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GhosterForce | Trip Reports

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
I intend to do a proper trip report this weekend because:
1. I have a long flight to procrastinate on and
2. It was the best theme park weekend I've had in ages!

Thanks so much everyone for coming. We were small but mighty!
For now, I'll leave you with some highlights while I'm still buzzing:

The expected deluge not happening and rain being a minimum all weekend.
Raving with random Germans on the whole of Euro Mir. Da. Da da da da. Da da da da. Da da da da! Techno techno techno techno!
Everything running amazingly well.
Wodan not being boring for once and being, not just good but excellent.
All the pumpkins!
Are there back pokers on Blue Fire or is that just someone's foot?
Questionable well babies
Karacho being fab as always
Having my best ever rides on Silver Star - so much air after the rain
Can Can Coaster not being corny but actually hilarious
Can Can Coaster having a gorgeous station
The new, epic unexpected dinosaur retheme - dinosaur birthday party!
More pumpkins
Wine tasting and free shot glasses
Tripsdrill looking beautiful as ever in autumn
Eating my weight in chestnuts
Shooting balls out of a chicken's arse
50s sci fi elephant trunk monsters
Vegan hot dogs
Crapping myself at the demon children in a cave
Sigourney Weaver
Finding out what chug is in German
Euro Mir being wonderfully brutal
Watching everyone engrossed in my ridiculously huge Europa Park passport quiz
Roland 'rat' Mack
Burdenous beer head times
G'sengte Sau being both beautiful and fab
Mammut being...mammut
Trying to get Alex sick on the Halloween rave teacups
What happens when you theme a Sea Storm
Cred-based queueline Monikers
Cred-based queueline Telestrations
Getting so excited that I remembered glowsticks and then the glowsticks being utter crap
Decorative goard season
Slamming into Silver Star's disgusting MCBR
The floating park map lost on Silver Star
Spinning Pies: The Ride
Pumpkin bums
Blue Fire night ride of joy
The bible chapter - John: that is a new machine
Red sky at night: Angel delight
Alex's infectious enthusiastic about everything, especially Silver Star and Blue Fire
Finding a toy mouse and making it do things
Europa looking just stunningly gorgeous
Wodan (unbelievably) running even better on the second day
Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins

Thanks so much guys. I'll be honest, I was expecting it to be a bit meh with so few people on board (and I was secretly a bit sad and annoyed that, after all the prep and excitement that had gone into planning my first Live, so few people had come along) but in the end, we had an absolute blast and the small group worked our favour in such a big park. My sides still hurt from laughing. Or possibly from Euro Mir. Cheers for making it a brilliant Live!
 
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Questionable well babies
Sigourney Weaver
Almost snorted my tea out my nose thanks to these ones haha. Absolutely brilliant! Loved every moment of it and it was such a pleasure to spend it with you wonderful people. Thank you so much for putting it all on. I've already started doing a trip report similar to my Sweden one so expect a big old essay with some narrative coming soon and hopefully some pictures too (will ask @MouseAT very nicely if he can provide me with his once they've been processed) :)
 

MouseAT

Active Member
What an amazing Live that turned out to be. Despite spending an absolute fortune on travel and hotels, the trip turned out to be worth every single penny. That was one of the most entertaining Lives I've been to in a while. Massive thanks to Sue, Harry and Alex for coming and making this so much fun.

A bigger trip report is coming in due course, once I've had chance to get a few thoughts together and sort out some photos.
 

peep

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you all had a fab time despite the smaller turnout, look forward to reading the more in-depth reports of all your antics!
 

MouseAT

Active Member
So, trip report time. Or, at least partial trip report time, as I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me and only time to write some of it.

Holiday Park: The Bonus Day

I flew out to Stuttgart (via. Amsterdam due to a complete lack of direct flights from up north) on Wednesday evening, so that I could add on an extra day at Holiday Park before the Live proper. Alex (Slamming CoasterCore) was already planning on doing the same, as he’d been spited by Expedition GeForce on a previous visit. As I had a Plopsa pass with around a week left before expiry, I hadn’t ridden EGF since 2012, and Holiday Park had added two new creds since my last visit, I figured it’d be rude not to make an appearance.

After an overnight stay at Stuttgart airport, I picked up the hire car bright and early on the Thursday morning, paid Avis a bunch of previously undisclosed fees (suffice to say I’ll never be renting from them again), and got on the road.

Alex and I met up at the entrance shortly after 10, and headed straight for the rides. Holiday Park is a strangely unremarkable park that is slowly starting to show signs of Plopsa investment and redevelopment, but so far it’s nowhere near the awesome family park standards of De Panne. However, it was still a convenient +2 to the count, plus my first Sky Scream, a snappy, intense ride that certainly delivers a few thrills, but somehow just didn’t tick the right boxes for me, and ultimately gets filed under “meh” with all the Vekoma Boomerangs.

However, when it comes down to it, Holiday Park is really all about Expedition GeForce in all of its insane, thigh bruising glory. It started out OK, delivering some slightly underwhelming airtime in places, and was initially best ridden in the back row for the amazing twisting snap coming down the first drop. However, as the day went on, the front rows got better and better until by the end of the day the coaster was launching you out of your seat and pinning you against the lap bar on every single hill.

I still have bruises on my left thigh that have not completely faded over a week later.

Anyway, despite expecting to be done with the park a bit early, we took the day at a nice chilled pace, had a long lunch, rode loads of side attractions, and ended up staying until park close at 6pm, ending the day with an awesome front row EGF ride.

With day one over, and still rather tired after the previous day’s flights, I headed for my hotel on the outskirts of Pforzheim, and turned in for an early night.

Day 1: Tripsdrill

The Tripsdrill meet-up was originally planned for 9am, but as the Live group was so small and Sue was driving all the way down from Calais with Harry (Chained Banana) at some horrific hour of the morning, she’d quite understandably decided to delay the meet-up until 10 in order to have at least one extra hour in bed. Knowing this, I took the time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, had a nice, stress free drive along the German back roads to Tripsdrill, and spent some time chilling and wandering around the park before meeting the others at the entrance.

Tripsdrill is best described as strange, yet fab. It's definitely one of those parks that has to really be experienced in person, as photos don’t really seem to do it justice. It's full of weird, quirky attractions with strange themes that you'd never have expected in a million years, yet the park has somehow taken the crazy idea, gone all in with it, and somehow made it work. It's also one of those parks where you really don't want to skip anything, as everything is so delightfully quirky that you really want to experience everything the park has to offer.

In terms of headline rides, Tripsdrill doesn’t have much that massively stands out, but that’s fine, as the park is firmly focussed on the fun, rather than top tier thrill attractions. Mammut is smooth and well themed, but ultimately underwhelming. Karacho looks amazing, packs a punch, and the lap bars tame most of the Gerstlauer unpleasantness, but you can still feel the bumps and jolts, and it leaves you feeling thankful that it doesn’t have OTSRs. G'Sengte Sau is still the best of the Gerstlauer bobsled coasters I’ve ridden, and the Tripsdrill log flume is still amazing.

The day set the tone for the rest of the Live, really - a small, tightly knit group of four friends, enjoying everything the parks had to offer at a really laid back pace, and having a really good laugh in the process. At Tripsdrill, this involved taking a good hour or so to enjoy a proper, sit down lunch, sampling wine in the museum, and riding a waltzer themed to giant pies. Good times.

Unfortunately, I had to bow out early, as I had a room booked at a privately owned guesthouse in Rust, and needed to arrive and check in before 7. I'd not missed out on riding anything, really, but the park was such an awesome place to spend a day that I'd have appreciated spending a couple more hours there to round out the day.
 

MouseAT

Active Member
Day 2 & 3: Europa Park

It's amazing how much an opinion of a park can change from one visit to another. I'd visited Europa with a group of CFers back in 2012, and came away with a somewhat bland impression of the park. I remembered it being vast, and pleasant enough to visit, but also being full of average to good attractions, with very little that really stood out afterwards.

With that in mind, I'd not been in any real rush to return to Europa, and certainly didn't expect to be all that bothered about spending more than a day there. I'd always figured I could pop back sometime, grab any new creds, re-ride a few old favourites (Silver Star and Eurosat being the stand outs from my last visit), and that would be more than enough.

To my surprise, I came away with a very different, and far more positive experience at Europa Park this time around. I think there's probably multiple reasons for this. For one, this visit didn't start with a mad dash round the park, trying to tick off all the creds before doing anything else. I'm also wondering whether Europa Park is one of those parks in the same vein as Efteling, where it can take more than one visit to really appreciate everything that's on offer. The one thing I know for certain is that we had exactly the right group of people at this Live to really appreciate the park at its best.

Harry (ChainedBanana) knew the park better than the rest of us, so was our guide to the park's hidden gems. Sue and I has both visited the park before, and despite this being the first visit to the park for Alex (Slamming Coastercore), all four of us seems to be in a fairly similar frame of mind. We took in the park at a steady pace, working our way through a wide variety of attractions, and being sure to tick off all of the creds at a steady pace. We got plenty done over the two days, but never really felt like we were rushing, nor at any point did we feel like we needed to rush in order to get everything done.

Although most of the queues weren't particularly long, many of the longer queues presented opportunities for quiz sheets and theme park charades. I returned home a pocket full of slips of paper, with "Loads of Oops", "M25 viewing platform", "B&M Wheel Assemblies", "Sideways airtime" and "Water is a CFers best friend" written on them. I can's remember everything else that was in the charades deck, especially two weeks after the Live, but I remember "Roland Mack", "Decorative gourd season", "MouseAT's fleece" and "Silver Star's dirty trim" all being in there.

Europa has a reputation for rolling out substantial Halloween theming, and the pumpkins, sculptures and creepy displays were certainly present. Somehow, the park manages to successfully add a family friendly Halloween vibe without undermining the existing themes and atmosphere in the park. Check out the Live photos (page 4 onwards) for examples, as it's not something that can adequately be explained in words.

There's so much to Europa Park, and so many random little things that happened over the two days we spent there that I can't really cover everything in a coherent manner, so I'm just going to cover some of the highlights:

Alpenexpress/Tiroler Log Flume

Whilst the flume is decidedly average as log flumes go, the powered coaster is pretty good, and the real draw of these rides is the awesome indoor cave section that both rides share with a walk-through attraction. Be sure to take the time and do all three attractions if you visit.

Arthur

This was a new attraction for me, and an interesting experience. It's a very unusual ride system - essentially, a rotating, suspended, powered family coaster, allowing for an attraction that's part dark ride, part roller coaster. As a proof of concept, it's amazing, as it really shows what can be done with the ride type, from video screen sequences, to amazing animatronic dioramas, to surreal street sequences (with a soundtrack of Still D.R.E - talk about surreal). That said, going in blind, it felt like a bunch of individual, disjointed scenes, rather than a coherent attraction with an overarching story. When we were discussing the ride afterwards, Sue likened it to a high tech version of Wallace and Gromit at Blackpool, which is probably a reasonable comparison. The idea behind the ride is great, though, and I'm really intrigued to see what other parks can do with the concept.

Blue Fire

A really solid, family friendly multi-looper. It seems to have got a bit better and more forceful with age, as it was better than I remembered it being from my last visit. It's a lot of fun, even if it's not on the same level as some of the other Mack Mega coasters that have been built since, and with Europa's amazing operations, it goes through queues in no time at all.

Euro Mir

Euro Mir looks really fab from off ride, but honestly is a fairly weak, bumpy, and underwhelming ride.

Add the soundtrack and a bunch of CFers raving their way around the entire ride and you have hilarity.

Start the ride with myself and Alex in one car, Harry and Sue in the other, so that we're constantly rotating past each other going up the spiral lift hill. Now add in Harry and Sue singing the theme tune rather loudly as the ride goes around the circuit. Now add in two more random members of the general public who have decided to join in. Finally, add in two random, burly German blokes, who, due to the rotation of the train are now in the middle between us CFers, looking rather bemused by the whole thing.
Mysterious Sue said:
Da da da da. Da da da da. Da da da da!
Also, damn that theme tune for being so catchy - it keeps getting stuck in my head every time I hear it.

Eurosat - CanCan Coaster

Part of me misses the old Eurosat. My overriding memory of it was probably the roughness, but also the amusement brought on by having a massive rave coaster inside a giant golf ball.

But enough reminiscing. The re-theme is actually fab, and really well put together. It's pretty cheesy, but in the best possible way. The re-tracking is far smoother than the ride was before, and the added on-ride scenery is cool (where it exists). There are a few spots on the ride where there really isn't much going on around you, and I do hope they find something to fill those gaps sooner or later, but there are also some awesome moments during the course of the ride, especially in the final moments.

They've done a really awesome job with the queue as well, both with references to the old Eurosat, as well as awesome touches, such as the orchestra tuning up in a room behind one of the doors.

Fjord Rafting

A solid rapids ride, capable of delivering a lot of water onto unsuspecting riders.


Ghost Castle

I don't remember details, just that this was a fairly traditional ghost train, relying more on Europa Park's highly detailed theming rather than cheap jump scares. It's good.

Kolumbusjolle

What happens if you take a Mack Seastorm ride, make the rotation controllable by the rider, put it indoors, and add theming, including shutters that close to simulate night time, and lighting effects? Answer: The ride becomes really fab.

