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    • By Alpengeist
      I went to the Cypress Avenue today, and the Funtime Vermatron was removed. A ride operator told me Vermatron is going to go to the Russia. Slingshot will be removed after Chrismas, but there is a new more larger slingshot is coming to Cavil Avenue, and the operator told me it would be higher than 100 meters. Whereas, operator told me the new slingshot will be built on a building.
       




    • By Gazza
      Belantis is located about 10km south of Leipzig in Germany.
      https://www.parkz.com.au/parks/DE/Leipzig/Belantis

       
      If the gallery is being buggy, cycle though the photos from this point to see all 180:
      https://www.parkz.com.au/photo/18063-Belantis/gallery/sort/newest/location/park-225/offset/0
      I had a few spare days left on my rail pass, and it’s only 1h 15m to get from Berlin (Where I was at that point) to Leipzig, and then from there you take a local S-Bahn train to Markkleeberg and a bus to the park. I got caught out because the return buses don’t run as often outside of school holidays, so I would have been stuck till 4pm. Instead I got STUNG for a taxi back.
       
      Belantis is a spread out park (About the size of the dry part of Dreamworld) built around an old coal mine. The pit is now a lake, and there are different themed lands, eg Medieval, Egypt, Ancient Greece, Mayan, Native American etc.



       
      The park feels like a mixed bag, some pockets have quite good looking theming and feel like immersive zones.


       
      Other parts it looks quite weathered and cheaply done, a lot of the park is just grave/bitumen paths and long grass and untidy landscaping.And maintenance doesnt seem the greatest, with crumbling theming in parts.



      If you go on Google maps you can sort of see how spread out and sparse the park is.
      https://www.google.com/maps/place/BELANTIS+-+Das+AbenteuerReich/@51.2536898,12.3132948,467m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x47a658c795f65d89:0xe080217d017f2766!8m2!3d51.2536898!4d12.3154835
      I reckon the park would have felt better if they had just brought it all closer together. It’s the same issue WnW Sydney has basically.


      As for the rides, they are alright and some were interesting and unique, but I don’t think anything really grabbed me other than Gotterflug, which was a riot.
      The entrance area I thought looked good. Quite liked how the building was overlaid with the sundial design.

      First ride was Hurcan, a large Eurofighter. I heard this one was quite rough, and it shook a bit, but nothing unbearable. I don’t think you’d want to ride more than 3 times though. Starts off with a vertical lift and drop, zero g, then an oddly shaped cobra roll the train appears to wobble through. Then after a couple more turns it finishes off with some interlocking corkscrews. Nice layout actually.





      Too big for this coaster or top spin though. Aint it the cutest?


      After that passed through the Pirate themed area and tried Capt’n Blacks Piratentaufe, which is one of those family sized drop towers except it can sway from side to side. Cool little gimmick actually.


      The pirate area looked quite good, but it’s basically an island of theming, and once you leave its back out into windswept barren park area.


       
      It happened to be on the way but Posiedons Flotte was next, the park was dead so I was the sole person flicking around on this thing. They are their most fun when you hold the boat inwards and then suddenly turn outwards, which creates strong lateral forces. Think of it like a water borne version of flying scooters.

      Pressing on was Fahrt De Oddeseyus, which is a tow boat ride around the lake, passing some crap ancient Greek theming on the way, and at one point passing through a concrete culvert tunnel.




       
      Good way to waste 10 mins.
      I couldn’t hold off on the Egyptian bit any longer, and joined a 10 minute queue for Fluch des Pharaos, a large flume ride built by Hafema (The company that brought us Jurassic Park in Singapore and River Quest at Phantasialand.

      It’s sort of halfway between being a rapids ride and a flume, with boats that are inflatable dinghies holding 8, with the metal lap bars strapped/sewn onto the rubber body of the boat.

      The  pyramid looks impressive from the outside, but a bit of missed potential. The indoor section of the ride is very brief, and really just long enough to get you to the elevator lift. Theming is essentially flat walls with a couple of statues and a mannequin of a temple explorer.

      The boat rolls sideways into a vertical lift, where there is a UV painted image of a big Pharaoh head, before you are lifted up, and slide sideways out again at the top, and down the main drop.

      The main drop is about as big as WWF, but not really wet at all. From there the ride is done at a speedy pace, leading through a few more twists and turns, and into the whirlpool element, which looks more interesting than it is, but the curved drop in the middle is kinda waterslide-ish.

      A couple more turns, passing a waterfall on the way, and the ride is over.

      It’s better than a regular flume ride, but the theming was too featureless.

      Right next door was Cobra Des Amun Ra, a Gerstlauer family coaster, and quite good, with a punchy layout full of elevation changes. It doesn’t just lumber around like the likes of Roadrunner/Madagascar. The station and queue building was nicely done for a coaster of this size too.




