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Mitchada04

Purely for time saving purposes and the fact I've done a Plopsaland blog two years running I'm combining it with Plopsa Coo! Woo!

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After being spited by Heidi last year, and Bat and Rox Flyer on both visits, would this year be any better?

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For Heidi, yes! Cred 199. This great little coaster is fast, twisty and has good pops of air. In a lovely themed little area it is perfect for the park

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Lovely little area

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And this, the most random carousel ever

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Uncomfy, slow and has a minimum height restriction.

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The star flyer was also open! Now all we needed was The Bat to be open and finally, after 3 years we'd have completed the park

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And to our amazement it was open!

 

Thus meaning, my 200th cred is The Bat; Left track. Yay much fun.

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They also ruined their amazing slide by giving it new mats that have higher friction, such disappointment.

 

After a night near Leige where the hotel people were ironing in the café bit of the hotel, we ventured into the hills of Belgium

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PlopsaCoo!

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A stunning park

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With a chairlift up this hill to a watchtower thing.

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And the views at the top are amazing. On the right is the parks toboggan ride, but more on that later!

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Just the hills of Belgium! Has me even more hyped to go to Spa De Francorchamps next month!

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New for 2015 is the still new DinoSplash! A slide complex featuring the green one which is bog standard slide, orange one where you can pick a soundtrack and has lights and the blue wall air time hill slide thing. Much fun!

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Then one of the 2 creds, Halvar

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An odd vekoma single seater style ride that was actually pretty good fun!

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The park also has a hedge maze that was also an escape room with doors and codes throughout. Very confusing and not helped by the language barrier at the start.

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They randomly have spider monkey's too. Cos yeah.

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There was a free mini golf course where the lady doesn't trust you enough to have a ball each so you have to share in your group. Oh and there's only 17 holes in use as one of them just doesn't have a hole for the ball.

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Another star flyer but smaller and also operational. What joy!

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A free go kart track which was a good layout, decent number of laps just always had a long queue. And one random single seater car that was so much faster. We had fun commentating the races prior to ours!

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Then there's this. Vicky. Arguably the thing that made this park noticed a bit more by enthusiasts.

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It's just disappointment the ride in my eyes. Never held enough speed, didn't spin, just very lacklustre. And a horrid slow moving queue full of school kids (yes they are there permanently I asked and that's totally what they said)

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The facing in meant the cars do look very nice but the ride experience is lost.

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Now due to the weather of keep raining on and off we were going to be spited by the one thing I was excited for. They kept sweeping the track trying to dry it but nope.

 

Then finally, without 2 hours to go the weather held up and boom! It opened

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The huge toboggan with a backwards lift!

 

There were two tracks, both seemed to just like race until about 1/3 of the way down where the left one just vanishes off and gains endless speed. We did the ride twice and I only did the left as it was certainly the better track (Josh and Jack did both and they'll vouch for it). So much fun, so fast, such a gem in a gorgeous park.

 

So Plopsa Coo. If you're nearby go, it's only £20 and a visually lovely park with a few quirks, don't go out of your way though.

 

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Our evening was spent in Cologne going to the Hard Rock and a bit of meandering in the city

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We went to Phantasialand the next day. However to save time and as Josh will no doubt do a Phantasialand one and yeah I've done one the last 2 years, the next report will be Movie Park!

 

Mitchada04

 It's been a while since I've done a trip report but here we go. Another road trip which for me meant I would hit 200 creds! WOO.

 

Where do we start? A French park with an inverted Vekoma boomerang cos why not.

 

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We left Dover on a meh British weather Saturday arriving in Dunkirk the Sunday morning. Before heading to the park we went into Calais for a meander as this is where we were staying. Apparently asking for a pain au chocolat is difficult even though it's how we both say it. Language barriers are great.

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Calais had this

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And this. Cos culture is nice

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Much nicer than the first thing you essentially see at the park.

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Bagatelle was an odd park. I don't know if I liked it or not. They had two coasters made by a company no one knows off cos they basically only made these two coasters.

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A bright orange torture device (that wasn't awful)

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A one adult per boat log flume which shows you the border around the park with local basketball courts.

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A pirate themed area aka a pirate boat, orange ferris wheel and a chain with a no entry sticker on to stop you leaving the park border.

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An actually okay rapids with moments of decent theming.

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An Autopia type ride but with a really good layout. Best ride here.

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A brand new air race with themed surrounding buildings on lovely fresh tarmac

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A normal sized log flume with stupidly fast lift

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One of these but allowing adults to ride

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And the 2nd of the 2 random coaster manufactures coasters.

 

They also have; a monorail which leaves the park and shows you goats, a spinning wild mouse which was horrific, a single seater tea cups ride for kids, an awful simulator and I'm sure some more awful stuff.

 

Didn't take many photos as the park entertained me so much I ended up watching the F1. So definitely visit. This put me on 198 creds. Yay.

 

We did however have a nice evening in Calais

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I had alcohol

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There was this

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This stunning building

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And we played a few games of pool at the hotel with you guessed it...

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Alcohol. Woop.

 

I will try and do the rest of the trip when I get time but it might take a while

Mitchada04

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Welcome indeed!

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Now with added chocolate! Just in case I wasn't happy enough at this place

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And a Hard Rock. And boats!

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Let's start with the original

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It's still an ugly entrance street.

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And has the worst positioned ride ever. Not going to lie. This area needs work.

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Do still like this ride

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Woosh

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And Optimus is still warning us of something I'm sure

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They'll keep us safe though! :D

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The M.I.B will save us too

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San Francisco currently home to ZERO attractions.

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Do like this new viewpoint you can get too thanks to the Springfield expansion.

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Whilst we ignore KidZone here's Krusty!

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Home time already

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But I haven't been on The Mummy yet :(

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Ohh phew. It's the amazing Diagon Alley! New for my trip

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I'm glad this land has scared Disney. It is stunning. You can't see anything other than DA from it. Hidden paths, shows, endless shops, food, half of it is covered. And when the dragon roars 90% of people stop to get this shot. It is amazing. All lands need this level of detail and depth.

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Gringotts is stunning too. And the ride is great fun

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But I don't want to ruin it with photos. So we'll get the train to Hogwarts :) 

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And at Hogwarts we are!

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The key to Universal's current success.

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Fantastic Beasts

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And a hut to find them in

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Plus a castle for good measure!

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They also have this dinosaur place

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But more importantly, this lovely view

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It's such a beautiful park

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And now has another gorgeous thing to ogle at.

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It's so intimidating and awesome looking

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The queue line is creepy, the gates are amazing. It is a very good all round attraction. Could do with some tweaks in places but another start to finish ride with a brilliant queue.

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But again, don't want to ruin it with lots of photos. So here is Dudley Do Right.

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Yes this still exists

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And this looks awful. Especially now they've gone and done...

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THIS!

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Hulk is back in a modern techno way

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Sploosh

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Here's some sexy dusk shots

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Suess is still awesome for kids

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The entrance is also lovely

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Going to be interesting to see what the 3rd parks icon will be

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CityWalk is cool too

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And has a groovy mini golf

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Studios looks lovely at night (as does Islands but it closed too early each day on our trip)

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Universal just always feels so much more relaxed to Disney. Their current investments are great and show no sign of stopping. Yeah the parks have their faults, but are clearly being dealt with whilst the resort expands at rapid fire pace. To Disney, do compete. Competition makes this industry exciting, ride wars are what push the boundaries and it's great that Disney seem to be investing heavily with big new rides/lands again.

 

Till next time Universal!

Mitchada04

Florida 2K16

As its been a long time and I have some time over Christmas I thought I'd finally do this one, only got back like 4 months ago...

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This to me is a homing beacon. See this and boom, happiness!

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We had a lovely view of Hollywood Studios fireworks too. And as that's basically the only thing there, woo first park done.

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SeaWorld is a gorgeous park

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I love just walking around it

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Woosh

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A wanna be Manta

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I still love Kraken. Love the way it loops around the park corner...

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And has a new distant friend!

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And a new sealion show! Great fun, prefer pirates but probably just for the nostalgia

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But Mako is what draws you here

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It's a really good fun ride, looks great around the park

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And has some good theming in its plaza.

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Flippy Whales conjuring up a storm too...

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Time to leave I think!

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The tree of Intamin oddness?

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Oversized B&M

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Weird Mack cos that's the norm now

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More Intamin oddness

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Obligatory heat blurred Kumba pic

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A good Oblivion. And its red.

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A white tiger secluding himself from the orange ones. In this modern day politically correct world too. I'm sure PETA would have a fit

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And a Zierer. All about this one tbf. Look at it all green and that fence too.

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I liked this ornate structure too. Such a nice table

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We also did this, but it's Merlin so we won't go there.

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Oh, too late. This guy wants out

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That's better. Fun Spot is such a great bonus place. And we all had $25 to spend as a gift from our ticket supplier :D

 

Now it's somehow known that 'I don't like Disney' so I apologise now.

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Could be worse though. I could have gone to a Disney park.

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Hang on

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Seems familiar

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I mean it's nice but...

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Oh it's alright. They have two of these. No big player then

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Oh no I'm at a Disney Park. Must be Animal Kingdom

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Can't be, it's night and they're still open

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And a nightime show that sucks in every way...

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It was Animal Kingdom all along. Oh no. I can only apologise for this mistake and will ensure the next one is Disney free.

 

Coming later this week, a bumper Universal blog! Gotta balance the world out now you see.

Mitchada04

Europa Halloween

This year it was decided we'd upgrade our trips in October and visit a foreign scare event. Europa was chosen having won the Scar award for the best international event the past 2 years.

 

Tth

But it wasn't just for their scare event, it was also for the entire park!

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There are pumpkins everywhere, it feels like a different park

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Pumpkin cake

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Halloween special parade

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Special musical for the season based on Ghost Castle. Rides had overlays from the Pumpkin Coaster (Eurosat), coffee cups completely done up, Pirates in Batavia had a Halloween overlay with the audio and speech, 2 daytime walkthroughs; Jack the Ripper and another one that uses part of the night maze Temple of the Undead. And with all the theming on park, music and everything it was just amazing. A proper Halloween do up.

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The park also looked stunning at night!

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A few more nice photos

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Horror Nights!

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28 euros for 3 scare zones, 5 mazes, loads of roamers, 3 rides, a VR experience, special ice show, a travelling ghost train and a brilliant atmosphere!.

 

You enter through a scare zone, Dead End street. This was the best of the 3 with plenty of actors, fire, mist, theming and an interesting way to enter the park.

 

Once in you have 4 of the 5 mazes laid out in a square shape with a stage in the middle.

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The mazes were literally big white tents. But inside they were themed amazingly! Big Shoe was a clown based maze with a casino scene, outside alley, crazy spinning tunnel. You had no idea you were in a tent. There were a few good scares but from the event it was clear they don't go for the jumpy scares but more interactive side. As we don't speak German, we had no idea what was being said but even with that they were still great.

 

The other mazes: 10 was new for the 10th anniversary of Horror Nights, apparently based on previous mazes you went through portals into each new section. One was a Chinese restaurant, apparently from a maze they had called Takeaway!

 

The Cave: Unleashed was stunning in how you really felt in a tunnel. However, this one felt really really short but had some great costumes and a brilliant puppet, like the snake one in Cellar at Tulleys.

 

Nightmare: This was our least favourite, felt short again but had no flow or any idea what was going on, and from the queue you saw the finale of the maze so clearly when people were exiting. Again great costumes and theming though.

 

Temple of the Undead: Good length and tricks for actors to jump out, one really dark corridor with string which gets some people, good use of strobes and quite disorientating.

 

So overall the mazes aren't very scary, but they are a spectacle for what look like white tents on the outside!

 

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This Ghost Train was also open and included in the ticket. 3 levels, really old school in feel with a few staff as actors and a female Jigsaw doll. Great fun and just added to the excellent value of the event!

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An unadvertised live show on the centre stage. The standard dancing from the Europa ents team, but also a music set from Leon Fuller, who works on the music for the event and the Horror Nights 10 song. Brilliant atmosphere.

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Horror on Ice VII, a raunchy ice show with fire, foam, everything you could want from 30 minutes!

