The following morning we arrived bright and early at the home of the multi award winning Expedition GeForce – billed to be the standout coaster of the trip and a source of major excitement for us. The bright part might be a lie, it was a particularly grey and miserable day.
Day 2 – Holiday Park
Unable to contain the excitement, we headed straight for the big orange Intamin mega coaster looming through the trees.
Unfortunately it was closed, with no current indication as to why, so we continued on deeper into the park.
At the back of the park, the other major coaster was up and running so we began with that. A striking looking Premier triple launch coaster, something in particular seems to stand out – no corners. It’s very tall, high in thrills but fits into a tiny space. Sadly that means it’s going to be cloned everywhere.
With an age restriction of minimum 14 out front, the queueline for this ride contains a number of horror elements like you would find in a scare maze at a halloween event. Nervously dodging our way through that with no other guests to use as shields, we reached the station amongst the very first riders of the day.
As soon as the restraint was pushed down on me by the member of staff, I wanted to leave the ride. This wasn’t through fear, just pure pain. For some reason these restraints have what’s described as a shin bar, a particularly stiff and pointy one in this instance and it was digging right into my shin bones in the most uncomfortable manner and not wanting to cause a scene there was nothing I could do about it.
On with the ride then, teeth clenched. The shuttle launch – forwards, backwards and forwards again is surprisingly powerful, taking place over such a short space of track. With enough momentum from the last to reach the highest point of the layout, the train is rather unceremoniously thrust over the crest of the hill in what could have been quite a good moment of airtime had I not been so badly pinned in place.
The inversion across the top slowly rolls you over while I’m once again starting to wish it would just end. A trim brake teases it back into the vertical spike at the other side, resulting in the non-inverting loop being taken at a reasonable pace and with a final twist you’re racing back through the station for some braking action that could not have come soon enough for me. Please let me off now.
It’s a shame as I think I would have quite liked the ride, but I have never been so negatively impacted by a train design before and I really don’t see how it’s a necessary feature. (Future note: it isn’t. Clones of the ride exist perfectly fine without it, I can only assume that it’s part of the horror theme now – planned torture). Hopefully never again.
Somewhere else in the trees hides this standard Maurer wild mouse coaster. It had a particularly brutal set of brakes at the end that stopped the car almost instantaneoulsy from high speed, but I was already immune to pain at this point in the day.
We wandered back past Expedition GeForce to see if it had sprung into life. There was activity from staff around the area and noises from the winch house that runs the cable lift hill. No luck yet though, so we found a few other attractions to tide us over.
Very loosely themed to a TV show (you can see the extent of the detail in this photo), Anubis the Intamin drop tower gave a solid performance.
In the family area of the park is a well themed boat ride based around the adventures of Tabaluga, a green dragon who also has a TV show. A relaxing little sit down.
Burg Falkenstein was the complete opposite of relaxing. A ghost train that bordered on the edge of disturbing in some parts, we both ended up at the exit thinking ‘nah… that wasn’t quite for me.’
Expedition GeForce was still down and we had now run out of things to do. A man at the entrance to the queue gave a shrug and couldn’t tell us any useful information.
A tasty sandwich outside Sky Scream tided us over until a show that the park was putting on in this lake arena.
Jet skis, speed boats, that water jetpack device and a slapstick plot that seemed to openly mock the French – it was entertaining enough. Would rather have been riding the ‘greatest rollercoaster in the world’ though.
So we sat outside that for an age, wishing for something to change. No further hints were given other than perhaps it was a little too cold to run ~8°C for most of the day I believe.
So we sat in the car watching it in relative comfort for an age, wishing for a train to crest the lift hill visible through the trees. It never did.
This was a major spite, my first major spite (from inside a park). One of the main reasons we planned this trip and we simply couldn’t ride it. Is this what the hobby is going to be like?