My top 5 most anticipated Intamin coasters

My top 5 most anticipated Intamin coasters

From my top 5 most anticipated B&M coasters, I bring to you the next blog instalment featuring one of the more ‘out there’ and experimental type of rollercoaster manufacturer in my eyes: Intamin. With the likes of Taron and Expedition GeForce as key coasters I’ve loved along my travels across Europe, I can’t help but want to explore more of the Intamin offerings around the world. Whilst I will always remain a faithful fan of B&M, I can’t help but find Intamin’s latest creations grabbing my attention.

So, which Intamin coasters are my most anticipated?

Note: this list is in no particular order.

Taiga, Linnamäki

After riding other Intamin Blitz coasters such as Taron and Cheetah Hunt, I’ve always been fascinated as to what the next instalment of Blitz coasters could become. Taiga came along in 2019 with its gorgeous blue track and unique style train design. Located within Linnanmäki in Finland, it’s definitely given me a good excuse to get a trip sorted back to the Scandinavian countries. Plus reading the reviews from several people within the theme park realm just makes me want to find out what Taiga is made of – wonder if it’ll make it into my top 10?

Flying Aces, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

So, fun little back story. I didn’t really know much about the Dubai parks until my brother took a trip out to Dubai a few years ago and decided to take a trip to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. Me being a typical theme park geek was extremely jealous and ever since, Dubai/Abu Dhabi has been on the bucket list for a very long time. So it’s not surprise that Flying Aces and Formula Rossa are included on this list. Flying Aces has one hell of a quirky layout that looks to throw you all over the place. Bring it on I say.

Formula Rossa, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Top speed of 149.1mph in 4.9 seconds… Fastest rollercoaster in the world and I WANT IT. Is it bragging rights? Maybe. Is it a bucket list coaster you want because your brother got the cred before you? Yes. I’m not even ashamed to say that. Of course the coaster itself looks insane and videos don’t really do it justice in my eyes. I want to be there and experience the sheer speed of Formula Rossa for myself, just might take me a few years until I can get a Dubai trip penned in.

Maverick, Cedar Point

Cedar Point is top of my list of US parks I want to visit. Whilst the number of coasters is a huge draw to up my coaster count, there’s a couple of coasters here that have been on my radar for a few years. Maverick is, surprise surprise, an Intamin Blitz coaster that’s been highly regarded within the theme park realm. So it’s not a surprise that I’ve added this to my list. Maverick has a cool layout but looks pretty relentless with some fast transitions.

Velocicoaster*, Universal Studios Islands of Adventure

*Not the confirmed name as I write this post.

This coaster went up real quick ey?! Following the construction of this new coaster on YouTube and Twitter has certainly given me lots of excitement for next year’s trip. And it’s definitely helped to beat some of the boredom with the 2020 lockdown. Some of the inversions and transitions that you can see during the construction look insane, this is one coaster everyone needs to watch. Plus once all the theming pieces are in place too, I think we’re all excited to see the finished product.

I’m also going to make a special mention to the new coaster coming to Walibi Belgium in 2021 too. That thing looks bloody epic and I hope to have a Belgium trip planned next year – provided COVID-19 behaves and doesn’t disrupt plans too much.

Which Intamin coasters are on your bucket list?

Have I missed any notable Intamin coasters?

LOTTIE TRAVELS

My top 5 most anticipated B&M coasters

My top 5 most anticipated B&M coasters

Since travelling abroad has become a somewhat far distant reality for me (and many others) at the moment, I can’t help myself from pining for new theme parks to explore. From staring at Coast2Coaster looking at the next cluster of parks I want to travel to, there’s always a bucket list of coasters that I want to add to my coaster count.

So guess who thought it would be good to write up a little series on my blog about my 5 most anticipated coasters – segmented by coaster manufacturer? Yep, that’s me. My blog has slowed right down at the moment due to no real travel plans, so it felt right with my 100th post to start up a little series of blog posts.

B&M has to be the first manufacturer since I’m a sucker for their coasters. They’re smooth, fun and photogenic – I could spend a long time taking photos of stunning B&M coasters, hello Fenix! Not only that but I’ve always had a big infatuation with their rides since I was a kid. Nemesis at Alton Towers has always played a big part in my journey to hitting up the ‘big boy’ coasters.

There are also some great hidden gems in the B&M world which provide a punch. No matter what, I’ll always have a soft spot for B&M and nothing will change that.

So, which B&M coasters are my most anticipated?

Note: this list is in no particular order.

Alpengeist, Busch Gardens Williamsburg

This B&M invert has been on my mind ever since I discovered B&M inverts existed so effectively after I rode Nemesis for the first time. I’ve seen a lot of good reviews of Alpengeist and can’t help myself from swooning over this coaster. Not only does the layout look exhilarating but the colour scheme is great for the theme of this coaster. Hopefully I’ll have a US road trip booked so I can head on over to Busch Gardens Williamsburg over the next couple of years.

Daemonen, Tivoli Gardens

Now I wouldn’t normally go for a Floorless B&M as one of my most anticipated coasters but this one in particular intrigues me. Not only is Daemonen located at Tivoli Gardens, my most anticipated park that I want to travel to in Europe. It also has some stunning photo opportunities that make me want to get my Canon camera out and spend so much time photographing the coaster.

