Following on from my cold and calculated list of top ten countries for coasters, I thought it would be good to follow up with some warm and fuzzy (weather permitting) examples of the actual coasters that each one has to offer, a top ten within a top ten as it were.
As we enter the top three countries the overwhelming quantity of coasters starts to climb again. Part of what makes Germany so good is the amount of trips you can make out of their lineup. Coupled with their world beating ride operations and the almighty autobahn it’s a cred hunters paradise. Whilst I will still of course be considering unique and interesting draws, the sheer number here will largely lend itself to being a list of highlights and personal favourites.
Wiegand appear to have been having tremendous success in supplying their comparatively lightweight and easy to install systems to practically anywhere in the world that contains a hill. Alpine Coasters in particular are spreading at a rate of knots and leaving enthusiasts divided in their wake – are they creds or not? (yes they are) and how can we keep up?
With Germany being home turf, the country has seen a lot of other interesting types of build from the company and this one is by far the most exciting to date. With no rider controls and an overly relaxed position, this airtime machine is unique, incredible and very German. Bucket list material for the weird and wonderful.
As both my personal favourite in the park and one of the most pacy B&M Dive Coasters out there, I’ve opted for the Krake to represent Merlin’s contribution to the German coaster scene. The aesthetic of this ride, situated within the lovely centrepiece of Heide Park’s lake, is particularly strong with fantastic music, a great looking set piece to dive into and the satisfying splash effect for extra viewing pleasure. It may be short, but it packs an all important punch.
When it comes to GCIs in Europe you can’t do much better than this terrifically themed and amazingly aggressive wooden coaster. Once the soundtrack soars and the statues in the station turn to look you in the eye, you’ll know you’ve come to the right place.
Whilst I still take issue with the park, I can’t deny how much I enjoyed Dynamite this year. The world needs more Mack big dippers for their crazy antics in exposed seating and right now Europe has the monopoly on them. Sadly the only one sold on native soil is at Plohn, so good luck. It’ll be fine.
Sticking with Mack for now, they joined the fray for the recent spread of triple launch coasters with this installation at Movie Park Germany, giving them a fantastic signature attraction to decorate the entrance plaza. The queueline is highly themed and contains some preshow action, a somewhat loose storyline and the main highlight is the replica of the bridge from the Enterprise in the Next Generation series. If you’re a fan of the greatest era of the franchise, or coasters I guess as you’re reading this, not one to miss.
Phantasialand was bound to come up at some point wasn’t it, but I won’t bore you again with my misgivings about the place. All that matters is that Black Mamba is one of my preferred B&M inverts, ridiculously well themed and full of force.
I’m not one to get overly excited for B&M hypers these days but we don’t have much to choose from in this part of the world. Silver Star was my very first and it set the bar reasonably high. While the presentation is easy to mock (Europe has the odd ‘car park coaster’ too), the airtime in the back row of this ride cannot go without a mention.
Nor can the legendary ‘best coaster in the world’ for a million years in a row. Though the pacing issues and lack of variety in the overall experience of GeForce mean it pales in comparison to the more recent generations of hardware, this ride still packs some of the best ejector airtime in the business and no enthusiast should feel complete without at least one marathon on this bad boy.
Time for a consecutive controversial placing in 2nd for these lists. The thing is that if you know much about Europe and this hobby then I probably don’t need to sell you any more on this park, or specifically this ride (they’ve also got that new one that I missed by a week… bah). Immersive theming, a killer soundtrack and the most exhilarating second launch in the world. Everyone wants Taron. But what does everyone need?
Kärnan. That’s what. Terrifying, intense and completely one of a kind, this should be the singular attraction that tops the list for why you’d visit Germany for coasters. One of my most memorable experiences across the entirety of what I’ve seen and done in this hobby was created by this insane contraption and that was before they made it even better. This attraction keeps topping lists on here, I suppose I should write about it properly one day.