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Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR


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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!

I think that is 100% exactly it. I will admit I do remember having a better time at Duinrell during our last visit, but then I went and looked at our photos and it wasn't much less crowded than our current visit:

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So is it just that our specific TPR audience is maybe a little "spoiled" and if a park doesn't have a skip the line pass or I can't get a filming session at a park next time we just won't included if the majority of the group is going to come away from it being miserable?

 

I'm not sure the answer to that...

 

I personally thought the park was super cute and I'm glad we went, but maybe this is one of those parks better visited by you and I during our own personal travels and not with a bigger group.

 

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

Not to mention one of the only "covered splashdown boats" I've seen outside of Japan!

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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!

I really did miss the best part, didn't I? Poffertjes should be an automatic!

 

And we definitely made the right choice to go here -- pretty much any park is worth a few hours instead of just getting to the airport super early. Like I said in the TR, I think it's neat to get a chance to visit some of the quirky smaller parks -- for boat jumping(!) and other reasons -- even if Duinrell might not be my favorite of them.

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Great report! The park looks to have a great setting in the woods and I never get tired of seeing boat jump photos.

 

Although the reason I originally heard of this park was for that bizarre, now-removed water slide (Fly Over) where you were sucked through a tube and had to hold your breath.

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For me personally the main draw to duinrell is the indoor water park. The park itself ain't much and i feel like it caters more to the guests staying on the campgrounds than actually trying to attract one-day visitors. Its less a themepark with a campground and more a campground with some rides.

 

Schiphol during summertime is an absolute nightmare. Lelystad airport was actually being built for exactly that reason, but its unclear if it will ever open.

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Although the reason I originally heard of this park was for that bizarre, now-removed water slide (Fly Over) where you were sucked through a tube and had to hold your breath.

 

OK, I had to look that one up, and wow. Speaking of things you'd never see in the US! That's honestly pretty terrifying, but I'm not a fan of holding my breath at all.

 

For me personally the main draw to duinrell is the indoor water park. The park itself ain't much and i feel like it caters more to the guests staying on the campgrounds than actually trying to attract one-day visitors. Its less a themepark with a campground and more a campground with some rides.

 

Yeah, this is a good point -- I can see this place as more of a weekend retreat, where you spend some time in the dry park, some time in the water park, and some time just relaxing. That's probably what they're going for and it obviously works really well for them.

 

The whole story of Lelystad Airport is really interesting. Like, perhaps it could one day serve as the Dutch focus for the low-cost carriers like Ryanair, freeing up space at Schiphol? Who knows if they'll ever actually build the place up for it though.

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I absolutely loved Duinrell despite the crowds and not actually riding anything besides the Nautic Jet and the Alpine slide. It's all just so pretty.

 

I've got a bunch of photos of the rides and yes, I'm working on my own report again. Things just kind of got in the way.

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So is it just that our specific TPR audience is maybe a little "spoiled" and if a park doesn't have a skip the line pass or I can't get a filming session at a park next time we just won't included if the majority of the group is going to come away from it being miserable?

 

While it was my least favorite park of the trip, I'd still be willing to go back. And, sure, I guess that "perks" might've helped, but I think a bigger problem was that it was incredibly hot in a country that doesn't normally have to worry about that sort of thing.

 

Still, most of the people I talked to had a good time there. And I'm glad I saw it.

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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.

 

Same here. I actually liked Duinrell and didn't hate it or dislike like it like some people on the trip. This is a place where I could spend a weekend and just kick it and enjoy the water park (which looked really good) and walk around doing some rides and explore around like going to that view point you went to (which I didn't even know about until you snapped a picture of me on the alpine slide). Gearhart and I had a pretty good game plan for hitting up all the coasters that Andrew Goldberg went along with for the most of the time we were there. We went around counterclockwise and hit up all three coasters first starting with the Eurofighter. We waited 45 minutes for the Eurofighter and about 15-25 minutes each for the other two coasters. We were also able to do Wild Wings and the alpine slide and have lunch in between at La Place (which was pretty good although the most expensive counter service meal I had in NL). I also did the very tall slides and the Aqua Chute slide. I really wanted to do the boat jump but had to cut that out (I've done the one at Skyline Park in Germany though) and would have also wanted to do the covered splashdown boat but we decided to skip it to fit in Wild Wings and the alpine slide. I definitely could have spend a whole day here but a few hours here was better than no time at all here and being stuck at the crowded airport longer. You can tell I was having a good time here by the pictures you took of me.

 

Great pictures of Amsterdam from the air btw. I'm envious you were able to get a window seat on the right side of the plane.

 

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

I really did miss the best part, didn't I? Poffertjes should be an automatic!

 

I only had Poffertjes twice on this trip and this was one of them. I had two different styles of Poffertjes, traditional here and with cherries and cream toppings at Walibi and both were great. These were kind of messy but I ate them while walking and waiting in line for the alpine slide.

 

I absolutely loved Duinrell despite the crowds and not actually riding anything besides the Nautic Jet and the Alpine slide. It's all just so pretty.

I feel like it's a good park to just hang out at. I definitely get the camping aspect and why people would want to stay overnight here.

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The Poffertjes I had at Duinrell (sorry to troll you with this picture Andy)

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LOL! Andy, I’ve been excited for months to see your “aerial” photos of this park from the observation tower, knowing that no one else made it up there. Come to find out...it’s all trees! Regardless, it’s pretty cool to see how the park is engrossed in THAT much foliage.

 

I agree with all the previous sentiments: while Duinrell ranks lowest on my list of parks for the trip, I’m still glad we went and that I got to experience it. The boat jump was fun and Barry and I actually got to do the covered shoot-the-chutes, which was...an experience. Lol! I’d happily visit again on a breezy fall day when the kids are back in school. Of course, if I weren’t such a credit whore, maybe I wouldn’t have had to knock out that punk who kept cutting me in line for the kiddie coaster...

 

Also, that giant slide was HUGE!

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It's all just so pretty.

 

It is!

 

I've got a bunch of photos of the rides and yes, I'm working on my own report again. Things just kind of got in the way.

 

Excellent, excellent. My TR is really ride-thin and I'm looking forward to seeing more of what I missed.

 

Great pictures of Amsterdam from the air btw. I'm envious you were able to get a window seat on the right side of the plane.

 

I think I had to barter for a window seat, but to whoever I bartered with, I'm not sure I ever paid up.

 

I only had Poffertjes twice on this trip and this was one of them. I had two different styles of Poffertjes, traditional here and with cherries and cream toppings at Walibi and both were great.

 

(sorry to troll you with this picture Andy)

 

UGH!!!

 

I agree with all the previous sentiments: while Duinrell ranks lowest on my list of parks for the trip, I’m still glad we went and that I got to experience it. The boat jump was fun and Barry and I actually got to do the covered shoot-the-chutes, which was...an experience. Lol! I’d happily visit again on a breezy fall day when the kids are back in school. Of course, if I weren’t such a credit whore, maybe I wouldn’t have had to knock out that punk who kept cutting me in line for the kiddie coaster...

 

Why you have to be so violent, Daniel?

 

I'm glad you got to do the boat thing! And I agree with your overall feelings on Duinrell, as with everyone else who's posted here about it. If i was maybe a little bit too harsh on the place, that's fair, I'll accept that, and maybe most of it was just the crowds. Definitely some good things to like about this park. I hope no one minds that, well, the park on the next segment of this TR isn't exactly going to get a glowing review ... though it'll definitely be funny! And then nothing but good from that point forward!

 

Oh, and I think you might have liked Duinrell even more if you didn't almost miss the bus because you couldn't find the exit.

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Oh, and I think you might have liked Duinrell even more if you didn't almost miss the bus because you couldn't find the exit.

 

Um...I was under the impression we had all completely erased this from our memories?

 

At least I got in some solid cardio. And Barry didn’t die.

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^ But very few do, here. Have class, I mean.

 

 

Great TR of Duinrell! Several of us enjoyed it (via bus, ha!)

as a personal add-on, after the 2010 TPR Europe Tour.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Day 12: Energylandia

 

"There's just something kind of /off/ about the whole place."

 

A quote from a tweet I sent the day after our visit to Energylandia in 2019. Looking back a year later, those words still resonate, well, fairly accurately.

 

If you've read the other TRs from last year's trip, you know the basics -- a few top-tier coasters, an enormous collection of family/kiddie coasters, and a complete mish-mash of theming. I want to get into more of the details. For one, Energylandia is large. The park was about 50 acres even before the recent expansions, and will be closer to 80-90 acres when that's all complete in a year or two. As a comparison, Europa Park (not including hotels) is about 90-100 acres, and Efteling is about 130 acres. For two, Energylandia is new. The park opened in 2014 -- just six years ago. In that time, they've built 15 roller coasters, with at least three more scheduled to open in the next 12-18 months. Putting the issue of coaster quality aside for a moment, that's an amount of growth that is unprecedented amongst any theme parks I've ever been acquainted with. When I did my report on Toverland, I spent some time talking about how that park was built gradually, in an organic and well thought-out manner. You can even look at the larger regional US parks, such as Cedar Point and SFMM, and see that they aren't putting up large capital expendatures every single year. Energylandia is, obviously, doing things differently. I don't intend to use this space to discuss anything about the means by which this park is funded, but suffice to say, their pace of expansion does not even remotely conform to the ideas in my head about reasonable/sustainable growth at this type of amusement property.

 

Suffice to say, Energylandia's collection of rides is massive -- rivaling Cedar Point in number. The coasters, of course, are an extremely top-heavy collection. Outside of the outstanding large coasters, the rest are a collection of decent-but-redundant family and kiddie credits, none of which are worth more than a single ride. The two coasters that doesn't fit neatly into either category are the Vekoma SLC (which forces me to confront the fact that in 2015 a theme park built a brand new Vekoma SLC) and the water coaster (which doubles as a bathtub). As for the park's flat rides, there are so many of them that it's hard to even get a handle on what's there. Like with the kiddie coasters, many are redundant -- there are two splash battles and two log flumes for example. Per Wikipedia, the vast majority of the flats are SBF Visa models. There's quite a bit of variety, but nothing really stands out. A frisbee might be the best of the batch. The shooting dark ride might be the worst.

 

So, we've got some ingredients to work with here. But how did they execute the recipe? To be frank, it's an incoherent cacophany. There are so many things that just felt off about this park that it's hard to describe, but I'll do my best. You've got operational issues. Wait time sign boards that never update. Queues with random umbrellas blocking the middle of the path. Poor English translations all over the place. Incredibly oversized queues park-wide. A queue-metering system on Hyperion that only led to greater confusion. A general feeling of malaise from the apathetic staff -- the excitable crews on a couple coasters aside. You've got maintenance issues. Hyperion, a fairly new Intamin hypercoaster, rattling. Speed, a fairly new Intamin water coaster, filling with water on the run back to the station. A dark ride with no station and no ride op that honestly could probably injure somebody just trying to load in.

 

And then you've got the theming. Above all else, the park's theming is the visual reminder that sticks with you long after you've visited. Here's the best way I can think to describe it -- it's like a movie set version of a theme park. It has all the elements you'd expect to find at a theme park, but stripped down to their most generic, tacky, soul-less possible form. It feels like a front -- as if entire park is a knock-off of a series of other properties they're halfway-trying to not get sued by. It's like if whoever built the place did a world tour of other theme parks for inspiration, but the only parks they actually visited were Happy Valley Wuhan and Beech Bend. It's all plastic and no charm.

 

We all know that sometimes, less is more. Energylandia has decided, instead, to be everything. I enjoy that I can steal from those who wrote TRs before me, so in their own words, Energylandia is:

Erik and Smisty: "a game show shopping spree"

Chuck: "the greatest mini golf course ever"

Larry: "a surplus of fiberglass"

 

To be a bit more descriptive, Energylandia is an undersea mayan medieval western martian egyptian flower viking dragon race car volcano monster circus. It is all of those things. I don't think they've covered ninjas yet, but there's still time!

 

Look, I don't want this to be all negative, so I'm going to dedicate a part of this TR to earnestly saying good things about Energylandia.

 

* The top coasters are really, really good. Hyperion is fantastic. Formula is very fun. We missed Zadra by only a couple weeks, but it looks amazing. Abyssus will likely continue the trend. I'm having a hard time thinking of more than a couple parks on the planet that could match Energylandia's top four, once Abyssus opens.

* Food was way better than expected. I should be careful to draw a distinction to food service, which was often lacking, but everyone was really happy with everything we had to eat at the park. No shortage of variety, either. For whatever reason, that's one area they're doing quite well in.

* A fantastic park for photography. This park has top-tier coasters, a wide assortment of flat rides, and a ton of good places from which to photograph them. The park also has several elevated terraces and platforms in different places, providing aerial views any photographer can enjoy. It's disappointing that we visited on a day with gloomy weather, and my pictures all have that same whitewashed-looking sky, but nothing we can do about that.

* A few areas with nice theming. The dragon zone is, largely, quite nice. I like the Swiss village. I like Hyperion's surroundings, aside from the size of the queue. There are spots around the park that are aesthetically enjoyable.

* Currently has more volcanoes than Kings Dominion. Sorry, too soon?

 

Energylandia is clearly able to do some things right, and at least put out an entertaining product to their core group of visitors. They clearly have somebody who knows the coaster world enough to make good choices on their larger projects -- the big coasters are all top-tier. They clearly don't have any issues regarding finances. They've got some of the elements you need to be successful, but it's not being put together in a way that makes sense, and they're so far down that road that I don't know if there's any reasonable way to turn back. I've heard others mention that Energylandia is a park in search of an identity. But even with how much they're spending and how quickly they're building, there's just no feasible way to rip everything out and start over again with a plan or a layout that is more cohesive, more sensible, more professional. Energylandia is what it is. It's a stream of consciousness, minus the consciousness. This is not a park in search of an identity. This is its identity, and its identity is everything.

 

---

 

Alright, a quick review of our day -- the first-ever visit to a park in Poland on a TPR trip:

 

We got to the park at 8:30 AM, though we didn't get into the park for another half hour. We had pre-opening filming sessions on Hyperion, Formula, and Speed. I'm OK with parks having loose article policies. I don't understand enforcing them during a pre-arranged filming session in a coaster station with cubbies for loose articles. But I digress.

 

After filming, my group went and started a credit run on the rest of the coasters in the park. All of them were one-and-done. We had pierogies for lunch, though we had to walk halfway across the park to find somewhere with enough room for all of us to sit down. After lunch, we finished the credits, saw a show, and then split up for a mix of other activities. Some people went to more shows, some people rode some flat rides, and I mainly took some pictures. We re-united for another ride on Hyperion just before it was time to leave, ending up slightly trapped in the disorganized mess of the queue's final room during what we assumed was a brief ride stoppage. We left the park at about 7PM.

 

Last bit before the pictures -- a review of the coasters...

 

Hyperion: Hyperion is really, really good. A top-tier coaster by almost any standard, which is not surprising given that it's a >250ft Intamin. It's a nice combination of so many things that Intamin does well -- a huge drop, big elements and big airtime to start, and some quirkier, twistier elements in the second half of the ride. It's also got a really interesting turnaround at the end of the outbound leg. It's a type of coaster I love -- large and intense, with varied elements, and a nice long ride. There's one problem I have to mention -- Hyperion rattles. It feels like there's some kind of issue with the trains, which is concerning. This was not a huge problem on my rides, as I never felt anything worse than, say, the B&Ms at Kings Island. Others on the trip had a rougher experience, so I understand why they adjusted their assessments accordingly.

