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GhosterForce 2016 Trip Reports

Discussion in 'CoasterForce Live' started by Ian, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Enigma Shadow

    Enigma Shadow Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
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    Trophy Points:
    88
    Best Coaster:
    Katun
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    Coaster Count:
    152
    SUNDAY 16TH OCTOBER
    Early alarms greeted us this morning which would make most people groan but to get 4 people in each hotel room showered, dressed and down to the breakfast buffet in time to make it to the park entrance, and in this case Klugheim, it was a total necessity. Luckily the simply beautiful Matamba hotel guaranteed a good comfy night’s sleep, the beds were incredibly cosy…but excitement nerves got the better of me as I still managed to wake up at 5am instead of 6. The reality of visiting my most anticipated park had finally sunk in! It’s Phantasia, can you blame me?

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    After the group ploughed through mountains of bacon, eggs and toast at the fab buffet (or plodded down to slowly much on toast minutes before leaving time for some…) it was time to make our way to the turnstiles. From the giddy attitudes and beaming faces it’s clear we were all hyped up about the day ahead! I love moments like this with CF. It wasn’t long before we were in the entrance plaza and wow! What a first impression! I’d heard stories from many enthusiasts about the theming here but I was still blown away by the level of detail everywhere, it’s impeccable. Gawking aside it was again time for Ian to unleash his swarm of goonlings as we all stampeded over to the new-for-2016 area, Klugheim – home of the ferocious Taron!

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    In case you couldn’t tell from the photos it’s actually the crazy looking rockwork dominating the skyline that catches your gaze before the winding mess of track. I remember a few folks weren’t very happy with the rock theming during construction but I for one really admire it, it’s almost otherworldly and really makes you feel like you’re in a mythological setting. It’s a good thing it’s all nice to look at it because it turned out the coaster wouldn’t be opening for another hour! A wave of groans swept through the group but luckily this meant more time to get photos of the track and truly soak in the Klugheim atmosphere while socialising to pass time. Just before the hour mark a strange ROAR erupted from the canyons – it was the sound of Taron’s launch, which meant we all got to fawn over the coaster in action, almost like an appetiser before getting to ride the beast! After a few trains the red rope was dropped and it was finally time to ride. The fantastic Taron theme, once again provided by IMAscore, really made our venture to the station feel that much more epic.

    TARON
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    Once again my new cred excitement was kicking in once we made it to the airgates. The moment before finally riding something you’ve looked forward to and followed the construction of is always a magical moment. I was lucky enough to ride back row with Ian Bell himself and he even presented me with a genuine CF Goon Strap so I could now actually see in full HD with my glasses! Can’t think of a better way to ride a new cred ;)

    I won’t go into full detail about the layout because I could gush for hours about it…but also because it’s such a mess of intertwining track that it’s hard to pinpoint a solid layout! I will say that our initial ride was a little, shall we say, lacking. It was still good don’t get me wrong but it all just seemed a bit underwhelming, from the weak launches to it practically crawling over some hills and just generally meandering, it was just a bit bleh. About a 7-8/10. But that was because it was first thing in the morning and hadn’t warmed up yet, and my gosh when this thing is fired up…it’s an insane relentless monster, a solid 10/10. But I’ll go into that later when I wrap up the Phantasia report the same way we ended the day: the high note of one of the most intense and ecstatic ERTs.

    CHIAPAS
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    Another mystery ride for me in the long line of attractions I didn’t want to spoil for myself before visiting, all I knew is it was a log flume with that extra Phantasialand flair and that everyone I’d spoken to about it rated it very high. Expectations were high!

    As is tradition with water rides and CF there were some arranged ‘fat boats’ and ‘virgin boats’ of which I fell into the latter category, repeated again later on a much more wild and wet water ride but that’s for later! At first (if you somehow managed to ignore the enormous steep drop en route to the ride entrance) Chiapas may seem like your standard log flume as it drifts around bends and scenery, albeit beautiful scenery (as to be expected at this park) but it has some surprises up its sleeve. Before I explain some of the layout I can’t even stress enough how outstanding the landscaping and interaction with the neighbouring Colorado Adventure is, being sandwiched between that coaster’s two lifthills creates a busy and immersive effect. Seeing further parts of Chiapas as you climb the first lifthill gives you that “Wait…is THAT what’s ahead?!” feeling and really pumps up the anticipation. There’s a fairly big drop after touring the excavation cave that provides some decent airtime and depending where you sit will either get you wet or just a tad bit moist.

    Coming out of the drop comes one of the rides many magical touches as the boat is met with a dead end before being ‘blown’ backwards by a gust of mist that bellows from a statue in the wall. Did Phantasia need to add that to a turntable? No, but they did and that’s what makes the park so lovable. You cruise backwards for a while and enter the Rave in the Cave (as I call it), a cavern with a funky dance remix of the main theme music, flashing lights and dancing totems. It’s crazy but I love it! You exit down a backwards drop with another lifthill to your right which makes you assume there’s a bit more drifting before you reach it…wrong! The boat comes to a halt and in a “WTF” moment you’re shifted from the left side to right, once again aided by the wind gods blowing at the boat. It caught me by surprise and the transition is so seemless, there’s no real wait for the transfer mechanism to align in place or slow shift, it’s all really speedy. They could’ve stuck with another boring turntable but they yet again went the extra mile! Following this you climb two more hills which along with the amazing views of the park builds the anticipation for what the ride has been building up to – the giant vertical drop! It picks up some good speed and you don’t realise quite how tall it is until you’re about to plummet, the little airtime hill as you come out of the dip is a welcome bonus and a great finale to an awesome ride. 10/10 from me!

    COLORADO ADVENTURE
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    Formerly the ‘Michael Jackson Thrill Coaster’ this cred was our next destination – perfect for drying off after Chiapas. I initially dismissed it as a standard family friendly Mine Train but jeez was I wrong! I waited for back row as I usually try to on my first ride and it was recommended by those who’d already ridden it. Definitely worth it! It starts out fairly uneventful but then decides to go completely mental as it dives into a pitch black tunnel – this drop took me by surprise and being in the back means the pull into the tunnel is really snappy and picks up a lot of speed. This happens twice on the coaster and it’s brilliant, it’s totally unexpected as the majority of the track is out of sight before you queue. Take it from me if you sit near the back your butt won't be sat on that seat very often! I'd say it's a decent length and dishes out some unexpected but welcome thrills. A good 8/10.

    BLACK MAMBA

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    I don’t really know what to say about this coaster having only ridden it once so I don’t feel I could form a proper opinion of it but I will say that it was another on my long to-do list I made in 2010. It’s safe to say that “hyped” doesn’t even begin to cut it, B&M inverts have always been a favourite of mine. It also became very apparent that Black Mamba isn’t a very easy coaster to photograph but maybe that’s a combination of how well it’s woven into the landscape and tunnels and the fact the queue was fast moving so photo opportunities were low. Speaking of the queue I thought it was great, being dotted with waterfalls and Sudanese style buildings the queue passes through and the absence of a cattlepen is always a bonus.

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    One of many paintings throughout the Mamba queue

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    The queue is so picturesque, there are lots of waterfalls surrounding it.

    The station itself is really dark, borderline pitch-black in places and with the pounding drum soundtrack it’s a fantastic atmosphere. I think I was sat towards the middle-back of the train so the forces were pretty strange: aggressively quick, snappy transitions and darn intense in places – it should have been perfect. But it all kind of seemed like a blur, almost TOO much going on…maybe not being able to see the track in front of me caused some disorientation? All I know is I know I enjoyed it overall but having only ridden it the one time I don’t think I can rate it honestly so I’m going to say 9/10 for now. I’d like to re-ride a few times so I can get a true feel for it.

    TALOCAN

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    The first flat ride of the day! As is normally the case with flats on Lives a lot of CF sat this one out…but that’s an experience in itself since Talocan is SUCH a spectator-friendly ride. It may look like your average Top Spin at first but not only is it double sided, it also runs a mental cycle complete with an incredible soundtrack, water fountains and fire! Lots of fire!! Dan (Attackhammer) and I prayed to Harambe wishing for the side facing the fire and onlookers but the gorilla wasn’t on our side as we were placed on the seats opposite the back wall, which wasn’t a bad thing since it felt like a constant near miss! Everyone who rode it came off absolutely filled with adrenaline, it’s just such an assault on all your senses and it doesn’t hold back in the slightest when it comes to flipping and throwing you about everywhere. I can’t give it anything other than a 10/10.

    We broke for lunch at this point, a lot of us wanted to sashay back to Klugheim to eat at the Norse pub- themed restaurant so that’s where we went. Sadly it was too busy for the amount of time we had before regrouping which is a shame but eh, another excuse to return I guess ;) We settled for pretzels and baked pastry things, pretty decent value for money. As expected talk soon turned to Taron and the general consensus was that we knew it hadn’t shown its full might during our ride in the morning and we were all very, VERY eager to return to it for our hour ERT later on. We also got far too excited about the nearby toilets which were immensely themed but absolutely reeked of sewage – I sure hope the stench was just part of the theming too…

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    RAIK
    I’m certain we rode this just before we ordered our food but I’m too lazy to rework the above structure to fit it in, this review’s taking long enough as it is! Anyway, tucked away underneath the almighty Taron is the other coaster, a Vekoma Junior Boomerang, which opened this year alongside the new area and it’s quite the hidden gem. The station has these green lights lining the walls that switch to a menacing red once the train is dispatched which I think is a nice little touch. The lifthill for the forwards section is in a deep trench beneath Taron and enclosed at the top which just goes to show the park put lots of thought into this coaster’s theming even if it is the “lesser” of the two rides in the area. At the back you get some nice forces and a surprising dose of speed although I wasn’t as impressed by the backwards run…maybe I’m just not a fan of coasters in reverse as a whole. In any case it’s inoffensive and a nice addition to Klugheim, I think it’s great for kids feeling brave and ready to move on to the bigger coasters. Better than Ben 10! 7/10

    Maus Au Chocolat
    This fun 3d shooter ride was our post-lunch rendezvous. Depending how competitive I feel I generally don’t bother with the guns on dark shooters as I much prefer to sit back and appreciate all the animatronics and scenery. Maus however is a trackless shooter almost entirely dependent on screens and 3D glasses so I had no choice but to get properly involved – not that I minded since I was intrigued! The theme is you’re in a chocolatier/baker’s factory that’s been overrun with mice intent on spiting the place, and that’s where the fab guns mounted on the cars come into play, so you can shoot as many as you can before moving on to the next scene. It may all be in German but the narrative is easy enough for anyone to follow.

    I was initially a little skeptical about this as we boarded since I have awful eyesight and as a result can’t really get the full effect of 3D but luckily I didn’t need to worry as I could actually see it properly! The animations look really nice and when cakes and chocolate pellets are flying towards you and all over the place it’s chaotic! The ride lasts over 3 minutes, maybe around the 5 minute mark which in most cases would feel like an overstayed welcome but Maus au Chocolat is entertaining and engaging enough to keep riders invested, though I will say rolling the wheel over and over to shoot while aiming the gun does tire your wrist and arm out and I know I wasn’t the only one suffering! Still an awesome ride, hindered only by the arm-ache. 9/10

    WINJAS
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    These unique coasters are tucked away in Wuze Town, be sure not to miss them!

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    Dark queue! You know it's been a long wait when you resort to photographing fake candles

    The two spinners were next bringing with them the longest queue of the day which is to be expected with spinners. It wouldn’t be so bad if the queue didn’t STINK, it’s indoors so there’s no escape! It was humid too which added to the grossness. As with all CF queues we found ways to make it less tedious, Ian even got an informative lesson on furries since he had some burning questions – he decided he’d be a beagle if he was an animal. It was also in this queue that Richard discovered the shoulder straps on my Zelda bag can be unclipped so naturally he abused this whenever he could…

    Fear was the first of the two Winjas. I knew these coasters had trick-track gimmicks but I couldn’t remember which ones belonged to each coaster so there was still that element of surprise! If you haven’t been and don’t want it spoiled then I suggest skipping this part but I think others have already explained it so you probably already know. Fear’s gimmick is that at one point the track moves and slants forward like a seesaw, tipping your car straight into a big drop into a layout that’s pretty much the same as the neighbouring Force. Speaking of which, the trick up Force’s sleeve is a section of track that ‘falls’ to the left, banking heavily before plummeting into a drop. One feature both sides share is a random track bounce before heading back into the station, it’s so bizarre and caught me off guard! I rate them about the same although I think the Force element felt stranger and had some bonus airtime hills thrown in so it tips the scales just that little bit more for me. Fear: 6/10, Force: 8/10.

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    D...dragonnnnssss <3

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    My memory here’s a little foggy but I think we did the Funhouse next which was…fun! The preshow was fun, simulating an elevator that breaks down prompting a hotel staff member to open the top hatch and tell you everything’s okay. It’s obviously a screen on the ceiling but it’s done well enough! The rest is the usual funhouse antics albeit with some fancy theming and plates. Lots of plates. Temple of the Nighthawk and a boat ride were next (after someone coated themselves in icing sugar, Sean I think?) but as if the lack of their own header and paragraph isn’t enough of a hint the less said about these boring rides the better. Nighthawk is especially awful and this outdated coaster is really a blemish on an otherwise stellar line up. Rip it out!

    RIVER QUEST
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    Hmm, that's a very steep drop, SURELY that can't belong to a rapids ride...

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    Ah, the mysterious rapids that everyone was so excited for all the Phantasia n00bs to ride! I still laugh at how everyone was so determined to distract me and the other River Quest virgins from seeing even the slightest bit of what awaited, to the point Richard even pulled my hat over my face until we were in the “unique” lifthill. I’m going to refrain from giving away the surprises since I want everyone to blindly experience the craziness like I did, it’s just that insane. All I’ll say is it’s SOAKING WET and has so much WTF stuff that a UK park would never allow it! Also, Richard got engulfed by a tidal wave splash and briefly totally vanished which caused everyone on the boat to burst into hysterics. It’s a hilarious sight burned into my memory I’ll never forget! 10/10 for sheer craziness.

    MYSTERY CASTLE
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    Aka Mysterious Sue’s humble abode! This is the tower that you can see from virtually anywhere in the park so the intimidation factor is really high by the time you eventually make your way over to it, made particularly worse for me not being the biggest tower ride fan. I kind of like shot towers but they still make me anxious! Now usually I’d want to keep what it is secret but it’s kind of obvious what a tower that tall is hiding, even so the walkthrough section does a good job keeping the suspense flowing: it’s a series of winding dark corridors, lab equipment and staircases lit only by a faint blue glow. I can’t remember if there was a soundtrack or just ambience but either way the mood is incredible.

    The actual ride itself is a strange one, I’ve heard it runs different sequences depending what time of the day it is. We must’ve hit the just-get-it-over-and-done-with cycle period because the actors in the ride station very hastily rushed us into our seats and launched us up without giving any sort of boarding speech like they’re apparently meant to do, which in a way was quite nerve wracking. I didn’t think the launches or drops were that intense but that was probably because I was too busy looking around and wondering why the hell the floor was following us up the tower. Our sequence consisted of the initial launch to the top where all the electricity on the ceiling goes berserk, followed by the big drop to about halfway down, then another launch and finally a drop all the way down to the bottom. So not terrible but I know it’s capable of better! For this cycle I think I’d give it an 8/10.

    We had enough time after Mystery Castle to fit in one more ride of our choosing before our scheduled ERT in Klugheim so we all split up, Chris wanted to re-ride Colorado Express so I was more than happy to join him. We sat at the back again and holy crap it was even more out of control than earlier, it absolutely barrelled down the drops into the tunnels so much so that we were basically standing up. It was night at this point so it was pitch black making it hard to see what was coming and generally made a great ride experience. We all came off glad we chose it as our last ride! Well, last ride before the TRUE final ride session. That awaited back in Klugheim…

    TARON: ROUND 2

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    Photos taken earlier in the day, I was too busy riding to get any night shots of it!

    A mix of excitement and the slight issue of not really knowing our way back to the meeting point resulted in a bit of a frantic running session that no doubt looked a bit silly to any onlookers but…CREDS! Luckily we were on time and basically arrived at the same time as the rest of CF although just like in the morning Klugheim was closed off for a while. Déjà vu anyone? Conversation was rife about how different Taron would ride now that it’s had a full day to warm up and the general atmosphere was electric, it felt great to be a part of.

    Once those giant wooden doors creaked open that was it, the area officially belonged to CoasterForce…well there were some hotel guests too but so few that it was still practically ours. I must say that while seeing it in all its glory during daylight is incredible there’s something even more menacing about the black track twisting in the darkness and wrapping around the wonderfully lit Klugheim buildings. As is the norm with ERT it was basically a free-for-all and a huge amount of re-rides were had so I can’t really document it in its entirety but I will go on to explain just how much better it was than our lacklustre morning ride.

