Testing the Sky Dragster at Skyline Park

It has been a while since I visited Bad Wörishofen and their local amusement park the last time. Back then, I did a small internship at Gerstlauer Amusement Rides in nearby Münsterhausen and stayed at a friend’s house for quite some time. Since then, Skyline Park nearly doubled in size and some interesting rides came and go.

As Skyline Park is one of the few theme parks, where a ride on a Funtime Slingshot is included in the entrance fee, I started my day in this area of the park. However, due to strong winds, the Sky Shot would not open on the day of my visit.

Also, the nearby Caripro Gyroflyer Sky Rider had some issues during its test run and had to be towed back to the station. The unique suspended spinning coaster did not run at all for the remaining time of my visit.

As the queue for the Wiegang Bobkartbahn Bob Racing hardly moved at all, we continue our way to the spinning coaster Sky Spin. I rode this Maurer SC2000 twice on my only visit to the Oktoberfest in Munich so far. Back then the ride was still known as Cyber Space and was operated by the Kaiser family. Between 2003 and 2012, the ride was known as Whirlwind in the English Camelot Theme Park. After the park’s closure, the ride moved to Skyline Park in 2013 and continued to entertain its riders ever since. Unfortunately, the ride became quite jerky over time, which is a bit of a surprise when compared it to other installations of its kind.

Passing the Schwarzkopf Wild Cat Nostalgische Achterbahn, which I was not allowed to ride as a single rider (probably because of the Covid-19 rules), we now encounter another roller coaster made by Maurer. Skyline Park has a good connection to the Munich based manufacturer, which is why you can find two of their prototype coasters within the park. The first one was the SkyWheel and the second one is the Spike Coaster Sky Dragster.

The Sky Dragster is currently the only Spike Coaster in operation. Its design is a mixture between the classic Steeplechase coaster and a powered coaster, although the position of the rider is quite close to the rail. The cars are directly driven by a cogwheel which runs along a gear rack attached to the side of the track. Due to this configuration, a rollback is not possible, thereby the track can be bend in all different kind of crazy manoeuvres – it is even possible to accelerate the vehicle along a vertical stretch of track, which is otherwise quite complex to achieve on conventional track designs. Like a Bobkartbahn by Wiegand, the rider can control the speed of the vehicle and a control system adjusts the distance between the cars when needed.  Moreover, everything is surveyed by the system, which on the one hand gives you a remarkably high security, but on the other hand led to a lot of issues during the first seasons of the coaster.

On the day of my visit, the coaster was running without issues. The track at Skyline Park features a long straight just after the station before you enter a horseshoe turn. This is directly followed by a 360° righthand curve. Two hills in a double-up fashion join immediately after. On the other side of the layout, you then enter a strangely banked upwards leading spiral. After a descend back to the station level, you then run through a very tight s-bend, before reaching the station. A second lap follows.

I really like the acceleration of the Spike Coaster. Compared to conventional powered coasters, the system is far less inert. The only thing I did not liked too much is the slow pacing on most of the elements on the Sky Dragster. I know that this is to limit the forces on the rider, yet it is kind of hilarious to allow a system to have a high degree of flexibility on the track design when you must regulate it massively to do so. However, if your design for the most part consists of straight sections, then this system is fine. Therefore, it does not surprise me, that the Spike Coaster will be most likely to be found exclusively on Cruise Ships like the Carnaval Mardi Gras. For a theme park, the low capacity of the ride is not at all justifiable, unless you are Mirabilandia and want to gain some extra revenue due to your fast pass system.

In the same corner as the Sky Dragster, you can find the Zamperla Turbo Force Sky Circle, as well as the large transportable log flume Wildwasser 3 by Mack Rides. It is the second transportable log flume of the park owner who found its way to Skyline Park. The first one was the Pirateninsel, which now have found a new home at Eiffelpark in Rhineland-Palatinate. The Wildwasser 3 was the largest log flume to be found on the German fair circuit and therefore features three shot rides, whereby the first one is being done backwards.

Close to the Wildwasser 3, you can find the world’s largest Star Flyer. The chain swing Allgäuflieger offers a wide view onto open fields, the mountains and of course the Skyline Park just underneath. Due to strong winds, I had to give the ride a miss.

A ride which I gave voluntarily a miss is the large inverting pendulum ride High Fly by SBF Visa, as I was already punctured by their restraints the day before on the Papageienflug at Tatzmania Löffingen and I did not want to risk it again. The High Fly is currently the largest inverting pendulum ride in Germany, but that record could be broken easily if a park is interested in doing so.

The next ride on our path through the park is Sky Rafting, formally known as Wild ‘n Wet. The transportable water ride by ART Engineering starts off with a vertical lift. Once at the top, a long slide section is initiated. Due to the curvy layout, the boats start to rotate heavily. A short drop nearby the end of the slide section comes a bit by surprise, as nobody in the boat knows who will get wet.