Madame Freudenreich Curiosites

Once upon a time, I think this was just a typical dinosaur dark ride. Now, it's been updated, and it's utterly ridiculous.

Madame Freudenreich's pet dinosaurs have been busy, taking up beekeeping, helping with the washing and in the kitchen, going on dates (watching clouds turn into the shape of a dinosaur), and throwing a birthday party for the T-Rex. The ride is great, and definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

Pegasus

I'm going to give this Mack Youngstar coaster some praise, because it's really good at what it sets out to achieve. It's a fairly typical family coaster, similar in style to the Vekoma roller skaters, but it's smooth as glass and actually pretty good fun to ride. I'd actually forgotten how good Pegasus was, and I'd love to see more of these getting built by parks. It's probably one of the best examples of a coaster that's designed to be accessible for younger children, yet is still really enjoyable for jaded coaster enthusiasts.

Silver Star

Floaty B&M awesomeness. Loads of rides were had, most of them in the back row (although front row is really great as well). Silver Star was one of the stand out rides from my first visit, and was every bit as good as I remembered it. Get a bit of space in your restraint, and expect your arse to be well clear of the seat on every hill. With the exception of the MCBR at least - expect a hard landing on that one.

Voletarium

An impressive queue line leads to a flying theatre attraction that manages to do a really good job of creating the illusion of flight. I like the idea they were going for (showcasing a variety of different and incredibly scenic locations), but part of me wishes the ride smoothly and logically transitioned from one picturesque location to another (e.g. By flying over hills, or up into clouds and back down), rather than relying on slightly jarring split second transitions. It's still pretty cool, though.

Wodan

"Hold the phone - when did Wodan become good?" - MouseAT, 5th October 2019

"It's like they tore it down and built a completely new coaster!" - Mysterious Sue, not long afterwards.

I rode Wodan in opening season. It was extremely meh.

I'd heard reports of Wodan being better in subsequent years. I was hoping for an improvement, but wasn't expecting great things.

Now, bear in mind that we'd had some rain both days at Europa, so the track was wet, and this probably had some effect on the ride. Somehow, Wodan had become an entirely different beast in the years since I last rode it, and was fast, relentless, and airtime filled. I had some genuinely amazing rides over the two days that had me laughing out loud at times. Wodan was absolutely bloody amazing, and for those two days at least I felt was giving Troy a good run for its money.

Traumatica

Traumatica is Europa Park's upcharge horror attraction. It's a separately ticketed event with its own entrance from outside the park. Traumatica makes use of the area of the park around Poseidon and Pegasus (access to which is closed off from the regular park in the evening), as well as some extra space beyond the normal park boundary.

It was an interesting experience. I'm not usually a big fan of horror mazes, as I find the whole suspension of disbelief difficult, but Traumatica had a really interesting overall concept - a strange wasteland, with various unique factions, each with their own unique appearance and back story, and each vying for control of the entire area.

What let the attraction down was the long queues, both to get in, and for the headline mazes. We only managed to do two of the mazes (Ghouls, and The Fallen), along with some fairly poor scare zones, and rides on Pegasus, Atlantis, and Fluch Der Kassandra. The Fallen was bit generic, but a lot of effort and creativity had clearly gone into Ghouls, and despite the short length, I think all of us came away impressed with the quality of the costumes, environments and effects. I'd honestly have quite liked to experience the remaining three mazes, to see if any of them came close to matching Ghouls for overall quality.

All in all, I'm genuinely glad I got to experience Traumatica as a one time event, especially as all four of us had bought tickets and were going round as a group, but I can't say it was worth anywhere close the 34 Euro cost of entry. If the crowds were smaller (to the point where it was feasible to visit all of the mazes within a 3 hour period), and the cost of entry were closer to say £20, I reckon it'd be worth the upcharge.
 
Fantastic report! Really loving the quotes and summed up the vibe of the two days with each particular attraction very nicely. Got a giggle out of me with the bit about the burley German lads on Euromir haha. I swear I will get my own report up eventually. I think it'll just have to be split up into separate days as I have 8 pages on word for Holiday Park alone haha
 

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
Finally got round to reading this (I've spent the last week running around China so I think I have a bit of an excuse). Brilliant report Mouse, you made me giggle and transported me back there, right into the middle of all the fun we were having. Europa really was more than the sum of its parts this trip.
I'm still not over the rebirth of Wodan!

'At Tripsdrill, this involved taking a good hour or so to enjoy a proper, sit down lunch, sampling wine in the museum, and riding a waltzer themed to giant pies.'

*spits out tea*
 
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