Bayern Park

1st May 2009

Another long weekend coaster trip began with four of the most unapologetic credit whores in the business travelling to a fairly obscure park in south eastern Germany. Our combined coaster count was just shy of five thousand credits, and given that one might have expected that at least one of us would have been armed with a printed ride list from the database to ensure that we couldn't miss anything. Unfortunately we all failed in this regard, and due to an accident of park geography we ended up failing to ride (or see!) the Froschbahn. Oops.

Bayern Park

Germany has more small freizeitparks per head of population than anywhere else in the world, and I've yet to visit one that hasn't impressed me. Bright colours and impeccable landscaping are the hallmarks of the genre, and thus it was here, with a park spanning a deep valley. Each side features an open tube alpine slide which takes full advantage of the terrain to thrill riders. Though the layouts are different the two attractions feel much the same, with the only obvious change being the cars; the one at the back of the park features high seat backs, while the one at the front has none at all.

The major coaster in the park is the Achterbahn (#1331), one of a few installations of a ride that is referred to variously as the Tivoli New or the Tivoli Max. The design is an oversized member of the common Tivoli range, albeit far less common than the usual three models. It is distinctive chiefly for its ridiculously long train which can seat forty people in two across carriages. While I only had the opportunity to ride once towards the back it was still obvious that the experience at the other end of the train would be quite different; the front car made it all the way to the bottom of the main drop before any noticeable acceleration took place.

The park is currently constructing an indoor arena for bad weather, and one of the attractions due to be installed is a Heege Freizeittechnik Butterfly. This will be in addition to the existing outdoor Butterfly (#1332), an oddity which will no doubt cause endless debates among the coaster counting fraternity. Rather than pour petrol on what is fundamentally a very silly debate I'll note that an indoor facility will be the icing on the cake for what is already a top notch family park. Highly recommended.

 

Churpfalzpark

1st May 2009

The second park of the day was if anything even more beautifully landscaped than the first, a particular highlight being the singularly impressive collection of flowers found along the main thoroughfare. They certainly provided a scenic backdrop for the Schmetterlings-Pendelbahn (#1333), the second butterfly coaster of the day. We were reliably informed by a slightly embarrassed staff member that the ride is in fact called the banana coaster. Perhaps this explains why the European Union was so anxious to set regulations on the curvature of bananas a few years ago!

After our epic fail earlier in the day we managed to ride the Marienkäferhochbahn (#1334). In reality it seemed like we'd never stop; the operator sent it round for ten laps of the track, which proved to be more than ample. Perhaps we should have adopted the standard German fair maxim; only board a ride with no queue if you're prepared to remain on board for hours!

 

Stuttgart Frühlingsfest

1st May 2009

The decision to visit the Stuttgart Fair was driven by the presence of Kat, an American abroad on her first vist to Germany. While we'd planned in some smaller fairs the decision was taken to go to a big one largely due to the presence of Alpina Bahn. Schwarzkopf's masterpiece remains my favourite travelling coaster on this planet, edging out the more impressive looking Olympia Looping thanks to its lap bar restraints. Also found at the fair were Höllenblitz and Wilde Maus (Kinzler). The icing on the cake was the presence of Power Tower 2, still my favourite drop ride on this planet. Perhaps it will come back to Dublin again at some point in the future.