Wednesday, 14 November 2018

A memoir to the 2018 season

I know technically the 2018 season isn’t over for those in Europe (do we count as Europe anymore? Brexit...) but the UK peak season is over and this makes me sad. It’s been the best season yet for me, and as I’ve done a blog hiatus what better way to start it off than being sentimental? 
Being part of the industry
I got my dream job at a Theme Park. I manage the social media channels for the Park closest to me and every day I wake up thinking it’s just a dream - getting to sit next to a rollercoaster and cute animals every day is an absolute dream. Also - I spent half of my Halloween scare acting and running at people with a chainsaw! Broom broom, a five foot girl legging it towards you IS scary.
Making new friends
Wow, the mushy part of it all. I have made SO many new friends - if not ones from previous who I’ve grown closer too. I’ve gone on trips with them, I’ve had countless group chats and I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings! Hopefully more hungover quibbles and a whole lot of coasters. Ryanair pls do flash sales every few weeks, I beg...
Exploring new parks
I remember writing up a post earlier this year saying parks I’ve wanted to go to, and I have been to 10 new parks this year, and my 11th is PHANTASIALAND!!!!!!!! Needless to say - I’m excited! Considering I expected to go to 3/4 this year, albeit maybe 1 new one abroad, I’m pretty proud of myself. Promise more reviews next time. Sorry.
Hitting my 100th cred
Who dat basic bitch? It’s me lol. I’ve only started counting coaster credits recently and my 100th was Helix at Liseberg - which is the best coaster I’ve ridden. Also Liseberg is amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better park to celebrate a geeky milestone in!

Now it’s closed season and I have my bearings back (almost - send help and coffee) I’ll be doing more of these. Maybe. 

Speak soon,

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Friday, 17 August 2018

Top Takes - Efteling

It's been over a month since I went to Efteling for a little 2 day trip (which ended up as 3, but I spent that in an airport crying over blackcurrant fanta) and as I've finally had time to think about my little holiday, I feel ready to talk about it.

Wow, Efteling. What a little gem. It honestly wasn't a park I was desperate to go for, considering none of the coasters really enthralled me unlike Taron at Phantasialand, or going to Toverland for Fenix, but I was surprised. Even the location is cute, alongside everything else, apart from the big lobed man in Fata Morgana which will give me nightmares for at least 3 years. Talking about my favourite bits isn't hard, but I thought I'd take a different spin on it rather than just coasterscoasterscoasters.
De Vliegende Hollander
First off, water coasters or any water ride (aside from dark rides) do not appeal to me. I'm allergic to chlorine, I hate getting wet, and I constantly feel like I am going to die, but this ride? Really surprised me. The smells, the sights, the story, everything was so, endearing? Being in pitch black with some fake stars around you, followed by the breeze and bromine smell just felt so, comforting, yet scary. I came off wanting to re-ride, and the best bit? You don't get too wet. Splashing down next to Joris en de Draak was picturesque af. 
Oliebollen, cassis fanta, spiral potatoes etc.
The food. THE FOOD!!! I never have hope for Theme Park food, Portaventura made me ill, Disney was overpriced, and in general, most food places are shut. But Efteling has this down to a T, or a hot dog, whatever your preference is. The food is just, cheap and good? Nothing is stupidly overpriced and when you eat it you don't want to vomit or cry at your bank account. My recommendation is definitely the oliebollen which are dutch donuts and magical angels from the heaven above.
Fata Morgana
This was the first ride we headed to unknowingly, and it was... weirdly amazing. We were greeted by the most amazing theme park smell (of which I bought bottled up) and the whole experience was fab. Arabian Nights, creepy tiger animatronics and that big man with the big lobes. I am scarred for life, but in the bst way possible.
The stories
Fairytale Forest was creepy and amazing, the dark rides had everything I've ever wanted and more, and the rollercoasters just, got it? The stories behind each ride really grabbed me - even little touches like the winning flags falling on Joris en de Draak really made the experience so much better. I'm a half and half gal, you can have an incredible coaster with all the elements I love, but if it lacks theming and storyline, meh. Efteling really seemed to have everything down to a T. 
Overall, Efteling was a perfect gem to add to my theme park collection, it may be small, but it sure is sweet-er now. Have you been to Efteling? What was your favourite part?

Speak soon,

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Friday, 30 March 2018

The Walking Dead: The Ride - VIP Launch and Review *SPOILERS*


It’s Friday, the day after The Walking Dead: The Ride press launch, and I’m still feeling achey. I’m still in awe I got an invitation to go - little old enthusiast me! But I am so, so glad, and I’m my opinion, it was really worth the wait.

This IS going to contain spoilers for The Walking Dead: The Ride, so read with caution, cos if you read you’ll probably survive. There are no pictures or videos from inside the attraction though.

First of all - the Facade. Gone are the days are the booming house music (Sandstorm I’m looking at you) and here come the echoey, dark sounds of IMAScore. The watch tower is a really good touch, would love to climb up it one day and get some good shots of the park, like a coaster climb but... not on a track? The entrance is also beautiful too, yeah we can make comments about desolate theming being a ‘thing’ but when you do it that well I ain’t complaining! The bag hold is actually outside the attraction now, this way it keeps the inside a secret, which is another reason why I have no pics from inside because my pockets are small and my phone is big. The hosts are in costume, which is such a positive for me because as much as Thorpe blues are fine, doesn’t really work alongside a themed attraction.

You get batched in groups of 20 and ushered into a ‘Pre-show’ element. CCTV is shown on the screens alongside a Survivor who talks about getting you to safety - then all hell breaks loose. We’re shouted at to go through the doors quickly as Walkers have infiltrated the surrounding areas - panic arrises and I nearly slip over. Throughout the corridors that were once graced with fab neon lighting and the sound of bass, now comes blood staines walls and fake doors leading to ‘other’ places of the building, the lighting is red and my personal fav thing is the audio. Down each corridor it’s different, so when you go past it’s like the story is advancing which really gets you immersed like a proper zombie invasion. Just before you reach the boarding station, there are documents and X easter eggs EVERYWHERE. Make sure you have a good read of everything on the notice boards, and look out for funky car plates. 

Now, onto the ride. Let it be known that the track has NOT changed. I’m not too sure why people thought this initially, but no, it’s the same classic X layout, but the way they’ve used the track is so clever. As you embark up the lift hill there are warning lights everywhere and loud sirens, it’s completely chaotic and I  L O V E  it. The first section honestly wasn’t too eventful, I’m assuming some effects were turned off and tweaked during to get full ride capability on. As you zoom past corners ‘Walkers’ are lit up and sound effects play as you come across certain sections, there’s a screen which shows a survivor shooting at Walkers alongside some more mannequins clawing at the screen below you. Now comes my favourite part - the brake section. This. Bit. Shat. Me. Up. You’re halted, unlike before when you’d slowly come round the banked corner and fly off, and to your right there are screens of windows, slowly steaming up with Walker breath. A familiar voice is trying to restart the car, you jilt forwards but stall a few times whilst the ‘glass’ continues to crack, before you’re suddenly launched off into smoke and red light. Now I was screaming horrendously during this bit (check out my ride pic - lol) and just as you think it’s all over, you’re greeted by more bloody Walkers. Leave me alone!!! I hate you mannequins!!!! Satan!!! 

As you reach the exit station, the hosts tell you to leave quickly as there’s an exit to your left, as everyone fumbles out you exit into the old bag collection room. More dead walkers are lying around, the lights are flashing, I am crying 5ever, and actors bumble around scaring the living (nightmare) daylights out of everyone. I really hope they take on board the amazing feedback from the actors, I feel like without them it would’ve been very anti-climatic? It really was the cherry on top to such an amazingly themed ride, so plz, actors! There’s a section just before you leave too which resembles the 2017 Platform 15 tunnel. Rope in the eyes. Send help.

So - my thoughts. I really loved it. I never really rated X that much, and I love horror themed rides. Even if you don’t watch The Walking Dead you’d still understand what was going on, there’s enough leverage that if you’re a fan you’ll love it and if you’re not, you’d still love it. The theming is incredible - I’d love to see some more effects at the start of the ride, but overall, very scary, it made the scare actor cry. Top tip is to definitely sit on the right hand side when you first go on to get the real traumatising experience!

Speak soon,


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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Why I love being a Theme Park Enthusiast

As much as I hate labelling myself one, I am a big Theme Park Enthusiast. All my time spent holiday planning is based on parks, I talk about parks like it's my second language and it's one of the things I'm most known for within my friendship group. We're all quick to moan about things and the 'community', but I thought I'd brighten up the start of open season by chatting about why I LOVE being a Park Enthusiast.

First timers
One of the most *~*~MaGiCaL~*~* things about taking someone on a coaster they've never ridden before is their reaction. Watching someones face light up as we hit dispatch and seeing their initial reaction is something so heartwarming? One of the most wholesome things I've ever experienced was back at Paulton's Park and sitting in front of a girl who was about to embark on her first coaster - the mighty Cat-O-Pillar. She LOVED it. I felt gooey inside. Gross.

Being the know-it-all
Some people might hate it, but I secretly love being the person people come to when they have park queries. Being able to chat shit about my fave places and my fave coasters to someone who isn't as educated as me but wants to learn tips and tricks? Really makes me realise how much I LOVE being a geek. It's that power trip you get when you tell someone the best place to sit on Nemesis - all their trust is in you. 

Coming together in times of trouble
The beast from the East really blew us over (literally) this weekend. Wickerman opening didn't open, and despite the snow closing all big rides, everyone just kinda rolled with it? I was watching from afar because work, but so many people I knew were there, and rather than moaning over something that no one can change, they just took gorgeous pictures, vlogged and rode Hex! It's easy to feel disheartened over it, but the amount of enthusiast geeking out was really cute to see. Onwards next weekend!!!

Making lifetime friends
Oh, jesus, gross (if you know you know) I hate being nice but this is such an important part. I've literally made so many friends and met so many new people just through being a coaster geek, I've been part of forums, meetups, met my boyfriend through this, and even met people I look up to. It's a niche hobby, so finding others that really understand you can be hard, but in this community everyone gets it! There will always be fights over 'what's best' and unnecessary drama for literally no reason, but so many positives come from this. I've achieved so much in the last year from being around positive park peeps, and I'm super excited to see what's coming.

Getting to go to incredible places
Lots of people spend their holidays in the sun or snow, getting a tan or going shopping and having a chill time. What do we do? Get blisters just to ride a zoom zoom fast machine, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I love gushing about planned trips and holidays to people, for some reason it's so much more exciting than going on a sun getaway? People are super involved, and in the end you get to go to these amazing parks in amazing places. Germany is such an incredible place, and when I was at Europa I got to explore for a few hours a day and fell in love even more. 

These are just a few reasons I love dedicating my life to a life of inversions and headaches, but it's so worth it. Why do you love being a park enthusiast? Aside from the obvious one of getting to ride a shit tonne of B&M's...

Speak soon,

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