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Found 5 results

  1. I have sadly yet to do a 'proper' inverted coaster as I did Air (now Galactica) but whether you count it going upside down or not is a completely different question. Rita nearly scared me the first time and to make the ride worse, my head in the wrong position so my head banged from side to side of the OTSR. Th13teen meanwhile did not scare much as it didn't have inversions. This logic has made me wonder what is exactly the thing that scares people. Is it speed/ height (like Stealth) that scares people? Is it inversions (like me) that frightens people? Or is it something else? This thread will be about what exactly scares you on the ride and then tips for how to overcome that fear on a coaster.
  2. Over the last year, my theme park adventures have taken me to some weird and wonderful places away from the U.K. This is all started with Disneyland Paris last april [with a return visit in September] followed by Efteling in November. But from here on, where would my next theme park adventure take me? It would take me to Europa Park, the crème de la creme of European parks amongst being one of the best in the world [if not the best]. After a doable 1 hr 20 minute flight to Basel from Gatwick followed by a 75 minute car journey we had all arrived at our accomodation in Rust. Located 15 minutes away from the park with at least 6 beds per room, this accommodation was perfect for the large [but nicely sized] group of us going. The perfect crash pad and HQ for TPM and ideal for the usual and many meet shenanigans. After an evening exploring the culinary delights and limited sleep, it was time to enter the golden arches into this beautiful park . The entrance area is absolutely beutiful and is another example of a theme park entrance done right, with the grandiose entrance and fountains outside leading into a beautifully layed out main street leading through to the main park. With over 60 rides and attractions [not including shows], Europa Park houses the highest volume of attractions in one park [including Disney] making it even more impressive. Aside from it's stunning cohesive park areas it's a place where you only have to turn a corner to find a random show or enter a small marked façade and find one of many dark rides. The above picture is a disclaimer that I have visited [something that seems to be becoming a standard these days] Europa currently houses 12 coasters [with another on the way soon] making it the park with the most coasters in Europe amongst the world. One of these is Wodan, a GCI coaster which opened back in 2012. At over 130 ft tall, it is a mighty beast of a coaster and rides as beautiful as it looks [if not better]. After the descent into the drop, the coaster races through it's circuit in a crazily out of control yet impressive style as it's flies through turns and helixes around the area whilst diving in and out of tunnels. Wodan is a spectacular coaster and does everything I currently want from a coaster. From an impressive queue to an even more amazing layout. It is with the combination of both these elements that now make this my new number 1 coaster, knocking off Nemesis from it's top spot after nearly 4 years in the running. Firing off in the nearby surroundings, stands yet another impressive master piece. Blue Fire is such a photo friendly coaster and rides as well as she looks. After passing through the mandatory but impressive dark ride section, the ride thrusts into a smooth but impressive launch which isn't as intense as Stealth and Rita but considerably more comfortable. The coaster flows through it's circuit providing intensity and elegance at the same time, from it's flying through twists and turns to injector airtime inversions whilst proving to be glass smooth. Blue Fire is yet another amazing coaster the park have created and everything from the comftable lap bar trains, to the greatly paced layout make for a fantastic ride, which is now my second favourite coaster overall, only just beaten by Wodan [for it's queue line alone]. This coaster makes me even more excited to be experiencing Helix soon and hopeful that if Blackpool are getting one of these, it will put them back on the map as a must do park. Then there is Silver Star, Europa's giant which until 2012 was the tallest coaster in Europe, taking the height title from the inferior Big One. Despite hearing people saying it was rather mundane before visiting, I actually enjoyed this one alot. From it's steep drop, to it's airtime hills which did give quite a floaty feeling. The ride's position does make it feel you're outside the park though almost which is a strange feeling,but probably helps make it stand out I guess. The ride is one of the first to be spotted when approaching the park and can be seen for miles. It was astounding watching a train go up the lift less than two minutes apart each time too as a result of the park's outstanding operations. But Europa isn't just home to fantastic thrill coasters, but some equally impressive family ones too like Arthur. This is such a gem of a ride which features many dark ride scenes indoors [mixing screens and traditional scenery amongst animatronics] with great bursts of outdoor coaster sections throughout making for a great paced coaster which would be perfect for a number of family parks. Another amusing fact is this has to be only family attraction in existence to feature swearing on the ride, due to the rap song in the alley scene using the n-word . And if those weren't enough to handle, I also managed to take a brief visit to Epcot as well. Of course not, this is Euro Sat, one of the park's indoor dark ride coasters which is located in this giant ball [which mostly resembles Space Ship earth]. But once inside, the similarities between the two become vastly different with the attraction's 80's space theme and german rave music included. Whilst this may be one of the park's older coasters it certainly doesn't hold back as it really packs a punch in it's layout amongst it's long spiral like lift hill. After a couple of go's this attraction was a hit with most people, myself included [which may even be in my top 5 park favourites]. The ride is so much fun and could be described as a superior version of X with some space mountain effects. Euro Mir has to be one of the most bizarre coasters I've ever ridden. From it's long spiral lift [also like Eurosat] to it's long twisty turns amongst mirrored buildings before going through numerous twists and turns. As much as I liked this one, I definitely prefer Eurosat to Euro Mir. Then there's Poseiden, an amazing water coaster. This is yet another enjoyable ride in the park, which I think is nicely paced out with lift, coaster section, splash, lift, coaster and a final splash before returning back to the station. The throughputs on this again are amazing as boats were literally flying out the station to the degree there were even two on the lift at the same time as well. Then there's Atlantica Super Splash, which as perhaps the weakest coaster at the park. However with the decent theming and settings surrounding this can be mostly forgiven. I'd swap Storm Surge for one of these anyday. Then there's Pegasus,which for a family coaster features a decent amount of theming amongst a fun and remarkably thrilling layout for a family coaster. And lets not forget about the park's veteran coaster Alpen Express, which features a fantastic layout for a powered coaster and really speeds through that cave and last ride section at a fantastic pace too. I'm yet to try the VR on both coasters, but if I visit again soon will definitely be doing so. Nestled within the Swiss area is the matterhorn blitz, a wild mouse with a difference. From it's amusing elevator lift to it's steep drop and tight corners, I found this version considerably more enjoyable than many others out there which reminds me a little of the old Jungle Coaster [despite this being superior]. Last but not least is the Schweizer Bobbhan, the park's bobsled coaster and by definition the prototype, due to Europa being a showcase of many of Mack rides [being owned by the Mack family]. The ride layout is highly enjoyable but not quite as good as Blackpool's but probably wins due to it's loverly location. A loverly location indeed. It also has one of the longest break-run-station transitions in existence which takes up nearly half the ride alone. However, there is more to Europa than a dozen coasters. It's all about the park's random dark rides. Many of which are cleverly hidden away some of which are little more than a ride sign and a door in the wall. Like this random christmas themed ride in the Russian section. Or this PIrates Of The Caribbean style knock off. Which was actually remarkably good and well done. Even the ceilings were themed up as well. And there's no waiting for this Ghost Train either. It was actually really well themed and reminded me quite alot of the sadly long gone Wicked Witches Haunt ride amongst some tongue and cheek references to the Haunted Mansion with it's singing heads and stretching room. The food at Europa is absolutely fantastic [even the quick service places]. The restaurant that naturally stands out the most however is Food Loop, the originally Roller Coaster Restaurant. The food wasn't bad either. I absolutely loved this place, from the clever way of ordering food on the screens and then watching them race down along the track to your table. Whilst I don't think it beats Polle's as my favourite theme park eatery I really did enjoy this and look forward to trying the Towers version in the near future hopefully. The park also has many shows, so many you could almost spend a whole park day watching them. One of these was a show about celebrating the park's history featuring rotating sections like the Caroulsel of progress I believe. There was an Elvis tribute act in the Globe Theatre in the England area, no I am not lying. Was still amusing though. However the ice show in the greek area was considerably better and more entertaining. The projection mapping and performances in this one were impressive to say the least. There was also a park parade too which even had a soundtrack [quite reminiscent of Magic Everywhere]. Whilst the Paris parade was most likely the better of the two, what makes this one nicer is it feels a lot more close and intimate. There's a noticeable reduction of crowd hogging and finding a place to watch seems an easier task without waiting an hour find a good spot. Some of the other weird and wonderful attractions in Europa include this set of football themed Dodgems, with an actual over sized football in play too. The 'infamous' London Taxi ride, which is a lot more fun than getting a real taxi. The Queen's Diamond, a laser maze which is a fun little filler. This amazingly well themed splash battle attraction. This quirky inverted monorail ride [the attention to detail is ridiculously good]. This 4D show about Euro Mouse. It was sort of like Angry Birds 4D but slightly better. There is also the astoundingly themed Columbus Dinghy. This features projection mapping, fountains, rider control of directions and thematic centre piece all just for a sea storm ride. It's absolutely amazing. And not forgetting this Jungle Cruise style ride. This was again lots of fun and a worthwhile filler attaction. This picture alone perhaps describes the difference between Merlin and Europa. RIP Skyway There's even a Fairy tale forest-esque area at the park which is very reminiscent to Eftelling's, except for being much smaller. But even then, Europa Park is very beautiful and picturesque place to visit. And the on-site hotels are just as beutfiul Even the underground walkway is themed. And it was a fantastic place to visit. Europa is an amazing park. It features pretty much everything you'd wish in a theme park. A wide range of rides, coasters and dark rides, plenty of shows and green spaces, decent upkeep and great selection of food as well. The park definitely had a lot of tongue and check influences from places such as Disney & Efteling amongst some elements bringing back the days when our parks used to put care and effort into their rides. Comparing this park to what have in the U.K is like comparing a tesco microwave meal to a michelin star restaurant [which the park apparently has actually] and they just can't be compared at all. Europa certainly has to be my favourite theme park now, probably just scraping past DLRP in greatness. It's not a park you would go to experience the rides more-so [bar Blue Fire & Wodan], but one just for the amazing surroundings and showcases in how everything there compliments one another and isn't just plonked down. To appreciate the park, it's definitely a place where you need several days to visit, in which the longer you stay, the more you will appreciate the park. I spent three days at the park, which is probably the minimum amount of time of getting the core park elements done, but could could have easily done another day or two, just to experience all the shows, re-ride the coasters, do the VR and adore the park even more. Bucky approves of Europa Park.
  3. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, if anybody is up that way....... https://www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/red-arrows-display/?utm_source=CRM&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=display
  4. I didn't really know where to put this tbh, but seeing I couldn't find an existing/ appropriate topic, I thought I would create one. Sad news has been announced at Universal Singapore today it's been confirmed their roller coaster Battlestar Galactica will be closed for good. The ride, the tallest duelling coaster in the world, has been plagued with operational and technical problems since day one when it opened in 2010 and will be replaced with a new ride at the end of the year. Full details about the article can be found here https://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/what-is-buzzing/troubled-universal-studios-singapore-ride-battlestar-galactica-closes-084334087.html
  5. It's been my intentions over the last few years to try and visit to try and visit a new theme park or attraction each year, which started with Alton Towers in 2012 and Harry Potter Studio Tour, Madame Tussauds, The Dungeons along with a return to Oakwood [after 15 years] in 2013. At first I wasn't expecting to receive any new park credits for 2014 with Paultons Park called off and Euro disney put on hold. This year it was my intentions to visit a park that was of the following, 1/ was a major place with top class rides, 2/ was outside the Merlin circle 3/ a place outside of the uk. On this trip, I was able to achieve two of these, by finally visiting Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a park I have been wanting to visit for some time and home to a large collection of prominent rides to the uk/world theme park industry [though some are hit and miss in places] where I would gain a whole new list of ride credits [and first]. Upon entering the park, you are greeted by a number of different things, one is the sheer prominence of rides that appear in front of you towering in the back ground, particularly the Big One which pretty much dominates the whole park, the second is the amount of former rides laying dormant at the park. The monorail and ark are two of these, both of which I saw before even getting properly through the gates which isn't the greatest thing to see. The first ride/new cred of the day was the infamous Wild Mouse. First opinions of the ride describe it as a small compact and doesn't look too exciting, however this ride has some tricks up it's sleeves! Despite first appearances, the ride is surprisingly good, very fun and quite scary at a few occasions too, with its sharp tight turns, bumpy rattle through the track and it's sharp and sudden drops, an experience with just seat belts and no restraints is quite intense. A great classic that shouldn't be overlooked despite first appearances, plus my second ever woodie! From one classic to another [most of Blackpool's rides are classics], it was time for the one and only Ghost Train. A few minutes later and my spooky distraction was over. I quite enjoyed this ride and it's got got quite a few interesting elements to the ride including the roller coaster like drops, moments of the ride going outside and the spinning tunnel with train lights [which seem common to some ghost trains]. Whilst it's not on the leagues for rides such as Hex & Duel, which may be a bit of an unfair comparison to begin with, this ride wins it over for novelty and ride length and is an example of what a traditional Ghost Train ride should incorporate. It's certainly better than Castille Del Terror at Tivoli and Spooky 4D, both of which probably aren't as old as this which already states it's point. From one dark ride to another, our next attraction was Impossible, which comprised a set of indoor attractions all joined up together, starting with a mirror maze, a series of strange objects and illusions and a small haunted swing style ride where the room spins around. This wasn't the best of attractions as it mostly felt like a cluster of attractions just stuck together to make one big ride. The Mirror maze was alright, but the swing ride was so dull it was laughable. I'm sure 30 years ago [long before Hex] the swing element would've actually looked pretty but now, it's so bad it's good! After a random mediocre experience, it was time for some white knuckle fuel on Ice Blast, which is now the only non coaster thrill ride in the park with Bling gone. The ride starts with the seats raising up slightly and then lowering gradually where riders are instructed to secure all loose valuables [like there's chance now], before the capsule is thrusted upwards, then downwards and then up again, until height is lost and the pod gradually lowers back to the ground. The ride is ok, the launch is pretty fun and thrilling as you are pushed in to your restraint flying up followed by some small hits of air time and the then the end. Not a bad drop tower, however it certainly doesn't beat Detty but is much better than Bounce! After launching back to earth, it was time to take on another woodie who is the grand daddy of them all at 91, it's time to take on the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is such a fun coaster to ride, as it leaps from hill after hill during it's circuit, offering a reasonable supply of air time, whilst it's not as good as Megafobia back in Oakwood, one must remember for a ride of this age it still provides an excellent experience which is great fun with lots of thrills along the way. Another great woodie. By now on the trip it was time to take on a ride that I and many had been strongly anticipating during our trip, one that would offer an immense ride experience and tick quite a few boxes for firsts. This ride was known as [drum roll]. Infusion Well first things first, it sure looks rather pretty for an SLC. This is the first one I've actually ridden. Having heard of many of these ride's being rather rough and uncomfortable [including this one], I set my expectations for this ride rather low. But would my opinions be just as rough once I had finally ridden it? The answer to this in most ways is NO! Whilst the ride was in no way perfect or in anyway a patch to a B&M invert, this ride was surprisingly good and did beat my expectations. The first half for me was quite fun actually, it rolled through twist, turns and inversions whilst over a large lake of water