Originally I had planned to visit the Avonturenpark Hellendoorn during my first proper theme park tour in 2009, but the park was not open at Easter. Even on later trips to the Netherlands, the amusement park was only characterised by much shorter opening hours and constant days off. So it was definitely time to visit the park on a weekend in the middle of the season.
A little underdressed compared to the weather, after all, various weather reports predicted sunshine and pleasant temperatures instead of very fresh climatic conditions with permanent drizzle and other kinds of rain, I went straight into the park after the obligatory ticket purchase. Past the monorail, the path leads straight to the first highlight of the Avonturenpark Hellendoorn: The Mack log flume Wild Waterval.
As one of the first log flumes of the manufacturer, this ride still has a functional double loading station. Placed in a dugout, the ride leads purposefully in a long curve and past the station towards the first lift hill. On the now higher level, you can bob along wonderfully before you rush through the channel in a surprisingly wild way. In a shallower current you approach the second lift, which takes you up to the maximum ride height of 12m, whereupon the only shot of the ride follows. Well moistened, one completes the remaining meters of the ride, which can be described as a really good log flume.
Already in sight of the log flume is the Tornado, a roller coaster of the same name from Vekoma, of which three rides were built. This is a modification of the whirlwind model, which was very popular in the early 80’s. Apart from minor changes, mainly the first corkscrew was replaced by a loop.
After you have boarded the quite spacious train, the first generation of the manufacturer, in the curved station, after a short curve you can complete the quite steep ascent in the lift. At the top you can enjoy the view only for a short time before you go down in a long right turn. This is followed by a wonderful powerful looping just before the second inversion figure is reached in a comparatively hardly inclined curve. With a proper transverse inclination it goes overhead in the corkscrew a second time, after which another curve along the first gradient is completed. On a diagonal through the ride, the braking process takes place before the ride enters the station at a leisurely pace. Unfortunately, a second round was spared despite a minimal number of visitors.
I had previously heard and read many negative things about the ride, but I am very surprised how well the ride is maintained by Avonturenpark Hellendoorn. Not only was the appearance more than alright, but the prophesied ride characteristics turned out to be simply wrong, there was absolutely no sign of a nasty blow during the barely inclined turn above the station and the rest of the track was also running perfectly, so that in the end I was even slightly disappointed to have to get off after only one lap, despite the aforementioned lack of demand.
Funnily enough, half of the amusement park has already been explored by now. Thus, we went straight to the second corner of Avonturenpark Hellendoorn. Along the way there is a large part of the Sungai Kalimantan, a rafting ride from Bear Rides with some special features. At the beginning the queue goes through a beautiful designed area before it goes along the unsightly elevated concrete gutter towards the ugly double loading station.
The ride starts along the queue with a few bends before we immediately enter the big wave pool. Here the waves are relatively tame, but it’s a nice feature that can be seen from outside. The next is a hairpin bend, a thoroughly strange and for a rafting course thoroughly untypical track element, which is also not very interesting from a technical point of view. Passing waterfalls and lush vegetation the route leads into a completely foggy and illuminated tunnel. Afterwards you can admire the unaesthetic supports from below. A subsequent lift ride takes you back to the station.
After the descent from the station of Sungai Kalimantan, you will find yourself directly in front of the Donderstenen, a Force Two roller coaster by the manufacturer Zierer, which you can find in Potts Park or the Tier- und Freizeitpark Thüle. Basically it is a very solid roller coaster, but unfortunately the ride is not very exhilarating. The visual design here at Avonturenpark Hellendoorn is quite original, but unfortunately the aesthetics are easily ruined by the surrounding attractions.
At the bottom of a dead end street, the Discovery Club is an interactive dark ride in the cellar of an old mansion, which in former times could probably be entered through the main entrance. For several years now, however, the pre-show of the ride is skipped and you enter the house through a side entrance with a turnstile. The cellar can then be reached by stairs or a lift. In the station the round carriages are waiting for you, which are also used by Capitán Balas in the Spanish amusement park Isla Magica. The ride leads past countless movable interiors and is very nicely designed. Unfortunately, the interactivity with the other players like in Capitán Balas is not possible, because water-spouting effects cannot be triggered.
Apparently below the Bellas Snackbar is a very special roller coaster by Vekoma, at least as far as its design is concerned. The outer appearance and a large part of the queue of the Rioolrat reminds of the roller coaster Raptor Attack of the English amusement park Lightwater Valley, only in small and not so impressive. After the descent the way leads quickly towards the station, where the channel rat is already waiting for you.
After a small bend to the right, you will immediately enter the lift of the ride. At the top there is only a very shallow gradient before you go up and down towards the ground in a wide right helix in the manner of a Bayernkurve. After a short left-hand bend and a straight line, the track leads out into daylight in another right-hand bend before entering the building again and immediately hitting the brakes. As with the Donderstenen, a second lap follows.
The Rioolrat is a thoroughly nice ride, whose layout is very reminiscent of a Zierer Flitzer. Compared to similar rides, the repetition factor of the ride is surprisingly low, which is due to the comparatively long waiting time.
Visually, the long boat ride Jungle Monster, the small Top Spin Montezuma’s Revenge, the Enterprise Tarantula Magica and the Dino Sky Pedalo monorail, as well as the Aquaventura Slidepark form a visual unit. However, the rides and water slides in this area did not open until 12 o’clock. This is a pity, because I would have liked to test at least one of the HUSS rides, but the lack of rides and the rather mediocre portfolio of the park made it very difficult to continue the visit as long.
Avonturenpark Hellendoorn is a nice little park, but the entrance fee is a little too high. The design is partly quite nice, but mostly the complete opposite, although the condition of the rides is generally very good. However, I can do without another visit in the next years.
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