Germany 08/16 – Freizeitpark Plohn + Belantis

Broke the land speed record on the early morning weekend autobahn to get to the first park for opening as it was going to be a slightly more packed scehdule than the previous days, later wishing I hadn’t bothered.

Day 6 – Freizeitpark Plohn

Incoming rant:
This place was a joke and far below the standards I had come to expect from the rest of Germany. The queue for entrance tickets upon our arrival was already about 45 minutes with just 2 windows open. This seems to be the ‘new entrance’ as there are another set of fancy gates not in use. It was not possible to purchase anything online, so everyone was buying tickets in person. It was also the final planned cash dealing of the trip for me, cos they’re a backwards bunch of spiters and I had specifically taken the time to verify that I had enough the night before to decide whether I needed to find a cashpoint. I did have enough. Just.
Once we were one group of guests away from paying, I started to dig my money out and accidentally dropped a 2 euro coin which rolled to the family in front. A child picked it up and pocketed it in plain sight of the parents, who then just stared at/through me before entering the park as though nothing had happened. I still just had enough for tickets, but it would now involve some smaller change. The dire old woman at the admissions desk refused to accept a couple of 5 cent coins to make up the final total and I was flatly denied entry to the park with no negotiation or opportunity to speak to anyone else.
I hadn’t driven all this way for nothing, so had to physically force my way back through the massive crowd of people waiting for tickets, no one was willing to give an inch of room – the queue was looking to be at least an hour long by now. Kicking up some serious gravel on the way out, I raced off to the nearest town to find a cashpoint.
With some fresh crisp notes to slap in their face, we finally made it into the park about 2 hours after opening and now had little to no time to enjoy the visit, not that I think I would have.

#1 El Toro

Powered straight to the GCI woodie to try and remind myself why I had put up with all that nonsense. Mercifully the ride was suffering from Freischütz syndrome and was almost a walk on. One train operations and some questionable staff methods again turned that into a painful experience. A lone bloke in an umbro hoody and tracksuit was running everything by himself as follows:
Check the seatbelts.
Check his phone.
Check the bars.
Check his phone.
Brandish a tatty A4 piece of paper with some rules printed on it and start lecturing everyone in the station for a couple of minutes, also pointing at a pub chalkboard which had the height restrictions written on it, in chalk of course.
Bit late for height restrictions now we’re strapped in, I thought to myself.
Checked his phone.
Dispatch.
What sort of hell have I entered?

The ride itself was good, as I would have expected, but not nearly good enough to justify the current situation. The sad thing is, it was probably the best coaster of the trip as well, packed with a multitude of airtime hills that never came close to matching the height differential of the first drop.

Seems I didn’t even get a good picture of it. Have another goat instead:

#2 Silver Mine

On to the next cred. Eh.

#3 Raupe

The park ungracefully turned from themed Wild West area to a field with a carnival wacky worm on it at this point.

The powered coaster #4 Miniwah was pretty damn sweet and a welcome change for being completely indoors and very well themed. The speed of the ride and level of lighting changes between laps, adding a bit more excitement to proceedings. Don’t see many of these getting built any more, but this was a worthy one to try and a very pleasant surprise.

#5 Plohseidon

Zierer family coaster with too big a queue. Eh.

Having blitzed all of the creds, decided there was time for a couple more laps on El Toro before hopefully turning my back on this place forever (until Mack spited me by threatening to build something good here).

With more gravel displaced, it was off to the next park.


Belantis

No issues getting past the friendly staff here. Cards were accepted and there was a cashpoint right next to the counters just for good measure. Shouldn’t have to take any notice of this trivial stuff.

#6 Huracan

Got the biggest coaster out of the way first. Not a fan of Eurofighters generally and this one is particularly unpleasant in the way that it rides through too many inversions, but not enough to stop me taking a second go just to make sure.

Skipped the kiddy racer cred, too intense (big for it). It pains me to see that these exist, knowing I can never again ride one. Almost as if Gerstlauer designed them with spite in mind.

#7 Cobra des Amun Ra

I’ll forgive them for making another satisfying family ride though. The station here was billowing a lot of nice smelling smoke effect.

#8 Drachenritt

Caught this one on a good day it seems. I’ve ridden some of these bobsleds when they’re being a bit underwhelming, but this one was picking up some decent speed before the couple of good hills.

There are far more mad houses in the world than I ever would have expected. Verlies des Grauens was themed to castles and wizards, like most of them. I found it to be one of the better ones for putting up with lack of understanding what’s happening – the preshows didn’t go on too long and the hardware interaction was satisfying.

Fluch des Pharao looked mental to begin with, but still managed to exceed my expectations on intensity. Getting into the boat is struggle as it’s just like a big inflatable dinghy. The floor is so thin you unnervingly feel everything going on beneath your feet – the conveyor, rollers and sloshing of the water, elevator lifts(!), then you start to feel rather vulnerable.

As the boat hits the water after the main drop, there’s a brutal natural braking effect that you have to really brace for in order to not chip a tooth, then it just starts crashing into concrete walls around this whirlpool monstrosity. Fantastic ride.

Love that pun too.

That was about it for the park, it has quite a lot of space and some good old-fashioned themed areas which would imply it has good potential to expand, if the world was like RCT, but it isn’t. I hope they give me a reason to return as I did like the place. It was refreshing in two ways – 1) having lots of misters out along the pathways to help with the heat 2) not being Plohn.

Upon leaving, I found out the parking barrier was supposed to issue me a token when we came in, but it hadn’t. The member of staff I went to for assistance was very understanding and helpful and gave me a free token to get out, saving us the parking cost for the day.
An odd day overall. I had expected Belantis to be a bit crap and Plohn to be nice. Ended up with the complete opposite.

Day 7 was a painful 5 hour crawl back to airport through several hundred miles of constant traffic, along with far too many petrol stops in the still overly thirsty car.
Overall it was successful trip with no particularly standout creds, which I knew would probably be the case, but some very nice places along the way. It’s a shame I’m running out of German parks way too fast.

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