I've definitely gotten it to flip like a bat out of hell on the inside seats on the version attached to the arm. On the tower one, I think it can still be done on the inside as well. The problem with the one at Canada's Wonderland is how incredibly short that cycle is. I consider myself pretty good at these sky rollers but I didn't have enough time on one of my rides on Skyhawk.
Oktoberfest- Part 1 (Coasters & Incredible Log Flume)
After journeying around Europe for a week on my own, I was to meet up with TPR for Oktoberfest. I landed at the Munich Airport and just had to get to the meet up point at a hotel in downtown Munich. I boarded a train that I believed was destined for downtown Munich. I saw droves of people dressed in lederhosen and dirndls, so I figured I was going the right way. There was a stop just before the downtown exits where all of the locals got off, but before I realized what had just happened, the doors closed and the train zipped by every single downtown exit much to confusion of myself and all the other foreigners on the train. Turns out 5/6 trains stop downtown and I was on the 1/6.
Thankfully I made it to the meet-up point on time and was shortly on my way to Oktoberfest with TPR. Like the US tour last year, I was kicking off another exceptionally well-run tour (thanks Robb and Elissa) with some awesome people. After having to plan out planes, trains, buses, and hotels for a week, it was refreshing that my only responsibility was to get my butt to meeting points at pre-determined times.
There have been quite a few great Oktoberfest photo TRs popping up lately, so hopefully I can shed some new opinions on the festival. Simply put. It’s the best carnival in the world. Tell me what other midway has as many full-size coasters, insane flat rides (and that’s putting it mildly), and dark rides. But it’s more than just the rides. It’s really about the whole experience. You could easily spend a few days (and a few hundred Euros) riding everything at the fair and never get bored. But there’s so much more. There’s beer, food, more beer, people watching, even more beer, downtown Munich, and yes, even more beer.
Day 1 began with a tour of the fairground’s coasters. This was a Saturday. With the perfect weather, we were advised it would be by far the busiest day of Oktoberfest. Saying we were walking through a sea of people would be putting it mildly. Despite this, we had no problem riding all the coasters on day 1. The dispatches on everything rivaled that of the operators at Phoenix. Except replace the mild-mannered Pennsylvanians with chain-smoking German carnies.
I think everyone else wanted the same shot as well.
Quick aside, if you want some spectacular aerial photos of Oktoberfest, I highly recommend checking out Saint Paul Cathedral across the street. Is it for a reverent experience with God? No, though if you want to be like Tim Tebow go right ahead since it’s a beautiful cathedral. What’s special about this cathedral is that they let you climb the extremely narrow and tall tower. It’s a pretty tiring and dizzying hike ~200 feet up, but the views are worth it. And it was just 3 Euros.
Saint Paul Cathedral is across the street from the fair and the best place to get aerial photos of the grounds.
You just need to make it up 300-something stairs in the most non-ADA compliant stairwell possible.
But if you make it, you get views like this. Notice the sea of people and this wasn't even on a weekend.
First we diverted off the main pathway to ride one of the fair’s newest coasters that I didn’t even know existed, the Drifting Coaster. The illegitimate love child of a wild mouse and a suspended coaster, this was an interesting experience. Around every bend and zig-zag, the trains rock back and forth. Those of you who have been on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train have experienced this before, but the drifting coaster takes the kiddie wheels off.
We sat down and pulled our restraints down. Seeing the buckle we scrambled to locate the seatbelt as the car dispatched only to realize there was no seatbelt. That basically fits the bill of a sketchy carnival coaster perfectly. I was lucky enough to be seated in reverse, which meant I had absolutely no clue what was coming. As we crested the lift, I prayed the ride would be smooth. I knew going in the ride would be really good or a total deathtrap. We rounded the only tame corner on the ride and got some crazy ejector air on the first drop. The pretty significant bump at the bottom of the first drop worried me the ride would be closer to a death trap, but thankfully that was the only uncomfortable part of the ride.
There were a few drops the rest of the way, but they weren’t nearly as steep as the first one. What stood out were the turns. Wild mice are fun little coasters, but admittedly the intense laterals can sometimes be uncomfortable. The Drifting Coaster eliminates laterals in favor of insane swinging. Because of how tight and abrupt the turns are, it’s fully possible to swing beyond 90 degrees. Honestly with a severely unbalanced car, I could see these coming close to inverting you. I would love to see more of these unique coasters pop up in favor of the overpopulated galaxy/zyklon style coasters dominating the US fair circuit. 7 out of 10
It looks like your ordinary mouse from afar.
But then you see what the car on the far right is doing. The swinging was really wild!
Notice the somewhat funky profile on that first drop. Don't question it, you'll get some great air.
The Drifting Coaster alone would be a major coaster for a US fair. But for Oktoberfest, it was overshadowed by two Schwarzkopfs that could hold their own at any standard amusement park. The non-inverting Alpina Bahn was next. Many of the rides at Oktoberfest had fantastic lighting packages and inviting facades, but Alpina Bahn’s may have been my favorite. The entrance reminded me of my grandfather’s cuckoo clock with the random animals dancing above the station. I didn’t have much time to admire it since I’m pretty sure the ride was running 4-5 trains, so lines were non-existent.
I grabbed the back-row and was completely caught off guard by the first drop. It looks as innocent as an 80 foot drop could look. And honestly it starts innocently enough. The banking on a twisted drop usually removes the laterals. But about 2/3 of the way down, there’s are some extremely unexpected and powerful laterals. The subsequent hill gives some nice floater air to boot.
The ride’s focus isn’t on airtime though; it’s all about the helixes. Despite being a portable coaster, there’s a huge fountain in the middle of the ride that’ll splash some unsuspecting rides during some of the helixes. I don’t remember them being particularly forceful, but they’re decently fast and very smooth. Towards the end, there are one or two tiny hills that give quick pops of air before returning to the station. While overshadowed by Olympia Looping, I really liked Alpina Bahn too. 8 out of 10
The non-looping Schwarzkopf. It doesn't get as much attention, but it's also really good.
A split second later, the riders will all be thrown to the left. I was not expecting laterals that wild on a banked drop.
It also had a few surprising moments of air.
I just love the station's theming.
Oh and it even has a fountain. A traveling coaster with a fountain.
Before making it to Olympia Looping, we had one more stop at Hollenblitz. From the outside, this enclosed spinning coaster looks more like a dark ride. I never thought I’d see the day where a coaster would sport a longer train than one of those Zierer Tivoli coasters, but Hollenblitz appears to have equaled, if not surpassed, the former in train length.
My first ride on Hollenblitz was towards the front. As we started spinning up the lift, I realized this would be unlike any other spinning coaster I had been on. The spinning was also different than on the other spinning coasters I’ve been on. The spinning was slower and relatively forceless, but it was still quite disorienting. There wasn’t a moment on the ride where my car wasn’t spinning. And that includes the ride’s only major drop, which is also the only outdoor portion of the ride.
The theming is also laughably amazing. You see the coal miner on the front of the train, so you’d expect a coal mine theming. Instead you are treated to a giant Christmas tree, lasers, and fire on the inside. So I’m going to say the theme is a coal miner’s Christmas party going wrong. I ultimately got three rides on Hollenblitz. My second ride was a relative dud in terms of spinning, but the third towards the back was just as spinny as the first. I personally prefer the Gerstlauer, Mack, and Maurer spinners that I have been on because of the more forceful spinning, but this is lightyears better than any of the compact spinners on the US fair circuit. 7 out of 10
It looks like a dark ride, but don't be fooled. This is a very spinny spinning coaster.
You'd think the coal miner themed lead car would mean there'd be mining theming on the inside. Instead get ready for a Christmas dance party.
With the other unique coasters knocked out, it was time for the main course- the one, the only, Olympia Looping. Despite being a fairground coaster, this coaster has quite the reputation and is considered one of the world’s best and most intense coasters. As a mechanical engineer, I think the most impressive thing for me is that this is a portable coaster. I was impressed back in March to see a 30 foot coaster at a local carnival. But this hulking creation was over 3X taller and had a much more involved layout.
Even with the crowds, the queue line was non-existent as they were running 4-5 trains on the coaster. The loading procedure was even quicker than Alpina Bahn. The second after you sit down, one of 10 or so attendants is ready, cigarette in mouth, to slam the accordion restraints down on your shoulders. Robb gave us a tip before riding to sit up straight to avoid the restraints from tightening down and crushing our spine mid-ride, but for my first ride I didn’t even have time to sit up straight before the restraint came down. For all my rerides, I knew to carefully and quickly sit down straight as a statue. The restraints are definitely awkward, but if you can get the accordion bit fitted correctly it’s a pain-free ride.
The view of the fairground ascending the lift is breathtaking, particularly at night with the entire midway illuminated. Shortly after, comes the first drop. I was sort of disappointed by it since I had my hopes it would be as wild as Alpina Bahn’s drop, but then again it could have been uncomfortable with the accordion restraints. But what I wasn’t disappointed by were the vertical loops. All 5 of them were extremely forceful. I think the most impressive thing is that each loop feels faster and more intense than the last. The helixes were nothing to write home about, especially after experiencing 5 of the world’s most intense inversions back to back to back to back to back.
I personally thought Olympia Looping as a coaster was a bit overrated. As a traveling coaster, it’s exceptional and it’s truly an impressive sight to see. Compared to permanent coasters, it’s still good but I wouldn’t say the coaster alone is worth traveling across the ocean to ride. While I can appreciate forceful inversions, my personal preference is for airtime and hang-time filled inversions. But if positive Gs are your thing, you need to ride Olympia Looping. It’s easily the most expensive ride at the fair, costing 9 Euros per ride, but I happily forked that over for quite a few rides during the trip. How could you visit the fair and not ride a 100-something foot tall coaster with 5 inversions? 8 out of 10
And there's the main attraction. It sits at the end of the midway calling coaster lovers.
Olympia Looping has some loops.
I wasn't kidding about the chain smoking carnies. He's casually enjoying one as the train roars by.
Honestly I wouldn't be shocked if that guy was smoking too while checking the ride in the morning. And unless I missed it, I don't think the guy had a harness. That man has balls of steel.
As great as the ride looked during the day, it came alive at night like many of the fair's rides.
I thought it was a bit overrated, but for a fairground coaster it was exceptional and still an overall good coaster.
Since the fair remarkably didn’t have any kiddie coasters, the final credits were wild mice. I say credits since the fair has dueling wild mice because a single one would be too pedestrian for the awesomeness known as Oktoberfest. I hit both of these on latter days on the trip since I was more focused on the insane flat rides and beers, but I couldn’t pass up riding both sides of a dueling wild mouse coaster.
As far as standard mice coasters go, this one is my new favorite. It already would have been up there for running unbraked and giving some pops of air on the final drops, but the unique dueling bit makes this one stand out compared to the other versions. 6 out of 10
What would be an ordinary wild mouse is made better by having them duel.
I was originally only going to include the coasters in the first update, but I decided to add in the log flume. Many of you are familiar with the standard portable model at US fairs. Lift-turn-double drop, turn, lift, turn, drop, turn. Well the one at Oktoberfest craps all over the US portable models. Wildwasser is one of the taller rides at the fair, which is no small feat on a midway with 6 coasters and several massive flat rides. Honestly, this may be one of the tallest flumes I’ve been on anywhere. If I were to guess, I’d say it’s probably about 80 feet tall.
But it’s not just the height that blew me away. After ascending the first lift into a tunnel, the boat stopped. Did we break down? No, somehow this portable flume had a reverser table! Still stunned by the fact a portable flume included that element, I was caught off-guard by the great backwards drop that followed. Still traveling backwards, we went into another enclosed bit. I think Wildwasser stole the theming from Hollenblitz since this section had some mining scenes.
Afterwards the log reverses course and heads up the two large lift hills. I can’t emphasize just how large this flume is for being at a fair. Then comes two solid drops that are probably about as tall as the main drop on a normal flume, except they are taken back-to-back much like the drops on Liseberg’s Flume. The final splash leaves you with the perfect amount of wetness as long as the victim in front lifts their feet (I didn’t know for my first ride). But then there’s one last surprise. As you round the last corner, there’s usually a backup of 4-5 logs. As you’re trapped there, a cute little beaver pops out of a log because everyone knows that beavers like their wood. As you look the creature in the eye, it suddenly shoots everyone in the log with a water jet and you can’t help but come off laughing. Unless you hate water. Then you’ll come off crying.
Wildwasser honestly may have been my favorite ride at the fair after Olympia Looping. Having the two large drops alone would have made it a memorable flume, but adding the surprises (backwards drop, dark ride bit, and squirting beaver) really made this flume stand out for me. It’s honestly one of the best flumes I’ve ridden anywhere. It’s not better than Splash Mountain, Ripsaw Falls, Valhalla or the one at Knott’s, but I’d be hard pressed to name a better flume after that. 10 out of 10
The flume is absolutely hulking. It craps all over the little traveling ones in the US.
It has the drops like you'd expect.
But it also had a reverser table, backwards drop, and a dark ride bit. The backside views is the only way to see the little tunnel where the reverser table occurs.
Nolan can't escape the wrath of our good friend the beaver.
PKI Jizzman wrote:Great photos and storytelling! Glad you made it around without any issues with trains/busses. Awesome job. This trip is amazing! How much were you spending on lodging on average/overall?
That's a tricky question since some of the places like Alton Towers and PortAventura included tickets with the room. But I ultimately spent about $100 per night on lodging. I probably could have spent less if I chose to stay in hostels, but I preferred standard hotels. I also was placing an emphasis on having a 24 hour front desk and close proximity to train stations/airports since I had a lot of early flights/trains.
Big Blue Hotel (Blackpool)- If you see the other hotels in Blackpool, you'll want to stay here. Alton's Enchanted Village- Cute lodge with 2 days at the park included. Bloc Hotel Gatwick- Located in the airport. Unique room with everything controlled by touch screen. PortAventura Hotel Carribe- Extremely nice resort and it included 2 days at the park. Expo Hotel Barcelona- Decent hotel. Small room but near the Saints train station. Best Western & Stockholm- Small but a great location in the heart of Stockholm. Gothia Towers- Extremely nice, wonderful staff, across from Liseberg.
Wow, thanks for the info! I'm definitely going to stash this for future use. Your criteria would be similar to what I'd use to pick out spots. Appreciate it!
Chi-livin. @adultswim @cartoonnetwork | World traveler, concert attendee, salsa connoisseur, comic reader, and theme park nerd. Snaps: photoboothezizi
No problem! No matter what you end up doing, the two hotels I strongly recommend are something onsite at Alton and PortAventura. After taking into consideration the free tickets the room came with, I probably only paid closer to $40-60 per night for an incredibly nice hotel.
Another one of the most well-known aspects about Oktoberfest (at least among coaster enthusiasts) is the collection of flat rides. There are unique rides such as the Voodoo Jumper and oversized versions of US counterparts. Even rides that look pedestrian are far from it. I think the operators had a fetish for watching people hurl after some of the cycles they were running on the rides.
I mentioned Voodoo Jumper, so I mind as well start there. While there were a few flats I enjoyed better, Voodoo Jumper was probably the best experience. By this point, you’ve probably seen Robb’s video. The ride is visually stunning at night with all the lights, fog, fire, and music. When you combine that with a bat-out-of-hell cycle, you’ve got something truly special.
If you’ve seen Robb’s video, you probably also saw some of the POV shots. If it looked like a confusing blur of fog and lights, that pretty much sums up the ride. Video does not serve this ride justice and it really needs to be experienced. The ride combines quick pops of air with incredibly forceful spinning as the ride bounces and spins about. And if you hate spinning rides, you’ll probably be cursing the operator under your breath since once of my cycles was 7 minutes long. How could this nutty flat not get a 10 out of 10.
This photo doesn't do the ride justice. I tried taking a photo of the fire and the fog, but it looked like the world's crappiest Instagram filter.
If you want oversized, look no further than the appropriately named XXL. This is one of those KMG frisbees, except much bigger. According to KMG’s site, the ride is capable of reaching a max height in excess of 130 feet and that’s absolutely believable when you see the ride. I think the ride seems even bigger since the ride only seats 20 passengers in a compact circle as opposed to all the other giant frisbees which have 2-3 times the capacity.
The cycle on this one was fantastic, but a bit odd. It started like a normal frisbee, eventually reaching the max swings which gave some strong air. After 3-4 swings it slowed down, which seemed very much unlike an Oktoberfest flat. But just before the ride swung to a stop, the ride kicked it into overdrive and repeated the cycle again, except this time the vehicle spun quite a bit more. Now that’s more like it! On the larger ones, I personally prefer floater air (like Loke or maXair), but this is still one of the best frisbees I’ve been on. 9 out of 10
XXL was appropriately named. The small gondola made it seem even taller too.
Everything at the fair came alive at night. The lighting packages were amazing.
There’s also a 180-200 foot tall drop tower known simply as Power Tower. The ride seemed to have some technical troubles towards the end of our visit, but I was able to get my ride early in the trip. Not sure if that ended up being a good thing though. I expected to get some outstanding views of the Munich skyline at night, but that wouldn’t be the case. Unlike Boston, New York, or the other major US cities I have been to, Munich was very dark at night. Before the first drop, we were probably held atop the tower for 20-30 seconds, and it did give fantastic views of the fair at least.
However, the drop was really poor. The drop felt like the descent on an S&S space shot. Note that I say space shot, not turbo drop. The drop was absolutely forceless and dull. Thankfully there were two relatively quick climbs after that gave a little floater air that redeemed the ride somewhat, but it’s still towards the bottom of the drop towers I’ve been on. Power Tower was probably the most disappointing ride on the midway. 5 out of 10
There was no power in this tower.
But fortunately there’s an even bigger drop tower to be ridden in Skyfall. The ride tops out in excess of 260 feet, which would be huge even by permanent park standards. Skyfall probably boasted the longest wait of any ride at the fair. I had to skip the ride the first two nights at the fair for this reason, but I finally got my ride during the day when the line dropped to only about 15 minutes.
I’m really glad I rode this one during the day since I was able to fully take in the Munich skyline this time. Also by riding it when the ride was less crowded, they held us at the top much longer. I thought Power Tower held us at the top for a while, but I think Skyfall may have held us up there for a minute. Even more impressive is that the gondola rotated around to give a full 360 degree view of the city and fair. But once the spinning stopped, the ride raised up the last foot and dropped like a rock. While not quite as good as an Intamin model, it wasn’t far behind in terms of intensity. There was solid air the whole way down. 9 out of 10
However, this one definitely had power.
Plus having a 260 foot portable drop tower is just nuts in its own right.
Also note how the employee is literally riding the catch car down the tower.
Because having one 250+ foot tall tower isn’t crazy enough, they also have an equally as tall star flyer honoring Jules Verne. As I mentioned on the Grona Lund TR, SFNE’s 400 foot SkyScreamer has taken the fear element away from these “smaller” towers. However, I still love star flyers, particularly ones with fantastic views. And with this one set beside downtown Munich above one of the world’s most visually stunning festivals, the Jules Verne Tower certainly fit the bill. 9 out of 10
250ish feet up.
Another awesome lighting package.
The fair had several pendulum/frisbee style flats and my personal favorite ended up being the Flip Fly. A spinning, inverting frisbee type ride, the ride has some strong ejector air on the swings leading up to the inversions. I don’t remember getting crazy hang-time on the inversions, but I do remember the extremely powerful Gs on the downswings trying to rip my legs off. After 3-4 minutes of this intensity, the seats unlock and begin to rock to add another dimension of intensity to the ride. I rode a frisbee similar to this at the Brockton Fair this year, but this one threw in the great ejector air at the beginning. 10 out of 10
A frisbee was crossbred with a top scan to produce this insane flat.