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There was so much to do that we only just did it all in 2 nights.

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Projection mapping on Poseidon's station made it look like it was dripping in blood

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Night ridesss

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And the satellite was having a rave too!

 

Coastiality: Adventure Atlantis had a VR Halloween overlay where you thought demons and zombies. It worked really well, you'd tap on the headset to shoot and spin your vehicle like normal to move around the VR world. It was really popular too! This is my eyes is more what VR should be used for!

 

So with all of this, and an already 15 hour day we decided to hit the Vampire Club. Only 5 euros and you get to witness the Poseidon station overlaid as a club with the EP ents team dancing on podiums, Leon Fuller doing live sets and a decent drinks menu at decent price. It was so weird to be dancing on a board that is over some Mack track.

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Not the best photo, but it was really good!

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Crazy to think.

 

Overall the whole park looked great in the day and the night event was a brilliant scare event for the vast mix of things you could do, all the roamers, theming, costume quality. Brilliant value and by far my favourite event I've been to so far. Only niggle is 7:30-11:30 is not enough, they could easily stay open till 1am and you need it with all the stuff. If you go, you need 2 nights!

 

As usual, Europa did great

 

 

 

Mitchada04

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Can I have your attention please, due to some people climbing the lift hill the ride is currently unavailable. 

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We have E-Stopped the ride, padlocked it and thrown away the key! 

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And left the trains stranded.

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On Colossus, each wheel unit is inspected heavily every seven days. Fact

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Colossus is dirty, also fact :P 

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GEEK SHOT!

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And up we went! Trying to be all artsy but the ride was sinking which made it hard (fact! They blast air into the ground to stop this)

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I love the shots you get from these walks! Plus the VIP hosts are always lovely!

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The chain is actually huge. I always forget how huge

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The lift hill wobbles a lot too, which adds a great thrill element!

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Noisy antirollbacks

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Saw facts! The ride didn't have the lift system in place to evacuate at first, this was something Thorpe helped design with Gerst and is known as the Thorpe Amendment and is now used on all post Saw eurofighters

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There is also a hawk noise effect that sounds every 20 minutes. This was put in to try and scare off the pigeons. It doesn't have that effect, but the sound effect still works!

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London skyline just about

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The engineers decided to run a train on Inferno. For the fun of it clearly

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Hey Swarm!

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Sun breaking through and Ghost Train shed! Few things on it.

 

They have a 6 year contract with DB then it will be reviewed. It's cost can't be published yet as it isn't finalised as they're still paying for all the delays, tweaks etc they're having to do. It initially was set out to be £25 million ish, it's more now due to the issues and could keep rising till next year! They also built a cherry picker into the building not on purpose. Good job. It can join Smiler's one.

 

Other bits: IAC is on a 3 year contract so runs out end of 2017, possible retheme for 2018 attraction. Next year is probably a flat ride of some sorts. They have begun weight testing on the island behind Swarm for the next big ride and working on the plans. A coaster seems to be most likely apparently. AB contract is also up sometime soon but they want to keep that one, especially as the film got okay reviews! 

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Read and learn guys

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Night night Colossus!

 

Next time... Florida :o 

Mitchada04

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That's none of the above. But we're at Paultons! This bird is happy because of this.

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Paultons is lovely

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With some great landscapers!

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And a volcano!

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Want a really cool retheme of a section? Look no further!

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Simple, yet great

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Really wacky

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And fun which is perfect for families

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Themed staff area too

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And a little aquarium type thing

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Just really fun!

Rest of the park is standard. The modern entrance is still nice with a HUGE toy shop, gardens always lovely, main street type thing cool, peppa pig really popular etc.

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And now this! 2 new coasters, a few new flats and a car ride plus loads of theming, animatronics etc.

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This dinosaur has a hard skull, to protect his head getting damaged and ending up spending so much money on stuff when you can get a real bargain

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Wooosh

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Oh no, water effect!!!

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Woosh

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Baby dinosaur

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Woosh

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I feel safe now!

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Dinosaur meet and greet!!!!

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Final woosh!

 

Paultons is great. It's better than Chessington in my eyes, they invest wisely and are developing a lovely park! Dark ride and proper water ride please then we'll be good. Go Karts still look rubbish and are hardly used. The next thing though is going over by the back of Peppa Pig, next to the Meerkats. There are markings out there already, I've read it is going to be a small/medium ride, maybe a Peppa expansion (if they do then fair enough, they haven't done since it opened). Go visit is all I can say.

 

Next up, my annual coaster climb, this year, Colossus!

 

 

 

Mitchada04

As we know, Walibi Belgium and Holland got new Mack's this year. Both new types of Mack's. 

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This is what Belgium asked for.

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It's really grand.

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Has a spectacular splash

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It's really cool

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And there's a cool turntable to improve throughputs and just be cool! Queue was cool too!

 

So that's what Walibi get when they ask for a ride (and Mack are the company that choose to do it).

 

Don't know what you want? Then roll up, today is your lucky day as Mack now offers mystery box rides! They'll tease the park over snapchat what they're building and just not think one bit. So what did Holland get from their mystery box?

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A loss of gravity. Seems like a great deal.

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Mack had some spare yellow and black track pieces floating in their yard and hoped it would all fit together

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And even though some of it doesn't look like it should fit together

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It all does

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Woosh. Now, because Walibi didn't know what they were getting, when they built the exit paths they had to slant these arches, or Mack told them it was necessary. Mystery box fun! 

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They also had some shipping containers that were cluttering the yard

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And a broken set of these

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And the cars are too wide for the track. Mystery box risks you see

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Fancy a Mack Mystery Box for your park? Then send a ? and your budget to sales@mackmystery.com

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Beware, they may cause you to drink in hope it'll ease the mind confuddling caused.

 

Next week we'll go see some cobras, dinosaurs and critters :) 

 

Mitchada04

Phantasialand is a stunning park. Up there was one of my favourites, and definitely my favourite non Disney/Uni park. 

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Look at the stunningness. Everything is just so well done. Immersion is great. Rides are fab. Like Maus Au Chocolat. It just has so much magic going for it! Midway Mania sounds tacky compared to this. The fun house down Berlin street is odd for a theme park but great. 

