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AstroDan

Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:46 pm

As I am sure many of you are aware; myself, Matt, DanB, John, Islander and Michael are spending a few days in the Hamburg region of North Germany - mainly to experience Hamburg Spring Fair, Hansa-Park (1 day) and Heide-Park (2 days).

Here's todays thoughts on our trip to Hansa-Park, which is located around a 1 hour drive to the North East of Hamburg, right by the sea overlooking Scandinavia and the Baltic states.

Hansa-Park

Today was the first day of the season at this fairly small park, which has recently started getting a name for itself following installations of "story" based rollercoasters and other themed attractions. It's actually been around for decades and was briefly a Legoland park - although no traces of this remain.

We arrived a little before 9am, paid our admission and entered through the small, but picturesque Hanseatic style entrance building. A band were greeting guests and characters posing for photographs. Flower arrangements were laid out in front of us and arranged to show todays date "15.4.11".

A fairly open entrance plaza area was well themed with buildings around the edges, which housed shops and information units.

We made our way left, passing the Schwarzkopf looping coaster, with one destination on our minds. However, upon passing Crazy Mine, a standard layout Maurer Sohne wild mouse, we popped in for a ride. The queue was around 5 minutes and the ride was running several cars. The theming was excellent. Not quite up there with rattlesnake but not far off and in better condition. I doubt i need to explain the ride to you, but the usual Maurer sharp brakes and the like all made up to a decent, solid family coaster. After riding, we noticed that the new for 2011 kiddie coaster wasn't yet open do we ventured down to Die Glocke. It's an insanely low capacity (6 per ride) Maelstrom/Flip Flop type experience, however rather than sitting in a circle, it's a gigantic bell with the riders coming down from the middle. The queue was around 10 minutes (3 ride cycles). For a ride with a throughput LESS than 100 per hour, it was excellently themed with fire and water effects timed to certain points on the rides swing. It wasn't intense - but it span relentlessly at times and was a great laugh.

Next was Rio Dorado - a spinning raft ride similar to Storm Surge at Thorpe. Wow! What theming! Indeed, the theming was amongst some of the best in the park! A very detailed external building, queue line and surrounding ride area made this a great attraction. It didn't spin that much (it had its moments) but there was a short river section at the end, too. It made Storm Surge look utterly terrible and even put the sword to the ride at Parc Asterix. Impressive.

We made our way next to the giant bouncy inflatable area :P - which was just a great place for a laugh. God help them if TTF ever visit en masse! We then did the forgettable Monte Zuma Tower drop. Small and unremarkable with a pointless soundtrack. The others rode Torre del Mar; a star flyer ride with immense views over the sea. Note, no queues here.

After this, we headed round to the very well themed El Paso Express. This was a fairly steady double bayerncurve attraction, which hurtled forwards and backwards at odd angles. A laugh if nothing spectacular!

Next, we headed over to the star of the show, and no doubt the one you've all heard of, Fluch von Novgorod. I will get the negative out of the way first - two cars, low throughput (odd, as everything else had a less than 10 minute wait). Still, this was the main reason for visiting so we spent 80-85 minutes in the queue (we also rode a second time later in the day and waited 60 minutes). On to the more positive news... well, what can I say? This ride could be picked up right away and dropped into Efteling, Islands of Adventure, Happy Valley... any of the worlds greatest "themed" parks. The queue is incredible, with several rooms featuring video, SFX, audio, great lighting and beautiful theming with lots of detail. Externally, the ride is stunning with large towers and lots of crows, scarecrows etc. It's an absolute work of art and is probably the best overall coaster "themed" experience in Europe. It's based around a pretty intricate story and this is only really explained fully in Germany. Never mind...! The station is miniscule, but it works well. There's room for just one car there, and the dispatch arrangement causes lights to flicker, a loud soundtrack to be heard, doors to open and the car proceeds out. You arrive to a special effects scene as part of a dark ride, where there is some music "Nov-go-rodddd" and some words muttered about your peril presumably, before more gates open in front of you and you pass to another scene. Note the cars stop for 15-20 seconds at each of these scenes. Some more words are muttered and some animatronics play their part. Another set of gates open and you proceed forward. Suddenly, you lurch into a Saw-style indoor drop which takes your breath away momentarily. A flash tells you that you have just had your picture taken and, rather than Saw where you meander round a corner, you are thus launched immediately in absolute darkness to 63mph via a LIM system. You pass round a sharp corner at haste through smoke and outside, into an effective airtime hill (better on row 1). The car then travels through an overbank, into an interesting track configuration and then round into an inline twist element before braking into a tunnel. Thus far, the ride was much better on row 1 than row 2. You then travel inside again, with doors closing behind to plunge you into darkness. The car then stops. Silence. You hear a thudding, loud heart beat. The car then begins to rise up the vertical lift element. It stops half way up and a video screen to your left shows a man talking to you... he stops and the car resumes motion upward. You see a screen at the top where crows are flying across, and darkness is clearly surrounding you and the rest of your fellow riders. The car then reaches the top of the lift and plunges, very fast in absolute blackness, down the 97 degree drop. Still in darkness, into another overbank, down and into a tight corner before a short straight section and the magnetic brakes. The car then rises slightly and stops. An air cannon blasts the car from the left and an animatronic falls down infront of the car from the roof. It then retracts, the car rolls forward and you reach the security of the station again. You are free! Although, there is then a fully themed slide and maze by which you must exit into the stop. Wow! What can I say? Although the external coaster is perhaps somewhat weak, the overall experience offered by this ride is one that is barely surpassed in Europe even by the very best parks. Low throughput it may be but this is an exceptionally well packaged experience which I am delighted to have experienced. They have hit the bullseye with this and if this is the way they wish to progress - they are going to do VERY well. Fluch von Novgorod is a 10/10 ride experience. The launch was awesome. If it's your first time, try row 1 not row 2.

A quick summary of the rest of the rides then. Nessie, a Scwarzkopf looper was great fun. The back rows also offered some ejector airtime on drops, and the interaction with the Vekoma Junior coaster was awesome! The brake run was LOUD and full of strobing lights, too. Next door was Rasender Roland, the best Vekoma Junior I have been on. Quite long with some good helixes, and the interaction with Nessie was awesome! Cracking junior coaster. The park also had two log flumes - a classic one which was moderately wet but largely forgettable and a much larger one with one rather daunting drop... although it wasn't particuarly wet apart from for me on row 1...

We also rode on the new-for-2011 due Schlange von Midgard (or Gandalf's Schlong). It is set to be the kiddie equivalent of Novgorod - with a full story. It's clearly got some great theming, but sadly the ride was nowhere near completion (6 weeks minimum it will be) so guests were queueing at the exit and being ushered in to the station for a ride. IKEA was in evidence and nothing was complete - much of the roofing was to be done and wood panelling had not been finished. However, credit to Hansa for not letting the public down. They made it clear it was unfinished and it was nice to just have a go. Two laps and a nice little coaster, slightly more oomph than Troublesome Trucks due to its superior size. Can't wait to see what happens to it when it's complete!

Overall - a great day. An immaculate park with some areas of excellent theming. With competition from Heide Park down the road, I really feel that if they continue their focus on story based rides they will do very well. There are some great staff too, and the food for lunch was excellent. Some parts of the park reminded me of PortAventura but on a smaller scale. Novgorod is truly worth the visit on its own and I would definitely return to the park in a few years when they have had the chance to install something else. It's clearly playing second fiddle to Heide Park in the region but on some of the recent evidence we have seen today, it's not necessarily going to stay like that for long. Merlin should be worried...

So yeah - hope you enjoyed reading it! Heide-Park tomorrow so will try to update when I can, but unsure on WiFi at Heide Park resort, where we are staying!

Over and out for now

Dan :)
 
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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:15 am

I enjoyed Nessie too! although whilst I did like the theming on novgorod, I wasn't that keen on the ride - the outdoor bit wasn't as intense as it looked, and the indoor bit was rather rough (actually prefer saw!)

oh - and the cheeseburger and chips at hansa was delicious!

colossos is amazing!
 
AstroDan

Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:57 am

Rough? I found the ride wasn't rough at all on either row... it was great! Saw is LOL in terms of theming when compared to be honest!

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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:04 pm

Great trip report!

One thing I am very curious about is DIE GLOCKE. I'm amazed it didn't have a longer queue (and I mean queue as in time, not length). Presumably if Hansa Park get another decent coaster and have another jump in visitor numbers, either DIE GLOCKE would have to be removed or turned into a pay-to-play? Surely it can't survive unless the park gains no visitors in the future?

The one coaster I'm looking forward to the review of is the one nobody's mentioning... Collosos.
 
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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:35 pm

"Sam" wrote:
The one coaster I'm looking forward to the review of is the one nobody's mentioning... Collosos.

Same here Sam! El Toro is my favourite coaster, so it will be interesting to see how it's European counterpart stacks up.
Interesting comments about Fluch von Novgorod AstroDan. The experience sounds great, but the fact that it is still a Eurofighter (running on two trains with a 1.5 hour queue) slightly puts me off making the journey there.
Look forward to hearing about Heide Park.

---- Post Info Added ----

Just spoken briefly to AstroDan.
Quick thoughts on Heide Park are as follows...

Park is quite nice with some really good touches, but the Merlin effect really shows through with some of the more recent touches and loads of bounce-back advertising etc
SLC is completely terrible.
Colossos, really good - somewhere between EGF and Silver Star in ride experience. Not huge amounts of ejector.
Krake is fine, drop is not as good as Oblivion or Sheikra and the ride feels like it could do with more elements as the drop alone is not good enough, theming is nice but not enough. Nice station.
Desert Race - smoother that Rita.
Can't remember anything else but I'm sure he / the rest of the group will eleborate when they have net access!
 
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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:08 pm

One of the things that annoyed us about heide park when I went with CF, was the dificulty in getting drinks - all the food stalls had massive queues, and none of the souvenir stalls sold drinks...

Colossos blew me away!

Big loop was actually pretty good though!
 
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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:44 pm

Will do a full trip report at some point, but am really tired after not long getting home, so will just add a few thoughts on the top 2 coasters of the trip;

Colossos is a top 5 coaster for me, I'm a bit of a woodie fanboy as it is and I also love ejector airtime, this fulfilled both criteria. I rode a total of 9 times, once front row, once in the middle and the rest in the back car, including twice back row. As you can probably guess, back row is the place to be ;) I must admit it didn't quite live up to expectations, I was half expecting it to be my new number 1, but it was still an amazing coaster, added to by the fact that there was no stapling of restraints as there is on EGF. In fact on our last go, on the back row, I could almost stand up my restraint was so loose!

The first drop is immense (admittedly not as good as the perfection that is EGF's :P ), and you barely touch your seat if sat near the back. This leads into a couple of strong airtime hills, and although the ejector is nowhere near as forceful as EGF's, it was very sustained and you literally spend more time off your seat than on it in that first section. This leads into a turnaround where unfortunately it loses a lot as it heads over a couple of 'dead' hills and this is followed by a helix that is very bumpy and almost Gerstache inducing. Thankfully it shines again at the end! After picking up a fair pace around the bumpy helix it launches over 3 bunny hops that are again full of airtime :) Overall a top class coaster and definitely my new number 1 woodie!

I will also add that it looks great, it is quite an imposing structure and for a woodie fan like myself it is somewhat akin to porn. I'm sure DanB will have some great photos of it ;)

-----------------

Whilst Colossos may not quite have lived up to my full expectations, a coaster that surpassed them somewhat was Fluch Von Novgorod. Astrodan has summed it up perfectly in his post above, such an amazing experience. The theming is certainly among with the best I've experienced, from the buildings, the music and outdoor queueline to the dark ride sections and especially the indoor queue which is right up there with DVH at Efteling, it is so detailed and immersive. Fortunately, unlike DVH, Fluch also has a decent coaster to go with all the theming. The 90 degree drop straight into the LIM launch (all in the dark) is great fun, as is the end section from the vertical lift which is taken in pitch blackness. Admittedly the outdoor section is quite weak, although it seemed a lot better on row 1. It is certainly not a patch on the likes of Speed in terms of layout but I'd take this experience everytime!

As for where I'd rank it, I'm still not sure. The more I think about it the higher it gets lol. It could even push my top 10! Will have to have a think about it :?
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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:17 am

"Mattmash" wrote:
Will do a full trip report at some point, but am really tired after not long getting home, so will just add a few thoughts on the top 2 coasters of the trip;

Colossos is a top 5 coaster for me, I'm a bit of a woodie fanboy as it is and I also love ejector airtime, this fulfilled both criteria. I rode a total of 9 times, once front row, once in the middle and the rest in the back car, including twice back row. As you can probably guess, back row is the place to be ;) I must admit it didn't quite live up to expectations, I was half expecting it to be my new number 1, but it was still an amazing coaster, added to by the fact that there was no stapling of restraints as there is on EGF. In fact on our last go, on the back row, I could almost stand up my restraint was so loose!

The first drop is immense (admittedly not as good as the perfection that is EGF's :P ), and you barely touch your seat if sat near the back. This leads into a couple of strong airtime hills, and although the ejector is nowhere near as forceful as EGF's, it was very sustained and you literally spend more time off your seat than on it in that first section. This leads into a turnaround where unfortunately it loses a lot as it heads over a couple of 'dead' hills and this is followed by a helix that is very bumpy and almost Gerstache inducing. Thankfully it shines again at the end! After picking up a fair pace around the bumpy helix it launches over 3 bunny hops that are again full of airtime :) Overall a top class coaster and definitely my new number 1 woodie!

Hang on... so it's not your favourite coaster, but it's top 5. I thought Zeus was your favourite coaster overall? So Zeus has dropped at least two places?! :P
 
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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:57 am

Zeus was my number 5 overall (but number 1 woodie) :P

EGF/Mamba/Nemmie are my top 3 and are pretty interchangable depending on my mood lol. If asked now I'd say EGF was 1. I'd put Colossos at 4 probably, meaning of course that Zeus would be knocked out of my top 5.

Edit: Just to add that at one point in 2009, Zeus was a contender for my number 1 (between it and Nemmie), but it is since then that I've had my first rides on Mamba, EGF and Monster, the ones I now rank above it. Also our rides in 2010 were not quite as good as our rides in 2009, it didn't seem to be running great (although still very good!).
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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:20 am

Interesting. I was really hoping that Colossos was going to get rave reviews due to it's similarity to El Toro, which is my favourite coaster. However having spoken to another friend who has been on both, apparently Colossos is not half as good.

It still sounds really good though, and I can't wait to try it out. For me, a Heide Park visit will always be about Colossos.
 
AstroDan

Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:14 pm

Colossos for me is my no.3 woodie. It hi awesome but I think twisty layouts are more my scene. I would prefer both Troy and TdZ over it.

Full heide park review of mine to come soon!

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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:14 pm

Heide Park

We spent a little over two days at Heide-Park, staying in their Holiday Park - their equivalent of the Camp Resorts/Tipi Villages at Phantasialand and Europa-Park. Great for the budget or money conscious visitor, with prices starting from €20 per person per night in a basic hut to €35 per person per night in a larger hut with en suite facilities. We chose the latter.

The Holiday Camp itself was fairly large, definitely larger than the equivalents at EP and PL. It had a fairly pleasant, bright entrance area with a very "Splash Landings" reception desk! There was a very loosely themed bar/café next door "Acapulco" which served a basic evening buffet, breakfast and drinks. Prices were very reasonable although the evening entertainment left a lot to be desired. Embarassingly awful doesn't even begin to cover it. That said, for the money - the entire place was OK. It could have done with more theming and music similar to Europa-Park, but all in all we were quite happy. It was a 10 minute walk to the park entrance, which also passed the resort hotel "Port Royal" on the way. The hotel was very nice. We ate at the buffet there on one evening and, whilst it was a fairly hefty €26.90 per person, it did include unlimited soft drinks, beer and red/white wine which made it worthwhile. The ambience was very pleasant although the restaurant wasn't particularly busy. Selection of food was ample whilst not being gigantic. The starters were delicious and the mains excellent too. There was a good range of desserts including waffle makers for guests to use .The staff were really excellent. Downstairs was the bar, with a gigantic stage. Very good quality entertainment took place, with 3-4 in the cast. Lots of comedy and magic with special effects. Far, far superior to anything at either Splash Landings or ATH - that said, Port Royal has been designed with a large entertainment venue in mind. Definitely the best entertainment I have seen in Europe within a hotel itself. The theming was very good in the hotels, lots of touches everywhere - and it backed onto the parks Pirate area (around 50 metres from KRAKE) with a special entrance for hotel guests. The back of the hotel was very well themed, too. Perhaps it could have used more facilities - I didn't notice a pool, spa area or other - but it was still great.

Onto the more pressing matter of the park. Well, what did I expect going into it? I had no idea. Literally. Pretty much every other German park I have been to was immaculate, well presented with great entertainment and well themed attractions (less so for Holiday Park but even then, it's very clean and tidy). I wasn't sure what the "Merlin effect" would be like - given that the quality of more recent developments at non-Merlin German parks has been superior to Merlin developments in the UK. So, really - I just wasn't sure.

A typically German style park entrance, very nice indeed. No live band here like Hansa-Park as you walked in, but a pleasant main entrance theme played with some characters greeting guests. To the right here was a closed area which had a Mack Tea Cup ride in it - it looked very Efteling but seemed to be SBNO. Unsure why. There were lots of flowers around, very nicely planted which was something that couldn't really be said for the UK Merlin Parks (although Chessington has a small selection of floral plantations). I won't describe our tour of the park, but instead review areas as I go around the park map which, by the way, is a pretty much clone of the AT 2007-2009 map although obviously it's Heide-Park! A great map, for sure which was very easy to use.

The Splash Battle, Topilaula Schlact we didn't ride, was like a more basic version of Battle Galleons - although I loved the exploding water effects rather than what is offered at Alton Towers. Near by was Krake. The ride opened late on the Saturday due to a press event first thing and technical problems over lunchtime, but was running with a queue of around 50 minutes come later in the afternoon. We joined it at around 5.15pm and quite honestly I can say I had absolutely no expectation for the ride at all, given that Sheikra wasn't threatening my top 10 and this was smaller, and shorter. The queue line is not particularly well themed, although the main facade has cannons coming out of it and the queue audio is appropriate. There is a Th13teen style baggage drop area which works well and didn't seem to be holding the queue up at all. Up some stairs and into the building, which again is nicely themed although there is nothing in terms of SFX in here, just a quick set of stairs and down into the station area. The batching area gets very congested as there is no batching and everyone wants the front row. The station itself is well themed, but was a little bright. There isn't any dispatch audio, although the noise from the floor goign down/up would probably drown out anything - but some flickering lights a la Novgorod would have been cool, I guess. The trains are typical B&M - very comfortable. That said, staff were pushing rather than pulling on restraints, meaning that on occasions, I was a little too stapled in to the seat. The train pulls out, and very swiftly gets to the top of the hill, where unlike Oblivion,it coasts round to the drop rather than uses a chain. It then engages with the drop mechanism, pauses for several seconds. There is a great view, although it's just not the same (much like Sheikra) when you can see the drop all the way to the bottom. The base of the drop is well themed, with ship wreck effects and tentacles (this, by the way, the only time on the ride there is any evidence of Octopus' - there is no mention in the queue/station nor a story, obviously aside from the ride name). The drop is fun but not intense in any way, with some minor floating going on (but not as much as Oblivion). What follows is the spectacular splash effect (which you get wet on back rows, outside seats) and then into the slow inversion (which isn't particularly exciting, although it's cool front row on the sides) and down into a small drop, into a very slight floaty airtime hill - nothing compared to a B&M Mega Coaster, though - and then round to the brakes. All in all, it's going to do very well for the park because it's a great thing to look at. But, considering it's a vertical drop, floorless cars etc. - it just doesn't seem to create much sensation. It's VERY smooth but almost entirely devoid of ANY forces whatsoever in all seats. It did grow on me slightly during the trip, but I would place it above only Air in terms of the B&M coasters I have been on, and even then - it's very short which Air at least isn't so much. In fact, it barely feels any longer than Oblivion. So, yes - it's pretty well themed (although the ambience isn't a patch on, say Th13teen) but there isn't enough thrill there and the layout is far, far too short. Enjoyable, it sure is but no more than that!

Near by was Wildwasserbahn 2, a log flume attraction with very nice looking 4-seater boats. Wow, great theming on this one! The queue was inside a mine and the station was all inside too. There were several simple dark ride sections, lots of navigating round a sort of castle - with brilliant drop! The drop was huge and exciting. You then do a 180 degree turn around and float past the drop again... thus getting wet as another boat comes down next to you! There was also another log flume at the park but this was largely forgettable, by no means bad - just nothing special rather like the Flume but shorter.

Near the log flume was another of Heide-Park's famous rides - Scream. I believe this is a converted observation tower that was completed when the park was under Tussauds operations. it is pretty well themed and has a good soundtrack to go with it (similar to Detonator but not the same). What is very special about this ride is that it's a Gyro Drop tower, seats 40 people and is 338' tall. Truly, truly IMMENSE. Upon boarding, I was somewhat anxious as I am not a big fan of heights at prolonged periods. The ride is also, as I forgot before boarding, built on a bit of a hill so 338' actually feels more like 400'. Therefore, as the ride starts its slow ascent, you leave the station and already can see for miles around. Cue much swearing, eye closing and general panic. In fact, I don't remember the last time I was so scared on a theme park ride. By the time we reached the top, I felt so exposed that I just wanted it to drop so I could get off! the gondola stopped rotating and froze for a few seconds. I opened my eyes, marvelled and panicked once more at the unbelievable height and BANG - we dropped .The drop goes on for what seems like forever and is absolutely top class. Brilliant! The restraints release immediately, and my hands were shaking. I managed to bring myself to do it a second time on the second day but I declined any more than that. Definitely the best outdor drop ride I have ever been on - sheer genuis. Terrifying to boot! I still can't get over the height even now.

The parks Mack Bobsled is also near by, the Bobbahn. Running 3 or 4 trains during our visit, it's themed much like Avalanche and its namesake at Europa-Park. However, I am pleased to say, this is the best example I have been on. It's suitably high, with a great indoor helix. I really enjoyed it, in spite of the vibrations. It's great throughput and a very good length. It does die just before the end, but who cares? Most of it is super, family fun! Definitely a good ride.

I am not going to say much about Limit the parks off-the-shelf Vekoma SLC. Just dire. Rougher than Infusion - check. Themeless - check. Dirty - check. One train - check. It's a waste of space and I hope they remove it. It's vile. Big Loop is next door and this, I am pleased to day is a very nice ride. An old Vekoma looper running arr Corky's old train! The Ug Land theme has gone and it's been refurbished. It was a pretty smooth ride and it was great to be reunited with the train from the ride on which I once worked at Alton Towers :) .

Nearby was the parks Maya area, which was basically Huss Land aside from the Waveswinger. Pretty well themed with a good soundtrack. Magic was a Huss Magic but had a short setting. Nothing special. Next door was Lady Moon. I have no idea on the ride type, but it was great fun! Quite intense at times and I really enjoyed it. I didn't do Huracan, a basket type thing which pinned you to the side, but Aquaspin, a Huss Top Spin I did. The restraints were VERY tight on this although the programme was OK. Dry too, the fountains just for effect. There was a Huss Enterprise next door, called El Sol which was fine (just like Thorpe's or Alton's) and Breakdance next door. All good fun, if nothing fast like you'd get at a funfair. The Zierer waveswinger took pride of place in the area and sat in the middle. Called La Ola it was slow and unremarkable, if well themed.

Beyond the Maya area was Colossos, the renowned Intamin Woodie. It ran two trains the whole time with a queue between 10 and 20 minutes. The first drop was sensational, particularly towards the rear - with solid airtime. This was followed by a great airtime hill and then another. The airtime level was somewhere between Silver Star and EGF. Not "ejector" as I expected quite but certainly sustained and more than just basic floater. The middle of the ride was fast but fairly uneventful. This was followed by Gerstache Helix and then into 3 great airtime bunny hops which were fantastic. A corner and into the brakes. Considering it's the worlds tallest and fastest wooden coaster at the moment, it wasn't quite as fierce as it may have been, and I feel I am more of a twisty (Troy etc.) wooden person. That said, it's well worth a ride and definitely in the top two or three wooden coasters I have been on. Cracking fun and great in all seats - but especially at the back!

Grottenblitz, the parks Mack Powered coaster was near by and this was just a blatant copy of Europa-Park's. Opening one year later than EP's, it's similarly themed in terms of queue/station but the main helix isn't themed much and the cave itself well... we ended up calling it Ghettoblitz or Grottenbland frankly! It's not a patch on EP's and I frankly missed the lemon grass. By no means a bad mine train, but with high standards these days, it wasn't up to much. It seemed to brake very early too? Next door was Mountain Rafting, an Intamin Rapids Ride. Well - what can I say? Amazing! The best Intamin Rapids in Europe that I have yet been on. So many waves, great water falls, lots of geysers and super theming too. A genuine top class ride with the original, 6 -seater boats. No worry about spacing the boats either - just high capacity and great fun! This was one of the best rides in the park in terms of my own enjoyment! It wasn't soaking wet, but there were loads of splashes and sprays! Awesome.

Desert Race was awkwardly placed at the edge of this area. baiscally, Rita's newer clone - although the ending is different. Suprisingly... I found this rode much better than Rita. Sure, the launch and initial hills are very similar, but there's more airtime on this and the last two hills offer a lovely double dose of airtime that Rita does not. It's also VERY smooth! The theming is also better, if nothing revolutionary. It ran two trains over the weekend but only one on the last morning we had. I really enjoyed it! Great soundtrack too :P .

Heading back round towards the park entrance now, passing Okti - a BRILLIANT flat ride for the family. Much like Hydre de Lerne at Parc Astérix, it offers pops of airtime in abundance is hilarious. We did this 4 times over the break because it was good!

The park has a Monorail which goes around the lake. It offers views of most of the parks rides, and is well worth the 10 minute tour. Lucky Land is a newish Western Area but is fairly forgettable, the main attraction being Indy Blitz a kiddie coaster that is rubbish when compared to Die Schlange von Midgard or Rasender Roland at Hansa-Park!

The park had two shows on, which we saw part of one .It looked great with lots of cast members and special effects. Far more extravagant than anything at Alton Towers. Although not as immaculate as Europa-Park or Phantasialand, Heide-Park is very well kept and the gardening team are clearly hard at work every day keeping all the flowers and buishes well pruned! It's really pleasant to walk around. It's not the best themed park I have been to, more styled - and Merlin seem to be trying to improve things in this regard (although shoving pirate faces onto a car ride called Monza Piste seriously isn't ideal... Food was nothing special but not bad, and we received our Annual Pass discount on all purchases (10%) which was nice and helped beat the dire exchange rates. Loads of adverts for annual passes and multi day tickets everywhere, which wasn't great... but then, that is Merlin for you.

For me, Heide-Park ranks below Europa-Park, Phantasialand, Alton Towers, Efteling and the Disneyland Resort in Europe but would definitely come above PortAventura and several other parks. It's certainly a 2-day affair and well worth a visit. They definitely need to keep developments pristine though due to Hansa-Park's proximity and the competition from wider Germany itself being so high. I do not feel KRAKE is about to threaten Blue Fire, Black Mamba nor Fluch von Novgorod in terms of enthusiast perceptions BUT as a ride for the majority of guests, I am sure it'll work wonders for Heide Park.

I really enjoyed myself!

:)
 
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Mattmash
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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:41 pm

Just a few ORP's from the holiday. I apologise for the quality of my scanner!

This first one just had to be posted, John's expression is priceless! Sorry Bee :P Also, love the way the Heide Park logo is obscuring me somewhat :P
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Love the expression of the young girl on the last one too :)
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AstroDan

Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:04 pm

May I point out my expression on the KRAKE photo is because I was in the process of being sprayed by water, as that is the rear row outside seat.

:P
 
caffeine_demon
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Re: Hansa-Park & Heide-Park: 14-18 April 2011

Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:47 pm

DAMN! I want to go back!

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