16-24th July 2005

Travel, Vidampark
Prater
Erlebnispark Strasswalchen
Alpine Coaster Imst, Alpine Coaster Mieders
Venice
Canevaworld Movie Park
Gardaland
Mirabilandia, Travel

 

Day by Day Reports

Day 1 – Travel, Vidampark

Linz & Darren

Super start to trip. Scenic Railway was a fantastic ride – very bouncy on the sprung seats! Very interesting park with a brilliant selection of rides. Best non-coaster ride was definitely the laser dodgems.

David and Susan Ellis
An excellent start to the trip. Vidampark welcomed us with a few rides on the Scenic Railway (Hullamvasut) and the Looping Star (which was the one from Dreamland). They then gave us a brief history of the park and the scenic, showing us the original plans from 1922. The park is quite a small city park, with an interesting collection of off the shelf rides and custom dark rides. Next stop Vienna!

Derek Cromarty
The park was quite old and I was surprised by the good condition of the Looping Star. The Scenic Railway was brilliant, the River Boat was interesting! The Ghost train was “different.” A good old fashioned park, with good friendly staff.

Lace Patton
The welcome given by the management was much appreciated, and they seemed very happy for us to be there. The Hullamvasut is a wonderful ride and well maintained. Overall a nice family park.

Andy Rathe & Marie Elliott
Hullamvasut is a great ride. Excellently maintained whose staff care for it a great deal. The park was wonderfully old-fashioned; not too many rides but some great traditional attractions.

Yvonne Janik
I loved Hullamvasut! I have previously ridden only one Scenic Railway in Dreamland, but this one was far more fun. I especially delighted in the springs under the seats for the extra bouncing effect as we glided up and down the hills. I also really enjoyed the friendly and efficient employees at the park. The hand-dipped ice cream was divine; I had four dips!

On Sunday morning, Andrew Weiss and I walked around Budapest. We left the hotel at 5:35 a.m. and walked for two hours. We saw the Danube from the fancy pedestrian bridge and had a delightful time seeing all the areas of town. Andrew had a map and figured out all the best places to tour about the city. Even though it was so early on a Sunday morning, people were everywhere on the street cars and on the streets.

Some were even drinking beers at outdoor cafes.

Jeff Holmes
Great little park with a fantastic Scenic Railway that lasted 5 minutes. The Looping Star seemed far better than when it was at Margate. Martin Valt, you will know that the Stella was fantastic.

Patrick Flumet
Nice to be back on tour. The Rhapsody look well composed. What a better start than Hullamvasut, 1922 designed woody, like surfing on the waves as his name told us. Waiting for the following part of the composition.

Lisa Scheinin
I first went to Vidam Park in 1989, and it’s great to be back. The park has changed a lot, all for the better. It’s cleaner and has a lot more rides. This time I was able to ride the unusual carousel with the spring-mounted, rocking horses – a hoot!

The Hullamvasut was as good as ever, and – except for the station, which has been redone – it was just as I remembered. It was running quite well. It’s always fun to ride a classic old scenic railway!

Malcolm Marr
Yesterday was spent at Van Damme park and whilst there was no sign of the Belgium kickboxing star I did get to see paper-mached Spiderman and Batman hiding in their ghost train attractions. I also found out what happened to the Smurfs after their TV run ended; they’re imprisoned in the middle of the park’s boat ride and as they can’t swim there is no way for them to escape. We should help liberate them now!!

After a morning walk into Buda (I didn’t want to say I’d been to Pest) I am now on the coach to a place called Vienna or something, but this means nothing to me.

Justin Garvanovic
This is the first time I’ve ever visited Vidam Park, and to be honest, I was expecting a post communism depressive sort of place. I was thankfully very wrong. I love city parks, and Vidam is a perfect example. Compact, packed with rides, and with a superb atmosphere that can only come from city parks. Hullamvasut is both a coaster, and a fun house bouncy seat ride. And it was great to find Dreamland’s original Looping Star in attendance – it was my first steel coaster. A fun selection of other rides, including a very impressive carousel (where you need to look up for the full impressive effect) rounded off the ride collection. A fantastic park, in the middle of a great city – time to check out those cheap flights…

John Musk and Mike Cuff
Why did they take us to the Old Man’s Disco?

Ken Simmons Jr
Really enjoyed the scenic railway; it was really nice to ride a classic coaster like that. The steel classic from Anton Schwarzkopf, the Looping Star; overall, I really enjoyed the park. For the friends back home; Thursday: 6250, Friday: 20540, and Saturday: 18954!

Andrew Bannister
Loved the Looping Star; I thought the speed was good, and it was nice and smooth. All in all a fun ride. I was a little intimidated by the thought of the wheels on the Hullamvasut not being secured to the track. The fun house had great features, but unfortunately the middle was a little weaker. At the end, however, they had one of those cool spinning tunnels, which was fun. The less said about the ghost trains the better! I find it hard to see the scary side of Spiderman. The log flume was great fun, as both myself and Olof ducked down for the big splash. All in all it was a great fun family park.

Mike Nash
Vidampark was a great traditional park; the city was beautiful; it was good to see old friends and make new acquaintances; I look forward to a great trip.

John Coffield
Vidampark has improved about three hundred percent since the last time I visited in 1996. It was particularly interesting to find out that the name Hullamvasut translates to “riding the waves,” especially since it was the only coaster I have ever seen with sprung seats.

Andrew Weiss
Very impressed with Vidampark; the owner was wonderful, very accommodating and friendly; Hullamvasut was a very long ride. Loved the carousel; the most unique one I’ve ever been on, with the bouncing horses. The city of Budapest itself was fabulous, especially at night.

Andycoasterboy
After a wake up call to a certain senior member of the club and a hasty entrance to the airport, the trip got underway smoothly from Heathrow. After a good flight to Budapest we visited Vidampark, a small family park with some unique rides, one of these being the K-rhinta carousel, which was a work out and ride all in one! We were treated to a walk on of the scenic railway by a very friendly park boss and staff.

Enjoyable ride; loved the fun house. (Martin and Paul – the Hungarian Beers are nice!).

B. Derek Shaw
Well, I’m back in Europe again; this time in Hungary. When I first got to Vidampark I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but upon further inspection found it to be a unique city park with some unusual attractions. The Hullamvasut is a very long and nice scenic, although not as thrilling as some others I’ve been on. I thought the flexible seating was truly unique (the seats are mounted on springs). The Looping Star was a real treat, even better then I remembered from Margate. (Shamone, MF – wheeoo!) The Ferris Wheel was very strange and slow with seats that looked like they came from a now-defunct McDonald’s outdoor playground! It was nice to see a whip ride in Europe, although the name Kanyarg- threw me off! I loved the carousel, which was truly unique with riders sitting perpendicular to the outside edge. It was fun to try and make the horses go back and forth while spinning at a fair speed. That was a real surprise as well. All in all a great start to a fantastic trip!

Dave Elliott
Great start to the trip; a fascinating park. The wooden roller coaster was really unusual, with sprung seats and rocking motion. Highlight was an enclosed carousel, with spinning tea-cup like features and sideways rocking horses.

Keith Johnson
Nice old park; great fun, love to do it again.

Mechthild Namyslo
It has been a great trip so far. Greetings to the German members who can’t be here: Jan, Maren, Heinz-Jurgen, Vroni, Ralf and Carsten.

Jeff and Leslie Graham
Surprisingly nice park to start the trip with; the park had four dark rides, an Anton looper, and a wooden scenic railway. The cool thing about the scenic railway was the lack of any lap bars or restraints, though it still had some airtime. The park had cheap beer, but no goulash or langos. Leslie says thank you for the tickets.

Richard Bannister
One of the perks of typing everyone else’s ramblings is the ability to say something different in my own! First and foremost, I have come away from Vidampark with a newfound respect for those capable of speaking Magyar. But as this is supposed to be about the park, I should say something about the ultra unusual laser dodgems, where riders scored points for driving over coloured circles while others did their best to push them out of the way. While I wasn’t a particular fan of the idea, it was nevertheless a truly unique attraction embedded in a fascinating park. I also must mention the kiddie coaster, which must have been designed with the sad enthusiast in mind, carrying as it is a big sign crediting it to “Daniel Pinfari.” As a final note, I would encourage anyone from the park reading this to reconsider the catering within, as for me at least the Tibidabo award for awful hot dogs was taken by Vidampark today. About the only positive thing I can say about my “food” was that it was warm. The less said about the texture the better.

Yngve Oestbye:
Vidampark was a nice city park with some really bizarre rides. The scenic railway was fun, and Looping Star was great. Much better than many newer looping coasters. The funhouse was alot of fun too. Now were off to Prater park, which Im sure will be fun.

Nina Kleppe
I liked Vidampark.. The best coaster was Looping Star, and it was fun to ride The Scenic Railway from 1922. It was a good start of the trip. Looking forward to Prater Park today…

Ole Bredesen-Vestby
Looping Star was a really positive surprise. It looks like a small ride, but was fast and fun.

Roger Clark
Park was nice – Budapest was superb. Great day to start the trip.

Bob Clark
Excellent hospitality at the park – Hullamvasut was magnificent and Looping Star was a superb Schwarzkopf coaster – very smooth and lots of g forces. Both were very re-rideable. Budapest was wonderful and the Gellert baths were so good we went back for a second midnight swim.

Mick f-k
Owned by the city this park has some unusual theming (all odd) a different mixture of rides the scenic railway has trains similar to Margate the track layout like Gt Yarmouth, a Looping Star originaly from Dreamland but a lot smother than when we rode it there; the management very hospitible.

Simon Baynham
Hello ECCers. Just a quick note to let you know that everyone is having a good time. The park we visited yesterday was a small family park with a unique collection of rides. There was one water ride (enclosed) that was soooo slow we actually ground to a halt half way round and had to push our little boat around the circuit… great fun, I haven’t laughed so much in ages!

Last night at the hotel I had a wonderful meal with fellow ECCers, Mmm! Yesterday was baking hot weather, but as I type this on our way to the 2nd hotel, it’s cooler, thankfully.

Andy “Tracksuit Man” Costin
Hi everybody, Another week, another ECC trip. Good flight out, pity about immigration officials.

(The foundations of my house moved quicker than these!). Arrived in Budapest, nice hotel. Went to Vidampark, a nice little family park with a classic wooden scenic railway (tame but great fun!), standard Schwarzkopf Looper and a various selection of rides including the world’s slowest river caves ride.

(Made immigration look like grease lightning!) ~The park looked a little run down as was Budapest generally, it being an ex-communist block country. Had a gorgeous meal in the hotel in the evening. Now on our way to Prater in Vienna.

John Drinkwater
I enjoyed the scenic railway yesterday. The other items I most enjoyed in the park were the laser dodgems and the roundabout with the spring-operated horses.

Margaret Drinkwater
Vidampark was a small city park with a variety of unique rides. The two main coasters were the 1922 woodie which was full of bounce, ride time 5min, and the Looping Star from Margate. The three dark rides were memorable, two for the liberal use of UV paint and the depiction of Spiderman. The trains themselves were quite “whizzy” I’m not sure the ferris wheel would have passed our H&S regulations, though. A great park full of character.

Cherry Grant
Arrived with a bad back courtesy of Pleasure Island at Cleethorpes. Thought what the hell, am going to enjoy myself. The classic Scenic Railway knocked the pain out of my back, so thoroughly enjoyed the day. Lovely park, nice city and lovely to see everybody again.

Don Garrison
After some awesome UK parks we arrived in Budapest and were greeted with great architecture and a city full of statues and plazas. The park staff at Vindampark were very accommodating giving us 2 rides on their scenic railway before turning us loose in the park. The dark rides were great fun (no sirens, yay!) and we decided to pass on Patio Furniture: The Ride (ferris wheel). After a quick trip through the plaza for photographs (and a Bele Legosi statue) we jumped back on our bus, “Silver Star” (I’ve named them, the faded pink one is “Xcelerator”)

Greg Pearn
I had many misconceptions about Budapest and all were way out! A magnificent, beautiful and relaxed city with so much to see. Vidampark was a pleasant park with two great coasters and a selection of interesting” dark rides…So far so good!

Cynthia Burkee
HEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I found Budapest to be a lovely city with shed loads of spectacular buildings. The view of the Parliament from the Castle at night is one of the most stunning sights I’ve ever experienced. At the park, the scenic railway was simply wonderful and the carousel was quite impressive. Both the City and the park were well worth the visit.

Phil Ariss
Two impressive coasters to start the trip off nicely. The Schwarzkopf was stunning, likewise the scenic railway. While I wasn’t a great lover of the park (quite run down in places, effects not working), it was a great place to spend the afternoon. The city of Budapest stole the show. Awesome. Spent the evening and early morning in a Spa by the river overlooking great architecture. Heaven.

Andy Hygate
Good to see the old Looping Star – my first coaster – and Budapest was “just slightly” more cosmopolitan than Margate!

Chris & Claire McFarlane
We enjoyed our time in Budapest and Vidam Park, which has some “unique” rides. For us the Scenic, Looping Star (Claire’s first coaster when it was at Dreamland) and the Fun House were highlights.

 

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Day 2 – Prater

David & Susan Ellis
There aren’t many places where 8 hours was not enough, but Prater was such a place. We started with an Adventure Tour around 4 attractions including the Scenic Railway (Hochshaubahn) and the Jack the Ripper walkthrough. We then spent time trying to get all the other great rides in and eating the local Langos (Garlic Bread!). If you like fun houses this is heaven! We just ran out of time to get all the rides in, but highlights included the 70m tall Chair’O’Planes, the walk though attractions and a great Vekoma non-looper called Megablitz. Superb day.

Malcolm Marr
Prater is a really nice park with more than enough to keep you busy for a day, in fact an additional half-day would have been useful. The star flyer was amazingly smooth and would make a nice change to the shot and drop towers usually found in parks. The staff took us on a tour of some of the attractions including behind the scenes on the Jack the Ripper walkthrough. I got to commandeer the microphones and told other members of the club that they were about to die. This morning I was up at the crack of dawn to see some of Vienna, it’s a really beautiful city. It was nice to see that at least one smurf had avoided capture and was quite happy living on one of the dark rides in Prater.

Mechthild and Andreas Namyslo
The day with big surprises: The best coaster is – drum roll – a Vekoma! (Megablitz of course, not the Boomerang!) Concerning flying on a coaster: do not do it if it is not a B&M. But we hope our headaches will be gone by the end of the trip… In general the Prater is a really nice place. We definitely will come back!!!!

Patrick Flumet
Just once in French…. Encore un park de ville absolument excitant! Le charme de toutes ces attractions reunies fonctionne comme a chaque fois… Le plaisir de voir les illuminations arriver le soir, reconnaitre la fameuse roue du Prater de Vienne. Un reve qui devient realite. Et le retour de Vekoma????

Andycoasterboy
After a pleasant journey from Budapest to Austria we find ourselves in Vienna (it means nothing to me!) Day 2 and Prater — after a great guided backstage tour around the park. A great collection of rides and coasters, very much like a static German Fair. A great park. Martin and Paul W – the Austrian beers are nice…

Yvonne Janik
Yesterday I rode my 500th coaster at Prater; it was Hochschaubahn! Angela, who works at the park, gave me a large block of anti-rollback wood from the coaster to celebrate my achievement. I was the envy of all my coaster friends. Most of the Brits on the trip don’t count their coasters fanatically like Americans do, but they were thrilled for me anyway about my #500. I loved the park; it had the largest collection of the most unique rides that I have ever seen. I spent most the day with JC, and he was great company at such a fun park.

Lace Patton
A wonderful mixture of rides and restaurants with the added bonus of a beautiful park. A great place to visit, as Vienna is a beautiful city. Tina and Laura were wonderful tour guides. All my Love to Zachary, Jacob, and Gabrielle.

Andy Rathe
Prater is a fantastic park similar to BPB in that everywhere you look there are rides and attractions. Highlights included being scared witless on the zombies walkthrough, the wonderful Hochschaubahn, a smooth Vekoma coaster and simply endless ghost trains.

Ken Simmons
Prater was quite the amazing park, a very fair like atmosphere. The guided tour was nice, especially the behind the scenes tours of the various attractions. The coaster highlights were the Super 8 Bahn and the Mega Blitz (is this really a Vekoma ride?) Star Flyer was incredible. It’s definitely not your everyday backyard swing.

One last report for back home; Sunday 17,841.

Justin Garvanovic
What a wonderful park. It’s closest to Bakken in look and feel, with all rides being privately owned. It’s also a lot larger than Bakken. The best coaster was probably Megablitz, and fantastically put together Vekoma ride. The Hochschaubahn completed my collection of European wooden coasters, something I had never thought about until I was about to ride it. And on top of that, it was a wonderful coaster. I also hit the Starflyer, that if it was sans-tower, I wouldn’t have ridden it – I’m no bug spin ride fan. But that 60m tower, and being able to take a camera on board made it a must ride. I’m glad I did go on – it would have been insane to miss it. As everyone seems to be saying, we needed more time at the park, but I have a feeling that no matter how long we spent there, it wouldn’t have been enough.

Jeff and Leslie Graham
Prater was overwhelming. We were greeted at the park and given a three and a half hour guided tour, including going inside the scenic railway structure. We were then let loose to spend our cash on all the coasters, dark rides, and food the park had to offer. Star Flyer was awesome to ride at night with all the lights of the city and the park around. Scenic Railway was cute as could be and a fun little ride. One day was not enough time for this monstrous collection of rides.

Robert Sisk
After a near disastrous start, nearly missed connections from the US, I enjoyed the first two days with Vidampark and Wiener Prater, two small European parks. I’m a big fan of the smaller parks; felt very welcome with the very relaxed atmosphere.

Linz Hoy
Where were we yesterday? (Everyone shouts – we were in Prater!) Oh yeah! The one with the blue dinosaur thing! It scared me shitless actually — it really did! The fun houses were really good, we had like a fun house tour. He’s [Richard is] actually typing in Suffolk! What else is there? Oh, the Roller Coasters were really good; the flying one was quite good [typists note – as will be apparent to the reader, Linz appears to be still intoxicated from last night], smoother than I thought it’d be; the Boomerang was absolutely crap. My coffee just hasn’t kicked in! Oh yeah, the Spinning Mouse, that was pretty wicked too. And I liked the tour. The wheel was good, though I kept comparing it to the London Eye – it was a bit squitty.

Keith Johnson
I loved Prater! It has a feel of old Coney Island in its heyday. I must go back.

Jeppe Nygaard
Loved Prater; was a lot bigger than expected, with great atmosphere. Loved it at night time. The tour of the classic woodie was excellent. The best coaster was the Megablitz; probably the first time I’ve seen a Vekoma as the top ride in a park. The guided tour was a very nice start to it; and I’m looking forward to all the rest of the things to come.

Lisa Scheinin
Prater was awesome! At first I thought that we were going to have way too much time here, but it turned out that there was not nearly enough. With seven coasters, at least three dark rides, and even more walkthroughs this place totally rocks! Not to mention the dinner that we had at Schweizerhaus that was absolutely delicious. And any restaurant that inspires someone to build a wooden coaster has to be good.

B. Derek Shaw
Prater was much more than expected. I had seen this place for years in vintage postcards, but had no idea exactly how big it was. The Hochschaubahn was a fun ride, even if it was a junior sized coaster. The two water sprays were unexpected but a nice surprise. The other coasters were all good; all the dark rides were from good to great. I really loved the Star Flyer, the highest wave swinger I’ve ever ridden. The Riesenrad was a real treat to go in, especially at night when the lights of the park looked great. My only regret is that we did not have sufficient time to properly visit the park; all the more reason to visit again.

The Scenic Steam Train ride into the woods was even longer than Knoebels! (It had 5 stops).

Jeff Holmes
Prater was a fantastic park, which definitely had a German travelling fair feel to it. Some great steelies, apart from Volare, and a great little scenic railway. Martin and Wortsie – the Austrian beers were fantastic.

Andrew Weiss
What a park! Kind of like a permanent German fair; dark rides everywhere, lots of coasters (although none of them were great, a couple were good – the two mice were excellent). Loved the Star Flyer at night, soaring over Vienna with the lights below you; beautiful. The Hochschaubahn wasn’t as good as the one in Budapest. This is a park where you can go through a lot of money very quickly. All they need is a great coaster, like a Schwarzkopf. Magnum Force/Dreier Looping would be nice.

Michael Nash
Another great park! The coasters were great, in particular the scenic railway. I loved the dark rides; the tour was really interesting. I definitely want to revisit this park in the future. The Star Flyer provided a great view of the park and was a lot of fun.

