That's cool you stayed inside the A'DAM Tower. I didn't realise they had a hotel inside it until I went up it. I wasn't sure how easy it was going to be crossing the IJ River but now knowing about that super easy free ferry I wouldn't hesitate staying there next time I'm in Amsterdam. I saw some of the same things pre trip as you guys like the Rijksmuseum and the A'DAM Lookout. It was also my first time in Amsterdam and a little more than two days was not enough to see a lot of what the city has to offer. Lots of great attractions and sites (and I didn't even know about that Soarin' Over Holland next to A'DAM - next time!) and its fun just walking around trying not to get hit by a bike. Next time I need to rent a bike and try not to run over pedestrians or land my bike in one of the canals. Looking forward to seeing more of the trip from your eyes and captions.
Nrthwnd wrote: So much crazy stuff there, it's almost like Japan ("almost").
I feel the same way. I'm definitely coming back to Amsterdam.
The Great Zo wrote:I must be the only person who didn't go to The Butcher, though I visited Foodhallen where they had a location, but chose not to eat there after seeing a dude in a The Butcher shirt leave the restroom without washing his hands.
I didn't go to The Butcher either. I probably would have if they had a location near the Johan Cruyff ArenA but I wouldn't have wanted to if I had saw what you saw.
http://coaster-count.com/userinfo15854.xhtml and http://www.coastercounter.com/805Andrew (I don't count traveling fairs and casinos as parks, and I count Coney Island as one park)[url=http://www.clubtpr.com][img]http://www.clubtpr.com/images/memberbanners/07c56b6e6c57795b5e848cab51dd406e.jpg[/img][/url][url=http://www.clubtpr.com][img]http://www.clubtpr.com/images/memberbanners/4bcb6d715cbe293b80fdfea5d0baf0b0.jpg[/img][/url]
SoCalJasonland wrote:I love the Automat. It reminds me of the scene in the movie, Dark City.
I LOVED the Horn & Hardart Automat in NYC. Put in a few coins and you got the best little plate of mac 'n cheese or creamed spinach, or Lemon Meringue pie! (Funnily enough, I found out that the daughter of one of the original "Horns" lived in my building. But she was very shy so I never got up the guts to 'talk automats' with her.)
Bravo SMISTY for indulging in a bit of Dutch raw herring! When I first was in Amsterdam, I swore I didn't want to try it. But my Dutch friends said my visit would not be complete without sampling a 'herring stand.' I took the challenge -- and it was much tastier than I imagined! (Tho Dutch sweets still come out ahead! )
Thanks Erik & Smisty for those great photos - and commentary!
Here begins our coastering around Europe with TPR. A few preparatory notes:
We skipped the 0th day pre-trip add-on. Bobbejaanland looked cool, but as it was our first trip to Europe, we really wanted to maximize our time in Amsterdam. So you'll need to look to AJ, Chuck, or Larry's trip reports for coverage of that.
Efteling is big. It's also really good, and in retrospect was probably the best park of the trip. At least, for us. The group stayed at the Efteling hotel for two nights and had about a day and a half in the park. This was ideal for us, as it meant we could really take our time at Efteling and go back to the hotel anytime we needed a rest (because we're old). The park was very lightly attended on our first evening there, and we were able to do quite a bit. It was a bit busier on our second day, but filming on the coasters in the morning before the park opened got us a lot of rides knocked out, and we were able to spend most of the second day checking out the fairy tale section of the park, re-riding things we'd liked, and picking up those last few things we'd missed.
Next up was Toverland. I don't follow theme park happenings as closely I used to, and all I really knew about Toverland is that it was mostly indoors, with a couple of coasters outside. But that's not really the case. The park is bigger than I'd imagined, and their newest section (Avalon) is really good. We spent about three-quarters of the day there, leaving early (by more or less unanimous group decision) to stay ahead of a fairly ominous approaching storm.
The third park I'll be covering in this update is Walibi Holland. This is a former Six Flags, so I expected to just ride a couple of good coasters and ignore most of the rest, but it turned out to be a fairly nice park. By this time I was convinced that The Netherlands is just pretty and all you have to do in terms of landscaping is to get out of the way. It also helped that the park seemed legitimately excited that we were there, and were very nice to us (not that the other parks weren't, mind you).
We also visited two smaller parks in Holland, but I'm pushing those to the next update, whether it makes any sense geographically or not. I'm confident you'll forgive me.
Speaking of me, it might be a good time to mention that my opinions--especially regarding roller coasters--are often very different than that of other coaster nerds. This isn't because I'm contrarian (well, not entirely, anyway) but because I have what parks call "unusual body dimensions." Not only am I overweight, but more importantly, I have scoliosis. Riding roller coasters doesn't exacerbate my condition or anything, but a lot of the newer restraints on today's wilder rides simply don't fit me well, and this often results in rather uncomfortable rides. So keep that in mind when I say things like, "I would've been more excited to ride Robin Hood than Untamed." I'm not trying to be provocative. It makes sense if you're me.
