Heide Park Trip Report
As some of you may or may not know, I visited Heide Park this October during Half Term. Heide Park is North Germany's largest theme park, and currently my 2nd favourite park worldwide after Europa Park. The park itself is quite large and has a large selection of rides. Now onto the elephant in the room (or should I say park?) - Colossos. Colossos was closed for rail part replacement from August 2016 and, whilst I did observe work occurring on the ride, it didn't operate during my visit hence why it is not mentioned. Now, moving swiftly onto the report!
My 1st Heide Park day began with a short walk from the accommodation to a very foggy Heide Park. The park has a quite pretty entrance with a pond and fountains as well as themed buildings. Seeing as me and my Dad (who accompanied me on day 1) are Merlin Annual Passholders, we had decided to buy tickets on the day to get the 50% discount. This was a fairly pain free process actually, it took less than 10 minutes to get tickets with the 50% discount. However, the staff aren't really used to UK Merlin Annual Passes to be honest, so there was some confusion at certain shops! Either way, we got the tickets then headed into the park.
Heide Park is quite unique in that they don't just open up the park for you to join the queues immediately, they hold you at a set of themed gates and perform an opening ceremony. This involves some talking in German, audience interaction and fog machines as well as a moving board, all in all it’s a unique affair and something I haven't seen before. As the gates opened at 10am I was one of the first in the park that day despite only arriving at 9:45 (to buy the tickets).
I initially headed for Heide Park's Mini Dive Machine, Krake, as I had been informed it was the busiest ride in the park. When I reached the Krake queueline however, I found the ride closed (it opened within 20 minutes though).
Unabated, I headed to the 2nd of Heide's main B&Ms, Flug Der Daemonen. When I reached Flug the ride was very quiet (I believe I was on the 2nd train of the entire day) despite only running a 1 train service. I was able to secure my first ride on the front row of the left side. Walking through the queueline and plaza you see some of the great theming around Flug Der Daemonen including an indoor section of the queue through old wooden passages. Also, Flug has some amazing music and sound design (it's easily some of my favourite music from IMAscore and builds up an awesome atmosphere). In the demonic knot, which goes close to the queueline, a screeching sound effect is played, somewhat like the metallic screech The Swarm makes at the bottom of the first drop but better timed. Anyway, onto the ride itself. WOW. This coaster is my favourite wing coaster of the three I've ridden for various reasons. Front row is glass smooth, I think it's the smoothest ride I've ever been on. Towards the back and middle however there is more of a rattle/shake. The first half is really intense, fast paced and has airtime (on a wing coaster!!1!). The near miss of the shop building is very tight too. The slow roll is pretty cool as it gives some good hangtime and laterals. The demonic knot is also amazing and probably one of my favourite elements due to the peculiar forces it creates. All in all Flug Der Daemonen is not ridiculously intense but is extremely fun, well presented and themed. I rode twice in the morning with a walk on queue despite the 1 train ops all day.
Next ride was Krake which I realised had reopened. Before riding Krake my expectations were pretty low, I'd heard it was the weakest of the mini dives and a bit pointless amongst other things. I entirely disagree with this - Krake is an amazing addition to Heide and a well-rounded coaster if a little on the short side. Krake was the only main coaster on full capacity all day and the team were getting the trains out at a pretty decent speed. Krake starts with the floor pulling away - the floorless gimmick actually works surprisingly well on the front and also the edge seats on the main drop and splashdown respectively as you feel like you might fall into the Krake's mouth or get splashed if you're on the edges. The hang over the drop is massively better than Oblivion's as you go to a steeper angle and there is no floor (and therefore nothing between you and the ground except a restraint). The drop is awesome, it feels more beyond vertical than Saw oddly enough, and the splashdown is a real centrepiece for the ride. The Immelmann creates zero-G at the top then the final hill provides some good airtime (better than on some hypers I've ridden honestly). After that you slide into the brakes. I rode Krake a total of 2 times that morning and 6 times that day overall (it was so quiet later on the Ops let me stay on the back row without having to leave the ride and rejoin the queue) and it's cemented itself as one of my favourite coasters.
After a brief panic about a lost credit card and a dash to Guest Services, me and my Dad headed to Desert Race. Desert Race can be described as Rita if Rita succeeded at everything it didn't. It's smoother, arguably more intense and a bit longer too. Desert Race isn't particularly well themed unfortunately, it has some theming but it's more the standard of Six Flags than Merlin. My other issue with Desert Race is there is little to no walkways under the track unlike Rita, which does detract from the experience a little. Desert Race ran one train all day, the operations weren't as good as Rita's normally are, but this didn't matter too much. Desert Race is much smoother than Rita and one of my favourite launched coasters so far, I'd argue it's slightly better than Stealth! The airtime is good, the launch is impactful and I just wish it had more theming! I only rode Desert Race twice on the first day.
Next was a few of the parks lesser rides, starting with Grottenblitz. It's a fun Mack mine train which had a walk on queue and, whilst not my favourite of the type, is certainly fun ride for all. I personally think it's up there with The Runaway Mine Train but not as good as Alpenexpress (which is my personal favourite). Following this I went on Heide's slides (I didn't know they had an official name, Spielplatz, so I called them Sleide's for a bit ) before heading to tackle two coasters I hadn't ridden yet.
Big Loop was next on the agenda. I ended up getting on the front row within 5 minutes and, honestly, this wasn't as bad as its built up to be. Big Loop was honestly decently smooth but a tad comfortable on the loops. As someone who never rode the Corkscrew, it was nice to see its trains in use on another (probably better) ride. Getting front may have meant I got a smoother ride too. After Big Loop I went to Schweiser Bobbahn which had been closed all morning. I only had to queue 5 minutes to get on. Bobbahn is actually a great bobsled, it's my favourite of the three I've done. It's fairly intense, themed and a very long layout. Whilst it isn't as well themed as Europa's bobsled, I was surprised by how good this ride is in other aspects.
After Bobbahn we stopped to eat a packed lunch near Scream, which still wasn't operating. Scream didn't operate that entire day in the end, but luckily it was back up and running for my next day there (Friday). Once lunch was finished I decided to do some of the smaller rides so I didn't end up doing VomesisRider Deutch Edition, starting with Screamie. Screamie was a fun little kiddie drop tower, like Frog hopper but spinning. Screamie was followed by a ride on Panoramabahn (a mini monorail around the pirate area and park front). During Panoramabahn we spotted Krake was walk on, so headed for a ride or two there.
Krake was absolutely dead and I ended up riding it 4 times consecutively, the Ride Ops allowed me to stay on the ride and not even bother rejoining the queue! This is something I'd like to see at Merlin UK parks as there was nobody wanting to ride and staying on didn't cause any disruption to other guests. Once this mini ERT was over, I rode the Observation Tower called Aussichturm, which provides some good views over the park and stays at the top for a decent amount of time, then Hochbahn Monorail, which also provides some good views and uses some of the park's best music.
At about 3:00pm, we headed to the final area we hadn't touched yet - Maya Tal. This is a mini themed area with a decent few HUSS flat rides including a wave swinger, a breakdancer and a Top Spin (rather ironically the one Ripsaw appears to have become a parts donor for). I rode the wave swinger, La Ola, and Aqua Spin (which was running a great sequence with lots of hangtime, much better than Ripsaw ever ran) before heading for some rerides.
This gives me a chance to talk about Heide's overall collection of family and flat rides. In terms of this, Heide have a great selection. In terms of flats and family rides there is a very large selection and Maya Tal's attractions were 0-5 minute queues the entirety of our visits, I'd say they have a better selection than Towers and Thorpe, and possibly even Chessington. There were a few flats I rode on Day 2 that I didn't try on Day 1, but my personal favourites were Aussichturm and the Monorail.
