Europe 08/20 – Serengeti Park + Fort Fun Abenteuerland
I definitely clicked on every single blob in Germany on coast2coaster at least once while putting this trip together (the desperation is beginning to show) and in doing so made a very exciting discovery. The legendary Höllenblitz had set up shop in a safari park for the summer season. It was due to depart for Oktoberfest around August time but since that got cancelled, we contacted the park and they confirmed that it would be sticking around until the end of the year.
Day 11 – Serengeti Park
To get to the rides area of course I had to participate in my first safari.
Not gonna lie, I wasn’t enthralled with the experience.
Essentially a 2 hour traffic jam with a couple of animals in the road, the negatives far outweigh the positives. They claim they’re carbon neutral here but it seems a little hard to believe with the sheer number of cars just sitting around, engines chugging for hours on end.
There were explicit instructions not to touch the animals because they simply don’t know whether covid can be transmitted. Everyone, literally everyone had their arms out the window poking things.
Dead lion and a couple of cow heads.
And the obvious highlight – this guy strutting through.
Now, where are the rides?
This SBF visa only had ‘2 loops’ unlike the rest on this trip. What a disappointment.
But here it is at last. No more waiting for it to never come to Winter Wonderland. We’ve come to you.
I love the theming effort – geysers going off, mine trains crashing through the wall, the obligatory German man on a toilet. Inside there’s animatronics drinking beer before you get tyre launched round a corner in the dark to initiate a full spin – yes, omg…
Into the main drop which, if you’re in the back row, is absolutely terrifying. You come hurtling down it at full speed, rotating wildly and limbs flailing in one of the most out of control moments in recent memory.
The remainder of the indoor section involves disco lights and even flamethrowers on the second lift. What’s not to love?
I tried to get excited about construction but the fact that it was this close to being finished just means all I could think of was spite.
After an extended period of getting lost in their confusing one way systems around the park, we eventually made it out of the place and hit the road to our next stop. Things had taken rather longer than we anticipated and once again time was going to be tight. Maybe.
The next park loosely described their opening hours as always open until at least 17:00. Being a hot summer’s day on the last weekend of August we were hoping this meant they would be a little busy and they’d last a little longer. We were wrong.
Fort Fun Abenteuerland
On arrival we headed straight for the Devil’s Mine. The queue goes on forever through a combination of theming, total darkness, a million stairs, narrow passages and scary bouncing bridges (within a spinning tunnel that was thankfully broken – I think a death would have occurred). It’s quite the marathon.
All that for a Vekoma Junior? Yes, well, it’s a decent one. Custom layout and plenty of character. Weirdly rough too.
It has this unprecedented airtime hill in it, along with a dark ride section in which a man sprays you with water from his internal organs. At least I hope it was water.
This park is on a huge hill and (un)luckily everything we needed to rush to was now down that hill, rather than up it.
This was next. A Vekoma Whirlwind with the same retrofitted trains as the Boomerang at Wiener Prater.
They required a little more defensive riding than I remembered, perhaps because more laterals are involved in this layout, as it’s essentially just a block of metal digging into your stomach. I shall call this one Loopen with a corkscrew instead of a loopen. Genius.
Then things went wrong. The park was really quiet and everything had been walk on so far. As we reached the Zierer Tivoli at the bottom of the hill it was performing its last lap of the day in front of us. Not because we were late, but because it had an unfortunate rule about needing a minimum of 12 riders.
Fair play to the operator, he attempted to rally the troops in order to open it back up for us again – both from the handful of guests still lurking around and even a couple of staff members at retail stalls.
It just wasn’t to be though, we couldn’t hit that golden number at this dead end of the park, right at the bottom of this stupid hill.
Which we now had to walk back up to find the last cred of the day. It was a struggle, but it was overcome with a grim determination to not be defeated again.
Their alpine coaster was a surprise hit. You can’t see anything at all from the park but the lift went on for an eternity. The subsequent ride felt as long as Hasenhorn and twice as wild because the surroundings were completely overgrown and there was moss on the track. It felt downright dangerous actually, but that’s a good thing. It’s all coming full circle.
The ferris wheel was still open once we arrived back at the top of the park and from here you can see why we had been spited, why it was so quiet here.
It’s in the middle of nowhere, well over an hour from the nearest autobahn, two from a major city, through country roads, up and down mountains. Not what I had expected of the place for some reason.
But we enjoyed our visit anyway. What’s a Tivoli in the grand scheme of things?