Alexander: When work sends you to Nederlands on 3hrs notice, what do you do? You go to a theme park, of course!
Avonturenpark Hellendoorn is a park that Sean and I wanted to hit on our Europe trip, but there just wasn’t enough time! Lucky for me, the opportunity to visit came less than a month later!
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After 3 train rides and a bus, I arrived just outside the city of Hellendoorn!
I had a 2.2mile (3.5km) walk to the park, but along the way I saw lots of points of interest. Here’s some fair rides that had been set up the previous week!
Just a tad too late!
After about a mile, I made it to Hellendoorn!
Looks like I’m going the right way!
I walked through a neighborhood and a forest.
I walked where the roads are dirt, but the sidewalk is paved for cyclists! Friendly folks on bikes greeted me as they rode by.
There was an angelic bed and breakfast.
And some lovely pasture.
I made it!
It was so quiet on my visit that admission was sold only in guest relations, and entry to the park was only through the park’s exit and gift shop.
A cute playground makes up the center of the park.
First ride of the day: the BIG coaster!
Hellendoorn is home to one of only 3 Vekoma Tornado coasters, and one of the last examples of Vekoma’s 1st generation rolling stock (which could previously be found on coasters such as Ninja at Six Flags Over Georgia and Sidewinder at Hersheypark).
Tornado is a great (but short) ride.
Tornado aside, almost everything at Avonturenpark Hellendoorn is designed with children in mind.
There’s lots of playground equipment and gentle rides for small children, grandparents, and everyone in between to enjoy!
The foliage in the park is lovely. Lots of mature forestry and flowering plants.
One of their newer rides, a Chinese-themed Disk’O, was down for the day.
Fortunately, all of the park’s most important rides were open, including their log flume.
A 1982 installation from Mack, Wild Wasserbahn is the oldest log flume in Europe.
Like most early flumes, Wild Wasserbahn features two lift hills and finale drop at the end.
Hellendoorn may be a small, modest park, but they have a variety of themed areas and some pretty detailed scenery!
I’m all for rides who have an epitaph for an entrance sign.
Next up! One of the biggest “WTF” roller coasters I’ve ever ridden.
Rioolrat (“Sewer Rat”) is an indoor coaster wedged behind various structures at the back of the park.
An eerie, almost correctional-facility-esque outdoor queue leads to a remotely operated turnstile that admits a handful of guests every few minutes.
The turnstile leads to a small walkway that gives guests a brief glimpse of the coaster.
Through a steel doorway leads a spiraling metal staircase situated over a reservoir of running water.
The stairs lead underground and into a series of catacombs.
(you can’t make this shit up)
Inside, creepily realistic rats live in a series of habitats.
Water from embedded pipe ends flow onto the floor and trickle into open drains scattered around the queue.
The coaster itself (a custom Vekoma Roller Skater) is a lot of fun, but less remarkable than its own queue.
Exiting the ride requires stuffing one’s self through a couple of narrow holes that lead back to the surface.
Alright! Back to some more normal stuff.
Hellendoorn is the first place where I’ve seen a “Souvenir Medallion” machine. It’s some of the only merchandise with Tornado on it!
Donderstenen (“Thunder Stones”), the park’s 3rd and smallest coaster, is a Zierer Force 1 themed to rocks (who are alive and enjoy making “thunder sounds” in their spare time).
The biggest surprise of the visit was definitely Jungle Monster.
Using a vintage Old Mill ride system, Hellendoorn has put together their own little Jungle Cruise -style adventure!
“Here we have a waterfall and a closed Huss Top Spin in their natural habitat.”
Floating overhead is velociraptor-themed cycle railway.
By passing behind the same waterfall as before the park has achieved a perfect “backside of water” gag.
The hippo attack scene is here as well!
One of the park’s most famous rides is a Japanese-themed River Rapids.
Much of the ride is elevated over various service roads.
Shockingly, the queue is partially attached to the flume, and there’s nothing to stop you from potentially getting your hand take off by a boat (other than your own good judgement, of course).
You could very easily slap a rider in the face from the queue if you were so inclined.
Last ride of the day was the park’s monorail.
I love this thing SO MUCH. It gives me such Disneyland Peoplemover vibes.
And you sit single-file over the rail, which is lowkey giving me RMC Raptor vibes at the moment.
Monorail provides excellent views of many of the park’s rides.
You can even kick your feet up with Tornado.
If only there was a train!
A good looking ride nonetheless.
Wild Wasserbahn also looks great from the Monorail.
Here you can see how the flume disappears into the woods for a while.
Back down to ground level!
Well! It’s getting late and I’ve got a 3hr+ journey back to north Amsterdam ahead of me.
Goodbye, Hellendoorn! You are so delightful!
Do you think they’ll give me a ride back to the train station? 😉
COMING SOON! CCCK takes on Holiday World and Kings Island!
Until then, check out some of our other European park visits if you haven’t already:
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