I've enjoyed taking you on this nostalgia trip, but we've reached the end--for now, at least. I'm not taking you that far back in time for this last leg--just a year ago in the Netherlands, where RMC has extended its domination; Belgium, where Gerstlauer did some impressive work; Poland, where Vekoma has come on strong; and Sweden, where B&M shows that it still has a trick or two up its sleeve.
So, let's look back at parks big and small, old and new--not to mention eccentric (or just plain weird). But first,
. . . how about some tasty poffertjes? You can get this with marijuana and chocolate in Amsterdam, you know. I settled for strawberries, whipped cream, and Nutella.
Ah, Amsterdam! A unique, beautiful city of art and canals, good food and beer. But remember . . .
. . . what happens in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam.
Our "pre-trip" park this year was Bobbejaanland, which has changed a lot since my last visit.
Fury is a unique Gerstlauer creation in which riders can choose to ride forward or backward. (The latter was fun and very intense, but I prefer going forward.)
Efteling has also changed a lot since my last visit. Baron is a good, well themed Dive Machine, but for my money, . . .
. . . Symbolica is the best ride at Efteling.
This trackless dark ride rivals the work of Disney and Universal.
Yes, more poffertjes. Don't judge.
Joris en de Draak was a pleasant surprise--one of the best coasters GCI has built (IMHO), with some clever theming.
Another pleasant surprise: Toverland's Fenix is the best of the B&M Wing coasters.
I love this new section of the park. Merlin's cave under the Fenix station is very cool.
Troy has held up pretty well, too.
RMC is now rocking what used to be Robin Hood at Walibi Holland. This ride is amazing--better than Steel Vengeance (at least to me).
XPress is a bit clunky but fun.
And whether it's green or blue, Goliath is still great.
From Robb's rider cam--one of the few on-ride photos of me that I like.
And now, an interlude before we fly to Poland. Drievilet's Formule X is still a great little launched coaster.
And they still have the mysterious pig-cat!
Duinrell is a nice park in a beautiful setting.
It's sort of like a summer camp with rides.
I liked Energylandia's Hyperion, but it wasn't the best ride in this Polish version of Six Flags.
Formula was the real star of this park--a fun launch and plenty of air time. Well done, Vekoma!
Zadra wasn't quite ready for prime time while we were there, but it looked great.
Legendia's Lech Coaster was a another triumph for Vekoma.
I grayed out a bit on this ride, too.
This was surprisingly decent for an "off-brand" double looper.
I really liked Valkyria at Liseberg--a better dive coaster than Efteling's Baron and Cedar Point's Valrayvn.
Helix was fun, too--great views of the city from this ride.
Liseberbanan was sporting shiny new trains . . .
. . . and Balder remained great.
"Welcome to Kolmarden. I am your host, Mike Meercat. May I offer you a refreshing beverage?"
Wildfire . . . well, what more needs to be said?
"Yep--best not to talk Wildfire to death, pal. Just enjoy it. Want some leaves?"
Meanwhile, back at Grona Lund . . . you guys OK up there?
Twister gives new meaning to "eccentric." What a crazy layout this ride has.
Decided to skip Insane this trip, but I'd like to ride the park's new B&M Invert someday.
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