6-9th May 2005

Travel, Toverland
Efteling
Walibi World
Drievliet, TravelΒ 

 

David Elvy
I am now home safe and sound back in North London. I hope everyone who gets this got home ok too.

I would like to thank all involved for what was a great trip – all 4 Parks were good, with Walibi being my personal favourite, though I thoroughly enjoyed all the Parks visited.

Thanks again everyone, and hope see you’s all soon

Wendy & Ben Easton
We got home about 5:30 after a great journey home avoiding the M25.

We’ve had a marvellous weekend and it’s been really good to make some new friends and catch up with old ones (not old aged friends that is, I mean friends we made before)

I’d really like to thank, Margaret, Steve, Dave Elvy and Malcolm for encouraging me to go on 4 new types of rides, ie ones I’ve been too scared of before.

Sounds llike something from the Oscars, but we’d also like to thank Bart and his friend, sorry I cant remember your name and all the others whose names have completely gone from my head because of the jetlag from all that airtime today on my newly conquered rides.

A big thank you to Dave and Steve for looking after me in that salubrious place somewhere in Amsterdam.

Malcolm Marr
I’m now back too and here’s my little trip report.

The weekend was great, and considering the trip was called “Triple Dutch”, if you include the fair that a few of us found by accident in Rotterdam and the surprise park this morning then “Qunituple Dutch” would be a more appropriate name. Whilst we weren’t fortunate with the weather we were extremely lucky with the queues with just about every ride being a walk on.

In fact the longest queue I recall was 10 minutes for Goliath.

Toverland was a nice surprise. It’s one of those parks where kids and adults-who-act-like-kids can just muck about. Our first impressions were that we wouldn’t be allowed to take part on the majority of it but we were.

So we climbed to the top of everything, rode the longest metal slides I’ve ever seen (even better that they consisted of rollers all the way down from some great speed-sliding opportunity) . The other observation I had was that the UK HSE would have a fit if they saw some of the stuff this place had; 10 kids on the same trampoline, 5 year olds walking along an enclosed rope bridge a good 20 feet off the floor and a highrope assault course with no way of getting to anyone who got stuck along it. The kids were loving all of it and it just shows how much of a nanny state we’ve become here in the UK.

The park has been so successful that it is due to get it’s third extension soon. As well as the ERS on the Booster Bike we were also given a mini-ERS on the powered bob and access to a free bar. The bike ERS was going on for so long I think we could have easily tried having another 24 hour challenged on the ride. The ride itself is really nice but it does get a little uncomfortable in a certain area. I have no idea how Jo was able to ride this for 24 hours even with the assistance of a cushion. One minor point is that the foam padding on the bikes are already showing signs of wear and tear.

Day 2 took us to Efteling, and this park is huge and it is really easy to get lost in it, even with a paid for map so a big thanks to Bart, Peter and Co. for playing the role of park guide and taking a small group of us around the park. My favourite ride was the Bob, much more reckless than the bobsleigh ride I’m used to riding. Vogel Rok was really cool too as was “Dream Flight”, however I was disappointed with Villa Volta which I’d been told was the best Madhouse ride anywhere. I don’t think it was as good as Hex, although the music is impressive.

The majority of the group went out in the evening to enjoy Amsterdam, I chose to remain at the hotel but did get to hear stories involving string, men dressed as monkeys and bananas. I shall say no more!

Day 3 was the former Six Flags park now Walibi World Holland park. There were no signs of any Six Flags operations at this park, in fact those that had been to the park in its former guise praised the park for the way it was being run now, so soon since the change of management. Personally I really liked the way the park was being run; we were given a really nice welcome and the 15 minute ERS on Goliath was extended to a good hour. The highlight for me was riding Goliath in the hailstones, definitely a nice way to exfoliate the skin, if perhaps a little too painful. I think it’s the first ERS that Justin has had to call a stop to. The station staff (and they were great) were quite happy to continue sending us out but it was getting a little too much for us riding with Justin and Mary Smith riding in the front row during the worst of it! If you review the overall ride experience then Goliath is far superior to Expedition GeForce even if it’s not quite as good a ride. Their new water ride is a lot of fun, extremely wet though and ponchos were given out free to protect everyone taking part (would Six Flags have done that?). Only two of us were stupid enough to go on this twice (myself and Tony Pycroft), great fun though and, stating the obvious cliche, a perfect addition to the park. Superman is now called Xpress and is running really well, the SLC was a little rough but still OK, the bad egg is the Boomerang but you know what you’re getting with one of those; concussion through the loop in both directions. Robin Hood is perhaps the most comfortable car I’ve ever ridden in, it’s just like sitting on a sofa. This park also had the craziest park mascot I’ve ever seen. He seemed to be a drunken blue elephant, at least he appeared to be drunk the way he’d stumble towards crowds of people without falling over.