Mako, Seaworld Orlando

As soon as Mako was announced I wanted to head back to Orlando in a hurry – obviously I decided to hold fire since there’s been so many fantastic new additions within the Orlando parks. I loved Shambhala at PortAventura so it’s no surprise that I eagerly anticipate this to be the same or better. Roll on next year when I should have the chance to ride Mako (provided the COVID-19 situation improves!)

Thunderbird, Holiday World

So who else in 2015 was curious when B&M announced a launched Wing coaster? Cause I certainly was. The colour scheme is so cool – that orange track is the perfect contrast against the teal-style blue & yellow train. Again another coaster located in the US that is on the bucket list so no surprise that I’ve included this coaster on my most anticipated B&M coasters list. Plus the way Thunderbird winds through the landscape, it’s only made me more excited to see how this rides.

Katun, Mirabilandia

Finally, Katun has certainly been on my list for a fair few years. The Italian parks have always been on my radar when looking at cred road trips, just a shame they are all far from each other so takes some extra planning. I’ve read reviews from people saying Katun is intense and a pretty cool B&M invert. Since this type of B&M coaster is my favourite, I really hope to see how well it rides when I get the chance to head over to Mirabilandia over the next couple of years.

Which B&M coasters are on your bucket list?

Have I missed any notable B&M coasters?

What type of B&M coaster do you like?

LOTTIE TRAVELS

The 5 Interesting Rides at Skyline Park

The 5 Interesting Rides at Skyline Park

Skyline Park was a park that presented itself as something that could’ve been built in RCT. It was spacious. There were 7 creds to grab plus some other flat rides to explore. This was the next park on our German road trip in June 2019. I didn’t have high expectations but after visiting Bayern Park, I was expecting something on the same level. I was very wrong. Sometimes a little research does help!

Before I begin this post, when I say interesting rides, I mean memorable but maybe not for the right reasons.

Overall park expectations

As I said above, the park layout reminded me very much of a RCT park. The rides and coasters are all spread out across a big space. Our plan of attack was to head towards the back end of the park where Sky Dragster was and work our way back to the park entrance. This definitely worked well for us as the longest queue of the day was for Sky Dragster – low throughputs so it was a painful wait.

The park is split into different sections with a small cluster of rides but generally, there were no trees/fauna dotted about the park. When you’ve travelled to Bayern Park first, it can feel a bit like a downgrade. Unique creds and rides can be a good way for a park to bring in the guests but if you leave out theming and landscaping, they may be left disappointed, in my eyes.

Whilst I am all for parks having their unique style, open plan theme parks can look a tad bland. Adding a bit of theming can bring some atmosphere to an area. I view theme parks as a place for escaping reality and placing a bunch of coasters/rides into a open plan space will only do so much. Skyline Park has more potential with the unique creds it has in the area. And here are five in particular that I remember well.

Sky Rider

This was a popular ride that would feature in my RCT creations as a kid. Why? Because it’s rare and unique. Caripro coasters are few and far between. The only other Caripro coaster I’ve ridden is a BatFlyer at Plopsaland De Panne in 2013. It’s been a while but I remember Vleermuis being fun and somewhat awkward to get in and out of the ride.

Sky Rider is a fun experience where you sit on the ride inwards. Not sure why but I’m not a huge fan of this seating arrangement. Yes, it’s a rarity but I don’t feel there is any real benefit to the ride experience. Caripro are renowned for their unique style of coasters but I wish they thought more about the logistics of riders getting in and out of the ride train.

Ghost Train

The Ghost Train. Oh boy. Where do I start? I’ve ridden a fair few ghost trains over the last few years. Some have been good. Others, not so much. This one on the outside, had a lot going for it. It looked big and a little daunting. So you’d be right that I was a little bit nervous as I stepped aboard the ride vehicle.

Well… it wasn’t scary. It wasn’t thrilling. It was disappointing to say the least. It was coming to the end of our day at Skyline Park so I was hoping this ghost train would give us a good final farewell. Sadly, that wasn’t meant to be. For a large ghost train, I was expecting more to it including some actual jump scares. Disappointment galore.

Sky Dragster

Following on the list of ‘unique’ creds at Skyline Park, we’ve got Sky Dragster. This Maurer Spike Dragster coaster is the only one of its kind in the world – although I believe one is being planned (or built) on a cruise ship. Do correct me if I’m wrong. Since there’s not much talk about this coaster, I had no idea what to expect.

First off, it has VERY slow throughputs. It says a lot that this was the first ride of the day and we queued for around an hour if I remember correctly. It may have been less but effectively, the park was dead and pretty much all rides were walk on… apart from Sky Dragster. I wouldn’t say I came off the ride feeling anything other than, ‘well, that’s different’. It’s okay and definitely a rare cred to have on your coaster count.

