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Our first Winter Theme Park holiday


Say the word “holiday” and most normal people will start reciting tales of times where they led on the beach in the sun for 2 weeks, getting sunburnt, waking up at 6am to reserve a sunbed, and how it was the best time of their life. Well, dear reader, I can’t think of anything worse. What if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way?!

2019 was without doubt one of the most adventurous and action-packed years we’ve ever had when it comes to theme park and funfair adventures – this largely thanks to a brilliant group of friends who share our outlook on thrills and fun. #blessed. So what better way to round the year off than by visiting some European rides at Christmas time?!

Winter Efteling

The itinerary

You do not need to spend obscene amounts of money on one of these trips – obviously you can if you want – but this trip was purposely planned to come in at just below £200pp.

  • Day 1: Fly London Stansted to Eindhoven, drive to hotel next to Efteling
  • Day 2: Day at Efteling followed by a drive to Cranger for their winter fair (Cranger Weihnachtszauber), stay at hotel nearby
  • Day 3: Other bits and bobs before flying home

Transport whilst there consisted of a hiring a car for the duration, which took the form of a Fiat 500 L. What can I say – it was an absolutely awful vehicle, which despite being very low milage already sounded like a bag of arse and continuously reminded us to “check oil level” whilst coughing and spluttering its way around the Netherlands. It did serve its purpose though, so thankyou Fiat. (Don’t buy one).

Winter Efteling

Efteling have really nailed their Christmas event, but would you expect any less from them? No.

The park is pretty much fully open with all the rides – a treat for us UK enthusiasts who are used to only seeing kids rides open over Christmas at our own parks. Efteling have gone to town on the winter theme, with many of their theming items having been completely swapped out for Christmas counterparts – their efforts run far deeper than just spraying a bit of poundland snow over everything.

Baron 1898

Cranger Weihnachtszauber

Translating directly to “Christmas Magic”, this is a young event which could be described as Germany’s answer to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. When you consider that the Weihnactszauber is only in its second year, it really is an impressive little event.

Held on a smaller portion of the same ground as the summer Cranger Kirmes, the event was very nicely themed throughout, with little festive areas and quieter spaces which were a nice touch. The ride lineup is also worth noting as it included the brand new “Santa Mix” (KMG X Drive), as well as Commander, the Mondial Shake.

Other bits

The original plan was that we would go back to the Cranger Kirmes on the final day, but as tends to be the case, we spent breakfast googling things that were nearby and ended up at a couple of other places – firstly tobogganing down a hill in Valkenburg, before then calling in at a Christmas market in Maastricht.

An absolutely brilliant little holiday and a great way to round off 2019. Little did we know that this could be the last holiday we have in a while – thanks China.


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?


TALOCAN ride, Phantasialand 2019


Huss Top Spin ride at Phantasialand, Germany. Probably the best Top Spin ride in the world!


Hold Tight Germany 2019


7 Theme Parks, 2 Funfairs, 9 Days, 2 Countries. Join us as we drive around Germany and the Netherlands on the most exciting holiday you could ever wish for!

DAY 1 – Kermis Best (NL)
DAY 2 – Efteling (NL)
DAY 3 – Walibi Holland (NL)
DAY 4 – Slagharen (NL) & Circus Krone (DE)
DAY 5 & 6 – Heide Park (DE)
DAY 7 – Phantasialand (DE)
DAY 8 – Movie Park & Dusseldorf Rheinkirmes (DE)
DAY 9 – Toverland (NL)


Foire Du Trône 2019, The very big fairground in Paris


This very impressive funfair is held in Paris, France and offers a fantastic lineup of big machines. Take a look around with us!

This event ran from 5th April to 2nd June 2019.


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).


Hold Tight France (and Belgium) – Our Theme Park holiday


Join us on our first foreign adventure of 2019, the “Snaggletour de France”.

Agenda includes Park Asterix, Le Foire du Trone, Bellewaerde, Plopsaland, Brugge May Fair and Chessington World of Adventures.


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).


Hold Tight Europe – our crazy Theme Park tour around Germany and Holland!


Join us for a mega roller coaster holiday through Germany and Holland! What an adventure this one was! Starting and ending in Cologne, the trip included 1570km of driving and 122km of walking. In 10 days we covered 7 theme parks, 1 funfair and 6 hotels.

We’ve done our best to cram it all into a 4 minute film, but there is plenty more to see over the coming months so please do subscribe to our YouTube channel if you like what you see!


Muntanya Russa – Coaster on the side of a Spanish mountain!


A stunning location for a roller coaster! Muntanya Russa is at Tibidabo Amusement Park in Barcelona, Spain. Includes onride and offride POV.


HTReview – ICON, Blackpool Pleasure Beach


Welcome to the first Hold Tight Review – a series where we hope to share our thoughts on some of Europe’s newest rides and roller coasters! Feedback is welcome as this will very much be a series that evolves based on trial and error!!

In today’s review we share our thoughts and opinions on Icon, the new MACK multi-launch coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. How does it stack up against Helix, Blue Fire and Taron? Have you ridden Icon? Let us know your thoughts below.


Lego Roller Coaster!


Look at this awesome new Lego set! This is the Creator Expert Roller Coaster 10261, released 1st June 2018.

The set features two roller coaster trains, working lift hill and station, and even a transfer/traverser track for adding and removing the second train.


RED FORCE insane launch coaster.. 0-112mph in 5 seconds!


Launch to 112mph and soar 367 feet into the air on Red Force at Ferrari Land, Port Aventura.

This Intamin launch coaster features a very intense LSM launch which continues to accelerate you for 5 seconds


Trip video: Port Aventura, Ferrari Land and Tibidabo


3 days, 3 parks! We’re back with our first trip overseas of 2018. This time we visit Port Aventura, Ferrari Land and Tibidabo.

This 3 night trip is surprisingly affordable and a great way to get your fix on some truly excellent rides, with the promise of some sunshine thrown in. What’s your favourite ride at Port Aventura? Let us know down below!


The Creepy Crawler (Flight of the Giant Peach) roller coaster, Oakwood Theme Park


Onride POV. Flight of the Giant Peach opened at Oakwood Theme Park in 2017 as part of a new area named ‘Dahland’. It was themed to Roald Dahl’s ‘James and the Giant Peach’.

As can be seen from this video, with the exception of the queue line the theming left much to be desired. So it is no surprise that the area has already been pulled and the coaster re-named for the 2018 season. Creepy Crawler is the ride’s current name. The coaster is a Pinfari RC40 and was originally located at M&D’s Scotland Theme Park.


The time has come for the Wicker Man to rise!


The Wicker Man is the first new wooden roller coaster to be built in the UK since Megafobia in 1996.

Built by Great Coasters International (GCI), it features over 2000ft of track during which riders burst through a flaming Wicker Man three times.


FRISBEE and MAGIC rides, new for 2018 at Fantasy Island


Fantasy Island UK are preparing to open two new thrill rides for the 2018 season. ‘Frisbee’ and ‘Magic’ are both now built up ready for opening on 17th March, but if you can’t wait that long then read on to see what is in store!

FRISBEE

Built by HUSS in 1994, the Frisbee is one of the original pendulum-swing type rides. Unlike most of it’s modern day counterparts which are powered by a motor at the top of the A-Frame structure, the HUSS Frisbee is tyre-driven from beneath the ride car.

Also unlike many of its modern counterparts is the shear size of this thing. It’s massive. Transportable rides of this size are scarcely seen in the UK these days, with the favour being placed on rides that can be folded down onto one or two trailers in a very short amount of time.

This particular ride was built in 1994 and travelled Germany under the ownership of Rudolf Robrahn. It was bought by James Mellor in 2014 where it opened at the Dubai Global Village before making its way to the UK in time for Nottingham Goose Fair 2017 and now the 2018 season at Fantasy Island Theme Park.

 

MAGIC

Hey hey hey.. it’s Magic! And this is the one we’re really excited about. Check it out;

Magic is another HUSS ride, this one built in 1993. Like the Frisbee, it was bought by showman and owner of Fantasy Island James Mellor in 2014 and spent some time in Dubai before coming to the UK at the end of 2017.

It really is a treat to see a Magic in the UK. Whilst the Frisbee is impressive, it is a ride type that generally everyone is well aware of and to some potentially nothing unique. A ‘Magic’ on the other hand is something I’ve only ever seen before overseas. It certainly seemed to be popular at Nottingham Goose Fair, attracting large crowds throughout the Friday evening of our visit.

In a world where travelling rides are getting more and more intense, it sometimes feels like manufacturers and owners have lost sight of the importance of making rides fun and enjoyable. Magic seems to be the perfect level of fun yet still a very thrilling experience. More like this please!

Fantasy Island reopens for the 2018 season on Saturday 17th March 2018.