Battle of the Giants

Colossos – Kampf der Giganten

An aging wooden coaster of superlatives

Large wooden roller coasters have always been associated with problems. While they were still doing very well in their premiere year, after a few years of operation at the latest, there was nothing left of them. With Colossos, however, it was different. For far more than a decade, the giant of the Lüneburg Heath was able to pull its passengers out of their seats; thanks to the elaborate track construction. It’s just unfortunate if at some point the rail no longer has the condition necessary for operation and has to be completely replaced. However, it has to be mentioned that Colossos is the first wooden roller coaster that was equipped with this track and even the TÜV – which is a worldwide inspectorate for roller coasters – had no experience with this type of track and therefore tested the ride again and again out of line. Now, engineers are working with safeties that are many times higher than the actual load case to guarantee fatigue strength or the longest possible life span – so a ride over the track would have been safe. The park management, however, understandably considered the risk too high and the ride was taken out of service.

For the Heide Park, this was of course the worst case scenario. Even though the park is well positioned, Colossos was and is the main attraction of the amusement park. Interestingly enough, the management of Merlin Entertainments had to acknowledge this themselves first, because an immediate mise-en-budget of the wooden roller coaster was not planned. Lately, the group has not been known to repair problematic rides immediately. It’s better to put a fence around a ride and let it vegetate. Examples are the Slammer and the Logger’s Leap log flume at Thorpe Park or almost the whole Maya-Tal area here at Heide Park. But Colossos is hard to hide despite the fence. I don’t want to know how many visitors inquired about the big wooden roller coaster; but the reduction of the ride offer will not have pleased every visitor. Personally, I also did not like the fact that one of my favourite roller coasters did not run anymore, so I did not visit the park for the time being.

The rescue

At some point at least, the top management gave the green light and Colossos was allowed to be rescued. To be honest, I don’t even want to imagine the damage to their image if the ride had simply been torn down. Even on a rather rough wooden roller coaster you would be happy to go different ways nowadays, but as I said before, Colossos had no incentive to do so. There was speculation in the fan forums about a RMC conversion, but the probability of that was rather low. Meanwhile, the wooden roller coaster Wicker Man opened in the sister park Alton Towers.

At the beginning of 2019, it was clear to everyone that Heide Park would breathe new life into its old wooden roller coaster. At least the publicity drum was stirred well and there were some documentaries. But there was a little bit of secrecy around one feature: The Wicker Man 2.0 or as Heide Park prefers to call it, the giant. Instead of the burning Wicker Man, which actually never burned outside of the premiere party, there is a huge concrete sculpture in the Heide Park that, in keeping with the dramaturgy of the ride, throws fire bales into the air. And yes, that is impressive. The whole make-over is impressive. Colossos suddenly has Theming.

Although I am familiar with the design with the tree-people, which was created a few years ago as a remnant utilisation around the remnants of Miss Liberty, one could hardly take it seriously. But now Colossos is absolutely immersive from the beginning of the queue to the end of the ride. In this respect, the new station just knocked my socks off.

In the station, you board the new trains, which now correspond to those of the later installations of El Toro and T-Express. This is a bit unusual, but on the other hand they are really comfortable and have some features that should make working on the ride a bit easier in the future. For the passenger it is definitely an advantage that it is no longer necessary to press down the bars. So you have some space.

The ride

After you have reached the starting height of 50m and have enjoyed the view in a wide right-hand bend, the lively interplay of very high positive and distinct negative forces can start immediately. So we skilfully plunge into the depths before we plunge through the valley and are then lifted out of our seats on the first hill. After the next valley we repeat the game again, before we turn to the back turn of the Out & Back Coaster. Here we first climb a hill after the top of which we lean to the side more and more. In a beautiful steep turn we descend rapidly before we straighten up again in a small S-curve turn and climb a hill. Directly next to the layout we just completed, we plunge down another time, whereupon we hit a speed hump – i.e. a relatively flat hill – and take off a little bit from our seat once more. After a short ascent, a longer straight line awaits us, followed by a downward helix to the left. We approach the ground faster and faster, whereupon the rapid finale of the ride begins. Here we cross a series of parabolic hills, the last one being taken by the fire giant. With airtime and underscored by numerous effects we are heading for our doom directly into the giant’s gorge. But somehow we seem to get away and then we board a rather flat turning curve back to the station, where we come to a halt in the braking section.


