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Eurodemption: Summary

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
You don’t need me to tell you that 2020 sucks, but here’s a brief summary of my first world problems when it comes to enthusing this year.

April 2020 – Booked to go to Poland for the RMC and Hyperion, long overdue, no brainer. Cancelled.
June 2020 – Booked to go to ‘murica for 2 weeks with the intention of riding not just my 1000th coaster but also my 1100th. It was gonna be huge - Cedar Point huge. Before Poland went, the honour would have gone to that weird looking thing, Steel Curtain. After Poland went, it could have been epic - a trimless Voyage @ Holiwood Nights epic. Cancelled.

With over 6 months of no progress at all I started hitting the local +1s to tide the count over but although a good laugh it’s just not the same as doing something… good.
It was time to act and I booked a slot on the Channel tunnel. As the trip grew nearer the itinerary remained completely fluid and with good reason. Countries started closing left, right and centre.

You've set the bar too high. Nothing short of earthquakes, locusts, fire and brimstone will keep me satisfied now.
I haven’t let typhoons stop me before, so what’s a pandemic? (I was there when that started too).
At least one of those trips I mentioned is accessible by road right?
Eurodemption was born. An adventure of both obscurity and basicness-ity. Plus the usual insanity.

Day 1 - Hasenhorn Rodelbahn

We had originally wanted to tick off Frass-per-tuss on the way down but as of one week before, France was no longer an option - cancel the hotel in a vineyard. A brief 7 hour drive and no mingling later we crossed the Rhône/Rhine/Rhein into the bottom left corner of Germany. Even with getting up at 2am there wasn’t much of a day left so there was only really one thing on the cards and that was this.


In a small village nestled between two mountains lies an Alpine coaster that’s longer than Steel Dragon. It’s an unfortunate fact to learn but hey, +1.


To get to the top there’s a ticket window and a ski lift. One of the unnerving kinds that crashes into you from behind and you don’t even have to pull the bar down to stop you from falling out.


Apparently there was a 90 minute queue – what, for this? – but there was nothing else to do and it had been oh so long to get to this point.


It ended up around half that time once up the top, getting sunburnt on a mountain, just like old times. My body has forgotten what real Vitamin D feels like.


It was long. Really long. So long that it started to give me a bad back, turning me into an old man all of a sudden. I’ve never ridden one quite as wild before either. Many sections of straight bumps and hills that you surely can’t take at full speed.


I know there’s upstops on these (you can see underneath them on this clever system that also ski lifts the cars to the top, I believe this is called a nerd shot) but the mortal peril is ever present. The way the track seems arbritrarily chucked together and stacked up on loose pebbles. It’s thrilling pushing it past the edge of what feels comfortable. Almost exhausting.


Good view too.

That was the day really. Stayed in a hotel in a corn field and started drawing up plans for the next day. All on the fly, never done it this way before.

Up next – somewhere we’re not allowed to go any more 🤐
 

Howie

Active Member
Ooh gonna be interesting to see where this goes. Where next I wonder? 🤔

Shame about 'Fre-par-twee' though, you'd have enjoyed that place.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
On the neighbouring mountain to the previous one is a small park owned by the same people as the big boy Alpine that looked like a bit of fun.

Day 2 - Steinwasen Park


Although the website claimed the rides opened with the park and we were banging on the door at opening o’clock, they ended up starting an hour later so we had time to take in the surroundings.


Inside there’s an Ice Cave walkthrough with a scary looking seal.


And a man milking a horse?


Outside is a humble affair with a few animals, a big bridge and more nice views.


Apparently it can hold 10,000 people, though not in the current climate. It wobbles unnervingly with the wind too.

A queue was forming near the entrance to the rides area and we opted to head to the alpine first as it was likely to get the busiest.


2 back to back then. This one had the traditional lift hill that goes on forever. It started as wild as the previous one, with the added bonus of overgrown grass scraping my hands at full throttle but ended up with too many helices of doom.


The water ride nearby looked interesting with its bare metal styling and elevator lift.


Essentially Storm Surge with dignity, it kicked up one hell of a spin and then collided with a wall at full pace, nearly causing a casualty. Good.


In another display of Wiegand’s inventiveness, the summer toboggan cars automatically fold themselves in half here at the bottom of the layout before riding up to the top with a ski lift system.


Back inside there’s a rather unique combo of a duelling Mack powered mine train and Bobkart. One is themed to Yetis, the other themed to space. The mine train had a violent airtime moment upon exiting the station flythrough and I rather enjoyed the interaction between the two rides.


The Bobkart started in strobe lights and ended in concrete walls, with the layout being both entertaining and unrestricted.

Having finished everything of interest it was off to the next park on the itinerary.

Tatzmania Löffingen

A zoo with creds.


Only the finest too. An SBF spinner with no less than 3 ‘loops’.


And slightly more interestingly a Gerst Bob. Same layout as the one at Motiongate including a random block section where the indoor portion should have been. Only 2 of this one in the world so far, set complete.


Done. I’m sure it would have been a nice place to stay a little longer but we’re worn out on zoos right now and there were still borders to cross and bigger things to come.

I’ve had my eye on the only park in Switzerland for a while now. My only previous experience with the country was sleeping on the floor of an airport (the bastards) so it was nice to arrive by car instead.

Conny-Land


For a nation that’s home to two of the biggest ride manufacturers in the world, getting a Pax was certainly an interesting choice, but I’m not complaining.
It’s by far the most well presented of their coasters I’ve come across.
I learnt on the spot that NEW FOR 2020! the trains have been replaced with ones made by the people who build butterflies. They're now comfortable and exposed - the perfect combination.


As the exit shop contains this reaction shot of opening day on the original trains, I'd hazard a guess at the new ones being an improvement.

The backwards lift up a beyond vertical spike is as unnerving as it sounds, relying on raw leg power to keep yourself in the train by the time you reach the top.


Putting shuttle loops to shame, the two airtime hills deliver decently on the outbound trip.


And I actually liked this monstrosity of an element. The loop realises halfway that it needs to change alignment to not crash into itself, jolting riders to the side in amusing fashion and the hang in the tail is pretty glorious.
I’d describe it as rugged, not rough and I’m very glad we made the trip to try it.
Oh, the new train has some BACKWARDS! seats too. The lift isn’t as good but the rest of it is even better this way.


The craziness doesn’t end there as a strange attraction called the Mammut Tree was beckoning. A 16 seater open cable car that randomly stops, bounces and sways as it traverses a straight line towards this tower. It passes straight through, teases for a while and then gets dragged back inside. The doors close. The deep voiced tree says “HALLO.”
Words should not describe the sequence of events that happen next but it’s as one of a kind as Cobra was and I loved it.

They also have a dinosaur shooting dark ride with that cheap Golden Nugget type hardware. For sanitary reasons I ended up playing a game of spotting how many modern screens they have shoehorned in that all play the same animation of a baby dinosaur breaking out of an egg.


There's a second cred!
Wait.
Gerstlauer clearly invented these just to annoy us didn’t they.


Never mind, Knuffelbeers.


This sign literally broke my heart.

I didn’t want to leave them but we wanted another country cred before the day was out, with a whirlwind culture cruise through one of those little places beginning with L.


Starting with Liechtenstein cat.



‘Tis a mountainous place.


Umm, a church.



Where the King lives.


Where the King doesn’t live. Also cat #2. I believe they outnumber the human population here.

Austria had been announced as the next no-go destination the previous night so being extra goody two shoes we skirted around it and back through Switzerland (which followed suit the very next week) into Germany's safe arms again.

Up next – goat on a train.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
I wasn’t overly thrilled at the prospect of returning to this place, but the attractive looking Vekoma STC had definitely caught my attention, as much for the ride interaction as well as the relative uniqueness of the ride type so far. We had struggled to make even a morning out of Tripsdrill 5 years ago with mediocre rides and poor weather, so hopefully another couple of attractions and some sunshine could tip the scales in their favour.

Day 3 – Tripsdrill


They weren’t staggering openings as much as previously so the morning began straight away on the newness. It looks like they’ve got great plans for the station next year but at the moment it’s quite amusing to see no roof, bare concrete and a temporary shed for ops as though they literally got to 5pm on the 25th June, told contractors to down tools and leave on the spot. That’ll do lads.


Hals-über-kopf is a cool name and a cool ride. The trains with their backpack theming are great to both look at and sit in. It rides super smooth and can be forceful in some of the turns.


It didn’t quite deliver what I was expecting though. Foolishly I think I was after something a little more than the ‘family thrill’ that seems to do so well for the park. The ride lacked a certain spark that I can’t quite put my finger on and nothing more seemed to be brought to the table over the bigger SFC layout other than some inversions which are fine at best, if a little repetitive.
I’d probably just put it as the best coaster in the park, but that’s faint praise.


Goat on a train is pretty much finished, other than the end spike which will eventually burst through the other station nicely.


Again I like the train & station details and overall look of this one. The Junior Boomerang layout being much more linear and packed with hills is a welcome change to the usual compact turns and I’d say that makes it a little stronger than others of its type.

Once we had soaked up enough of the new area, it was time to revisit the rest of the park.


The Gerst Bob seemed to ride a little better than previous experiences, making the airtime hill section a bit more potent. Love how overgrown this has gotten now and that you can’t even see the track from most angles, it’s becoming a part of nature.


I think I like Mammut a little more than most. Sure it’s underwhelming, but not to the point of being uninteresting. It bounces around with a certain charm and has some decent twisty moments.


Karacho was exactly the same as I remembered it, 900 creds ago - not very good.
It doesn’t ride with the relative grace of newer infinities and the whole layout seems a bit haphazard – a block section killing the speed directly before the only real airtime moment wasn’t the best of ideas.


All the water rides were closed last time so it was nice to try the rapids. The queue is massive and contains a museum about the history of washing clothes, so that’s something. As a ride it was on the timid end of the spectrum.


Also new to me was the infamous log flume themed to baths. This was great fun.
Dark ride sections, a surprise backwards drop and novelty boats – it had it all.

We went back for a couple more laps on the new boy, where I ran into my familiar old bugbear of inconsistent staff rules about glasses. Suddenly someone had decided that it was strictly not allowed and though I politely mentioned that I had been riding fine with them all morning, they got unnecessarily aggressive about it. For someone with a cred tattooed on their arm you’d think they’d be a little more forgiving.

To lighten the mood we tried to recreate our favourite memory from the previous visit – sitting in a quaint little café having a nice toasted sandwich. Unfortunately it was swarming with wasps, there was nowhere to sit, further staff continued to be unfriendly and the takeaway equivalent of the food was terrible.

Well, that’s enough of that then. What else have we got around here?

