France 08/22 – Nigloland
Day 2 – Nigloland
In order to maintain a degree of significance on both days, we opted for a revisit to one of the nicest parks in France in lieu of a lot more cred running, with the added bonus of a healthy +2. Nigloland already had a cracking lineup for its size, along with a very pleasant atmosphere. This remains, mostly, but what’s new?
#1 Krampus Expedition, that’s what. This one strikes me as a weird concept, I get that the folklore fits into the Alpine theme of the area and nearby other attractions, but why a water coaster? To fill a gap in the lineup? Probably.
Whatever the reason, they’ve done a fantastic job with it. The lift looks surprisingly hefty and intimidating in the context of the park. The queueline has some great theming, including wrapping around a massive, spooky skeleton of Krampus himself. There’s also a collection of posters depicting other famous water rides around the world, which seems cheeky.
I’m glad they went for a custom layout of course, would have been too easy to order a Skatteøen and be done with it, but instead we get a more fast paced and fun pre-splash section that even includes an extra little floaty hill. I’m also kinda liking the new track style with the regular Mack track hemmed in by the older water coaster rails. Hopefully it’ll stop it riding like Poseidon and Journey to Atlantis in a few years.
Alpina Blitz, the original Alpine themed coaster here sits pretty just next door. Sadly it was only running one train so we didn’t get to spend much time with the Mack Megalite on this occasion. Comfortable, powerful, it’s an all-round good time coaster from start to finish. I still prefer it to the more poorly run Intamin equivalents but it hasn’t yet found that killer instinct like Piraten.
I’m still worried about what they’ve done to my poor Eurosat, but the essence lives on in Spatiale Expérience (and my car playlist). It was particularly amusing on this occasion, with the French getting really hyped up during the extended spiral lift hill and counting down to the first drop, before proceeding to sit in stark silence, perhaps boredom, for the entirety of the actual layout. I don’t quite know how they manage it with this track but it’s so jerky, yet smooth. The train pumps around all over the place in quite an intense manner though it’s all from strange shaping and not roughness as far as I can tell.
The other new coaster was #2 Noisette Express which somehow manages to be rougher, in a fun, kiddy kinda way.
I’m enjoying the current rise of these ART engineering projects though, they all have a great aesthetic and seem to end up being a cut above your average plonked family coaster. The profiling of that first drop amuses me for a start.
The squirrel character on the back of the train is great, he also has a little story throughout the queue. It’s a tad inconsistent as it declares he was born on the same day the ride opened, along with the contradictory fact that he’s been doing forest conservation engineering projects for years before this. It’s like Duplo Dino all over again with these details.
Hoping this is an homage to the Wacky Worm that is no more at this park, having been replaced by a circus tent opposite the new ride.
Cheat shot. Le Donjon de l’Extrême kicked more ass than before, which is saying something. A combination of not being stapled and being able to see properly led to a world class drop tower experience. Love it.
I don’t remember Maison Hanté hauling so much either. The open-benched seating is still so much fun in the ghost train environment and it was spinning so hard through the downhill slalom graveyard section at the end that I could barely walk straight upon exiting.
Still irks me that the spooky building always seems to be framed poorly against the sunlight, though it’s probably just a summer month problem.
Highly satisfied with another half day visit we snacked on some great value crêpes on park, continuing to prove that this place has lots of great food, then headed out on a bit of a mission.
Plopsaland de Panne
Not a cred mission though, a labour of love you might say. I’ve still got that season pass and I’ll find any excuse to use it. What’s a 5 hour drive between parks?
Yup, Ride to Happiness is still the second best rollercoaster on the planet. It’s ridiculous and I can’t get enough.
It was hard to tear ourselves away and head for that ferry, but all in all a joyful little jaunt of a weekend with something to offer on both extremes of the spectrum. A +7 for the coaster count and a +1 for morale.