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Quantity over Quality - NL, DE, BE August 2019

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Toverland (21/8/19)

Again, been here before so roughly knew what to expect. Large queue for tickets and park entry but got through easy enough and headed straight for Fenix. New entrance area much nicer than old gate, actually feels like a proper themepark entrance now. Love the additional path to Troy as well, makes Troy much more accessible within park.

Whole Avalon area is fab and Fenix may be one of the most photogenic coasters ever! Whole area is lovely to walk through and fantastically themed. Love the music used, again already owned CD so had it playing in car!. Both sides of Fenix practically walk on so got a ride in on both sides. Not much between them but think I prefer the right for the extra ground interactions. Merlins quest also fun and great for Fenix photo opportunities.

Dwervelwind better than I remember as well, got some good spin on both my rides.

Booster bike still nothing to write home about. I believe there was a rumour that Toverland are looking at getting rid of it or at least majorly retheming it. I support this rumour as currently it does stick out with its lack of theming and does split park in half.

Blitz bahn had longest queue of day by far with slow moving 45 min queue. Ride is great fun though and got the ride photo afterwards: (Slow people in front caused couple of short slow downs hence lap time shown, did have accelerator going full throttle all the time)

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Log Flume and rapids also busy due to the hot weather today. Both still fab and very wet, love the large log flume drop. Grabbed food from Hot food vending machines before first log flume go, expected a cheese croquette style thing but got deep fried mystery noodles... Nice though.

Fun house small but fun. Only went in as was passing and no queue. Felt odd being a lone adult with no children though. I know adults are allowed in and have been in with large adult only group before (CF live 2016) but still felt i should have a kid in tow...

Toos express surprisingly long for indoor ride and great fun for the younger children. Only got one lap on it, fairly sure you used to get 2?

Troy still best ride in the park. So fast and wild, definitely still one of my favourite woodies and favourite GCI. Ride was quiet so could easily run round for multiple rides, got ride photo on one of my 7 rides:

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Overall, a great day was had. Love the investments that Toverland have been making recently and hope they continue! Amazing how much park has grown from its 2001 beginnings in that first indoor hall! Many play areas for children (or CF lives!) to play on. Hope to return to this park soon.
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Billybird Hemelrijk (22/8/19)

Park 1 of 4 today. Arrived 20mins early despite hitting rush hour traffic on route so was first guest to arrive at park! Was able to sort ticket in this time so could enter bang on opening, again got Plopsa discount. Only coaster here is another ABC tube coaster, less themed than the previous one at Schloss Dankern but still good fun. Got first public run of the day! Whole park is situated on edge of large lake, made for a very nice setting. After my 2nd ride, 4 fighter jets flew over the park very low in quick succession! Combined with ones seen at Walibi Holland and Slagharen, this brings it to 9 seen in total! All 3 parks must be on a training route for the Dutch Air Force!

Also tried their climbing/slide complex Hemelaya as looked interesting. This really appealed to my sense of adventure as had no directions up the mountain themed structure so had to explore for yourself, finding routes up and/or slides down. Unfortunately had to leave after this to get to next park, would have loved to hang around and explore a bit more.

Amusementspark Tivoli (22/8/19)

Park 2 of 4 today. Only included this park due to sizeable Plopsa discount on entry (40%), looked to be purely a +1 online. While the single coaster here isn't up to much, the rest of park is surprisingly good. All rides meant for families but anyone can go on, park quiet as well so all rides walk on. Park was I love trying out new-to-me dark rides and this place had 3! Ghost train was pretty standard and not scary but worth doing. Small boat ride underneath coaster fun due to location and some very low bridges, had to duck under most!

The highlight of the whole day was the train ride here, Harm's Kippenfarm. From the outside, it looks to be a standard fairground children's powered train with a bit of theming dotted about. Once train enters building, ride stops and riders are treated to a surprise animatronic show, complete with animals singing various childrens songs! Great surprise for me and quite enjoyed the cheesiness of it all. Would recommend to anyone visiting park in future.

Dippie Doe (22/8/19)

Park 3 of 4 today. Again entered park through busy industrial estate thanks to satnav taking me the long way round... Again got Plopsa discount on entry. Park itself reminded me of Drievliet on a smaller scale with barely themed rides plonked onto a rectangular strip of land...

Big apple was a big apple, nothing else to say about it. Tyfoon was surprisingly fun though. As park was dead and I was making great time, ended up taking 6 goes in this. All of which were in the front, 4 of which were solo rides!

Plopsa Indoor Hasselt (22/8/19)

Park 4 of 4 today. Yay for actually using Plopsa pass for entry into a Plopsa park, rather than just discounts elsewhere! Arrived here with 2 hours left of opening. When planning this trip, I expected this day to be very full on and I'd be arriving here in last hour of opening after purely cred running other parks. All parks were dead so that wasn't the case. Park is almost exactly the same as Plopsa indoor Coeverden the other day and Wickiebaan was exact clone. Took ride on all "major" rides (coaster, carousel and chairswing) and still had plenty of time to fill so did some of the smaller attractions, even found myself in soft play area to waste time... (adults were allowed in but I was way too big for all obstacles, took one lap of structure and left). Did find a piece of HTTYD merch in shop though! Closed off day with non-stop rerides on Wickiebaan back row. Park dead so could stay on without moving! Wickiebaan also my first Belgian coaster!


As implied above,I expected doing 4 parks in a day to be highly stressful and would be pushing it to get all done in time. Instead, quiet parks and (mostly) quiet roads allowed me to relax and enjoy each of the 4 parks, getting plenty of rides on all notable rides with time to spare. Could have almost squished in a 5th park!
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Efteling (23/8/19)

Again, have visited before so knew what to expect. Park is still fab, more than enough to fill one day here. Park open till 11pm so had time to ride coasters and enjoy some the smaller attractions, including the fairytale forest.

Gave a few goodbye rides to Bob today before it closes for good next week. Fun but is showing it's age as rough in certain points, also tends to ram into brake run barriers. Bring on Max and Moritz!

Baron still fun. Only done 2 dive machines, this and Oblivion. Compared with Oblivion, this has the worse drop but prefer the longer length. It actually does something after the drop! Managed to get a night ride in, drop even better at night.

Joris still fun. About same level as Wicker man in rankings, Wicker may edge it on theming though. Racing aspect very good, single rider queue placed me on Water for both rides, won both times! (Have ridden Fire before so wasn't too worried about not riding both sides today).

New Python much smoother with nicer transitions. Didn't try the Boarding Pass system as single rider queue virtually walk on, looked to effectively be a free fast track of sorts though.

Indoor section of Vliegende Hollander still miles better than actual coaster, didn't get wet on splashdown either.

Vogel Rok still pure fun, love the on ride music. Decent theming inside as well.

Carnival Festival fun, love how it is almost a rip-off of Small World. Basically same idea between the rides, just different ride system. Love the vaguely racist-ness of it all with all the stereotypes shown in the theming.

Continuing with the foreign stereotype theming, Monseuir Cannibale was up next. Decent enough teacups but couldn't spin car.

Villa Volta great fun, do love a good madhouse. Seemed to be on quite a tame cycle though and couldn't understand any of the storyline, love the on ride music though.

Droomvlucht has fantastic theming and relatively unique ride system. Can see why some people may call it a coaster but it isn't for me, still a great ride though.

Park's Steam train pulled into station as I was passing so took a lap of park. Great for some different views of coasters and nice to have a proper steam engine in this situation, rather than diesel shaped as a steam train.

Piranha (rapids) not amazing but still fun, more UK style rapids rather than the wetter rapids of the past few parks. They were still open all evening though so took a night ride. Even with the tame, well-lit course, I doubt rapids night rides would ever be allowed in UK, especially with the extra health and safety in place after the Drayton Manor incident.

Fata Morgana decently long and well themed throughout. Again, couldn't figure out what the story was supposed to be.

Fairytale forest still great and worth a visit if time allows. In standard opening hours, I probably wouldn't bother and stick to main rides but had plenty of time due to late opening, had dinner while walking round. My favourite scene still Indische Waterlelies but Match Girl still fantastic. For those on the 2016 CF live here, pity it isn't "the best one"...

Spookslot also still fab, very unusual and well timed with great music.

Smaller rides ridden include Stoomcarousel, Diorama, Land van Laaf monorail and Blauwe reiger. Stoomcarousel powered by static steam traction engine and had a great fairground organ playing during ride cycle. Diorama great little model railway area, always fun to watch and track where the trains go. A lot of other details as well including road traffic and a working fairgorund! Land van Laaf area great for a wander around, felt like Fairytale forest on smaller scale, monorail allows for view above the area and its various thematic buildings. Blauwe reiger was old cycle-powered train thing. Easy enough to move the trains but didn't help my already tired legs...

Efteling museum small but worth a look around. Has interactive map dating from 1960s, incredible how park has changed since then! Also has part of the old Python track within.

Unfortunately, Raveleijn wasn't showing today so coudn't watch. Have seen it before though and it is fab, hopefully is still as good as I remember.

Overall, park is still fab and definitely a 2 day park under standard opening hours. Will definitely return in future. Got digipass for ride photos so they will be posted soon. As usual, all phone photos in my FB album.

Today was also my last day in the Netherlands on this trip, now just Belgium and tiny bit of France to go! Will miss the hot food vending machines they have here...
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Realised I forgot to mention Symbolica in Efteling report. Is fab and great not completely being able to predict where car will go next! With a bit of luck managed to get all 3 routes done in 3 single rider rides! Personally preferred blue for its interactive scene but not much between them. Each route has its own ride photo border as well! Green camera not working though so no photo from there.

Also, have downloaded all the Digipass photos, have chosen favourite from each ride to share now, all are in FB album.

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(knew camera was coming but wasn't sure where to look...)

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Bobbejaanland and Brussels sightseeing reports coming soon, is currently 1am here and have long drive to Plopsa Coo tomorrow. Will hopefully get all 3 reports done tomorrow evening.
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Ugh, that kid in the Fata Morgana photo both standing up AND using the flash on his phone.
Both front row had phones out filming most of the ride... Surprised nothing was done about it, there was even someone filming Bob that got caught on the on ride camera but nothing was said and photo on Digipass fine. Anything similar in UK would likely see photo taken down and unable to be sold.

