Europe 09/21 – Holiday Park + Wild und Freizeitpark Klotten
Here it is then, the final day of an over 3 week super holiday flying around Europe, because none of the rest of the World wanted us. I know I say this every time but this trip easily goes down as one of the best ever and I’d had an incredible time visiting loads of new parks and revisiting old favourites.
Almost as punishment for having such a great time though, the final day of the trip didn’t exactly live up to expectations.
The day started with a revisit to Holiday Park.
It turns out I never wrote a trip report of my first visit in 2016, but it’s fair to say I’ve never really been a fan of the park. The too long didn’t read summary would play out as such…
Rude staff, not a great atmosphere, they didn’t want to run Expedition GeForce leading us to cut a day short at Europa Park to return and the ride line up without GeForce isn’t good.
Today though, things would be even worse…
Warning! This is going to get ultra descriptive and ranty, but trust me it needs to.
We arrived at the park entrance and much like at some of the other expensive chain parks (Magic Park Land + Jacquou Parc) we got burnt to a crisp in the slow moving completely unshaded cattle pen queue.
During this slow moving queue I’d been reading the Covid safety signs that were everywhere in the entrance plaza. You must wear “a face covering” at all times indoors and while queuing for and experiencing the attractions. You didn’t need to wear “a face covering” while just strolling around in the park.
I bring your attention once more to the phrase, “a face covering”, because it was for this reason I wore my standard mask I’d been wearing all trip. Had they said here that a medical mask was required I would have got one out of the car, exactly like at Phantasialand.
The reason the queue had been moving so slowly is they were checking Covid vaccination certifcates at the front. You were given a wristband for showing one and this enabled you to visit indoor attractions and the shops.
Me and Heartline were given the all clear and a wristband from a man at the front of the queue, all while I’m still wearing my normal mask.
This wristband enabled us to ride the park’s (new to us) indoor coaster, Tabalugas Achterbahn.
The staff member at the entrance of the building nodded and waved us inside at the sight of our wristbands and soon we were at the coaster, where the operator once again checked our wristbands before letting us on, oh and I’m still wearing the same face mask by the way.
I make this the 6th Zierer Force Two that I’ve ridden, I’m not proud.
Then it was time for the big one, the reason we’d even returned, the (once) incredible Expedition GeForce.
We strolled over to the ride, I’m buzzing to get back on (what used to be) one of my favourite coasters in the World.
The queue is moving slowly, of course, this is Holiday Park, what do you expect?
When we got to the station stairs though it was clear why things were moving so slowly. One of the two members of staff running the ride was being an absolute word I can’t say here, getting into arguments with everyone for everything and just generally throwing his weight around, thus completely killing the already awful throughput of the ride.
Then it was my turn, for both the final chapter in the medical mask saga and to the face the wrath of this idiot.
I’m standing at the airgates, the coaster train is rounding the final bend in its return to the station and then it happens.
“You’re not wearing a mask”.
“Yeah, but it’s not a medical mask.”
“It doesn’t say anything about needing to wear a medical mask at the park entrance”.
“It’s the law.”
“I’ve worn this same mask countless days in Germany and no one has once said that.”
“It’s the law, you can’t ride the coaster.”
“I’ve literally just ridden Tabalugas indoors and I’ve been given a wristband to say I’m good, are you saying your other staff members have done wrong?”
“It’s the law, you’ll have to leave, get a mask and then come back to ride.” He points as though he wants me to leave back through the queue while wearing my apparently unsafe mask.
“So I’m safe to walk back through the queue but not to ride the roller coaster?” He panics slightly.
“No… you can walk through the coaster, but you can’t ride.”
With that, I left.
I went to guest services, both to get a mask and question what had just happened.
The lady inside gave me a mask and although she agreed my normal mask was fine she wasn’t all that interested in hearing me complain about the idiot over at GeForce.
All medical masked up now I returned to the coaster.
I caught Heartline on his way mid mini marathon.
“You all sorted now?”
“You haven’t missed much, it’s running bad.”
And he was not wrong…
Almost 7 months later (yes I’m slow at trip reports) and I still can’t 100 percent be sure what the exact cause was, but to say Expedition GeForce plummeted out of my top 25 would be an understatement.
I pin the blame halfway between the coaster itself running no where near how it ran in 2016 and the fact I’ve ridden over 800 coasters since.
Either way, it was real poor. The airtime moments were now meh and the boring stuff inbetween was even more boring.
Just to add insult to injury, upon my return to the coaster, I noticed many guests not wearing medical masks and some not wearing any at all…
After 2 laps I’d had enough, both of what’s left of Expedition GeForce, and the park itself.
With that, it was time to leave, but even that’s too much for Holiday Park.
We got back to park entrance but couldn’t see any way to exit. People were pouring in through all the turnstyles, the exit gates were locked and the staff were ignoring us as we stood there.
So we walked into guest services, where we were blanked again and once again found no exit.
With no other option we just powered back through the turnstyles into the sea of people, with the staff still ignoring us…
Let’s get the hell out of here.
For the record I’ve emailed the park countless times now asking them to justify any of the crap we faced that day and so far (7 months later) I haven’t recieved anything, not even an insincere apology.
Wild und Freizeitpark Klotten
The 2nd park of the day and the final of the trip would be a park that’s been the butt of many jokes ever since I started taking travelling seriously. “They went all that way for just a Gerst Bob?!” Well today was our turn, but in our defence they have now added a dark ride…
I think it’s fair to say the park has a rather special setting, perfect for calming down after the shambles that was Holiday Park.
After a rare bit of language related miscomunciation, we purchased our tickets and made our way into the park.
Just after you passed through the turnstyle, but just too far away to see when you are buying tickets was a hand drawn information sign, which was informing vistors that today the dark ride would not be in operation, dirty.
There was nothing at all in the ticket area or on the ticket window itself, nothing on the website and the lady at the desk didn’t tell us anything to that effect, Klotten are happy to take your money before telling you what’s operating apparently…
We stood at the sign for a while seriously contemplating walking back to the desk and asking for a refund, in the end though we decided to press on.
And head straight to the aforementioned Gerstlauer Bobsled, Heiße Fahrt.
Klotten need to count themselves damn lucky that Heiße Fahrt is as good as it is, because thanks to this coaster alone I almost forgive the park for their dirty tactics.
This trip had the ongoing joke that every Gerstlauer Bobsled we rode was the best yet, well, with the expection of Van Helsing, Heiße Fahrt is the best in the World.
I think the picture below speaks a thousand words but this coaster goes way harder than I thought the hardware allowed. It’s a truly out of control experience, that feels like it’s going way too fast, throwing you around far too much, oh and then there’s actual freaking amazing airtime, which for a Gerst Bob is insane.
Don’t take my word as proof though, or even the above picture, ask Heartline, who managed to lose his hat on the ride in circumstances that still puzzle us to this day.
With the dark ride closed, the only other attraction worth riding in the park was Zum Rittersturz, the park’s giant elevator lift flume ride.
The ride was better than I expected to be fair, it featured a small indoors section which was fun, the drop itself was great and thankfully we didn’t get too wet.
On our way to exit we spoke to the lady at the admissions desk about how we might be able to get the hat back, not even Google translate could help make sense of what was being spoken however.
Upon returning home and emailing the park in German, we got a response saying that many black hats are lost daily and we are welcome to come back and search through the box of black hats to find Heartline’s, 7 months later and I’m still not sure if this is parody or not. At least we got a response however, unlike Holiday Park…
Then it was time to head back to the Chunnel and back to reality, at least for a couple of weeks.
Thank you so much for reading.