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Quantity over Quality - NL, DE, BE August 2019

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Tomorrow, I will be embarking on a massive 2000+ mile, 19 day roadtrip (in my own car) of the Netherlands, visiting almost every park in the area. Whole trip should been around +65, only around 10 of which might be notable and good quality.... (Including Untamed!!!)

Due to the length of this trip, I will be attempting a "Live" style report, with small updates (hopefully) every evening. Photos likely will follow at end of trip. Full trip details can be found in the Trip Plan document attached to this message.
 

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davidm

Well-Known Member
I stayed in the Campanile Zwolle just the other weekend ; was fine but parking was a bit of a complication - there's a car park right behind the hotel (a pay&display one) and then the hotel itself has a small area off that car park (via a barrier). But the hotel's bit does not have many spaces so you are likely to be in the pay&display one - the advice (from the hotel) was make sure you do pay&display as they are pretty hot on catching you if you don't.
Other than that it was OK - breakfast was OK (not great but not expensive), could walk into Zwolle easily in the evening (worth doing, it's pretty pleasant).

Have fun!
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
I love the military precision of that itinerary!
"Walk along river, take pictures with signs"
😂😂😂

Potential candidate for Goon of the Year (if we still had the CF awards). Good work!

I do like to try and be organized!


Clacton (12/8/19)

Sat on clacton beach with chips as I type this. Unfortunately heavy rain earlier today has mostly stopped play with only coaster open being a big apple. All flats on very tame cycle as well on pier. Town seems ok but wouldn't want to rush back (even with a +3 to be had!). Seafront has 3 hour free parking though which is a bonus.

Counter productive item of the day: arrive at pier at 4.15pm, get told wristbands £5 off after 5pm, decide to save £5 and wait, spends £10 in arcade while waiting.... 😂
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Drievliet (13/8/19

First impressions could have been better when arriving at park. Took wrong turn into closed road due to poor signage, drove through busy industrial park and then car park split from park during to construction of new public road through car park! Once in, miss sign saying back of park not open till 10.30 so end up waiting pointlessly outside wild mouse!

Luckily park is quiet and only queues have been dur to a singular coach group going round together. Highlights include formule x and dynamite Express being surprisingly fun. Flats also run on good cycles. Purchased an on ride photo from formule x as only €2:

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Park itself is decent enough but can see why people wouldn't like it, especially the entering debacle and formule x literally plonked on a concrete surface with no theming and exposed supports, could almost be a travelling ride!
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
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Suspect by the end of your trip your view on Drievliet will change. I did it a few years back after Toverland and Efteling, and well... it's pretty bleak compared to those! :p
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Suspect by the end of your trip your view on Drievliet will change. I did it a few years back after Toverland and Efteling, and well... it's pretty bleak compared to those! :p
Currently at Duinrell and can already see the difference. Nice to be in woodland rather than an industrial estate! I'm used to the pay per ride seaside fairgrounds of the UK and anything is better than them....

Was a fun inter-park journey though. Full blown thunderstorm started as I left Drievliet, followed by Sat nav sending me through narrow one way town centre streets near Duinrell. Luckily, rain hasn't stopped play here and all 3 coasters are open!
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Duinrell (13/8/19)

Much much nicer than Drievliet with its woodland location and would even consider staying onsite in future. Didn't try the waterpark on this trip but looked fantastic. Even with heavy thunderstorms on driving to park, only 1 ride was rained off and all coasters open. Favourite probably Dragonfly due to the smoothness and whip off lifthill in back. Again, all flats on fantastic cycles. Thrashed my Skyfly record with 34 flips! Usually cant get more than 5 but hit wind beautifully. Splash boats had one roofed boat and one open, people always queued for roofed boat leaving open walk on!

Upon arrival at Zwolle hotel, I discovered a travelling fair in Zwolle town centre with bonus cred! Was a standard big apple but with spinning cars making for a more interesting rides.

Will be putting all photos from now on into a singular public FB album, will try and update it every evening: https://www.facebook.com/Thekingin64/media_set?set=a.2681505141880456&type=3&notif_id=1565728387226494&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Walibi Holland (14/8/19)

Have visited this park before before untamed was built so knew roughly what to expect. Late opening till 11 meant park was busy but manageable.

Untamed was down for half the day so cred anxiety was real as I filled time with goliath (still fab) and condor (still as bad as ever). Once open though, I went straight to it into single rider line, only for it to breakdown again. After a lengthy delay, it reopened but only 1 train ops, making for slow operations. Eventually got on it and can say it is utterly fab! First RMC for me and is either 2nd or 3rd in my rankings (battling skyrush for 2nd, tarons place in first may be revised next week). Thanks to the single rider queue, managed 6 rides with time to explore rest of park!

Due to the late opening, I think I am first CFer to ride untamed at night and can say it only gets better as night went on, only the main turnaround is lit up so ride is mostly in darkness! Wet track from rain also helped and back row especially fab at night! See onride photos below:

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First ever ride RMC ride. Terrible of face but look at flying coat for airtime levels through camera.

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First back row night ride.

There was also a special event on for the late openings involving on ride challenges. I tried the blindfolded Goliath (easy) and art drawing on Lost gravity (surprisingly hard):

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Selfie on breakrun with goliath blindfold (took blindfold off to get phone in place)

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My Lost Gravity art work, supposed to be a nightfury from the HTTYD film series.... (hi is there from testing pen worked before boarding)

All photos will be in previously linked fb album soon.
 
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Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Plopsa Indoor Coeverden (15/8/19)

Small but fits the bill perfectly for its target audience, little more than cred run for us enthusiasts. Wickiebaan surprisingly violent on corners for family ride. Felt busy but rides quiet. Picked up Plopsa gold fun card here for numerous discounts and entry into the other Plopsa parks on trip.

Slagharen (15/8/19)

Again, small but enough there to fill an afternoon. Gold rush is great fun and best in back for hangtime on reverse launch. Also found a permanent boat ride within a literal tent! There was not even an attempting at hiding the tent and can even touch tent's domed roof on exit! Picked up Slagharen pass for €43 in Black friday sale last November. Gives me entry into Slagharen, Movie Park and Bobbejaanland plus was given some unexpected free vouchers to spend within Slagharen. Got a free hot lunch, water bottle, soup and 1 go on the high ropes, climbing wall and zipline. Saved me around €25-30 even without using the soup voucher.

Unfortunately, id left my phone in an open pocket when on the high ropes and it fell out at highest point (roughly 20m up) right onto a concrete floor... Phone is now completely smashed and unusable.... only had it a month and broken it twice... This does mean no more photos for remainder of the trip as unlikely to be able to get phone fixed until home.
 

Howie

Active Member
^You numpty, fancy breaking your phone! 😂
Great to hear all the Untamed love coming in, fantastic ride, that.
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
^You numpty, fancy breaking your phone! 😂
Great to hear all the Untamed love coming in, fantastic ride, that.
Phone was completely my fault. Was on a particularly tricky section of ropes when i here this "thunk" and see phone on ground below me... had to shout to guests who found it that it was mine and ill be down soon... Surprised I broke it on the relatively tame High ropes attraction and lose nothing on the wild rides of Goliath and Untamed the day before!

Have purchased a cheap temp phone for remainder of the trip. No internet capabilities and camera not great but UK sim works so can stay in contact with home.
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Ferienzentrum Schloss Dankern (16/8/19)

Much larger than I'd imagined and packed full of play equipment scattered in woodlands around park. Only cred is an abc tube coaster, first one I've done and is great fun, much better than the standard big apple or Vekoma junior family coasters usually seen. Park as a whole is little more than cred run for us enthusiasts but would be great fun for families with young children.

(ps. Had first go on Autobahns heading to this park. Great fun but does require focus driving at the high speeds encountered, think I found my cars top speed! (about 110mph!). Back on the Autobahns to Cologne tomorrow!)

Wildlands Zoo Emmen (16/8/19)

Fantastic place! Now my 2nd favourite zoo, only behind Chester Zoo. Enclosures are of a decent size and easy to see into. Theming is fantastic as well everywhere across park. Tweestryd is great fun and very re-rideable, flying theatre also worth doing. Park was decently busy but Tweestryd always walk on. Park open till 8pm but everyone left at 6 for some reason, leaving everything walk on and able to stay in your seat on Tweestryd! Due to this, managed 14 rides on Tweestryd with plenty of time to see whole zoo without rushing!

So wish I hadn't smashed my phone and camera though, could have got some great animal photos today!
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Hellendoorn (17/8/19)

Again quite a small park but has a lot packed into it's small space. Rioolrat is rather uniquely themed and it's dark indoor queueline must be used as a halloween maze. Tornado also surprisingly smooth, back row was bearable and had multiple happy rides there! Thanks to whoever gave the tip off about the shooting dark ride, great fun and very unique with its spinning cars. Rapids and log flume also surprisingly good fun. On first ride on log flume, a massive wave came over the boat and soaked my right arm and leg, rest of body fine! The top spin also on a short but intense cycle, almost denied the ride as was just too tall. Although I thought this park was little more than the cred run, I ended up staying most of the day! Helped that all rides were walk on as well.

De Waarbeek (17/8/19)

Cute small childrens park. Managed to get in for only €6.50 with free parking, usually €10 + parking! Rodelbaan has a strict no single rider rule so had to pair with other groups in order to ride. Also had nice brief coaster chat with Train ride op, he seemed amazed I've ridden 270 coasters. Should have pointed him to some members here with over double that count! Swingmill (rope pulled Whip style ride) fun and unique, like a dry version of Squid surfers at Legoland Windsor. Got ride photo from 1st ride on Rodelbaan:



And now the many problems of today start... (not counting no single riders on Rodelbaan). Started raining while driving down Autobahns to Bottrop so roads wet (+ windscreen wipers dont work properly at 100+mph...). Coming up to Bottrop junction, sat nav confusion puts me in wrong lane and I go flying into wrong junction. Wet roads and tight junction at 50-60mph meant car lost grip and skidded round sharp bend. Managed to hold it on the road somehow and glad i avoided the barriers but still a scary moment! Would probably fir a "ignorant Brit" stereotype if i'd crashed, betting it would be in the media as British car overspeeds on autobahn, ignoring sat nav issues. Got to Alpincentre Bottrop easily enough after that and seeing another British car on the roads here!

Alpincentre Bottrop (17/8/19)

Centre is at top of large hill so had to drive up it to carpark, first hill in ages for car! After being assured Alpine coaster was open in the rain, I paid for 2 goes and headed to the entrance, only to find no staff to operate it. After a good 5 mins, I caught the attention of a member of staff who did send me round! Ride itself is great fun and rain helped it run quicker. Going without breaks does take bravery, especially some of the sharper corners at the bottom.


Upon leaving centre and rejoining Autobahns for run to Cologne hotel, I hear scraping and another "thunk". Look back and see a metal bar lying in road that wasn't there beforehand. It being the Autobahn, I couldnt stop easily so continued as car drove fine. Made for some nervous driving to hotel though! On hindsight I realised I perhaps should have stopped and attempted to move bar from roadway, don't want to be accidentally cause of any accidents! Checked car over on arrival at hotel and seemingly nothing major missing. Does seem to be downwards dent in the middle of exhaust, I'm not sure was there beforehand though, may try and find a mechanic tomorrow though as will be taking train into Cologne for sightseeing purposes.

Also, hotel is nice enough but is purely German speaking. My very limited German made it very awkward when attempting to order food at hotel bar. Food was eventually ordered and was nice. To top off the evening, for some reason bar doesn't take card while hotel does.... Had absolutely no cash on me when going to pay for food. Luckily, since I am staying in hotel they allowed me to run into town and find a cash machine to pay. Other problem being hotel is in small rural town (Bergheim) so was an initial struggle to find a cash machine, neither local supermarket or fuel station had one, eventually found one in local bank.

