Merlin and DreamWorks
The studio DreamWorks, which is mainly characterised by animated films, is an important partner of the Merlin Entertainments Group. In addition to their own studios Tour Shrek’s Adventure in London’s County Hall, they license theme areas in the group’s theme parks. While this had already been the case for some time in the Africa section in Chessington – World of Adventures with Madagascar, until recently the focus in Heide Park and Gardaland was on a show for the third part of the series. With the Kung Fu Panda Academy for Gardaland and Drachenzähmen – Die Insel for Heide Park, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon have now also been given their own consistent theme area.
Both areas were placed in already existing areas of the park, whereby the old stock was sensibly integrated or replaced. In the case of Heide Park, the work for Drachenzähmen – Die Insel was concentrated on the corner around the two leisurely water rides Kanalfahrt and Märchenfahrt, which were mostly unnoticed by visitors. While the Kanalfahrt was being redesigned, the space freed up by the Märchenfahrt was used to place two rides. Opposite the monorail station, a Zamperla flight carousel was also built.
The first impression of the, quite generously laid out, area Drachenzähmen – Die Insel is extremely positive, even if it looks partly very bare. With the redesigned Red Baron Grobians Wolkenspringer and the Flying Fish Raffnuss & Taffnuss Wasserflieger, two very nice rides are offered, which surely had more passengers in the first season at this place than the Märchenfahrt in all the time before. Hicks Himmelstürmer also enjoys great popularity, but besides the uncomfortable seating position, it has a limited view due to additional nets.
The presumed main attraction is the boat ride Drachengrotte, where you are first forced to take part in the obligatory photo shooting. A procedure that is well known from the other parks and attractions of the group, but which cannot be skipped here. Such a nonsense; Merlin you notice it yourself, right? It may be that your photo contractor instructs his staff in this respect, but that was rude! The whole thing was just a waste of paper, as you can imagine when someone is travelling alone, right?
Afterwards my mood was already bad, but at least it didn’t take too long until the next boat. With this one we first go through a miniature version of an abandoned and halfway destroyed Viking village before we enter the forbidden caves. Shortly before that you change back into a normal sized perspective, otherwise the signposts only make limited sense. Instead of the former collection of cultic ancient animatronics, the bend below the powered roller coaster Grottenblitz leads you past some sculptures and a video projection. The right side of the bend is hardly used in this respect anymore. Thereupon the ride ends again.
Well, some things were better back then. But hey, you’ve got a great license, with a third part to follow soon, so you’ll have plenty of time to make a decent dark ride out of it, and while you’re working at it you might as well include the Grottenblitz. This year virtual reality, abbreviated VR, was on everyone’s lips and unlike the competitor Six Flags you can do it better from the beginning. You have already gained experience at Galactica in Alton Towers, so why not on the roller coaster next door? A fast ride on the back of Toothless would be suitable, don’t you think? Especially since a little movie of your partner might be in a different league than the competition and a redesign of the ride is not necessary (in fact you only have to turn off the lights in the cave).
Pictures Heide Park
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