My uncle had to spend about a week and a half in Germany on a business trip, but he had nothing to do for the weekend. As such, I decided to fly over to go to Holiday Park and hang out with him.
After landing in Frankfurt after my flight from Washington Dulles, my uncle picked me up and we headed off to Holiday Park. A buddy of mine had warned me that I'd be done there in an hour or two, but as tired as I figured I'd be, I didn't really mind a quick visit to the park and then relax in Mainz for the rest of the day. It was also the closest park to FRA, so that's why I picked it over Europa Park during the planning of the trip.
Anyways, Holiday Park was actually a really nice sort-of-little park. It had a nice charm to it ;) with a surprisingly nice selection of rides. It was also a very pretty park with a nice wooded setting.
As for the rides, we only rode the three coasters. Holly's Wilde Autofahrte was your standard Wild Mouse and Super Wirbel was a decent Vekoma corkscrew coaster with a nice setting. Expedition GeForce, on the other hand, was incredible. It had fantastic airtime, a great twisted layout, and a beautiful setting. The first drop was just plain righteous in the back, and the airtime through the rest of the ride great in every seat. It's one of the rare coasters I enjoy most toward the back, but really, it's just a great ride.
Now, I'd been explaining Europa Park to my uncle, who explained that despite my exhaustion, he had plenty of energy (he'd been in Germany a few days already and had adjusted his sleep schedule) and he was cool with going the hour-and-a-half farther south, so we made a game-time decision and headed off to Europa Park.
We got to Europa at about 1400, had lunch, and then headed to the rides. First up was Silver Star, conveniently located right up front.
Now, I cannot emphasize enough just how much fun Silver Star was. It's quite possibly the best B&M I've ever been on, loaded with probably the best airtime they've ever achieved and some great twisting maneuvers. I especially liked the S-curve leading into the brake run.
We then hit up Eurosat, Schweizer Bobbahn, and Euro Mir as we made our way toward the Iceland section of the park. All were enjoyable, with Euro Mir being probably the most bizarre ride of the trip.
In the Iceland section, my uncle and I rode blue fire first. It was a very enjoyable ride. I wouldn't call it mind-blowing, but it was good fun.
Wodan, the next ride we rode, could be described in a very similar way. GCII did an excellent job, but I still think their Missouri duo are their finest achievements that I've ridden.
One more lap on blue fire obtained, we headed back to Silver Star, stopping at Matterhorn Blitz on the way. I was so drained at this point that I thought I was hallucinating at the sight of the elevator lift, but what a Mouse. Mack did well on this one.
We ended with a final lap on Silver Star, and then headed back to Mainz for the night. I got a few hours sleep, headed to the airport, and was back on Lufthansa's 0940 to Dulles.
I would like to give a nod to Europa Park for the incredible capacity on all of their rides. They were moving some serious people through their rides. The park itself was also phenomenal in general, but it became more of a mission to ride things than just take it easy. No matter, though, as I had a great time.
As far as the best rides of the trip, I'd put them in this order.
1: Expedition GeForce/Silver Star
2: D-ABYA "Brandenburg," Lufthansa's first 747-800
3: Wodan Timbur Coaster
4: D-AIKK, a Lufthansa A330-300
5: blue fire
etc., etc., etc.
All in all, it was a great time, and Germany has some really great parks with some really great rides.
That's a Bannister-esque trip.
Also reminds me of the "how far would you travel..." thread.
Sweeeet! Glad you had a great time. Europa is prolly in my top three best themeparks in the world. I thought Silverstar was underrated as well...especially since they started using the magnetic brakes on the hills....can't feel a thing (Plus its sponsored by Mercedes.....yum!!)
Honestly, I was totally unprepared for the magnitude of Europa Park. That place was enormous. I also must give a huge amount of credit to them for going all-out on theming. Admittedly, some of the rides were a little cheesy on theming (Eurosat, anyone?), but the midways and such were mind-blowing. I especially liked the Italy section.
What was interesting was that in spite of what appeared to be massive crowds, the waits weren't bad at all. I think the longest was the wait for the front row on Silver Star, which I'm convinced had the longest front-row queue of any ride I've ever seen. Of course, considering how good the front on it was, I can't say I'm surprised.
Speaking of short waits, I suppose Europa Park's less...intensive...restraint-checking procedures helped capacity a bit.
My favorite area was Switzerland. And yes, you are right. I think the park huge...... perhaps 1.5x to 2x the size of Busch Gardens Europe. Of course it helped that we stayed at Colosseo so we could stay extra long and got early morning ERT on Wodan and Blue Fire. Speaking of Wodan, one of my absolute favorite theming elements was how the heads of the gods turned in succession as the train entered or left the station. So Cool!
I also thought that was cool. I kept wondering what the "thunk-thunk-thunk" sound was, and then I looked up. I've also never seen a GCII crank so many riders out.
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