Full Steam ahead on Hals-über-Kopf

The novelties of Erlebnispark Tripsdrill

Erlebnispark Tripsdrill has once again built something new and presented it to the public half-finished – and thus not made with love at all. In the German amusement park scene, we only know this kind of behaviour from Hansa Park, but there they have to cover up a big tower every time. To be honest, I didn’t really understand why they had to open their two roller coasters, Volldampf and Hals-über-Kopf, during the Covid-19 pandemic; after all, they could have marketed the whole thing all the bigger when the pandemic was coming to an end.


Well, now the two roller coasters are here and can be tested. The smaller of the two Vekoma rides is the Family Boomerang Volldampf, which is already very impressive. Admittedly, the ride is basically finished; the only thing missing is the decoration at the reversal point of the ride.  Apart from the beautiful station, the cute and macabre train design, the foreign visitor gets acquainted with Swabian folk songs and before the ride starts, one sings along with Trulla-trulla-trullala of the song Auf de schwäbsche Eisebahne after the coaster has been designed.

The ride begins with the backward incline of the friction wheel lift. Once you have reached the top of the lift, you are first held in position while the friction wheels are pushed apart, thus clearing the way. Immediately the brakes are released and the descent begins. With momentum we now drive through the station and over a small hill to the right. Here we also avoid the threateningly close rail of Hals-über-Kopf. Close to the ground, we now whiz through a wide left turn before we cross a path on a hill. Now we make our way across the inside of the Suspended Thrill Coaster. After a slight turn to the right, a turn to the left follows. With momentum we then go through another right turn, whereupon we enter the station building of Hals-über-Kopf and change our direction above the station. A little more leisurely than before, we now go backwards through the already completed stretch.

Volldampf is fun! The ride across the big sister ride convinces with its curves close to the ground, the constant changes of direction and the mutual interaction. The long stretch of track also gives the passengers a lot to enjoy.


Less is offered to park guests – at least in terms of design – on the Suspended Thrill Coaster Hals-über-Kopf. This is an iteration of the very common suspended looping coaster. The track profile, however, is based on that of the manufacturer’s new looping roller coasters.

The ride on the Hals-über-Kopf begins immediately with a short right turn, which soon leads us into the ride’s lift. Having reached a height of 30m, we immediately plunge straight down to the ground. Just above the roller coaster Volldampf we turn right. With momentum we now go through the first valley and immediately into the first inversion. We cross the station building of the family roller coaster in a long zero-G roll. Shortly afterwards, we turn around in an Immelmann Jr. Far above a pavement we now whiz over an airtime hill. After a short bend to the left, we plunge to the ground once more and immediately turn to the right and, poof, we see the world upside down a second time. Immediately we plunge into a 270° helix close to the ground and full of pressure, before we take off a little on a small hill. Another strongly inclined turn follows. Very close to the ground, there is a short bend to the right before we enter a dip to the left. This is followed by the last and final inversion of the ride. Shortly afterwards, we already hit the final brake.

Hals-über-Kopf is an extremely solid family roller coaster with a beautiful track layout and great pacing. The ride is only slightly stressful, which means that every member of the family should get their money’s worth. For us roller coaster fans, there is now an extremely exciting roller coaster in the Erlebnispark Tripsdrill that you could confidently ride for several hours at a time and that is an extremely nice thing per se.

Pictures Erlebnispark Tripsdrill

Conclusion Erlebnispark Tripsdrill

With the new roller coaster duo, Erlebnispark Tripsdrill has done a lot right. The new coasters enhance the front section of the park and, due to their location alone, ensure a better overall distribution of visitors in the park, who would otherwise mostly romp around in the back part of the park. Now there is something for the whole family in every area of the park and that is a very nice development for a family theme park like Erlebnispark Tripsdrill.


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On a dinosaur hunt in the Peppa Pig World

History of Paultons Park

Known nationally as Peppa Pig World, Paultons Park is located on the land of the former Paulton’s Estate near Southampton. In 1979, the Mancey family bought the land, cleared it of scrub and debris and built the gardens we see today, including a small bird park and adventure playground. In 1983 the park opened its doors to visitors for the first time as Paultons Park and Bird Gardens.

Three years later the first rides moved into the park. In 1993 the first roller coaster was added. Since the millennium the park has been growing steadily. But its most important investment was made in 2011 with the opening of the first Peppa Pig Land, the Peppa Pig World. Within a year, Paultons Park doubled its visitor numbers. An unparalleled success that has attracted a host of other toddler theme areas at various theme parks both within and outside the UK. However, it remains to be seen whether such brand loyalty outside the UK works at all.

Tour of the park

Upon entering the park, one immediately finds oneself in the beautiful gardens of the park. From here you can either turn right to the Peppa Pig World or left to the Lost Kingdom theme area. Basically a decision against or with the stream of visitors. As a roller coaster fan the choice is even easier, but for narrative reasons I start with the visitor booster.

Peppa Pig World

Passing a 3D cinema, where the film Sammy’s Great Adventure was shown, as well as an adventure golf course included in the admission price, the park railway, an rubber dinghy slide, a beautifully laid out tractor ride and a carousel, we head towards the Peppa Pig World theme area. Here you will find a number of rides from Metallbau Emmeln and Zamperla, including an electric horse-riding track in a toy dino design, a duck carousel in a boat design and a Flying Wheel (a kind of teacup ferris wheel). All this is complemented by figures familiar from the series, matching playgrounds and the house of the Pig family. In 2018, the themed area will also be expanded with a round boat trip and a sightseeing tour.

There is not really anything more to tell there. While the rest of the park was partly deserted, there was a lot of activity in this area. All this speaks for the series produced since 2004. I myself consider such branding to be questionable, as it has a major impact on small children. Unfortunately, it must be said that the time of generally designed toddler areas (e.g. a farm area) seems to be over.


Interestingly, Paultons Park itself offers the exception to the rule. Instead of just relying on Peppa Pig, the park does its own thing in the Critter Creek theme area. Besides the roller coaster Cat-o-pillar, a Zierer Tivoli in the medium sized version, the themed area convinces with its wacky design and the integration of an insect and amphibian house.

Little Africa

There are also several animal enclosures along the river, which were expanded in 2018 with the Little Africa theme area. There is also a large penguin enclosure where show feeding takes place several times a day.  Directly adjacent to it there are several smaller rides, including a boat swing, a teacup lift, a Kontiki, and two family free-fall towers of different heights, which were placed directly next to each other.

Lost Kingdom

On the other side of the gardens is the Lost Kingdom themed area, which has created a very special flair by cleverly expanding the portfolio and incorporating rides that were once only loosely themed. Here you can see how you can create an all-round coherent themed area with well-considered actions.

Flight of the Pterosaur

In order to get a better overview of the area we immediately board the roller coaster Flight of the Pterosaur. After a short curve out of the station we climb the 20m high lift hill. At the top we immediately fall down in a wide left turn towards the ground. Far above the adjacent Demolition Derby we climb up again in the same way. A straight hilltop follows. With momentum, we now pass through a short dip, whereupon a labyrinth of narrow helices follows. Alternating right and left helices, we pass a cave and get faster and faster before we shoot into the station at top speed. There we are gently slowed down and then come to a stop.

Flight of the Pterosaur is a top class ride. The layout is fun and can satisfy especially the young park guests. As the first big roller coaster I can hardly imagine a better ride, although Paultons Park can offer two similar calibres. The pacing and the ride characteristics of this modern family roller coaster classic are very convincing.


Right next door is the small shuttle roller coaster Velociraptor. As the first rebound version of the Family Boomerang by Vekoma, the ride impresses with its curves close to the ground and the small hill above the station. The layout itself resembles an eight, with both ends running over the loops.

After you have been driven backwards up the lift hill, you immediately descend rapidly and then pass through the station at full speed. This is followed by a left-hand bend close to the ground, as well as the already mentioned hill above the station, where light airtime sets in. After a right-hand bend under the lift hill, a hill follows over the first bend, which has a small hump in the middle. Here one comes to a standstill, whereupon the backwards journey begins. A little more leisurely than before, you now make your way back to the station.

Compared to the standard model, this system is particularly impressive due to its distinctive speed profile. The curves close to the ground are convincing all along the line and even the hill in the middle of the track knows to please on the forward drive. Thanks to the generally lower visitor demands, it is possible to remain seated on the ride and thus dare one ride after the other. For the coaster fan this is an optimal roller coaster which really is a lot of fun, but probably keeps many children away from the ride because of its backward ride.

Temple Heigths, The Dinosaur Tour Co. and Dino Chase

The situation is different for the remaining rides in this area. The small flying carpet Temple Heights and the Jeep Safari The Dinosaur Tour Co. know how to please just as well as the children’s roller coaster Dino Chase, a Zierer Tivoli in the smallest version with an extremely cute train design and an all around successful appearance.


Passing a dragon carousel of the manufacturer Zierer, which offered both a forward and a backward ride, and a go-kart track, we now head towards the last roller coaster of the park. But first we queue up at the interesting free fall tower Magma and enjoy the elaborately designed queue, before we ride up and down the SBF Visa tower over and over again. If the park would offer a different hardware, the tower would probably be a good one.


Arrived at the Cobra, the first thing to do is to leave the depressing and extremely sterile waiting area behind you. Once this is done, you have to get into the well-known Gerstlauer sleds, whereupon the journey is about to start. After the lift hill has brought you up to the initial height of 16.5 m, the sledge immediately plunges down in a very steep right turn, whereupon an upward helix is performed in the same direction. After a short block area, four hairpin bends follow in best wild mouse manner. In a racy combination of two helices, the descent becomes extremely fast before ascending again a few metres. Over several camelbacks you make your way to the other side of the course, but unfortunately there is no generous lift-off at all. After a further downward helix the brake run of the layout is reached.

Cobra is a good roller coaster, but it lags a little behind its sister coasters. The ride seems to be a little bit more powerless, at least in general, which is especially apparent in the very lax camelbacks. The layout itself differs only a little from the G’stengte Sau from the amusement park Tripsdrill or the great roller coaster Thor’s Hammer from the Danish amusement park Djurs Sommerland, but the fun doesn’t really come across during the ride. Maybe the ride is just missing an appealing design, I couldn’t really explain it to myself.

The Edge

Right behind the roller coaster Cobra is the disk’o coaster The Edge, which offered a rock solid ride. Due to the successful theming of the nearby Lost Kingdom theme area, however, the ride, just like the Cobra roller coaster, seems to have been put in place without any love. The area around the park’s Reverchon log flume has a similar effect. There is a need for action in this area, but it is only a matter of time until the park creates another great theme area. At least it is not unlikely.

Pictures Paultons Park

Conclusion Paultons Park

Paultons Park is an exceptionally pleasant amusement park, which rightly calls itself the UK’s number one family park. The park offers a wide range of family rides, including five family roller coasters, as well as numerous playgrounds. It also offers a truly beautiful garden landscape, as well as numerous animal enclosures and a miniature golf course included in the admission price. If there would be a water park available you could think you were in a Scandinavian sommerland theme park. This is quite appealing, if the common visitor would not only come because of Peppa Pig. The park offers more and might even be able to add even more to it. In this respect, one should look forward to the future.


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Full speed ahead on Karacho


Erlebnispark Tripsdrill is not a good theme park. Although my reports always reflect a very differentiated and well-considered opinion, it makes sense for once to anticipate a judgement and play with open cards. I don’t like this park and I will probably never like it. The fact that I visited the park for a second time after 2009 was only because of the rather new launch coaster Karacho and even for this one I would never want to visit the park again, but more about that later. In general, the Erlebnispark Tripsdrill is overpriced, has an inferior gastronomy and demands a small contribution at every corner to be able to use the full offer. The wildlife park that belongs to the park is, as also the parking, included in the entrance fee, but is probably not really visited by many visitors; after all, the only reasonable connection to it is your own car.

History of the Theme Park

It all began in 1929 with the construction of the Altweibermühle zu Tripsdrill. Eugen Fischer, the owner of an inn in Treffentrill, took the idea of building the Weibermühle von Tripsdrill from the singspiel by Georg Anton Bredelin after some hikers in the region had explicitly asked for the mill. The allegedly rejuvenating cure of the wild slide was soon on everyone’s lips and thus Tripsdrill steadily developed into a popular excursion destination in the region. In 1957 the first zoo in the immediate vicinity of the mill followed and from the 1960s on the first rides.

Tour of the park

The rides of the front area

When you enter the park, you will immediately find yourself on the nicely designed village street, where you will find the pleasant panoramic Maibaum ride next to the Gaudi quarter, a covered children’s playground featuring a free fall. Here you can also buy the tickets for the crossing to the Wildparadies.

The Mühlental with the famous Altweibermühle is located next to it. To prevent the men from idly assisting the women’s rejuvenation there is also the Altmännermühle, a mechanical open-air obstacle course of an older construction. The Doppelte Donnerbalken, a more than modest vertical ride with a strange inclination effect, the leisurely boat ride Spirtztour der Seefahrer, the children’s log flume Mühlbach-Fahrt, as well as the unique Seifenkistenrennen round off this area.

Friends of overlong leisurely rides will find what they are looking for at the wedding market. Here you will find three of these attractions: the vintage car and horse-drawn Hochzeitsreise, the Schmetterlingsflug and the Wiegen-Hochbahn. Since marriages nowadays tend to be of shorter duration, a trip on the wine bucket ride Weinkübelfahrt is recommendable, before you try your hand at the soup bowl ride Suppenschüsselfahrt through the individual soups in a similar way. With the coffee cup ride, the spinning game could continue, but unfortunately the park runs all flat rides on a low flame, so that even the prototype of this popular classic is not convincing. But this only really gets worse with the Gugelhupf-Gaudi-Tour, the first and only modern waltz ride from Münsterhausen, which, with the best will in the world, has nothing in common with its predecessor. The three other rides, Wäschekorb-Rundflug, Schlappen-Tour and the Wellenflieger Wirbelpilz, are, outside of their design, accordingly worth no mention. After all, the big Tivoli roller coaster Rasender Tausendfüßler by the manufacturer Zierer still manages to entertain the passengers well.

Up to the present time of the report, the front theme areas of the theme park have been covered because they more or less form a unit and are connected to the rear area only by a rather narrow path along the outer park boundary. So there is no direct connection to the quite dominant roller coaster Karacho, which means that you can get lost mercilessly if you don’t know the place.  The peeps of the notorious computer game Roller Coaster Tycoon would have complained loudly about not being able to find attraction XY, especially since the signage is not optimal. In fact, I don’t know of any other amusement park in Europe that is as badly constructed as Tripsdrill, although it can’t be that difficult to build an overpass or underpass and create a second access route, which should also benefit the general distribution of guests.


But if one should have made it to the back area, one immediately comes across to the first big attraction of the park, the Waschzuber-Rafting. This stylish Hafema ride is completely dedicated to the topic of doing the laundry and has some interesting exhibits in its queue that reminds of a museum. The ride through the winding road is not particularly wet, nor fast, but nice and really well embedded into the landscape.

Badewannen-Fahrt zum Jungbrunnen

Behind the round boat rafting, the facade of the Rauhe Klinge Castle attracts all eyes, after all, this beautifully designed concrete block on one side houses two larger rides, which complement each other extremely well. The log flume Badewannen-Fahrt zum Jungbrunnen (Bathtub Ride to the Fountain of Youth) is quite unusual, its name says it all and surprises some, let’s say rather prudish, passengers a little bit.

After one has left the, once again museum-like, queue behind him and got into his tub, the trip can start immediately. As soon as the boat swims freely in the canal, one dumbles a little towards the castle Rauhe Klinge. Parallel to the walls, the first lift takes the boat up for a short time before it goes down a short shot. In a right bend the canal leads you into the building, whereupon you have found the fountain of youth and indeed the old women seem to taper off into young, crisp and well-built women. But the view is only short and so the second lift leads up quickly. This is also where the first turntable is waiting for you, whereupon you take the second, medium sized downhill run backwards. At the back of the castle you now make a turn including the second turntable. Thereupon another lift hill leads you up one last time. At the top you can have a last look at the surrounding landscape before you turn left and enter the upper floor of the castle. After a shorter straight section the big and final shot of the lift takes place, whereupon contact with the wet element is inevitable. The spray is refreshing, so after returning to the station you will be very happy to get out of the tub.

G’sengte Sau

The second ride of the Rauhe Klinge Castle is the 1998 built bobsled coaster G’sengte Sau by the Münsterhausen manufacturer Gerstlauer and its sign the first new roller coaster from the former factories of the legendary roller coaster smithy Schwarzkopf. After the brisk lift hill, the ride starts with a very steep right-hand downward curve, whereupon an outward helix is completed in the same direction of rotation. This is followed by four powerful, contiguous serpentines, which are perfect for exerting some pressure on the person sitting next to you, before the ride, still introduced by the “Wetten, Dass…?”-sign of the famous bet of extreme sportsman Dirk Auer in 2001, goes into a rapid helix combination. The following camelbacks are quickly driven through and can lift you a little bit out of the car before it goes into a final helix-combination. After that the final braking section is reached immediately and shortly after that the station.

The G’sengte Sau offers all kinds of riding fun on the wild ride through the naked concrete world of the Rauhe Klinge castle. Beautiful is certainly different, which is shown above all by the identical Thor’s Hammer ride from the Danish amusement park Djurs Sommerland, but the ride is also incredibly cult, especially because of the banner of the family show “Wetten, Dass…?”, which was cancelled almost two years ago.


If you follow the circular route, the next big attraction of the park is the wooden roller coaster Mammut. The roller coaster opened in 2008 and was designed and built by the company Holzbau Cordes, but the trains used are from Gerstlauer. The perfectly joined track and the trains with their sprung axles made for a much too smooth ride, especially in the first years, so that a wooden roller coaster feeling did not exist. A circumstance that made me call Mammut a rather bad wooden roller coaster, but the ride has aged nicely!

The journey begins with a short left turn out of the station and into an unsuitably designed disco sawmill. A small dip and the train hooks into the chain, whereupon it is brought to a starting height of 30m. The first descent is a steep left turn down to ground level. Here one passes a powerful valley before it immediately goes along a high turn with a good speed. A high camelback follows, where you are lifted out of your seat. This is again followed by a turning curve, but this one leads into a steep curve to the left, whereupon the train dives into a small ditch. A clearly low camelback now repeats the game of weightlessness of the passengers, whereupon a fast Bavarian curve is made. Now the track leads through the framework of the lift hill and along the back of the layout. Over a short zigzag track some shake & roll – attributes of a really great wooden roller coaster – takes place, before the train dives into a tunnel after a left turn and a short change of direction. Here, the wonderfully dynamic zigzag course is repeated one more time, whereupon the braking section is already reached.

Mammut is fun! In fact, so much so that, with the best will in the world, you wouldn’t expect it if you’d only seen it in 2009. It’s the best roller coaster of the park, which is why it’s even more a shame that it was on n one train operation during the visit, although there was quite a rush.


Let’s get to the last and newest roller coaster of the park, the launch roller coaster Karacho. The expectations were quite high, because if there’s one thing Gerstlauer can do, it’s to launch a roller coaster onto a ride offering a very funny track, and indeed Karacho has both. But the layout couldn’t convince after getting on the train, as these trains are really uncomfortable and the operating personnel additionally pushes the bars down so far that the legs are literally squeezed between the bars and the edge of the seat. Ouch! Kärnan from Hansa Park, a theme park in northern Germany, shows how it’s done differently, but until the trains were delivered two years later there were certainly some changes to them.

The ride on Karacho begins with a slow right turn out of the station. After a short and relatively steep dip, a heartline roll is initiated on a straight line. This happens rather clumsy in my opinion, as the dynamics seem to be missing during this roll; an example how to do it better can be found at the English amusement park Thorpe Park on Saw – The Ride, where the roll is passed after a short bend. Then you pass the first block brake and shortly after that another, in my opinion much too small, dip. With Karacho you are now accelerated to a speed of 90 km/h, whereupon you shoot up a top hat element. Without taking a breather, the car crashes towards the ground, passes the following valley with full force and daringly shoots an oversized corkscrew towards it. Here you are turned upside down for a second time before the train is longing for the ground again. Very restless and quick-witted, the car now takes you over a hill that is strongly inclined to the side, just before you screw up to the block brake in a steep curve. Here you are slowed down to walking speed, whereupon the following part of Karacho is driven through very leisurely. A short gradient changes into a short and uneventful camelback, whereupon you stay in a right turn for a very long time. But then the car takes momentum again and turns the passengers upside down once more while going down in a diveloop. Another corkscrew joins in and at the same time leads into the braking section, whereupon the station of the roller coaster Karacho is reached soon.

Karacho is not only uncomfortable, it also lacks the bite. The ride would be just ok if you could ride it without pain, i.e. with the classic roller coaster trains of the manufacturer, but it wouldn’t be anymore either. Especially the part with the dive loop is done without the insane force of earlier coasters and therefore hardly gives an impression; not to mention the absolutely nonsensical ride part before. Karacho certainly does justice to the target audience.

Pictures Erlebnispark Tripsdrill

Conclusion Erlebnispark Tripsdrill

The Hansa Park of the South is not a good park; it is a nice park, but simply not a good one.  I have tried to understand and comprehend the whole adulation of various roller coaster and amusement park fans in different forums, but I just can’t. It’s a fact that even among Swabians (at least the one I met during my time in Stuttgart) it’s more of a toddler park. There’s simply nothing here that justifies the high entrance fee. Let’s see if the novelties after Karacho can change my opinion…


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