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Ploptrix | Trip Reports

Discussion in 'CoasterForce Live' started by Hixee, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Coaster Hipster

    Coaster Hipster Well-Known Member

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    Great reports @Mysterious Sue and @Sandman! You both have some really good pictures there, and I like reading your opinions on familiar parks to me :) Oh and the "GoBros" pun... haha!

    I totally understand your views on OzIris. While the layout is quite creative and well enhanced by the surrounding scenery, its intensity is nowhere near older Inverts.

    I might record footage and shoot pictures of Pégase Express on my next visit there... anyone interested in some joke translation video/thread? ^^
     
    Sandman and Pink Cadillac like this.
  2. jayjay

    jayjay Well-Known Member

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    Nice reports! My favourite thing about Sandman's picture is how it captures four different reactions to the kiddie cred session.

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  3. witchfinder

    witchfinder Well-Known Member

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    Some lovely pics there Sue and Josh. My report is coming soon and my pictures are largely terrible as always! :|
     
  4. witchfinder

    witchfinder Well-Known Member

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    I guess I should share this now... :)

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  5. witchfinder

    witchfinder Well-Known Member

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    Well a lot of this has already been covered by the other reports, but I wrote most of what follows offline during the last few days so may as well post it anyway!

    This was my first CF Live so I was slightly trepidatious about spending 3 days with a bunch of (almost) complete strangers. Thankfully I had nothing to worry about on that score, but more on that later.

    My journey for this Live started early. Really early! The only forum members on the trip I’d met before, Howie (Dave) and Neo arrived at my house at 5am on Friday and we drove up to Manchester airport. There we met Sandman (Josh), who had been there all night having arrived on a train from Cardiff the previous evening. Kudos to him for managing the entire day on just the half hour of sleep he got on the plane!

    We arrived at Charleroi airport and met up with Chainedbanana (Harry) and Nosythemeparkr (Alex), who had travelled from London the previous day via Eurostar. With Team Waliplopsterix assembled, we picked up our two rental cars and, following a few SatNav difficulties, arrived at the first park of our trip:


    Walibi Belgium

    Arriving at midday, meaning we’d already been up for at least 6 hours, we got through the entrance and met up with Daviddoc, who had been doing his own thing around Europe for the past week. We’d been checking the Walibi app the last few days to get an idea of queue times, and thankfully David informed us that Thursday’s 45+ minute queues must have been an anomaly, as most rides were 5-10 minutes at most. The sadder news was that two creds were closed, Pulsar and Cobra. The latter was of little concern to the group, but the closure of the park’s newest ride was disappointing.

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    Anyway, we made a start on the park by hitting few rides before lunch, including the Woodie, Loup Garou, the drop tower, Dalton Terror and the mine train, Calamity Mine. That brought us to lunchtime and as we walked around to the side of the lake near Psyke Underground, we noticed that they were testing Cobra. Maybe we’d get that +1 boomerang after all. Then as we sat down for food, they started testing Pulsar too! There was a buzz of excitement in the group as the chance of grabbing all seven creds now seemed realistic. :D

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    After lunch we grabbed Psyke Underground, which actually had the longest queue of the day, followed by the shameful +1 of La Coccinelle, where I ended up accompanying a small Belgian boy on the front row due to his pregnant mother being unable to ride. That caused some amusement, but then the kid wanted to stay on so Alex had to accompany him on the next ride!

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    Psyched for Psyke!

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    Cockin' hell!

    We then tried out the dark ride, which was a pretty fun shooter with nice Egyptian theming and some good animatronics. Next stop was supposed to be the log flume but we ended up riding Psyke again as the queue was virtually gone, and when we came out, the moment the group had been waiting for happened – Pulsar was open! :D We quickly made our way over and waited about 15 minutes for a ride in the middle of the car, which didn’t get us too wet.

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    We then made our way back on our original course, riding the log flume, Flash Back, and then the rapids, Radja River. The log flume was quite fun, with slightly out of the ordinary theming and a reverse drop right at the start. The rapids were mostly crap, and half the group remained completely dry until the last element that sprayed us all. Poor Alex bore the brunt of the rapids, but there were wetter moments to come for all of us.

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    We headed back towards the front of the park for the boomerang, only to find it had been closed again after a brief period of operation. So we headed for another slice of Vekoma roughness instead, Vampire! When we came off the SLC, we saw people riding Cobra, so headed over there for the third time and finally grabbed the last cred in the park. It was not worth the wait. :(

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    With about an hour left, we grabbed a second ride on Pulsar, which had virtually no queue by then. This time we got the back two rows, and in my case an outside seat too, and the difference in how wet you get was dramatic. I got drenched!

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    To round off our visit, we grabbed a re-ride on Loup Garou and finally made our way back to the far side of the park for the madhouse, Le Palais Du Genie. That was kind of fun, although the language barrier was an issue, but the pre-show was entertaining and the effect of the madhouse seemed more disorientating than Hex or The Haunting.

    Coaster ratings:
    Loup Garou – far better than anyone would expect a Vekoma Woodie to be! It was kind of wobbly but not really rough, has a bit of airtime and the layout was decent. 7/10
    Calamity Mine – best themed cred in the park, but never really gets going. A poor relative of Colarado Express. 5/10
    Psyke Underground – probably the most thrilling cred at the park, with a surprisingly forceful launch and a typically intense Schwarzkopf loop. The indoor setting, music and lights just add to the experience. 8/10
    La Coccinelle – shameful kiddie cred with an entertaining rollback feature. 3/10
    Pulsar – impressive launches, plenty of airtime, very wet on the back row, but it didn’t really feel like a coaster to me. 8/10
    Vampire – nice theming, and not the worst SLC I’ve ridden. Almost enjoyable if you brace yourself! 6/10
    Cobra – just another sh*tty Boomerang. 4/10

    Overall it was a decent start to the trip, with a quiet park, better weather than the forecast led us to believe and an enjoyable, if largely uninspired ride lineup. We had a good laugh as a group, getting to know each other, and the second ride on Pulsar was certainly memorable. This park is a bit of a Vekoma showroom/graveyard at the moment and it’s telling that two of the three best creds there are the shuttle coasters that everyone ridicules the park about. The recently announced revamp and addition of some high quality new coasters can’t begin soon enough!

    Assorted park pics:
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    After leaving the park we made our way to Dunkirk, getting stuck in traffic around Brussels, stopping for dinner and not arriving at our ‘Premiere Classe’ hotel until nearly 10pm. We unintentionally met Ian’s group in the car park and had a quick chat before all hitting our luxurious rooms for the night. Mine was pretty clean but reeked of fags and had a mysterious curly hair threaded into the blanket on the bed, which I just chose to ignore. :eek:

    I assume all the rooms had the same bathroom, where you could sh*t, shower and shave all at the same time!
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    After a nervous night I awoke at around 7am, delighted to find that that I hadn’t been murdered in my sleep by one of the hotel residents. After a bit of mooching around, we met for breakfast (better than expected) and then headed off in our cars to make the short trip to our next park and the official start of the Live.

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    Excited, boys?

    Plopsaland De Panne

    We all met outside the big door as planned at dead on 9:30, waited around longer than was comfortable for our guide, who then let us into the park through a side gate for the ERT, meaning we never actually used our park tickets! It was really cool to walk through the park before it opened, although I nearly got run over by a van after stopping in the middle of a pathway to take this photo:

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    Anyway, we headed to the new area, which looks lovely, and got our ERT on Heidi: The Ride. Handily at this point there were 12 in our group, which is exactly how many seats there are on the train! This was definitely one of my highlights of the trip – 7 laps of the ride with the only stops being for everyone to swap seats so that we all got a front and back row ride. To spend this time with a bunch of like-minded enthusiasts all enjoying it as much as me was just brilliant. :D

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    Happy goons!

    After that great start, the park opened and we took the opportunity to get on De Vleermuis before the queues got too silly. It was still rather tedious queuing to grab both sides. By the time we’d all done that, our group was fully assembled so we headed into the rest of the park. Next up was Draak, the powered mine train, and by this point the weather was starting to brighten up – for the second day in a row, the threat of rain went unrealised!

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    Queues generally were no more than 10-15 minutes, and we continued to make our way round the +1 kiddie creds, first with Rollerskater and its bizarre product placement, then Victor’s Race and its vague space theme. Following those was an altogether more thrilling ride, Anubis.

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    That brought us to lunch, and another highlight as most of the group ended up in the same restaurant on a large table. The food was pretty decent here too – I had beef casserole and frites, a Belgian favourite. It was nice to sit down and get to know people a bit better and for a while we even managed to talk about something other than coasters. Don’t worry, it didn’t last long!

    Our first stop after lunch was the impressive Vicky the Viking area, which I think had the best theming in the park. Most of the group rode the Disk-O, but I sat out as these things make me nauseous at the best of times, so being just after lunch I didn’t want to risk vomiting on my recently-met companions. After that we had a bit of a wander to the farmyard area where lots of people got quite giddy about goats, and we met a provocatively-posed pig. :rolleyes:

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    We then ventured into the Forest of Plop, which wasn’t as bad as the name suggests, although it was a rather tedious dark boat ride. We tried to liven it up by crashing our boat into the one in front and splashing them (they were part of the CF group btw ;))

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    A more thrilling boat ride was to follow, as the SuperSplash was now open. Various people were claiming this as a cred, but while I have counted it on Coaster Count, I’m not counting in my personal count because while it did have a coaster-ish drop, it didn’t really feel like a cred and was a bit crap in all honesty.

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    We rounded out the day with a walk over the suspension bridge, another ride on Anubis, then the log flume and finally one more go on Heidi (that sounds wrong!) After a bit of faffing and discussion it was decided we were pretty much done and we made our way out of the park around 4pm.

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    Coaster ratings:
    Heidi – so nice to ride a brand new, smooth woodie, and while it may not have been the most thrilling, it still had some mild hints of airtime and a wild finale. Those 7 ERT laps will be one of my best memories of the season! 8/10
    Vleermuis – an interesting idea, but the throughput is dire and the ride inflicts serious damage to male riders’ sensitive parts. 4/10
    Draak – lovely theming and a great station flythrough, but otherwise a pretty dull powered mine train. 5/10
    Rollerskater – weird theming, but an above average junior coaster with a bit of height. 5/10
    Victor’s Race – Catwoman’s Whip without the sexy statue. 3/10
    Anubis – the rolling launch and top hat are awesome, but after that it turns into a typical Eurofighter with rough moments. If it had lap bars it would probably be the best ride of its type that I’ve ridden. 7/10

    Although the park is obviously aimed at younger visitors, this was probably my favourite day of the three. The ERT, laid back atmosphere, lovely theming and great weather combined with the chance to meet and chat with new people made it really enjoyable. In terms of the park itself, it’s not really missing anything given the target audience. If they wanted to attract more thrill seekers then another cred with inversions would be great, but the more obvious additions to the park would be a modern dark ride and/or a rapids. Even if it stayed as-is, it’s still a park I wouldn’t mind revisiting with my wife as I’m sure she’d enjoy it. Shame those tickets we didn’t need to use expire at the end of the year!

    Various park pics:
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    After leaving the park, most of the group headed south half an hour to try the world’s best beer, brewed by monks. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a beer philistine, just as happy with a Carling as I am a craft lager, but the Blonde one tasted pretty good. The cheese was also excellent!

    We then did another 2 hours driving to reach our hotel for the night, this time the Campanile Compeigne, which was a dramatic step up from Friday night’s hotel. It’s amazing what you can get for an extra £15 – such luxuries as an on-site bar and a bathroom you could almost swing a cat in! We grabbed a beer before bedtime, which turned out to be a bit of a mistake as it caused my roommate (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) to snore all night and keep me up! :(

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    Sunday morning came, and after a reasonable breakfast we made the short journey down the motorway to the final stop on our trip, though not before wasting ten minutes trying (and failing) to find a petrol station that was open. Luckily we had enough fuel to make it to...

    Parc Asterix

    As you already know by now, the weather on the morning of this day was pretty bad. We hoped that would mean the general public would stay away, but just as we were about to leave the motorway we looked over to see a huge queue of cars waiting to get into the park. Seriously, what the f*ck is wrong with all these French people, going to their local park on a day like that!? They must just love queueing, as following the car park queue there was a queue to get through security, a queue to get fastpasses, and queues of up to 30 minutes on most ride even though the park had barely been open 15 minutes. :mad:

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    Walking through the throng of slow-moving people up the main street in the rain was a real downer. I was so glad we’d got the fast passes but even so, the thought of spending the day soaking wet surrounded by all these horrible people was vile. The mood didn’t lighten much when we arrived at the meeting point to find that half the group hadn’t even got to the park yet due to traffic problems. With the queue for Pegase Express already outside the entrance, we decided to make the best of it while we were waiting for the others and grabbed a ride on Vol D’Icare, which only had a 5 minute queue at that point - it would later reach 45 minutes which was ludicrous for a junior coaster!

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    By the time we got back, most of the group had assembled and by 11am we were finally ready to start hitting the major creds. Everyone was in a bit of a bad mood but after a bit of grumpy discussion we headed towards Trace Du Hourra, the bobsled. In the first bit of good news of the day, we went through the fastpass queue only to find nobody was checking we had them, so got a cheeky fast ride for free. I shared my car with Sue, which was rather cosy for two people who had only met the previous day! :oops:

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    With one big cred done and the weather (and our moods) lightening a bit, we next hit the kiddie cred SOS Numerobis, yet another Tivoli, before riding my most anticipated coaster of the trip, OzIris. The first ride was somewhat of a blur as we were ushered from the fastpass queue and forced to sit where the operators told us to. I’d really want to have my first ride on the front so to be stuck on third row from the back just made me a bit grumpy again. I’d reserve judgement on the ride until a second go later on.

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    Next up we did the two water rides that were covered by the fastpass. The log flume was frankly ridiculous – the surprise coaster-esque drop mid way through was great, but the water was so choppy in places that were we getting soaked by random waves washing over the side of our boat. After that, the final drop wasn’t really that bad. This is what my legs looked like afterwards:
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    Next up was Le Grand Splatch, which I was going to skip but was reassured wouldn’t get me too wet. I intentionally grabbed a seat right in the middle of the boat to try and avoid a repeat of what happened on Pulsar, but still got hit by the water from most of the effects on the ride, much to the amusement of my fellow passengers.

    That brought us to lunch, and the chance to sit indoors and dry off a bit whilst eating some pretty reasonably priced food – burger, fries and a beer for under 10 Euros. The rain had passed by for now and the sun was out, and with the queues dissipating a bit too, things were looking a lot more promising for the afternoon.

    The group met back at Pegase Express and we finally rode the new coaster. Unfortunately I’d watched the POV so the surprise in the shed wasn’t a surprise to me, but it was still fun.

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    I spent most of the next hour waiting around as those people that needed the Vol D’Icare cred rode it, and then most of the group rode Discobelix, which I again skipped due to its proximity to my eating lunch! It was a little frustrating to be sitting around doing nothing, but I probably benefitted from the rest and it did give a chance to appreciate the amazing theming of the park. It also gave the opportunity to be at the front of the group when we rode our next cred, Tonnere De Zeus! Following advice from Coaster Hipster, myself and Josh rode the front row... :D

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    That just left the notorious Goudurix, which we had to queue around 45 minutes for. To be fair, the time passed pretty quickly with plenty of good chat going on amongst those brave/stupid enough to ride this monstrosity. I ended up with a back row ride on this and it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as its reputation suggests. It also gave me the inauspicious distinction of having ridden the only two coasters in the world that have a butterfly inversion in the space of less than 3 weeks (the other is Blue Hawk at SFOG, fact fans!)

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    Cheer up folks, only 40 minutes to go! :p

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    With all the creds done, the group broke up into those that wanted to try the dark rides and those that wanted re-rides. I was in the latter, and we said our goodbyes to much of the group in order to take advantage of the single rider queue on OzIris, before cashing in our fastpass (for real this time) on Trace Du Hourra and making our way to the exit by 5pm in order to get home on time. After one last photo, Team Waliplopsterix went their separate ways as Alex and Harry were heading to Paris for the Eurostar, while the rest of us made the long trek back to Charleroi airport, then Manchester and home.

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    Team Waliplopsterix (l-r): Neo, Sandman, Chainedbanana, Nosythemeparkr, Howie, witchfinder
    Thanks to Sue for taking the photo :)

    Coaster ratings:
    Vol D'Icare – one of the most dangerous coasters I’ve ridden, given that if you’re sat at the back, the only thing holding you in is the person in front. I could’ve easily just stood up whilst riding! That said, a nicely-themed but rather rough and uninspired family coaster. 5/10
    Trace Du Hourra – crap colour, lots of vibration and not as exciting as Avalanche despite its larger size. 6/10
    SOS Numerobis – enough with the Tivolis already! 3/10
    OzIris – I never did get that front row ride, but the second go did confirm that this is the least forceful B&M Invert I’ve ridden. Not necessarily a bad thing but it’s nowhere near Nemesis quality despite looking great and having a fun layout. Still easily the best cred in the park though. 8/10
    Pegase Express – a fun family coaster, but the launches were a bit disappointing and it did little other than meander a lot. 6/10
    Tonnerre De Zeus – a bit rough around the edges but the first drop was ace, it had a bit of airtime and overall I really enjoyed it. 7/10
    Goudurix – sit at the back, brace yourself properly and it’s better than anticipated. Some parts were even almost smooth! Give it the new Vekoma vest restraint trains and a less 1980’s paint job and it would have a new lease of life. 7/10

    What to say about Parc Asterix? Well, it clearly had the best line-up of coasters on the trip, and the theming is fantastic, but due to the weather and crowds it was my least favourite day of the three. I feel like I barely scratched the surface on what the park had to offer, with several dark and water rides that I never even saw, let alone rode. Yet when I hear that it wasn’t especially busy that day, I have absolutely no desire to visit again! So I’m glad I got all the creds, and maybe if I went back there would be less stress about getting them all and I could enjoy it more, but I just don’t see myself returning any time soon. Of course, an exciting new thrill coaster might change that. :D

    Various park pics:
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    This castle seemed happy all day! :)

    So, to sum up the trip, three decent parks and although there were very few Top Ten contenders, the selection of coasters was interesting, I got 21 new creds and three more woodies to add to those I got in the US recently. More importantly though, I got to hang out with a group of people who were friendly, welcoming and just as enthusiastic and nerdy about coasters as I am. Even without the rides, just spending time chatting about the hobby we love was brilliant. So thanks to Ian for organising, everyone else for making a newbie welcome and a special shout-out to Team Waliplopsterix for helping keep my spirits up whilst driving across Belgium and France. It was exhausting at times but I’d do it all again at the drop of a hat.

    Sadly I don’t think I’ll be able to make any of the other Lives this year but I’m already looking forward to meeting up again in 2018 - Poland please! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  6. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    ^Great report! Shame about that snoring oaf in the hotel room though, whoever that person was... :oops:
     
    witchfinder likes this.
  7. nadroJ

    nadroJ Well-Known Member

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    Great report! Especially love the group photo of you guys, so nice to see a great new group of people joining CF. Hope to see you all at more Lives in the future!
     
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  8. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    Ha! I honestly thought I'd ridden that with Alex! Must have been something else. To be fair, I have a brain like a sieve. Was convinced we'd done Pegase first thing but after reading these trip reports, apparently not!

    Fab report, love the humour :D

    I have another awful video for you all. The lighting was so bad because of all the gloomy skies but I hope it's vaguely amusing.
    (Someone else needs to start doing videos again so we can actually have some decent ones).

     
  9. witchfinder

    witchfinder Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe our time together meant so little! :( ;)

    Enjoyed the video - the last few seconds were hilarious! :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  10. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    I would have realised eventually if I needed to come after you for tiny Mack maintenace payments ;p
     
  11. Ian

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

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    Some smashing reports! Thanks!

