The many novelties of the Wiener Prater


During my last visits to the Wiener Prater, the world-famous Hochschaubahn was closed each time. This time, however, I planned my visit much earlier so that I could take a ride on the classic Scenic Railway. The ride, which is still traditionally controlled by a brakeman who rides along with the train, impresses with its gradients and the quite distinctive curves. It is the most family-friendly of all scenic railways, but a ride on this 70-year-old roller coaster is a must for every theme park and roller coaster enthusiast.


Another novelty for me is the Rollerball. This utterly imposing roller coaster from RES is an extremely fun family roller coaster with one small problem: it’s a one-trick pony. The roller coaster, which runs vertically, convinces with its rocking moments initiated by the bizarre drops – but that’s about it. The very family-friendly ride is very enjoyable for a single ride, but the very repetitive course of the track does not awaken the desire to ride it again straight away. In addition, the ride is simply not accepted by the visitors and therefore you never know whether it is running or not.

King Size Turbo Booster

Also new to me is the King Size Turbo Booster – the second iteration of Funtime’s Vomitron, which is very popular in the Prater. However, instead of just doing its flips straight on a circle path, the King Size Turbo Booster takes it up a notch. The seats are now all separate from each other and can each rotate around their own axis. The gondola carrier itself also rotates and is driven by a motor. The superimposition of all the rotational movements creates an extremely fast ride in which you can experience all kinds of crazy moments. Interestingly, the ride is still quite stomach-friendly, although it doesn’t look like it from the outside.  

Gesengte Sau

The biggest novelty of the past years is the roller coaster Die G’gengte Sau. This is a bobsled coaster from Gerstlauer, but here it is primarily built up high and takes an absolutely wild route back to the station.

The start is made by classic hairpin bends, as you would find them on a Wild Mouse.  After a total of three, we race down a big drop. Just past the Black Mamba, the path leads us back up a little and immediately into two more hairpin bends. Straight away we are pulled down a steep bend. After another valley, we climb a small straight section before leaning further and further to the right and plunging towards the ground one more time. After another climb, we race through a block brake and into another hairpin. Once again narrowly missing the Black Mamba, we go down the biggest drop of the ride. On the other side of the ride, the facade of the Funhouse Funball awaits us, which we also narrowly miss. Three tight turns follow, which lead us to the other side of the ride. We then repeat the whole thing in a small steep curve and several bunny hops. For the finale, a downward curve and several swerves to the right and left await us before we find ourselves in the brake and the absolutely brilliant roller coaster comes to an end.

The Gesengte Sau is an outstanding novelty and one of the best bobsled coasters from Gerstlauer. The extremely compact ride convinces with its multitude of drops and breathtaking curves.

Bilder Wiener Prater


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Le King et la Foire du Trône


Originally it was not planned to visit the Foire du Trône on a Thursday. However, as the French train company SNCF was supposed to go on strike the next day and it was therefore unclear whether and how often the Paris regional train RER would run to and from Torcy, I simply moved the planned visit to the French capital one day forward. Since it should remain dry until the evening, my first destination on this day was the Bois de Vincennes and with it a visit to the Foire du Trône.

Foire du Trône

The funfair officially opens at 12 o’clock. When I entered the square an hour later, there was naturally not much going on. Here and there there were some groups of visitors, but there was no trace of the showmen. Sometimes you didn’t even find them during the whole day. Good, in the evening it should rain. This might be reason enough for a French showman to stay away from work, but it casts an unnecessary shadow on this big event. Imagine such behaviour at a large funfair in Germany, at some point nobody would ever go there again.

Without being able to leave a great deal of money on the Foire du Trône, I was nevertheless happy to have some rides on rides that I had already had on my to-do list for some time. Only the main reason for the visit – a ride on the infamous Le King roller coaster – was to take longer. The start was made by the Jet Star roller coaster of the showman Montalétang.

