Theme Park Favourites

Theme Park Favourites

Let’s share a bit of love in this Valentine’s inspired theme park blog post today. Valentine’s, Galentine’s, whatever you want to call it, we should all have the chance to feel the love. No matter what makes us happy, we should do it because we want to do it. Not because someone says it’s the right thing to do. Heck, who cares if someone doesn’t enjoy the same things. We’re all individuals at the end of the day with an opinion, a voice, a personality. Don’t stop being YOU. Even when it comes to your theme park favourites. I may not be as well travelled as some people I follow on Twitter/Instagram. However, it only spurs me on to get out there and travel further than ever before.

So, let’s crack on with my theme park favourites:

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Favourite Theme Park: Phantasialand

Possibly the biggest favourite among the theme park community. Phantasialand was a park that I deeply fell in love from my first visit in 2013. There is that slight air of grace and beauty about the park. From the ornate details in the Berlin area to the wildly intense rockwork in Klugheim. To me, it is like a work of art and the park has all the qualities that I like in a park. Theming. A good coaster line-up. A sizeable theme park. What’s not to love? I can’t wait to visit Phantasialand this year to ride F.L.Y. It’s been 4 years and I’m ready to return to the park that I so love.

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Favourite Rollercoaster: Zadra, Energylandia

Zadra is my current number one coaster, and a firm favourite for me. I seem to have taken a fancy to RMC’s over the last few years. Ever since my first ride on Wildfire at Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden, I’ve grown a real fascination for them. They may be overrated for some enthusiasts. To be honest, I can see why. But I can’t help enjoying the ride experience on them. Zadra was intense but in a good way. The sheer speed of the ride as it twists and turns was incredible. I’d be keen to find out if there is a coaster out there that will beat it!

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Favourite Dark Ride: Dreamflight, Efteling

Dreamflight at Efteling is a dark ride that fills me joy every time I think about it. The first time I visited the park in 2013, this ride was shut. It was down for refurbishment at the time and I was truly gutted. Thankfully, I returned in 2016 and it was open. Hurrah! The ride is beautifully themed. You’d pretty much compare it to the likes of Disney dark rides. Add in the mix of music & lights, you’ve got yourself a dark ride to be proud of. No wonder it’s so popular with guests. Might not be the highest throughput ride at the park but it’s so worth it.

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Favourite Water Ride: Chiapas, Phantasialand

Okay, anybody have the Templo De Fiesta song in their head right now? Just me then. Honestly, this ride is a true representation of what Phantasialand can do. No matter what ride type it is, they will go crazy with the theming. And it really does make a difference. Chiapas as a ride itself is incredibly fun with some very cool transitions and interactive elements. Add in the theming and the fantastic feel-good soundtrack by IMAScore, it’s transformed into an experience. No matter what the weather is like, there’s always a good time to ride Chiapas. Now don’t mind me, I’m off to listen to the soundtrack for the millionth time.

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Favourite Flat Ride: The Beast, Fantasy Island

The Beast may no longer reside at Fantasy Island but it’s still up there as my all-time favourite. Of all the flat rides I’ve ever been on, Mondial Top Scans are impressively fun. Whilst Samurai at Thorpe Park may never get back to the glory days when it was at Chessington, The Beast was always that one flat ride at Fantasy Island that I needed to get my fix on. I’ve never vommed on or off the ride but I’ve experienced those ‘greying-out’ moments due to the intensity. The operator always knew how to flip the spins on each gondola. It was amazing and I wish it was still here in the UK!

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Favourite Ride Manufacturer: B&M

Of all the amazing ride manufacturers out there, B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard) is still a firm favourite of mine. Yes, they don’t take as many risks compared to the likes of Intamin or RMC. But they sure as hell create some solid coasters that are liked among a variety of people. B&M provides an all-round fun experience that is smooth and sometimes thrilling. If you’re looking at the right cred, that is. I’m always checking up on their latest investments and love seeing what else is coming up from them. I will always have a soft spot for them, and my heart fills with joy whenever I’m at a new theme park and a B&M is there waiting for me to ride it.

Do you agree with my theme park favourites?

What are some of your theme park favourites?

Do you love theme parks?

Let me know in the comments below.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Theme Park Enthusiast Annoyances

Theme Park Enthusiast Annoyances

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I feel like this is a subject that isn’t really touched upon within the enthusiast world or if it does, it turns into a massive discussion/debate (I’m making a massive assumption here!). Anywho, I have been a long-time enthusiast and have observed how the community, as it were, has changed. And there are some negative points that I feel like sharing. Judge me all you want, maybe some enthusiasts might relate?

Anyway, let’s crack on with this post.

#1: When competition gets out of control

Yes, I am talking about the people who are so hellbent on making out they are the best enthusiast who has ridden x number of coasters and been to x number of places. And I mean, the bragging enthusiasts. Yes, you have ridden the best rollercoaster in the world or you have ridden 1000 coasters around the world. Well done! Just tone down the bragging about how ‘amazing’ you are for achieving it. Also, just because someone may have 100 creds and you tell them they need to get out more, understand that we all have different lifestyles and financial situations. We’ll get there eventually, and if you don’t care about cred grabbing, you do you. This is your hobby, so make it your own.

#2: Opinions are no longer listened to

A healthy debate on social media is perfectly fine. We are all human are we not? But if you are seriously hellbent (this word, again) on dragging people down because their opinion is different to yours, take a second to just think about how much of an idiot you are making yourself out to be. Everyone is different. We all think differently. We all have different tastes and OPINIONS. Allow everyone to discuss these without turning it into a crazy discussion about why someone is wrong. Opinions are not facts. Understand the difference before you knock someone down, especially on social media. We all know we have comfort behind a computer/phone screen.

