Playing all kinds of games in Spieleland

Ravensburger Spieleland

The Ravensburger Spieleland is one of the youngest amusement parks in Germany. The park was founded by the famous Ravensburger AG – manufacturer of parlour games, puzzles and various other products – between its headquarters in Ravensburg and nearby Lake Constance near Meckenbeuren. Since 1998, the park has mainly offered play fun for families with small children; since 2016, there is also the possibility to stay overnight in the park’s own resort.

In general, the Ravensburger Spieleland does its own thing; one should not assume that it is a conventional amusement park with roller coaster and various carousels. It is rather the independent playground equipment that characterises the park to a large extent and thus makes it a special destination for excursions. But the fun also has its price, as the Ravensburger Spieleland is one of the most expensive amusement parks of the country.

Grüne Oase

By entering the park, one immediately finds oneself in the green oasis, a kind of farm theme area. Here you will find an electric horse-riding track, a tractor ride and an animal carousel, but also numerous smaller play facilities, the main station of the Swabian railway, a petting zoo, as well as an electric rodeo, where on several mechanical bulls the children are shaken around and this even free of charge. A show stage and several outlet stores can also be found here.


If you follow the paths in a clockwise direction, you will immediately come across the Mitmachland. In addition to three show tents, in which the children are always involved in some way, you will find the park’s large children’s driving school, the Bienenflug, as well as the interactive play equipment Max Mäuseschreck and the Bosch Car Service Mini-Werkstatt. While you shoot softballs into the holes of the oversized cheese at Max Mäuseschreck, you actually change tires at the mini-workshop with the questionable branding by Bosch Car Service; which is of course extremely practical if there is actually a flat tire on the way back. Also located in this area is the Bunte Schokohaus of Ritter Sport, where, in contrast to the absolutely great Bunte Schokowelt in Berlin, they unfortunately have no café of their own and sell their own products far above the shop value. If you feel like it, you can take a workshop here, which of course requires additional fees.

Käpt’n Blaubärs Wunderland

This is followed by Käpt’n Blaubärs Wunderland, a theme area based around the stories of author Walter Moers; known from the programme “Sendung mit der Maus”, which also has its own theme area. Here you can explore the big lake on Käpt’n Blaubärs Spaßboote, experience a splashing water ride on the Gummikutter or go on a dark ride with the well-known characters on the Abenteuerfahrt, telling several smaller sailor’s yarn stories of the blue bear. A canoe trip for the little ones, as well as the new animation studio – which can be experienced for a fee and by prior arrangement – round off the area. The second station of the Swabian railway is also located here.

Maus und Elefant Erlebniswelt

The Maus und Elefant Erlebniswelt form a dead end within the park. Next to a 3D cinema, where a purchased film is shown at regular intervals, as well as the well known Lach- und Sachgeschichten of Sendung mit der Maus (these however in 2D), you can experience a low ropes course, as well as an interesting basketball game. You can rest and relax on the sunny meadow, while the children have fun on the Moser free-fall tower Hier kommt die Maus.

Future World

In order to explain Lufthansa’s understanding of service to children in detail, it is worthwhile visiting Future World, where there is a new playground with exactly that questionable branding. The biggest attraction in this theme area is the observation tower Aussichtsturm. The most interesting one is the Galaxy-Racer, where you are not allowed to race, but you can actually drive a real (albeit very slow) car. You can also let yourself be shaken by a 4D cinema, but unfortunately the film is only a purchased standard product. Meanwhile, puzzle lovers can puzzle on an open-air stage at will.


Passing a duck carousel and a water roundabout, you will get down the mountain into the Spielewelt. Here you will find the largest game equipment, above all the Memory-Flug, in which you will be transported to different levels in small helicopters, one after the other, to uncover the fields of the game field. No less interesting is the firefighting game Feuerwehrspiel, which you can experience in a similar (and physically less strenuous) variant in the Legoland theme parks of Billund and Windsor, and which invites you to a very funny competition. The bumper car Tempo, kleine Schnecke and the very successful crazy labyrinth complete the attractions of the area.

Fix & Foxi Abenteuerland

The best known area of the park is probably the Fix & Foxi Abenteuerland, where the characters of Ralf Kauka from the comic strip that has been discontinued since 2010 have found a home and otherwise only live on in private television. Nobody has to regret the death of Fix & Foxi, according to the newspaper Die Welt eight years ago, and so I doubt very much that children nowadays have any connection to the characters at all. Well, the area is already older and in 2004 this development was not yet foreseeable; nevertheless, one should possibly think about a rebranding, after all there are certainly still some companies who would like to have their own area in the Ravensburger Spieleland.

Prof. Knox Turbo-Boote

Next to the Fix & Foxi Baggergrube, where you are allowed to dig a little in the gravel in your own excavators, there is the rubber dinghy slide Prof. Knox Turbo-Boote with a total of only two lanes and thus an almost non existing capacity, which unfortunately leads to very long waiting times, as well as the bobkart track Fix & Foxi Raketen-Blitz of the manufacturer Wiegand.

Fix & Foxi Raketen-Blitz

This powered summer toboggan run starts off with a left-hand bend, where the top speed is reached immediately. Over three jumps you race along a straight line, which is immediately followed by an upward helix to the right.  Now follows a short left-hand bend, which leads very quickly into a wide right-hand bend. A short upward helix leads you to the necessary altitude meters to start the fast finale. Basically you just make another right turn and after a short change of direction a wide left turn. After a final jump and a last left turn you reach the starting platform.

The Fix & Foxi Raketenblitz was the first faster ride of the Ravenburger Spieleland and proves in an impressive way how funny such a bobkart track can be, if it weren’t for the low capacity of the ride and the possibly occurring crawlers. The track itself is good and makes a lot of fun at full throttle, so a ride is definitely worthwhile.


The last theme area of the Ravensburger Spieleland is the Entdeckerland, where children can let off steam on small soccer fields of the VfB Stuttgart or queue up for minutes in the slide world Rutschenspaß; quite honestly, I have never seen it like this even with comparable slides in other amusement parks when there is a bigger crowd. The main attraction in this area, the Alpin-Rafting, comes from Intamin and is a truly special rapids ride.

After boarding the boat and securing the children with a life jacket, after passing the round of questions about the technically irrelevant minimum age, the trip can begin immediately. After a short left turn, you will now bob through the canal for a few metres before you reach the vertical lift of the ride. Here, one has to wait for some time before it takes one to the starting height of 12m. This is followed by what has to come, and thus, a short time later, one shoots down the 8m high shot. In the following run-out section, some water is transported into the boat and the boat is slowed down to a low speed; thus, the wetness factor is definitely there and should not be underestimated at all! A right turn and a long zigzag stretch follow before the second highlight of the course, the world’s only whirlpool built by Intamin, follows.  Bit by bit you pick up more and more speed, just before the round boat dives into a tunnel. While the ride itself is a lively pleasure, there is no moment of surprise shortly afterwards. This is the biggest weak point compared to the similar rides of the producer Hafema, where most of the times, there is a rapids waiting for you that can easily soak you. A bit disappointed, the return to the station follows, which is quite uneventful. First a wide right turn, then another zigzag stretch and finally a short left turn.

All in all, the Alpin-Rafting is of course an extremely well done major attraction, which impresses above all by the big shot ride. Unfortunately, the whirlpool is then only a nice element that falls short of the expectations. The rest of the route is also relatively uneventful, but admittedly, one should not expect a conventional ride like the one in the nearby Europa-Park.

Pictures Ravensburger Spieleland

Conclusion Ravensburger Spieleland

The Ravensburger Spieleland is an extremely nice amusement park for families with small children, who are mercilessly confronted with all kinds of advertising here. Although sponsoring is the order of the day in some amusement parks, I find it really alarming here (apart from the self-advertising for the products from our own production) because of the younger target group. The whole thing is paired with a comparably high entrance fee, which is at least 10€ above the entrance fee of comparable amusement parks in Germany and the near vicinity. There are also a lot of upcharge offers available, which is not really necessary. Thus, the Ravensburger Spieleland is only recommended if you don’t want to experience a theme park in the true sense of the word, but a charming park with numerous interactive games equipment, which, as I said, characterise the Spieleland and make it special.


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The ultimate experience in Lightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley

The Yorkshire Park Lightwater Valley is one of the most interesting parks in England and at the latest since the interpretation of Katie’s Dreamland from the game Rollercoaster Tycoon also known to the younger generations, who are now all in their mid twenties. The park is run by Heritage Great Britain PLC, which is also responsible for marketing Land’s End, the furthest corner of Cornwall. Thus, the park is by no means conventional.

It all started with a fruit farm that had to cope with a drought in 1976, which led to the creation of a lake as a preventive measure. Since the lake had already attracted a number of people at that time, the opportunity was taken to create a landscape park and use the farm for tourism. Since the former owner of the park wanted to offer a little bit more, a roller coaster was to be built. But since his wife saw this idea as a disfigurement of the landscape, she said the appropriate words: “I’m not having a rollercoaster on the place, so you stop those idea or you better bury it”.

Raptor Attack

No sooner said than done and thus, in 1987, the small Schwarzkopf roller coaster Raptor Attack opened far out of sight of the visitors. And even though the ride is located in a hall, it really feels like being a few meters below the ground, because the tunnels that lead to and from the roller coaster really do go downhill for a few meters, until a staircase is waiting for you. Interestingly enough, there is water flowing in the ground in the queue, so that one really feels like being in a sewerage system and not in a mine as now indicated.

The ride in the suitably designed cars turns out to be very surprising, because not only the layout is different from the larger installations, but also the sound level of the ride. Interestingly, this track is hardly audible, even though it is installed indoors, and offers riding characteristics that you wouldn’t expect from such an old Schwarzkopf model. Therefore it can’t be compared to the roller coaster from Skyline Park or the travelling Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster of the showmen Vorlop, although it is the same kind of roller coaster except for the actual model. The animatronics during the ride are nice and well integrated into the forest of pillars of the ride, but even without them the ride is always worth the wait.

The Ultimate

It was Robert Staveley’s wife who suggested to make the second roller coaster of the park a little longer than originally planned, because first ideas were only to use the valleys of the forest further up in the terrain and bring interested passengers there via monorail. Due to the high costs proposed by companies from Germany and the USA, it was decided to let local companies do the job for a much lower price, one for the track and the other for the train. But both went bankrupt and British Rail engineers completed the project.

The Ultimate is the result of this work and truly the ultimate coaster in Great Britain. Hardly visible from the outside, you can catch a train every 7 minutes as it passes by. The ride, which starts quite harmlessly with a lifthill, continues at the same interval. The lifthill can be climbed in peace in order to do the magnificent first drop. On the following hills, which keep following the landscape, you are torn out of your seat a little bit until you slowly ascend towards the second lifthill and complete hills similar to those of a Wacky Worm, only much more pronounced. While the train is climbing the second lift you have enough time to think about the next part of the trip, because until now the trip was quite harmless. After a straight line at an airy height you face a rather steep drop towards the forest, where at its end the first sign of a curve is indicated. The following part is hard to put into words, because it’s pretty damn fast and swings from one side of the valley to the other at a good cross slope. It gets truly reckless on the hills of a clearing, where you do some interesting manoeuvres – still very fast, almost without any inclination. Shortly afterwards two helices in the shape of an eight follow, where you pass two tunnels, whereupon unfortunately the brake run is approaching.

The Ultimate offers an extraordinarily smooth ride during this travel distance that I – according to the reports of various enthusiasts – did not expect. Of course, the knee gets sometimes very familiar with the stupid bar holder, but this is due to the train design and not necessarily to the track itself. It has the one or other rather questionable transition, but it would be wrong to call it a wrong bend. Actually the ride is a little bit wilder because of all these characteristics, but in connection with the length of 1 1/2 miles this makes the ride look a lot better, so that one could only wish the ride would be a little longer. It is definitely the best roller coaster in Britain and therefore always justifies a visit to the beautiful county of Yorkshire.


Many other attractions of the park are less beautifully integrated into the landscape, for example the Reverchon Twister coaster shows itself across the main path shortly after leaving the forest. This spinning mouse is not necessarily the most beautiful of its kind, but it can show a really nice twist, which makes it one of the better representatives of its kind.

Wild River Rapids

Also from Reverchon you find the rafting Wild River Rapids, which to my surprise turned out really well and can get you quite wet. Compared to the Fabbri rafting rides featuring the same layout, this ride is quite convincing.


Directly across the street the Ladybird roller coaster makes its rounds. This is the medium sized ride from the Tivoli series of the manufacturer Zierer, which is known to be quite nice. The interesting thing about this ride was the fact that there are additional belts in the train, which should actually be used. This makes the ride a little bit more harmonic than the constant sliding back and forth in the car, as you could experience it for example at the Coccinelle of the Bellewaerde Park.

Black Pearl

In the still quite new pirate area of the park you can ride the Weber’s dream boat Black Pearl, besides a HUSS Pirat swinging ship and a break dance 4 from the same manufacturer, as well as some smaller rides from Zamperla. As with the other rides in this area, the ride came into the park through a purchase of the sadly closed Loudoun Castle theme park of Scotland.


Located in the middle of the forest, there are several children’s rides, including a Big Apple roller coaster called Caterpillar, which makes you feel the bleakness of this type of roller coaster after a ride on the Ultimate. In former times, there must have been a larger Zamperla swing ship swinging in the forest, which now travels on the British fairs. On this side of the park, a holiday park is supposed to be built in the future, at least that’s what the park wishes for to remain successful. In fact, the location is ideal for this and the plans look good, so that one can only hope that they will realise it as well.