Not as unpredictable, yet kind of spiny is the small spinning coaster Kids Spin. The small coaster by SBF Visa comes in the proven 3 loop layout, whereby upward leading curves to the right always lead into a downwards leading curve to the left. Due to the constant change in curvature, the cars can get a good spin. After several round, the train then comes to a stop in the station and the cars must be manually turned back into position before you can exit the ride.

Passing the large thrill coaster SkyWheel, we now have a look onto the ghost train Geisterschlange. The old ride by the showman Lehmann has found its retirement home at Skyline Park. The ride is simply a beauty of a ghost train and it is nice to see that it gets preserved for the future in an amusement park like Skyline Park.

As the weather during my visit got worse and worse and heavy rain started to fall around lunch, let us now have a look into the only indoor attraction at Skyline Park. The hall opposite of the cute Baustellenfahrt once offered a motion simulator. It is now home to the Rotor Zero Gravity by SBF Visa. The Italian company gave the famous ride concept a new life by introducing translucent walls to the ride, where traditional rides feature a wooden barrel. To further increase the friction, the walls are also angled and feature a rather rough surface. The ride could therefore run slightly slower, but it does not. For minutes you are now pressed onto the wall, which becomes more and more exhausting over time. The light show is a plus, nevertheless, I was quite happy when the ride finally came to a stop.

It was nice to get back to Skyline Park after so many years. Unfortunately, due to the weather and because of the Covid-19 guidelines, I could not give every attraction I wanted a try. Nevertheless, I was quite happy to have tested the new Sky Dragster roller coaster and spend some time with some classic rides before I moved on earlier than expected.

 

What is your opinion about the novelties of Skyline Park and the Sky Dragster? Just write them in the comment field below the report or in our social media channels:

 

          


This was the bad boys’ first trick, But the second follows quick

Every now and then, a roller coaster that you have grown fond of has to say goodbye. After 34 years of operation, this happened to the roller coaster Bob – one of the rare Swiss Bob coasters of the manufacturer Intamin. The end of the coaster was very predictable, after all it was one of the few roller coasters allowed for smaller children – but due to its low capacity it could not compensate for this, so there was always a longer queue. Since Efteling also became more and more popular, something new was needed. Probably the most family-friendly roller coaster on the market for decades has been the Powered Coaster from Mack Rides. If you double the number of trains, you also get a very high capacity, which leads to additional fun by using two lanes. The result was the roller coaster duo Max + Moritz.

Typical for the theme park Efteling, this roller coaster can also show a very affectionate design. Here, the two rascals from the well-known story by Wilhelm Busch try out their self-built ride gear, which leads to some chaos.

The ride with Max (the blue lane) begins with a small hill on which we gain some momentum. Close to the ground, we now drive through a few alternating right and left turns, and at the same time we gain a little height in the final right turn. Now we cross Moritz’s track once and spiral in a tight helix towards the ground. In the process we meet Moritz. The train now leads us with momentum through a right turn and a turn to the left before we gain height in a helix. A short turn to the left and a tight right turn later we enter the station building. Here we meet Moritz and start the second lap.

Moritz (on the green lane), meanwhile, is well on his way and so we immediately enter a wide left turn. In two swerves we approach the ground gradually, whereupon we immediately dissipate our energy again in an outward spiral. Above Max’s lane we now take a left turn. Here we meet our brother. After a ground-level turn to the right, we gain altitude within a tight helix once again. Another right turn and a left turn follow before we approach the station on a longer straight and slowly lose speed.

Max + Moritz are clearly excellent roller coasters for smaller children. In this respect, there is absolutely nothing to criticise. However, I personally find it a great pity that you only really meet in two places during the course of the ride. If both tracks went in the same direction, the roller coaster would definitely be a bit more exciting. I also don’t consider either roller coaster to be a dignified replacement for the old bobsled ride, but only a functional one. Admittedly, the colourful ride with its great design and terrific soundtrack fits much better into Efteling than Bob ever did; however, my conclusion is clear: children will have a lot of fun on both rides, adults might ride them once or twice.

 

What do you think about the new roller coasters Max + Moritz?  Just write it in the comment field below the report or visit 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

 


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Big Loop • Vekoma Looping Coaster • Offride

 


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Limit • Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster • Offride

 


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Krake • B&M Dive Coaster • Offride

 


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Flug der Dämonen • B&M Wing Coaster • Offride

 


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Desert Race • Intamin Accelerator Coaster • Offride

 


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Indy-Blitz • Zierer Force One • Offride

 


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Panoramabahn • Mack Rides Monorail • Onride

 


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

 


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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: