Battle of the Giants

Large wooden roller coasters have always been associated with problems. While they were still doing very well in their premiere year, after a few years of operation at the latest, there was nothing left of them. With Colossos, however, it was different. For far more than a decade, the giant of the Lüneburg Heath was able to pull its passengers out of their seats; thanks to the elaborate track construction. It’s just unfortunate if at some point the rail no longer has the condition necessary for operation and has to be completely replaced. However, it has to be mentioned that Colossos is the first wooden roller coaster that was equipped with this track and even the TÜV – which is a worldwide inspectorate for roller coasters – had no experience with this type of track and therefore tested the ride again and again out of line. Now, engineers are working with safeties that are many times higher than the actual load case to guarantee fatigue strength or the longest possible life span – so a ride over the track would have been safe. The park management, however, understandably considered the risk too high and the ride was taken out of service.

Colossos • Intamin Wooden Coaster • Heide Park

For the Heide Park, this was of course the worst case scenario. Even though the park is well positioned, Colossos was and is the main attraction of the amusement park. Interestingly enough, the management of Merlin Entertainments had to acknowledge this themselves first, because an immediate mise-en-budget of the wooden roller coaster was not planned. Lately, the group has not been known to repair problematic rides immediately. It’s better to put a fence around a ride and let it vegetate. Examples are the Slammer and the Logger’s Leap log flume at Thorpe Park or almost the whole Maya-Tal area here at Heide Park. But Colossos is hard to hide despite the fence. I don’t want to know how many visitors inquired about the big wooden roller coaster; but the reduction of the ride offer will not have pleased every visitor. Personally, I also did not like the fact that one of my favourite roller coasters did not run anymore, so I did not visit the park for the time being.

At some point at least, the top management gave the green light and Colossos was allowed to be rescued. To be honest, I don’t even want to imagine the damage to their image if the ride had simply been torn down. Even on a rather rough wooden roller coaster you would be happy to go different ways nowadays, but as I said before, Colossos had no incentive to do so. There was speculation in the fan forums about a RMC conversion, but the probability of that was rather low. Meanwhile, the wooden roller coaster Wicker Man opened in the sister park Alton Towers.

At the beginning of 2019, it was clear to everyone that Heide Park would breathe new life into its old wooden roller coaster. At least the publicity drum was stirred well and there were some documentaries. But there was a little bit of secrecy around one feature: The Wicker Man 2.0 or as Heide Park prefers to call it, the giant. Instead of the burning Wicker Man, which actually never burned outside of the premiere party, there is a huge concrete sculpture in the Heide Park that, in keeping with the dramaturgy of the ride, throws fire bales into the air. And yes, that is impressive. The whole make-over is impressive. Colossos suddenly has Theming.

Although I am familiar with the design with the tree-people, which was created a few years ago as a remnant utilisation around the remnants of Miss Liberty, one could hardly take it seriously. But now Colossos is absolutely immersive from the beginning of the queue to the end of the ride. In this respect, the new station just knocked my socks off.

In the station, you board the new trains, which now correspond to those of the later installations of El Toro and T-Express. This is a bit unusual, but on the other hand they are really comfortable and have some features that should make working on the ride a bit easier in the future. For the passenger it is definitely an advantage that it is no longer necessary to press down the bars. So you have some space.

After you have reached the starting height of 50m and have enjoyed the view in a wide right-hand bend, the lively interplay of very high positive and distinct negative forces can start immediately. So we skilfully plunge into the depths before we plunge through the valley and are then lifted out of our seats on the first hill. After the next valley we repeat the game again, before we turn to the back turn of the Out & Back Coaster. Here we first climb a hill after the top of which we lean to the side more and more. In a beautiful steep turn we descend rapidly before we straighten up again in a small S-curve turn and climb a hill. Directly next to the layout we just completed, we plunge down another time, whereupon we hit a speed hump – i.e. a relatively flat hill – and take off a little bit from our seat once more. After a short ascent, a longer straight line awaits us, followed by a downward helix to the left. We approach the ground faster and faster, whereupon the rapid finale of the ride begins. Here we cross a series of parabolic hills, the last one being taken by the fire giant. With airtime and underscored by numerous effects we are heading for our doom directly into the giant’s gorge. But somehow we seem to get away and then we board a rather flat turning curve back to the station, where we come to a halt in the braking section.

