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Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:53 am

Awesome report Chuck! Thanks for sharing with us.


Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:03 am

cfc wrote:TPR people are sick puppies who like to ride it backward. I fear to guess how this fits into their personal lives.

I have exactly zero regrets from skipping the backwards rides.

Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:19 am

Revolution had a sister ride in Opryland called Chaos. The ride was pretty crap by the end with all of the effects broken but seeing Revolution brings back fond memories of my childhood. Great report so far Chuck!

Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:27 am

ernierocker wrote:Revolution had a sister ride in Opryland called Chaos. The ride was pretty crap by the end with all of the effects broken but seeing Revolution brings back fond memories of my childhood. Great report so far Chuck!

Revolution's lighting and projection effects all seemed to be working. It's a goofy ride, but still fun.

Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:50 am

Some of those indoor queue photos started to remind me of the Kong: Skull Island queue at IOA. I found it hilarious that at the end of those series of photos was that King Kong ride. I am probably the only one dorkishly enough to find that funny. Looking forward to the rest.
This random photo of Larry cracked me up.
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Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:37 am

^It looks like he was photo-shopped into it. It amused me, too, when I was sorting through the photos. :lol:

Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:41 pm

cfc wrote:^It looks like he was photo-shopped into it. It amused me, too, when I was sorting through the photos. :lol:

You just got a lot of great candid shots, Chuck :lol: Great report! Really enjoying it.

Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:08 pm

Whimsy, with a Bit of an Edge: Efteling

Once upon a time, there were seven little goats, who lived with their mother in an adorable cottage in the woods. One day, mother left her kids at home alone while she went to market, admonishing them not to let any strangers into the house while she was away. So, of course, the little darlings opened the door to a well-dressed wolf, who gobbled them up. But the wolf made a crucial mistake. He left one alive. What happened when mother returned and found that only one of her kids had survived?

Let’s just say, blood begat blood!

Wasn’t that adorable? If Quentin Tarantino worked for Disney, this is the movie he would make.

“The Wolf and the Seven Kids" is just one of the tales depicted in the Fairytale Forest at Efteling, a huge, beautiful Dutch theme park. It’s tempting to call Efteling “Disney’s Fantasyland on Steroids,” as the whole park is dedicated to fantasy and fairy tales. But unlike Disney, Efteling doesn’t “sanitize” the old stories. As with the story above, many of the events depicted in Efteling’s Fairytale Forest are “grimm,” indeed, with endings that are not always happy. This park sticks close to its European roots.

Efteling was another park I’d last visited in 2008, and I was looking forward to going back. Much had changed since then, with big new attractions, such as Baron (a heavily themed B&M Dive Machine), Joras en de Draak (a racing/dueling GCI woodie), and Symbolica (a trackless dark ride). Even the park’s old Vekoma loopscrew, Python, had been completely rebuilt. The park’s take on “It’s a Small World,” Carnival Festival, had received a make-over to remove some its, shall we say, potentially offensive elements.

And it was time to say good bye to the park’s old Intamin Bobsled, which is appropriately named Bob. This was its last season.

How did the new rides stack up? Pretty well. For me, the biggest hit was Symbolica--a “Disney-level,” trackless dark ride with great animatronics, excellent music, and plenty of surprises. The basic story is that you’ve been invited to a reception for a king, but the court jester (using a magic scepter) hijacks your group. Much magical mayhem ensues.

One unique feature of Symbolica is that you can choose your adventure by following the path of Heroes, Treasure, or Music. Each tour offers a unique room with an interactive game, along with a few other surprises. There is one caveat: If you’re in the single-rider line, you don’t get to choose (just fill an empty seat). I rode the path of Heroes with Larry and Ryan the first time--and two other times when we used the single-rider line. Oh, well--I did ride the Treasure car once, but missed out on Music.

Some in our group compared Symbolica to Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland. It’s good to see a park outside of Disney using trackless-dark-ride technology so well.

Efteling is Epcot huge, but tougher to navigate (it just sprawls out everywhere). That being said, it’s a fun place to explore. Let’s go in and have a look around. Let me know if you see any of the coasters. They’re surprisingly elusive.

Don't worry, We have tonight and all day tomorrow to check the place out.
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The Efteling Hotel resembles a “floating castle.” It doesn’t “float” high enough to be seen from inside the park, unless you’re on the flying island.
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Your story begins here . . . well, after you check in, lug your bags to your room, use the toilet (if necessary), etc.
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Or perhaps your story begins and ends when you’re killed by this enormous bird. Oh, such whimsy in Efteling!
The rooms had these cute board games, which were sort of like scavenger hunts. Note item 2 regarding the red shoes.
Found ‘em. One of the game’s spaces required you to dance like an elf. I think the group that closed the hotel bar that night would’ve rocked that stunt.
The hotel guest entrance isn’t as awe inspiring as the main park entrance, but it’s very handy.
Let the nightmares, er, whimsy begin!
Efteling is enormous and beautiful. But where are the coasters?
It was quite a hike to Baron.
While the ride itself is an OK B&M Dive Coaster, the “haunted mine/steam punk" theming is excellent.
From here, you plunge into a mist-filled tunnel, which feels refreshing on a hot day. Yet, the ghosts that protect the mine’s gold consider this a curse. Go figure.
This is the best part of the ride. The rest is a bit shaky (little bit of ear boxing on the restraints).
The theming and landscaping make Baron stand out.
I’d love to see more rides like Symbolica at other parks.
OK, how many of you have been to parties like this? You’re sipping a nice glass of Hawaiian Punch . . .
. . . then realize that some clown has spiked it with LSD? (This is a great pre-show.)
So, what’s your pleasure: Music, Heroes, or Treasure?
Yes, like Gandalf, you’ll feel like you just smoked some of that Hobbit weed.
Universal should study this bit . . .
. . . to learn how giant-fish-and-water effects should be done.
There was some sort of “Heroes” interactive game here, but I’m not sure it worked.
I rode “Heroes" three times, and each time, the blue knight knocked the golden knight’s block off.
OK, shall we have pancakes for dinner . . .
. . . or poffertjes?
Peacocks prefer poffertjes.
Droomvlucht sums up Efteling perfectly. I have no idea what’s going on . . .
. . . but it has castles . . .
. . . and fairies and goblins and other sorts of magical stuff. But it’s still not a coaster credit.
Brad prepares himself for the exquisite terror of the park’s Vekoma Mad House.
Goats. Why did they have to ride goats?
Who’s in the portrait on the lower right? Sort of looks like Christopher Walken.
Welcome to Fata Morgana, or “Pirates of the Persian Gulf.”
“Back, lest I stick you with my pointy hat!”
Pirates of the Caribbean doesn’t have a scene involving dentistry. In your face, Disney!
OK, this ride suddenly became a bit more interesting than Pirates of the Caribbean.
Er, dude with the girded loins? We're trying to watch the belly dancers, so down in front!
Can you stand the horror of . . .
. . . exiting via the gift shop?
A puff or two on this should take the edge off the terror.
Here’s all you need to know about the lagoon show--it has fire and water, thus making it Mini-Illuminations, with giant spitting frogs.
Time for a beer in the hotel’s very pleasant bar. Leffe is a good Belgian ale. More to come.

Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:10 pm

OK, rise and shine! Time for the ERT/filming sessions! Thanks for setting all this up, Robb and Elissa.
Good morning! Who’s ready for some loopin’ and screwin’--Vekoma style?
This guy was here in 2008. I’m glad he still has a job.
The Vekoma vest restraints work pretty well--a little better than B&M’s version, in my opinion.
The rebuilt Python is, indeed, better than the original version. At least it’s better than hitting yourself in the head with a brick.
They made a terrible ride into a decent one, and the corkscrew nicely frames Vliegende Hollander (or, the “Flying Dutchman”).
We had a filming session on Joras en de Draak. I enjoyed this coaster.
Beautiful station with a great gimmick: If your train wins, you hear cheers. If you lose, you get booed.
I had a knack for picking the losing train.
You can barely see the “Draak” in this photo. I’ll give you a better look at it later.
And now, one of the weirdest dark-ride/coaster/water rides ever: Vilegende Hollander.
You meet the Dutchman in the show building, so I guess this is the “flying” part.
Efteling seems fond of mist-filled tunnels.
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The Dutchman has his horrible vengeance! Well, you don't even get wet, so it's not that horrible. Still, this is a unique ride.
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Vogel Rok is one big bird. Fortunately, it didn’t take one big dump on me. (It's a decent indoor coaster, too.)
Oh, Larry! Just use your card in the ATM like everyone else. You’ll rupture yourself!
Carnaval Festival is now certified 70% less racist than it was in 2008.
The frogs seem pretty neutral . . . well, unless they're supposed to represent the French.
“It’s a less racist world after all!”
Well, unless you’re German, I guess.
"Impassioned lovers wrestle as one!"
The dragon approves of the sumo porn.
Yes, they did reduce Carnaval Festival’s more “racist” aspects . . .
. . . yet they still have this attraction just across from it.
But the “cannibal” only eats ice cream, so I guess it’s OK.
Right, Larry and Ryan?
Efteling has a beautiful carousel that still uses its original steam-driven engine.
It rotates at “ludicrous speed,” too.
There are some beautiful dioramas in this building, as well.
I love it when a park has “hidden” attractions like this.
Time to relax a bit on the flying island.
Aha! There’s the hotel. You can’t see it from the ground when you’re in the park. It really does look like a floating castle from there.
Nice view of town, too.
Oh, so that’s the main entrance. It’s very pointy.
Check out the solar panels on Symbolica’s roof. That’s the real magic.
See how closely the park’s main coasters are clustered together?
Unlike 2008, I hear no cries of pain coming from Python.
Find the coaster car in this photo, win a kewpie doll.
No prize for spotting the boats, though. One more set of photos to go. Whew!

Re: RMCs & Poffertjes: Chuck & TPR 's 2019 Europe Trip

Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:00 pm

Sometimes, I just lose track of how many photos I've taken. Thanks for being patient. Here's the last batch from Efteling, starting with a look at the Fairytale Forest, which is full of whimsy, sex, violence, and death! The look of the place reminds of the films of Terry Gilliam.
Please note the smoking regulations for Fairytale Forest.
“Gawd, I’d kill for a smoke right now, but I’m outside the ‘designated smoking area.’ It sucks to be me.”
“I can smoke to my heart’s content high above everyone.”
“You can smoke in my house, kiddies! Free cigarettes for everyone!”
“What the hell is this in front of the gingerbread house?”
“It’s a lemonade fountain.”
“OK, if you say so.”
This is, of course, “art,” and in no way objectionable.
“Oh, yes, I do appreciate art! Really, I do.”
“Pinocchio vs. Cthulhu” was a fairy tale that never made it to the U.S.
Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time . . . in Efteling.”
Remember, kids: Death is ever present! Pleasant dreams! Fairytale Forest is one of the park's oldest attractions, but still fun to visit. They add new stories each year, and many of the sets are interactive, with triggers that set off audio and physical effects.
The Efteling museum had all sorts of, er, delightful artifacts.
Here’s a map from when Efteling was more of a “city park" than a “theme park." You can see the Fairytale Forest (“Sprookjesbos”), along with the huge carousel building. They used to have tennis courts, too.
I want this on my front steps as a Halloween decoration.
There’s still a piece of the old Python at Efteling. Touch it to hear the moans of the tormented souls who endured the old coaster.
And now, Raveleijn, or Game of Thrones--Efteling Style.
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The story has something to do with some queen who controls birds. I think.
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She has her own team of bird “warriors,” I guess.
Oh no! The bad guys have stuffed the bird queen into a Dalek, or something, and sent her to another dimension!
This evil swordsman looks like a generic “goon" on the old Batman TV show. Maybe he works for the Penguin, too.
The horse will be fine, as long as he doesn’t break wind.
Uh oh! The horse farted and spawned a dragon!
The bird queen is safe! Hooray! We had a very good dinner in the restaurant that adjoins the theater.
This is the first time I’ve visited Efteling’s main entrance. It’s pretty impressive, especially after dark.
I like the path that runs by Draak. You get a much better look at the dragon here than you do from the coaster.
It was great to see the park at night. The Fata Morgana building looks beautiful.
Big day tomorrow, so back to the hotel we go. That’s all for now. Toverland is next!
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