Hopefully, tomorrow goes better than today... At least I got all the creds I planned today!
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
And now the many problems of today start... (not counting no single riders on Rodelbaan). Started raining while driving down Autobahns to Bottrop so roads wet (+ windscreen wipers dont work properly at 100+mph...). Coming up to Bottrop junction, sat nav confusion puts me in wrong lane and I go flying into wrong junction. Wet roads and tight junction at 50-60mph meant car lost grip and skidded round sharp bend. Managed to hold it on the road somehow and glad i avoided the barriers but still a scary moment! Would probably fir a "ignorant Brit" stereotype if i'd crashed, betting it would be in the media as British car overspeeds on autobahn, ignoring sat nav issues. Got to Alpincentre Bottrop easily enough after that and seeing another British car on the roads here!
I'll be honest mate, little sympathy here. Just because they're unrestricted, doesn't mean you should be driving at those sort of speeds. Drive the sensible speed for the road conditions. Not worth killing yourself over an extra 30mph.
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
I'll be honest mate, little sympathy here. Just because they're unrestricted, doesn't mean you should be driving at those sort of speeds. Drive the sensible speed for the road conditions. Not worth killing yourself over an extra 30mph.
Not expecting sympathy, My mistake and I admit that, think learnt that the hard way! I am sensible near junctions. Sometimes, if 2 junctions are close to another, they have a side lane purely for the junctions. I was supposed to be taking 2nd junction in this set so expected side lane. This lane didn't exist and instead went straght into sharp junction.With my car slowly (and literally) falling apart, I have been more sensible since that incident and will be from now on.

Cologne (18/8/19)

Day off coastering today to sightsee around central Cologne. Took train in from nearby train station so was a relative day off for car. Forget how good German trains are! Double decker, quiet, smooth and on time! Saw aftermath of car crash from train, must have only missed it by few minutes! Looked like someone had rounded sharp corner too quickly (sounds familiar....) and smashed into oncoming van. Everyone looked ok and were out of cars and walking fine, just doubt cars drivable afterwards as bonnets completely smashed. Could still see debris on leaving cologne in evening.

Cologne cathedral is magnificent but couldn't hang around around as both times I popped in, a church service was happening. Kind of expected that though due to it being a Sunday today. Got student discount for entry up cathedral tower and was greeted with near 500ft climb without lifts! I made it but don't want to ever see another spiral staircase again! Was rewarding with a fantastic view at top though, had well deserved rest while enjoying view over city and Rhine river.

Once down from tower, found a cheap Rhine 60min boat trip (again got student discount). Nice views but heavens opened during trip so joined everyone under cover and couldn't fully enjoy view! Almost got a free drink due to the rain though. Was sharing an outdoor table with another group, ordered glass of Coke, group ordered theyre own drinks, reciept came charged to whole table! When rain started, everyone (including me) took cover inside and i lost group, group had taken reciept as well. Waitress soon found me though when it was time to pay so did pay for my drink individually.

Had lunch at market near boat landing stage, had some freshly cooked "reibekuchen". Still not sure what they were but they were nice and tasted of deep fried hash browns (Google says they are effectively hash browns, only now able to have Googled it).

After lunch, wandered down river aiming for Chocolate museum but found a free African music festival outside the museum. Music was good so hung around until 7pm. Did look into museum but entry was pricey and it was packed, purchased 2 interesting looking chocolate bars instead. (Mango and Blueberry Muffin flavoured). Had dinner here as well, had Yassa mit Huhnchen (Form of West African chicken curry).

Made way back to train station and hotel afterwards. Grabbed a bottle of Mezzo Mix from shop on way to station, nice but not sure why everyone seems to rave about it, would have again while in Germany though. As a whole, Cologne seems a lovely place and would love to come back to explore the city more.
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Schloss Beck (19/8/19)

Small cred run park next door to Movie Park, is possible to park in Movie Park and walk between parks. Park is small without much to do beyond their coaster so didn't hang around. The castle itself looks nice though.

Movie Park Germany (19/8/19)

Being a large Parques Reunidos park, I went in expecting to dislike it. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by the park! Got in for free on Slagharen pass but had to pay parking. Only notable coasters are Van Helsing and Star Trek. All trims seemed to be off on Van Helsing so it flew around the course! Star trek queueline is fab for Star Trek fans and ride itself is quite fun. Back row is great on reverse spike but rough on main course. Love the gimmick of riding the transfer track to start the ride though. Have always watched similar transfer tracks in numerous parks previously when adding/removing a train from maintenance and always wandered what it'll be like to ride one, now I know! MP Express and Bandit highly rough. Annoyingly, Bandit has a good layout (inspired by Coney Island Cyclone, my favourite wooden) but is ruined by the roughness. Can hear in grind round the corners from across the park!

All the water rides here (except splash battle) are fab and very wet, surprisingly so for the log flume in Nickland area. Only things worth reriding are the water rides, Van Helsing and Star Trek. Managed to catch the soft opening of Area 51! Only got one ride on it but it was fab, very wet. Love the indoor sections of both Area 51 and Excalibur (rapids).

With the recent rapids retheme, Bermuda Triangle retheme, Star Trek and Nickland expansion, This park seems to have had a lot of money poured into it recently, especially so for a Parques Reunidos park.

Hit 1000 miles since home on drive home! Have done a lot of driving and still have a lot more to do!
 

Thekingin64

Well-Known Member
Phantasialand (20/8/19)

Been here before twice so knew what to expect. Got 40% discount on entry with Plopsa pass, currently getting more out of Plopsa pass discount than Plopsa park entry! Drove past an unidentified FLY delivery on way into park, see FLY topic soon for dashcam screenshots. Parked in Mystery so started with River Quest, still as what as ever but annoyingly short. Spent half the ride picking up drinks bottle that had fell out of bag onto boat floor! Raik was good fun but prefer Tweestryd, better theming but Tweestryd has better layout. Helps that Tweestryd was quiet as well for easy rerides. Would have gone to Taron then but had 80 minute queue and Single Rider shut.

Made way to Winjas afterwards via FLY wall. Nothing interesting or new to be seen but that wall is huge! Photos below, not great quality due to cheap phone used:
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Winjas great fun as always, Do love a good spinner. Fear definitely the better side though, worse gimmick but better layout and more airtime over the airtime hill. More Maurer spinners need airtime hills!

Next up was Crazy Bats with longest queue of the day, great way to liven up an old ride. Physical theming isn't great but VR video is great and synced well to ride, great for families. Hollywood boat tour still terrible but was walk on. The effects within were probably top of the line when the ride opened but highly dated now. Ride needs completely gutting and rethemed (or demolished in favour of whole area refurbisment (including Crazy Bats and Fantissima)).

Made way back to Taron now as queue down to 45 min. Got 2 rides in, one via main queue, one via single rider. Not sure what they were doing with Single rider queue, seemingly its opened/closed randomly during day! Ride is efficiently loaded though, allowing both queues to move at a decent speed, managed to snag back row three times! Still love this ride, launches are fantastic and twisted hills have fantastic airtime. 2nd half definitely better than first. With riding Skyrush and Untamed since my last Taron ride, am now unsure if it is still number 1 in rankings for me. is definitely within that top 3 though.

Chiapas is also still fab although a bit shorter than I seem to remember. Love the music to it so was happily stood in queue listening to it. Love the backwards disco room part as well as the final drop. Still my favourite water ride, had wet feet for rest of day thanks to non-waterproof shoes and water in bottom of boat!

Talocan still fab and definitely my favourite Top Spin, if only for the comfier restraints and fire! Was on a fantastic cycle as well and could get glimpses into Rookburgh from the top.

Black mamba fun and forceful. Has the low-to-ground aspect I love of Nemesis and properly speeds through the course. Have ridden it on both previous Phantasialand visits but have never found it that memorable. That has finally changed and I can remember what happens beyond the loop!

Colorado adventure still fun and intense for a mine train. Definitely one of the best mine trains out there. Found one of 6 dragon mascots (Kroka) so had photo with him:

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Geister Ricksha fun and unique but is in same situation as Hollywood tour, needs a complete refurb urgently to get up to modern Phantasialand standards. Wouldn't say full demolition as Chinatown area above still a nice area.

Mystery Castle better than I remember but still not particularly forceful, very good for a drop tower though with long cycle.

Filled rest of day with Taron rerides and merch shopping. Anyone who knows me personally knows I love dragons (especially HTTYD). Me finding out each dragon mascot as it's own plush toys was not good news for bank account.... over €140 down on 6 dragon toys and 2 music cds (Chiapas and Klugheim)....

Overall, a very good day was had on some very good rides. Park was busy so annoyingly couldn't get many rerides in but still enjoyed myself.

Leaving Germany tomorrow and heading back to Netherlands for Toverland!
 

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