Drouwenerzand Attractiepark26th July 2009
Eos Rides has built just four known coasters, and through an odd twist of fate we managed to ride two of them this weekend. Jungle (#1405) is similar to the common Barbisan Jamming coasters, with a motor driven lift hill leading to a section of track where the ride cars experience uncontrolled spinning. Its fairground roots remain obvious thanks to the large collapsible backflash which the park has maintained. Besides the roller coaster there are a number of family oriented spin rides and one demented looking flat ride called Parajump. This ride looked at first glance like a Miami, but on closer inspection it featured seats which flip over. Even looking at the ride made me feel ill, which I guess means I'm getting old...
Speelstad Oranje26th July 2009
Anyone attempting to retrace this particular trip should bear in mind that there are no good routes between Drouwenerzand and Speelstad Oranje. Satnav brought us a route that I'd never have dared to take in my own car, involving over a kilometer of wet mud that might once have been a road. The total distance is a shade under thirty kilometers, but allowing a full hour for the drive is strongly advised. The area is also littered with speed cameras; let the reader beware!
Speelstad Oranje is one of the largest family entertainment centres I've come across anywhere. Attractions span several floors of what appears to have been a manufacturing facility in the distant past, as a large fixed steam engine can be found at one end of the building. The Griezelhuis ghost train is worth the five flights of stairs required to get there, and if you've ever wanted to play indoor Mini Golf you can find that on the same level. A large ferris wheel made out of dodgem cars provides a unique look at one of two suspended monorails that circle the building.
At the far end of the facility is a large shed that appears houses the Tornado powered coaster, a particularly good ride that weaves around some intricate theming... that is almost impossible to see. There are no lights beyond those on the train and limited natural light, meaning that only those with night vision glasses (or a camera flash) will be able to fully appreciate the attraction. Go figure.
Speelpark Duinen Zathe26th July 2009
Speelpark Duinen Zathe has the dubious distinction of having what is quite possibly the ugliest signage of any park in the known universe. Solid yellow letters are mounted on a plain brick wall with nothing in front of it but dusty concrete. Fortunately things improve markedly once you enter the park, with a good selection of rides for children of all ages. Chief among them is a Roll Over, though there is also a Paratrooper and a Sombrero. The sole credit is a Big Apple (#1406), which has been hidden away in a far corner of the park. The Apple appeared to be covered in some form of grey mould, but other than that the coaster was operating entirely as expected.
Speelpark Oud Valkeveen26th July 2009
Our second Big Apple of the day was interesting only for its rather unique looking train. The front of Achtbaan (#1407) features a version of the park mascot, who bears quite a resemblance to Mr Hankey. Other than that the park was very much for children, and having determined that we didn't hang around!