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.
Pictures Attractiepark Slagharen
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