I love Rhinefeld for its level of quaint charm and subtle details. It's one of the only areas where I truly feel like I'm walking the winding cobblestone pathways of a German village, with different touches and authentic experiences immersing you into the area. Also, the new "no more Old Country" attitude hasn't impacted the area yet. Yet.
I love France because I actually I feel like I'm walking through a small french village. Yes, I do wish it was bigger, but it has many amazing things. Amazing ice cream, crepes, coffee, beautiful plants, etc.
Trappers because it is a beautiful array of rides, food, and atmosphere. And because it has one of the best rides in the park. Log Flume! It's also filled with little details, little details make the big details feel small. I just hope it gets restore because it's starting to look a little rough.
I think right now, for me, I'm going to have to choose between Rhinefeld, Killarney, Trapper's Village, and Aquitaine. Banbury Cross would've been in the running, but after this year, not so much. I have to decide, but it's so hard!
It's a toss up between France and New France for me. Trapper's area is always nice to stroll through. At Christmas it's my favorite hamlet for sure. I've always loved the buildings in France; walking up the hill and over the train tracks is the sight in my head whenever I think of Busch Gardens.
I'm going with what is probably a controversial choice: the Wild Reserve. For all that it isn't a traditional European town like many of the other hamlets, I believe is still has a single, cohesive theme, one that I really enjoy. The entire area is serene. It has winding paths through animal displays and ponds, with quiet gazebos and pagodas tucked away. I find the entire area tranquil and relaxing, and a pleasant and fascinating place to escape the chaos of the rest of the park. Of course, I love the animal exhibits and talking with the trainers, as well.
Italy's always been my favorite -- Pompeii is perfect (I don't even mind the sundial too much), and I spent many childhood summer days riding in DaVinci's Garden listening to the serene soundtrack. I know it's a small Hamlet, but I wouldn't change a thing about it!
You raise a very interesting point, Nic. While the Wild Reserve isn't necessarily filled with heavily themed buildings and music, the tranquility and flow of the area is so well designed that the area really feels like a stroll down a wooded path, as opposed to a zoo exhibit. I do find it interesting how the rather subtle designs and touches come together for such a serene experience. I also appreciate the small Irish touches, since the Wild Reserve is *un-technically* part of Ireland (much like Hastings was divided into Hastings and Threadneedle Faire, "Ireland" is divided into Killarney and the Wild Reserve).
Long story short, it's amazing how the intentional subtlety creates such a strong feel in the area. Quite the design marvel in my opinion.
I chose San Marco, as its always been my favorite looking section. Although I include Pompeii.In my opinion Pompeii is the best themed ride, with vines and vegetation over growing the ruins, not to mention the paintings on the walls as you enter.
I just love the look of San Marco before you actually walk into it from the Pompeii side. It looks like you're actually walking into an Italian village, and when you do walk into the area, the feeling is very authentic (though I've never been to Italy )
For me, San Marco is wonderful (beautifully crafted gardens, insane attention to detail) until you reach the plaza surrounding Il Teatro di San Marco. Loud, flashy, nearly modern songs by the likes of Dean Martin have absolutely no place in pre-industrial Italy.