Conclusion Colossos – Kampf der Giganten

Colossos – Kampf der Giganten is still a great roller coaster with outstanding ride characteristics.  It rides the same way as before, but now – apart from its impressive structure – it looks simply fantastic. I honestly don’t know if you should mourn a RMC conversion now, because although these coasters are without a doubt sublime, they are no roller coasters that you should and can ride permanently – but with Colossos it’s different: It has always been sublime and gets better and better from ride to ride.


What is your opinion about the make-over of the wooden coaster Colossos? Just write it in the comment field below the report or on our social media channels:



A short visit to a beautiful Tivoli


The story of Linnanmäki begins in 1907. Children’s Day events were organised across Finland in order to collect funds for child welfare. At first, the events were arranged on a non-regular basis but in 1945 Children’s Day became a regular annual event. In 1950 six child welfare organisations joined forces in the Children’s Day Foundation and opened the amusement park Linnanmäki.


When you approach Linnanmäki one of the first rides you see is the roller coaster Ukko – a Maurer Sky Wheel towering the entrance area of the park. This ride features a vertical lift which goes over into the sky loop element.

The Sky Wheel itself is a roller coaster experience that is quite difficult to describe. In the moment before you are relieved from the elevator upside down, there is a strange feeling in your stomach, which returns to normal within the first roll. This is followed by a descent with high centrifugal forces in the valley before you rush backwards through the valley again shortly afterwards in order to partially climb the sky loop element. After another pass through the station, the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop on the ride’s lift and is then lowered to the station again.

To be honest, I am not a big fan of Maurer’s Sky Wheels. The sensation is good, do not get me wrong, but they are not my kind of ride. The feeling of hanging upside down in 46m only hold by a lap bar is weird and not very enjoyable and the rest of the ride is just okay.

Raketi and Vuoristorata

Past the great S&S Space Shot drop tower Raketi, we now head towards the oldest roller coaster of Linnanmäki: Vuoristorata. The name translates to or better said defines the term roller coaster in Finnish. It is the last of the four scenic railways by Valdemar Lebesch, who also built the two Rutschebanen of Bakken and Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen.

Vuoristorata starts with a long curve leading to the left before the train engages with the cable lift. With a great view onto the roller coaster Ukko just in front, we quickly rise to the top to the lift. Another left curve follows before we dive towards the ground in a large drop. Now, we transverse the Figure-8 ride diagonally and climb a hill while doing so. On the front end of the ride, we now turn around in a curve leading to the right. We take off a bit on the double down, before racing over a large camelback. On the other side of the ride, we now take a left turn. This is followed by another double down leading into one more camelback. On the next hill we gently take another turn around. Parallel to the lift we now initiate the grand finale. Hereby we dive into a tunnel after another camelback. In darkness, we now pass the last curve before we reach the station of the ride and come to a halt.

Vuoristorata is a nice wooden roller coaster which offers a good amount of airtime, speed, and forces during its two-and-a-half-minute long ride. The scenic railway built in 1951 sure offers a great experience and should not be missed when visiting Helsinki.


One of the most interesting coasters of Linnanmäki is Kirnu. This Intamin Zac Spin is one of the earliest examples of a 4D coaster and resembles a large marble run. After the lift, the ride vehicle races towards the edge, plunges down, hits a high forced valley, and turns around on the next crest while the gondola can freely rotate around its own axis. Normally, a roll over is inescapable on the last hill of the ride.

Kirnu might just be a short ride, but also a very unpredictable and powerful one too, so you better not underestimate it.

Linnunrata eXtra

In the large water tower, situated right in the middle of the park, you can ride the Zierer family coaster Linnunrata eXtra which opened in the year 2000 as Space Express. Nowadays, the ride is not only named after the Finnish word for Milky Way, but also offers VR goggles, which makes it eXtra special. I rode the ride without the glasses, which I immediately regretted. The theme inside is dark and not longer visible. The ride itself is very gentle and therefore without any surprises. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to test the ride with the glasses, as it started to have a queue shortly after my ride.

Kieputin, Taikacircus and Mustekala

Back to the light, we quickly encounter the HUSS Top Spin Kieputin, which offered a short, but quite intense ride cycle. In the same corner of Linnanmäki, you can ride the dark ride Taikacircus, have a walk through the nearby funhouse or encounter a well-hidden Schwarzkopf ride called Mustekala at the end of a cul-de-sac.


The 75m high drop tower Kingi does not have the best reputation among theme park enthusiasts. Albeit the ride on the Italian made ride offers a very intense drop, the experience itself sits on the uncomfortable side. The restraints by Moser Rides are very tight and the seats themselves are not made for Northern Europeans as they are simply not wide enough. Therefore, if you do not want to squeeze yourself into the seats for a rather long period of time, you should be either very slim and short or still a kid.


Passing the equally high observation tower, we now step down to another level where another Italian made ride awaits us. Here, however, we find ourselves in seats with a little bit too much room. The Technical Park fying pen Magia offers some heavy rotation and huge forces. It is a fun ride, which does not create a dizzy aftertaste.


The spinning coaster Salama at Linnanmäki is a great example for an efficient use of space as it is located right on top of the rapid river Hurjakuru. As one of the latest spinning coasters built in Europe, it still offers the excitement of previous Maurer installations like Tarantula at Parque de Atracciones de Madrid or Spinball Whizzer at Alton Towers.

Salama begins with a short curve into the lift. Once at the top, the descents start with a tight turn leading into a curvy drop. With a good spin, we now cross the first valley and enter the large Immelmann turn, the track’s main element. Shortly thereafter, we climb a hill and find ourselves in the first block section of the ride. Another drop follows, whereupon we swirl over an inclined hill. After another upwards leading curve, we enter the second block brake. From here on, the hills get a little bit gentler. In a zigzaggy style, we now make our way towards the next block section. The finale of the ride consists of a downwards leading curve, a small hill and curve with a dip leading into the last brake section of the ride.

Salama is a great spinning coaster with an excellent spin. The ride offers a cool layout and a great pacing. Although the ride is quite short, it gives you a good repeatability factor.


Something you could also say about Hurjakuru. The compact rapid river by Intamin offers a refreshing ride through a well themed tunnel, various rapids, and along numerous water effects. Moreover, it also gives you an excellent view onto the spinning coaster above the ride.


Another ride which is located above the rapid river is the powered coaster Pikajuna by Mack Rides. Like many of the old-style powered coasters, the ride features a bunch of helices and curved sections in a rather compact layout. Unfortunately, the ride is quite slow.


The exit of the ride leads us directly to Tulireki: a Mack Rides E-Motion Coaster. The prototype coaster is a rocking sensation, as the ride vehicle can rock forwards and backwards, as well as sideways. Nowadays, only the sideways rocking remains.

The ride starts immediately after a short curve with the incline of the very steep lift. At the top, we can enjoy the view onto Helsinki during our race through the gentle serpentine curves. After the first block brake we quickly head downwards in the largest drop of the ride. The following incline leads us into a spiral before we change direction at a lofty height. A downward leading curve to the left quickly goes over into a curve to the right and then into the second brake section of the ride. We continue our journey on Tulireki with a shallow downward leading curve to the left into a upwards leading curve to the right. Shortly thereafter we find ourselves in the final brake of the ride.

Tulireki is a fun little coaster when you are sitting in the front row on the vehicle, otherwise the ride can be very bumpy and not as satisfying. The ride system was a good trial, but it did not work out as expected.


Right next door, you could ride the water coaster Vonkaputous by Premier Rides till the end of the 2017 season. Nowadays, this space is used for Taiga, the large Intamin LSM launch coaster which dominates Linnanmäki since June 2019.

The ride on Taiga starts with a launch into the first inversion. This is basically an oversized corkscrew, whereby the entrance to the element is initiated by a twist to the right while climbing a hill. According to the roller coaster database ( this element is a Zero-G Winder. With a lot of momentum, we now race through the valley and swivel over hill and dale in a large curve to the right. On the crest of a hill, we quickly change direction and race along the ground. After another change of direction, the second launch section is reached, and we accelerate towards the next element: a 52m Top Hat.

With an awesome view onto the city of Helsinki we now dive down towards the powered coaster Pikajuna. In an inverted airtime hill, we now cross the roller coaster Tulireki and experience a moment of pure joy before turning towards the ground again. In the next valley, we reach our top speed of 106 kph. After flying over a bunny hop, we head upwards and change direction in an Immelmann. Hereafter, we climb a left-hand bend into an s-hill followed by a right-hand turn. At a lower speed, we now swivel a bit from left to right, before plunging down to the ground for one more time. In an airtime hill, we enter an inclining left-hand curve, which releases us into the final inversion of the ride: a heartline roll. One last right-hand bend then leads us into the brakes and shortly thereafter the ride comes to an end.

Taiga is awesome. This coaster is simply terrific, and the layout is just perfect. Intamin did an incredibly good job by giving its masterpiece from Phantasialand some new elements and include a bunch of outstanding inversion.

Pictures Linnanmäki

Conclusion Linnanmäki

Linnanmäki is a great amusement park and one of the best Tivoli, I visited so far. The atmosphere within the park is great and the attractions are amazing. You simply cannot have a better day in an amusement park while supporting a large child welfare foundation at the same time. You are doing something good while having fun and that is something you will not find that often.

What is your opinion about the Tivoli Linnanmäki?  Just write it in the comment field below the review or visit our social media channels:


Alton Towers

Theme Park:Alton Towers (since 1980)
Part of the Resort Alton Towers Resort
Address:Farley Lane
ST10 4DB
Alton (bei Stoke-on-Trent)
Operated by:Merlin Entertainments Group

Alton Towers, located in the heart of the Midlands near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, is one of the largest theme parks in the UK and offers a wide range of family-friendly rides for all ages. However, the park cannot and should not be limited to these. The large gardens and not least the ruins of the towers provide the park with a unique backdrop that is unparalleled worldwide.

With a total of 10 roller coasters, many of which – as part of the Secret-Weapon program – were world premieres, the park actually offers everything that makes an enthusiast’s heart beat faster.

Fun Fact #1: None of the attractions are allowed to be built higher than the treetops around them. For this reason, you fall into a 40m deep tunnel in Oblivion and make your way through a path blasted through stone in Nemesis.

Fun Fact #2: The Mad House Hex Legend of the Towers deals with the history of Chained Oak, which can still be admired today on the grounds of Chained Oak Farm directly opposite the theme park. 


Highlights of the Theme Park



Congo River Rapids

A proper Rapid River



Curse at Alton Manor

A great ghost train





The flying coaster that used to be called Air



Hex the Legend of the Towers

or the legend of the Chained Oak





Alton Towers finest coaster





Don’t look down




Rita Queen of Speed

Launch and turnarounds, what more do you need?



Runaway Mine Train

Ein sehr solider Powered Coaster


Sonic Spinball


Spinball Whizzer

A great spinning coaster


The Smiler


The Smiler

14 Inversions of pure madness





Free fall on the roller coaster


Wicker Man


Wicker Man

Offerings wanted



Past Highlights of the Theme Park



Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Large dark ride with motion simulator at the end



Nemesis Subterra

The story of Nemesis, told through an indoor free fall tower




The legendary Top Spin





The double inverting madness



The Flume

Quack, Quack