Category: review

Review: Symbolica at Efteling

In the summer of 2017, Dutch theme park Efteling opened a whole new dark ride: SymbolicaPalace of Fantasy. This is Efteling’s fourth dark ride and the first one in twenty five years. It is also Efteling’s most expensive attraction ever built. I know what you’re going to say. I’m incredibly late to the reviewing party but here is finally my nitpicky Quality Control of Symbolica. Abracadabra!

The genesis of the Symbolica project actually started around 2010. Efteling has been working for years on a very different style of dark ride code-named Hartenhof, based on Pardoes the wizard, the mascot of the park. The original storyline revolved around the universe and characters developed for the live action TV series De Magische Wereld van Pardoes, which aired for the first time in 2011. But the most exciting part was certainly the innovative ride system. Think of it as a slow moving robot arm à la Harry Potter and the forbidden journey that can carry an audience of twenty-four people instead of four. The underwhelming public reaction to the TV show and merchandise sales led Efteling to put the Hartenhof project aside for years, in favor of Fairytale Forsest, day-time show Raveleijn, night time fountain show Aquanura and dive coaster Baron 1898. Make sure to google Hartenhof because Efteling released a lot of work material back then, including scale models, artworks and blueprints.

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Review: Disneyland Paris 25th Birthday Renovation

This year Disneyland Paris is celebrating its 25th anniversary. This is a big milestone so they’re giving their guests a mixed bag of a programme as a gift: new parade, new stage shows and nighttime castle projection show, attraction updates and also the end of ✨Project Sparkle✨: a massive program aimed at refurbishing the whole resort after two decades of absolute neglect. As I’m not a specialist of theme park entertainment, I’ll focus on attraction updates and refurbishments in general.

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Review: Shanghai Disneyland

Once in every decade approximately, Disney opens a brand new theme park resort somewhere in the world. It’s a big deal if, like me, you’re a theme park nerd. Well this new Disney park might be an even greater deal because the newest member of the Magic Kingdom family is located in Shanghai, China. You know, that city with 24 million inhabitants. Disney just opened a theme park on a location where 330 million people live within a three hour drive or train ride. But a great location isn’t enough to guarantee the success of a new venue, so Disney CEO Bob Iger spent big money to allow Imagineers to dream equally big. The reported cost of the entire resort, including a theme park, two hotels and a shopping district is a whopping 5.5 billion US dollar.

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Review: Helix at Liseberg

Loyal readers know I usually write about themed attractions on this blog. Immersive environments are what I’m seeking when visiting amusement parks. But today, I’m going to talk about Helix. A fierce rollercoaster that impressed me for another reason than a storyline, advanced animatronics and massive rockwork. And believe me, this reason is good enough to dedicate it an express Quality Control review. Put your lap bar on, here we go!

A few months ago I had the chance to visit Liseberg. This lovely amusement park is located in the heart of the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. Previously I’ve been sharing some love about Liseberg’s one of a kind, subtle and modern logo and visual identity they rolled out a couple of years ago. Make sure to have a look at it right here.

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Review: Baron 1898 at Efteling

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Après des mois de teasing, Efteling, le parc à thème/trésor national néerlandais a ouvert début juillet un rollercoaster spectaculaire: Baron 1898. Plongeons-nous donc (haha) dans un Contrôle Qualité lui étant entièrement dédié !

D’abord, les faits: Efteling, ouvert 365 jours par an depuis quelques saisons à un objectif en tête: cinq millions de visiteurs en 2020. Ils étaient quatre millions et demi en 2014 d’après le TEA. Pour cela, le parc, dont le cœur de cible est les familles avec petits enfants, doit élargir son offre pour contenter également les adolescents et jeunes adultes. Et quoi de plus alléchant pour ce segment démographique qu’une bon rollercoaster bien intense comme il faut ?

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Review: Hong Kong Disneyland

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Récemment, j’ai eu la chance de visiter un autre des parcs Disney issus de la même triste fournée que Disney California Adventure (DCA) et Walt Disney Studios Paris (WDSP). Le Contrôle Qualité du jour s’intéresse à Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL), avec en vedette Grizzly Gulch et le dark ride qui donne des vapeurs à tous les theme park nerds du monde: Mystic Manor. C’est parti!

Inauguré en 2005 sous l’impulsion de Michael Eisner, alors CEO de The Walt Disney Company, Hong Kong Disneyland est un castle park typique de chez Disney, calqué sur le modèle et les dimensions du parc originel Disneyland (Californie) : on y trouve un château, Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland… A quelques différences près.

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