Well, last week sorta flew right on by! I have only just returned to work today and already getting this blog post out whilst everything is fresh in my memory. In case you haven’t been following my social media channels, I visited a few theme parks across Germany, Netherlands and Belgium last week – and had a mighty good time exploring them all and going upside down on a variety of new creds, 48 to be exact! I am definitely suffering from the ol’ post holiday blues right now (even though I have got another trip planned next month!)
It helps me to appreciate that whilst I am lucky to have theme parks between 30 mins to 1 hour drive away from my house, it is refreshing to visit new parks and see how different they are to my home parks – and believe me, our UK parks could learn a thing or two about throughputs and theming. This holiday has been one of my favourites so far and there’s a lot of highlights that I have had to whittle down, so let’s crack on with the very best highlights of my week long road trip…
I did no research for Hansa Park before I visited last Tuesday, and I must say, I should do this more often because it exceeded my expectations! Obviously I knew about Kärnan and what it did so that wasn’t much of a surprise, although I must say that sensation on the lift hill was incredibly unique – I never felt so scared before getting on a rollercoaster in all my life (except for when I was a small kid maybe!) It was more about how beautiful the park was, certainly areas were more picturesque and themed better than others but I was expecting more of an amusement park vibe than what Hansa Park truly shows you. The fact the car park is opposite the entrance and you need to cross a bridge to get to it makes it very deceiving. I will definitely be returning for their next big investment, and one park I highly recommend visiting if you get the chance to head to the Hamburg area – it’s only an hour away!
FLUCH VON NOVGOROD @ HANSA PARK
Where do I begin with this ride? I had no clue about this ride at all – didn’t see any pictures although granted the park are very strict on the no photo policy on their rides, definitely a sense of secrecy and to keep the mystery which I’m all for to be honest. The queue line is fairly understated with some theming elements here and there, but as you enter the station building, this is where the theming comes alive. It felt like you were entering a scare attraction so I definitely got those Halloween vibes! Now, I’m not a huge fan of Gerstlauer Eurofighters – I get Gerstache regardless so I was slightly apprehensive as to whether I would enjoy this ride, but in all fairness, this is possibly my favourite Eurofighter I have done. There’s pre-show scenes before you enter the launch – and that is one hell of a snappy launch! – before you take on the outdoor section which is visible in the park. Then it’s the vertical lift hill with more thematic scenes and before long you are completing the layout with what I would guess is a very steep overbank before you enter the station again. I loved this ride despite the slight Gerstache I got – wish SAW The Ride at Thorpe Park was like this!
AVALON & FENIX @ TOVERLAND
I couldn’t help but look at the pictures of this area as soon as it was open, but honestly pictures won’t ever do it justice. Toverland is a truly magical place that needs to be seen through your own eyes, the theming is so beautiful. And let’s take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous Fenix is as a coaster. Yes, I am a B&M fangirl but honestly, it is truly a beautiful sight to behold – as it sweeps over Merlin’s Quest and around the area. One thing I loved was how many photo opportunities there were in this area alone – it’s almost as if Toverland planned this and I WISH MORE PARKS DID THIS! I love Photography and so being able to take photos in all these different angles was a great highlight for me. Plus, Fenix is one hell of an awesome Wing coaster – my favourite of the 3 I have ridden, sorry Swarm. I was not expecting to get that much airtime from the airtime hill after the first drop! All the inversions and elements on this ride blend together to create a truly fun experience for the whole family, and I definitely preferred the back row to the front.
FLUG DER DÄMONEN @ HEIDE PARK
Okay, this one is more sitting under the B&M fangirl part of me but who cares, I loved Flug der Dämonen at Heide Park. I’m amazed at how well it fits into that compact space in the Transylvania area. I love the music by IMAscore (I love all their music so call me a fangirl again) and whilst the trains are the same as Swarm but with fangs instead of guns, I actually loved this ride more – and I didn’t think I would. The ride experience itself certainly packs some great inversions and elements, not as many near miss elements as maybe I would have liked but it’s still a great coaster and my 2nd favourite Wing coaster after Fenix. My one gripe is the lack of places to take photos of this ride, and with it being a quiet few days on park last week, I couldn’t take advantage of taking photos within the queueline.
UNTAMED @ WALIBI HOLLAND
My new number 2 coaster, Untamed was a beast. No POV will ever do justice as to how much frigging airtime you get on this so seriously get yourself down to Walibi Holland and ride this before making a judgement from a POV. And yes, your thighs will hurt after several goes with your hands up (cause who keeps their hands down on an RMC?). I may not have gained massive bruises but after 6 goes, I honestly felt like my thighs were going to shout at me for all the pain. My favourite moment was the double up section and barrel roll towards the end of the ride – I’ve never experienced a coaster where that much airtime made me cry with laughter. It’s so fab and I’m glad this coaster isn’t too far away from me travel wise, even if it didn’t quite beat Wildfire at Kolmården for me (Wildfire didn’t make my thighs hurt so Untamed does lose points in that respect.) The station was pretty cool looking with all the foliage but I think I spent more time looking at the trains – they look so great!
VAN HELSING’S FACTORY @ MOVIE PARK GERMANY
I heard so much about this ride that I literally wanted to get myself to Movie Park Germany for a good 7 years now, and that time finally came last week. I love the Van Helsing genre and film so I was incredibly excited to try this out for myself. With it being an indoor coaster, POVs don’t really show too much so you can’t really work out what happens. It may only be a Gerstlauer bobsled coaster but honestly, the theming in this ride is so damn cool – they even sell some epic Van Helsing merch in the gift shop at the exit, including an axe! The coaster might be somewhat mediocre on its own if you stripped it of it’s theming but as a whole package, it’s one hell of a fun ride. I almost found it hard to keep an eye on all the theming as you rush by, and those mouse turns with the sneaky dip in between was unexpected – quite a nifty little trick there! I would go back to this park just for this ride alone.
EXCALIBUR RAPIDS @ MOVIE PARK GERMANY
Going along the same theme as most of these highlights, I didn’t really do much research into these rapids at Movie Park Germany and again, I’m actually glad I didn’t. The only thing I knew was that the station was indoors, the rest of the ride I had no clue what to expect. The theming was incredibly impressive right down to the finale scene, add in the cute and magical music from IMAscore and you’ve got yourself a ride to be proud of. You really cannot see much of this ride from the exterior at all – even the warehouse building is hidden by trees and foliage as you walk to the entrance so it really gives us new visitors a chance to build up the anticipation when riding. The rapids themselves, done by Intamin, were pretty fun too. Whilst it is not a soaker of a ride compared to the likes of Hafema rapids like River Quest, they are incredibly fast and enjoyable for the whole family – especially towards the end as you head towards the station. The location of these rapids are quite well hidden so don’t miss out, make sure you head towards Nickelodeon Land and they are right at the back near the new Paw Patrol area!
That’s all for now!