A Sik ride experience

Since my first visit to Flamingo Land in early 2013, a lot of rides have been added to the line-up. Two of the major additions (Hero and Twistosaurus) covered in this review were actually in construction back then. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the 10 inversion coaster Sik was being installed. With restrictions being now a thing of the past, the ride was finally able to open for the 2022 season. 


Twistosaurus is an off-the-shelf junior twister coaster from Zamperla and comes without much theming. However, it fits in well with the Dino Stone Park theme area. The ride itself is a nice little family coaster with some hairpin turns and a helix that makes the cars spin. The whole experience is relatively stomach-friendly and great fun for the whole family.


For all friends of Colossus at Thorpe Park living in the North of the country, there is finally a very similar experience available in Yorkshire. Although it is the first installation of the roller coaster, Sik is actually a rather old ride. The ride was set to open at the Brazilian theme park Hopi Hari in 2012, but never installed due to  financial situation of the park and a rather strange leasing deal. The ride moved basically from parking lot to parking lot and after a short stay at the Movie Animation Park Studios in Malaysia the ride was finally being bought by the Gibb family.

What makes the experience rather unique is the ride’s history and the extended degree of freedom due to the restraint system in use. Compared to Colossus, the layout features a different first drop, yet the remaining course consisting of a loop, a nice airtime bump into a tunnel, a cobra roll, two corkscrews and a total of five heartline rolls (four of them are straight in a row) is pretty much the same. 

Although it is a new ride in Flamingo Land, you get quite a shake on this roller coaster. Compared to Colossus, which offers a good ride apart from the first three inversions, or Altair at Cinecittà World in Rome, which has the same layout and train design, Sik is not the smooth experience you might expect. The ride is still fun, but it could also be much better if it ran a little smoother. 


Another coaster model which is infamous for its ride experience is the Zamperla Volare. This small scale flying coaster puts you into a cage and squeezes you like the filling of sandwich before sending you through a multilevel layout on a very tight footprint. While doing that, the ride offers a bunch of very cool heartline rolls and some seriously tight hairpin curves. It is no big news, that most roller coaster enthusiasts actually dislike this coaster model. Personally, I think a Zamperla Volare is actually lot of fun and a surprisingly smooth ride experience. There is nothing wrong with this model and especially not with Hero. It’s a good ride. 

Pictures Flamingo Land

Conclusion Flamingo Land

The Flamingo Land still is a rather unique animal and theme park. With the recent changes, the park now appears a lot more coherent. The 2022 addition Sik fits in nicely and has a nice style to it. Especially Sik’s station has a great flair and the train with the dark coloured Union Jack has something very special.


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Togo-Mania at Greenland


The Greenland Resort has been located in the middle of the Japanese coal-mining area since 1964. Once founded by the Mitsui Mining company as a subsidiary, the holiday resort has been repositioned again and again over the course of time and, after the Mitsui Group left, is now operated solely as Greenland (i.e. without the prefix Mitsui). In addition to the eponymous theme park, the resort consists of two hotels, a golf course, a bowling centre, a pachinko hall, several restaurants and the obligatory hot spring.

The gigantic Ferris wheel already catches everyone’s eye on the way in, but when the first roller coasters join them, it’s a picture that makes your mouth water. So we hurry up to the entrance to pay the entrance fee and the free pass at the cash desk. You then exchange the voucher for the Free Pass in Greenland for the corresponding wristband for permanent rides – alternatively, as in most Japanese theme parks, you can pay for the rides individually. Greenland is therefore a classic Tivoli park, but it has more parallels with the world’s oldest amusement park, the Bakken in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Milky Way

We start our tour counter-clockwise, but immediately turn away from the Grampus Jet and Ladybird Coaster, which are very busy in the morning, and walk at a brisk pace to a very special double attraction, which takes us on a lively trip through the Milky Way, either standing up or sitting down.

Early in the morning, we were spoilt for choice on Milky Way between the Altair stand-up coaster (the blue side) and the Vega sit-down variant (the pink track). However, as boarding for Vega was just starting, the first ride was to be on this ride. As soon as both trains have been dispatched, the journey can start immediately.

The first step is the classic chain lift to a starting height of 38m. At the top, there is a leisurely right turn before the madness takes over. Parallel to the stand-up track, you now shoot towards the abyss, which really gets you out of your seat. While Altair says goodbye to us in a right turn, we race over an airtime hill and immediately over a slightly inclined turn. But we don’t have to wait long for Altair, because the train is already coming towards us on the exit. After we have taken enough of a run-up, the train tries to throw us off on the next airtime hill without any consideration. But a highlight rarely comes alone and after Togo has already proven that they are the kings of negative forces here, the same applies in the positive direction. With proper pressure on the body, one now performs a downward helix to the lowest point of the layout. From there, a slightly inclined ramp leads back up to the station level, but not without being briefly lifted out of the seat once more. After the short duel, Altair joins us again and parallel to each other, there is a short left turn and a small hill before we reach the braking section and, after a short turn, the station.

If Vega already sounds so good, I’d best tell you what the rascal from Altair is up to, shall I?! All right, after we have moved towards the ground with only slight airtime and said goodbye to Vega, we now also pass a rather high airtime hill and take off in a familiar manner; however, the subsequent downward helix is just as delicious. With a lot of pressure on your feet, you leave the helix on a short ramp, which immediately turns into the turning curve just below the turning curve of Vega. Here, the train of the sister track comes towards us in a grandiose moment of pure (riding) joy. With much more pressure than Vega, we pass through the forest of supports of the turning curve before we are mercilessly transported into the shoulder restraints in the most insane airtime moment of all time. With what feels like 20 cm of free space, measured it could even be a little more, between the foot and the train floor, you fly over a tiny little hill before going up another hill. At the top, you have a short breather, but your head is rather in the process of correctly classifying what you have just experienced by taking a short left turn to end up parallel to the sister track again. The aforementioned left-hand bend follows, followed by a combination of small hills and block brakes, which comes along leisurely, but in the end can’t help but knock your socks off again.

In the end, what else is left but to fall mercilessly in love with Togo? Both Milky Way tracks are simply wonderful to ride. There are outstanding airtime moments, just as there are extremely punchy passages. On top of that, Vega’s train is also an oversized Bluetooth speaker – what more could a roller coaster fan want? Probably a buttery smooth ride and a non-existent waiting time? Don’t worry, the Greenland has thought of that too, although at least the second point was a bit of a downfall and later in the day we only had the Vega sit-down pearl at our disposal.

Danger in a Maze

Well, you know what I mean and so far we’ve only covered one ride, so let’s move on: The next attraction on our tour is the interactive maze Danger in a Maze, where you have to stop a bomb at the last second. The circuit is very straight forward, even if it means you have to wait a little longer at a door. The design of the ride is exactly the same on the inside as it is on the outside, making it an absolute must-do.


Also in this category, with outside temperatures well over 30°C and sultriness present, is the splashy water ride Splash. Now some people will think to themselves “hmmm, I know this generic name from somewhere” and they will be amazed that they have also seen the design of the ride before. One could even assume a common park friendship between the Dutch amusement park Duinrell and the Greenland, after all the ride, in both cases built by O.D. Hopkins, already opened there in 1992 and the Greenland followed suit a year later.

Unlike the day before and Duinrell in general, however, there was no possibility of taking a seat in a covered boat here, but the wise Japanese had thought of everything and so there is the possibility of borrowing a rain poncho for the duration of the ride. But if you think this will cost you money, you’re wrong at Greenland, where you can even let off steam with the free pass at the individual game stalls; the emphasis here is actually on the rental, because after the ride you hand the rain poncho back in so that it can be dried by the staff. As a spillwater fan and generally environmentally conscious person, you have no choice but to thankfully do without the poncho, even if Greenland (and I would wish this of all other amusement parks) cuts out the revenue from the sale of the full-body condoms. When you meet the future passengers after the ride, refreshed and extremely wet, you are rewarded by the irritated and at the same time enthusiastic looks of the Japanese and may even high-five some of them; a wonderful feeling.

Sphinx Coaster

Although the Greenland is a huge amusement park, the distances to the next attraction are usually not so excessively far, so we ventured a ride on the Sphinx Coaster with a slight touch of wetness. This family roller coaster is characterised above all by its marginally existing gradients, which already make a simple Big Apple look very steep. But while the worm coasters are quite tame, the Japanese flat coaster builds up quite a high speed towards the end, which is conveyed amazingly well especially by the flat descents.

Panorama Mountain

Past the water park, where interestingly almost all the slides are designed for an adult audience, the Skylift cable car takes you up to Panorama Mountain. All safety mechanisms on the gondola are dispensed with. Additional padding on the roller coasters? Sure! But cable cars with safety bars? We Europeans sometimes tend to exaggerate when it comes to safety.

On Panorama Mountain, in addition to the Horror Tower, which tells a local horror story but is not very scary on the way through the two floors, there is the Witch’s Flying Chair chain carousel and the mountain station of the Super Slider summer toboggan run. Interestingly, it seems that luges are not very common in Japan, which is why the staff are happy to explain in great detail how the bobsleds work to the waiting passengers. It’s just a shame when these passengers listen but don’t really understand how to accelerate in the end. So I was allowed to spend most of the descent behind a lurker, while Nicolas joined us only towards the end of the ride.

Dragon Mountain and Spin Mouse

Back in the valley, the trail leads us towards the Reverchon Spin Mouse. Along the way we pass the Karakuri Castle Maze and the station of the suspended monorail Sky Ship before entering the Dragon Mountain rapid river. This was built by Bear Rides and, due to the non-existent degree of wetness, can unfortunately only score points through its embedding in the landscape.

Well, let’s get into this beloved old friend from France, which someone from Parques Reunidos will please take a closer look at – but I’m anticipating something here, so I’ll just explain what I mean. On the Spin Mouse, all the wagons are loaded at the same time, but then sent out on the track at a fast pace. What in Spain, however, quickly leads to a waiting time beyond 90 minutes with a normal mouse (Vértigo in the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid), is quickly resolved within three to four cycles here. The real difference lies in the efficiency of the Japanese staff, not in the theoretical capacity of the ride, which is roughly the same in both cases. The ride was also extremely fast-paced and thus thoroughly entertaining.

Legend of Salamander

Passing the go-kart track, we are now drawn to the north entrance of Greenland, near which the interactive dark ride Legend of Salamander is located. Here, you shoot at worm-like creatures while generally completing a rectangular course. For us, this dark ride, built by Senyo, became the epitome of typical Japanese shooter themed rides, as the opponents are mostly the same and the record on such rides cannot be beaten without months of training.

Panic Jungle

The biggest advantage of a ride on Legend of Salamander, however, was the air conditioning, which saved us from the raging heat outside, because stupidly we had long since dried out again and the rapid river also didn’t help. It’s a good thing that there is an extremely inappropriately named log flume in Greenland, the Panic Jungle. So we got into the boats of Senyo, a manufacturer we now knew and loved.

After leaving the double station, you bob along leisurely towards the first lift hill. This takes you to the middle level, but no drop follows. Instead, you approach a hall and pass through a sparsely decorated corridor. Back in daylight, you bob past some animal sculptures, make a right turn, pass under the second lift hill and approach it in another right turn. This one is then considerably larger and leads you directly into the ride’s only shot. Wetted, but not particularly wet, you leave the run-out area and immediately tackle the way back to the station.

Haunted Shrine

Due to the lack of cooling, another dark ride was needed as soon as possible, so we entered the acoustically optimised Haunted Shrine. Equipped with headphones, the car takes you through some wonderfully designed scenery that charmingly reminds you of the Geister Rikscha from Phantasialand. Unfortunately, the Haunted Hospital creepy walkthrough right next door no longer exists. Instead, there is a hospital attraction based on an anime, but we did not test it.

Goku, Super Viking and Gyro Storm

However, we tested the numerous rides in this corner of the Greenland theme park. While the Star Flyer Goku offered the familiar Austrian lookout ride experience, the Super Viking ship swing offered solid ship swing ride fun with both sides cheering each other on. A completely different experience, on the one hand boring on the other absolutely insane and grandiose, was offered by the Gyro Storm by Togo.

But how does this conflict come about? I’ll have to go back a bit and give a basic description of the ride, but if you’ve already read this far, you’ll be interested. Okay, so the Gyro Storm in very simplified terms is a ride similar to the Enterprise, i.e. a centrifugal force-based somersault carousel, but it doesn’t go very fast. The gondolas swing freely, but can be locked at any time, and depending on which position you are in at that moment, the rest of the ride can be extremely fun. In the best case, this happens when you are at the highest point of the ride inside the wheel and thus first race through the station upside down for a few laps. At some point, the gondolas are released again and a wild swinging session ensues as the ride draws to a close.


You can then lean towards your own end on the Lift, because where the Sky Lift was already scary enough, this inconspicuous chairlift goes even further. As already mentioned, the Japanese like to dispense with unnecessary safety precautions, but where such precautions are already in place, they add a corresponding safety factor on top. Apparently nothing has ever happened on the lift, which is why they have even dispensed with side barriers. As a means of transport, the lift now leads us in the direction of Greenland’s largest roller coaster, so it is a real shortcut.

Sky Jet

On the other side, however, we first climb into the overlong, multi-level self-controlled diesel monorail Sky Jet before we turn away from the dinosaur ride next door for dramaturgical reasons. To be honest, we now make our way back along the attractions that you didn’t get to see through the lift.

Luxor Magic

The first attraction is the interactive fortune-telling attraction Luxor Magic, where you can find out all kinds of things about your future happiness in love, your career and, of course, your health by making a few decisions beforehand on your way through the burial chamber. The data is stored on a small plastic sword and evaluated towards the end. If everything has worked, you get your future printed out in a practical A4 format.

Crystal Maze and Ice World

Right next door is the old Crystal Maze mirror maze, which unfortunately only offered the tried and tested. More interesting, however, is Ice World, a concept we have already experienced at Kijima Kogen Park, that is much loved at temperatures well above 30°C. Although the temperature inside was only about -25°C, the walk through the nicely designed cold store was quite refreshing.

Small Java

In the spirit of Avenue-Q, according to which we are all a bit racist, we recommend a look at Small Java. Similar to the Cabane de Robinsons in Disneyland Park near Paris, there is a tree house here and all kinds of things are depicted. The main difference are the sculptures of the animals, as well as those of the indigenous people. Here at the latest, the bridge to Denmark was perfect, Greenland is the Bakken of Japan! Although the island of Java is not Africa by any stretch of the imagination, the attraction is similar to the racist African-themed ride in the former Sommerland Syd and thus actually to any of the old dark rides with an African theme in Denmark. Of course, the whole thing is again something to smile about rather than really meant maliciously; it’s just that it was a different time and nowadays it’s simply outdated.

Black Hole Coaster

Back at the starting point of our short detour, we are now confronted with the longest wait of the day, namely 30 minutes at the indoor roller coaster Black Hole Coaster. Thanks to the covered queue, however, the wait passes relatively quickly with pleasant temperatures and fitting European 90s sound.

Once you have boarded the Zamperla train of the Meisho roller coaster, the ride can begin immediately. On a shallow ramp, you slowly build up metres of height along the wall of the hall, which you then immediately descend in a fast-paced left-hand helix. In a long left-hand bend, you cross a light tunnel and again gain a few metres in altitude. A change of direction follows and immediately a downhill helix to the right. Another change of direction under strobe lights then leads to the outer area of the ride, which is, however, hidden by the elaborate façade. Here you then creep through an upward oval helix, which then turns into the final downward helix, whereupon the quite acceptable ride ends.

Ultra Twister Megaton

But an acceptable roller coaster is not a superior roller coaster. As we’ve already learned here at Greenland, every roller coaster from Togo is a superior roller coaster, but can the manufacturer’s third ride also back up this statement? Let’s find out at Ultra Twister Megaton.

As soon as you have stowed your things in the locker in the station, you first go to the actual entrance area of the roller coaster. There you board the slowly rolling backwards car and close the shoulder restraint. The ride operator then locks it in place and you approach the transfer element at the rear end of the track. As soon as the car is in position, the element is turned by 90° degrees, followed by the ascent in the vertical lift. Having reached a height of 30m, the car crosses a terribly narrow crest and immediately plunges down a wonderfully rapid 85° gradient towards the ground, so that an intense airtime sets in at every seat, but especially in the last row. The following valley is passed through with indescribable pressure, but the adventurous interplay of vertical acceleration is far from over, because this is followed by an airtime hill as it is written in the book. A heartline roll, which couldn’t be more beautiful, follows at an extremely high speed. Stirred and not shaken, you then take on a small incline before you reach the first braking section of the ride. But from here on, caution is advisable, because now you are slowly moving towards your doom. At some point the brake of the next transfer element will engage, but you don’t know when and at the worst possible moment you will hit your knee – which, funnily enough, can happen quickly in any row, so watch out!

After the transfer element has done its job, we are now released backwards into the lower level. Here you build up some speed before the second role takes place. As soon as you have reached the station level, you complete role no. 3 before you reach the second braking section and soon the station.

Although the second part now seems a bit uneventful, it’s great. In general, this roller coaster is great, terrific and insane at the same time. The ride experience is significantly different in each row, whereby the last row is simply the most convincing with its insane airtime in merciless interplay with the pronounced forces in the valleys; so try it, when you’re here! Another thing you should definitely try, however, is to spend at least 10 laps on the roller coaster. It’s fun and it’s exciting, not only for you but also for the Japanese staff. When you have completed a certain amount of time, you can look forward to a photo that will be published on the roller coaster’s website or used on Twitter. You can also immortalise yourself on a small wooden stick, which will then be hung up in the queue. You can imagine how we spent our time in Greenland, because we had enough of it and, above all, definitely never enough of the Ultra Twister. We weren’t the only ones, but we didn’t leave it at 10 rounds. Where do you think you’re going? No, we set the daily record, until at some point the staff didn’t want to let us ride any more, because of the photo session, of course. What a lovely evening.

Ferris Wheel Rainbow

After the outstanding roller coaster, we turn our attention to the outstanding Ferris Wheel. The Ferris Wheel Rainbow is not only the most stylish Ferris wheel I have ever seen in person, but also one of the most impressive steel constructions I have ever seen. However, we were a little surprised by the two queues, although we queued for the much shorter one and eventually got the normal gondolas.


At the foot of this giant, or one level lower, is one of the oldest roller coasters in Greenland, but one would automatically think it was much younger. We’re talking about the Suspended Looping Coaster Nio, which has already been in existence for 20 years on an open area right next to the big show stage. The ride then offers the familiar ride with good ride characteristics in the roll-over and the Sidewinder, but a little wobbling in the two in-line twists. All in all, a very passable SLC that you can get on more often.

Ladybird Coaster

Passing the Green Stadium, where Kamen Raider or another Japanese children’s series was just playing, we now turn to the two roller coasters that we had left out at the beginning. The small Ladybird Coaster convinces us with its outward banked curves, the generally nice powered coaster ride and its staff, who pointed out the big coasters to us.

Grampus Jet

One of these is the suspended coaster Grampus Jet, in true style with the original Arrow trains and thus in direct contrast with the roller coaster Dream Catcher from the Belgian amusement park Bobbejaanland, which, as is well known, uses more modern Vekoma trains. In fact, the ride differs significantly due to the larger mass.

For this purpose, we take a closer look at the route. After leaving the station and being led to the lift hill, we eventually reach the top level of the layout. Here we enjoy the view for a while before plunging into the depths for the first time. With surprising pressure, we now cross the first valley, whereupon we make a sweeping right turn. After a change of direction, we take a wide left turn in the best Bavarian curve manner, which narrows steadily towards the end. Alternately, we swing through a downhill helix to the right, to the left and to the right again, always taking a small incline in between. But where is the difference to Dream Catcher? So far, definitely in the intensity of the ride, also the swings are more pronounced so far. What the Belgian Dream Catcher can do better, however, is to release the passengers into the final brake, because the Grampus Jet is a little sluggish there. Without much swinging, the passengers reach the station at the same time and the great ride comes to an end.


Let’s move on to the last roller coaster of the Greenland theme park, the all-dominating dinosaur Gao. In typical jet-coaster style, this roller coaster serves the Japanese audience to perfection and also boasts what is probably the most imposing support structure of any roller coaster in the world: A real oversized framework dinosaur. So what are we waiting for? Off we go on the 4-minute adventure ride.

After strapping on your bar, like on the roller coaster The Ultimate from the English amusement park Lightwater Valley (although this is not the only similarity), we immediately climb steadily but slowly to the starting height of 40m. At the top, we take a slightly inclined turn and quickly pick up speed. A little too fast, probably, because a battery of friction wheels slows us down on the following straight. But that doesn’t matter, because the ramp down into the valley is much flatter than the previous lift hill, which gives us plenty of metres of track to create a breathtaking feeling of speed. In the valley that follows, the G forces are quite high. With momentum we pass the back of the dinosaur. We cross it carefully and almost as fast as the French Anaconda in the Walygator Parc crosses its hills. It’s good that we regain our momentum on the descent and that the next valley is no less hesitant. On the next hill we head for a left turn, whereupon we cross a large part of this part of the park at a lofty height. At some point we plunge towards the abyss in a right turn, once again enjoying the speed trajectory optimally designed by Meisho, before we rapidly take another turning curve at a lofty height. What follows now can hardly be described in words, but is amazingly similar to the second part of the insane roller coaster The Ultimate. Before that, however, a second friction wheel battery tries to slow us down a bit, but this doesn’t necessarily tame the next part. Instead, we now race towards the dinosaur. After a short left turn, we run parallel to the first drop. After a short hill, we even venture under the aforementioned drop extremely abruptly and with a lot of kinks. Another left turn immediately leads us parallel to the lift hill, whereupon one tyre battery after the other is reached shortly afterwards. In a wide right-hand bend we reach the final braking section and shortly afterwards the station.

Gao is great! Although the route is actually predictable to the point of being unpredictable, it still manages to surprise very often. The ride characteristics are okay, but the bar construction makes it a bit rougher than one would wish. But that doesn’t matter, because if there’s one thing that Meisho roller coasters do well, it’s conveying the speed of the ride, and once again that’s done amazingly well, which is why you’ll want to get on the dinosaur of Greenland again and again.

Pictures Greenland

Conclusion Greenland

So we have finally arrived at the résumé of the amusement park. It took quite a while, but I hope you can now imagine the size of this park. Greenland is not necessarily a beautiful amusement park, but it is a Japanese amusement park as it is written in the book and for that reason alone it is great, superb and worth a visit. There are three roller coasters that absolutely stand out, several very good rides and a bunch of other very good coasters. On top of that, the additional attractions are huge, so you won’t get bored here in a hurry, especially since there’s also the Togo Ultra Twister Challenge.


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Click here for the next report of the Titanic Max Tour

The legacy of Dinocittà

The History of Cinecittà World

The history of Rome as a film location dates back to 1937, when the film city Cinecittà was founded. Equipped with what were then the most modern studios in Europe, a backlot and a copy studio, around 300 films were produced by 1943. Bombed by the Allies and looted by the Nazis, the film production was moved to Venice. After the end of the war, Cinecittà served as a DP camp for two years before the film production site was returned to its original purpose. In the 1950s the Cinecittà Studios experienced a golden age, probably also due to the film funding of the Italian state, and served as the film location for important Hollywood films such as Ben-Hur.

Due to constantly increasing demand and limited studio capacities, the producer Dino de Laurentiis founded Dinocittà, at that time the largest film studio in the world, also in the south of the Italian capital. The studio mainly produced historic and monumental films such as Barabbas (Italy 1961, Richard Fleischer), Waterloo (Italy/USSR 1969, Sergei Bondarchuk) and John Huston’s mammoth work La Bibbia (Italy 1966). However, due to the reduction of subsidies at the beginning of the 1970s, the film studio was not able to survive for long, and so in 1973 the land was sold to the Italian state. From then on Dino de Laurentiis produced in the United States and the Dinocittà remained unused; although not forgotten. Plans in the early 2000s to run the studios under the name Roma Studios were quickly discarded and Cinecittà Holding took over the site.

Originally planned for 2012, the movie park Cinecittà World opened its doors for the first time in the summer of 2014. Unpaid bills and a lack of visitors, despite the surprisingly low target of 1.5 million visitors, quickly left the park in a negative light. Short-notice cancellations of seasonal events and the planned winter opening quickly gave rise to doubts as to whether the park would ever open again. However, after restructuring over the winter months, the park opened punctually at Easter.

Tour of the park

Through an elaborately designed entrance portal, one enters the park directly into Cinecittà Street, the park’s main street, inspired by New York of the 1920s. Although the set is only of generic design, i.e. not based on any film, this area has a lot of charm as long as it does not look like a ghost town due to a lack of visitors. The design is generally of a very high quality and equipped with all kinds of details, so that the first and last impression of the park is inevitably a positive one.


To the left of Main Street the set extends around Aktium, an elaborately designed Super Splash from Mack Rides. It is supposed to depict the naval battle at Actium, in which Octavian, the later Emperor Augustus, asserted himself against Marcus Antonius and the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra VII, thus securing sole rule in the Roman Empire. As violent as the battle was, the area around the ride is just as impressive and once again you can see that the Cinecittà World is a place where quality is the name of the game.

After you have left the spacious queue behind you, the journey can start right away. Without much foreplay, you go directly up the first lift hill, where you approach the first slope in a rough curve. Similar to various larger Spillwateranter installations, this runs directly down into the water without any great gimmicks. One turn later, the boat climbs up again and also makes a rough left turn. Where the ride showed itself to be quite untypical for this type of roller coaster the true character is revealed in the second shot. With a lot of momentum you pass a valley and take off on the adjacent hill before you get in contact with the water. After a little sailing through the canal you soon reach the station and are bid farewell by the staff to thunderous applause.

Aktium is a nice spillwater replacement, but it shows the limits of this roller coaster and reveals the reason why almost all other rides of this type use turntables instead of curves for the turning manoeuvres. Apart from the angular curves the ride runs without any other problems, although the level of wetness could have been a bit higher.

Studio 1

Across the Piazza Dino de Laurentiis with all its fountains and fountains we now enter Studio 1, where a magic show took place. Except for the time-consuming mind-reading number (which was only presented in Italian), the show was very professionally staged, but unfortunately not as worth seeing as the comparable show at Movieland Park.

Altair CCW-0204

Directly behind it is Altair CCW-0204, a roller coaster that many people are probably already familiar with from the English amusement park Thorpe Park near London. Unlike the former record-breaker, however, the ride takes passengers up to the starting height of 33m a little faster and without a failure-prone chain lift. After an exciting start, the passengers are then thrown through the rollover elements in trains without shoulder restraints. A massive spaceship serves as an oversized station building, in which mankind returns to earth after more than four millennia and has to ask the question who is the alien, the creatures that developed here, or we who left them in the 22nd century?

While the background story of Altair offers plenty of room for philosophical discussions, the train, whose restraint system is very similar to that of the Divertical water rollercoaster at Mirabilandia, ascends the lift hill directly. At the top, you pass the top of the hill quite leisurely and immediately drop down to the ground. With a high speed and a high pressure you go through a steep left turn before you shoot up the first inversion, a loop. This is traversed with the usual intensity, followed by a small hill with some airtime. In the valley below, the Cobra Roll is initiated, which is crossed just as confidently. After three rollovers, the half time of the ride is rung in with two corkscrews.  After another left turn above the first downhill run, the quadruple heartline roll in the back of the ride is initiated. Because of the freer sitting position, you can complete this with a slight lateral overhang and thus the feeling of always being able to fall out. The train then passes through a last left turn and then the final inversion, a right leading heartline roll towards the brakes. In contrast to Colossus in Thorpe Park, this roll is a bit disappointing, as it is identical to the previous rolls and therefore offers no more surprises.

Altair is a great roller coaster with excellent ride characteristics and a significantly improved seating position compared to the original. However, Colossus also has its strengths, which are mainly reflected in the grandiose final roll and the better integration into the terrain; it is simply more photogenic, although Altair is by no means photo-shy either. The modified first drop is a great experience and the lack of vibrations in looping and the subsequent cobra roll, as well as the absence of a queue to our visit point, make the ride a guarantee for repeat rides.


Through the pretty western town of Ennio’s Creek, named after Ennio Morricone, the composer of numerous Italo western scores, where a scary walkthrough is to educate during the season, and past Studios 3,4 and 5 (with a 4D cinema in Studio 4 and a children’s playground in Studio 3), we head towards the most impressive ride in Cinecittà World, the Erawan Freefall Tower. This visual treat includes four lanes, two of which offer pure falling pleasure while standing, while the other two lanes entertain their passengers while seated. All gondolas are tilted forward before the fall, which generally ensures a great and outstanding ride experience. But even apart from the special features Erawan is a magnificent tower. The pure fall reaches similar qualities as Apocalypse from the English amusement park Drayton Manor, which is in my opinion the best freefall tower in Europe. The only difference is that you are one experience poorer due to the absence of the hilarious standing gondola with corridor. Erawan is undoubtedly the best designed giant drop far and wide and also offers a great ride that you should not miss.


Just a few metres from Erawan is the entrance to Darkmare, the family rollercoaster of Cinecittà World featuring a very dark story. Thematically one takes up Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, which was to be filmed in the 50s in Studio Hall 2. However, there were numerous strange accidents and finally a fire, whereupon the shooting was stopped and nothing happened afterwards.

After years of standstill we venture into the hall and experience a wild ride through hell, which begins with a short descent in a right turn, into the lift hill of the lift. You pass a mirror, which is admittedly a really great effect. Passing numerous, artistically valuable projections, all of which make Van Helsing’s Factory from Movie Park Germany look old, you quickly reach the ceiling of the hall, whereupon the train immediately plunges to the ground in a steep left-hand bend. Regardless of losses, the first valley is crossed with outstanding intensity, whereupon the train soon gains altitude. After a curve change, the train passes through a narrow downward helix and winds its way to the other end of the hall in a zigzag curve combination. After a short ascent you reach the freefall segment, where a demon now shows itself and puts its wings around us. Shortly afterwards we are already one level lower and leave the segment very quickly. Now follows a narrow left turn, which is immediately joined by the final turn to the right. Shortly afterwards we reach the station and are once again bid an enthusiastic farewell.

Darkmare is really, really, really damn good! In contrast to the prototype Th13teen of the English amusement park Alton Towers, the ride has no funny backward part after the drop segment, but the rest of the track is much better. In addition, the general design of the ride in its dark comic style is really outstanding and the projections are just perfect. The large and demonically well darkened hall makes the compact ride look three times as big as it actually is and extends the ride in equal measure. The free fall is also quite ok, but can be a bit too much for first-time riders, after all the ride is not lacking in power anyways. But you shouldn’t take such a gloomy view, because Darkmare is definitely the best roller coaster of the park and one of the best roller coasters in the country; so it’s a great ride with a very high repetition urge.

Aquila IV

Opposite Teatro 2 is the submarine Aquila IV, which was used in a German submarine film and a music video by the band Bon Jovi. Of course it is not Das Boot, because it is still located in the Bavaria Filmstadt not far from Munich, but the U-900 from the film of the same name with Atze Schröder in the leading role. Admittedly, the scenery builders did a good job, but we couldn’t explain to ourselves what the meaningless tour was supposed to be in Italian. Without language skills you should avoid Aquila IV and even with language skills you really shouldn’t expect too much, especially since the waiting time is very long. On the other hand, a visit in a real submarine is really recommendable; we at least wished to return to the U-571 of Movieland Studios.


In addition to the SpacExpress, an immersive tunnel of Simworx, which however was not yet in operation at the time of our visit, the children’s kart track Velocità Luce and the entrance to the children’s land Sognolabio are also located in this area. This area is very colourful and offers some nice rides for children made in Italy, as well as a very annoying soundtrack and a nice splash battle.

Pictures Cinecittà World

Conclusion Cinecittà World

Cinecittà World is a good amusement park that has made quality its top priority; here neither the design nor the rides are of inferior quality. Unfortunately, sometimes the quantity is still missing, because you can only manage a whole day in the park if you actually watch every single show, eat comfortably in one of the restaurants and take multiple rides. The Movieland Park shows how it’s done, but at the Cinecittà World their own professionalism still stands in the way. In no other Italian park you could meet as much staff as here, neither in the shows nor in the attractions. Although this creates a good image, it is known to be somewhat more expensive than the one-person operation of the Mirabilandia. In addition, Cinecittà World is based on something you know and which is also used in numerous film parks or film studios with guided tours, but it is questionable whether they are on the right track; because sometimes they only show larger generic sets without any actual film reference with suitably embedded attractions. A larger reference to own productions would therefore be advisable, but one does not necessarily have to give up the intended concept. I’m curious how the Cinecittà World will develop in the next few years, because the park has potential and already offers a lot of quality; a condition that one would wish for other parks around Rome.

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