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Liva Italia II - June 2015 - Trip Reports

Discussion in 'CoasterForce Live' started by Ian, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. Jordanovichy

    Jordanovichy Credit Whore 2016 Staff Member Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    Fantastic report Chris. Really enjoyed it. I love how you can appreciate you're not massively travelled and experienced as some people when it comes to creds, but that'll come with time haha

    Looks like you had a fantastic time, some great photos. So jealous I didn't go in the end.

    It's interesting what you said about Gardaland...

    I found this to be the case with Heide Park, I was expecting a mediocre park but it's fab with some great rides and it is stunning.
     
  2. Serena

    Serena Miss CoasterForce 2016 Staff Member Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    Fantastic trip reports all round so far! Looks like it was a really fun trip.

    Darkmare sounds amazing. I didn't know much about CinChinC...whatever it is World, but now I really want to go there just for that coaster!
     
  3. CookieCoasters

    CookieCoasters Well-Known Member

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    Fab reports everybody! I'm glad you all seemed to enjoy Cinecitta World. It's just a shame in a way to hear it's still so quiet; I was hoping the only reason it was dead last October was because it had only been open a few months. I hope it does get some healthy crowds on peak days, otherwise I'm a bit worried as to what the future holds for the park.

    The coasters are great though. Altair is a top 20 coaster for me and Darkmare is easily a top 5 family coaster. Really surprised how good both of them were. Drop tower was also one of my favourites. I love ones with multiple seating options and the elephant station was just the icing on the cake <3

    I really liked Pakal. It is quite aggressive, but this meant the experience was the closest any steel mouse I've ridden has gotten to Blackpool's. For people who aren't fond of wild mouse coasters though, I can see why this one in particular is hated.
     
  4. CoasterCrazy

    CoasterCrazy Well-Known Member

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    Looks like you had a great time - wish I had been there!
    Visited Mirabilandia and Gardaland last year, and loved both parks. Ispeed and particularly Katun are enough to redeem any park, but I felt Mirabilandia fell a bit flat as far as the rest of the park is concerned. Gardaland seemed to be the more rounded park experience, with some good coasters, excellent water rides, and immersive theming. If only they had some decent flats...

    I hate to say it, but I disagree with the comments about Magic Mountain. It's never a 10/10, but I found the ride decently smooth and forceful when I rode it last year, and with a nonexistant queue, I've probably ridden it about 30 times across multiple visits. Sat in the back, when they were running it in the rain, and found the ride dishes out some surprisingly decent airtime on the first drop!
    Totally agreed about Sequoia Adventure and Master Crap though!

    Hey, maybe one day I'll join you all in the future!
     
  5. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Mr CoasterForce 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    Perhaps I'm a little one sided with the wild mouse as I just don't see the appeal at all. I like the drops but the hairpin turns do nothing but cause me pain! As for magic mountain I think Id appreciate it more if the queue had have been shorter, we queued way out into the main street and it was close to 40 minutes in the end. I also went straight for back row, it's just the exiting the loops that I didn't like. They were so forceful as you get pulled through at the back to thr point where it snapped my neck back. I'm sure my opinion will change if ride it in the front
     
  6. TilenB

    TilenB Well-Known Member

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    ^ The back row on Magic Mountain is kind of rough and unpleasant, yeah. I remember it being quite a lot more enjoyable towards the front (although I never managed to nab the front row). The new trains are a massive improvement over the old Arrow ones, which did their best to end your ride with a concussion... Weird that you've encountered such long queues on it, though. I never remember it to be such a crowd puller (10 minutes max on any of the 6 visits that I can recall).
    And I agree on Mirabilandia's mouse. I've never been a massive fan of those (apart from some exceptions like Matterhorn Blitz or PBB's model) and I think that L&T's version is the worst. It lacks the out of control feeling of PBB's and is rough/forceful enough in the corners to make the entire experience unpleasant.
     
  7. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

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    Day 2 - Cinecitta World

    So the first day of the official live was at this fairly new park, apart from the sort of Colossus clone I hadn't done a lot of research so went in with a fairly open mind.

    The entrance looked fantastic, as did the Main Street type area which was apparently themed to Gangs of New York.

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    We were greeted by a couple of guys who worked for the park, they were both fab, it was so nice to see staff who are genuinely enthusiastic about what they do and who sensed our cred anxiety and took us to the rides! If you're reading this guys then a big THANK YOU!

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    First was the coaster i'd probably been looking forward to most on this trip - Altair CCW 0204 or Colossus with lapbars. I rode first at the back and in all honesty wasn't that impressed. Yes it was nice not to have my head banging against the OTSR's but it lacked certain oomph that I think Colossus has and there was no little pop of airtime on the hill after the loop. I rode later near to the front and my opinion remained the same, if not worse. It had developed a rattle throughout the day and the pressure on my legs through the heartline rolls was just uncomfortable.

    However the thing looked great and was a lovely colour - we were taken to an off limits area to snap some photos.

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    Next up was Darkmare, the indoor coaster. It was amazing, such a surprise! The screens and effects going up the lift hill are great, and then you're plunged into the dark with twists and turns all over the place. The drop is a bit underwhelming but that doesn't matter, the start easily makes it the best ride at the park.

    Next we did the water ride, Aktium. It was very nicely themed and was good fun, I remember getting mildly wet and the nice men bought the on-ride photo for us :).

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    We had a wander round the park before splitting for lunch and agreeing to meet up in time to catch the show, Enigma. It was ok, I think I enjoyed it more than most people. It was slightly all over the place and didn't flow very well but it suited the park I thought. Turns out its some sort of tribute to the illusion of film, or something along those lines....

    We did the drop tower after the show, it was pretty decent and looked impressive to.

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    Most of us did the Submarine ride thing. I thought it would be some sort of simulator, but turns out it was just a walkthrough attraction based on a film that Jon Bon Jovi was in. It was a bit of a disappointment, but credit to the ride op, she did her best to try and go through everything in English for us.

    There was also a ride which I thought was some sort of studio tram tour type attraction, but WAS a simulator based on being out in space. It was rubbish.

    Overall I liked Cinecitta World a lot. I think it needs some more attractions to make it a great park, but seeing as its so new I think its heading in the right direction and by the looks of things is being run by the right people.

    We discovered there was a +2 nearby and so headed in that direction. Unfortunately only one was running, but better than nothing. After this came a fairly long drive to Grosetto which was a beautiful little Italian town. We had a very late dinner in one of the restuarants on the town square and met the infamous TripAdvisor/Facebook man. He gave us free wine so it was all good :).

    With that it was back to the hotel to get a good nights sleep ready for the next day.
     
  8. Ian

    Ian From CoasterForce Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    After waking up and having breakfast in our posh hotel - and being scared that they would charge us for orange juice - we headed off to Cavallino Matto, where in Peter's car we played the ABC of Creds and all things goony. ABC Rides, Batman, Cred, Death Cred and so on. It passed the time.

    Upon arrival, the park looked like a mixture between Paultons Park and Knobels. It had that home grown sort of feel with rides that were borderline between mediocre and awesome all sitting in a gorgeous setting.
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    When the Vadgemobile arrived, Nic and I went to the office to try to blag some perks. CM was the only park who didn't reposed to our emails. That's fair enough, we're a small group and this park probably doesn't deal with enthusiasts on a regular basis. After getting nowhere with the woman, we paid full whack and went in. It was this moment I decided, in a TPR sort of way, to not promote the park on CF's social media. Yes, I know it's petty but I want to work with parks and a little give or take here and there is always appreciated.

    Inside the park, it had that family vibe evident at Paultons. Loads of family friendly rides, lush landscaping and cutesy characters everywhere. After a quick wee in a hole in the ground (bloody Italian toilets!), we went on our first coaster.

    Project 1 is a L&T Systems compact red that, despite it's appearance, had some mildly interesting banked turns. It didn't impress me, it didn't disappoint. It was plus 1.

    Then we did Wild Mine. It's a mine train and I've done lad of these before. It was uneventful and standard. The best part were the brakes were really smooth, unlike some other Wild Mice I've been on. Again, another plus 1.

    The next box we ticked was Speedy Gonzales. I really can't think of anything to say about it except the ride op was hot and we had two laps. Plus one and done.
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    We rode the Porn Ponies after the coaster to break things up a bit. Fraser managed to catch up with Vadge who declared she had slowed down because she's fat. Yes, we saw two ride train collide at about 2 miles per hour! Don't worry, we escape without injury.

    Half of the group did some sort of zip wire things where you sit in a chair which then takes you backwards over some trees and then back to the station again. It was quite fab but I felt uneasy. Something about it seemed unsafe but I lived to tell the story. I enjoyed the swing I got when it returned to the station.

    We were spited by Freestyle, the Togo stand-up. They were still working on it. Obviously I was gutted that the ride was closed and realised I would have to return again in a few years to ride it. The colour looked good. In fact, most of the ride at CM had great colour schemes. Everything stood out, looked vibrant and visually appealed to children (and big children like me).

    Half of the group did the log flume.
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    We then wandered to the other end of the park where the last coaster and three thrill rides sat. We did the drop tower first. I really enjoyed the view from the top (see Chris' photo in his report). It looked unreal, almost like Jurassic Park but with a big yellow coaster sticking out of it. The trees formed a dense canopy that looked softer than a cloud made of marshmallows. With the sea in the background and the cheeky cred sticking out, it looked fab. "Hashtag, no filter" as Nic exclaimed! The drop itself was ok.

    Our final coaster was Topo Zorro, which was an apple coaster but had a lump of cheese as the feature, not a fibreglass apple. A perfect addition for the park's target audience, merely a plus one for me.

    Mike was starting to DIE!
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    Nic declared her lady parts as "Vadge Zero". That's one drink nobody would want to try.
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    Half of the group went on the big swinging thing like Maelstrom at Drayton Manor. They seemed to take ages to load and get the ride going. After that one, a couple of people re-rode the drop tower. I was quite happy to sit there, smoke fags and drink Vadge Zero. I mean Coke Zero.

    Our final ride of the day was the bouncing car rodeo type thing which Rachel declared it as the best ride in the park. Even if the Togo was open, I imagine it would still claim that title.

    Mike found LIFE and ate something.
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    I'm not sure if it was one of these...
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    After a little faff in the tat shop (was surprisingly good) and the wee-wee shop, we left CM to continue our journey.

    I did a bit of basic research on CM before this trip and, with the possible exception of the spiteful Togo, I wasn't expecting much. And I was right. Yes, it's pretty and reasonably good value for money, but there's not enough there to keep a goon occupied for a whole day. It really was a few hours of ticking boxes and going on ride types we're all very familiar with. If we had a family with us, or a couple of under 10's, I'm sure we would have stayed there a lot longer and had a really enjoyable day. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it but, I felt from an adult goon point of view, it was the weakest planned park of the trip.

    Our afternoon consisted of a bit of culture. We went to see the leaning Tower of Pisa.
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    I always find it strange when I visit famous landmarks. I've seen images and footage of this area throughout my lifetime and there I was, standing there looking at it. I like that feeling. It's quite humbling. And next time I see it on the telly, I'll know there's a nice ice cream shop just around the corner from it.

    Everybody was doing this.
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    Monkey see, monkey do...
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    Tbh, in that photo, it looks like the CF group had split into two rival girlbands and were doing some kind of publicity stunt.

