Europe 07/19 – Heide Park
I’ve always been the kind of person who likes making lists, so to no one’s surprise I have a list of parks I consider easy to get to but I haven’t visited yet, at the very top of this list was Germany’s Heide Park.
Heartline had told me it’s a lovely park, with a solid ride line up and beautiful German operations. Another enthusiast friend of mine, Stealthfan, had told me the park reminded him of 2000’s era Chessington and Alton Towers, otherwise known as when these park were at their best and helped to mould me into the ride nerd I am today.
The main reason for visiting though was Colossos, the park’s Intamin prefab. It had just been reborn after years of neglect led it to standing but not operating for nearly 2 seasons. Prefabs are my favourite kind of woodie, so the reopening of this monster coupled with the strong words from my friends had me dying to pay this park a visit.
Another early start today but I’d soon scare myself awake up by flying down the autobahn at 130mph. Obviously this led to us arriving at the park a little too early but that was fine. I’d been following the park’s queue times recently and it looked as if I’d need every minute possible in order to make the most of the park.
We walked into the park and through it’s pretty entrance area before arriving at a containment gate that stopped you getting to the main park before it was time. At first this was a little off putting, several hundred people crammed behind a gate, but then to my surprise, the park turned this into a really fun experience.
A really entertaining man arrived to hype up the crowd, tell some jokes and lead us all in an amazing countdown to the gates opening, as pyros were set off and a beautiful musical score blasted. Then we were in…
Unlike Lotte World, it seems running is fully accepted in Heide Park, as the man himself was encouraging us to run to Colossos. Past waving mascots we bolted, waving back of course, on route to the back of the park, to the beast, to Colossos. This run ended up being strangely awesome, it was so funny to see the determination leave people’s bodies as their stamina faded. Me and my brother were dropping and drawing deep breaths on all manner of park furniture, until we finally made it.
Colossos – Kampf der Giganten
Straight into the queue we ran and while catching my breath, it hit me, I was here and Christ does this coaster look insane in the flesh.
We only queued about 5 minutes before we were in the newly themed and rather awesome looking station.
When Colossos was reborn for 2019 and the Kampf der Giganten subtitle was added, a lot of work had been done. This included the new station, new trains, a new theming element near the end of the ride, a new soundtrack, oh and retracking the entire coaster.
Having ridden (and loved) all the prefabs except Colossos, while at the air gates I decided to start worrying my brother. “You are about to experience airtime like you’ve never even dreamt of before.” “Is it THAT scary?” “I’d say it’s probably scarier than you’re thinking yeah.” Him terrified and me buzzing, we took our seats in the back row of the brand new trains and off we went…
While ascending the lift, while smiling like an idiot, I decided to keep teasing him. “You see that drop (160 foot at 61 degrees), you are going to be ejected so hard man.” Then it came, and the only thing ejected was my dreams…
The drop was completely forceless and trimmed, unlike any other prefab. Don’t worry though, here comes the first airtime hill, if this is anything like El Toro or T Express I’m about to be launched into orbit. Nope! Mild floater at best… Oh and more trims on way down… I begin shouting in disgust and a woman in the row in front turns around to stare at me with a face like a sack of screwdrivers.
Next hill, trimmed on the way up AND down, also pointless, if that was El Toro, I’d now have a T bar shaped bruise on my thighs but it’s not, what’s even happening? I shout again, “where’s the freaking airtime????” The woman turns around, this time really angry.
Here comes the turnaround… On Toro, it’s a time to breath but also forceful enough to keep you amused. On Colossos, it’s a time to question why the coaster has no airtime at all but then goes on for long enough that you get bored.
Speed hill, does nothing, I’m still shouting, woman is now 180 degrees in her seat to stare at me.
Next they trim a barely moving coaster travelling in a straight line into a smooth but utterly forceless helix. “WHAT IS THIS????” The woman is livid now and so am I.
To end Colossos, you are treated(?) to 3 airtime hills, that don’t have airtime, with the final one of them going through the previously mentioned new theming element. Then it’s over.
To say I was disapointed would be the understatement of the century. I got off the coaster, walked through the shop, didn’t even look at the merch that I was sure I’d end up buying today and went off to explore the rest of the park.
We’d end up riding Colossos another 3 times throughout the day, in different parts of the train, at different times of the day and it rode like crap every time. Heartline and Stealthfan were both surprised to hear how badly it was riding and both implied it was probably ruined during it’s retracking.
It seems such a shame to bring it back to life to be a shell of it’s former self. Never mind though, I’ve still got the Bull, the Balder and the Korean Bae.
Next up, while everyone was still running to be disappointed by Colossos, we thought it would be a good time to ride Desert Race, the park’s Intamin hydraulic launch coaster.
This coaster is almost Rita at Alton Towers but somehow rides a lot smoother and more forceful. I enjoyed it and so did my brother who normally hates Intamin accelerator coasters.
For better or worse, with Colossos knocked off so easily, I now had time to admire the park on route to Flug. Heide Park is beautiful and has a very welcoming atmosphere, the kind of park that’s just nice to exist in. I can totally see where Heartline and Stealthfan were coming from when describing the park to me, they aren’t wrong, it really is that nice.
Flug der Dämonen
While I’m talking up the park’s commitment to atmosphere, there’s no better example than the area Flug lives in.
Beautiful theming, a wonderful sinister soundtrack, it’s awesome, and yeah, it is like something you’d have found at Alton Towers in it’s golden years.
The coaster’s queue and station continue this trend and are both perfect at setting the tone.
Flug der Dämonen didn’t let Wild Eagle remain my favourite B&M Wing Coaster for long. It’s intense, flows perfectly, looks beautiful and it’s interactions with the amazing theming are incredible. I really liked Flug and for me it’s the best ride in the park.
From one quality B&M coaster to another.
Krake is the park’s B&M Dive Coaster and despite being short manages to offer a really enjoyable ride exprience.
Keeping with the Heide Park tradition, the theming and soundtrack on this coaster are also amazing.
After Krake we went for some crepes and they were both well priced and delicious, are we sure Merlin own this park?
To let lunch settle we decided to join the 10 minute queue for Big Loop, the park’s Vekoma looper. The only thing we didn’t account for was German efficiency, because almost instantly we were spotted as a 2 and asked to power through the queue to fill the train. Stomach don’t fail me now.
Big Loop was fine, a lot smoother than I was expecting.
The only Mack Bobsled in operation that I hadn’t ridden, and what a great example of the hardware this was. Maybe not quite as good as Blackpool’s Avalanche but a close second best.
Even the lovely Heide Park can’t escape the ugliness of the SLC, thankfully Limit didn’t ride too badly and it’s hidden away at the back of the park where you can just pretend it’s not there.
Next up was another ride on Colossos, still crap.
Then we visited the Donut Factory for a sugar rush to cheer ourselves up. I didn’t know the Donut Factory had made it outside of Thorpe Park, so it was a lovely surprise because I really enjoy the messed up creations they make here.
The park’s screen based shooting dark ride was quite fun but nothing too special. Sadly it just amounted to shooting generic ghosts over and over, as opposed to having much to do with the actual franchise that I mildly enjoy.
I’m a huge fan of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise however, so I was really excited to try out the park’s boat ride themed to it. It was nothing mind blowing but I’ll enjoy anything that plays the amazing score from the movies.
The 2nd Mack powered coaster of the trip, this time featuring a highly detailed indoor section.
We finished up the coasters of Heide Park with a ride on their Zierer family coaster Indy-Blitz.
After some pizza, also really nice, it was time to experience the ride I had been putting off, Scream. Scream is the park’s 200+ foot tall gyro drop tower and it’s awesome. It’s geared to absolutely terrify you, with the way the queue wraps around the base of the tower and also the haunting soundtrack. Scream also provides an amazing drop, one of the best pure freefall drops out there.
Another flight with the Flug next, God I love this ride.
We decided to have another lap of Colossos before finishing for the day, but as it was walk on, we opted for 2. Both were lacklustre…
Not wanting to end the amazing day with a disappointment, I forced my brother to follow me back to Flug, which had a 5 minute queue, for “2 more laps only I promise.”
Desperate to buy the Heide Park soundtrack, we visited the park’s main shop, where I chatted to a very friendly lady about how good my day was and walked away with several ride postcards. Sadly they didn’t have the soundtrack on park but I have since ordered it from IMAscore and it gets blasted on the regular.
I had a fantastic day at Heide Park, yeah it’s a shame Colossos is bad but it didn’t bother me too much because in the end I just found myself having so much fun that I forgot about it. Oh and Flug helped that too, bow down to the Dämonen.
Due to a crash on the autobahn, we were forced to go the rural way back to our next hotel, also in the Netherlands. This was great for sight-seeing but terrible for my already desperate looking fuel tank. In the end we made it to a petrol station 1 mile from the hotel with only 4 miles of range left in the tank.
We had an interesting arrival at the hotel. There was a massive wedding party going in the lobby area, with deafening live music being played. So I had to check into a hotel like you’d order a drink in the club, with shouting and strange hand movements. Thankfully once we reached the room it was completely silent though.
Thanks for reading, click here for day 3, the death of Walibi Holland, also featuring the best RMC I’d ever ridden.