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pluk

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  1. Like
    pluk reacted to JoshuaA for a blog entry, europa park is bad.   
    So if you have seen me around the forums, you'll probably know I have a slight obsession with Europa Park.
    Today I'll be going over my sexual fetish over this theme park, and just why I love this place.
    Get your drugs and your overpriced coffee ready, and enjoy!

    Operations:
    Europa Park is pretty **** with its operations.
    3 trains on a B&M, 3 on a GCI, 4-5ish on Euromir/Bluefire, and insanely quick dispatches.
    Like, 1 train operations is the way to go!
    Even worse, I didn't witness a single breakdown in my 3 days there..
    Like I didn't even get to go to guest services to complain.

    Theming:
    Okay sarcasm aside, Europa Park is quite well known for its insanely good theming.
    The park really go above and beyond with theming.
    Things like themed toliets, or that satellite thing-y near Euro-Mir really show how much effort goes into theming their rides
    Now in terms of standouts, the French, Greek, and Arthur areas all standout for me, but quite honestly, the whole park is beautiful.

    The rides.. Yes, its a theme park:
    So as well as Europa's flawless theming and operations, their ride collection is also obviously quite strong.
    Standouts for me are obviously Blue Fire, Wodan, and Arthur, but their is so many little gems around the park that are worth mentioning.
    Even some of the cookie cutter rides you see at every park standout at Europa- like Fjord Rafting, which is nicely themed and a near flawless rapids that left me lovely and wet..
    Others worth noting is their Mine Train- which has a super awesome diamond cave section, and The Arena Of Football, which is a super fun twist on the super standard bumper cars.

    Shows:
    Shows in Theme Parks are something that are IMO criminally underated.
    Shows can really break up a day, and who doesn't like a bit of live entertainment?
    The Standout to me had to be their Ice Show, which was incredibly fun and campy.
    Also some male eye candy in there.. Not gonna lie.

    Overall:
    all in all- Europa Park remains a flawlessly ran park that also looks beautiful.
    As well as this, they also have a strong lineup of rides like Arthur, Blue Fire, and Wodan.
    The park is easily one of the best parks in the world.
    Anyway thanks for reading.. here's a orgasmic picture of Euro-Mir taken by a sexy friend of mine..
    (his name is josh)

  2. Like
    pluk reacted to Mattgwise for a blog entry, Europa Park April 2017   
    I'm not one for creating huge blogs so...
     
    Just got back from my second visit to Europa having been five years ago, and think I enjoyed it even more. This is truly a wonderful place and hope to be back sooner than five years.

    As you'd expect, all rides working, no breakdowns, high capacity, friendly staff, good food (and too much choice).
     
    Got on many rides and the longest queue was 25 mins for Matterhorn Blitz, everything else around the 10-15 mins mark. Sunday park open till 7:30 and Tuesday on our second day open until 9:00.
     
    Was fantastic to twice see engineers working on animatronics, proving they truly do keep everything going, unlike some places we all know a bit too well 
     
    I really recommend visiting the Silver Lake Saloon for dinner if anyone visits the park and stays nearby. Great food and great surroundings. Just a few pics...
















  3. Like
    pluk reacted to Mer for a blog entry, Blackpool Meet 2016 - SUNday!   
    Sunday 4th September - Sunshine, Spinning & Midway Madness
     
    The sun was out today, no rain at all!
    In the morning, those of us who weren't doing Sandcastle waterpark returned to the Pleasure Beach with our rainy day tickets.
     
    George was living up to his forum name of SmilerGeorge  

     
    First we did Avalanche (which we didn't have time for on the Saturday as it had a long queue all day), which was faster and more forceful than I remember! Then we re-rode Grand National, Big One and Skyforce - and this time, I managed to nail it! Tips for those who've yet to ride: you have to make sure you're rocking side to side fast enough (faster than in the queueline demonstration video), the first time you go upside down will probably be too slow to start the spinning momentum, so keep rocking until you do a full flip...then hold the wings in place and prepare for insanity! I couldn't believe how fast I was spinning, and I think the wind must have caught me a few times as I suddenly picked up speed at points! I felt a bit out of control at one point and a tiny bit scared (which rarely happens to me on rides!), even though I WAS in control  I managed 71 spins on it, coming first place out of our ride  
     

     
    Not surprised that I felt a bit odd/tingly for a good 10 minutes afterwards!
    And it was sunshine and blue skies, I got some good off-ride footage of it  Look out for Marc, Alex and Liam on this one!
     
     
    Had a cheeky browse in the gift shop before catching the tram up to the Tower  At the 2014 meet, it still had some scaffolding around it, so this was the first time I'd seen it looking nice and restored to its fully glory!
     


     
    Whilst some visited The Dungeons, the rest of us did the Tower Eye. This was more enjoyable than the previous meet, as the glass floor seemed clearer and less scratched   It's a shame the stairs to the very top are closed off, and we also saw the new Bar 380 which looked rather small (but I guess they've only got so much room up there). The 4D experience was, of course, great entertainment  Much better than the London Eye one!
     

     
    Bar 380:

     
    Just chillin' on the glass floor:

     
    Had lots of fun sitting on the floor!


     
    Great views...

     
    After some lunch, it was time for the magnificent Tower Ballroom!  It is truly stunning to be in, and breathtaking when you walk in. Even if you're not into dancing or that sort of thing, you can't deny its beauty. It was good to also see the Wurlitzer come up from under the floor too (unfortunately I'd just stopped filming)!
     


     
    I was rather busy filming and eating lunch to dance this time, but Paige had a go and did well at learning to waltz with Peaj  He returned to the floor later on (with a younger woman than last year, no old ladies this time!) to cha cha and then do the quickstep - one of my favourite dances to watch on Strictly  
     
     
    Our final attraction of the day was the Circus. I really enjoyed this last time and found the audience involvement hilarious, so was looking forward to it. Sadly I felt underwhelmed this time, in terms of comedy anyway - the stunts/tricks were awesome. Although it was funny when Alex was one of the people chosen to participate at one point - I was hoping someone from our group would get picked!  We did get a sense that some performers were new and/or that there was a lot of nervousness, as there were a few mistakes. The fire alarm was going off in the background at one point too, which I don't think helped!
     
    The fountains at the end were pretty though

     
    Before heading back down to the distant land of the south, we went to Coral Island for a bit (for those unaware, it's essentially a large arcade place with some little dark rides and theming). Did the ghost train thingy which wasn't bad!
     
    I think the staff member was a tad unimpressed by the swarm of adults coming on  

     
    Some of the theming:

     
     
    So there you have it! Thanks y'all for reading, hopefully it's been entertaining!
     
    For all the photos from the meet: Blackpool Weekend 2016
    And finally...
    My compilation video from the meet
     
     
  4. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Mer for a blog entry, Europa, again   
    I know it’s been a silly amount of time since I started this, let's wrap it up. The wait has been because sadly my old laptop has died, taking my photos with it until I work out how to rescue them, so shiny new laptop is good for me and means I can finally write this, but a text only end to this is less good for you, dear reader...
     
    My only other experience of a Mack spinner is Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts, which is such a pathetic sucky excuse for coaster I wasn't expecting anything from Euro Mir, but it's ace! The lifthill of forever gives some good fun rave times, the first half of the coaster section with the slow spinning I found strangely unnerving because of the height and feeling of hanging over the edge of the track, and the second half so unexpectedly intense it shocked me. I love spinners in general, and this is one of the best. 9/10.
     
    The other big old coaster I was less of a fan of, it's just so uncomfortable in there. Euro Sat I can only assume is themed to replicate the inside of an oven, the slow climb steadily reaching into hotter and hotter air until just when I thought I could take it no more it slams you through its manoeuvres relentlessly until it smashes to an end on brakes, which feel like a lump of concrete has been left on the tracks. I don't know at what temperature steel melts, but I was fully expecting the track to fold away from underneath me like plasticine at any moment. I can appreciate the craziness, but it's just a little too chaotic for me. 7/10
     
    Then we come to the two newest coasters at the back of the park in Blue Fire and Woodan, and they both blew me away. Woodan is rough enough to know it's wood, smooth enough to be enjoyable for everyone. It flies though the course throwing little nuggets of airtime at you over and over, doing nothing too extreme to offend, but never being dull for a moment. It is perfectly executed from the first step into the queueline until it slides back into the station. Except maybe that adverse camber turn into the lifthill - that freaked me the hell out. Blue Fire I'd probably rate as the best in the park. My first Mack launch, and they clearly should be everywhere. The launch smooth and powerful with the train seeming to crackle down the track and the layout fantastic; probably the best series of inversions on any coaster anywhere, especially the last one where the train seems to disappear from beneath you mid inversion. And it's all made so enjoyable by the comfort and freedom of the restraints. Both a solid 10/10.
     
    The place is so huge I could write for pages and pages (I know, I already have!), even on just the outstanding bits, which are many. But I won’t, so just to cover a few bits which stand out in my memory…
    - Arthur (or '**** ***** *****, the ride' as we called it owing to the slightly lively lyrics for a children's ride) is an odd one. We really enjoyed it and the theming is well done, but as an advert for the ride from Mack it seems to be a bit of a shocker with loads of downtime, seats out of action all over the place and a locker room of faff which just does not work. The queue was always slow, long, hot and tiresome, which obviously stands out a mile in a park so obsessed with efficiency. It’s decent enough when you’re on it though. They’ve also taken the two best kiddie rides from Holiday Park with the drop towers and bouncy roundabout thing, which is a nice support selection.
    - Pirates of Somewhere other than the Caribbean was a blast, really well done, and the second visit to the Wicked Witches clamshells of my youth were vastly superior to the previous encounter on this trip, even if a hanging is a bit strong! Other than that though I think the other dark rides slightly let the park down, with the already mentioned Cassandra, the dinosaur ride being dull and tired, the shooter very forgettable, and the Bench Christmas thing sitting uncomfortably close to embarrassing even if it does just about manage a little hint of charming.
    - You can really see and feel the quality in the upkeep and theming of Europa on rides with direct UK comparisons; the teacups glide fast and effortlessly, the pirate ship looks like it was built yesterday, the seastorm boats in a room of effects. It’s all like new.
     
    - The rest of everything is pretty much all fantastic; I'm particularly fond of a bobsled and this ones great, the logflume/coaster diamond mine interaction, unexpected things to stumble upon like the crown jewels thing, the food being so authentic to the areas, food loop, beer everywhere, stunning extravagant shows, happy enthusiastic staff, wonderful hotel facilities open to all. I could go on for ever more.

     
    Everyone said 2 days wouldn't be enough. They were right. I'm not sure two weeks would be enough, I don't think I could ever get enough. Nowhere is without its faults, but Europa has instantly become my favorite theme park in the world. I feel like I've visited at the right time too; the two newest coasters really round off a hell of a collection, and unfortunately I'm not particularly interested in project V. So for now I've had my fix. As we sat with our cocktails under the dancing fountains of Bell Rock on our last night we decided that we most certainly will be back...
     

     
     
    TLDR - The message is Go to Europa Park!
     
     
     
  5. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Daniel.S312 for a blog entry, Europa, again   
    I know it’s been a silly amount of time since I started this, let's wrap it up. The wait has been because sadly my old laptop has died, taking my photos with it until I work out how to rescue them, so shiny new laptop is good for me and means I can finally write this, but a text only end to this is less good for you, dear reader...
     
    My only other experience of a Mack spinner is Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts, which is such a pathetic sucky excuse for coaster I wasn't expecting anything from Euro Mir, but it's ace! The lifthill of forever gives some good fun rave times, the first half of the coaster section with the slow spinning I found strangely unnerving because of the height and feeling of hanging over the edge of the track, and the second half so unexpectedly intense it shocked me. I love spinners in general, and this is one of the best. 9/10.
     
    The other big old coaster I was less of a fan of, it's just so uncomfortable in there. Euro Sat I can only assume is themed to replicate the inside of an oven, the slow climb steadily reaching into hotter and hotter air until just when I thought I could take it no more it slams you through its manoeuvres relentlessly until it smashes to an end on brakes, which feel like a lump of concrete has been left on the tracks. I don't know at what temperature steel melts, but I was fully expecting the track to fold away from underneath me like plasticine at any moment. I can appreciate the craziness, but it's just a little too chaotic for me. 7/10
     
    Then we come to the two newest coasters at the back of the park in Blue Fire and Woodan, and they both blew me away. Woodan is rough enough to know it's wood, smooth enough to be enjoyable for everyone. It flies though the course throwing little nuggets of airtime at you over and over, doing nothing too extreme to offend, but never being dull for a moment. It is perfectly executed from the first step into the queueline until it slides back into the station. Except maybe that adverse camber turn into the lifthill - that freaked me the hell out. Blue Fire I'd probably rate as the best in the park. My first Mack launch, and they clearly should be everywhere. The launch smooth and powerful with the train seeming to crackle down the track and the layout fantastic; probably the best series of inversions on any coaster anywhere, especially the last one where the train seems to disappear from beneath you mid inversion. And it's all made so enjoyable by the comfort and freedom of the restraints. Both a solid 10/10.
     