    Mike took a selfie using his own arm, and not with one of the millions of selfie-sticks being offered by street sellers.
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    We then had lunch. Well, we sat around silently looking at our phones because there was FREE WIFI! Although the little conversation I did have involved Dan not knowing what an arch was and everybody getting excited about the "dancing man toilets".
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    After buying some ice cream and some tacky souvenirs, we headed to a place we passed on the way to Pisa where they had two creds. The creds were't opening until 9pm and as we had a long drive ahead of us, we left them there for another day. Silly Italy. Mike gave the creds a snooty look.
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    When we arrived at hotel where we would spend the next two nights. there was a conference going on with load of people making awkward small talk and "networking". The only networking Mike was interested in was online!
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    We all went out for supper after waiting an eternity for Nic to buy some cheap shorts. I spilt lasagne down my shirt at lunch so I borrowed Chris' chavvy IN-GER-LUND!!!!1 football shirt. With my stocky appearance, bald head and fag hanging out of my gob, I managed to out-chav Chris for the only time on this trip ;)

    If it wasn't for the LTo Pisa, this would have been a really lacklustre day. Perhaps tiredness was kicking in, the sun was getting to me or I was thinking too much about the days at Mira and Garda ahead of us. What ever it was, something had got my back up.......
     
  9. nadroJ

    nadroJ Well-Known Member

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    Wait...Dan doesn't know what an arch is? What??
     
  10. ATTACKHAMMER

    ATTACKHAMMER Social Media Team Staff Member Social Media Team

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    I thought that I walked through an arch to the toilets, so gave the directions to the toilet as under the arch. Turns out the arch was some wooden flower holder thing. Not my finest moment. :lol:
     
  11. Jordanovichy

    Jordanovichy Credit Whore 2016 Staff Member Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    What a time to be alive...
     
  12. ATTACKHAMMER

    ATTACKHAMMER Social Media Team Staff Member Social Media Team

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    The next park was Cavallino Matto.

    The hotel from the previous night had a big key [​IMG]

    On to the park!

    First up was Project 1, the least worst coaster in the park. It was alright, better than the average +1.

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    This sign reminded me of my favourite comedian, Charlie Brooker: [​IMG]

    Next up was the Wild Mouse:
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    A simple +1


    Then we rode Speedy Gonzales
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    Another +1.

    Then we rode the porn ponies and a collision occurred:
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    Then we rode some death trap looking glider things. They were good fun!
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    IFC enjoyed it: [​IMG]

    We then looked at the spiteful cow. Here is the poster, if you look carefully you can see the writing on the train has been photoshopped:[​IMG]

    Some of use rode the log flume, I found some interesting signs:
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    50 shades of Cavallino Matto perhaps?
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    Then we did the Drop Tower. It gave a great view of the surrounding woodland. After the drop tower we did a spinny thing and the next cred.
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    We returned to the drop tower for another go. As the ride was coming to an end, the ride op ran off to the toilet! Leaving us on the ride!

    Next up was my favourite ride in the park:
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    I had never ridden one of them before, great fun!

    We then left the park and found some closed non RCDB listed coasters.
    Therefore we moved onto Pisa.

    As we got out of the car, one of the moments of the trip happened. A man offered us all some watches, he was selling. We all declined accept Fraser. The man said "hey playboy", Mike looked up, the man said to him "no you not playboy, he playboy" and pointed at Fraser!

    Playboy and the rest of us heading for Pisa. [​IMG]
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    Seeing the Leaning Tower was a bit surreal. It is one of those things you see in hundreds of pictures, then suddenly you're standing in front of it.

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    That's the end of this part.
    I'll leave you with this:
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  13. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

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    So the next park was Cavallino Matto, a park i'd never heard of and knew absolutely nothing about. The location was pretty stunning, hidden away in a foresty area near the sea, unfortunately that was pretty much the only thing the park had going for it.

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    I encountered my first hole in the floor toilet, I took a photo of it, as you do........

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    Thats about it for photos of the park. Sorry. Anyway onto the rides.......

    I'm not going to go into too much detail about the 4 coasters we rode because they were all just +1s really and there's not much worth saying about them. Project 1 was a decent little family coaster and the Wild Mouse wasn't as bad as they can be. 2 kiddie coasters were alright, me and Dan observed how casual the ride ops are about checking the lapbars, i.e. not bothering at all.

    There was a zip wire thing with a chair that a few of us did, I actually found it quite nerve-wracking as it was lifting up, it was good fun though and something different. The Pony ride was funny, highlight was Nic and Frasers crash.

    We did the drop tower next. It held you at the top for aaages building up the anticipation, luckily there were some fantastic views to admire of the sea, the forest and the spiting stand up coaster. The drop itself was ok, nothing special.

    I sat out whilst others did various other rides that I couldn't be bothered with and so saving the best till last, I finished on the bouncing/spinning rock n roll type flat ride. I almost didn't bother with this as I didn't want to go on anything too sickly in the heat but i'm so glad I did, it was soooooo good! It span and flew you all over the place and out of your seat without becoming too rough. Possibly one of the funnest flat rides i've been on.

    There wasn't much worth sticking around for so onwards we went to Pisa to take lots of original photos :lol:

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    There's something really special I think about seeing something with your own eyes that you've seen so many times before in photos. The building looks amazing and the actual area its in was stunning.

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    We stopped off for lunch and ice cream in Pisa and then went in search of a few nearby creds. They were closed until 9pm :( . With that we set off for the long drive through the mountains to Bologna, we filled the time with various goon games such as ABC and the M&D's quiz. Finally we arrived at the hotel and headed out for food where we ended up in some German style restuarant. It was a bit crap, but it had been a great day full of fun and laughs.

    I was now starting to get excited for what were my most anticipated parks of the trip...
     
  14. Ian

    Ian From CoasterForce Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    On the Wednesday, I woke up with a bad back. I've been having twinges in my lower back and down my leg for a few weeks. I shrugged it off as a sprain or something. Regardless, it made me realise that I probably should take it easy at Mirabilandia. Last time I visited the park, it rained and I felt sick after seven rides on Katun. It's almost like I'm destined to never enjoy Mirabilandia. Anyway, mummy's little soldier, battled on ensuring everybody was reminded of my pain throughout the day ;)

    This time there was no rain, just beautiful sunshine, a few clouds and the occasional cool breeze. Lovely.
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    It was also our proper first "big" park of the trip. You could argue that RML and CCW are "big" but I don't think they've settled in just yet, so it wouldn't have the reputation and appeal like Mirabilandia and Gardaland would. I was prepared to spend most of the day in queue lines complaining about the lack of shade.

    I made the informed decision that we would do iSpeed first because it was likely to have a slow throughput. We queued for about 15mins before taking our seats on Italy's premier launch coaster. (Note Nic's new manly sport shorts.)
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    I sat somewhere near the middle and waited in childish excitement for the launch. It chugged it's way out of the station in a mongish crawl like a drunkard making their way up some steep stairs. And after it crested the top hat, it fell down the same stairs causing me to brace against the forces. There were one or two moments of joy, particularly the curved sections of track, but some of the elements were borderline toucher. And yes, it didn't help my back. I didn't rate it back in 2001 and I thought even less of it now. I've come to the conclusion that Intamin Accelerator Coasters are best when they do a launch, top hat and end. All of this fancy twisty and turning does nothing except line the pockets of chiropractors. It's also a bitch to take photos of.
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    The good thing about this park is that I already had most of the coasters so I didn't have to put unnecessary pressure on my back to boost my count. Therefore I sat out of the next ride - Leprotto Express.

    It's a kiddy coaster but I adore the theme. Possibly the only vegetable patch themed coaster in Italy. The only comparison I can make is the one at Dollywood.
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    Everybody except me and Nic did the log flume. This meant I could I could bag lady, apply suncream, smoke fags and watch Nic get herself into a state of Dog Harassment. Next to where we were waiting was a dog who Nic wanted to cuddle. She started every sentence with "Awww, doggy. I want to stroke the doggy."

    "Awww, doggy. I want to stroke the doggy. I'm going to the toilet."
    "Awww, doggy. I want to stroke the doggy. Shall we move the bags there?"
    "Awww, doggy. I want to stroke the doggy. ARRGGHHH! LIZARD!"

    Yes, we saw a lizard. That was cool. My eyes felt so exotic. The lizard started to move nearer to the dog, so I told Nic that if the dog spotted it, the dog might move closer to us.

    "Awww, doggy. I want to stroke the doggy."

    The lizard disappeared and the dog never spotted it. Shortly before the CF goons came down the splash, the dog went away without being stroked by Nic.

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    We walked to the far corner of the park to do a couple more coasters. On the way we passed the AMAZING rapids. Mike sat out which meant that we had nine people so we could all fit in one boat.

    I'm so glad we did it together because the rapids at Mirabilandia are one of the best rapids in the world. Rapids are great for most of the time due to the random lottery of who will get wet. Roman water god Neptune was laughing at Fraser as he got the brunt of it. When we passed by the waterfall, the water relentlessly poured onto Fraser. The boat flooded. Fraser was soaked through. Oh how we all laughed. It was brilliant...only because it wasn't me! At one point Fraser was trying to push the water back with his hands. The whole scene was ridiculous. Brilliant!
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    I had no choice to ride the next coaster. When I visited in 2011, Master Thai, the mobius coaster, was under construction so, high on adrenaline which made me forget about my back for 10mins, we got into the vile queue that seemed to take forever. In reality, it was probably only 30mins. We spent most of the queue line, anxiously wondering if it did both "sides" in one go. We didn't want to queue up again. Thankfully it did.

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    It was ok. Bit jerky in places but not horrendous. The theme is fairly good but the coaster's structure is quite skeletal so it appears unfinished...unless that's the way it's supposed to look? Regardless, it was a plus one for everybody and we could move on to the one that most people were looking forward to.

    Katun.
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    The coaster, the theme, the surrounding area and the forces are great. Visually and technically, it's a work of art and should be applauded on a regular basis. It looked just as good as it did in 2011. Back in 2011, I rode it seven times, first thing in the morning, hungover, and left it feeling sick yet I still appreciated it.

    I decide that I would risk only riding it once this time. And boy oh boy, I'm glad I did. I sat back row and relished every second. I particularly loved the floaty airtime after it the first tunnel and the helix at the end. That one ride was enough for me to think "yes, that's a top coaster. All is forgiven after 2011." As some of the group were rightfully queuing for the best seats - front row - there was plenty of time for others to re-ride and for me to rest up, gazing in sheer admiration at it's beauty.
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    My thumb is ruining what would have otherwise been a half decent image.
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    It even makes Mike look broodingly attractive!
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    Eventually everybody had their ride (and rerides). Everybody was unanimous - it's a fab coaster. Up to that that point, Shock at RML was the best coaster on the trip, but Katun split the group. Only the coasters at Gardaland could top them now.

    We "split" for lunch. Although we never did split for lunch. We all ate the same together place every day. We first tried the Mexican self service canteen, which was closed, so we ended up at the American Diner near the log flume. It was ok. Substantial.

    We walked back over to the coasters near the Mexican area. We stopped on the way to do Rexplorer in the newish themed Dinosaur land (which looked rather nice I thought). I sat out and when the goons returned after a few mins, they informed me it was broken and we'd come back later.

    In 2011, I sat out of Pakal because I had a headache. This time I felt like I had to do it because a) I don't know when I'll go back to Italy and b) I'm aiming for my 700 milestone coaster this season. The queue went by slowly, with the entertainment being lifting the queue line poles out of the ground and the Nun queuing up to ride.
    "How many coasters do you reckon she's ridden?"
    "Nun!"

    That was it. The bastard ride polished off what was left of my spine. I know it's my own fault, I should have sat out. I'm fully aware of the wild mouse ride type and how violent they can be. I've been on loads before. My fault. Entirely my fault. Despite bracing myself around each agonising and pointless mouse turn and through every crunching dip, it beat me up as if I were Rhianna after accidentally balling Chris Brown's socks inside out.

    Everybody walked and I hobbled over to DiVertical, stopping off to the mine train coaster that broke earlier, to see that it was closed. We expected it to be closed so there was no disappointment. We headed nearby to Reset, which I think is nicely themed.
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    I decided to ride because it's a shooter where I could rest up for a while. I forgot that it spun. Ok, it wasn't too traumatic but I could have done without it. It's got a half decent story and is well theme inside, but it's the typical "my gun wasn't working" affair.

    The last "new" ride of the day was the Shot and drop towers. Again, I sat out.
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    With time to spare, we headed back to Katun for a reride. Yes, I sat out. I was emailing the BBC who asked me another question about The Smiler incident. Let is rest ffs, give those involved time to heal.

    There was demand for another ride on iSpeed. That was one demand too far for me, so I started my slow walk back to the entrance where I would meet up with everybody at the end of the day.

    It's amazing what a difference the weather can make. Bad back aside, I enjoyed the day at Mirabilandia. It really is a great park. There's a lot of varied stuff to do, a world class coaster and things "hidden" away that surprise even the most travelled of enthusiasts. Hearing everybody talk positively about Katun made my day.

    That evening when we returned to the hotel everybody except me and Nic went into Bolognia. I didn't bother last time and physically couldn't this time. It's almost as if fate will not allow me to enjoy that area of Italy. I went to a pharmacy where I masterfully mimed "strong painkillers" and then ate a huge slab of pizza with Nic. Although Nic insisted that she didn't stay with me out of pity, I appreciated the company. Cheers, babe <3
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    To say that I didn't sleep well that night was an understatement. The only way I could get comfortable was half-sitting up in a foetal position. I actually quietly cried myself to sleep in physical agony, whilst being mentally aware that the next day at Gardaland would probably be a write off for me. And there was a new cred to be had...
     
  15. ATTACKHAMMER

    ATTACKHAMMER Social Media Team Staff Member Social Media Team

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    The next park was my favourite of the trip:
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    I was gasping at the chance of riding Katun. I could see it from the car park and couldn't believe the size of the thing.
    The park looked really nice:
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    First up was I Speed:
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    I had three rides during the day. I didn't like the first ride at all, I thought it was rough and rather dull.
    I found the second and third rides amazing. The launch felt much more powerful!
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    Next up was a +1:
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    Not much needs to be said about it.

    Next we rode Auto Splash, the log flume. It was a pretty good flume but some of the theming was random. For example a dark tunnel with classic Italian driving sounds, horns.

    Then we rode the rapids, they were amazing! One of the best rapids I've ever done! The highlight was Fraser trying to move away from the water and push it out of the boat.
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    On the walk to the next ride, we saw some turtles.
    You can just about see a turtle in this picture:
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    Next up was a rather strange coaster:
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    It was a decent ride with some good drops!

    Next it was time, for Katun!
    I queued for front with Peep and Fraser. In the queue we saw a guy we dubbed "Steel Panther Guy", because he had the right look to be in the band.

    Excited was not the word as I took my seat. I was getting over the scale of the monster. The drop was incredible! There was a massive WTF moment as there was airtime!
    The beast was the most forceful ride I've ever ridden.

    I couldn't wait to try and ride back row.
    I always try to ride front first on B&M inverts.

    Back row was the best seat! There was a fair amount of airtime and incredible forces. After re rides Katun became my new number one, here are some photos of the beast:
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    Official Ian From Coasterforce photography:
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    We then had lunch and more flat chicken was eaten. I found another funny sign:
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    A nice tree:
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    We had a walk to the spiteful water coaster. There was a monorail next to it, I wonder where they got the colour scheme from?
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    The ride was being tested, spite. It was a shame as looked like a fun ride.
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    The drop looked awesome!


    We then did the shooter ride, which was very good and well themed.
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    The mine train was down so we did the vile wild mouse:
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    Then the mine train reopened!
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    It was very loud!

    Then we did the inappropriately named shot tower:
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    After some re-rides we heading to the rubbish tat shop and back to the hotel.

    Some of us went to Bologna:
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    Chris became a photographer:
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    We had some bland beer and nice food:
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    That's it for now, I'll leave you with this:
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  16. TilenB

    TilenB Well-Known Member

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    ^ Glad to hear you loved Katun. It seriously is one of the best inverts in the world. Actually I can't see one that could beat it in my ranks (perhaps Black Mamba or Pyrenees, if I ever get to ride it). That airtime on first drop <3

    It seems you all had an enjoyable day in Mirabilandia, it's just a shame DiVertical didn't open for you. Maybe next time, aye? :D
     
  17. Enigma Shadow

    Enigma Shadow Well-Known Member

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    Really sorry for the delay in continuing my report, it's been a hectic week at work alongside unpacking everything in my new house and trying to work on as much art as I can too. Busy bee! Anyway, onwards...

    Day Two: Cavallino Matto


    Today was the day for the park I'd done the least research on - I didn't really know what to expect apart from the spiteful Togo standup being closed and that it had a frisbee flat ride, one of my favourites. So after the group gradually formed in the hotel's posh restaurant and panicked about being charged for orange juice and croissants it was time for us to set off in the Goonmobiles once more, albeit with more 'How long is this tunnel' and 'Horrendously out of rhythm clapping' games.

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    THOUGHTS ON THE PARK

    I'll be brutally honest, when we first approached the park I thought it was another '+1 park' that we were picking up along the way because the entrance and surrounding theming, if you can call it that, looked pretty tacky and it's location in the middle of a housing estate didn't help either. However inside there's lush greenery everywhere and a welcoming family vibe. I just wish they at least gave CF SOME sort of acknowledgement...

    RIDES/ATTRACTIONS
    Project 1
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    Thanks to Freestyle being closed this was the park's star attraction. It looks nice enough, had a decent throughput and was fairly zippy in places but only had one short lap and was pretty underwhelming. Forgettable, but a cred's a cred.

    Gold Mine
    A wild mouse style coaster. You've ridden one and you've ridden them all. Dull, generic and forceless. Moving on!

    Speedy Gonzales
    It's a kiddie coaster that does some stuff...with bonus probable copyright infringement! I won't be raving about this to anyone anytime soon.

    Big Apple but with Cheese Instead
    Boo-urns! Boo-urns!

    Colorado Boats
    A logflume that really outstays it's welcome...it's deceptively long! There's barely enough water in the trough to carry the boats along so you spend the whole ride scraping along the bottom, smashing into the corners and getting pushed forward by the boat behind's wave from the drop. You don't get too wet but it's that annoying kind of moist that's damp enough to leave you in between being kind of wet and slightly soaked.

    Chair Zipline
    A pretty ghetto ride that made us who rode it question our safety. It turned out to be fun though with the nerves building as your chair with very little keeping you in is hoisted up and shot over the trees before returning. The ride ends with a satisfying aggressive smack into the pole which makes you swing a few times, perfect.

    Shocking Tower
    I initially sat out of this due to my fear of drop towers so I bag-ladied and took photos of tacky looking snakes instead.
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    Later on Chris ever so politely fluttered his eyelashes and asked if some of us would reride with him so I decided I may as well. It turned out to be really great, the views at the top were awesome and it really packed a punched. As we returned from the second drop we saw our ride op running away from the ride and dashing towards the toilet which was a pretty surreal sigh and made everyone on board laugh. Some things just can't wait, huh?

    Yukatan
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    The aforementioned frisbee! I always enjoy these and this was certainly no exception - the swooping and floaty forces were relentless and it really looked like we were going to hit the surrounding trees! It was intense enough to make the blood rush to my feet. For some reason music from Tomb Raider Underworld plays on this ride, complete with some Italian dialogue from Lara Croft before it kicks off. I don't quite get it but it works really well.

    Rock N Roll
    A rodeo style flat ride, I forget the official term for it. All you need to know is it does lots of spinning, bouncing and car twirling all at once - I was filled with immediate regret when it really got going, I was sliding around so much and it felt like it'd chuck me out!

    OVERALL
    I found it to be a strange one. While I was annoyed Freestyle was shut and the majority of the rides were turd we still managed to make the most of it in the way that CF does best. The lack of photos should tell you just how noteworthy the rides are. Could I spend a whole day there? Certainly not, but I guess I'll have to go back for the Togo at some point.

    We left for Pisa a while after midday to do some touristy sightseeing with that one famous building that simply refuses to stay upright or just topple over. Upon arrival I was dubbed 'Playboy' by some dude selling glasses for some reason. Mike tried to joke along but glasses man was NOT having it and made it quite clear I was the designated playboy. It was surreal but to be honest I attract so much strangeness that I'm used to it by now...

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    The silly generic Pisa tourist pose begins...
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    We ate down this street, it was right near the tower.

    Lunch was had in a typical touristy pizza/pasta place, it was nice to relax in the shadow of such a historic landmark and reflect on the magnificence of the Alien vs Avatar show at Cavallino (big up the legendary tracksuit chav alien). I ordered a bacon and cheese omelette - and literally got 2 fried eggs smooshed together with chunks of bacon and some cheese on the side. Uh...okay? It was a talking point at least!

    We left Pisa after getting some awful tat for our families and tried to get some creds at Lunar Park. Despite Ian's best efforts to sweettalk the staff into opening the coasters for us we were told it wouldn't open until 9pm. It just wasn't meant to be! There was however a certain Disney llama around so everyone took the opportunity to take pics of me in front of it...
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    It's...it's like I'm staring into a mirror...

    We retreated to our Holiday Inn hotel and waited an eternity for Nic to buy some shorts. We ate at a pseudo German restaurant which was alright I guess.

    We went back to our rooms and I was brimming with anticipation since the next day was the park I had been most looking forward to - Mirabilandia!
     
  18. Nic

    Nic Well-Known Member

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    I barely took any photos on the whole trip, so this is going to be short and sweet from me...

    Day 0 - Rainbow Magicland

    There was a late night special event with a concert and fireworks at the park on this day. As a result, we were all a bit concerned about how busy it'd be. Thankfully, the combination of Sunday morning bible bashing, hot midday weather and half price entry after 4pm meant that crowds (and, most importantly, queues!) were minimal during our visit.

    Our previous visit was approx 6 weeks after the park opened. Back then we were already concerned by how quickly some of the theming seemed to be falling apart. 4 years later, what would we find?

    Well, to be honest, the park was in pretty much exactly the same state as before. A couple of minor additions (the Mad House opened after our visit, and the much more recent Splash Battle) and a few bits of tarting up here and there (much needed turntable station on the rapids) but overall, much the same. OK, so the theming is very flimsy, and you can tell it was finished off in a rush with minimal budget, but it's weathered the last 4 years much better than I'd feared. Stylistically, I really like the look of the park. You can't beat having a lake in the middle with the rides round the outside, and this one is small enough to avoid that pain of having to trek for miles to get to the next ride.

    My main fear was how badly Shock would've aged over the years. I needn't have worried. It's a little rough at the back (yes, seating position can make a difference, even in a single car train!) but the intensity of the section just before the MCBR is ridiculous. I'm not a fan of the "inversion but not", but even so, it's still a pretty good layout and a fun little coaster.

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    The main disappointment for me was Huntik. It was a bit rough around the edges on our last visit, but I was hoping those issues would've been ironed out by now. In reality, those ones persist, and have been joined by many more problems. It's a shame, because it has potential to be a really great ride, if they can just sort out the technology.

    The park would need a major new attraction to get me heading back there any time soon. That said, if I happened to be in Rome with a couple of days to spare, I'd probably head over there for a day anyway. It's a pleasant enough park, but just needs a bit more polishing.

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  19. Ian

    Ian From CoasterForce Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    One thing I forgot to mention about Mirabilandia; it was the day we invented cred songs. We didn't invent them as such, as several ride songs already exist (such as "Starflyers are meant to fly" by Nick Minaj). Two that stuck in my mind are "Where's your cred at?" by Basement Jaxx and the one Chris did to Mambo Number 5.

    Anyway, on to our penultimate day - Gardaland. We all knew that this would be the busiest day of the trip. I expected queues, burdenous loading and general faff. Sometimes expecting the worst makes the day a little more acceptable.

    I woke up feeling quite good, despite my restless night's sleep with my bad back. The pain had travelled down to my foot so I decided that I wouldn't go over the top at Gardaland. I would only ride the B&Ms and gentle rides.

    Peter's car arrived before Vadge's so we hung about in the ticket area looking at the new fountain. Once we had all arrived, we made a beeline for Sequoia Adventure, or Martyn Hoyer Adventure, as me and Nic childishly called it.

    I hated it in 2011 and, with the possibility of doing my back in, I sat out with Nic and peep. The faces on the others as they entered the queue line looked like they had stepped in dog poo, and then were bitten by the offending dog. Oh how I smirked to myself as the ride took it's victims. I've been to enough parks to know the difference between screams of scared delight and terrible pain. The noises I heard were definitely the latter. I tried to imagine myself selling this ride to a potential client. The only benefits I could think of were the exposed restraint system and it's small footprint. Imo, it's not a ride. It's a contraption.
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    (I did take some better photos using Peter's camera which I hope he'll post!)

    With everybody now experiencing the bad feeling in my spine, we went to the Elongated Apple Coaster. I sat out and played with an Abandoned Dog who was randomly walking around. Another abandoned dog was tied to a pushchair, which was in turn tied to the bench I was sat on. Pushchair Dog kept jumping towards me. It managed to do so and pulled over the pushchair. From underneath the pushchair appeared Another Dog! Hurrah! I uprighted the pushchair and Another Dog jumped back in the seat whilst I sat stroking Abandoned and Pushchair Dog. Evil Dog Woman came over after riding the coaster with her daughter, shouted something Italian at me, smacked both Abandoned and Pushchair Dog and walked off. I hope she understood the English word "bitch." Anyway, have a photo of Rachael, Dan, Chris and Vadge sitting on the arse end of a carrot looking caterpillar (or caterpillar looking carrot).
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    The next box to tick was Magic Mountain. There was nothing magical or mountainish about it, so Nic and I sat out to eat ice cream in the nearby "relaxing area". We watched a toddler eat his lunch and then point at the coaster, to which Nic and I simultaneously said "Cred!". If that kid learns one English word in his lifetime and it's "cred", that will be our doing.

    We did the Tomb Blaster That's Not Tomb Blaster shooter afterwards. It's quite good but the guns are odd. You have to hold the light thing over the the target then press the trigger to score. It's really well themed. I enjoye sit and was glad to ride something.

    Our next stop was The Car Park of The Pirates of The Caribbean Rip-Off. This is one of those scenic boat rides with different pirate type scenes. The queue line is well themed and even features a grumpy Italian lady who reluctantly lets people back ahead of her after she has queue jumped ;) The ride is fairly unremarkable, the highlight being the escalator out of the ride area, hence its car park (that's a parking lot, Yanks!) tag.

    With our little dark ride interlude over, we had to get back to the coasters to stop people getting cred anxiety. The nearest was Raptor. I didn't want to stand in a vile queue for 40mins so we got front-seat fast passes and were on and off in 10mins.

    I adore this ride. It is easily top 10, nay, top 3. It's almost perfect but there's something that I can't put my finger on that prevents it even featuring in my top 10. From the moment I'm in the station waiting to go until I'm sat on the brake run, I feel special. The ride experience is damn right gorgeous.
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    I love the swooping drop, the turn and dash down towards the ground before it lifts up of the cliff face. There's a quick inversion, which is almost hidden from view, before it heads under the first near miss.The second inversion of the queue area feels quite slow and, which gave me enough time to appreciate how compact and tight the footprint is.
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    Then there's the sexy helix that almost dips riders sitting on the left in the pool of water before methodically going through four well themed near misses, one after the other (note the opening date on the support - one for the goons, I love it!).
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    But why doesn't it make my Top 10? It's got everything I look for in a coaster. It has terrain (manmade and "natural") hugging, it has a fun-packed footprint that cleverly goes covers the entire ride area, including the queue and station. Riders can't really see what element of the coaster is happening next - it's full of surprises. BUT WHY IS IT NOT TOP 10? Maybe because I find it forceless. As an experience, it's awesome, but as something that can get my adrenaline pumping, it fails. To look at and to ride, Raptor is one of the best coasters in the world but it lacks soul. It's almost too perfect what with it's well positioned and clinical layout, near misses and theme. Something like Raptor needs a edge, a bit of grit. That's why I rate Swarm over Raptor. Swarm has good forces and a more exciting layout. Swarm might seem shorter than Raptor but Swarm is always doing something, whereas Raptor glides formulaically, as if it has been engineered too well. Arrrgghhh, it's only my fickleness preventing Raptor from being Top 10.

    Oh, Jordan's sister is still featured on the promo material. Nic, did you ever do the competition in the end?
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    Off we trotted to the next +1. The SLC, Tornado. To think that this would have been the big coaster in it's day. Peep, Nic and I sat out. Back in 2011, Nic and I were sat on the brake run as Jordan exited the ride beneath us. In the space of 1 second, Jordan squatted, pointed at the coaster and screamed in her Essex accent "It's fakkin' :emoji_zipper_mouth:". This became a thing. Nic and I recreated the moment.
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    ...and outside of the ride, we noticed they had installed a figure statue doing the same pose.
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    Because it's a thing, a few of us did it to Tornado at Bakken last year, which is also :emoji_zipper_mouth: :emoji_zipper_mouth:.
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    The next coaster on the list was Mammut. I rather enjoyed the coaster back in 2011, but didn't want to ride it in my dodgy physical state because I was saving myself for Oblivion: The Black Hole. I sat in the restaurant where everybody has to exit. There is a jet engine inside ether restaurant that fires every 20mins. The restaurant turns blue, a loud rumbling noise is heard and the jet glows orange. It's great. Why can't we have nice things like that in the UK?

    For me, the reason for agreeing to an Italy Live was Oblivion The Black Hole. Or Oblivion The Glory Hole, or Oblivion To Be Honest. She would be our next ride.

    When I saw photos of it earlier this year, I wasn't convinced by the white track. In person it's different. Set against the blue sky and background, it looks monolithic. However, I still don't think it looks good in photos.
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    The themed van being sucked into the black hole is fab.
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    I know the person who designed the queue so I was keen to queue up despite the 40min queue. I had no idea what the queue contained but I wanted to experience it first hand. I'm glad I did. WARNING: SPOILERS, to avoid skip to the :arrow: below.
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    The inside area has coloured walkways, lit up by morphing lights and all sorts of special effects. Big television screens surround riders at one point.
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    The two highlights are the vibrating floor and fan floor. There is one section that has horizontal lights forming an archway. The lights light up from the ground and when the arch is complete, the floor vibrates. I was walking ahead of the group when the floor started to vibrate. I wasn't expecting it and I let out a yelp. A few CFers rushed around the corner to see if I was ok (at least that's what I'd like to think) but by then the floor has stopped moving. A few people didn't believe me and thought I was making it up. So we held up the queue and waited. BUZZZZZZZ!
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    We had worked out the fan floor by the time we go to the next section of abnormal flooring. It was ok, but the element of surprise was gone. It still made us giggle, though. Yes, the queue line is certainly part of the ride experience.

    :arrow:

    After the inside area, riders have to queue up a B&Q coloured staircase to get to the station. The stair section moves slowly and there is no theme - except the B&Q colouring. More annoyingly, people can easily queue jump past making it even more slower. As we were in a group of ten, we could create a barrier to prevent the cheeky Italians from getting past us. After what seemed like an age listening to - and singing - the amazing ride music, we were in the tiny loading station and on our way up!

    OTBH was my first extended Dive Machine so I didn't know what to expect. I found that the drop ended just as it got going and I didn't get the same rush through the tunnel like I do on Oblivion. It was the following two elements that made me fall in love with it. The little airtime hill after the tunnel is beautiful, it has that sublime, lethargic floaty air that B&M monsters do so well. And that zero-g. Wow, I could feel my entire body enter what felt like a sustained period of weightlessness, as if I had been injected with aesthetic but being told I couldn't go to sleep. It was broth drowsy and energising in the same breath. Ok, so it didn't do much and the entire ride felt like it was over too soon, but that's because eI wants sit to go on and on. It doesn't need to keep going for the sake of it, what it does is good enough. Could it make my Top 10, no, of course not, it's lacking that rawness that I prefer from my coasters, but as quick thrill, it does it very well.

    It's very Merliny. Typical type of theme, the world is danger, you might not return, something mysterious. Blah, blah, blah. It's all becoming a bit old hat now.

    As it was a lovely day, we did the observation tower, which was renamed by us as Island on a Stick. It offered us some good views of the park and Lake Garda so we could take the same photos as everybody else.
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    The last new ride of the day was the Water "Coaster". Note the CFers in the front and back rows!
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    Nic and I I sat out (I still need the cred!) to rest up and admire the beautiful theming around the ride. I wish I took more photos because it's lovely. Whilst waiting for the goons, we spotted a fab lady opposite us who was judging everybody as they walked by. She eyeballed everybody up and down twice before pulling a dirty expression and continuing trolling people on her phone (at least that's what I like to think she was going). And yes, I did she her give filthy looks to everybody with CF when the goons left the ride. We called her "Green" (due to her top and shoe colour) and she was fab.
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    Before we left about 10pm, we managed to grab a few re-rides and supper. I can't believe that I mangled to a whole LOOOONG day a theme park without getting bored. Usually during late openings, I have my fill, it gets too busy, I'm tired and I want to go home. There's something about Gardaland that doesn't make me want to leave. I'm not sure if it's because it's so big and there's a variety of stuff to do, or because it feels like a chilled out place without a chavvy attitude. Out of all the Merlin parks I've been to, Gardaland is probably my favourite (closely followed by Alton Towers). Maybe because it feels reminiscent of the Tussaud era when a theme park was actually themed and there's no particular order to it. The whole park feels like a maze where you never really know where you're going but ultimately you find a reward a certain points. It's no wonder it's one of the most visited parks in Europe. It's also one of my faves.

    We left the park and dove to our hotel which was the Ibis Verona. After nearly a week of rather plush hotels, it felt like we were slumming it a little. The bed wasn't wide enough to roll over on! But that didn't matter, it was nearing midnight and we were all pooped. There was only one day left and, if I can speak for the entire group, we all probably thought we had seen the best that Italy had to offer....
     
  20. ThomVD

    ThomVD Well-Known Member

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    Gardaland looks quite nice. I wonder how Oblivion compares to Baron.

    And now I FINALLY know what the "It's :emoji_zipper_mouth: :emoji_zipper_mouth: " is from! I wish I would've seen it, it sounds hilarious :p
     

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