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Archive for September 2013

ACE Central Europe – Part 18: Phantasialand


Part 18: Phantasialand, Brühl, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany On Wednesday, July 31 we made the short walk from the Boa Hotel at Phantasialand Resort into the park for ERT on 2 coasters. Although relatively small in land area, this is a highly themed park that fully immerses guests into each theme. This is a beautiful park with a lot packed into a small area. There are 6 sections of the park and each has its own dragon mascot. Berlin This recreated street in Berlin around 1900 is very well done. The street opens onto Kaiserplatz square. The mascot is Drago, a […]

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ACE Central Europe – Part 17: Heide-Park Soltau


Part 17: Heide-Park Soltau, Soltau, Lower Saxony, Germany On Tuesday, July 30 we arrived at Heide-Park, our next stop. We had an hour of ERT split between 2 coasters. We only had about 5 hours in the park and with 6 coasters to get to after ERT, I knew I would not make to a lot of other rides. This is a highly themed park, so I will review by section. Bucht der Totenkopfpiraten (Bay of the Skull Pirates) This nicely themed section is pirate based, but also includes rides with Dutch themes. There is one coaster: KRAKE (OCTOPUS): (Bollinger […]

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ACE Central Europe – Part 16: Hamburger Sommerdom 2013


Part 16: Hamburger Sommerdom 2013, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany On Monday afternoon, July 29 we arrived in Hamburg. After checking into our hotel, we made the short walk to the Hamburger Sommerdom. This would be my first German fair and the first of 2 on this trip. Unlike most fairs in this country, it involves numerous separate showmen who bring their rides and attractions, so each ride must be paid for individually. It was a festive occasion, with lots of people and midways filled with rides, games, food and wares. This fair dates back 900 years, so it was interesting attending […]

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ACE Central Europe – Part 15: Hansa Park


Part 15: Hansa Park, Sierksdorf, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany On Monday, July 29 we left the Hansiatic City of Lübeck and headed for Hansa Park, so named for the Hanseatic League. Opened in 1973 as Legoland Sierksdorf, the second Legoland after Legoland Billund, it was soon sold and became Hansaland, and eventually Hansa Park. In keeping with the theme they have spent the last several years building facades at the front of the park from various Hanseatic League cities. I originally wanted to come to this park because of one Schwarzkopf coaster, then became interested in its connection to the Hanseatic League, […]

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ACE Central Europe – Part 14: Lübeck, Germany


Part 14: Lübeck, Germany We arrived in Lübeck Sunday evening, July 28 to our hotel that was located within sight of one of the city gates. I had been looking forward to visiting this city since reading the Thomas Mann novel Buddenbrooks, which was set here. It also was the lead city of the medieval Hanseatic League of merchant cities. Bordered by a river and canal, the old city is completely on an island. It is well known for its five Lutheran churches with seven towers, all of which we would see this evening, as well as two surviving city […]

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ACE Central Europe – Part 13: Belantis


Part 13: Belantis, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany On Sunday July 28 we left our hotel in Zwickau and headed to Belantis. The newest park on our journey, it opened in 2003 in a former industrial area. It has an interesting theme in that its eight theme areas are grouped around a small Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean and are set at various times in world history. I will review each section. Schloss Belantis (Belantis Castle) This extravagant castle is the entry to this unusual park. Limited time did not permit rides on either of the sections rides: Segway-Parcours (Segway Course), a […]

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ACE Central Europe – Part 12: Freizeitpark Plohn


Part 12: Freizeitpark Plohn, Lengenfeld, Saxony, Germany On Saturday July 27 we traveled into Saxony in what just a quarter of a century ago was Communist East Germany. This would be our first of two parks in this land formerly behind the iron curtain, and this one was operating at that time. This is an unusual park from the odd but enchanting Plohni mascot to the unusual rides to the meandering pathways that seem more to have evolved rather than have been planned. The park is divided into several themed sections, so I will review each section. Plohnidorf This newest […]

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ACE Central Europe – Part 11: Freizeit-Land Geiselwind


Part 11: Freizeit-Land Geiselwind, Geiselwind, Bavaria, Germany On Saturday, July 27 we began week 2 of our trip by driving back through Bavaria to a park that was added as a drivers’ break. While Freizeit-Land Geiselwind is a small park and we had less than 3 hours scheduled here, we became concerned when traffic problems made us an hour late getting to the park. Trip organizers considered taking time from the next park to ensure we had plenty of time, but light crowds and the parks willingness to close rides for a rolling ERT allowed us to get all the […]

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ACE Central Europe – Part 10: Europa Park


Part 10: Europa Park, Rust, Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany After arriving at Hotel Colosseo on Wednesday evening, we would spend Thursday & Friday, July 25 & 26 at Europa Park. Operating since 1975, the park is owned by Mack Rides and functions as a “showroom” of their rides, but it is so much more than that. This is the closest park to Disney that I have seen. It is excellently themed, packed full of rides, has some excellent coasters, has quite a few dark rides, is divided into 16 sections mostly based on European countries, and moves people through as well […]

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ACE Central Europe – Part 9: Holiday Park


Part 9: Holiday Park, Hassloch, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany On Wednesday afternoon, July 24 we arrived at our next stop, Holiday Park. We would have the afternoon to enjoy the park before an hour of ERT on its signature coaster. It is a nice park with pretty landscaping. The park has 3 roller coasters: Expedition GeForce: (Intamin AG, Mega Coaster, 2001) It is easy to see why some consider this the best coaster in the world. It has tremendous airtime, relentless speed and lots of changes of direction. It is a great ride from beginning to end that never lets up. While […]

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