Great air at the beginning, then disorienting inversions, and then a WTF finale when the seats start flipping.
Parkour was another crazy spinning flat with some similarities to Voodoo Jumper. The ride lacked the crazy lighting package of Voodoo Jumper, but the ride bounced and spun as well. The difference was that Parkour focused more on the spinning that the jumping. And boy did it focus on the spinning! I thought Voodoo Jumper pulled some strong Gs on the spins, but Parkour one-upped it. The spinning rivaled the Waltzer I rode in Blackpool the week before. It’s the type of spinning that’s so fast and intense that it starts to lift you out of your seat. Another easy 10 out of 10 for me.
This is more my type of parkour since I can't get hurt in a profoundly stupid manner. That job was reserved for the conveyor belt of death.
Continuing the trend of crazy little spinners was Techno Power. I believe the ride is called a KMG Remix and I actually rode one of these almost 10 years ago at a local carnival. I remember the ride being very fast and forceful, but unfortunately it was removed after someone was thrown from the ride. My memory was correct, as this thing spun insanely fast. Unfortunately the way the seat dug into the back of my leg became pretty uncomfortable by the end of the ride, much like it does on the new Zamperla endeavors. For the finale, the ride actually slowed up (which was a relief) and went almost vertical, which replaced the powerful positive Gs with some brief pops of air. While this is an intense ride, I have to admit it wasn’t the most comfortable. I’d much prefer the Voodoo Jumper or Parkour over this. 7 out of 10
I hadn't seen one of these in almost 10 years. So of course I rode it.
I wanted to try the supersized KMG Speed, but that one had an extremely long line. Fortunately there was a similar looking alternative on the other side of the fairgrounds with no wait. I’ve ridden a few of these speed/skyscraper flats, but this one felt different. While the other ones I’ve been on have plenty of rocking and flipping, the car on this one seemed to be locked into place. The comparison that immediately comes to mind is how this ride resembles SFMM’s Green Lantern while the other versions resemble Grona Lund’s Insane. Thankfully the restraints on this one are more comfortable than the ZacSpins, but the intense Gs on the downswings still became a tad uncomfortable by the end. This was one of the few rides with a short cycle and I was appreciative of it. I should also add that I was still pretty drunk when I rode this one so that may have factored in a bit. However, the ride was definitely intense and fun for the first few rotations. 7 out of 10
The impaired skyscraper.
For the first few days at the fair, I walked by the flying bobs too many times to count. I completely ignored the ride. I can ride a garden variety Chance Thunderbolt anytime. And honestly, I much prefer the versions with the non-swinging cars so I can receive some side-splitting laterals. The only flying bobs one I’ve absolutely loved was Canobie’s old Matterhorn that was removed almost 10 years ago. The park ran the Matterhorn so ridiculously fast that you swung to about 150 degrees and unfortunately the speed they ran it at is rumored to have run the ride into the ground, causing its removal.
I didn’t think I’d ever see anything like Canobie’s Matterhorn again, but then out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a mirage. Munchner Zugspinzbahn. The cars on this one were swinging at the same angle. I rubbed my eyes, remembered I was sober, and eagerly got in line. It makes sense that if anyone were to run their flying bobs like Canobie’s, it would be the German fair circuit. And sure enough, it was awesome. The swinging wasn’t glass smooth, but that’s not due to the ride being rough. Rather it’s the ferocity at which you’re whipped out to 150 degrees. With just a simple lap bar a few inches off my lap, it was pretty terrifying and awesome at the same time. The ride only traveled forwards, but it ran for a pretty long time in that direction. I’m so glad I eventually gave this ride a shot since it allowed me to relive the thrill of Canobie’s late Matterhorn. 9 out of 10
I'm usually not a fan of the flying bobs himalayas, but when they are coming this close to inverting? Take my money!
One of the other rides I hit on the last day in the final hour was the Rotor. Relegated to a random alley off the main midway, it didn’t appear to have nearly the ridership of any of the fair’s other flats. Since rotors are pretty rare (Canobie’s is the only one I know of) I relished the opportunity to try this one. Despite being just a flat ride, the facade looked amazing with a waterfall. Then there was the queue line. The queue line was a full-fledged fun house! Honestly the queue alone was better than quite a few of the fun houses that I’ve been through.
I mentioned unsuspecting riders. As I stood against the wall waiting for the ride to begin, a few people were asking the operator what the ride did. One specifically asked if the ride spun. The operator said with a stone-face, “No.” What a devil! I tried to hold back a chuckle and made sure to stand across from them to a) avoid the puke and b) watch the show that would unfold. I’m fortunate enough to ride the Turkish Twist frequently and that rotor runs extremely fast. This rotor was considerably slower.
But where it excelled was how far the floor dropped. I’d estimate it drops maybe a 1-1.5 feet on the Turkish Twist. On this one it probably dropped a good 6-7 feet! Because of the slower speed, I gradually slid down the wall during the ride. Once the ride stops, you actually exit on the lower level while you boarded on the top level. I got off, stepped back, and watched. The dude looked a bit queasy but he amazingly kept his beer down. The same couldn’t be said for his companion though. He let it go right on the midway. All rotors are fun rides. While this one lacks the intensity of Canobie’s, the long cycle and how far the floor drops makes it stand out. Oh and that queue line. 8 out of 10
It looks more like a dark ride, but there's really a rotor in there. You just need to navigate a 3 story fun house first!
The floor drops so far that you exit on a lower level.
At closing, Oktoberfest looks like a zombie apocalypse. Right at closing time (whether it be 11:30 or 12), all of the ride lights immediately go out and the booming midway becomes a desolate wasteland of beer steins, trash, and passed out drunks (who always seemed to be Americans). On the Monday night, we ran to Skater, the top scan, right before closing and were lucky enough to get on the last cycle of the night. The operators rushed to board us before the cutoff time and we just barely were dispatched.
The only top scan I’ve ridden to this point is the one at Canada’s Wonderland. Knowing the movement this ride was capable of, I figured the German carnies would run their version far more wildly than a Cedar Fair park. I was right. As the gondolas spun, the laterals felt like they could rip my legs off and that was combined with the sudden, random, and forceful flipping that reminded me of a Zipper. Only here I was out in the open instead of being locked in a cage like an animal. The cycle seemed short, but I figured that was just because of the ride’s intensity.
On the last day, I thought better of my assessment of the cycle. What if it was running shorter since I rode at closing? Only one way to find out. I boarded and was treated to the same. But once the ride stopped, it picked up speed again; this time in reverse. Oh yeah! Performing the flips in reverse was different but every bit as intense as the forward ones. As a fan of insane flats that throw you around in every possible direction, Skater was one of my favorites at the fair. 10 out of 10
I was a Skater boy. This ride trashed all over Canada's Wonderland's version like Avril Lavigne did to her career with the song Hello Kitty.
If one of these crazy flats were at a US carnival, I’d consider it a pretty good fair. The only ride that comes close to matching the top end rides on this circuit is the common Zipper or rare KMG Speed. So Oktoberfest was a flat ride fan’s wet dream. My personal favorites were probably Skyfall, Skater, and Voodoo Jumper, but really all of them were very good outside of Power Tower.
The fair also had several dark rides. My personal favorite wasn’t a ride per say. Rather it was a show called Encounter. Now I never rode the old Alien Encounter attraction at Magic Kingdom since I was a young child still afraid of Honey I Shrunk the Audience (I didn’t want to be shrunk down ok…) and Tower of Terror (not because of the drop; I didn’t want to be turned into a ghost…), but everyone I rode with said it was a direct ripoff.
The showroom looked exactly like Stitch (unfortunately I have ridden that one). Except instead of an abomination of a ride, I was greeted to a genuinely terrifying and well-done ride. I think having the ride in German added to the intensity since I had no clue what was going on. There may have been a warning that the creature escaped, but I hadn’t a clue and shortly after had my restraint bounce and legs tickled, among other things. I was expecting the animatronics to be nothing short of a dumpster fire, but the center alien actually looked pretty dang good. 10 out of 10
Magic Kingdom's Alien Encounter lives (in German and with a much lower budget).
Then there were three more traditional ghost houses I rode. I wasn’t a fan of Fahrt zur Holle or Eckl Geisterhaus. Both reminded me of the cheap dark rides you see at US fairs. I did like Geister Palast though. This one was significantly larger than the others with 3 levels. The props came extremely close to the cars (a few were mere inches from my face) and weren’t some paper mache garbage from your local Halloween store. But my favorite thing about the ride, for the pure ridiculousness of it, was the fact that the ride op pushed the cars up the first lift. I’ve seen ops push cars out of a station before, but never up an incline. That dude is taking the stairmaster to a whole new level.
This was the best of the 3 dark rides I tried.
And the operator really did push the cars up the lift.
Fart in the Hole!
Eckl Geisterhaus was like the carnival dark rides in the US, and I don't mean that as a term of endearment.
Oktoberfest- Part 3 (Beer, Dark Rides, & Things to Do While Drunk)
The real reason 99% of people come to Oktoberfest is for the beer. I have to admit that I am not a particularly big beer drinker, but that’s because I dislike the taste of a majority of beers. When I go out to eat, I’d rather spend the extra money on a better meal or an appetizer over a beer. However, I broke that rule for Oktoberfest. How could I come to Oktoberfest and not have authentic German brews? That and the fact that beer cost less than water helped. If you can get tap water in Germany, you should book a plane ticket for Vegas.
Simply put, the German beers have ruined many of the American beers I wasn’t a major fan to begin with anyway. I’m not a fan of dark beers, but I am a fan of the lighter beers or weissbier in German. Stateside, my personal favorites are Blue Moon and Allagash White. Those beers are good, but the ones at Oktoberfest put those two to shame. My personal favorite at Oktoberfest was a Paulaner weissbier I had at a mini beer tent by Alpina Bahn. It was easily the smoothest beer I have ever had.
It was a small tent, but this was home to my favorite beer of the trip.
The Paulaner was so smooth.