Bobbejaanland (24/8/19)

ARRGGGHHHH, remind me never to return here on a special event day! Drive into park was smooth except for small amount of entrance traffic but find it's €8 for the privilege for parking in a field... Paid parking and realised I'd left coat in Breda hotel which I'd checked out of that morning... Headed for entrance to find massive crowds trying to get in through bag checks. Join the queue, get told by security I can't take food in.... Crowds allow me to sneak food back into bag and I continue through crowds to ticket gates. Due to the Yesterdayland festival taking place that day, I get told annual passes not valid and I'd have to pay €25 to get in (still with discount though, standard tickets €60!). Can't pay ticket check guy and get directed to ticket offices, ,located at back of the massive entrance queue! Take chance to return to car to drop food off to avoid problems and grab suncream, was seriously tempted to just drive off at this point. Over 45 mins since arrival and had got nowhere! The fact I'd already paid parking and the festival meant late park opening persuaded me to stay. Walked back to ticket office, paid my €25 and rejoined entrance queue. Now get told by security I can;t take water in due to festival! IT WAS 30 DEGREES CELSIUS AND THEY MADE ME TIP WATER AWAY! Managed to sneak 1 of my 3 bottles in and continued back to ticket gate. This time got in fine but spent well over 1 hour just trying to get through ticket gates! Rant over...

Once in though, it became clear everyone was here for festival, leaving rides quiet. Although paths were packed, all rides were practically walk on. Got 2 rides on a walk on Typhoon first. Very average ride and doesn't really do much, ended up staring into sun on lift though.

Proceeded to Fury next and entered the Voting queueline. This meant my first ever ride on this was backwards! Interesting not having much knowledge of layout and not seeing whats coming! Due to short queue, ran round again for another ride in the Forward Only queue to guarantee a forwards ride. Still fun but definitely prefer the ride backwards. With a Eurofighter and Infinity coaster next to each other, love how the park is (potentially) unintentionally showcasing how much ride technology has improved recently. From an early Eurofighter (likely considered quite innovative and unique when opened) right next to a modern swing launch Infinity. Basically the same ride type, massively improved over the years!

Continuing round lake in anticlockwise fashion, Naga Bay is a rather average Maurer spinner but is still fun, even with not much spinning. Like how it bridges a major park path twice. Rarely anything truely bad about these spinners, smooth and always good fun.

For those unfamilar with Bobbejaan's layout, next to Naga Bay's entrance, there is a sizable park square accessed by 2 major paths and has direct access to 5 ride entrances (Naga Bay, Forbidden Caves, Revolution, Banana Battle and King Kong). Park management decided it was a good place to put the 60s stage, a major festival stage! Was hell trying to get through there as could hardly move due to people watching the bands and people ordering drinks from the festival bars.

Revolution is ok at best. Massive train and lifthill leading to not much at all. All this ride does is turn left! Lifthill spirals left and all coaster sections also turn left, not a single right turn in whole ride. VR not working so couldn't try it out.

Tried Banana Battle, an indoor splash battle, mainly to avoid heading back into festival crowds outside building. Ride is surprisingly wet and water guns will reach other boats, allowing for a true "splash battle" between boats to occur, Was mostly other boats getting me wet rather than the effects.

Speedy Bob just your typical Maurer mouse, not much else to be said about it. Can clearly tell where it used to have a mirror image coaster next to it though.

Park rapids, El Rio, very good. Course mostly tame but contains a whirlpool! Nearly guaranteed to be soaked by the whirlpool, 1st ride I went backwards down whirlpool drop and got hit by a massive wave crashing over boat, soaking my trousers! Was a needed cool down in the heat though.

Dreamcatcher has very unimaginative layout and never really picks up any real speed. Still manages to to be rough in places as well. Again, No VR so couldn't try that. Was first ride with notable queue so actually checked who was playing in this festival. Turns out Sister Sledge headlining with Trammps and Racey also playing the 70s/80s stage.

Having made peace with the fact the festival is happening, I decided to actually check some of it out and headed to 70s stage to catch end of Racey set and grab lunch. Got distracted by Tom Jones tribute on Crooner stage on way, very good but doubt a patch on the original. Also found a water refill point so refilled all my bottles and had needed drink. Just caught Racey set in time for the only Racey song I know, Some Girls. Band seemed pressed for time and only played half the song but they still played it well.

Grabbed overpriced chips from festival bar and headed back to Crooner stage to eat. Another park guest recognised my Hersheypark shirt on way which started brief Skyrush discussion! I love Skyrush but he didn't, he agreed it was better than anything at Bobbejaanland though. Was nice to talk coasters with someone though, even if it was brief and with his limited English.

Continued round park to Oki Doki. Very average Vekoma family coaster but nice to have a unique layout to it. With these so often taking 2 laps per go, having only 1 lap here made ride experience feel very short.

Entered Indiana River building not knowing what to expect, found an indoor log flume! Ride decently themed and surprisingly wet, definitely the better of the 2 log flumes here.

Bob Express was a great surprise and is probably favourite Mack powered. A lot of laterals in helices and great interaction with outdoor log flume, even had touch of airtime in places!

El Paso is indoor shooter. Very average and could use a refurb. No scores in car so have to wait till end to see how you did, thought I did quite well but lost by quite a big margin compared with couple I shared car with.

Wildwaterbaan was the outdoor log flume. Looks older than Indiana River and isn't as good. Drops large but no splash attained from them.

Walking back past entrance, I discover that although park open till 11, most rides only open till 6 and Land of Legends, El Rio, and Wildwasserbaan open till 8, leaving monorail open till 9:30. With it approaching 5 (and a lot of the smaller rides already shut), 2 re-rides each on Naga bay and Revolution were had with a re-ride on Oki doki and Dreamcatcher. Just missed a re-ride on Indiana River due to advertised times being ride close rather than queue close...

With Big Wheel also open till 8, I took a ride for view and photo purposes. View average but allowed for nice views and photo opportunities of rides from above.

Got 2 more Wildwaterbaan rides in before hitting Sledgehammer. Ride took a while to dispatch and ride cycle short but intense. Quiet ride allowed a 2nd ride without moving. Just had time for one more backwards Fury ride before 8 so took it.

Monorail fun and again allowed for some nice coaster views. Nice to have the seat after a long tiring day as well. Figured I might as well have dinner while watching the festival so headed to 60s stage for food. Listened to an Elvis tribute while eating.

Left after this and headed back to Breda to fetch coat before heading to Brussels hotel. Left Netherlands for good at this point as well, won't be returning within this trip! Overall, did manage to have a good day here but entrance faff will forever cast a dark shadow on my opinions of this place, won't be returning for a good while.

Brussels Sightseeing (25/8/19)

Had a needed lie in in morning so got to Vilvoorde train station later than planned. Train in was smooth and quick. Found out that Brussels has a red light district and it's visible from train just north of Brussels Noord station. Was tempted to stop and have quick look but continued into central Brussels, wouldn't have visited any of the "shops" anyway.

Central Brussels very nice and hilly, quite confusing for a tourist on first visit without map though. Found my way to church near Royal palace, very nice inside very typical of most Catholic churches of the era.

After a few wrong turns, eventually found Royal Palace and headed in. No problems at security today but had to leave bag in free cloakroom. Palace very nice inside, all rooms grand and well furnished as would be expected, included a lot of official royal family photos in the rooms they were taken in. These photos often taken during some sort of official duty, usually meeting foriegn ambassadors and leaders. Being a HTTYD fan, loved the fact there has been at least 1 Queen Astrid in Belgian history! Was a children's interactive science in the last room with some fun activities within, including a live webcam with filters to make room look like various historical painting styles! Found a city map in gift shop so purchased that so i knew where I was going.

Walked to Palace of Justice next but was down for refurbishment. Going by construction hoardings on outside, this refurb was supposed to be completed 2008! Little over planned timescale then... (Quick google suggests 2040 for projected completion now... Must be a huge job they're doing)

Made my way over to EU parliament offices next. Being British and an EU supporter who voted Remain, I so wanted a t-shirt saying something along the lines of "I voted Remain #notmyfault" to wear while at the EU offices! It being a Sunday, actual buildings shut and but Museum of European History open so popped in. Museum fantastic and works through a free tablet audio/visual guide available in all official EU languages, makes it easy for any European to visit. Surprisingly large though and spent too much time inside, leaving little time to get to Atomium.

Hopped on Metro to Atomium and arrived right as they closed for the day... Although I couldn't go inside, it is still a fantastic structure to see in person. After wander round grounds, found the Mini Europe Model Village nearby which was open till 8. Wasn't expecting much but paid entry and headed in. Turned out to be quite fab with very detailed models of at least 1 landmark from each EU country. Some were interactive as well with buttons to press to make things happen in the scene. Loved the unintentional detail of fast German train passing the broken British train on the model railway running around the site... Also, they have added in Brexit campaign protesters outside the Parliament model!

Hopped back on Metro to Astrid Park afterwards, As expected, named after the Belgian queen, not the HTTYD character but still got photo with the sign. A lot of park down for a needed refurbishment as well. Was starting to get dark and park outside of touristy areas so didn't hang around inside. Did find food in cafe outside main gate though.

Although tired and needing sleep, decided to see city centre by night, inspired by the Mini Europe model of the Grote Markt in Brussels city centre. Was very nicely lit up and bars surrounding it very busy. If I had more time and had company, looks to be a great area for a pub crawl!

Overall, the touristy areas of Brussels nice but very noticeable dip in quality outside these areas, especially noticeable from train in northern area of the city. Would return though.

Plopsa Coo (26/8/19)

This involved the longest single journey of the trip and on paper was only a simple +2 only included due to free entry on Plopsa pass. Park is truly in the middle of nowhere and satnav took me over an almost single track mountain road. First real hills for car for a good while! Car also falling apart further, lost piece of drivers window trim on way to park...

Park itself is surprisingly fab. Nestled in valley within Belgian mountains and at foot of 2 reservoirs with a sizable waterfall at park entrance. As expected, rides not up to much but will definitelyt return just for the parks location.

Wicky was my first Gerst spinner. Very average without much spinning, rough in places as well. Definitely prefer the Mack and Maurer spinners.

Halvar has same track and train system as Revolution. Amazing to see it turn right! Ride nothing special but did remind me a lot of Muntanya Russa at Tibidabo.

Log flume fun with unique layout but minimal splash. Got to see it fill though! Staggered opening meant it didn't open till 12 and I was in Halvar queue at 11:45. Saw the waves come down track like a tidal bore followed by empty test boats a few minutes later!

Dino splash fun. Unusual to see a halfpipe-style slide outside a waterpark so had to take a ride. Not particularly fast so didn't get far up wall, ended up down rest of slide backwards though which was fun.

Bobsled unique with going up lifthill backwards! Allowed me to enjoy the fantastic view easier though. 2 tracks to choose from at top, track A definitely quicker with more interesting elements.

Had lunch sat on river beach overlooking waterfall. As mentioned above, the best bit of this park is it's location, is a lovely waterfall to watch. Standing in spray allows for nice nice to cool down in heat as well.

By far the highlight of today was the chairlift up a mountainside outside park boundary. Combined with the observation tower at the top, the views observed from the chairlift were utterly fantastic. Could have stayed up there all day, pity I don't have a proper camera to capture it! Reminded me of the similar chairlift at Knoebels, complete with the fantastic mountain view and ride crossing over a public road!

Rode Go Karts next. By far had longest queue of day at around 45 mins due to low capacity combined with popularity. Think I unintentionally got a slow car though, was flooring it all the way around but people still able to overtake and couldn't catch anyone.

Filled rest of day with rerides and taking in the parks location. Park does feel like a European Knoebels on a much smaller scale, very much a hidden gem and will definitely return.

Had dinner at pizzeria in Grand Coo village immediately outside park. Nice meal and allowed for more time taking in the location, including more waterfall photos. Gave me chance to try Belgian beer as well, is as nice as reports make it out to be. Was lovely but couldn't indulge too much as had to drive back to hotel afterwards. As usual, see FB for photos, reminder of link here: https://www.facebook.com/Thekingin64/media_set?set=a.2681505141880456&type=3&uploaded=32
 
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Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
At this rate, this will be you heading back to the ferry:

Have been thinking along similar lines... As soon as I park at home, can imagine car comically just instantly collapsing. Wheels off, doors off, engine smoke... Hopefully won't actually happen but certainly feels like it.

PS. Its the channel tunnel Im taking home, not a ferry...

Walibi Belgium (27/8/19)

Was expecting park to be busy today so prioritised coasters before everything else. Luckily, park wasn't as busy as feared so was able to get everything easily, including water rides and a couple of coaster rerides. Also got my 300th coaster today!

As my 300th would be the 2nd coaster I rode here today, I got Cobra out the way first. Decent enough boomerang and fairly smooth for it's type, still basically a +1 though.. Seems Walibi know how to take care of their Boomerangs, pity same can't be said about their SLCs...

For Coaster 300, I headed to Pulsar. Fun, fairly unique design but ride experience dissapointing. Launches are good but ride has to slowly trundle though the empty splashdown twice after first launch, causing a noticeable pause in ride elements. Spikes and eventual splashdown fun though, riders (and nearby path) get decently wet from splash. Compared to Coaster 100 (Troy) and 200 (Nitro), this is definitely the weakest 100 milestone for me so far. Got a local to take photo of me with sign outside: (had to edit first picture as sign didn't come out in photo)

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Continued round park in anticlockwise fashion, prioritising the coasters. This meant Calamity Mine next. This was my first Vekoma mine train of the standard cloned design. Rides decently and enjoyable enough but nothing spectacular. Theming also quite nice with various lakes and rocks around ride. One of the lakes had a fountain in for decoration. On my 2nd ride of this later in the day, the wind meant this fountain ended up spraying the coaster riders! Was a very hot day though so the cooling effect from the water was lovely and needed.

Due to the hot weather today, park had placed various sprinklers around the paths, allowing guests to cool down in the spray. The was even a staff cart driving around the main paths with staff spraying guests with misting hosepipes! Was a fantastic idea and very much needed, would love to be the staff member in charge of hose. Bet they choose people to pick on to spray with the hose!

Tiki waka is pure fun. Not much forces going on but great little family ride. Theming nice as well, ride music includes an instrumental exotic drum version of Billie Jean!

Psyke Underground is great. First Schwarzkopf Shuttle loop for me, heard quite a bit about these rides so was great to finally try one. Launch surprisingly powerful and indoor loop with just lapbars very fun.

Fun Pilot fun kids coaster but just a +1 for us enthusiasts. Do much prefer these new Zierer designs over the old Tivolis, much smoother, more interesting layouts and less pacing issues.

Vampire very rough, is competing with Condor for my least favourite SLC. I will always defend these things have great layouts but they just aren't built well. If built by B&M or Intamin, they'd all be fab.

Loup Garou also rough but within tolerance of wooden coasters. Who ever thought old gen Vekoma and wooden coasters would go well together.... nowhere near as bad as RCCA though. In its current state, ride needs a thorough retracking and/or new trains. Does also have great RMC potential.

With all coasters ridden, I headed to Popcorn Revenge, the new for 2019 trackless shooter. Was intrigued by it watching construction on CF so was glad to be riding. Ride system basically the same as Symbolica at Efteling with the added shooting element. Shooting element similar to Maus at Phantasialand with moving through various screens with animated targets to shoot at. Rather than rogue mice, it's rogue living popcorn you're aiming for! Each seat has a different coloured laser so can easily tell which pointer was yours! Ride very fun and I won my car by a sizable margin.

Water rides here are very good. Rapids started tame but all hell breaks loose with fountains at end of ride, guaranteeing a soaking. Log flume also fun, fairly sure it's exact same layout as the one at Walibi Holland. Still very wet. Both expectedly busy as everyone in park tries to cool down, same went for Pulsar.

Other rides done include Palais du genie, a very average Mad House and Spinning Vibe, a very average Breakdance with long cycle but minimal spinning. Dodgems also great fun, no rules on head on bumping or driving direction so was a complete free for all. Pretty sure car jumped with some of the hard hits I gave and received! Dalton terror very good drop tower with fantastic views over the local area, do love an Intamin tower.

Buzzsaw was top spin on good cycle. While I enjoy these things and am (just) within height limit, the restraints really dig into my bony shoulders, making for very uncomfortable rides. Need to tell myself to stop riding these for the sake of my shoulders! Talocan has different, much comfier restraints and fire so is excepted from this...

Tutankhamun another older shooter tucked away at back of park. While all effects worked, ride feels very unloved in it's location. Couldn't be further into the back end of the park if it tried, making for a very quiet ride. Ended up riding alone after waiting for staff to appear to let me on! With Popcorn Revenge now open at front of park, wouldn't be surprised if this ride doesn't have much time left.

Overall, park very nice and would happily return, even if I'm not in much hurry to do so. Ride selection not up to much but have heard some fantastic things about the Halloween events here, would love to return just for that!
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Plopsaland De Panne (28/8/19)

Had minimal sleep last night due to hot hotel room and traffic noise outside hotel. This meant I was very tired throughout today, affecting my enjoyment of this place. Still tired now, only writing this now while I wait for dashcam footage to transfer to computer.

Turned up late at around 11:30 due to having to grab fuel beforehand, intending to stay all day until the late close at 10pm. The aforementioned tiredness and dehydration meant I left around 4pm after 1 ride on all coasters plus log flume. Busy, hot queue lines didn't help with this.

First coaster I came across was Anubis. Great queue line theming and fun launch. Unfortunately the ride was quite rough so wasn't particularly enjoyable, massive jolt just as launch ends.

Supersplash is hardly a coaster but is counted by Coastercount so I'll be counting it as well. Is literally just one drop and small bunny hop before splashdown. Elevator lift fun and splashdown good. Someone very almost lost their hat on the drop on my car. Felt something hit my shoulder from my back row seat, person next to me caught it. Turns out to be a hat from someone in front row! If this is a coaster, Chiapas should be as well!

Viktors Race is your typical Tivoli, not much else to be said about it. Did get a sizeable line jump though. Ride op looking for a group of 2 to fill train, I make myself known as a 1 even though I was quite far back, get called forward onto train! Must have skipped about 50+ people!

K3 again a very average Rollerskater, nothing to write home about.

Draak very good Mack powered but felt slow in parts. Still a nice unique layout with some fantastic theming. Could have easily slept in that indoor queue, despite the noise and heat, I was that tired at this point.

Cheered up by finding (expensive) HTTYD merch in Draak giftshop, I powered on to Heide. Another annoyingly long, hot indoor queue line to deal with. Ride itself is great fun though and easily the best thing in the park. Do love a good GCI and this lived up to the reports Ive heard. Wish i was feeling up to a couple more laps but didn't want to deal with queue line again.

Decided on one more ride before heading back to hotel for rest, skipping the late opening. Chose log flume for this due to it's recent refurb. Queue long but outdoor and moved quickly, also forced some lunch down me in the queue. Ride itself fun but minimal splash created, you get a light dusting at max. Theming is fantastic though. Considering this is supposedly only Phase 1 of the refurb, I can't personally see how Phase 2 can improve the current theming.

On way out of park, was treated to a free airshow by Belgian air force fighter jet! Don't know if this was just practice or an actual show but pilot was doing various aerobatics above the park and nearby town. Got very low to ground at times as well!

Overall, wish i could have spent more time here exploring the park and lapping Heide but personal wellbeing took priority. Very nice park though and will happily return. I have the Plopsa annual pass and with this parks proximity to Calais, can see weekend trips happening in future!

Cita Park (28/8/19)

On way back to hotel, I remembered about Cita Park in central Lille, a small cred run park with limited opening hours. Was initially thinking of doung it Friday mroning before heading back to UK but they only open in afternoons. Perked up a bit having and some lunch so headed over for the bonus cred. After getting stuck in rush hour traffic approaching Lille, I finally found parking near to the park. Turns out a large fair was happening next door to park as well! More on that in a bit...

Park is free entry and each ride priced at €2 so paid for 1 ticket and hoped on their coaster, Requin Express. Ride again not much to write home about but got plenty of laps on it in one cycle.

Nothing else worth doing so headed into Foire de Maneges next door.

Foire de Maneges (28/8/19)

Quite a large fair by UK standards but relatively small on European terms. Still had a very good selection of Flat rides and 3 coasters!

First coaster I rode is a rare travelling Chance Toboggan, ride claims to be only one in Europe and a new to me coaster type. First thoughts were the ride cars are very claustrophobic, especially for a tall guy like me. Head was basically touching ceiling and could hardly see out. Ride itself doesn't do much and some transitions very sharp, causing me to hit head on roof. Was warned (in french) about the head-hitting potential so didn't mention anything to op, didn't help my ongoing headache though.

Next ride was Goulis, a rather standard travelling Big Apple. Ops were very generous on ride length though, got 5 laps!

Crazy mouse was third and final coaster here. Very standard Reverchon Mouse but very harsh in it's transitions, dont remember lower corners being quite as sharp as they were here. Got a decent spin though so walked away satisfied.

After the coasters, I wandered fair for a little longer debating whether stomach would allow me a flat ride. Ended up on 2 of the game stalls where you pull ropes to find hidden soft toys. Managed to win a large Toothless and Lightfury from them!

After a very average burger van burger, I paid parking and headed back to hotel. Lille is one very confusing place to drive around though! Satnav sent me the wrong way twice by leaving it till last minute to give me instructions, causing me to be in complete wrong lane and missing junction.

Overall, despite tiredness, It has been a good day. Wish I could have spent more time at Plopsaland but day turned out well with the unplanned +4.
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Bellewaerde (29/8/19)

Again turned up late due to oversleeping. Upon arrival, was directed into Overflow carpark near Mexico entrance, in for a busy day then....

First coaster was Huracan. Remember watching this be built on here so was nice to actually ride it! Was greeted by almost an hours queue without knowing when ride close was which was fun for the cred anxiety... Ride itself is fun enough though and surprisingly well themed for such a small park.

Boomerang better than expected. Was expecting a rough ride considering it was first ever boomerang to open! Surprisingly smooth but jerky on forward to backward transition.

Keverbaan a very average Tivoli, not much else to be said.

Dawsons Duel fun but slow with no way to control speed and very slow moving queue. Also, not allowed bags into queueline and had left coat in bag, queueline very exposed so got very cold and windy while waiting in just a tshirt.

Screaming eagle was surprisingly good. Wasn't expecting much as was a Huss tower and previous experience of these not very good (Bounce at Oakwood). Very long cycle and good launch, much better than Bounce.

Niagra was splash boat with very simple layout, seems a lot of splash boats have same layout of lift, turn, drop (of varying heights), splashdown and turn into station. Splashdown good but have been on better.

Bengal rapid river was decent enough rapids. Mostly quite tame but some sections wild, again fountains guarantee a wetting.

El Volador is a rare Topple tower I'd skipped when prioritising the coasters early in the day. Ride is fun enough but didn't live up to expectations, thought it would "topple" a lot further than it did and rotations quite slow. I understand that most of these got removed on maintenance grounds. Funnily enough, when I returned a bit later for a reride, ride car was stuck half way up the tower! No chance of a reride there then!

River splash decent enough log flume, nice to have the unique layout.

Jungle mission fun calm boat ride around some of the animal exhibits with some water-based theming effects. Wouldnt rush to ride again but was walk on and was a needed sit down.

Did aim for a reride on El Volador but ride broken as explained above. Instead closed day (and whole of trip) with a Huracan re-ride.

Overall, park was surprisingly nice and was a nice, slightly more relaxed way to end this monster trip. Didn't expect the zoo here so animals were an unexpected bonus. Managed to catch the Leopard feeding. Watching the leopard due simple tricks for food (as you would a pet dog) and purring as it did so makes me want one as a pet. Of course, legally I doubt I can but I still want one (or any tame big cat).

And that is it! This monster European park trip is done! May go sightsee briefly in Lille tomorrow morning but will likely head straight for Channel Tunnel. Trip has been fantastic and would happily do it again (with modifications to trip plan). Perhaps will make the trip shorter next time, these past few days have had tiredness and fatigue hit hard.
 

Hixee

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Glad to hear you've enjoyed it! Pretty epic trip, nice work.

Would be good to see a little summary post - new creds, spites, maybe a map, all that good stuff. :p

I'm dreading your LoG submission... ;)
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
I'm going to really miss reading this every day, cheers for keeping it up.
It's been a pleasure writing it, glad you enjoyed it! Will attempt to keep this style of live reporting going in future, much easier than the full reports after the trip.

Glad to hear you've enjoyed it! Pretty epic trip, nice work.

Would be good to see a little summary post - new creds, spites, maybe a map, all that good stuff. :p

I'm dreading your LoG submission... ;)
Since you asked nicely and have time now back in UK:

New Creds: 70
Spites: 3
(all in 1 location due to a rained out Clacton, all European creds got!)
Favourite new cred: Untamed, by far. So wild and pure good fun, fantastic for my first RMC. Honorable mentions to Pulsar, Fury, Fenix, Gold Rush and Van Helsing
Least Favourite new Cred: All 3 Big Apples (Clacton, Dippie Doe and Lille fair). Dishonourable mentions to Lille Toboggan, Twistrix and Dreamcatcher
Biggest Surprise: Bob express, Bobbejaanland. Expected an average Mack powered in a bad park but ride is surprisingly fun and forceful
Biggest Disappointment: Star Trek, Movie Park Germany or Pulsar, Walibi Belgium. For Star Trek, Have only ridden Icon to compare to, here launches did nothing and ride is noticeably rough, especially the back. For Pulsar, launches and splashdown good but ruined by having to trundle relatively slowly through the splashdown during the swing launch. Doesn't stop both being good rides, just had high expectations for them that weren't lived up to.
Best new Water Ride: Excalibur, Movie Park Germany. Easily the best thing in the park, ride is surprisingly wild and great fun. You get wet but not soaked making it easily rerideable. Honorable mentions to Area 51 (Movie Park) and Radja River (Walibi Belgium).
Worst new water ride: Jungle River, Drievliet. Just your average Reverchon travelling layout, doesn't really do much. Enjoyed all other water rides so no dishonourable mentions here.
Best new Park: Movie Park Germany. May not have the best coaster selection but water rides are fab and park is seemingly kept quite nice, seems to avoided the Parques Reunidos curse. Honorbale mentions to Walibi Belgium, Hellendoorn, Duinrell and Wildlands Zoo Emmen.
Worst new park: Clacton Pier. Technically not part of the European trip but was tacked on at the start on way to ferry. Small ride selection with most rides closed and all rides there terrible anyway, nothing enticing me back to claim the spites... Dishonourable mentions to Drievliet, Dippie Doe and Bobbejaanland (if only for entrance faff)

May sort out a map at a later date, LoG submission incoming.... May be largest jump in LoG points in league history...

Once again, see FB album for all photos, including those from brief Lille sightseeing and channel tunnel today. Link here: https://www.facebook.com/Thekingin64/media_set?set=a.2681505141880456&type=3&uploaded=23
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Bonus Day - Legoland Windsor (2/9/19)

Currently staying at my Gran's house in Maidenhead. As a child, visiting Gran also meant a visit to Legoland! Since I have the Merlin Carers Pass (allowing 1 other person in for free with me), I decided to return the favour today and take Gran to Legoland! A lot of nostalgia was had today.

Having my elderly gran in tow meant today was not a huge rides day, just took it easy round miniland with some of the smaller rides and many tea breaks! Never usually give Miniland that much time so was nice to actually spend time enjoying it. It is impressive how well the buildings are built and how many Lego bricks used in each one!

Walked past a walk on Fairytale Brook so knowing it was one of the most gentle rides there, I convinced my Gran on. Upon seeing my gran arrive on platform, the ride ops stopped the circular platform without hesitation, allowing my Gran to board much easier! They even repeated the favour at the end to allow us off! So unexpected and nice to see them help without even being asked! Ride theming is dated but still nice, vaguely remember riding as a child so nice it's virtually as it was. Got the photo of the 2 of us on board (even with sun in my eyes):
2019-09-02-LL-FB-00257.jpg

Continued down to the Driving school area and had first of many breaks on bench overlooking the larger Driving School. Had lunch during this break and reminisced about me riding both driving schools as a child. Vaguely remember one time my family arrived before park opening and I was so eager to make the driving school my first ride, as soon as the rope dropped, I pegged it down the hill towards the ride, only to trip and injure my knee! Ended up in First Aid rather than Driving School as first attraction. Unsure whether I actually did ride after that incident or not.....

Afterwards, left Gran in shady bench near the Castle hotel in order for me to try the new Monster House Party ride. Left her with the bag with all food and water in in case she needed anything and with not wanting to leave her alone long, made my way to the ride as quickly as possible. Ride had about a 45min wait but was managable. Ride itself fun but (expectedly) on a tame cycle, nice to have a non-vaguely horror themed Mad house though and after this European trip, nice to have one I understood the preshow for!

Picked up Gran afterwards and made way to the Heartlake City area for another tea break. Git there as a show was starting so seats were few but grabbed a table outside the Pizza Pasta with drinks from the nearby Fish and Chip place. Did plan on doing the Legoland Express train ride after this but didn't want to put gran through the hour long queue.

Made way into pirate area instead and saw both spinning spider and pirate ship had short queues. Again left gran on bench overlooking pirate ship and i went off and did both rides. Spider seemed to be tamer than usual as I couldnt get a good spin on it, still one of the best rides at the park though. Pirate ship on short, average cycle but it at least had a rare single rider queue!

With Pirate falls on a 70 min queue and both coasters hour plus, decided to pick gran up and head back up the hill to Vikings River Splash. As this was yet another ride gran couldn't easily do, I tried to find her a bench nearby. Unfortunately no benches by ride but slightly further up the hill, I spied a wall ledge that she could rest on. She proceeded to make herself comfy on this ledge and even put her feet up for a while! As I was making sure she was ok before I ran off to rapids, had a very confused staff member come up to us, asking if Gran was OK. Explained the situation, staff apologised for lack of benches and allowed her to stay! Another unexpectedly nice staff member going out their way for us, he even pointed us to guest services should we need it!

While not amazing, the rapids here are still the best UK rapids with some very wild turns. Didn't get wet though and all effects seemed to be switched off. Got the photo at the end:
2019-09-02-LL-VR-00888.jpg

Picked up Gran again afterwards, apparently a lot of people came up to her asking if she was ok in her seating position halfway up this steep hill! Continued up the hill and made way round the indoor Star Wars Miniland. Neither of us a huge Star Wars fans so a lot of the sets were lost on us. Still amazing the amount of detail that goes into these things, ended up stood watching a timelapse of the Lego Death Star's construction amazed by the work that went into it!

Another tea break in the Hill Top cafe followed this before getting the Hill train back down into the main park. The Legoland Express queue had gone down quite a bit to a more manageable 30mins so we joined the queue. Again, nostalgia was had over memories of the park (and Windsor Safari Park for Gran!) while enjoying the ride views given from the train.

With just enough time for 1 more ride, decided on the Boating school for me and Gran. Not only ridden for nostalgia reasons and it being a very tame ride i could take Gran on, I was also a rare chance for me to get round the strict "no single riders" rule! Ride is still fun, made interesting by navigating the boats who can't drive and end up blocking the way! Most had very small children at the wheel so were excused.

Made way out of park via more of Miniland, happy after a good day was had. I'd mentioned to Gran I'd take her to Legoland a few years back but the day got cancelled last minute, both of us happy that day has finally happened!

(ps. went for a Toby Carvery meal on way home. I have so missed Toby Carvery! Such a good meal, was wanting it after the long trip away from British foods!)
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Just for completeness, got back home this afternoon. Total mileage 2666.2 miles! Car needs the break now i think! Trip has been fantastic, would happily do it all again.
 
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