Hi All, I just signed up to the forum.
My first trip to an amusement park that I actually remember was July 14th 2011, and I went to Alton Towers. Sadly, I was a bit too naive back then, and didn't plan to arrive as early as possible to take queues and the driving time into consideration, and only managed to ride 2 roller coasters that day (and 4 flat rides):
I rode Sonic Spinball once (currently known as Spinball Whizzer if I'm not mistaken) which was my absolute favorite of the trip. I loved everything about it, but especially spinning on the overbanked turns. I rated it a full 10 and still recall it fondly to this day.
And I rode Oblivion once, which was both exhilarating and underwhelming at the same time, mostly due to the long wait in the queue (I think it was well over an hour, but it's been too long ago to be sure) and the extremely short ride duration. I rated it a 6, and it in fact led me to worry that 'extreme' thrill rides are not for me. Fortunately, I managed to put that worry to bed fully on my last trip to Europe.
I also got on Enterprise, which was a great thrill that I loved (also rated it a 10 at the time),
Nearby was Submission, a Chance Rides Double Inverter, which was also a great ride. I rated it an 8 at the time.
And on Marauder's Mayhem (basic Teacups style carousel) which was a decent way to start the day there. Rating it a 3.
The last ride of the day was on Hex, and I kinda resented that we went on that instead of on another coaster. I honestly can't say I appreciated that ride at all, but I hardly remember it either.
in 2015 I went to my 'local' amusement park. Luna Park Tel Aviv. It's an hour's drive, but I'm sure that's well within the range of what you folks in the States consider a home park. I rode Anaconda, their Vekoma Boomerang 2 or 3 times, and I hardly remember it. It wasn't dreadful, and it wasn't great either. I did get on the chair swing as well and a few other flat rides I don't remember at all.
About a year ago I started planning a trip to Europe with my girlfriend at the time. We bought flight tickets and booked our hostels/airbnb's and train tickets over a period of three months, with a plan of two weeks spent between Poland, Germany, and the Netherlands, including 2 days at Energylandia and 1 day at Phantasialand, but then... we broke up.
It was up to me whether we'd go together still (we stayed friends), and I agreed we will, under the condition I get to change the itinerary to add more amusement parks.
The final plan ended up being a week in Poland (including 2 days at Energylandia), 3 days in Cologne (including 1 night at Aqualand Koln and 2 days at Phantasialand), 1 day in Rust (for Europa Park, obviously), 1 day in France for a photoshoot I had, and lastly 2 days in Amsterdam (I really wanted to include a visit to Toverland too, but no matter how I tried to shift things around, I couldn't make that work).
My choice of parks was mainly guided by wanting to try different spinning coasters, cause that was the kind of coaster I knew for sure I would love (remember, I was a bit worried extreme coasters weren't for me thanks to Oblivion).
Energylandia has a kiddie spinning coaster (Happy Loops) and a spinning wild mouse (Viking) I was looking forward to, in addition to a very nice array of other coasters and thrill rides (and a very nice waterpark too, but it turned out to be too early in the season for it, so I didn't get to enjoy it, hence why I added Aqualand Koln to the itinerary later).
Phantasialand has a pair of Maurer spinning coasters, so that obviously would be awesome too.
And I could try Mack's brand of it over at their home park, Europa Park.
Nevermind that I regretted going with my ex on this trip (who wouldn't go on anything thrilling, btw) , I really
enjoyed the parks.
We got to Katowice Airport around 2am on a Wednsday, went to sleep the night at a nearby airbnb, spent the day in Katowice, and spent the evening getting to Zator. Now, unless you rent a car, that's easier said than done. Even when I was planning the trip, it was hard to find information I could 100% rely on as to how to get there with public transportation, but I researched it pretty thoroughly before we actually flew and had some idea. Including the information here because it might be helpful:
We took a bus to Krakow, that part's easy enough, but then at Krakow you have to find the right platform to take a minibus to Zator, and not many of the other drivers or even the information booth were super helpful, until we got closer to the right bay at the right platform, and even there, only about a quarter of the minibuses are the ones that go to Zator.
Anyway, we got to our airbnb there, about a mile walk away from the main entrance, and I headed to the park at their opening time the next day.
First ride of the day? Hyperion? Nope. Formula? Speed? Nope, not those either. I started the day with a ride on Happy Loops, the junior spinning coaster, lol. It was a fun little ride, but of course nowhere near as good as Spinball.
I rate it a 2.
Now the second ride of the day was a totally different matter. I went on the Space Booster, because I knew it has a long cycle with small capacity, so would predictably have very long waits later in the day, and I abso-freaking-lutely loved it. Way more than I would have expected. I don't know why you people don't rave about these! It's a perfect 10 for me.
The Space booster ended up being my 3rd favorite attraction in the park, and 8th favorite overall ride of the entire trip, and I rode it a total of 4 times.
Third ride of the day was Space Gun right beside the Booster, and it was fun, but nothing mindblowing, especially not right after the Booster. I give it a 6.
Next up was Speed, the Intamin Water coaster. First up, that elevator lift is a joy to behold, the first drop is very exhilarating, the few curves after it are alright, and the splash at the end is fun. But the operations were fantastic. Like every 15-20 seconds they'd let another car worth of people get on, with no stopping of the cars or anything. Oh, and it's probably the hardest ride to find the entrance to in the whole park.
I rate Speed a 6/10. It was my 8th favorite in Energylandia, and 20th overall in the trip. I rode it about 8 times.
Next was Jungle Adventure, a river rapids ride. I recall being on river rapids and lazy rivers in waterparks here in Israel decades ago and really enjoying them, but Jungle Adventure was pretty boring. Not to the extent that I regretted getting on it, but one ride was enough for me. I rate it a 2.
Though I did love this themeing they had there (not that it made sense or anything, it's just a wonderful sculpture)
Same goes for Atlantis Adventure which I did a little later in the day (and didn't take a picture of).
And then it was on to Hyperion. The comment I made after the ride: "It's official. Hyperion is the best coaster ever. Funnest ride I've been on. Amazing." Of course I gave it a perfect 10, but I have to retract the comment of it being the best ever, as there were 2 more coasters later in the trip that I loved even more, but it was very hard to rank them, the differences in how much I loved them were minute.
I rode Hyperion once in the back, twice in the front (right front was the most intense visually, as it seemed like I was riding on air there) and 3 more times in various middle rows. I couldn't tell a big difference between the places in the forces, it was great in every single ride. It was obviously my favorite ride at Energylandia, but less obviously only my 3rd favorite for the whole trip.
After that I got on the chair swing to relax from Hyperion. Nothing special to report, enjoyable little thing. 3/10
Then came Energus - Energylandia's Vekoma Junior - and it was a great ride, I enjoyed it a lot and rode it 4 times total. Of course it has no business being in anyone's top 10 or anything like that, being a junior coaster, but it's perfect for what it tries to be. You should add it to the selection on Coasterpoll.
I rate it a 9/10, and it was my 7th favorite in the park, and 12th overall in the trip. How can it be that I rate this over Speed? Being that Energus is lower to the ground and more twisty, it just felt more exciting (though Speed definitely gave me a bigger 'Wow' the first time I rode it. No question there.) It uses its limited height and speed better than Speed uses its height and speed, I guess.
And then to another nifty ride - RMF Dragon, a Vekoma Suspended Family coaster.
That was great. Best family coaster of the trip. I gave it a 9/10, ranked it as my 6th favorite in Energylandia, and 11th favorite of the trip overall.
Next was the Vekoma Family Boomerang - Bat. Fun, but not enough fun to justify riding it more than once. But it's purple, and that warrants extra points.
I rated it a 6, and 10th favorite at Energylandia.
Then came the horror. Viking. An SBF Visa Group Spinning wild mouse. Without a doubt, the worst ride in the park. It had bulky restraints, tossed you around against them painfully (And I'm usually a fan of pain - definitely not on this coaster though), and you could hear screams from every car on it, screams of pain, not of joy/fear/excitement. My comments after getting off that ride were "This thing shouldn't be here. It ruins the park. Worst ride ever." And I still stand by that. They should tear it down.
I rate Viking -2/10.
After Viking, I got on the Tsunami Drop. Energylandia's humble drop tower.
As I got off from it, my thoughts were that maybe drop towers aren't for me, and I was considering just skipping the rest of the drop towers on my trip (I'm glad I didn't, though). I rated it 4/10. It made me queasy. Still was exciting and fun, but I didn't wanna get more queasy.
So naturally my next ride was the Vekoma SLC.
I was well read and informed on SLCs at this point, so my expectations of Mayan were pretty low (though I also knew Energylandia's SLC is probably one of the best of the SLC's). And it was an awesome ride! So much so that I had a hard time understanding why everyone gives Vekoma so much shit about them (though I believe you guys when you say they're terrible, I bet they weaer with time, plus you probably experienced it with terrible restraints. Like, if I imagine Viking crossed with an SLC I can get the picture of how terrible that would be.)
I loved Mayan, and I rode it some 6 or 7 times. I rated it a 10, and ranked it as my 2nd favorite in the park, and 5th favorite overall of the trip.
From Mayan, it was on to the Aztec Swing. Energylandia's frisbee type ride. Good stuff. I rode it 3 times, but the 3rd time it was starting to make me queasy, so that was enough for me.
I rated Aztec Swing 7/10 and ranked it 9th in Energylandia.
And then I went on Apocalipto, Energylandia's tiny Top Spin, and it was a pure laugh machine. Great cycle, and I laughed for every second of it (all 3 times I rode it). Awesome ride, and currently my favorite top spin (out of only 2, but still, given what the other one was, I'm surprised by this). I think the fact that it's tiny somehow makes it even more fun.
I rate Apocalpito 9/10 and rank it 7th best in Energylandia, and 17th best ride of the trip overall.
The last coaster I rode the first day was Formula, the Vekoma Space Warp. I was worried it would be too short of a ride from having watched POVs of it beforehand, but in actuality it didn't feel too short, it felt just right. It too was an awesome ride.
I rode it 7 times, gave it a 10/10, 4th favorite in Energylandia, and 9th favorite overall.
The first day was a warm day and crowded, but operations were great. The longest wait I had for any ride was probably no more than 15 minutes. The second day was much colder and the park was mostly empty, and it was all about re-rides for the most part. Except for checking out a few things I skipped on the first day, namely:
Tofiffee Gold Mine, a log flume type ride that had me soaked, and was a very wise choice on how to start a cold day.
4D Magic Cinema, which was underwhelming for me, but my ex absolutely loved it, and until EuroSat and Arthur later in the trip was her favorite ride. 2/10
Mars - a kiddy coaster that was a bit cramped for me, but had really nice theming and statues. 2/10
Frutti Loop - Another kiddy coaster, just as cramped, less wonderful theming. 2/10
Monster Attack - Shooting dark ride, nice statues inside, but boring otherwise. 2/10
Swiss Water Cups - very laid back, cool atmosphere, also happens to be a very long ride. 4/10
Anaconda (another log flume type ride) wasn't running either day.
On the first day, they had a malfunction with the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo, so everyone got to go on all the rides with their bags and put them in the bins (or just ride bags on, depending on the ride). They sorted that malfunction the second day, and were annoyingly trying to require us to buy fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo for every ride (walking around with big headphones on helped with avoiding that a couple of times, but only a couple). On a much less crowded day they were trying to require us to buy fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo under the pretense that it's necessary to speed up operations. Operations were great regardless.
Until my ex arrived in the afternoon of the second day, I was about ready to leave because I didn't want to spend my budget on fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo repeatedly, but when she showed up I could leave my bag with her when going on the thrill rides again, so I stayed till closing again.
I don't know who or what that statue is supposed to be, but it's both cute and imposing. I like it.
Me after one of the rides on Space Booster.
Ex trying to make a mess.
Lastly, they had some great actors, and this guy in particular was the MVP. The first day he was costumed as a pirate near Speed, swashbuckling with the crowds.
The second day he was in tribal garb, dancing and interacting with folks near Mayan.
I thought I'd write up the whole trip in one post, but this is wayyyy long as it is. The rest will be in a reply.