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Untamed (The Wild Ride) - July 2019

Will

Active Member
ROAR!
As many of you probably know, I recently returned from the Netherlands where my first proper coaster trip of 2019 took place. For obvious reasons, this had been on the cards for a fair while.

Additionally – apologies if this isn’t up to my usual standard of writing. Much of it was scribbled with pen and paper on my journey home, though it is unlikely to be typed up and posted any earlier than Monday evening!

Anyway – I left the house shortly after 4 AM on Wednesday, bound for Toverland via Manchester & Amsterdam. The journey to Amsterdam was easy and uneventful, but alas we were stuck on the runway at Manchester (burdenous Terminal 3) for around an hour, meaning it was almost 11 before I landed.

The hire car (a dull but adequate Skoda Fabia with no steering wheel audio controls, but good air conditioning) was also acquired and I hit the road. It’s around 2 hours from Schiphol to Toverland, not helped by variable speed limits.

At length, I pulled into the car park behind Troy and headed inside via the new Avalon entrance, immediately liking what I saw. A very real part of me wanted to hit the coasters straightaway, but in my haste to get to the park, I’d made my usual mistake of arriving starving and dehydrated, my last food and drink being at least 5 hours previously. The inevitable wandering in search of sustenance commenced but as it was a quiet day, many outlets were closed else practically sold out, leading me to give up and end up at the pleasant looking sit down restaurant beneath Fenix. This was quiet and reasonably priced, but as good was cooked to order, it took a fair while. I had a burger and chips which were fine but nothing to get excited about – and then at almost 2PM, it was time to head for the first ride of the trip. As excited as I’d immediately become upon seeing Troy, there was a new B&M to be had and therefore my first destination was a non-brainer. In fact, with limited time at my disposal, the plan was to whore just 3 rides – maybe fitting in the high ropes course if possible.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that my last visit to Toverland had been the Pass the Duchy Live back in April 2011 (indeed, it’s the only day of that trip of which I have particularly happy memories, many of which came back to me as I wandered). Anyway, the point is that I could tell the park had both grown and changed significantly – both Avalon and the Dwervelwind area are pleasant to be in and stunning to look at, particularly in the sunshine. It was apparent that Toverland had taken stock of two nearby competitors and reacted accordingly. This continued into the Efteling/Europa style indoor queue line and station décor. Despite the apparent number of school trips on park, the queue started in the station and would have been negligible had there been more than one train in operation (sadly, this was the case with both major coasters).

Fenix itself quickly established itself as my favourite wingrider (no mean feat considering my fondness for Swarm) – it had none of the judderiness of its German cousin and seemed to have struck the perfect balance of remaining thrilling whilst not frightening away the park’s target audience. I really like the smooth, flowing layout and how well it interacts with the attractive scenery – like many people, the only criticism I can find is that it’s too damn short and hit the brake run long before I was ready for it. The obvious course of action was therefore to re-ride on the other side of the station (though I wasn’t in as much of a hurry as the various children who nearly stampeded me on the exit ramp!) I concluded that I preferred the outside seats on the right hand side of the train – probably something to do with the movement transitioning into the dive loop.

With one of the most anticipated coasters of the 8 on this trip ticked off, I allowed myself a while to wander around, soak up the scenery, take pictures and generally goon out before I inevitably wound up at Dwervelwind, which I’d also heard great things about. This area too was pleasant, with another short queue and well operated ride – it was clearly that Mack’s spinning rides had evolved a long way since the dreaded Euromir as this was a great deal smoother and less vicious on the stomach than many spinning coasters – I’d rank it alongside Dragon’s Fury and Tornado – the onboard audio was also fabulously immersive, but once again, the layout was unsatisfyingly SHORT!

A bit more exploring led me to Joy (sorry, Troy) which I had great memories of from 2011 and which has always sat comfortably in my top 5 wooden coasters, making Wickerman seem that little bit more mediocre. Here, the queue started on the stairs, meaning around a 20-minute wait due to the tedious one train operations. There were many loud children in the station and their presence displeased me. I managed a seat near the back and a smiley blonde girl in glasses helped me with my bag and restraint before attempting conversation with me in Dutch. A couple of people had warned me that time had taken its toll on Troy and it had become rough, but I was pleased to note that this rumour was unfounded. Certainly, it was wild and had a certain amount of unrelenting aggression to it, but the thoroughly padded seats ensure none of is painful or unpleasant – indeed, it was actually even better than I remembered it – clearly the best ride of the day despite the two new additions. Now, extremely satisfied with where my life was at even if I had been thrown around a bit, I resisted the urge to run around and ride again, electing instead for a sit down and a smoke behind the booster bike – I had not ridden this since 2010 and intended to keep it that way!

It was now a little before 3PM and I was trying to work out how to get the maximum Troy and Fenix out of the next 2 hours while leaning on the fence overlooking the log flume; it was at this point that I heard a familiar voice. I wasn’t as surprised to see @Howie and Alex as I might have been, having seen from Facebook that they’d been at Walibi the previous day – thus I ended up with 2 unexpected companions for the remainder of the day!

Part of the reason I’d waited so long to return to Toverland was that I wasn’t sure how well it would work as a solo trip, with there being a lot of indoor toys that a lone adult male couldn’t really get away with playing with in a park infested with school children – in fact, as good an afternoon as I had, I’d love to return with a bigger group. However, it WAS nice not to get abandoned in the middle of a lake – and I still got to dick around on a few wobbly bridges.

Howie & Alex were headed for Fenix and this seemed like a reasonable course of action, so I elected to join them, having goon chat along the way as we hadn’t properly spoken in person before. We had a quick ride on the right side of Fenix, with the other two hyping me up for Thursday’s ride on Untamed. This was followed by a re-ride on Dwervelwind although Alex was not hugely keen on this.

Something of a surprise awaited us at the ride exit – it was the smiley blonde girl from Troy who had also befriended Howie in the Fenix station when she’d overheard us talking about Phantasialand. It turned out she was an ‘enthusiast in training’ who was visiting Toverland alone for the umpteenth time this season and who was very excited to meet people she could talk coasters with, even if we were all around twice her age.

As such, we somehow ended up as a very random group of 4 for the last hour of the day; we did provide our new companion with the name of this site and explain that we already had a handful of Dutch speakers and she wrote the details in her Toverland book, which was full of doodles of rides and notes from previous trips – clearly exactly the sort of person we like around here – AND she wasn’t talking into a camera the whole time!

Apparently, Blitzbahn had been closed for much of the day, so now the others wanted to ride it – I wasn’t convinced as it had a 35-minute wait and I’ve had a healthy distrust of these rides since the Oakwood incident in 2005, but I eventually caved to peer pressure. The queue passed fairly quickly despite being too warm and a bit corridory – we also learned of Howie’s chicken fetish. As for the ride, I wondered if it had changed in 8 years as it was much better than I remembered, with more colourful ride cars and a surprise launch. There were even little pops of airtime on the small drops, meaning it had perhaps been worth the wait. I noticed Toverland_Girl (we never did get her real name!) had set a lap time 2 seconds faster than the rest of us, but this is probably down to weight rather than technique!

It was 4:45 and with ride close looming upsettingly near, I insisted that the day was to end with Troy and as this still had around a 10 minute wait by the time we arrived, it was to be our final ride of the day (though we COULD have stayed on, except that people were in our row in the station, awaiting the day’s final train). Nevertheless, this was just as good as before and a great way to ensure it was impossible for us not to end the day (the trip, in the case of Howie and Alex who were now heading home) with smiles across our faces.

