The first day of TPR's Europe 2012 trip was one looooooooooong day of driving. We went to the Milan airport to drop off a few participants and to also pick up a whole bunch of people joining us for the Europe leg. After the stop at the airport we had to get to the south of France, straight through Switzerland. It was about a 6 hour drive on a fully packed bus. Luckily for everyone, all participants had the good mind to shower that morning.
We had a lunch stop in Switzerland right before entering one of their giant tunnels. The pictures here are from that rest area. I know, I'm a fancy guy.
Welcome to Switzerland! Home of many a gorgeous view!
If water rises, run away!
I think this guy is on his way to Poland, though I have been wrong before.
Blood Orange Orangina! I'm in heaven! Truth be told, it tasted EXACTLY the same as regular Orangina.
Today's oxymoron brought to you by...
Last edited by KBrylczyk on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:46 pm.
After our drive to the south of France, we stayed at a pretty nice, quaint hotel. They had some good food and TONS of wine for all of us. The first park of the trip was upon us. Walygator! Yayyyy...
Yeah, the park is pretty bad. The saving grace is their Raptor clone, Monster. It's run with no brakes! Whoo! The rest of the park includes a pretty horrible haunted house, a vekoma or arrow looper, the world's slowest wooden coaster, and an unimpressive collection of flats.
Monster - While it is a pre-owned, cloned B&M that the park just dropped in a field, this coaster has some serious talent! We all know how much fun Raptor is at Cedar Point. Now just take away the brakes, as well as the station house. The second half of the ride is fast and furious and the final helix pulls some great forces. The general feeling among the group was that it was a better ride than Raptor.
Anaconda - Ugggggggh, it was horrible. It wasn't rough or anything like that, just exceedingly boring! There is no speed at all! Not even at the bottom of the first drop! It feels like you're riding on the back of a snail the entire time. Cyclone at SFNE goes fast than this, if that will paint a better picture. It also has a better chance of making it over the hills.
Space Comet - This is either a Vekoma or Arrow design, I'm not sure. It was small, had a few inversions, and hit the brakes pretty hard. The ride op was cute, though!
Terror House - The scariest part of this was when I nearly broke my neck in the queue line. It's actually two parts. The first is an upper level "maze" with the day-glo paint all over the place and the speakers playing the "Saw" theme. After that you are told to go down the stairs to the actual haunt...which was bad. I don't remember coming across any actors or any animatronics / triggered events. It was more or less a walk through a dark basement with various scenes where nothing happened.
I didn't get a chance to do any other rides because A) the park was inundated with children once it opened to the public and B) nothing really interested me. Anyways, on with the (very few) pictures!
Welcome to Walygator!
Please note the broken fake palm trees!
Ken, Dan, Kevin, Colin, and a bunch of other up-to-no-good-ers decided to trap me in an old phone booth. Honestly, it probably would have been preferable to going inside the park.
According to Robb, this sign hadn't been touched since their visit in 2008.
Monster's entrance and "station house," if you can call it that. Excellent ride, though!
I found this out by the parking lot next to what looked like an abandoned train station. French Silent Hill?
Following the morning at Walygator, we had a pretty good drive (2-ish hours) to Holiday Park.
I really enjoyed Holiday Park. They've recently been bought by a company that panders towards younger children, so they haven't, to my knowledge, added anything huge and thrilling since the buyout. Expedition GeForce, the drop tower, and Star Flyer, all of that stuff remains from the old owners. Unfortunately, Expedition GeForce is plagued with problems, which is a shame. The ride is amazing. Our ERT was cancelled because it went down just prior to when we were supposed to begin.
Robb made the announcement before going into the park that everyone should go straight to it because there was a good chance it would go down for our ERT. Luckily, everyone listened and got our ride in before ERT. We ended up hanging around outside the coaster for about 2 more hours while the mechanics tried their hardest to get it running again, but to no avail. Oh, well. We were still able to ride earlier, which is better than nothing!
The rest of the park was nice. It was very heavily wooded and the selection of rides was nice. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the theme to the drop tower, though. Apparently when the new company took over they threw up a bunch of cast photos of some German live-action Scooby Doo knockoff and themed it around a mystery...or something.