#3 Cliquey groups

This is something that I know cannot be avoided. However, if you have newcomers wanting to join in on meet-ups, this can put them off majorly. I remember going on my first theme park enthusiast meet up back in 2012 and I was not even remotely put off because everyone made an effort to welcome me to the group. Yes, it is incredibly nerve-wrecking but there are nice people in the group! You will be able to spot them as they will generally be your first point of contact.

#4 My hobby being judged by those not ‘in the know’

This is a bugbear I feel we all can share. We live in a judgemental society, I get that. But at least, let me live my own life and have my own hobbies that may not fit the ‘mould’ as it were. I love theme parks. I enjoy learning about the engineering behind rollercoasters. That is who I am and I am not going to change just because I have chosen a hobby that isn’t what ‘you’, the general public, believe is not ‘conventional’.

#5 EXPENSIVE HOBBY!!

This one is pretty much self-explanatory. It is expensive to go to theme parks but I know that it is achievable if you budget well and get the best deals when it comes to travelling abroad. Yes, I envy those who can travel around the world for theme parks but at the end of the day, I will get there myself and it will be fab! At the moment, I am trying to save up to go abroad again as I am really missing visiting parks in Europe and I want to explore Asia and America too. Sometimes, you need a bit of patience, and a money tree… And to those naysayers… yes, I know it is expensive but who cares. It’s my hobby, not yours.

These are just a few of my annoyances as a theme park enthusiast, maybe you have some of your own that I have not included? Leave me a comment below.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

My early memories of Chessington

My early memories of Chessington
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I’m going to get all nostalgic now for this blog post. I was thinking the other day about how theme parks have changed, most notably the ones that I visited as a child – and what I can still remember to this day, my memory isn’t that great ha!

I first visited the park in 1998 and have been a regular visitor since then – 20 years on! I still enjoy visiting and seeing how the park has expanded and grown over the years. Of course, I do miss the old attractions that are either no longer with us or have been changed, but it’s the perfect chance to reflect on these and how awesome the park was!

Note: I sadly don’t have many photos from back in the day for these relevant attractions featured in this blog post. *crying face*
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The Original Vampire

My earliest memory was walking through the big Vampire door entrance and feeling so nervous about the ride. As a kid, it was pretty terrifying as you look up and see the bat style trains flying over you in Transylvania. As you travelled towards the station, it was so dark you couldn’t see much, with the coffins separating each row, the massive chandeliers and of course, the organist ‘playing’ the haunting theme of the ride. Once I had my chance to ride Vampire, I loved it – and to this day I still do. I just wish I had more chance to experience the old-style trains more. Considering this ride is almost as old as me – not quite though.

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Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks

This ride was the bomb. From the pink building or should I say ‘factory’ to the sweet-smelling station and that fountain strobe finale. There is nothing about this ride that I won’t miss – it was so good. It was mad, it was crazy, it was great. The whole ride experience, as you follow Professor Burp through a tour of his factory, making all sorts of fizzy pop style drinks. It’s a ride I will not forget in a hurry.

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Terror Tomb

I managed to experience Terror Tomb before it changed its name to Forbidden Tomb and what is now known to us all as Tomb Blaster. This ride actually scared me when I first rode it. As a kid back then, I didn’t really understand the whole ‘story’ to the ride with Abdab. Then again, who does concentrate on the story when you’re a kid. Funnily enough, the only real vague memory I have is of the finale with the Singing/Dancing Mummies or ‘Jukebox Duel’. Looking back at the images some people have gathered up on the internet, it is all coming back to me.

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Samurai

Oh Samurai, you beauty! Well, back when you were at Chessington. I absolutely loved Samurai at Chessington, the black and red colour scheme, the lights, the ride cycles, everything! I remember back when the park shut at 9pm for the Summer season and seeing the lights on Samurai through the trees as we left the park for the day. And being one of the taller kids at school, I reached 1.4m relatively early so I could experience it before it moved to Thorpe Park.

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Park Map

You might be thinking, what the hell? Hear me out, I have loved park maps since I was little – that’s why I have so many at home! My favourite version of the park map at Chessington was around the 2000/2001 year mark with the coloured areas. The artwork was great and it just felt like a good visual map that had the right purpose for helping you navigate around the park. Now, obviously I don’t need a map these days cause, being a geek, you don’t need one for navigation – it’s more to add to my massive collection. 😉

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Beanoland

How could I not include Beanoland! It was pretty much like stepping into the Beano comic and everything had come to life. The Dodgems, Billy’s Whizzer, Bash Street Bus, Dennis’ Madhouse – it was a great collection of rides and attractions for kids. You also had the chance to meet the characters, I vaguely remember seeing Dennis and Gnasher. Let’s also not forget the fab Treehouse in the middle of the area which had a show where I also ‘vaguely’ remember Dennis throwing t-shirts at the crowd – if someone can confirm this, that would be great!

I don’t if it comes with age or something, but I do love being nostalgic and remembering the old times of our favourite theme parks. I’m sure there are more memories that I haven’t included in this post – like I said before, I don’t have the best memory and these are the ones that stick out the most for me. Kids these days won’t remember the classic Chessington and its array of ‘crazy’ attractions it had.

If you have any early memories of Chessington, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if I have missed anything!

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS