Belgium + Netherlands 10/19 – Toverland
The second day was much more chilled out and I (temporarily) rediscovered my appreciation for taking it easy on parks. I had some vague plans of picking up a few +1s in the area but the previous day had temporarily put me off that sort of thing. That and it was raining heavily all day.
Day 2 – Toverland
So this place suddenly got lovely.
I wasn’t particularly into the park last time, entering through a warehouse and not being overly enthralled by any of the rides.
The new entrance area looks great (not that these wet pictures taken from under an umbrella will do it justice) and the first few minutes of walking down the path with the new land on the left felt 100 times more like a theme park and shows they’re putting a lot of effort in.
I only really needed the new land so headed straight there first, to be told that both Fenix and Merlin’s Quest were temporarily unavailable. Oh.
Then they looked a bit ashamed and said Dwervelwind was also down. “We recommend you start indoors.”
And that we did. Starting on the world’s nicest looking Bobkart vehicles. I had forgotten how well decorated the queueline was on this thing. The ride itself also seemed to be holding back less on the speed than last time, which had bothered me a bit. Perhaps because it was much quieter.
Took a token lap of Toos Express, foolishly sitting in the front row where the on-ride bell deafens you on every janky corner.
Don’t remember this attraction existing before. There’s a little house and garden to explore, for which you borrow a magic wand that you can point at sensors and set off effects. Great idea for a low key park.
Had a bit more of a mooch round the inside area until I noticed Fenix cresting the lift through a window. Don’t let that bird spite me.
I’ve got to start with praising the queue for this attraction. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I hadn’t really looked into anything about this ride so it completely caught me off guard, particularly for this park. They clearly mean serious business now.
It begins with a dimly lit corridor that gives you that wonderful atmospheric change as soon as you step foot inside it. Dangerously narrow stairs take you down to a room with talking portraits on the walls, telling tales and setting the scene.
I really liked these other magical paintings that had very subtle screen effects bringing them to life.
The park was absolutely dead because of the weather so I had the entire queueline to myself and quite easily got lost in there for a long time exploring every detail. There’s a passing preshow section with projections and an animatronic before you come to the usual left or right split for a B&M Wing Coaster.
There is actually a rollercoaster at the end of all that and again the little pre-lift hill scene once you’re on the ride caught me off guard. ‘Come closer. You will not escape.’
I really liked it overall. The 90 degree turn at the top isn’t as ugly as I’d imagined once you see it in person and it gives you a bit of steam with which to enter the inverted drop, that then feels less sluggish than usual, particularly in the back when you get dragged into it.
The bigger hill that follows works very well. I was in defensive mode from the rain and wearing my hood up but it would get ripped off every single time as I went flying over this element. Something about the shape of the track here and the landscape around it as well, makes it feel like you’re taking a huge jump feet first.
The helices are forceful and bouncy, which I’ve grown to appreciate more on these as it just means there’s more momentum involved.
I love the track layout doing a double crossing of the water and the whole aesthetic of it. My only real complaint is that it feels a bit short on ride time. I definitely bonded with Fenix while it tried to destroy me with the weather over many laps.
Over in the boathouse on the far side is the start of Merlin’s Quest. It has a little scene up above it’s own station that contains a good audio statement – ‘Never trust a water dwarf’.
It’s a bit of a slow drag in the boat across the water to get itself underneath Fenix for the main part of the experience, though admittedly amongst nice surroundings.
The indoor section is very well done with some good visuals and potentially the best smell on any ride in the forest section. Again that ends a bit too soon and you spend a lot more of your time drifting all the way back again.
The rest of the day was spent nabbing a few laps of the bigger coasters and dodging the heavier downpours by relaxing in the nice indoor area of the park.
Troy is mostly as I remember. A lot of fun, just doesn’t have a huge amount of significant sensations going on. Even though I had the added bonus of being waterboarded and completely unable to see, it didn’t chuck me around a lot or do anything particularly unexpected. It was running weirdly smoothly and quietly too.
Dutch Twist (Dwervelwind) was also an experience if only for not being able to see. I finally know what it’s like to ride like the Chinese do with your head awkwardly bowed at all times. The result – not comfortable.
On board sound is a plus of course, but I think French Dwervelwind (Twist) rides better.
Didn’t do Booster Bike again as I don’t really like Vekoma Motorbike Coasters and it would have been deeply unpleasant.
A great day overall, much more enjoyable than the previous. Toverland took a massive leap in my books, I completed the legendary set of all B&Ms in Europe and had some great ride experiences too. I look forward to their future.
Not much to report on the way back home. The Chunnel seems to run all too smoothly these days. Feels like it’s building to something terrible one day.