Speaking of the beer tents. About half the midway consists of rides. The other half consists of beer tents. You have larger tents/festhauses as well as several smaller ones. Finding a seat in the larger ones is like finding a front row parking space at the Christmas mass. You either need to arrive super early, have a large enough group to book a reservation (thank you for TPR), or make friends with random people.
If you don't have a reservation, you better get there at opening. Otherwise finding a seat could be difficult. This isn't an Athletics game.
For the smaller tents, it’s a matter of how packed the tent is. Long story short, they are all usually pretty packed. Even more than the rides. Saturday was akin to standing shoulder to shoulder at a Disney parade, but the other days were more manageable. My personal favorite place to have a beer (not necessarily my favorite beer, though it was good) was at the beer-go-round by Olympia Looping. It’s just as it sounds. It’s a revolving platform with a bar in the center. The place was fantastic to enjoy a beer and just take in the sights- the roar of Olympia Looping, 2 Germans passionately making out next to you, and a dude having a photoshoot with the miniature horse on the platform.
On our full day at the fair, we had lunch at the Lowenbrau tent and it was fantastic. 2 liters of beer, a half chicken, and a massive pretzel. I will openly admit that I’m a lightweight, so I was pretty inebriated after drinking 2 liters of beer in less than 2 hours. Rather than try the 5 liter challenge like a few of the ambitious members of TPR, I knew I was at a happy place and stopped. I was tipsy but still well enough to function and take part in never-in-America attractions afterwards that were made all the better by me not being able to walk straight.
The lion atop the tent said "Lowenbrau" like an angry drunk woken up from his evening nap.
Oh and there was music too.
They said this was a half chicken, but it sure looked like a full chicken. It was huge!
Massive pretzels for beer absorption.
But the highlight was 2 liters of this. Let's just say I got pretty tipsy.
Robb and Elissa were nice enough to take us over to the Toboggan, aka conveyor belt of death slide, immediately after we had our beers. For those who haven’t seen the TPR video (do so immediately), the slide itself is a pretty slick spiral slide. But the real experience is getting to the top. Take those high speed walkways at airports, triple the speed, put it at an incline, and have the hand railings stationary. If that sounds difficult, it is and made it one of the best places at the fair for people watching. I had seen countless YouTube videos of people wiping out on the conveyor belt. Going in, I was confident. Confident that I would spectacularly wipe out. And that was before I had 2 liters of beer.
Before I went I saw countless guys in lederhosen go booty over teakettle, fall flat on their back, or be escorted up the ramp as a furiously marching marionette. If you were a girl or child, the attendants chivalrously were there to help. If you were a guy, they just sat back and watched the show unfold. As I approached the conveyor belt of death, I almost stopped to consider my life choices but just went for it. I almost instinctively grabbed the railing (the leading cause of wipeouts) but was somehow able to contain myself. I wobbled back and forth and a half second later was riding the ramp sideways like a surfer. I made it up! I probably looked like an awkward bumbling fool, but I made it up on my own.
The slide itself was good too. It’s much like the spiral slide at Knoebels. It’s pretty fast. But the experience is really all about the conveyor belt of death which I conquered. Successful on my first try, I was able to get to the stop yet again on a reride (or reslide?) immediately after. I don’t think I’d always make it to the top, but on this day luck was on my side. Instead of tempting fate a third time, I sat back, pretzel in hand, and continued to watch the carnage. 10 out of 10
It looks like an innocent slide, but when you add the inclined, high speed conveyor belt and drunks, you have a recipe for wipeouts.
This fellow was so ambitious. He thought he could make it.
He could not and went butt over tea kettle.
And then rode up on his back.
His buddy after him somehow turned himself around and tried running down, but resistance was futile.
The only other attraction that may beat the Toboggan for people watching is Teufelsrad, aka the devil’s wheel. Like the Toboggan, check out TPR’s video if you have never seen one of these. If you haven’t, picture an arena filled with chanting, drunk Germans with more enthusiasm than a baseball game. In the center, you have an unassuming wooden wheel. The goal is to stay on the wheel, as it spins, longer than everyone else. The MC will call out a category (guys, girls, couples, children, etc) and if you satisfied it, you were welcome to run to the center of the wheel. If you were American and didn’t know German like me, you were pretty much doomed to be stuck on the outside of the wheel where the chances of success was bleak. You really needed to be in the center to have success.
Battling centripetal force, especially while inebriated, would be challenging enough. It’s pretty common for people to be sent tumbling off the wheel within the first minute. With less people on the wheel, it’s a little easier to stay balanced. So that’s why the German carny (who seriously has the best job in the world) releases a wrecking ball. It looks like a giant, poofy Christmas ornament, but the ball appeared to have some deceptive heft to it and would drill unsuspecting riders in the face. If people were still on the wheel at this point, the carnies would then whip out ropes to lasso you off. Don’t worry, they have no regards whether or not they get you by the torso, leg, or neck. To them it’s all the same.
