Discussion in 'CoasterForce Live' started by Hixee, Apr 8, 2017.
Hope you've all had a great time! Now make us jealous with your stories and in-jokes.
Hope you've all had a fun time. Very jealous, the boomerang with the new restraints is so fab.
Sue you're so wrong haha but I know you like intense coasters so I'll let you off. The restraints looked like something that wouldn't look out of place in a gynaecology office and they were NOT comfortable!
So, we're still here currently in the car on the way to Budapest for the day.
Prater was FAB! I was expecting a hole and actually got a fabulous city park with some truly stunning sections, especially the main entrance plaza. Yes there were some ropier bits around the edges but nothing felt like an actual dump. For me it felt like Bakken meets Tivoli meets Grona Lund.
It was a very chilled out day. For some reason we spent a lot of the day singing at each other and making stupid puns as per CF Live tradition. None of the coasters were great, some were fab in a weird kind of way but not actually good. My favourite ride was the Blue Planet Dino thing that we took a €4 gamble on that TOTALLY paid off. Not going into too much detail because it'll spoil it, but such a crazy unique attraction, would definitely recommend.
I'm so glad I've finally been to Prater. It really was stunning and I had a fab time. Hate to say it, but the smaller group dynamic really worked in a place like this and there was minimal faff but lots of time to just take it really slow and have a relaxed and enjoyable day.
Familypark was gorgeous - Tripsdrill meets Paultons Park. Everything felt very miniature and I loved the way the trees and hills completely surrounded the rides and park. It's kind of strange how there's a real mix of properly old school rides mixed in with clearly bigger investments with quality theming. I think this is one to watch in the future, the next 10-15 years I think will see this park really come into its own. Would definitely recommend if you're in the area!
Overall had loads of fun as always with CF and feels good to finally have such a major cred hub ticked off the list!
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Pants. I very nearly did that last year but the cost put me off (after already spending so much), upset I didn't throw money at it now. I thought the Boomerang was fine, the metal restraint with no cover was not though, certainly required padding.
Sounds like you had a fab weekend. Did you guys attempt the random tunnel from the exit of the Familypark Rattenmühle cred to the entrance of the queue?
Yh it was so good haha, I think you'd have loved it John! Next time
And yes we did haha. We kind of did it and all came out the other end and shrugged our shoulders at each other haha!
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Hope you had a great time - my last visit to Vienna is some years ago. The best part about Prater was riding Schwarze Mamba and PraterTurm at night.
On one hand I am happy not to live there as with all their fab coffee houses with the amazing cream cakes after a year or two I would be fat like a barrel...
Don't forget the langos!
Don't forget to log those LoG points!
I will write one, just slammed at work at the mo! Hopefully Saturday
I'm still in Europe, so I'll keep this brief for now (main report will come in a couple of weeks with the rest of the trip report).
Prater is a strange sort of place, being a sort of patchwork of different ride qualities. One minute you're in Tivoli, the next you've wandered into a traveling fair (forgot how much I disliked these). Creds get their highlights from being quirky, rather than amazing (Mascaraaaaaade), apart from a strangely fab Vekoma. But it was certainly an entertaining day. As Jordan said, Notjurassicpark was a great surprise. Their classic woodie is cute as well.
Family Park is exactly the sort of relaxed European place I love. Lots of quirky corners, plenty of charm and even a couple of good rides for enthusiasts (Sky Flies always welcome).
Also nice to meet Tilen, who's been to both parks already, but still came to meet up.
Vienna is full of "culture" as well as a lot of middling "creds" so I was determined to have a bit of the former as well as the latter
on my little trip there, you have thus been warned of impending culture-pics as well as goon-pics.
To facilitate a bit of culture then, I had booked flights that got me there lunchtime on the Friday and despite a slight 'will I make
the transfer in Zurich' anxiety caused by a delay on my first flight (direct flights were available but would have got me in late and
would have had to leave earlier) the trip was pretty easy (made the connection with minutes to spare, second plane was just starting
boarding as I got to it - phew!).
Early(ish) morning sustenance to get me on my way then...
It was raining in Vienna though, and the views from the airport-city train were not very inspiring
Hotel was about 15 mins walk from the station (in the rain)
Hung around a bit once I'd checked in to see if the weather would relent, it didn't so I headed into the city in the direction of some
indoor-culture - the main cathedral Stephansdom.
I don't do religion at all (pack of made up self serving horse designed to subjugate the masses and enrich the "chosen" as far as
I'm concerned - this is all religions you understand not specifically this one) but they do tend to have built some pretty splendid
buildings (at the cost of what indoctrinated labour you may ask) through the years. This one was quite pretty too.
Think it got blown up a bit during WW2 but it looks pretty olde still.
Vienna is full of spectacular churches, another one just down the street (didn't go in just then, did a couple of days later)
Got a little bit lost wandering around in the rain then, but happened upon another church which I recognised from The Third Man
(great 1949 movie set in Vienna - you really should watch it, especially if you've just been to Vienna)
Was a bit wet by then so headed into a bar for some foods and a (lovely) beer
(was a Danish Gose if you care)
but felt I should really have a local beer after that, Beer Street seemed like a well named place (was just next to that last church)
Was a huge underground beer-fest - something like 30 taps
Oddly I was the only punter in there tough, so didn't hang around
The pubs seemed stupidly quiet for a Friday evening in fact, I popped into an Irish bar as well which was almost empty (but with
loads of 'reserved' signs on all the tables - perhaps thats the fashion reserve a table and turn up late?) - that wasn't great
but was stupid cheap (€2.80/pint Guinness!) - maybe was happy hour?
Wasn't really feeling the Friday night vibe so called it a day - intended an earlyish start to get some culture in in the AM before
some creds in the PM.
Hotel did a splendid big breakfast, so stocked up on that to power me through the day and headed out early to get a better (not raining
anymore) look at the city. Wandered up through the city again (worked out where I got a bit lost the day before) and headed to the
big Imperial Palace place ; Hofburg.
Just at the edge of the Hofburg I spotted another Third Man location ; Harry Lime's apartment building
and opposite it, the statue where the dying Harry Lime was carried by his two friends and the mysterious "Third Man" in the movie (not
a spoiler, movie starts with that premise)
Vienna is full of domes as well as churches, heres one as you enter the Hofburg
Just the other side of the impressive Hofburg is a bunch of also impressive museums and the like - was heading to the
Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History before you snigger too much).
Which was OK, if a bit stuffy - bottom floor was full of 'objects'
Grand staircases (and domes)
Upper floor full of paintings
Some of which I recognised (showing my middleclassness off a bit there)
(they has a lot of Bruegel ones)
Culture for the day done then by now (had spent a couple of hours in the Arty place), headed off to Prater then to meet the other goons.
I walked up to Prater from the city, just to see some other bits of the place, probably took less time than I thought so had some
lunch and wandered around the place a bit before meeting up with the goons at 2-ish.
Once we'd met up (Ian, Jordan, Conor, Owain, JayJay and once we'd worked out which of the other people standing around looking
confused he was / once he'd worked out which of the tourist goons we were) Tilen, we meandered off in search of creds.
Distracted slightly by this apparent independent nation in the amusement park (Kugelmugel), we headed towards the olde woody thing.
Yay, first coaster of the year Hochschaubahn (and one I wanted, I have a theory its possible to get "all the wood" so happy
when I can tick off another one)
Felt a bit "great-yarmouth-roller-coaster-ery", but was nice enough. Not very thrilling, seemed to struggle hugely on the lift hill
but had a couple of tricks up its sleeve and was fun.
Just around the back of the woody is one of the newer coasters, Maskerade an indoor Gerstlauer spinner thing with a bit of a
sparkly themed area before you get out onto the elevator lift and the ride proper.
Was OK - not the longest ride but a bit different at least.
(Might be struggling with the order we did things a bit now but..)
Think the Boomerang was up next, stuck in the middle of the park it stood out a bit
Famed perhaps for the lap-bar restraints rather than the normal head-bangy affair, was interested in how they helped. Well they were
not as comfy as expected as they were just metal bars rather than expected some sort of padded things, but yes, better than an ear
I think some lunch was called at that point - but I'd eaten earlier so didn't really fancy it and I wanted to do the big wheel and
noone else fancied that, so whilst goons ate and drank I headed off to the famous Riesenrad (Giant Wheel). Dates from 1897 for crying
out loud - how ridiculous is that! Its also featured in the Third Man in a pretty important scene (two characters having a bit of
a discussion whilst riding the wheel), so getting a further Third Man bit of geekery out of my system.
€10 a go though - everything in Prater is pay per ride and it does mount up.
And theres a bit of Q-burden so apologies to the goons for keeping them waiting for me a bit more than they perhaps expected.
Get on after a while - olde looking cabin things don't look 100+ year old though, were double glazed for a start!
But the ride was smooth and good I thought - some great views over Prater of course as well.
City not so visible from it as its a little bit away
Met back up with the others and we rode Megablitz next. This was probably the best coaster there in fact, which for a ropey old
Vekoma was a bit of a surprise.
Goons being goons then, we went in search of the kiddy-cred, but first came across the kiddy-cred that we knew we would be denied - Auto BergBahn (and its a woody too - pah!)
Ridable kiddy-cred is a little SBF Visa thing Race - same ride as Racing Coaster at Winter Wonderland, with pretty much the
same knock-off Cars themeing too.
Ride op laughed a little at us all, but she still offered us the kiddie-sweets as we left - nice touch (even if sugar is evil).
The evidence suggests that we rode Wilde Maus next - unsurprisingly a wild mouse. Secretly I might quite like wild mouse rides,
MUCH better than their evil spinning relatives anyway.
Another almost kiddie-cred next, powered as well, ugh Der Zug des Manitu - we had not seen it cycle so it surprised us a bit by
starting off backwards for a bit, but then headed off forwards for far too many laps of its little circuit.
I could do my little "this means nothing to me" Vienna joke next, since the Insider coaster I already had ridden in its previous
life as 'Spinning Coaster Maihime' before that killed someone and they removed it.
However to be honest I could barely remember anything about it so was happy to get reacquainted with the thing - and the inside effects
and fun queue line made it much more memorable this time.
I think we rode Dizzy Mouse then - a nasty spinning mouse that seemed to spin FAR TOO MUCH.
(pic from earlier on the wheel)
Must have a bit of a break then, goons needing refuelling with some beer and (evil) sugar products. (Beer isn't evil, just sugar)
We were obviously giddy from beer/sugar as we seemed to do the horrible Volare next
it was pretty horrible - think the trick is to make sure you get comfy in the restraints before they lock you in as I seemed to be riding with the junk in my pockets causing me pain through the experience. Never mind, never have to ride that one again.
This year's big-travelling-ride (compared to Olympia Looping last year) is Hollenblitz which was €7 a go - the most expensive
cred there. Few of us who had the cred sat it out (to be fair Conor and Tilen had sat out a lot of the ropey creds too so far) but
I hadn't ridden it before and it was an impressive thing too.
We only had one cred left to get, but for some reason we got distracted by this piece of crap instead, I feel sure that Conor was going
to buy us all a pint if it was crap - it was crap, wheres my pint? (actually I let him off as he did the driving the next day )
Was just a stupid dinosaur themed walkthough with crappy fake lifts, crappy fake jeep trips, crappy fake dinocrap. So bad it was not
even good-bad, ugh. Don't believe anyone who tells you it was "fab" they are lying to you.
Moving on then, Super 8er Bahn was last up for the copious creds
This looks quite substantial, but was a bit forgettable. Not a terrible Pinfari as it didn't make the mistake of trying to go upside
down at all - I suppose it was a bit quick in places and tried hard, was a longish ride. Ultimately just another +1 though.
We just wandered around for a while after that, waiting for it to get dark really.
Spent far too long watching (and noone riding) this hypnotic (and very evil looking) flat ride
It got dark, the place looked prettier.
Do not sit here danger!
We rode some ghost train things, Owain & I had ridden one earlier in the day (next to Megablitz) which was absolutely awful, but this
one is world-class - brilliant thing.
We were flagging a bit by then I think so after a few of us rode the star-flyer - amazing views from the top of that at night, but
quite chilly (and scary) up at the top of that - we called it a day.
Fab day of gooning around then. Place was probably better than I thought it was going to be, perhaps the coasters were less good
than I thought they might be. Theres nothing great here at all, but theres a lot of middling stuff. Fair few violent looking flat
rides though that noone felt like braving (we are CoasterForce after all, not EvilFlatRideForce). If I were back in Vienna in the
future I might pop in for a couple of hours and do a few rides but not sure I'd go out of my way to head back here though.
After a little bit of early morning faff to meet up at the airport (and search the airport car parks for the hire car for a while,
our map-reading skills coming quickly into question - thank Google for satnav directions then), a car full of us were off on our
way to Familypark - a little bit out of Vienna in the lovely countryside. Tilen and JayJay had gotten burdenous bus transport out
there and were patiently waiting for the rest of us to turn up.
(You can relive our trip out there on Cupcake's video (CLICKY) if you so wish. Looks comfy huh?
I wasn't really expecting much from this place ; assumed it would be a nice pretty little family park (clue is in the name!) and so it
was. To be fair it was probably nicer than I though it was going to be, lots of quirky stuff and relatively big for somewhere with
just the two (real) coasters.
Anyway we met up and wandered in - we weren't in anything like a rush to get stuff done so wandered around for a while moving up
through what seemed to be the newer 'half' of the park.
Conor pausing for a quick screw
Random dragon walkthru thing had a water feature that MrsThompsonOBE would be proud of.
A couple of us shamed themselves with the kiddie log flume credit
After a while we ended up at the first coaster ; Götterblitz a Mack Youngstar coaster. Had only ridden the one at Europa park
like this before and I think I'd say that this one was better than Europa's - faster than a recall that one being with some good
drops below ground level to get some speed (coaster was kinda built on the side of hill a bit).
Thanks random bloke for ruining my shot
After that excitement we pratted around a bit on some playground ride tat
And Ian tried to get the kiddie cred - ride op wasn't having it, despite his protestations that nowadays he is small enough.
Never gonna happen...
Still in the newer half of the park we wandered towards the skyfly, pausing for a quick (or slow) bounce on these
Their skyfly was all themed to Leonardo-da-Vinci - was pretty nice looking in fact. I thing these rides are clever, they are good to
watch as a spectator and can be as violent or as serene as you like as a rider. I got mine spinning well and actually lasted a bit
longer than I usually do, but still only span for half the cycle before I felt ill and stopped that silliness.
We slowly wandered into the older half of the park then - there was another coaster in there somewhere but it seemed to take us
ages to find it (not because we were lost, just because we were in no rush at all and just chilling in the park)
Well, eventually we got to Rattenmühle, a Gerstlauer bobsled - for "little" rides these are often very good - and this was no
exception, great little ride.
Randomly spotted a sign at the exit (I genuinely had no idea) and followed it into some tunnel system that involved climbing up
and through the rides station until eventually you reappear near the ride entrance - thought that was brilliant. Couldn't happen in the
UK as it'd all be full of chavs hiding from security.
Major creds achieved now, we minced around the older section for some time, lots of fairy-tale scenes (Efteling-lite) and little
kiddie rides that may have been ridden by the shameless
(Honestly Conor doesn't ride kiddie-coasters but for this he has no shame!)
Shame preserved for all time...
A bit more worthy this though
Shame levels resumed by us all (apart from Tilen who was above that sort of thing, or perhaps because he had already got it!) by riding
the butterfly Adlerflug.
The cheaky thing was an upcharge too!
Actually I don't think these are unworthy - sure they are silly little things but the ride is kinda fun and possibly more interesting
than a wacky worm or a go-gater (but then I've never ridden a go-gater, go me.)
That was Familypark then, thoroughly pleasant little place, two good family coasters and a reasonable amount of diverting stuff.
Absolutely not a destination park at all, but if you were in Vienna then worth a little side trip.
Bus-people left and we headed back towards Vienna.
(incidentally, that place very near Familypark with a big car park that we were wondered what it was, is some sort of open-air
performance venue - operas and the like - in a disused quarry - how very cultured of the Viennese! ; St. Margarethen Quarry)
We ditched Ian at the airport (cheers Ian for the weekend) and the remnants of the group found our way to some other Prater in the
city - "Böhmischer Prater" (Bohemian Prater rather than Vienna's Prater). This place was a lot more "carny" than I expected, a
walkway thru the edge of a citypark full of rather sketchy looking amusement rides.
One of which was another SBF Visa kiddie coaster (i.e. the same thing at Race the day before) ; Shark Trip
Far too many laps of that for your €2.50 and we were done.
Met up in the city later for some foods and a wander around in the dark
(inside that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterskirche,_Vienna church from earlier, pic processed a bit)
The place is pretty spectacular at night as well as the day then.
So that was that then - fab weekend, thanks to the small (but perfectly formed) bunch of CFers who made it. Special thanks to Conor for the driving and Ian for the organising, special mention for Tilen's effort, who didn't need the creds but got his CF-cred instead.
However, I still had (most of) the next day available to maximise euro-culture opportunities.
Headed off to that Schönbrunn Palace first then, as that appeared to be the thing to do.
Annoyingly they prohibit photography inside the place (otherwise you would now have a series of dull pics of olde palace rooms). The
place was very "Versailles-lite" I thought - the building was similar (but much smaller) than Versailles and the palace rooms were
also the same sort of thing (but Versailles on a much grander scale). And they let you take pics in Versailles.
Anyway, had got there early so wasn't crowded, but by the time I left the pace was heaving. Tourist central anyway. It occupied
some time and was nice enough. Tick.
The gardens were big, but not a lot going on in them - was a zoo off to one side that I chose to ignore despite the presence of pandas.
Headed back into the city and wandered thru come bits I hadn't hit up before, opera;
Had wandered up here (the city hall) the previous night, but had a look in the daytime - rather OTT gothic stuff (splendid really)
and eventually headed to the modern art museum "Mumok"
I can do a bit of that "modern art" to be honest - usually quite enjoy these places, but I struggled with this place to be honest.
This thing was about the only thing that raised a smile with me I think
With that I was pretty much done, headed back to the hotel to pick up my bags late afternoon and then back to the airport for my
flight(s) home (via Munich this time, with just enough transfer time for a swift German airport beer)
Third Man selfie;
(and if anyone is interested in Third Man locations, then and now ; heres a good link ; CLICKY)
Sounds like a good time was had by all!
Familypark was a lot more substantial that I was expecting, too!
Nice report Dave, Vienna is so beautiful, really need to head back there for the more touristy sights, didn't even know about the Versailles-lite. Glad you guys had fun at Familypark too, very pleasant little park.
ahh yes - the ghost train next to megablitz! I don't mind em cheesy!
Prater has been one of those parks that I've been fascinated with about since the start of my goon days. I've always enjoyed capital city theme parks what with the evening atmosphere, the crowds and their history. For some reason, Vienna was always spited in favour of other parks, and now I've been, I know why. The coaster offering is poor to average. Despite being a load of them, costing 52€ to ride all of them just the once, Prater is a box ticking park without a standout cred to love. There are some interesting creds there but nothing that makes me want to return. The ones that stick in my head are Masquerade for the "fabulous" of it all and it's lift hill, Insider for it's queueline and light show and the little woodie for it's cuteness. The rest seem to blend into nothingness for somebody like me who is a seasoned and quite well travelled rider. I even turned down a cred (a spinning mouse) because I simply could not be arsed to ride another. I did wonder why Tilen wasn't riding much but I guess the cost and the mediocrity would put me off, too.
So, as a coaster man first and foremost, I wasn't overly impressed. But as a theme park enthusiast, I thought the park was pretty cool. Not once did I get the feeling it was trying to be something it's not. It isn't a polished turd, it isn't a run down dump and it isn't a jewel in Austria's crown. It has it's own identity with plenty of variation that kept me entertained for a joyful eight hours. There were several spin and spew rides that looked fun (although not my thing) and some of the themeing was great, especially on Black Mamba, some kind of spinning booster thing. @davidm is wrong, the Blue Planet dinosaur ride is fab. It's very cheesy but it's genuinely good with surprises around every corner. The Ghost Train/Houses are great, too. Well, the two I did were nice, particularly Hotel Psycho. I'd go as far to say it's the best Ghost Train I've ever done. It was full of special effects, perfectly timed scared and an unpredictability that kept me on the edge of my seat. I rode the entire thing wide eyed not wanting to miss a thing! The most re-ridable ride at Prater.
The park never got too busy, either. Even when night fell and the park looked prettier than it did during the day, it stayed fairly quiet, but it still never lived up to the other capital city parks I've visited, and I can't put my finger on why. Other parks at night have that wonderful crowded hustle and bustle, with the food and drink stalls doing a roaring trade, but Prater felt a little quiet and lacking - even with that (Cr)Ed Sherran song loudly playing on repeat. Needless to say, we all had fun, managed to ride everything we wanted and crack some stupid jokes along the way.
In summary, I'm really glad that I have been to Prater. A bucket list park has been ticked off. I'm in no rush to go back but if I did, I'd make a beeline for the dinosaur ride, Hotel Psycho and probably psyche myself up to try a few of the flats. In fact, I think I'd be more impressed on a return visit because I wouldn't have to endure the crap like the Volare, spinning mouse (not that I did anyway!) and the boomerang. I could embrace the other stuff and really get a good feel for the place. So go. Go visit Prater and let me know where you think it falls in the city centre park league.
So then, Family Park.
Looking at my phone photos, it's obvious which of the two parks I preferred. At Prater, I never felt inspired to take photos (except for the CF tweets) because, yawn, who wants to see a photo of a Volare, Spinning Wild Mouse and a Boomerang? And I certainly don't want to be reminded of them. I've come to the conclusion that if a park excites, interests and inspires me, then subconsciously I'll start snapping away because I want to, and not doing it for the sake of it. After all, I don't do Facebook, so I have have no need to pad out an album to pretend how amazing my life is. I took 35 photos at Prater....but 97 at Family Park. SO FAMILY PARK IS NEARLY THREE TIMES BETTER!
Family Park is in the middle of the sticks, so the nice drive there made it feel better from the offset. We were greeted with a straw bunny.
It was exciting walking to the entrance, seeing the rides, hearing the joy and being impressed with the way the park looked. I know I shouldn't compare the two, but with Prater, I felt like I was plonked straight in the park, no magical build up. The short walk from the car to the entrance was akin to a smaller version of walking/catching the monorail to Alton's entrance. At the entrance plaza, it screams "family". It's camp, cute, has a smoking area, toilets and it's all nicely presented.
After Jordan kindly got the tickets, we wandered in and there seemed like stuff everywhere. Its been mentioned before how it's like Paultons, but it's an European version, where stuff feels a little more hands on and organic.
With no plan in mind, we headed to the left through an area with traditional youngster rides and gravitated towards the first cred. On the way, we stumbled across a water play area with an Archimedes screw, hand water pumps and similar stuff. It was all very cutesy without being sickly or forced. Everything felt natural...even the big waterfall thing. Behind the waterfall is a cave. We ventured in! It meandered a little before we were in a room with a dragon!
The dragon is initially asleep but wakes up and tells a story, which obviously I couldn't understand because there's no requirement for me to learn any other language than my mother tongue, but I guess it was about "this is my cave, leave my eggs alone, piss off" and then it squirts water. Fabulous! The exit gives an option of returning to the water area or going up some stairs. Naturally, we went up where we found cannons that overlooked one of those pully-rope-bridge things.
Down we went and continued on our quest for the first cred. We passed through a little plaza before we spotted a log flume. It had those cute (yes, that word again) crocodile boats like at Weymouth Fishlife Centre and was nicely landscaped. Owain and Tilen went for a ride.
Onwards we went and eventually we found our first cred - Gotterblitz. To some extent, it's quite well hidden and the positioning of the path toward sit offers a great view. It's like, BAM, there it is. I became impressed with the design of the park. There seemed to be something worth focusing on around every corner.
Have to admit, I thought the station design looked a bit square and budget. Imagine saying to a six year old that you've themed their bedroom to a Roman temple and you start imagining relief work on the walls, fibreglass columns and the such but, in reality, all you've done is put up some wallpaper and bough them a new duvet. However, because we walked straight into the station, there was no standing around for me to get annoyed by it. It did it's job. It made a big enough impression on me and felt fine as I walked through the queue line. For kids, the look of it must be fantastic. For a theme snob like me, it felt poor. Inside the station was a a bit better. They had murals on the wall complete with ladies showing their nipples. So European. The ride itself was unremarkable imo. Plus 1.
Near to the cred is a hammock and swing area. Again, this tucked out of the way so I felt a real sense of adventure discovering stuff like that. We played on the things there for a while before mooching around some more.
I couldn't get on the kiddy cred, but I did ask.
A few did the "chair swing type ride where riders control the height" ride. I sat out and had a portion of the most overrated theme park food stuffs ever - a Dippin Dots rip off, or "Dippin Nots" if you will.
We soon found ourselves at the ride I was most looking forward to seeing - and riding. It looked as brilliant as I had imagined.
There was an Leonardo Da Vinci in the queue, diagrams over the walls and a nice feel to it. And the throughput was exceptional. Usually these rides take forever but this one seemed to swallow up riders. We were on it before we had time to say "actually, the themeing is a bit square, isn't it..." But who cares, it did look fab. I bossed the spin and rotated many, many times. I always feel a smug satisfaction when I get it going right.
We headed to the farm area, passing a tree house that Jordan and Conor went to explore and a witch making potions. They were further examples of rewarding those who explore. Other theme parks should take note. Turn that bland pathway into an adventure, break up the monotony of walking. When we got to the farm, I found the farm area to be quite stressful. Farms attract kids, kids have parents with buggies, and said parents are looking for somewhere to sit and eat. There were tables and food outlets around here so all of a sudden the park lost a bit of its serenity. I have little to no interest in farms, so I sort of marched through to have a have a smoke. What the farm area did offer was a view down a hill towards the rest of the park. I could see another cred popping out above the tree line and some strange looking attractions below.
The cred, Rattenmuhle, was one I had been looking forward to riding. Darren B would bleat on and on about it like it was the best kiddy cred in the world. It's ok. The coaster had a few nice moments but nothing really sticks in my mind. The start was a good. The station was nicely themed...but all in all, rather forgettable. Again, a Plus 1. The rat hole described by other goons in this topic was ace. A seemingly pointless tunnel with steps, ladders and multi level platforms that connects the exit to the entrance (and vice-versa). It's this sort of that makes me LOVE theme parks, and why I woudl recommend Familypark to anybody. The sense of the unknown, the exploration, the lack of logical reasoning for it's existence except to have fun. They didn't have to put the rat hole there and I didn't have to go through it. But it was there. It looked intriguing so I did it, enjoyed it and felt happy that like that exists. Prater was paths with rides either side. Familypark was a giant playground in a forest with unnecessary stuff that entertains phenomenally.
In the older part of the park, we found some of the fairytale stuff. Again full of things to look at, play with and ride. What a lovely little park.
We ended our day on the Butterfly cred. It has an up-charge, which Conor kindly fronted I believe, and it had the longest queue of the day - about 10mins!
If you can't tell by all my gushing, I enjoyed Familypark a lot. Sure, I would probably have a different opinion if I went on my own, but with the right minded people, parks like this work well. The contrast between the two days couldn't be more different. Prater was ok, bit sterile and bland in places, but it never quite lived up to my expectations. Familypark was the day. It felt more relaxed (except for the area around the farm, but that's a personal thing) and fun. There's nothing quite like going to a park for the first time and enjoying every second; exploring, discovering and letting go. I loved it!
Thanks to the handful who turned up. Tilen for making this his first Live, nadroJ for the Familypark tix, davidm for the eye rolling commentary, Conor for driving, JJ for making it part of his epic Europe trip and Owain for organising the awesome room with the amazing soap. I did next to nothing organising this Live. I turned up, had lots of fun and went home. It was great to see it from the "other side" for a change.
So thank you all for making it a brilliant weekend. After working more of less solidly for three months, it was just what I needed! It meant everything to me, ahhh Viennaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
Enjoyed reading everyone's reports. Family Park looks very quaint and quirky and I didn't realise a Sky Fly could look that good! I bet you guys had a ball on Maskarade.
For anybody who doesn't keep up with the Trip Reports forum, I've put my write-up of Prater in there. Familypark to follow in the next few days.
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