Scratching Das Itch

Discussion in 'Your Trip Reports and Plans' started by RicketyCricket, 3rd Sep 2021.

  1. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Basically haven't been ejected from a coaster since Energylandia last July, and I've got a few days off this month so I've planned a little solo rail travel trip to Germany.

    I was going to go back to Poland but have settled on Germany because of the ease of travel around the country. It also just about edged the battle of
    beer/currywurst vs vodka/pierogi. Also I need to get on Expedition GeForce which was closed on my previous visit last year.

    The plan is:

    Thursday PM - Arrive in Hamburg
    Friday - Hansa Park
    Saturday - Undecided on the route but will be travelling South most of the day
    Sunday - Holiday Park
    Monday - Phantasialand
    Tuesday AM - Fly home

    So lots of mileage and a bit of a zigzag route but the park opening days mean I'd have to do it in this order.

    Not been to Hansa Park before so looking forward to finally getting on Karnan. Could possibly squeeze in Heide Park but it looks a bit crap - could be persuaded though if anyone has thoughts?
     
    Posted 3rd Sep 2021
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  2. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Sounds fun!

    As for Heide; I obviously can’t speak in too much detail about it seeing as I haven’t actually been, but does Colossos not pique your interest?
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2021
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  3. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Looks like a great trip and hopefully you'll get on expedition geforce as imagine going all the way to holiday park for it to be closed.
     
    Posted 3rd Sep 2021
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  4. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Colossos is tempting but that's literally the only coaster there that interests me really. The fact it's a Merlin park puts me off too. I'm very much a quality over quantity kind of coaster nerd.

    Can confirm it's a devastating spite. A long way to go out your way for a Sky Rocket. Will definitely be contacting the park in the morning this time.

    Edit: from last visit...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 3rd Sep 2021
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2021
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  5. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Bad luck with EGF!

    With Heide, not worth it if you're just popping in for Colossos. You're better off with Novgorod and Karnan re-rides.
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2021
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  6. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Never really hear anyone raving about Colossos, even since the re-tracking. How does it compare to Balder?
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2021
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  7. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Was spited by Colossos so haven't actually been on it; it's the only reason that would actually compel me to return. Of all the European Merlin parks, Heide has the dullest atmosphere. It's about as vibrant and energetic as a funeral parlour.
     
    Posted 4th Sep 2021
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  8. jmc

    jmc TowersStreet Member

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    If you have been on Balder, I’m pretty sure Colossos will disappoint. I was seriously underwhelmed by it unfortunately (pre-retrack). In my opinion Balder is the better of the two given it feels more relentless with the smaller airtime hills giving more airtime moments in a shorter space of time.

    Overall Heide Park is pretty cr*p, full of Merlinisms and mediocre versions of ride hardware. It feels nothing like its German counterparts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
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    Posted 4th Sep 2021
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  9. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Heide is worth a visit. The fact people seem to just throw out a park with that line up is absurd.

    Yes it's Merlin. Yes it's not the best in Germany but it's certainly not the worst either.

    Anyhow, enjoy your trip!

    Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
     
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    Posted 4th Sep 2021
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  10. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Also, remember that Heide isn’t just Colossos; there’s also Krake & Flug der Damonen, which I'd be excited for if I were in Germany!

    Admittedly, though, I like dive and wing coasters a lot more than your average enthusiast…
     
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    Posted 4th Sep 2021
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  11. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Day 1: Heide Park

    There was a balls up on the Hansa Park website which left me with a free day so I decided to venture down to Heide Park! I'm not a MAP holder so paid 35€ for entry, which is very reasonable for a German park.

    My hotel is next to Hamburg Central Station and the journey was pretty straightforward to Wolterdingen where I walked 20 mins to the park, getting through the gates just before 11.

    Ghostbusters 5D - Didn't really know what to expect. The theming outside was pretty good but any sense of immersion was lost whilst on the ride between the 3D shooting screens. Pretty poor dark ride overall.

