2017, Bottrop. An awful smell emanating from an SLC and ‘the worlds worst wooden rollercoaster’ as we pulled into the car park.
Well, nothing’s changed at Movie Park then.
Day 21 – Movie Park Germany
We actually rather enjoyed our time here before, it was definitely one of those parks that got a worse rep than it deserved and so were were looking forward to experiencing
all some of it again, along with their brand new attraction and a couple of other rethemes.
The new attraction being the catchily titled #1 Movie Park Studios. With so many of these Intamin things popping up, I had forgotten which ones did what, especially with that deceiving ‘multi-dimension coaster’ label that was being thrown around. Which dimension is it?
This one begins with a preshow, a Marty McFly looking bloke is projected here, welcoming us to the Studios and standing in for director Steven Thrillberg who we were supposed to meet – except he’s too busy making three films at once. But no worries, we can still have a tour.
(If you want a more eloquent write-up, check this out).
Things get convoluted and we’re introduced to a goofy automated ride system called SAM, I suppose giving an explanation as to why the tour is a rollercoaster (and that certain things go a bit wrong), though it didn’t feel strictly necessary to do this and pads the runtime a bit.
Sadly, almost as if to compensate for that fact, you then get a bit rushed through the next part of the queue which contains windows to some very intricately themed rooms containing all sorts of props, drawings and little details of other rides around the park, past and present. Bypassing all that in a blur takes you straight up to the station stairs, where Steven Thrillberg himself is chatting stuff on a TV and your carriage awaits.
After climbing into the cars, which are a bit Objectif Mars again, sans spinning, you despatch round the first corner and immediately take a wrong turn, ending up in the middle of a house about to get torn apart by a tornado. Effects happen and I fully expected a drop track here, but instead we got a backwards launch. I’ll take it.
You next end up on a turnable that goes the long way round, 270° past a bank of studio monitors with technology going a bit haywire before proceeding forwards again into the set of a car chase movie. With a drop right along side a rival car, the main launch hits and sends you up out into the outside world.
For the little entrance fly by section, which is a fun moment.
Heading back inside for a couple of faster turns, you come across the last of the three movies – King Kong kicking off at stuff, though it rushes past in a bit of a blur at our new found speed. The tour is complete, thanks for riding.
Well, it’s great as a ‘dark ride’. The coaster itself is a bit of a non-event if that’s what you’re going for, it’s a good dynamic piece of hardware that does the job well and a nice bonus that it happens to be a cred I guess. Looks like I was wrong about the drop track!
Could have done with a bit more proof reading at the end here.
Just next door is the rethemed rapids ride, now Excalibur. I never did the old queue as we ended up with fastrack last time and slithered in through a side door instead. This was here now, might have been before, would that make sense? Probably not. Big and impressive though.
I’m all for rapids rides with significant indoor sections and good levels of theming, there’s something a bit more magical about the water sloshing around in the dark and the peril that comes with it. It’s well paced, fun and ends with finding Excalibur of course, in a big cave. Was it better than Mystery River? Couldn’t say.
Walked straight past all the family coasters that would have been so much easier to ride this time around, if only that was how the hobby worked.
Sadly Time Riders (the vicious John Cleese simulator) was out of action for ‘local covid restrictions’, although I’m led to believe this is a more permanent doing and it’s the next attraction to be overhauled. May never be the same again.
Van Helsing was ready to kick ass though, the fantastically themed Gerstlauer Bobsled. Maybe I’ve been wrong thinking all these new ones might be the best one yet, I love this thing. Fast paced, grim, violent, with surprise hairpins and/or airtime in the dark, it’s proper quality stuff.
As is the queue for Star Trek: Operation Enterprise. They’ve done away with the preshows here interestingly, I remember thinking they hurt the rerideability a bit, especially as they didn’t really link so well to the series, after being immersed so well in all the rest of it.
I feel like this Mack launch coaster is exactly as I remember it, just that my standards have gone up quite considerably, particularly given what had happened a couple of days prior.
It’s fine, competent, nothing special, a good mix of forces here and there. Triple launches are starting to feel a bit faffy without anything spectacular at either end and I find myself wanting to get into the meat of the ride more quickly.
Still lacks a conclusion as a themed experience as well. Did we get assimilated or what?
Also the furry communicator badges on their uniforms look a bit ropey and were starting to bug me as the day went on.
Instead of redoing John Cleese, I feel like they should be paying more attention to the beachy American area with the two terrible creds (and no, repainting the SLC doesn’t count). It’s a weird transition from nicely decorated studio rides to cheap looking Diskos, generic theming and industrial wasteland. We walked straight round the lot in a loop to remind ourselves what was there worth riding, and the answer was nothing.
Time for a little distracted detour. With less than 72 hours until we would be heading home, we needed a negative covid test result from somewhere, anywhere. The park themselves were hosting a little test centre out in the car park so we figured it might be worth a shot and headed out to see them now that the morning rush was over. Better than stumbling into some obscure pharmacy in a city, as was the original plan, at least.
Though our request was unusual, ‘we want a test to go home in three days, not to get into the park we’ve already been in’, they knew exactly what we were on about, were super helpful about it all and got right to it, giving us exactly what we needed. Major relief there.
To celebrate(?) the fact we could now end the holiday soon, we rode Area 51, another more tenuously rethemed water/dark ride.
Forgot how huge the drop in the dark was for such a big boat, it goes on for an age and is quite a special moment. Alien stuff happens as you drift around in the depths of the indoor section, followed by a backwards portion waiting for a drop that never comes. The final descent out of the volcano is stil hilariously tame and I’m simply not enough of an expert to have noticed the differences. Was it better than Bermuda Triangle? I couldn’t say.
It had been chucking down with rain at certain points and everything in the park was walk on, so we did struggle somewhat to last the day, even though we wanted to give the place every opportunity. They’ve got many solid attractions and definitely appear to be heading in the right direction, just nothing with that killer instinct to keep you there indefinitely.
All other cred options in the area had already been exhausted, so we took an early long drive back towards the French border for the night. All coming full circle. -ish.