Sky Wheel

My first view of this coaster was dread. When I see a coaster that not only looks different from your traditional style coasters, I can’t help but find myself thinking the worst. I had no idea how this was going to ride or whether I would enjoy it. Safe to say, I did not enjoy it. I’ve never ridden a Maurer SkyLoop before so I had no idea what to expect.

The ride effectively starts by ascending up towards the first ‘corner’ – say hello to major hangtime which I despise! – and then gravity takes hold as it winds along the track back towards the station. Sometimes it does go through twice – depends on which SkyLoop you ride, there’s 10 to choose from (according to RCDB) including Sky Wheel.

Log Flume

Wherever I go travelling, I’ll always make sure to give any local log flumes a go. They’re becoming a dying breed in the UK, especially with the loss of Loggers Leap at Thorpe Park and The Flume at Alton Towers. This Wildwasserbahn was impressively long and a fun experience.

I believe this is a travelling model (correct me if I’m wrong.) The experience as a whole was fun. Plenty of lifthills and drops to keep you feeling the anticipation of getting soaked. Located next to Sky Dragster at the top end of the park, I’d certainly recommend giving this a go when visiting Skyline Park. It’ll be one of the only ‘good’ rides at the park.

Have you visited Skyline Park before?

What rides & attractions are you wanting to try out?

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Top 5 Energylandia coasters you can’t miss

Top 5 Energylandia coasters you can’t miss

In October last year, I boarded my flight to Krakow in search of coaster creds in Poland. I had to get a trip booked in after the announcement of Zadra’s opening date. Flights were going cheap for late October so had to get them booked, didn’t I? Visiting Energylandia for the first time was a bizarre experience for me. I had previously watched Jordan’s vlogs from her trip in April and knew it was a park I wanted to visit. Just not as soon as I did. I was very eager to tick off the 15 creds and there were at least 5 coasters at Energylandia that I couldn’t miss.

Cred anxiety is a known thing. Were we were going to get spited by a major coaster? Was the weather going to take a turn for the worst? Thankfully it was like a UK summer heatwave all over again! Energylandia as a park reminded me of a RCT (Roller Coaster Tycoon) park. Coasters dotted all over the place, with the odd bits of theming added in. The layout made no sense without the help of a park map. It was somewhat confusing but once you get your bearings, you know exactly where to go.

tall wooden rollercoaster with blue sky
tall green water coaster with blue sky
bright multicoloured rollercoaster for children on green track
chairswing ride with flowers and bushes neatly placed around ride
top 5 energylandia coasters

With 15 creds to grab, it seemed fitting to pick out my top 5 coasters at the park. There’s a lot of kiddie creds and that’s not an understatement. I know some people aren’t hardcore ‘cred whores’ but there are some solid coasters in the line up. Aside from the obvious reason for my trip in the first place. Can you hazard a guess as to which coaster? Anyway let’s crack on with my top 5 coasters at Energylandia you can’t miss!

wooden rollercoaster going through inversion with pumpkin statue to right

Coaster #1: Zadra

It was obvious that this would be number one for me. I loved Zadra, a LOT. From the moment you leave the ride station, you knew this ride was going to pull out all the stops to be an incredible ride. It had the speed, the forces, the inversions, the whole package in my eyes for a world class coaster. I’d love to be inside the mind of Alan Schilke when he comes up with the concepts for his coasters. Zadra is a force to be reckoned with. The whole area around the ride is stunning – just be prepared to walk in the ridiculously long queue line to get to the station!

race car style rollercoaster on red track

Coaster #2: Formula

I’m gonna just put it out here now and say that I didn’t think I was going to love Formula as much as I did. For a compact layout, it packs a punch even with the launch at the beginning of the ride. It’s a fun ride that is pretty intense in places (not as much as Lech coaster in Legendia though.) I cannot wait to see what else Vekoma is going to come up with in the future as I’ve been very impressed with Formula and Lech Coaster in Poland.

tall rollercoaster on black track with lights on side of lift hill

Coaster #3: Hyperion

Now, I know some people who’ve ridden Hyperion are going to wonder why I’ve put it beneath Formula. Hear me out. Overall, Hyperion is a good coaster as it packs in some cool airtime moments and whips you round the ‘Dive Drop’ element after the first airtime hill. Yes, I rode Zadra first and probably got completely spoilt by how amazing it rode. BUT I just felt like there was something missing from the whole ride experience – even after 4 rides, I still came off Hyperion feeling flat and unimpressed.

top 5 energylandia coasters

Source

Coaster #4: Dragon Roller Coaster

There’s not a lot to say about this coaster other than it is fun. I have a huge soft spot for these new style Vekoma suspended coasters. Flight of the Pterosaur at Paultons Park, Orkanen at Farup Sommerland & the list goes on. I believe this is the same layout as Orkanen at Farup Sommerland – don’t quote me on that. They incorporate the water element to the ride really well. The dragon head was beautiful to look at and worked so well as a near miss element. It’s a basic suspended coaster that is fun for the whole family, cool ride layout with some fun turns and something I consider to be re-rideable – if you need to waste some spare moments on a quiet day.

mayan temple building with rollercoaster to the left

Coaster #5: Roller Coaster Mayan

Say what? A Vekoma SLC is in this list? Oh yes, people. This SLC has the new trains and restraints from Vekoma and blimey, you can tell the difference. As with any SLC, it isn’t what I call silky smooth. However our first ride on Mayan was very good. Baring in mind the temperature reached highs of 25 degrees so the ride had plenty of time to warm up. This is where the painful reminder of SLCs came back in focus. The new restraints didn’t give me too much of a headache, thankfully! I did still felt sore and battered after my second ride later in the day. Whilst this is my favourite of all SLCs I have ridden so far, it still provides with that raw old school Vekoma roughness that we all know and ‘love’…

girl posing in front of massive pumpkin
rollercoaster through loop on red track
wooden rollercoaster with red topper track
formula red rollercoaster track during sunset
top 5 energylandia coasters

I can’t wait to return to the park over the next few years. I’d love to see how the park develops, plus I’m intrigued by the new Vekoma Shockwave, Abyssus, opening in 2020.

Are you planning a trip to Energylandia this year?

Visited Energylandia, which rides are your favourites?

What are your top 5 coasters at Energylandia?

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

My Top 10 UK Coasters

My Top 10 UK Coasters

Something I have stumbled across on YouTube a lot is people ranking the UK coasters into a top 10 list. It’s very interesting seeing everyone’s opinions on all the different UK coasters, and in particular how people rank them. I have been looking at my current top 10 coaster list (it’s changed a lot after this year, and better left for another blog post entirely) but when I started thinking about UK coasters in particular, one question popped into my head. Where do they rank in a top 10 list for me?

When it comes to writing down all the UK coasters that I love, easy-peasy. When it comes to ranking them out of 10… boy, this was tricky! Each coaster offers a different unique experience yet how do you rate each one against each other to know where they slot in on a top 10 list. What I can conclude is that there are some gems here in the UK which can easily be forgotten when you start travelling around the world. We may slate that our theme parks & coasters don’t match up to the ones abroad, but honestly, we’ve got some good coasters to be shouting about.

top 10 uk coasters nemesis alton towers

1: Nemesis, Alton Towers

I think this is a given since this is featured quite high in my top 10 coasters list. And I know there’s plenty of people who will disagree and say it is overhyped. I’m not going to disagree with you HOWEVER in my opinion, Nemesis at Alton Towers is up there as one of the best, if not THE best in the UK. It is a classic B&M invert that ticks all the boxes – especially when she gets warmed up on a hot day, back row is crazy at times!

top 10 uk coasters wickerman alton towers

2: Wicker Man, Alton Towers

I had to think about this one but in all fairness, Wicker Man does provide a good all round experience. From the pre-show to the fire effects on the Wicker Man statue (or Big Bob as some people like to refer it), you can’t deny that this ride is great for everyone. It may not be the most thrilling against the likes of Troy but it’s still great for the UK.

megafobia oakwood

3: Megafobia, Oakwood

My first time to Oakwood was in 2016. The main draw for me was to finally experience one of the best coasters in the UK, Megafobia. The reason I have placed this behind Wicker Man is purely down to my memory being bad and I can’t really remember too much of the ride experience – apart from the first 2 drops. They were insane. Granted I wish this coaster was located more central in the UK than in the far corner of Wales, but I guess it gives me an excuse to do a road trip.

top 10 uk coasters stealth thorpe park

4: Stealth, Thorpe Park

I still remember my first time on Stealth in 2006, looking up at the 205ft coaster, pondering what it is going to feel like on the ride. I remember screaming but coming off the ride thinking, ‘HOLY CRAP, that was AMAZING!’ Stealth is just as re-rideable as it was in 2006 in my opinion. I love watching people’s reaction of the ride whenever I’m in the Amity area. Stealth does look daunting but it’s certainly one of the best rides at Thorpe Park – and really adds to Thorpe Park‘s skyline when you drive past from Chertsey.

oblivion alton towers

5: Oblivion, Alton Towers

The one drop wonder and the first B&M Dive Machine to be manufactured, opened in 1998. Oblivion delivers a good overall ride experience to the ride line-up at Alton Towers. This is a ride that everyone associates with Alton Towers, and for good reasons too. I love the adrenaline rush that it gives. Plus, when you have a loose enough restraint, you’ll float happily in your seat as you drop down into the pit.

top 10 uk coasters vampire chessington world of adventures

6: Vampire, Chessington World of Adventures

Vampire will always have a soft spot in my heart. My first initial memories of the ride with the Arrow bat trains and the spooky feel of Transylvania was enough to terrify the kids. Granted I was around 7 years old when I first visited Chessington. It was a fantastic ride and it still is to this day. With the purple Vekoma trains, I love the exposed feeling you get with the ride. It still packs in some great swings through the trees and is overall a firm favourite at Chessington – the long queues it gets during peak times says a lot!

top 10 uk coasters the swarm thorpe park

7: The Swarm, Thorpe Park

Wing coasters are one of my favourites from B&M, after Inverted coasters of course. Majority of people may slate them for being too tame or unexciting, and I can understand that. However, there are some variations of this ride that actually show you can make a Wing coaster more intense – hello Fenix at Toverland. For what The Swarm provides as a ride, is something simple and fun as part of the ride line-up at Thorpe Park. It doesn’t need to be thrilling in my eyes and there are some cool inversions that add to the overall ride experience, including the in-line twist above the station and the Zero-G roll.

icon blackpool pleasure beach

8: Icon, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

I’ve already written a full blog post on my thoughts of Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, but it is nowhere near as good as people are saying it is. Definitely not number one in the UK, that’s for sure. It is a decent coaster and the best one at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I can’t say I came off feeling thrilled, especially since it needs a lot of warming up to give you the better ride experience. There’s little pockets of airtime during the first half but the second half of the ride fell flat for me. The best way I could give it this spot is purely for the fact I would ride Icon over The Smiler.

the smiler alton towers

9: The Smiler, Alton Towers

Okay, I probably don’t ride The Smiler as much as some people so why is it in my top 10 UK coasters? It’s pretty decent when you look at the ride as a whole. All the elements work well together, plus you can’t deny that when the trains dual for each half, it’s pretty mesmerising to watch – and take photos of. I can’t say it’s up there as one of my favourite Gerstlauer coasters I have ridden. Depending on the train you get, it will either be a somewhat smooth ride or it can be a pretty rough ride. That final section after the Cobra Roll and 2 barrel rolls is pretty horrible to go through, even if you do manage to brace yourself.

top 10 uk coasters flight of the pterosaur

10: Flight of the Pterosaur, Paultons Park

And finally, in at number 10 is Flight of the Pterosaur at Paultons Park. I love these new Vekoma suspended coasters that have been appearing over the last few years. They’re so fun to ride and perfect for parks looking to add a ‘bigger’ style coaster for the kids/families. Paultons Park has come from leaps and bounds to be the one theme park to watch out for in the UK. Who knows, Storm Chaser that is currently under construction in the new Tornado Springs area might creep into this list next year.

What are your top 10 UK coasters?

Do you agree with my rankings?

Is Nemesis your number one UK coaster?

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

June Road Trip | Best New Coasters

June Road Trip | Best New Coasters

I had quite a short hiatus on my blog during the summer. However, I went over to Germany in June to explore some new parks as well as visit some old favourites. It was a fun trip, to say the least. It provided some incredible views across the German Bavaria area. I cannot get over how gorgeous Germany is as a country. These road trips that we plan are one of the reasons I love travelling. You really get a chance to explore more than just the theme parks. I have major wanderlust! I wanted to reflect on some of the best new coasters that I got to experience on this trip. Also highlighting some of my old favourites that I couldn’t wait to re-ride.

FREISCHÜTZ | BAYERN PARK

In a weird way, I really enjoyed this coaster at Bayern Park. The park itself was a surprise in terms of how beautiful the surroundings were. There were lots of unique and gorgeous German details that you don’t tend to get with the mainstream parks in the UK, for obvious reasons. Not only was this coaster my 350th cred. I also enjoyed this ride even if it is the biggest coaster in the whole park. This Maurer X-Car Flying Launch coaster provides some great elements of hangtime and a fairly punchy launch. Okay, the X-Car designs aren’t the most comfortable or easiest to get into. Despite all that, this is by far the best coaster at the park!

FEUERDRACHE | LEGOLAND DEUTSCHLAND

What, one of the best coasters I did was at a Legoland? Yep, this is by far my favourite of the Dragon coasters I’ve ridden. Out of Windsor, Billund & Deutschland. Being a Zierer coaster, I was sceptical over how good this ride would be. What ticked the box for me was that fun little drop before the lift hill, after the indoor dark ride section. I’ve never seen a POV of this ride. Of course, this means I didn’t expect the unexpected. This then took you into the fun coaster you can see from the park. If you are heading off to a Legoland park abroad, make sure to visit Legoland Deutschland and experience this coaster for yourself.

EUROSAT CAN CAN COASTER | EUROPA PARK

Okay, you could say I’m cheating by saying that this is a new coaster. Especially as the layout is exactly the same. The experience is completely different, and I am living for this new style. I was nervous when the retheme was announced. Boy, I didn’t need to be. The Can-Can retheme fits perfectly with the France area. I love how the Mack’s continue to surprise us all. The homage to the original EuroSat coaster around the queue line, the original theme in the lift hill music, this left me with a huge smile on my face. It may be a complete re-track but it’s still the same fun coaster we all remember and love. Minus the crazy brakes at the end – BRAAAAAAAAAKES!

Honourable mentions need to go to some of my old favourites that I was super excited to get back on including:

blue fire megacoaster europa parkBlue Fire @ Europa Park

expedition geforce holiday parkExpedition GeForce @ Holiday Park

karacho coaster tripsdrillKaracho @ Erlebnispark Tripsdrill

wodan timbur coaster europa parkWodan @ Europa Park

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

September Holiday | Trip Highlights

September Holiday | Trip Highlights

Well, last week flew by! I’ve returned to work today and already getting this blog post written up. I had a bloody good time visiting some fab theme parks across Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. And I gained a total of 48 new creds. Not bad for a week long road trip. It is refreshing to visit new parks and see how different they are to my home parks. Believe me, our UK parks could learn a thing or two about throughputs and theming. I’m definitely suffering from the ol’ post holiday blues right now. So let’s boost my mood with a reflection of my September holiday trip highlights, here on Lottie Travels.