We said goodbye to our new friend and then headed back towards our respective cars for goodbyes of our own – I was bound for Zwolle. On the 2 hour drive, I had plenty of time to reflect on the fab afternoon I’d just had – indeed, if I had a regret on this trip, it was not switching Walibi and Toverland to allow me a full day at the latter since it would prove by far the best park of the trip. Indeed, as I controversially concluded, the addition of Avalon had made it my favourite Dutch park, though perhaps much of this was to do with my good mood, the perfect weather and the fact that I seem to deal with sleep deprivation a lot better in my own company. A quick stop at Aldi for bread, water and sausage rolls and it was time to curl up in bed in front of Netherlands v Sweden in the WWC. The Mercure Hotel in Zwolle comes recommended except for the bizarre ‘ladies only’ parking spaces (I know what you’re thinking, and no, they weren’t) and the fact that my double bed was obviously comprised of two single mattresses meaning I spent the night falling into the gap between them. There was also air conditioning – though I needn’t have worried about the European heatwave that’s been on the news lately – 24 was the highest temperature I saw and that was moreorless ideal.

End of Part 1 – here are some photos. Apparently, they're all of Fenix...
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.Ac.

Member
Cool report & photos will, look forward to rest of trip report.

For the record I don't mind spinning coaster, however wouldn't exactly choose to reride them either.

Also toverland_girl was strangely odd experience to.

Regards Alex
 

Howie

Active Member
Indeed, who was the mysterious Toverland_girl, who would touch and brighten our lives so very briefly and then vanish into the ether?
I guess we'll never know.
 

Will

Active Member
For whatever reason, I slept better on this trip than I have in weeks; despite an early night and uncharacteristic sobriety, I somehow managed to oversleep on the Thursday morning. I’d planned to leave the hotel for 9:15 but actually was only going down for breakfast at this time, congratulating my former self on having pre-paid for it. Coffee and croissants later, I hit the road at 9:50 – Walibi World was only 25 minutes away on the other side of the big river and was open until 6, so I reasoned this was no great tragedy, especially as I already had my park ticket.

I somehow overshot the main entrance and ended up on an overflow car park. The sight that met my eyes filled my heart with sorrow – the coach park was already half full and the path from the coach park to the main entrance resembled the start of a marathon, albeit with slightly less bunting. I’ve always disliked Walibi World because of how much it reminds me of Thorpe and the lines of badly behaved teens shoving their way to the entrance plaza – even causing something of a crush at the turnstiles – did little to prove me wrong. I knew Walibi would be a culture shock after the laidback atmosphere of Toverland but it was already apparent that today would be a LONG day.

Nevertheless, I elected to make the best of the situation and followed the signs on the floor towards Untamed – the new kid on the block and my first taste of the much lauded world of RMC. I was happy to note the single rider line on my right as the main queue was already substantial – the wait was still 10-15 minutes, but this gave me time to survey my surroundings with more than a slight glimmer of excitement spreading across my face. I’d already heard great things and the stunts the track that surrounded me appeared to perform looked utterly ridiculous.

Soon, the wait was at and end and I was allowed a mid-train seat and left to become a little too familiar with the restraints. It’s difficult to describe the next minute or so, other than to say that the name ‘Untamed’ suits this creation remarkably well. In terms of quality, I couldn’t be immediately certain but it was clear that this coaster was utterly MENTAL – it’s relentless, grabs you by the bollocks and doesn’t let up throughout – in fact, despite the crazy first drop and inversions, it actually gets MORE insane as the ride progresses. I was impressed, I was happy – in fact, I didn’t stop shaking for a few minutes after the ride and had to sit down for a smoke – I hadn’t had an adrenaline rush like that in a LONG time.

With my feet now back on terra firma, I couldn’t help but notice how busy the park was getting – it was apparent that I was going to need the much maligned Fast Lane if I was going to get the most out of the day, so I headed back to guest services – via my car as I realised that, in my excitement, I’d left my wallet in the car…
Annoyingly, in another parallel with Thorpe, Walibi now insists on doing this sort of thing with mobile phones and apps and although I’d got my trusty wifi tablet with me, try as he might, the helpful man behind the counter (Stefan?) could not persuade it to talk to the website. Much refreshing, restarting and clearing of cookies and caches later, he had to accept defeat and sent me on my way – though he was king enough to give me two VIP exit passes, which I feared might not go all that far.

Perturbed, but not entirely disheartened (and 30EUR better off than I might have been), I decided that Lost Gravity was to be my next stop, as I remembered it being pretty good when I last visited in 2017. I was a little concerned to see how many people made a swift u-turn after seeing the length of the single rider line, but at 30-40 minutes, it wasn’t unendurable. As with lots of their rides, the queue was the best place to check out the ride and take pictures, and the parkwide wifi was also appreciated. With 2 trains however, a throughput of 600pph was far from magnificent.

However, the ride was fun – I suspect it’s simply down to the colour scheme, but it really reminds me of Smiler and makes me think what could have been if Merlin had gone to Mack rather than Gerst. It was also nice to notice how all the effects around the ride still seemed to be in operation. Again, it’s otherwise tricky to review other than to say it’s a solid ride and a lot of fun, good snappy transitions without being overly vicious.

It was now after 12, but with all the eateries rammed, I decided to hold off on lunch as long as possible, instead heading for Goliath, looking at other rides en route and having a quick play with the sole functioning water gun next to the splash battle. The layout of the park really irritated me, with so many of the rides being dead ends (Goliath and Speed of Sound especially) – and every path seemingly led into a toilet block of which there seemed to be a ridiculous amount!

Goliath had a long queue, which looked to be a VERY tedious cattle pen, so I opted to use one of my VIP passes, which in turn guaranteed me a seat at the back. My last ride on Goliath was in 20101 and I remembered being seriously nonplussed by the experience – this one was much the same. I’ve heard many people rave about Goliath, but much like its Canadian namesake, it does very little for me. There’s a couple of nice crests of hills, but also some very dull helices – it’s formulaic and predictable and once again, I was left feeling ‘meh’.

I headed back towards Untamed, but with the single rider line now coming out of the entrance, I decided it was lunch time, ending up at the chicken shop around the corner. Service here was slow and the prices disproportionately high – I had wings and drumsticks which were a lot of grease and very little crunch – yes, I’d sooner have had KFC.

With my appetite sort of satisfied, it was 1:30, which I decided was time for another ride on Untamed for which I used my other paper pass, which allowed me a back seat. Howie had advised me that the back was best, and certainly, the craziness I described earlier was stepped up at least two notches – from the crest of the lift hill to the final brakes, arse and seat are extremely distant companions. Again, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, but was developing a healthy dislike of the restraints which got far too familiar with my thighs throughout and I also found it physically exhausting to ride due to the amount of tensing and bracing needed – as fab as it was, Untamed was simply too wild for me to be able to whore!

Indeed, the afternoon took a turn for the more sedate now as I wandered around snapping pictures and even chilled on the grass in front of the big wheel for half an hour before I decided to ride the train, which I hoped would attract the bare minimum of school kids!

I easily got a seat when the train arrived, but was a little disappointed to see the circular layout which only really afforded views of the Log Flume, Lost Gravity and a vintage car ride, though this at least illustrated that the park did have some prettier, greener sections. There were badly behaved children on the train, slamming doors during the ride and throwing projectiles out of the carriage, requiring the driver to stop and give them a telling off.

I’ve previously described Speed of Sound as my favourite boomerang (if such a thing existed) and, spotting an empty single rider line, I figured I might as well as I was beginning to wonder how exactly I was going to kill the rest of the day! While the music may be obnoxious and the theming more than a little tacky, it’s nonetheless nice to have a boomerang that does something at least slightly different, though it’s the restraints that really make the difference – you can tell it has all the aggression of a normal boomerang, but this is not transferred to your ears, allowing the ride to remain enjoyable.

After this, it was back to Untamed for another brush with the beast. Annoyed by the lack of decent visuals from anywhere else, I realised I’d have to queue if I wanted the best photo opportunities. The wait claimed to be 15 minutes, but was probably more like 25, though as expected, the views for much better – until the station. The theming, if you can call it that, is both sparse and nonsensical. The big ‘LOVE’ and ‘BE BRAVE’ signs would not have been out of place in Margate. The jungle themed station is better though, with the drumbeat soundtrack which intensifies as the train is dispatched.

This time, I had a slightly less wild mid-train seat, but again found myself having a serious disagreement with the restraints. Reluctantly and probably once again down to my own heightened expectations, I concluded this was not a ride that was going to infiltrate my Top 10 – it was just TOO much. I think most of you lot will love it though and I’m certainly intrigued to check out more than RMC as soon as I get the chance.

The park was STILL busy and I’d had a little too much sun (and Untamed) – lying in the shade examining the park map, I realised there was indeed a much-needed dark ride in the shape of Merlin’s Magic Castle – which conveniently had no queue! With the pre-show and all audio entirely in Dutch (the ride is a generic vekoma madhouse) I had little idea of the story or what was going on – the ride was same old, same old – not exactly Hex or La Villa Volta – but it DID play Holst, which I approved of – one of few classical pieces I have on my iPod!

Due to photography and the opportunity for another lazy sit down, I’d wanted to ride the park’s large Ferris wheel all day and at 4:30, the queue was finally short enough to tempt me. The views from the top are great, so it’s well worth it if you find yourself trying to kill some time.

I intended to go back to Untamed for one last ride at this point, but the queue remained longer than I could be bothered with, so I made for the exist, via the shop where I bought some Untamed socks which I wore the next day.

I’d left before 5, so it was back to the hotel via McDonalds – I was asleep within half an hour of arriving, early though it was! Conclusively, I’m still really not a fan of Walibi World – it’s tacky, chivvy, sticky and generally a bit Thorpeish. There are also too many wasps. I hadn’t much enjoyed the atmosphere and the school trips had been a severe nuisance – still, with Untamed added to an already half decent line-up, this is still likely to remain THE destination for a thrillseeker in the Netherlands.

Stay turned for Day 3 (which I admit I've not written yet...), here are some pictures:
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Will

Active Member
Onto Day 3 we go then, and it’s fair to say that this day started in a very similar vein to the previous day. I’d been having issues sleeping (unusual for me) in recent weeks and slept better than I had in ages on this trip due to the healing powers of creds and sunshine – as such, I managed to oversleep again on Friday. This wasn’t a huge concern though – the day had been set aside as a cred run, with a hopeful +5 in order to make the trip look a little better on the spreadsheet. Both parks were within 40 minutes of Zwolle and both open until 5, so cred anxiety was minimal.

As I already had a ticket and didn’t anticipate that it would take all that long, I headed for Hellendoorn first, still managing to arrive around half an hour after opening. Hellendoorn is in the middle of nowhere, so the drive was a little tedious, involving a lot of single carriageway roads where I got stuck behind things. From outside, the park looked relatively quiet, but it soon became apparent that the curse of school trips was to continue and that any kids too young for Walibi had been treated to a day at Hellendoorn. I hadn’t been given a park map at the entrance and had no real idea what was going on, so I followed the signs to the first ride, realising the park was fairly small and non-descript. The first ride was the tedious to type Donderstenen – which my spreadsheet tells me was my 37th Zierer coaster and thanks to the school trips, the queue line was nearly full and it took around 25 minutes to reach the station. This park also did not feature queue line wifi to help pass the time! The ride wasn’t bad for what it was and certainly better than the usual Tivoli coaster – I liked the rock themed train, the surprising amount of speed the train seemed to pick up (I sat at the back) and the landscaping, which… may just have been down to the area being a little overgrown.

Continuing down the hill, the next ride was the equally tricky to type Rioolrat – I had a fair idea what this was going to be like and also expected that its capacity would be god awful. I was correct on both parts – here, the wait was more like 40 minutes, sandwiched between two loud school groups featuring a child who kept saying ‘HELLO’ at me and a girl wearing a shirt that said ‘I have a crush on me’. They also didn’t share their sweets, not that I was bold or foolish enough to ask!

Finally passing through the gate and entering the tunnel, my immediate thought was ‘Wait, how did I end up in LIGHTWATER VALLEY’ as the similarity to Raptor Attack is uncanny – there are random waterfalls and slippery metal stairs, both of which caused members of school groups to do unnecessary screaming. Considering it’s a vekoma family coaster, this is also surprisingly fab – significantly better than Walking Dead No Way Out Whatever Bollocks, again feeling fast due to the darkness. It had arguably been worth the wait, but I was secretly glad that the exit wasn’t themed like the entrance, although it was still especially dark. No pictures of this ride for obvious reasons – you’ll have to use RCDB!

Emerging blinking into the sunshine, I wasn’t sure if there was anything else worth riding, beside Tornado, which was over on the other side of the park. Perhaps due to the demographic of the guests, this had the shortest wait of the morning and I was on the ride within 10 minutes, as well as managing to get a front seat, for fear of ear bashing. One other point of interest is that the station is curved, which I’m not sure I’ve seen on this type of ride before. The kindest thing I can say for Tornado is that it was over very quickly; a loop, a corkscrew, two helices and that’s pretty much it – excluding the lift hill and post-brakes, the ride takes around 30 seconds. It felt like a real life incarnation of something I’d built on RCT if I was short on both cash and space – it also felt a little pointless.

It was a little before 12 as I left Tornado – I had a quick look around to see if there was anything else worth riding, concluded there wasn’t, had a sit down outside the café for a while, bought my overpriced parking ticket and then, around 90 minutes after arriving, I was on my way. I’ve just checked their website and I’m relatively confident that aside from generic flat rides and water rides I didn’t fancy doing alone (and which had long queues), I didn’t really miss anything.

It was another 40 minutes north now to Slagharen and the roads didn’t get any more interesting, aside from driving past one of Vekoma’s offices along the way – alas, no pictures, as I’d basically gone past before I realised.

I learned a couple of important things about Slagharen – firstly, the ‘g’ is silent, so that it doesn’t get mistaken for an ITV reality show or an Essex nightclub – and also, most of the site is a holiday camp type thing and the car park is confusingly on the other side of the road.

I reached Slagharen a little before 1, paid to go in and again surveyed my surroundings. I’d somehow got into my head that one of the smaller parks had a small zoo, which I’d counted on to help me kill some time, but this turned out to be a figment of my imagination. Indeed, I quickly came to the conclusion that again there was very little here. As it was closest, I opted to tick off Mine Train first – this is a VERY generic Vekoma family coaster and a clone of the Rhino Coaster at West Midlands Safari Park. The theme of school trips and children with no understanding of queuing was to continue – I reached the station happy to have avoided a wait, only to have two kids from another station bay head straight into MY seat! I gave them a look and waved my arms a bit, which they ignored – until their older friends had a word and they repented and headed back in line. Other than that, the ride was uneventful, but pleasant enough.

After Mine Train, I decided it was lunch time and had a look at the map to figure out my options. I was excited to find there was a Subway – I LIKE when parks have Subway, as it means I can take a break from burgers, chips, chicken and other fast food and pretend to be healthy – it also means decent bread. The downsides are that the service is always painfully slow (not helped by the fact that the staff seemed to be expected to speak at least 4 different languages, just in the time I was waiting) and that they’re always full of FLIES, this one almost infested to the level of Movie Park Germany’s. I think I had teriyaki chicken, which I quickly ate outside before any insects came looking for me.

After lunch, I again consulted the map and came to the conclusion that this park was very small, as well as being incredibly bland and generic in terms of its theming. I was glad I hadn’t allowed any more time than I had for Hellendoorn or Slagharen… Nevertheless, Gold Rush, the final coaster of the trip, looked promising, and I sat on a bench watching it for a while. The queue was only just coming out of the station and didn’t look so bad, so, after a short while of mourning the fact that the trip was effectively at an end after this ride, I joined the line.

The queue did NOT move fast – not only was only one train running (obviously) but there were between 3 and 4 minutes between dispatches AND empty seats were being left. On top of that, the station area had become a complete free-for-all as everyone in the queue had attempted to cram their way into there (think how Chessington’s Vampire station is when it’s not staffed properly) and now all were getting into eachother’s way and going nowhere fast. I was stuck in the station for at least half an hour, and also noticed some kids throwing sweets at the moving train as it launched through the station. Great.