and fountains. It wasn't really rough at all infact I could almost call it smooth. The second unfortunately wasn't as the ride did seem to get noticeably rougher, as I bashed my head in to the restraint outside of choice several times, making the ride a little painful towards the end. Not a bad ride really and I enjoyed most it. The end is certainly rougher than Colossus but maybe not as much as Saw. Following on from my hit and miss SLC, it was time for ride on the Grand Prix, which is sort of Blackpool's equivalent of Autopia, although this ride existed before any of them were built as I'm aware! Not a bad little ride, but not remarkable either. The ride pretty much takes a journey down a spiralling descent passing nearby rides such as Avalanche & Revolution among others, gradually turning around ascending back up the spiral to the station where the ride finally finishes. Time for another cracking ride, me thinks! Technically Blackpool's newest contraption, unless you count it as a retheme from when it was the Gold Mine [something I never got to try unfortunately]. Despite getting very mixed reviews [some loving it and others hating it], I'm going to definitely say I love this ride. I've always been quite a fan of Wallace & Gromit [especially growing] and used to watch the movies on VHS on a fairly regular basis [wow do I sound old] and would enjoy seeing all the action whether it be the penguin train chase or Gromit flying in the red plane. For me, the ride has captured the world of Wallace & Gromit very well, which is full of funny gags, rich detail in theming and settings along with high quality scenes and animation throughout the whole ride, also including plenty of audio dialogue and of course the catchy theme tune as well. In terms of overall quality, this ride does kick all of Merlins other existing uk dark rides to the curb [at least in their current forms], with Hex being the only exception. It may lack the originality of many other rides out there, but it's a great fun family attraction and whilst the ride mostly consists of prominent scenes from the four shorts and film, I think it's paced very well and fits together perfectly. The ride is such high quality that I would say it's almost at the league of some of disney's dark rides [something I cannot properly clarify currently] and the only slip up on the whole dark ride is the scene where the penguin is falling in which the movement mechanism came be seen! Currently my 3rd favourite dark ride at the moment of writing. You'll find out what my top 2 favourite are shortly. Leaving Wensleydale behind us, we set off to Nick Land and decided to take a ride on the big orange track thing in the distance known as Nicklodeon Streak [formerly Roller Coaster]. It was quite a fun and enjoyable ride with quite a few bits of airtime and force. I wouldn't say it was as good as Dipper and Mouse but it still a great ride, I'd put it on top of Infusion anyway. Also this ride running just one train [with the state of the 2nd not looking ready for adding]. Apparently this ride is almost always on just one train [unlike the others], at least the queue wasn't too long and it was more pleasant than waiting for one train Colossus. I think it's time to jump on another coaster now. I'll say Blue Fire! oops, I meant Blue Flyer, just remembered I'm in Blackpool not Europa [one can dream]. This is not a bad little, quite a fun little woodie for kids to do, certainly not my favourite by far and perhaps my least favourite coaster, but then it's aimed more for kids and young families. Still it's another credit and woodie to add to the collection. By now, all these woodies and other rides made us a bit hungry so we decided to grab some lunch at the park, where we decided to head over to the conveniently named Coaster bar, positioned on one of the pathways between Dipper and Avalanche. I went in for the Chicken Fajita in the end which was ok [sadly the picture didn't turn out as well as hoped] , not the most amazing thing but it edible, good enough and not bad value for money, plus the wedges were pretty decent [beats Oakwood's offering by a country mile though]. Whilst eating, we were all amused by a selection of songs playing from a slightly quiet and muffled speaker here. But these weren't ordinary songs though as these were intact all songs from Disney movies [snow white, Pochahontis, Enchanted etc.] which was certainly something I didn't expect especially in Blackpool. This made me rather happy whilst eating my food, having always a rather big fan of Disney [one day Disney]. And that concludes part 1 of my exciting trip and weekend away in Blackpool, but Which big ride had a very big queue which became a big surprise? Which ride had a big trick and which big disney character sort of has their own big take at Blackpool? Stay tuned for some big updates in part 2!
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