Jet Star

This chic little darling from Schwarzkopf spent years in Holly Park, France, before it finally closed its doors in 2014. Prior to that, the Jet Star had stood for 24 years as Cortina Bob under the showman Steindl in Vienna’s Prater, before he ordered the Megablitz from Vekoma. In fact, the ride is the first Jet Star produced in Münsterhausen.

The ride begins with a short right-hand bend, which is immediately followed by the ride’s lift. At a height of 13m, we then pass through a rather wide bend, with the words Jet and Star on our left, briefly interrupted by the Olympic Rings on our right. With momentum we now rush down the first slope and it’ s steep! The bob-like sitting position does its best and thus provides the first moment of surprise of the ride. We whiz through the valley at full speed and immediately throw ourselves into the steep curve close to the ground, which revolutionised the roller coaster world at that time. Just below the lift hill we finish our ride and immediately start a longer ascent. Now on the second level we follow the track before the first gradient, before we say goodbye to the right and enter a Bayernkurve via a small gradient. Over hill and dale we now turn left along the front of the ride. In the following valley there is a short change of direction, whereupon we go through the back of the ride a third time. After a short left bend, we fall to the ground once more, whereupon we ride for a very long time through a right bend close to the ground, which tapers to an upward helix towards the end. This is followed by a short dip and an equally short ascent before the final downward helix awaits us. With momentum we then reach the brakes, which bring us to an unexpectedly gentle stop.

After having already tested two of the later City Jet rides, I was very excited about a ride in an original Jet Star and was very positively surprised. The ride on the meanwhile 50 year old roller coaster is simply a lot of fun due to its racy curves and the straight drop at the beginning of the ride. The ride characteristics are still indisputably great, a real Schwarzkopf roller coaster. It’s just a pity that you can’t find a roller coaster of this series on German fairs since a very long time. I would have liked to ride it much earlier. Accordingly, I would like to thank Mr. Montalétang, who recognised the gap of the Jet Star of showman Lapère at the Foire du Trône, which moved to Babyland-Amiland, and was able to close it seamlessly. A really cool move.

La Pomme and 1001 Pattes

On the way to the Jet Star, the worm of the Big Apple La Pomme of the Pouget Groupe was already smiling his way through the course, while his colleague 1001 Pattes of the showman Perc was still wrapped up in the children’s corner on the other side of the Foire du Trône. Interestingly, one worm stopped running after the other one finally revealed himself to the public in the late afternoon. Strange, but still CC+2; it’s fine with me.

Crazy Mouse

The prototype of the Reverchon spinning coaster shows itself to its potential passengers as new. The roller coaster Crazy Mouse of the showman family Degoussée not only looks good, but also performs well during the ride. As usual from the manufacturer, the second part of the ride resembles a wild merry-go-round, which becomes more and more intense in the hairpin curves. So far, so good. While after the last curve the brakes are already waiting for the passengers, the prototype goes one better: There is a bonus dip! Although this is also the end of the ride, it’s definitely a cool gimmick.

Infernal Toboggan

Another ride that started early was the roller coaster Infernal Toboggan by the showman Lapère/Roopers. This SDC Galaxy, which was built for the Belgian showman Bufkens sometime in the 80s, has been in the hands of the showman family Lapère since 1997. The ride through the compact layout with its tight support structure and seemingly endless helices scores above all through a tunnel that covers the complete second exit including the ascent. A nice ride, even though the coaster itself has seen better times.


In the same series, another SDC classic started up in the afternoon. After having already tested a Centrox of the same manufacturer or at least a Spanish copy at a Spanish funfair, I was now very excited about the ride on a Galactica/Moonraker – because the basic ride sequence of both rides differs from each other only in one important detail. Basically, both rides are a slightly more modern round-up, which is ridden in a sitting position and is equipped with shoulder restraints. The rotation of the gondola can therefore be variably controlled; but in general the ride is quite fast and powerful. The maximum inclination of the boom is similar to that of an Enterprise, so the ride is quite steep. The difference between both carousels is an additional function in the ride. While the nacelle of the Centrox can be moved into the horizontal position via hydraulics, the whole centre boom of the Moonraker can rotate 360°. However, this is done at a moderate speed and not against the direction of rotation of the disc, which is why there is no luffing effect similar to that of a hully gully. A third version of this ride was intended to combine the two functions, but was never built.

Although I was the only passenger during the second trip of the day, the ride on the Moonraker was really successful. The ride and the staging of it speak for themselves. The additional rotation of the boom is a welcome addition to the grandiose, albeit somewhat monotonous, pressure spectacle. It is nice that even today a showman takes the time to keep an 80s classic alive.

Le King

Le King, la montagne russe 100% français, was built by Soquet, like many other fairground coasters in the country. Most of these were looping coasters that eventually found their way abroad. Le King is different. The layout of the roller coaster, built in 1995, is very similar to the Alpina Bahn, but also sets many own accents. The intricate layout with its many steep curves promises an exciting ride, which is also advertised on countless screens. As a roller coaster fan you are of course aware of the ride’s style. It is not without reason that it is considered one of the most terrible Adrealin rides in the country, after all the shoulder bar contact is supposed to be guaranteed as high as the share of French components. And yet the train is extremely comfortable. You sit very freely. The shoulder restraint gives you a lot of leeway to the right and left; contact with it seems to be rather distant. But then the journey begins.

After a short S-bend along the sidetrack we are constantly pushed up a ramp towards the lift hill at the back of the ride. This brings us up to the starting height of 26m. After a short pre-drop we fall down a steep curve without great expectations. This is a very decent ride, but the further we go towards the valley, the more the train is inclined. In fact, we can see the approaching disaster mercilessly coming up. The moment the train starts the next ascent, we get wiped out. The following ascent with an integrated change of direction, on the other hand, is again going quite well. Arriving on the next hilltop, we have a short moment to somehow cling to the stirrup, because the next steep curve is already waiting for us. Once again we drive through the following valley with a much too high cross slope, whereupon the contact with the stirrup is established. Over a longer ramp we reach the first block brake of the ride.

Past the King logo we are pulled down once more in a curve. Here one of the worst parts of the layout awaits us. After a proper clamp, it goes up again rapidly. Following a short dip we rush down another curve against our will. Fortunately, the slope in the valleys is now a little less steep, but a series of wild curve manoeuvres awaits us now. Over several hills with integrated turns we now ride criss-cross through the ride before we dive into a tunnel. Through several containers we now go at full speed over smaller ascents, as well as a left/right turn, before we come back to daylight. After another right turn we reach the braking section of the ride and soon the station.

Le King is actually a very passable and funny roller coaster, if it weren’t for these terrible valleys. Without the constant contact with the shoulder restraints, the roller coaster would be extremely entertaining. The ride itself is quite smooth and the layout with its many curves, funny dips and the extremely fast tunnel finale is a bit strange, but not bad at all. Basically, it’s what you would expect from an oversized Soquet roller coaster. The strokes on the other hand don’t really fit to it and make you forget about any repetitive rides. Quel dommage.

Pictures Foire du Trône

Conclusion Foire du Trône

That’s it from the Foire du Trône. As mentioned at the beginning I could not ride very much on this visit. At some point I didn’t see any reason to want to ride anything anymore, although at that time the Mondial Power Maxx swings up, as well as the HUSS Pirate directly on the main row. Shortly after one of the two tagadas opened its daily business, I left the Foire du Trône.

In general, I found the Parisian funfair to be very unorganised. There is no round trip, in many places there are several rows parallel to each other. I would recommend a visit only in the late evening or at the weekend, otherwise you will find yourself in front of closed rides. Why the rides start around noon was not clear to me.

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Leisure culture Vienna style

Wiener Prater

The Wiener Prater is a very spacious park area in the middle of the Austrian capital with a variety of sports facilities, a planetarium, the Liliputbahn and the amusement park Wurstelprater, which is typically called Prater. Similar to the Dyrehavsbakken on the outskirts of the Danish capital Copenhagen, the Prater is divided into plots and is fed by various showmen, so that the park itself partly resembles a folk festival. But on the other hand, the showmen are responsible for the design of the Prater themselves, so as a result, there were some very nice corners in the Prater.

Wiener Riesenrad

From the station Praterstern, it is only a few metres up to the Wiener Prater. One enters this place at the Riesenradplatz at the foot of the Wiener Riesenrad, the famous landmark of the city and the Prater. Built in the year 1897 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the throne of Emperor Franz Joseph I, the approximately 65 m high wheel is the oldest Ferris wheel in the world and was the highest Ferris wheel in the world between 1920 and 1985.

After paying the not exactly low entrance fee, we go to a small exhibition in which miniatures about the history of Vienna and the Prater are shown in reconstructed wagons. The mirrored walls are interesting, whereby the room seems to be endless. In the outer area of the complex, there is the stairway to the station. From here, one has a wonderful view to the framework structure of the Ferris wheel and to the engine of it. During the trip in the large capacity gondolas, one has a wonderful view to the wheel and the Prater itself, as also to the skyline of the city of Vienna.

Super 8er Bahn

From the Ferris wheel you have a perfect view of the Aqua Gaudi white water ride, a new log flume from Reverchon, as well as the Prater’s largest roller coaster, the Super 8er Bahn, an FC80 built in 1997 by Pinfari.

After climbing the lifthill, the first descent is started uniformly, followed by an uphill turn to the left, whereupon our route remains somewhat airy. From here, we go downhill and uphill again at high speed for a short time, whereupon we pass a block brake. After another right-hand bend in Bavarian style the track goes steeply downhill. At full speed you now pass under the lift hill, which makes you realize very quickly why the catwalk at the lift was partly interrupted. After a small ascent, you immediately return to the ground in a downward helix. On a straight stretch you gain some height before turning left towards the ground. One turn later, you quickly pass a Bayernkurve just before the brakes start.

Fortunately, the Super 8 track does not have any cars with shoulder restraints, as they were often used on the manufacturer’s larger installations, hence the ride characteristics are quite good. Just like the Alpina train, which is a similarly compact layout, it has the urge to move its passengers a few centimetres back and forth in the car. In this respect, I don’t even want to imagine what an ordeal a ride in the RC70 must be, which has two loops in addition to the high speed and the compact design. Nevertheless, the Super 8er Bahn is a good roller coaster with a decent track length.

Dizzy Mouse

Belonging to the same operator, the Reverchon Spinning Coaster Dizzy Mouse is located in the immediate vicinity of the two larger rides and the Ferris wheel. In addition to the proven layout, the Reverchon Spinning Coaster Dizzy Mouse has a cat-shaped tunnel. As with all rides of this type, the rotation was quite present, although unfortunately somewhat expandable.


Interestingly enough, there is another spinning coaster in the immediate vicinity, but this time a Compact Spinning Coaster by Maurer Söhne. The layout of this roller coaster is often found as a copy in Chinese amusement parks, but also in Germany a layout was on tour as a spinning mouse in 2000. The one here in the Prater, however, came from the Japanese amusement park Tokyo Dome City. If you enter the Insider, you first have to find your way to the station, which here consists of a labyrinth and a laser game.

The layout of this roller coaster corresponds to the layout of a Wild Mouse from the same company, as you can find it here in the Prater with very good ride characteristics, only that the ride has a not such steep gradient. Due to the well lubricated cars, the first hairpin bend of this coaster will make you spin like never before on any spinning coaster. Combined with the music and the suitable background illuminations by lasers, the result is in the end a really successful ride, even if the entrance fee seems to be a little too high compared to the other installations in the Wiener Prater.


Since two spinning coasters are not enough, visitors can not only spin side by side and back to back sitting, but also with visual contact, as it is usual on a Gerstlauer Spinning Coaster. Maskerade is the name of the half-finished ride with vertical lift inside a hall. Besides this element, it can just about offer a drop with a trivial exit from the hall and a descending and ascending helix respectively.

Masquerade is scrap metal, nothing more than a waste of steel and therefore by far the worst installation ever built by Gerstlauer. Even with a bit of design in the interior, the ride would hardly be better, maybe just a bit more presentable; so the fare charged is just outrageous. As far as one does not need a ride, I recommend to avoid the installation and instead take a ride with the Prater Tower right in front of it, as there, the ascent alone takes as long as the whole ride on Maskerade and can offer a some added value with the view over Vienna.

Der Zug des Manitu

A special ride is Der Zug des Manitu from CAM Baby Kart, a small powered coaster, which first goes backwards for half a lap before the rest of the ride continues forwards. The track itself describes actually only two ovals laid over each other, but the responsible engineer must have had a good bend in the optics, because every supposed straight line turns out to be quite curvy. Due to the ride operator, the trip proved to be specially fun and hardly wanted to end. Thus, the best price-performance ratio at the Wiener Prater is definitely to be found here.


Often, the Wiener Prater is the first port of call for new concepts, mostly for flat rides, such as the prototypes of all Flying Coasters of the Italian manufacturer Zamperla called Volare. This type of roller coaster doesn’t have the best reputation among roller coaster lovers, but the ride still seems too tempting not to test.

The entrance is similar to a HUSS Fly Away, so you climb a ladder as far as you can, then lie on your belly, grab the handles in front of you and look straight ahead. When all passengers are in this position, the car moves forward and is closed by a mechanism, so you ride the roller coaster like the toppings on a sandwich. After a short straight line you turn into the spiral lift, where the car is picked up surprisingly gently. Very quickly the ride goes uphill, at the top you can enjoy the view and then there is a small downhill slope. With full momentum it goes now into a strongly banked hairpin bend where the passengers are shaken back and forth. A heart-line roll follows, where, due to the great game in the car, you take off strangely and land gently again. A hardly describable feeling, which is repeated one floor below in the other direction of travel. After another block you pass some gentle turns before you hit the brakes. Back at the station the car is opened from below and you can leave the car backwards.

Volare is a roller coaster that I really liked, except for the first hairpin bend. The smoothness of the cars was surprisingly pronounced for a Zamperla roller coaster; the ride feeling was ok, and because of the rolls, as well as the smoother turns in the course of the ride, it was somehow funny. If you think of Volare as a wild mouse among the Flying Coasters, the ride definitely has its reason for being and is by no means as bad as it is often said.


Right next door is the Funtime Tornado, a thoroughly interesting ride, which attracts attention from far away due to its imposing structure. Suspended from the lightning are steel cables at the end of which a gondola has been attached. The strongly eccentrically designed lightning is now set in motion, the gondola starts to follow this movement due to its inertia and swings up some meters in altitude.  Even if this swinging movement is already quite interesting, there is still a motor at the gondola that makes it roll over as desired. Thereby, a rather funny way of riding is created, similar to the ride Rocket from the same company, only that in this case, the rollovers are not initiated laterally. It is really a pity that the Tornado was sometimes barely sold, as the ride is first class. The fare is, despite the low capacity, comparatively cheap and the total length of the ride consisted of two complete cycles.

Black Mamba

Another piece of jewellery from the Funtime company is the Chaos Pendulum Black Mamba, where simple shapes were obviously avoided as far as possible during construction. The curved arms are as striking as the construction of the boom. While the trajectory of the tornado still describes a simple 8, the driving sequence of the Black Mamba is less easy to describe. By turning the two arms, the driving sequence varies constantly between very intensive and quieter passages, so that a monotonous ride never occurs, as it often does on propellers from other manufacturers. Because of the fare, which is rather cheap, a ride is an absolute must; after all, there are not very many rides of this type and this motion sequence.


The Extasy, an Energy Storm ride from the Italian manufacturer Soriani and Moser, is a little more monotonous. The ride is similar to a Tivoli Orbiter, except that the gondolas are not lifted up to the vertical, but even beyond it, which makes an overhead ride possible. In addition, the shoulder restraints make it a little bit variable, so that changes of direction and longer hanging phases can be realised. Everything is used properly, so that an exciting and varied ride is offered. Because of the noticeable lateral forces, which you actually only feel on the ground level, you can get a little nauseous. In addition to the rapid driving style, the ride is accompanied by suitable music and various light effects, so that here, there is always an outstanding atmosphere.


Friends of upside down rides without shoulder restraints will find what they are looking for at the Boomerang from Vekoma. In 2007 the old train, which now runs on the Speed Snake at Fort Fun Abenteuerland, was replaced by a much more open version of the SAT, resulting in a much freer riding experience. The comfort is also reflected in the entry and exit, which is still simple in contrast to the almost identical trains of the test track. The ride itself is extremely smooth and exciting due to the unusual freedom inside the Cobra Roll. A tunnel during the exit of the element or its re-entry completes the ride.


The Megablitz is another Vekoma installation in the Wiener Prater, one of the rare MK-700 installations, similar to Evolution from Bobbejaanland in Belgium and Halvar from Plopsa Coo. With its two-seater cars and the curvy layout the layout resembles a Jet Star from Schwarzkopf.

After a left-hand bend, the track immediately goes up the lifthill. At the top, you make a quick right turn at a lofty height before leaning slightly to the side, which leads to an almost straight and surprisingly steep descent. One now crosses the valley in a very powerful way, whereupon one quickly rises again towards the sky. Instead of taking a breather, you immediately get back into the bend and follow a steep downward helix until you reach ground level again. A change of direction now leads you upwards in a wide left turn and you pass a block brake. With a proper momentum the train now races in a steep curve towards the ground and follows the helix already completed in the opposite direction of travel to a higher level. On a slightly downhill straight, you pick up speed again just before you drive towards the final brake in a wide downward helix, which tapers further and further and changes into an upward helix after reaching the ground level. If you feel like doing another lap, you can simply sit down for a reduced price, the rest of the group gets out.

The Megablitz is definitely and without any objections the best roller coaster of the Wiener Prater. What Vekoma has designed here is an absolute fun machine without equal and one of the best coasters of the manufacturer. Although the ride’s footprint is not necessarily huge, the ride seems to be almost endless, which is further supported by the heavily used clearance gauge. The built up speed allows great forces with a good pressure within the curves and valleys of the layout. Accordingly, a ride is an absolute must here as well.


Although we were in Vienna for two days, we unfortunately did not manage to visit the Wiener Prater during daytime, whereby the Hochschaubahn, which we simply did not find in the first evening due to its hidden location a little aside from the actual hustle and bustle at the back of the roller coaster Maskerade, had closed. Also the children’s roller coaster The Race was closed, like most of the children’s rides already closed, as well as the Autobergbahn, which is not a roller coaster at best.

Pictures Wiener Prater

Conclusion Wiener Prater

The Wiener Prater is a really great park that partly resembles the amusement park Pleasure Beach Blackpool due to its narrow arrangement. The mix of old and new businesses and its design is as much charming as the English seaside park. Unfortunately, a visit to the Prater quickly costs a lot of money, although the fare of most of the rides is generally cheaper than on a German funfair, as there are much too many interesting attractions, among which there are still a lot of interesting walkthroughs, dark rides, ghost trains, bumper cars (pardon Autodrome) and go-kart tracks. It’s just an incredibly great mix, which you should let affect you more often.


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