Where will you go?


To enjoy theme parks & funfairs tomorrow, we must stay at home today. When this is all over, where will you go?


La Cité Suspendue at Parc Astérix


Walkers lost in an ancient forest have discovered the entrance of a forgotten city, the remains of an ancient civilisation known as the Cité Suspendue (Hanging City)!

A stunning hotel located on-site at the Parc Asterix Theme Park. In this video we show you the Duplex family room (Up to 5 guests) and the Standard family room (Up to 5 guests).


Blackpool comes to Oldham 2019


Join us as we kick start the 2019 fairground season with a visit to Manchester’s “Blackpool comes to Oldham” event. This fair runs a wristband system – pay to get in and get all rides included (dependant on which wristband you buy).


Winter Wonderland ONRIDE FEATURE, mounted camera views!


You may have seen our Winter Wonderland music video a few days ago, well here’s a bit of bonus footage for you!

Check out some full length on ride footage of the biggest and best rides at the 2017 event.


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2017


London’s Winter Wonderland is back and better than ever! Take a ride on the biggest attractions with us in this whistle stop tour of the UK’s best Christmas event.

Munich Looping (Olympia Looping), the world’s largest transportable roller coaster is back, along with some new additions – including the 80m tall “The View” Observation Tower. Winter Wonderland takes place in Hyde Park, London from 17th November – 1st January 2017. Video filmed during the Charity Preview evening.


Folly Farm’s Vintage Fairground


Take a trip back in time and explore the traditional funfair at Folly Farm in Wales. This indoor fair includes a massive selection of working vintage rides.


UK’s only Alpine Coaster opens at Zip World Fforest


Thrill seekers are in for a treat as Zip World Fforest open the UK’s only Alpine Coaster.

It’s called the Fforest Coaster. And no, that’s not a typo. The one-of-a-kind downhill adventure is located in Wales, where one F just isn’t enough! Lets start by taking a ride.

Just like a traditional roller coaster, the Fforest Coaster starts with a powered lift hill which drags riders to the top of the course. The similarities end when the ‘sleds’ that the passengers sit in reach the peak and begin their downward decent. Unlike a normal rollercoaster where riders have no input, each sled on the Fforest coaster has its own manual braking system. This allows the rider to control the speed of the ride.

The Fforest coaster comes from German firm Wiegand, who’ve been responsible for many Alpine Coasters all over the world. You’ll notice that we’ve (awkwardly) worded the title of this post to state that Zip World’s ride is the UK’s only Alpine Coaster and not the UK’s first. This is because we did used to have a similar Alpine Coaster in Stoke-On-Trent. Located at Stoke Ski Slope, the ride operated between 2003 and 2007 and was around 425 meters long.

Zip World’s new coaster is over twice this length, featuring a 365 m upward lift (split into two sections) and a 710 m downhill slalom through the trees. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty tiny when you compare it to some of the German alpine coasters located on the side of mountains, but it’s still long enough to pick up a bit of speed and feel like you’ve gone on a bit of an adventure. Take a look at the layout shown in the planning document below;

The ride lasts for around 6 minutes, during which riders can reach speeds of up to a limited 25mph.

What?!

You read that correctly. The FForest coaster’s top speed is restricted to 25mph. Not gunna lie, this came as a massive disappointment. After all, Alpine Coasters are known specifically for the fact that you can ride them without using the brakes, reaching blistering speeds, all the way down the hill, whilst recording an onride video for YouTube entitled “CRAZY alpine coaster with NO BRAKES! Absolutely INSANE!”, which will then go viral and make the poster thousands in Ad Revenue. Soz Theme Park Review.

Jokes aside, it is 2017 and Health & Safety is definitely “a thing” now, so it doesn’t really come as a surprise. In fact the way in which the speeds are monitored and controlled is actually surprisingly advanced and rather interesting. Allow this diagram to explain;

Named the “Driver’s Assistance system”, it relies on magnetic eddy-current technology working in harmony with electronic sensors and control system. When the sled reaches 25mph the system automatically kicks in to slow it down. As well as limiting speed, the system acts as a spacer and ensures that all of the sleds are at least 25meters apart from each other at all times during the decent. This does unfortunately mean that if the person in front of you is a pansy and braking all the way down your sled will automatically be slowed down too.

There’s no denying that it detracts from the overall ride experience, however the safety benefits probably outweigh the lack of speed. Coupled with this, the cost of maintenance is likely to be less as magnetic brakes are non-contact and require less maintaining than traditional friction brakes.

Our verdict

But lets not get bogged down by the speed, the Fforest coaster is awesome! We really are lucky to have an Alpine Coaster of this length and quality in the UK. The setting couldn’t really be any better, with the track weaving in and out of the trees throughout the ride – the only obvious comment to make is “can we have another one that’s even longer?!”. With Zip World growing as quickly as it is and with multiple sites in Snowdonia, maybe we’ll have an answer to that question in the next few years!

It’s also definitely worth mentioning how friendly and accommodating the Zip World staff were, so thanks!

The Fforest coaster opened on 10th May and is located at Zip World Fforest, LL24 OHA. Riders must be 9 years old and 1.35 m or taller to ride unaccompanied. More details can be found on the official website.


Roller Coaster Staircase – “Tiger and Turtle Magic Mountain”


If you’re scared of roller coasters then this could be the solution for you! This walking rollercoaster is located in Duisburg, Germany and allows visitors to walk around the 220 metre long circuit featuring 249 steps. Standing 85 metres above sea level, the landmark offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.

Created as a piece of art by Ulrich Genth and Heike Mutter, the name Tiger and Turtle represents the rollercoaster speed of a tiger but the turtle pace of the visitor who has to traverse the sculpture on foot.


Alpine Coaster UK granted planning permission


Zip World FForest are to build an Alpine Coaster in the UK. 

Plans for this thrilling downhill adventure were submitted to the Snowdonia National Park Planning Authority back in May 2016 and have now been approved.

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Zip World boast that this will be the first ride of it’s type in the UK. Whilst this is in fact not true (a similar model operated at Stoke Ski Slope until 2006), it will be the only one of it’s kind when it does open.

We’ve been having a dig through the planning application and have uncovered the following facts. The Alpine Coaster will be built by German firm Wiegand, will feature a 100m altitude, 365m lift and a 710m course down through the trees. Here’s the layout:

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As you can see, the lift is split into two parts, with a right hand bend connecting the both. Credit where it’s due, the layout does look fairly substantial and this is likely to prove a huge hit with those Coaster enthusiasts of the UK who haven’t yet been able to visit some of the Alpine Coasters out in Germany and Austria.

Also in the planning documents is an impression of the ride station, here it is:

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The construction of the Alpine Coaster is set to be completed for a 2017 opening at the FForest site in Snowdonia, Wales, which already features the Powerfan Plummet, Skyride and a Treetop high ropes course.

In the mean time, check out this video of a similar length Alpine Coaster located in Utah, USA. Snowdonia’s coaster will be approximately 3,526ft long, where this one is 3,887ft.


Alton Towers Rollercoaster Restaurant


The UK’s first Rollercoaster Restaurant is now open at the Alton Towers Resort. In this new venue guests order their food via iPad and have their meals delivered to the table on a rollercoaster track!

In this video we take a look inside on opening day, Friday 13th May 2016.


Zipworld Velocity & Titan POVs, Snowdonia


Strap yourselves in for a ride on Europe’s longest and fastest zipwires! This video shows ‘onride’ footage of the ziplines at both Zipworld Velocity and Titan – both of which located within 30 minutes of each other in Snowdonia, Wales.

Zipworld Velocity is located at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda
Zipworld Titan is located at Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog

Enjoy!


Powerfan Plummet POV, Snowdonia


Climb 106 feet up to the top of a tree – and then jump off it! This high-adrenaline activity is located at TreeTop Adventure in Snowdonia, Wales and is sure to scare even the biggest of thrill-seekers!

This video is void of any fancy editing, with the intention of showing you what the full experience feels like. If you were after a more cinematic and to-the-point video then make sure you check out our Snowdonia Adrenaline Adventure video here:

More info/booking: http://www.ttadventure.co.uk/ropes-courses/powerfan-plummet


Photos from our Summer Eurotrip now online!


You may remember some time ago, (well, 3 months ago actually) we embarked on a massive crazy super awesome European Theme Park and Funfair trip. You may also have heard of the phrase “good things come to those who wait”? Well – thanks for waiting.

Here are some of the photos from our trip. Some of the videos are also online, in which case please follow the links. Stay tuned for more features and write-ups from our time away.

Tilburg Kirmes

20th July 2015

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Our first visit to Tilburg Kirmes.

Click here to view album

Efteling 

21st July 2015

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We visited Efteling (Nehterlands) to check out their new B&M Dive Coaster; Baron 1898.

Click here to view album

Click here to view our video of Baron 1898

Kirmes Uden 

21st July 2015

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Following our day at Efteling we stopped off at the Uden Kirmes; an average sized fair with nothing particularly noteworthy at, still, it was good to see the Sound Machine.

Click here to view album

Kernie’s Wunderland 

22nd July 2015

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This utterly bonkers German park is set in the site of a never used Nuclear Power Plant. The star attraction is a Starflyer ride inside a cooling tower. Entry is around 15 Euros and includes unlimited ice cream, chips and drinks!

Click here to view album

Movie Park Germany 

22nd July 2015

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Ask any coaster geek about Movie Park and 99% of the time they’ll tell you it’s a terrible park not worth bothering with. We ignored this advice and spent an afternoon there and actually really enjoyed it!! The coasters themselves are truly awful BUT the theming is fantastic and it was a nice immersive experience on the whole with some interesting attractions thrown in – notably an indoor rapids ride and a great Gerstlauer bobsled coaster in the dark.

Click here to view album

Phantasialand 

23rd July 2015

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The best advice we ever took was to visit Phantasialand. It is without doubt the most visually impressive park we’ve ever been to, with some incredible rides with plenty of “secret” elements. This album includes some construction pictures of their new for 2016 rollercoaster “Taron”.

Click here to view album

Click here to view our Chiapas Flume POV

Click here to view our Talocan Top Spin video

Dusseldorf Rheinkirmes 

24th and 25th July 2015

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This is probably one of the most talked about German fairs by us UK Enthusiasts, so we were thrilled to finally visit ourselves. Unfortunately the fair was closed all of Saturday due to bad weather so we didn’t manage to see everything we wanted to, but did get a few photos the night before.

Click here to view album

Duren Annakirmes

25th July 2015

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The final funfair of our summer Eurotrip was Duren Annakirmes. Notable attractions include the new Apres Ski XXL and Wild Maus XXL (the one that comes to London every winter)

Click here to view album

BillyBird Park 

26th July 2015

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Knowing that we had approximately 3 hours to spare before our plane home we stopped off at BillyBird Park (Netherlands). This is a strange inland-beach style attraction aimed at families and young children. The star attraction is an ABC Rides solar powered rollercoaster, which was actually surprisingly fun.

Click here to view album

And that’s a wrap! We hope you enjoy the photos and/or videos. More videos are yet to come so be sure to check back for further updates. If you have any questions about our trips and how we do them then leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you.


Alpine Coaster POV, Alpincenter Bottrop


Take a ride on this 2,296.6ft long Alpine Coaster located at Alpincenter Bottrop, Germany. The ride opened in 2008 and was manufactured by Wiegand.


Banksy’s Dismaland Bemusement Park, Weston Super Mare


Take a look around the Dismaland Bemusement Park at Weston Super Mare. This exhibition is the work of popular artist Banksy and is described as a “family theme park unsuitable for children”. Many of the pieces are somewhat controversial, which has led to the huge success of the park.

Dismaland ran from 21st August to 27th September 2015.


Snowdonia Adrenaline Adventure!


If you’re reading this then chances are that you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Ask any theme park or ride geek and they’ll be able to tell you – probably in graphic detail – all about their first experience of a big ride. There’s something quite special about that feeling of terror as the adrenaline races through your body, but unfortunately that feeling does seem to fade over the years as you become “immune” to fear through experiencing so many rides.

So what can we do to scare ourselves?! Well – we head over to Wales for an action packed day of ziplining, swinging, climbing and jumping to see if we could get our adrenaline racing once more.

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Taken from the top of the 2nd Zipline at Zipworld Titan

The day consisted of the following activities:

  • Zipworld Titan (3x 4-lane racing ziplines)
  • Zipworld Velocity (Little Zipper and Big Zipper – Europe’s longest/fastest zipline)
  • Powerfan Plummet (106ft vertical climb and jump)
  • Skyride (Skyswing/Skycoaster)
  • Bounce Below (“trampolines” in a cave)

All in all the cost of the activities totalled just under £150 per person – so it’s not cheap – but we thought it was worth it just to be able to try something a bit different.

The Ziplines

Now, I don’t know if it’s just because we’re so used to coasters or not, but none of the 5 ziplines we did really phased us that much. There was a very strong focus on health and safety (as you’d hope), meaning that a lot of potential psychological fear of falling to your death is instantly eliminated. Zipworld titan has three medium sized ziplines, each of which having four “lanes” so that you can race your friends down to the bottom. The scenery and landscape underneath you was truly beautiful on these zips, and varied muchly between the three lines. Nothing too scary at all really, but very enjoyable. Zipworld Velocity is probably the scarier of the two attractions, as it features Europe’s longest and fastest Zipline, for which the riders are hung in a lying position for maximum aerodynamic-ness. You’re provided with safety goggles, which at first seems quite humorous, but you quickly realise how important they are when being pelted in the face by flies and other bits of flying shit at 100mph. This is the most expensive individual activity, coming in at around £60 per person just for the two ziplines. Worth it? Yes and no. We’re glad we did it, but wouldn’t rush to do it again.

View from the top of the Big Zipper at Zipworld Velocity

View from the top of the Big Zipper at Zipworld Velocity

Powerfan Plummet and SkySwing

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The Powerfan Plummet and SkySwing are both located at the same place – Treetop Adventure – not far from either of the ziplining attractions mentioned above. This is where things got scary. The PowerFan Plummet was almost certainly the highlight of the day. To put it simply, it’s a massive tree (106ft tall infact), with a few metal pegs hammered in and a platform built at the top. After being harnessed up you take to the tree and use the metal pegs to climb your way to the top. This is a terrifying, gruelling experience. After what feels like 5 hours, you accidentally look down and let out a small fart of terror as you realise how high you are. Following this you look up and let out another fart of terror as you realise that you’re still only quater of the way up and there’s no easy way to chicken out now! Eventually you do get to the top (in reality the climb is probably about 5 minutes long), and you get some time to pull yourself together and man up before being clipped to a rope that in theory will prevent your death as you jump off the top.

Whilst this was easily the most terrifying thing we can remember doing in a very long time, it was well worth it. The freefall sensation alone when jumping off is incredible. The SkySwing is basically just a huge swing – you get strapped onto a metal bar (it’s not comfy at all – wave byebye to fertility) – and winched up to the highest point. When you get to the top you pull the release chord yourself and begin the swing. Great fun, pretty scary, worth doing.

Both of these activities combined cost around £30, so definitely the best value for money all day and quite possibly the best activity all day.

The final activity to round off the day was Bounce Below. Located at the same site as Zipworld Titan, Bounce Below is a network of “trampolines” inside a cave. We say “trampolines”, but in reality it’s a series of bouncy nets on three different levels connected by slides and webbing to climb. Really good fun, but an injury waiting to happen.

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And that’s that! If you’ve read this entire article then chances are you’re interested in doing the activities too – if you do have any questions then please comment and we’ll get back to you. Below is our video of the entire day condensed into just a few minutes – please do watch and leave us a comment!

Oh – one more thing! They actually let us, and encourage, the use of GoPro cameras. They even provide helmets with GoPro mounts if you ask them for one. As theme park fans we’re not used to such loving treatment! On that basis – this entire day gets a big FIVE out of FIVE fictional stars. Well done Wales, you were fun.


What exactly is Shrek’s Adventure?!


Today marked the opening of the latest attraction from the Merlin Group. Shrek’s Adventure, billed as “A unique, laugh out loud walk and ride misadventure” has been 2 years in the making and is located in County Hall, London. This is the same building that houses the New London Dungeon, also next door to the London Eye and the London Aquarium  – all of which are owned by Merlin.

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Interestingly, media coverage of this new attraction’s opening has been fairly low-key and as a result many people are a little confused as to what the attraction actually is, who it’s aimed at and what is involved. Thankfully HTR are here to (attempt to) explain all! The official website describes the attraction as “A unique walk and ride attraction for the whole family. Step into the kingdom of Far Far Away and enjoy a brand new madcap Shrek adventure where amazing DreamWorks animation, captivating story-telling and a good dose of Donkey’s cheekiness awaits.”

It is our understanding that the set up of the attraction is very similar to that of the existing Dungeonsattractions, which combine a mix of actor-led shows with immersively themed environments and rides. Shrek features ten shows and one simulator ride. The simulator appears to be the first port of call on the “Adventure”, and is themed as a London Bus, where Donkey is your tour guide. Details of the simulator were shown on the original plans for the attraction, which can be seen below.

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After the bus journey visitors are treated to what is advertised as ten shows, however the attraction’s website only lists 7 of these:

  1. Shrek’s Swamp
  2. Rumpelstiltskin’s Carriage
  3. The Poison Apple Pub
  4. Game Show
  5. Mirror Maze
  6. Muffin Man’s House
  7. Dreamworks Arrivals Hall

Whilst the attraction is primarily Shrek themed, as you can see the final show is a bit broader and introduces characters from other Dreamworks Films, including Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon. Perhaps this could be an indication as to how the attraction may develop over the years and expand to focus on multiple films from within the franchise.

Reviews from those who have tried it out already seem very positive, with one enthusiast saying that it’s “The best theming Merlin have ever done”, whilst The Sun lowered the tone by saying the attraction will “provide a happy ending”

Shrek’s Adventure opened on 1st July 2015 and will be open daily from 10am – 6pm. Tours last approximately 1 hour 15 minutes with prices starting at £23.40. We plan to check it out for ourselves very soon and will be sure to write a full review once we have.


A walk around The Enchanted Village


“The Enchanted Village” is the latest accommodation offering from the Alton Towers Resort, complimenting the existing Splash Landings and Alton Towers Hotels. Opened on the 18th April 2015, the village consists of 120 lodges and 5 luxury treehouses.

We went down to the village for a walk around on a sunny afternoon. First impressions were very good. On entering the site the first building you see is the Crooked Spoon restaurant – also part of the development. This building is beautifully themed and features a soundtrack from IMA Score, who have become somewhat famous for their fantastic theme park soundtracks in the last few years.

Walking further in and you quickly become surrounded by the accommodation. The lodges are all laid out in clusters, with each cluster facing inwards towards a grassy patch with some kids play equipment in – promoting a cosy family feel. The area does feel very immersive to walk around, with plenty of little things to see and do. Step inside one of the lodges and this is what you can expect to find:

Each lodge comprises of a main room with double bed and TV, a small kids room with bunk beds in and a bathroom with bath/shower and toilet. The size is marginally larger than a standard hotel room, but to be honest any bigger and the cosy feel of the lodge could well be lost.

If, however, you really want a slice of luxury, then maybe a Treehouse is more suited. The Enchanted Village has five unique Luxury Treehouses which sleep up to eight people. These top-end lodges include their own private hot tubs, but do come at a cost of around £1000 per night.

Take a look at our video below to see the Enchanted Village for yourself!