Germany + Netherlands 08/17 – Movie Park Germany

I’ve subconsciously left this park as the last place of significance in Germany, mainly due to low expectations. Since they went and got Helix trains (and a new ride to go with them), I couldn’t hold off any longer.

The day started strong with nearly getting waved into an empty field which had nothing to do with the park, then getting waved into more overflow car parks and finally a strong smell of excrement emanating from the view of an SLC and the ‘worst wooden rollercoaster in the world’.

Day 2 – Movie Park Germany

A 10 minute walk around the perimeter, stuck behind smokers, was made slightly better by the skyline being punctuated by some glamorous Mack track. Some rare perfect timing allowed us to be amongst the first in the park and some forward planning meant we knew exactly where to head to be amongst the first on the new attraction.

#1 Star Trek: Operation Enterprise

Even the first time round, I found the preshow sections to be a little tedious. The first set of screens were just being blocked by other uninterested guests as some bloke I hadn’t heard of was talking. The beam me up section didn’t really have as good of an impact as it should have. The bridge however was very impressive to someone who knew what it was supposed to look like and the use of the screen there seemed most relevant, if you weren’t all restricted to queuing in a small portion of the room and, again, couldn’t see it past other guests.

The free for all seating choice was a welcome feature in the station. The one train operation was not.
Started off in the front and felt right at home in those amazing seats.
I liked the ride itself a lot. Combined with the triple launch trickery at the start, you get a decent length out of it, particularly in comparison to Gold Rush the previous day and there’s a good mix of sensations going on throughout the layout. The sequence of elements is very unique but flows completely naturally and the inversions in particular just feel so… right.

#2 Van Helsing’s Factory

Swiftly and successfully moved onto the indoor Gerstlauer Bobsled to beat the rush. 15 minutes and we were on, just enough time to appreciate what was in the queue but not long enough for it to become painful.
I really enjoyed this one as well. Great interactive theming throughout the layout, which itself is finally different from every other one of these installations in existence. I nearly lost it upon seeing the second lift had tyres, my mind filling with dirty thoughts about a launch happening and then completely missed everything that was going on in that section. Managed to catch up on all the details with another ride later on.

2 for 2 so far Movie Park. Why does no one like you? On to the smaller creds.
This area was far from ideal, the Vekoma Junior queue looked grim, tried and failed to suck up the queue for the Wild Mouse which looked OK, then got queue jumped by about 10 people and saw all the cars starting to stack in the station.

We caved and bought a speedy pass from the nearby Nickolodeon shop instead. Yes this pass is good value as it puts you straight onto all 3 creds in the sort of manner that makes you feel a little too superior and you get dirty looks from everyone else. The power of money.

#3 Ghost Chasers, the aforementioned mouse, was made much more interesting than it should be by 2 excitable Asian girls having the time of their lives behind us.

#4 Backyardigans: Mission to Mars, the aforementioned junior was 2 laps of meh, with 500 smoking Germans staring at us from a now doubly grim queueline.

We were even asked which seat we wanted on the Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster, #5 Jimmy Neutron’s Atomic Flyer. The response?
“Don’t care, got the cred.”

Went for Mystery River while in the area and got dumped about halfway through the queue in a corridor of about 35°C. It was a fun rapids ride. Didn’t understand what was going on, but a decent amount of theming and water related peril through both indoor and outdoor sections.

Narrowly avoided a samba while leaving the area through a parade and stopped for a bite to eat, already reflecting on how this park is much better than its reputation.

Decided on the Lost Tunnel next, skipping over a gruesome looking 75 minute queue for a very lengthy ride experience. Another attraction that exceeded my expectations here.
The ride portion itself wasn’t particularly good for an immersive tunnel as there was little interaction between the dinosaurs on screen and our vehicle as a presence in their world, or even between the 2 sides left and right, but the pre-shows and build up to the ride were very impressive. It’s a shame the dinosaur in the exit path is for optional viewing only. After the comment from the temple bloke about “some of them may have escaped”, I wanted an animatronic to jump out of the waterfall and the bridge to collapse from under us as we left the ride room. Too far?

With a bit of luck Star Trek was down to 15 minutes, assumingly because they had just added the second train at long last. Suffered the preshows again and grabbed our second go in the back. I enjoyed spotting a couple of extra details this time, such as the screen in the room with the transfer track reading ‘uploading evasive manoeuvres’, but one thing that really doesn’t help the whole experience is that it creates far too much build up when the ride itself is almost completely unthemed and there is seemingly no conclusion to the story.
I felt they could have at least housed the brake run and had a quick video saying ‘well done lads, you saved the crew/you’re now Locutus of Borg.’ The spectacle all feels a little unnecessary to the hardware itself as it currently stands.

Time to see what’s the worst they can throw at us. #6 MP-Express the SLC is great before you even get on it. The industrial estate themed fastrack queue of unpaved stones and dirt through rusty fence towards a service road followed by old metal stairs into the side of an ageing warehouse is hilarious.
The ride itself was again just comedy, no nasty roughness at all, just a weird forward and back sort of pumping action through some of the inversions which caused many surrounding screams of agony, while I can’t stop laughing at it all.

It feels like there’s nothing steel can do to me these days, but I have developed a slight fear of bad woodies after Grand National tried to take my hobby away from me. So it was with significant trepidation that we boarded #7 Bandit.
The lift was over surprisingly quickly and then “Oh no, oh no……. Nope it’s fine.” We recalled the statement “worst wooden rollercoaster in the world” to each other as it took the first uneventful corner and then spent the rest of the ride in a laughing fit. Nothing wrong with it at all, actually quite enjoyed it.

Over to Time Bandits, where we got spited by a show time. (Yes, wrong name, but the dark ride names all seemed so generic to me they’d just blend into one, or something else, whenever I said them at the time).

Took our re-ride on Van Helsing to fix that. Amazed myself with how much I missed on the second lift, like the car bonnets jumping about, the big scary wolf/bear thing coming out at you from amongst the cars and then the screen of the flying demon thing carrying you up high and dropping you as you take the drop. Brutal laterals are a signature of this ride type and when it’s that dark in the back seat, you can’t even see it coming. Great stuff.

Over to Time Riders, straight in. Another impressive set of theming and preshows. The actor was really into it for the first section, and then the second section looked so good we were joking to ourselves about whether there is a ride at all? Or is this the final act. It could have been.
Very glad there was a ride, as the simulator is viciously fun. Multiple moments of it just feeling like a car crash as you hit something on screen and get properly chucked about in your seat. I found myself willing it to hit more things as it went on.

Grabbed an ice cream before the last ride on our list, Bermuda Triangle. More expectations exceeded, having only seen the outside drop with an angle of about 10 degrees into nothing but station. There’s a huge surprise drop in the dark at the start that felt like it went on forever, followed by some weird old theming in the underground section and a cool projection effect.
Soon after, you’re running away backwards from collapsing scenery, a little disappointed it wasn’t a drop. Finally the anticlimactic finish we all knew was coming. The boat also tried to kill us by nearly tipping over as we left.

Overal Movie Park Germany provided a good day out. It probably needed Star Trek to finally make it particularly significant, but the combination of multiple decent dark rides and at least a couple of above average coasters gave me a lasting positive impression.

Satisfied with what we had achieved in the park, it was time to assess our cred options for the journey back to the airport. A bit of research while tearing up some German roads brought us to the conclusion that it was “BillyBird or bust.”
Sat nav would have us there for 5 minutes before last admission and we needed a fuel stop somewhere. This may be the time to mention it was by far the slowest hire car I’ve had in Germany, being a hybrid Yaris, but that wasn’t going to stop me. Eco mode off, stick it in ‘B’, draining all the juice from the unsatisfyingly linear engine and embarrassing endless better cars on the autobahn, the run was put back into cred run.


BillyBird

Easily made it in time and what a nice place to stick a coaster. Just somewhere for the Dutch to chill out with very friendly staff, a lake, some chairs, an artificial beach, lots of stuff for kids to play on and most importantly, a cred.

#8 Familieachtbaan

Scaled the stairs to the top and jumped on. The ride is good fun for its size, with a fairly exposed feeling in the bathtub shaped cars and at least a noticeable amount of force involved. Job done.

Took advantage of some of the chilling out ourselves while we were there as there would no doubt be a couple of hours delay on an evening Easyjet flight out of mainland Europe.

There was.

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