 
YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

Colossos – Kampf der Giganten is still a great roller coaster with outstanding ride characteristics.  It rides the same way as before, but now – apart from its impressive structure – it looks simply fantastic. I honestly don’t know if you should mourn a RMC conversion now, because although these coasters are without a doubt sublime, they are no roller coasters that you should and can ride permanently – but with Colossos it’s different: It has always been sublime and gets better and better from ride to ride.

 

What is your opinion about the make-over of the wooden coaster Colossos? Just write it in the comment field below the report or on our social media channels:

 

          


Heide Park (2020)

You can see that Merlin Entertainments is a little more professional than the medium-sized company nearby. It is therefore less surprising that the Heide Park Resort is also making exemplary progress in its implementation of the Corona measures. The entrance including instructions on how to wear your mask in the park simply works smoothly. In the park itself this is a different game, as many visitors do not want to follow the rules. Masks can be worn at will, often they only cover the mouth and not the nose. Also keeping distance is often an unsolvable task during the course of the day despite existing and clearly visible ground markings. Only in the attractions themselves the rules are respected. This is a pity and only ensures a large number of announcements.

Despite maximum capacity, the Corona measures taken result in longer queues at each attraction. The staff is visibly trying to keep the operation running at its best despite the measures taken. In this respect I would like to thank all the ride ops in the park; you guys are really great!

But as the queues were partly too exhausting for myself, I enjoyed the day with only a few rides. Especially because of that it was a quite relaxed day all in all, where a lot of videos but also some photos were taken:

 

 

Colossos Kampf der Giganten • Intamin Wooden Coaster • Offride

 


YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

 

Big Loop • Vekoma Looping Coaster • Offride

 


YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

 

Limit • Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster • Offride

 


YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

 

Krake • B&M Dive Coaster • Offride

 


YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

 

Flug der Dämonen • B&M Wing Coaster • Offride

 


YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

 

Desert Race • Intamin Accelerator Coaster • Offride

 


YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

 

Indy-Blitz • Zierer Force One • Offride

 


YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

 

Panoramabahn • Mack Rides Monorail • Onride

 


YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

 

Käptn’s Törn Onride • Mack Rides Round Boat Ride • Onride

 


YouTube

Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

 

What is your opinion about the Corona measures at Heide Park?  Just write it in the comment field below the report or visit our social media channels:

 

          


General Information Alton Towers

Google Maps

Mit dem Laden der Karte akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von Google.
Mehr erfahren

Karte laden

Theme Park:Alton Towers (since 1980)
Part of the Resort Alton Towers Resort
Address:Farley Lane
ST10 4DB
Alton (bei Stoke-on-Trent)
http://www.altontowers.com
Operated by:Merlin Entertainments Group

Wicker Man • GCI Wooden Coaster • Alton TowersAlton Towers, located in the heart of the Midlands near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, is one of the largest theme parks in the UK and offers a wide range of family-friendly rides for all ages. However, the park cannot and should not be limited to these. The large gardens and not least the ruins of the towers provide the park with a unique backdrop that is unparalleled worldwide.

With a total of 10 roller coasters, many of which – as part of the Secret-Weapon program – were world premieres, the park actually offers everything that makes an enthusiast’s heart beat faster.

Smiler • Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster • Alton TowersFun Fact #1: None of the attractions are allowed to be built higher than the treetops around them. For this reason, you fall into a 40m deep tunnel in Oblivion and make your way through a path blasted through stone in Nemesis.

Fun Fact #2: The Mad House Hex Legend of the Towers deals with the history of Chained Oak, which can still be admired today on the grounds of Chained Oak Farm directly opposite the theme park.