Following this I rerode Desert Race, then Flug Der Daemonen before heading for the park exit at around 4:15. I ended up riding the park's pirate ship, Bounty, on the way out too which was fun and ran a longer sequence than The Blade. This and a trip around the park's main shop concluded our first day at Heide Park, and I left feeling very impressed with the park in almost all respects.
Now onto Day 2! I visited the park on Friday with my brother and both parents on this day. I entered the park at around 10:30am. Unfortunately the weather was not brilliant, there was light to medium rain for most of the day, but it cleared up at around 6:00pm. Our first ride of the day was Krake, seeing as we thought it would get busier later on. We rode Krake twice before heading to Flug Der Daemonen and riding it front and back row. Following Flug, we hit Scream (which operated the whole day this time!)
Scream is one of Heide's most iconic rides and one of the tallest drop towers in Europe (Heide claims that it is the tallest gyro tower in the world, which is true). The ride has its own plaza and Screamie right next to it, where onlookers can watch Scream drop their friends, family or complete strangers from a ridiculous height. The entrance and short queueline are quite pleasant and give the aesthetic of a medieval machine, even if it is not extensively themed. Scream has a fairly nice soundtrack too, and whilst it's not my favourite piece on the park, but it builds anticipation for the ride nicely. Scream starts with a fairly quick ascent whilst you spin and a shortened version of the soundtrack plays (I thought this was a nice touch, I'd like to see this on more drop towers). You rotate slightly at the top before stopping spinning. After a few long seconds wait you hear a loud clunk and you fall. The fall provides amazing airtime and it's a long fall too! You eventually hit the brakes with a lot of force (it's a pretty intense drop tower!) and a massive wave of air. All in all, Scream is an amazing ride and easily in my top 3 flat rides, and is up there with Big Shot in Las Vegas as my favourite drop towers.
After 2 rides on Scream, I decided to return to Schweiser Bobbahn then ride Desert Race. At this point we decided to eat some lunch and escape the rain. We had a packed lunch, but supplemented it with a waffle from Wild Wild Waffel in the park's Western themed kiddie area, Lucky Land. The food was pretty good in general at Heide, and the waffle I had tasted pretty good! In general, I'd say the food was mostly better than at Merlin UK parks (with a few exceptions of course, there are some great Merlin UK food outlets).
After our lunch I once again did a few family rides. This time they were the Heide Park Express (a small train that drives around the park), the Monorail, Aussichturm and Grottenblitz. After Grottenblitz I went on the slides in the park, which I had ridden the day previous but this time they decided they hated me. Due to the rain making it sloppier and a straighter slide that allowed me to build up more speed, I FLEW out of the slide and off the small section they have in front and straight into the wall.
After a minute (or 10) in the toilets cleaning myself off and rebuilding my dignity, I rode Desert Race for the 2nd time that day. As the rain was getting worse and my Brother had homework to do, we headed to the Capitol Pizza Pasta Buffet for a fairly extended meal. It was around 3:00pm at this time and we had set our minds on watching the "Circus of Horrors" show at 5:30, so we ate and did some schoolwork in the Capitol. The Capitol has a lovely view of the park's lake which allows you to look out upon Big Loop, Limit, Flug Der Daemonen and various other rides. We had a few slices of pizza throughout the time there and it was pretty good, definitely better than the pizza served at Thorpe's Pizza Pasta.
After our protracted meal time we headed to Circus of Horrors, but before entering I rode La Ola (Fun Fact: the staff ran the ride with just myself on it as there was nobody in the queue!) .
Circus of Horrors was a surprisingly good show! It is set in a tent near Limit (the park's SLC which I skipped for obvious reasons). The storyline is pretty confusing for a non-German speaker so let me give you my (probably inaccurate version) of the story. In the story, a Girl is going to sleep but then her she starts to have a nightmare. When she wakes up she is in the land of the Dolls, where she is surrounded by terrifying dolls. After this she tries to get back to her own world. The show is practically a musical, there are lots of songs used throughout and most seem to be original for Circus of Horrors, which I found commendable. There were various acrobats and dancers, and it was great visual spectacle. At the end of the show the entire cast did Rocky Horror Show's "The Time Warp" which was good fun (I do like me some Time Warp now and again ). All in all it was not quite Disney quality, but certainly a very enjoyable free show and worth a go if it's still on at future Halloween events!
At this stage it had finally stopped raining and it was time for some night rides. We started with the closest - Scream. Scream was still very quiet at this time with walk on queues - the ride ops let us sit on for a 2nd ride immediately after. At Dusk you can see lots of lights around the park and the surrounding area (mostly in the park though!). The drop is just as spectacular as before if not better at night and dusk.
Following Scream was a night ride on the back row of Flug Der Daemonen. Night also improves Flug Der Daemonen, the lift hill changes colour and whilst no section is pitch black it makes Flug a more unique thrill. Flug also felt a tad faster at night, which made the airtime hill even better! This and the final night ride I took on Flug later shot it up to my Number 2 coaster worldwide from Number 3 (the two night rides just about beat out my experience on Twisted Colossus). Also, I feel how much better the ride looks offride at night is worth a mention as Flug is now one of my favourite presented rides worldwide along with Blue Fire and Nemesis.
Next up was Krake on the front row. The ship you drop into was lit in green and the track was particularly dark due its colours. Dark just improves an already good ride with Krake, it definitely trumps Oblivion at night as you spend more time outside on Krake. The only thing better about Oblivion at night is the lighting in 2016 - Krake's drop is nicely lit up but the orange lights on Oblivion are awesome.
Seeing as we had a decent amount of time I decided to ride Desert Race in the dark. At night it is even more intense and (due to its position in the park) practically pitch black. This is a much better night ride than Rita as Rita's track is lit up and negates the darkness to a certain degree, whereas this is not done on Desert Race. Only disappointment was Desert Race was still only one train. I think Desert Race at night is better than Stealth at night but they're both great and it's totally down to personal preference.
After a ride on Scream in the full darkness, we headed to watch the Fireworks and Fountains Show. Luckily, we had just enough time before to try Himmelsturmer - a unique flat in the How To Train Your Dragon - The Island area. Riders lie in a prone position as on Air, but instead of a vest jacket it's more of a cage Whilst not necessarily my favourite flat it provided a unique sensation of flight, even if it lacks the freedom of Wave Swingers and even B&M flyers. We had just got off the ride when the first firework launched.
The Fireworks and Fountains Show is a nightly occurrence over Halloween and lasts about 10 minutes. Most of this was just fountains and lasers but the finale featured a decent number of fireworks (also it featured Michael Jackson's "Heal the World" which was pretty nice). Whilst it isn't as dramatic as Alton's fireworks, it's not a majorly advertised thing and definitely worth a watch if you are down at Heide!
We hadn't intended to do any more rides, but I managed to convince my group into a ride on Flug Der Daemonen in as close to total darkness as we got. This time was on the back right, which I preferred to back left as it seemed to have less vibrations. This was just as amazing as the first time too Finally we headed back to the campsite, assuming our time at Heide was over.
Day 3: Bonus Round!
Well, needless to say I was wrong. My parents surprised me by giving the go ahead to a short perimeter walk which evolved into a flying visit. As they decided to let us in during what was normally hotel guest ERT (I don't know why honestly, but hey ho) I went for a quick two rides on Krake then one final ride on Scream before exiting the park and heading to the airport. I didn't ride Flug on this final day due to the 30 minute queue and being in a bit of a rush. I gave Heide Park one final goodbye before heading off.
I hope you found this trip report interesting or useful! Thanks for reading (and well done for suffering through my awful writing this far!)