At great length, I managed to get onto the ride, raising an eyebrow at the fact that I apparently had to taken my glasses off (they’d been fine on Untamed and Fenix!). At the risk of overusing the word as much as Ian in the infamous Corkscrew closing interview, Gold Rush was good fun, but I concluded I’d have been much happier with a Lynet / Anubis / Karacho type ride as although the rest of the layout was good, the shuttle launch system did little for me – there was an unpleasant amount of hangtime to start with and of course it did horrible things for the ride’s capacity. Otherwise, there was nothing wrong with it – putting Slagharen onto the map, it was easily the best coaster of the day and one that I was happy to have finally ticked off.

Some wandering later, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that there was nothing else in the park I particularly wanted to ride, unless I did the chairlift or monorail to take pictures from. As with Walibi, I opted for the ferris wheel, which I managed to reach just before a LOT of people suddenly joined the queue. It wasn’t as impressive as Walibi’s, but it killed a little while.

From now, I explored the park until 3:00ish, trying to find things to do, before deciding to finish off the day with one or two more rides on Gold Rush. To my joy, I realised that not only was the park starting to thin out as the school groups headed home, but there was now an additional staff member in the station who was responsible for BATCHING and as a consequence, the queue was a lot more bearable. I managed two more rides (identifying it’s a lot better at the front!) but unfortunately managed to end up leaving the park with a sour taste in my mouth as I noticed that two girls had been allowed to stay on the train for a second lap, meaning I had to wait longer as they were sat where I was meant to be. I considered pointing this out and demanding a second lap myself, but ultimately concluded that life was too short.

At around 3:20, I departed Slagharen and headed back toward Zwolle. It’s always nice to grab 5 easy creds in a day, and Slagharen had been on my radar for a while, but neither park had done a great deal to inspire me – I simply wasn’t Hellendoorn’s intended audience and whilst Gold Rush was enjoyable, it alone wasn’t enough to make up for an otherwise thoroughly uninteresting park, though it’ll be interesting to see if/how they progress in future. I should also clarify that while I know there's a fair amount of criticism throughout this report, I did enjoy the trip and am already looking forward to my next. Toverland though, was worlds ahead of anything else - even getting the cred count up to 529.

And that brings us to the end of the trip – I was back at my hotel for 4:30 and ended up having a nap before heading to McDonalds, going back to the hotel, watching some TV and then sleeping even more! My flight home was 2:30PM, so whilst there was still 7-8hours of faff involved, even Saturday was fairly chilled and I was back in England a little after 3. Just in time to see/hear England lose, as they had done on Tuesday night.

Until next time then – enjoy these last photos…
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9 out of 10 enthusiasts will guess wrong when asked where that last pic was taken...

 
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JoshC.

Active Member
Nice report!

I did a very similar trip to you last week as well (swap Toverland for Walibi Belgium and an extra day for Duinrell and Drievliet). Totally agree about how annoying Dutch school kids are - they are genuinely some of the worst theme park visitors I've encountered. Staff had to briefly stop running Xpress at WalHol because so many of them were bashing against the batching doors and it was physically shaking. Just so unpleasant. And they weren't much better at any of the other Dutch parks either. Such a jarring experience compared to Belgium, where the school kids - though in their seemingly thousands - were largely tolerable.


I actually quite liked Hellendoorn for what it is. Rioolrat took me by surprise, and their water rides are alright and their shooter is actually very fun (albeit weird). Wasn't a fan of Slagharen (and only reading your report have I realised the g is silent!). Gold Rush always had a batcher into the station, but she never really counted, just let in a large group of people and hoped for the best it seemed!
 

zazobo

Member
Thanks for giving me something enjoyable to read over my lunch break.

It's nice to hear other people get royally ****ed off by dickhead children. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one/just a massive grumpy bastard!
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
Noooo you missed the weird shooty dark ride at Hellendoorn! And yes that park is ridiculously small, definitely one I'd reserve only for Halloween as they have a fantastic event (weirdly intense and 18+ considering the park is very much a family kind of place.)
 
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