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  1. The video I posted above was filmed on Saturday night. It definitely ran 5 car trains on Thursday Dec 1st, and 7 car trains on Friday Dec 2.
  2. They had all 5 trains on site from the start of the event, but didn't use all 5 at once until the 2nd weekend. At that point, it was the 5-car trains. After that, the owners realised it wasn't enough, and returned to Germany to get the remaining 10 cars so they could extend all 5 trains to 7 cars. Last Friday (Dec 2nd) was the first time it ran the 7 car trains. Just to emphasise what a big deal that is, it is the first time to my knowledge it has run the longer trains outside of Munich Oktoberfest. Even at other mega-busy fairs, it only runs 5 car trains. If the owners feel Winter Wonderland justifies the extra effort, it shows what a truly huge event it has become. Even more so, when you consider it's the furthest the ride has ever been from home, and that adding the cars was no easy task.
  3. You won't find many coasters being operated better than this. I just wish I'd been able to film it on 5 trains, rather than 4. As for staffing, they had 7 platform attendants (1 for each car of the 7-car trains), 1 operator in the control booth, 6 cashiers in the payboxes, and 2 collecting tickets on the station. Plus 4 members of Winter Wonderland's staff selling ride tokens from the booths next to the ride. [youtu_be] [/youtu_be]
  4. It has categorically NOT been confirmed. Just look at the image Airgates posted of the planning map. It clearly says "New Ride TBC". In previous years, rides have appeared on the planning map and then pulled out, so to claim this as confirmation is very wide of the mark. Until it is confirmed by either PWR/IMG (the event organised), or Barth (the ride owner), then don't take it as definite.
  5. Not all, but most Schwarzkopf coasters are capable of very high throughput. I once times Olympia Looping's trains as being stationary for 16 seconds before leaving the station again, and another train immediately arriving at the loading platform. In a geeky way, it's a joy to watch. The real reason for this is that most fairs have relatively short periods of being mega-busy (except Oktoberfest, where it's ALWAYS busy). As such, the ride needs massive throughput so that during those periods, they can keep the queue moving, and keep selling tickets.
  6. Olympia Looping was originally designed to run seven-car trains, but only ever does so at Munich Oktoberfest, as it's the only fair that gets busy enough to justify it. I believe the rest of the year the extra care, and extra pieces of the station building stays at Barth's yard in Munich (they have 2 yards, 1 in Munich, 1 in Bonn). One aspect of Olympia that rarely gets mentioned is that it is not only designed to run 5 trains at once (meaning a capacity of 140 riders at a time!), but the whole ride is designed to duel with itself when running all 5 trains, with several turns designed to send trains past each other at high speed. It really is amazing to ride it on 5-train operation, both because of the near-misses, and because of the amazing loading speeds.
  7. The bull car was added longer ago than that. I rode that Break Dance in Bremen, October 2008, and it was on there then. And yes, Olympia Looping runs 5-car trains everywhere except Munich Oktoberfest, where it's increased to 7-car trains. I have to say I was always a bigger fan of Dreier Looping than Olympia, but riding Olympia with all 5 trains running is truly spectacular, as you constantly have different trains passing under, over, and alongside you. It's virtually a duelling coaster, albeit with only one track. One question for anyone around Hamburg - I visited this year's Spring Dom, and can't help wondering how the fair remains so popular. With 3 fairs every year, each lasting several weeks, and with many of the same rides always attending, I don't understand how they manage to get so many people to visit. I know the fair hosts some superb bars, but surely that doesn't keep the crowds coming back? As for the point about the lack of fences around rides, I find nothing gives me a greater adrenaline rush than the scramble for seats on a busy German Break Dance. Take a look at this clip I filmed during a fairly quiet afternoon at this year's Bonn Pützchensmarkt, and watch out for people failing to board the ride at the start and end of the clip!
  8. No doubt about it - Hannstein's travelling Huss Flic Flac, Devil Rock. Easily the most extreme ride I've been on in my life. Offide video Onride video - best to skip to the 3 minute mark, as it has quite a long intro section!
  9. Just a quick TR from our recent jaunt to Hamburg for the Frühlingsdom spring fair. Oh, and an on-ride video from High Energy, since few people outside Europe will have had the chance to ride a Zierer Star Shape! Filmed with staff permission, of course. First really big German fair of the year First ride at the main entrance, the Mondial R5 Shake, "Shaker". Many have tried to copy the Huss Frisbee, but this version is still by far the best No German fair is complete without at least one very large beer tent And no German beer tent would be complete without live music The first of 3 Zierer Star Shapes ever built. By a quirk of fate, we'll be seeing the 2nd a week later in Blackpool, then the 3rd in Scotland 2 weeks after that, making its world première. A big big surprise to see Techno Power, which normally sticks to southern Germany Probably the fastest of the KMG Remixes I've ridden, but with a very anti-climactic ending to the ride cycle. Yes, don't worry coaster fans, there was something for you too. The superb Schwarzkopf Alpina Bahn, no less! Two generations of the same type of ride, Wave Swinger and the Sky Dance - Sky Dance being one of the Around The World rides, a sort-of official Star Flyer clone. Not to be ridden on a March night in Hamburg, due to unbelievable coldness. Das Kajüte, a truly superb portable bar, themed as a ship's cabin, selling all your favourite drinks from all over Germany - including the delicious Berliner Weiße For Brits, believe it or not, this is the same Musik Express that was rethemed as Winter Wonderland Express at Hyde Park 2009 Pretty good firework show for opening night Dom Dancer, a pretty good Huss Break Dance, but not a patch on the mighty Kinzler machine. Interestingly, as this attends all 3 Dom fairs each year, much of the artwork is very Hamburg orientated. St Pauli, on this car, is the area in which the Dom takes place, and also the name of the local football team. Also, if you ever want to see how it's possible to load a Break Dance in under 30 seconds, go to a busy German fair! Back again the next day, avoiding the temptations of the nearby Reeperbahn Alpina Bahn may be almost 30 years old, but it's a definite top-5 coaster Forget Afterburners, forget Gyro Swings, forget Giant Frisbees. In fact, don't judge any Frisbee type ride until you've ridden an original on proper German fair speed. It's a million times better. A Star Shape and a beer garden. Paradise. Dock 12, another superb food and drink area, again selling a wonderful selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, along with excellent food. High Energy is superb. Bling at Blackpool is appalling by comparison. How will the third Star Shape, Air, compare? We'll find out later this month! Alpina Bahn viewed from High Energy - and no, the staff had no issue with us taking cameras on the ride. Alpina Bahn in beautiful spring sunshine Star Flyer ... I mean Around The World ... I mean Sky Dance! The fair's other coaster. Göber & Eberhard's Wilde Maus, which seems to follow me all around Germany. Hamburg's more permanent tower in the background, which was closed throughout our stay - which I only discovered after spending over half an hour walking to it! Shaker - if I'm honest, probably the weakest Mondial Shake I've ridden (well, apart from theme park ones, obviously!). As long as I gaze on Alpina Bahn susnet, I am in paradise Frisbee and High Energy, a duo of superb spin rides The huge fun house that acts as a pre-show for the Rotor The huge wheel, complete with the symbol of Hamburg on its centrepiece Why did Huss stop building rides like this and start building total crap?! Likewise, how has such a good ride as the Star Shape only managed to sell 3 units in 8 years? 2 if you discount Blackpool's dreadful version! Big Monster, a classic Schwarzkopf Monster 3 type Polyp Airwolf, a truly superb ride, one of only 3 Mondial Infernos ever built, and a definite predecessor to the Top Scan Atlantic Rafting. Well presented, but lousy ride. There should be a law against having Fabbri rides on German fairs. Inside the beer tent. "Beer tent" sells it a bit short, as they also do full meals, and carry a huge array of both food and drink. Even during the live music, the table services continues with great efficiency. After this point, the night becomes a bit of a blur. Prost!
  10. If you want to get a real feel for a true German event, I'd say the best I've been to are Düsseldorf (July) and Bonn (September). They really are local events, yet have ride line-ups that are not too far short of Oktoberfest standards. Also, both enjoy truly huge crowds, great atmospheres, lots of beer, and offer a sense of the city's own unique traditions and customs. I've had a great time exploring the lesser-known German fairs in the last few years, and I can honestly say they offer an experience that is so much fun that it's resultewd in my interest in theme parks taking a huge dive
  11. Unless I've missed it, I've not noticed anyone mention the utterly huge and truly excellent Wildwasser Log Flume. 3 drops, one of the backwards, dark ride section, it's a fantastic flume,and far better than most park flumes. Here it is at another fair last year.
  12. For coasters, log flumes, dark rides etc, you can expect short waits. Olympia Looping for example runs 5 trains at peak times, with trains in the station for well under 20 seconds before heading back out. Spin rides (if there is a queue at all - see below) also load extremely quickly, meaning short waits for long rides. As for the Break Dance, every German fair I've ever visited, people just stand around, ticket in hand, without any form of fence, barrier or anything. They dance, they drink, they do what they like. When the ride slows and the floodlight comes on, people make a mad scramble for the ride, and it's first come first served. It's fantastic! Oh, and if you try a Dutch Break Dance, it's just the same, but they allow you to ride standing up! Here's the Kinzler Break Dance on a very busy night in Bonn (Germany) last year - and yes the ride is at full speed - the bright white lights are strobes, not floodlights. I'd say only 50% or so of the people in the photo are there to ride, the rest just hang around the ride and party! You can see the staff keep a very close eye on the crowd and get rid of troublemakers very quickly. On ride video (about a quarter of a the full length ride) This one's not my video, but it's the same fair. The music is dreadful for this one, but it's worth watching if only for the few seconds of the loading procedure at the end of the video
  13. Please tell me you went on the Break Dance? You can't possibly go to a German fair and NOT ride the Break Dance - complete with the standing around the ride with no fence, even when it's at full speed, and then jumping on as it slows down, then fighting through the crowd for a seat!
  14. Thanks for the comments The KMG Inversion - well, I've ridden this one and Dominator in Holland (both at their debut fairs, oddly enough). Both had the cars locked into place most of the time, and the ride was fairly average. Occasionally, Flash released the cars, and the ride became unbelivably intense - even by German fair standards. I think KMG may have messed up their calculations, and may have to work out how to run these rides in future! And no, I've not heard of any pay-one-price fairs in Germany, mainly because a fair tens to be made up of rides from many different showmen. We have a few pay-one-price fairs in the UK, but I really hate them, as they tend to have no atmosphere, as the showmen have less incentive to hype things up.
  15. Haha, thanks - but don't forget I'm British, not German, so besides these really good fairs, I've been to plenty of really crap ones too!
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