That evening a small group of us went to visit Euromast which had been the tallest structure in Rotterdam but when the local hospital went taller the owners wanted the record back so they stuck another tower on top of the existing one. The structure now looks a little odd but it offers amazing views over the city (to the musical accompaniment of David Bowie singing “Ground control to major Tom”). We also came across a small fair which was on it’s final night in the city so we rode a few of the rides there. Those of you who rode the booster at Foire du Trone can take solace in the fact that a few more of us were stupid enough to ride it. 5G loops and strobe lights made this the best spin ride of the trip for me. We were very confused by the public transport system however, perhaps someone can explain why we needed to buy 3 strips for a 2-zone journey.

The final morning saw us visiting a small family run park called Drievliet which contained 4 coasters, 1 of which wasn’t open as the finishing touches to it’s construction were being made. They had a spinning maurer that was a little rough but still fun, a StarWorld type spinning coaster which had plenty of spinning going on and a mouse coaster. This was the best arranged ERS of the trip in that we were given the entire park for an hour before the public were let in. We only had a couple of hours at the park but it was still more than enough. The only bad point was that the bouncy castle was under inflated so those of us who ran into it promptly fell flat on their faces.

All in all a great trip, big big thanks to all those who arranged it and the Dutch members for putting up with us at the parks. It has also been the trip with the lowest number of “late” chants, clearly we were all keen to get to the parks this time around.

Jo Pools
Also I had a great time on Friday at Toverland and wished that I could make the whole weekend but I couldn’t due to some various reasons. It was great to meet some new people. My thoughts went out for you all evevry time a heavy shower of rain passed our house in Belgium. It’s great to hear that you also had a wonderful time in the other parks.

Paul Orsmond
Toverland was great, what a fantastic concept for a park, it just works so well and I only wish more of these types of park would be built. Really enjoyed the Booster Bike, it fits in well for the style of the park, not sure I could ride for 24hrs though πŸ˜‰

Efteling was very good and was deadly quiet(even though it was a Saturday) The 2 main coasters we had an ERS on give out good rides and are very smooth, I also loved the indoor Vekoma coaster(Its what X at Thorpe should be) Theming is great too, but I still feel something was missing at Efteling (Prehaps another really good coaster maybe) Prehaps the Water Coaster next year will be a hit though

Walibi World was superb, I really enjoyed my time here. Goliath was excellent, Robin Hood was great (those trains are so comfy) Xpress was also good, and Splash Battle is another superb concept for a ride, such good fun.

Drievliet was the final suprise park,a small city park with a few coasters. It should have had 4 coasters with the Powered Mine Train, but it still wasn’t ready(Strange as the leafet we picked up in the hotel suggested it was) Only 2 hrs was spent in the park, but the first hr was basiclly a park ERS with most rides open for us before the public were allowed in so nearly got everything done in that time. The Spinning Coaster was good if not a little rough, The Wild Mouse style coaster was nice and the other spinning coaster was good fun too.

Overall a great trip, Thanks to everyone involved in the planning of everything, I will make up some more detailed trip reports soon with loads of pictures from the parks hopefully by the weekend if I get the time, will let everyone know when they are ready if anyone is interested.

Phil Ariss
Just got in, fantastic trip, very tired…

… Coach through Holland, Belgium, France, channel tunnel and into London …

… Tube, train, taxi, car….

… Home & Bed.

Margaret Drinkwater
I would like to second everything that has been reported so far about the Triple Dutch trip. I was impressed by all the parks, each having their own character. Efteling was particularly good for being so quiet, after the horror stories of long queues for Villa Volta and Dreamflight.

A big *thank you* to everyone who planned it and kept the trip runnning so smoothly.

I would particularly like to thank Bart for his guidance at Efteling and welcoming me to his group of friends for the morning at Walibi World. When you are new to a park, it saves so much time if you are with people who can navigate efficiently.

The only major deviation from plan was on the homeward journey when , due to an accident the M25 was blocked and it was agreed that the Hatton Cross passengers would be dropped off at Victoria. Justin and Kevin worked like mad to make sure that those not familiar with London knew where they were going or were accompanied. Plus it was a bonus London sightseeing tour for our Greek friend Konstantinos.

On a personal note I would like to thank Justin for the use of his mobile phone to try to contact my husband John about the change of plans.

(Unfortunately he has no mobile and had already left home and was waiting at Hatton Cross to pick us up.) Justin and I travelled out from Victoria via Paddington to West London and by bus to Hatton Cross – so we were actually the only ones to go there. Thanks, Justin for your company and leading the way.

What a strange end to a tour that ran like clockwork for the major part of the time.

I worked out that we had only been off the bus for 45min maximum between 11am leaving the last park and 5.20pm when we disembarked at Victoria and that was with an extra hour time difference! Phew!

Thanks again to all concerned with planning and my ECC friends for their company.

Peter de Gooyert
I was one of the “tour guides” in the Efteling for the ones who don’t remember me. It was really a great trip and I really enjoyed meeting some old and new people!

It’s a lot of fun to meet people who have never visited a park like the Efteling before, and see how enthousiastic they are about attractions like Dreamflight and the Bob.

The weather was pretty bad, but that didn’t spoil the atmosphere. I was very surprised at the long ERS on Goliath which was excellent. The ride ops there where excellent, even though they where a little bit too enthusiastic sometimes πŸ˜‰ You all know which one I mean. Actually the whole staff in Walibi was excellent and I think they took good care of us.

I hope to do an ECC trip again soon, if I can find the time. I almost forgot how much fun these trips are!

Jeppe Nygaard
I just wants to thank everyone for a great trip… I had a lot of fun, and it was so great to see you all after a long winter.. πŸ™‚

Toverland, and Efteling was new to me, Toverland was a nice place, but Efteling really surprised me .. It was *HUGE* and very, very beautiful…

It was my 6th visit to ex Six Flags, and my loved Goliath, and it was some nice changes so far, especially with the staff, and one particular ride op springs to mind… πŸ™‚

Thanks to the team who put all together… πŸ™‚

Margaret Drinkwater
With so much good stuff being reported about the parks we visited, I thought I would just note the impressions the parks made on me, and the memories I carry of each.

TOVERLAND: Mostly indoor fun park for youngsters, housed in rather “industrial” metal buildings. Most of the larger rides started indoors but went outside during the course of the run. Even the purely indoor train themed coaster was pretty high and exciting. Spotlessly clear of litter. Why can’t we have something like this all weather family attraction in UK?

Booster Bike (purely outdoor) was great fun once you trusted the restraints but I think I prefered the powered Bobsled ride overall. Generous staff provided meal, free bar and extra ERS on Bobsled. Wish we could have had longer there.

EFTELING: Four good coasters but definitely not a park for high thrills.

Rather a magical, enchanting, beautiful park where the many dark rides and attractions have faultless theming and an atmosphere to appeal to all ages.

Memories: Villa Volta, a haunted swing with hauntingly memorable music.

Dreamflight: beautiful and magical.

Sitting elf-like on a toadstool for Justin’s request for a picture.

Simon B and his love of Chocomel hot drink.

Wonderful buffet lunch

Lots of walking.

WALIBI WORLD: Good size, well kept conventional theme park. Lots of choice of rides including the crazy Splash Battle. Another generous buffet lunch.

Memories: If the biblical Goliath met his end with a stone to the head then this ride was aptly named, with that unforgetable circuit in the hail storm!

The pain! And I was riding in the middle (how it was for Justin and Mary on the front I can only imagine) For my part it turned into a dark ride as it was impossible to keep one’s eyes open in those conditions – the only time I have ever questioned why I do “this.”

At the other end of the comfort scale the seats on Robin Hood woodie were luxury sofas worthy of a place at any DFS store.

Along with Wendy I had my first ride on the Frisbee. I adore the floorless versions, particularly the inward facing, but I had never tried the original floored type. I still prefer the floorless.

The SLC and boomerang, despite their reputation, were not too bad at all.

DRIEVLIET: Small well kept city park. Some basic rides, others seen at other parks, but my two favourites were the unusual “Owl” themed spinning coaster and their frisbee (Afterburner?) inward facing floorless. With a longer ride sequence and more spinning I think it has just replaced Thorpe Park’s Vortex as my favourite spinner ride – sorry Lewis .

And please what was the answer to the Ghost Train question?? I rode it once with Lewis.

There we are, enough of my ramblings.

Thanks once again to the ECC team for all your efforts and to Bart and his friends for showing us round Efteling and Walibi World. Also to Simon, Wendy, Ben, Malcolm, Justin, Oscar & Helene (hope that name is right) and anyone else with whom I shared these park experiences.

 

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