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Eurodemption #2 - Part 22: Holiday Park, Klotten & Summary

Howie

Strata Poster
Gosh, that new #2 came as quite a shock, didn't see that coming bro. Excited to ride it - Time Traveler is excellent but, with only about 3 or 4 laps to my name, only 1 of those laps was 'the killer' that made me say yep, that's awesome. The other laps were frustratingly spin-free... but I totally see where you're coming from.

Shame about Efteling tho... love that place. 😥
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Shame to hear Efteling disappointed you @HeartlineCoaster; out of interest, has Joris dropped down your GCI rankings, or is it simply that you don’t enjoy GCIs as much these days, as I know you are often somewhat non-plussed by GCIs from reading your previous trip reports?

Out of interest, would you be headed to Italy for the next part of the report, as the only “Intamin with a drop track” on the continent you haven’t covered yet is Inferno at Cinecitta, as far as I can remember?
 

HeartlineCoaster

Giga Poster
Shame about Efteling tho... love that place.
Oh I still do too, just think we need some time and space.😟

has Joris dropped down your GCI rankings
I don't think so. One poor lap over several visits and knowing how temperamental woodies can be isn't enough for me to say it's not still objectively better than the others, considering the whole package. If anything it just further accentuated the gap between the Chinese big two-and-a-half and the rest of the world. They're to blame for me being so non-plussed by the rest, as you say.

would you be headed to Italy for the next part of the report, as the only “Intamin with a drop track”
I lied! Inferno is here if you're interested though.



2017, Bottrop. An awful smell emanating from an SLC and ‘the worlds worst wooden rollercoaster’ as we pulled into the car park.

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Well, nothing’s changed at Movie Park then.

Day 21 – Movie Park Germany

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We actually rather enjoyed our time here before, it was definitely one of those parks that got a worse rep than it deserved and so were were looking forward to experiencing all some of it again, along with their brand new attraction and a couple of other rethemes.

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The new attraction being the catchily titled Movie Park Studios. With so many of these Intamin things popping up, I had forgotten which ones did what, especially with that deceiving ‘multi-dimension coaster’ label being thrown around. Which dimension is it?

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This one begins with a preshow, a Marty McFly looking bloke is projected here, welcoming us to the Studios and standing in for director Steven Thrillberg who we were supposed to meet – except he’s too busy making three films at once. But no worries, we can still have a tour. (If you want a more eloquent write-up, check this out).
Things get convoluted and we’re introduced to a goofy automated ride system called SAM, I suppose giving an explanation as to why the tour is a rollercoaster (and that certain things go a bit wrong), though it didn’t feel strictly necessary to do this and pads the runtime a bit.

Sadly, almost as if to compensate for that fact, you then get a bit rushed through the next part of the queue which contains windows to some very intricately themed rooms containing all sorts of props, drawings and little details of other rides around the park, past and present. Bypassing all that in a blur takes you straight up to the station stairs, where Steven Thrillberg himself is chatting stuff on a TV and your carriage awaits.

After climbing into the cars, which are a bit Objectif Mars again, sans spinning, you despatch round the first corner and immediately take a wrong turn, ending up in the middle of a house about to get torn apart by a tornado. Effects happen and I fully expected a drop track here, but instead we got a backwards launch. I’ll take it.

You next end up on a turnable that goes the long way round, 270° past a bank of studio monitors with technology going a bit haywire before proceeding forwards again into the set of a car chase movie. With a drop right along side a rival car, the main launch hits and sends you up out into the outside world.

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For the little entrance fly by section, which is a fun moment.

Heading back inside for a couple of faster turns, you come across the last of the three movies – King Kong kicking off at stuff, though it rushes past in a bit of a blur at our new found speed. The tour is complete, thanks for riding.

Well, it’s great as a ‘dark ride’. The coaster itself is a bit of a non-event if that's what you're going for, it's a good dynamic piece of hardware that does the job well and a nice bonus that it happens to be a cred I guess. Looks like I was wrong about the drop track!

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Could have done with a bit more proof reading at the end here.

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Just next door is the rethemed rapids ride, now Excalibur. I never did the old queue as we ended up with fastrack last time and slithered in through a side door instead. This was here now, might have been before, would that make sense? Probably not. Big and impressive though.

I’m all for rapids rides with significant indoor sections and good levels of theming, there’s something a bit more magical about the water sloshing around in the dark and the peril that comes with it. It’s well paced, fun and ends with finding Excalibur of course, in a big cave. Was it better than Mystery River? Couldn’t say.

Walked straight past all the family coasters that would have been so much easier to ride this time around, if only that was how the hobby worked.
Sadly Time Riders (the vicious John Cleese simulator) was out of action for ‘local covid restrictions’, although I’m led to believe this is a more permanent doing and it’s the next attraction to be overhauled. May never be the same again.

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Van Helsing was ready to kick ass though, the fantastically themed Gerstlauer Bobsled. Maybe I’ve been wrong thinking all these new ones might be the best one yet, I love this thing. Fast paced, grim, violent, with surprise hairpins and/or airtime in the dark, it’s proper quality stuff.

As is the queue for Star Trek. They’ve done away with the preshows here interestingly, I remember thinking they hurt the rerideability a bit, especially as they didn’t really link so well to the series, after being immersed so well in all the rest of it.

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I feel like the ride is exactly as I remember it, just that my standards have gone up quite considerably, particularly given what had happened a couple of days prior.
It’s fine, competent, nothing special, a good mix of forces here and there. Triple launches are starting to feel a bit faffy without anything spectacular at either end and I find myself wanting to get into the meat of the ride more quickly.
Still lacks a conclusion as a themed experience as well. Did we get assimilated or what?
Also the furry communicator badges on their uniforms look a bit ropey and were starting to bug me as the day went on.

Instead of redoing John Cleese, I feel like they should be paying more attention to the beachy American area with the two terrible creds (and no, repainting the SLC doesn’t count). It’s a weird transition from nicely decorated studio rides to cheap looking Diskos, generic theming and industrial wasteland. We walked straight round the lot in a loop to remind ourselves what was there worth riding, and the answer was nothing.

Time for a little distracted detour. With less than 72 hours until we would be heading home, we needed a negative covid test result from somewhere, anywhere. The park themselves were hosting a little test centre out in the car park so we figured it might be worth a shot and headed out to see them now that the morning rush was over. Better than stumbling into some obscure pharmacy in a city, as was the original plan, at least.

Though our request was unusual, ‘we want a test to go home in three days, not to get into the park we’ve already been in’, they knew exactly what we were on about, were super helpful about it all and got right to it, giving us exactly what we needed. Major relief there.

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To celebrate(?) the fact we could now end the holiday soon, we rode Area 51, another more tenuously rethemed water/dark ride.
Forgot how huge the drop in the dark was for such a big boat, it goes on for an age and is quite a special moment. Alien stuff happens as you drift around in the depths of the indoor section, followed by a backwards portion waiting for a drop that never comes. The final descent out of the volcano is stil hilariously tame and I’m simply not enough of an expert to have noticed the differences. Was it better than Bermuda Triangle? I couldn’t say.

It had been chucking down with rain at certain points and everything in the park was walk on, so we did struggle somewhat to last the day, even though we wanted to give the place every opportunity. They’ve got many solid attractions and definitely appear to be heading in the right direction, just nothing with that killer instinct to keep you there indefinitely.
All other cred options in the area had already been exhausted, so we took an early long drive back towards the French border for the night. All coming full circle. Ish.

Up next – chocolate.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Giga Poster
Coo’s gone! One of the many statements made at Phantasialand.
If we thought De Panne was hard to get into, it wasn’t even the worst of the Plopsas for having an awkward calendar, running weekends only and having sporadic blackout dates for total takeovers, Plopsa Coo suddenly became unobtainable mid-trip. This meant that a day that was originally billed to be boring +1s for the sake of a Plopsa card was freed up for some unfinished business.

Starting with Fra-per-twee.

Day 22 – Fraispertuis City

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And what a glorious day for it.

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After almost two weeks without riding a Soquet, it was good to get reacquainted with the French classic.

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This one was most notable for having hilariously violent braking on the ‘mid-course’ and the fact that the layout has been extended since the original design. Bonus helix!

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Another park with coasters all the same colour. Another Zierer Tivoli. This time a small.

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And of course their signature El Loco, Timber Drop.

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Rode smooth, I still kinda like them for their quirky elements. Not bad at all, if you get the restraints just right (years of Slammer experience finally paying off).

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Highlight of the park is this monster though, the Golden Driller.

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A massive Intamin drop tower with a vast array of seating/standing options. I love how the guy is still wearing his hat in each, no fear.
Warmed up on the sit down tilt, which was really good, then went for the standing tilt, which is apparently the tallest in the world for that specific configuration. I thought I had no fear either when it came to drop towers these days, though it was triggered by something unexpected. Once you get to the top there’s a camera thing on a stick pointing at you from above. For some reason clocking that, rather than something in the far distance, then noticing what it’s attached to suddenly made me appreciate the full extent of what was about to happen, far too late. Which made it all the more fun of course. Love a good stomach plummeting drop.

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The park obviously have a thing for drop towers as well, as they also have this vicious little cactus one. One of those teasing bouncy numbers that violently chucks you forwards at the last second of the cycle. Terrifying.

With that it was park complete, time to grab some crêpes for the road. Felt good to finally dust off Fraispertuis, yet another one of those parks that kept meaning to happen but never did. It's a great little place, though wouldn't be much cop if ridiculous drop towers aren't your thing, other than the +3.
On a personal note it's a shame I now feel like I don’t really have anything left to do in France though except wait for Asterix to step the game up, twice over.

We were now geographically as close as we were going to get to revenging that silly Swiss Chocolate Museum that also never happened. Time for another stupid drive to Lucerne I guess…

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The place, officially, is the Swiss Transport Museum.

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But we were here for their dark ride – a shipping container on a scissor lift.

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Or maybe that was just the weird means of getting to the right floor, complete with themed screens.

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The actual ride is a fascinating use of trackless vehicles as a ‘virtual tour’ of Lindt’s chocolate making process. All the audio is in German, but they provide you with little handheld walkie talkie type devices that can shout whatever language you like right into your ear, provided you don’t get distracted easily or push a wrong button.

It’s really long, thankfully, goes on for around 20 minutes in total and travels between a combination of just screens with narration.

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Rooms with physical sets.

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Rooms with layered rotating cutouts of cows.

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Rooms with mesmerising mechanical devices stirring up chocolate that may or may not be real.

And, most importantly of all, a room where you drive up to a nozzle that shoots out a load of free chocolates (wrapped) at you.

It's nothing thrilling obviously and there wasn't even much in the way of groundbreaking information from an educational perspective. People farm beans, we buy them, we squash them, chocolate.
I liked watching the system go to work mainly, the positioning of all the different places you need to get to in the right order is a little all over the place, so there’s many an opportunity for cars dancing around each other, queueing up or getting stuck and plenty of second guessing as to what’s coming next.
We had a weird interlude, for want of a better word, where it just went round and round the warehouse looking outer area for a bit, gold disco lights flashing and music blaring. My best guess is either a cover story for an interruption in operation or it simply broke itself and thought that was the most fun way to compensate – I’m inclined to agree.

I had a lot of fun with it, but by no means would I recommend going out of your way for this thing, especially not to the extent that we did. If you’re in Switzerland, give it a passing thought, but it ain’t no Cadbury World.

Up next – an imperfect end to an imperfect trip.
 

Howie

Strata Poster
Fra par tweeeee! Yay. Nice little park that, enjoyed it lots.
I literally cannot make sense of your itinerary though, you be bouncing around all over the place. I trust you'll be including a route map at the end?
 

HeartlineCoaster

Giga Poster
Another factor in acquiring a Plopsa pass was to give us an excuse to revisit old mate GeForce (and his new +1) while in the vicinity. Finish on a high we figured, end the trip with a coaster of quality and class, not ‘just another cred run’. After a few weeks it does tend to feel like that.

Day 23 – Holiday Park

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2016, Holiday Park, sitting in the cold in our first ever hire car, watching ‘the world’s greatest rollercoaster’ for signs of life that wouldn’t come. This view still brings back haunting memories.

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Indoors first though, for the chain-wide favourite Zierer Force Two coaster, this one themed after Tabaluga the dragon, who recently lost his boat ride to Schwaben Park. These things do generally look pretty nice.

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And here we are again. It’s been so long since I was a true fan of GeForce that I was about to make a statement like ‘I was never the biggest fan of GeForce but…’, but that would be a lie. As a humble greenhorn this ride kicked my ass and I loved it, even going out of my way to visit it twice within the first year of riding it, spite not included.
Over the subsequent 5 years it has slipped a fair amount in my mind, mainly under the stress of endless newcomers. I always thought that the layout was suboptimal with all the lost potential through the middle section, though the epic airtime did make up for most of that.

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Well now it’s slipped a fair amount in person. Weak, disappointing, a shell of its former self. Good to have the confirmation I guess. Gave it a few goes in various positions to be extra sure but it ended up just going through the motions.

Looks like this place is still on the cards then, after being unceremoniously dropped last year.

Klotten

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Always pictured the park in a field somewhere, so the views were a pleasant surprise.

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Excitement at the entrance soon turned to disappointment as the first board we came to, after buying tickets, stated that the dark ride was closed. One of the two reasons for visiting.
Ugh.

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Well at least the coaster is really good. Finishing in style on yet another Gertslauer Bobsled. Every time I ride one of these I keep thinking it’s the best one yet.

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And that could easily be true. It’s like a jumbo version of the standard layout with extra big twisty drops, extra high up turns and four, four! back to back airtime hills with more flair than GeForce.

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Rode the dubious water coaster thing as the drop looked rather violent and it was one other way to try and justify the entrance ticket. Turns out it begins with a little dark ride section, a teaser perhaps of what the actual dark ride located in that same unique stack could have been like.

The drop was violent and rather unforgiving on the shoe, particularly in a mostly empty boat.


And so ends the adventure, nothing left but an uneventful trundle back to the tunnel.


I literally cannot make sense of your itinerary though, you be bouncing around all over the place. I trust you'll be including a route map at the end?
Always! I blame the parks and their weird early September openings for the bouncing around at the end, although certain mishaps were definitely of our own doing.
I think I needed this visual for myself, just to put into perspective how stupid some of the routing ended up being, and here it is:

Summary

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Total countries (principalities?) - 13
New creds - 109
Total coasters – 128
New dark rides - 18
Total dark rides - 25
New parks - 41
Total parks – 50
New wacky worms - 14
Best coaster – Ride to Happiness
Best dark ride - Symbolica
Best park – Fantasiana (again)
Distance travelled ~7800 Miles-ish (more than double previous record)
Spites – 1/110 (0.91%)

Thanks for reading!
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Social Media Team
Bravo, good sir. That was an excellent read of an epic trip.

The route is ridiculous, but not quite as bad as I thought it would look from stringing together the parks in my head.

50 parks and 128 creds is a rather impressive haul. Probably might as well wrap up the LoG now - no one will touch that.
 
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