Fort Fun Abenteuerland26th July 2004
Fort Fun Abenteuerland is a small family oriented park built on the side of a mountain. The park manager was waiting for us at the entrance with the news of an impromptu exclusive session on the Devil's Mine (#307). An exclusive session was particularly beneficial on this ride, given that it only has a single twelve seater train; long waits are very much the norm. It is perhaps for this reason that the park has chosen to spice up the queue line by building it into a fun house; the path leads through a moving bridge, a rotating tunnel, a room with sharply angled floors, et al. The coaster itself is fairly decent, and really seems to fit the park despite the fact that it was moved here from an indoor family entertainment centre in Finland.
The group went en masse to the park saloon, which featured a Rodeo ride, apparently named George. Various club members tried this out, most only lasting a few seconds. I decided not to ride myself, but Andrew took it on a total of three times, holding his own for a reasonable length of time before being thrown off. This was followed by a question and answer section with the park boss, who revealed two new attractions for next year; a 1300 metre alpine slide, and a unique hang gliding ride down the side of the mountain. Both were designed to replace the Power Slide attraction that closed down at the end of last year due to technical problems. Closer inspection later on led us to believe that these, er, problems were most likely riders not applying the brakes properly and sending themselves into orbit as a result. The ride looked utterly fantastic; it would have been nice to try it.
Andrew and Niki wanted to ride the Pirat swinging ship, which we ended up enjoying twice; once at each end of the boat. I have never really been a fan of pirate ship rides; they don't make me ill or anything like that; I just don't find them very exciting. The exception to this is of course the superb stand up pirate ship I encountered last year, but I have not seen one of those since. Pirat does at least make it to ninety degrees, unlike many other rides of its type, but otherwise it was, well, a pirate ship!
Wirbelwind (#308) was likely a signature attraction when it first opened twenty two years ago. These days it qualifies mainly as a credit, if a slightly pointless one; the ride cannot have been more than fifteen seconds from the top of the lift hill to the brake run. That was still about ten seconds too long for an early eighties Vekoma product!
It was at this stage of the morning that my younger brother decided to ride the Roll Over, and having completed it once he then elected to go for a second try. While he was doing this I took three laps on the Marienkäferbahn (#309), the latter two thanks to an enthusiastic ride operator. By the time I'd disembarked I found my brother lying prone on a bench, complaining of feeling sick. This was not entirely surprising!
With the interesting dry rides out of the way we took a spin on the Wild River log flume. While the ride wasn't as spectacular as that at Heide (is anything?) it was very neat to find a drop into an underground tunnel. We ended our time in Fort Fun with a ridiculous eighteen consecutive rides on the Rio Grande rapids ride. It wasn't making us too wet, and we were having an interesting conversation, so I figured why not? The ride operators thought we were mad. They were probably right.
Erlebnisberg Sternrodt26th July 2004
The awful weather had begun to subside by the time we left Fort Fun, providing a clear sky for our next stop. Sternrodt Mountain is predominantly a ski resort, but it makes money during the summer months thanks to the presence of a massive alpine slide called the Sternrodtler. Nothing with a rider controlled brake could ever be considered a roller coaster, but it is certainly a close relation. The sensation of speed on this ride is amplified by the precarious seating position, and while it probably isn't possible to fly off the track it certainly feels like it might be. I managed ten rides in total during our two hour exclusive session, and I'm pleased to say that the only time I used the brake was at the end of the track.