Slagharen, daar kun je veel beleven

Attractiepark Slagharen

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.

Jules Verne Adventureland

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.

Aqua Mexicana

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.

Pictures Attractiepark Slagharen

Closing Words

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.

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A day in the Amusement Park of Slagharen

Attractiepark Slagharen

Attractiepark Slagharen is located in the town of Slagharen right next to the border between Germany and the Netherlands. The Bemboom family owns the recreational and holiday park. It started as a Ponypark in 1963. In contrast to later projects of the family, the Dreamland is located in Margate, Great Britain, Londoun Castle in Galston, Scotland and the Freizeitpark Kirchhorst not far from the city of Hanover the Attractiepark Slagharen is still in operation today and offers more than one million visitors a special park experience every year.

In addition to the dominating Western theme you will find many things you can not find in any other amusement park these days. Ride connoisseurs will find their nostalgic heart beat faster. New rides are indeed quite rare, except for a free fall tower of the company Fabbri. Overall the rides in this park can be simply described as ingenious.


It is not surprising that you suddenly stand in front of one of the last Enterprise by the German manufacturer Schwarzkopf, where you have to open the roof of the cars for entry and exit, whereas Huss simply moves a grid on the side of the car. The biggest difference between the two enterprise manufacturers are the power of the machine at the start and the different seating position. Both versions promise a great ride, which today can amuse up to four decades after the advent of this type of ride.


In addition to the beautiful Monster Octopus, which unfortunately only completed test drives on the day of the visit, you will also find a converted Apollo by Schwarzkopf in the park. Instead of a Ferris wheel kind of spinning ride, you will find yourself in probably the most ingenious chair swing of all time. Since almost everything is allowed here, the driving pleasure is simply unlimited and the rapid pace of the system takes its toll.


Also a rarity is the Traumboot by the Bremen based company Weber. This is an looping ship style ride, where the boat – unlike a HUSS Ranger – is build without any curvature. The ride is great, but the lap bar is rather painful.

Ripsaw Falls and Mine Train

Right next to the Reverchon log flume Ripsaw Falls with mediocre moisture level you will find the Vekoma family roller coaster Mine Train. The layout promises a lot, at least for the little ones, and can certainly keep this up. The brakes are a little bit to hard, so you better hold tight.

Ocean of Darkness

In the Ocean of Darkness dark ride enthusiasts take a journey to the depths of the sea in a diving bell, where not only Neptune is waiting for you. Although the ride can easily be classified as trashy, it is still something very special and absolutely ride worthy. Sitting in a diving bell with a strongly limited view at the beautiful scenes is just amazing.


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