      Just as I got off, the park mascot made an appearance in the STATION, and then hopped on for an actual ride. You’d never see that here in Aus.
      Doubling back on myself, I took a ride on Gotterflug, which is a Gerstlauer Sky Roller.

      This is a similar concept to tailspin, but instead of it being seats on a tilted arm, it’s more like a star flyer in that it is a circular ride that rises up.

      The thing is super easy to get spinning, so you can get triple digit rotation counts if you like. I held back, but still spun more than any ride I’ve done on a Sky Roller.

      Crazy stuff.
      The back of the park is one big dead end, which is silly. There’s what, about 200m of path missing between Huracan and the Native American zone that would complete a logical loop around the lake, but its absence results in an 800m backtrack to reach the end of the park as a result.



      The park has a heap of random little non rides, like this nature walk, wonky bikes, kiddy cars etc. Filler I guess.

      This medieval town square is another example  of a pocket of good theming, but all the shops were shut.

      So the next bit was the Medieval section, which has a Gertslauer bobsled coaster called Drachenriit, more or less a wild mouse on steroids with a spread out layout, and a much more interesting design overall.



      Starts off with a curved drop, then a few conventional switch back turns, then the remaining majority of the ride is quick helices and punchy bunny hills. Great fun.

      This whole area looked quite nice actually. The main castle building holds a Vekoma mad house ride, which I was sad to miss since it was closed for maintenance, but at the same time I’d done plenty of others on this trip anyway, so it wasn’t a full on loss.

      There was also a hedge maze.

      The bit at the back of the park was a sort of Native American village. I skipped over the canoes and the Frisbee ride.



      At that point I had done everything I wanted to, so I swung back via Huracan and tried a ride in the back seat instead, and then made my way to the exit. Time spent around 3 or so hours.


      It was at this point I discovered I had misread the bus timetable (carefully typing the footnote on the timetable into translate led me to discover that certain buses don’t run outside holidays), so I headed back to the entrance, where guest services called a taxi. I ate a pretzel in the meantime, before departing.

      Overall, the park is just average. I went mostly because it wasn’t too far out of the way from my location, and it meant more or less completing the set of major parks in Germany.
      Doesn’t stack up to the majors like Phantasialand or Europa of course, but I felt the 2nd tier parks like Holiday Park or Tripsdrill were better as well.
       
    • By BringADecentParkToSydney
      Not sure if this has been discussed,
       
      But does anyone else think that Village Roadshow should sell Sea World to 'Sea World Theme Parks & Resorts'? And if so, does anyone actually know the chances of it actually happening?
      The park seems to have gotten worse over the years and it's honestly just sad, so I'm hoping that a decent company could make it 'good' again.
      Plus if they did sell it, then it could help Village pay off debt. After all, they sold Wet'n'Wild Sydney, so what harm could selling Sea World do?
       
      (By the way - if this has been discussed before then can someone please just link me to the thread?)
    • By Coaster Hipster
      Even though Parc Saint Paul is less than 2 hours away from where I live, I somehow never bothered to visit the place. After several delays and figuring out a public transportation/uber strategy to navigate in and out there, it was finally time to discover Parc Saint Paul and its reported quirkyness

      The entrance sets the tone with a plastic-y gate that wouldn't feel out of place at a fairground. The Campion family - who founded the park and still operates it to its day - were originally fairground ride operators which explains the very funfair look of most scenery there, as well as the nature of the rides.

      Started the day on Aérotrain. The ride op which was actually very warmful and friendly, was the most remarkable thing about my experience on this tame Vekoma kiddie. It makes for some nice parking lot mini-skyline, but of course I forgot to take a picture from that angle

      Toilet humour.

      Next was the local shameful cred, Pomme (apple in French).

      Actually make that 2 shameful creds! Never seen this sort of hairpin style kiddie before. It's obviously fairly uneventful, but the tight hairpin turns actually deliver some soft laterals which are rarely found on the usual kid-targeted coaster.



      There is actually a lot of trees around the paths, which alleviates the whole tacky scenery and basic, flat pathwork of the park. Since I didn't really research into the park, was surprised to find some sort of authentic village houses around the chairswing area. They look nice enough even though they feel too realistic to fit the otherwise carefree, fun atmosphere of Parc Saint Paul.



      But anyway, moving on to the main draw!


      Wood Express is really fun! There are so many little pops of ejector air taken at a good speed thoughout the layout. It doesn't provide much if any laterals at all unlike its older French cousin Timber at Walibi Rhône-Alpes, but I found the Parc Saint Paul woodie to be smoother. Also, the second hop on the double down midway through is remarkably strong! Like all other hills the airtime is very short, but it is definitely felt there in particular.
       
      Since chest-belt GoPros are accepted here - as with most smaller French parks - I took the chance to use my camera and test its 4K abilities. Parc Saint Paul clearly made a very clever move buying Wood Express. It's a lovely ride for the whole family, but thrillseekers will certainly enjoy the fun, airtime-filled experience. I'm very pleased to see another nice new ride in France, we're truly in a good phase after years of frustrating stagnation



      Next door is Formula 1, my first Pax coaster :eek:
      The Russian manufacturer has a reputation for making wonky rides, and this one surely has its share of weird transitions! Tbh, I didn't find F1 to be really rough. It has quite intense moments, especially the main drop which is quite sudden. The bad banking and above all horrible restraints prevent me from truly enjoying this however. Still something very unique and worth trying at least once though!



      Ending the cred with another fairground-ish coaster. Une Souris Verte is your typical Zamperla spinning wild mouse. After trying the horrible SBF equivalent (with OTSR...) this one feels like a relief. It's still a very mundane experience.
       


      Piece of trivia: Une Souris verte is actually named after the eponymous folk song for children. The sign above actually displays the lyrics!

      But wait, isn't there another cred here? That's correct, but Wild Train is SBNO for the year. Shame as it was reportedly the better Pax of the two at Parc Saint Paul. Oh well... Make of that what you will 😛



      Tried the drop tower. The ascend to the top is actually, really, really slow! The ride's not very tall, but the drop itself is decent I guess.


      With all the main trill rides ticked off, it's time for some re-rides on Wood Express! Luckily the line, which went up to 30 minutes before, ended up shortening to a 5 to 10 minutes wait at the end of the day. Kudos to the good ride employees who kept the ride running and often tried their best to fill up empty seats
      Ended up with 11 rides on Wood Express eventually - and it was consistently fun! I found the front row better, but the difference is very slight anyway.



      Parc Saint Paul was fun! Obviously it is mostly about Wood Express from my enthousiast perspective, however the rest of the park has decent enough filler to keep me interested for a short day. The employees are friendly, and the place overall has a warm, unpretentious atmosphere. It does lack the charm of other French parks (Le Pal and Nigloland come to mind in particular) and I would not want to revisit any time soon, but the good dynamic of the park has to be acknowledged

      Next on my trip schedule is Holiday Park, where I return for a +1 kiddie cred and more Expedition GeForce bliss!
    • By Coaster Hipster
      For whatever reasons, I never visited English amusement parks until this year, even though coasters across the Channel - especially Alton's - had my interest ever since I became an enthusiast back in 2005. But with the additions of both Icon and Wicker Man and the opportunity to join fellow French/Belgian goons on a road trip meant I finally got the chance to experience creds in England!
       
      Day 1 - Blackpool





      Icon - I was actually quite worried about the Qs after seeing quite a packed entrance, but in reality the wait times were fine throughout the whole day - 30 minutes at most on the new coaster. Rode it 6/7 times and while Icon doesn't reach the graceful bliss of Helix or the insanity of Taron, it remains a pretty solid ride experience. Some weak spots here and there, but also a couple of strong highlight elements as well! It is a grower for sure. Definitely preferred the back seat for the nice mix of airtime and laterals exiting the Immelmann.
       
      Highlights: The first hill, the twisted hill and the Immelmann (back seat)
      Lowlights: The first launch is kinda weak, the meandering turns around Stepplechase
       


      After starting the day on a high, our group decided to tick off the classic woodies one after another.
       
      Big Dipper - Was quite worried to ride this, fearing a really unconfortable experience. In the end it was pretty harmless, and even delivered some fun little pops of air! Re-rode later in the day with a bulky guy, which meant I had a lot of space between me and my lap bar. Flying over those small hills was quite exciting actually


      Grand National - Only got to try the left side. It was quite bouncy, but not to the point it became too rough. There are some definite moments of sudden airtime only old woodies (and maybe some wonky Pax coasters) deliver. The racing element also made the experience quite enjoyable.
       

      Nickelodeon Streak - Apart from the flash colour scheme, it was kinda forgettable really. Not too rattly, nor too exciting either.


      Blue Flyer - Couldn't help mispronounce this kiddie "Blue Fire" instead. Kinda cute coaster actually, and I would have loved to have this sort of ride at my home park when I was a child.
       
      With the woodies done, we went for a lunch break before getting on the Arrows...
       


      Stepplechase (yellow side) - Hmm... ouch?! The seating position was really awkward and almost every turn entrance or exit was jolty. Really unique ride for sure and I wouldn't want it to be torn down, but it's really unfortunate that the ride experience is not so comfortable.
       



      Big One - I have to say this Arrow hyper looks really photogenic and mighty. Aboard, it provides nice views of Blackpool and the coast as well. Otherwise, this is arguably one of the shakiest coaster I've ever ridden! Definitely had to hang on to the bar in front of me. For some reason though I couldn't help laughing during the whole experience - despite the rattle, the coaster carries some good speed throughout the whole layout making for an 'entertaining' experience. Actually wished I could get a second ride on it but the train valleyed in the final turns so... nope.




      Revolution - The whole thing looks really weird - first climbing some stairs as if you were about to do some water slides, then entering this 'station' without a ceiling and with no doors between the platform and the train. But for all the weirdness, Revolution is quite a fun ride actually. Fairly intense loop and some little pops of airtime on the drops.
       


      Avalanche - Was surprised by the second half. I ended up being crushed by the bar with the ending helixes being unexpectedly intense and twisty! The lack of MCBR arguably helps the momentum of this Bobleigh, and it feels smoother than Trace du Hourra back home.
       
      Didn't get to ride Infusion as it closed right when I was about to enter the Q. Not that I care much about that.
       
       
      I am quite happy with my first day at Blackpool. Some areas feel quite tacky, but the whole place is lively and I appreciate its unique selection of dated vintage rides (RIP Wild Mouse though). Icon adds a much-needed quality ride experience to compliment well the heritage coasters. I wouldn't return soon unless they add anything big, but BPB was a pleasant start to our trip!
       
      Next part: Alton Towers
      For whatever reasons, I never visited English amusement parks until this year, even though coasters across the Channel - especially Alton's - had my interest ever since I became an enthusiast back in 2005. But with the additions of both Icon and Wicker Man and the opportunity to join fellow French/Belgian goons on a road trip meant I finally got the chance to experience creds in England!   Day 1 - Blackpool     Icon - I was actually quite worried about the Qs after seeing quite a packed entrance, but in reality the wait times were fine throughout the whole day - 30 minutes at most on the new coaster. Rode it 6/7 times and while Icon doesn't reach the graceful bliss of Helix or the insanity of Taron, it remains a pretty solid ride experience. Some weak spots here and there, but also a couple of strong highlight elements as well! It is a grower for sure. Definitely preferred the back seat for the nice mix of airtime and laterals exiting the Immelmann.   Highlights: The first hill, the twisted hill and the Immelmann (back seat) Lowlights: The first launch is kinda weak, the meandering turns around Stepplechase       After starting the day on a high, our group decided to tick off the classic woodies one after another.   Big Dipper - Was quite worried to ride this, fearing a really unconfortable experience. In the end it was pretty harmless, and even delivered some fun little pops of air! Re-rode later in the day with a bulky guy, which meant I had a lot of space between me and my lap bar. Flying over those small hills was quite exciting actually     Grand National - Only got to try the left side. It was quite bouncy, but not to the point it became too rough. There are some definite moments of sudden airtime only old woodies (and maybe some wonky Pax coasters) deliver. The racing element also made the experience quite enjoyable.       Nickelodeon Streak - Apart from the flash colour scheme, it was kinda forgettable really. Not too rattly, nor too exciting either.     Blue Flyer - Couldn't help mispronounce this kiddie "Blue Fire" instead. Kinda cute coaster actually, and I would have loved to have this sort of ride at my home park when I was a child.   With the woodies done, we went for a lunch break before getting on the Arrows...     Stepplechase (yellow side) - Hmm... ouch?! The seating position was really awkward and almost every turn entrance or exit was jolty. Really unique ride for sure and I wouldn't want it to be torn down, but it's really unfortunate that the ride experience is not so comfortable     Big One - I have to say this Arrow hyper looks really photogenic and mighty. Aboard, it provides nice views of Blackpool and the coast as well. Otherwise, this is arguably one of the shakiest coaster I've ever ridden! Definitely had to hang on to the bar in front of me. For some reason though I couldn't help laughing during the whole experience - despite the rattle, the coaster carries some good speed throughout the whole layout making for an 'entertaining' experience. Actually wished I could get a second ride on it but the train valleyed in the final turns so... nope.     Revolution - The whole thing looks really weird - first climbing some stairs as if you were about to do some water slides, then entering this 'station' without a ceiling and with no doors between the platform and the train. But for all the weirdness, Revolution is quite a fun ride actually. Fairly intense loop and some little pops of airtime on the drops.     Avalanche - Was surprised by the second half. I ended up being crushed by the bar with the ending helixes being unexpectedly intense and twisty! The lack of MCBR arguably helps the momentum of this Bobleigh, and it feels smoother than Trace du Hourra back home.   Didn't get to ride Infusion as it closed right when I was about to enter the Q. Not that I care much about that.     I am quite happy with my first day at Blackpool. Some areas feel quite tacky, but the whole place is lively and I appreciate its unique selection of dated vintage rides (RIP Wild Mouse though). Icon adds a much-needed quality ride experience to compliment well the heritage coasters. I wouldn't return soon unless they add anything big, but BPB was a pleasant start to our trip!   Next part: Alton Towers
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