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    Before I start I’ll say that I did have my lapbar stupidly loose, maybe about 1 click thanks to the trusted “belly out” trick when staff check the restraints and while it was exhilarating I genuinely DO NOT recommend doing this if you’re as slim as I am as it really did feel like I was about to be ejected at some points. I’m sure it’s safe but just throwing it out there. What was originally a mediocre first launch was transformed into a forceful punch straight into the onslaught of S-bends, airtime hills and heavily banked sharp curves, with each element full of force and determined to throw you from your seat. The swooping dive into the 2nd launch is where the intensity is cranked up to 11 – the coaster reaches around 70mph at this part and damn it certainly feels like it, it’s that same gut-wrenching sensation you get on Stealth! It launches up out of the ditch straight into a mean airtime hill and to be honest it’s so quick and intense that it’s hard to recall the exact layout. All I know is it’s relentless to the point many of us had tears in our eyes from the sheer speed. I’d say back towards the back definitely gives the better ride with its barbaric forces but riding at the front provides that unrivalled wind-in-your-face speed and lets you see everything as it approaches. Either way it’s absolutely breath taking at night and if you get the chance I highly advise it. Words can’t even begin to describe it.

    An hour later and we were all understandably exhausted, our bodies were probably put into shock from putting them through such intense forces, but boy was it worth it! Many of us were now declaring it a new #1 (sorry, Katun still holds that crown ;p) and it just goes to show how much of a difference the time of day when it comes to riding coasters. After all those insane re-rides I can now confidently give it a stellar 10/10. Hell, 11/10!

    Absolutely drained but satisfied after such a long day we said our goodbyes and headed out of Germany and back to the Netherlands. I was in Del Piero’s fab car again with Ben, Maddie and…JayJay? Or was it Jake? (Apologies my memory is terrible…) and we made a crucial stop at BEDBURGER LAND!!!! Look at the size of the beer you can get here too, the Dutch really don’t f**k about!

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    After all that excitement we arrived at our trashy motel style hotel for the night, the last sleep of the official Live ahead of the final park, Efteling! Next part to come soon, work is super busy but I’ll try not to take a million years this time! Thanks for reading <3
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
    DelPiero likes this.
  2. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
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    Best Coaster:
    Lightning Rod
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    Coaster Count:
    379
    Day 2 - A relaxing day at Toverland

    I think this was the journey with the closed Motorway, in which case, was a very interesting journey. At one point we were flying down a single track road with Pin trees on both sides and Massive Tractors/Diggers coming the other way. Eventually we got back to the Motorway after the closure and carried on.

    Ian handed me a CD just before leaving the hotel and was given the instruction "play this when you don't have to focus on the Sat Nav". Luckily my car had a CD player unlike most of the others #smug
    Said CD consisted of an excellent in flight announcement from the one and only Mushroom detailing our trip to Toverland. Ian from Coasterforce also narrated and explained about the wonderful creds we were to experience. The CD ended with the full station music of Troy. Troy! We decided to play that music as we entered the car park, fortunately there were goons walking past us as we entered.

    Once in the park we quickly grabbed the indoor cred Boomerang which is actually a Vekoma family coaster, with a tiny smidgen of airtime over the final hump before the station, myself and ATTACKHAMMER very much enjoyed the smidgen, and a reasonably good first drop for a family cred.
    After such an exhilarating start to the day we decided to have a rest, grabbed a coffee and plonked ourselves at a table while most of the group went to do the water slides. This was to be the day in a nutshell, no cred anxiety at all, taken at a slow pace, doing fab little attractions where you felt like it.

    We then moved though a little themed tunnel area to the 2nd themed shed with loads of climbing areas, food places, slides etc. We did the funhouse, which as per usual, is good fun with CF, but it's a far cry from Grona's or Phantasia's offerings. We decided to come back to the slides later and sacheyed to Dwervelwind at the back of the park.

    Lofty and I had a moment together appreciating the excellent theming of the station, with the misty swamp just outside the station to the overgrown plants adorning all corners of the building. When the train is despached we both oohed as the music and lighting combined to send us off to the lift hill, it was quite magical.
    Mack really are smashing it at the moment, this thing is MILES better than Euro-Mir and any Maurer spinner, it's smooth as butter, the OBA is absolutely fab and there are some decent forceful moments around the layout. Smiles beamed from most of the group as the ride finished and everyone was complimenting it as we waited for the last few to have their rides. Great investment.

    Troy. Troy! was next up and the obligatory group photo happened at the horse. My first ride was 2nd row and it was a good ride, slightly better than Wodan, or was it Wodan we rode? I'm so confused, maybe Jordanovichy can help... It was good, but not great, I was a little disappointed by the floater hill which starts floating then loses the airtime before floating again, meh. But there were some excellent lats and pops of airtime as it twists through the 2nd half of the layout. Nice and aggressive, but left me wanting more.
    The later rides were a little better, but the drop which looks great was pretty weak, but the aggression in the later rides made of for it. There's a floater hill just before the station flythough which would be perfect if running a few mph faster, probably killer at night. It's around rank 30ish in my count, lots of better woodies out there but one I'd happily re-ride.

    Booster Bike was the final cred of the day, and was my first Motorbike Coaster, one to forget, hardly did anything.

    Lunch was a fab Pretzel and gorgeous pint of German Beer with Ben, Mark and Shaun. Followed by trekking to the top of the play area and going down the roller slide which nearly set fire to our asses, so hot.

    The large ish log flume was super weird, the turntable was really awkward, but the drop was good and not too wet. I prefer these as if I want to get absolutely soaked I'll go on a chute thanks. Jordanovichy's 2 min challenge was a highlight, the depressed realisation where his bag was put followed by excitement of the challenge and his face when more kids kept appearing at the bottom of the ladder was brilliant!

    The Bobsled was mixed for me. The theme and queue line was ridiculous, loved it, the launch and everything, chicken shed, timed etc, great. I felt it was a little short and controlled, if it was double the length I probably would've loved it but I came off a little meh.

    The Rapids were ok, but again, they were eclipsed by the final 2 days, so I can't remember much about them.

    Faffle, man, some of the god awful tat people donate is amazing. There were a few bits that I actually wanted though! Lucky Neo winning the pin badge :( I won a Bagatelle Ball, it's pretty Ghastly but at least I won something this year, the mouldy air freshener was probably the worst prize.

    After a couple of re-rides came one of the best parts of the trip for me. The combined hour or so of being children with major highlights being:
    • Nearly, oh so nearly, capsizing Richard into the pool
    • Sue diving onto the spinning carousel, failing to grasp anything and flying straight back off
    • The combined effort to soar Jay into the air on the Pillow
    • The Volcano of doom
    Everyone was suitably knackered after using up plenty of energy and we had a decent drive to PL so made a move. There was some faff with food, but I managed to have a cozy meal for 2 with Richard which was nice, he's not as shouty by himself, and we both have a fondness of beer/ales so it was great to get to know him better. I also smuggled some food out for the hobos #charitable.
    I went off to find the Dragon Bar Ben had told me about and spent an hour enjoying the view of the park by myself, was nice to have some alone time, but went to find everyone who then decided to go back to the Dragon Bar. At least I got to see Jay totally stack it and Sue argue her points while drunk with a backdrop of Mystery Castle, surreal.

    Park Thoughts - Toverland is a great little family park with plenty of interesting attractions, not the greatest but fab in their own way. Definitely a park that I'll look forward to bringing the kids to, hopefully they'll put a Mack Mega in by the time I return though :)
     
  3. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
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    Trophy Points:
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    Best Coaster:
    Lightning Rod
    Best Park:
    Phantasialand
    Coaster Count:
    379
    Day 3 - The best park in the world - Phantasialand

    Had a good sleep but woke to a slight hangover, easily fixed with a shower and food. We loaded up the cars and waited for Toast-man before piling into the park and steaming towards Klugheim.
    We had got in nice and early so there was probably only about 70 people in front of us in the queue so we settled down to wait for opening, then I spied a bearded goon wearing a Lost Gravity T Shirt outside of the queue. He looked really excited, like he'd spotted a celebrity, so I followed his gaze and he was staring at our own Ian from Coasterforce :rolleyes: I laughed to myself as Ian is clearly very famous that random German goons were gooey eyed over spotting him, turned out it was Josh with Angie and Josh's parents, so they joined us in the queue and spent the day with us, lovely people.

    The sound of Taron testing produced quite a few suspect noises from our group, understandable though, what a lovely sound. Eventually we were let in and I gooned out at the amazing queue line, the attention to detail is amazing, queues need to be this good everywhere, no more crappy cattlepens please! Then we ended up in a cattlepen :( To be fair, it looks to be a temporary thing for opening/busy periods, it's not at all themed and I expect isn't going to be used moving forward.