That bus life.
There was a mouse in our room! Also, a board game. And somebody else's red shoes!
The Royal Beef at De Hoffelijke Heraut restaurant, in the Efteling Hotel, was amazing. Apples in the mashed potatoes?! Well done, Holland! (Restaurant name translation: The Courteous Herald.)
The hotel has its own entrance at the back of the park. This Efteling's main entrance, and this photo was taken midway through our second day in the park. TRUST NOTHING.
Most of Efteling's coasters are clumped together. But we're not really here for the coasters....
Dark ride rundown! The partially gravity-powered Dreamflight!
The brand new (trackless and semi-interactive) Symbolica!
The totally not racist anymore Festival Carnival!
The 1001 Arabian Nights themed Fata Morgana!
Efteling is not ugly. In fact, it's kind of like if Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Disneyland had a baby, but then Disney refused to acknowledge being the father, and then Busch Gardens was like, "I don't want your money, I just want our child to know his father," and then the child grew up and decided to spend a gap year in Europe and never came home. And his parents were both bitter in their own ways, but the child lived a happy life and never held any grudges.
It's like that.
I was under the impressions that Joris en de Draak were dueling family coasters, or like junior woodies, but I would say they both qualify as true and proper wooden coasters. Great fun!
I took this photo. If Robb posts claiming credit, don't believe him.
(And if you think this is an unflattering photo, just wait until we get to Lech Coaster in the next installment!)
Efteling has a large fairy tale section, presumably lorded over by king stumpy here.
I don't think "The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats" story ever made it over to America.
Hey, it's the same board game from our hotel room!
This rapids ride is called Piraña, which I haven't quite been able to reconcile with the ride's pre-Columbian cultures theme. Is it the fish? I believe "piran" is "pirate." Any Dutch speakers want to help me out here?
There's a famous story about a Dutch child putting his finger in a dam that I suddenly no longer want to talk about.
The Flying Dutchman was cool. A nice themed section and not too wet.
This caption was not funny. But maybe it was informative...?
The station may remind you of a certain famous Disney ride. Or maybe it won't. I don't know. I'm not you, am I? Look, it's like Pirates of the Caribbean, okay? Is that what you wanted me to say?
Have you noticed yet that I rant when I'm trying to distract from sub-standard photo quality? No? Well then never mind.
This guy may remind you of a certain famous Efteling animatronic.
I don't even remember what's in here. Something minor, I think. This park is awesome.
The Octopus is a quick service restaurant and play area with sort of a Rainforest Cafe vibe. It's also just a great idea.
Bitterballen, which the internet describes as "bite-size beef and gravy croquettes" and I describe as the greatest fried food I've ever eaten.
Goldberg enjoying throwing away his trash just a little too much.
Prepare for rant.
(In my defense, it was taken through a plexiglass window designed to protect me from burning coal.)
I posted this photo on Instagram with the caption, "Do you like your job? - "Neigh!" and got a flurry of angry responses in Dutch from people who apparently thought I was some sort of animal rights activist. But as soon as I assured them that I actually hate horses and want them all to burn they stopped responding to me. Glad I finally won them over!
I'm "Electerik" on Instagram if you want to see more photos of things on fire!
Baron 1983 was fine. It's always weird when your first example of something (in this case, SheiKra) turns out to be the best of its type. [Copy/paste to appropriate photo in Part 4 of this report.]
Cool coaster people!
I mean, cool-ish.
Well, they're coaster people.
Efteling's version of Harry Potter robes. Also, Efteling's version of a talking tree.
The Monosnail! It's not really called that, but it should be. Also, it's great.
This building houses a steam-powered carousel, and, like almost everything is this park, is great.
Same building. Model trains. I need a thesaurus to look up some other words for great.
Sorry, I've just been informed that I am on the internet. Well, that's just considerably above the normal or average.
Vogel Rok is like Space Mountain except it's better and I have no idea what's going on. We might be egg thieves...?
Can geese be a suggestive euphemism for boobs?
Smisty says no.
Nice...um...boobs, I guess.
Toverland's new entrance. Sorry for the lack of transition. We're at Toverland now. Surprise!
The "front part" of the park is kind of a big water play area and seating areas surrounded by all your standard main street type things (guests services, fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo, etc.) It's cool idea, but it has a real water park feel that I didn't really dig, if I'm being honest. It probably works really well for them, and points for doing something different.
Fenix was my first wingrider, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I really enjoyed it, though. The star attraction of their new Avalon section, which could almost be a cool little park unto itself.
Someone's been to Island of Adventure.
Wait, is there like a left-leaning Libertarian option or something?
Fenix and Merlin's Quest (the boat ride).
This caption is neither funny nor informative, if I'm being honest. You knew which one was the boat ride.
Merlin's Quest has a dark ride section, and now I am happy.
Avalon is where King Arthur went when he died, and Toverland is where fat Americans go to die. (For clarity, I mean me, not the very nice people in the photo.)