    I suppose I better get my thoughts down.

    PLOPSALAND

    I cannot remember the last Live that went so well. "Well" in terms of getting stuff done, herding a group, minimising faff and getting extra stuff done. Everybody arrived when they said they would, ERT went smoothly, there were no dramas, no ages waiting for people to go to the loo...it was just great! ERT helped. I remember seeing the masses of people heading towards the ride when we were heading to the Bat Flyers thinking to myself "thank :emoji_zipper_mouth: that's done". Even the Bat Flyers queues went quickly and was timed perfectly for Conor, Jordan, Sam and Ben's arrival.

    I see the point both Ben and Sue made about there being a slight absence of the typical Live sparkle. For ages and ages amen, the group of people who go to Lives has been broadly the same. On this occasion, boom, there were several new people which altered the dynamics. Everybody - both the established and n00bs - were trying to subconsciously suss one another out, working out personalities, where the humour boundaries are and what the :emoji_zipper_mouth: is going on in general. By the end of the day, it leveled out and everybody seemed comfortable with one another. Although it wasn't the most hilarious of days, our day at Plopsaland was the nicest I've ever had with CF. Everybody got along, we rode everything, there was no complaining (not that I heard about) and the weather was pleasant. There was lovely group atmosphere. Chilled, content and chuffed to be getting some creds in lovely surroundings with decent people. It was great to sit a big table at lunch where conversation flowed naturally and cheerfully. Time spent in queue lines passed in a blink of an eye with conversations about creds and general chit chat. It was so laid back, there were times I forgot I was in a theme park, but instead within a little bubble with my mates chatting :emoji_poop: and being interrupted by 90-seconds due to a ride.

    As for the personal highlights, I enjoyed the new Rollerskater theme "This Coke Zero can is small and that one is far away", the EastEnders crap on the log flume, the farmyard animals, actually paying attention during the CBR, GoBroing with Chris, ERT on Heidi - it was great to do every row, I prefer front, doing a piss take scream through the Dragon coaster station, walking over the rope bridge and getting some "cred air" - it was good but it'll never beat Nemesis Wind, almost sinking the pulley bridge in Mayaland, stooping to get the same photos that everybody gets (washing machine, Anubis).

    Ride wise, I really enjoyed Heidi. It was fully of fun and little twists. I've come to the conclusion that wooden coasters are best when they're not hyped to the extreme. Appreciate them for what they are and who they are aimed at. I really enjoyed it. Anubis has always ranked highly on my "fab cred" list. I don't actually have a list, but if I did it would consist of family friendly creds that aren't worthy of a place in my top 20 but have something special about them. Anubis has been towards the top of my imaginary list for many years now, but at this Live, it felt a bit different. It felt jerky at the back and I didn't quite get the same joy and "ooomph" from the front row either. I don't think it's aged well and maybe I've been on better examples...? It is still fab, but imo, now takes second place as best coaster in the park.

    Whilst I've been haplessly and incoherently tapping away at my keyboard writing this garbled report, I've just realised that all I rode at Plopsaland was Anubis, Heidi, the CBR, Dragon and Log Flume. How the :emoji_zipper_mouth: did I have such a good day despite only going on five rides? I know why and it goes without saying.

    Here are a few photos of goons looking awkward as they exit the slide.
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    I really love this photo. Ben, Harry and Neo's faces are full of genuine joy. Love it!
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    Actually, Neo looks joyful in EVERY photo! He's our new poster boy.
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    And, of course <3
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    nadroJ, witchfinder, Sandman and 2 others like this.
  12. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    A few folks have mentioned that maybe this wasn't the greatest CF Live ever.
    Well, I got a theory about that.
    I don't think it was the company. The company, as always, was wonderful. There were laughs, there was banter, there were goons old and new and it was all lovely.
    I don't think it was the weather either. Personally I don't mind a bit of rain. Theme parks can be very atmospheric in the rain, and the group dynamic kinda creates a sense of camaraderie among goons when enduring a downpour together. I dig that. In fact, one of my favourite moments was when we all braved the Splash Boat at Asterix, in the pissing rain, immediately after getting soaked on the log flume. What dedicated, passionate goons we are. And besides, the weather brightened up on both days anyway.
    I don't even think it was all the queueing and faff at the start of the Asterix day.
    You know what I think it was? I think it was the absence of a truly outstanding cred to really energise the group. Don't get me wrong, there was some great rides at both parks (3 parks if you were part of the Waliplopsterix splinter group), but there wasn't anything outstanding, no particular, stand-out, blow everyone away kinda cred.