    We got on Taron pretty quickly after opening, note that it is assigned seating and they will enforce it.
    I think it was Chris who tried to steal the back row but they got moved and we took it instead, gutted :) I found the early morning ride to be quite good. I was happily ranking it in my upper teens after the morning ride but a lot of people were disappointed with their run. Obviously this would change in the evening. After everyone was off Taron we made a move to Chiapas.

    I love Chiapas. It's my favourite Log Flume in the world, there's no dead spots to it as there's always something fab to look at, even in the queue line. The restraints, which are a bit Eurgh, aren't really noticeable onride, and they are the only negative. The end drop is incredible, the rave room breaks up the relaxing meander, the lifts are fast, it has wonderful views and it has multiple fab drops guaranteed to moisten the boat. Chiapas!

    So after my fave Log Flume, was my fave Mine Train, Colorado Adventure. I'd done the back row before, and it's incredible, but decided to go near the back and the airtime was still plentiful, the drops into the tunnels are incredible and it has great interaction with Chiapas. It's a proper people mover too, capacity is great with 3 trains, the quite large queue went by in no time. Funny how what it really a filler ride at Phantasia is better than quite a few other park's headline cred #HiMerlin.

    I think we were around an hour into the day at this point and had smashed through 3 big attractions already with minimal faff so onto the Beemer.

    Black Mamba failed to impress me last time round, where I had a back row ride. I was told to try the front, but I wasn't gonna burden the group after already waiting 35 mins to get to the station, so went for the 2nd row.
    Totally changes the cred.
    Back row is much of a muchness without much force, I think I called it forceless last time. 2nd row is speedy, with wonderful airtime through the Zero G and the hump. It's also even better through the Immelmann (one of the bits I did like last time), and had a better feeling of near misses/trench skimming. Much better than before and has definitely jumped up in my rankings, It's no Nemesis, but I'm yet to night ride it.

    The best flat in the world was next on the agenda and we lost a lot of the group who went to watch, but most of the group who did ride were virgins to it which was nice. I also got to chat to Angie for a bit who revealed that Josh won't ride flats so usually she skips them too, so was quite happy to have a load of other people to join riding them for the day.
    Obviously it looks incredible, the Fire adds another level of awesomeness to what is already a impressive spectacle. But it's the cycle combined with everything else, it's an EVENT! The 4 very fast inversions is so forceful it makes your feet go numb, while being spun you also have this immense soundtrack booming around you reverberating off the back wall while plumes of fire explode above your head. It's apocalyptic, it's phenomenal, it's Talocan.

    Lunch was called, I got half an hour with the legendary IFC all to myself, we ate Gyros, and chatted about being old and watching all the whippersnappers enjoying themselves. It was also Ian's first time at Phantasia so it was great hearing his thoughts on the park and rides in general.

    The park was heaving now so we made an executive decision to use a fast pass for Maus Au Chocolate, which posted a 45 min wait time. It would've been over an hour had we queued. Unfortunately it meant skipping the fab queue line, which is really good, and on a quiet day definitely use the normal queue. The evil stares we got from the normal queue when 30 of us turned up with fast passes, HAHAHAHAHA! :p The ride itself is excellent, and really long. Fraser's probably right that it's about 5 mins, each video section is around 30 seconds long, plus travel time and the score area. The gun does ache after a while, but I managed the top score and won a broken Oblivion TBH watch! Thanks :)

    Next up was Winjas which also had a vile queue, but we had to suck it up, just the once though as we fastpassed the 2nd track. Can't remember which one we did first but it was the one with the fab first drop and seesaw TT. I prefer that one as the drop + airtime is better imo. Queue was disgusting not helped by people farting constantly - My god Conor!, one of the minor things the park need to look into fixing imo. Also, my fave spinner, surprised?

    The Virgins needed Temple of the Night Hawk which I didn't fancy again, it's one of the 4 rides the park need to upgrade. So some of us did the Hollywood Tour instead, which is so awfully fab. I fully expect this to be ripped out with TOTNH soon, so dated and while it's funny, it's funny because it's so :emoji_poop:.
    The TOTNH group were also going to do the Hollywood Tour so took the opportunity to nab a coffee (and try to nab a tea which was really hard to find) and head towards the funhouse for meeting up. Alex then dropped a whole powdered sugar coated waffle over himself, which was rather funny before we got in the queue for Hotel Tartuff.

    The best themed funhouse? Yeah, definitely. I'd say it's my fave fone as it's the theming combined with the typical interaction which I love, spinning disks, but with iron wrought lamp posts, bouncy floors in a bedroom turned 90 degrees, toilet on the ceiling!!. The spinning drum room is incredible, and is only bettered by the furnace drum in Hotel Gasten for me, so disorientating. I love how this tiny entrance houses such a fab attraction, so easy to miss if you don't know it's there.

    My favourite water ride was next, and one of the main things I was looking forward about the whole trip, getting back on River Quest.
    The queue was awful, it was a good hour, but it's much more suffer-able with a good group. We split into groups to have some virgins with everyone as seeing everyone's faces on this is one of the best parts of it. Unfortunately Ian was facing backwards as the doors opened, fortunately he got soaked :D The whole boat was laughing and screaming all the way round. It's such a wonderful ride, I'm so glad I've now ridden it with CF.

    The final ride of normal operation hours was Mystery Castle.
    So last time I was here I got the short cycle and was left a little disappointed with the experience, however, this time was a longer cycle. Definitely less of a pre show than before (quiet vs busy day I suppose) but the ride portion was longer. It's fab, the sound of the Compressors releasing inside the castle is amazing and it feels like it's going up forever. It does lack any real downwards airtime but I don't care, love it.

    Some people went to do the madhouse (another of the things which really needs replacing), while I went to the tat shop for my Gold Phantasialand Pin Badge and a few other bits and got ready at the entrance for Klugheim ERT.
    The gate opened and we streamed in with the other hotel guests, plumping to go to Raik first for the cred, back row with Owain (our only ride together all trip /hug) and it was good, the interaction, headchoppers, lighting and enclosed lifts really add to the experience.

    Then was the best moment of the trip, cycling Taron for 55 minutes. My god, it's a different beast at night. Front row is typically fab with excellent near misses, full force of the 2nd launch, waterfall explosion on the face and a gorgeous view. It rivaled Helix after the front row ride but Helix is a more complete package...in the front.

    The back, Taron in the back, is something else, it's OBSCENE. The force generated in the back is comparable to Skyrush twisty throws, it also has a couple of VERY intense ejector hills, as well as sideways airtime, major lats, massive positives and a very powerful launch. It has everything a coaster needs. No, it doesn't need an inversion, anything other than a perfect Zero G or Blue Fire Inline would ruin it.

    There was a moment I'll never forget around half way through the session. I was in the 2nd to last row, Richard was in the back row and as we hit the brakes I looked back and saw Richard with a glazed look in his eye, stroking his face like he was checking everything was still in the right place, total mind melt :D
    The last 30 minutes of ERT was literally an empty station, all the other Hotel Guests had left, a few goons waiting for front/back and it seemed like it was just me, Mark, Ben and Jordan staying in our seats over and over, maybe swapping to a further back seat when the row was free.
    Ended on a couple of back row left seat rides (which is easily the best seat on the coaster) and ERT closed with Ben and I destroyed, limp on the brake run.

    Taron made number 3 in my rankings after the night rides, it has to be ridden at the end of the evening and needs to warm up.

    An amazing session, made better by the great group of people. Unlucky Thom ;)

    Park Thoughts - Best park in the world, no contest. Amazing theming combined with amazing rides, generally the best of their type, and now it has one of the best coasters in the world, and the best in Europe. Love it.

    Bit of a drive to the final hotel where I needed a beer to finish an amazing day, which Dan joined me for. Can always rely on Dan to have a beer, top lad :cool:
     
  4. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Mr CoasterForce 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    Best Coaster:
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    Best Park:
    Islands of Adventure
    Ghosterforce Live.

    4.00 am Friday morning and my alarm is going off after approximately 2 hours sleep, not even the thought of new creds can get me out of bed feeling this tired. Alas I hauled my lazy ass up and made my way to the incredibly convenient Southampton Airport, a mere 5 minute drive from my house. After minimal faff we were on our way to the first park of the trip…

    Upon arriving in Amsterdam i had to have the obligatory Iamsterdam sign photo, i mean, did you even go to Amsterdam if you didn't whack a photo like this on insta?

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    Walibi Holland


    Now, I had a rough idea of what was in this park (I’d played RCT2 so remember the Six Flags ownership with Goliath, El condor and Robin Hood) so went in with relatively high expectations. After meeting everyone at the entrance we proceeded to the first cred of the trip.


    Xpress Platform 13


    I hadn’t ridden a vekoma launch before so was quite intrigued to give one a go. After negotiating the excellently themed and pretty spooky queue line complete with DBGT style train jump scare I was boarding the train. Now I always forget how cramped the seats are on these old vekoma looper creds, doesn’t make for the best ride experience I must admit. The ride itself was pretty harmless, there are some fancy lighting sequences in the tunnel and the launch is forceful enough. After you negotiate the sea serpent element the ride just dies and meanders round some awfully banked turned and a dodgy corkscrew. 4./10 from me. Luckily someone put a walkthrough on the old youtube...



    Speed of Sound.


    Once again another first for me. After getting torn to shreds for not riding a boomerang I posed for a picture to allow the CF social media team to make my basicness a public thing.



    I’d heard multiple times that this contraption was the best of a bad bunch so eagerly awaited my ride. I quite liked the anticipation of waiting for the train to drop on the inverted boomerangs and also the juniors so I was keen to see if this ride would better it. I did find the waiting in the tunnel to be quite daunting and before I knew it we were flying through the station into the first element. The cobra roll is pretty rough, these creds aren’t an enthusiast’s nightmare for no reason after all but other than that I quite enjoyed it. The backwards sections was good fun too. If I hadn’t have completely forgot this ride was even in the park I probably would have re rode later. 4.5/10


    Drako


    Boring Tivoli with the worst attempt at themeing I’ve ever seen. One solitary old tractor parked in the middle of the ride? Anyway these suck apart from the airtime off the first drop if you sit in the back row, always find that quite fab. +1 and done. 2/10


    Lost Gravity.


    Now I’ve noticed when I go to parks I only take pictures of the creds I enjoy. Come trip report time I find nearly 60 pictures of Lost Gravity but none of the first 3 creds. Annoying. Anyway below are some pictures of this fantastic ride! Easily made my top ten with its incredible first drop, ridiculous ejector airtime moments, crazy top hat elements and forceful inversions. It really blew away my expectations and I think everyone agreed that it was much better than expected. The fire, vibrating escalator, upside down themeing all add up to a great experience. 9/10.

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    Goliath.

    This an Taron were my most anticipated rides of the trip so seeing this poking above the treeline as we entered the park got my toesies tingling. Its imposing in the park and although somewhat out on a limb compared to the other creds the area surrounding it was often busy. I aimed for a mid to back row seat as with the short queue I knew there’d be plenty of time for re rides. The first drop was excellent, the air time hill next was intense and provided some floater / ejector air, the Stengel dive is probably the highlight of the ride and then the helix and S hills occur. Both really killed the ride for me, the S hills were dull and had no snap nor airtime, the helix is just plonked in the middle with no real purpose. After the ride seems to die it does surprisingly pick up with some excellent airtime hills / bunny hops and a nice sharp high forces turn to finish. A good cred no doubt but not worth the hysteria it had received from goons prior to the park visit. 7.5/10

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    One thing I have noticed with this park is the odd locations for the ORP’s. Lost gravity, Xpress and this all had the ORP’s at the very end of the ride. Good for throwing some dabs but not great locations for the GP to want to purchase them IMO.

    El condor.

    Absolute garbage. Broke down when we were in the queue and wouldnt let go of a poor from the depths of despair. Honestly this thing is probably the worst coaster i've ridden, i know its cliche with it being an SLC and what not but his has to be the worst one. Genuine groans of pain coming from every single train of poor unsuspecting riders.

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    Last cred of the day was Robin Hood. Now I’ve heard enthusiasts moan about coasters but none as much as this, I went on with very low expectations and although its pretty bland I didn’t find it rough nor juddery, it was just gentle meander around. Kinda reminded me of how I’d expect a scenic railway to ride, some ok drops, some pointless turns and the odd feeling of speed, no real airtime but still an ok ride. 4/10
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    After getting the creds done we headed to some of the flats, an ok madhouse (I always enjoy guessing which guests on the row opposite have never ridden one before), a shot tower, a great backwards log flume (first I’d experienced) and some awesome rapids. The rapids themselves were turd but the boats made for a good laugh as they are flexible and broken into sections. Meaning what would be a small wave turned into a potential catastrophe with the possibility of some localised flooding within your foot section. Ooooooh a rare photo of a non bearded Ian![​IMG]
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    After dark the bland park turned into a real gem. An unbelievable amount of effort had gone into the Halloween attractions with immersive free scare zones dotted around the park. These were honestly fantastic and for someone that’s not overly bothered by Halloween and fright nights in general I was very impressed. The actors all had grotesque, risqué yet scary and downright terrifying costumes, so much effort must have gone into creating these there must have been at least 300 actors free roaming the park. My favourite area was a tossup between the firepit (a hillbilly hoedown gone wrong, think the wrong turn films) with axe wielding farmers, rednecks with chainsaws and a 7ft inbred man or the pirates cove area, a section of the park a washed with low mist, ringing bells, broken ships, mermaids, sirens and some scary looking pirates. Both very atmospheric through different methods. Other areas include the video game area, quarantine, things and twisted hellfire. I must admit I kind of regret not doing any of the mazes (me and Dave snuck off for a last minute dark ride of Lost Gravity whilst everyone was in the free maze) I heard plenty of praise from the rest of the group.
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    My walk through of the Fire pit.


    My walk through of pirates cove



    As a brief summary I did enjoy my time at Walibi, granted it could certainly benefit from a little more love, but it has the fundamental ingredients to be a good park. The layout is dreadful and without a map you may as well just leave, this could certainly be improved on. The addition of lost gravity has certainly boosted its wow factor and I feel that it is a very cookie cutter style park I guess this came from the six flags ownership. To improve the park I’d suggest a new signature coaster, goliath doesn’t really give draw it would have done when it opened back in 2002. Perhaps a B&M Invert akin to Oziris to replace Condor? Would tick a few boxes that this park needs to improve a take it up to European destination level but does it need to be a destination park? It’s certainly not trying to be! There are no resort hotels or anything of the like so I think it’s fair to assume that Walibi are content with the parks current market status, a few new additions here and there but at the current time there doesn’t seem to be any desire to really break into the European giants.


    After Walibi we headed back to a hotel nearby in preparation for the next part of our trip. Toverland.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  5. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Mr CoasterForce 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    Best Coaster:
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    Best Park:
    Islands of Adventure
    Toverland is a park that I knew very little about, I’d heard good things about Troy and that some of the park was in giant warehouses so I went in with comparatively low expectations.
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    Upon entering the park I could tell that they’d made a pretty substantial effort with theming, from the outside the warehouses look pretty unappealing but inside they turn into these magical fun play lands with rides, play equipment and a coaster. The coaster itself looks and rides like a really funky little kids ride, it has some airtime and some nice turns but is otherwise pretty uninspiring, because it’s indoors it’s a little more interesting than most other kiddy rides. 5/10
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    There are other rides in both of the warehouses, a chairswing, a boat ride like depth charge, a magical wand house, a fun house, childrens (adult) play equipment, a section of the log flume and some quirky foresty themed bits. These create a really nice vibe inside these areas with so much going on. I love indoor log flumes / water rides. No idea why, maybe because they aren’t meant to be indoors, maybe because I know how much more effort it takes to have water rides indoors? Anyway we headed out the warehouse and made our way to dwervlewind a newish Mack spinner with on-board audio, not being a massive fan of spinners I wasn’t overly excited for this, the themeing in the surrounding area was excellent though and really worked well with the ride and soundtrack. The ride itself is good with some funky spinning sections but wasn’t the best spinner ive been on, I prefer to see where im going and see where the rollercoaster track is taking me and the spinning loses that sensation IMO. A good family ride none the less. 6/10

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    Next up was Troy.


    An imposing looking ride with a magnificent structure which can be seen for the majority of the park, I was rather excited for this one. It’s a relentless Woodie that seems to keep building up in forces and intensity, it has some real tight turns, some small negative G moments and a great first drop. Only thing it really lacked was some straight good old fashioned airtime hills. The surrounding area is nice although it does feel a little empty. 8/10

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    After riding troy we minced around the park like the giants goons we were and proceeded to annoy about every other visitor the park had, squirting innocents with the bouncy water guns, attempting to submerge Richard on the raft, bullying kids off the volcano and bouncy air cushion in true CF fashion. We rode the new rapids which were uneventful, the log flume, the motorbike coaster and the bob kart. The log flume was pretty nifty with its turnaround mid lift but otherwise wasn’t amazing. The motorbike coaster was my first of its kind so I was a little excited, didn’t hold up to much though, just seemed a bit too refined and smooth, airtime hills could be more aggressive and the transitions could be a little tighter and they would be fab little coasters but t’was not to be. The bobkart was good fun after the longest wait of the day but it too felt rather tame, just a tad slow which made the thing feel a bit controlled and IMO the track wasn’t long enough to justify the long wait.
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    After a bit more faff and some awesome dusk rides on Troy we parted ways with Toverland and headed to the hotel. Reflecting on the park I feel they are still in a transitional period, the park is very new and hasn’t been pen long and this really tells. For me all the themeing needs to bed in and the foliage needs to grow a bit more. I also feel like more effort should have been made to create a more diverse landscape as the park is extremely flat at the moment, there are no surprises nor corners that reveal a new land. Everything can be seen from eye level and I felt like I wanted to be closed in more, a land away from the outside world is what I expect in a park and the empty field vibe of this park just didn’t really work for me. Excited to see what’s in store for the park but wont be rushing back soon.


    After a comparatively relaxed day we were eager to get to Phantasialand for our stay in the Matamba hotel ready for a busy day tomorrow…


    We rocked up to the Matamba hotel and had a little wait before we could get seated in the buffet, we hopped over to the other hotel on site (Ling Bao) and endulged ourselves with way too much fusion / oriental food. The food itself was fresh and tasty with a huge variety, I had the chef rustle me up my own personal Pad Thai and helped myself to the unlimited sushi bar. For afters I spotted the chocolate fountain and managed to devour a mountain of chocolate drenched strawberries. Full from our food we headed back to the Matamba for a drink in the bar. The hotels themselves are impeccably themed with every effort possible put into the immersion of the scenery. The restaurants even had mini assault courses in the corridors between the areas! We hit the hay after a few beers / cocktails all excited for the amazing day we knew we had in store….
     
  6. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Mr CoasterForce 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    Best Coaster:
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    Best Park:
    Islands of Adventure
    Phantasialand.


    Who hasn’t heard numerous enthusiasts blab on about this place? I must admit I was sick to death with all the praise this park gets. I almost wanted to go in and hate the place, and as we wandered up to the dingy 1970’s entrance i couldn’t help but feel like the entire place had been annoyingly overhyped. God was I wrong.
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    As soon as you set foot on the park you are greeted by a beautiful vintage berlin scene. You look down over the vintage mutli deck carousel set in the middle of a courtyard area surround by traditional shops, restaurants and bakeries. As you walk passed this you wander through typical old fashioned Berlin street which opens out into a central plaza area. The walk into the park (excluding the actual entrance) is incredible. Upon entering you are immediately transported to this fairy-tale world completely closed in, impressive considering the park is so small and surrounded by a bland urban German town. We didn’t have time to take it all in though as we all marched/ jogged/ briskly walked / sprinted to Taron.
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    We arrived at the entrance to Klughiem and joined a small queue of people waiting to get into the area (it opened later than the park) the tension was building as the most anticipated coaster of the trip began testing. It zipped around the track whilst we all stood in complete silence, mouths open in awe marvelling at the beast in front of us. The area was lightly shrouded in morning mist and as the sun rose and glistened across the gorgeous mess of track a simultaneous groan was let out whilst everyone scrambled for their cameras. After waiting a while me and Serena decided to sneak off and have a peak at Chiapas and the area surrounding it. This area is probably my favourite area in the park with the huge lakes, waterfalls, and surrounding buildings all gloriously themed to an exotic ancient ruin.
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    As the Klughiem area opened we were ushered across the bridge through twisted mess of cred with the speakers blaring some german and the mist lifting it really did make for one of the most incredible atmospheres I’ve experienced. I managed to video a small section as we walked through which kind of captures the vibe, it was insane.


    We had about a 10 minute wait and we were all bouncing of the walls, I’ve never seen goons so excited in my life, it really is a special thing being with so many people that are all as passionate as you about something and seeing everyone turn into these excited 5 year olds over something so geeky. Anyway we boarded the coaster and off we went, the first half was pretty tame in the morning and it felt pretty dragged out and unnecessary the first time riding. The second launch, however, is insane. The trench that you are in makes it feel stupendously fast and the noise is spectacular. The noise is odd and almost sounds broken but its just so weird and wrong it works so well, some launches have like a light turbo sound but this one just sounds aggressive like you could derail at any point. I love it. More on the ride and area later…
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    We hop skipped and jumped, all buzzing from our first Taron ride, over to Chiapas next. Another ride I’d heard so many amazing things about. The queue was well themed although a little confusing as to what it was actually themed too? I assumed ancient mexico. We boarded the ride and I got my first experience with the annoying restraint system, first thing I did was pinch my leg. Oh well, off we went on a journey through ancient Mexico, or whatever. Easily the best log flume ive been on, it just never ends! How they managed to cram such a long ride in this space is an absolute mystery, 3 or four drops, backward sections, a disco room, interactions with Colorado adventure and the crazy steep drop under the bridge with bonus airtime hill. Everything is thought about in Phantasialand, the turntables and push offs are synced with ancient statues blowing steam at you to simulate being blown down the next section of flume. 10/10

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    After a pretty damp journey we disembarked and headed to the next ride…

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    Im not 100% sure how we ordered the next few hours, we crammed everything in so well and apparently didn’t miss any major rides. I think it was Colorado adventure on the list next. This ride was almost the biggest surprise of the trip, I rode back row and was amazed at how much I was thrown about, there are some seriously good air time moments on this ride and its crazy smooth for a Vekoma mine train. Another ride where they have seriously worked their magic and managed to fit a great coaster into such a tiny space. 8/10
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    Talocan was up next which is stupidly decided to sit out, im not a huge fan of top spins but boy this one looks insane. Easily the best themed flat ride going this thing is one of the most visually impressive rides I’ve ever seen. The huge cave type theme works so incredibly well and only enhances the off ride aesthetics even more, couple that with water features, a booming sound track and FIRE and you are onto a winner.


    Next up was Black mamba the parks big boy B&M invert. We only managed one ride on this and I can’t help but feel this great ride gets over shadowed by the outstanding quality of everything else in the park? It needed to be ridden more than once to be judged properly but it still an excellent coaster, barely visible at all from the park it becomes quite imposing when you queue up in the valley underneath it, surrounded by waterfalls and African theming the feel of the area is really firmly set despite being able to throw a stone and hit Chiapas in Mexico (you still can’t see it). The coaster itself is comparable to nemesis, much more enclosed, constantly diping and diving under structures and through tunnels. I feel like the designers took a lot of good things from Nemesis and aimed to make a better ride, although I hold a lot of love for Nemesis I feel like this is an improvement, it has a longer length and just does the near misses a bit better for me. The theming once again is top notch right down to the questionable method of placing all the black Phantasialand employees in the Africa section…



    We had a quick pit stop for a lunch break in which me and @Dave tried to sneak a ride on one of the Winjas creds, annoyingly we had to bail in the queue around 10 minutes from end for fear of missing the meet up time, even possible +1’s weren’t worth the wrath of @Ian a man on a serious mission to get everything done today.


    After some efficient lunch munching the group met up for a ride on Maus Au Chocolat a shooter style dark ride. We used the fast passes that we had obtained from our stay in the hotel and spited the poor people in the regular queue. No I :emoji_zipper_mouth:ing hate fast track queues that take full priority over the normal queue. Maus was one of the buggers, all 28 of us waltzed on in front of the peasants much to the general enjoyment of everyone in the group.


    The ride itself a a great screen shooter ride based inside a bakery with sneaky mice ttrying to spoil all the glorious cakes, carts transport you through various screens as you shoot the mice with your icing bags. I actually preferred the screen style shooter to the usual 4 shooters, I found knowing the screens have a countdown and a time limit and all 6 people (2 in each cart) are all up against each other much more motivating than regular shooters. I got pretty competitive against Ian and things got a little out of hand with various methods of cheating tactics being used. Another great feature of this ride is the smell, it actually smells like a chocolate factory and it’s the little things like this that really make everything special at Phantasia.


    Next up we wandered over to wuze town for some rides on the two spinning creds. This half of the park is nowhere near as hectic as the main half but is still pretty fab, the main area of wuze town is huge indoor greenhouse which looks amazing, there’s something so satisfying about walking in and seeing the two rides whizzing around the drop tower in the centre. We queued up for one side of Winjas (back through the queue me and Dave had queued the majority of an hour ago) it wasn’t the best queue, long, sweaty and cramped but it didn’t seem to last long with plenty of chats about stuff with all the other members going down. We hopped on the ride, eager with anticipation for the secret elements that awaited us. Without spoiling the rides aren’t the best, they are great fun and the elements are great but they haven’t knocked Dragons fury off my favourite spinner. We rode the other one but this time used the fast tracks thank god.
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    Next up was the temple of the nighthawk. I rode this knowing nothing about it and could immediately tell it’s a complete bodge. I genuinely think Phantasialand must be pretty shamed of this ride. Why the hell they ditched the space theme to hang a load of fake plants in the station I do not know. Literally pointless on a coaster entirely in the dark. It’s basically Colorado Adventure but :emoji_poop: and in the dark making it even more :emoji_poop:. Can’t wait until they plough this complete waste of space.


    Underneath Nighthawk was the Hollywood boat tour, a chilled boat ride that takes you on tour around some god awful movie scenes, this ride is in desperate need of some loving. Some loving being a digger and a crane. It needs to go along with the abomination above it. Just not up to the stupidly high standards of the rest of the park. I find these naff animatronic rides creepy more than anything, they are meant for kids but I swear if my parents took me on this I’d be balling my eyes out, even friendly Alfred Hitchcock in the station is utterly terrifying.


    Next up we marched down to the mystery land and headed for River Quest probably the most famous water ride in the world…


    The queue was pretty :emoji_poop:e, annoyingly one of the elevator lifts had broken down so the throughput was cut in half, after some sweets and some general CF twatty conversations us virgins were split between the boats so everyone got the opportunity to ride with a newbie, being a newbie myself I was a little apprehensive as to why everyone was so desperate to ride with a Phantasialand virgin and I soon found out why. What followed the elevator was the craziest most outrageous rapids course I’ve been on. Whilst not as Rapidy as Popeye and Pluto in IoA this ride has some mean drops, whirlpools, slides and a full on steep waterfall. The whole thing is just one insane accident waiting to happen its ludicrous, Simply amazing I’ve never been so bothered about getting drenched before. Only thing I would say is that it’s cut a little short, if they could extend it with some traditional rapid sections as well as the crazy stuff I’d make it even better.


    After our wild rides on River Quest we headed to Mystery castle. An imposing structure that can be seen throughout the park. The atmosphere is nicely set as you walk through the castle as part of the queue, I expected a standard enclosed drop tower here so the actual ride too me by complete surprise. We sat down and got the restraints checked then with no pre show or warming we were shot racing straight up to the ceiling above. The launch took me completely by surprise and is very imposing if you look up at the ceiling whilst you are shooting upwards, this thing cant really be compared to a Space shot as this thing is constantly accelerating and then brakes before the top rather than relying on gravity to stop you from smashing through the roof. You then jump up and down a bit with some more sharp drops and accelerations followed by a main pause at the top before a straight drop down to the bottom. A really really unique ride that is much better than your usual drop tower, another reason why Phantasia is just the best.

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    Having done this we figured we’d done all of the park so everyone went off and did their own thing before meeting back up for a group orgy on Taron. Me, Shaun and Fraser decided to hit up Colorado adventure against because it’s :emoji_zipper_mouth:ing fab. By this time it was dark and the track had warmed up very nicely, me and shaun opted for the back row and left a pretty stupid amount of room in the lapbar, this was a mistake. I found myself bracing my arm against the seat in front to stop myself flying out, there is one particular moment that just had some crazy ejector airtime (as you get dragged into the dark section after the 2nd lift hill) where I found myself stood up holding onto the seat in front. Im not one to be scared of a little vulnerability but this was too much and my own fault, I subsequently clung on for dear life for the rest of the ride…


    Night was fast approaching as we all stood outside the Klughiem entrance waiting for our ERT. The tension was building as we all new what a treat we’d be in for, first up though we had a quick spin on raik, a fab little family boomerang. I cant remember too much about it as my mind was quickly overrun by sexy Taron thoughts.


    Taron. What a ride. Honestly it throws you around so so much. In the back I had to properly brace myself against the seat in front to stop myself being snapped in half on those crazy twisted transitions. The feeling of the crazy ejector airtime straight into diving turns and near misses is just incredible and so intense. The ride really does completely change once its warmed up, what was a slow dawdling first half turned into a snappy fast paced warm up for the mental second half. The transitions are so fast and snappy you never get a chance to recover as the ride never pauses for a moment. The interaction with the rocks, waterfalls and wooden buildings only make it more incredible coupled with the lighting and soundtrack. The second launch is just stupid, you cant focus on anything its just so fast. Imagine stealth’s launch but fully enclosed with near misses above you and lap bar, so so good. The atmosphere in the group was honestly something special at this point, everyone constantly running and re-joining the queue everyone’s excitement bouncing off the walls. This moment was honestly what CF is all about for me, nothing could beat it. (Possibly marathoning helix at 11pm on a gorgeous summer evening)


    Final thoughts on Phantasia? What a park. Out of this world. Everything about is place just so encapsulating. No expense spared in what is easily the best park I’ve visited in Europe. If they could bring the Nighthawk / Hollywood boat ride up to the standards set in the rest of the park this could take on Universal. Just go on google maps and look at how much they crammed in its honestly mad. The cramped style is what makes it in my opinion, there’s nothing that’s been missed. Everything is themed and there is nothing normal about the park. Everywhere you look had been designed to look different or attract attention. Honestly it was nearly 2 months ago we went and I just cannot wait to get back there. Best day at themepark I’ve had.


    As I was still high on life from Phantaisa and in a state of Euphoria from Taron I managed to completely forget where we stayed that night, did we stay in Matamba? Did we stay in another hotel? Did we have a long drive? I do not know.
     
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  7. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Mr CoasterForce 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    Best Coaster:
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    Best Park:
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    Efteling.

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    So we arrived bright and early at Efteling. A beautiful clear yet crisp morning welcomed us when we arrived 2nd car in the car park. The entrance to this park is one of the grandest I’ve seen, the wooden structure is immense and really gets the excitement going.
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    We met our lovely ERT tour guide, she kind of reminded me of a Dutch Amanda Thompson, she was a bit mad and was probably a bit pissed we made her get up early for ERT but nonetheless she was welcoming and took us to the rides, we were taken straight to Baron and as we rounded the corner to see it the sun came through from behind the ride and lit up the mist and fog that shrouded the steel structure, on queue every single person went straight for the cameras to pap this incredible welcome.

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    The ride itself is very well done, the mine shaft like structure is beautiful and really adds a lot to the ride, the theme surrounding the ride is a gold mine but the gold is cursed by these creepy sirenesque women. The ride features an excellent pre show where these white women are projected around a pre show room whilst booming music plays. You are then taken up the lift hill ready for the drop, you get an excellent view over the lake before you are plunged into the tunnel. The drop is OK but is not as tall as other DM’s I’ve done. The rest of the ride is pretty uneventful with a mediocre helix and airtime hill, the zero G roll was probably the highlight for me. We rode a couple of times before being taken on our next ERT tour. Not really being a fan of DM’s my opinion is probably somewhat skewed but they just don’t really do much for me, the drops are good but other than that they are just slow meandering normal coasters.
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    Next up was Joris en de draak, the parks fab duelling Woodie. We rode first thing in the morning so I’m assuming these can run a lot of faster once the rack has warmed up. None the less they were still excellent in the morning, I love the racing aspect and love the airtime on these coasters. Honestly they are just great fun, although Troy is more thrilling and intense I actually rank these higher in my top 10. There’s very little difference between the sides so I couldn’t really pick one over the other but after a few rides on both I wasn’t surprised that these had already trumped Baron as the best creds in the park.

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    Our ERT had finished and the park was open to the public so we headed for Python. I’d seen the infamous and nearly disastrous evacuation of this ride on youtube (see below) but that’s all I really knew about the ride. It was only my second Vekoma corkscrew (first was magic mountain at Gardaland) so I expected a beating, it wasn’t as horrendous as I expected, I braced hard and went through the loops ok but as we entered the first corkscrew there was a disgusting jolt and a chorus of ‘hueeeergh’ proceeded as multiple CF’ers experienced Vekomas delight. 1 and done.



    Next on the list was The Flying Dutchman, I knew nothing of this ride bar the standard splashdown pics and its horrendously late opening so went in with a sense of optimism. We headed into an entrance, a big creepy castle loomed and once inside we navigated through an excellently themed queue line, you walked through an abandoned house that had views through dirty windows down into the cave like station below. This was a brilliant representation of a smugglers cave and worked really well the water and boats flowing through. The boats themselves have a funny seating method where its 2 rows of three and 2 rows of 4 meaning that no one gets an impeded view. I managed to nab a front seat. We set off and headed deep into the cave…

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    What awaited was probably one of the best dark ride sections I’ve been on. You set sail into the dark open sea alongside the huge smugglers ships, the mood switches and a thick fog begins to surround the boat with the small candle at the front of the boat providing the only light, a bell rings slowly and a storm picks up. At this point I was :emoji_poop:ting myself, a god like voice booms from above and we head underneath the flying Dutchman ship. We head up the up the pitch black lift hill and a trick track section occurs on the lift, im not sure if this was an actual thing that’s meant to happen on the ride? There was a loud thud and we got jolted backwards then forwards again? Anyway the doors open up and an okayish coaster section follows, there’s a fab misty tunnel and a funky little airtime hill but the turnaround is dreadful. The splash is ok but just doesn’t hold up to the standard set in the dark ride section (one of the best I’ve experienced) Dark ride section 10/10 coaster section 4/10 unfortunately.




