We woke up this morning to spectacularly bad weather, exactly what coaster enthusiasts don't want to see. Five minutes checking the weather forecast on the Internet confirmed the bad news; at least one of our planned parks for the day was going to be a complete washout. Rather than go anyway and just wander around a closed park (once a year is enough!) we decided to do some last minute repranning. We ended up dropping Drievliet from our day in favour of Plopsa Coo, and the end result worked out very well.
Patrons for this park would do well to remember that it is only a few miles from the Spa-Francorchamps motor racing track. This means two things; one, attempting to attend on the weekend of the Belgian Grand Prix is likely to be a bad idea. Second, and more pertinent, the park is located in an area that frequently experiences heavy rain. Sadly the aforementioned precipitation took out the park bobsled attraction, which looked to be either great fun or horribly dangerous depending on preference. The other rides were all operational, though, including the imaginatively named Coaster (#1021).
The ride can best be described as Vekoma's answer to the Lisebergbanan. In short, it is a terrain ride that works its way down the side of a mountain, with a few helices here and there. It is not as long as its Swedish counterpart, coming in at one minute thirty seven including lift hill, but it is just as good a ride. Planners should be aware that this ride opens an hour after scheduled park opening time. Had we known this we'd have had an extra hour sleep. We also rode the Log Flume, a fairly typical model with a number of tunnels illuminated with powerful floodlights, making me wonder why they bothered enclosing the track at all; after all, it's hardly going to be for weather conditions, right?
29th July 2007
De Valkenier was originally supposed to be the first park of the day, as the route to Plopsa Coo took us almost directly past it. However, we figured there was no point visiting a coaster with a tyre drive lift hill in pouring rain. As it was, we only went back there because it looked like the weather had cleared, which it had, but the Achtbaan (#1022) was not actually running. By the time we'd had some lunch they were doing test runs, with the train repeatedly failing to make it over the lift hill. In due course, though, it made it, and we got the obligatory credit. The only other interesting ride in the park was the Spookkasteel dark ride, an unusual ghost attraction which dropped the usual ghosts in favour of skeletons, more skeletons, and just when you least expect it, what appeared to be an overcooked pizza dripping off the side of a partially clothed dead body.
Plopsa Indoor Hasselt
29th July 2007
Wow. There is no other way to describe Plopsa's latest venture, an indoor family entertainment centre with very elaborate theming and a good selection of rides. The rides in the park are aimed predominantly at children of up to twelve years, yet they still carry sufficient visual appeal to enthral everyone else. Case in point was the Piratenbaan (#1023), an altogether average family coaster turned into a superb ride by means of a fake rock wall, model pirates, and more. This ride does feature a shark fin in the seat that limits its rerideability for adults, but even with that it is still a lot of fun.
The park also has bumper cars, a drop tower, a heavily themed rocking tug, a wave swinger, a carousel, several slides, kiddie bumper boats, and a few miscellaneous spin rides for younger people. The drop tower was the only one of these we tried; it is a lighthouse themed version of the crazy spinning drop ride I encountered for the first time just two weeks ago at Fårup Sommerland. It was fantastic there and it's fantastic here; a drop tower that everyone can enjoy, being small enough to appease those scared of heights while being exciting enough for even the hardened thrill seeker to enjoy.