    The place is so huge I could write for pages and pages (I know, I already have!), even on just the outstanding bits, which are many. But I won’t, so just to cover a few bits which stand out in my memory…
    - Arthur (or '**** ***** *****, the ride' as we called it owing to the slightly lively lyrics for a children's ride) is an odd one. We really enjoyed it and the theming is well done, but as an advert for the ride from Mack it seems to be a bit of a shocker with loads of downtime, seats out of action all over the place and a locker room of faff which just does not work. The queue was always slow, long, hot and tiresome, which obviously stands out a mile in a park so obsessed with efficiency. It’s decent enough when you’re on it though. They’ve also taken the two best kiddie rides from Holiday Park with the drop towers and bouncy roundabout thing, which is a nice support selection.
    - Pirates of Somewhere other than the Caribbean was a blast, really well done, and the second visit to the Wicked Witches clamshells of my youth were vastly superior to the previous encounter on this trip, even if a hanging is a bit strong! Other than that though I think the other dark rides slightly let the park down, with the already mentioned Cassandra, the dinosaur ride being dull and tired, the shooter very forgettable, and the Bench Christmas thing sitting uncomfortably close to embarrassing even if it does just about manage a little hint of charming.
    - You can really see and feel the quality in the upkeep and theming of Europa on rides with direct UK comparisons; the teacups glide fast and effortlessly, the pirate ship looks like it was built yesterday, the seastorm boats in a room of effects. It’s all like new.
     
    - The rest of everything is pretty much all fantastic; I'm particularly fond of a bobsled and this ones great, the logflume/coaster diamond mine interaction, unexpected things to stumble upon like the crown jewels thing, the food being so authentic to the areas, food loop, beer everywhere, stunning extravagant shows, happy enthusiastic staff, wonderful hotel facilities open to all. I could go on for ever more.

     
    Everyone said 2 days wouldn't be enough. They were right. I'm not sure two weeks would be enough, I don't think I could ever get enough. Nowhere is without its faults, but Europa has instantly become my favorite theme park in the world. I feel like I've visited at the right time too; the two newest coasters really round off a hell of a collection, and unfortunately I'm not particularly interested in project V. So for now I've had my fix. As we sat with our cocktails under the dancing fountains of Bell Rock on our last night we decided that we most certainly will be back...
     

     
     
    TLDR - The message is Go to Europa Park!
     
     
     
  6. Like
    pluk reacted to Mer for a blog entry, Blackpool Meet 2016 - Soggy Saturday!   
    Hello all!
     
    I've been meaning to get round to various trip reports and things for a looooong time - I still have a ton of videos from 2015 that need uploading!  I just haven't found the time or been able to focus on it due to other things going on/various health issues over the past year. However, as I type this, my videos from the Europa meet last May are uploading to YouTube, so I'm getting there   I'm not doing reports for every meet/visit last year, just ones that I've not done them for at all yet. And they will be more condensed than my old ones  
     
    So...Blackpool 2016!
     
    Aah, Blackpool. Such a wonderfully tacky, northern place! I'm not gonna lie, I do love it for many reasons, one of which being the unique things the Pleasure Beach has to offer!
     
    Let's start with our first day of the meet:
     
    Saturday 3rd September - An Extremely Soggy Day At The Pleasure Beach
     
    People joke about the weather up north, but this was easily the worst weather I've ever experienced at a meet (and I think others could say the same too)! That 2013 Swarm photoshoot was pretty testing, but that was only a few hours...this was the whole day! Thankfully, Paige had her potentially-dangerous-hairdryer with her, so we used that in the evening to attempt to dry our selves and our clothes off! And no Great Fire of Blackpool happened (although we did have an electricity socket hanging out the wall in our room...but the hotel issues are a whole other story )
     
    Brace yourselves for some TPM poncho sexiness...

     
    The good thing was, they gave everyone tickets to return the next day due to the rain! The bad news was, Valhalla was advertised as being closed all day...for now!
     
    So, what was our first ride of the day? Alice In Wonderland (Liam's first - and last - time riding a pussy)! A ride which I'd not been that fussed by before (probably because the first time I rode it was later on in the day after more exciting stuff, and just before Valhalla), and I enjoyed more this time. Gotta love that queueline music  
     


     
    Wild Mouse: If you've ever wanted to experience possible near-death on a coaster, this is probably the nearest you'll get to it in the UK. I mean that in a highly positive way though - it is insanity! You really do have to hold on for dear life  I could've happily gone on again at some point! Sadly no one else agreed (well except Peaj, I imagine )!
     



     
    In a stark contrast to Wild Mouse, our next ride was the River Caves! The last and only time I rode this was in 2008, so it was great to go on it again  I couldn't remember much about the theming etc at all, and knew that it's one of the oldest rides there, so I was taken aback by how nice it looked! It is stunning  Some people are reluctant to call the Pleasure Beach a theme park when comparing it to others in the UK, but their dark ride theming is bloody good! Then you look at the state Bubbleworks ended up in, and how Tomb Blaster has been ruined... Oh, and seeing a group of people actually get out the boat at the top of the small drop, where the sign clearly tells them NOT to was rather amusing!
     
    Uh oh...time for Infusion! "What sort of cheese was that?!" Cheese from hell, that's what. My poor little ears! I swear there is no escaping the ear-bashing on this thing, whether you put your head forwards or keep it back! 
     
    More cheesy action now - Wallce and Gromit's Thrill-O-Matic!  I do love this ride, it really feels like you're part of the scenes, and the comfy slipper cars were a nice change from Infusion and the wooden benches of the River Caves. Paige enjoyed herself too, especially during the part with the terrifying, giant were-rabbit  
     
    Big One - managed to get the second row on this with Liam, so it was quite fun! His reactions summed up the ride perfectly: main drop, "Woooah!", followed by the failed airtime hill, "Oh..."  
     

     
    Skyforce now, and for many of us, our first time on it. I didn't manage to spin, although I did get stuck upside down a few times! But as it was pretty certain that some of us would be returning the next day, I still had hope...
     
    Steeplechase and Revolution were next, and both good fun as usual. Steeplechase is still one of my favourite rides there  
     
    Soggy Steeplechase selfie! Or as Liam called it, Staplecheese  

     
    After some lunch and some time in the arcade, we decided there was no better time to ride the woodies, starting with Grand National!  Whilst we were queueing for this, we saw Valhalla open, hurrah!
    I had the best ride ever on this - back row in the rain. It was absolutely brutal but SO GOOD! I was out of my seat on every drop and airtime hill!  
     
    Love this sign too...

     
    Big Dipper front row with Mr Fish was fun, not as much as back row was at the last meet though - so little airtime! 
    Blue Flyer - erm, meh. Nickelodeon Streak - again, felt a bit meh compared to last time as I wasn't at the back. Starting to think I'm addicted to airtime...
     
    Now, time for a proper Ghost Train  This was awesome as always and far better than any other...
     
    Ice Blast was great fun as per, then we dashed over to Derby Racers and squeezed a ride in before the Valhalla queue shut. Aww, such a charming and grand ride! Aside from the uniqueness of this ride compared to a standard carousel, and the fast speed, I love the atmosphere it has, with the cheeriness of the organ music etc  
     
    Me and Liam rode many horses that day!

     
    Our final ride of the day was of course Valhalla  Wow! At the last meet (2014), we unfortunately experienced a breakdown which completely ruined the flow of it all, and the lights were left on during the second drop...but this time was perfect! After much initial faffing and flapping with our spare "leg poncho" that is  Peaj had the right idea making a skirt out of his  
     
    Dean was rather excited too...!

     
    There isn't much I can say about this ride, as it taps into so many senses and a written description could barely do it justice. But that second drop is ridiculous (the good kind!) - it looks short but you somehow keep going! How is that even possible?! Clever lighting I'm guessing! It's a shame that you get so drenched as it makes it less re-rideable for some people.
     
    Here we are emerging from the ride, probably not much wetter than we already were from the day's rain! (Credit to Dean for this photo)

     
    Later that evening, after we'd dried off and eaten at Wetherspoons, we did our usual walk along the promenade, going on the piers and seeing the Illuminations, which had been switched on on the Friday that we drove up

     
    Dodgems fun!

     
    The waltzers on the south pier are aptly-named Hell-Raiser! They spin you so fast! The only reason they stopped our ride was because the op thought Dean was ill/not OK as he'd ended up laying across the others  (Although I think he did say afterwards he was glad it stopped when it did, and it was a bloody long ride anyway!)

     



     
    So that's all for now, but part 2 will be coming later. Will I manage to spin on Skyforce? Will Peaj pull any more old ladies in the ballroom? Will it finally stop raining?! Find out soon...
     
  7. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Ryan for a blog entry, Europa, again   
    I know it’s been a silly amount of time since I started this, let's wrap it up. The wait has been because sadly my old laptop has died, taking my photos with it until I work out how to rescue them, so shiny new laptop is good for me and means I can finally write this, but a text only end to this is less good for you, dear reader...
     
    My only other experience of a Mack spinner is Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts, which is such a pathetic sucky excuse for coaster I wasn't expecting anything from Euro Mir, but it's ace! The lifthill of forever gives some good fun rave times, the first half of the coaster section with the slow spinning I found strangely unnerving because of the height and feeling of hanging over the edge of the track, and the second half so unexpectedly intense it shocked me. I love spinners in general, and this is one of the best. 9/10.
     
    The other big old coaster I was less of a fan of, it's just so uncomfortable in there. Euro Sat I can only assume is themed to replicate the inside of an oven, the slow climb steadily reaching into hotter and hotter air until just when I thought I could take it no more it slams you through its manoeuvres relentlessly until it smashes to an end on brakes, which feel like a lump of concrete has been left on the tracks. I don't know at what temperature steel melts, but I was fully expecting the track to fold away from underneath me like plasticine at any moment. I can appreciate the craziness, but it's just a little too chaotic for me. 7/10
     
    Then we come to the two newest coasters at the back of the park in Blue Fire and Woodan, and they both blew me away. Woodan is rough enough to know it's wood, smooth enough to be enjoyable for everyone. It flies though the course throwing little nuggets of airtime at you over and over, doing nothing too extreme to offend, but never being dull for a moment. It is perfectly executed from the first step into the queueline until it slides back into the station. Except maybe that adverse camber turn into the lifthill - that freaked me the hell out. Blue Fire I'd probably rate as the best in the park. My first Mack launch, and they clearly should be everywhere. The launch smooth and powerful with the train seeming to crackle down the track and the layout fantastic; probably the best series of inversions on any coaster anywhere, especially the last one where the train seems to disappear from beneath you mid inversion. And it's all made so enjoyable by the comfort and freedom of the restraints. Both a solid 10/10.
     
    The place is so huge I could write for pages and pages (I know, I already have!), even on just the outstanding bits, which are many. But I won’t, so just to cover a few bits which stand out in my memory…
    - Arthur (or '**** ***** *****, the ride' as we called it owing to the slightly lively lyrics for a children's ride) is an odd one. We really enjoyed it and the theming is well done, but as an advert for the ride from Mack it seems to be a bit of a shocker with loads of downtime, seats out of action all over the place and a locker room of faff which just does not work. The queue was always slow, long, hot and tiresome, which obviously stands out a mile in a park so obsessed with efficiency. It’s decent enough when you’re on it though. They’ve also taken the two best kiddie rides from Holiday Park with the drop towers and bouncy roundabout thing, which is a nice support selection.
    - Pirates of Somewhere other than the Caribbean was a blast, really well done, and the second visit to the Wicked Witches clamshells of my youth were vastly superior to the previous encounter on this trip, even if a hanging is a bit strong! Other than that though I think the other dark rides slightly let the park down, with the already mentioned Cassandra, the dinosaur ride being dull and tired, the shooter very forgettable, and the Bench Christmas thing sitting uncomfortably close to embarrassing even if it does just about manage a little hint of charming.
    - You can really see and feel the quality in the upkeep and theming of Europa on rides with direct UK comparisons; the teacups glide fast and effortlessly, the pirate ship looks like it was built yesterday, the seastorm boats in a room of effects. It’s all like new.
     
    - The rest of everything is pretty much all fantastic; I'm particularly fond of a bobsled and this ones great, the logflume/coaster diamond mine interaction, unexpected things to stumble upon like the crown jewels thing, the food being so authentic to the areas, food loop, beer everywhere, stunning extravagant shows, happy enthusiastic staff, wonderful hotel facilities open to all. I could go on for ever more.

     
    Everyone said 2 days wouldn't be enough. They were right. I'm not sure two weeks would be enough, I don't think I could ever get enough. Nowhere is without its faults, but Europa has instantly become my favorite theme park in the world. I feel like I've visited at the right time too; the two newest coasters really round off a hell of a collection, and unfortunately I'm not particularly interested in project V. So for now I've had my fix. As we sat with our cocktails under the dancing fountains of Bell Rock on our last night we decided that we most certainly will be back...
     

     
     
    TLDR - The message is Go to Europa Park!
     
     
     
  8. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Mitchada04 for a blog entry, Europa, again   
    I know it’s been a silly amount of time since I started this, let's wrap it up. The wait has been because sadly my old laptop has died, taking my photos with it until I work out how to rescue them, so shiny new laptop is good for me and means I can finally write this, but a text only end to this is less good for you, dear reader...
     
    My only other experience of a Mack spinner is Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts, which is such a pathetic sucky excuse for coaster I wasn't expecting anything from Euro Mir, but it's ace! The lifthill of forever gives some good fun rave times, the first half of the coaster section with the slow spinning I found strangely unnerving because of the height and feeling of hanging over the edge of the track, and the second half so unexpectedly intense it shocked me. I love spinners in general, and this is one of the best. 9/10.
     
    The other big old coaster I was less of a fan of, it's just so uncomfortable in there. Euro Sat I can only assume is themed to replicate the inside of an oven, the slow climb steadily reaching into hotter and hotter air until just when I thought I could take it no more it slams you through its manoeuvres relentlessly until it smashes to an end on brakes, which feel like a lump of concrete has been left on the tracks. I don't know at what temperature steel melts, but I was fully expecting the track to fold away from underneath me like plasticine at any moment. I can appreciate the craziness, but it's just a little too chaotic for me. 7/10
     
    Then we come to the two newest coasters at the back of the park in Blue Fire and Woodan, and they both blew me away. Woodan is rough enough to know it's wood, smooth enough to be enjoyable for everyone. It flies though the course throwing little nuggets of airtime at you over and over, doing nothing too extreme to offend, but never being dull for a moment. It is perfectly executed from the first step into the queueline until it slides back into the station. Except maybe that adverse camber turn into the lifthill - that freaked me the hell out. Blue Fire I'd probably rate as the best in the park. My first Mack launch, and they clearly should be everywhere. The launch smooth and powerful with the train seeming to crackle down the track and the layout fantastic; probably the best series of inversions on any coaster anywhere, especially the last one where the train seems to disappear from beneath you mid inversion. And it's all made so enjoyable by the comfort and freedom of the restraints. Both a solid 10/10.
     
    The place is so huge I could write for pages and pages (I know, I already have!), even on just the outstanding bits, which are many. But I won’t, so just to cover a few bits which stand out in my memory…
    - Arthur (or '**** ***** *****, the ride' as we called it owing to the slightly lively lyrics for a children's ride) is an odd one. We really enjoyed it and the theming is well done, but as an advert for the ride from Mack it seems to be a bit of a shocker with loads of downtime, seats out of action all over the place and a locker room of faff which just does not work. The queue was always slow, long, hot and tiresome, which obviously stands out a mile in a park so obsessed with efficiency. It’s decent enough when you’re on it though. They’ve also taken the two best kiddie rides from Holiday Park with the drop towers and bouncy roundabout thing, which is a nice support selection.
    - Pirates of Somewhere other than the Caribbean was a blast, really well done, and the second visit to the Wicked Witches clamshells of my youth were vastly superior to the previous encounter on this trip, even if a hanging is a bit strong! Other than that though I think the other dark rides slightly let the park down, with the already mentioned Cassandra, the dinosaur ride being dull and tired, the shooter very forgettable, and the Bench Christmas thing sitting uncomfortably close to embarrassing even if it does just about manage a little hint of charming.
    - You can really see and feel the quality in the upkeep and theming of Europa on rides with direct UK comparisons; the teacups glide fast and effortlessly, the pirate ship looks like it was built yesterday, the seastorm boats in a room of effects. It’s all like new.
     
    - The rest of everything is pretty much all fantastic; I'm particularly fond of a bobsled and this ones great, the logflume/coaster diamond mine interaction, unexpected things to stumble upon like the crown jewels thing, the food being so authentic to the areas, food loop, beer everywhere, stunning extravagant shows, happy enthusiastic staff, wonderful hotel facilities open to all. I could go on for ever more.

     
    Everyone said 2 days wouldn't be enough. They were right. I'm not sure two weeks would be enough, I don't think I could ever get enough. Nowhere is without its faults, but Europa has instantly become my favorite theme park in the world. I feel like I've visited at the right time too; the two newest coasters really round off a hell of a collection, and unfortunately I'm not particularly interested in project V. So for now I've had my fix. As we sat with our cocktails under the dancing fountains of Bell Rock on our last night we decided that we most certainly will be back...
     

     
     
    TLDR - The message is Go to Europa Park!
     
     
     
  9. Like
    pluk got a reaction from CharlieN for a blog entry, Europa, again   
    I know it’s been a silly amount of time since I started this, let's wrap it up. The wait has been because sadly my old laptop has died, taking my photos with it until I work out how to rescue them, so shiny new laptop is good for me and means I can finally write this, but a text only end to this is less good for you, dear reader...
     
    My only other experience of a Mack spinner is Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts, which is such a pathetic sucky excuse for coaster I wasn't expecting anything from Euro Mir, but it's ace! The lifthill of forever gives some good fun rave times, the first half of the coaster section with the slow spinning I found strangely unnerving because of the height and feeling of hanging over the edge of the track, and the second half so unexpectedly intense it shocked me. I love spinners in general, and this is one of the best. 9/10.
     
    The other big old coaster I was less of a fan of, it's just so uncomfortable in there. Euro Sat I can only assume is themed to replicate the inside of an oven, the slow climb steadily reaching into hotter and hotter air until just when I thought I could take it no more it slams you through its manoeuvres relentlessly until it smashes to an end on brakes, which feel like a lump of concrete has been left on the tracks. I don't know at what temperature steel melts, but I was fully expecting the track to fold away from underneath me like plasticine at any moment. I can appreciate the craziness, but it's just a little too chaotic for me. 7/10
     
    Then we come to the two newest coasters at the back of the park in Blue Fire and Woodan, and they both blew me away. Woodan is rough enough to know it's wood, smooth enough to be enjoyable for everyone. It flies though the course throwing little nuggets of airtime at you over and over, doing nothing too extreme to offend, but never being dull for a moment. It is perfectly executed from the first step into the queueline until it slides back into the station. Except maybe that adverse camber turn into the lifthill - that freaked me the hell out. Blue Fire I'd probably rate as the best in the park. My first Mack launch, and they clearly should be everywhere. The launch smooth and powerful with the train seeming to crackle down the track and the layout fantastic; probably the best series of inversions on any coaster anywhere, especially the last one where the train seems to disappear from beneath you mid inversion. And it's all made so enjoyable by the comfort and freedom of the restraints. Both a solid 10/10.
     
    The place is so huge I could write for pages and pages (I know, I already have!), even on just the outstanding bits, which are many. But I won’t, so just to cover a few bits which stand out in my memory…
    - Arthur (or '**** ***** *****, the ride' as we called it owing to the slightly lively lyrics for a children's ride) is an odd one. We really enjoyed it and the theming is well done, but as an advert for the ride from Mack it seems to be a bit of a shocker with loads of downtime, seats out of action all over the place and a locker room of faff which just does not work. The queue was always slow, long, hot and tiresome, which obviously stands out a mile in a park so obsessed with efficiency. It’s decent enough when you’re on it though. They’ve also taken the two best kiddie rides from Holiday Park with the drop towers and bouncy roundabout thing, which is a nice support selection.
    - Pirates of Somewhere other than the Caribbean was a blast, really well done, and the second visit to the Wicked Witches clamshells of my youth were vastly superior to the previous encounter on this trip, even if a hanging is a bit strong! Other than that though I think the other dark rides slightly let the park down, with the already mentioned Cassandra, the dinosaur ride being dull and tired, the shooter very forgettable, and the Bench Christmas thing sitting uncomfortably close to embarrassing even if it does just about manage a little hint of charming.
    - You can really see and feel the quality in the upkeep and theming of Europa on rides with direct UK comparisons; the teacups glide fast and effortlessly, the pirate ship looks like it was built yesterday, the seastorm boats in a room of effects. It’s all like new.
     
    - The rest of everything is pretty much all fantastic; I'm particularly fond of a bobsled and this ones great, the logflume/coaster diamond mine interaction, unexpected things to stumble upon like the crown jewels thing, the food being so authentic to the areas, food loop, beer everywhere, stunning extravagant shows, happy enthusiastic staff, wonderful hotel facilities open to all. I could go on for ever more.

     
    Everyone said 2 days wouldn't be enough. They were right. I'm not sure two weeks would be enough, I don't think I could ever get enough. Nowhere is without its faults, but Europa has instantly become my favorite theme park in the world. I feel like I've visited at the right time too; the two newest coasters really round off a hell of a collection, and unfortunately I'm not particularly interested in project V. So for now I've had my fix. As we sat with our cocktails under the dancing fountains of Bell Rock on our last night we decided that we most certainly will be back...
     

     
     
    TLDR - The message is Go to Europa Park!
     
     
     
  10. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. for a blog entry, Europa, again   
    I know it’s been a silly amount of time since I started this, let's wrap it up. The wait has been because sadly my old laptop has died, taking my photos with it until I work out how to rescue them, so shiny new laptop is good for me and means I can finally write this, but a text only end to this is less good for you, dear reader...
     
    My only other experience of a Mack spinner is Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts, which is such a pathetic sucky excuse for coaster I wasn't expecting anything from Euro Mir, but it's ace! The lifthill of forever gives some good fun rave times, the first half of the coaster section with the slow spinning I found strangely unnerving because of the height and feeling of hanging over the edge of the track, and the second half so unexpectedly intense it shocked me. I love spinners in general, and this is one of the best. 9/10.
     
    The other big old coaster I was less of a fan of, it's just so uncomfortable in there. Euro Sat I can only assume is themed to replicate the inside of an oven, the slow climb steadily reaching into hotter and hotter air until just when I thought I could take it no more it slams you through its manoeuvres relentlessly until it smashes to an end on brakes, which feel like a lump of concrete has been left on the tracks. I don't know at what temperature steel melts, but I was fully expecting the track to fold away from underneath me like plasticine at any moment. I can appreciate the craziness, but it's just a little too chaotic for me. 7/10
     
    Then we come to the two newest coasters at the back of the park in Blue Fire and Woodan, and they both blew me away. Woodan is rough enough to know it's wood, smooth enough to be enjoyable for everyone. It flies though the course throwing little nuggets of airtime at you over and over, doing nothing too extreme to offend, but never being dull for a moment. It is perfectly executed from the first step into the queueline until it slides back into the station. Except maybe that adverse camber turn into the lifthill - that freaked me the hell out. Blue Fire I'd probably rate as the best in the park. My first Mack launch, and they clearly should be everywhere. The launch smooth and powerful with the train seeming to crackle down the track and the layout fantastic; probably the best series of inversions on any coaster anywhere, especially the last one where the train seems to disappear from beneath you mid inversion. And it's all made so enjoyable by the comfort and freedom of the restraints. Both a solid 10/10.
     
    The place is so huge I could write for pages and pages (I know, I already have!), even on just the outstanding bits, which are many. But I won’t, so just to cover a few bits which stand out in my memory…
    - Arthur (or '**** ***** *****, the ride' as we called it owing to the slightly lively lyrics for a children's ride) is an odd one. We really enjoyed it and the theming is well done, but as an advert for the ride from Mack it seems to be a bit of a shocker with loads of downtime, seats out of action all over the place and a locker room of faff which just does not work. The queue was always slow, long, hot and tiresome, which obviously stands out a mile in a park so obsessed with efficiency. It’s decent enough when you’re on it though. They’ve also taken the two best kiddie rides from Holiday Park with the drop towers and bouncy roundabout thing, which is a nice support selection.
    - Pirates of Somewhere other than the Caribbean was a blast, really well done, and the second visit to the Wicked Witches clamshells of my youth were vastly superior to the previous encounter on this trip, even if a hanging is a bit strong! Other than that though I think the other dark rides slightly let the park down, with the already mentioned Cassandra, the dinosaur ride being dull and tired, the shooter very forgettable, and the Bench Christmas thing sitting uncomfortably close to embarrassing even if it does just about manage a little hint of charming.
    - You can really see and feel the quality in the upkeep and theming of Europa on rides with direct UK comparisons; the teacups glide fast and effortlessly, the pirate ship looks like it was built yesterday, the seastorm boats in a room of effects. It’s all like new.
     
    - The rest of everything is pretty much all fantastic; I'm particularly fond of a bobsled and this ones great, the logflume/coaster diamond mine interaction, unexpected things to stumble upon like the crown jewels thing, the food being so authentic to the areas, food loop, beer everywhere, stunning extravagant shows, happy enthusiastic staff, wonderful hotel facilities open to all. I could go on for ever more.

     
    Everyone said 2 days wouldn't be enough. They were right. I'm not sure two weeks would be enough, I don't think I could ever get enough. Nowhere is without its faults, but Europa has instantly become my favorite theme park in the world. I feel like I've visited at the right time too; the two newest coasters really round off a hell of a collection, and unfortunately I'm not particularly interested in project V. So for now I've had my fix. As we sat with our cocktails under the dancing fountains of Bell Rock on our last night we decided that we most certainly will be back...
     

     
     
    TLDR - The message is Go to Europa Park!
     
     
     
  11. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshuaA for a blog entry, Europa, again   
    I know it’s been a silly amount of time since I started this, let's wrap it up. The wait has been because sadly my old laptop has died, taking my photos with it until I work out how to rescue them, so shiny new laptop is good for me and means I can finally write this, but a text only end to this is less good for you, dear reader...
     
    My only other experience of a Mack spinner is Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts, which is such a pathetic sucky excuse for coaster I wasn't expecting anything from Euro Mir, but it's ace! The lifthill of forever gives some good fun rave times, the first half of the coaster section with the slow spinning I found strangely unnerving because of the height and feeling of hanging over the edge of the track, and the second half so unexpectedly intense it shocked me. I love spinners in general, and this is one of the best. 9/10.
     
    The other big old coaster I was less of a fan of, it's just so uncomfortable in there. Euro Sat I can only assume is themed to replicate the inside of an oven, the slow climb steadily reaching into hotter and hotter air until just when I thought I could take it no more it slams you through its manoeuvres relentlessly until it smashes to an end on brakes, which feel like a lump of concrete has been left on the tracks. I don't know at what temperature steel melts, but I was fully expecting the track to fold away from underneath me like plasticine at any moment. I can appreciate the craziness, but it's just a little too chaotic for me. 7/10
     
    Then we come to the two newest coasters at the back of the park in Blue Fire and Woodan, and they both blew me away. Woodan is rough enough to know it's wood, smooth enough to be enjoyable for everyone. It flies though the course throwing little nuggets of airtime at you over and over, doing nothing too extreme to offend, but never being dull for a moment. It is perfectly executed from the first step into the queueline until it slides back into the station. Except maybe that adverse camber turn into the lifthill - that freaked me the hell out. Blue Fire I'd probably rate as the best in the park. My first Mack launch, and they clearly should be everywhere. The launch smooth and powerful with the train seeming to crackle down the track and the layout fantastic; probably the best series of inversions on any coaster anywhere, especially the last one where the train seems to disappear from beneath you mid inversion. And it's all made so enjoyable by the comfort and freedom of the restraints. Both a solid 10/10.
     
    The place is so huge I could write for pages and pages (I know, I already have!), even on just the outstanding bits, which are many. But I won’t, so just to cover a few bits which stand out in my memory…
    - Arthur (or '**** ***** *****, the ride' as we called it owing to the slightly lively lyrics for a children's ride) is an odd one. We really enjoyed it and the theming is well done, but as an advert for the ride from Mack it seems to be a bit of a shocker with loads of downtime, seats out of action all over the place and a locker room of faff which just does not work. The queue was always slow, long, hot and tiresome, which obviously stands out a mile in a park so obsessed with efficiency. It’s decent enough when you’re on it though. They’ve also taken the two best kiddie rides from Holiday Park with the drop towers and bouncy roundabout thing, which is a nice support selection.
    - Pirates of Somewhere other than the Caribbean was a blast, really well done, and the second visit to the Wicked Witches clamshells of my youth were vastly superior to the previous encounter on this trip, even if a hanging is a bit strong! Other than that though I think the other dark rides slightly let the park down, with the already mentioned Cassandra, the dinosaur ride being dull and tired, the shooter very forgettable, and the Bench Christmas thing sitting uncomfortably close to embarrassing even if it does just about manage a little hint of charming.
    - You can really see and feel the quality in the upkeep and theming of Europa on rides with direct UK comparisons; the teacups glide fast and effortlessly, the pirate ship looks like it was built yesterday, the seastorm boats in a room of effects. It’s all like new.
     
    - The rest of everything is pretty much all fantastic; I'm particularly fond of a bobsled and this ones great, the logflume/coaster diamond mine interaction, unexpected things to stumble upon like the crown jewels thing, the food being so authentic to the areas, food loop, beer everywhere, stunning extravagant shows, happy enthusiastic staff, wonderful hotel facilities open to all. I could go on for ever more.

     
    Everyone said 2 days wouldn't be enough. They were right. I'm not sure two weeks would be enough, I don't think I could ever get enough. Nowhere is without its faults, but Europa has instantly become my favorite theme park in the world. I feel like I've visited at the right time too; the two newest coasters really round off a hell of a collection, and unfortunately I'm not particularly interested in project V. So for now I've had my fix. As we sat with our cocktails under the dancing fountains of Bell Rock on our last night we decided that we most certainly will be back...
     

     
     
    TLDR - The message is Go to Europa Park!
     
     
     
  12. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Matt Creek for a blog entry, Europa, again   
    I know it’s been a silly amount of time since I started this, let's wrap it up. The wait has been because sadly my old laptop has died, taking my photos with it until I work out how to rescue them, so shiny new laptop is good for me and means I can finally write this, but a text only end to this is less good for you, dear reader...
     
    My only other experience of a Mack spinner is Sierra Sidewinder at Knotts, which is such a pathetic sucky excuse for coaster I wasn't expecting anything from Euro Mir, but it's ace! The lifthill of forever gives some good fun rave times, the first half of the coaster section with the slow spinning I found strangely unnerving because of the height and feeling of hanging over the edge of the track, and the second half so unexpectedly intense it shocked me. I love spinners in general, and this is one of the best. 9/10.
     
    The other big old coaster I was less of a fan of, it's just so uncomfortable in there. Euro Sat I can only assume is themed to replicate the inside of an oven, the slow climb steadily reaching into hotter and hotter air until just when I thought I could take it no more it slams you through its manoeuvres relentlessly until it smashes to an end on brakes, which feel like a lump of concrete has been left on the tracks. I don't know at what temperature steel melts, but I was fully expecting the track to fold away from underneath me like plasticine at any moment. I can appreciate the craziness, but it's just a little too chaotic for me. 7/10
     
    Then we come to the two newest coasters at the back of the park in Blue Fire and Woodan, and they both blew me away. Woodan is rough enough to know it's wood, smooth enough to be enjoyable for everyone. It flies though the course throwing little nuggets of airtime at you over and over, doing nothing too extreme to offend, but never being dull for a moment. It is perfectly executed from the first step into the queueline until it slides back into the station. Except maybe that adverse camber turn into the lifthill - that freaked me the hell out. Blue Fire I'd probably rate as the best in the park. My first Mack launch, and they clearly should be everywhere. The launch smooth and powerful with the train seeming to crackle down the track and the layout fantastic; probably the best series of inversions on any coaster anywhere, especially the last one where the train seems to disappear from beneath you mid inversion. And it's all made so enjoyable by the comfort and freedom of the restraints. Both a solid 10/10.
     
    The place is so huge I could write for pages and pages (I know, I already have!), even on just the outstanding bits, which are many. But I won’t, so just to cover a few bits which stand out in my memory…
    - Arthur (or '**** ***** *****, the ride' as we called it owing to the slightly lively lyrics for a children's ride) is an odd one. We really enjoyed it and the theming is well done, but as an advert for the ride from Mack it seems to be a bit of a shocker with loads of downtime, seats out of action all over the place and a locker room of faff which just does not work. The queue was always slow, long, hot and tiresome, which obviously stands out a mile in a park so obsessed with efficiency. It’s decent enough when you’re on it though. They’ve also taken the two best kiddie rides from Holiday Park with the drop towers and bouncy roundabout thing, which is a nice support selection.
    - Pirates of Somewhere other than the Caribbean was a blast, really well done, and the second visit to the Wicked Witches clamshells of my youth were vastly superior to the previous encounter on this trip, even if a hanging is a bit strong! Other than that though I think the other dark rides slightly let the park down, with the already mentioned Cassandra, the dinosaur ride being dull and tired, the shooter very forgettable, and the Bench Christmas thing sitting uncomfortably close to embarrassing even if it does just about manage a little hint of charming.
    - You can really see and feel the quality in the upkeep and theming of Europa on rides with direct UK comparisons; the teacups glide fast and effortlessly, the pirate ship looks like it was built yesterday, the seastorm boats in a room of effects. It’s all like new.
     
    - The rest of everything is pretty much all fantastic; I'm particularly fond of a bobsled and this ones great, the logflume/coaster diamond mine interaction, unexpected things to stumble upon like the crown jewels thing, the food being so authentic to the areas, food loop, beer everywhere, stunning extravagant shows, happy enthusiastic staff, wonderful hotel facilities open to all. I could go on for ever more.

     
    Everyone said 2 days wouldn't be enough. They were right. I'm not sure two weeks would be enough, I don't think I could ever get enough. Nowhere is without its faults, but Europa has instantly become my favorite theme park in the world. I feel like I've visited at the right time too; the two newest coasters really round off a hell of a collection, and unfortunately I'm not particularly interested in project V. So for now I've had my fix. As we sat with our cocktails under the dancing fountains of Bell Rock on our last night we decided that we most certainly will be back...
     

     
     
    TLDR - The message is Go to Europa Park!
     
     
     
  13. Like
    pluk reacted to EC! for a blog entry, San Francisco 2016   
    Well its only taken me about 4 months but I have finally decided to write this as I literally have nothing else to do this Christmas holiday  So It was a very early morning and we set off to Heathrow, mid way through the journey from Cardiff we picked up Dean Cox from a lay by just off the M4. After a miserably dull journey, we parked the car and got the shuttle to the airport!! 

     
    It finally started dawning on me that I was going to California, a place I have wanted to visit for SO long!! With theme parks I have wanted to go to since I became a big ol' goon for rides and stuff, After a relatively faff free experience, we got breakfast and then finally got on the plane ahead of the burdenous 11hr journey ahead of us. I was in reletively high spirits as I had got my results back for my A Levels, Which I did surprisingly well at! Well other then my maths but we wont speak about that XD.

     
    The flight was burdenous though as trying to stay awake for that amount of time was hard, but I managed to watch 5 movies so I managed. The food though BA should be ashamed it was rank!!

    Deans makeshift headwrap thing seemed to be doing the trick for him although I can't say I'd be able to sleep like that if I'm honest lol. After 10 hours which felt more like 10 years we finally touched down in SFO, which despite being excited I wasn't in the est of moods as I was absolutely knackered but I was determined not to sleep! 

    Obligatory Arrival selfie!
    So after arriving was probably the most stressy and faffy time on the trip as we were greeted with an 1hr long customs queue... Yay... after that, we find out quickly afterwards that someone has taken Dean's case mistaking it for theirs, which was just the perfect way to start the holiday... Not!! After thinking the bag was lost we just decided to try and enjoy our first day in San Francisco .
     

    Our hotel was right next to Union square, which was perfect for us as being right in the centre made it surprisingly easy for us to get around! I Really liked the look of San Francisco it still holds that vintage, oldy charm while still feeling kind of modern and I really liked the place.

    We did the trams once in the whole time we were at San Francisco and, they were certainly an experience! Really cramped at first but once we got to holding the edges it was really fun! Its mad how it goes up and down those hills as they are so steep!

     
    We stayed in the Hotel Agadio just outside Union Square! Our Hotel Was really Nice, the beds were really comfy and the room was really clean and tidy! I have no complaints at all.


     
    We made the room messy enough In no time XD

     
     
    To Stop this post dragging on for eternity I will just do a few sub topics as We did quite a lot over the 4 days we where there!
     
    Fisherman's Wharf
     
    Fisherman's Wharf was a really nice area! It definitely has that authentic american harbour feel to it and there was quite a few Interesting sites around the area, there was also a few experiences we did as well which were really good that you could do from the Wharf.



     

     
    This Rasta Dog looked really cute and cool at the same time, I'm not to sure he was pleased with his look though 

     
    We went to the Aquarium at Fishermans Wharf with our Go Card which we bought online, which I would recommend as it really help bring the cost down a little when we where there.
    The aquarium was decent, it was your like your standard aquarium at home really, its not really anything special but it killed time and some of the things in there was cool.
     