It's a restaurant. It probably has a name. Hey, I went to a lot of parks in very short succession, and I'm tired of looking stuff up, okay?
These fools offered all-you-can-eat ribs with Americans in the park! Let's show them how we do!
Moments before disaster.
This spinning coaster (Dwervelwind, happy?) was quite good.
Nice theming in the station, too. (If you know what I mean.)
(I don't know what I mean.)
Possibly my first coaster named after a classical city of antiquity.
For me, all GCIs are measured against Thunderhead. This was less good. Still fun, though.
Moments before disaster.
The indoor/outdoor log flume. We skipped it, as it seemed to be having quite a few mechanical problems this day. (Why, this log just went down backwards!)
A thousand ways to kill yourself at Toverland.
Super crazy roller skater. I am decidedly not a credit whore, and I still rode it.
Booster Bike. I always liked the look of this layout. Good ride. The weird restraints and seating position are actually just fine for me. I would like to try this with some sort of normal sit-down trains, though, just out of curiosity.
Toverland's old entrance.
We were tracking approaching bad weather all day, but we managed to get everything we wanted done and still get out before it hit.
I liked Toverland. But more the outdoor sections. The theming of the indoor sections just sort of butts up again the warehouse look of the non-themed parts in a really weird way. But now I feel weird saying that.
Back to our next hotel a bit earlier than originally planned, Smisty and I decided to head out in search of food and oddventure!
Well, not really "in search of." We knew exactly where we were going....
In addition to the obvious meatballs and such, we just had to try some weird stuff that's not on the menu where we're from (like satay, for example).
"Hardgaan" is Dutch for "this park has a shite layout because it used to be a Six Flags."
The cover for our upcoming mixtape, "F#ck Slow, Hard Gaan."
El Rio Grande (rapids), Xpress: Platform 13 (outdoor Rock N Roller Coaster), and Goliath (Intamin hypercoaster).
Walibi Holland doesn't have a dark ride, but it does have a Vekoma Madhouse with a graffiti problem.
So, they re-themed their car ride to "speed dating," but just in case that's not lame enough, they only themed the entrance. There is absolutely no mention, suggestion, or hint of speed dating, love, or anything even vaguely related anywhere else on the ride!
This stand sells waffles. You can get them with white chocolate or cherry compote on them. Or, if you're me, you can use your smooth-talking ways to get both.
I've seen people trespassed out of parks for less than this. This guy didn't even get a "sit down" spiel. Europe is different.
Also, everything about this boat is designed to keep you from getting wet, and that waterfall wasn't going to do much more than drip on them. So I'm not sure what he's freaking out about.
If you tore this down, it would be easier to get to Goliath.
Also, this was Gearhart's 600th coaster. And I can't think of a more appropriate one.
This was...messed up.
This was probably the coaster I was most excited about going in to the trip. And I was not disappointed. (However, I ended up riding two coasters I liked even better later in the week. Foreshadowing!)
I wish it were still green, though.
I'm not sure who took this photo. It wasn't me. I'm just going to assume Robb. But, if you recognize it as yours, well, now you have an opportunity to post a reply!
This log flume was ho-hum. EXCEPT, the double-down drop, which was great (considerable, substantial, pronounced) and which I now believe should be standard on all log flumes going forward.
Walibi Holland had this one very Toverland thing, which was this self-operated rope-pull raft.
Lost Gravity was so screwed up, in the best way.
It also had probably the best example of "junk theming" I've ever seen. The idea is that gravity has gone crazy and things are just floating and sideways and weird.
This ride was not on my radar at all, but was really funky and fun. The restraints weren't great for me, but they were okay-ish. I rode it two or three times before I needed to stop, but I have fond memories of it!
It's just...it's so weird.
Somebody's been to Islands of Adventure.
People tell me this is the best Boomerang. So now I can say that I skipped the best Boomerang.
Larry says this was great (significant, appreciable, serious). I guess we all just have to take his word for it.
Walibi Holland's "main street" has a building in the middle of it. Or I guess you could say that part of their "main street" is covered. And has a coaster entrance in it.
Xpress: Platform 13 has quite an elaborate queue. It's almost a walk-through attraction, starting as being themed to a normal train station and slowly becoming more sinister. Worth checking out even if you're not interested in an outdoor version of Rock N Roller Coaster.
I would've been more excited to ride Robin Hood.
I did ride Untamed once, since I was there. It was uncomfortable, but I lived, so yay.
Do you want an anti-RMC rant? No? Okay, I'll ask again when we get to Kolmarden.
These guys seem to have enjoyed it--especially Rector.
It's like, instead of designing a proper roller coaster, they purposely designed it wrong, and then had to create a restraint system so restrictive that it "protects" you from experiencing the injuries this bad design would naturally cause.
Okay, okay. Sorry.
To be fair, this was the best RMC I've been on.
Thanks, Walibi! Don't let my whining about Untamed get you down. Everybody else seemed into it. And I really liked Goliath and Lost Gravity!
Join us again in some indeterminate amount of time for Part 3, which will mostly cover Poland!
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