25-28th April 2002
Steinwasen is a small but beautiful park in the Black Forest built on the side of a mountain. And it’s great!
The racing slide was cool and fast. A few members managed to fall off, including our new Chairman but fortunately the injuries weren’t too serious.
The powered sled was possibly the best ride at the park. You basically sat in a bobsled in a “gulley” and you could either accelerate or decelerate by pulling/pushing on a lever. The track contained straight sections and helixes and also had a few “duelling” spots with cars infront or behind you. It was fast, furious and great fun!
The morning at Europa Park was spent with my mouth wide open. The theming at the park is second to none. Every nook and cranny is themed – nothing is a compromise.
At Holiday Park the next day, we met with Werner Stengel at 10:30, I was shaking like a leaf, but my nervousness ceased after it was immediately apparent that he was just a normal down to earth bloke. He was being followed by a German TV crew for a prime-time coaster show. He told us lots of interesting stories about ride dynamics – he is a real coaster “God.” There is very little in the theme park industry that he hasn’t been involved in.
After our tour of Europa, nearly everyone dashed to SilverStar where the queue was only 20 mins. SilverStar was an excellent ride and most people seemed to be impressed by it. It has some great moments of airtime especially on the drop. However I couldn’t help but notice the ride is actually quite rough, and that’s unusual for a B&M especially when it’s only been open for one month. Still a wonderful B&M Coaster however.
We also had an unofficial takeover of the Rapids with a twist. Some members decided to buy a bunch of Water Balloons and throw them at the people controlling the water guns. As I was in the first boat out, some members were waiting to ambush our boat from the queue line, and when they attacked, we attacked back. It was all great fun, but I came off quite soaked. We had also used up most of our water bombs before we got to the people controlling the guns so we missed them.
At Holiday Park, after an unfortunate delay, it was time for GeForce and what a superb ride it was. The first drop is insane. It was incredibly smooth, the airtime was amazing, and the g forces were amazing. This is nearly the perfect coaster and I was certainly impressed. Seeing as I have ridden Millennium Force, and comparing the two coasters, it is certainly tough. MF is clearly built for speed, and GeForce is clearly built for airtime. Overall, they are both amazing coasters. Is this Europe’s best coaster though? Well it certainly ranks up there with the best of them that’s for sure, and I think I would have to say yes (just), while I still enjoyed SilverStar a lot, GeForce is just a little bit better.
A quick reiteration of what everyone was saying – what a fantastic trip! Great fun and certainly my best to date.
I loved the uniqueness of all the parks and their attractions. Not a case of day one visiting a park with a corkscrew and a boomerang, a few spinners and then to found the same at another park the following day. This has happened a few times on previous trips but that isn’t meant as a criticism – It’s an observation that on this trip we really visited some unique attractions. I can’t think of even a single attraction that was common to those parks we visited and this for me added a great deal to the trip.
SilverStar – wow, what a ride. It’s wonderful. I will always remember riding the back row with my eyes closed the whole way round. What an experience!
G’sengte Sau at Tripsdrill is a great little coaster, with tight turns and three consecutive bunny hops with good airtime. We were allowed to see the maintenance area, and to stand underneath the station track when cars were arriving – the only warning when a car came in was being told to duck! The water-carrying in glasses (!) was also fun for those who did it – I don’t think many people came back with any water left at all.
A good log flume, complete with a room full of nude figures and a rapids themed as a washing machine were also good. Both the queue lines for these two rides were also excellent; almost museum like, with exhibits and in the case of the rapids, a history of the washing machine, complete with old models made of wood and worked by hand.
I can’t go without mentioning the toilet takeover! We all went to use the brand new toilets near the log flume, and the marketing manager, who was taking us round the park asked if we had seen the pictures in the ladies toilets. Well, we didn’t need asking twice – everyone piled in there and opened every cubicle door, and sure enough, there were some pictures of scantily clad females on the back of each of them!
B&M’s first European hyper coaster just had to be ridden! That was the thinking behind our 2002 trip to Germany.
The trip was full of special moments: Steinwassen – the “slide” park; riding SilverStar with Michael Kreft, Europa’s Managing Director, once in the front seat and once in the back. The SilverStar ERS was the noisiest I’ve ever heard… people really loved it.
Meeting Werner Stengel at Holiday Park was fantastic. We also had the nightmare of a cable snap on GeForce but all credit to the staff and the Intamin engineers, they had the ride up and running inside 24 hours so that we could have our scheduled ERS.
The fair in Stuttgart was just how I hoped it would be: noisy, loads of excellent rides and lots of beer!
Tripsdrill offered us one of the most unique ERSs I’ve ever seen. We were challenged to keep water in a stein glass as full as possible whilst on the G’sengte Sau coaster. Not easy, especially when you’ve already thrown the water over your riding mates in the station! The park was a real gem with a fantastic Log Flume and some very strange toilets!
Another great trip to Germany and I can’t wait for us to go back.