TR: Holiday Park, Germany - 6/14/02

Associated parks:

Tuesday, June 18, 2002 1:33 PM
This was the first time I had been to a European amusement park, and was pleasantly surprised!

The Park overall:
Holiday Park is fairly young at 31 years old, and has an unpaved parking lot that seems to hold about 1000 cars on peak days. The 2 tallest attractions, Expedition GeForce and FreeFall Tower are the only indication from afar that this park exists about 10 miles off the autobahn. Admission was a very reasonable 20 Euros and a park guide was another very reasonable E1.50. Another plus about the guide was that English translation was available for most of the text and had detailed descriptions for every ride and attraction. The landscaping was mostly wooded areas with some garden areas. This park is about the size of Knoebels and has the same wilderness, traditional, rugged look to it. There is a lot of green space here. About 1/3 of the land is developed, while the other third is a man-made lake for the ski show and the other third is woodlands. This park has a lot of potential to expand compete with the bigger German parks nearby. They have the space and are off on the right foot with a beautiful, functional layout and the masterpiece that is Expedition GeForce.

The coasters:

Expedition GeForce (Intamin jr. hyper)
Where to begin. Being so used to Cedar Point's minimalist theming, I did not expect a jr. hyper to have this much "character." EGF is located near the back of the park and transitions well from the quaint garden-like atmosphere of the front to the "Base Camp" theme of the coaster's plaza. Everything is meant to look hastily in place and temporary, just like an actual expedition camp in the deep jungle. SUV's and RV's are parked along the loose-rock paths with food concessions, gift shops, and game stands located in tan-colored tents. The queue appears to be well-shaded and has no zig-zag bullpens, but neither would be in use today as the park crowds were light and EGF had a one train wait all day. The station itself has no theme but the friendly attendents wore themed uniforms. Only the orange train ran today and loading was rather slow and relaxed, but as stated, there was no rush. The cable lift is slower than Millennium Force's but that's to be expected since EGF is 188' compared to 310'. Looking from the lift at the ride's course leaves a lot to the imagination since most trees in the area were left in tact during construction; another plus to Holiday Park's attention to natural beauty. We rode in the front seat of the last car and IMO this is where the ride is the most intense for the twisting first drop. Being slingshot around a twisting, near-vertical 82 degree plummet was what makes this ride a true gem, not to mention the hefty floating airtime on every single hill. After the first drop and first camelback, there's the always-fun Intamin overbanked turn followed by another camelback and two more overbanked turns in succession. Coming out of the second turn, the train hits a magnetic trim that's barely noticeable and turns 180 degrees into a non-inverting corkscrew similar to SROS(SFNE)'s. Another overbanked turn leads to two powerful bunny hops, another weak magnetic trim, a 90 degree turn, two more bunny hops and then the brake run back to the station. I noticed one slow section in the final overbanked turn, but the rest of the ride made up for it. Expedition GeForce is a shear joy to ride. Smooth, fast, thrilling, forceful, and fun. The Intamin/Stengel team is on a roll with these jr. hypers and with Expedition GeForce being the excellent coaster it is, this trend will continue and hopfully progess into a few American parks.

Super Wurbel (Vekoma corkscrew)
I was expecting the worst when I saw this ride in action. I was thinking along the lines of CP Corkscrew rough, but it wasn't that bad. It's a standard Vekoma corkscrew model and had a few rough spots before and after the corksrews and in the helix. With Expedition GeForce appealing to a wider audience, SW's line was no existant.

Other rides:
Hell's Barrels is one of the longest and best-themed log flumes in a traditional amusement park setting. It features reverser tables that lead to a backwards drop, several themed buildings and scenes, and a double dip in the final, largest, drop. This was the longest wait of the day at about 5 minutes, but it was well worth it.

The park's Arrow people-mover attraction is themed to a medeval England castle, and the scenes are showing their age. Most of the animatronics were slow and jerky if they worked at all, and the audio was scratchy and muffled. However, the ride is fairly long and features about 10 different scenes depicting the social life in and around a castle.

Freefall Tower is an Intamin 200' drop ride that, unlike Pittfall, Drop Zone and others, it features three rooms where groups of 8 travel through, showing short clips before boarding. The first video introduces the host "freefalling" as he describes why the freefall sensation is popular among thrillseekers. The host then describes the science behind freefall and adrenalin in the second video with the third explaining safety and boarding prodedures. Without knowing this in advance of boarding, and not knowing German, this discouraged no more than 2 re-rides even though there was no wait. It's an extra 5 minutes waiting for the ride and while it may add to the anticipation of the ride, seeing the same videos over and over again in a foreign language was tedious and boring. But it's your typical Intamin drop ride from there on out, with an on-ride photo taken just before release from the top.

The park also features Germany's oldest carousel with the horse hair tails and manes still in place, several standard flat rides, a full-circuit , one station, monorail that circles above and around several gardens, an Intamin 6-seat rapids ride called Donnerfluss (Thunder River), and an Old Mill style boat ride that is very slow, very long, and very boring. It's quaintness makes up for the 5 minutes I wasted travelling adrift along it's circuit lined with mostly static dioramas and statues.

As stated, the park is very well-kept, and spread out. After riding Expedition GeForce 6 times (3 in the very front, 2 in the last, and 1 in 2nd to last) it's become one of my top steel roller coasters. It definately anchors Holiday Park as a destination. This park is on track to being one of Europe's best and hopfully they can continue their trend of adding excellent attractions while keeping the beauty and atmosphere that currently exists.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002 2:05 PM

Sounds great - especially that log flume!

Methinks another park with the word "Holiday" in its name should scrape together some cash and get one o' these little Intamin rides. Please, Raven Maven??

He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002 8:07 PM
Great TR! Glad EGF lived up to the hype, I think that Flume sounds better than Splash Mountain! And 20 Euro's is cheap!

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Wednesday, June 19, 2002 12:27 PM
Hey! Someone's here in Germany besides me. Yes, Holiday Park was a nice park. I am planning to go again so I can ride Expedition Ge-Force. . . Have you been anywhere else?

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Thursday, June 20, 2002 4:20 AM
No, Holiday Park was our only trip to a theme park on our vacation. If I do go back it won't be for a few years. I live in Pittsburgh afterall.
Friday, June 21, 2002 3:03 PM
Do the ride ops on Expedition Ge Force still staple you with the lap bars? I went last summer and everytime I rode EGF the ride ops were hell on the lap bars.
Friday, June 21, 2002 3:19 PM

They did not staple me. . . Sometimes they tighten up my seat belt (I always leave it loose) but not to the point of super tightness with the belt or lapbar. Of course I always remedy this problem (on any rollercoaster) by "tip-toeing" my legs and raising my thighs. It makes my leg muscles tighten up and helps resist any force the ride ops try to put on the lap bar. Once they pass through or the trains starts moving, I rest my legs and earn those extra inches of maximum airtime during the ride. . . Never fails.

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