Schwaben Park

Another revisit with another 2 new creds. With all the other land clearing and construction we had seen a lifetime ago at the far end of the park I didn’t expect both of them to have been stuck out in front of the car park with Force One. It’s eye-catching, I’ll give it that.


Tried Wilde Hilde first. Although no flipping is involved, watching it from off-ride it looked rather vicious in the way that it was rocking back and forth, throwing people around so I was actually quite nervous going up the lift hill, getting flashbacks to rides like Arashi and Insane which have both tried to kill me in a good and bad way respectively. This was deceptive and unjustified as the ride just doesn’t really do anything. Trims heavily control each stage of the descent, meaning nothing more than a slight jolt downwards every few seconds and it’s all rather awkward as an experience. I left the ride wondering to myself ‘what was the point?’
The chicken song is the most entertaining part – I think it might make the trip playlist.


Hummel Brummel had barely opened before the visit and didn’t even have speakers up yet for the amusing bee soundtrack. They did have time to put some free lockers up front though, to help with the seating and station situation. There doesn’t seem to be enough of them yet, as people were queueing to wait for one to become available, though there was no queue for the actual ride. Spotted a Wiegand guy still on site overseeing the operation and soon we were boarding.
With controls like a bobkart it was arm pedal to the metal, but all this led to was a slight breeze in the hair and some corners. There isn’t much going on here and I think even the marketing speaks for itself – there’s a promo picture up everywhere of two kids riding it and they look thoroughly bored.
I left the ride wondering to myself ‘what was the point?’


Oh well, at least I like Force One.
This hasn’t aged well. It was vibrating rather unceremoniously throughout the layout and subsequently all the life seems to have been sucked out of it.
Maybe not then.


A surprise find saved the park. I had spotted what looked like an indoor boat/dark ride on the map and we went to check it out. In this unassuming building lives Azura. The queue was nothing but darkness and a strong smell of gas. Upon boarding, the ride logo is projected onto a waterfall in front of the station. What is this?
It’s essentially a warehouse that you slowly drift around in an oval shape. Sounds fun right? Well in the centre of the oval are fountains, lasers and fire effects and they create some pretty mesmerising sequences. A fireball sitting directly on top of a 10ft water jet is not something I expected to see and they have those bouncing water cannons like you put around pathways on Rollercoaster Tycoon, only the jets are lit up, in a curve, from the inside. Sorcery.
See I do like some simple things, I guess they just have to be shiny.
Never noticed that cat on the far left of the picture in person, so that's just spooked me out a little. I think we'll end it there.

Up next – a bucket list coaster, and pain.
 

Howie

Active Member
^Ohh I see, the other guy had the tattoo. I misunderstood, I thought you had a cred tattooed on your arm.
My bad.
As you were.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
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I'll probably think about maybe doing a trip report for our recent trip (covering both Tripsdrill and Schwaben but with some nice Europa sandwiched in the middle), but I could probably just copy and paste your bits for those. Equally indifferent to both parks.

I did sorta like Hummel Brummel though. Set the bar low and be pleased it's not a boomerang, that's my mantra. :p

And yay for another fan of Azure (or AZURE, as their park map shows). That was an unexpectedly bizzare ride!
 

UP87

Member
Karacho was exactly the same as I remembered it, 900 creds ago - not very good.
😢
I really like Karacho and in my ranking it's definitely higher than Hals über Kopf. Some of the maneuvers are really tight like the dive loop and the launch has some force to it. Yeah... the helix after the MCBR is a bit slow but if it went any faster the tight transition to the dive loop would be too much.

With Hals über Kopf I agree with you. It's basically a SFC with inversions. The setting is nice (even in its unfinished state) and the interaction with Volldampf is quite cool. It's nice that it keeps the speed right until the breakrun and doesn't waste too much speed doing so as it goes in trenches for the last few curves.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
And yay for another fan of Azure (or AZURE, as their park map shows). That was an unexpectedly bizzare ride!
Glad you happened across it as well. It's so unassuming.

the launch has some force to it
Not a fan of these ones that do a little lurch of a drop and chuck you head first into it, it just feels awkward.
'Heads back, face forward, hold on tight and brace yourself' was recorded for a reason.


Day 4 – Geiselwind

I remember intentionally skipping this park a few years ago, describing it to myself as '£30 for a Boomerang', and who wants that? Thankfully in a short space of time they’ve doubled their count and introduced a ride type that I’ve been saying I want to try for a good while now, so the time had come to check the place out.


For some reason I had imagined it to be a bit ‘concrete and riiides’ or a glorified funfair, so I was surprised to see how nice the surroundings of each area were.

The rate of expansion seems to be continuing with about 30 shiny new kiddie flat rides multiplying across the left end of the park. With another prompt arrival we had been left to wait for things to open and as the time approached, opted to start strong.


On a Wacky Worm of course. That dog façade doesn’t fool me.


Deep in the forest was the ride I was most eager to experience, if only for sadistic reasons. It’s one of those coasters you hear about being so bad that you simply have to form your own opinion. A ride that was 'too forceful' to ever actually open in the US, although they were likely mistaking poor build quality for intensity.
As if to match the reputation, a good number of these installations are located in countries that aren’t the most inviting, so the fact that this travelling one has settled in Germany is a bonus. Aside from that, as ride types go, I really am starting to run out of new things and the legendary Interpark Wild Wind was surprisingly firm in the foreground of significance.

All that went out the window as soon as we boarded though. What fresh hell is this? The awkward seating position that almost isn’t fit for adults, the over the shoulder restraints that are equal parts tough and flimsy and now we’re climbing the lift. Assume the brace position.

