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Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR


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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.

 

 

 

Preach brother! Absolute perfection in a VR attraction. I was drugged, molested, hallucinated, died and was resuscitated. Whatmore could happen?

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Posted (edited)
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.

 

Flumes are always great for a laugh, especially with how everyone over-acts from a few splashes of water!

 

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

 

It was my favorite also, but I have Wildfire right below it. No question that Untamed is better paced -- perfectly paced, even. I just think those first few elements on Wildfire, with the view over the forest and the water, are just about unbeatable. Tough call between those two.

 

Oh, and that Pofertjes stand was amazing and the workers were so friendly.

 

Ugh, that's not helping! I'm already upset I missed it!

 

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!

 

Thanks! I may have taken a few pictures of the support structure, but those aren't as fun.

 

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

 

Last-few-years Vekoma is such a world of difference from everything that came before. Can you imagine if they replaced El Condor with a bigger version of what they just put in a Tripsdrill? They could even call it Son of El Condor. (Hijo Del Cóndor?)

 

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.

 

Did anybody ride more than like, 3 things at Duinrell? That place was mobbed.

 

Laughing about Tomahawk, though. Not sure anyone really wanted to ride it, and we may have passed the time queuing by referencing some ... recent incidents ... with other similar rides ...

 

Preach brother! Absolute perfection in a VR attraction. I was drugged, molested, hallucinated, died and was resuscitated. Whatmore could happen?

 

Put this on a billboard. The marketing writes itself. #HARDGAAN

Edited by The Great Zo
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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.

 

Did anybody ride more than like, 3 things at Duinrell? That place was mobbed.

 

LOL! I was thinking the same thing. "Wait, AJ, you actually got to ride things at Duinrell?"

 

I had also forgotten about the 3rd raft experience until this moment. Oh my...

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LOL! I was thinking the same thing. "Wait, AJ, you actually got to ride things at Duinrell?"

 

I had also forgotten about the 3rd raft experience until this moment. Oh my...

 

I'm realizing I don't actually have any pictures of us riding the raft at Duinrell, which probably means I was too worried about the thing sinking to be taking pictures.

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Monday, July 22, 2019

Day 11 Part 1: Drievliet

 

Our final day in the Netherlands had arrived.

 

(Well, actually we thought we'd be briefly returning to Amsterdam a few days later, but, uh, that didn't happen. Another story for another day.)

 

In the mean time, we had two small parks on our Monday agenda, and both were parks I'd never been to before. No more mixing old pictures into the TR -- everything here is fresh from a first-time visitor.

 

For our first park, we headed to The Hague to visit the small family park called Drievliet. When I say small, I mean it. Drievliet covers a surface area of about 0.04 square kilometers. As a point of comparison, Efteling and Walibi Holland are both about 0.50 square kilometers. Driveliet's a pretty tightly-packed park, crammed with fun rides mainly geared toward families and kids, along with a few unique attractions you can't find anywhere else.

 

We started the day with a Filming / ERT session on all three of the park's coasters -- Formule X, Kopermijn, and Twistrix. One thing that was nice about this filming session is that with the whole group together, I was able to get pictures of just about everybody, especially on Formule X and Twistrix. After we were done with filming, we had two hours of free time to check out the rest of the park. I had to move quickly to get on a few rides and still get the pictures I wanted, but I think I was mostly successful.

 

The park also gifted us bright red Drievliet zip-up hoodies, which was very nice of them.

 

I know I'm not the target audience for a park like Drievliet, but I really liked the place. They've got a great mix of attractions for the younger crowd, with some fun theming that the kids probably enjoy. They basically have zero room to expand, so I'm not sure how they're going to handle new additions, but their current formula is working pretty well.

 

Since there are only a few rides worth mentioning, I'll cover the reviews in the photo captions. Short versions: Formule X packs a lot into a tiny footprint, Kopermijn is everything you'd want (or not want) out of a wild mouse, and Twistrix was an unexpected hoot! Ha, see what I did there?

 

Be sure to check out the official TPR videos from

and
.

 

And now, pictures.

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Before you can enter Drievliet, you must first cross the silver bridge of death.

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OK, it's not really that dramatic -- the bridge crosses over a big freeway construction project, which will eventually link the A4/A13 interchange with The Hague's central district.

 

The road tunnel you can see in this picture is called the Victory Boogie Woogie Tunnel. I'm completely serious.

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With that little bit of Dutch freeway knowledge imparted, we'll continue crossing the bridge...

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...and make our arrival to Drievliet, with the skyline of The Hague in the background.

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These buildings made a previous appearance several TR segments in the past, but now they've got theme park rides in the foreground.

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You can tell from their branding that Drievliet is intended to be a family destination.

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Here's your big photo spot at the front of the park -- get a picture with the Drievliet pelican, who's eating a fish, and standing on a cow. That pretty much covers all the bases, doesn't it?

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A list of the park's attractions. The park was set to open at 10AM, but we were there an hour early for filming.

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Oh, and free coffee!

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Our first coaster was Formule X -- a launched Maurer X-Car coaster.

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Some Formule X statistics, though knowing some Dutch would help.

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A map of the layout -- it's small, but quite twisted.

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The coaster looks pretty tall in a convex mirror.

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Several TPR members exhibiting various degrees of "9AM ready-to-ride."

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Now they all look alive! Except for Rector.

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Green means go -- here's the launch track.

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Hey! AJ! I just passed you in your trip report! Get back to work on it!

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The evil sun made this picture not-so-good but I'm including it anyway.

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Launches are always good for pictures.

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Formule X is an interesting mix of elements -- quite heavy on hangtime and slow curves, but with a bit of airtime to mix in with the inversions.

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It's not the world's most intense coaster, but this is a family park, so it's probably about as extreme as you'd want to go.

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What I like most about Formule X is that it's a unique, creative use of a small footprint. There aren't that many X-Car coasters around.

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Barry and Daniel launching like normal people. This will be an important distinction later.

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Coming out of one of the inversions.

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AJ and Ryan launch, while Robb films from the exit platform.

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Up high on one of the curves.

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Steve knows where the camera is.

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Chuck's hanging on tight.

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And yet, it's the other guys who look to be having a greater degree of difficulty.

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I think these are my first pictures of Barry and Daniel doing "The Method."

 

The best way I can describe "The Method" is to intentionally ride a roller coaster in a manner that makes it as likely as possible to snap your spine in half.

 

They assure me it's fun, but I have my doubts.

 

(also, Barry's doing a far better job of it than Daniel.)

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Formule X ERT continues.

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Some people rode and rode again, but I loved the opportunity to get pictures of the whole group on the coaster.

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Someone might have asked these guys to look as terrified as possible.

 

They're pretty good actors.

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An exhilarating ride comes to an end.

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What, no Method on the brake run?

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Just a couple more from this coaster.

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Thumbs up for an enjoyable Maurer ride!

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Kopermijn is up next -- and as you can see, it's themed to crazy miners who haven't been to the dentist in a while.

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Here's the queue and the ride station. Kopermijn is a Maurer wild mouse, and Maurer mice are known to be a little on the violent side.

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A Kopermijn success story from Erik and Smisty -- or is that Smisty and Erik?

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In a glowing review in Erik's TR, he said that Kopermijn was wild in the best way.

 

I thought it was a little too wild, but I admit I'm sort of over the whole "getting beat to hell on those unbanked hairpin turns" thing.

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Another TPR car pulls into the station.

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Twistrix is the final coaster at Drievliet.

 

In another TR, somebody challenged the reader to figure out why it's themed to owls. Well, "twist" is what the ride does, and "strix" refers to a mythological owl-like bird.

 

Unfortunately, this debunks my previous theory that the ride's designer had simply been listening to "Fly By Night" by Rush.

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Like the other coasters at Drievilet, Twistrix is made by Maurer.

 

Unlike the other coasters at Drievliet, Twistrix is made up of a long train of two-seater cars, each of which can spin independently of the others.

 

To the best of my knowledge, Twistrix is a one-of-a-kind coaster, with no duplicates anywhere on the planet.

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The official video from Twistrix hasn't been posted yet, but here's a behind-the-scenes view of its filming.

 

Given all the spinning, I have no idea how it's going to turn out.

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Erik wants to know why there aren't more coasters like this elsewhere.

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Ryan and Steve get twisted.

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AJ and Ryan take a quick breather as the ride pulls into the station.

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Chris and John head up the lift hill...

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...and at the top of the lift, the spinning begins.

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If this video ever gets posted, those who suffer from motion sickness may want to tune out.

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The coaster's layout is quite simple -- it's basically just goes twice in a circle.

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The fun comes once the cars begin to spin.

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Checking in with Brad and Larry...

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...while Daniel and Caroline share a laugh.

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The spinning is totally random and uncontrolled.

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Hi Smisty!

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As the spinning intensifies, Steve hangs on tight...

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One of the too-many-Andrews, keeping his head down.

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Brace yourself, Daniel!

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The corners are pretty tight, and usually they made the spinning more intense.

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This may, in fact, be the most intense ride at Drievliet.

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Not saying that Daniel was going to fly out if he didn't hold on, but stranger things have happened.

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I think all the cars were spinning pretty good by this point.

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Larry looks like he's still feeling that NeuroGen thing from the day before.

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Twistrix was a surprise hit -- just a load of fun!

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Probably about as much fun as you can have on a coaster with a booster wheel lift hill.

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Really, I think the only spinning coaster I've done with TPR that was as fun as this one was -- and this is reaching way back -- the Jungle Twist coaster at the Texas State Fair Park in 2013. That was insane, and this was very close to it.

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That was a fun first hour at Drievliet! Two hours to go, and plenty more to see.

Edited by The Great Zo
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As happens quite often in these trip reports, I climbed a tower.

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Looking down at Formule X and the back half of Driveliet.

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A carouse and Ferris wheel in the distance.

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Down below, a tractor ride through Old McDonald's farm.

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Oh, as for the tower? It's a slide tower, and TPR is off to the races.

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The competition is fierce...

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...but Barry comes out on top!

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And then I headed down myself, and there must be evidence of this since four different people are presently taking my picture.

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Right next to the slide is Theeleut. That's a fancy way to say Teacups.

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You can also get some cupcakes from the statue next to the ride!

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"Lots of love from Drievliet"

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We had three or four teacups going, with our groups sorted out by how much people felt like spinning.

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I went for the "no spin" cup, but these guys were getting theirs cranking.

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Larry's smiling because he's still thinking about NeuroGen.

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The true teacup pros show us how it's done.

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They really got that thing spinning.

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Smile, if you're not too dizzy.

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Up at the front of the park, there's a large wet-dry slide complex.

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The lines weren't too long, so a few people went to ride, and I used it as another excuse to climb a tower.

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That's Twistrix in the foreground, with Formule X behind it.

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This is the first look at the ocean-themed area at the front of the park, which contains some play areas and several flat rides.

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Say hi to the whale when you pass by on the park's small train.

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We rode this one -- it's a breakdance called Draaikolk.

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It might have actually been my first ride on a Breakdance, though I doubt this was among the more extreme examples of the ride type.

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It seemed to be a hit with the families who rode.

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Also, it's got a big tornado of fish in the middle, and that's pretty cool.

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Here's the front of the slide tower -- there are three with straight drops, and one with an enclosed helix.

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Splashing down at the bottom.

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These two somehow managed to peel out, which I would call a skill.

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If the last TPR slide race wasn't exciting enough, now we'll do it with water!

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But wait! Barry and Ryan have taken an unfair head start.

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Barry is celebrating, but deep down inside, he knows he's broken the rules.

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Barry thinks he's about to win his second slide race in a row, but cheating's not gonna fly around here.

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Keep screaming, but I'm declaring the two of you disqualified.

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By default, that makes Daniel and AJ the winners. Congrats on your sorta-victory!

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Drievliet's got an old-school haunted dark ride called Spookmuseum.

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It's the one slightly-creepy attraction at Drievliet, but it's not particularly frightening inside.

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"De Tijdreizigers" means "The Time Travelers." Not sure how well that theme carried through the ride, though.

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Good luck, Ryan.

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There are a few other small flat rides in the area.

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Here's a little spinny pedaly flying thing. Sorry for the awful description.

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Here's a kiddie drop tower.

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Here's a horsey thing.

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And next up -- the Drievliet monorail.

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As monorails go, it's quite possibly the shortest track on one that I've ever seen.

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Angelic art detail on the front of the monorail.

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The first bit looks like this -- quite forested.

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You'll get a view into the station of the park's powered coaster, which I haven't even mentioned yet.

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There's another western-themed family ride down below.

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We've got some swings here -- another classic park staple.

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Finally, you'll get a brief view of Formule X -- and with they way they move people through that ride, you'll probably get to see it in action.

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An elevated view of a Formule X inversion.

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This is the first element right after the launch. Probably the most exciting part of the ride.

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I spy an airtime hill!

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That brings us back to the station. It's perhaps the world's only monorail short enough that they send you through the circuit twice.

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The balloon-themed Ferris wheel towers over the back section of the park, and of course I had to give it a spin.

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Here's the view of The Hague to the northwest. The canal is called the Haagse Trekvliet, and the flag in the foreground is that of the adjacent municipality of Rijswijk.

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Several skyscrapers in The Hague are quite visible from here.

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Some day I'll get back to this one and ascend to the observation tower, but for now, this little balloon Ferris wheel will have to do.

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Another view of the canal, one of three canals that intersect near Drievliet -- the Haagse Trekvliet, the Delftsche Vliet, and the Vliet.

 

That adds up to three Vliets.

 

And the number three, in Dutch, is "Drie."

 

Put it all together, and now you know how the park got its name.

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The previous day featured views of farmland and wind turbines. This time, I've got high rise buildings in an urban environment.

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Church steeples -- often with green-tinted roofs -- are common.

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Way off in the distance, you can see Rotterdam.

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In the foreground, a return to Drievliet.

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There's Kopermijn, with its tight corners and old mine theming.

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The Spookmuseum haunts guests just below.

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The kiddie drop tower was also nearby, but there's one more ride yet to come.

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I take lots of log flume photos, but I don't often have a chance to get them from up high.

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So, here are some Ferris wheel shots of Drievliet's log flume, Jungle River.

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There were some people, like this kid, who were basically doing marathon runs on the flume.

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It's basically a standard-issue fair circuit double-drop log flume, but they added some jungle theming and made it look nice.

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Looks like I'm just in time to catch a few TPR riders on the flume.

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It's a splash.

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Caroline and Colin got themselves some water.

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Caught Ryan on the flume also.

 

(we had two Ryans, but at that's not as bad as having four Andrews)

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Down from the wheel for a closer look at the flume.

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This is Jungle River. It's like a river ... in the jungle.

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Two lift hills, and two drops -- one larger than the other.

 

Also, splash deflectors, for whatever purpose those serve.

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No shortage of boats -- Duinrell's operations on the flume, and really on everything, were quite good.

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I have more flume pictures than ideas for captions, but I'll do my best.

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Yep, they have an on-ride photo option on the log flume!

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A boat at the top.

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A boat at the bottom.

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Kicking up a splash.

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A hilarious reaction.

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Drievliet is fun for all ages!

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This kid has the coolest grandparents.

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Playing it up for the camera.

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I did not ride the flume, but that was more for time purposes than a fear of getting soaked -- it did not seem to be unacceptably wet.

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Not sure if this is the safest way to ride, but have at it.

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Hide from the water!

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"Disgust" isn't usually the expression I get in log flume pictures, but hey, why not.

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This kid was on his 47th lap, and he wasn't done yet.

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Another splashdown.

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Yep, it's water.

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Really only including this photo because of the weird patterns the water is making coming off of the log.

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With all that theming, you really feel like you're in the jungle...

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...and the jungle is a very scary place.

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OK, time to finish the tour of the rest of the back of the park. There is a carousel.

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It has a cat who has gone fishing.

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Here's some kind of scrambler-type ride.

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There's a play area themed to pirates, though it wasn't getting as much use as the play areas near the front of the park.

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There are several things at Drievliet that I somehow missed, and only saw from other trip reports. There's a park museum, a 5D theater, and ... a donkey that poops out a coin or something.

 

Yep, kind of like the one at Efteling.

 

How did I miss the Drievliet Pooping Donkey? This is a great disappointment. Should TPR ever return to this park, we'll have to make it a priority.

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I don't know much about the creepy-looking Griezelbus, but apparently it's from a horror film in which a school trip visits a demonic version of Drievliet.

 

I kind of want to find this film now.

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Kopermijn was open for business, giving its herky-jerky rides to Drievliet guests.

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Not many good spots for photos on Kopermijn, but I found a couple.

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I guess it's not too rough for the younger crowd.

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It's not the only Maurer mouse themed to a mine -- the truly awful Crazy Mine at Hansa Park is also a Maurer.

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A side view of the run into the brakes.

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Finally, I have arrived to the powered coaster, Dynamite Express.

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Dynamite Express is a Mack powered coaster, so you know it'll be a good one.

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Obviously it's a non-thrilling family attraction, but it's a nicely-designed fun ride.

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A two-train shot with the monorail and Dynamite Express.

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Heading back to the front of the park, and checking in one more time on Formule X.

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This picture is shiny.

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I saw lots of young kids riding Formule X. It's clearly not too intense for the family atmosphere.

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Old McDonald's Tractor Ride!

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Ee-i-e-i-o.

 

As far as farm-themed rides go, this is remarkably cute.

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On the other hand, there's also De Zingende Stal -- The Singing Stable.

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I think this guy is Old McDonald, but I didn't ask him how old.

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De Zingende Stal is definitely one of Drievliet's most distinctive attractions. Not every day you're at a theme park and run across a barn full of animatronic farm animals.

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Here's how it works. Old McDonald sings his song, playing his banjo from his perch atop his rusted-out tractor.

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The animals in the farm all have buttons in front of them. When you press the button, that animal starts singing the song along with Old McDonald.

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So, if you've ever wanted to hear a horse sing, now you know where to go.

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The chickens offered a particularly spirited rendition of the song.

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Being from Kentucky, Daniel must have felt right at home.

 

(that's probably offensive)

 

(sorry, Daniel)

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A final view of Twistrix, and all its spinny insanity.

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Yep, still spinning.

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Hey, they've even got one of those climbing hat things like at Toverland.

 

This one was overrun with children, so I wasn't about to give it a try.

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There is also a pendulum ride near the front of the park.

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It's a smaller model like you might find at a fair.

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The octopus-themed Enterprise looked really nice.

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I am not a fan of these, but I think some people from our group gave it a ride.

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The front part of Drievliet had an outer space theme in the past, but it was re-made into an ocean theme several years ago. The whole section is really brightly colored and cute -- though maybe a little sparse on shade.

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Several flying fish -- and one flying bird.

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Saying a farewell to Formule X...

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...and to The Hague's skyline, which towers behind it.

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A final view of the skyline on our way out.

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That was a quick 3 hours. I definitely like this park, especially for the target demographic.

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"A day out at Drievliet, who wouldn't want that?"

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Thanks for reading. We've got one more small park coming up in the next update!

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These are the kind of parks I wish America had more of, if there was one of these close to my city I'd probably go there 20 times a year. Great pictures as always, really enjoyed following along with this so far.

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Looks like a really nice family park!

 

(we had two Ryans, but at that's not as bad as having four Andrews)

It's funny how this happens, especially with small groups. In undergrad, my upper level major classes (which had like 15-20 people) had 3 Jakes and I've been to aerial conditioning classes where half of the class is named Rachel

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(we had two Ryans, but at that's not as bad as having four Andrews)

Andy, A.J., Andrew, and... Goldberg.

 

Hey! AJ! I just passed you in your trip report! Get back to work on it!

You've forced my hand!

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I was actually smiling because Drievliet is possibly my favorite micro park. But thanks for continuing to promote NeuroGen.

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Drievliet is a very enjoyable little park, and Formule X is a great little launched coaster. It did my heart good to know that the bizarre "singing barn" show still existed.

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I feel like this park really improved since our last visit in 2008. Sure it's not really meant for a group like ours but it was nice to see such a great family park with some fun rides. Formule X is underrated and a really great ride. Awesome photos as always!

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I loved Drievliet. Was it objectively the best park on the trip? No, of course not. But it was a lot of fun, and I would be very happy to spend more time there. Small? Sure, but that didn't bother me because there was lots to do.

 

A few other random thoughts from the Esty and Smirik camp:

 

We're all over that first section of your trip report, which is weird because we tend to be where everyone else isn't.

 

Speaking of which, we're also in that overview photo of the tractor ride at the beginning of the second section!

 

I might very well have been the biggest fan of Kopermijn in our group. Which just serves to to once again demonstrate how unpredictable my tastes can be. But I don't mind getting LoCoSuMo-ed, as long as I'm not overly restrained (and remember that a lot of restraints fit me oddly) and I'm not being hit in the head.

 

That was a good theory on why Twistrix is themed to owls, and one could do worse than repeatedly listening to Fly By Night, but I was thinking of an even simpler explanation: Owls swivel their heads, and the cars are meant to look like owl heads.

 

I kept the Andrews straight by calling one Goldballs and then just being confused the rest of the time.

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These are the kind of parks I wish America had more of, if there was one of these close to my city I'd probably go there 20 times a year. Great pictures as always, really enjoyed following along with this so far.

 

Thanks for reading, appreciate it!

 

I was actually smiling because Drievliet is possibly my favorite micro park. But thanks for continuing to promote NeuroGen.

 

Let's keep promoting it until someone builds one in the US!

 

It did my heart good to know that the bizarre "singing barn" show still existed.

 

It's really a one-of-a-kind, and in my opinion would make a fantastic addition to the petting zoo at Cedar Point.

 

I feel like this park really improved since our last visit in 2008. Sure it's not really meant for a group like ours but it was nice to see such a great family park with some fun rides. Formule X is underrated and a really great ride. Awesome photos as always!

 

We always find ways to have a good time at places that aren't exactly built for us. And thanks!

 

We're all over that first section of your trip report, which is weird because we tend to be where everyone else isn't.

 

Speaking of which, we're also in that overview photo of the tractor ride at the beginning of the second section!

 

I didn't even notice you two were in the tractor ride photo! I see it now. That's really funny.

 

And that's why I loved the first part of this trip report. It's really the only chance I had on the entire trip to get pics of everybody in the group together. Like we're all one big happy slightly-dysfunctional family.

 

(we had two Ryans, but at that's not as bad as having four Andrews)

It's funny how this happens, especially with small groups. In undergrad, my upper level major classes (which had like 15-20 people) had 3 Jakes and I've been to aerial conditioning classes where half of the class is named Rachel

 

The first office I worked at, with a staff of 20, had four Davids. I don't know how that happens.

 

(we had two Ryans, but at that's not as bad as having four Andrews)

Andy, A.J., Andrew, and... Goldberg.

 

I kept the Andrews straight by calling one Goldballs and then just being confused the rest of the time.

 

I like Erik's idea better. Goldballs is now TPR canon.

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Regarding the Andrews, I referred to them as Andy (you), AJ, Andrew and with Rector I was usually just shaking my head.

 

I once coached a 5th-6th grade basketball team where 5 of the 10 kids were named Mike.

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Hate on The Method all you want; we're starting a movement, and it's gonna be HUGE! It took Formule X from a solid 7...to a 7.5!

 

Drievliet was a blast. 3 of the quickest hours on the trip, and so much fun basically having the park to ourselves for the first two of them. Despite being small, that park was PACKED with fun rides! It felt like something new and surprising was tucked into every corner. Also, I can't believe I'm just noticing this, but was the mini-breakdance themed to SHARKNADO?!

 

And why would I be offended that Drievliet's farm show features an animatronic clone of my Uncle Steve?

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Also, I can't believe I'm just noticing this, but was the mini-breakdance themed to SHARKNADO?!

 

...it was, wasn't it? Or at least a kid-friendly version of Sharknado with less Tara Reid.

 

And why would I be offended that Drievliet's farm show features an animatronic clone of my Uncle Steve?

 

Look, just tell your Brother Steve his banjo's out of tune.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Day 11 Part 2: Duinrell

 

After a quick three hours at Drievliet, we got back on the bus and headed north to our second small park of the day: Duinrell.

 

Duinrell, named for the adjacent sand dunes, is located in Wassenar -- not far from the shore of the North Sea. Duinrell sits on an estate that has history dating back to the 1600s, and it is owned by the noble Van Zuylen van Nijevelt family. The park's mascot is a frog named Rick (Rick de Kikker), who you'll find stationed at trash cans around the park.

 

Duinrell is definitely sort of a unique property -- it's one part theme park, water park, playground, and campground. Though there's a vast array of cabins surrounding the park, there were also spots for tent camping inside the park -- just steps from the rides and restaurants. I definitely got the idea that the water park -- a big indoor/outdoor setup -- was one of the main draws during the warm summer season. On our visit, the dry park was quite crowded as well.

 

I definitely think that Duinrell is a park that I could have an enjoyable time at, under different circumstances. Unfortunately, our visit was marked by heavy crowds full of energetic kids and teenagers with no qualms about line jumping. This problem was exacerbated by the fact that there are really only a handful of full-size attractions, and operations on the rides were not particularly great. I know some of us were wondering if Duinrell might be sort of a Dutch Knoebels-lite, which is sort of a laughable notion in retrospect. Typically, comparing anything to Knoebels is going to result in disappointment. Duinrell doesn't have a standout attraction to really sell an enthusiast on a visit, and there are better parks in the Netherlands to credit whore at -- including Drievliet. On the other hand, I enjoyed Duinrell's setting, which is quite nice overall. You have water, you have dunes, and on a trees-per-square-inch measurement it might be the most forested park I've ever been to. Yep, even more than Knoebels or Efteling.

 

Honestly, I probably would have enjoyed Duinrell quite a bit if it weren't for the crowds, and if I could have taken the park at a calmer pace. Instead, with just three and a half hours, we all had to make some decisions about what to do and what to skip. I only got on three rides -- two coasters and a Gerstlauer Sky Fly -- and waited about a half hour for each. I actually skipped the third credit (a kiddie coaster) just because I didn't feel like being crowded in a queue with a bunch of loud kids for 20-30 minutes. That might be the first time I've just flat-out skipped a coaster out of disinterest. Should I turn in my Club TPR card? I also skipped the alpine slide, though the others who rode gave it only so-so reviews. I did get to one attraction (perhaps my favorite at the park) that I'm almost certain no other TPR person visited. It's the sort of too-obvious thing you'd expect to find in one of my trip reports, and it might have saved the visit.

 

In fact, with time running short, I never even got to take any pictures of -- or even see -- a few of the park's attractions. I missed the top spin. I missed the covered/uncovered splash boat, though

. I missed the poffertjes that Chuck mentioned in his TR, and this was the last chance on the trip to get any! I didn't even get to go through the park's walkthrough fairy tale forest / European landmark area. With that in mind, I sort of feel like this TR isn't quite a comprehensive report on the park. There are definitely some gaps to fill if I ever return to the place, which isn't a certainty to occur.

 

So, I hope you don't mind, but to make up for the lack of pictures of other rides, I'm just going to dump almost everything I have from the Nautic Jets. Want to see a bunch of TPR people doing boat jumping and looking funny? This trip report has you covered.

Edited by The Great Zo
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Posted (edited)

Welcome to Duinrell. Here's Rick the Frog.

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He's busy collecting trash.

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Duinrell's rather understated main entrance. There are a couple of restaurants, and a /ton/ of cabins and campsites, surrounding the park.

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They've got one of those magic faucet things that somehow levitates in mid-air. Amazing.

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Oh, and they've got a raft. Our third raft of the trip.

 

I don't have any pictures of my group's attempt to use the raft to cross the water, but it did not go well. We got eight people on Walibi Holland's raft and paid for it with some wet feet. This one, even smaller, was worse. We didn't quite sink the thing, but it looked like we were trying.

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This is sort of a weird little dead-end of the park where the raft across the water is the only way across, outside of walking several minutes around the pond.

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Just across the pond, however, is a pair of Nautic Jets.

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This is a staple of the TPR Euro-trip experience. Every trip has to visit a small park with boat jumping, because it's just one of those things you can't find in North America.

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It's only small parks in Europe that have these, though. I like visiting some of these smaller parks, even if Duinrell wasn't the very best of them.

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Last picture of a couple random people before we get into the fun.

 

Also, notice the green slime in the pond. Sure, why not.

 

I went over and did my boat jump first, then set up on the raft and on the opposite side to get photos of the rest of the group.

 

So, here's the Theme Park Review Duinrell Double-Barrel Green-Slime Boat Jumping Extravaganza of 2019.

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We'll let Barry demonstrate how it works. You put a coin in the slot, you load in the boat, and pull a string to start the lift.

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The boat is pulled backwards up the slope...

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...and then released!

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The boat flies as far as it's gonna fly, and splashes down freely in the water.

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Most of the time you won't get too wet, though an odd splash or two can sometimes change that.

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Also, you're locked in fairly well, so there's no chance of flying out.

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Thanks for demonstrating, Barry!

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Elissa makes the jump with pretty much all of TPR watcing.

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She managed to do this while filming!

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There's the splash, hopefully captured on video.

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On the other side, Daniel has just landed.

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The one problem with the "dueling" approach is that it makes it tough for photos! Since everybody was racing, I sort of had to go back and forth on which side I was taking pictures of.

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On the left boat, Kristen.

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On the right boat, Steve, and his phone.

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Do I sense some fear?

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A family portrait for the ages.

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Splash.

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Love that green slime.

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Kristen's boat comes to a rest.

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Steve gets the shot he was looking for.

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A wider view of the twin Katapult boats as our next participants climb to the top.

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Chris heads down.

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Chris jumps, as TPR watches.

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Excitement as the boat hits the water.

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Droplets in the air.

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Kicking up a wave.

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A good run, Chris.

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AJ relaxes after his jump.

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Next up, we've got Larry...

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...and John.

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Surf's up, John.

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It's not that scary, Larry.

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Hands up.

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Splashed down.

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John kicks up some water.

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Oh, and in this picture, you can see the tow line that brings the boat back up to the loading station.

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Colin straps in for the jump.

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Airtime!

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Hitting the brakes.

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David has conquered the slime.

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One more jump for Kristen.

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I think this was the last one.

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Reflections off the water on the boat.

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Are Nautic Jets terrifying?

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Oh, it's just a little bit of water.

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That ends the boat jumping. Instead of crossing the raft again to meet up with the rest of the group, I took the long way around the pond.

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They've got a wet-dry slide, though it's not as cutely themed as Drievliet's.

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Some kid on the slide, who looks to be having fun-ish.

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There's a frog-themed monorail thing.

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It might have offered up some views, but I did not have time to ride it.

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This is near the entrance to Duinrell's walkthrough forest. What little I saw of it looked like it wouldn't even be fair to discuss it alongside Efteling, but this is obviously a park on a much smaller scale.

 

I did see this one little thing, though.

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It's their own version of Belgium's famous Manneken Pis!

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Hey, watch where you're pointing that thing.

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There's a Ferris wheel, but it's almost completely surrounded by trees, as are most of the rest of the park's major attractions.

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The big barrel, which houses a spiral-cut potato stand, is very RCT.

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Here's one of the park's main restaurants, which also doubles as a home for the carousel.

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They serve pannenkoeken in here, with a few examples set out on the counter. My group almost went here for lunch, but ultimately we opted to go to...

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La Place. It's a Dutch fast-casual restaurant chain, but it was actually pretty good for a random chain in a small park.

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First thought: this is a Pepsi park.

 

Second thought: there are a million different varieties of orange soda in Europe.

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From the dry side, there are some views into the water park, which is pretty heavy on enclosed slides.

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Probably just as many people laying around as there were actually on the slides or in the pool.

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Some of the slides start indoors, and maybe finish indoors also.

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Another distinguishing feature of Duinrell: tent camping in the park

 

Honestly, this was kind of weird.

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Oh, and lots and lots of kids, all over the place. They were hard to avoid.

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I mentioned I didn't get any pictures of Splash, the big covered/uncovered boat ride. Well, at least I have a picture of the coin-op dryer near the ride's exit.

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Dragon Fly, a Gerstlauer family coaster, would be my first ride at Duinrell.

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The emblem on the ride's station.

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A detailed examination of the various species of dragonflies ... I guess there's always something new to learn.

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It's a perfectly OK little family coaster.

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Falcon is the park's biggest coaster -- a small, old-school Eurofighter.

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Falcon's vertical lift is practically hidden in the trees.

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Ah, there it is.

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A Falcon car at the bottom of the first drop.

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One thing that is kind of neat about Falcon is that all the supports are painted to look like faux-wood. It looks nice.

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Falcon's queue was almost unbearably slow, but it does provide a view of the brake run.

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Excited Falcon riders!

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More excited Falcon riders!

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So much excitement.

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This is about the best I can do with regards to coaster photos in this TR, so yeah.

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A few more happy riders on Falcon.

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Finally, we made it up to the station, rode the thing, got jostled around a bit, and moved on.

 

This one won't be my favorite Eurofighter.

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The ventilation system coming out of the Falcon station is ... interesting.

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Hey, why weren't we invited to the Party Zone?

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This is the only picture I have of the park's third coaster, and the coaster isn't even in the shot -- just the lengthy queue. This is Kikkerachtbaan, a Zierer Tivoli model, and a kiddie coaster I really just didn't feel like riding.

Edited by The Great Zo
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I did have one ride left to get on...

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This is Wild Wings, a Gerstlauer Sky Fly.

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There are very few of these outside of Europe, which is a shame, because they're quite good. I got on the one at Holiday Park in 2016. I've also been on the similar Sky Roller at Liseberg, both in 2016 and later on this trip.

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For those who haven't been on one, the big arm rotates around, close to the ground near the station and up in the air on the opposite side.

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Individual riders can control the wings...

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...opting for either a calm flight...

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...or a dizzying spin cycle.

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Each of the vehicles on this one is themed to a country.

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You could fly like Brazil.

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Perhaps the UK or EU are more your style.

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Andrew went with ... Cuba?

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Chris also rode in the cycle before mine.

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This is where I'd put pictures of the splash boat or the top spin, if I had any.

 

I do not.

 

So instead, some pictures of the Rodelbanan -- the alpine slide.

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It's a two-track alpine slide that climbs the dune, and then slides back down.

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Yet another attraction with a long queue, which kept me from riding, though many other people in the group did.

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This is the start of the lift hill, as the slide heads up the dune.

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I would also be heading up the dune, but for a different reason.

 

The sign pointing to the left says "Uitkijktoren" -- literally, "out look tower." You can figure out the rest.

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The paved trail to the tower is closed off to bikes and scooters.

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It goes right alongside the alpine slide.

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Nearing the top, and also nearing the top of the alpine slide.

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Here's the starting line for the slide -- this is where each rider pauses and waits for a green light, signifying that the next rider is far enough down.

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You're asked to keep a distance of 25 meters apart, but with all the trees and curves, it might not be easy to see that far ahead.

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Given that there's no restraint system, these alpine slides do come with a small amount of danger.

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However, it sounded like this one was fairly tame.

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From the top of the dune, you can watch the riders on their way up the lift hill.

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Top-of-the-lift artistic shot ... but we've got a guest.

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Hi, Daniel.

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Enjoy your ride.

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I timed out my visit to the top of the hill to catch most of the TPR group on their way up.

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So we've got Andrew...

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...and Barry...

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...and Chris...

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...and Colin...

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...and Ryan...

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...and Caroline!

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As for me, I couldn't hop a ride down, so I headed over to the top of the dune.

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This is the Uitkijktoren -- the lookout tower built near the dune's highest point.

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Many parks have observation towers that function as rides, but this may be the first I've visited with an actual lookout tower at the top of a hill.

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Before I climbed the tower, though, I had one more thing to do.

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There are several trails that lead away from the tower, further into the natural landscape of the dunes.

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On this trail, just west of the tower, is the highest point on the dune.

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In earlier trip reports, I visited:

* Vaalserberg, the highest point in the Limburg province.

* Groot Valkenisse, the highest point in the Zeeland province.

* Urk, the highest point in the Flevoland province.

 

...and also Vlaggeduin, the /second/ highest point in South Holland.

 

Well, this clump of grass next to the trail is the highest point in South Holland.

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...or, actually, it might be this sandy, grassy area closer to the tower. Either way, that's four Dutch provincial high points completed in the span of a week and a half. There are 12 Dutch provinces, so that leaves 8 more to go some time in the future.

 

I like visiting high points, and I like visiting theme parks, but never before have I done both at the same time.

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So, anyway, let's climb the tower.

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A look down at the top of the alpine slide lift.

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Some binoculars to check out the distant views. I'd be fine with my zoom lens.

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The view down into the park isn't much to speak of.

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It's so covered in trees that you can't even see any of the rides.

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The tallest slide complex at the water park is visible.

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This ornamental thing is on top of one of the big dry slide towers in the playground area.

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Otherwise, much of the view consists of a whole bunch of trees.

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Close by, you can see the buildings in in the town of Wassenar.

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Further way, the taller buildings in the bigger city of Leiden.

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Leiden was a city I visited earlier in the trip, and some of the buildings looked familiar from way up here.

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Red and brown Dutch roofs.

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One of many churches in the area.

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A double-decker train scurries past a wind farm in the distance.

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A big indoor ski facility in Zoetermeer called SnowWorld.

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Way in the distance, the skyline of Rotterdam.

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A little closer, the skyline of The Hague.

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Some tall buildings in the background...

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...and a dune-set golf course in the foreground.

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Resort buildings and highrises in nearby Scheveningen...

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...including the big observation wheel on the water. Some day I'll get there.

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Looking west, a distant view of the North Sea.

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Dunes along the coast...

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...and ships out on the water.

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If you look really closely in this picture, you can see the blue-and-white bunker on top of Vlaggeduin, the second highest point in the province. It's about three and a half miles away.

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Some of these fields in the distance are probably used for growing tulips when in season.

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The only hotel on the first part of my trip that I didn't get a picture of was the Hilton Garden Inn in Leiden. Well, here's a picture of it. It's the red building just to the right of the blue building, which, yes, has a giant human figure outside of it. It's a museum called CORPUS. Google describes it as a "giant medically accurate model of the human body with walk-through audio tour from knee to brain." So, like a high-tech Dutch version of Alicia. Maybe we should have gone there.

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Finally, a look back /down/ at the natural high point.

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It's somewhere down there.

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This is as close to a selfie as you're getting in this TR.

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Down from the tower, with all of 10-15 minutes to catch the bus, so I had time for just a few more quick pictures on the way out.

 

Here's a swing ride.

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Here's a mini-train ride, with some interesting theming.

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The "main street" area has some shops with candy...

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...and clothing...

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...and other random souvenirs.

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Trampolines, if you need more ways to injure yourself.

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Regular-size slides...

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Very large slides...

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And ridiculous, potentially dangerous slides!

 

On a day with less kids around, we might have had too much fun on these, but this was not that day.

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Say goodbye to Rick the Frog, and goodbye to Duinrell.

Edited by The Great Zo
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Monday, July 22, 2019

Day 11 Part 3: Rhymes With Schiphol

 

With Duinrell complete, our theme park adventures in the Netherlands (and Belgium) had come to a close. Here's a map to wrap it all up.

 

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That brought us back to the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, where we had a flight to catch to our next destination.

 

It was not a great experience. Schiphol was very crowded. The wait to check in was insane. The security lines weren't quite as bad. The restaurants inside were very busy. It all just seemed very hectic.

 

If you take some liberties with the English pronunciation, you can come up with something that rhymes with Schiphol that more closely approximates our opinion of the place.

 

(and somehow, days later, it'd get worse...)

 

So, to continue the travelogue, a short photo set on our departure from the Netherlands.

 

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Barry and Daniel are ready to travel*

 

*after waiting for a half hour in the check-in line

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Behind security at Schiphol, in one of the main "lounge" areas.

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The airport was quite busy.

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Several TPR people tried to get dinner at this place, but I'm not sure if they ever succeeded. Sounds like service was a disaster.

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I wanted to do some photography so I split from the group, and found a decent burger place in the quieter area near the "Airport Park" on the second level.

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Schiphol's well known for its pre-security outdoor terrace, but it was closed due to renovation work. I did find this smaller outdoor area post-security.

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Not an expansive view, but you can see one of the piers that serves international flights.

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Whole bunch of big wide-body airplanes out there, from Turkish, Etihad, Air Mauritius, and of course KLM.

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I will certainly give the airport credit for having some spots with nice views of the airfield.

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I got to catch a few interesting planes, like this KLM 747.

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An Aeroflot A321.

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An ABC Pharma 747 -- I bet this plane is in heavy demand right now.

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And a view with some nice buildings in the background.

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As is so often the case at these European airports, we had ... a bus gate.

 

So here's a POV from the bus.

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We passed a whole bunch of other small KLM planes...

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...and arrived to ours.

 

It was not the first time I'd seen this airplane.

 

This KLM E190 (PH-EZZ) is the exact same plane I flew on when traveling from Gothenburg to Amsterdam at the end of my 2016 Europe trip. Pretty sure it's the first time I've ever been on the same plane twice!

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And so, we departed Schiphol...

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...high above the Dutch freeways.

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With a view of the reflection from the setting sun on the North Sea.

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Schiphol Airport's multitude of runways...

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...it looks so small from up here.

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Planes taxiing to take off behind us.

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A view of Amsterdam on the way out.

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The city center, the central station, and NEMO are all visible from up here.

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A wider view over the city.

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The port area closer to the sea.

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A flashback to the early part of the trip -- that's the Lelystad Airport and the Aviodrome museum, with the 747 on display at the left side.

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I know this picture is terrible, but that's Walibi Holland in the middle. You can kind of make out the Ferris wheel.

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And then, we arrived. Or, we have pryzloty'd.

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Welcome to Krakow for the first-ever TPR excursion to Poland!

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We have pryzloty'd indeed!

 

I know everyone hated Duinrell, but I really think we are all just spoiled. We're not used to going to crowded parks with no skip the line programs or special filming. The choice was to go here for a bit, or spend some more time at the horrid Schipol airport!

 

The park does have a lot of potential and had great poffertjes!

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