2020 Season In Review

I mean, where to even begin reviewing 2020, truly a season like no other. It's a little melancholy for me writing this as I had so many big plans for 2020, from heading to US North East for my 30th birthday and finally visiting Salem and Haunted Overload to visiting some smaller European parks like Walibi Rhône-Alpes and Majaland Kownaty, 2020 was going to be a mixed bag of revisiting some parks I hadn't been to in a long time alongside mopping up some of the smaller regional European parks that've been on my radar for one reason or another. 

BUT ALAS we all know what happened, a certain virus had other plans for all of us. Despite the disruption, countless flight vouchers, many optimistic late nights chopping and changing plans and trying desperately to cling on to some semblance of a 2020 theme park season, I'm actually quite satisfied with what I managed to pull off this year, regardless of the chaos. More than a handful of trips to some of my old UK favourites, a fair crack at trying to sweep up my remaining UK creds and (miraculously) two trips to the continent to visit Italy and Germany, sneaking in some theme park visits whilst we were there. It's certainly not been the year any of us expected, but that's no reason not to celebrate the smaller things and reminisce about what went down. 

This is my 2020 theme park season in review!

40 new creds for me this year, which isn't too shabby considering. I'll be honest, I really wanted to hit 1100 this year but have had to settle on 1089, which I'm happy with given the circumstances but still a little frustrating. My lowest cred count since 37 in 2017. Once you reach that 1000 milestone it does get harder and harder to get those big cred injections so I'm pretty happy with that!

Belantis Das Abenteuer Reich 

Freizeitpark Plohn

Karls Erlebnisdorf

Wild-und Freizeitpark Klotten

Taunus Wunderland

5. How depressing haha! That said, places like Belantis and Freizeitpark Plohn has been on my 'must-visit' list for some time now so great to finally get those ticked off!

As always, I'll do another blog post before the year is out highlighting all of my favourite new things I rode this year, but for the sake of completeness of this list, I reckon it's probably Oblivion - The Black Hole at Gardaland. Between the incredible theming and generally being a fantastic dive coaster (and the fact that I truly didn't ride much else fantastic this year) it doesn't have much competition!

Probably Wilde Maus at Taunus Wunderland. Despite really loving the place (which let's face it, was most likely because it was very autumnal and covered in pumpkins) this coaster was a janky heap of crap. The train didn't engage properly with the lift hill on dispatch meaning Conor had to get out of the train and help push, leaving me to ride the thing alone, then upon returning to the station the brakes didn't engage and a bashed into the car in front. When we walked past the coaster again later in the day the trains were stuck in position. Think the thing needs removing to be honest!

Easily Karls Erlebnisdorf. I'd always been told this place was fab but never realised quite how fab until we got there. And my god. It's fab personified. The strangest take on an FEC I've ever encountered, the Karls franchise in Germany is a chain of family attractions themed around strawberries. It takes the classic family fun farm/garden centre mechanic and gives it a bizarre niche twist that makes it truly unique and wonderful. The place reeks of strawberries (in a mouthwatering, delicious kind of way) and is themed to the hilt - family flat rides themed to mixing machines, children's play areas themed to ice cream sundaes, mini-Miami's themed to granny's kitchen, a roller coaster themed to potato farming (?!), this place is utterly insane but magical and wonderful purely because it's so strange. I fell in love with it instantly and now have a strange desire to head back to north Germany for a long weekend and tick off the rest of them. 

I had some really excellent days out at theme parks this year but the first one that jumped into my mind when writing this was Thorpe Park Oktoberfest. The day started out a little slow with a pretty heavy hour-long queue for Nemesis Inferno, but quickly petered out into a gloriously warm autumnal September day with an extremely fun and chill atmosphere. We wandered into the festival arena multiple times throughout the day to have some beer and snacks and watch the various entertainment on offer in between riding all of our favourites. I believe we managed all the big coasters and flat rides we wanted to that day, including some glorious sunset riding on my favourite coaster in the park, Stealth. Sometimes it's your old favourites that save the day and you realise why you love the place so much in the first place, and Thorpe is definitely a park I've fallen back in love with in a big way in 2020. 