    In Sweden last year, for example, there was Wildfire. Wildfire!! ffs!
    And for the n00bs, there was Helix too, not to mention the fact that just being in Liseberg feels special from the outset.
    Then there was GhosterForce 2016. I didn't go, but from what I've read it seems that Taron was a unanimous smash hit, in what was already many people's favourite park. Rides/moments like that can really gel a group together, create an instant bond, a shared experience kinda thing.
    What did we have this time? F***ing Heidi. Not quite in the same league as Wildfire is it? As much as I enjoyed it - it's a cracking little woodie for sure, and the ERT was great... but it ain't no Wildfire.
    Same with Pegase Express, another perfectly adequate, enjoyable family coaster that fills a gap in a park but again, compared to things like Helix and Taron? Nah man.
    Surely then, Oz'Iris, the big B&M inverter will save the day, with its fountains, its gorgeous colour scheme, its funky layout and its fab theming? Well... er, no, not really. I think we all agreed that, on this day at least, it wasn't exactly the most exciting of coasters.

    So that's my theory. No truly world class cred to really inject that infectious spark to the group.
    Having said that, I still really enjoyed it. 3 new parks, 21 new creds, goons, beer, banter, pigs with moulded arseholes... what's not to love?
    Roll on Ghosterforce!
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  13. Ian

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

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    I think you hit the nail on the head there, Howie, or at least put the finger in the pigs arse. Even if we go somewhere we've been hundreds of times before such as Alton or Thorpe, everybody seems more wide-eyed when we have special creds like Nemesis and Stealth to energise us.
     
  14. jayjay

    jayjay Well-Known Member

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    There were always two kinds of park that make a good park for a live. On one hand, a standout park like Phantasialand or Liseberg usually works, but also the smaller quirkier parks, whether good or bad, tend to bring out the playful side of CF. I always found Drayton Manor was the better half of lives with Alton Towers. It's got that naff but quirky feeling and a couple of very good rides. Alton Towers is fantastic, but also large and sprawling and very hard work. Sometimes a park has both, like Toverland - lots of interesting stuff, but a couple of standout rides.
     
  15. Sandman

    Sandman Well-Known Member

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    Love this photo. Harry is either bracing for death or freezing cold. Can't tell which.
     
  16. chainedbanana

    chainedbanana Well-Known Member

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    OMG haha BRACE BRACE! I look so concerned/unimpressed!..... TOTALLY missed/ignoring the fist-bump opportunity! sorry!
     
  17. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Mr CoasterForce 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    Plopsterix 2017 CoasterForce Live


    The trip started off with a little extra add on day at Bellewaerde up in Belgium near Plopsaland De Panne, i’ll write the TR for that separately as to not flood this topic with parks that no one else visited.

    Plopsaland De Panne was a reasonably early start, the weather looked pretty grey and depressing but the thought of ERT on the new woodie Heidi The Ride spurred us on. We were a little anxious mooching around the entrance waiting for our representative to meet us as our meet up time passed and the muggles were entering the park however after some puppy dog eyes from Ian we were whisked away to the fabulously themed Heidi!

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    We got around 7 laps in total and all thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I’ve not done white lightning so I have no base comparison but can say it’s a very re rideable fun ride. It does a lot with the space, I found the airtime was plentiful and it was pleasantly smooth without losing the out of control feeling that you come to expect with wooden coasters. The placement of the ride also works almost too well given its a clone, it negotiates the boundary of the park bordering the car park giving great first impressions to anyone entering the park.


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    After seeing out our ERT session we headed straight to the next two creds, the bland looking batflyers. The queues were very short but still seemed to take an age to cycle through, the rides themselves are as dull as dishwater and just as you start to gain some decent momentum there’s a disgusting trim that quickly relieves you of and enjoyment you thought you were having.

    Next up we headed into this large open castle courtyard, a mack powered coaster surrounds the castle walls and the courtyard itself, sort of reminded me of my faded memories of Legoland Windsor but better. The ride itself was about as reasonable as these powered coasters get, there was some nice interaction with the log flume but that was about the only inspiring bit bar the themeing.

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    We mooched on round the park and headed to the infamous washing machine themed cred?! I really don’t understand the themeing at all but it just kind of works. They’ve even gone as far as getting a specific brand of washing machine to sponsor it the Samsung Eco Bubble http://www.samsung.com/uk/ecobubble/ for anyone interested... I decided to be a burden and queue for the front row to get a POV as I thought I’d calculated that I wouldn’t be the last off and therefore wouldn’t be holding up the group. When I boarded the train I looked back and realised the error of my ways, not a single CF member in site. Anyway I sat at the front and wore my knock off go pro like a man whilst be shamed by the entire group I was holding up... Video below if you really must!



    Next on our mission to get the creds done and dusted was Anubis. A ride I didn’t really know a lot about, I knew it was a launch gerst but that was it. On first impression it was a pleasant surprise, the rolling launch was excellent, as was the following top hat but after that it just slowly worked its way down to being just another rough Gerst. The elements that followed the decent ones where taken a bit quickly and my ears took a bit of a bashing on the restraints, the ride ended on a disgusting slow heartline roll kinda thing that just left me feeling a little nauseous. One thing i will give this cred is that it’s pretty photogenic especially as the day perked up and the sun started to come out.

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    The last cred to get was the magnificent looking super splash. Whilst a little bit dubious as to whether these should actually be counted or not i do welcome these things in any park. I like the scale of the boats and the track and am always reasonably excited to get on them. This one certainly wasn’t the best ive done. Its got an unorthodox twisty vertical lift but this kinda takes away from the build up to the drop, the drop itself is good enough and leads to a light spray for most i sat far left and ended taking a hefty splash to my face. It then winds back the station which seems to take an age bit gives a chance to see other boats go down the drop.