Expedition GeForce - What is there to be said about this ride that hasn't been said a thousand times already? It's amazing. Pure and simple, amazing. I just wish someone would spend the time to figure out just what is wrong with the mechanical side of the ride to make sure it can stay operational for more than a few hours at a time!
Holly's Wilde Fahrt - Aside from having one of the greatest names EVER, it's just a standard mouse. Yayyyyyyyy, I guess.
Super Werbil - Twisty pain machine!
Burg Falkenstein - BOOB CREDIT!!!! This is a dark ride through a medieval dungeon. There's some gruesome scenes in here and I was pretty surprised that it all survived the new ownership. It isn't the kind of ride you'd be used to seeing at a park aimed towards children. It's an old, omni-mover style dark ride with some charm. I enjoyed it twice.
Donnerfluss - WHAAAAAAAAT?! This was my first encounter with European, non-Italian river raft rides. It was pretty shocking, to say the least. There were areas where we were playing bumper-rafts with everyone else in the trough! It is madness! I also got drenched, haha. Great times!
Anubis Free Fall Tower - Again, I have no clue what's going on, theme-wise, on this attraction. It's a long queue of a bunch of empty rooms with cast pictures of some German children's show. The themeing doesn't matter, though. The drop itself was great and very long.
Lighthouse Tower - Star Flyer credit! I HATE THESE THINGS! But I love them just the same! They're the one ride that can consistently terrify me to the point where I lock my entire body up in fear of my impending doom. It has happened every time I've ridden one and I don't see it stopping any time soon. I know how evil they are, I know what they do to me, but I still jump on every one I come across because DAMN do I respect a ride that can do that to me! What made this one worse was the strong wind above the treeline. As if dangling by weak chains in a fiberglass chair wasn't scary enough, imagine being hit by a wind every turn of the tower, forcing your chair to rock front to back AND side to side. My knuckles have never been whiter.
Teufels Fasser - This was a GREAT log flume! There's an indoor portion that involves a pretty large backwards drop and some cool effects. The final drop has a double-down with INSANE airtime in the back seat. I thought the double-down flume at Mirabilandia had airtime...that ride pales in comparison to this. I actually thought for a moment that I would be ejected to my death.
Brand new entrance with new ownership.
Ken, Dan, and I posing with the American flag. Yup, definitely tourists.
Through the trees!
Prepare for OMFG airtime!
Movin' right along...backwards.
Time for some GeForce porn. Enjoy!
My lunch! This cost a grand total of 3 Euro. If only American parks had prices like that!
Wow, what an excellent park! Everything you've read about this place is true. The rides are all top-notch, the customer service is superb, the rides are run at the highest capacity at all times, the themeing is out of this world, the food is delicious (especially the fresh-made Churros), and the ride ops are cute! I wish I could live right next door to this park.
Our ERT sessions went well. We shared Blue Fire with a local film crew, Wodan had to be postponed due to it not wanting to wake up early in the morning. Euro-Mir was a kickass "session" that was shared with the public, haha. We did manage to do a TPR takeover of a few trains, though. The ERT on Eurosat the following morning had to be experienced to be believed. Everything about the time spent at this park was magical and extremely accommodating. They know how to treat their guests! Let's get on to the reviews!
Blue Fire - WHEEEEEEE!!!! The train design on this ride is wicked. They're wide open! The ride itself was very twisty and interacted with the themeing very well as well as Wodan! There was airtime, there were loops, there were tons of twists, and that final heartline roll is designed to forcibly remove riders from the train. It's nuts! I love it!
Wodan - Front seat ride. The back was only OK. It's a world of difference between front and back. The front row gives airtime and insanity. The back row gives...a ride. It's a solid ride, don't get me wrong. Every seat is good, but if you want a GREAT ride, sit up front.
Alpenexpress - Hooray for powered coasters that interact with the flaming log flume! This was a cute little ride.
Atlantica Supersplash - The original San Antonio Journey To Atlantis. You go up, you spin backwards, you hit a dip, you spin forwards, you drop, you splash. You also don't get very wet. Sure, the splash is huge, but very little water makes it onto the boat. However, the geysers that are triggered by guests after the drop will soak you. You've been warned.
Euro-Mir - RIDE. OF. THE. TRIP. I had been hearing about this coaster for years. I had seen all the pictures and videos, read all the reviews, and still NOTHING could prepare me for the insanity of it. The song is still #1 on my iPod's "Most Played" listing. The ride itself can't be explained. You just need to ride it. Watch the video for my review -
Eurosat - Coaster in an EPCOT Ball! This is another ride built to push the boundaries of sanity! I loved it! Sure, it knocks you around a little, but it's awesome! Our ERT with the lights on had me ducking for cover half the time because of how close the supports got!
Matterhorn Blitz - A wild mouse with a vertical lift. The lift is pretty funky, but the rest of the coaster is a standard mouse with exceptional themeing and some good headchoppers. Hooray!
Pegasus - If I'm remembering correctly, this was designed to be a Vekoma Rollerskater killer. I'm sad that it hasn't caught on more. The ride was perfect for smaller kids and pulled some serious forces! It's like a Rollerskater that's begun puberty!
Poseidon - Excellently themed water coaster. I got wet enough, but not drenched. It shimmies a bit in areas but it's still a very fun ride.
Schweizer Bobbahn - I love a good Bobsled ride and this was no exception. It was short but it was fun. Hooray!
Silver Star - Another yawn-inducing B&M hyper. Snore.
Abenteuer Atlantis - This was a cute little indoor shooter dark ride. A nice way to get out of the sun for a few.
Ciao Bambini - Creepy dark ride #1. This one had a ton of dogs or something, as well as a tunnel of love.
Fjord Rafting - OMG! ANOTHER INSANE EUROPEAN RAFT RIDE! This one was even more nuts than Donnerfluss at Holiday Park! Much better themeing here, too. I got drenched again and I also almost saw some kids jump from raft to raft.
Football Scooter - Soccer bumper cars! It was a cool concept, but nobody seemed to want to play the actual soccer game and rather just hit each other, haha.
Geisterschloss - Europa's Haunted Mansion ripoff, right down to the mock elevators. The themeing was great, but the ride itself you could tell was crammed into a small building and the omni-mover system was very jerky.
Piraten In Batavia - Europa's Pirates of the Caribbean ripoff. It was a good length but couldn't hold a candle to Gardaland's pirate ride. It all seemed to take place in one huge room rather than move from scene to scene.
Schneeflockchen - Creepy dark ride #2! This one was full of horrifying dolls.
Tiroler Wildwasserbahn - This log flume was excellent! They had real fire all over the place INDOORS! It was themed to some kind of elf mine. It also got us pretty wet. Yay!
Wiener Wellnflieger - Just a typical wave swinger themed to a mushroom. Good times!
Hotel Collosseo by night. Pretty.
Hotel room goodness!
Morning at Europa!
Colin's a special boy!
Gjeurgen bjeurgen fjeurgen jeurgen. Gershkie bershkie! Swedish Chef, anyone?
Blue Fire sure looks nice.
Yay for insane raft rides!
Yay for themeing!
Are you sure you want to attend the Die show?
SWEET SWEET EURO-MIR GOODNESS!!!!!
They even had a full size mock-up of MIR.
Creepy doll ride.
AKA Bench: The Ride.
Our facial expressions say it all.
Someone's weinerschnitzel hurts. My extensive knowledge of the German language tells me that is the proper translation.
Excellent concept restaurant. The food was great!
I kinda wish I could ride...
Hey there, Euro-Mir!
The Globe Theatre? What's going on in there?
Oh...oh god...why? WHY?!
Yes! Slides O' Death!
This slide was evil in disguise. I got so much speed that I was launched off the end and straight into the banister of that building.
Thankfully you didn't get a lot of speed on this one. Your body was too busy being knocked around the inside like a pinball.
Eurosat and Silver Star. One EXCELLENT coaster, one crappy coaster. You decide which is which. I'll give you a hint: Silver Star sucks.
The sun smiles upon Geisterschloss!
This is how you're greeted at Eurosat.
Bumper Car soccer!
These two got in a wild water fight with the fountain. It was all in good fun, though, which I love seeing. Two people letting loose and having a ton of fun!
Totally not safe.
Acceptable amount of wetness?
Usually I'm against seat belts. Then there are times where I understand their purpose.
Thumbs up for Blue Fire.
The first drop goes through the structure.
Hotel Collosseo in the daytime.
Ken, Dan, and I came across an awesome air hockey table. The puck never stopped moving thanks to the curve!
We went back to Euro-Mir the following morning to say our goodbyes! Well, not everyone. The majority of people went for the first ride of the day on Silver Star. Our small group decided to ride the good ride.
Looks like you had fun at Europa-Park. Let's say we agree on Silver Star and disagree on Euro-Sat.
Usually I'm against seat belts. Then there are times where I understand their purpose.
I won't have seatbelts on these. And I don't know any account of someone falling of a raft - may it be park or carnival. And next to that there are big signs in the station area and inside the raft: If someone falls off there is no liability whatsoever...
This park is buried in the mountains of Germany and, to be honest, I wasn't expecting much. They have a Vekoma death machine, two kiddie coasters, a mountain coaster, and a few flats. I was DEFINITELY surprised!
Speed Snake - Vekoma death machine. I opted to sit up front in hopes that it would lessen the pain. It didn't. I felt like I stepped into the ring with Holyfield. What made it worse was the park decided to send you through TWICE! Why would ANYONE want that?! Even worse still, when we first came back into the station, the train overshot the mark and e-stopped the ride. We were all begging to let us out, saying that we didn't need the second go-round. The operator thought differently, though. No joke, he couldn't reset the ride from his booth. He actually walked out of the booth, tried resetting the secondary e-stop in the station, and when it still didn't work he BEAT IT WITH A PIPE until it worked! Germans know how to get things done! Yes, if you were wondering, the second loop was just as bad as the first, haha.
Devil's Mine - OMG! This ride is nuts! First off, the queue line is a walk-through haunt / funhouse itself! It goes on and on and has tons of tricks up its sleeve. I loved just getting to the station! The ride itself is NUTS! Well, not the entire thing; mostly just the first drop. Yes, the most terrifying moment of airtime I have ever encountered in my life. I was in the back seat and, had I not had a death-grip on the lap bar, I would have been tossed. I'll let Craig illustrate this fact for you -
Point proven? Good.
Marienkaferbahn - Tivoli ladybug coaster thing. If you're over 5 feet tall, watch your head. Mine nearly got taken off quite a few times.
Trapper Slider - Well, hello, huge mountain coaster with mini bunny hills! I loved this ride! Don't ever touch the brakes and you'll be screaming down the tracks in no time. I'm surprised the structure held up with all of TPR riding at the same time at top speed, haha. Mountain coasters always rock.
Crazy Washhouse - This was a nice little funhouse that neighbored the ride-through haunt. It wasn't anything cutting edge or large, but it was cute and fun.
Mystery Warehouse - SURPRISED EVERYONE! After the funhouse next door, we weren't expecting much from this old school dark ride. They had some AMAZING technology inside! The projections were flawless and nobody knew where or how they pulled off half of them. Seriously, where the heck did this come from?! Excellent!
Dark Raver - I will not ruin what the surprise is and I hope nobody else does, either. Just go in knowing that it is some of the most fun you'll ever have. They managed to take a few simple concepts and make it one of the most memorable experiences you'll have an amusement park.
Tomahawk - This was a Breakdance on steroids. I'm not sure what the official name is, but take a Breakdance and give the cars an extra, vertical axis so they can flip freely. Oh, also make the ride about 10 minutes long. This thing was pure madness from start to finish and gave some serious hangtime!
Wildwasserbahn - Just your typical log flume, right? For the most part, yes. However, there is a pretty sizeable underground portion, including a nice, in the dark drop followed by post-apocalyptic scenery. I don't remember getting very wet, but I did really enjoy it!
Wild Eagle - This was a zipline attraction where you get pulled up the mountain facing straight down in reverse, only to have it suddenly release you to fly back to the loading platform. The beginning is the most terrifying part. The actual zipline part is fun.
The park also gave us all the free chicken, steak, sausage, and beer we could eat and drink at the end of the day! Fort Fun, indeed!
Apparently they're a ski resort in the off-season.
They take their name literally.
I'll bet you are...
Please read it.
Funhouse and haunted house side by side!
It was a very beautiful park.
Craig enjoyed his near-death experience on Devil's Mine so much that he decided to finish the job himself!
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