    Colossos - I'd been meaning to get on this for a while since the re-tracking. The ride is all about airtime with a huge first drop and several hills stretched out across the vast layout. The only problem is none of said hills really do anything. El Toro and Balder deliver big time in this regard but Colossos just coasts over the airtime hills at a smooth, leisurely pace, with your arse barely lifting off the seat. I did return later in the day for re rides and it was slightly better in fairness, especially on the front row. I think Wicker Man is the better of the two Merlin big wooden fire themed structure penetrating coasters - which was a surprise.

    Limit - Just horrendous. A violent reminder as to why I usually skip SLC's. It's a shame because they're decent coasters with the new vest restraints.

    Bobbahn - Walked straight onto the front row and it was excellent! Best of these coasters I've ever done. A more forceful and longer ride than those found at Blackpool and Europa Park.

    The drop tower - Very big, very good.

    Flug Der Demonen - Hate to be that guy again but boooooooring. I find these wing coasters a bit too smooth and pleasant tbh. Especially with a small scale version like this one where there's no sense of speed or intensity.

    Big Loop - First half was an good, classic Vekoma. Then it got a bit painful during the headbanging corkscrews.

    Krake - The main themeing structure is impressive, and I got an accidental soaking when filming the drop slap bang in the middle of the splash zone. The queue and station is pretty well themed in that Merlin basic but good kind of way. Again though the ride was crap, having a B&M Dive this small in scale really defeats the point of the ride IMO. Nice setting and veiws over the lake though.

    Wasserbahn - These old school log flumes are becoming harder to find these days so it's got to be done.

    Rapids - As above.

    So I done most of the coasters once and about 8 rides on Colossos. The park was absolutely deserted with walk on rides all day, which was ideal because none of them are worth waiting more than 10 minutes for.

    Overall it's quite a nice park but perhaps a tad neglected. The rides are well presented and it's a nice setting on the lake. Had a nice chilled out day with a few beers on the go. Glad I visited but not sure I'll ever return. It's a shame I'm such a coaster snob really, I'm sure many others would appreciate the ride line up.

    Das Itch: NOT SCRATCHED

    Off to the Reeperbahn now for a night of seedy weirdness and then Hansa Park tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: 17th Sep 2021
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  12. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Day 2: Hansa Park

    Due to the 4 hour train journey down south to Holiday Park later on in the day, my time at Hansa Park would be limited to 3pm. This would have been fine if I'd got there for opening as planned but I slept through my alarm and didn't arrive until 12pm. Leaving just a few hours to get as much down as possible.

    Again the train journey was pretty straightforward and took about an hour and a half with one change. 15 minute walk to the park and I was in. Went straight to Karnan obviously.

    Spoilers ahead...

    Karnan - wow wow wow wow wow... Wow. What an absolute masterpiece of a ride. It's the complete package. The first thing that makes it cool as **** is the random row assigning room. I wanted to be annoyed at not getting a front row ride but it just adds to the madness of Karnan. I got 3 back row rides because Karnan makes you it's bitch.

    I'd managed to avoid *most* spoilers since it opened, all I knew is there is a backwards section. Fortunately the sheer ingenuity of the design meant I certainly didn't expect a backwards freefall on a 240ft vertical lift hill in pitch black. Something about these lift hills makes me a tad nervous at the best of time, even on crap like Saw and The Smiler - this one is the same height as Shambhala or Hyperion and in complete darkness.

    After eventually being flung down the drop and back into daylight the ride delivers on arguably the most important part of the experience in that it's an excellent bit of track and train. The drop seems to last forever and there are a couple brutal twisted airtime moments usually only found on RMC coasters. Then there is a nice ejector hill thrown on for good measure. It's smooth, it's fast, it's intense. And all that's holding you in is a humble and unstapled lap bar. A beast of a coaster.

    Karnan ticks all the right boxes for me, I'd say it's probably the most complete package coaster I've ever been on. It's a world class dark ride and coaster. Basically Mystery Castle with a coaster attached to it. I think it probably makes the top 10.

    Flug Van Novgorod - Baby Karnan with a nice launch. Solid coaster.

    So that was my day! Only got on 2 of the rides but Karnan and it's 45 minute queue took up most of my short time at Hansa Park. I did walk around most of it and it looks to have that regional traditional German park charm, something which Heide Park is severely lacking. I will 100% be returning again in the near future for hopefully longer than 3 hours.

    Das Itch: SOMEWHAT SRATCHED
     
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  13. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    Looks like you had a good few days so far @RicketyCricket and it's a shame you didn't get on many rides at Hansa park.
     
  14. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    I'm not too fussed tbh i could have got on all the coasters but when weighing it up the 3 rides on Karnan had to take priority.

    And it's an excuse to visit again soon!
     
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  15. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    That it is! For Karnan did you think there was some rough patches? I've heard a few people say there's some patches where it feels a bit rough but that seems unlikely to me.
     
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  16. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    There is a rattle on one of the trains which is a bit annoying but it doesn't take away from the overall ride experience. For a 200ft Gerstlauer I expected a headache but it was actually pretty smooth.
     
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  17. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Day 3: Holiday Park

    Most of yesterday evening was spent on a 4 hour train journey down to Mannheim, 500 km in distance and only €29. Usually when in the Baden region I'd be at Europa Park but it wasn't possible to squeeze it in on this trip. Been to Mannheim twice now and it's a great city, buzzing with students and multiculturalism. Most importantly it's only a 20 minute train ride away from Holiday Park.

    As mentioned before my visit here last year EGF was down for maintenance, the highlight of that day was an XXL Schnitzel and not an Intamin coaster.

    Got into the park just after 11 and headed straight for EGF which was on a 1 or 2 train wait for most of the day. Then after 2ish a massive queue appeared out of nowhere and wouldn't go away.

    Expedition GeForce: First of all the trains are pretty comfortable for am Intamin, only issue is there's no room to move your feet around and when you're wearing massive trainers with already long legs there's not a lot of wiggle room. Got a few rides on the back row before I couldn't be arsed to walk around the queue any more and yes it's a brilliant coaster. Can see why it's so highly rated. Similarly to Colossos, it's a layout built for airtime and in this case it delivers on several occasions.

    Went off for a beer and returned an hour or so later and got two front row rides and a few more at the back - in that short amount of time EGF had warmed up significantly and had become thigh-bruisingly brilliant. I think the ejector is slightly more abrupt at the front but personally I preferred the back row where you get whipped over that incredible first drop and following barrage of hills.

    Went off for another beer and the queue had got a bit silly so squeezed a couple more rides in and headed off for the day. EGF didn't exactly blow me away like the theatrical Karnan but it's just as good a coaster, maybe even better.

    Sky Scream - Had forgotten how brilliant this is. The launch is absolutely mental and the fact there are no comfort collars makes it an 8/10 instead of a 5.

    Freefall - A pretty average drop tower but what makes it unique is that the ride ops are happy to let you have the restraint as loose as you want as long as the seat belt clicks. Sitting at the top with what felt like a foot between my gut and the restraint was genuinely terrifying.

    I find Holiday Park a tad dull, but in fairness it seems a excellent family park. There are 3 really well themed areas for children, the new Viking area in particular looks great. Fortunately EGF made the visit more than worth it and I will definitely be looking at tagging it onto every future Europa Park visit. And they sell Flammkuchen.

    Das Itch: Scratched
     
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  18. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Day 4: Phantasialand

    Whizzed back up north on the train from Mannheim to Köln, again on the speedy ICE train and again just €29. This journey was just over 90 minutes and I was on the Phannyland shuttle bus by 09.45, very early for me.

    The shuttle bus rides are *disgusting* here, they always cram way too many people in, must have been about 3 whole school trips squeezed into the thing. Should be on one of those 'Worlds worst bus journeys' YouTube videos with all the winding mountain death roads.

    I'd managed to squeeze in a visit here last year the week before the travel ban, so had already been on F.LY. but it was good to get back to possibly the best pound for pound park in Europe.

    F.L.Y - I came off this last year very impressed and somehow it's actually better than what I remember. Phantasialand's ability to nail absolutely everything is astonishing. From the ride itself to the smoke effects coming out of the manhole thingys on the floor, they do not mess about. They rival Disney when it comes to the finer details of a themed area. The queue was only 20 minutes in the morning which was ideal, it was painfully slow though. I assume they must have had a train missing. Got a ride on the back row and absolutely loved it. I seem to be in the minority here but I find it incredibly forceful and intense in places. It seems to go on forever too. Have had about 10 rides on it since it opened and I still have no idea of what's coming next in the layout, it's just a big blur.

    I returned at the end of the day after getting off Taron and looking at the app to realise that F.L.Y closes an hour before the parks official hours and just about squeezed into the queue for the last ride of the day. Got a back row again and this time after a few litres of beer and a currywurst I did find it a bit uncomfortable being squished on my front for so long. Then as I got off, a staff member popped out offering another lap so they could fill the gaps on the last train, don't mind if I do. Very nearly regretted that decision, a third lap could have been vom central.

    Taron - I am one of the biggest Taron fanboys in the northern hemisphere. It's the reason I've visited the park more than Towers/Thorpe/Blackpool combined in recent years. The queue was between 30-50 mins most of the day which isn't too bad but long enough to be very dull when you're alone. Taron was running very, very well all day today which was a relief as it can take a while to get going. I'm usually a back row ******* but Taron is extra special on the front row. You really appreciate just how fast that thing is when seated there. I will concede Taron is not as intense as I once thought, I see it now as one of the most *fun* coasters of all time. The speed, the airtime, the rapid changes of direction give me a s**t eating grin throughout. Got 5 goes in total. God bless you Taron.

    Black Mamba - Even with Rookburgh now in the mix, Deep In Africa remains Phantasialand's finest work and IMO Black Mamba is the most immersive coaster in the world. The ride itself is fantastic but if you plonked it on a car park it would be a bottom tier invert. Fortunately that's not the case so it's up there with Nemesis for me.

    Winjas (Fear) - Isn't this supposed to be the better one? It was alright. At the moment the whole of Wuze Town is only accessible by a massive external queue which was kind of annoying. On that note Phantasialand take Covid very seriously, even employing external security to monitor mask compliance around the queues. And it's the only park of the trip I had to show my vaccine passport before entry.

    Crazy Bats - Turns out it's just Temple Of The Night Dork at the moment. Which serves a purpose of being a slightly more interesting rest on a bench, which is fine by me.

    Chiapas - I love Chiapas obviously but the restraints wind me up as you can't move your feet to avoid the inevitable soaking they get.

    Mystery Castle - Just as good as usual. Funny moment when leaving the ride our entire cycle of people walked the long way around the garden at the exit, interrupting the only corner in Phantasialand quiet enough for a teenage gang to have a cheeky spliff.

    River Quest - The way I see it you've got a 1 in 3 chance of getting a complete pummeling from a wall of water on this, so I took my chances. I've never seen anything like it, the tsunami that consumes the unlucky one doesn't seem possible. Is this global warming? For everyone else you can come off fairly dry and I got lucky.

    Managed to spend the whole day on park for once but overall a fairly modest ride count. As mentioned previously it's not too much fun standing in long queues when you're on your own which is why I prefer to sit down with a stein and watch Taron go by.

    Posting this having just demolished a Schnitzel from the beer hall overlooking the always impressive, massive scary looking gothic cathedral in Köln before heading back to London tomorrow. I love this country <3

    Das Itch: what Itch?
     
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  19. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Some snaps...

    Heide Park...

    [​IMG]

    Big Bob's nephew...

    [​IMG]

    There are two types of graffiti artist...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The former performed by this chap...

    [​IMG]

    An absolute unit...

    [​IMG]

    Go Karnan...

    [​IMG]

    Holiday Park Flammkuchen...

    [​IMG]

    EGF...

    [​IMG]

    F.L.Y...

    [​IMG]

    Schnitzel...

    [​IMG]

    More padlocks than Screwfix...

    [​IMG]

    Köln...

    [​IMG]

    Wicker bread...

    [​IMG]

    Bonus theme park worldwide insta story bomb...

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    You've got some great shots there.
    I hope you had a good trip @RicketyCricket
     

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