HANSA PARK

I did no research for Hansa Park before I visited last Tuesday. I should do this more often because the park exceeded my expectations! Obviously, I knew about Kärnan and what the ride did. That wasn’t much of a surprise. Although I must say that sensation on the lift hill was incredibly unique. I’ve never felt so scared before getting on a rollercoaster in all my life. Except for when I was a small kid.

It was more about how beautiful the park was. Some areas were more picturesque, with great theming compared to other areas. I think I was expecting more of an amusement park vibe. It has a very deceiving entrance. Plus, the fact the car park is across the road and you need to cross a bridge to get to the park. I’ll definitely return for their next big investment. It’s a park I highly recommend visiting if you are in the Hamburg area. It’s only an hour drive away!

FLUCH VON NOVGOROD @ HANSA PARK

Where do I begin with this ride? I had no clue about this ride at all. I haven’t seen any pictures, although the park are very strict on the no photo policy of their rides. They definitely have a sense of secrecy and mystery. Which I’m all for to be honest. The queue line is understated with some theming elements here and there. However as soon 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 or not. 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. Before long you’re completing the layout with what seems like very steep overbank, before you enter the station again. I loved this ride despite the slight Gerstache I got. I wish SAW The Ride at Thorpe Park was like this!

AVALON & FENIX @ TOVERLAND

I couldn’t help looking at the pictures of this area as soon as it opened. Honestly pictures won’t ever do it justice. Toverland is a truly magical place that needs to be seen through your very own eyes. The theming is so beautiful. And let’s take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous Fenix is as a coaster. Yes, I’m 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.

I loved 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 there are some unique angles you can get. Fenix is one hell of an awesome Wing coaster – my favourite of the 3 I have ridden. Sorry The 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. 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 to be fair, so call me a fangirl again! The trains are the same as The Swarm, just with fangs instead of guns. Honestly I loved this ride more.

The ride experience itself certainly packs some great inversions and elements. Not as many near miss elements as I would’ve liked but it’s still a great coaster. My 2nd favourite wing coaster after Fenix. My one gripe is the lack of places to take photos of this ride. With it being a quiet few days on park last week, I couldn’t take advantage of taking photos within the queue line. A bit of a bummer but couldn’t be helped! Still, Flug Der Damonen is a solid coaster at Heide Park.

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 coaster. Seriously, get yourself down to Walibi Holland and ride Untamed before making judgement from a POV. And yes, your thighs will hurt after several goes with your hands up. Seriously, 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 fall off.

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. It didn’t quite beat Wildfire at Kolmården for me. Wildfire didn’t make my thighs hurt so Untamed loses points in that respect. The station was pretty cool looking with all the foliage. I think I spent more time looking at the trains – they’re so pretty!

VAN HELSING’S FACTORY @ MOVIE PARK GERMANY

I’ve wanted to get myself to Movie Park Germany for a good 7 years now. 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 doesn’t give too much away. 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.

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EXCALIBUR RAPIDS @ MOVIE PARK GERMANY

Going along the same theme, I didn’t do much research into these rapids at Movie Park Germany. Again, I’m 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. This really gives us ‘new visitors’ a chance to build up the anticipation when riding. The rapids themselves, manufactured by Intamin, were pretty fun too. It might not be a soaker like River Quest at Phantasialand but they’re incredibly fast. Perfectly enjoyable for the whole family! Don’t miss out on Excalibur. Make sure to head towards Nickelodeon Land and they’re right at the back near the new Paw Patrol area!

Looking back now, I have a lot of memories to take away from this holiday. Hopefully this has given you some insight into the parks & coasters. Thanks for reading my September holiday trip highlights on my blog, Lottie Travels. More holiday content will be written up in due course!

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

 

 

Haunted House Monster Party | Review

Haunted House Monster Party | Review

haunted house monster party

Haunted House Monster Party is now officially open at Legoland Windsor for the 2019 season! Lord Vampyre invites you to his Monster Party where he’ll literally turn the whole house UPSIDE DOWN. On Saturday 12th April, I travelled up to Legoland Windsor to experience the new attraction for myself. My first impressions of the ride were good.

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I will admit that I hadn’t really followed the construction of this ride. However, when I found out it was going to be a Vekoma Madhouse, I knew this was something to keep on my radar. If any of you have experienced Hex at Alton Towers, you’re going to enjoy Haunted House Monster Party. There’s even a few Hex style Easter Eggs inside the attraction. This made my ‘theme park enthusiast’ self internally scream with joy.

Normally I take my annual trip to Legoland Windsor in the summer months. But knowing this was opening in April, I knew I couldn’t wait and had to experience this for myself. Living about an hour or so away from the park, it would be stupid not to make an earlier visit. Even if the weather was very up and down all day! Spoilers ahead from this point on…

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At first glance, the actual façade of the building looks very impressive – depending on what angle you are standing at. You can’t miss the massive black warehouse at the rear though. This houses the ride system for anyone remotely interested in the engineering behind the ride. Granted the park have tried to add some ‘colour’ by painting spooky drawings on to the exterior. For me, it would’ve been nice to have the warehouse hidden by the impressive exterior. Honestly, they’ve done a good job despite all this!

