Review: Joris en de Draak

Back in 1991, Efteling opened its first wooden coaster, the Pegasus. I had the chance to ride this coaster on both of my previous visits, and always felt it lacked a little oomph, a little something special. So when I head that Efteling were replacing Pegasus with a pair of new, duelling wooden coasters I was excited and intrigued to see if they would be any better than their predecessor. Even though wooden coasters aren’t generally my favourites, I went into Joris with an open mind, and it’s a good thing I did, because I can safely say that Joris is an awesome ride.

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If I had to describe Joris in just one word, I’d choose ‘relentless’. You have to question why in this day and age, with so much technology available to us, people are still building roller coasters out of wood. The answer, simply enough, is because people still love a classic wooden coaster. Joris is exactly that. It’s fast, it’s rough, it’s aggressive, and it feels out of control – all the things a self-respecting woodie should be and do.

Despite this rough and aggressive nature, though, Joris is not an uncomfortable ride. Thanks to the very comfortable Milennium Flyer trains that manufacturer Great Coasters International are so renowned for, you can enjoy every moment of airtime, every sharp turn and every change in banking and direction without worrying about being rattled around too much. Which is good, because Joris throws you around like a bouncy ball inside a tin can. The racing element only adds to the experience, and while the blue (water) side does seem to win in the vast majority of cases, it’s always fun to get competitive with the other side and try and assert yourselves as the best dragonslayers.

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Credit has to go, once again, to the themeing department that have lavished so much attention onto yet another Efteling ride. Joris has an epic soundtrack that really sets you up for the race ahead, and the dragon that lurks within the coils of the ride is pretty impressive to behold. It even breathes fire, something I didn’t think would be possible in such close proximity to a wooden coaster. While it may not be as intensively themed as Baron or Hollander, it still looks very nice and is a great addition to the whole experience of riding.

So the long and the short of the story is that Efteling now have a world-class wooden roller coaster to add to their lineup of attractions. This will only help to assert them as a park that truly does cater for all ends of the intensity spectrum by providing family-friendly experiences alongside more thrilling attractions. And with a pretty low height restriction of 1.1m, even younger dragonslayers are sure to be thrilled by this one – make sure they hold on tight, though! Joris is a great ride in a great location, and is easily one of the most enjoyable wooden coasters I’ve been on to date.

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See you around =] x x

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