The Trip of a Lifetime (Efteling) (7/22/02)

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Saturday, September 21, 2002 8:24 PM
Part 12- Efteling and Amsterdam


“Why haven’t I heard more about this coaster? It rocks!?”…………


I woke up at the early hour of 6:30am and got ready for yet another day of fun. As I was getting ready, I noticed the phone in my room had a light flashing on it indicating I had a message. After some toying around with the phone, I finally got my message, and it didn’t sound good. The message was from my friend Tracy back home who was taking care of my cats when I was gone. He said in the message that I had to call him as soon as possible and not to delay. He also said I could call any time. For reasons out of my control, I had trouble dialing out so I wasn’t able to give him a call. I called my mother, Phyllis, and asked if she would be able to call Tracy because she decided to take a day off and see Amsterdam instead of going to another park. She said she would try giving him a call. I originally was not going to go to Efteling, but I decided to go at the last minute.


Today, our normal drivers had the day off so we had to go to our next park via substitute drivers from another company. I boarded a very large double decker coach and found a seat across from Danielle Miller. Both of us were tired so we tried to sleep on the way. The driver we had, while informative, described too many things on the way to our next park IMO and I clearly wasn’t the only one that noticed this. I can’t complain though as he got us to the park on time.

We pull into the parking area of Efteling and immediately took noticed of the very strange entrance. It sure didn’t look like any park entrance I have seen before. I had heard a few people describe the park as one of the most beautiful parks in existence today. As we walked in, we got our first taste at the amazing landscaping. Everywhere you look something is landscaped. We could also tell this was a very large park because we walked for along time before we even saw a ride. One of the coasters for our ERT was down so we made our way to another coaster while pointing at various things that caught our attention, like a huge lake with a large Arabic looking building as a backdrop and ducks taking a morning nap.

We arrived to our first coaster of the day and walked through the queue. I didn’t notice any metal railings while walking through this area because most of the path to the ride was made with large bushes. This was more pleasant looking than staring at metal railings IMO. I decided to wait for a front seat ride so I had a few minutes before I rode due to a one train operation.

===Python===(#459)

According to some, this is an Arrow design with Vekoma trains, but the park insisted this was a Vekoma design all the way. It had basically the same layout as Circus Circus’s Canyon Blaster and rode almost as smooth also. Most of the coaster sits on high supports making it look a lot higher than similar coasters. The two vertical loops are very high off the ground as is the final corkscrews and helix. The supports were surrounded with vines and flowers for a nice touch. I think I got in two rides on this before moving on to our next ride.

As we headed over to our next coaster, I heard Joe Campanella and Sean Winder wanting me to turn around and look up in the sky. When I looked, I saw a round circular object with a very odd top on it, rising over the trees. Could it be a UFO? Well, since we didn’t know what it was, it was unidentified, but it wasn’t flying. What we were seeing was the parks observation ride. I think it was an Intamin Flying Island. This was the first one I have seen in operation. Just think of a large, circular, observation platform attached to the top of a massive boom. The book raises the platform up and over. This looked so strange considering it wasn’t on a tower and was able to move left and right. We also noticed a nearby ride that Coasterbuzzer Skip King told me to look out for. The name of the ride is Monsieur Cannibale which can only be described as a sick version of a tea cup ride. The “cups” are large boiling pots where the people inside are supposed to be getting cooked. Pretty funny looking if you ask me.

===Vogel Rox===(#460)

As we walked to this coaster, we were met by a VERY large buzzard looking over those entering the indoor coaster. The size of this entrance was massive. Something big must reside inside. I hadn’t heard a thing about this coaster other than it was a Vekoma design without inversions.

I boarded the train, pulled my lap bar down, and prepared to be blown away. The entire coaster takes place in the dark so I had no idea what to expect. First thing that caught my attention was the very cool symphonic stereo soundtrack that blared from speakers in front of us. The layout of the ride was quite twisted and included more than one convincing illusion. There was one section where the train does a quick drop to the right that passes a window where you can see future riders walking by. For some reason, the second I could see that window from the top of the drop, it seemed much further away than it actually was providing a very cool visual effect as our train swooped by it.

I thought my first ride was fantastic, but according to Ivan Hurtado, Sean Winder, and Joe Campanella, I didn’t get a ‘”full” ride. According to the guys, there were all kinds of laser effects that weren’t working for my ride so I went again. This time I got to see the incredible light show. There were sections where we would pass through a “laser tunnel” and I do remember the lift being surrounded by lasers also. I liked this coaster so much that I rode a few more times before moving on. What haven’t I heard anyone talk about this? It’s a great ride and one of the biggest surprises of the trip for me so far.

We had heard so much about the dark rides at Efteling and found one sitting right next to Vogel Rox. This was the parks version of It’s A Small World complete with a repetitive soundtrack, although we were thankful it didn’t’ have lyrics. We rode past various scenes where “people of the world” were seen doing things stereotypical of their culture. There were a few questionable scenes that could be considered poor taste, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the ride. At the end of the ride, you are given your very own free, plastic clown nose.


We were informed that since the wooden coaster we were to ride for ERT was closed, we would be allowed to walk up the exit and ride once it did open. This was a nice perk the park gave to us and we would take advantage of it later in the day. The park started to slowly fill up with people so we headed right for our next coaster. We also ran into Jeff Johnson who joined us for the rest of the day. As we arrived, we found a long wait. By looking at the line, this must be the most popular coaster in the park.

===Swiss Bob===(#461)

This was the only Intamin Bobsled of the entire tour. Out of all the versions of the Intamin ones I have ridden, this seemed to have the most original layout although it was pretty short. It also had moments where our bobsled would ram into the side guard rail with a lot of force, thus, throwing us around more than we had thought. We ended up waiting an hour for this ride. The line didn’t look any shorter when we got off of it so we passed on riding it again.

I don’t know whose idea it was, but someone suggested we take a detour through an area in the middle of the park that was themed around famous fairy tales. We originally thought this would allow us to go to the other side of the park more quickly, but we soon got lost in the dense forest area. There were a few paths we could have walked, but somehow we manage to end back up to where we didn’t want to go. It was nice seeing the different animated scenes though. This park must have spent a fortune on them.

Finally, we found our way out and heard some strange voice. We investigated to find a very strange “scene” where a small elf was standing on top of a house, pointing down to a large man below while saying, “Papeeeeeeeer heeeeeer” which didn’t take us too long to figure out that it meant, “Paper here.” The large man that sits below has his mouth wide open and essentially is a large trash can. If you throw paper in his mouth, sounds indicate he is chewing it up, then says thanks and farts. How strange is that? It is a good way to keep the park clean as we saw many people looking for trash just so they could hear the result of throwing the trash down the man’s mouth. We saw variations of this throughout the park including cannon that would make a big “BOOM’ if you threw paper down the front of the cannon.

We decided to make our way over to the Flying Island observation, thing, and give it a ride. While standing in line, I had flashbacks of watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind as the platform lowered back to ground level and appeared to be landing on top of us. While riding, I got a strange sensation that I wasn’t even attached to a boom because we didn’t see it. From at the highest part of the ride, we got our first real look at how large this park is. I would even go as far as saying this is the largest park I have been in although I don’t know the exact measurements. It looked like Python was miles away from the front of the park, and after walking it this morning, it felt like that. Once off the ride we ran into coach mates Jim Raimar and Jerry Flemming who pointed out the strange “Rooster Ducks” that were swimming in a nearby stream. Sure enough, the birds looked like ducks, but had rooster like heads. I have never seen a bird like that before. We then ran into a few other ACE members after checking out the park from above who told us the wooden coaster was open. Using our cool exit entrance perk, we were on the coaster in no time flat.

===Pegasus===(#462)

This wooden coaster looked like a junior but packed quite a punch on certain sections. While we were riding, something didn’t seem right. This coaster was too quiet. I mean, for a wood coaster, it wasn’t making any of the noise associated with that type of coaster. It was also very smooth. There was one section of the ride where the train makes a very sharp left turn that slams all the riders. Now, THAT felt like a wooden coaster, but we couldn’t help but notice something was different with this ride. While we did enjoy it greatly, something wasn’t adding up. As we were walking down the exit, we turned around and watched a train go up the lift. It was then that we noticed what was different. The wheels. Instead of steel wheels that most wooden coasters use, this coaster used polyurethane wheels. This provided a smooth and silent ride. We knew there was another wooden coaster we would be riding later in the tour made by Intamin. According to the park, Pegasus is an Intamin design also. It would be interesting to see how the other wooden coaster would ride considering it was much larger.


Having done all the coasters in the park, we spent some time grabbing a bite to eat and trying to find some more dark rides. We rode a dark boat ride that was very similar to Pirates of The Caribbean, but with an Arabian theme. While walking through the long line, we met up with an ECC member who had his wife with him. We got a kick out of the shirt she was wearing because it read “Coaster Wimp” on it. They were very nice to talk to. As far as the ride goes, color me impressed. I have never seen this many animated figures in one ride, Disney included. They were very real looking. Everything was detailed beyond anything I have seen before it. The ending was great also consisting of a lasers firing next to the boat resulting in splashes. The effect was very well done.

Next up was an attraction that was very hard to find. Buried inside a cave was an attraction like I have never seen before. Basically, folks stand in front of a large viewing area that overlooks a haunted house and grave yard. A nice orchestrated sound track plays and all kinds of things dance to the music. Old, handrails, ghosts, trees, bats, and just about anything else that was creepy. We thought this was a great pre-show to something even more impressive but the show was the attraction. We were kind of bummed about that although it was done very well.

Jeff and I split away from Joe and Mike Parker a bit and rode a very nice haunted swing. While we couldn’t understand a word of the pre-show, we did enjoy the ride. It seems haunted swings are very big in Europe as this was probably the 4th or 5th one we have done on the tour. We ran into a couple of other ACE members including Suzie Peace. We decided to stand in the long line for another dark ride while we talked about many different topics. Suzie was a treat to talk to and I learned a lot about her career as a truck driver. She is so lucky being able to drive around the country for a living, hitting parks on the way to destinations. How cool is that?

The dark ride we were standing in line for was themed around fairies. The whole transportation system for the ride was very unique in that it felt like something similar to an Omni Mover like PKI’s old Phantom Theater, but with cars that were suspended below a track. There wasn’t much of a story from what I could tell but the ride was very long and contained many colorful scenes. A lot of the ride had some uphill sections to it so we knew we would have to go back down at one point. Sure enough, the ending section of this ride was a very large rook where we spiraled down the sides, rotating around a huge forest scene where a lot of fairies resided. Some would argue this was the roller coaster section. It did have coaster like track and was going downhill, but it was powered. I myself didn’t count it because of this, but I did hear of someone that did. It was neat looking up and down while doing down that large spiral and seeing a train above us, and one below, all in perfect sync. I should also mention that the ride smelled like flowers. This was the second dark ride I did on this trip that had scented scenes.

We had to leave soon so I headed to the front of the park with Jeff. The front gift show was packed with ACE members trying to purchase their last few items. I ended up buying a Belgium waffle on a stand from outside the front gate. Jim Raimar followed and both agreed that they were fantastic. As we continued our walk back to the coaches, we talked about the park. This was a great park. I honesty didn’t’ think it would be as fun as it was. While it didn’t have a lot of thrill rides, the ones it did have were great. Vogel Rox remains one of the most fun coasters I have ridden.

I am so glad I had a great time at this park, although there was a small part of me that was bothered by the phone call I got back at the hotel. I told Joe a couple of times during the day that I had a hunch bad news was waiting for me when I got back, but I tried not to think about it. Every couple of hours or so, that phone call would come back into my head. I told a few people about it and they all hoped it wasn’t bad news.

The drive back to Amsterdam went by rather quickly as Danielle and I talked about the tour with Tim Baldwin and Jeffrey Siefert. Tim seemed very happy with how things were going. So far, the tour was fantastic and we couldn’t see anything in the future to make it any less amazing.

We arrived back at the hotel and I immediately called my mothers room. She had some bad new for me. She got a hold of Tracy later that day and informed me that one of my cats, Tygr, had died the day before. This instantly put a different perspective on things. I went over to my mother’s room and she told me what she knew. I was quite upset at this point. I had lost a cat a month before, and now another one. This wasn’t supposed to happen and I was confused by this. I needed a release. A BIG release.

A large group of us originally planned on going into Amsterdam this evening, but I wasn’t quite up to it. However, I think it would have been worse if I had stayed at the hotel thinking about it so I decided to go into Amsterdam and see what the city was all about. The plan was to take a shuttle to the airport, hop onto a train to take us downtown, and to check out the many sights of the city. It took a long time to get a shuttle. There was a very large group of people wanting to do similar actions so we just waited for shuttles to start showing up. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and was cheerful. I wasn’t in this frame of mind. I apologize to anyone if I seemed rude but I just needed a few moments by myself. I do thank those that did come over and ask me if I was alright. You guys are the best even thought I may not have shown it at the time.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do to release this stress I had, but I needed to find something. Amsterdam is well known for its risky Red Light District, and that seemed to be the place where everyone wanted to check out. There were no complaints from me once we got off the trains and found the area after walking around a bit downtown. I was hungry and wanted a bite to eat. We walked into the District area and immediately started to notice why everyone talks about this place.

I said, “Oh my God!” when I got my first look at the area. I didn’t say it very loud, but loud enough that a local heard me and told me, “God has nothing to do with this place.” and continued to pester me about what I said. I didn’t mean anything bad by saying it, but this dude wouldn’t let it go. He followed me for a hundred feet or so before giving up. True to what people have told me, the place was seedy. There were porn shops all over the place, and every time we passed by a “coffee shop” a cloud would come out with a very distinct odor.

I found a pizza place and decided to eat there. Most of the group ate here also although a few left for something else. The pizza wasn’t that bad but we needed to hurray and eat if we were planning on seeing more of the area.

Ok, I won’t mention who was in the group I was with tonight, but I will mention some of what went on. A few of the people I was with decided to go into a coffee shop to see what the big deal was. Anyone familiar with the Red Light District knows that coffee shops in that area offer a certain “product” that is illegal in the U.S. Some of the group decided to try this and went inside. A few of us decided to wait for them outside. I am not into that whole scene at all. I don’t see the point in it and don’t like being around it. However, I didn’t hold anything against those that wanted to try. After about 20 minutes, a few of us went inside to tell them we needed to move on to see the rest of the area. We couldn’t afford to miss the last train back to the airport so they all agreed to leave the shop.

We continued our walk down a street with a canal running down the center of it. We didn’t see any of the “famous ladies” I had heard about, but as soon as the sun went down, the red lights came on and POOF, we have women. Pretty much everywhere you looked was a woman standing in a window, dressed in a bikini, dancing under a black light, motioning for us to “join her for some fun for 20 Euros”. I found some of them very attractive while a few were un-saucy. In other words, some looked like models while some looked downright nasty. A few of the group wanted to give “them” a try but decided not to. While we may have talked about doing it, we didn’t, although one person in the group may have. Thanks to two people in the group, they clearly explained the dangers involved. I passed. It was just too risky IMO.

We continued our walk around the area looking at various things. We were also approached by several street drug dealers that were constantly offering us cocaine and heroine. They weren’t shy about it either as they would show you “the goods” as you declined their offer. It was getting late and we decided to head back to the train station to catch our train.

I could have very easily sampled some of the lifestyle that resides in Amsterdam, but I didn’t. It seems the biggest release for me was to be around friends when I needed them most. To me, that makes much more sense to me than getting drunk, high, or something else. I know others will disagree but that’s just the way I see it. While some of the group I was with sampled a bit of these things, they still remain friends and helped me through a difficult time when I needed it. Because of this little side trip into town, I felt a lot better than I had before I left. Thanks guys! Your friendship means a lot to me.

Tomorrow was another luggage day so that mean getting up a bit earlier than normal to pack. I had no trouble at all going to sleep. Was it the tour just wearing me out, or was it the fact I was totally comfortable with my surroundings? I wasn’t tired of touring so it must have been the surroundings. I couldn’t wait to get to another park so I could scream my heart out. That always feels great when stressed out.


Next up……..

Another Six Flags park, the first SLC, and the mighty Goliath!

Thanks for reading,

-Sean

*** This post was edited by Sean F. on 9/22/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by Sean F. on 9/22/2002. ***

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Sunday, September 22, 2002 6:16 AM
Nice TR. But you went from 459 to 459 to 461:)

-----------------
-Sean

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Sunday, September 22, 2002 6:56 PM

This is just getting more and more exciting as the days pass. Sorry, I'm a little behind Sean. I was out riding coasters this weekend with some of the Orange Coach Crew and Jonathon and Janna! Anyways, Im back. You were discussing -----

The dark ride we were standing in line for was themed around fairies. The whole transportation system for the ride was very unique in that it felt like something similar to an Omni Mover like PKI’s old Phantom Theater, but with cars that were suspended below a track. There wasn’t much of a story from what I could tell but the ride was very long and contained many colorful scenes. A lot of the ride had some uphill sections to it so we knew we would have to go back down at one point. Sure enough, the ending section of this ride was a very large rook where we spiraled down the sides, rotating around a huge forest scene where a lot of fairies resided. Some would argue this was the roller coaster section. It did have coaster like track and was going downhill, but it was powered. I myself didn’t count it because of this, but I did hear of someone that did. It was neat looking up and down while doing down that large spiral and seeing a train above us, and one below, all in perfect sync. I should also mention that the ride smelled like flowers. This was the second dark ride I did on this trip that had scented scenes.

This was called Dream Flight. This was one of the most beautiful dark rides I have ever done. And you will be happy that I DIDNT count that as a coaster, even though we could have been coastin downhill!(Hee Hee) No, I didnt take any picture on it to show all of your fellow readers.

But here are some of the pictures that I do have from Efteling....

Let me start out by saying that we must have been connected to eachother in some other life because why would 2 people have the same picture of this! Weird, Huh?!

I noticed that you didnt mention this either. This was hidden inside a building.

Ummm, this next picture is a little graphic, so be prepared!(My disclaimer) I actually feel pretty special to have this photo, because from what we heard, not many people found this attraction!

Sean--- Myself and many others(who shall remain nameless) were so glad you were with us on that wonderful trip to Amsterdam. Thank you for not letting anyone know that I was one of the degenarates who took part in the fun at the "coffee shop". Oh damn, I let the cat out of the bag, Oh well! What do you folks expect, I was on the Orange Coach---They MADE me do it!

On to the next report!

Matt "who rolled one hell of an amazing "cigarette" "Last name deleted

*** This post was edited by baclueless on 9/22/2002. ***

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Sunday, September 22, 2002 7:15 PM

SFgadvMAN said:
Nice TR. But you went from 459 to 459 to 461

-----------------
-Sean



Sean,

Thanks for the correction notice. Changes made! =:^)

-Sean

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Sunday, September 22, 2002 7:23 PM

Matthew,

This is just getting more and more exciting as the days pass. Sorry, I'm a little behind Sean. I was out riding coasters this weekend with some of the Orange Coach Crew and Jonathon and Janna! Anyways, Im back. You were discussing -----

LOL! I hope you had a good time. I went to CP today and had a blast due to the low crowds.

This was called Dream Flight. This was one of the most beautiful dark rides I have ever done. And you will be happy that I DIDNT count that as a coaster, even though we could have been coastin downhill!(Hee Hee) No, I didnt take any picture on it to show all of your fellow readers.

Cool! One of these days I am going to have to remember all the dark ride names. I didn't put those down in the PDA.

But here are some of the pictures that I do have from Efteling....

Let me start out by saying that we must have been connected to eachother in some other life because why would 2 people have the same picture of this! Weird, Huh?!

WTF? That is very strange.

I noticed that you didnt mention this either. This was hidden inside a building.

So hidden in fact that I didn't see it.

Ummm, this next picture is a little graphic, so be prepared!(My disclaimer) I actually feel pretty special to have this photo, because from what we heard, not many people found this attraction!

Oh my! I guess that park was a lot bigger than I thought it was as I didn't see this either.

Matt "who rolled one hell of an amazing "cigarette" "Last name deleted

I don't even know what to say to that one. LOL!

-Sean

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