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The cattlepen queue line might look horrific but there are some great interactive elements to keep your children entertained. There’s even a photo opportunity too! Once you’ve been batched, one for each side of the ride, you wait in anticipation for the main doors to open. There’s even a creaky door sound effect to make it feel like the house you’re entering is old and haunted. So spooooooky!

As you step inside there’s an impressive portrait of Lord Vampyre and Spider Lady. Plus you’ll find a few other character portraits as you enter the main pre-show area. The UV lighting made those ordinary portraits extraordinary. Based on the many kids’ reactions, I think they were in awe of the whole thing! For those with disabled guests, there is a lift system that will take you up to the pre-show area. Great to see the park catering for everyone. Fab work Legoland.

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Once inside the pre-show area, my favourite part was the disco balls lighting up the room. It’s almost time to boogie! All the guests (or snacks as Lord Vampyre likes to call us!) wait in anticipation for the main banqueting hall. Firstly, we were greeted by Lord Vampyre as he explains why he loves to party. He also describes how his fang-tastic potion will make the whole house turn upside down. Plenty of lighting effects were used so you were completely immersed in the experience. I couldn’t wait for the main attraction!

Then it was time to step inside the ride. The main banquet table was filled with lego style food and drink. There was a grand fireplace at one side, a massive clock on the other and benches either side as you take your seat. Unlike Hex, each seat is separated for each guest. I assumed this is a new style safety system Vekoma has built for the ride. This did help people to know how many people could be seated per section. As I took my seat, I was in awe at the decoration inside. Yes, I spotted some similarities to Hex!

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Now, the main attraction was… on first impression, I had to take a moment to take it all in. The music was fantastic and so catchy. So much so, I still had it in my head all day. Oh my god, Lord Vampyre was the DJ with a school disco set up… I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at how utterly amazing and unexpected that was. As an adult, I bloody loved it all. This style of ride doesn’t affect me but if you do suffer from motion sickness, then this might not be the best ride for you. However, I think it’s worth it even if just for the music itself. So fab!

You can tell as you exit the ride, the faces on all the kids is enough to show that Legoland are on to a winner with this attraction. So many kids were smiling and laughing, the parents were also joining in! The atmosphere is just perfect – for a Haunted House themed attraction, this provides that upbeat feel without kids feeling too intimidated or scared. It’s perfect and Legoland have done a good job!

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It would be pretty damn cool if Legoland released a lego set so you can create this Haunted House exterior with all the characters. And maaaaaybe a pin badge too for us pin badge collectors? Subtle hint Legoland! I want to return just to re-ride this attraction. And listen to the amazing soundtrack too! Overall, this is the perfect staple attraction for families visiting the park this year – don’t miss out!

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

My top memories of Loggers Leap

My top memories of Loggers Leap
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On 20th February 2019, Thorpe Park officially announced the closure of Loggers Leap, after many years of speculation as to whether the ride would return to the park line-up. I feel quite sad about this as Loggers was a firm favourite of mine and I have many childhood memories riding this with family and friends alike. Is this really the end of log flumes in the UK as we know it?

Continue reading “My top memories of Loggers Leap”

My Top UK Dark Rides

My Top UK Dark Rides

I always like reading about everyone’s favourites and non-favourite rides and attractions in the enthusiast world. There are so many different variety of opinions, that is what makes this community so interesting. So, as I have already provided my top 10 list, and my bucket list rides/coasters, I thought I would start writing about dark rides. Moreover, the dark rides that I consider to be my ‘Top Dark Rides’.

Now, as I started writing this list, I was going to write a simple list of dark rides I have ridden in my lifetime so far, both past and present, and including Europe and Florida. Well, I didn’t quite anticipate the amount of dark rides I have ridden and how many I loved so much that they need to be included in this list. So I will be splitting this list into THREE blog posts. Yep, 3. So, let’s crack on with ‘part 1’ of my list, My Top UK Dark Rides.

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HEX: THE LEGEND OF THE TOWERS

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I don’t think I know of anyone who doesn’t have a soft spot for Hex. It all begins as soon as you walk inside the queueline. The creepy darkness of the Towers adds to the atmosphere, as you are told the brief story of ‘The Legend of the Towers’ and what is to come. The narrative and story are pretty much a clever take on what is a true tale – ever visited the Chained Oak Tree? The ride hardware is disorientating to those unknown about the workings of the ride, but the theming inside is beautifully creative and can we just take a moment to appreciate THAT soundtrack. The haunting violins and orchestral theme – gives me Goosebumps every time I ride.

