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David & Dave Do Stuff (final score).

Howie

Active Member
It all started with a cheap flight to Eindhoven. 18 quid it was. Boom, I'll have me one o' them, I thought.
Originally, before you-know-what happened, the plan would have been to shimmy on down to Phantasialand to check out that new flying contraption. I forget what it's called, but you know the one I mean. The one with the walls.
But without a new cred, is Phantasialand even worth revisiting?
Nah. Sh*thole.
Besides, flight didn't land til 4pm so getting any creds in on the first day was gonna be a challenge anyway.
But wait, what's this? Toverland open til 9pm? With a cheap, evening-only ticket option? That'll do nicely then. 😁
Been to Toverland twice in the past couple of years so didn't need any of creds, just a nice relaxed, summer evening whoring Fenix and Troy, few beers, sumat to eat, soak up the atmosphere and generally just enjoy that feeling of being in a theme park again.
It was lovely!
We whored Fenix:
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Still looks gorgeous. Still rides good too, short but oh so very sweet.

And we whored Troy:
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^photo by daviddoc.


Still an amazing ride, such relentless pace and energy. Is it getting rougher, though? Well, maybe 'rough' is the wrong word, more 'aggresive', shall we say? I've got a feeling it might be.
And that was all we did. Fenix, Troy, food and beer. Nice way to kick things off.
Covid measures, then.
Quite chilled, the Dutch, it would seem. Few people wearing masks, but not many and no enforcement. Distancing I'd say was 'casually' observed. Sanitizer stations at ride entry points. Empty row between groups on Troy, seemingly full trains on everything else. All very relaxed n'all, very nice to be able to forget about the C word for a few hours, but I can't help thinking it was perhaps a little too relaxed.

We stayed the night at a faceless, corporate hotel in Maastricht with nothing of interest nearby, so a few more beers from an all night garage finished off day 1.
Oh yes, when I say 'we', I mean me and @daviddoc . Hence the title.
@Coaster Hipster would join us at a later point in the trip.
So where next then? Walygator, that's where, a couple of hours directly south in Northern France, sliding through Belgium along the way. We absolutely, positively did not set foot in Luxembourg.

Walygator then. Not the most highly rated gaff among goons, but a new park for both of us, massive B&M invert, decent sized wooden coaster, maybe a few other bits and bobs too. Gotta be worth half a day, surely?
It was alright.
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Massive queue at the bag check and entry points implied it was gonna be quite busy, but once inside the crowds dispersed fairly rapidly.
Everybody wore a mask. And staff were enforcing it. 👍

Straight to Monster, then, obvs. It's a Raptor clone don't you know. The Cedar Point one. Amazing to think that an (almost) clone of a Cedar Point ride exists just a short hop across the Channel. Yukky paint job, and not quite the sense of occasion that Raptor has, but still a damn solid coaster. Plus, it doesn't have a mid course brake run. Well, it has that flat bit where the brake run should be, but there ain't no brakes there and the train just flies through at full speed making the second half really rather snappy, especially the helix of death towards the end. Lovely, feet tingling stuff.
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It was a station wait, 1 or 2 trains, no biggie, so we had a couple of laps.
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We minced over to the woodie next. Anaconda it's called. Decent enough piece of theming at the entrance:
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30 min wait tho, boo!
It was alright, mostly inoffensive, no real forces or airtime to speak of but a pleasant enough meander through the woods. Not many places to get a picture of the ride though, just this view of the turnaround from Monster's queueline:
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They've got a wacky worm, didn't ride it.
They've got a few other bits and bobs, nothing particularly unique or exciting. A Zamperla Air Race, for example...
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...that wasn't running.

Dinosaurs and fountains, gotta have 'em:
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They've got a flume:
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They've got an old 3 loop Vekoma. It was alright. Mostly inoffensive, bit short, but alright.
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Gotta get that perfect shot:
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Aaaand that's about it. Didn't do much else. We ate some churros, had a beer, had another go on Monster and hit the road again. That's about all Walygator requires really. It's not really a destination, it's a half day park, a stop-off on the way to somewhere else, a cheeky lil +3 if you happen to be in the area (+4 if you're filthy enough to ride the wacky worm which, let's face it, is most of you). Not exactly bad, just... not good. Reminded me a little bit of Movie Park Germany sooo, take that as you will.

Onwards then, to a much more interesting park, Fraispertuis City.
First of all, it's not pronounced 'Frass-per-tee-us' City, as we've all been doing for years. It's French, you gotta make it sound sexy and continental - it's pronounced 'Fre-par-twee'.
There, don't ever say my trip reports aren't educational.
I'll be honest, it's not a park that had cropped up on my radar at all, this was all Dr Dave's idea, mainly because it lay about half way between Walygator and Europa Park.
Oh my god, I'm so glad he suggested it. What a delightful little place! Nice one, Doc!
It's one of those small, family owned, family friendly places that the owners clearly love and care about. Even the locals are proud of it, no Ropers here.
Lots of thought has gone into everything, lots of humour and attention to detail, a surprisingly large selection of well themed rides and everything geared towards guest experience rather than profit, profit, profit.
All in a stunningly beautiful location too, a wooded valley in the middle of French vineyard country.
Yeah man, we liked this park very much.
But all the roads that lead you there are winding:
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Where the hell is this place, Doc?
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But we got there in the end. Is that a 2nd gen Intamin drop tower I see before me? It sure is 😁 :
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Cred wise, they've got an S&S El Loco, called Timber Drop. Might even have been the very first S&S El Loco, and it held the record for the world's steepest rollercoaster when it opened.... for about a week.
It was alright. Rides just like the other El Locos, but it's very nicely themed:
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They've also got a Soquet mine train coaster. I think this is my first Soquet cred. Not bad, again very nicely themed:
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And they've got a kiddy cred too, which we didn't ride:
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They've got some other stuff too... but I've used up my 30-picture limit for this post, so I'll be back in a bit with some more photos of the awesomeness that is 'Fre-par-twee City'.
Stay tuned...
 
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Howie

Active Member
As promised, here is some more Fraispertuis City cuteness.
Here is the aforementioned 2nd Gen Intamin drop tower. A pretty big one too, well over 200ft I'd say. Quite a high-end thrill ride for such a family orientated park, but I'll take it. Great theming, of course:
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Good flume ride, gotta get that obligatory splash photo in there:
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They've even got a mini flume for the littl'uns. How cute!
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Splash Battle, Pirate ship and some other random flat rides:
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As you can see, the park isn't really divided up into themed areas, they've just gone for the typical Wildy Westy gold-mining town approach throughout the entire park (apart from a slight foray into Viking land in one corner of the park).
Even the disco had seats themed as horses 😁 :
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A bucking bronco! This would be EPIC on a Coasterforce Live: 😁
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Even the bogs felt authentic:
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But best of all...


Wait for it....



Themed beer glasses! 😁😁😁
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^photo by daviddoc.

So yeah, Fraispertuis City is a really really great little park, probably the most pleasant surprise of the trip.
It may only be a +2 (+3 if you're filthy enough) but it's not about getting numbers here, it's about experiencing a charming, well cared for theme park that's been done the right way.
We recommend it lots.

In the next part then, a full day at the mighty Europa Park, with no driving! Yay!
Should be fun.
 
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JoshC.

Active Member
Lovely report! Makes me really want to go to Frass-per-tee-us (sorry, Fre-par-twee) City even more - looks like a lovely little park. Plus I didn't know it has a Soquet ♥
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
Dunno where you're all getting the 'tee' from. It's clearly Frass-per-tuss. I look forward to hearing it in person.
Does the drop tower have the different sides like Apocalypse and if so how were they directed?
Most importantly, is there a hat available to go with the bucking bronco?
 

Howie

Active Member
Does the drop tower have the different sides like Apocalypse and if so how were they directed?
Most importantly, is there a hat available to go with the bucking bronco?
Yah, 4 different sides, sitting, tilting sitting, standing and tilting, floorless standing. Queue divided into 4 different lanes and you were free to choose which. Not wishing to be castrated, we did sitting tilting.

Hats were available! 🤠
 

daviddoc

Member
Another point about the drop tower is that the sitting/tilting sides have the more modern and far more open restraints that zumanjaro/drop off Doom have, rather than the standard otsrs.
Fraz-per-tee-us city was great! (I only heard the proper pronunciation after native French person coaster hipster said it! But fray-per-twee doesn't sound right!)
 

Howie

Active Member
So, for the third time that day, me and Dr Dave jumped in the car for another longish drive towards Europa Park. It had been quite a day, starting off in the Netherlands, slithering through Belgium and <cough> that other place, 2 French amusement parks and finally ending up in Germany - the Deutschland of the title.
5 countries in a day - that's gotta be a record, right?
It wasn't as bad as it sounds actually, felt quite manageable. Total distance came to about 315 miles, and with 2 of us sharing the driving it wasn't bad at all.
The route looked something like this, starting at the top in Maastricht, A is Walygator, B is Frazzy Pazzy and C is Europa. Quite a convenient little line, I thought:
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Of course, the long drives would have been much better if it wasn't for this piece of sh*t:
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I know, right?
Looks slow.

Mate, slow isn't the word - It. Was. Awful! I don't wish to sound like a car snob but honestly, I think this is the worst car I've driven since an Austin Metro I had back in the early 90's.
What even is it, I hear you ask?
It's a Mitsubishi, it says here, Space Star! Ha ha, Space Star ffs. It was tiny! The engine was tiny, the fuel tank was tiny, the gearbox was disgusting, it had no power whatsoever, the chassis sent shockwaves through the cabin every time you hit a pebble but ask it to go round a corner and it felt ready to flop onto it's side. The wind had more influence on the direction of travel than the steering wheel. That's it, it's the world's first wind guided vehicle. Worst of all, it didn't even have any Bluetooth! 😮 What decade are we living in, ffs? Awful, awful thing.

I miss my Dodge. 😥

But enough about cars, let's talk about Europa Park. What a place, man! Seriously, this park is the tits!
Not been yet? Go. Just go.
For my money, it's between here and Port Aventura for "Best Theme Park in Europe". That other German place doesn't even come close if you ask me.
Wasn't my first time here, came once before in 2006 and stayed at the Colosseo for 5 whole nights, the thinking being that if I did the park thoroughly enough the first time round then I wouldn't need to come back for a while.
Well, after 14 years I gotta say it felt really great to be back.
Jesus... 14 years! @Matt N would have been 2! 🤣
Man do I feel old...
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It's a massive park, with 13 creds and a myriad of supplementary rides, shows and attractions but luckily I already had 9 of them from my previous visit, so cred anxiety was not an issue, could just focus on the new stuff. Dr Dave, of course, is practically a regular.

At the time of our visit (July 31st), the rebuilt Piraten in Batavia ride had been open for exactly 2 days so, expecting huge queues for it, we knocked that out of the way first.
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^photo by daviddoc.

It was good. In case you didn't already know, it's a Pirates of the Caribbean knock-off and I remember thinking back in '06 that it was actually better than the Disney version. But now, with shiny new sets, improved animatronics, beefed up sound system and fancy new lighting package it's even better than before. Great ride.
Queue line is extensively themed:
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Boobies are like bacon - they make everything better:
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And the ride itself is lavish indeed:
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It comes with an Easter egg too - one of the animatronics is modelled on Roland Mack himself. He's fairly easy to spot, taking pride of place towards the end of ride. Nice touch, I thought.

Right then, creds. There were 4 that I needed so we started with Blue Fire:
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It was alright.
Actually that's not fair, it's a bit better than 'alright', but... I dunno, nothing special. There was nothing about it that stood out as being particularly cool, or intense, or unique.. just a very competent all- rounder I'd say. A bit better than Icon, sure, but not in the same league as Helix, no Sir.
Helix is something truly special.

Maybe Wodan would be a bit more exciting:
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It was!
Fantastic ride, this. Probably the best GCI in Europe. I mean, Troy is excellent but as I said earlier, it's starting to get a bit brutal these days. Wodan on the other hand still has that same feeling of relentless speed and twistyness, but just not quite as aggressive and is therefore considerably more rerideable. Throw in some top notch theming and Wodan comes out on top.

It was round about this time that @Coaster Hipster turned up. Here's the 3 of us in the queue for... something. Can't remember what:
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Actually I think this might be the queue for the Voletarium, another new addition since I was last here. It's one of those flying theatre thingies. A really good one too, probably the best one I've been on. Crystal clear images, nicely synchronised seat movement, uplifting music and a continuous blast of conditioned air for about 3 minutes, very welcome when the temperature outside was now around 36°c! 😮

It was a new park for the Hipster, so that meant the 3 of us had to ride Piraten, Blue Fire and Wodan again. Gosh, such a burden.

Gotta get that perfect shot:
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Tell you wot, if you wanna see something funny, stick those 2 goons on opposite sides of a spinning coaster! 🤣 🤣 🌪🌪

Speaking of spinning coasters, we had a rip on Euro Mir next:
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^photo by Coaster_Hipster

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If you like coasters with a bit of weirdness to them, Euro Mir is for you. That endless, spiral lift hill with its techno soundtrack - weird. The strange, mouse-like turns at the top but without the mouse-like speed or forces - weird. The random direction changes for no apparent reason - weird.
If I was a regular here and had ridden this coaster many times, I could see how this might become tedious, but when you only ride it once every 14 years it still has loads of novelty value. When it eventually gets there, the proper coaster-y bit is actually pretty good too.
I think it's cool as f***.

More new-to-me goodness came in the form of the Can Can Coaster. Of course, last time I was here it was just plain old Euro-Sat, your generic coaster-in-the-dark with a space theme. On a par with The Black Hole or Space Invader I'd say.
I'll be honest, I was sceptical about the cheesy retheme... the Can Can Coaster? Really?? Sounds like something Six Flags would dream up, but to my surprise it actually works really well. The 'Can Can' (from Offenbach's 'Orpheus in the Underworld', if you're posh) is a fantastic piece of music anyway, but to have it blasting out of the onboard audio while hurtling round on a rollercoaster was enormous fun. Good job Europa! With this retheme they have turned something very generic and ordinary into something unique, joyous and totally in keeping with the vibe of the park.
Hipster and I were giving it the full "Daaaaaa dadadada daaa daaa dadadada daaa daaa" all the way round. 😁
FYI, the Can Can Coaster is hidden inside this giant silver golf ball thing:
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So what next, then?
Arthur, that's what. Didn't know much about it to be honest, other than it was some sort of powered, suspended coaster disguised as a scenic dark ride. Not being familiar with the IP didn't do much for my enthusiasm either.
Oh my god, It's brilliant!
I kind of envisaged something a bit like Droomvlucht at Efteling, y'know, all very quaint and charming and fairy tale-like, and it kind of is like that in concept, but Arthur is bigger, more elaborate and much more dynamic. The seats swing round with more gusto, it's got a few fast bits, a few small drops and a nice, sweeping outdoor section.
Fantastic ride, total quality throughout. 👍
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Poseidon. Very good water coaster, this:
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Obligatory splash photo:
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They've also got Atlantica SuperSplash, which is NOT a very good water coaster, so we didn't bother with that one.
We did bother with Silver Star though:
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S'good. Easily the second best B&M hyper in Europe. ;) This was the first one I ever rode as it happens and I remember liking it lots, but I've ridden better ones since then so it didn't exactly blow me away this time. Nowadays it's 'just another B&M hyper'. But, y'know, still solid.

We did the bobsled coaster, we did Pegasus, Hipster did the Wild Mouse coaster. We did pizza, we did ice cream, there may have been some beer in there too. I even got the final +1, some kiddy cred called Baa-a-a Express. It was small and it was shameful, but it had some singing sheep so that made me chuckle.

Despite the sweltering heat (and those bloody masks), we had a great day at Europa Park. Like I said, the place is enormous, it took the best part of a day for me just to catch up on all the new stuff since my last visit. If you're starting from scratch you're gonna need 2 full days at least, maybe even 3 or 4 to do the park justice.
Stay on-site if you can, eat in the reataurants, drink in the different themed bars, explore the hotels, do the spa at the Collosseo, do the waterpark... do it all. This is a full on resort destination, you don't need to add on extra parks, Europa has everything you need.

Oh yes, the waterpark - 'Rulantica'.
We didn't see it. 😕
What we did do was shimmy over to the new hotel in the evening for a few beers with one of Hipster's industry mates and our very own @CSLKennyNI , who just so happens to work at Europa Park.
See, what I didn't realise was that Rulantica isn't just some plastic dome with a few slides that's been bolted onto the side of the theme park. Rulantica is practically a seperate resort in its own right. It's about a mile away from the park and comes with its own brand new hotel. Bloody big one, too:
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^photos by daviddoc

With an impressive lobby, complete with giant dinosaur skeleton:
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Out the back, they've built an entire lagoon, with more bars and restaurants and a bridge that crosses the water to the waterpark:
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^photo by daviddoc

Check this out look - little boats on the lagoon that serve as exclusive dining tables. How cool is that? Europa Park certainly don't do things by halves:
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Great way to end a great day at a truly great theme park, chilling out, few beers with a few goony mates, chatting sh*te about rollercoasters. Was especially great to see Chris Kenny again and reminisce about our infamous ride on Bandit together a few years back. Thanks for coming, Chris lad. 👍

In the next part then, Tripsdrill & Holiday Park.
 
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daviddoc

Member
5 countries in a day - that's gotta be a record, right?

You do of course mean 4, as I can once again 100% confirm that we did not step foot in Luxembourg! (not that it matters for me now as I'm stuck in isolation anyway!)
 
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Howie

Active Member
Coming up in tonight's trip report:


Yesss, Tripsdrill, a place where you can fire an egg out of a chicken!
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Another new park for me and Hipster, plus a pair of shiny new-for-2020 Vekomas for Dr Dave.
So without any further ado, let's get straight to business and talk about Hals-über-Kopf:
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It's good. Very... nice. I don't think any of us were expecting this to be the new B&M beater, and it isn't, but it's quite nippy, quite floaty, nice and swoopy, very smooth etc... Seems kinda obvious to say this, but it feels like one of Vekomas suspended family coasters, only a little bit taller, a little bit faster and a little bit more upside-downy.
Some nice interaction with the new family boomerang:
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Station theming isn't finished yet though, that won't be done until next season:
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Good coaster, would be happy to see more of these cropping up. It'll be very interesting to see if Vekoma can take this up a notch and build some larger, more intense custom layouts.
Hipster managed to get a nice, back-row POV while we were there.
Filmed with permission of the park, of course:

There's not a great deal to say about Volldampf to be honest, it's just another family boomerang, you've all been on at least one of them. And if you've been one, you've been on them all but between them the 2 coasters make a very nice addition to Tripsdrill's line up.

POV of Volldampf, once again courtesy of @Coaster Hipster :

So what else does Tripsdrill have?
Well, you can fire eggs out of a chicken's arse, we know that, but what else? What about that drop tower thingy that looks like a tree, the one mentioned in the intro:
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^photo by daviddoc

Scary as hell, I tell ya. Not particularly tall or forceful, just dangerous looking. The way the whole towers shake and clatter when the seats do that surprise tilt thing is most unnerving. Me no likey.

They've got a Gerstlauer Eurofighter* (where hasn't these days?) but it's a pretty good one. Karacho, it's called.
Very photogenic coaster, that's for sure:
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*correction - it's an Infinity Coaster, not a Eurofighter. Every day's a school day huh?

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Good ride, not too rough, powerful launch. Much better than the likes of Saw and Speed, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as things like Fluch von Novgorod and Anubis. Me likey.

They've got a woodie too. It actually looks pretty decent:
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But it's not.
It's decidedly nondescript. Not rough or uncomfortable or anything like that, just... a bit dull. No airtime, no g's, no laterals, not much speed, it just... goes round. A bit 'meh' overall.
It's Meh-mut.

This groovy looking building is home to a Gerstybob coaster and the log flume:
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Gerstybob. The very first Gerstybob, I believe. It was alright:
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Obligatory splash photo:
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More Gerstlauer goodness in the shape of a Sky Fly. We didn't ride it, but it looked alright:
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Gotta get that perfect shot:
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3D pavement art. Cool!
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New ride type from... ahem... Bolliger and Mallard?
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More random weirdness:
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Dr Dave filming weird stuff for his vlog:
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Tell you wot, why don't I just post a link to Dave's vlog? It would save me having to write all these pesky words.
Here you go, then.
Don't worry, it's not like one of you-know-who's 90 minute marathons, just a 10 minute overview of the best of Tripsdrill.
Go on, give it a click (he could use the views ;) )

Overall then, a really good park. It's very pretty, nice views and lots of greenery. Even if the creds don't exactly float your boat, there's lots of fun to be had just cocking about with all the random weird German stuff.
It's dead easy to add on to a Europa Park trip, or can be doubled up with Holiday Park for a very attractive 2 parks-in-1-day combo.
Speaking of which, that's exactly what we did, finishing at Tripsdrill around 5pm and shooting up the road to Holiday Park for an evening session on Expedition GeForce. Reduced entry price from 6pm to 10pm don't you know? 😁


Holiday Park then:
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It was alright.
Of course, there's only one major reason to come here and that's the mighty Expedition GeForce. Once touted as the best steel coaster in the world, and still arguably one of the best in Europe.
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^photos by daviddoc

Fantastic coaster, for me the best coaster of the trip so far. Massive drop, crazy speeds, strong sustained ejector airtime... yeah, this is where it's at. I don't care about the faded paint job, or the dire, 1 train operations, this coaster delivers where it counts.
Despite the tedious wait times, this is where we spent most of the evening, just lapping EGF.
This wasn't a park that needed to be explored and experienced from top to bottom, we treated it more as just somewhere to have dinner. Somewhere that just happens to have an extreme thrill ride available for pudding.

Oh yes - dinner, funny story: we're in some diner at Holiday Park, and somehow I managed to order TWO schnitzel dinners for myself! No idea how that happened. It's not like it was 2 of the same thing either, I didn't just order double, they were both different (and I don't think either of them was the one I asked for! 🤣 )
But no bother, I was hungry, so I ate them both anyway.
Ok so maybe it wasn't that funny, but I just thought I'd include it to pad things out a bit. Cos like I said, there isn't a lot to write about with Holiday Park.
I mean, we did do a few other bits and bobs - I needed the Sky Scream cred (Premier sky rocket - meh) so we did that, and we did the Starflyer cos it's quite a big one and it gave a good view of the sunset. We did the rapids ride too cos apparently it's recently had a dinosaur based retheme (plus it was hotter than hell):
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^photo by daviddoc

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^photo by Coaster_Hipster

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^photo by Coaster_Hipster

But apart from that, we spent the rest of the evening whoring that big red bastard you can see in the background there until it went dark.
A good day then, all in all.

Tomorrow we'd be leaving Germany and driving back to the airport...
... but not to go home. I mean, why fly home when can fly to Poland instead?

In the next part then, Poland. 😁
 
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Howie

Active Member
Some inaccuracies I noticed;

"They've got a Gerstlauer Eurofighter"
You're right. Still don't know the difference between one of those and an infinity coaster. 🤷‍♂️
But yep, you are definitely right.



And are you sure you didn't have someone else's (i.e. a couple's) dinner order? 😂
Quite sure - there was nobody else in the restaurant!
Howie Two Schnitzels - that's what people will call me now. 😥
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
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Enjoying this one - sounds like a right good lark. :)
 

JoshC.

Active Member
I don't know what's more funny, the mallard joke or the fact you were given two schnitzels. Top report, looking forward to the next chunk.
Definitely the mallard joke - a rare instance of being literally "laughing out loud" when reading something online (yes, I should probably get out the house more).
 

CSLKennyNI

Active Member
Great way to end a great day at a truly great theme park, chilling out, few beers with a few goony mates, chatting sh*te about rollercoasters. Was especially great to see Chris Kenny again and reminisce about our infamous ride on Bandit together a few years back. Thanks for coming, Chris lad. 👍
No problem. Was great meeting everyone again! Good to see you had a great trip. Same as Josh too; the Mallard joke got me good. haha
 

Sandman

Active Member
Excellent report Dave, can't wait to hear your thoughts on Poland!
Super jealous of the creds and glorious weather it looks like you guys had.. I need to brave another European cred hunt ASAP.
 
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