The amusement park Belantis near Leipzig is not the best park in Germany if you believe the reviews of various forums, it is considered poorly equipped both in terms of number of attractions as well as planting and can hardly please anyone. In fact, the Saxon Terra Mitica is good for a surprise or two, which is why the park as a whole could convince me in its entirety.
Due to a car that broke down after a construction site, in which the previously two-lane A9 changed back to three lanes only to be reduced to a single one, a completely unnecessary traffic jam was created, which meant that a visit to Belantis was not possible until around 3 pm. In the remaining two and a half hours the time was only just enough to explore the park, despite the already reduced rush at the rides. It remains a big mystery why the rides are closed half an hour earlier than usual, despite an opening time until 6 p.m.
Tour of the park
Starting counter-clockwise, you first come across the most famous ride of the amusement park, the Hafema Splash Ride Fluch des Pharao. Although the ride looks like a log flume, it is very special in many ways. Just like the Van Edgom Kongo River ride from the Zoo Safari Park Stukenbrock, the ride offers rubber boats, which adapt to the ground due to their flexible material and are also a little more agile. Although the river ride does not offer extraordinary airtime moments as the Congo River does, it does offer a whirlpool as you can find it almost exclusively at the rafting rides of the same manufacturer.
After boarding the boats and lowering the completely unnecessary sidebars, the journey can begin. Passing the desert-like landscape, the river leads the expedition through some bends towards the biggest pyramid of Europe, inside of which unfortunately only a small stage set and the vertical lift is waiting for you, in which you enter and exit in an interesting way sideways. Arrived at the maximum height level, the 26m high shot ride goes down rapidly in order to get completely soaked in an untypical way. The degree of wetness can be compared with a better Shoot the Chute, like Cataratas Salvajes from the Spanish Parque Warner or Tidal Wave from the English Thorpe Park.
The trip through the whirlpool followed in complete surprise, at the end of which, fortunately, no wave front was waiting for you, as in the Hafema Rafting El Rio of the Bobbejaanland. Shortly afterwards, the trip towards the station follows, where the neighbouring waterfall also moistens the passengers of the boat a little.
Drenched and a little bit freezing I went to the greek themed area of the park, where beside some Heege products and the long boat trip ride of Odysseus the Gerstlauer Sky Roller Götterflug is located. Unfortunately, the prototype of the interactive equipment for side rollovers is often operated incorrectly, so that a boring excursion ride in lofty heights takes place. As a student of mechanical engineering with a working knowledge of physics and a constant urge to press things or flip levers it is of course easy to find out the right technique to perceive the world in circles. However, curious people with a longing for an exciting ride will soon realise that a constant interplay of the wings hardly leads to a proper result. All that is needed is a little wind and the release of the gondola brake in order to stay in a permanent rollover before the final position.
A good 90 seconds and 96 rollovers later, the first ride was already over and the thesis that the wind is just awesome is quickly put forward, because unlike the Sky Fly products, this one actively intervenes in the pleasure of riding and facilitates the formation of rollovers rapidly and to such an extent that one can get a little sick. Like at the Air Meeting in Nigloland, France, the system makes you addicted within a short time, but unfortunately it also bruises quickly, which is especially noticeable if you have more than just one ride the following days.
From the Greek themed area it is only a short way to the Middle Ages. Passing one of the most beautiful backdrops of the German park scene we head towards a castle, where a bobsled roller coaster from Gerstlauer and a small Vekoma Mad House share the place. Compared to the variation with a log flume, as you can find it in Erlebnispark Tripsdrill and finally in the Wild- und Freizeitpark Klotten, this structure looks less naked and altogether rounder.
The queue of the Verlies des Grauens starts quite unusually for a dungeon on the roof of the castle. Through a staircase you will descend into the dungeon, where the preshow is already waiting for you. The dark sheriff has claimed the castle for himself and subjugated the land, full of lust for power he has stolen Merlin’s crystal and it’s up to the intruders to get it back before they figure out how to use it.
In the main chamber a dragon, the sheriff’s pet, is waiting for you and it becomes a little bit more incomprehensible, because there is actually too much talk. The music during the ride is well composed, but is constantly disturbed by the story in its effect. The chamber is small, but therefore effective and well designed.
All in all, Verlies des Grauens is a good witches’ swing, which could have been better with less story. The dragon is absolutely unnecessary and only brings more hustle and bustle into the main chamber, which at best should concentrate on the fight between Merlin and the sheriff.
At least when you ride the Drachenritt, you should not miss the dragon. The Gerstlauer ride is the most beautiful of its kind with Thor’s Hammer from the Danish Djurs Sommerland, but it also has a really good course and not only a Wetten Dass…? sign as a special feature of the ride, as you can experience in the adventure park Tripsdrill on the G’sengte Sau.
After climbing up the lift hill, a surprisingly steep first descent follows, which at the same time ends in a bend. This drop is something special and is only beaten in its perfection by the Big One from Pleasure Beach Blackpool and the Haßloch expedition GeForce all over Europe. A short drive up is followed by some powerful mouse bends, which with the right riding partners could end up in a proper torture game. A block brake is followed by a downward helix with a subsequent upward helix, which then leads into a terrific airtime orgy. A further downward helix and a short tunnel ride round off the pleasure. After a left turn into the light, unfortunately, the speedy ride comes to an end.
A little hidden and only accessible via the queue of the Drachenritt, the most beautiful theme area in Belantis stretches along the lake with the prairie of the Indians. At the end of the area in Fort Feuerwasser is Belanitus Rache, a HUSS Frisbee of the old design. So that smaller children can also ride the ride, it offers two ride programs with separate queues, which is a good choice because the full-grown ride program is really something special.
The frisbees with inside looking seats are quite powerful in their ride, as long as they are handled properly or better said not at all. Normally, ride programs in amusement parks are almost never perfect, but since the showman Robrahn hardly ever uses the potential of the ride outside the Bremen Freimarkt, these versions are much better, despite the lack of announcements. Although Belantis version is not as insanely powerful as La Maquina of the Spanish Parque de Atracciones de Madrid, it is completely convincing due to constant changes of direction and the length of its ride. Those who like the big HUSS versions of this ride should definitely be cured of their delusions by one of the small installations.
Unfortunately, the prairie of the Indians is a dead end, but a direct connection to the roller coaster Huracan would be commendable. It’s one of the few real problems of the amusement park Belantis, because where it would be worthwhile to go straight ahead, for example, the path meanders leisurely back and forth. As a result, there are either trails or traffic jams and both could be prevented by a better infrastructure.
On the way to the big roller coaster in Belantis you have to cross three different themes. Here you will meet the park’s HUSS Condor, whose design with gondolas in dragon design is quite successful. The Drachenflug, like other rides of its kind, not only looks impressive from the outside, but can also offer a good ride experience.
In the spanish looking area Coast of the Discoverers there is an ABC Rides tower with tilt effect, where the queue alone provides for sufficient leaning. The actual ride on the Piratentaufe is quite convincing and can provide one or two laughs.
It is a little different with the Santa Maria ship swing, where the laughter fades very quickly. The ride offers a pretty nasty shock, which I never noticed on any other HUSS swing boat before. Stupidly the outermost place towards the shore is closed for people who want to set sail.
Although Belantis has always expanded with smaller installations and can show the latest novelty with the Dancing Pavilion, it is the Huracan roller coaster that attracted most attention. This ride is considered to be famously infamous, which is said to be the result of one or the other hit. Starting with the, but quite strangely shaped, Cobra Roll, which was the only element that was negative by one hit during the ride at Alton Towers The Smiler, I was prepared for the worst and was quite surprised.
After the car has left the station, it slowly picks up speed and then brakes rather rough. Shortly after that the car hacks into the driver and it quickly goes up the lift to complete the steep gradient even faster. What follows is quite reckless, because it goes up quickly only to beat up its passengers even faster. Where the Zero-G Roll is still bearable, the following Cobra Roll is much worse than expected. The following speed bump is quickly passed and you have a short break which is best used to keep your head as rigid as possible between the restraints, because the entry into the downhill bend is anything but smooth. Two corkscrews that are not exactly polished and intertwined are luckily leading into the final of the circuit.
Although the train looks so promising, the ride, unlike what you are used to from Gerstlauer, is absolute grits. Although Typhoon from the Belgian Bobbejaanland and Saw – the ride from the English Thorpe Park were similarly brutal in the meantime, there were measures for both rides that had a positive effect on the ride. Something similar should be done urgently, at best one should reconsider the type of trains on the layout, which would at least lead to a significantly higher capacity.
Belantis is, with the exception of its alleged main attraction, a really good park, which reminds one of a Scandinavian summer land by many points. Outside of its rides, the offer is varied and available at every corner, there is actually only a swimming pool missing, which could suit the park quite well. The general design in Belantis is outstanding and can be really seen in its entirety, moreover Belantis is really well planted with greenery, what is often missed in other fully developed parks which opened lately.
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