WALLACE & GROMIT’S THRILL-O-MATIC

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Now where can you find a ride that is quintessentially British and colourful… Any true Brit will know the stories of Wallace and Gromit – if you haven’t, who even are you? – and now there is a beautifully crafted dark ride at Blackpool that depicts all the various stories for you. From Wallace’s wrong trousers to travelling to the Moon made of Cheese! ‘Cheese Gromit!’ And do you want to know the absolute best part of this ride? You get to ride along in a giant slipper!! The fact this ride is located at Blackpool, it is just perfect for the ride line-up. It has that re-rideability where you won’t ever tire of being on it.

VALHALLA

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Yes, I did touch upon this in my Favourite Water Rides blog post but technically, it is not your traditional dark ride. There is no denying how totally awesome this ride is. Even if the wetness levels are so ridiculous, it shouldn’t be in a place such as Blackpool. Sorry Mandy! I seriously want to know what the creator of this ride was smoking when they designed this. It is completely insane with the effects, say hello to water and fire! This ride is a great water ride – and literally has every opportunity to soak you through and through. The theming just takes this ride from being a bog-standard water ride indoors to one hell of a experience. The soundtrack is truly captivating, and you won’t forget it in a hurry. Yes, I love this ride for the theatrical elements but when it comes to the wetness levels – it needs to be a damn hot day for me to warrant a ride on it. Or if I’m well prepared with several ponchos, boots/wellies and clothes I don’t mind getting drenched in.

SPIRIT OF LONDON

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I don’t know if some people forget about the existence of this dark ride, but it needs to be added to my list. Yes, it is almost like a ride that you would find at one of your typical Disney parks – an omnimover with insane amount of theming and use of space – it’s bloody huge. It is a sizeable attraction that gives you the story of London so it’s perfect as an educational ride for the family/kids. If there is one thing you should not miss when visiting Madame Tussauds, it’s Spirit of London.

THE GRUFFALO RIVER RIDE ADVENTURE

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I must say, I was very nervous when it was announced that Gruffalo would be taking over from Bubbleworks. Not to say that a retheme was needed, I totally agree, it was very much needed. But using an IP, it’s a risky business in my opinion. However, I must say I was thoroughly impressed with this transformation. The theming was very well executed within the budgets that Chessington received, and I love the interaction the elements have with the ride. Kids adore this ride, just by simply watching their reaction once they’ve come off the ride! The smells, the soundtrack and sound effects throughout the ride tell the story of the Gruffalo really well, and this why I had to add it to my list.

CADABRA

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I had to add this to my list. It is by means not a world class dark ride attraction, but I just love the ride being a part of a chocolate factory tour. The ‘Beanmobile’, yes that is what it is called, takes you on a ‘gentle ride through a chocolate wonderland full of familiar characters’. It’s quaint, has all the famous characters known to Cadbury’s and a simple dark ride that should be ridden at least once on your trip to Cadbury World.

PAST

WICKED WITCHES HAUNT

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I remember being haunted by this ride as a child. The entrance to the ride was insane with a massive witch animatronic looking down at guests as you walk into the ride queue. As a small kid, this was terrifying. That, once you entered the ride station that was dimly lit, the darkness just added to the creepy atmosphere. Unfortunately, I do not have many memories of this ride but from what I can remember, this was a true 90s style attraction that had that creepy-factor.

HOB’S PIT

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I only had one go on this dark ride at Pleasurewood Hills back in 2013. I can tell you now, it was a damn good attraction. If you loved all things spooky and scary, this was the attraction for you. It was totally unexpected for a park such as Pleasurewood Hills, that I would describe as a ‘cute little family theme park’. The ride had live actors throughout the ride and having experienced a few ghost trains with live actors, this was like a scare maze mixed with a ride. It was gory and graphic at times – no wonder it had an age-restriction! Such a shame it closed!

TERROR TOMB

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Where do I even begin with this? The crazy storyline, Abdab turning into a zombie/mummy, the ‘Juke Box Jewel’ finale, the darkness inside the ride. Yep, I don’t know why but I just have a flurry of memories of me wondering what the hell this ride was about whilst being terrorised by the scary characters! It isn’t an omnimover by any means but it didn’t need to be. You were immersed in the ride as soon as you entered the queueline, and once on the ride, you were on the journey with Abdab. Seriously, I wish this ride lasted so much longer than it did – why did it have to become an interactive dark ride? Whyyyyyy!

PROFESSOR BURP’S BUBBLEWORKS

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One thing you can be certain of, Chessington liked their crazy themes back in the day. The Sparks Group did a completely fab job bringing creativity to life, which is where Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks comes in. It was a lighthearted attraction that not only smelt absolutely amazing but it was bright pink. Within the Transylvania area, you had a ‘scary’ rollercoaster themed to Vampires yet within this same area was a bright and colourful ‘Pop Factory’, run by a mad professor! It was crazy, it was fun, it was everything you needed for a family attraction. As you float into the different areas in the ‘factory’, once again, it was a truly immersive dark ride. And let’s not forget about the fabulous fountain finale with the strobe lights – disorientating yet fantastic!

I want to say this is just a few dark rides, but I seem to have rambled on for ages! You cannot beat a good quality dark ride at a theme park – sometimes you need to remember and appreciate what is available right on your doorstep. Even though we may get spoilt by fantastic quality dark rides abroad, we have to give some love to our dark rides here in the UK.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS