The plan for today was to visit 5 different parks for various +1s, which I’m fairly certain would have been a personal best. The inspiration came about when researching a certain food based chain and discovering they had several properties in the vicinity, each with their own cred. Wouldn’t it be cool to hit them all in a day? Well, I think so.
Day 10 – Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Elstal
Not the smoothest of starts for time management as what we had billed as an 8am ride opening was actually 10am, but here we are. The Karls crawl begins.
The first thing that should hit you when entering any of these places is the insanely sweet and addictive smell of strawberries that permeates absolutely everything in the building. I think it was worth coming for this alone.
But equally importantly the outdoor area is home to the legendary Potato Coaster.
After a potent smell of potato (not quite as nice I have to say), the indoor queue area is intensely themed. They’ve really gone at this attraction with a loving detail.
Once on board/inside the tub trains, there’s a dark ride section full of further impressive effects. The ride system itself is rather violent in the way it engages with anything – chain lifts, block brakes, it’s all quite amusing.
It’s surprisingly big and forceful for such a simple design and the rather exposed seating position and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sacks of character.
Spurred on by our enjoyment of the first place, it was time to hit the road for the longest journey of the day. On a good run it should have been about 3 hours but it ended up well over 4 due to several car accidents and heavy congestion in this rather remote corner of Germany. Time was just being sucked out of the day and we’d barely begun our mission. It’s like they wanted us to fail.
Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Koserow
Through the adversity we arrived at park number 2. There’s nothing quite as exciting as the potato from here on in, but everyone loves a good Wacky Worm.
And these are potentially the most impressive worms in the world. They have huge animatronics, grand entrances, themed queuelines, exit shops and merchandise to commemorate the fact that you rode the most common ride on the planet, in what may well be its best form.
Most importantly they have strawberries instead of apples.
It felt weird to have another 3 parks to go with late afternoon fast approaching. A bit of quick maths meant we had to make a slight change to the order of events, driving slightly further still to allow for a difference in opening hours.
Even deeper into the middle of nowhere was the only park that isn’t a part of the official Karls crawl. Nor do they deserve to be. Rügen Park sucks.
We arrived on their doorstep with just over an hour left of their operating day to find the entrance gate padlocked shut. Guests were inside going about their business, but no staff members in sight.
Assuming some form of unannounced last entry policy we attempted to call them up and explain that time wouldn’t be an issue, we’re literally outside and all we wanted was to pay and pop in for the cred. Sadly the staff on the other end of the phone rudely laughed at the request and hung up. Giving them the benefit of the doubt for this, we called back once more and in response they decided to stop answering the phone altogether, allowing it to ring indefinitely.
Poxy place anyway. No one wants your Zamperla 80STD.
Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Zirkow
No time to stew on that, it was straight back on the road to a proper park.
Home to strawberry worm number 2. Just 1 more to go.
The struggle at Rügen may have been a blessing in disguise as things were really down to the wire now. If there was any further faff involved it would have been game over.
Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Rövershagen
We arrived at the final destination I’d say 18 minutes shy of closing time.
While running around like nutters and getting lost looking for the TWO creds here (oh yes, it’s a big’un), they decided to start handing out Covid forms on approach to the entrance of the indoor coaster to impede our efforts further. Damn this track and trace business.
This coaster is rare for an SBF build. Only two in the world apparently, the other in Mexico. I was far too distracted by the clock to take it in but it’s indoor, up high, looks cool, there’s a million coffee cups on the wall and it performed one lap too many.
We arrived at the final worm shop just as the till lady was packing everything away. As soon as money had been exchanged, we had entered the queue and the doors were shut behind us. This was the last train of the day.
We’d made it. Visited 4 Karls parks in a day and rode every coaster they currently own. I see this as an absolute win.
In celebration of this momentous achievement we bought an armful of strawberry related goods from the shop on the way out and I’m now the proud owner of a soft toy mascot, for a Wacky Worm.
As if the day wasn’t satisfying enough we managed to redeem Mack’s restaurant concept with a late night visit to the Hamburg branch. Several years ago we went to the one at Europa – it was stupidly cramped, had a dumb payment system, the food selection was abysmal and it was by far the worst thing about the whole visit.
This particular location fixed everything. Eating Käsespätzle from a pot on wheels and playing a game of name that coaster up on the wall is my idea of a quality dining experience. The staff were super friendly too and asked us to write and send a free Rollercoaster Restaurant postcard (or two).
To my future self,
Wish you were here
look up GASM @ SFGAdv to see if you were right about the wall
and don’t forget to slag off Rügen Park.