable (and the quirky theming was a plus, too).

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Great report and great park. Really missing Europe and traveling right now. Oh, and that Pofertjes stand was amazing and the workers were so friendly.

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Your pictures are amazing! They are way better at capturing the feeling of the ride experience than any distant picture of a support structure, no matter how nice those may be. I even recognize one group of riders on Untamed from the April ACE coaster calendar picture (not the place, I know...).

 

Two thumbs up on the report!

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I thought really hard about it but I'm pretty sure I made the correct decision to skip Condor.

 

Untamed is my number one steel coaster now, it is INCREDIBLE. Walibi Holland was one of the more hospitable parks on the trip for the group for sure.

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While I’m not as big of a fan of Walibi Holland as others, they sure did show us some amazing hospitality and this group made the visit SO much fun. I’d love to return with TPR sometime after another addition.

 

Untamed is a great coaster, made even better by using “the method!”

 

I got a good laugh out of that Speed of Sound pic. Crazy how far Vekoma has come in 20 years...

 

Another fun memory: one-by-one, everyone in our group was peer pressured into Tomahawk. It would be the last flat of the trip for some.

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I thought really hard about it but I'm pretty sure I made the correct decision to skip Condor.

 

Based on my one ride on Condor back in 2008, you made a wise choice.

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GREAT trip report, Andy. Thanks!!

 

But let's talk about:

 

NeuroGen !!

 

The PERFECT antidote to weeks of quarantine! (Thanks Larrygator for ur personal tour of NeuroGen. I wanna be there SO BAD right now! I can't believe that you couldn't get fellow trippers --- er I mean travelers -- to check it out! I'd be thru those doors in a 'New York Minute.')

 

Alice

"Turn on, tune in, drop out."

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Another fun memory: one-by-one, everyone in our group was peer pressured into Tomahawk. It would be the last flat of the trip for some.

Did you ride Mad Mill? That looked about ten times worse.

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