Europe 09/21 – Familypark, Böhmischer Prater + Wiener Prater
After just about surviving the night, we were happy to escape our crappy hotel and get back on the road on route to…
Familypark, and it was far from what I was expecting in several different ways.
Firstly, the park is massive, both in terms of foot print and number of attractions. Secondly, the park was far busier than both Fantasiana and Familienland combined. Lastly and most importantly, the park was incredibly well presented. All these things combine to make me wonder why I’ve never heard anything about this park before.
After a much longer and far more interesting walk than we were expecting, we arrived at the first coaster of the day, Götterblitz.
Götterblitz would be my third time getting to experience a Mack Youngstar Coaster and it may have been my favourite one to date. Though I put this down to having reached a level of experience where I can truly appreciate how great Youngstar Coasters are for the entire family. That, or my inner Mack fanboy is now far less easy to drown out.
After a few laps of Götterblitz, no really, it is that good, we next attempted to head to the park’s only other real roller coaster.
It was now that we entered the, “oh my God this place is massive and actually really nice” portion of the day, as we got lost many times looking for Rattenmühle and ended up discovering interesting things on the way.
Like this pretty flat ride.
And this giant crow.
Finally though, we made it.
I’m so happy to say that Rattenmühle continues the trend I mentioned on the first day of this trip report. The trend that says this trip is full of great Gerstlauer Bobsled Coasters and each one is better than the last.
While maybe not quite as wacky as Speed Rockets (layout wise), Rattenmühle is a better overall package. It’s spread out layout is full of fast changes in direction that really throw you around, hidden surprises and nice pops of air time. The rat theme is amazing and executed to perfection and the coaster’s setting looks fantastic.
What also helps make Rattenmühle so special is the way it’s theme bleeds out into the nearby area, giving us gems such as…
Yeah, I like this park.
With both the coasters ridden, we took a slow walk back to the park entrance, looking for any other ride to experience on the way to make our visit extra worth it.
Maybe not this one…
We ended up settling for the park’s brand new Zamperla NebulaZ flat ride named Stellarium. While very impressive from a visual perspective, the actual ride experience this thing offered was completely pointless in every way.
With that our time at Familypark had come to an end and it had been good fun, certainly much more than just a stop off between Fantasiana and Wiener Prater.
No, that distinction belongs to Böhmischer Prater.
In a small section of park land between 2 housing estates lives Vienna’s “other Prater”.
After far too much hassle trying to park, we finally made our way into the “park”, which could best be desribed as a collection of “are they open?” heritage rides placed either side of a straight path.
Thankfully though, their star attraction, Shark Trip, was clearly open. So after paying a lady who was quite literally doing 3 jobs at once (operating Shark Trip, a flat ride and selling tokens for both), we took our seat on the shark and were treated to several fairly brutal laps.
Then it was time to leave the “other Prater” and make our way to the actual one.
I’d always really wanted to experience Wiener Prater but I’m not sure why.
It could be the sheer amount of coasters up for grabs, currently 13. It could be the mystery of the place, despite it being really well known, I knew very little of the place. It could be because I’m a sucker for a city park. It could be because I enjoy the funfair atmosphere I assume the place has. I wasn’t sure but I did know I couldn’t wait to get started.
So after finding a cheap and easy car park just outside, I wasn’t expecting that, it was time to enter the park and empty my wallet.
In case you didn’t know, Wiener Prater is free to enter, then you pay to experience each ride, as they are all owned and operated by different showmen. It’s a super costly way to do things, but in a strange way does add a level of character to the place.
The coaster that drew first blood was probably the best in the park, Megablitz.
This custom Vekoma MK-700 was so much fun. Crushing positives, a real sense of speed, wicked laterals and unnerving air time, all while you’re sitting in the massive roomy seat and the lap bar is nowhere your body.
If I didn’t have another 12 coasters to ride, I’d have loved to have taken up the ride again for a discount offer because Megablitz is that good.
The park’s piece of crap Vekoma Boomerang was not however, yet it cost 2 whole Euros more for a ride than Megablitz…
Maskerade was next.
This custom Gerstlauer spinner in the dark was far from anything special, but I did enjoy getting to experience the entire ride to myself.
As a man who loves when brakeman woodies are done right, Hochschaubahn is not. No forces or fun at all to be found on this thing. You just sit there as it happens, while you’re thinking of anything else you could be doing.
I’m so glad to say that I didn’t have to ride this thing alone, as another dirty credit obsessed bloke jumped on just before it started.
I absolutely hated this disgusting thing and it’s going to take all the strength in my body to not start a profanity fuelled rant about how much it deserves to be destroyed in a fire.
I normally don’t mind Volares but this was a literal torture device. A torture device I paid 7 freaking Euros to experience. They should be paying me 7 Euros to ride it…
Never again, never defend.
Feeling like I’d been thrown down 30 flights of stairs and in a mindset where I was ready to fight the next person who looked at me the wrong way, it was time to take a break from the credits and experience one of the park’s many dark rides.
This was a fantastic decision because Eisberg was amazing and managed to bring me back from the dark place the torture device took me.
Eisberg is an interactive dark ride, where you use a camera to “shoot” targets on your journey, “shoot” enough and amazing things happen. Full of animatronics, comedy, character and fun surprises, Eisberg is a must ride when you’re at Wiener Prater.
Back to the coasters now.
Roller Ball was next, the exact same model as the one at Parc Spirou, yeah, still sucks…
I’m kind of embarrassed, for many reasons, to admit that I like Insider, but I do.
Firstly there is the coaster’s insane, pitch black, laser and smoke filled, pumping techno music queueline, which was pretty amazing to experience on my own. Even better was the World’s most difficult mirror maze under the same circumstances. I’m not ashamed to admit I was lost for good few minutes here and that if some Austrain women hadn’t shown up I may still be there.
Then there’s the coaster. An off the shelf Maurer spinner. A layout that I’ve ridden and not enjoyed very much at Skara Sommarland. But in the darkness, not knowing where you’re going, with the music blaring and all the special effects going off it was a pretty fun experience.
Super 8er Bahn
Up next was another surprise hit.
I was expecting Super 8er Bahn, the World’s only Pinfari FC80 to ride awful and bring back all the pain from the Volare. Thankfully however it was almost worryingly smooth and provided a fast and forceful ride that I honestly enjoyed.
The last and one of the worst Reverchon spinners of the trip.
Zug des Manitu
I got to ride Zug des Manitu, the park’s kiddy powered mine train coaster, on my own. Which would have been pretty embarrassing had the operator not been so friendly.
Rattenmühle I’m so sorry…
In the same day, the trend continued and Gesengte Sau became the best Gerstlauer Bobsled coaster yet.
Layout wise at least. Rattenmühle still wins on setting and theming, although the 2 headchoppers on Gesengte are great.
Despite occupying an area the same size as the previously mentioned Reverchon spinner, which is a travelling design, Gesengte Sau is the tallest, fastest and longest Gerstlauer Bobsled ever built. This creates a crazy twisted compact design that’s full of steep drops, fast changes in direction, air time, strong laterals, wacky transitions and a real sense of character. I really enjoyed Gesengte and just like Megablitz I’d have loved to have gotten another ride, if I wasn’t swiftly running out of money.
The final coaster of the day for me was Wilde Maus, an off the shelf Maurer mouse, one of the better examples of these that I’ve ridden.
We decided to treat ourselves with a proper meal tonight, after last night’s incident, so we went to our second ever Rollercoaster Restaurant, well third if you count not eating and leaving in disgust at the Europa Park one.
Once again I really enjoyed the experience and the food. Yes it’s pricey, but there aren’t many places where you can experience it. Plus I’m one of the fussiest eaters ever, so if I like the food then it’s always a win.
I hope one of the few others in the World can be the ultimate Rollercoaster Restaurant, because Prater’s one had one major thing missing from the Hamburg one (the ability to order from a touch screen) but then also had 2 major things that were better (robots putting the food onto the track and a better atmosphere with awesome lighting).
After a stroll around the park at night, it looked pretty stunning to be fair, we retrieved the car before driving back to last night’s stupid hotel, where nothing had changed. As we were walking in, key cards in hand, holding a couple of bags each, a member of staff who was leaving asked us if we were residents at the hotel, yes, sadly…
Heartline’s wife then asked if she could have another towel for the room, to which after much confusion the member of staff replied no. This has to be a set up, how can a hotel be this inept?
Thank you for reading, click here for day 14 of my trip report, where we visit Merlin’s Kinderwelt, before everything goes wrong in Slovakia.