I’ve had worse, but it did give my ears a bashing just from how poorly it negotiated the track. This was mostly in the pointless double helix rather than the inversion, which provided a wild wrenching action that wasn’t actually as bad as it looks. As the train powered back into the station I was glad it was over and done with but wait, no, 2 laps? I know it’s short but that’s really not necessary.
This time I opted to lean forward so my skull could take over from the ears and now we can relax. As if that wasn’t headache inducing enough we’ve got a Boomerang to go yet…


For a brief respite, the bog standard layout of the powered mine train was next. We are looking a bit funfair now.


I suppose one advantage of not being able to go anywhere this year is that it’s been 8 months since I’ve ridden one of these.
You know what? Whether it was the Wild Wind talking or the way they’ve looked after their ‘star attraction’ here, it wasn’t actually that offensive. It’s old, so none of that gross instant backwards braking.


Moving onto better things, a second new ride type for me. The world’s one and only Zierer spinner.
It has an identity crisis at the moment, with new signage trying to blend it in with nearby attractions, calling it Piraten Spinner. All the old signs are still up inside the footprint as well though and I think Drehgondelbahn sounds better anyway. More German at least.

I did like this one. The perpetual spinning throughout the whole layout is amusing and as it dives into the indoor tunnel there’s one particularly violent piece of tracking that delivered comedy at different angles for every single one of the 10+ laps.


The final cred is yet another world exclusive Zierer as far as I can tell. Drachen Höhle is one of those coasters in the (half) dark that is more fun than it should be. A few lights and a bit of smoke can go a long way when all you’re doing is corners. The face on the car design helps too of course.

And with that we were 6 for 6. It may not be the strongest of line-ups but at least there’s a good dose of obscurity in there. Great place to spend a morning of credding.

AltmühlBOB

A couple of years ago I remember seeing something about this alpine coaster with massive airtime hills but to be honest I had completely forgotten its existence immediately afterwards.
During my heavy trawling through Germany on coast2coaster, trying to pad the trip out again after losing several countries, I rediscovered this gem in the middle of nowhere.

Turns out the place was super popular and we struggled to park, ending up improvising with a couple of other cars in an overflow field that may or may not have been trespassing. There was a huge, mostly unfathomable queue of guests adjacent to the road for both the rides and ticket window simultaneously and in a very un-German fashion it was poorly organised and signposted, with queue-jumping actually becoming a necessity for people to make it work.


I didn’t actually realise that, though it makes sense, you don’t get to control this bad boy. Just flip the lid, get comfy and let it do its thing to you.


It’s obvious looking at it now that giving someone the power to slow down would lead to disaster.
I loved this thing. All these new experiences in one day - it’s getting a bit overwhelming.
The starting double down wasn’t quite all there but the power of the 3 hills combined with a very vulnerable, almost lying down position and nothing but a car seatbelt made for a cracking ride.
As you come screaming over the final crest you find yourself instinctively scrambling for a brake lever regardless. It hits the fins hard enough to make Stealth blush.


There’s also a traditional Alpine here. It began to rain heavily as we ascended the lift so I don’t remember much beyond hurrying to the bottom to get it over with and then sprinting back to the car before we got bogged down in someone else’s field.

Erlebnisfelsen Pottenstein

There was just enough time for one more park, though we were beginning to get a little worried about last entry rules. Luckily this place was as busy as the one before, the sun was back in the sky and they were even holding people outside of the entrance to keep the numbers down. With the money they’ll be raking in right now, looks like the hours are going to be extended.


Situated atop the hill this time, there’s another Wiegand monopoly going on.


Straight onto another alpine coaster, this one brought the fear back. When I say hill, it’s more of a cliff down there and there’s these unnervingly large drops directly into corners that, once again, surely you can’t go full speed or you’ll just fly off and become a fireball. Do they rely on Darwinism?


The other ride was an older lift hill version of the Hummel Brummel hardware the previous day. I found Hexenbesen to be far superior, not least for the fact that you get to push the green dispatch button yourself. That’s a childhood dream come true right there.


As soon as the lift is cleared it started swinging much more than I had come to expect and as the seats enthusiastically wind their way down the hill there’s a trim brake every 5 seconds to stop it getting out of control. I imagine this is what you’d get if you tried to build Ninja at Magic Mountain, in your garden. And I see a point to that.

I’d call that a highly successful day on the much more quirky end of the hobby.
Up next – something a bit more mainstream.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
Loving the report so far!

Nice to see a recent look at Geiselwind. I was staying about a 25-30min drive from the park last year, but had no access to a car, and it was a 2hr+ journey by public transport from where I was, so decided against it. Looking at your report I'm not losing too much sleep over that decision.

The airtime hill alpine cred has gone straight onto my to do list though!
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
A little side story for CarForce, I need to pad this day out a bit.
I hit the highest speed I've ever done in a car on the way to this park on my previous visit - a sweet 222kph (138mph) in some poxy sporty Renault hire car thing that I didn't like very much. I set out on this trip with the intention of besting that and it finally happened on almost the same stretch of road - a scary 236kmh (146mph), most satisfyingly, in my own vehicle. Autobahns are the best.
Amusingly the packaging for the GB magnet we slapped on the boot claimed it was only rated up to 130, but it held on like a true survivor.
I'm happy with the result, it's a decent step up but it's also nice to say that I've still been faster on a rollercoaster and I don't really want to beat that again now unless it's in a very significant manner (waiting on my company M5).