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    We headed back through the park and mopped up some other nice bits, the disko was well themed and ran on a reasonable cycle, we did a dark boat ride that lasted longer than necessary. We all got a bit bored and decided to use the sides to ram all the boats in front of us along a bit faster, this only lead to some serious stacking before we could get into the station and resulted in us being stuck in the goodbye scene for wayyyyyy to long.
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    In true CF fashion we were mesmerised by the cute goats in the petting zoo. Im pretty certain the goats received way more attention than any of the attractions in the park...
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    After we headed back to the logflume as it was shut earlier in the morning, the weather had really turned around now so the queue for the flume was pretty big. The ride itself was above average for a flume. A little unnecessary at points with hairpin turns but the drops were good with the final double drop being particularly large. [​IMG]


    We mooched around and headed to Heidi for an afternoon reride, the queue was pleasantly short so most opted for front row. I got another POV in the sunshine and everyone headed to the entrance satisfied with their day at Plopsa.
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    We popped into the ‘new?’ indoor area which was very Toverland Warehouseesque with rides slides and funny boat thingies. It was a pleasant area but little uncomfortable in the heat.
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    With a few more hours in the day to kill daviddoc suggested we head over to a local Trappist Brewery (The Westvleteren Brewery). I didn’t know anything about this place before we went but i heard that it is home to a beer consistently voted one of the best Beers in the world. Im not a beer drinker but conceded to buying said beer as I knew I’d regret it otherwise. It was a really really great tasting beer, you’d never think that you were drinking a dark 10.2% unless told. Its quite nice being able to head back to my muggle friends and give an example of something cool I did that didn’t involve creds or themeparks. It was only when i got home and did a little research that I found out how hard it actually is to get hold of this beer, more info here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westvleteren_Brewery anyway it was a lovely warm evening sat out in the sun relaxing after the day at the park.

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    After our relaxing stop we headed to our next hotel, little did we know...
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    We rocked up at the hotel F1 Douai Flers and were greeted by what was easily the worst hotel i’ve ever seen. It would make a prison look nice. Now I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I booked this and I :emoji_zipper_mouth:ed up! It had communal toilets, communal showers and was packed full of truckers that had lit a bonfire and were raving in the car park. After putting our bags down Ian made the decision that we were gonna look elsewhere and managed to find a better hotel just down the road. A bit of justification for myself... I didn’t even know that hotels existed with communal toilets and bathrooms? Surely this is a hostel not a hotel? F1 are a reasonable chain and this specific hotel was shockingly not the cheapest in the area! Anyway lesson most certainly learnt on my behalf.

    Next up, Asterix!
     
  18. ThomVD

    ThomVD Well-Known Member

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    I'm a bit confused why everybody finds Anubis rough. I rode it yesterday expecting it to have gotten much rougher since two years ago but I found it pretty smooth. Granted, I've only ridden it in the front, but it was running great. Took me five rides to even notice the slight vibration at certain spots, but definitely nothing that would harm the fun even remotely.

    I agree that Heidi is fun but it deffo needs to warm up. My two rides in the early afternoon were enjoyable but lacked oompf or any kind of airtime. Re-riding it around 6:30 pm in the light rain was much better. Still not nearly as fierce as something like Joris, Troy or even Wodan, it's a solid family woodie. I find Anubis quite a bit better still.

    Also, am i the only one who actually likes the Plop boat ride? It's so cute!
     
  19. Sandman

    Sandman Well-Known Member

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    It's not headbashy rough at all, but it's definitely got some rattle to it (in places). I don't even think the smooth/roughness makes much difference to the experience in my opinion, I just think that the layout is a bit lacklustre after the tophat. Maybe it would ride better with lapbars? Overall it's fun though! Heidi is more my cuppa tea I'd say. Fab little beast.
     
  20. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Mr CoasterForce 2016 CF Award Winner 2016

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    The morning of Asterix arrived and once again we woke up to grim grey dreary weather. This time it was pissing it down though, we arrived at the park and were stuck in a hefty queue for the car park. We managed to get parked only to be greeted by a huge crowd queuing for security checks into the park. This horrendous queue took longer than any attraction queue at Plopsa yesterday and combined in the pissing rain really left a chip on most of the groups shoulders. We got into the park sometime later and headed to the meet up point. He headed in the general direction of Oziris but got distracted by the Bobsled and ended up on that.

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    The Bobsleigh was a reasonable coaster that did a fair amount more than I was expecting. The turns were sharp and snappy and the forces were pretty strong but it was consistently broken up by brake runs which hindered the ride IMO. I prefer the avalanche style where its straight up and straight back down again and no faffing about in between.

    Next up was a forgettable Tivoli large, i used to be fond of these but now I’ve come to realise they’re just square wheeled turds.

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    The weather had just about started cheering up as we headed to my most anticipated coaster of the trip, Oziris. As you walk into the area in front of the coaster you can really see how well integrated the ride is into the landscaping and area.
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    You don’t even have to ride Oziris to really experience it like just being seated next to it you get to see the full circuit and all the incredible interactions that have been built in, the tunnels, the inversion placement and all the station theming really combine to make an incredibly immersive scene.
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    The ride itself is pretty bang on and very suited to my taste, its nice and floaty with no real extreme positive forces, it also doesn’t give me the post invert dizeeness that I tend to experience exiting others such as nemesis inferno and katun. The layout also sets it apart from others nicely, the drop into the dive loop works really well as does the vertical loop into the tunnelled immelman with bonus airtime pop. The rest of the layout is a mixture of swooping turns and fast zero g rolls with more floaty airtimey bits. All in all it doesn’t do what an invert should do, its kind of like a Helix with some intense moments, nice floaty inversions and without the incredible restraints.

    After getting a little damp in the rain from Oziris we decided to knock off all of the water rides in one hit. First up was the log flume, a flume so wild that it felt like a rapids ride at times with water slopping over the front on the flat bits. It also had a bonus coaster drop section aside from the main drop. All in all a rather splendid log flume.

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    Next up was the pretty ancient looking shoot the chute or whatever they’re called. This one seemed to meander around the top of a hill for a decent amount of time. There were a few splash effects that seemed to scare the :emoji_poop: out of the entire boat and some good laughs and a decent enough drop in the end. The ride itself wasn’t very wet at all which was a rather nice surprise.
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    We breaked for lunch and a few of us decided to have a go on the storm surge dingy thingy called oxygenarium, id seen some cool shots of this ride but just assumed it would be a similar affair to storm surge, a bit short and a bit artificial looking. I was pleasantly surprised to find the ride was a custom layout that was much longer with added spinyness, the ride looked pretty cool through the woods with a very embedded terrain around it. Also got some nice views of Oziris in the queue!
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    We met back up for a ride on the new cred pegassee express. It was a reasonable family coaster but looks are deceiving with this one and I’d personally say it looks much better than it rides. The nifty looking elements and twisty sections could do with a little more speed just to give hem that edge, i also felt there wasn’t really enough ride either side of the change in direction which resulted in quite a short ride. I guess its ok enough for a family ride but didn’t do anything for me other than that.
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    I mopped up the poor Zierer cred after this which wasn’t really much to write home about. Not the worst but certainly not the best.
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    After this we headed to the Disko, it certainly looks the part with its fancy fire and water effects but the cycle it ran was terrible. I know these things are dreadful on capacity but this was really poor, it just seemed to take :emoji_zipper_mouth:ing ages to get enough momentum to get over the hill then never really did any decent runs after that. Think Zamperla could do with making the build up over the ramp a bit quicker on these as that seems to be the main factor in the :emoji_poop:e capacity.

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    Next up was Torrrene de Zeus, I’d heard that is its heyday this CCI woodie was one of the best around and still clings onto a few top 10’s. It beat the :emoji_poop: out of me on the under banked corners but was relatively tame in and around the drops, IMO this is just what a traditional woodie should ride like. The under banked turns taken too quickly really brings out the uncontrollability of the coaster and made for a great laugh. Whilst its not the smoothest or fastest it does what it does and ends up being a fun jerky ride, could do with a little more airtime but thats just being fussy. Had a surprisingly longer layout than i was expecting too!

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    Goudurix was next in our sights and after a long queue made shorter by the company of the new CF’ers we were sat in the front row asking what could possibly go wrong. Straight track on these vekomas / arrows are deceptively smooth so the first drop was really nice, quite imposing going doing a straight slope just picking up speed on one focal point. The second these things try and negotiate any sort of lateral movement it all goes to :emoji_poop: though, the first element is a real jerk which is followed by another really awfully thought out element. The corkscrew into the butterfly section is digusting and really punches you with a huge jolt. The vertical loop is a pleasant break from the :emoji_poop: storm that occurs around it. Theres an awful piece of track work just after the corkscrews that honestly makes me suspicious of a serious drug problem within the Vekoma design team. What the :emoji_zipper_mouth: were they thinking! (1.49 on the below pov)


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    We headed back to Oziris for a few more rides in the better weather.

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    (the weather summed up nicely)

    After taking our beating we had ticked off most of most of the park relatively quickly, we mooched around for various re rides and said our goodbyes at the gates. Its always a very sombre mood when everyone slowly starts to realise the reality of heading home and returning to the real world is just around the corner. I’ll never lose the feeling of escape you get from going to a decent themepark, i just feel so disconnected from the reality of live when i can visit these worlds where nothing is important with people who love them just as much as me, the buzz of riding a new coaster with likeminded folk is something that always gets me. I had an incredible time on this Live and want to thank everyone that was involved in organising and everyone for just coming and being a part of the friendly, relaxed, enthusiastic bunch of goons that we were. I disagree that this trip wasn’t quite as good as some other, yes it may not have had the togetherness that previous trips have had with everyone staying in the same hotel but it had the laughs, banter and general gooniness that i know and love in abundance. Thanks everyone!
     

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