The Biberburg of Familypark

Since 2019, Austria’s largest amusement park has been part of the French amusement park group Compagnie des Alpes, which operates the Walibi amusement parks and Parc Astérix, among others. While it is a shame when a family-run amusement park is bought out, on the other hand, this can create completely different opportunities that ultimately benefit the park. Especially with regard to the investment-friendly Compagnie des Alpes, we can look forward to numerous new attractions.


One of the last investments before the takeover was the double family freefall tower Almjodler made by Zierer. The two freefall towers are interestingly located right next to the Verrückte Vogelscheuche, creating a fun little corner of family-friendly vertical rides, with all rides being equally popular.

Der durchgedrehte Wirbelsturm

Also from Zierer, the Kontiki Der durchgedrehte Wirbelsturm moved into the park in 2019. This is a rotating swing on rails that causes a lot of excitement – especially for the smaller guests of the family park.


Like hardly any other ride before it, the Zamperla NebulaZ is taking the theme park world by storm, including the Familypark in 2021. The visually stunning ride offers a wild ride that is, however, very family-friendly.


Intamin’s Biberburg log flume is the biggest ever attraction in the park’s history. Instead of being built somewhere on the edge of the park, the ride is located in the middle of the theme park’s farm area and therefore looks as if the ride, which opened in 2022, had always been there. The log flume is equipped with all kinds of technical gimmicks. For example, there is a clever switch track that allows you to gently enter or exit without a noticeable jolt, and a vertical lift that takes passengers up to a height of 17 metres.

The ride in the spacious boats begins immediately with a short shot into the cool water. Well moistened, we then enter the Biberburg Zentrale, where a small dark ride section awaits us. Back in daylight, we bob along the canal for a while and enjoy the view of the upcoming journey before we enter a sawmill. However, instead of being reduced to rubble, we quickly leave the mill in reverse and immediately descend the second shot.  After a few bends, the path leads us below the last shot, where the vertical lift is waiting for us. Having reached the starting height of 17m, we race down the big drop and immediately over a hill, which leads us into the final water pool. Well soaked, the return to the station follows.

The Biberburg is a really nice log flume ride. The integration into the existing themed area and the clever use of the terrain speak for themselves. Despite the three drops, the ride’s level of wetness is manageable. Unfortunately, the final hill lacks a bit of airtime; a slight lift-off on the hill would have made this really good flume ride an even better one. All in all, the Biberburg is a very successful novelty for the Familypark.

Pictures Familypark


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Off to Jumanji

My last visit to Gardaland was a few years ago. At that time, the Kung Fu Panda Academy themed area was still under construction. Apart from numerous smaller changes, the opening of the Legoland Water Park, which was built in the middle of Gardaland for whatever reason, and the Peppa Pig World toddler area right at the entrance to the amusement park, the Jumanji the Adventure dark ride is the most important innovation of the past few years. 

Kung Fu Panda Academy

In the small themed area Kung Fu Panda Academy, everything revolves around the popular Dreamworks IP about the dragon warrior Po. As the area is very limited, apart from some gastronomy and a redesigned tea cup carousel, you will only find the small spinning coaster Kung Fu Panda Master, which takes up most of the space.

Kung Fu Panda Master

The Kung Fu Panda Master is a power mouse from the Italian manufacturer Fabbri. The small roller coaster offers several tight curves that put the car into a rather leisurely spin. In between, this is loosened up a little by smaller drops. But all in all, that’s about it. The ultra-compact installation fits perfectly into the available space, but not at all into the amusement park. Apart from the design of the gondolas, which looks more like a fun fair than an amusement park, the ride lacks capacity. Those who like to queue for up to two hours at an attraction, while the crowds at the large attractions in the park are rather small, are welcome to take a ride. The rest either queue up right at the opening of the ride or forego a ride.

Jumanji The Adventure

The Jumanji The Adventure dark ride replaces Ramses: Il risveglio. The large façade of the ride still reminds us in parts of the old Pinfari classic, but inside everything is new. The ride is based on the new Jumanji trilogy and thus not on the book and the associated board game. After a short pre-show, it becomes clear: we have to save Jumanji by putting the heart of Jumanji in its rightful place. 

Accompanied by Nigel Billingsley, we set off on a dangerous mission. After we have taken a seat in the 6-person jeep, the journey begins. A mandrill immediately steals the jewel from us, so we follow the animal. Nigel, however, loses his first life in the action. On our chase we come across a hippo and a snake, whereupon we almost have a crash. Shortly afterwards we meet Nigel again. At the gorge with the hanging bridges the mandrill awakens a stone giant and loses the jewel. Of course we jump right after it, secure the jewel and lose our first life. Our path then leads us through a stone cave where we meet the stone giant once more. But we lose our second life in a huge spider’s web. Finally arriving at the temple we manage to give the jewel to Nigel. Despite the attack of the stone giant, he manages to put it in its rightful place, whereupon the spell is broken and our journey ends.

Jumanji The Adventure is an extremely solid dark ride. The large sets and the skilful integration of the media content speak for themselves. The ride is extremely dynamic and has a few successful surprises. However, the clearly visible ceiling of the hall is slightly annoying, as is the seemingly reduced capacity at the moment, which always results in long waiting times. 

Pictures Gardaland

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The Runaway Mine Train on Hayling Island

Funland Amusement Park

The small amusement park Funland Amusement Park on Hayling Island is great – admittedly not a reason for a longer day trip, but as a complement to the beach visit it’s perfect; because if there is one thing Hayling Island has, it’s a beautiful and very wide crispbread beach. Contrary to the beach promenade on Portsea, there is normally always a little more action on Hayling island, which is why the amusement park is opened much more often than the bigger Clarence Pier. With a view to the Solent, the strait between the English mainland and the Isle of Wight, and the nearby station of the Hayling Seaside Railway, there is the parking lot of the Funland Amusement Park. Interestingly, this parking lot was free this time, otherwise, one gets some ride tokens as equivalent value. So it’s generally not a bad deal to park your car at this place, especially since it paid for the ride on the new roller coaster Runaway Mine Train last time.

Runaway Mine Train

This mouse from L&T Systems came from the Gulliver’s Warrington amusement park and can now be ridden without a child (to the park entrance). The decoration in turn came from the former Pinfari Looper Klondike Gold Mine, which now makes its rounds as a transportable installation in Ireland. For the audience it was an extremely fair exchange, although the ride through the gold mine was really good and thematically suited better to the log flume next door or seemed a little rounder in the overall package. Either way, the Runaway Mine Train is a really great addition.

Neptune’s Fury

The Woody’s Children’s Roller Coaster was replaced this year by the slick Tilt-a-Whirl Neptune’s Fury. It complements the typical English rides with flying colours, but with American accents. Interestingly, the valleys are more pronounced with a Tilt-a-Whirl in comparison to a Waltzer, which provides a good spin right from the start! But unfortunately, the ride lacks the possibility to lock the gondola towards the end of the ride, so getting off the ride requires some attention.


The Extreme Miami, the Twister Cyclone and an enclosed bumper car complete the aforementioned portfolio. The small park also convinces with its selection of rides for children. Above all, the nicely designed children’s roller coaster Super Dragon Roller Coaster or Funlandasaurus, which now makes its rounds in an extremely well-designed children’s area – for this purpose the surrounding rides were given a dinosaur theme last year.

The SBNO Drop Tower

In general, one wonders why the park does so badly with the some enthusiasts – especially since the park still has an ace up its sleeve. The Funland Amusement Park has – at the moment without a gondola and therefore unfortunately SBNO – a great freefall tower made by Intamin. Without a great braking distance, it was a real pleasure to fall down; a drop pleasure par excellence, as one can normally only find it on the Meteor in the Hirakata Park or the Lanzandera in the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid. Either way, the tower structure is still standing, the carrier is still attached, so there is still hope for an early return (editor’s note: the tower was removed from the park for the 2018 season).

Pictures Funland Amusement Park


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