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Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/07

ciallkennett

Well-Known Member
Yep, you heard that right. I finally left the UK. Aged 18, this is a mighty feat which really should have been accomplished at a younger age of around 5 like everybody else I know...

Also, I remember my first post on here as a CFer (when i was a n00bish goon) was about me wanting to go abroad, so yeah, CF history has been made.

Anyway, before I start the PTR, I'd just like to say that the sensor in my already crappy camera is on the blip, so in the top right of most pictures (notably pictures with sunlight) there is a black dot. Also, I didn’t take as many as I'd hoped I would, so sorry.

Tuesday 19th July 2011 - 3.45am

I dunno why I just put the date there. Seemed cooler.

Anyway, me, Martyn H and Peter were off for a day trip to Plopsaland :) In order to get there at a reasonable time and get the most out of our day, Peter stayed around Martyn's the night and we had to leave very early in the morning. I didn't get any sleep before we left as I had a busy evening the previous hours beforehand and I was quite excited anyway.

At 3.45am, I was picked up and we started the arduous journey from Milton Keynes to Dover. I'd paid Peter for my fuel, ferry and park tickets which came to a total of £46. All bar £20 of that was for petrol getting from MK-Dover and the 80 miles in France - **** petrol prices -_-

The journey was fun - lots of singing, talking and keeping each other pepped up for the long day and such. We passed over a bridge of little significance to most people so I took a couple of pics:





And soon enough (well, 2 and a half hours later), we had arrived in Dover :) The sun was starting to rise and Dover looked lovely:



We then went for our ferry - we had a while to wait, but docking started an hour before we were due to leave, so drove straight onto the ferry. This was the third time on a ferry for me despite not having left the UK (Isle of Wight holiday when younger) but I was most excited about this one. It was much bigger when we got on that I imagined, and it was nice to walk around.

Have some pictures of the hour I wasted while waiting to leave, which was mainly spent going "OMG I'M LEAVING THE UK!" and taking pictures of Dover:







Have a picture of Martyn and Peter:



The ferry started and we soon were into international waters. This image proves it:



This meant I had officially left the UK! Yay! *party poppers*

Have more pictures of when I had interest in the journey to France:







The rest of the ferry was boring, so I spent my time playing 'Guess the Frenchman' and loudly insulting the French. Went around the Duty Free shop which largely resembled a small Debenhams and chilled. Got back in the car and waited for disembarkation:



And we were off! I'd touched land on mainland Europe, had finally been abroad and already I felt the same as when I left like I knew I would. Lovely. Northern France is very flat and very boring. Also, France did genuinely smell a bit like garlic. Let's drive on the other side of the road, shall we?:





A BP GARAGE! I FEEL AT HOME [LESSTHANTHREE]



I know you can't see this crappy image, but it was telling us that we were a second away from Belgium:



A 5 min drive through De Panne and we would arrive:



Plopsaland Times

We arrived at around 40 mins after park opening to find that they were charging €6 for parking, and I thought Alton and Merlin was bad! However, I saw my first cred(s):



We parked, got out with our pre-paid tickets and went to go to the ticket offices as instructed on the tickets themselves. After a 10 min queue, we arrived at the front to a woman who when we told her we were English, spoke perfect English to us. This was a pattern repeated among the many members of staff we spoke to over the course of the day, which was brilliant. The staff also have Plopsaland jeans which are WANT.

Anyway, we were told to just go straight in, so approached the gates and we had an attractive blonde Belgian look at our tickets. She was nom, but wasn't too sure what to do, so just let us in anyway. I'll note this here that some Belgian women are mostly not good looking but the men are quite sexy on the most part. Also, there were lots of families with small children and lots of buggies everywhere. It was annoying, but expected from a family park like Plopsa.

We decided we'd head straight for the only reason Martyn and Peter wanted to do this trip and the only notably thrilling ride in the park, Anibus. This would be my first foreign CRED and I'd heard good things about it. It was walk on and I went front row with Martyn and Peter sat behind. My God the launch is awesome <3 It felt like a double launch as the coaster enters the rolling launch, picks up speed from the launch and then really kicks in with a powerful launch which lasts about a second. Each time we went on it, it packed such a punch that I got massive kicks from it and the adrenaline really got pumping. Best launch I've even been on by far. The ride itself is well paced, lovely inversions and was simply brilliant for it's relatively small size. It doesn't quite fit into Plopsaland as it's all about family rides, but I couldn't give two **** as it's awesome. No wonder Peter and Martyn H said it was the only thing worth doing Plopsa for.





Martyn was a goon and lost his phone on the first inversion of the ride. Great. We'd been there 5 mins and already the day was ruined. He moped and mentioned it all day every 2 mins to up worried his mum and dad would kill him, especially as he still had 13 months left on the contact and they'd bollocksed him when he dropped it down the toilet not so long ago (seriously, how do so many people drop phones down the loo - do you text while looking at your turd or something?!).

Nonetheless, we took advantage of the short queue and let Martyn mope as we went on it again 2 more times, one more time front row. On our final ride of that session, Martyn went front row on his own and the ride-op thought he was a girl xD So to make up for the fact he wasn't a girl, he let Martyn stay on for a second go :p Much amusement was had me and Peter and from the people who could understand English.

Martyn didn't want to ask for his phone back as he was embarrassed, so Peter told the ride-op who told us that we should go to Information: The Ride (which for the purposes of this TR will now be refereed to 'Guest Services: The Ride's Tamer and Nicer Twin Sister') and tell them so that when they search the ride area after park closes, it can be posted back to us. We went and the queue was massive, so we decided we'd go later.

We did my second cred net: SuperSplash which was boring, then went for a walk around the park. We then tried the queue for Forest of Plop, but it was about an hour's queue and we determined that it could wait for later. So we ventured off to New for 2011 Maya Land which I'd been VERY exited about after seeing pictures of it near completion and about to open. We wet to this a few times over the course of the day, so I'll write about all the times in the review and then briefly mention them again later on.

Maya Land Review

Maya Land is accessible very easily from the entrance of the park and is entirely indoors, resembling many of the other Plopsaland theme parks which are mostly or entirely indoor parks.



The whole indoor area is extensively themed and the atmosphere inside was great. There are an array of indoor rides suitable for children and families as well as lots of climbing equipment and play areas for the kids.









But, being CFers, we ignored the rides and decided to try out the climbing frames and slides. The first climbing area we tried was built adjacent to a giant ball pit and looked stunning as a tree and treehouse.





As there was nothing specifying a maximum height restriction, I gave it a try out with Martyn H and we had lots of fun squeezing into the designed-for-children cargo nets, climb-thu's and climb ups. It was much fun, and even more tiring due to the fact my tall frame needed additional effort to get around it. The children seemed to love it loads and there were many going around either on their own, with a parent or in small groups.

The yellow slide did have a Plopsaland member of staff at the top when we arrived to it and we feared we would not be allowed to "try it out for a review", but thankfully they went down it and we therefore determined it'd be suitable for 2 adults to fit down. And it is...kind of. You don't slide much as it's too bendy and tight for adults, so you kick yourself down, but it’s fun I suppose. We went on this climbing frame again later in the day as we enjoyed it so much.

You then enter the giant ball pit which is quite shallow but provides much entertainment. Martyn H, Peter and myself spent a good 40 mins or so in it later in the day where we were mobbed by 7 little children pelting us with balls, had adults looking at us weirdly and saying something about us being paedophiles/too big in some foreign language, but we stayed and it was fun. Martyn H was raped by the kids who tried to remove his clothing and I felt bad by throwing balls at helpless children (so I threw them lightly back at them), but we could have stayed in there for hours.

We also visited the other climbing frame area which was much smaller than the other and even had another slide, only this time hidden and built into a tree. This was great fun also, but was a bit too small for my liking. the slide - once again - required kicking to get down and you will get weird looks from parents waiting at the end for their kids when you pop out from it, but good fun.

Also in the area are loads of seating areas, an team-building raft across some water where families can work as a team to cross to the other side, a restaurant (which like the rest of Plopsaland's food is expensive) and a toilet area.

A little warning about the toilets - the male toilets can easily be seen by many people (notably the females who have to walk past it to get to the female loos) and the urinal area is left entirely exposed, meaning if you take a wee you'll have your jackhammer seen by loads of kids, families and women. I was assured this be true of many European male loos, but I decided against using the urinal as I'd rather see females looking at another liquid coming out of it than my piss.

Not had a pic in a while, here, have some strawberries:



There is also a giant slide which you can go on too - race people and stuff like that. Good fun, but far too many steps to get up there :p



We didn't try and of the rides, but you know from what kind of rides they are what to expect from them. They are themed well into the area as well and have good enough capacities to keep the queues to a moderate level.

Overall, the area is very well themed, excellently aimed at families and has a great atmosphere. It resembles a mini-theme park in itself and if you like your ball pits, you may find yourself spending a lot of time there. A very good investment :)

Back to the rest of the day...

We headed back over Guest Services: The Ride's Tamer and Nicer Twin Sister for Martyn's phone and the guy was nice there and told us to write down our details and if they find it they'd send it back to us. We then took a break to eat and drink and took another ride on Anubis. This time I did back row left seat which was really uncomfortable and painful on my right shoulder due to my frame digging into the restraint in the laterals section. Not fun, but still great.

We did the Sky Flyer which was ok. The queue was tolerable and the view was miserable, but the ride itself was funish.



I then got my Dongo's Race cred, which was hardly thrilling as I've been on 2 clones of it before in the UK. Got my Rollerskater cred too only on my own as Peter and Martyn couldn't be arsed to go on it as was advertised as a 30 min queue. It went down quickly due to great batching, quick dispatches and an awesome ride op. So i was on and off in 15 mins.

I then got the powered dragon cred of WIN. Well themed queue-line and is probably one of the better powered coasters I've been on. Not Alton's RMT standard of WIN, but fun nonetheless. We then did Forest of Plop as the queue had died down a lot so we queued around 25 mins for it. It's boring and I don't know what's going on, but it's so awesomely themed that I couldn't care less what the story of it was.

We then did the final cred(s) of the day, Vleermuis. The queues were long, but we did the left side and it was really bland. I used the support at the top of the lift to give me a head start, so I won easily, but this ride was simply so bland, dull and short and needed more of a layout. Oh well, +1. I wanted to do the right side as to me it's 2 credz, but the queue was still excessive and I gathered that it could wait 'til either later on or as an excuse to come back again.

We did epic bridge of boringness and the consequential slide at the end. We then went Maya and had epic ball pit times and climbing frame times.

Went back to Vleermuis and saw the queue was about the same length, but we decided we'd queue it anyway as we had nothing better to do. Right side = +1.

We then went for a last go on Anubis before deciding that our day could end an hour before the park did. Plopsa is a nice park for families and it's a nice day out if you're not all that worried about loads of thrills, but I can see why people think it'll be worth skipping if it not for Anubis. That ride is too awesome for the park that it is in, and it hardly even gets a queue.

The Rest of the Day

When we left, we took a trip to Dunkirk as we could and had time to waste. The beach was lovely and sandy, and there were loads of attractive women in bikini's and walking the streets. It was a nice 20 mins or so to waste.





Mmmm, French women <3



We then went McDonalds as I really wanted a foreign version of that to try. After deciding that it was pretty much twice the price as it is over in the UK, I was handed the job of ordering all 3 of our meals even though I got the lowest in GCSE at French. Great. I knew exactly what to say and would have easily done it, but I was worried I'd cock up the orders without realising, so opted for the trying in English way. The woman (who was also attractive) knew little English, which made it harder, but we eventually got what we wanted. I paid £6 for my meal -_-



The chips weren't as slated, but tasted crispier and fresher. The Big Mac was smaller, had less in, but also felt fresher, better put together although I'd have preferred more crap in it. The drink was as you'd expect.

GOOD NEWS! [/James May] In the McDonalds car park, we found a Dacia Sandero parked next to us, so had to have pics around it:





We took a quick trip to Cite Europe, but it was closed, so went straight to our ferry to board. This was the first time I’d used my passport as on the way to France they never checked – Martyn was called “Monsieur ****” by the French woman which was HILARIOUS! Took ages to board, got in and took a few pics of the ferry, industrial Calais and us reversing out of the harbour:















Bye-bye France!