     

     

     

     
    Once that was done we headed over to an area that stunk of fish which happened to also be where the Fisherman's Wharf Sea Lions (atleast I think it is that species anyway) which were really cool to see, two were having some major beef with each other then started having a bout of fisty cuffs which was quite fun to watch.
     

     
    We also managed to do the San Francisco dungeons! ( Can't escape Merlin where ever I go...) And it was really good ! The sets in which they told the story of how San Francisco came to be was really fun. Also there was only 5 in our group so the actors picked on us a lot especially as they detected the foreign accent so that provided a lot of laughs especially the court scene as they really picked on us for being British  Overall it was a really good experience which I would very much recommend, its a bit short but I thought the acting was good, the sets were great and now they have a drop tower being installed so I have been told so even more the reason to go now! I'd give it a solid 8/10.
     

     
    On our second Day we managed to do a Speed boat trip on the Go Pass too, which was fab and provided a really good view of the city and the Bay Bridge, which we flew under a lot! We got absolutely soaked which was quite nice as it was quite warm, very windy!! I can see why they call it the Windy City but it was a really fun experience. Again the experience was quite short but again I'd recommend doing it if you come to the area! 7.5/10 
    Would probably be more if they did a few more straights at full speed as they were one of the best parts!!
     
     

     
    Overall Fisherman's Wharf was a really nice area, made even better by the fact that Pokemon Go was big at the time and I caught so many Magikarp for my Gyarados it was fab 
     
    Golden Gate Bridge
    We saw this land mark By Bus and Bike, The Bus was really good because we were able to cross the bridge to a vantage point where we could take some really nice photos but also the tour guides gave us loads of really interesting information about the bridge and how it came to be. I'd definitely recommend going on one of the bus tours as it provides a really easy way of getting a great view of the bridge so long as you go on a clear day.



     
    We Also did it by bike, which I wasnt personally too pleased by as I hate riding and it was about 4 miles from the bike depot to the vantage point which just killed me! I was so glad to get off, although I fell off once as I am really clumsy... One of the reasons why I hate bikes in the first place. Although the view was fab when we got there!.

    Good ol' Family Photo, just smiling through the bike pain 
     
    From the bus tour we were able to see a view other sights and take the views in and I think San Francisco is really pretty, although it stunk of weed in many places which for some reason didn't surprise me at all. But here are some photos from the top of the bus.



    We didn't end up going to lombard street although we could see it from a distance, but it looked hella burdenous!!



    Really wanted to go to the Japanese Tea Gardens although we didn't have enough time so here is a photo of the entrance anyway lol.



     
    I think all this sightseeing took its toll on us as we were knackered after 4 days but it was really nice seeing the sights around the city!
    The shopping centres were huge too not as big as New York Macy's but pretty darn close! Their Macy's we set up in 2 completely separate buildings for men and women which was a bit weird. The places were quite expensive but that was to be expected seeming it is such a large city but they are really big and airy which was different. The buildings that housed them were really grand too!

    I dont remember what it was called but I was surprised when I realised it was a shopping centre as it looked more like a museum and it was huge inside!
     
    Alctraz
    The final big sight we went to before going on our little road trip was Alcatraz. It would have been wrong if we didn't go here although we had to book so far in advance to make sure as we got told it books up really quick.
     

     
    I was surprised how big the buildings were as well as the island itself was up close as it looks so small from afar. The main talking point of the guided tour was about Al Capone, which was really interesting and I could have listened to them talking about him and the prison for hours as it was really interesting hearing about the insight into the prisoners lives as well as the numerous escape attempts that got foiled as well. From what I can remember some of those escape attempts were quite brutal too. Overal I'd 100% recommend visiting alcatraz as it is really enjoyable looking up on the history of the island as well as seeing everything for yourself! It is definitely a must visit in my view! Here are some more photos!!



     


     

     

     
     
    Overall I'd very much recommend going to San Francisco if you are near as it is a really nice vintage feeling area, which is always bustling and definately has enough for anyone to get their teeth into for a good 4 days at least like we did! I'd recommend all of the places we visited but also explore around a bit too as I'm sure there are things that we missed that are fab too!!
     

     
     
    On the last day in the morning we went back to the airport to collect our car to experience our first theme park of the trip!!

     
    Guess where we went!! I'm sure its not hard 
     
     
    Thanks for reading!! I can promise the next one won't be so long!!
     
     
     
  14. Like
    pluk reacted to Mitchada04 for a blog entry, 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...

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

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

    SeaWorld is a gorgeous park

    I love just walking around it

    Woosh

    A wanna be Manta

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

    And has a new distant friend!

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

    But Mako is what draws you here

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

    And has some good theming in its plaza.

    Flippy Whales conjuring up a storm too...

    Time to leave I think!

    The tree of Intamin oddness?

    Oversized B&M

    Weird Mack cos that's the norm now


    More Intamin oddness

    Obligatory heat blurred Kumba pic

    A good Oblivion. And its red.

    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

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

    I liked this ornate structure too. Such a nice table

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

    Oh, too late. This guy wants out

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


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

    Hang on

    Seems familiar

    I mean it's nice but...

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

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

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

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

    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.
  15. Like
    pluk reacted to EC! for a blog entry, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom 2016   
    So after a really nice calm 40 minute drive from the airport we finally made it to a place to be fair I thought I'd never ever visit in my life! Six Flags Discovery kingdom is a surprisingly small and compact park like it is definitely the same size if not slightly smaller then Thorpe park so, finding everything wasn't too much of a hassle.

    Medusa is the first thing you see when entering the park with a car park that is just burdenously far away but we arrived and we were really excited to try everything the park had to offer!
    The rides opened at 10:30pm which was quite late when we are used to parks opening at 10am sometimes even earlier so it was a little annoying waiting but it was nice seeing the main plaza which for a six flags park is really pretty with a nice big fountain as a focal point.

     
    Now I'm quite sure you know why we came here, we probably wouldn't have even come to San Francisco in the first place if it wasn't for this coaster. And as you know it was... THE JOKER!!

    Once the rides opened we rushed so fast only to be greeted with burdenous bag faff as they don't allow bags in the station and they had to be put in lockers which is a pain in the ass, not to mention it was badly lit as well which made it even more annoying! This is the one thing I hated as all the big coasters were like this, so if you ever go to this park bare in mind you will need to spend a bit on lockers. So onto the ride itself!


    This was probably my most anticipated coaster on the trip other then Twisted Colossus and X2(which I will get onto in another blog as it spited and I was not happy!), and well what can I say, this coaster blew it out of the water for me, its not that tall but it is incredibly relentless, with intense force in some places, amazing intense ejector airtime, 3 amazing inversions which are fast paced and feel great not to mention what has to be the greatest inversion ever created, the Zero G Stall, there is nothing like it and words cant describe the sensation when you go through it! Its a heavenly inversion of which I want on a lot more rides in the future. This ride is unfortunately incredibly unreliable due to a sensor fault which is six flags fault, which made it get stuck on the lift hill multiple times while we where here, like this ride is really really unreliable, but it is the second best coaster I have ever been on and therefore I give it a 10/10! Here are some more pics of it!


     
    So the first of many spites on this trip was V2: Vertical velocity, which tested literally once in the morning but barely got up the first tower, it had only actually opened about 3 weeks prior due to renovations but it seems like it was absolutely screwed as they were picking the trains apart the whole time we went passed it, I don't know how long it stayed closed afterwards but that too sounds like a really unreliable ride! Shame.


    The next coaster we got on which was early in the day and at that point has a really short queue at the time at least was superman. This was my first sky rocket 2 clone and to my recognition the original of these. We managed to ride it twice once with the Q-bot which was a life saver at points for the rides with the bigger queues. I actually quite liked it, the launches had a good enough punch to theme and getting flung up that track felt amazing! The inversion was a bit grim but I quite enjoyed the ride, although I can see why some don't like these models as they are a bit basic and don't actually do much but overall I liked it and I'd give it a good 7.5/10.


     
    After this we headed to the other side of the park to ride Medusa and Kong! First up Medusa. The ride as a whole is good its got nice forces, the inversions are good and its got good pacing. But that's the thing with Medusa, its Good, not amazing, not special, just good, there isn't anything that stands out as something amazing on this ride other then its a big B&M looper, and while some will love that, I thought it was good but it wasn't anything to shout about so I'd give it a good 6.5/10.


    This is one thing I'd say about this area is that it doesn't have much shade at all, other then occasional parts in queue lines, it was all open which on a summers day which was pushing 30c, was really bad but yeah they really should put some shade in that area. Onto Kong... Well I had ridden Infusion before and it wasn't too bad I thought, and I kind of thought this would be the same case... GOD I WAS SO WRONG!! What heinous thing did anyone do to deserve this piece of S**t! we were one from front row and it violently rattled and vibrated the whole way round not to mention the god awful tracking of this ride, I wish this was closed rather then V2! The worst thing was is that the day we went would be the last day it was open for a month and a half so they could put VR on it, like why......? Its bad enough without the headset... This ride really needs to be demolished but a +1 is a +1 but this is a 1/10 coaster...

    The only photo of this POS!
    So after this we had food at a chicken place which was a rip-off but it was really nice, the chicken actually tasted good and the chips were really nice, shame for the toxic waste they call Fanta they have over there though..

    I have to say other then the area with Medusa and Kong this park is actually quite pretty with lots of foliage, pretty plants and surprisingly good themeing for what I have heard is the norm of Six Flags Parks.

    Heading to the back of the park after lunch greeted us with this.

    Now I had never done a Vekoma Boomerang before which is a little embarrassing, but nether the less, we hoped straight on this thing, As there was no queue. and boarded the ride. On first thoughts it wasn't too bad but I can see why they get a bad rep with some nasty forces and jolts in places, namely that cobra roll, but to be fair again this coaster isn't that enjoyable and a little boring so again just a +1. This is a 4.5/10 for me. 

    Now I already had a headache from the strong sun, as well as Kong and Boomerang so this probably wasn't the best thing to go on...

     
    Anyway after this mistake, the rapids finally opened so we finally got on it as the head was so bad at this point.

    Well I can happily say it was actually fab, got us soaked which was really needed at the time and was quite interesting as there was no dull moments at all while riding! Again we skipped the queue with the Q-bot as the queue got stupidly bad as soon as it opened so it was lucky we had it. For a rapids it is a good 8/10


    Another +1 this was a little like treetops at Oakwood but without the trees so was quite enjoyable I suppose, but it was made better but the over enthusiastic ride op giving everyone high fives so that was fab haha . 5/10
     
     
    Then on to this thing... I hated it... again this should be destroyed alongside Kong...

    The final big flat we got on was the Sky screamer which I think is the smallest out of the Six Flags Sky Screamers due to SFDK's height limit, and I can say although these rides do scare me a little it was really enjoyable and it gave great views of all the coasters around the park, especially Medusa and Joker . A solid 7/10 for me as the ride cycle was quite short.
    The Final New ride we went on was Monsoon Falls, as I couldn't bring myself to get the kids cred with so many families with young children around that area, that and the fact that their top spin was broken as well. And it like Tidal Wave on a warm day hit the sport perfectly getting us soaked! It was small but the massive wave it produced was great for us as well as the spectators, and also the people who wanted to get soaked on the bridge too. A good 8/10.



    We managed to rerides on Medusa, Superman and the AMAZING The Joker, before we had to set off again, riding Joker again cemented it at my No.2 spot as it is just bliss and fab and just RMC for the Win!!

    For those that don't know this has a small zoo as well although we only went around the bit that had the aquatic animals, which were still quite cool to see.

    Sting Rays.


    After this one more ride had to be had on Joker and we got Back row which was insane! Words can't describe how much I love this ride!



     
    Overall this park reminds me a lot of Thorpe Park. This in the fact that it is all quite compact with all the rides quite close together. Unfortunately it has Thorpe Parks reliability issues as well which lots of rides down a lot of the time, although locker situation is just abhorrent and Merlin are just so much better then this park when it comes to bag storage. The throughput's are about the same too, but the rides that are good are just outstanding and I'd definitely recommend the place just to ride the Joker! But I'd say this is a one day park, if you planned 2 days for the park you'd probably get bored but other then that I really enjoyed SFDK and I think its a park that if I'm ever in the area I would happily go to again!
    Next Blog will be short as it is about our small detour to Yosemite and Glacier Point!
     
     
     
  16. Like
    pluk reacted to Mitchada04 for a blog entry, 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!

    There are pumpkins everywhere, it feels like a different park


    Pumpkin cake

    Halloween special parade



    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.

    The park also looked stunning at night!


    A few more nice photos





     
    Horror Nights!

    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.

    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!
     

    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!

    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.

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

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

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

    Night ridesss


    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.

    Not the best photo, but it was really good!

    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
     
     
     
  17. Like
    pluk got a reaction from pognoi for a blog entry, Europa!   
    Well, this has been a hell of a long time coming, hasn't it? Partly because it's been sunny and I've had better things to spend half hour on, and party because I didn't really know where to start what with the park being so huge, and also because it seems I'm the last enthusiast on earth to get round to visiting so I don't feel I've got much to add on to what I'm sure you already know. Again I had tried not to spoiler myself too much, so other than the inescapable adoration for Woodan and Blue Fire I didn't really know what to expect from other attractions. I also didn't take many photos, a sure sign that I was too busy getting on with enjoying myself, so apologies for text heavy dullness ahead...
    And so after a hell of a trek around a whole mountain due to a closed road, we hit the finale of the trip for two days at Europa. We had initially booked Pension Yvonne Sigg based on recommendations, but then cancelled that and went for Gastehaus Brigitte Duri for half the price. Not expecting a palace, we didn't find one, but it was clean, comfortable and, most importantly, close to both the park and hotels which could both be reached within a 10 minute walk. In hindsight I'd have payed any amount extra for a place with aircon as it was sooo damn hot for our visit. Parking seems to be a bit of an issue with a lot of these smaller places, so rather than have to shunt the car in and out repeatedly as people came and went we abandoned ours on the street where it didn't come to any harm.

    Refreshments were needed, and there are plenty of bars and eateries near the park entrance away from the resort hotels, which all seemed decent quality, I'd especially recommend Mythos Greek Taverna and Altus Rasthaus. Rust, like all of Germany it seems, is a neat tidy place which maybe feels a little bit crammed in as everyone tries to make their Euros off the back of the park. Maybe we were unlucky with the weather or time of year, but the one big problem the town has (which they can probably do nothing about) is with mosquitoes. I've never known anything like it; being outside around dusk is just impossible, we were ravaged by the damn things which made trying to sleep in the stifling heat even more difficult.

     Anyway, the next morning with much excitement it was to the park. 

    Greek beer in Germany, why not?
    We used the app to purchase electronic part tickets which all went smoothly, and the app is a godsend for show planning and queue avoiding. Thoroughly recommend its use. While the exterior is currently a building site, the entrance to the park is a delight and we were welcomed with live music and a buzzing atmosphere. It's immediately clear the theming, scale, cleanliness and general perfection of the presentation is like nothing else. We made our way round at a leisurely pace for two long wonderful days.
    We started with Silver Star. I don't know if this view is controversial, but it was the second big disappointment of the trip. It's just dull. Forceless. Lumbering. I don't know how they get so much height and speed to do so little, but excitement and airtime there are none. We tried it front and back, early and late. Nothing. It's not really themed in the same way as the rest of the park either so feels a bit out of place, although Mercedes the exhibit in the ride building is pretty good, and it was our first experience of the lighting fast operations not hindered by fastrack which made the small queue a continuous shuffle which went by in no time. But the ride itself is poor. 3/10

    Yaawwwwwwn
    Unfortunately while trying to find the entrance to Poseidon we accidently stumbled into a madhouse apparently called Cassandra which was also pretty crap. Maybe we are/were spoiled with Hex, but just walking into the room with no explanation just seems odd, then to have it programmed for the walls to start spinning straight over with no correlation with the movement or attempt to make it feel like it builds up to an inversion renders the whole exercise pointless. There's no illusion to it, 3/10.
    Fortunately it turned out we had got the worst of the park out of the way, and it was all upwards from here, so I can stop seeming like such a grumpy old sod. Next we managed to find the entrance to Poseidon, which like all the water rides on our blisteringly hot trip unfortunately held a hefty queue most of the time, but it was worth the wait. The coaster element was a surprise to us and although pretty rough and jolty a lot of fun, especially the double dip at the end. Good long ride, refreshing splashdowns and such complete intricate theming it is just like driftin through actual Greece. 8/10

    England boat ftw!
    I'll leave it there for today, before we head into the general insanity that is Russia.


  18. Like
    pluk got a reaction from CharlieN for a blog entry, Europa!   
    Well, this has been a hell of a long time coming, hasn't it? Partly because it's been sunny and I've had better things to spend half hour on, and party because I didn't really know where to start what with the park being so huge, and also because it seems I'm the last enthusiast on earth to get round to visiting so I don't feel I've got much to add on to what I'm sure you already know. Again I had tried not to spoiler myself too much, so other than the inescapable adoration for Woodan and Blue Fire I didn't really know what to expect from other attractions. I also didn't take many photos, a sure sign that I was too busy getting on with enjoying myself, so apologies for text heavy dullness ahead...
    And so after a hell of a trek around a whole mountain due to a closed road, we hit the finale of the trip for two days at Europa. We had initially booked Pension Yvonne Sigg based on recommendations, but then cancelled that and went for Gastehaus Brigitte Duri for half the price. Not expecting a palace, we didn't find one, but it was clean, comfortable and, most importantly, close to both the park and hotels which could both be reached within a 10 minute walk. In hindsight I'd have payed any amount extra for a place with aircon as it was sooo damn hot for our visit. Parking seems to be a bit of an issue with a lot of these smaller places, so rather than have to shunt the car in and out repeatedly as people came and went we abandoned ours on the street where it didn't come to any harm.

    Refreshments were needed, and there are plenty of bars and eateries near the park entrance away from the resort hotels, which all seemed decent quality, I'd especially recommend Mythos Greek Taverna and Altus Rasthaus. Rust, like all of Germany it seems, is a neat tidy place which maybe feels a little bit crammed in as everyone tries to make their Euros off the back of the park. Maybe we were unlucky with the weather or time of year, but the one big problem the town has (which they can probably do nothing about) is with mosquitoes. I've never known anything like it; being outside around dusk is just impossible, we were ravaged by the damn things which made trying to sleep in the stifling heat even more difficult.

     Anyway, the next morning with much excitement it was to the park. 

    Greek beer in Germany, why not?
    We used the app to purchase electronic part tickets which all went smoothly, and the app is a godsend for show planning and queue avoiding. Thoroughly recommend its use. While the exterior is currently a building site, the entrance to the park is a delight and we were welcomed with live music and a buzzing atmosphere. It's immediately clear the theming, scale, cleanliness and general perfection of the presentation is like nothing else. We made our way round at a leisurely pace for two long wonderful days.
    We started with Silver Star. I don't know if this view is controversial, but it was the second big disappointment of the trip. It's just dull. Forceless. Lumbering. I don't know how they get so much height and speed to do so little, but excitement and airtime there are none. We tried it front and back, early and late. Nothing. It's not really themed in the same way as the rest of the park either so feels a bit out of place, although Mercedes the exhibit in the ride building is pretty good, and it was our first experience of the lighting fast operations not hindered by fastrack which made the small queue a continuous shuffle which went by in no time. But the ride itself is poor. 3/10

    Yaawwwwwwn
    Unfortunately while trying to find the entrance to Poseidon we accidently stumbled into a madhouse apparently called Cassandra which was also pretty crap. Maybe we are/were spoiled with Hex, but just walking into the room with no explanation just seems odd, then to have it programmed for the walls to start spinning straight over with no correlation with the movement or attempt to make it feel like it builds up to an inversion renders the whole exercise pointless. There's no illusion to it, 3/10.
    Fortunately it turned out we had got the worst of the park out of the way, and it was all upwards from here, so I can stop seeming like such a grumpy old sod. Next we managed to find the entrance to Poseidon, which like all the water rides on our blisteringly hot trip unfortunately held a hefty queue most of the time, but it was worth the wait. The coaster element was a surprise to us and although pretty rough and jolty a lot of fun, especially the double dip at the end. Good long ride, refreshing splashdowns and such complete intricate theming it is just like driftin through actual Greece. 8/10

    England boat ftw!
    I'll leave it there for today, before we head into the general insanity that is Russia.


  19. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Matt Creek for a blog entry, Europa!   
    Well, this has been a hell of a long time coming, hasn't it? Partly because it's been sunny and I've had better things to spend half hour on, and party because I didn't really know where to start what with the park being so huge, and also because it seems I'm the last enthusiast on earth to get round to visiting so I don't feel I've got much to add on to what I'm sure you already know. Again I had tried not to spoiler myself too much, so other than the inescapable adoration for Woodan and Blue Fire I didn't really know what to expect from other attractions. I also didn't take many photos, a sure sign that I was too busy getting on with enjoying myself, so apologies for text heavy dullness ahead...
    And so after a hell of a trek around a whole mountain due to a closed road, we hit the finale of the trip for two days at Europa. We had initially booked Pension Yvonne Sigg based on recommendations, but then cancelled that and went for Gastehaus Brigitte Duri for half the price. Not expecting a palace, we didn't find one, but it was clean, comfortable and, most importantly, close to both the park and hotels which could both be reached within a 10 minute walk. In hindsight I'd have payed any amount extra for a place with aircon as it was sooo damn hot for our visit. Parking seems to be a bit of an issue with a lot of these smaller places, so rather than have to shunt the car in and out repeatedly as people came and went we abandoned ours on the street where it didn't come to any harm.

    Refreshments were needed, and there are plenty of bars and eateries near the park entrance away from the resort hotels, which all seemed decent quality, I'd especially recommend Mythos Greek Taverna and Altus Rasthaus. Rust, like all of Germany it seems, is a neat tidy place which maybe feels a little bit crammed in as everyone tries to make their Euros off the back of the park. Maybe we were unlucky with the weather or time of year, but the one big problem the town has (which they can probably do nothing about) is with mosquitoes. I've never known anything like it; being outside around dusk is just impossible, we were ravaged by the damn things which made trying to sleep in the stifling heat even more difficult.

     Anyway, the next morning with much excitement it was to the park. 

    Greek beer in Germany, why not?
    We used the app to purchase electronic part tickets which all went smoothly, and the app is a godsend for show planning and queue avoiding. Thoroughly recommend its use. While the exterior is currently a building site, the entrance to the park is a delight and we were welcomed with live music and a buzzing atmosphere. It's immediately clear the theming, scale, cleanliness and general perfection of the presentation is like nothing else. We made our way round at a leisurely pace for two long wonderful days.
    We started with Silver Star. I don't know if this view is controversial, but it was the second big disappointment of the trip. It's just dull. Forceless. Lumbering. I don't know how they get so much height and speed to do so little, but excitement and airtime there are none. We tried it front and back, early and late. Nothing. It's not really themed in the same way as the rest of the park either so feels a bit out of place, although Mercedes the exhibit in the ride building is pretty good, and it was our first experience of the lighting fast operations not hindered by fastrack which made the small queue a continuous shuffle which went by in no time. But the ride itself is poor. 3/10

    Yaawwwwwwn
    Unfortunately while trying to find the entrance to Poseidon we accidently stumbled into a madhouse apparently called Cassandra which was also pretty crap. Maybe we are/were spoiled with Hex, but just walking into the room with no explanation just seems odd, then to have it programmed for the walls to start spinning straight over with no correlation with the movement or attempt to make it feel like it builds up to an inversion renders the whole exercise pointless. There's no illusion to it, 3/10.
    Fortunately it turned out we had got the worst of the park out of the way, and it was all upwards from here, so I can stop seeming like such a grumpy old sod. Next we managed to find the entrance to Poseidon, which like all the water rides on our blisteringly hot trip unfortunately held a hefty queue most of the time, but it was worth the wait. The coaster element was a surprise to us and although pretty rough and jolty a lot of fun, especially the double dip at the end. Good long ride, refreshing splashdowns and such complete intricate theming it is just like driftin through actual Greece. 8/10

    England boat ftw!
    I'll leave it there for today, before we head into the general insanity that is Russia.


  20. Like
    pluk got a reaction from CharlieN for a blog entry, Into the Mountains   
    From there it was the longest drive of our trip, into the mountains to the small town of Todtnau. I'll start with a TopTip: If you visit Tripsdrill and your journey takes you right out of the carpark, beware; just before the first town the 70kph road suddenly drops to 30kph for no apparent reason and then raises to 50 kph after about 100 meters. The 30kph section has a speed camera which duly took my photo as drifted through it trying to work out what was going on, a month later I've had nothing through from the car hire company, so fingers crossed that's going to come to nothing! Sneaky speed cameras aside driving and roads throughout Germany are a delight, everything is so well maintained, clean and tidy, and just works. We had one short delay on the outskirts of Stuttgart but other than that the roads flow at speed and with ease.
     

    Out of the car window 
     
    Maybe it's just the route we took, but the whole area is stunningly pretty. Even the industrial areas looked neat, tidy and prosperous unlike the dives we have over here. Once in the mountains some of the roads are a bit precarious, but it's worth the trek once you are up there. We checked into guesthouse Lamm, which is just outside of town and took the short walk to a small selection of bars and restaurants at the base of the mountain for that evenings beer
     

    Beer!
     
    and a look at what the next day would bring
     

    mountain! 
     