    With only one cred to go we headed to Vogel Rock, a cred I knew nothing about except that it was indoors, I suspected another temple of the nighthawk style ride and other CF’ers had pretty good reviews. I didn’t rate it at all. Boring, dark and just plain. Nothing really happens, there are some big birds but that’s all really.


    After this we explored some odd dark rides, there was a childrens ride with these dancing style scenes from different cultures. It was crap but a good laugh. There was an uneventful fairy ride with a helix section, arguments occurred over whether it was a cred or not, who really cares? It took us across some nice detailed scenes but that was about it. There was a decent yet very old and tired boat ride that took us through various scenes based on middle eastern tales I believe, it was long and well put together but there’s only so many creepy animatronic figures I can look at.


    Next we headed to Bob the intamin bobsleigh, at this point we began to hit some hefty queue times as the park began to get busier, I believe it was a Dutch national holiday so we aimed to get as much done in the morning as we could. This was ok, a good laugh with friends and a decent ride experience, not long enough though and I didn’t feel like it really got going before we hit the brakes. Another 1 and done.


    Next up were the dreadful rapids, not quite rumba rapids dreadful but still painfully average. Granted this was the first river rapids ride to open in Europe and therefore gets some form of bypass from criticism its still uneventful. Perhaps the only saving grace was the ability for bystanders to shoot water for free. And also the ability for them to get soaked while trying to soak the people on the ride.


    After this we headed towards the fairy tale forest walk through section, we stopped by at this odd haunted house show type thing, music played and various things happened in this open scenery type room. The music stopped and without a climax or ending it was done. Why? I think we diverted via a madhouse, it was a normal mad house with a stupidly long pre show, most of the group were bored by the time we got on the ride itself, still I enjoy madhouses and enjoy looking at the reactions of the people that have clearly not been on one before.


    After about 3 stops on the fairy tale walk through me and a few others decided to bail and catch pokemon, fairy stuff was cute and would be fab for people that are interested in that stuff but im just not.


    So with approximately 1.5 hours until closing we split and headed for re rides in the coaster section, we celebrated bens 1000th cred with banners balloons and party poppers much to the amusement of surrounding muggles.

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    Annoyingly the rides had begun to close, we tried each coaster and sadly couldn’t get any more rides even though the park still had an hour of operation. We mooched back towards the entrance and decided to chill out in the area and wait for the final water show. The water show itself was average, it could have been spectacular in the dark or dusk but no it was 4.30pm and was still clear daylight.


    Overall thoughts on Efteling? Not great if I’m completely honest, it’s :emoji_zipper_mouth:ing huge, but it really doesn’t need to be. Granted it’s primarily a family park so I don’t fit the clientele but there were numerous factors that influenced my day;


    · Firstly the fact that on a warm clear sunny holiday they decided to shut at 5pm.

    · The rides themselves shut at 4pm when the park was rammed.

    · Its bigger than it needs to be, for a park of its age there just isn’t enough there to justify it being so spread out.

    · All the theming is the same, rather than have different lands or zones the whole park is the same bland traditional theme.

    · The good rides are all in one section, spread them out!

    · The spectacular light and water show should have been done in the dark.

    I dunno, it just wasn’t as good as I was expecting. In the enthusiast community its one of the highest regarded parks in Europe. In fact, we had the luxury of visiting to of the best themed parks in Europe in two days. Maybe that’s it, being honest there are very few parks that had the potential to trump Phantasialand especially when visited the day after. Did I set my standards too high?


    After pondering on the day the mood was quickly lifted as the group got back together for the usual CF gooniness, some headed back to the airport whilst others got ready for the cred run planned for tomorrow. We all reflected on the outstanding trip that Ian had put on for us, the perks and ERT he had wangled, the planning and organisation that had been spot on and obviously the company and vibe of the fab group of people on the trip. Thank you to all of the drivers for putting in shifts behind the wheel to ferry us eager goons around and thanks to everyone who came along and made the trip so great.


    Excited for Ghosterforce all over again next year!
     
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  8. Pink Cadillac

    Pink Cadillac Well-Known Member

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    I've enjoyed reading everyone's reports! I was looking to pick holes in Phantasialand too! I love Efteling but can imagine it would feel a bit bare after a day at Phantasialand. Two advantages it has over Phantasialand however is that the dark rides are better and it puts the 'park' in 'theme park'.
     
  9. nadroJ

    nadroJ Well-Known Member

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    I honestly don't get how people aren't impressed with Efteling. Yh, it's not as OMG in your face as something like Phantasialand or even Disney but that's what I like about it? I like that it's subtle and you just kind of stumble upon things, I like that it's theme is all along the same thread (although I'd argue that something like Drumvlucht looks totally different to the likes of Baron, but I do get that there are similarities).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Ben

    Ben Best SM Team Member 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    The whole of Efteling is the same apart from the Baron/Joris/Python area, which is then a missmatch of loads of themes it's so weird xD

    I don't get your love for Efteling at all and it's weird cause we agree on like 95% of things and we just are opposites here.

    The whole park is just the same, kitschy stupid fairytales and the themeing really isn't great quality? It's so sparse you're not stumbling across stuff you're walking twenty minutes to get to Vogel Rok which is then gross haha.

    Some of the individual rides are nice but nothing ground breaking and then they just don't come together as an overall cohesive experience.

    Efteling is actually just, the worst.
     
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  11. nadroJ

    nadroJ Well-Known Member

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    Ding ding ding! That'll be why I love it. I have a real love for fairytales, proper fairytales not a Disneyfied version of them. I really do feel something whimsical and magical about the place. And I do think the theming is excellent. Sure some of the older stuff is a little ropey but all of the recent stuff is incredible. It's subtle and stylish, but also just so :emoji_zipper_mouth:ing weird (Spookslot, what the :emoji_zipper_mouth:?! XD). I love the colour palette, the muted greens, golds, browns and reds. It's not cartoony, it literally feels like it's been drawn on the pages of a book. I like that you have to walk for ages sometimes to find rides, but then I like parks where you can just be in the park if that makes sense? Like I could happily go to Efteling and just wander around the Fairytale Forest and I'd be content.

    Honestly, I don't know what people were expecting to be so let down by the place...
     
  12. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Mr CoasterForce 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    See you hear so much about it being one of the best themeparks in Europe and it's just not. Maybe one of the best themed parks in Europe but the rides let it down, I'd make a case for Toverland (opened in 2001) having a better and deeper ride selection than Efteling. Granted the themeing is good but it's style over substance for me and it all just feels a bit Hispterish. Take away the fairytale theme and it's a pretty bland line up. I'm also not so sure about the family park label it's been given, Chessie and Paultons are family parks not Efteling with a Dive machine and a Vekoma loop and screw. I think that's almost used as an excuse to mask the average line up by enthusiasts.

    My visit was very much tainted and left sour by the rides shutting early and perhaps I'd have a different opinion with a few more hours in the park. I certainly respect that it's a great park for people like Jordan that love fairytales but for every person that loves that there's going to be people don't. A case of all Eftelings eggs in one basket.
     
  13. Ben

    Ben Best SM Team Member 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    I really like fairytales, but, Efteling are a really poo version of them...

    They're not the Disney versions, but they also lack the dark edge that the proper fairytales have. They're not presented well or in an interesting way, it's just, beige. There's no difference between any of the areas of the park, so it doesn't feel like you're discovering fairy tales it feels like you're seeing the same cream architecture everywhere. The themeing on the new stuff is great (well, Baron and Dutchman) but that's literally it.

    Spookslot is the absolute worst - a load of weird animatronics moving about to the Jonathan Creek theme tune.

    I'll happily walk round a park all day not riding anything and just soak up the atmosphere if the park is nice (Disney, Phantasia, Europa etc) but there's just nothing interesting and different to see in Efteling. It's so easy to get lost there because you have no way of separating the different areas of the park.
     
  14. gavin

    gavin Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    Spookslot is fab, especially when Kate Bush is fannying around in it:

     
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