General Information Attractiepark Slagharen

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Theme Park:Attractiepark Slagharen
Ponypark Slagharen (1963 - ?)
Teil des Resorts
Slagharen Themepark & Resort
Address:Zwarte Dijk 37
7776 PB Slagharen
http://www.slagharen.com/de
Operated by:Parques Reunidos

Gold Rush • Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster • Attractiepark SlagharenAttractiepark Slagharen in Slagharen nearby the Dutch-German border is a medium sized theme park and holiday park, which started as a pony park by the Bemboom family in the early 60s. Due to the rapid success of the holiday park, some fairground attractions were added in order to entertain the park guests further. With time, the park quickly developed into a theme park featuring the first looping roller coaster in the Netherlands. Today, the park is operated by Parques Reunidos.

Fun Fact: The Bemboom family were the first to operated a number of theme parks across Europe. In the 80s they took over the historic Dreamland theme park in Margate, England and operated the long forgotten Freizeitpark Kirchhorst nearby Hanover, Germany.

Following the gold rush to Slagharen

After the rumour that the looping star Thunder Loop would soon be dismantled had persisted for several years, the ride in Slagharen actually came to an end towards the end of last year. But don’t worry about the old lady, who has been turning the world of visitors to the Attractiepark upside down since 1979, as she is now once again owned by the Bemboom family – so a return to one amusement park or another cannot be entirely ruled out. This year, the Gold Rush roller coaster, a compact roller coaster with triple launch and closed circuit by the manufacturer Gerstlauer takes its place.

But can the roller coaster worthily follow in the footsteps of the roller coaster that was the first looping roller coaster for generations of Dutch and border-crossing Germans? I admit that this question is a bit too far-fetched, but nostalgia cannot be replaced so quickly. In fact, Slagharen is now home to an unparalleled gem; a state of affairs that was not so difficult to achieve compared to the previous status quo. However, the perfect integration of the ride, which visually benefits the left-hand side of the park and makes it look quite smooth, does not reveal anything about the ride itself.

It begins with a very shallow launch from a standing position towards the top hat, which is consequently climbed to a rather low level. With the speed now built up, the launch distance is passed backwards once more, but this time with a much more intense acceleration. With a broad smile on your face you shoot the dive loop up at the rear end of the acceleration section, turn there in a slight overhead position and take a third run-up. After reaching the top speed of 90 km/h you dare to climb the top hat once more, which you can now do easily. While the entrance to the element bends to the right, you leave it in a straight downhill run. With a good push you cross the following valley and immediately turn around in a high banked steep turn, whereupon the station is crossed on a camelback. Far above the heads of the future passengers, the train performs another steep curve manoeuvre, which releases you parallel to the station. The train then gains height for a last time before it dives into the dive loop towards the end of the ride and quickly returns to its starting position.

The new Gold Rush roller coaster offers a solid ride for young and old and therefore fits perfectly into the Attractiepark Slagharen. Although it is newer and follows a trend with the triple launch, it offers about the same ride pleasure as its predecessor – so they did everything right.

 

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Slagharen, daar kun je veel beleven

One of the amusement parks which I have wanted to visit again for quite some time is the Attractiepark Slagharen. During my first visit in 2009, and still under the patronage of the Bemboom family, I was completely thrilled by the park’s 70s and 80s rides, which had long been decommissioned elsewhere. The cable car that leads across Mainstreet with all kinds of food stalls and connects the two parts of the park remains in your memory just as positively as the good old Looping Star roller coaster, the dark ride Ocean of Darkness or the flying swing Apollo, where simply everything was allowed.

In 2012, after almost 50 years of family ownership, the park was sold to the Spanish group Parques Reunidos and an untypically rapid change in the park took place. The iconic Ocean of Darkness dark ride was the first to be demolished to make room for the queue for the children’s driving school The Passepartout Explorer. The surrounding area has been redesigned to form the Jules Verne Adventureland theme area with a number of Italian-made children’s rides, the still magnificent Schwarzkopf Enterprise and the Twist ‘n’ Splash Expedition Nautilus. The dream boat of the Weber company was therefore moved and is now, as is the Flying Carpet from the same company, no longer in the park.

Since this year, the Apollo has only half of its gondolas, which makes the touch-down a bit smoother, but consequently reduces the fun of flying to almost nothing. The long seat chains, the mutual pushing off, the turning in before the ride, all this is now no longer tolerated and accepted, there have even been occasional warnings. The once most ingenious chain carousel of all times is now only a shadow of its former self.

The Octopus is another classic. The Monster II from Schwarzkopf is a very special ride, where you can spin like crazy inside the gondola without any great weight shift. This happens as soon as the gondola brakes are released and can be held for the entire duration of the ride with very little practice. And the ride does not have to hide behind the ride on the younger successor model, which is still widely represented at local fairs today.

Since this year it is no longer possible to take the monorail to the other side of the park, after all the main station near the swimming pool has been abandoned, so you can either take the monorail on foot or the standard route by the cable car. The number of rides on this side of the park has not been reduced as drastically, but the small swimming pool with iceberg theme has been modernised and supplemented with a handful of slides of a newer design. As Aqua Mexicana, the pool now stands out with its significantly increased surface area and slide tower, although I wonder why of all things the portfolio of the actual amusement park had to be reduced even further by taking over the dinghy slides.

As great as Attractiepark Slagharen continues to be, the quality of the park has been massively reduced in recent years under Parques Reunidos. Obviously something new has to be created from time to time, but not at the cost of a massive reduction of the existing portfolio, which was secretly the key to the success of the theme park. Nowhere else was the choice of rides as large or the number of roller coasters as negligible for a successful visiting day as here.

For decades, all the laws of the economy have been contradicted and it has been shown that with good rides alone, despite the perceived standstill, you can attract more visitors than most other parks of this size will ever have. Of course a lot of the success of the amusement park was due to the free tickets that were thrown in masses in supermarkets near the border and the focus on the holiday park as the main source of income, but all this has not changed much since the takeover. Besides, the ADAC discount is still highly recommended.


What is your opinion about the changes at Attractiepark Slagharen?  Just write them in the comment field below the report or visit our social media channels: