13 years after my first visit and only 4 years after my second visit I went back to the Holiday Park in Haßloch to see their last novelty before the takeover by the Studio 100 Group and to have a look at the recent developments of the park.
One of the most significant changes since Plopsa is the relocation of the entrance area directly adjacent to the car park. This means that you no longer have to walk along the main road running through the park to find your way through the eye of the needle of cash registers, as was the case all those years ago. Thereby, the whole place got quite big and for the first time, one finally notices the position of the park in the international park landscape.
When you enter the park, the first attraction you will meet is the redesigned freefall tower of the park. After the Tower of Olymp, the Anubis Free Fall Tower is now the second version I’ve seen and so it’s nice to see bigger changes than just irrelevant video clips and a new banner. The building has now been repainted, foils decorate the outer walls, in the waiting area an episode of the TV series Das Haus Anubis is shown, ugly picture frames decorate the walls and unfortunately the second title song of the series is played. The ride itself can still convince, but doesn’t offer the samefeeling of falling of La Lanzadera from the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid.
At the edge of the Palatinate village is the entrance to the Donnerfluss (named after the first ride of its kind, the almighty Thunder River of Astroworld), the first rapids ride in Germany. The trip through the artificially rocked canal features some rapids, a cave passage with a waterfall and a large wave pool towards the end of the ride. As it is the case in all rafting rides in Germany, the degree of wetness is limited, but there is at least the possibility to get out a little wetter than expected.
Behind a beautiful merry-go-round, in an old-looking building, is the dark ride at Burg Falkenstein. Once you have overcome the far too long queue and taken a seat in the wagon, the journey through the Middle Ages can begin. Here even an attempt was made to follow a storyline; the plundering is endless, but not without creating a lot of distraction. The best part of the ride, however, is aimed at the male passengers: an animatronic which is clearly very open-minded about sexuality. Even though the animatronic could be a bit nicer, it can still cause some surprised faces.
The park’s newest roller coaster is found in Holly’s Cartoon Town and is a Wild Mouse by Maurer Söhne. As a used ride, Hollys Wilde Autofahrt was taken over by the Bemboom family, who operated it in two of their amusement parks at the time. Completely renovated and equipped with fancy new cars it now presents itself as the only real family roller coaster of the park and is very convincing. Typical for a ride built by Maurer Söhne is the ingenious handling in the hairpin curves, as they are not as shallow as Mack’s. The rest of the track is also ridden through at a constant high speed, even if the brakes are once again on a borderline level.
Due to the drizzle the roller coaster Superwirbel from Vekoma unfortunately didn’t run. In a way I was really looking forward to a ride, because the compact ride is the epitome of a well designed layout. Even though the Bayernkurve was quite borderline four years ago, the ride surprised me with its high speed. Since my friends Hauke and David could only report positively about the ride during their visits last year, it would have been nice to verify their opinions.
Due to a lack of passengers, the Lighthouse Tower, probably the most beautiful Star Flyer in the world, did not run either. The rear area at the lake is not worth the trip due to the few passengers, especially since I was almost kicked out of the park four years ago, because I raised my hands in the ship swing, which is completely normal elsewhere.
Since the City Jet has been sent into well-deserved retirement, a quite central place has become available, which will soon be filled by the Balloon Race from Zamperla. On the one hand, it’s a pity about the torn down carousel, which I loved to ride as a child, but on the other hand it’s a much better place for the Balloon Race.
At the time of my first visit, the HUSS Condor Bounty Tower was unfortunately broken. Since I was very impressed by the aesthetics of the ride, I found it especially tragic. Even years later, I still find the construction and the ride of a condor simply beautiful from the outside, but in the Holiday Park, the design of the gondolas is simply outstanding. However, most of the times, the ride sequence is simply boring, strangely enough, the ride program in Haßloch is quite balanced, fast and does not only resemble a simple panorama ride.
The Teufelsfässer, together with Tripsdrills Badewannen-Fahrt zum Jungbrunnen, are the most modern log flumes in Germany. The special feature of the Teufelsfässer are the elaborately designed turntables during the ride, which initiate and terminate the reverse passage with drop. A smaller shot at the beginning of the ride and the double drop at the end round off the experience, but unfortunately do not ensure that the passenger gets out halfway soaked, as is the case with Flashback from Walibi Belgium.
For almost 11 years the main reason to go to the Holiday Park is the Intamin roller coaster Expedition GeForce. Since then the ride, which was often in the media because of some incidents, is a guarantee for a good roller coaster ride, but also for an extremely slow dispatch. Funnily enough, even under the direction of Plopsa absolutely nothing has changed in this circumstance.
After you have completed this time-consuming ritual, the journey can already begin. Through the cable lift you will be released into the magnificent first-drop quite quickly, followed by airtime hills with an airtime similar to Colossos from Heide-Park Soltau, some nice turns and a missing first trimbreak. The experience in the following part is now outstanding and not as before slow and relatively dull as before. The turnaround is now genuinely ingenious due to the increased speed and therefore no longer the worst part of the course. The hills after the second reduction brake form a great finale, although the braking section is clumsily placed.
The Expedition GeForce is certainly one of the better roller coasters in Germany and a pretty good roller coaster in worldwide comparison, but it could be a lot better. If you look at the second mega coaster of Europe, Goliath from Walibi Holland, the Holiday Park clearly lacks the staff of this ride and the outstanding Stengel Dive to really call itself the best roller coaster in the world again.
Since the takeover by Studio 100, a lot has happened in the Palatinate, many things have changed for the better, but there are also some things that should be viewed critically. Due to the sale of the Dancing Pavilion to the Leipzig amusement park Belantis, another family rides is missing, which all the children’s rides in Majaland can not yet compensate for. In general, there is simply a lack of rides in Haßloch, nevertheless I like the park.
Specially worth mentioning is the possibility of the afternoon ticket, which we also used for our visit, as a whole day in the Holiday Park gets too long at some point. Surprisingly, it was even decided to have the cash desks staffed with people so that this offer could actually be taken advantage of. Unfortunately, this is rather seldom the case in the leisure parks that offer this offer, specially as the rush on the day of the visit was very low.
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