Mini Mundi is located in the south-western corner of the Netherlands, roughly two hours by road from Amsterdam. As its name suggests the main attraction is a model village, albeit one which feels somewhat lacking when compared to the competition. Anyone wanting to visit a facility of this type would do far better to find their nearest Legoland. One side of the park features a tiny amusement park aimed at its younger visitors, with a few of the smaller rides from the Zamperla catalogue. The largest by far is Familie Achtbaan (#1555), a surprisingly smooth ride when compared against others of this genre. We could have ridden again, but decided not to tempt fate.
BillyBird Park Hemelrijk
14th August 2010
If today was anything to go by the primary draw at BillyBird Park Hemelrijk is a large beach area. Only a few of the guests seemed to be interested in Familieachtbaan (#1556), a mid sized coaster which nevertheless dominates the park. The most striking part of the ride is the tower containing the boarding platform, an interesting piece of architecture that hides several flights of stairs leading to the boarding platform.
Like its predecessor, the second tube coaster from ABC Rides features a lift hill that does not carry passengers; those wanting to ride need to climb to the top themselves. This presumably reduces the running costs significantly, though the additional building work for the station probably means the break-even point doesn't come in the first year. Whatever the case, the coaster is surprisingly good, with airtime over the first hill and decent lateral forces in the helix that follows it. Given that this is only the second coaster from ABC Rides it'll be interesting to see what their next project turns out to be.
14th August 2010
Efteling is open until midnight on Saturdays in the summer months, and for that reason I didn't see any reason to get there until early afternoon. As it was, we were one of the last cars to get a space in the huge overflow car park; the paved area had presumably filled much earlier in the day. Today's attendance was such that we figured the park probably grossed a six figure sum on parking charges alone. The bicycle park that I've written about before was also full.
Despite the crowds however the queues were manageable, with the line for the latest attraction coming in at a little under an hour. Joris en de Draak (#1557) is a twin tracked wood coaster from Great Coasters Inc that replaces the late Pegasus, and it's a winner. Each of the two tracks provides a thrilling ride, and while the duelling aspect seemed a bit of an afterthought (no head on moments) it is impossible to fault the overall quality of the experience, especially when the angry animatronic dragon breathes fire. Until this year Efteling didn't really have an outstanding coaster. They've fixed that now.
After dinner we made our way around a few of the other attractions. Waits were still hovering around the hour mark, and thus we were limited to Droomvlucht, Vogel Rok, Vliegende Hollander, and Carnival. The latter broke down twice during our ride, to the point that I'm not overly enthusiastic about riding it again; the music is still stuck in my head even as I write this.