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Everything posted by JoshC.

  1. Last weekend, I visited Berlin and Leipzig for a quick cred run and culture trip. I had originally planned to go to Finland and hit up Linnanmaki this month, but since Taiga opens next month, we opted for something a little different.. After arriving in Berlin Friday morning, the first port of call was Little Big City. Owned by Merlin, LBC is one of their newer midway brands, and is basically a miniature village which goes through the history of Berlin. This one opened up about 2 years ago, and one opened in Beijing late last year, so it's struggled a bit so far. We had free tickets thanks to a member of the group being a Merlin-worker, and hit the attraction up at 11am. We were the only one in the pre show room (which is basically a projection explaining the concept), and there was probably only about 10-15 other people in the attraction whilst we were there. It's not a large attraction, and all the exhibits take place in one large room. However, it is well done: there's lots of interaction points, you can get very close / touch basically all of the models, and it's really informative and relaxed. It handles the more sensitive parts of Berlin's history well too. We spent about 50 minutes in there, but a family / more interested group could easily spend closer to 90 minutes I'd say. So yeah, it's a shame this isn't doing better and the brand isn't taken off. It has potential, but feels poorly marketed and in an awkward location. At about 13 euro for entrance, it's perhaps a little steep in price and I probably wouldn't have paid to do it personally, but I reckon for those who are interested in learning a little about a lot of the history, it's perfect. We then made the 45 minute ish drive down to Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Elstal. This came onto my radar last year when they opened up the abc tube coaster K2. For some more context, Karls is a massive strawberry farm brand, and we saw a few strawberry stands in Berlin in our brief time there in the morning. The place itself is a bit weird: it's like a garden centre, mixed with a market, mixed with an adventure playground, mixed with a small theme park in the making. Over the past couple of years they've added more rides and more to the theme park side of things. Entrance to the place is free, and includes a few attractions (mostly adventure playground stuff, like climbing frames, outdoor maze, etc), and the rides are pay per ride (1-4 euros per ride), or unlimited rides for 12 euros, the latter of which we opted for. After a delicious and reasonably-priced lunch, we moved onto the rides. K2 is one of the biggest surprise coasters out there, given it's unassuming location. The ride is themed to potatoes / harvesting potatoes / a crisp factory. The queue line (which is exceptionally long), is beautifully well-themed. It's like walking through a crisp factory, going from the harvesting of potatoes to the prepping of them into crisps. For those who have been to Phantasialand, it's similar in style to Maus au Chocolat's queue line. And it is themed amazingly. This is honestly one of the best themed queues I've ever been through: in the same league as Maus, Flying Dutchman at Efteling, etc. Which in itself is a feat. The ride itself is great fun. The cars have a lot of room and only have a seatbelt to lock you in. You go through an indoor pre-lift section which shows the harvesting of potatoes, before climbing up the 80ft lift and going round. There's some nice little pops of floater airtime, and it's just a fun, speedy coaster. It hits a MCBR which kills a lot of speed, before going through a couple of helixes and hitting the brakes. We did it multiple times and it's just as fun every time. Another quick thing to add: the throughput. This ride was running 4 cars, on a Friday afternoon when the place was super quiet. It occasionally had a queue, but it was running really well and cars were constantly flying around. Was really great to see! The rest of the park is fairly standard fodder. There's a Zierer water carousel thing (like Squid Surfer at Legoland), a water drop thing (the first one I've done: it was terrifying), mini drop tower, tractor ride, etc. All were really well styled and worked really well. And in saying that, we had a really good time. The place is really relaxed and a lot of fun, and has plenty to do, especially factoring in the non-park stuff. The place is usually open 10-8 as well, so it's easy to visit whenever you want. The place clearly has a bright future, financial backing and a long-term place, since they're planning on adding some form of hotel / camping / resort experience in 2021 too. Definitely one to watch! That's all for now. We drove down to Leipzig (a couple of hours away), ready for a..erm...fun day at Belantis tomorrow...
  2. I'll just throw it out there that I genuinely think this will be fun. Who doesn't love a giant bouncy castle? But, this still shows the state of the park right now. They've chucked in an inflatable course that wouldn't look out of place at a summer fair as a quick fix. If this is all they can afford, what does that say for the future? I genuinely can't think of any other park in the world which is so desperate for new stuff on such a restricted budget that they have had to resort to adding a bloody inflatable.
  3. Latest Making of video: Track is now finished (with a random ceremony including fire to celebrate, cos why not), with a train on the track ready for testing from June 1st. It confirms the 4th (out of 5) inversions will be a 140 degree stall, and there will be a single rider queue.
  4. Fury at Bobbejaanland will be opening on June 22nd. Here's the state of it at the mo.. The park have also confirmed they will run the ride exclusively forwards for parts of each operating day, so people who don't want to ride backwards can happily ride..
  5. It's not in sync yet, but slowly, it's getting there..
  6. Basically finished bar a few rails.
  7. Yeah, that's nice and all, but it's like cutting your toenails when you need a leg amputation. Good to do, put pointless in the big picture.
  8. What time was that? They don't start serving lunch until 12, but sometimes that changes and it's a bit later.
  9. Quantum required significant work and changes over the winter period. These weren't planned and came a bit out of the blue. As has been noted, the ride is notably being put back together, but there's still a lot to do. This is different to situations like Black Buccaneer, Ripsaw, etc, where something needed to happen and money wasn't spent and it was just closed. It's obviously poor that it isn't ready, especially at a time when this is more common within Merlin. If this was uncommon, people would be a lot more forgiving (a bit like when Quantum didn't open until August one year like 12 years ago). But in fairness, the park are doing something and spending money to get Quantum sorted. It's just taking a long time.
  10. I believe they're replacing / upgrading the roof. Something to make it look nicer, easier to clean, etc. A nice thing to do, yes, but you do have to wonder why this couldn't be done during winter or closed days.
  11. Spoilers: guest figures aren't up.
  12. Taiga is testing... (Warning: video makes Blair Witch Project look like it was filmed on a sturdy tripod)
  13. I definitely feel like RMCs have started to look nicer lately, so looking very RMC isn't wholly bad in my books.. Also, here's a fun comparison between Robin Hood and Untamed: https://laurensvanheerde.nl/untamed
  14. And for another perspective to show it's BIG Just imagine if something like that was to go to Thorpe.. *sigh*
  15. The park are saying June: Not sure why mind. Hardly like an enterprise needs they much work..?
  16. A shame, and further testament to the lack of maintenance budget provided to the Merlin parks. There's always budget for new investments (albeit smaller and smaller numbers as of late). And they have a bare minimum budget for maintaining attractions (ie: fix stuff so they're safe and that's about it). But if something goes wrong, you're screwed. And with Merlin parks having a good few rides from the 90s, which are now reaching 30 years old, it's only understandable that some rides will need major refurbs. What will be the next ride to bite the maintenance dust..
  17. I'd certainly take Merlin's numbers with a pinch of salt.. Efteling's increases are still remarkable tbh and show that there's a very bright future ahead for the park if they get their expansion plans. If true, it's good to see Phantasialand stabilising around the 2m mark. Taron has bought that stability back to the park and long may that continue.
  18. Have an update from Walibi, highlighting the 270 double inverting corner stall (which I can't help by abbreviate to 270dics from now on...) in all its glory: And one from RMC, showing some nice upsideness: Still on track to open July 1st this is...
  19. oooh, this is an interesting one. I wouldn't go as far to say they're awful, but they definitely get more praise than they arguably should (coming from someone who previously has said they're my favourite spinners and top rides). The gimmicks have massive shock value and are completely unexpected. But the second half doesn't compliment the first half at all. It's two very different experiences. And whilst they give you the wtf-factor when you leave the ride, you've completely forgotten about the fun coaster that precedes it, and are left with the memory of a gimmick and a rubbish coaster section. If the gimmicky stuff happened earlier, or there was more theatrics to the second half the ride, I think it'd be fine. NB: I enjoy Winjas in their own right. It's a good mid-tier attraction. But they do get over-praised and have their faults swept aside by many.
  20. The Polish Plopsa park, Majaland, have been making good progress with their woodie.. Source: SkyScraperCity Pretty much a clone of Heidi at Plopsaland (which itself is pretty much a clone of White Lightning at Fun Spot, Orlando), and will be Poland's first woodie.
  21. Tbf it's less about trying to hide something and more about trying to advertise it. No screen there and it just looks like (another) dead attraction. Screen there and it looks like something is being done, and draws people to look.
  22. How much dust did you have to blow off your account when logging back on Phill? But yeah, I'll be there.
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