We arrived half an hour after we left due to +1 going down to GMT, so it was 10.20 when we 'landed'. A 2 an a half hour drive followed, but I was so tired I sat in the back with my eyes closed listening to the music, occasionally singing and trying to stop myself drifting off.

Got back home at 1.30am, went straight to sleep.

There we go, a Plopsaland PTR and my first trip abroad EVER :D
 

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

Yay, what a momentous occasion Ciall! So has it inspired you to see any more of the world?
To be fair, Calais probably isn't one of the prettiest towns to win you over.

ciallkennett said:
<3

ohh and Anubis
<3<3<3
 

ciallkennett

Well-Known Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

^ Yeah, I've always wanted to see the world (well, never really wanted to see Northern France or Belgium) so it's a start :) Hopefully with cheap flights and loads of new coasters opening in Europe next year, I'll be travelling a lot more and seeing more of the world :)
 

peep

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

After reading that I don't understand your Facebook status the other day about hating the people you encountered (or something along those lines).

I love Plopsaland and coincidentally I'm going on Saturday. Thanks for reminding me about the parking charge, couldn't remember how much it was. Seriously though, 6€ isn't too bad and ALL European and American parks charge and that is the sort of going rate as far as I'm aware, we have just been so lucky in the UK until very recently but I just don't see what the big deal is.

Glad to hear you enjoyed Maya land, can't wait to check it out myself. Doesn't look like you went in the K3 museum tho', you clearly missed out big time there :p
 

ciallkennett

Well-Known Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

^ Ah yes, I forgot to add that there were so many rude people in Plopsa who literally pushed past you, moved you aside and brushed your shoulder without even saying sorry or anything. I mean, it courteous if by accident to apologise, but they moved on as if nothing happened. And I know that rule in European theme parks are different, but the smoking in the queue lines was terrible </3 Smoking in general seemed to be a lot higher than at UK parks, but it was the constant fag in your face at Plopsa which was nasty.

Staff were very polite, as you'd hope/expect.

I didn't really get to speak to the French much, so I have no idea if they were rude. Plopsa was full of Dutch, Belgian and French people anyway, so it may have even been them being rude.

Oooh, what's the K3 museum? xD
 

peep

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Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

I've never noticed people smoking at Plopsa, but at some parks it can be quite bad so I can understand that it could be the same at Plopsa on occasion. As for pushing past and not saying anything, I see that at UK parks all the time, nothing new, actually same goes for smoking, I think I notice that a lot more here than in Central Europe.

Ha, the K3 museum is about a girl group run by the media company behind Plopsa, bit like atomic kitten but still stupidly popular in Europe. They have a few costumes and stuff, you're not really missing out on much, I'll take some pics for you :p
 

ciallkennett

Well-Known Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

^ Oh right xD I saw loads of stuff around the park for them and thought they must be a big Belgian group: "We have The Wanted, they have them" :p Damn. I'm really gutted I missed seeing that now :p
 

davidm

Well-Known Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

ciallkennett said:
Thursday 19th July 2011 - 3.45am

I dunno why I just put the date there. Seemed cooler.
....and very wrong too? ;-)

Congratulations on your first foreign country then - cool trip!
 

ciallkennett

Well-Known Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

Oh God it is as well xD *corrects and pretends nothing happened*
 

Martyn B

Well-Known Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

We then took a break to eat and drink and took another ride on Anubis. This time I did back row left seat which was really uncomfortable and painful on my right shoulder due to my frame digging into the restraint in the laterals section.
I found that too. Its odd for there to be such a constrast with such a small train, but yeah, the back row was quite painful. Still, it is an awsome coaster <3
 

Kebab

Active Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

That was a great read! Congratulations on your first trip abroad! :--D

I recommend a Spain trip or a Germany trip next time you head into Europe, especially PortAventura, it's such a change from the British weather and it's such an outstanding theme park!
 

ciallkennett

Well-Known Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

^ Cheers Chris. Hopefully - what with all the epic new coasters in Europe next year - I'll be travelling a lot more in 2012. Not sure where I will hit first, but PA has always been near the top of my "to do" lists :)
 

Kebab

Active Member
Re: Ciall goes abroad for the 1st time EVER - Plopsaland 19/

^Wherever you go, let me know! Hopefully I can tag along. Money will soon be rolling in for me now college is over. :D
 
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