Talhat Mahmood
The trip really took off yesterday. Prater was amazing; it is quite similar to a German fair, and had shades of Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We started with a guided tour, which amazingly *didn’t* include the big wheel at the front, odd given that it is a symbol of the park. The smoothest coaster was a Vekoma, which was surprising. The Star Flyer was pretty fun, and loads of ghost trains, fun houses. The negative points were the cost (pretty expensive) and lack of time.

John Coffffffield
I found Prater Park to be an incredible collection of unique rides, probably the best being the fairytale layout of the Hochschaubahn in sharp contrast to the awful Volare torture machine. I think the only drawback to the park was that it was quite expensive, though it was still worth every euro. My favourite quote of the day was on the Dizzy-Mouse, when I said aloud “Oh my god, I’ve just come out of the cat’s ass!”.

Marie Elliott
Prater is a lovely park with lots of character. There was so much to ride I didn’t know which to go on first. My favourite rides in the park were the Hochschaubahn, Blue Planet, and the Star Flyer.

Andrew Bannister
Expensive, although my long suffering brother paid for most of the rides (and food) for me so I can’t really whinge too much about it. I liked the coasters, because I wanted to go on some, however the Volare was the biggest piece of shit I’ve ever ridden. There are no rude words adequate enough to describe this, but I could go worse if I wanted! Richard and I had fun on the way to breakfast by inconveniencing the people who decided to take the lift by pressing the button on every floor, which was definitely the highlight of the morning! I’ve got to think… *sneeze* …excuse me! I liked the Star Flyer because of the wonderful view of Venice…oops, Vienna!

Luke Horn and Darren Smith Clan
I think the park was really good, especially the tour guide person. I liked the Dizzy Mouse because it was really mad. I liked Star Flyer with its spectacular view. Impressive walkthroughs; I think Jack the Ripper was scary, especially on the lift, because I thought it was going to drop straight down. The only negative thing was not enough time. I should have brought more money.

Richard Bannister
Everyone has already mentioned it, but I’ll have to do so again; the Star Flyer shows how a simple idea can be turned into a fantastic ride that can be appreciated by all ages. The park as a whole remains one of my favourites, though it is pretty hard on the wallet especially when one has to pick up the tab for two. All that is really needed is a pay-one-price wristband and a Ryanair flight. Hopefully the future will bring both!

Chris & Claire McFarlane
Prater is a great traditional park and we can not wait to come back and spend more time in the park and city and do the rides that we missed.

It was good to see a scenic with all of the scenery, other highlights were the Star Flyer, MegaBlitz (Vekoma coaster), and a multitude of dark rides/walkthroughs.

Liz FK – Your Mick is still after my wife 😉

Tony Pycroft & Elaine Harper
Prater is like a bigger version of Bakken, Denmark. It’s a fun place with some amazing rides; highlights include the Starflyer and Turbo Booster as well as a great bungee. The city is also very beautiful and its well worth a visit. We’ll be back. Hello to all in the UK!

Simon Baynham
Prater Park is full of atmosphere, spent a good few hours riding the many attractions; Ghost Train, Spinning rides and also all those lovely roller coasters! Can’t wait to get back there again with my ECC chums.

Andy “TRACKSUIT MAN” Costin
I enjoyed the tour of Prater Park – very informative. I especially liked the old wooden scenic railway, gentle and great fun. There were lots of other rides including quite a few coasters and lots of dark rides and other rides. The park had the feel of a German fair but was a permanent park (you had to pay per ride). Weather is very warm, most of us were wearing shorts, including me (aaaaaargh no track suit!) Hopefully it will stay that way, then my milk bottles (legs) will get a tan.

Cherry Grant
Prater is an excellent park, with a lovely traditional atmosphere. Enjoyed the tour with the rides we did and the guide quite informtive. The pony carousel was very unusual and the ponies seemed very well looked after. (Got a fireman’s lift off the horse from a strong – had to be – very good looking young man). The flying coaster was very rough – but on the whole a very enjoyable day.

David Cornell
It was nice to get back to Prater after 19 years. So much has changed, all the roller coasters but 1, are new. I did find the go carts my college tour group rode in 1986 which now has a nice roof and cars with safety bumpers around the wheel preventing wheel from interlocking like we did. It was very beautiful at night. I love being at parks at night. The city looks great too. Some time I’d like to spend time in the city as well.

Scott Planeta
The trip so far has been great and well organized. I’ve never been to these parks before and it’s fun to experience rides that would never be allowed in the states. Prater offered a history and feeling that the newer parks can’t. I’m looking forward to the remainig parks.

Greg Pearn
I love it when you visit a park that far exceeds your expectations – Prater did just that! Everything about this park was great. The coasters (ok, nearly everything – Volare is as bad as its sisters!), the abundance of dark rides and walk-throughs (Blue Planet in particular) are fantastic and add to this mix fine food and a great atmosphere you have one of Europe’s finest amusement parks. I’ll be back for sure.

Yngve Oestbye
Prater Park was surprisingly good. Some of the rides were really rough and painful though. If the vekoma Boomerang there is one of the better boomerangs, I don’t want to go on one of the worse. Volare was so rough I don’t know what they were thinking when they made it. The park had some really good rides too though. Megablitz was very smooth and powerful, and the Starflyer was fantastic. The old wheel was really good too. I felt more safe on that one than I did on the ferris wheel in Vidampark. The park has a very nice combination of classic rides and modern rides, and the atmosphere in the park was really good. Overall I had a great day with some great people, and I’m looking forward to get to know more of the people on the trip.

Anonomous
Are we there yet?

Olov
No Gordon we’re not.

Another calm day at an historic park, Wiener Prater with some wonderful little rides and a few of the bigger ones. I guess the Megablitz was one of the better coasters at the park with some intense helices and good drops. Smooth too, for a Vekoma. The evening ended with a kind of stupid stunt, jumping from a platform high up in the air with only an elastic rubber rope bounded to my feet and hugging my fellow jumper tight. It was the Bungee jump. Felt awfully sick afterwards but I don’t regret it at all!

Oh and no Spiderman in the Ghost Trains either!!

Leon Schuurbiers
Prater was a nice park, but more like a German fair. You can spend a fortune there! Midget golf is great value for money though. I really liked the Star Flyer, especially when it’s dark. I want to make my apologies to everybody who told me Volare was bad, I didn’t believe you but you’re absolutely right! Congratulations to Yvonne with here 500th coaster!

Nina Kleppe
Prater Park was a nice park with lots of good rides. Some of the coasters were really rough. Megablitz was the best coaster, and Volare the worst. I really liked the Star Flyer. It’s a shame that you have to pay for every ride, It’s getting way too expensive. But I had a lot of fun though.

Mick F-K
Hi Liz, Crystal & friends

The tour included passes for various rides Hochschaubahn, Jack the Ripper, steam train and info on Prater Park, Star Flyer / chairaplane was fantastic. Volare looked good but looks can deceive, IT WAS HORRIBLE. Overall a good and unusual ride and a nice park rather like a static German fair all concessions.

Bob Clark
Very interesting and informative grand tour of the park which included backstage visits to the Jack the Ripper Hotel control room and the stables of the pony carousel.

The coasters while varied were ‘once in a lifetime rides’. In having to choose between 2 wild mouse as the best coaster in the park sums them up. Fortunate as I lost track of the 10 euro notes I spent on each ride.

Roger Clark
It was a good day with some good rides but with some bad ones as well espically Volare it was dreadful. The spinning wild mouse was great it span like crazy. Blue Planet was good about dinosaurs but not fish which was a shame. It would have been good to see fish go blub blub blub!

Cynthia Burkee
Really enjoyed Prater, although it took a lot of euros to determine which dark rides were any good (and there weren’t many). The ferris wheel was a unique ride not to be missed. I found the city of Vienna to be quite elegant – I will need to return to catch the museums some day. Martin, you really should have been here!

Phil Ariss
What a surprise Prater was. Incredible park with so much to do. Unique rides everywhere and friendly welcome by nearly all of the ride staff. The adventure tour was a great service, something parks like Blackpool should look into. Ride wise, standouts where the Vekoma which was powerful, smooth, fun and exciting. The Star Flyer was as good as expected. Dark ride wise, Jack the Ripper and Blue Planet were standouts. I’ll be back again, soon I hope.

Phil & Helen
Day 2 at Prater was great, brilliant atmosphere. Got a bit expensive to do the rides with them being pay per ride, as there were so many good and unusual rides to do.

We thought the real horse carousel was a bit cruel with the horses having to go round and round in a circle. Good to do the big wheel I had seen in the ‘Third man’ film years ago.

 

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Day 3 – Erlebnispark Strasswalchen

David & Susan Ellis
Today’s visit was to a small park called Erlebnispark Strasswalchen. The only major ride is a small Pax coaster called Wild Train. This is a small coaster with a big punch. The only straight track is in the station and the airtime is ejector seat in places. The highlight though was the ERS on the coaster and the bumper cars, and the park’s boss Erich Wagner who, to say he was enthusiastic, was an understatement of the highest degree. Next stop, the world’s longest Alpine Coaster.

Andy Rathe & Marie Elliott
Excellent day at a small but extremely fun park. The sole coaster was short but packed a punch and the owner could not have been more hospitable. Extra ERSs, opening other rides up especially for the group, a great meal and free drinks at the end. A lovely park that deserves further success in the future.

Diana Horn
Excellent small, but very friendly family park. We had a fun packed day which included an ERS on the only coaster. We were treated as special quests by Erich and the other staff. We were given numerous freebies. A great day and a great park to visit.

Louise Horn
A wonderful small park, very friendly and we were treated like very high up visitors. We were given a lot of hostpitality and given lots a drinks and freebies. The park was very small looking when we got there but it was actually quite big.

B. Derek Shaw
As I’ve said on previous trips, each day keeps getting better and better and today was definitely no exception – it was tremendous. The coaster is by far the most intense junior coaster I have ever experienced, for such a small space it packs a big punch. I found the other rides to be very nice, including the Sinbad ride, which we liked so much we ended up riding it 3 times. Erich is a real gem, and I think the ECC should adopt him as our mascot. The hospitality just oozed out of him, he couldn’t do enough for us, making day 3 one I won’t forget.

Ken Simmons
Hospitality – the key word of the day. A smaller park than I thought it would be but very nice. The coaster is aptly called the Wild Train. Hopefully more will be built in the states someday. Another good day.

Yvonne Janik
We loved Erich, he loved us, he’s our big fan. The Wild Train had amazing airtime. And I loved the colour of it! I had a blast!

Jeff Holmes
Great little park, with fantastic hospitality from the owner and the staff. Our first ride on a Pax coaster, which was good. Martin and Wortsie, the Austrian Beers are still going down well.

Andreas and Mechtild Namyslo
This park shows again that the small parks are very often the best ones. It’s very well maintained, very clean and it has a very friendly atmosphere. The coaster from Pax is really a Wild Train and packs a lot of action into a small space. Who needs Kingda Ka?

Jeppe Nygaard
Fun little park, coaster didn’t look very impressive at first but turned out to be very intense. The park seemed a little dull at the beginning, but the hospitality and the park owner Erich especially, made it a special day. Once again a small thing on an ECC trip turned out to be a big experience. A very big thanks to the staff for their excellent hospitality and looking forward for what they do next.

Malcolm Marr
Is this park Scandinavian? Because their hospitality sure seemed like it. If we didn’t have to be elsewhere, our ERS would still be running. The chances are we’d have the whole park to play with.

Jeff & Lesley Graham
Erlebnispark Strasswalchen is a cute little park with a seriously twisted mine train. The park is chock full of theming, and you have to ride every single ride to see it all, the coaster is a serious extreme airtime machine, and the owner is one of a kind, and made our ERS something special.

John Musk and Mike Cuff
An excellent day; superb hospitality. I’m sure Mick “flower” FK thoroughly enjoyed himself!

Mary, Darren, and clan!
Great small park; staff very friendly and helpful, especially Erich’s son who talked about family and the park. Really enjoyed it. Well themed as well. Mary says that the Roller Coaster was okay!

Talhat Mahmood
Great small park; the boss is a star! Done my first ever lift hill climb with the coaster running; just made my day even better.

Michael Nash
I think most of us anticipated a slow day, but we were pleasantly surprised with a very beautiful park filled with many themed attractions. The park management went far beyond the call of duty. They were extraordinary. We had a great day.

John Coffield
Hospitality may not have been invented at this park but it was being executed with perfection. The Wild Train is definitely wild, and the only coaster I’ve ever ridden where the front seat wasn’t the smoothest, but definitely the wildest.

Andrew Weiss
An airtime machine, oh what a ride! Wicked, vicious airtime in the back seat. What a great host! Mike and Kammy – you’ve got to ride this.

Lisa Scheinin
The hospitality of this park was absolutely amazing! The coaster was small but it sure packed a punch. Great dark ride (Sinbad), too! Altogether a wonderful park with tremendous atmosphere and the jolliest owner ever seen. (And I just found out that Derek and I are married!)

Andrew Bannister
The best day so far. Best park I’ve been to. Great staff, great looking staff; I’ve got a picture with this great sorceress; I wasn’t so gone on her brother (joke). I danced with the owner and Luke, which was…fun. Definitely an interesting coaster; I liked the airtime; going over the bumps you sort of felt yourself suspended for about a second. They had this really cool slide next to it, which myself and Olof were able to get good airtime on. Trampolines fun, but in the heat provide you with a severe headache from dehydration. The 3D movie was fun, especially because Justin kept taking pictures of myself and Gordon messing when the illusions of items flying out of the screen allowed us to act terrified of being struck by these items. As you may already be aware, my sucks grammar! Sinbad was great, and I found out which was really interesting that they design everything in the park themselves, which made it even more appealing. All in all a great park with the nicest owner imaginable. Dodgems + Headache = Not Good.

Dave Elliott
Wow! What a day. Superb small park, with unbelievable owner. The owner could not do enough for us; including the ERS on the 3D show. Don’t know if he knew what to expect, but think he enjoyed the day as much as we did. Wild Train WILD!

Andycoasterboy
Day four and we find ourselves at Erlebnispark Strasswalchen, a very small family park with the most enthusiastic park owner I have had the pleasure to meet. One of the days on the trip that everybody will remember. The coaster was aptly named as the Wild Train. Hope the park can carry out its plans for the future. Paul, Martin – Austrian Beers are still good!

Patrick Flumet
Very lovely, cute, and friendly little park. The owner is amazing, and you can ask whatever you want – he always says yes. Just one coaster, but a really good surprise. I will come back.

Keith Johnson
This is the first time in my life that I’ve ever trampolined – and I didn’t kill myself! The park staff were wonderful to us, and the coaster was even better. I can’t wait to come back to this park, because we have nothing like it in the States. When you first pull up into the parking lot you don’t think too much of the park until you go in, and once you get in its like you’ve arrived in the land of Oz.

Darren and Linz Hoy
The park today was the most amazing park with the most brilliant owners I have ever known. The hospitality shown by the park was second to none, and what they lack in rides they certainly make up for in generosity and kindness. And a superb magic act too.

Richard Bannister
It seems almost churlish amidst all these ecstatic reports to say anything negative, but I must mention that the operators would not allow (secured) glasses to be worn on Wild Train when the public was present. They did relax this rule in grand style during our evening ERS, with on board cameras permitted and some of us allowed to walk up the lift hill. With a bit of luck the park will realise that secured glasses are not a risk; perhaps they might sell their own branded straps as merchandise! This is the only cricitism I have for a park whose staff friendliness and generosity gives Holiday World a serious run for its money. The Koch family had better watch out. Special thanks to Erich for allowing me to walk the lift hill on Wild Train. I will come back here.

Tony Pycroft
This is a park with great staff especially the owner who made us feel very welcome however; at best the park needs a 2 or 3 hour stay. Unfortunately due to changes we were given 61/2 hours there. This was much too much and resulted in a lot of very bored faces at around 4pm. The park is mainly a children’s park with just one major ride, which of course is the coaster. This coaster is extremely violent and very painful and for me two goes were more than enough.

Cherry Grant
Beautiful, small park. Only a few rides but quality. The owner is a very nice chap, very welcoming so a grand day was had by us all and we managed to get away just before the rain came down.

Don Garrison
I love these small independent parks. The Sinbad darkride was definitely a highlight as well as the storybook forest. The “Safari Cruise” was also really good for such a small ride. I spent most of the day though going between the Wild Train and doing front flips on the trampolines. Good food and the owner went well out of his way for us.

Greg Pearn
Phil Ariss has been telling me for ages that smaller is better and boy was he right with this park! On arrival we were puzzled at the 6 hour allocation but we made the most of it and enjoyed the park. The EXCEPTIONAL hospitality of the owner made the day and of course there was also a somewhat ‘unique’ coaster to ride! The Wild Train was exactly as it name suggests and certainly no kiddie coaster! Great park, great day and great company 🙂 Small is better!

Andy Hygate
The trampoline, slippery dip, the coaster and that owner guy rock!

Phil Ariss
Pax coaster of joy =) Every park should have a Pax “kiddie” coaster. What a park, I was dreading the drive over today for such a small park with a small coaster and spending 6 hours there. Along with the Pax coaster of joy, the slides and trampolines, I had a great 6 hours today. Great management and great company. Yay =)

Cynthia Burkee
The Austrian hospitality could not be beat. From the time we arrived at the park, the manager made us welcome; offering us food, drink, and rides. He even sent us off with drinks for the bus! It was a charming little park with loads of nice family rides. Definitely worth the visit.

Roger Clark
A good day with a fun coaster and a great 3D cinema. Lunch was nice and we did a good formation dodgems.

Bob Clark
A small park with one family coaster made in Russia by Pax called Wild Train. Pax is the latin for peace. The ride was far from peaceful – the name Wild Train is spot on. The ERS finished with 4 non stop laps – wow. The hospitality and friendliness of the park was top class. A great day.

Mick F-K.
Hi Liz & Crystal,

This has to be another gem in a brilliant coaster trip, A small park with a big heart, A family park with a surprise around every corner and a coaster to put this park firmly on the map! Erich one of the owners met us and escorted us around, if you could bottle hospitality and sell it he’d have a gold mine. It’s thanks to him or people like that make our trips so special. Signed flower power.

Ole Bredesen-Vestby
A nice family-park that I really would not have come to visit if I were travelling on my own, so thanks to the ECC for bringing me here. The Wild Train was, like the Looping Star in Vidampark, a big surprise. It did look like just another small not-that-fun-coaster, but …. wow….what an intense ride. This ride, the nice atmosphere in the park, and the hospitality of the staff made another great day on this great trip.

Nina Kleppe
A nice little park with a lot of fun. I really loved The Wild Train. It was a great and intense coaster. I had 45 rides on it. And it seemed like the staff loved having us here. Great with the ERS and free lunch. Another good day of the trip.

Yngve Oestbye
I think some of us were a bit disappointed when the bus pulled in the parking lot in the park today. It was really hot, we had spent several hours on the bus and the park didn’t look like much from the outside. But once we got inside we found a fantastic park. Wild Train was a great ride, especially when they started to give us re-rides towards the end of the day. We got 7 rides in a row without leaving our seat. The longest line that day was probably during the ERS. The park manager was really cool, and gave us rides on the slide and the bumper cars too after the park closed. I have some nice bruises from all the rides on Wild Train, but I still had a fantastic day.

Phil & Helen Coates
The staff and manager really gave us a great welcome, but it is a very very small park and 2 to 3 hours maximum stay is all that’s needed. Unfortunately due to some changes we had 6 hours and made it a bit boring, as the Pax coaster was very uncomfortable to ride.

Olov Lundell
The world needs peace, happiness and more Pax Coasters…

Leon Schuurbiers
The park is small, but with a group it’s an excellent place to just have good old fun. And the manager helped a lot too! It’s unbelievable a small coaster like that can be so much fun, I just hope it ages well. But Russians built things to last, so there is hope! The park has some room left, so perhaps it can grow into a full day destination.

Simon Baynham
Enjoyed my time at this park, I won’t even try to spell the name. The coaster was a strange combination of abrupt airtime and sharp turns. Funnily enough, the more I rode the more I enjoyed it though the front seat featured a couple of moments of ejector seat airtime, slamming you into the lapbar. I loved this park and the owner couldn’t have done enough for us. Off to ride the alpine slide in a few moments… if it’s anything like the one on last year’s Germany trip, we’re in for a treat…

John Drinkwater
When we arrived at the park, it seemed so small and insignificant but there were lots of enjoyable rides and it was a really fun friendly place. I even managed air time on the dodgems at the end.

Margaret Drinkwater
A family park in every sense of the word. From the personal welcome by the owner with free soft drinks to the extended ERS on the quirky Wild Train he could not have done more for us. A real gem of a park with an enthusiastic family man host. The rides were small but great fun.

Andy “Tracksuit Man” Costin
When we first arrived at the park, we thought ‘where’s the park its so small!’ but we found the hospitality was absolutely excellent and the park owner even joined in the fun at the ERS. The park is so cute you can put it in your pocket and take it home. If you think the Wild Train Coaster is tame take your head out of your bum, because that is exactly where it will put it if you don’t hang on – what a ride!! It started to cloud over but it held off until the ERS was finished – thank God! (it *issed it down all the way to Innsbruck).

Chris & Claire McFarlane
The hospitality at this park was incredible, the management and staff made us all feel extremely welcome and did not seem to be able to do enough for us. It was a nice little family park, with a good selection of rides to suit their market. The Wild Train was ok, although could be a little brutal in some seats and seemed to be aimed at the older thrill seeker market. We would like to thank the management and staff for their tremendous hospitality, which was greatly appreciated.

 

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Day 4 – Alpine Coaster Imst, Alpine Coaster Mieders

David & Susan Ellis
The day started with an ERS on the world’s longest alpine coaster at Imst. The ride, over 2 miles in length was really great fun, and lasted forever! The chairlift ride to the summit was equally enjoyable, albeit at a somewhat slower pace. As a surprise, after having lunch and crossing the Europabrucke (192m high bridge) we visited another alpine coaster. This one was almost as long but twice as steep, and had some very hair-raising moments. Excellent fun. Onwards to Verona.

Malcolm Marr
Today was alpine coaster day. The first at Imst was very impressive and I had it down as my favourite alpine coaster until we got to the other at Mieders.

There are a few coasters that scare you just by looking at them, and this can be added to that list. With just a single lap strap you are very exposed and the whole ride has an out-of-control feeling too it. I’m glad we were able to have more than one go on the ride.

Andrew Bannister
Spent a lot of the day reading Harry Potter, again… I thought that we got up too early but… being a teenager, that applies to any time before 1 O’Clock! However, contrary to that the day was fantastic, good food and good rides, second of the alpines being far superior to the first… Watch out for popping ears. Had a good day! Was surprised by being sold to strongest alcohol I’ve ever seen, without questioning! I think it would taste like lighter fluid but the comic value is great! One Vodka, two vodka, three vodka, floor!

Keith Johnson
My name is Keith Johnson (HEY KEITH!!) and I’m an alcoholic. It has been 4 days since my last Strawberry colada. In that time I have not fallen off any kerbs or tried to speak to drunken locals and I feel better for it.

Linz and Darren Hoy
Where did we go first, we went straight to the first Alpine; you can type whatever I say, I don’t mind; erm, it was quite good, I went down with Sue first of all; David and Darren went down together and did a time trial. And the second time I went on my own, and it was really good fun. Then we went to the surprise second alpine thing, which was just nuts. First time I went down it was really good fun, though the second time I got really bad sled rage and screamed at the woman who was holding up five of us. My apologies to Roger again for kicking him in the back! 🙂

Justin Garvanovic
[in six year old voice] Mummy says I mustn’t eat too much chocolate or I’m going to be sick!

Patrick Flumet
As always the surprises of the club are the best. That was my first alpine coaster, and to have a second in the same day was something like heaven. Thanks, and see you next trip!

Richard Bannister
Two alpine coasters in one day, the second of which at Mieders was simply insane. We need an ERS here in the future to fully appreciate it properly, though I was lucky enough to get a clear run for my first ride, and the speed, drops, and airtime (yes, really) was positively frightening. Unfortunately, I had a slow child in front of me on the second go. After catching him up, I parked the sled for two full minutes by my stopwatch, but this wasn’t enough; I managed to catch him a second time. At nine euro a pop some solution to this would be good, as one child managed to spoil the ride for a whole convoy of club members who got trapped behind him.

Andycoasterboy
Day four and Alpine Coaster day. We started in Imst on the worlds longest, which was a hoot! Then we had a surprise of another alpine coaster at Mieders, which I preferred to the first for its airtime and no brakes to Belgium! Paul W and Martin – I am switching from Austrian Beer to try Italian Vino, which I’ve heard is also very nice.

B. Derek Shaw
Both alpine coasters can be summed up in one word; phantasmagorical! It was really eerie in the morning to catch the ski lift to the top of the mountain and be going through thick fog and haze, which all heightened the experience of what was to come. It was great to ride the longest alpine coaster in the world at full throttle. The alpine coaster at Mieders was truly an experiment in terror. It was a fun and extreme alpine coaster at the same time. My first ride was not real good due to general public not knowing how to properly operate the ride, however the second go was much better. There were sections where I was very nervous about running full throttle, with some extreme banking and drops, what have you. (The surprise stop at the second tallest road bridge in Europe was a real treat. No, I will not Bungee off that). All in all a great day.

Michael Nash
I think that a few of us were a bit fearful of the prospect of riding our first alpine coaster. We were, however, very pleasantly surprised by how much fun we had. I couldn’t wait to ride it again. We were also surprised to get a bonus alpine coaster, which was much scarier than the first but still a lot of fun. Another great day.

Talhat Mahmood
Although the first alpine coaster is the record holder, the second one stole the show for me. It was totally crazy. I have never used such abusive language in my whole life that I had did during the first run of the surprise coaster. Also the drive all around the Alpine Slides was breathtaking. The alpines might be cold, but this trip is certainly heating up.

Dave Elliott
The ERS on the alpine coaster at Imst was excellent. After two solo rides I doubled up with John Musk for the third, which was faster and fun and laughter all the way. The second surprise one at Mieders was awesome. Sleds like Oakwood on tubular pipe like Steeplechase at BPB, down the mountainside. A wonderful addition to the trip.

Mary Wilkinson and Darren Smith
First time on an Alpine Coaster. First ride, very slow. Second ride, bit faster. Third time, I only used the brake three times, and really enjoyed it. Darren of course preferred the third ride, because it went faster. The Mieders ride was made more awesome by Darren riding tandem, making it go much faster, but Darren and I enjoyed it in amongst the wonderful scenery.

Diana and Luke Horn
The first alpine coaster at Imst was absolutely brilliant, although it wasn’t a patch on the second one at Mieders, which was awesome. On the second ride we were held up numerous times and had to brake severely due to a child in front. As a caution, allow plenty of space in between so that you can enjoy the ride to the fullest.

Louise Horn
The alpine roller coasters were fairly good. There was a big difference in how the two of them were. We didn’t know about the second one at first; it was a very good surprise. The only problem was if you had someone slow in front of you; it slows you down a lot. Overall the ride was very good.

Jeff Graham
The Alpine coaster at Imst was a total blast, and featured over 5 minutes of pure gravity, which was downright scary in the rain. Leslie (aka the Blue Bomber) enjoyed the tremendous surprise, and she especially enjoyed seeing so many scardy cat men. Jeff thought the ride would have been perfect if it wasn’t for the Arrow type elements, but still you can’t complain about 4 minutes of gravity in a spectacular setting.

Robert Sisk
Alpine coaster day and I have not enough superlatives for these rides: amazing, terrifying, …AMAZING! I didn’t know my body could pump that much adrenaline!

Keith Johnson
I loved both Alpine coasters that we did today. I will never forget how much I screamed my head off thinking I was going to die, BUT I survived both coasters. I just wish that I could have gotten more rides.

Jeppe Nygaard
Quite an early start today, and we went to the Alpine Coaster that was a lot of fun due to its extensive size, and the speed that could be maintained over the entire course. After that a lovely surprise with the other alpine coaster which turned out to be very intense and fast – and extremely fun. The area around us just unbelievably beautiful – it takes your breath away. Trip has been great so far, and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, and we are now looking forward to Italy.

Jeff Holmes
We have just ridden two fantastic alpine slides, the first one being the longest in the world, the second was not as long but more intense. Martin and Wortsie – we have now said auf weidersehn to Austrian beers.

Lisa Scheinin
Well, I thought the alpine coaster at Imst was great – then I rode the one at Mieders! Both were superb, but the one at Mieders was sooo steep and wickedly fast – awesome!! An excellent surprise (thanks, Justin and Mark)! Now we’re in Italy – oh boy, pizza!!

John Coffield
The Alpine Coaster at Imst with its approximate 4km course twisting through the trees was unbelievable. By the third run Cindy and I had mastered all the moves required to navigate the course at maximum speed. The experience in one word, WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

As for the Alpine Coaster at Mieders with its terrifying twisting course was a site to behold but due to my discomfort with the configuration of the cars I was unable to let gravity have its way with me, but it was still a brilliant ride.

Andy Rathe
Good day in two different locations. The second Alpine Coaster was absolutely insane, which contrasts well with the first, which is the world’s longest. The day was not what I expected, and was great fun.

Ken Simmons
The last day in Austria was spent in Imst, riding the world’s longest Alpine Coaster. This thing was like the Energizer Bunny, it just kept going and going and going. A surprise for the day was a visit to a second Alpine Coaster, which seemed a bit faster and more wild than the first. Both excellent rides. Now Italy awaits.

Kat Soderquist
Cost of a non-stop ticket from CVG (Cincinnati) to LGW (London Gatwick) – $960.

Fee to cash a 50 Euro travellers at an Austrian Bank, 12.70 Euros.

Three days in Austria with ECC – priceless.

Yvonne Janik
WOW!!! I have been on alpine slides but never on alpine coasters. The first one today had a track that was wide, and I felt very safe and in control of my sled, but the second one had only a metal edge that the sled ran on. I am never scared on any coaster, but this one was scary and out of control. I loved the terrain and the bridges. At one point, I thought there was no more track on the other side of the hill. Both coasters were incredibly fun, fast, and wild.

Justin Garvanovic
What a fun day! The Imst Alpine Coaster – the longest in the world – is just amazing, with the ride up to it – on a cable car – being almost as thrilling. The coaster itself is something else… With both brake handles jammed forward, down it goes, faster, faster, hard into the corners, trying hard to throw you into the flimsy side netting. Some multiple dips make you bounce up and down, amusing those in the cable car above. The end is signalled with a slap in the face from the plastic “you are going far too fast” strips. But the cable car awaits – it’s an ERS after all – so it’s back on again, and again.

The Alpine Slide in Mieders is another kettle of fish. More thrilling – it’s precariously steep – but the cars aren’t as good, as isn’t the engineering. The track flips directions instead of turning. If this ride had better track dynamics and better designed cars, it may just be the most thrilling ride out there.

Chris & Claire McFarlane
Hooray for bobslieghs every single one that we have ridden has just got bigger and better and the one at Mieders being frightning, it just does not look right on its insane layout. Glad that we got to do them both.

Simon Baynham
What a great day, two very different Alpine Slides – one being the world’s longest – and both were terrific. James L you’re missing a great trip, maybe next time you will make it. On the road to Italy now, read you all soon.

John & Margaret Drinkwater
The first Alpine coaster was superb but the wet seats left you damp in the posterior department. The second one was formed on single rail similar to “Steeplechase” at Blackpool. It was taller, with tight curves, big drops and a bit rough in places.

David Cornell
“It was the best of time. It was the worst of times….” I won’t mention the worst right now. But WOW the best was amazing. Not since my first ride on TTD have I been even a little scared by a ride. This one had my knee shaking for 15 min after the ride. The alpine coaster at Meiders south of Innsbruck, a surprise on the trip, was so fun and so scary. Its single rail provides no assurance that one will be able to make any of the turns on the tiny sled under you. Only one lap belt kept you and the nearby rock and trees from meeting at great speed. Anyone who says they went all the way down with no breaking is surely fibbing. Actually, on my second 9 euro ride I held the side handle most of the way and let the stick float free. It only breaked a little and had a very fun ride. Still I was throughly worked out and breathing heavy at the bottom. Wow.

Oh yeah the 3.5km on we rode earlier in the day was fantastic too. But Wow! This second one was intense. An what a view of the Alps. Now it’s down and south to Venice.

Don and Monica
OMG dude Alpine Coasters are awesome! The first one we did reminded me a lot of the Endor speederbike segment from return of the jedi. The second bonus alpie was incredible though. Nothing like rideing at breakneck speed down a heavily wooded hill with only a lapbelt connecting you to the serving tray you’re riding on. Tahoe are you listening? Get these now!! Oh and Dave, I only braked when someone was stopped infront of me…mostly.

Phil Ariss
Two superb “little” alpine coasters in breathtaking scenery. What more could we ask for?

Andy Hygate
I really liked the insane bobsleighs!

Yngve Oestbye
I rode my first alpine coasters today and they were amazing. They should really get some of these in Norway, I know plenty of places were they could build one. What a fantastic day…

Greg Pearn
Two breath-taking bobsleighs set amoungst equally breath-taking scenery. The Anglo, Scottish and Norwegian ‘daisy train’ down the rocky hillside was interesting… Two crazy rides where bigger IS better!

 

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Day 6 – Canevaworld Movie Park

David & Susan Ellis
After a nice day yesterday sightseeing in Venice, today was spent in a combined Movie Park and Water Park at Canevaworld. We didn’t venture into the water park, instead taking in all the shows and attractions at the Movie park, which was surprisingly good. Some of the highlights was an excellent walk-through horror house with actors, and Magma, a Jeep ride through some special effects, flames, an earthquake and water. Hello to everyone at home!

Linz & Darren Hoy
Venice was a great sightseeing day, followed by a genuine Italian Pizzeria meal. Movie Park at Canevaworld was a fantastic park, and could certainly teach Warner Brothers a thing or two at how Stunts and Shows should be done. Magma was a great ride – especially the second ride we had where all the effects worked. Didn’t go in the Water park as it was packed solid.

Malcolm Marr
After a really nice day visiting Venice, I have come to the conclusion that the Venetian is just as good but benefits from having air-conditioning. Venice is way too touristy though. Today has been spent in Kneivel land and although they were stunts none involved a guy in a white 70’s suit. The park itself is really nice and although small in size it has more character than the studio park at Disneyland Paris. The Terminator 2 attraction is nowhere close to the Universal ones but has a much funnier ending, although it may have broken one of David’s ribs 😀

David Ellis
My name is David Ellis and I am an alcoholic. It has been only 12 hours since I last drank from my bottle of Strom, a spirit that is ridiculously strong and designed for adding to cooking recipes, not drinking straight.

Andreas and Mechthild Namyslo
Yesterday we went to Venice. Well, it is almost as good as the Venetian in Las Vegas. But it would be much better without all the tourists. Canevaworld is a nice little movie park but it needs a few significant attractions and rides in the future.

Andrew Bannister
Great day, cool little movie park, coaster sucked but the special fx shows were really good. When I first went into T2. I thought it would be lame, but it was actually excellent. Very nice log flume. The staff needed to hurry when opening as though the park opened at ten the log flume opened at eleven thirty. Water park good! Haunted house was the best ever!

Mike Nash
I was really looking forward to going back to Venice, and was not disappointed. We had a great time walking through the city, exploring the little alleys and enjoying the ambience.

We also had a great day at the Movie Studio park and the water park. The haunted walk-through was one of the best I’ve ever done. The FX show and the Rambo show were really good as well.

Dave Elliott
Venice was A Grand Canal Day Out. Movie Park was good, excellent Horror House and effects ride.

Ken Simmons
Day 5 was spent at the world’s largest shopping center, otherwise known as Venice. Day 6 was much more enjoyable, visiting Canevaworld and their two parks, Movie Studios Park and Aqua Paradise. The Horror House was the best attraction at Movie Studios Park. I didn’t do any of the waterslides at Aqua Paradise, but did spend some time admiring the scenery.

B. Derek Shaw
Wednesday was spent in Venice. While quite beautiful, it was hot and crowded. I plan to visit someday in the off-season, when I can appreciate it more.

Thursday was a day that could have been eliminated. While the tiny Movie World was nicely laid out with decent shows, it wasn’t operated very well. The main gate has one queue!! The rear half of the park opened 90 minutes later, forcing everyone out front. During that time many of the stores and restaurants out front weren’t open – a real mess. I finally did get to ride the ho hum powered coaster much later.

Although the water park was well done, the only water I have interest in is my shower each morning! I’m surprised the park was on the trip, since it didn’t include a proper coaster. (Ed: Neither did Venice.)

The afternoon was spent getting back to Verona on our own (our group of six), exploring more of what this delightful city has to offer. That was the highlight of the day for me.

Jeff Holmes
Wednesday was a no coastering day so we went to historical city of Venice. This would have been more appreciated if weather was cooler and less people. Thursday we went to Movie theme park which had good shows etc. Also water park which had some unique water rides. Martin and Wortsie we have now left the Austrian beers behind and gone onto Italian wines.

Jeppe Nygaard
My first day in Venice. The city was very beautiful, but overwhelmed with tourists and that took the best part of the experience out.

Canavaworld did surprise me as being a very good park, all the rides were very good, the stunt show was very good as well. Magma ride I consider to be the best ride at the park, and the horror walkthrough was the most scary I have done so far.

Yvonne Janik
I loved seeing Venice again, and this time I was able to browse through numerous nooks and crannies of the city. I did fall in love with a painting that I had to have. I enjoyed all the shows and attractions at Canavawald, but I especially loved the water park. I always think I don’t want to go get all wet, but once I get to a water park, I have so much fun. One ride was like a water coaster with a double tube – too fun.

Andrew Weiss
I was pleasantly surprised by Canevaworld. I thought I would have been bored out of my mind, and wanting to leave after 2 hours, but managed to stay the entire day and enjoy myself. They need to work on ride capacity though.

Venice was interesting, but hot and crowded.

Talhat Mahmood
Venice is a good city, but too overcrowded. Probably good to do it once in a lifetime.

Canevaworld is a good movie park that needs a few more rides. Great horror walkthrough, and Magma is a great jeep ride.

Troy Patton
Venice was very unusual, I’ve never seen streets made of water, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m glad I got to see it.

I enjoyed Canevaworld’s water park, and it was a relaxing day for me – I got sunburnt!

Richard Bannister
I may not be the stereotypical tourist, but it was impossible not to enjoy Venice with its primary mode of transport being by water. The only downside was all the tourist junk on sale, ranging from pornographic ties to face masks in seemingly infinite quantity. Canevaworld was quite a surprise. The off-the-shelf rides at the back of the park could be returned to the aforementioned shelf with no big loss, but the movie themed attractions were all absolutely outstanding. The haunted house was easily the best such attraction I have ever seen, with large sections of it being absolutely terrifying. The water park was also superb, with a coaster style slide which was my favourite such ride to date. I would have ridden more had it not been for the hour long queue for it.

Jeff and Leslie Graham
Venice had fantastic “theming” – but too bad about the crowds and the heat. Canevaworld was a nice surprise. They had an excellent haunted house walkthrough, and a very cool Magma jeep ride. It was another very hot day but at least the gelato was cool. The water park had great “scenery” and a radical looking water slide with an airtime hill. Verona is a beautiful city too.

Lisa “Mooner” Scheinin
I’ve been told that I have to immortalize the story of my posterior for posterity, so here goes. We were looking around for a travel agency that advertised good tours of Venice on the Internet. We found it in a small back alley. Unfortunately, all of the tours for the day had gone. We asked to use the bathroom. It was right along one of the canals, with the throne next to the window. The curtains were so sheer that they might just as well not have been there. Across the canal was a restaurant with a bunch of busy waiters. As long as you were sitting you were okay, but if you stood up your private parts were right in the window. The waiters weren’t looking this way, but just to be safe I decided to turn away from the window when I was putting myself back together. So as I was doing that and bending down a bit, I looked over my shoulder. What did I see gliding right past the window but a gondola full of wide-eyed tourists! At least I am certain that my bum is going to be in somebody’s photo album for all time.

Andycoasterboy
Day five Venice…. great theming, although I prefer the air con at the one in Vegas. Day six Canevaworld; small movie themed park, with a great ride called Magma. Water park next door had some great airtime filled water slides. Paul W and Martin – the Italian wine is still very nice!

Mary Wilkinson and Darren Smith
Venice great, but Darren did not appreciate the water rides, i.e. the gondola and water taxi. Day six at Canevaworld; for the first time ever Darren refused a second ride on a coaster. Enjoyed the water park, but he doesn’t do water slides.

Keith Johnson
Venice was a beautiful city, but crowded, and watch out for the pickpockets. Canevaworld was better than I expected. I didn’t get a chance to do the water park because I was having too much fun in the Movie Studios Park. The Blues Brothers show was fantastic!

Louise Horn
Canevaworld was okay; there wasn’t a lot of rides, and the only ones were really baby rides. There was a lot of live shows. The haunted house was the most scary haunted house ever. The water park was really really good. It has all different sized slides, and was very good to relax also.

Luke Horn
I thought Venice was very good because of the beautiful scenery. I liked feeding the pigeons because they peck you instead of eating the food! I thought the movie park was very good because it was exciting, but in the movie stunt show they did everything wrong! The roller coaster was (swearword). In the haunted house, I was very scared because Gordon was screaming. The water park was good. I lost my way in the wave pool, but I liked the death slides because they were exciting and it was funny seeing my mum go down! The mini death slide was quite good with the wheelie in the air, and we bashed in the water.

Marie Elliott & Andy Rathe
Venice was over-crowded, over-priced and over-hyped. It’s wonderfully scenic, St. Marks Basilica is fantastic and we’re glad we went, but won’t be rushing back. Canerva Movieworld was quite fun; the rides are all OK and we couldn’t work out whether they are licensed or, due to a lack of Italian copyright laws, are a rip-off of US attractions. The shows were quite good; the Rambo show was on a par with anything at the large US parks and having four bikini-clad female pole dancers in the Blues Brothers show was a reminder that we’re definitely not in the UK.

 

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Day 7 – Gardaland

David & Susan Ellis
Another great day, this time at Garda Land. We started with an ERS on Sequoia Adventure, the new Screaming Squirrel. I was worried that it would be uncomfortable, but it was pretty good. I was even more surprised that they let us film on the ride. Garda Land is a lovely park, with some terrific theming but some pretty average coasters. The most unusual ride was a Pinfari Caterpillar coaster with 6 lifthills. Atlantis was a great water ride.

Yvonne Janik
I first heard about Gardaland in detail last year at IAAPA when the park was in the final three for the Applause Award, and I loved the park today. Every ride was unique and well-planned. The huge ape in the Tunga ride and the Poseidon statue on the Atlantis ride were awesome. All the dark rides had elaborate, realistic theming.

Andrew Weiss
Gardaland shows you can have an excellent park with lousy coasters. Sequoia Adventure is one of the most painful rides I have ever been on. Dark rides were excellent, especially the pirate ride. Very good water rides. Excellent theming in the whole park.

Mike Nash
I visited Gardaland last year, but having visited it on a Saturday, I didn’t have enough time to visit all of the attractions. This year we did have enough time, and we enjoyed it quite a bit. It is definitely one of the most beautiful parks in the world. I especially liked the Fugo de Atlantide water ride, which I didn’t have time to ride last year.

John Coffield
Gardaland is definitely going into my list of top ten most beautiful parks in the world. The theming was flawless and easily up to Disney standards if not better. Sequoia Adventure was the most unique coaster I have ever ridden. The dark rides are some of the best you’ll find anywhere, especially I Corsari, which I think is even better than Pirates of the Caribbean.

Talhat Mahmood
Gardaland is a good park, with great rides, superb theming, shame about the coaster choice.

Troy Patton
Today was fabulous. The Sequoia Adventure was very unusual, I have never seen anything like it, but I kind of enjoyed it. I tried to ride every ride in the park, and had a fabulous day. I would love to come back some day.

Ken Simmons
I didn’t really know what expect with Gardaland, but found it to be a beautifully landscaped park. Sequoia Adventure was very unique, and the other coasters were good. Favourite attractions the Magic House and Fuga da Atlantide. I wish we had more time. An excellent choice for a park to go to.

Mary Wilkinson
Great park made boring by the limitations imposed on the disabled, which meant that Darren could not ride most of the rides at the park, including the monorail and teacups! I saw the manager, and explained that he had ridden two in the morning, but this turned out to be a special case. I was totally pissed off. (Ed note: There was a noticeable lack of disabled visitors at the park, a real shame, and something the park really needs to look into sooner rather than later.)

B. Derek Shaw
A 180 degree turnaround from yesterday’s fiasco. (Ed: I take offense at the word “Fiasco”. The day went perfectly to plan, and as can be seen from the previous days’ reports, the park for those willing to give it the time it deserved, had a fantastic time. The same goes for the waterpark that was universally liked.) What a NICE park! Gardaland was better than I expected. Good rides, great landscaping and plenty of trees. The Screaming Squirrel was a very odd, unique and interesting ride that was fun in its own way. The coasters were OK, nothing special. The Pirate and Egyptian dark rides were very well done. The drop tower was the most themed one I have experienced, ala Space Mountain type stuff in the queue. (You have competition Disney!) The tree house was really colourful in the children’s area. I can see why this park was up for the IAAPA Applause Award in 2004.

The only ride that would really enhance this decent park is a good wooden roller coaster.

Using hindsight, a half day at Movie World with a day and a half at Gardaland is the right combination. (Ed: I completely disagree, as does almost everyone else) Two thumbs up for today!

Jeff Holmes
Gardaland was a good park, with fantastic theming, but only average rides. They could do with a classic woodie or steelie. But their beers and wines made up for the disappointing rides.

Andy Huckle
Gardaland, a beautifully themed park with great water attractions and dark rides. On the coaster front it lacks the oompf of some parks, and would do well to get some Stengel steel, or (insert wooden coaster company name) woodie. Martin and Paul W, back on the Italian wine, which is still very nice.

Malcolm Marr
Gardaland was an amazing park with some great theming that puts it into the same league as some of the more well known ones. The dark rides are amongst the best I’ve come across especially the pirate boat ride, which puts even the equivalent at Disney to shame. The weak point in the park has to be the coasters, including the new one; they just aren’t in the same league as their dark rides. They are all quite rough so if you’re coming for those the park should be renamed to “Keep your guard up” land.

Jeff and Leslie Graham
Gardaland had nice landscaping, and nice theming, but their best coaster is the kiddie coaster. Their new vertical mouse, Sequoia Adventure has a high chuckle value, but low thrill value and is surprisingly comfortable. There was a neat show about soap bubbles. Too much, too little time. Too bad they do not enforce the no-smoking rule in the queues. Could it get any hotter?

Luke Horn
Today was a long and exciting day, especially when we went on the Space Vertigo (giant drop), because it was quite scary even though I’d been on bigger, like Apocalypse at Drayton Manor. I liked the Sequoia Adventure; I went on it twice, both of which were wicked! The Blue Tornado is mostly the same as the Vampire at Walibi Belgium, except it is longer. Making it longer is not an improvement! It is probably my least favourite coaster ever. The Egyptian dark ride was good, especially when we were going through the vortex. The pirate ride was pretty freaky because you thought it was a pirate ship but it was actually a water dark ride. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. The End.

Louise Horn
This park is quite a good park; lots of fun. You definitely need a whole day. One thing that disappointed me though was that my disabled uncle was not allowed on most of the rides, which he has gone on before in other parks. The Sequoia Adventure was very unusual, but I think it was fun. The pirate ship was very good, as was the Egyptian dark ride.

Andy Rathe & Marie Elliott
Gardaland is a nice park; lacking a signature ride but none of the attractions are bad either. It is well presented and clean, but the ride theming is slightly lacking in places. Top marks must go to the operators though, who achieved a great throughput on all the rides; the longest we queued was 20 minutes despite the park being busy. Sequoia Adventure is different; going forwards over the drop was fun but when the car returned level your head banged back against the headrest. One ride gave me a headache.

Dave Elliott
A great day at Gardaland. Sequoia Adventure is a hell of a weird ride but great fun. No special attractions but an excellently landscaped and themed park with effiecient ride staff that keep the queues moving.

Lisa Scheinin
Gardaland was a superb park in all respects, except for the coasters. The best coaster was the wacky worm on steroids. But the dark rides more than made up for it. The pirate ship in particular was outstanding – exceptional theming! And did anybody notice that the gift shop at the end of the Egyptian ride was a head shop in disguise? Hookahs and marijuana backpacks – far out!

Richard Bannister
Gardaland was a strange park. A clever queueing system with signs indicating how many riders could board the next ride is something I have never seen before but would love to see elsewhere. Some of the dark rides, particularly the pirate ship, were particularly impressive. Unfortunately, three of the four coasters in the park were disappointing, with the kiddie ride being the only one I really enjoyed. Fortunately I had chosen this one for my five hundredth different coaster! The shops had a singularly odd procedure for buying drinks. One staff member chose to accuse me of theft for attempting to take a drink from the cabinet to the cash register, as I would do in any shop anywhere else in the world. The crazy Italian, who apparently spoke no English, created such an embarrassing scene that I decided that the park had gotten enough of my money and instead bought a water from our bus driver. Their policy for dealing with disabled visitors also left a lot to be desired; I was horrified that Darren was not permitted on the tea cups. Though I did enjoy the day in spite of the two above issues, I am nevertheless unlikely to return here until the park management gets a serious personality transplant.

Jeppe Nygaard
So was Gardaland today; very impressive park, starting with an ERS on the Sequoia Adventure which I found to be a weird coaster. Fun but not that rerideable. The other coasters were unfortunately not that good, but the rest of the park was a positive experience. Very well themed, the best ride was the pirate ship dark ride and the water coaster, which has impressive theming. I enjoyed that very much. On a small note, the queue system with counting down numbers for how many people could be on each ride, I found to be a very good thing. Looking forward to Mirabilandia tomorrow and Katun as my expected top ride of the whole trip.

Linz and Darren Hoy
Gardaland was a very well themed park. All the rides were really well themed without being in-your-face like Phantasialand. The merchandise was a bit naff, as everything had that stupid little dragon on it, but overall the park was fantastic. I could have done with a bit more time to do the shows; maybe they’ll be something to go back for. The rides were quite good but they could do with a signature ride. Darren bought a really nice hair clip (the one thing without the stupid little dragon on it).

 

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Day 8 – Mirabilandia, Travel

David & Susan Ellis
The last park on the trip, and a great finish it was. The park was nice, with a great collection of rides. The wooden coaster was a bit rough…round wheels would have helped! The star attraction was definitely Katun, a superb B&M inverter. This is now my favourite inverter…shame it is so far away from home. Just a few hours in Florence tomorrow, and the trip is all over. A great week, and Katun the ideal coaster to finish with. A huge thanks to Mark and Kevin for all their hard work in organising a tremendous holiday.

Mary Wilkinson & Darren Smith
Great park! Darren enjoyed twelve rides on Katun, and even I managed three rides. The rest of the park had a nice variety of rides. Huge thanks to Mark and Kevin for all their hard work in organising a great trip! Also thanks to Justin for the hands on organization during the trip.

Richard Bannister
What a difference relative to yesterday. Mirabilandia was, for me, the best park this trip, with Prater in a close second. The stunt car show made the park for me; it was so good that I couldn’t resist the temptation to watch it a second time. There is something about Italians and fast cars – I’m just as happy to watch it in a controlled environment mind, rather than on the motorways! It was fun to help Luke and Louise beat their fear of tower rides; having had to do that myself I can appreciate the challenge. Thanks to Mark and Kevin for their organization of this trip and to Justin for keeping things going; it’s certainly nice to let someone else plan my holidays for me! Roll on Japan!

Andy Rathe & Marie Elliott
The park is a good one with a decent selection of rides. Katun is a cracking inverted coaster that has zoomed into my top 10 list. Sierra Tonante was OK but not having square wheels made of metal would have improved it a great deal. The staff were great too, filling rides up to their capacity and keeping queues down as much as possible. Thanks to Mark and Kev for organising a great trip and to Justin for doing the legwork during it.

Yvonne Janik
Mirabilandia was great fun. I loved the morning ERT and the group photo on the transfer track area. Actually, I enjoyed every single aspect of the entire trip and appreciate all the work Mark put into planning this. Justin was the perfect tour guide and host, and he had all the details together constantly along with making every one feel welcome and part of the group. This was my first ECC trip, and I wish I could go on every trip in the future. I’ll do as many as I can since I live in Texas.

Andrew Weiss
Another great ECC trip. You guys run the most organized trips I’ve ever been on in any club. Many thanks to Mark and Kevin for organizing, and Justin for running things very smoothly. My favourite park? Gardaland. Favourite coaster? The Pax Wild Train. And the food in Italy is incredible.

Lisa Scheinin
Let me see… stop fooling around… we have a rogue typist among us, who is deliberately trying to tick me off on our very last day, and doing a fine job of it. Anyway. Hard to believe this is our last full day; the entire trip has been absolutely amazing. Mirabilandia is a fine park, and Katun is extremely intense. Sierra Tonnante, however, could use a bit of retracking. I was blown away by the police academy stunt driving show – if only I could parallel park like that!

Diana Horn
Had a fun day out at Mirabilandia. The ERS on Katun was brilliant, and my favourite ride of the whole trip. I found it very smooth wherever I rode. The woodie I found a bit rough. Enjoyed both the Columbia and Discovery tower rides. A good park to end the trip on. Had a really good trip; enjoyed meeting everybody. Looking forward to Florence in the morning. Thank you to Mark, Kev, and all the others involved in organising this trip, and to Justin for keeping everything running smoothly. A big thank you also to Richard for being “Dad” for the week! I hope to meet everybody else again soon.

Linz Hoy (and Darren)
We had a great time at Mirabilandia. Didn’t go into the water park, though we did have a look from the top of one of the coasters, and it looked really good. Really enjoyed Katun, and good quite a few rides in the front and the back. Really enjoyed the rapids and the giant splash, and ended up looking like I’d fallen into a swimming pool. Really enjoyed the theming in the park, and the stunt show is absolutely spectacular – the best stunt show I’ve ever seen. All in all a brilliant day. I’m sad to be going home tomorrow.

Ken Simmons Jr
Had a great day at Mirabilandia. Another very well themed very colourful Italian park. Enjoyed the ERS on Katun, probably my favourite large B&M inverted (compared to Raptor, Alpengeist, Montu). The wood coaster, Sierra Tonante, was a very good ride, with a really nice layout. Unfortunately, I only had one ride due to the one train operation. The stunt show was very well done, and featured one of our own (Mick FK). Overall another great day. Just a short visit to Florence is left and the trip will be over. Had a great time for the past nine days. Thanks to Mark and Kevin for such a great plan.

Louise Horn
I’ve had a great day at Mirabilandia. Enjoyed Katun; it was very gentle and it was still good. One thing I noticed in this park; the ride entrances were very near the ride exits, unlike Gardaland yesterday. The wooden roller coaster had a very good layout, but was very rough. Overall a very good day. Thank you everyone who organized the trip.

Troy Patton
Today I rode Katun. I found it to be a very good ride. I rode it four times, and I enjoyed the back seat the best because my rear end was out of the seat half the time. The first drop was awesome. The park was thoroughly enjoyable; it had a nice assortment of rides of all kinds. I did have a hard time finding my way through the park, as there were so many paths that were not marked on the map. The landscaping was awesome. My wife and I had a great time.

John Coffield
Katun was brilliant. The stunt show was excellent. And the big wheel was huge. Bravo – great park, great trip, see you in Japan!

Dave Elliott
A ‘mazing’ park, trying to find our way around even with a map was fun. The access to the monorail was down a dead end and not even signed. Great stunt show and Katun was certainly the star of the week. Big thanks to Mark and Kev for all their hard work and planning, cheers guys.

Michael Nash
Mirabilandia was a great park to finish the trip with. The ERS on Katun was excellent, and it has to be one of my favourite B&M inverteds. I enjoyed the woodie. The stunt show was great, and I had an excellent day. Thanks to all who put this trip together; I look forward to doing another in the future.

Luke Horn
I think that the woodie was horrendous, and the train on it was rubbish. The drop towers were brilliant, especially the shoot-up. The shoot-down was alright but fun. Even I got persuaded by Richard. The log flume was very good, and if I ever went on it again I wouldn’t be wet! The giant splash was rubbish because at the end me, Richard, Louise, and my mum got winded. Darren had to wear his waterproof cape because he was so scared of getting wet. The roller coasters were worth it, especially looking at Darren’s cheeky grin, which says I will take over the world! The stunt show was quite good, but if they’d used real flares instead of spark flares it would have been better. The dirt bikes were quite good except for the smell and the noise.

Jeff & Leslie Graham
Mirabilandia is a wonderful park, with lots of shade. Katun rocks and was the best coaster of the trip. Katun is old school B&M with tons of g-forces. The woodie was better than I had heard, delicious gelato. Congratulations Nina. Extra thanks to Kevin and Mark for another superb trip. You guys did a top job! Grazie!

Jeff Holmes
Mirabilandia was a great park with a fantastic B&M called Katun. They also had a woodie, which was just mediocre. Martin and Wortsie, we are finally saying goodbye to the Italian wines and beers. Kevin and Mark, a huge thank you to you both for all your hard work.

Jeppe Nygaard
So, Mirabilandia was our last park, but what a park. Excellent rides, but not so well themed, with the attention to detail not as good as that of Gardaland. The woodie was very rough, and I did not want to do it more than once. The Rapid Ride was the wettest one I have ever encountered, but very fun. Katun though, what a coaster. It was just awesome, and B&M once again just prove that they are the world’s best at steel coasters. The speed and sheer g-force was fantastic, and I was very happy with getting 15 goes in seats all over the train. Unfortunately the trip is almost over, everyone seems tired but very happy. Very big thanks to Kevin and Mark for the perfect job they have done, there has hardly been any incidents, and I am sorry they were not here to enjoy the fruits of their work.

Kat Soderquist
Thanks to all the people from the park to put together a great ERS/ERT on Katun. It was great to be with Nina for her hundredth coaster and thanks to my “escort” Mick for taking all the bumps and bruises. It was a great way to end my first ECC trip. The trip has exceeded all my expectations. See you next year…

Andrew Bannister
I liked Katun a lot because it was soooo smooth, myself and Olof Sornmo decided that because they are smooth and have nice curves that B & M coasters are definitely female. SLC’s are the tough guys of the coaster world. The woodie was buuuuuuuuuuuuuumpy! I liked the big splash, and I thought that people who wear ponchos kinda are missing the point of the ride. Fun stunt show! Now you know that you cannot trust Mick with a gun. Thanks to all the organisers of the trip and our bus drivers. Hope to see you all soon! Thank-you for having me back.

B. Derek Shaw
I really enjoyed Mirabilandia today. Although not as highly themed as Gardaland it still had lots of unique features and plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. Katun was great; one of the smoothest and more intense B&M coasters I’ve ridden, especially in the back. The wood coaster had a washboardie effect; it really needs PTC trains (hear that, Tom?). I loved the wheel, probably one of the largest I’ve ridden. As an added bonus, it was great to see Mick FK in the stunt show. This park had some of the best souvenirs of the entire trip. It was well merchandised. The only major deficiencies are the lack of a dark ride and ghost train. Mirabilandia magnifico.

Overall observations; it was so pleasant not to hear inane announcements and twenty signs before you ride an attraction. In Europe it’s just get in and go. Lets hope ambulance chasing lawyers never set up shop across the pond.

Overall comments; another great event that was well run and fun. Thanks to Kevin and Mark, the hard working trips monkeys! Also thanks to Justin and Chris for handling coach responsibilities, and Richard F and Justin for doing the daily reports on coach 1. Thanks to Mick FK for supplying comic relief, and Justin for an overall great experience. I hope to see some of you in Japan!

Andycoasterboy
Last day and last great park. Katun, fantastic. Park, fantastic. Trip, fantastic. A big thanks to Mark and Kevin, and Richard for typing so well (he’s lost it in the end!) and Martin and Paul W, we have finally had our last wines in Italy, which have been really nice. See you in Japan.

Malcolm Marr
The last park day was spent at mirabilabilabong park and we started the day with an ERS on their B&M coaster, Katun. It was a great ride, very similar to Montu at Busch Gardens. At the end of the day this coaster was flying though. The park is really nice but needs more dark rides, of the two big parks Gardenland just has the edge IMO, although the stunt show rocks!! A big big thanks to Mark and Kev for putting this great trip together, the pacing has been much better than other trips. If we all bought you a beer for your efforts you’d be 2 very drunk guys so please accept my thanks for all you’ve done instead.

Talhat Mahmood
The last park of the trip was Mirabilandia. It had a really good B&M inverter. I also loved the police academy stunt show. Got a stunning view from the big wheel. The rapids were running nice and wet. Its been a very nice trip; I’d just like to thank Kevin, Mark for organising a great trip, and Justin and Chris for running it. Also I would like to thank everyone else associated with this trip.

 

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