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Destroyed Josh on our second go as well ;) 

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It's a beautiful park.

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And the most well known top spin lives here.

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And a solid, well themed B&M. Mamba is an odd case. In the morning near the front it was lame. In the afternoon after some rain at the back it was top 10 contender. But it lacks consistency soooo much! For more park photos see last years report as nothing has changed. Winjas is still awesome. Nighthawk now has music, Hollywood boat tour still looks like it could have the scenery collapse at any moment. Wakabato was just avoided. Still don't get Mystery Castle, had an even shorter cycle this year! River Quest is hilarious. Mad house is an odd theme. 

 

KLUGHEIM

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The area looks great!

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Intimidating yet deceiving as it's almost on level with the path.

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Looks like a village in a rocky mountain with a coaster.

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Woosh

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Watching the coaster fly all around you in the area is great

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And Raik which is so much fun with a brill station.

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This second launch makes one of the coolest sounds I've heard from a ride ever

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It winds all over the place.

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WIth a love of design, engineering and sheer immersion it was great to meander about.

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But that's it really.

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The queue moves fast and has a geeky view of the transfer track.

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But what about the ride?

 

Well, Jack Josh and Matt knew when we came off first time it hadn't wowed me. I wasn't really joyous by what I just rode, I was quite mellow. I mean, there was nothing wrong with it. At all. Just, nothing made me go OMG. I love the dive into the second launch and up past the waterfall. That's the only thing that still sticks in my head. It felt like there were lots of lul moments, then crazy, then lul. But I don't feel it flowed in the right order to make a stunning ride. It's not a top 10 for me. Probably not a top 20. But that doesn't mean it's bad. It is a good fun ride, has created a hugely themed area secluded from the park. It is spectacular to watch, wander the little village with Taron roaring overhead. But the ride isn't standout in my eyes. For the next level of theming yes, as a ride, no. It is a solid ride that will do well against time. It won't be a fad. As long as it doesn't get Intamin rough, it'll always be a good ride. It also got me thinking though, why does every new ride these days have to seemingly be a top 10 ride or the next best thing. What's wrong with just building a good solid coaster that no one will dislike. I guess you could see it as Inferno in a way. Nothing special, but a ride that is always liked, pretty popular and serves the park extremely well. So yeah, Taron. Good.

 

Now Chiapas however is special.

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A gorgeous ride

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Now with it's weird issues sorted so you can sit properly.

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Wacky ride.

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Crazy drop

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But a fun theme! Great music throughout, lighthearted nature, doesn't soak you so is always enjoyable. Definitely my favourite flume type ride, sorry Dudley's.

 

Intamin will sell lots of these once they're confident it won't have multiple issues again. And Taron too, I'm sure they'll sell more launchers now with the new trains. 


Go to Phantasialand! 9/10 park at least.

 

In more serious news.

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If anyone spots Josh, please inform Phantasialand. He is currently trying to rip of the Chiapas rave room somewhere in Monchengladbach. That way he'll get banned ;) 

Mitchada04

Paris Asterix

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Paris! Because mini breaks are awesome!

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With ghostly looking lighting

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This is the church in Madeline. Although the outside doesn't look as spectacular as St Augustin or Notre Dame, it is much grander on the inside

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View to the Concorde

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St Augustin

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With a mini version of the tower roof inside the tower roof. ROOFCEPTION

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Arc De Triomphe 

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Was a long way to the top

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Worth it for the views though! And, like many things in Paris, free for 18-24 year olds! 

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Because Mickey is everywhere

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IT's just a gorgeous place to walk about

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Army museum 

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The Grand Palais plus crazy french junctions!

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2nd floor of the Tower

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Oh yay. The Euros are on. So planned that...

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Let's look this way instead then.

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Just love the structure of it!

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And the football, obviously.

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Bridge of padlocks.

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New addition!

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Louvre

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Another free attraction for 18-24s

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The shpinx. Yup, THE sphinx. He's the one

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Thought Milo might have been bigger.

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Woo Mona Lisa. This is the pure definition of overrated.

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The opposite painting was quite spectacular though

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Notre Dame

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And the hunchback!

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Iron Man is also everywhere

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The very odd Grand Arch

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This view was amazing though! Perfectly straight down to the Arc De Triomphe!

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Trying to be artsy at the Louis Vuitton Foundation!

Now no mini break would be complete without some cred hunting!

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Hello Asterix!

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This was really good fun!

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Wacky lift hill

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And dual load and offload! This is what these rides can be like. Not Storm Surge.

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Surprisingly this purple monster isn't the entrance to the ghost train but more the exit. The ride itself is good fun, some decent scare tactics but nothing to shout home about.

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This however was an excellent Mad House. The preshows were fun and the water one was fab. The mad house itself was like others, but cleverly used screens with the motion to make it feel like you were going sideways on a boat at points.

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It's Europe so there was of course a boat ride which was one of the better ones I've done

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Little Monorail type ride. This village bit you can see here has no rides. A few shops, a meet and greet but it was a lovely little walk through. As were two other sections of the park. It's a real shame Merlin and other parks want to cram rides in everywhere instead of having these little sections. It's nice to just wander about in a well themed area. Makes me sad Haunting in the Hollows isn't better. 

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Another example here.

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With an indoor bit that they used during one of the kids shows as part of the story.

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It's the little things that I love about European parks.

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Little things.

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Moving on. Goudrix. Not great, not bad.

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Looks filthy. Clean it up ta.

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Or scrap it.

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New for this year is another well themed Disko that can so easily be produced. 

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Throw in some pyro and water effects and boom.

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Nice themed entrance

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And you get yourself a relatively cheap but good investment! 

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There's also a huge Bobsleigh, a bumpy splash thing that just looked painful

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A log flume and a rapids which seem mediocre till cray cray tunnel

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This pure cred with a good themed queue

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This really ugly out of place flat

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And the two shout home about rides.

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Really hard to photograph as it's hidden, Zuess is a superb woodie. Proper old school with speed, rattle, harsh turns and ridiculous speed throughout.

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And then this. Oz'iris! In this photo you can see a little fountain show taking place which had some score from HTTYD playing alongside. 

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It really is a baby Montu, but better.

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It's stunningly beautiful

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The station building is amazing

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The first drop without the predrop is crazy in back row.

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The pacing is superb!

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Length brilliant! Forces on point

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Indoor queue gorgeous! There's so much more to it than this photo.

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The elements of the ride portrayed on this wall for you geeks (not the best photo ever)

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And this guy in the middles. Sums the ride up brilliantly. Well themed, but with a sense of humour and fun about it. 

 

Oz'iris, people said when it was being built could it beat Nemesis. Unsure, but it's possibly the closest thing I've ridden that could. I don't think I've quite loved a ride this much in a long time. Definitely my favourite new ride since Manta, and it could beat that. I will have to seriously rethink my top 10 later this year.

 

Parc Asterix overall is a well themed park with a sense of humour and fun about it. All the staff seemed lovely, efficient, and happy to help. On Oz'iris they were running around unbuckling seatbelts before the train had fully stopped so when the bars were released all belts were undone. I've never seen anything like it. There are a few areas of the park that need work, but that's the case with many parks. Recent investments show they're heading the right way and will no doubt sort out other areas in need. My only real niggle with the park, where's the ride merch??? Loads of Asterix stuff, but no seperate ride merch :( Park rating: 8.5/10

 

Oz'iris: 9.5/10

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Next trip: Belgerand Part2

 

Mitchada04

Europa Park

Been a long time! But a busy few months lie ahead for me and theme parks so time to revive this blog! 

Europa Park is one me and Jack had talked about for a few years, the place of dreams almost. Finally, it happened! This is one of those trips worthy of a realistic report, not some sarcastic attack at the park like I usually do.

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We arrived in Basel to get a 100+mph train into Freiburg, followed by a double decker train to Ringsheim and a short "bus" (was a coach) ride to the park.

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What a lovely sight to walk in on!

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Just looming in the distance

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Ed and Jack were ready!

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Water fountains were ready!

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Let's go! :D

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First up Silver Star. I like the Mercedes F1 tie in, it's intimidating, trims aren't as bad as I was expecting but the airtime just got repetitive, twists were great though!

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This twist though :wub:

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Meanwhile over at Epcot, I mean the silver ball at EuropaPark... Eurosat sits around. This thing is bonkers, so glad it's hidden inside. Caught me by surprise each time we rode! Totally get why people wish X was like it.

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It's also huge!

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Cheeky bit of lunch in Greece. Food on park is great, so much choice and it's not hugely expensive for a theme park!

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I don't know why, but this is now such a guilty pleasure ride of mine

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Looks great!

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Theming!!!!

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Really nice station too!

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Meanwhile, in Portugal there is this. A ride that is newer than Poseidon, yet does less and does nothing for me. 

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It photos well

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But that's about it

Annoyingly I didn't take any photos of Spain, other than the jousting show with added drama

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Bad guy drama

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It's okay, it had a happy ending!

Whilst we're talking about shows. They have so many! Lots of 30-40 minute shows, this in itself takes over a day to complete. Plus, on the larger shows they have mimes entertaining the audience as you enter! 

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You had Bombay Nights in Holland with the Pirate's of Batavia ride going around the stage!

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A live action Italian film set stunt magic show thing

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An electronic bird show

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In the same room as a bubble magician guy who smokes as part of the show.

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A musical show in the Globe Theatre, because Shakespeare was known for his musicals.

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A dome screen show where you lie in sleeping bags! Plus, an ice show, flamenco, open and closing show, 2 4D films, a little French dance/magic show and a parade

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Ed being boss.

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Just this. Quality.

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What's this?

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A mine train that even with VR has a higher throughput than any Mack mine train over here!

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Bears for bare banter.

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Okay, I'll move on from that one.

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Anyone still needing a lift to any meets this year, there are two options. This. 

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Or Jack in his purple sportscar! Can seat another 2 people, it's speedy and laps Silverstone regularly so must be good! Feel free to get in touch with Jack for more details :)

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Then there was this thing. Odd is one word I suppose. 

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Next please.

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Yup, this guy looks like a trusty op. We'll do this then.

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I want them everywhere. This is ideal for family parks!

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Great coaster section! Fab dark ride.

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And great visual in the plaza of the kingdom. Lots of these please thanks.

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So many photos it's hard to fit them all in. So let's look at the hotels.

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Bell Rock is gorgeous.

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Colosseo really cool!

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The other 3 really cool!

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And not bad views from the bars ;)

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Back on park this guy thought he'd set fire to his house. As you do, red fire and that.

So that's it! Europa Park! Stunning park with great rides, operations, atmosphere, just everything! I have loads of photos so if you do want anymore just request in the comments and I'll post more :) 

 

Oh, guess you want to see something else first though.

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Me and Jack with ED :D that's why you're all here.

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Or maybe for what this is...

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Lots of artsy fartsy photos thanks to a back path that I think used to be an extension but is now open to public for photos, round the back of Wodan village.

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This inline is crazy. The little pops of airtime, fast changes of direction, it's all just great. LOTS more of these in the world please, I bow to our new Mack overlords.

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Wodan for me though was the best ride on the trip. The indoor queue has some great effects, and is just a really nice place to queue.

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It just looks intimidating.

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Has a spectacular entrance

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Just loved it!

Bye bye Europa, it was fab. Should be back for Horror Nights!

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Mitchada04

October is behind us, taking with it potentially the biggest time of the year for events all over the country! Each year I have slowly been doing more trips relating to Halloween events and this year was no different.

Like previously, it's great to start off at Tulleys on the first Saturday of the month. Tulleys is a great, well established Halloween event and really shows where you can end up from starting with selling pumpkins (this seems to be a recurring story, more on that later!). Providing 8 haunts, 4 of which were new, one changed and 3 well knowns remaining untouched. They have such a mix, Colony which uses length, suspense, darkness, exterior and interior, just about everything. Hayride which mixes comedy with fear, Hellements which tries to be unique but is just bad, Haunted House which is a classic. Then there's probably the best conga maze going, The Cellar. Volt was different, the circus good and Chop Shop okay. But they constantly change their line up with fresh, new ideas. No story feels the same, they're all unique each year.

Following week Thorpe's preview night arrived. Roll up roll up to an event that wasn't ready in time, filled with glitches and problems all over. It did get better over the week, Big Top was less of a flop, Containment a good concept just not a lot going for it especially at £10 a go, and the other mazes just felt repetitive with jump scares and screaming. I know people talk about cheap tactics, but Thorpe is one of the worst for this with simple tactics, no stories and rushed scenes. Big Top has so much potential, MBV is always a rush, Cabin is nice but can get old quite quick, BWP is the best improvement on park and Saw Alive was pretty good this year too (or maybe the others had got worse...) Either way, Thorpe needs a huge shake up next year for Fright Nights. It's a hugely successful event, they should boom with it, let it grow, go crazy! Not do the same old stuff. A maze with a really good unique story please next year.

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Park is pretty though (or should I say Stealth is).

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Was finally time for Scarefest!!!!! I'd been wanting to go here for a good 8 years but had never made it. And what a year I chose to go!

Sub Species is the highlight of the Halloween season for me and I'm sure it is for many others. It pushed the limits, many different tactics of scares, suspense, great length. It was just fab in every way! Park looked great as well, Nemesis in the dark was worth the 3 hour drive alone. Scare zones were cool, Ancestors great and the kids stuff looked pretty neat too.

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Perfect

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Great event! Especially considering what the park is going through.

Was time to round up the Merlin trio of Halloween events, Chessington and Howloween. Urm. Right, this event used to be great in every way, magical mazes, a brilliant park atmosphere. This year though, they might as well have just let the meerkats loose, that'd been scarier. Trick Or Treat wood is just dire. So surreal, but you don't come out laughing like some bad things, you come out thinking why. Just why. Maybe laughing at the fact people are doing it. Curse of Lost tomb was well, people hated on Krypt. You ain't seen nothing then. This was shockingly bad, story was building momentum and just died. We were told it'd be a 12 minute experience, 5 at most it was. Just oh. Chessington.

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Best thing about the event, this projection in the hotel lobby.

It was time to end the Halloween season, ScareCon: Aftershock based at the Broadwitch Halloween event in Broadditch. The first half of the day was talks from other scare events such as Twisted Attractions and the Screamland team. Their events look great and are definitely on the hit list for next season. Also a few independent events that just take place over the half term week in one location with maybe a maze or two. Was quite cool as lots of these were just a small group of friends with a bit of spare money.

Broadwitch started like Tulleys, selling pumpkins! That's it kids, sell some pumpkins and in 7 or so years you'll have award winning mazes. They do an event in the day for kids with two little walkthroughs, a corn maze and a tractor ride. We got to go through them all which was fun and showed an often forgotten about side of the Halloween season. But then it was time for the bigger stuff. 5 mazes, Spooky Castle which is their first like the Haunted House at Tulleys, Thirteen, Massacre, Edge which is new for this year and the SCAR award winning Biometrix. We got to go through them all bar Biometrix without actors to have a nosey at them and the sets, and Spooky Castle and Thirteen were already great in this format. Then the show lighting came on and the actors unleashed.

Spooky Castle: Great maze with many many different rooms from this castle, lots of clever effects and smells.

The Edge: Based on vampires, set in shipping containers, it utilised its tiny footprint brilliantly and there were some good scares. Theming was topnotch.

Massacre: Set in the corn field, you are in the incestous hillbilly town or something. Pretty good, different from everything else.

Thirteen: Based on 13 fears, some are quite funny like walking under ladders, a dentist room, plane crash, dirty toilets. Definitely a different take on fears, and it had some good scares but was more action based than scare based I felt.

Biometrix: This maze is like Sub Species' test subject. Very physical, very different. Just brilliant and how touch mazes should be with larger groups. Not one of us was left out.

So Broadwitch is great, only niggle is the actors are very scripted making it hard to reride without it being repetitive. They struggle to improvise and interact as we found out. Other than that a great event and great way to end the scare season!

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Mitchada04

Efteling+Bob

Although we were at Efteling for 2 days and the evening of Baron's opening I didn't take that many photos of the park. And of Bobbejaanland I took like 5 in total, so this report will have a Bob ending. Random fact, the name works because Efteling has a ride called Bob.

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We arrived at the village, checked in a walked to the park for one reason. It was 7pm, park closed at 8. Let's ride Baron I guess.

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First impressions, it is gorgeous. It's not a ride, it's a piece of architectural art! It looks great.

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Was kinda expecting it to look a bit bigger though, but I was open minded to the mini dive machine

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Unsurprisingly it had a queue of 60 minutes (as we waited for front too which was nice, they let everyone in that queue ride in that row although trains were going out with just one row being used towards the end)

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It was very slow moving. They hadn't quite grasped 3 train op on it so the next two days only ran 2.

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But it was pretty

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Nearly there! The whole queue is outside with inside all being preshows.

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Was alright. Story and experience great, ride just missed some punch.

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Detail was ridiculous

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Bird invading my photos.

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That night we went into Kaatshuvel, nothing was open bar one very nice kebab shop. After we went to the Efteling Hotel because their bar was still open. The guy in there was great and it looked like a nice hotel! We were in the village though, quite a walk but nothing bad.

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Next morning we went on the pagoda thing.

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Lovely area

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Coaster central

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I really liked this. Simple yet clever

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Vogel Rock entrance, great little indoor coaster with effects and fab music

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This show with a huge animatronic!

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Lunch at an amazing pancake place! Also had amazing profiteroles!

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More dragons

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Very rude to keep yawning though.

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This is the worlds largest pirate ship. Doesn't matter though, I've done Europes largest the day before so didn't see the need.

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Flying Dutchman <3 was really surprised by this ride!

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Sploosh

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More Baron

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Wood

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And a bigger fountain show!

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So much water

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Baron told us we were running late the following morning, especially after Peaj left Bucky in the room and we'd checked out.

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It's all I took photos of really

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This was the village entrance. Went back after our final day for dinner

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Josh loves napkins.

So that night we went to the last hotel place. Had a free breakfast in the morning which was a cheese, meat and bread platter. Better than nothing!

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Rode this not so good ride

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Was just dragged out after the first loop

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Looks a mess too

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And here is broken Kong who found Bucky. Wish I'd taken more photos at Bob now as it would have made such a good sarcastic report. Possibly the oddest park I've been too... Oh well, that concludes Belgerand for me. Next up I've no idea, Wales :P

Mitchada04

Toverland

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Tadah! It's Toverland!

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Ticket booths (note these were taken at the end of the day, it wasn't quite this quiet)

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Chairswing with no chairs. Kinda closed

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CRED

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best Boomerang of the trip

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It's very pretty

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Like a mini indoor theme park

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Great for kids (also the dark twisty dingy slide is sooo cool)

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Teacups that tried chucking out Josh's bag

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And out we went

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Nothing to see here

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Log flume

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Lovely park

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Inside part of flume. Nicely done rock work

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Was very nice

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Lady said it was closed

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Some maths happened and it opened

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It's really cool

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Out we go to a Mack :D

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Dwirliwirlwirliwind or something

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Station is very nice

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It was all very nice

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And they had a pulley tower thing

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Waterfall of refresh

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booster bike of wee

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They're actually good fun

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Dive show construction

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Nothing here

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Zomg Scorpio! Apparently it reaches the highest angle or something of a pirate boat in Europe. I hate pirate boats, I've done Europe's largest supposedly :D

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Must be some bad guys living in there

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Such a clear blue sky!

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Oh, no some wisky clouds. Oh well moving on

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Yay Vekoma!

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Lots of wood, don't know why

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And grass.

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Look at Europe's largest pirate boat. Look at it, scary or what.

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Back indoors as there's nothing else outside they have a closed one of these

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And a rope thing we climbed, was actually quite hard

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Gave some good views

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Close up

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It's a lovely looking ride

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We watched the fountain show

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More Mack goodness

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Beautiful

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Was an odd spinner though that's for sure

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we'll end with this lovely photo of the sky. Can't remember what we were queuing for, can't have been very good. Oh well, Toverland is a lovely little park. I kinda started to give up taking photos after this though, so Efteling and Bobbejaanland will be in one report (and Efteling mainly focusses on a mine- please relate to JoshC.'s reports when he gets round to them)

Mitchada04

Phantasialand

For a park to stand out to me it has to be really special. Not many parks do that successfully, give such a great balance of fun, imersiveness, magic etc. But Phantasialand is right up there for me with the great parks of Florida (probably my 2nd or 3rd favourite park I've been too). My only tiny complaint, there didn't seem to be a like big impact entrance. But that might just be they only have one and it's at the Berlin park entrance, not the mystery one (so many entrances and car parks).

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Not a bad thing to have at the entrance though (this was the only thing we saw over the trees driving to the park)

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Crazy rapids!

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It's just such a lovely park! Nothing opened at 9 that we saw so we did a bit of wandering and it's so beautiful. This is a madhouse. Yep.

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The Berlin street (with a brilliant funhouse in it!)

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Was now 9:30 so we went to our first ride, Maus Au Chocolat! And it's amazing!!!! Same system as Midway Mania and just so much fun!!! Highlight of the trip by far!

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Not knowing how busy it was going to be on park (8pm close and lovely weather) we did Chiapas.

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You don't get soaking wet, or really that wet at all but it's a sublime ride!

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Boat travelling the station.

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Hidden away in this area is Talocan. A really forceful topspin with brilliant effects, music. It was like a show to watch :P

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So much fire!!!

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We headed back through Berlin past this really cool looking chairswing!

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Simple but so effective!

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To find a hidden boat ride :D Hollywood Tour with Hitchcock.

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Could tell it was old but was still great with all the different sets. This is Amity.

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Kong

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Can't remember

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There's also a coaster up there called Temple of The Nighthawk. All enclosed, quite good but is a bit dragged out.

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Now was to try Winjas

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Now I won't spoil it but when riding it you think they're quite modern spinners with what they do. Surprisingly they open in 2002.

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Fury and Spinball could have been special

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Wooosh

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They had one of these. We did the one at Plopsa and got the dirtiest looks ever. Plus they're not that good so no thanks.

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Josh didn't want to walk under the bridge in the maze because it might get him wet.

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There was also an interesting splash battle. Might have been good if the effects worked but yeah. No. It was at the back of the park hidden away, I can forgive them like it almost wasn't real...

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It was time for the hyped up ride of okayness.

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It looks great with its surroundings. And you can't work out the layout one bit.

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But yeah. Even Jack points at it as a "oh I wanted that little bit more"

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Definitely not a bad ride. Not at all. Just overhyped

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So we had some Currywurst and watched a man through some ming vases around.

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Was time for Mystery

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With rapids

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The drops are ridiculous. If you're unlucky in your seating you get soaked.

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Again this looked amazing. Like sooo good!

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It's the only imposing thing on park

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It was just quite disappointing. Although we've now heard it has two settings and we caught the naf one.

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Having done the park we hit up some rerides. Jack and Peaj did Talocan again so me and Josh watched the show

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Bucky also enjoyed the show, shame it set his ears on fire :o

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Yes, lower Peaj and Jack into the fire :good:

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We made sure we caught this.

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So I've now seen the show in English with no effects and German with effects. Wish I'd just seen it at Thorpe jeez :P

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I really like this ride sign! It's subtle, works with the theme and you get a great view of the ride in it!

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We went and watched the ice skating show which was pretty good. Was nice to be able to see shows at a park, added a lot more to the day than just rides.

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Their mine ride

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Again very good. I liked here how everything interacted with something else basically.

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More B&M

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More Jack

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Pretty

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Woosh

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Lovely view of China

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And here is the cake we saved from those mice on Maus Au Chocolat!

This is the only park from the trip I really want to visit again. Was my favourite day, and the 11 hours were so easy to fill, we didn't even do that many rerides. We thought it would be our longest day, nope. Join me next time where we go to Toverland, and then dash off to Efteling to hit up Baron on its opening day :)

Mitchada04

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Welcome to Walabi. This isn't the entrance but it has the logo so it'll do. Plus it's a thrill ride on park, the dodgems.

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Revenge of the Wallabies! Oh, no. My bad. Did have the classic Sally Corp gun noise which is annoying.