You know I said I wasn’t overly keen on returning to Tripsdrill? Well I least I haven’t been cursing their very name for many years now. I have for Plohn. The park put me in such a mood last time with their 19th century entrance facilities and shambolic operations but they had to go and get a Mack Big Dipper didn’t they.

Day 5 – Freizeitpark Plohn


And that’s where we shall begin. Their new coaster has been built on the site of former coaster Silver Mine, even sharing the same entrance as before and credit to them, there’s lots of little relics of the old ride kicking around to build a bit of history – pieces of track, signs and props. I appreciate that stuff, even though it used to be a totally unremarkable attraction.


Where the old meets new in the queue, there’s this guy animatedly waffling on about Dynamite and not far beyond that is the station, where a staff member was rocking a Mack rides t-shirt. Good man.
I leapt straight into my comfy winged bucket seat - I’ve been eager for the world to have more of these ever since Lost Gravity existed.


Being a dive drop, the start isn’t quite as vicious as it's forebearer but it has a certain snap to it and you’re immediately thrust into a surprise, 2ft high, speed hill in a shed, which is brilliant. It whipped the face covering off my left ear every single lap without fail.


The train fires out of that into a weird top hat thing – again, I would have liked it a bit more violent. This is followed by an intense turn back through the shed before violence is restored with a tiny, shouty twisted airtime hill.


Loop de loop and Zero-G and aww, it’s over. I loved Dynamite far more than I had expected to, but it is just as short as I had anticipated and that is inevitably a bit of a downer. Just means you have to ride it more I guess. Fantastic investment for the park.


But that’s not all that’s new, oh no. SBF ‘3 loop’ spinner with a couple of dragon statues? Yes please.
Also the longest queue of the day. Ouch.


One of us needed the cred, so this became my second ever re-ride on a Wacky Worm (and proud) following the one in Great Yarmouth. This was greatly enhanced by a radio in the station that was playing German country music with a gravelly voiced man who was singing his heart out and had clearly experienced a lot of pain in his life. The parallel was comedy gold.


My guilty pleasure from the previous visit was the all indoor powered mine train which is amazingly themed and does the first lap in slow motion to let you soak it all in before cranking it up a few notches for two more. No one screamed this time either, so it was even better.
It’s one of the newest installations of these and it seems the world doesn’t really want to build them any more, which is a shame considering the potential this particular example demonstrates.


The other star attraction which now compliments Dynamite nicely is of course the woodie, the wrong El Toro.
It was just as good as I remembered it being. An aggressive, fast paced ride packed full of little airtime pops that bounce you out of your seat every few seconds – something GCI seems to only be able to deliver on 50% of their builds, for reasons that still evade me. This is why we can’t have nice things.


Seems I didn’t even get a good pic of it. Have another goat instead:

I’m going to build on the tradition of posting a picture of a goat every time I visit this park which, you know, hopefully never again.

Obviously I liked the place more this time. They’ve entered the 21st century with online ticketing and they’ve doubled their count of kick-ass coasters. The operations were less offensive, though still questionable. It’s a very… easy going/unprofessional atmosphere when they’re checking their Whatsapp in the middle of operating a major ride or simply wandering off to have a chat, leaving nobody paying attention or remotely near an E-stop. The sort of attitude you wish everywhere could have, until it goes wrong of course.

Luckily nothing had gone wrong for us so far. I was now teetering on 4-figure cred territory and it was time to drive to Poland.

I don’t want to be one of those guys who blames the sat nav for everything, but stories have to be told. We had read something on UK government advice about how terribly dangerous the roads in Poland are - they’re made of old bones and everyone who gets in a car dies, the usual propaganda. For the first couple of hours on motorway it was smooth as anything, there were regular billboards advertising Zadra to scream at and I was enjoying the second fastest country in Europe.
Upon leaving the motorway we apparently had another 30 minutes to go. This seemed a little off as, in my head, I had booked a hotel that was ‘just off’ the main road. Perhaps I didn’t look hard enough and there’s no exit nearby or maybe booking.com is being an arse with the map again. Oh well.
As we delved deeper into smaller and smaller villages that started to look like they’d belong next to Plohn, it started to seem less and less likely. It’ll be just round this corner, it’ll be just over that hill. We’ve stayed in weirder places.
You have arrived at your destination.
We were getting funny looks from villagers and there ain’t no hotel here, so I kept driving. The road suddenly became exactly as described by the government and as we opened our mouths to make a joke about this, it immediately got 10 times worse. It came out of nowhere and I hit it far too fast. I was winded with laughter as a result. This country road is made of cobblestones and if I do any more than 20Mph over this we’re going to explode. You know those Top Gear challenges where they’re driving hundreds of miles on rough tracks, shouting in pain and bits of the car falling off every other mile. That.
Google had stepped in to get us out of this emergency and we were a long way from home (well, exactly 30 minutes back to where I thought we should have been). The quality of the road managed to break Google for the remainder of the trip as the satellites were never quite in alignment again.
Fortunately we didn’t die. We saw no other cars apart from another Brit who also seemed lost – I think they took a wrong turn in front of us and might still be there now. We saw lots of old bicycles and got to witness the more colourful side of rural Polish life so, you know, culture.
The hotel was like a beautiful stately home on the outside, modern and professional on the inside, once we actually found it, so that was a relief. My car was now making a resonant rattling sound that it had never done before, but we checked under the bonnet for fire and the noise was gone by the following morning.

Up next – 3 Vekoma juniors.
 
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Howie

Active Member
Adventures - that's what it's all about. Getting to places on time, incident and stress free is borrrring!
Good stuff. Keep it up!
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
Seems everyone and his mother has been to Poland now, so I’ll try not to make this one drag too much, even if it was a particularly notable day for me.
The coaster lineup here at Energylandia currently sits at 15 and they were all running perfectly, so the park managed to top my previous record for most creds in a day (13) without even breaking a sweat (something even Magic Mountain couldn't handle). It felt unsettlingly easy though. I’m already thinking I want to break that again with something rather more challenging (but where?)

Day 6 – Energylandia


With 996 creds to my name and plan of action in my head we headed straight to the far end of the park to find the newest and nicest looking area.


Started strong on this little thing. The views were a little distracting and I forgot what happened.


Vekoma Junior #1 for me was Frida. I like the colour and the owl logo, but the fact that this has its own exit shop and line of merchandise is pushing things a little bit.


Zadra became #999 and is, of course, an amazing ride.


Because they're just so damn good I'm getting extra picky with these now and for me personally it needed a few more significant airtime moments spread throughout the layout to truly compete with the best of the best.


The larger inversions and other elements, though visually impressive, lacked a little substance, but it builds to an epic climax that's almost too much to handle.


This ending reminding me of both Untamed and Lightning Rod and it was this sequence of 3 vicious twisty hills, a quick upwards inversion and a ridiculously fast slam into the brakes that I loved most about Zadra. Goes out with a bang.


Did anyone else spot this little shrine to the construction (or collapse) of the ride, just inside the queue entrance?


Now it was time for a good 10 minute walk to the opposite end of the park to Hyperion. As you may have already seen in the milestone topic (I just couldn’t contain myself) this was my one thousandth coaster. I had made the conscious decision to make it this over Zadra because I was already a massive fan of both the actual winged Intamin hypers (not that I'm not a huge fan of the other boys too, this just sits in a little more of an exclusive club right now, plus I already had an RMC at #800).


The humongous first drop, first hill and dive loop sequence alone made me prefer this to any other more traditional hyper that I can think of, Intamin or otherwise.


This hill contains both so much ejection and so much sustain that actually I felt my brain caressing my skull, and I think I liked it.


But my favourite part was the dive loop – back right seat. This was the only true moment of the ride trying to kick me out sideways. I wanted more of that.


With the outside seats not quite delivering the same effect as Skyrush and Flying Aces it never quite lived up to the true insanity of what makes those rides so special but it gave it a damn good go.


The return leg is noticably weaker, though once the train gets low and stays low at such high speeds it really is a lot of fun and the final hill provides a very strong finish.
I’ll weigh in on the rough train discussion – I definitely noticed it on one of them but to be honest I enjoyed it more when it did happen. It was a similar sort of bouncing/shaking to what you get on B&M wings when they’re doing the more forceful turns, only much quicker and this just served to make me laugh and give Hyperion an even greater intensity.


As a stark reminder of what my life will start (continue) to look like if I ever hope to reach the next thousand, #1001 was the park's Wacky Worm.


From there it was a simple tick box exercise through the Vekoma catalogue with Junior #2.
This one had lockers. Again, excessive?


Junior #3 (but a boomerang).
They’re building another don’t you know.


And an SLC. Yawn.


My excitement for the third best ride in the park Formula had been mostly diminished by riding Celestial Gauntlet in Changsha at the beginning of this year. They share mostly the same layout, differing only in a launch vs a lift hill and the latter has an extended hill sequence at the end, looks 100x nicer and is simply better.


You know I don’t say this nearly enough, but from a purely selfish perspective I wish that we never had clones and copies of major rollercoasters as it diminishes their impact to anyone who rides multiple versions (me) and this was a clear example of that effect.


It's solid fun, but I'm starting to think that these 'new gen' Vekomas look deceptively better than they actually ride. A certain spark is missing and though the vests aren't uncomfortable they definitely have both a physical and psychological impact on freedom of upper body movement, which matters in the end game. As much as the upcoming multi-launcher Abyssus excites me, I feel that if it rides like these ones it may end up being a disappointment.


There's a similar situation with the neighbouring Dragon Rollercoaster, the Vekoma SFC that started out as a humble layout in Denmark and is starting to appear everywhere I go. While a decent ride for the size, there will always be something better to do here, particularly when it isn't unique to the park.


The SBF crawl of shame followed - through the densely themed family coaster Mars,


The questionable life choices of Circus Coaster.
I hit my head on the tail of this on the first lap so had to lean forward for the remainder. Operator was amazing here, using the restraint un-locker to blow air in people’s faces.


And the 3rd 'MX609 3 Loops' spinner of the trip so far.


To end up at their larger spinner model that for some hellish reason has over the shoulder restraints. I tried to brace but the ear knobbling was seemingly unavoidable. Likely gave me a concussion as I forgot to collect my belongings at the end. No, I’ll blame the poor station layout for that – it has separate offload and you have to slither past the op box back into onload to reach the cubby holes.


Tactics had left Speed until last – my 3rd Intamin water coaster with wacky elevator lift, set complete? (checks) no… damnit Turkey! It was time to don a disposable mask to avoid ruining the one I was wearing regularly, get a good soaking and then spend the evening drying off with many laps on the star attractions.

Generally the operations at the park were very efficient, but they seem to have developed an unnecessary over-keenness to remove trains from the big rides the moment the queues dip down to 10- 15 minutes. An announcement will be played, 10 minutes will be lost in the process and all the while the queue builds back up again. In one case they literally removed and added one in the same sequence upon realising the immediate impact on the wait time. This got a little frustrating as we were trying to specifically time our evening marathons with the sun setting about half an hour before close for a pseudo-night ride or two.

I was surprised at how nice a lot of the park looks, previously imagining a lot of it to have been thrown together with the rate the park has been growing. There's plenty of decent scenery around and some greenery is starting to develop nicely in a few areas. Although the unorthodox US city grid-like path layout is a little haphazard it makes the park surprisingly easy to navigate around (Tripsdrill) with no real dead ends to speak of.

It also means all roads lead to Hyperion, which is where the first night ended with a glorious ride just after sunset.


A second day of riding nothing but the two big boys all day and an evening of Zadra trying to murder me it became clear to me that I preferred the RMC in the end (no regrets), but they're both spectacular coasters well amongst some of the best in Europe and so far the best one-two punch I've encountered of any park in the world, finally taking the title from Wanda Nanchang.

Day 7 – Zatorland



We did this the following morning before our second day at Energylandia, because of course.
I haven’t done a park beginning with Z before so that was an added bonus.


In and out in under 5 minutes. That’s the way.

Thanks for reading so far. In celebration of this major milestone I've made a little blog thing compiling almost all of the park experiences that brought me to this point so if you're interested in any of that which you may have missed so far, plus any other content I'm working on, please feel free to check it out.

Up next - is it a bird or is it a beer?
 

Howie

Active Member
Congratulations on the big 1k, quite the achievement.
Had a quick squint at your blog too, good stuff. Didn't realise you'd only been on CF since 2017, I always had you down as one of the 'old skoolers', thought you'd been here for ever!
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
The entrance to Legendia is a rather understated affair. A crude car park and a stroll past some abandoned buildings (I imagine @Coaster Hipster rents one of these when he does his 3 day Lech marathons).

Day 8 – Legendia


I knew this was a city park but for some reason I expected more trees. I haven’t exactly looked at photos in detail in before (apart from the 1 we’ll talk about below) so I didn’t know that if you look behind yourself at any point - big ugly tower blocks. Early indications were also that the place was going to be a ghost town today. It’s like being back in China.


In the same manner, the tantalising view of a gorgeous looking cred across the lake does make up for this though. We opted for a leisurely stroll in the counter-clockwise direction, taking us past the slightly more themed but closed Zyklon Galaxi. I know there’s 2 of them here but that’s still a spite.


So the first cred of the day became Diabolic Loop or something in Polish. No glamorous stories about needing to find an operator sadly – this one guy that we ended up seeing on every ride before us, with a permanent grin on his face, had already beaten us to it.

I’ve since learnt that this is an old relic from the UK and was at one point tied to the TV show Gladiators, so I’ll be a little more lenient, but... why?
The restraints are shared across two people. This bugs me because shoulder restraints are there for ‘security, comfort, peace of mind’ the usual rubbish, but if the 2 guests are disproportionate in size then that all goes out the window, like with a common lapbar, only that’s a benefit (unless you’re Thorpe Park), this isn’t.
Meandering drop, two loops and we’re turning and we’re... turning some more.


Thankfully rides have come a long way since then, though perhaps not in the restraint department for some manufacturers. I’m finally here to judge this thing for myself, to ride without prejudice.

The preshow is a nice touch that I didn’t expect. A man rides a big bird while a woman looks on, just like we’re about to do. Station was always empty and only ever one train so didn’t get to experience it inverting over our heads, a feature I have often admired from afar.


Something else I’ve admired from afar is that first drop. Construction pics don’t usually get to me but I saw one of that vicious-looking beyond vertical twist when it was first craned into place and it stirred a reaction in me like few other rides had. This was the early days of the buzzing excitement around Vekoma’s new era – they’re changing the game (technically this started back in 2010, though it went rather awry and then most likely ended up better for it), but I remain a doubter.


Having now experienced every model they’ve opened since then? (checks) Yes! I get the sense that they’ve developed a knack for making rides that look amazing, but the actual experience just doesn’t match up. There’s a certain something missing, whether finesse or character, I haven’t managed to put my finger on it yet, but I’ll keep on trying them anyway – hopefully that Firestorm one next.

I’ve diverged a bit there with some spoilers for my review but the first drop was surprisingly unremarkable. The way the track folds under and away from itself actually detracts from what should have been pure violence. I wanted GeForce, Karnan & DC Rivals to be quivering at the thought of this element but it felt like they used the auto-heartline feature in No Limits – it’s perfectly engineered for comfort, not thrill.


From there I will admit it’s a masterful layout. Bouncing between inversions, tight turns and airtime, most of which deliver. The water, the castle and the big nest are all great moments of interaction.

It was notably intense, to the point at which I’d have to think about pacing myself after several consecutive laps as I was beginning to see stars out of the first inversion. Generally I admire this trait in a ride – right now I can only name on one hand the other coasters that have done this to me (and it’s a motley crew), but to justify this the experience has to offer other things on top that make it worthwhile. I’m not sure Lech did.


So here we go – the restraints. They don’t directly detract from the airtime moments – I still had full leg contact stopping me from flying out of my seat on that big hill towards the station and it was great. But. They encourage you to ride in a very specific position, there’s no real freedom of movement in the upper half of your body (something I value hugely on all of my favourite rides) and I find that to have a detrimental impact on what the coaster is capable of doing to the rider. Strong positives, a couple of negatives, very little in between.


I like it, I don’t love it, and my excitement for their upcoming projects has been massively reduced by this revelation, so hopefully they’ll now be a pleasant surprise. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Continuing on the loop we started to notice how the park is turning into a barren wasteland. Closed flat rides, the shells of former flat rides, fire damaged flat rides. Things don’t look encouraging.


The last cred was the other Zyklon Galaxi and I was wondering why they were being so keen in beckoning guests up the (7 person) queue to fill every car. The answer came hilariously in that our car, with only 3 people, didn’t have enough momentum to engage with the chain lift and we were treated to a little rollback and valley. The ops came striding over the grass and supports towards us with a look of ‘not this again’ and manually gave us a good running shove up onto the chain a second time. Crrrrr...BANG. “Eyyyyyy!” +1.



Struggling for things to fill the time, we hopped on the ferris wheel for some views. I spent a while imposing my own ideas on what rides should fill the vast empty spaces littered around the lake to help this place compete with Energylandia. Gravity woodie there, Mack launch there, custom raptor there – you know how it goes.


Behind that was the new-ish shooting ride Bazyliszek. Not the giant snake, the dumb looking chicken headed monster. I was hoping this was good, we needed to seriously up our dark ride game on this trip. The trackless aspect is entirely pointless other than to look cool in the station. Aside from that it’s a bit cardboard cutout, a bit screeny and sadly a bit below par for this sort of thing (though the queue is a decent effort). The dragon shooting one at Lotte World kept springing to our minds – it shares that same cheaper feeling, but it’s a lot better than this.


Almost forgot they had a rapids to do. But how could I?! It’s a Hafema. I loooooove them. Sadly the park has managed to suck the fun out of one of these too. ‘I think this one just goes round, bro.’
I can picture the scenario now – the Hafema salesperson arrives in the meeting room with a book as thick as the pages are wide and SLAMS it on the table. As they flick through the pages with excitement – “here’s all the weird and wonderful things we can do with water rides. You can have elevator lifts, you can have vertical drops, you can have people fearing for their very lives. Which of these take your fancy? How about all of them?”
“No, we just want rapids.”
“But this stuff is our speciality, we’re world leaders in innovation, it’s where we excel. This is why you chose us, right? This attraction can put you on the map again, it’ll make a statement to those louts at Energylandia, show them who’s boss, with their two rapids... the Italians? How poxy. And don’t get me started on Intamin, they don’t even know what size to make their boats.”
“No, we just want rapids. We can say...” hands breaking from thoughtful pyramid to gesture a small rainbow, “new for 2020. People will come.”
And Yaga Valley was born.

As there was still a HUGE amount of the day left and, though slightly discouraged, we had had our heart set on a few pseudo-night rides on Lech, we went to see what the hand stamp situation was, planning to kill some time elsewhere and come back for that. Sadly their policy is to give you a piece of paper that says you have to come back within 30 minutes and they were even reluctant to let all of us go out to the car at the same time.

With that bright idea shot down we went back to Lech to give it another few goes before leaving for good.
I started off wanting to keep riding it, wanting to love it, wanting it to push my body to some sort of limit but we reached a certain point where I just had to say we’re not going to get anything more out of this and a tl;dr statement if there was any - ‘Let’s go get a +1 instead.’

Park Kolejowy

And what a +1 it was. We drove past mountains and castles to arrive in front of what looked like a hospital. On closer inspection it was more like a retirement home and there was an actual dead body being wheeled out into a van to greet us as I cautiously trundled into what I assumed was the car park. There was one car.


But also this banner. It is the right place!

We headed round to the back of the building to find overgrown grass and an assortment of outdoor miniature railway tracks. The only person in sight was happily mowing away, he stopped upon seeing us and gave a friendly greeting, arms wide – “no speak English”.
“Ah, hi, umm... Rollercoaster?” I happened to be wearing my Karnan shirt on this occasion – it has a bit of coaster track on it and is great for situations like this. Instead of people thinking you’re just strange and lost, they know why you’re here, though they still think you’re strange.
He threw a polite gesture towards the far end of a field, where some yellow track was winking at us. We’re in.
It hadn’t yet clicked that this man WAS Park Kolejowy and as we headed off towards the ride, he went in the opposite direction. While we got stuck at a dead end behind some abandoned dodgems, he had actually been to get the key to run the coaster, soon catching up to us and escorting us to what could loosely be described as the platform.
That’s right Howie. I see your hot dog guy and raise you one lawnmower guy.


We had expected some form of transaction to take place before this, but clearly enthusiasts don’t have a reputation for being petty thieves (just child abusers) and we were invited to sit straight on the ride and enjoy a few too many laps on this wonderful creation.

Staggering back out of the train from the adrenaline rush, Mr. Kolejowy declared “1 person, 9 zloty.”
“Ah, umm... can we pay by card?” For what I’ll claim to be covid reasons rather than incompetence we didn’t actually have the cash. Had he required it I would have been happy to drive an hour to the nearest town to find a cashpoint because the man was a legend. Instead however, he gestured back towards the entrance and escorted us to a little wooden hut. Inside was a small shop and, of course, a card reader.
That’s right Plohn. A Polish man in a field has a card machine and you don’t.
I thought I was over this.

Up next – the clue is in the Basyliszek queue.
 
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