We had a most excellent pizza and beer in the wild west saloon thing in Gardaland that sticks out for some reason. I would definitely eat there again. Thinking about it though, the food I've consumed at parks this year has been pretty bleak. Need to sort that out in 2021!

I managed two 'big' trips this year, but given how stressful Italy ended up being (more on that shortly) it has to go to our October Germany trip. Ticked off some must-do parks for me, visited some crazy European hidden gems and got to take in some excellent German history and Bavarian culture too (even if it did rain non-stop for three days in the middle of the trip!) It was just nice for me and Conor to get away somewhere to be honest, and to have some kind of 30th birthday celebrations for me. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time so I'm glad we managed to get it done, in 2020 no less.

OK, brace yourselves, this one is wild. So we somehow managed to find ourselves on the way to the airport for a long weekend around Lake Garda, visiting the parks in the area, taking in some of the local culture and heading into Milan for a stint too. We left the house at 4PM for what should have been a one hour drive to Luton Airport ready for our flight at 8PM, so even if our journey took twice as long as it should have we'd still have had plenty of time. Between the weather and rush hour (which decided to make a one-day-only comeback just for us on this day despite being non-existent for the rest of 2020) we ended up pulling in to Luton airport, silently, at 7.15PM, essentially way too late for our 8PM flight. We let out a collective cheer when we were told our flight had been delayed by an hour and miraculously made it to Milan. 

Because the flight was delayed I tried to contact the car rental desk to let them know we would be late by phone and e-mail, but received no response after several attempts. When we arrived into Milan the car desk was closed but luckily our hotel was only 15 mins away so after a bit of faff we got a cab instead and headed back to the airport in the morning, only to be told our car was no longer available. I asked if we could just hire another car and they said they had none left, so I headed to Holiday Autos online and booked another instead...to be picked up from the exact same desk that just told me they had no cars available!

The rest of the trip was fairly inconsequential in terms of travel faff but at one point there was a ridiculous hailstorm that covered the car in dents which miraculously we weren't charged for. What we were charged for however was the fact we didn't return the car with a full tank of petrol due to us getting stuck in traffic leaving Milan for the airport and once again finding ourselves on the brink of missing our flight home and there not being a petrol station in the vicinity of the airport (we looped twice before bailing). So yes, not the most stress-free of travel moments but a fabulous trip sandwiched in between so not all bad!

Seeing my friends for the first time in months in the Alton Towers car park and taking our seats together for our first ride on Nemesis of the season...in July. It was a joyous and euphoric moment that brought so much joy after what I'm sure we can all agree was a fairly rocky start to the 2020 season. Things are still not back to the way they were of course, but that moment, aside from having to wear masks on the coaster, felt like a little slice of normality in an otherwise turbulent year.


So yes, that was 2020 in a nutshell. I'm quite sure (and indeed hopeful) that we'll never see another season quite like it but that definitely doesn't mean we weren't able to enjoy some theme park moments throughout, and I know personally that having some theme park trips to look forward to really helped me make it through. 

So tell me, what were some of your most memorable moments of 2020? I've made a little Twitter template below so feel free to use it to let me know how your year turned out, I'd love to hear all about it!


New creds - XX

New parks - XX

Best new cred - XX

Worst new cred - XX

Best day at a park - XX

Best moment - XX


Talk later xoxo,


  1. I don't have Twitter, so I will post my template of my coaster season 2020 right here :-)

    New creds: 28

    New parks: 3 (Freizeitpark Plohn, Fort Fun and Heide Park)

    Best new cred: Hals-Über-Kopf at Tripsdrill (a really nice invert)

    Worst new cred: Limit at Heide Park (an absolutely dreadful invert)

    Best day at a park: pre-opening with ERT of the two new coasters at Erlebnispark Tripsdrill for season pass owners

    Best moment: my 200th credit - Hals-über-Kopf, an excellent choice!

    Greetings from Southwest Germany!

    1. Sounds like we had a lot of crossover! Limit is so bad isn't it haha.