Star Trek – Operation Enterprise

The novelties of the last years

Movie Park Germany has always been one of my favourite parks in Germany, but I haven’t been to the park for the last three years. During this time, however, a lot has changed: The Intamin Rapids Ride Mystery River became Excalibur – Secret of the Dark Forest, the new roller coaster Star Trek – Operation Enterprise was opened and the dark ride Alien Encounter was redesigned to Area 51 – Top Secret.

Area 51 – Top Secret

The latter novelty was also the reason why I delayed my visit more and more, because a visit to Movie Park Germany without a ride through the volcano is just not the same. Instead of driving through an island in the Bermuda Triangle, we now go through a flooded mine in the middle of the Nevada desert. Where before there was a clearly defined arc of tension, there is now only a trivial and far-fetched story based on the scenes of the original story. Of course, aliens are more likely to be associated with Area 51 than with the Bermuda Triangle, but water travel in the desert just doesn’t make sense – even if it’s Groom Lake Air Force Base (Groom Lake is a dry salt lake).

But if you can overlook the story, Area 51 – Top Secret is the HD version of an aging dark ride and that alone is simply wonderful. The ride finally shows its best side again and convinces with its numerous effects. Although little or nothing has changed in the course and the staging inside the ride, the lovingly audio-visual refreshment shows its effect. In this respect, thank you Movie Park Germany for the preservation of this ride!

Excalibur – Secret of the Dark Forest

While the Alien Encounter previously still had the story of the original version from the Australian amusement park Sea World Gold Coast, the Mystery River looked quite different after the license was cancelled. The ride was just a shadow of its former self and, except for its ride hardware, it was nothing more than construction foam. IMAscore and IMAmotion then breathed new life into the old ride and so Mystery River became Excalibur – Secret of the Dark Forest. Again, the theme is a bit generic, but the ride itself was definitely upgraded. The queue is now really well done and puts you in the right mood for the ride. It has also been enhanced with new figures, even if the focus here is more on the rapid ride through the current channel and less on telling a story.

Star Trek – Operation Enterprise

Things are different with Star Trek – Operation Enterprise, where the overall experience takes up the original idea of the film park and thus tells a rather round story. For this purpose, the former Marienhof was converted into the Federation Plaza and the once existing – but hardly noticed by the visitors – Film Museum was cleared out to accommodate the queue including the replica of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. The external station can then be reached via a narrow corridor.

After you have taken a seat on the train, the journey can begin immediately. But first of all you are pushed over a transfer track onto the actual track.  Since this track section has no LSM modules, you are pushed forward very gently before you enter the launch section and accelerate slowly. After this, we climb the first element about halfway before we turn around and accelerate much faster. At the back of the transfer track building we shoot up the Twisted Halfpipe, a slightly twisted vertical section of track. Here, too, we change direction and race through the launch section a third time. With 90 km/h we race up the Top Hat and are immediately torn out of our seats. After a powerful valley we climb an Immelmann and see the world upside down for the first time. This is immediately followed by a heartline roll, which changes into another fall. After a jagged bend above the transfer track building we speed through the Borg Cube and immediately start the second part of our rescue mission. Extremely close to the ground we are now going over several smaller hills and then through a crisp left turn. Very smoothly this then changes into the last inversion figure of the ride, a Zero-G Roll. Directly after that our mission reaches its end. After the braking section there is only a short right turn before we find ourselves back in the station of the ride.

Star Trek – Operation Enterprise is a really nice roller coaster by Mack Rides. The ride through the compact layout can show some really nice elements, all of which are ridden with a good pacing. It may not be the most powerful roller coaster and the triple launch is a nice feature at best, but the overall package is quite impressive. Star Trek – Operation Enterprise is at least a very family-friendly launch coaster and fits perfectly into the park’s portfolio in this respect.

Pictures Movie Park Germany

Closing Words

What I personally dislike, however, is the new theme area around the roller coaster. The Federation Plaza looks naked and doesn’t look as inviting as the rest of the park. Here, one could and should have gotten out more.

Nevertheless, all novelties of the past years have been very successful and let you look into the future of Movie Park Germany with a joyful view – even if I can hardly imagine the new design of the Vekoma SLC with the henceforth extremely unwieldy name Lucky Luke – The Ride: Die Daltons brechen aus. At least you can be curious and that’s a good start.

 

What is your opinion about the last three novelties at Movie Park Germany? How do you like Excalibur – Secret of the Dark Forest, Star Trek – Operation Enterprise and Area 51 – Top Secret? Just write it here below the report in the comment field or visit our social media channels:

 

          


Klugheim’s wild roller coasters

Phantasialand’s Klugheim

Due to the limited space available, rejuvenating cures are not uncommon in Phantasialand. A complete redesign of a theme area, which was only relevant for visitors with a large nostalgia for the rather boring dark ride Silver Mine, is part of the package. Nevertheless, it seems that the park actually hang on old icons, even if they were completely destroyed by a fire a long time ago. The multi-million euro project Klugheim with the two roller coasters Taron and Raik in an impressive scenery reminds of the former area around the legendary roller coaster Gebirgsbahn and its little sister, the Grand Canyon Bahn.

Once you enter one of the numerous entrances to the area and let yourself be overwhelmed by the breathtaking scenery, it is more or less clear that the park did everything right. In Klugheim, you can rave about the basalt rock formations or the numerous wooden buildings where the black tracks of both roller coasters pass by and cross each other. My highlight remains the fantastic food that you can get in Rutmors Taverne, the very nicely designed restaurant of the theme area. For a theme park this is outstanding, even the price is right. As mentioned before, you simply have to fall in love with this area. Actually, there is no need for a roller coaster, but the view to two of them makes the enthusiast’s heart beat loudly.

Raik

The smaller ride of the two roller coasters is called Raik and is made in the Netherlands by the manufacturer Vekoma. It is a Family Boomerang roller coaster and features an obligatory forward and backward ride; unfortunately, it also has always a rather long queue, which is why a visit is only really worthwhile during the later opening hours, when everyone else has already made his rounds on the roller coaster.

There is hardly anything to complain about the ride and after you have left the queue behind you, the friction wheel lift takes you up the hill. Once you have reached the starting height of 25m, the train is briefly held in place while the friction wheels are mechanically pushed apart. After the release of the train it races down the hill and immediately through the station. After a short hill, which introduces a downward helix, the lowest point of the ride is reached. At 62 km/h the train shoots through the canal, leaving it in a left turn. After a short reversal you approach the lift hill, after which you gain potential energy on the parallel track section – at least in theory – via a second pair of friction wheels. The backward part is now driven through a little slower, which is why the forces are not quite as pronounced as on the outward journey.

Raik is an exceptionally nice family coaster, which despite its two (world) records as the highest and fastest ride of its kind, does not quite match the ride characteristics of the prototype Ben 10 – Ultimate Mission of the English amusement park Drayton Manor Theme Park. Due to its significantly more compact layout and the resulting dynamic ride, it simply convinces a bit more. However, it’s hard to imagine a better roller coaster to get the next generation used to roller coaster riding than Raik.

Taron

As soon as your kids are old and big enough, nothing stands in their way of riding the second roller coaster in this area. As soon as you have left the beautiful queue and the extremely desolate open-air waiting area behind you and have decided to ride in the back part of the train or in the first row (which other than indicated has mostly a shorter waiting time), your ride on Taron can start immediately.

The ride on Taron

You leave the station in a right-hand bend, whereupon the train enters the waiting position for the upcoming launch. As soon as the track section is cleared, the train accelerates with a lot of pressure and races up a steep right-hand curve. This quickly turns out to be a slightly inclined U-turn, which sends the train at a high altitude in the direction of an exceptionally nice camelback, which pushes you out of your seat with ejector airtime. With a huge grin on your face, the train leads you through a tight left turn, just before the next twist brings a very surprising highlight to the visitors. The young buck tries to kick you sideways out of the train. Quelle surprise exceptionelle! From here the train shoots through a wide right-hand bend and then passes two gentle turns. After the second turn the roller coaster Raik is passed by in a small Bavarian curve. A left-hand bend follows, which leads into a short zigzag section. Another left turn takes the cars down into a pit and ends the first part of the ride.

In contrast to the Lost Gravity roller coaster at Walibi Holland, which has a similar division of the ride, the second act of the ride begins with an outstanding highlight, similar to the song “Totale Finsternis” from the musical Tanz der Vampire or “Maskerade” out of Phantom of the Opera. In general, Taron can easily be compared to a good play, only that here we forget about the intermission.

The train is now brought up to its maximum speed of 117 km/h with a tremendous force by a second launch. After that, the train shoots up a very steep left turn. Arrived at the highest point of the layout there is hardly any time to catch your breath, as a curvy shot follows in no time. Several short changes of direction, with constant inclination, lead to a fast descent, before you throw yourself into the abyss at a proper cross slope. On the following hill, the buck tries to throw you off again laterally, but this attempt again fails. All good things come in threes, which is why the following turnaround is just as wild. After that, you cross a relatively moderate right turn, above the heads of the motivated riders within the queue. A gentle twist leads to the final left turn of the ride. On the only straight section, aside from the station, launch and brake tracks, you cross two hills where the speed is reduced quite a bit. The only weak point of the layout is skillfully compensated with the following right turn, whereupon the brakes of the roller coaster Taron are reached.

Conclusion Taron

Taron is a genuinely impressive roller coaster and undoubtedly the best roller coaster in Germany. At the moment it has no competition in Germany, as the wood giant from the Lüneburg Heath is quite weak at the moment and its future is uncertain; otherwise Taron would only be the best steel roller coaster in the country; but who wants to differentiate in small nuances? The company Intamin has once again succeeded in a great coup, which was outstandingly staged by Phantasialand, besides the questionable record marketing. The expectations for upcoming projects have once again been raised by one bar; let’s see how the other parks (apart from the already well-known Star Trek Coaster of Movie Park Germany) will react.

Pictures Phantasialand

 


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