The award for the worst ride of the year has to go to the year itself. 2020 was, or even still is, a stupidly crazy, batshit insane mess. Even in my wildest dreams I would have never imagined to to be alive during a worldwide pandemic. I don’t want to bore you with the Covid-thing, because lets be real here, that would be like beating a dead horse at this point. I can’t hear it anymore and I bet you can’t either. But this whole thing damn near broke me. No, as far as I know I never had it, and neither did anyone close to me, but I do know people who got tested positive at some point. What broke me is seeing how irresponsible, egoistic and flat out stupid many people are during all of this. Germany, the country I live in, is currently worse off than it was during the initial, first wave, and yet, people don’t take it serious anymore. What also is grinding me down is that because I’m taking this thing serious ever since we had our first lock down I only saw some of my friend on 2 occasions: During my Hansa Park visit and while helping a friend on the roof of his new house. Yeah, I do like to be alone for a weekend or two from time to time, but only seeing your close family and people from your workplace for pretty much an entire year is insane.
As hinted above I managed to visit a couple of Parks this year, but with one exception I visited all of them at least once in the past, it was more of a catching up with new additions kind of year for me. Most notable was my two day stay at Tripsdrill to marathon their new Vekoma Invert, and oh boy, that thing is a masterpiece, even with the majority of the theming coming next year, but it’s sort of a tradition for the Park by now to deliver the theming later. The ride is smooth, intense, has some solid pops of Airtime, the Inversions are fun, it’s great no matter where in the train you sit and if you are lucky you can get a nice head-on near miss with their also new Family Boomerang that snakes it’s way through the Layout of the Invert. I also visited the Wildlife Park that Tripsdrill has for the very first time. As far as Wildlife Parks here in Germany are concerned, it is among the better ones and worth a visit if you either know the Theme Park already or you stay there for multiple days. While I was in the area I also visited Schwaben Park for the first time. It’s a smaller family owned Park that really caters more towards families with younger children. They do have a solid Zierer coaster and the Meme-worthy “Wilde Hilde”, a chicken themed Rollerball coaster with a stupidly catchy soundtrack. I have visited worse places, but it’s nothing really special either.
I also spend a couple of hours at Holiday Park to catch a ride on their new-ish family coaster they got a couple of years ago along with a large indoor section. to a surprise to absolutely no one, I was really just there to ride Expedition GeForce until my legs hurt from the restraints. Still a really great coaster with a lot of really great and strong Airtime and a one of the best Layouts out there. Each time I visit Holiday Park I’m somewhat surprised how smooth it still is. All of these visits where a great experience with all of these Parks doing a really great job of managing crowds and enforcing social distancing- and mask rules. Visitors also mostly did a great job of following these rules. All of this is also, for the absolutely most part at least, true for my Hansa Park visit. But I can give them a bit of slack because my visit there was very early after their delayed Season start, they simply didn’t fully get the hang of it yet.
However, my visit at Movie Park Germany this year was terrible. Despite their claim of operating with less than half of the usually possible visitor numbers it was way too crowded there, especially in their kiddie area that you have to cross to get to their Rafting. A lot of visitors didn’t care about social distancing rules, aside from the station platforms they didn’t do a good job of enforcing any rules. I cut my visit short and instead did some sightseeing in Dortmund, a near-ish city where I had to stay for a while anyway to catch my train home in the evening.
I did some hiking trails, something I didn’t do since some mandatory hikes during my school time. Took me completely off guard for how exhausting that stuff can get and I plan on getting more into that as a exercise of sorts. I also stepped up my coffee game from merely drinking it to stay awake to actually caring about brewing it properly and wanting a good taste from it. Got around to play some videogames from my backlog aka pile of shame. Enjoyed the early Assassin’s Creed games more than I thought I would, Breath of the Wild is fun, but just too much for me to ever bother to finish it. And I’m not really good with the combat mechanics in that one. Got a bit back into Planet Coaster, currently playing the Campaign scenarios on the Console Edition.
As for 2021 plans, I don’t really have any. I still doubt that we can make the Dubai trip next year that we had planned for September of this year. I also didn’t visit the UK yet, but I’m not betting on getting their next year either. I would be happy to at least get some Parks in Belgium done next year, the Intamin for Walibi Belgium looks insane, the Mack extreme spinner at Plopsaland seems to be a nice one too and I heard a couple of good things about Fury at Bobbejaanland as well. I mainly just hope that I get to visit the 3 Metal Festivals next year that got cancelled this year. My tickets are valid for whenever they might happen. I also want to be able to meet up with my friends again, I really miss getting drunk with that crazy bunch and singing “Can you feel the love tonight” from the top of our lungs. I almost cried when they played that song a couple of days ago on the radio. Did I mention somewhere that this year managed to mentally grind me down? Maybe get my lazy ass to do some exercise for a change, but that’s cliché new years resolution stuff anyway. And the path to hell is made from new years resolutions.
I hope that you enjoyed 2020 as good as it was possible. And let’s hope that December doesn’t pull something crazy, but at this point I wouldn’t really be surprised if Godzilla would stomp through Tokyo bay as a season finale of sorts.