    It's a lovely relaxing place place for a day or two
     

    doesn't look real, does it? 
     
    The next morning I was eager to get up that mountain for the main even, the mountain coaster. 9 Euros a pop includes your trip up on the chairlift and slide down the coaster. The views from the top of the town bellow and surrounding mountains are stunning, and for the less adventurous the chairlift can be taken as a round trip. Toptip: Don't forget you are up a mountain and the sun is different here, industrial strength suntan lotion required!
     

    High
     
    The ride itself was the highlight of the whole holiday for me. It's insane fun. As you are in control of your own braking you can have as wild or sedate ride as you like, so it really is for everyone. I tried to use the brakes as little as possible, my wife though was not pleased with this decision as we were going down together in one cart, and I only really applied them near the bottom to stop us smashing into the person in front. With barely any banking in the corners it really feels like it is trying to fling you from your little cart if you take them at speed, and the standard three point seat belt does little to make you feel secure, which all adds to it for me.
     

    That's me, speeding again
     
    I loved it and went up again, my wife less so and sat out go two. As it got a little later in the day the queue at the top built up to about 30 minutes, so try not to hit peak times if you can. TopTip: Chose your place in the queue wisely; you don't want to be getting on just after someone who is likely to be going down slowly, so get on behind teens and not a young family. If the ride is backing up a bit the op will let you wait at the top for a minute or two so you can get a clearer run.
     

    if you are still speeding at this point you are in trouble
     
    I can't put into words how much I loved this. I would recommend it to everyone. If you have any opportunity to do one of these then take it, it's an absolute must. I could have spent the whole day going up and down here, but we didn't, we went to look at some waterfalls instead.
     

    pretty
     
    A short drive out of the other side of town, the waterfalls are stunning and climbable from top to bottom if you are into that sort of pain. We were happy with more sedate wander through parts of it.
     

    wet
     
    And very nice it was too. Then by afternoon it was time to be off, drive out of the mountains, and on to the climax of it all. Europa Park! I'll leave you with what I think may be one of the best photos that has ever been taken. If ever a picture could sum up our differing feelings of an experience, this is it...
     

    I did mention I didn't use the brakes!
     
  21. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Matt Creek for a blog entry, Into the Mountains   
    From there it was the longest drive of our trip, into the mountains to the small town of Todtnau. I'll start with a TopTip: If you visit Tripsdrill and your journey takes you right out of the carpark, beware; just before the first town the 70kph road suddenly drops to 30kph for no apparent reason and then raises to 50 kph after about 100 meters. The 30kph section has a speed camera which duly took my photo as drifted through it trying to work out what was going on, a month later I've had nothing through from the car hire company, so fingers crossed that's going to come to nothing! Sneaky speed cameras aside driving and roads throughout Germany are a delight, everything is so well maintained, clean and tidy, and just works. We had one short delay on the outskirts of Stuttgart but other than that the roads flow at speed and with ease.
     

    Out of the car window 
     
    Maybe it's just the route we took, but the whole area is stunningly pretty. Even the industrial areas looked neat, tidy and prosperous unlike the dives we have over here. Once in the mountains some of the roads are a bit precarious, but it's worth the trek once you are up there. We checked into guesthouse Lamm, which is just outside of town and took the short walk to a small selection of bars and restaurants at the base of the mountain for that evenings beer
     

    Beer!
     
    and a look at what the next day would bring
     

    mountain! 
     
    It's a lovely relaxing place place for a day or two
     

    doesn't look real, does it? 
     
    The next morning I was eager to get up that mountain for the main even, the mountain coaster. 9 Euros a pop includes your trip up on the chairlift and slide down the coaster. The views from the top of the town bellow and surrounding mountains are stunning, and for the less adventurous the chairlift can be taken as a round trip. Toptip: Don't forget you are up a mountain and the sun is different here, industrial strength suntan lotion required!
     

    High
     
    The ride itself was the highlight of the whole holiday for me. It's insane fun. As you are in control of your own braking you can have as wild or sedate ride as you like, so it really is for everyone. I tried to use the brakes as little as possible, my wife though was not pleased with this decision as we were going down together in one cart, and I only really applied them near the bottom to stop us smashing into the person in front. With barely any banking in the corners it really feels like it is trying to fling you from your little cart if you take them at speed, and the standard three point seat belt does little to make you feel secure, which all adds to it for me.
     

    That's me, speeding again
     
    I loved it and went up again, my wife less so and sat out go two. As it got a little later in the day the queue at the top built up to about 30 minutes, so try not to hit peak times if you can. TopTip: Chose your place in the queue wisely; you don't want to be getting on just after someone who is likely to be going down slowly, so get on behind teens and not a young family. If the ride is backing up a bit the op will let you wait at the top for a minute or two so you can get a clearer run.
     

    if you are still speeding at this point you are in trouble
     
    I can't put into words how much I loved this. I would recommend it to everyone. If you have any opportunity to do one of these then take it, it's an absolute must. I could have spent the whole day going up and down here, but we didn't, we went to look at some waterfalls instead.
     

    pretty
     
    A short drive out of the other side of town, the waterfalls are stunning and climbable from top to bottom if you are into that sort of pain. We were happy with more sedate wander through parts of it.
     

    wet
     
    And very nice it was too. Then by afternoon it was time to be off, drive out of the mountains, and on to the climax of it all. Europa Park! I'll leave you with what I think may be one of the best photos that has ever been taken. If ever a picture could sum up our differing feelings of an experience, this is it...
     

    I did mention I didn't use the brakes!
     
  22. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Matt Creek for a blog entry, Tripsdrill Wildlife Park   
    ...and what unusual accommodation it is. 
     

    Wood!
     
    The Wooden Wagons are brilliant. Such a quirky way to provide accommodation that is not intrusive to the natural beauty of the place, but very comfortable and functional. Set in three little clusters, and with further larger treehouses in the forest, it's a small set up so feels so very secluded and natural when the sun goes down and you are surrounded by forest and darkness.
     

    more prettiness
     
    Inside they are pretty small, but well designed with a double bed and two single bunks, a TV, a fridge, worktop and dining table. Even in the 100+ degree heat the inside remained cool and pleasant with the help of a beer or two from the fridge.
     

    Don't come a knockin' when the wagon's rockin' 
     
    Once the park is closed the only on site refreshment comes from a vending machine, there is a resturant a short drive away which the reception will book for you, but as we had made good use of the winery this was not an option for us! We opted for a pizza delivery from a nearby town which they give you a leaflet for when you book in, the pizza was OK at best, having suffered a little from what I presume was quite a long journey for hot food. This is the places one downfall, and its a shame they don't arrange a single trip minibus for the restaurant, or use the wildlife park facility in the evening. The other issue with this is the lack of anywhere to keep things refrigerated during the day before you check in, with no option to keep food fresh it's pretty much the pizza or nothing, and the beers took a while to cool in the little fridge having come from the meltingly hot car sitting in the sun all day. 
     
    In the morning continental breakfast is served in the wildlife park, it's quite an uphill trek so thankfully breakfast is good and plentiful as you really need it when you get there. As the whole place is pretty small (and was far from full up when we visited) it's all very calm and tranquil, a really delightful way to start your day.
     

    yum
     
    Also worth mentioning the shower and toilet block is impressive too, spotlessly clean, plenty big enough and really quirkily themed in great detail.
    At about £60 for the night, and including the breakfast, entrance to the wildlife park and heavily discount on theme park tickets, it's well worth a stay.
     
    After checking out we spent a few hours in the wildlife park, which is plenty of time really. While it is obviously stunningly beautiful, and what is there is very well done, it's not really the hugest place and there aren't that many exhibits. If you like deer and goats you are in for a treat though, as they make up about 80% of the park!
     

    Deer
     

    Goat
     

    Repeat
     

    etc
     
    It's fair to say, they do like their dears and goats. There are other things too though...
     

    proud bird
     

    lazy bird
     

    contemplative bear
     

    I think he's seen me
     
    It's worth mentioning the wildlife park feels like it is built on a cliff face; the paths are steep and knackering in the heat and sometimes the payoff of another goat isn't worth the trek. Toptip: This is not a place to wear flipflops. As with the themepark it also suffers from zero English signage; maybe some of the exhibits would have been more interesting had we been able to read about them too.
     
    The food looked good, it appeared they set up fires and then sold meat for you to go and cook on massive swinging grills hanging over them (I'm not sure if that was happening, due to lack of English), but we were to be on our way by lunchtime for the adventure to get a little more adventurous. Away from the theme parks and into the mountains for some real Germany.
     
     

  23. Like
    pluk got a reaction from CharlieN for a blog entry, Tripsdrill Adventure Park   
    Another early start for the longer journey to the second park and accommodation of the trip, trippsdrill. I'd recommend staying closer to this park than we did; it's in the middle of nowhere and the pretty long journey was a bit arduous before a long day on the park, especially as much of this was on winding roads with junction after junction. TopTip: You need a good map or satnav to get here; the road signs are sporadic to say the least with many junctions left for you to guess at.
     
    Tripsdrill is properly German, with little to no concession made for non German speakers. All adds to the fun, but there were a couple of times we found ourselves entirely unable to make ourselves understood, which is of course because of own ignorance and not their fault at all. The first time this becomes apparent is using their online booking for the treehouses and wagons which is entirely in German, and even using google translate for the documents sent out I couldn't find a way to actually pay them. I emailed them requesting someone phoned me back which they and it worked out fine, but I've since noticed they can be booked on booking.com, which is probably a lot easier.
     
    It was another term time weekday, and another largely empty park. Again I had very little expectation, knowing virtually nothing about the place. Again I loved it.
     

    Pretty
     
    A working vineyard set in largely unspoiled rolling hills, it's something of an understatement to say the place is picturesque. The grounds are well kept with everything feeling clean, fresh and vibrant, it's the sort of place you'd be happy to be at not riding anything. The park is split into two distinct areas of old and new, with the old world being tightly knitted together surrounding the entrance with more traditional attractions, and the new area of bigger thrill rides in a separate more spacious area. This seems to work really well having both styles without them jarring against each other.
     

    See, pretty.
     
    Staggered opening gives you the first hour to explore the old world before the other side opens. I gather it is designed to depict a traditional German way of life, and does so in a charming way with little automated and interactive scenes in what I presume to post humor which was entirely lost on us and our Englishness. Some of the more traditional rides like spinning barrels tranquil boats are intermingled with fun little diversions like funhouse style moving walkways. There's also the downright bizarre with the likes of the armory, an admittedly impressively huge display of old guns and weapons that you can not imagine sitting in a UK family theme park. There's a few flats too, all well run and again looking so well maintained. TopTip: No-one is going to check your restraints here, sit down and strap in as it's on you if you come flying out! Some rides are run with one op between two, who is only paying attention to the loading and off loading of the stationary ride and not the one which is actually running! I love that tbh, Germans a clearly less dumb than us Brits..
     

    Tilting treehouses of doom
     
    The highlight of this area for us was the wine museum and cellar, a cool dark underground bar where Tripsrill's own wine can be sampled along with a good few others from the surrounding for a couple of Euros a glass. Could have spent many hours in there hiding from the 100 degree plus heat outside, it's so nice finding somewhere so genuine in the fake world of theme parks, and we spent longer in there than we probably should have! The elderly man behind the bar was so helpful and clearly very knowledgeable of the wines, we had a great time with him trying to converse in his very broken English and he seemed to love trying. Oh, and the wine glass is free and to keep! TopTip: Even if you're not a drinker pop in with your park ticket and collect your glass. Free merch!
     
    Over to the 'modern' side and first up was unfortunately one of only a couple of disappointments of the whole trip. Mammut is wood. I like wood. I like wood a lot. So inevitably it was what I was hoping to be the highlights of the park, but it is anything but. Slow, dull and uninspiring, it rattles along in an annoyingly pointless way achieving very little. It looks like it's a decent size and and has points which look like they are there to provide some airtime, but the speed it goes round none of it amounts to much. 
    We rode a few times, front and back and hoping it would warm up later in the day, but no. 4/10
     

    Disappointment 
     
    On to their newest coaster, I didn't too expect much from Karacho based mostly on me not being much of a fan of the other original Infinity coaster The Smiler. This is such a better coaster than that; glass smooth track, fun little indoor section, powerful rolling launch, interesting varied layout with some great moments climaxing in a two suburb inversions with the dive into and roll out of the tunnel, all in the extreme comfort of those lapbars in the stylish trains. It's just sooo much fun, everything the Smiler isn't. I know they are not trying to achieve the same thing but this being the same type built by the same people at the same time shows how much better you can do by not chasing gimmicks and building something good and solid instead.
     

    Look, I told you it was pretty.
     
    I rode many times and didn't even begin to get bored of it. I also got  bonus bit of geekery when they swapped a train over just as I was boarding, seeing the transfer track disappear into the false wall of the far side of the station and watch the poor staff push the trains back and forth as this track isn't powered.
     

    Actually Smile. Always.
     
    I like Rage a lot, but why our other (read Merlin) Geursts are so poor in comparison I do not know. It's a shame. Karacho was another massive hit for me on this trip. 8.5/10
     

    One of these is enjoying it less than the others
     
    Also over this side are some really fab rapids, with a much better lift and loading system than we have over here, decent length and a good amount of rough water and wetness in strange bendy boats which feel disconcertingly top heavy. Probably one of the better rapids I've ever been on, 8/10. A good mouse/bobsleigh type affair interacts with a brilliant flume including a backwards section and an unexpected nude spa float through. Mental. The flume was the only ride to hold a proper queue all day, I can only asume it's those kids wanting a titillating glimpse of latex nipple.
     

     
    Overall we had a wonderful day. It's not perfect, but then nowhere is. I'd hate for the place to lose its German-ness, but I don't think that would be spoiled by some English and French on the museum type exhibits which line the queue lines, their splashbattle type affair is useless, and we weren't allowed on a couple of the kids rides (boo) and the park map isn't up to much. But I was smitten with the place, I implore you to go if you get the opportunity.
    A short stroll in the evening sun back to the wildlife park to us to our slightly unusual accommodation for the night...
     
  24. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. for a blog entry, Tripsdrill Adventure Park   
    Another early start for the longer journey to the second park and accommodation of the trip, trippsdrill. I'd recommend staying closer to this park than we did; it's in the middle of nowhere and the pretty long journey was a bit arduous before a long day on the park, especially as much of this was on winding roads with junction after junction. TopTip: You need a good map or satnav to get here; the road signs are sporadic to say the least with many junctions left for you to guess at.
     
    Tripsdrill is properly German, with little to no concession made for non German speakers. All adds to the fun, but there were a couple of times we found ourselves entirely unable to make ourselves understood, which is of course because of own ignorance and not their fault at all. The first time this becomes apparent is using their online booking for the treehouses and wagons which is entirely in German, and even using google translate for the documents sent out I couldn't find a way to actually pay them. I emailed them requesting someone phoned me back which they and it worked out fine, but I've since noticed they can be booked on booking.com, which is probably a lot easier.
     
    It was another term time weekday, and another largely empty park. Again I had very little expectation, knowing virtually nothing about the place. Again I loved it.
     

    Pretty
     
    A working vineyard set in largely unspoiled rolling hills, it's something of an understatement to say the place is picturesque. The grounds are well kept with everything feeling clean, fresh and vibrant, it's the sort of place you'd be happy to be at not riding anything. The park is split into two distinct areas of old and new, with the old world being tightly knitted together surrounding the entrance with more traditional attractions, and the new area of bigger thrill rides in a separate more spacious area. This seems to work really well having both styles without them jarring against each other.
     

    See, pretty.
     
    Staggered opening gives you the first hour to explore the old world before the other side opens. I gather it is designed to depict a traditional German way of life, and does so in a charming way with little automated and interactive scenes in what I presume to post humor which was entirely lost on us and our Englishness. Some of the more traditional rides like spinning barrels tranquil boats are intermingled with fun little diversions like funhouse style moving walkways. There's also the downright bizarre with the likes of the armory, an admittedly impressively huge display of old guns and weapons that you can not imagine sitting in a UK family theme park. There's a few flats too, all well run and again looking so well maintained. TopTip: No-one is going to check your restraints here, sit down and strap in as it's on you if you come flying out! Some rides are run with one op between two, who is only paying attention to the loading and off loading of the stationary ride and not the one which is actually running! I love that tbh, Germans a clearly less dumb than us Brits..
     

    Tilting treehouses of doom
     
    The highlight of this area for us was the wine museum and cellar, a cool dark underground bar where Tripsrill's own wine can be sampled along with a good few others from the surrounding for a couple of Euros a glass. Could have spent many hours in there hiding from the 100 degree plus heat outside, it's so nice finding somewhere so genuine in the fake world of theme parks, and we spent longer in there than we probably should have! The elderly man behind the bar was so helpful and clearly very knowledgeable of the wines, we had a great time with him trying to converse in his very broken English and he seemed to love trying. Oh, and the wine glass is free and to keep! TopTip: Even if you're not a drinker pop in with your park ticket and collect your glass. Free merch!
     
    Over to the 'modern' side and first up was unfortunately one of only a couple of disappointments of the whole trip. Mammut is wood. I like wood. I like wood a lot. So inevitably it was what I was hoping to be the highlights of the park, but it is anything but. Slow, dull and uninspiring, it rattles along in an annoyingly pointless way achieving very little. It looks like it's a decent size and and has points which look like they are there to provide some airtime, but the speed it goes round none of it amounts to much. 
    We rode a few times, front and back and hoping it would warm up later in the day, but no. 4/10
     

    Disappointment 
     
    On to their newest coaster, I didn't too expect much from Karacho based mostly on me not being much of a fan of the other original Infinity coaster The Smiler. This is such a better coaster than that; glass smooth track, fun little indoor section, powerful rolling launch, interesting varied layout with some great moments climaxing in a two suburb inversions with the dive into and roll out of the tunnel, all in the extreme comfort of those lapbars in the stylish trains. It's just sooo much fun, everything the Smiler isn't. I know they are not trying to achieve the same thing but this being the same type built by the same people at the same time shows how much better you can do by not chasing gimmicks and building something good and solid instead.
     

    Look, I told you it was pretty.
     
    I rode many times and didn't even begin to get bored of it. I also got  bonus bit of geekery when they swapped a train over just as I was boarding, seeing the transfer track disappear into the false wall of the far side of the station and watch the poor staff push the trains back and forth as this track isn't powered.
     

    Actually Smile. Always.
     
    I like Rage a lot, but why our other (read Merlin) Geursts are so poor in comparison I do not know. It's a shame. Karacho was another massive hit for me on this trip. 8.5/10
     

    One of these is enjoying it less than the others
     
    Also over this side are some really fab rapids, with a much better lift and loading system than we have over here, decent length and a good amount of rough water and wetness in strange bendy boats which feel disconcertingly top heavy. Probably one of the better rapids I've ever been on, 8/10. A good mouse/bobsleigh type affair interacts with a brilliant flume including a backwards section and an unexpected nude spa float through. Mental. The flume was the only ride to hold a proper queue all day, I can only asume it's those kids wanting a titillating glimpse of latex nipple.
     

     
    Overall we had a wonderful day. It's not perfect, but then nowhere is. I'd hate for the place to lose its German-ness, but I don't think that would be spoiled by some English and French on the museum type exhibits which line the queue lines, their splashbattle type affair is useless, and we weren't allowed on a couple of the kids rides (boo) and the park map isn't up to much. But I was smitten with the place, I implore you to go if you get the opportunity.
    A short stroll in the evening sun back to the wildlife park to us to our slightly unusual accommodation for the night...
     
  25. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Matt Creek for a blog entry, Tripsdrill Adventure Park   
    Another early start for the longer journey to the second park and accommodation of the trip, trippsdrill. I'd recommend staying closer to this park than we did; it's in the middle of nowhere and the pretty long journey was a bit arduous before a long day on the park, especially as much of this was on winding roads with junction after junction. TopTip: You need a good map or satnav to get here; the road signs are sporadic to say the least with many junctions left for you to guess at.
     
    Tripsdrill is properly German, with little to no concession made for non German speakers. All adds to the fun, but there were a couple of times we found ourselves entirely unable to make ourselves understood, which is of course because of own ignorance and not their fault at all. The first time this becomes apparent is using their online booking for the treehouses and wagons which is entirely in German, and even using google translate for the documents sent out I couldn't find a way to actually pay them. I emailed them requesting someone phoned me back which they and it worked out fine, but I've since noticed they can be booked on booking.com, which is probably a lot easier.
     
    It was another term time weekday, and another largely empty park. Again I had very little expectation, knowing virtually nothing about the place. Again I loved it.
     

    Pretty
     
    A working vineyard set in largely unspoiled rolling hills, it's something of an understatement to say the place is picturesque. The grounds are well kept with everything feeling clean, fresh and vibrant, it's the sort of place you'd be happy to be at not riding anything. The park is split into two distinct areas of old and new, with the old world being tightly knitted together surrounding the entrance with more traditional attractions, and the new area of bigger thrill rides in a separate more spacious area. This seems to work really well having both styles without them jarring against each other.
     

    See, pretty.
     
    Staggered opening gives you the first hour to explore the old world before the other side opens. I gather it is designed to depict a traditional German way of life, and does so in a charming way with little automated and interactive scenes in what I presume to post humor which was entirely lost on us and our Englishness. Some of the more traditional rides like spinning barrels tranquil boats are intermingled with fun little diversions like funhouse style moving walkways. There's also the downright bizarre with the likes of the armory, an admittedly impressively huge display of old guns and weapons that you can not imagine sitting in a UK family theme park. There's a few flats too, all well run and again looking so well maintained. TopTip: No-one is going to check your restraints here, sit down and strap in as it's on you if you come flying out! Some rides are run with one op between two, who is only paying attention to the loading and off loading of the stationary ride and not the one which is actually running! I love that tbh, Germans a clearly less dumb than us Brits..
     

    Tilting treehouses of doom
     
    The highlight of this area for us was the wine museum and cellar, a cool dark underground bar where Tripsrill's own wine can be sampled along with a good few others from the surrounding for a couple of Euros a glass. Could have spent many hours in there hiding from the 100 degree plus heat outside, it's so nice finding somewhere so genuine in the fake world of theme parks, and we spent longer in there than we probably should have! The elderly man behind the bar was so helpful and clearly very knowledgeable of the wines, we had a great time with him trying to converse in his very broken English and he seemed to love trying. Oh, and the wine glass is free and to keep! TopTip: Even if you're not a drinker pop in with your park ticket and collect your glass. Free merch!
     
    Over to the 'modern' side and first up was unfortunately one of only a couple of disappointments of the whole trip. Mammut is wood. I like wood. I like wood a lot. So inevitably it was what I was hoping to be the highlights of the park, but it is anything but. Slow, dull and uninspiring, it rattles along in an annoyingly pointless way achieving very little. It looks like it's a decent size and and has points which look like they are there to provide some airtime, but the speed it goes round none of it amounts to much. 
    We rode a few times, front and back and hoping it would warm up later in the day, but no. 4/10
     

    Disappointment 
     
    On to their newest coaster, I didn't too expect much from Karacho based mostly on me not being much of a fan of the other original Infinity coaster The Smiler. This is such a better coaster than that; glass smooth track, fun little indoor section, powerful rolling launch, interesting varied layout with some great moments climaxing in a two suburb inversions with the dive into and roll out of the tunnel, all in the extreme comfort of those lapbars in the stylish trains. It's just sooo much fun, everything the Smiler isn't. I know they are not trying to achieve the same thing but this being the same type built by the same people at the same time shows how much better you can do by not chasing gimmicks and building something good and solid instead.
     

    Look, I told you it was pretty.
     
    I rode many times and didn't even begin to get bored of it. I also got  bonus bit of geekery when they swapped a train over just as I was boarding, seeing the transfer track disappear into the false wall of the far side of the station and watch the poor staff push the trains back and forth as this track isn't powered.
     

    Actually Smile. Always.
     
    I like Rage a lot, but why our other (read Merlin) Geursts are so poor in comparison I do not know. It's a shame. Karacho was another massive hit for me on this trip. 8.5/10
     

    One of these is enjoying it less than the others
     
    Also over this side are some really fab rapids, with a much better lift and loading system than we have over here, decent length and a good amount of rough water and wetness in strange bendy boats which feel disconcertingly top heavy. Probably one of the better rapids I've ever been on, 8/10. A good mouse/bobsleigh type affair interacts with a brilliant flume including a backwards section and an unexpected nude spa float through. Mental. The flume was the only ride to hold a proper queue all day, I can only asume it's those kids wanting a titillating glimpse of latex nipple.
     

     
    Overall we had a wonderful day. It's not perfect, but then nowhere is. I'd hate for the place to lose its German-ness, but I don't think that would be spoiled by some English and French on the museum type exhibits which line the queue lines, their splashbattle type affair is useless, and we weren't allowed on a couple of the kids rides (boo) and the park map isn't up to much. But I was smitten with the place, I implore you to go if you get the opportunity.
    A short stroll in the evening sun back to the wildlife park to us to our slightly unusual accommodation for the night...
     
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