Ride type: dark ride
Theme: fairies, gnomes, trolls, fairytale world
Limitations: not for people with a handicap (due to safety reasons)
If you are a Dark Ride fan, you
must have heard about Droomvlucht. Added in 1993, this ride is now very
"hot" on the Web. Try its name in any search engine, and you
will find lots of reviews stating that the ride is of exceptional
quality. In fact, only a few weeks ago, I discovered very big words on a
"Until some years ago,
there used to be a sort of contest between theme parks. Every time a
park built a new dark ride, another park would take the challenge to
build an even better one. However, since Droomvlucht appeared, most
parks have given up the idea, for this ride cannot be perfected."
So, the question is up: does
Droomvlucht really deserve its high name?
The ride is right across Villa
Volta. A huge wall, decorated with lots of green life, is the place to
be. So under the gothic-like arc you pass, through the waiting queue. A
stage is built near the building, decorated with a flower swing. This is
where, on top days, a fairy (who magically enlarged herself) will
perform. This is great for the young kiddies, as she greets them and
sings fairy songs. Near the station entrance, there's also a video wall
with clips from these songs. But enough about that, let's get to the
ride! Each small wagon offers place to 2
or 3 visitors. Watch your
step...you have to get in while they are moving, AND you have to step on
the rolling floor to do so! But fortunately, the park staff lends a
hand. Let's go!
Once you're off the floor (the
ride is "inverted"), you move slowly up and forward. Once you
reach a scene, your wagon turns automatically sideways, so the best view
is guaranteed. And there it is: a marvellous landscape, with castles
nearly at the skyline. Huge rocks fill the foreground, with real nebula
separating them! And that's not all: you actually can smell the stone
dust. But on you go, through the darkness, to the next scene.
This one is a forest. With very
brightly coloured spots, the effect of a sunset is created. You move
smoothly round the sene, some 3 m above the ground. Cute little deer and
some fairies, moving their heads and arms catch your attention. In the
next scene, inside the forest, above a flower bed, these creatures
return. Here you see the real fairy world: singing fairies sitting side
by side on a branch, another fairy patting a unicorn, a green gnome
taking a waterfall shower, a hanging fairy house, made of flowers... and
once again, you smell the
scene (flowers!). By this time,
it has become hard to hear the relaxing music because of the children's
"ooohhhh"'s and "aaaaahhhhh"'s. You pass a lovely
(and VERY realistic) fairy queen, and the funny fairy King, Oberon. With
his big smile and even bigger flower hat, he waves at the visitors.
Again, you enter a dark tunnel,
this time with lots of coloured light dots on the wall. The walls are
bent, so it looks like you're in a real cave. These lights continue at
the next scene, a completely darkened night view. The moon is shining,
and castles and towers float everywhere.
Another tunnel awaits you, and
again you are moving upwards. But this time, no lights but dew, right on
your face! Are you ready for the big climax?
Welcome to the swamp forest,
where the trolls live. But even they look cute and friendly.
What goes up, must come down,
and now is the time. You enter a downward spiral, with the seats turned
to the middle: trees encircling a small pond. While you move at a steady
pace (the speed is kept rather low, so the children wouldn't get
frightened), you notice it is actually raining in this part!
Once you're back down, some
troll puppets say goodbye as you move through a dew nebula, back into
the station. You can either have a sandwich lunch at the bar, or buy
some merchandise in the shop as you leave the ride.
The same qualities that made
Efteling famous are not hard to find on Droomvlucht. Each and every
scene is beautifully made, every detail is decorated. Loads of spots
bring even more colour on the ride. The puppets are made as cute as can
be. Fairies, gnomes, animals and trolls make eye contact, making the
visitors participate in the action.
In these times, more and more
dark rides use special effects. DroomVlucht displays stuff like rain,
nebula, perfume... they all add to the fairytale world.
The waiting queue isn't even
that long, though it may look so. Last summer, I spent 40 minutes in it
(about 75% of the queue was filled), which is acceptable for a top day.
A huge feather in the park's cap
is the fact that the ride seems to be 100% child-friendly. You see,
yours truly is very sensible for that. If I notice scary things in a
ride, such like hard noises, fake explosions, scary/oversized puppets,
... I will be the first one to notice (and start complaining in articles
like this one). But here, I must confess I just couldn't find any scary
stuff at all.
However, the perfect dark ride
doesn't exist. The "carriage parking" in front of the building
is right next to the path - not very safe. You can't see how long the
waiting queue is, until you're about half in it (and by then it's too
late). And it's not easy, even with help, to get into the ride in time,
over a moving floor.
Last but not least, people with
a handicap are not allowed. Okay, I understand, it's for safety reasons.
But what's very confusing to yours truly, is the vague policy Efteling
has on "less valid" (as they call them) people.
I mean, are people with a mental
handicap allowed? Or does this only apply for people in a wheelchair?
Yours truly is slightly
autistic. Does that mean I'm not allowed in?
Okay, I'm probably seeing this
too big because I spend a lot of time with people with a handicap and
have a handicap myself, but I wish Efteling would be a little less vague
So how about the big question -
does Droomvlucht really deserve all these words of praise? In my view,
it does. It is so child-friendly, so highly detailed, so relaxing that
you actually tend to slide out of the ride, rather than stepping out of
it. This is a total experience, which Efteling is known for: you see,
hear and even smell the ride.
Can this ride be surpassed?
Surely. I already said it... the perfect ride doesn't exist. However, I
feel that whoever wants to build an even better ride than this, will
have a hard task at hand. A very, VERY hard task indeed, for this one
really deserves its five stars!
- A wonderful experience for
- Cute and relaxing atmosphere
- Lots of special effects
- Lots of park staff to help people get in and out
- Live animation and video wall on top days
- Sandwich bar at ride exit
- Children can slide under the
waiting queue fences, and lose their parents (it happened during my
- Even with help, it is not easy to step in and out of the ride in time
- Prams can be stolen from their "parking lot"
- The exit of the attraction goes through a shop
Ride type: mad house
Limitations/restrictions: you must be at least 90 cm tall. Between 90 and
120 cm must be escorted by an adult.
Parental Guidance: loud noises and "upside down"-illusion might
There used to be a time when magicians
surrounded themself with an aura of mystery and respect. Rather than being
the sympathetic and humorous talker like David Copperfield and friends,
they would perform all their illusions like today's doctors do their work,
sometimes not speaking a single word during their shows.
Harry Houdini was such a man. He worked
very hard, not only to perform, but also to maintain this
"gimmick" of a serious, somewhat scary man of magic and mystery.
His well-known quest to understand and communicate with the dead only
supported his status. But he passed away without finding the answers he
was so desperately searching for...
Belgium may be small, but Houdini deemed
this country worthy of being a home to him. If you don't believe me, just
visit Bellewaerde Park, because his house mysteriously appeared in 1999.
Right next to the Wiener Walz, barely a minute from the main square.
It's a huge building, with a nice balcony
on the second floor. Small windows, nicely embedded in white stone, break
through the light brown walls. A clock is built on top of the front
entrance, in a baroque-like style. The good news is that the mechanism is
still working. The bad news is, the hands move in the wrong direction,
probably because of the magic inside the house... Green tiles cover the
roof of both the house and the balcony, and iron fences give the house the
finishing touch. Two identical stone statues of Houdini, handcuffed from
head to toe (with metal chains!), mark the front door.
Anxious to visit a house once belonging
to the greatest escape artist the world has ever known, you go through the
front door. With a warmly orange wallpaper, small chandeliers in art
nouveau style (like Charles Rennie McIntosh did in the UK) and a huge
mirror, the hall is actually very cosy. However, wooden fences keep you
away from the mirror, and lead you to the left, which is... back outside.
With the house on your right and a
similar small wall on your left, the waiting queue has started. Slowly but
surely, you move toward another entrance door near the far end of the
house. Under a small wooden roof (covered by, again, green tiles), the
waiting queue moves typically back-and-forth. And then you hear the
noises. Loud, deep screams. What's going on in there? The dark forces of
magic and mystery? or are they just Having a party?
Finally, it's your turn, and you can join
others inside for the...
Wowee... they made a museum in Houdini's
house! The stuff that is being displayed here, is a dream for every fan of
magic arts. Take the safe, for example. standing on a wooden box and
wrapped in chains, this typically old-fashioned safe was just one of
Houdini's top acts. And now we're on those top acts anyway... wait 'till
you see this: the famous water torture cell! The front glass is (fakely)
smashed, as a reminder to Houdini's act (two lovely assistants, dressed as
firemen, uh, firewomen, would stand next to the cell during Houdini's act.
They held an axe, in case something would go wrong... at the end of the
act, they would raise their axes simultaneously as if they were to break
the glass, and then Houdini would appear.). A third cage (an enlarged
version of a shark cage) rounds up the trio.
Across the room, you can see Houdini's
bookshelves. Some books are on it (duh!), but also handcuffs, keys,
strange orbs, creepy statues, even some ropes and a pulley... exactly what
you could expect from Houdini. Between the shelves and the escape objects,
a fireplace with an iron protection grid is built.
Houdini's portrait above the fireplace
adds the finishing touch to this well-decorated room. On the floor, tiles
are laid in a square pattern. And there's wood everywhere, dark wood, with
neo-classical decorations. In vertical planks, lines like those of Greek
columns are cut out. Some of those "columns" even have column
heads! Houdini certainly had a fine taste.
Between all that wood, the wallpaper is
visible. Blue/green and orange vertical stripes make up the pattern. The
fireplace, however, has a blue pattern with yellow squares. The lamps on
the walls, shaped like candles, provide the (sparse) light in the room.
This room must have been very nice to live in, but time has taken its
toll... the wood has become even darker than it already was, and spider
webs are everywhere. I mean, these aren't webs any more. These are spider
BUNGALOWS, if you ask me.
The outside doors are closed, and a warm
and friendly ladies' voice welcomes you in Houdini's house, "the
house of the world's greatest magician and escape artist ever." The
lights go down, and a screen appears on the fireplace, completely covering
Houdini's portrait. See that old-fashioned film projector, hanging above
your head? While the friendly lady, obviously your guide in this visit,
explains that Houdini used to perform magic tricks for the children in his
neighbourhood, a movie starts playing on the screen.
"This footage is old, and damaged at
some points, but it shows how well Houdini performed, even at his early
ages" the guide explains. The footage shows like an early Laurel and
Hardy slapstick, with a jolly piano melody as the only sound.
A teenage Houdini, along with his younger
brother, parks a large chest in front of the stairs of a local house (in
these days, it was very common to put stairs outside your house, since the
front door was usually not at floor level). About three, four children
have gathered, eager to know what these brothers are up to. Only one
adult, sitting on the stairs, reading his newspaper, is present.
Apparently, he's not very happy with those noisy kids starting some silly
play right in front of him, but he keeps on reading nevertheless. In the
meantime, the brothers have already presented themselves to their friends,
and Houdini's little brother invites a cute small girl to tie his wrists
with a small rope. Soon, he has climbed in the chest, and it's up to
Houdini pulls out a blanket. With one
leap he's on the chest. He waves to the kids one more time, tosses his hat
in the hands of the small girl, and then he pulls up the blanket in front
of him, rendering himself invisible for his spectators. At this point,
even the man on the stairs looks up, before once again trying to read his
About TWO seconds after that, the blanket
drops... standing on the chest is not Houdini, but his younger brother! He
jumps of the chest to reveal its contents. You've guessed it, Houdini
himself is now tied up in the chest. They have done the metamorphosis
illusion, and they did it flawlessly! The camera zooms in on the man on
the stairs, who is completely puzzled. Even though he was sitting BEHIND
the whole scene (and thus should have seen how they did it), he obviously
didn't see anything unusual. What a triumph for these two young men!
Houdini greets the applauding children, then turns to his brother, smiling
and shaking his hand. And then it happens.
Suddenly, Houdini's smiling head turns
towards the camera, his face turned into an evil look. The camera zooms in
on his eye. The tape starts melting, starting from Houdini's eye, as if
someone poured some liquid acid on the screen. An evil laugh sounds
through the room. All this happens in a small second, and it literally
scares you out of your boots. The atmosphere is set!
The guide, seemingly untouched by these
events, invites you to the next room, where Houdini will perform his
greatest trick ever - his return from the unknown.
While the lights are flashing, you can
here the rolling thunder. Then, a strange voice starts talking...
"I am Houdini. Nothing on earth can
On both sides of the fireplace, a door to
the next room has opened. Go ahead, pass through them... you will soon be
This is it, the highlight of your museum
visit. You have entered a large room, with two rows of seats on each side.
The two long walls have two high windows each, but don't bother trying to
look through them... even though the long curtains are opened, the blinds
are down. The windows have those same wooden "Greek
column-striped" ornaments, in fact, the whole room is covered in that
dark wood, from the floor to about a meter under the ceiling.
From there on, a classic wallpaper
finishes the wall. Have you seen the roof window? Instead of a flat
ceiling, left and right of the ceiling are going up towards each other,
and the roof window doesn't change that movement. The guide invites you to
take a seat. "Welcome. Please come in. A wonderful event is about to
So there you are, resting your body on
one of these large wooden benches, facing the middle of the room. Between
the two seat rows is nothing, except the wooden floor. Against the small
walls, the woodwork continues. One oval mirror is hanging on each wall,
and a creepy-looking gargoyle statue is placed on top of the woodwork.
Some small lamps are on each wall. Houdini's portrait is hanging between
the windows. And everything in this room looks old, with webs everywhere.
A simple lap bar is closed. Seat
protection? It looks more like they want to be sure that you won't get out
of your seat... why? There is obviously no Houdini curiosity to steal in
Once again, the guide's voice welcomes
you - but before she can even finish her sentence, an evil laughter is
going through the room... This time, even the guide seems to be thrown off
her game. She continues trying to deliver her lines, but you can hear the
insecure trembling of her voice. The lights dim, and suddenly, the mirrors
Instead of the mirror glass, each mirror
now shows a huge key. You are locked inside this room! Eh... hello,
Houdini? YOU are supposed to be the escape artist, not your guests...
The mysterious magician, with a sinister
tone in his voice, takes over from the guide: "... I am the only one
who has the keys..." It seems you're on your own, now.
This news shocks you, it shocks your
whole body, in fact. You feel like you move downward, and those strange
butterflies in your belly seem to say the same thing. But clearly, as you
can see, you haven't moved at all. A quick look at the faces of your
fellow visitors proves that your're not the only one who feels that way.
Houdini has you in his grip. Everybody is in his grip...
While a choir starts singing short
staccatoes, you feel some movement again. This time, it's real. The whole
floor is swinging, along with the two wooden panels on the small walls.
You move up to about half way across the window, then the swinging
movement brings you down below the floor... Houdini is having a great
time, while his "audience" starts getting scared. Again, you go
up, this time all the way up, you're touching the ceiling! And suddenly,
you notice what was lying under the floor all the time: that same evil eye
you saw on the preshow footage! It covers the whole ground surface,
keeping its magic look focused on everybody! Suddenly, the gargoyle
statues are lit, and they look creepier than ever...
Another huge swing takes you on the low
end of the opposing wall, keeping you "glued" in a 90
degrees-position. What the... oh my gosh, this can't be happening...
While Houdini continues his laughter, you
swing gently down again, up to the wall behind you... and, upside down,
across the ceiling... down across the opposite wall... and on the ground
again. You just have made a full circle, without falling down! Cries of
fear emit from the victims of this sadistic wizard, but that doesn't stop
him. You make another full circle, in the opposite direction, while
Houdini enjoys himself with a loud "Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!!!".
A crack of thunder. Flashes of light. For
the third time, you swing across the ceiling, with Houdini's evil eye
staring almost through you... and on the ceiling you stay! The lights go
out, only the small walls (still with those eerie gargoyles!) are lit
now... and the key appears in the mirror again.
Even the guide is now scared to death,
and she starts begging the dungeon keeper for mercy. "Houdini, the
keys, PLEASE GIVE US THE KEYS!!" But Houdini just keeps on laughing.
"Ha ha ha... this illusion has become a NIGHTMARE!!!!"
The lamps all flash in turn, while
thunder cracks again. No way out, you're trapped in an impossible
position... farewell... you'll never get out from here...
While the lamps are still flashing, you
suddenly notice that you're moving again. Slowly, the lights come back to
normal, and so are you. Houdini's laughing has ceased, and you are back in
normal position. The music changes to a calm violin melody.
Thank Heavens. This bad dream has finally
ended. But wait... there's Houdini's voice again:
"What you thought you were seeing,
was not what it seemed to be... that is... illusion!"
WHAT? Was all of this just a trick? Is
Houdini just going to let everybody go, after all that dark magic? He is.
Slowly, the bars raise, the doors open. You're free. But long after you
have left the house, you will still be thinking...
Was it all just a trick?
You have made two full circles across the
ceiling. The third time, you were even sticking to the ceiling, for about
twenty seconds! With only a lap bar as protection, you obviously should
have fallen down immediately on all three occasions!
Does this mean you actually didn't go
upside down at all? But you have seen it happen with your own eyes! And
you even felt it, in your tummy!
How did he do that?
And how on earth could he made you feel
tipsy even before you moved at all?
Slowly, you march towards the exit. That
Houdini... wow. He really IS the greatest magician of all time.
Is this what will go through your mind
after you had a ride in Houdini's Magical House? I don't think so, unless
this was your very first mad house ride ever. But that's not very likely
these days, because mad houses are appearing about everywhere (even teenie
weenie Belgium already has two of 'em!). This results in the fact that the
mechanism behind a mad house is not THAT secret anymore... I assume you
already know how it is done (if you don't want to know, you should skip
this part and go immediately for the "Good points/Bad
Okay, a really well-made mad house will
leave you wondering how on earth they did it. But after a visit to
Houdini, I sincerely doubt this will happen to you.
So it's a bad attraction, right? No,
that's not what I mean, Bellewaerde's mad house certainly has some big
guns aboard. The gimmick, for example. It is certainly the best gimmick
you can have for a mad house, since it puts the focus on the illusion
itself. And it does so in a superb preshow. Nicely decorated, footage
which really looks like it was filmed decades ago, great atmosphere. From
the moment Houdini's spirit makes its big entrance, the spooky atmosphere
grabs you by your throat and doesn't let go.
Houdini's evil look, the burning of the
film, the moving and bubbling of the escape objects... superb. Great. The
preshow rocks, no doubt about it. The preshow promises a lot of good
stuff. However... it's the mainshow that actually has to deliver it, and
that's where Houdini's weakness lies...
Do you know the joke about that tourist
walking in a small town, very surprised to see a strange statue featuring
some high, heroic general? He turns to a villager and says: "This is
truly a strange position you have put the general in... like he is
crouching, or something like that!"
The villager responds: "I know it
looks funny, but at the time the sculpture artists had finished the
general, they discovered that there was not enough bronze left to create
This is how I feel about Houdini's
Magical House. It starts great (except from the lack of sound isolation,
causing you to hear the mainshows' screaming and laughing while you are
waiting in the queue), but the mainshow could have been much better.
It has its good points, though. The idea
of introducing a "fake audience" in the story is pure gold. As a
visitor, you can't always tell who is screaming: the other people on the
ride, of the sound tape. This surely adds to the already creepy sphere.
Also, Houdini's House will sometimes turn
your attention explicitly to the arms of the swing (by putting the spots
on those gargoyle statues and on the mirrors containing the keys). You
won't see this very often in other mad houses. And the story, of course.
It has a splendid intro, continues in a logical and interesting way, and
results into a cool climax - the guide begging for the keys, while the
room is turned upside down. And after this, you are treated to a wonderful
"coup de théatre": Houdini admitting he was only joking,
learning you a valuable lesson in the process - that you shouldn't allow
yourself to be fooled in this way... Again, which mad house would ever be
so "stupid" to actually give away the fact that it's only an
Okay, if all this is done so well, why am
I insisting that it could have been even better?
First of all, the illusion itself. The
lack of decoration in the mainshow definitely works against it. In my
view, the more you decorate the mainshow, the bigger the impact the
illusion will have on your guests.
If there's nothing in the room, it is not
hard to discover the fact that the room is rotating around you. But with
lots of stuff, visitors are less likened to believe this. Is the room
spinning? No, that can't be it, just look at all those decorations and
furniture! They would have to fix everything to the room! Surely they
wouldn't go THAT far!
(Some people complain about the Evil Eye
on the floor as well, stating that the illusion would be bigger if they
made it look like earth, ground, ... I must confess I don't dislike the
eye. During the show it is occasionally lit, and since you remember it as
Houdini's evil eye, it does add to the creepyness of the show. No, they
should decorate the room itself, not the bottom.)
Another problem that pops up is the ride
itself. It lasts four minutes, which is rather long, compared to its
competitors. But the longer time frame doesn't mean that you get some
Primo: after the bars have come down, it
lasts about forty seconds before any movement is made (and even then, it's
an "invisible" swing, since the room moves exactly the same
way). For forty LONG seconds, there's only the talking of the guide,
interrupted by Houdini's laughter.
Secundo: the end of the ride. As soon as
the room has turned back into its normal position and Houdini starts his
"coup de théatre", the ride is over. But they keep the bars
closed for another forty seconds... Okay, after your very first ride, you
might need this time to fully recover from the ride, but I guess I don't
have to explain that this lowers the re-ride value, do I?
One last point: you can look through the
roof window. That sounds good at first, but unfortunately you can see the
cross-beam joists of the construction through it...
Houdini's Magical House was your humble
servant's very first mad house experience. When I got back home, some
hours later, I already knew how the illusion was performed. Would I have
known it if I had been in Villa Volta first? I sincerely doubt it.
If you've never been in a mad house
before, you'll think very high of Houdini's Magical House. In terms of
gimmick and atmosphere it is surely one of the best, if not THE best. But
the mainshow has some big flaws in it, making it an underdog compared to
other (more recent) mad houses.
* One of the best mad house gimmicks ever
* Creepy atmosphere
* Amazing preshow
* Great storyline
* Nice light effects
* Screaming audience adds to the sphere
* The illusion is not as good as it could
have been, mainly due to the sparse mainshow decoration
* Only in Dutch and French
* "Dead moments" in the mainshow reduce re-ride value
* No sound isolation
* Is that height restriction really necessary?
Believe it or not, but in 1981 the prospect of a
looping coaster in Efteling was not exactly welcomed with open arms. While
park fans feared for the loss of Efteling's unique style, environmental
committees protested against the noise such a thing would generate. But
Efteling wouldn't change plans, and Vekoma built... the Python.
A quick look at both the coaster and the waiting
queue is enough to understand that these people actually had a point.
First of all, there is absolutely no theming at all. Piraña has its Aztec
temples, Bob Sleigh has at least an alpine-like station, but Python has as
good as nothing, a breach of style indeed. (Only the train contains some
very basic theming - a touch of black paint, in a snakeskin-like pattern).
Secondly, the only thing that separates Python from the outside world is a
fence, so noise has to be an issue. However, it's the ride we are
interested in, so let's begin.
The entrance is rather small and if it hadn't been
for the sign, it would be hardly visible between those big trees. By the
way, those same trees make it impossible to see how long the queue is, so
you'll just have to hope for the best and jump in. After passing
underneath the lift hill, you start the zig-zag to the station. It's not
even a long way, but the queue advances rather slowly, and you'll probably
wait longer than you hoped for. Slowly but surely, you advance towards the
station - a simple wooden building, outfitted with telly screens for some
basic entertainment. They show the same images of other attractions over
and over again, with a M&M's commercial freely included. This is not
Efteling in its usual form, and it won't be the last surprise.
Eventually, you finally make it into the station,
where you are pre-sorted behind metal gates. The idea is a fast
loading/unloading procedure of course, and theoretically it works. But in
As you see "your" train arriving into
the station, it becomes painfully clear why the queue advances rather
slowly. The train comes to a full stop before the station, and there is a
small delay between the train arrival and the actual unloading moment.
Okay, it is not that bad, but as soon as the people start leaving the
ride, the procedure is slowed down again. By something very funny,
Some people get stuck in the train.
Apparently, you have to pull the harness down a
little, to free yourself. Don't expect those protections to lift by
themselves, if you do - as most people do - you'll slow the whole thing
down, making you an easy pray for the next visitors, who obviously can't
wait to get in. Anyway, once the seven red cars of the train are filled
with 28 park guests, the protections are checked one more time, and
finally, you're off.
The train goes down one or two feet, then makes a
180-degree turn in a slow pace before going up the lift hill. It is at
this moment you can notice the houses that are built almost under the
coaster, and you wonder what it would be like, to hear the Python about
3000 times a day... don't worry. Think all you want, in your comfortable
seat, for in some moments, you'll have other things on your mind.
On top of the hill, the train slowly makes a
second 180-degree turn, only "dropping" about three feet, giving
you plenty of time to wave at the pretty boys/girls in the waiting queue
below. After that, the track drops. Now it begins.
With each and every passenger screaming, the
coaster dives into the deep. Up again, straight into the first looping.
Another looping immediately after. Flashing camera. A 180-degree-turn,
with the track tilted 90 degrees so the G-forces can't throw the train of
the tracks. No time to rest. Corkscrew looping. Second corkscrew looping.
Time to loose some speed. Triple helix, but not the usual downward spiral:
first you take the middle helix, then the bottom helix, and suddenly you
go up again, into the top helix. A final right turn, before the brakes do
Slowly, Python crawls back into the station. And
you can guess what happened with yours truly.
I got stuck into the train.
Uh... as soon as you manage to free yourself, you
can buy your picture while passing the exit. Thank you for flying Python
The ride itself is far from bad. As soon as you go
off the initial ramp, you get four inversions, a horizontal U-turn and a
triple helix in rapid succession. No fancy stuff - this is straight
in-your-face-action, and it gets the job done very well. The first thing I
thought of as soon as I could think straight again was: "I think some
of my organs are left ont the track..."
However, there is a serious price to pay, as well.
You'll have to go through a long waiting queue, and there's no theming at
all. But if you like coasters, I think you'll find it worth the trouble.
"Python" was Europe's very first steel
looping coaster. Try this icon, and get a feeling of nostalgic from the
days when a looping coaster was the biggest attraction a park could offer!
- Comfortable seats
- Intense and action-packed ride
- Action photo available
- The walking path passes underneath the U-turn, so wanderers can position
themselves under it and get a unique view of the coaster (and the
screaming people in it!)
- Has "monument value": Europe's very first steel coaster, the
very first looping coaster in Europe.
- Lacks the true Efteling-style
- Fast pace means a shorter ride
- Bars can "trap" guests
- Slow-moving waiting queue
- The only way to know how long the waiting queue is, is joining it...