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About JoshuaA

  • Rank
    Europa Fanboy
  • Birthday 08/15/2002

Previous Fields

  • Favourite ride
    Steel Vengeance
  • Favourite Theme Park
    Europa Park

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  • Interests
    Scare Attractions, Books, Music.

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  1. I have a lot of family in Austria, and I agree to an extent. Though honestly Bavarian Germany and most parts of Austria have interlinked culture anyway. My uncle makes Lederhosen for example, and Oktoberfest and Beer Tents are huge where my family live and the accents aren't too drastically different either. It sounding Austrian is not bad at all IMO. Very minimal difference, most people really won't care. I agree with this. Yodelling isn't really something that I would consider big in Germany or Austria, I'm not sure what was going through their mind. Not bad, just strange. Agreed, I hope in future years the park brings it back and expands on it. I did enjoy it a bit more, but I do admit its anything but perfect. I think first thing would be to direct some actors with great improvisation skills. Look at the street at Tulleys, imagine if the roamers had things to say to you. What if you could have a funny and witty conversation with them? Right now they feel a little awkward, which probably is due to poor preparation or bad direction/lack of direction. I also would love some more food options. I hope they continue to do Markt Lebkuchenherzen (the ginger-bread hearts), it brought back memories seeing those. Expensive but worth it.
  2. Its a bit hit/miss, the queues are about a hour during mid-day, though later on the day the queue times can be a bit bloated/exaggerated. Yesterday Stealth said 45 minutes when it was about 10 minutes. And it still said 45 when it was walk on for a fair while. Swarm is similar, it said 70 minutes when it was 20. Honestly I recommend not 100% trusting the reported queue times, especially in the afternoon. Though in the morning you may have to queue for a while for the major rides, especially Saw, which seems to be closed more than its open.. So anyway I went on Wednesday/Thursday, stayed in Thorpe Shark for the first time. And overall, its a OK hotel. Me and my mate were a bit cramped in the room, I honestly don't think 3-4 people could stay in comfortably to be honest. Though its fine for what it is, I like having the dome next door, and the park and the water around it look very nice at night. I do wish Infinity had more options though to be fair on the food. Overall okay, but at the end of the day, it puts the B in budget. Although rough around the edges I found Oktoberfest to be a good laugh. I really hope the event gets expanded on in the future. I like the new soundtracks on some of the rides, I really enjoyed the plaza which made a dead spot on the park feel alive. Overall it is not perfect by any means, but I think it has potential. I would like more food options in future years, and the roamers certainly need more direction and improvisation going forward if the event returned. That plaza near the Ghost Train was always fun to walk by, and I bet live music will only make it more of a nice place to chill and have a drink. Ride-wise, Inferno and Stealth are still my favourite coasters. With Swarm as a kind of okay number 3. Saw is now my least favourite on the park. I find the ride to be just as painful as Colossus, but at least Colossus is open for most of the time. A slight breeze could shut down Saw down, its been a really bad season for it. Samurai is more reliable than it, that is pretty bad. On the upside, even though its not quite as brutal as it used to be, Samurai still manages to be pretty great fun as well as reliable. Easily up there with Detonator for best flat ride. Also got my first ride ever on Depth Charge, which is a brilliant water ride. Probably my favourite water ride on the park. Ride Count over the two days Stealth X5 Inferno X3 Colossus X5 Saw X3 Swarm X3 Depth Charge X2 Tidal Wave X3 Samurai X3 Rumba X1 Storm in a Teacup X3 Mr Monkey's innuendo X1 Rocky Express X1 Long-stupid-name-for-bumper cars- X1 Zodiac X1
  3. JoshuaA

    Top 10's

    1. Steel Vengeance 2. Taron (new) 3. Maverick (-1) 4. Shambhala (-1) 5. Wodan (-1) 6. The Smiler (-1) 7. Top Thrill Dragster (-1) 8 Goliath (Great America) -1 9. Black Mamba (new) 10. Wickerman 11. Nemesis 12. Blue Fire 13. Millennium Force 14. Magnum XL 15. Silver Star Post Phantasia rankings.
  4. Sounds like an average evening in Staines to me.
  5. Yeah I'm similar with capacity. As marmite as Euro-Mir is, I bet it has a better throughput than Winjas's put together. Yeah not gonna lie, even though Bench is kinda bad, I still find it charming in a weird way. Definitely agreed with some areas being better than others, China and Crazy Bats could be bulldozed and I don't think anyone would shed a tear lol. Coasterwise I guess Phantasialand has the edge on quality. Though honestly my main reason for liking Europa more is the atmosphere, theming, and operations. Also a huge dark ride fan. I think it really depends on how much you value those kinda things, Phantasialand does those things, but not quite as well as Europa IMO. Yeah TOTNH should be bulldozed via live stream, at least Vekoma get to redeem themselves with FLY. And will do, I definitely think I didn't get the whole picture with the food.
  6. I actually quite like the lineup considering covid. The pricing however, yikes. I get the park is limited capacity, and they wanna make money. But juicing annual passholders like lemons feels a little wrong.. Charging to get in and then for the mazes as well.. Passholders already had it kinda rough having to book weeks in advance to even get in. This feels like the nail in the coffin, if you weren't already pi**ed off that you could barely ever get the date you wanted during the summer, now for FN you have to pay more than ever to get in which doesn't even include the mazes. As said the worst part is that Thorpe never really has had the quality of Scarefest. When you pay for scarefest mazes, you usually know its a well thought out, well themed, long attraction that is worth your money. Fright Nights however, unless Platform and Blair Witch II are drastically changed then honestly I see the reception being frosty. I do like the variety of scare zones/experiences/whatever some of these are. Its spread out across the park, and hopefully will give the park a better atmosphere than previous years. No IP's as well, and something around Swarm Island is a god-send and overdue. Even if its just some decoration.
  7. Thanks for the info. Yeah it certainly is unusual, the Berlin area definitely is the most entrance like. And yeah either of those would be good tbf. The China area is meh, and Crazy Bats is just hilariously bad. I guess we're just getting FLY though. Who needs the gym when you have Maus lol?
  8. Definitely gutted that I didn't get to experience FLY. But its an excuse to go back next year. For those who have no time to read my review. I really enjoyed this park, Taron and Black Mamba are both really good coasters. I do still prefer Europa and Cedar Point. Though Klugheim is a work of art, and I hope Rookburgh continues the trend of great theming.
  9. Its an intamin, duh.
  10. After a boozy evening sailing down the rhine the night before, it was finally time to visit Phantasialand. A park I have heard so much about. Now Phantasialand seems to really draw very different reactions from people, some people think its the best park in the world. Some people think its great with flaws, and then you have those who think it is shockingly over-rated. Anyways, once into the park. Something really made me think, I knew this would be a paragraph-worthy rant, so lets jump in. (for your information, I didn't take many pictures due to time constraints. Tut Mir Leid) The Entrance: When you think of a park entrance, you think of Europa Park's main street, you think of Gatekeeper towering over Cedar Point's gates, you think of Towers Street. Most of these entrances really leave a great first impression. Now, Phantasialand has easily the worst entrance of any major park I have been to. It feels so underwhelming, its next to River Quest and Mystery Castle. And it just looks, kinda amateur. Its just awkward, and really I was questioning whether I was visiting a major theme park. People rave so much about Phantasialand's theming, and sure they have some brilliant themed rides, but they can't even have a half-decent park entrance? It feels like a staff side entrance, never mind the main entrance. I know space is a issue here, but I really think the park should completely reform the entrance at some point if they can. It would really help. Taron So after entering, I couldn't help myself. Taron had a big queue, but I did not care. This was going to my first ride. My only other experience with a blitz-coaster is Maverick, which is my #2. I adore its transitions, its launch, and its laterals. Now Taron seems to be heavily touted as great due to its theming. Though there has been a ever-growing group of people who have labelled it over-rated or slow. Is it the great ride everybody says it is? Yes, in my opinion, yes. Taron is simply not as intense as a coaster like Maverick, but it makes up for it in having brilliant theming and interactions throughout the entire ride. It also has much better restraints. The ride is a spectacle, on ride and off ride, in the front row it is surreal. Now launch wise, I find the first one to be fun, its not too intense but it was more forceful than I was expecting. The second rolling launch is brilliant, it feels like you are being catapulted forward. Now element wise, the ride is basically just a bunch of turns. But if you've ridden Maverick, you know those transitions can be incredibly fun and give pops of sideways airtime. Sadly besides a pop or two from the turns, Taron lacks on the airtime front. It has two hills toward the end, but those are ruined by trims. I rode in the back, the front, and the middle. In all seats the airtime on those hills were pretty non existent. Despite the lack of airtime, Taron is a outstanding coaster. Its long, its well themed, it has a lot of interaction with Klugheim, its fun, and it is re-rideable. I rank it at #2 pushing Maverick down to #3. I ended up getting 4 rides in, which proved hard as Taron is not a reliable coaster! Intamin strike again! Feng Ju Palace I kinda rode this by accident. I didn't know what it was going in. Its a fun madhouse, nowhere near as good as Hex but its fair. Tikal This was fun. Very long cycle, good views. Very fun family drop tower. Colorado Adventure I have ridden my fair share of mine trains. From the original at Over Texas, to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, to Cedar Creek at Cedar Point. Colorado Adventure blows them all out of the water. It is long, well themed, has a brilliant indoor section, interactions with Chiapas, and is lowkey intense at points. I really wish I was able to ride this more than once, as it was a brilliant family coaster. Oustanding. Crazy Bats (Temple of The Nighthawk) I'll give it some credit. This ride made me laugh, but for all the wrong reasons. The exterior for one looks like a B&Q DIY job, and the queue line has enough black walls to rival The Dungeons. Once you get to the ride, its a meandering boring mess in a black box with darkness to hide the lack of theming. I like long rides, but Crazy Bats just goes on and on. I hope this is the next ride to be axed, as its one of the worst coasters I have ridden. Winjas I only rode one side, I can't remember which one. But they look fairly similar. Winjas is a top tier spinning coaster, its quirky, its weird, and its fun. I love the elevator style lift, I love the tilt track finale, and I love just how weird the ride is. I would say I still prefer Dragon's Fury as its more intense, but Winjas is still a brilliant spinning coaster and a fun supporting coaster in the lineup. Maus au chocolat What a lush dark ride. Maus Au Chocolat is very cutesy, the queue line is adorable in itself, and the smell pods are strong and sweet. The ride itself is akin to the Toy Story Mania, and its a fun experience. But I do think its a smidge too long. I like how Phantasialand have long rides, but in this case it just gets a bit repetitive. But that aside, its a very charming dark ride that is just great fun. I would rank it as one of my favourite dark rides for sure. Raik Raik is a fine Vekoma Boomerang. Honestly its amazing how they fit this in. It has beautiful surroundings, and its a very solid supporting coaster. Mystery Castle So props to Phantasialand. This ride looks very cool. The queue is even more cool. The ride itself is very fun, its a intamin drop tower, though its bounces more like a S&S. I like the theming elements during the ride, though honestly its not as forceful as other Intamin drop towers out there. Though due to it being enclosed, and well themed, its probably one of the better drop towers out there. I only rank Detonator and Hurakan Condor higher. I do wish the cycles were longer though, the ride had no queue and it could of really gone on for longer. Chiapas: Everybody raves about Chiapas. And they have good reason, this is the future of log flumes. The disco room, the backwards section, and the finale are just brilliant. Its a long flume, it has fast lift hills, it really is what log flumes should aspire to be in the future. Overall a brilliant supporting ride, it was a shame it was so cold as I would of gotten more rides in! The theming and interaction with Colorado Adventure is another huge positive. Black Mamba Black Mamba is a very interesting invert. It starts off pretty normal. Drop, loop, zero g roll. But then it has a Jr immelmann. The ride is a very compact invert, and it does a lot of diving into tunnels. The inversions are really the only moments where the ride pops up above ground level. Its really cool! I found the ride to be much better later in the day, in the back row it is very whippy! I also love the finale, I know a lot of people find it slow. But I like the constant turning in and out of tunnels. Its very disorientating. The break run is also very cool, being in utter darkness. Overall Black Mamba is a ride that I still am working out where I rank it, I think I prefer it over Inferno, Raptor, and Batman. Though I'm still deciding about if I prefer it over Nemesis. In the end I got 4 rides on it all on different rows. The back row was my favourite. Overall I liked Black Mamba much more than I was expecting. I feel it gets a bit overshadowed by Taron now, but by itself its a very unique and fun invert. Shows: So during my day I saw the parks Ice Show. This show was fun, had a lot of fun elements to it. Though it certainly is on a lot smaller scale than the Ice Show at Europa Park. It definitely reflects how Phantasialand is a lot more of a smaller and intimate park. Food: I had one meal here, it was wurst and fries. And honestly I don't think I can judge the food off this one meal, but it was good. It wasn't anything mindblowing or amazing, but it was fine. And I'm sure there is more unique and interesting options in the park, and if I came back I might have a more fully-formed opinion. Operations: Phantasialand had mostly good operations on my visit. Taron had good dispatches, Black Mamba had good dispatches, and most of the other coasters were pretty fast. My main gripe with the park had to be 1 train operations on Black Mamba for the second half of the day. I know the queue wasn't very long, but it just felt a bit annoying. Especially compared to the consistent operations down in Europa Park. Even when its quiet. I would say the park has probably the third best operations I've seen. Behind Cedar Point and Europa, certainly one of the better parks, but not quite the best. Rides were also very reliable, the only rides that had downtime was Taron and Raik. Overall I found the downtime to be minimal, which is a positive. Staff were very polite and efficient, overall I was very impressed. Covid: Phantasialand really is a difficult park for social distancing. It is small, has tight pathways, ect. So with that social distancing was a bit impossible at points. Though masks were worn at basically all times by everyone. And the park did a good job of enforcing the masks. Final Thoughts: Phantasialand is a great park. I really enjoyed it. Though I don't think its a perfect park whatsoever. I feel the newer areas/rides are really the standouts here, Chiapas, Chocolat, Klugheim. Though some of the older rides like Temple Of The CrapHawk and China really show the more dated part of the park. I also found the park to not be the prettiest to be honest either. Most areas are well themed, but its not quite scenic and full of flowers like Europa Park for example. The theming is brilliant, but most areas of the park aren't really as serene or quite as magical as Europa. Klugheim is very close though, and the way the Taron dives in and around the area is absolutely amazing. I would probably rank Phantasialand as my #3 park. Though once F.L.Y opens and Crazy Bats is bulldozed, then I could see it easily jumping to #2. I don't believe it can overtake Europa Park though. Phantasialand is brilliant, though the sheer size and scale of Europa Park really can't be beaten. Though Phantasialand definitely packs a lot of greatness into a fairly modest sized park, and for that, you have to admit it kicks a lot of ass.
  11. Yeah definitely worth going to if you are visiting Phantasialand (considering its just down the road). The chocolate museum is good fun, probably one of the best ways to spend time there. And yeah that statue was.. It didn't age very well lol. The cathedral is easily the best building there by a landslide. Agreed on it being ace. Its just so visually impressive.
  12. This trip has been in the making since the beginning of this year. Long before lockdown, long before any of the crazy crap went down. If I'm being honest, I was sceptical about this trip for months. With covid being such a heavy force, I did not believe I would make it to Germany. Even over the past few weeks, so many countries have been thrown on and off the quarantine list, I was scared about Germany being thrown on last minute. I got very lucky that it wasn't. Friday the 28th of August: Now I had a afternoon flight to Cologne. This usually would be very easy for me, living in Crawley, I am a few miles south and a 5 minute bus ride from Gatwick Airport. Though when looking for flights to Cologne-Bonn, I could only find options from Heathrow. This meant I had to trek down to Heathrow, which is a shame. Considering I am literally down the road from one of the biggest airports in the country. Oh well, first world problems eh? Anyway the M25 wasn't too bad, and gotta love a sunny afternoon flight right? Kinda wish I was going here ngl.. I was pretty excited to see my plane had Europa Park on it. I will be back to you Europa, I promise. That evening was mostly just checking in, walking around, and a schnitzel. Because schnitzels are the best thing about Germany and Austria and you know it. Who cares about culture, landmarks, or anything else? Saturday: Saturday was my sightseeing day. Now the most iconic thing in Cologne is the biggest, and the only thing to survive the war. The Cathedral is huge. A impressive sight. It can be seen from most of the city, and overall its just cool. The Old Town around it is even nicer. Tons of cobbled streets, many restaurants, and overall a lot of charm and quirkiness. Cologne may not be the prettiest city in Germany, but it definitely has charm. Though my highlight had to be their chocolate Museum.. As a hungry bast***, I approve of this museum. Perfect for those who love to get their cavities refilled like myself. Its a shame 2020 sucks tbh. You can even get your own creation done at the Chocolate museum for 5 euros. I got a bar of white with a bunch of nuts in it. Cos I like nuts, get over it. This day was finished by a river cruise down the rhine. Because it would be rude not too. Sorry for the bad photography, I was drinking beers left and right. Overall a very quirky city. its not the most beautiful, or the most historical, but its a fun place that has its quirks. Anyway next blog I will deep dive into Phantasialand. Prepare folks, its going to be a long one..
  13. Going for the first time on Sunday. Any hidden gems or tips? Only got one day so wanna try and get as much as done as possible.
  14. I think the prices really reflect the quality of the product.. Sure lowering your prices down will get more sales, but then you have a million passholders who get discount on everything and all want to visit the park all the time (and trying to get a passholder pre-book is like trying to light a candle under-water..) Honestly I feel the premium passholders need more incentives. Six Flags with their membership offer things like passholder-only areas and entrances just for passholders. Maybe Merlin should expand on the tiers and benefits in the future?
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