Trauma Tower

Near the Pub in the Wood you can visit the small free fall tower Trauma Tower by Moser or continue your tour. A Ferris wheel gives you a wonderful view over the landscape and the entrance area, where you can find a chain carousel, a classic English carousel and a variety of children’s rides. There is also the entrance to the Afterburner Eagle’s Claw.

Eagle’s Claw

Those who know park versions of the KMG rides know that they usually don’t ride as well as on the fairground. But here you get a good ride, which, like the related swing of the Flamingo Land, could elicit some forces and in the interim offers a small break only to then swing out again fully.

Eagles Creek Farm

Next door, things are a little quieter, as the Eagles Creek Farm, one of this year’s novelties, can be visited there. This is the former tractor train from Loudoun Castle, which was underlaid with a really nasty catchy tune and features some animal enclosures on the side of the ride.

Lightwater Valley Falconry and Angry Birds Activity Park

Other new attractions include the Lightwater Valley Falconry, where you can see a variety of different birds of prey, and the Angry Birds Activity Park, which will open soon. Along with the falconry there is the possibility to take a picture with one of the birds on your arm. A rather unique experience indeed.

Whirlwind, Falls of Terror and Black Widow’s Web

Lightwater Valley also offers a Mondial TopScan called Whirlwind, which had a long and good ride, the rubber dinghy slides Falls of Terror, which unfortunately follow a strict 2 person per boat rule and therefore could not be tested, and a HUSS Enterprise called Black Widow’s Web.

Pictures Lightwater Valley

Closing Words Lightwater Valley

If one should want to leave Lightwater Valley now, it is worthwhile to first have a look into one of the shops where the Fudge Factory has a branch. In Edinburgh I have already made contact with them, so I was pleased to be able to taste delicious fudge here in Lightwater Valley. Three slices in my luggage and half a fortune less in my wallet I went out of the park, which I remember positively. Lightwater Valley is a medium sized park with two really good roller coasters, which you really don’t expect in a park of this size. It has quite a lot of charm and can entertain you very well for some hours.


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Rides and animals in Thüle

Tier- und Freizeitpark Thüle

The zoo, which has existed since 1954, has managed to create a very well-functioning amusement park section through the additions of the last 20 years, which unfortunately robs the zoo of its visitors. While the amusement park part of the Tier- und Freizeitpark Thüle was very well received, I could hardly spot any other visitor on my tour through the zoo part. This is more than just a pity, because this area was probably subject to some extensive renovation works in the last years.

The Heege Rides

The amusement park part of the park has its origin with the many small rides made by the manufacturer Heege, which is why you can find the classics Luna Loop and Sky Diver among others. But also a very rare Heege ride pleases every roller coaster fan with good taste, because here you can’t ride a normal Butterfly, but the large version instead. This one is not only longer, higher and faster but also more powerful. A special feature of this ride is that you can ride it with open bars. But there are also new types of rides in the park.


For the Zierer friends among us you can ride the Kontiki Swing Boat as well as a Force Two roller coaster model. I never saw this layout before, so I was really looking forward to the ride on the Drachen-Achterbahn, which had a decent track length for a children’s roller coaster and some speed.

Bobkartbahn and Storchenturm

I did not test the Wiegand Bobkartbahn in the Tier- und Freizeitpark Thüle despite the appealing layout, because neither the queue nor the bobkarts moved significantly, even crept. Especially worth mentioning is the nearby Twist & Turn Storchenturm of the manufacturer Metallbau Emmeln, which offered a very good ride. Also the design of the ride catches the eye in a very positive way.

Spring Ride Tower

The Moser Tower Spring Ride Tower is similarly positive, but from the ride’s point of view it offers the worst possible ride for its passengers. Here, the kids stormed in without end, I myself left it at only one ride, as the tower braked rather unpleasantly, also the ride program was rather bad as mentioned above.

The water rides of Tier- und Freizeitpark Thüle

For the soakers among us there is unfortunately not much to see except a Nautic Jet and an dinghy slide, so that one could only advise the park to order a log flume, or at least another tube, this time however with a curve, for their dinghy slide. The family audience of the park would certainly appreciate it, especially with the temperatures last Sunday.

Eiertanz and Airboat

Beside the funny Technical Park Apollo 2000 Eiertanz, which in my opinion could have swung out even higher, you could also board a HUSS Airboat. This ride was not as bumpy as the ride from the Danish BonBon-Land, but it was still appropriate for the audience.

Conclusion Tier- und Freizeitpark Thüle

All in all, the Tier- und Freizeitpark Thüle offers something for the whole family. The rides are already fun to a certain extent and even the roller coaster fan is well served here, which is also due to the large shuttle coaster. The entrance fee is very fair and also includes the quite big zoo, which one should not miss.


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