2020 was set to be the most exciting year of my life.
Almost as soon as the year started me and Heartline booked our much anticipated return trip to the US. There’s no doubt in my mind that this would have been the greatest trip yet, if not ever. Over 100 new coasters for the count, featuring among others, Cedar Point, Silver Dollar City, Kings Island and Holiday World. I had created my playlist and researched all the parks in great detail to make sure we got the most out of them, I even purchased a membership card to get us into Holiwood Nights for trimless Voyage. I was literally losing sleep in excitement months before we went and I’d wake up every morning and text Heartline a running countdown of the days until we left.
To make it even better, to break up the wait Heartline had a plan to visit Poland, a country we’d been putting off for a while but were both dying to visit. Zadra, Hyperion and Lech Coaster a couple of months before the best trip of my life, that’s almost too strong.
There was even serious discussion about a 2nd US trip in 2020, this time to Florida, a destination I’ve been dreaming of for years now.
And then it all went wrong…
Everything closed, everything ruined, you know the rest…
I rode my first coaster of the year in late July. Although an amazing day out it reopened the wounds of losing the trips I’d been so excited for.
Well it’s a good thing I’ve got Heartline.
Once stuff started to reopen he asked me this, “do you want to go on a mega trip across Europe that includes Poland?” ….yes!
A few weeks before our trip the UK government started to remove countries from their newly formed safe list. Here we go again I thought, another trip ruined, this was all I had this year and now it’s gone, can we just put 2020 in the bin now?
Thanks to sheer luck we thankfully would be able to go but with the understanding that anything could change at any moment. The first casualty of this was France and Fraispertuis, this meant we’d have to drive all the way to Germany without stopping. I’m just happy to leave the house at this point, I’m up for anything.
And anything it was, because now we’re not allowed to go to the Netherlands either, which means we’ve got a lot of spare time on our hands. Heartline rebooked the entire trip and it now included several parks I’d never heard of, but I’m not complaining, there’s something special about visiting the lesser known parks.
Finally it was here! The first and only proper trip of 2020, it’s never felt so right to get up at 2am and make the faithful drive to the Channel Tunnel.
In high spirits the 7 hour drive across France flew by and we were soon in the beautiful mountainous bottom left corner of Germany.
The first stop of the trip was something rather special, one of the longest alpine coasters in the World.
We parked in the pretty village at the base of the mountain and then after buying tickets jumped on the ski lift that takes you to the coaster’s station. Having never taken a ski lift like this before I managed to travel more than half way up the mountain before I realised that I hadn’t pulled the safety bar down… I’m not used to people putting this much faith in me not to be an idiot.
Thankfully I didn’t fall out and lived to see the stunning views from the top.
How was the trip back down though? It was amazing! And a little bit scary.
Normally on alpines I just pin the handles to the floor and take it all at full speed but this beast showed me pretty early on that wasn’t going to work today. Several times on my long descent I had to feather the brakes to stop myself from being destroyed.
It was fast, it was intense, it was long, the views were stunning, what a great way to get back into the game and to start the trip.
We had planned to visit a second park today but by the time we were finished at Hasenhorn we wouldn’t have been able to make it much before park close. Thankfully we’d be able to add it to the already stacked list of activities for tomorrow.
And we did.
Around 25 minutes north of Hasenhorn was Steinwasen Park, a small family oriented park that was nestled in yet more beautiful mountains.
We were rather busy today so we arrived at opening. Despite what their website claimed the rides and attractions wouldn’t be opening for another hour though, so we’d have time to explore first.
I thought this was a dark ride after looking at their website, but no it’s just part of a walkthrough, it does amuse me though.
At the end of the walkthrough is this yeti, you also meet him when you ride the park’s powered coaster.
As well as a scary yeti and a questionable seal the park is also home to a massive suspension bridge.
Which gives views like this. See I told you this park is beautiful.
Steinwasen Park is also home to a strong selection of animals which is always appreciated. This big horny bastard had the right idea, it was very hot today, as is tradition whenever we visit Europe.
Sight seeing over, it’s almost time for the rides to open.
And first up was Coasterbahn, another alpine coaster. Now obviously it wasn’t as good as the monster from yesterday but it was easily my 2nd favourite I’ve ridden of these things. I think I’m getting hooked!
Next we rode the park’s crazy elevator lift water ride, you can see it in a previous photo. This was far better than than any of us expected, which almost caused the death of Heartline’s wife who wasn’t braced for what this thing was handing out.
Next was Gletscherblitz, a Mack powered coaster that takes place almost entirely indoors, features the previously pictured yeti and duels with a Bobkart. It was good fun with it’s wacky set up and strong (for it’s type) coaster layout.
Speaking of the Bobkart, it was named Spacerunner and it was pretty awesome. I love Bobkarts as they are but this one being indoors, duelling with Gletscherblitz and with strobe lighting made everything feel extra intense.
And that was everything we deemed worth experiencing at Steinwasen Park with our limited time. I liked this park and I’m sure with enough time on your hands you’d easily enjoy a whole day here.
A 45 minute drive east on awful roads took us to Tatzmania Löffingen, a zoo that features a small amusement park area with 2 coasters.
We moved at serious pace through this park so it may be our fault but to me it felt as though the staff here weren’t as great as those as Hasenhorn or Steinwasen. This is strange when you consider that all 3 parks are owned by the same people.
First up was African Spin, an SBF spinner. I was just happy for this thing to finish because we were getting seriously sunburnt while riding.
Next and last was the park’s Gerstlauer Bobsled coaster, Gold Rusher. I was rather excited to see how this new (to me) layout rode but thanks to being stapled in half by the angry ride operator I was just happy for it to be over.
And that was Tatzmania Löffingen.
Wait! I’ve heard of this park!
Just over the Swiss border, barely an hours drive from Tatzmania, lives Conny-Land, Switzerland’s only real amusement park. The park doesn’t have a massive selection of attractions but is home to 2 that are absolutely worth making the journey for.
Before we get to them though let me first say the staff here were great and all showed great pride in working at the park.
The main reason for coming to Conny-Land was of course their insane Pax shuttle coaster named Cobra. I’m a huge fan of the previous Pax creations I’ve experienced and Cobra was no different.
You board the fantastic new for 2020 trains, which are comfy and also extremly open. This becomes terrifying almost instantly for some as you climb the beyond vertical spike that starts the coaster and are forced to use your legs to stop yourself from sliding out of your seat.
Once you are thankfully released you fly through the station and into 2 airtime hills which provide decent air on the first pass. Then you enter an intense loop before experiencing the scorpion’s tail which provides great hangtime and holds you dangerously close to the top of the loop.
Before you experience it all again in the opposite direction. Note how I didn’t say backwards or forwards at any point, this is because the new trains have seats facing in both directions, so it’s completely up to you which way is which. Me and Heartline preferred boarding the train in the backwards seats, yes the lift isn’t anywhere near as scary but the rest of the coaster is even more fun.
Conny-Land is also home to another extremely unique creation that’s almost on par with Cobra for how messed up it is, it’s known only as Mammut Tree.
You board a free swinging 16 seater cable car, that after a bit of teasing takes you into a massive tree where things happen. Almost all of the fun of this thing was wondering what was going to happen next inside that tree so I will remain tight lipped but I assure you it’s both terrifying and amazing.
Dino Attack, the park’s slightly ghetto shooting dark ride was next. It’s a pretty low budget affair but we had fun with it nonetheless.
After a loop of the park to make sure we hadn’t missed anything, we took a few more re-rides on Cobra before playing with some parrots and then taking our leave.
I’m quite the fan of Conny-Land and I hope that despite the lack of competition the park continues to grow in the future.
To end the day we went for a spot of sight seeing around Liechtenstein.
It’s home to vicious mountains.
And River Quest.
Thanks for reading, click here for day 3, where we visit Tripsdrill and Schwaben Park.