 

Formula: It's funny to see just how similar Formula (Energylandia) and Formule X (Drievliet) are in concept. Both are small-ish red launched coasters, themed to Formula 1 race cars, with an emphasis on inversions, quick transitions, and little pops of air. Both are really good rides, but as a larger and more complete attraction, Formula at Energylandia is the better of the two. One of my regrets on our day was getting just two rides during filming, and never going back to ride again. It's worth more than two rides for sure, and it's further proof that Vekoma suddenly knows what they're doing! Robb has a video of this one

.

 

Zadra: No, we didn't ride Zadra. I just wanted to note that if it weren't for that wind storm that knocked down a bunch of Zadra's structure in March 2019, it probably would have been opened by the time we were there. Stupid weather.

 

Speed: OK, you've probably all seen

that Robb appropriately titled "wettest roller coaster in the world." It's equal parts hilarious and concerning. I, uh, don't think ride vehicles are supposed to just fill with water like that. But even aside from that, Speed is not a great ride. The drop is boring, and the coaster layout doesn't do anything interesting. I suppose I'd only recommend this ride if you didn't have time for a shower/bath before you left home for the park.

 

Roller Coaster Mayan: It's still remarkable to me that a park built a brand new SLC in 2015. Did somebody go to Walibi Holland, ride El Condor, and say "wow, we need to get one of these!"? With that said, this is the best SLC I've been on, and I wonder if Vekoma used their newer design/construction techniques to un-coathanger some of the elements. With that said, it's still an SLC, the layout is still a cluster, and it's a one-and-done.

 

Dragon Roller Coaster: A Vekoma family hang-and-bang, same model as Orkanen and Dragonflier. I actually don't have anything negative to say about this one. It's a good family coaster, and you get eaten by a dragon, Krake-style!

 

Boomerang: A Vekoma family boomerang coaster, and I can't say anything bad about this one either. A fun ride.

 

Viking Roller Coaster: If you didn't know that SBF Visa makes spinning mice, you do now. Uncomfortable restraints and a tired layout. Not a good ride.

 

Energus Roller Coaster: Now we're getting into the dregs of Energylandia's coaster collection. Energus is a completely generic Vekoma roller skater, themed to the park's mascot, Energus.

 

Mars: Quite possibly the tackiest theming of any coaster I've ever come across. It's an SBF Visa kiddie coaster, and fiberglass aliens aside, it's otherwise completely forgettable.

 

Happy Loops: It's an SBF Visa spinner, the kind you see cloned at FECs everywhere. What on earth is a huge property like Energylandia doing with one of these?

 

Frida: Frida is one of two new coasters in the Dragon Zone (near Zadra) that opened only a couple days before our visit. We were among the first coaster enthusiasts in the world to get the credits. Frida's not bad, but it's just another Vekoma roller skater in a park that already has one.

 

Draken: Draken is the other new coaster in the Dragon Zone. It's a tiny Preston & Barbieri kiddie credit.

 

Frutti Loop Coaster: A wacky worm with an identity crisis. The ride entrance says "Owocowy Ogrod" (Fruit Garden) but the park calls it "Frutti Loop Coaster" elsewhere. A wacky worm by any other name is still a wacky worm.

 

Circus Coaster: A powered credit. It goes around in an oval. It's the smallest coaster I've ever seen in my life. That's about it.

 

And now, a whole bunch of photos...

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Welcome to Energylandia! Please enjoy our architecturally-inconsistent castle.

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Hyperion's lift hill towers over the park's main entrance.

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The majority of Hyperion's layout lines the north side of the parking lot. Some good photo spots out that way, though I never made it there to get any pictures when the coaster was running.

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We arrived well before the park opened, so the front gate was not yet open.

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I think this was the park ticket. It's possible it was the meal voucher? Either way, it's a space-age dragon thing on a roller coaster rocket ship. The park also gave us each a CD featuring music from Energylandia, but I haven't listened to it, because I haven't needed to listen to it, because I still have the played-on-repeat front gate theme song stuck in my head /a year later/.

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Every castle needs a throne, but only the best castles have theirs supplied by Vekoma.

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Inside the entry to the park, there's a huge array of signed portraits from famous performers who have been at Energylandia, such as ... D-Bomb?

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And ... Warface?

 

I admit, I had to look them up, but they are real musicians!

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We started out morning with filming/ERT on Hyperion. I'm not sure the park had ever actually done a professional filming session before. We had to pay for bunnies. It was kind of strange. I loved the coaster, though!

 

After that, we did filming on Formula (which was awesome) and Speed (which was submersed).

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With filming complete, let's head to the back of the park to see the newest section, and a big RMC that was just barely not quite ready to open yet.

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Welcome to the Dragon Zone!

 

This was advertised as a soft opening, which is fine.

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To get to the Dragon Zone, you have to walk through this concrete underpass, which goes beneath a road that completely separates the Dragon Zone from the rest of the park. Kind of an odd arrangement.

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This insignia is on the gate at the main entrance to the Dragon Zone.

 

Does it, uh, remind you of anything?

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Zadra was closed.

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Zadra's gift shop, however, was open.

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Zadra really, really looks like Goliath from this angle.

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That road I mentioned is in the foreground of this shot.

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Construction was continuing on Zadra, though it looked to mainly be check-up work, as the track and structure appeared to be complete.

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Flags at the top of the lift hill.

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Within a few weeks of our visit, trains would be cresting the first drop.

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A little more work on the lift hill.

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The gradient in the gloomy sky kind of works for this shot.

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Awesome RMC twistyness.

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Workers high in Zadra's structure.

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Checking the structure on another inversion.

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I'll probably ride you some day, Zadra. Probably.

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Let's take a look around the rest of the Dragon Zone. Most of it actually looks pretty nice, with a sort of "medieval town" theme, with some nice rock work and wood carving.

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Perhaps stop for a refreshment at ... King's Arthur?

 

Yep.

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There's a little play area, though it seemed kind of sparse.

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A dragon monorail thing was running, though we didn't give it a ride. That's Hyperion in the distance.

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The two new kiddie credits were open. We'll start with Draken.

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The NASA shirt + cowboy hat look is something.

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Draken is just a little tiny kiddie coaster and it does its thing just fine, I guess.

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Draken was sporting a wait time of 0 minutes!

 

Which is good, except that literally every ride in the park was sporting a wait time of 0 minutes or 10 minutes, all day long, without changing, and without regard for the actual length of the wait.

 

A centralized system for ride wait times is a good idea, unless its incorrect, and then it's not a good idea.

 

We also ran into a few ride queues that had approximate wait times painted on the ground in the queue. That's fine, until you change the queue layout without changing the paint. We were in one queue in which we passed a "10 minute" wait time, then passed a "30 minute" wait time, all the while taking about 20 minutes to get on the coaster.

 

It's the little things like that...

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Back to the Dragon Zone, here's the entrance for Frida. Frida is apparently an owl with a large key.

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Frida is also a Vekoma junior coaster, dwarfed by its larger neighbor.

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Frida's fine, maybe even kind of fun, but it doesn't add anything new to Energylandia's ride collection.

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These may be the first enthusiast-acquired ride photos of Frida in action, though that awesomeness is kind of blunted by the fact that this trip report is going up almost a year late.

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Frida is very purple, which is an uncommon coaster color, and yet it's still Energylandia's second purple coaster.

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Here's Frida's station, or at least the best picture I could get of it before the ride ops shooed us all away.

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I did get this picture before I departed, just to add to my totally unofficial "local landscape as seen from theme parks" photo series.

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Back on the "mainland" side of Energylandia, here's the other purple coaster -- Boomerang.

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It's got a cute "bats in the house" kind of theme, and yet they still gave it the ultra-generic "Boomerang" name.

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Before you can even ride Boomerang, you have to navigate a slalom course of concrete-based umbrellas that are literally just placed randomly in the middle of the queue walkway.

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Here's a volcano. Sorry, Kings Dominion fans.

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The volcano is home to the RMF Dragon Rollercoaster. The figure on the ride sign appears not to be a dragon, but some kind of flaming pterodactyl.

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RMF, the ride's sponsor, is a radio station in Poland.

 

Anyway, I actually like these last two coasters. Vekoma family boomerangs and family hang-and-bangs are actually pretty decent.

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Circus Coaster, however, is not decent.

 

It is a tiny powered coaster with no hills that just goes in an oval.

 

In the first car, you'll see the target audience for the ride.

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In the rest of the train is a collection of coaster enthusiasts sinking to the lowest of all possible lows, whoring themselves for a powered coaster credit that doesn't even actually count.

 

And they're gonna have the time of their lives doing it.

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"It's so intense!" --Barry, probably.

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This coaster is called "Circus Coaster" and yet there is no circus theming. It's just a colorful dragon on an oval.

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I'm kind of identifying with Colin in this picture.

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Now we're having a good time.

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I previously photographed Colin falling asleep on Walibi Holland's kiddie coaster, so I guess he's got his bit, and he's pretty sold to it.

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Daniel is always the best actor.

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The key element to this picture isn't Barry saying "onward" or Ryan looking like he's about to cry.

 

It's the completely random 20-foot-tall shirted dragon figure ... in front of a giant Egyptian pyramid.

 

None of this makes sense.

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This is Mars. Presumably, Energylandia's interpretation of what the surface of Mars actually looks like.

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The coaster itself is an inoffensive, if forgettable kiddie credit.

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The theming, however, is really something. How would you even begin to describe this to somebody?

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How, in particular, would you describe this? A fiberglass alien cucumber?

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Oh, the depths we'll go to. Here's the park's wacky worm, because a park with 400 kiddie credits also needs a wacky worm.

 

It's called Owocowy Ogrod...

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...or is it called Frutti Loop Coaster?

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Either way, there is no fruit anywhere on the ride -- it's themed to flowers.

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It's definitely the most nicely-themed wacky worm I've ever been on, but then, nobody really themes wacky worms.

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Caroline has learned to harness the power of Wacky Worms into philosophical musings.

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This last turn kicks up the intensity a bit.

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These are the good on-ride photos that make it all worth it!

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Rector, Gearhart, and Goldballs are all hanging on tight.

 

Sorry Erik, but I said I was gonna steal Goldballs, and I am.

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The kiddie credit circuit continues on Energus! I think Energus is the park's mascot.

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It's ... another Vekoma junior coaster.

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You know what, these people are having a good time, and good for them.

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Another credit! It's an SBF Visa spinner. Despite the name, it has no loops.

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For lunch, we went to the place with pierogies. It's called Pierogarnia.

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They have a pierogi with meat. It does not specify what kind of meat. I think I went with the cheese and potatoes.

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Another entry into my fascination with Europe having 500 different varieties of orange soda.

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Posted (edited)

After lunch, we decided to check out a show...

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What's on the schedule today?

 

The Prince of Magic? The Western Show? The Fire Show? That one sounds interesting. The Viking Rock Show? Put a note on that one for later.

 

I think we went with the generically-named "It's Show Time."

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Here's our host, telling jokes to the crowd before the show began. The theater was actually pretty much full.

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I don't know what all of this stuff is called so we'll go with "guy with yo-yo thing in front of glowing bald head."

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He sure yo-yo'd the heck out of that yo-yo.

 

Feel free to correct me in the comments if you know what this routine is actually called.

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Then, we got "dudes with spinny LED sticks."

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They were later joined by a lady with smaller spinny LED sticks.

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The whole point was to use the LED sticks to create images caused by the delayed effects of how their quick motion is perceived by the human eye. It was pretty effective, and kind of entertaining, though difficult to photograph.

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So, next, we have to talk about Monster Attack, the park's dark ride.

 

This is the outer facade for Monster Attack. It's a bunch of large alien robot giant characters that have absolutely no relation to anything that goes on inside the ride building.

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Monster Attack -- in the Angry Birds font.

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Here's the only picture I have from inside, but it's enough to get an idea of what's going on. It's a giant, mostly-empty building, themed with skulls and fog and prop creatures to shoot at, and no semblance of a plot whatsoever.

 

There isn't really a station. You walk up to the track, a car pulls up, you try to get in, it starts moving again, you go to get in again, it starts moving while you've got one foot inside, almost dragging you along, and then you jump in as quick as you can so you don't lose a toe. If there was a ride op or a park employee of any kind in the vicinity, I didn't see them.

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Here's my score at the end of the ride. Well, one of them is my score, but I couldn't tell you which one. Frankly, I hope I lost.

 

Without question, the worst shooting dark ride I've ever been on. Maybe the worst dark ride I've ever been on.

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Let's look around at some of the rest of the park's theming. This tent is, of course, very "western."

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These stilt walkers were waltzing slowly around the park.

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Are they the King and Queen of Energylandia? I really don't know, because nothing at this place makes sense.

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See, for example, this Cars knockoff. Is this even an actual Cars character? And why are the tires cartoonishly flattened? And why is it parked in between a dragon volcano and a viking village?

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Alright, let's get some pics of the SLC out of the way.

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"On this attraction the opportunity purchase photos from the ride."

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So, yes, Mayan is a good SLC, if such a thing exists. It's un-coathangered, and the restraints are comfy.

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Roughness and pain are only two reasons I dislike SLCs, though -- the other is the awkward layout. The element sequence just doesn't sit right with me.

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An SLC inversion, and a cameo from the drop tower.

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I have a few pictures of Speed, the giant Intamin watercoaster bathtub. Sadly, I neglected to get any pictures of the splashdown at the end. I can only imagine the kind of reaction shots you could get from there.

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The elevator lift is cool. The tower is very tall.

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The drop, however, is shallow and boring.

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The coaster portion is just kind of there. A couple hills, and a couple turns.

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Not sure that these folks -- especially the ones in the front row -- know what they are in for.

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The first drop -- the big drop -- is just a spritzing. It's the final splashdown that sends a wall of water over and into the boat.

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I was not on the Speed ride vehicle that Robb filmed -- I rode with another group. My row didn't get quite as dunked in the water as Robb's did, but it was still extremely wet. I was at least up to my ankles in water in the boat. Extremely thankful I remembered to bring sandals for the ride!

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Somewhere between the giant water coaster and the dragon volcano is the race car terrace.

 

It's actually a triple-level building near the Formula roller coaster, with a restaurant and gift shop and other amenities.

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There's also a pedal-powered slot car race track on the lowest level, which is kind of cool.

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This slot car track brought to you by Porsche.

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This miniature seating area brought to you by Red Energy.

 

Did they really name an entire theme park after a brand of energy drinks?

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There's also a video game racing simulator thing inside the Formula gift shop.

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Here's the view from the outdoor terrace -- the largest of several elevated viewing areas around the park. As a photographer, I appreciate this.

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The big red inversion on the right is from Formula, this area's most prominent coaster.

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Formula is really good. Yeah, like the rest of the park, the theming is a little tacky. But that matters so much less when you're on a genuinely enjoyable ride.

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Formula launches straight into this inversion, so there's some intensity right off the starting line.

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That inversion is followed by a series of low elements, quick transitions, little hops and twists, and a couple more inversions.

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A train exits the launch tunnel.

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Launching!

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Launching again!

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Launching some more! Formula's launch hits 49 mph.

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It's great that Vekoma is making good rides now. They have a long history of SLCs and boomerangs to make up for.

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Formula's bright red track looks nice, even against a drab sky.

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A twist out of the first inversion.

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I will say that Formula had by far the best ops of any coaster in the park -- the crews were enthusiastic and /fast/. They were pumping out the trains at Cedar Point speed.

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There's some airtime mixed in here and there.

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Also, inversions.

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More airtime.

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It's a short ride -- not even 2,000 feet long -- but it's a good one.

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I won't say how many trains it took me to finally time out this shot perfectly. The seating area behind the coaster is for the park's car/stunt show.

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Formula and its theming.

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Hey, I even caught Brad, Chuck, Larry, and Ryan!

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Between Formula and the SLC is a double-drop splash boat ride, which I think is called Anaconda.

 

Something to note in this picture -- the row of bunnies on either side of the entry/exit platform. Deposit your stuff on the way in, pick it up on the way out. That's an efficient way to do things, and I like that Energylandia installed it that way for this ride.

 

Sadly, they /didn't/ install it that way on all of the other attractions in the park, resulting in some long walks after getting off of rides.

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To be fair, the SLC had decent ops too, which meant it was pretty easy to get SLC / splash boat combo pics like this one.

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Or, like this one.

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From another angle, the splash boat appears to pass just in front of Zadra.

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A group of riders expects to get wet...

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...but to be fair, this ride isn't nearly as soaking as Speed.

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More splash boat pics, just because.

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If you want to get soaked, you can stand on the platform above the splash.

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In my opinion, this was definitely not the kind of weather for a "get soaked" kind of experience.

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As such, this ride was running half-empty boats all day.

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Another splashdown picture.

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Happy people at Energylandia!

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A wall of water.

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Alright, last one from the splash boat.

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Somewhere behind the Mayan temple and the Swiss hut is the bat-themed family boomerang.

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What's in your belfry?

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I like these rides, I really do.

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But is it true that Energylandia is going to be building a /second/ family boomerang in one of their upcoming expansions?

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Because that would be a very strange thing to do.

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Anyway, this ride is cute, and I was not ashamed to enjoy riding it.

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A few midway games, with Hyperion and Speed in the background.

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In this picture: the tail of a dragon, a race car flag, a pyramid, a space-themed Kamikaze, and an Intamin hypercoaster.

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Hyperion and Space Gun!

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Yet another "this park has everything" view.

Edited by The Great Zo
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(pics, continued!)

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The RMF Dragon is laying eggs ... before it attacks the Swiss village.

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A two-coaster shot (Speed / RMF Dragon) ... with a cameo by Formula.

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"RMF" makes me think of that song by "EMF" because just about everything in Energylandia is unbelievable.

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RMF Dragon does a turn past the backdrop of the stunt car show.

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Oh, and they've got a whole water park, too! Not too many people over there on this ugly, cool day, though.

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Looking to the west, you can see the construction continuing near Dragon Zone.

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Just south of the Dragon Zone is the area where the new expansion is going -- Aqualantis.

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Aqualantis will be the home to Abyssus, another big new Vekoma coaster.

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Another really exciting photograph of the construction on Aqualantis.

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Energylandia has a drop tower. I didn't ride it. It looked okay-ish.

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Clearly-terrified drop tower riders.

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Energylandia also has a frisbee. It looked good.

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Frisbee / splash boat / Zadra.

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I mentioned in the TR that Energylandia is a great park for photography. It's honestly just about on Cedar Point's level of being able to get multiple rides in every shot.

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Riders on the frisbee.

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Got the frisbee, the splash boat, and the SLC all going. Get it together, Zadra.

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Off in the distance, Hyperion looms.

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Last coaster for the photos is Viking Roller Coaster. It's themed to vikings.

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And also dragons.

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I didn't even know that SBF Visa made spinning mice, but they do.

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They probably shouldn't.

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Not the worst coaster I've ever been on, but it wasn't good.

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There's a splash battle, with bright colored theming that meshes with absolutely nothing else in the entire park.

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It's actually very hard to even keep track of all the rides this park has, but there are several I don't have pictures of, including multiple log flumes, and a /second/ splash battle!

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I'm not even sure what to call this area other than "under the sea but with lots of concrete."

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Beware the giant pink sea creature.

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There's a gentle boat ride, which is nice, and it's always better for parks to have them than to not have them. But the execution on this one is, well, not up to Bobbejaanland or Efteling quality.

 

The building behind the boat ride is Monster Attack.

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There's also ... a kiddie rapids ride? And also a separate, larger rapids ride that I missed seeing entirely?

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There's also a big fish guy.

 

Riding a dragon.

 

I think this park has a thing for dragons.

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This little seating/fountain area is nice. I like it. No snark.

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I also really like the Swiss village area. It doesn't seem to serve any functional purpose, but it's pleasant.

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I went around looking for a snack near the end of the day. I passed on the "knuckle without a bone" and the mutton sausages.

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I actually really wanted to get one of these rolled-up cake things, but there was a line, and literally only one employee in the restaurant.

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Instead, I went to the Scandinavian restaurant, and picked up this Napoleon cake at Chuck's suggestion. Chuck will not steer you wrong. This was very good.

 

When I finished my cake, the rest of my group had gathered at the Viking Show. That sounded interesting! I decided to head over that way and catch the show myself.

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Here we are, at the ... Viking Show?

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Wait, what?

 

Where are the vikings?

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Am I at the wrong venue?

 

Let's check in with the rest of the group.

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Daniel's expression ... is it pained bewilderment and resignation?

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The Viking Show has dancing and acrobatics and no shortage of eye candy.

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You know what the Viking Show did not have? It did not have vikings.

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The, er, view from the upper level.

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Look, I really don't know /what/ I was expecting from the Viking Show. But this was definitely not it.

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Are we gazing up at the sky in hopes that vikings are going to fall out of it?

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To note, I arrived after the show began, so I found myself a photo spot off to the side rather than going into the main seating area.

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We're still dancing. We still have no vikings.

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And ta-da, that's the Viking Show.

 

I'm still kind of amazed.

 

What did the audience think?

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It's ... a range of emotions.

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With just about an hour left in our day, we headed back up front to Hyperion, hoping to get in one more ride before we left.

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Scenes from the Hyperion gift shop!

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A look over Hyperion and the parking lot. Sorry for the lack of a train in the shot, but Hyperion was running one train, and it was cycling very slowly.

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I do really like the theming in Hyperion's queue. Very space age. Lots of bright whites and blues against dark backgrounds.

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There's even this cool globe thing in one of the early queue rooms.

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But oh, we have to talk about the Hyperion queue, because it's not fair to just say it's gigantic. It's the longest queue I've ever seen in my life, and there are /no shortcuts/.

 

See this room? It's a five-story spiral ramp that you have to go up. When you get to the top, you go outside, and then you have to go /down/ to get back to ground level. There is no apparent functional reason for having to go up and down, let alone five stories.

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Finally, you enter this disaster of a room, in which the intent is that you split into one of three queue groups -- front row, single rider, or rest-of-train.

 

In concept, it's an interesting idea. In practice, it only made things more confusing.

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There are no park employees stationed at the front of these three queues. Rather, once every few minutes, the turnstiles unlock themselves to allow a set number of people through -- a number that is counted down on the monitor.

 

It's ... kind of dystopian.

 

It doesn't help that we were completely stopped for 10-15 minutes in this windowless room, with no signs of life at the front of the queue, due to a brief outage on the ride. We were even texting the rest of the group, "hey, can any of you see what's going on with Hyperion? We're kinda stuck in here and don't want to miss the bus."

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Thankfully, Hyperion got going again, and we all got on before it was time to go.

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This turnaround, after the big hills on the outbound leg, is really funky.

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Lots of classic Intamin airtime!

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A weird sideways airtime bit.

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I think I got all of these pictures from the entrance to the nearby Vienna Cafe.

 

Yes, there's an Austrian-themed cafe directly across from the entrance to the space-themed hypercoaster.

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Big front-row hairtime.

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Hyperion has a splashdown, but it can be turned off, and it was wisely disabled on the day of our visit.

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More Hyperion hairtime.

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A whole range of fun reactions on this train.

 

Let's end on a good note. Hyperion is awesome. I have it in my top 15.

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Well, that was quite the day.

 

See you later, Energylandia. I really do hope I get back here some day, because if I stick to eating things, photographing things, and just riding the 4 or 5 best coasters, I could probably have a pretty enjoyable outing.

 

That's it from our first day in Poland!

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Great tour of Energylandia! It looks like quite the park.

 

But..... Spit Cake? Glad you had Chuck's suggestion, instead.

 

And that "Viking Show"..... yeah....well.....whatever.

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I also really enjoyed Hyperion, despite the rattling.

 

We rode big rapids ride, which was incredibly dull. We didn't even see the smaller one, but were told by someone (Gearhart? Goldballs?) that it was better.

 

Had a good time at the park, but it is weird.

 

Speed: The Ride was stupid and bad and it should feel bad.

 

While I wish it had been open for everyone else's sake, I was kind of glad that Zardoz wasn't ready yet, because I'm sure I would've ended up having to ride it once.

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Yeah that really seems like a strange place. If it weren't for seeing other coasters in the background you could have put photos from a bunch of parks together and it would have been as cohesive (especially with multiple of several ride types)

He sure yo-yo'd the heck out of that yo-yo.

 

Feel free to correct me in the comments if you know what this routine is actually called.

That's called a diabolo!

 

And while I've seen some circus shows with interesting themes, a fabric/silks act (and contortion by the looks of one of the photos) seems a little bit strange for a viking show

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"incoherent cacophany" is my new favorite catch phrase/band name. Well done on a mammoth trip report! The park was just so weird and off...I really wanted to like it more because I loved everything else about Poland. I'll certainly give it another try in a year or two (or when we're allowed to travel again!)

 

^And Nathan, I watched part of the viking show and you and I are WAY more advanced than any of the aerialists they had!

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some incredible pics, Andy. (as usual!)

 

thanks so much for sharing! It has been a wonderful use of my afternoon

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...^And Nathan, I watched part of the viking show and you and I are WAY more advanced than any of the aerialists they had!

 

And much much cuter, too!

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thumb_20190723_0224.jpg

He sure yo-yo'd the heck out of that yo-yo.

 

Feel free to correct me in the comments if you know what this routine is actually called.

 

I'll be the commenter to correct you.

 

It's a diabolo. I got gifted one at a European circus once and it was quite fun but the one they gave me seemed to be more used by pros that was quite heavy (as opposed to some kids plastic ones I've seen in toy stores) which lead to many injuries and notches chipped out of the ceiling when I (often) missed the throw or landing.

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