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Zomg serious cred.

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Wee! Thing even went backwards a bit :D

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Urgh. Pointless waste of space.

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Yeah... this thing spins... wasn't impressed.

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It's a very colourful park!

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And a good flume!

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I-Spy: The Queue line experience!

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Oh.

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This should have been at the entrance with cattlepen written underneath.

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Mad house of applause.

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Woo it didn't align properly and we're stuck let's clap!

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Until we were let off.

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Fun! Look at the people looking at all the fun

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Yeah it's not a Wallaby. It's a vampire.

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Nice SLC.

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But I am weird and do like them.

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Ooooo

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More SLC.

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Vekoma park or what. Choo choo

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good Vekoma

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Oh no water.

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<3

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Pure awesomeness! The sheer speed is amazing!

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Duck is more awesome though (not sure with the obsession of these random boat rides around lakes with ducks in)

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Look at them all!

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It's tall.

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Artsy slightly blurred shot

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Oh woop. Let's go underground.

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To get there we went upstairs.

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Impressive launch, urm that's it. Far too short, I don't like vertical loops backwards and it was just eh.

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Proper big style rapids boats :D

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There was a tunnel too which looked cool

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Yes more boomerangness.

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Don't ride wood. But that's the fun part says Fanta.

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Fine we'll ride boomerang.

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Rawr.

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Was very good. Not amazing, just very good. And it's vekoma too (which was odd for it to be quite smooth...)

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Yeah this was dead as well as Buzzsaw and some other stuff.

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Rock on! And that's Walabi. More school kids than Wallabies and lots of Vekomas. Off to the park I've always liked the look of next... Phantasialand :wub:

Mitchada04

Bellewaerde

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Welcome to the park down a road behind some houses on some grass where we parked next to a tree. Look who's in Jack's bag!

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No temple not open yet.

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Jack is unimpressed by lack of temple.

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Correction- the temple thing that's now a mine shaft is open!

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Correction- it's an awesome tomb!

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See the awesomeness.

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Temple of awesome mineshaft tomb with broken on board audio.

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Well I'm glad I tried one.

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Really doesn't feel like you tilt much at all on ride.

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The excitement!

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Look at the fun!

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the lion mascot, called Lion approves (although he approves of most things...)

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Shocked face!

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Probably what we all pulled when we saw this coming.

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Must be a shocking life

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The local enjoyed it!

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He was coughing spreading his Europeness... ewwww.

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Oh no.

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Aww

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Tigers are the best.

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The elephants laughed in disagreement.

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The Lion probably approves of this, they said it was magic, I think there was a wild animal in their once.

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called Houdini. They say he's dead, I don't think he is.

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There's Houdini! A real wild one!

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"Just you wait till you get round here..."

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"We'll move here so you still don't get too close"

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Houdini magiced us away to Niagra Falls.

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A water ride, of dryness. Seriously, are Europeans afraid of water?

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These guys weren't afraid! But they might be imported.

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Fire.

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This Leopard disapproved of the non natives.

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So we went to India to ride the traditional rapids you find there.

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The holiday in Mexico had ended when we got back though.

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Temple must have taken them. Oh well time for 2.5 hours of driving that should've taken one! Thanks you accident prone natives in your cars!

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Toot toot Brussels!

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Very nice place

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I'd play where's Wally... but it's too hard.

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Nice surprise.

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Nom nom! Dunno why but people love going to a restaurant to eat guitars.

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Till next time where we get stuck in more Brussels traffic! :D

Mitchada04

Plopsaland

Much like a year of Britain, A Year of Europe looks to expand upon its predecessor by including some European parks (of which I already have gained 7). Aim is to end this around this time next year to start a further, worldwide one (one can dream). So, my first European park outside of DLP when I was 15, Plopsaland.

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It was an early morning when we left Dover (5:15am).

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To arrive before 9am at a park that opens at 10. Notice the oversized door, yeah we didn't understand why everything was so large until the end of the day.

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What do you do when you're early? Go for a mile walk. They have horses in Europe (must be near a Findus factory)

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Something the others had never seen were the war cemeteries they have. They are astonishing in size, and Belgium is littered in them.

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R.I.P.

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Just down the road though it was a birthday. My 15th birthday cake wasn't that big :(

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Lovely entrance area.

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Like stunning

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European trees.

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Apparently this is a ride station!

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And this is a queue line

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I thought we were invading a house and the owners were going to kick us out.

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See, have something protecting your house Anubis! Dragons are the way.

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Didn't work though, we still made it in.

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Lights were cool too!

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Zomg it's like home!

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Well half like it.

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There was a pedal thing.

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A Vekoma Roller Skater called... Roller Skater!

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With an oversized washing machine. From a dark ride on a boat we learnt that the Plops (a race of things) are very small people. Fair enough, why buy an already oversized machine? That will surely kill them.

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More random house invasions!

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Not even a mat for us to wipe our feet on.

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Pirate boat of forever. Like a 5 minute cycle.

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You could honestly race the boat from this splashing down to returning to the station with the pirate boat. Both took ages.

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Start your watches.

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Swan boats are faster.

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It's a big lake though. Jack and Josh are awful drivers.

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This duck agrees.

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Time for the Mack watersplashofdrynessthatgoesbackwardsunderawobblybridge.

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Sploosh.

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So this has a height restriction of 1.2 or 1.3 can't remember. Still, I'm pretty sure the Plops are smaller than that. Can't even ride a ride in their homeland.

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Luckily we could, was a very good ride.

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yay land of bees.

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Was all a bit overgrown if you ask me.

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This was good fun though!

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This was from the Plops water ride thing. I had no idea what was going on.

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Oh look a nicely themed hill.

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Wouldn't have even known the Disko was broken, can't even see it.

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Minus that... shhhh

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Splash battle! Was very welcome with the weather. Again though, the Plops so would not be able to reach the guns.

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So Plopsaland, a very nice park, just feel bad for the natives. Might have even stood on one accidentally if they're that small.

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Au Revoir Plopsaland, till next year with your GCI (just think about the height restriction yeah?)

And off to Hotel Joly we went (yeah, wasn't Jolly like we were hoping...)

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