It was definitely an interesting experience going on the wheel, but without a good spot in the center, it was an exercise in futility for me. Although the friction from my shoes did keep me on longer than expected, I always wiped out prior to the wrecking ball being released. But as fun as it was to ride, I found it much more entertaining to watch. In particular, there was a girl who appeared to know the operators and she gave them a run for their money. Even in the end as they tried lassoing her, she would flail about like a breakdancer to wiggle out of the rope. They eventually got her with a blindside lasso, but she made them work for it. This is something I don’t think we’ll ever see in America. And I’m not just talking at a park. This would probably even be considered too dangerous for TV shows. Overall the experience was an easy 10 out of 10.
Round and round they go. And eventually centripetal force wins.
To accelerate things, they send down this festive looking wrecking ball to smash you in the face.
For those still on the platform, they lasso you in like cattle.
And then there were none.
The fair also had a multistory and rather long fun house in Lach Freu Haus. Fun houses alone can mess with a drunk’s balance, but this fun house is particularly evil for two reasons. The first is water. Part of the fun house requires you to navigate slippery stepping stones. One bad step and everything is getting wet. Then there are a few suspension bridges that sink into the water if you move too slowly or weigh too much. And guess what, the average American will sink the bridge into the water, decimating your shoes.
The other element that can absolutely mess with your equilibrium is 3D. Yes the fun house has 3D elements. Are there paintings/pop-outs along the way? No, that’d be too tame and safe. They decided to add a 3D laser show to the spinning barrel. Those barrels are already disorienting enough, so adding 3D seemed like a jolly idea. But that actually wasn’t what caused people to wipe out on the barrel. It was the tilting of the barrel. The dang thing wobbled forwards and backwards as you went through it. So not only did the ground move side-to-side, but it also bobbed up and down. I nearly wiped out, but was able to scamper across before going face-first into the hardwood floor. The same couldn’t be said for a few other members on the trip.
The rest of the fun house had much tamer elements by comparison, but they were all quite good. It wasn’t quite up to the level of Grona Lund, but there was plenty left. My two favorites were the sliding stairs and the spiral slide. The latter was particularly good since I usually stick to spiral slides and never build up any speed (see the slide at Kolmarden Zoo). This one was quite slick so it was actually enjoyable rather than binding up my shorts. 9 out of 10
This was an awesome fun house with some evil tricks up its sleeve.
Down he goes.
3D, tilting, spinning barrel of doom. Is there anything else it could do to mess with your equilibrium? If so, let the carnies know and I'm sure they'll incorporate it in.
Then there were two rides at the fair that were extreme workouts. Yes the Toboggan and Devil’s Wheel required balance, but I didn’t come off panting like I had run a marathon. That was the job of Looping the Loop and the Uberschlag. Looping the Loop is a manual flying carpet ride. You’re placed in a cage and told to go at it with the goal of completing the loop (note- the vehicles are counterweighted so you never invert, much like a flying carpet). There’s no additional restraints, so you’re free to shift your weight about the entire cage to go over the top. I first tried this evil contraption in the evening. It was easy to get halfway up and there were some good forces thanks to the tight radius. But completing the loop was a royal pain.
I was rhythmically gyrating (there was really no other way to go about it) and eventually got my cage to the top, but I wasn’t quite able to complete the loop. I tried and tried, but I kept getting stuck at the top or right at the top. In desperation, I tried shifting my weight at the top by running forwards, but I mistimed it. Remember how I said we were unrestrained in a cage? The ride sort of threw me backwards during its powerful downswing and I smashed into the cage. Thankfully I was able to regain my bearings and avoided any major injury. I had enough of that thing…for the night.
I probably should have avoided the ride after almost breaking my back, but I decided to go another round. I again worked my way up to the top and kept getting stuck. I wasn’t going to be bested by this German carny’s little contraption! This time when I reached the top, I furiously started jumping up and down like a pissed off child at a mini golf course (I had plenty of experience doing this when I was younger). Eventually I completed the loop! I went around a few times, jubilant and accomplished. Then I held on with a kung-fu death grip until the ride came to a full and complete stop. Mission complete. 8 out of 10
It sounds easy enough to rock this cage over the top.
But by the end of it, you look like this. Exhausted.
While you never actually invert on Looping the Loop, it was possible on the Uberschlag. Since you actually invert on this one, the restraints were much more restrictive. On this one, I felt like a prisoner. The straps tying you to the pole were ok, but it was the ankle restraint that had me thinking I was at Alcatraz. Since I couldn’t throw my body around, I had to gyrate even harder this time in order to build the height of the swing.
Unfortunately I hit a wall (figuratively thankfully) at 120 degrees. I tried going higher, but those 120 degree swings produced some pretty good airtime. By the time I landed back on the ground, I didn’t have enough time to properly shift my weight to go any higher. I kept trying, but when I tried pushing harder it started to hurt my ankle a bit so I drew the line. Getting this one to flip truly would be a beat of endurance. I had to bow out, but still had fun once I got the swings going. 8 out of 10
If you wanted to know what a prison swing would be like, the Uberschlag is for you.
The past few rides are all things that are traps for drunks. The last ride, Fahrpreise, has employees drinking on the job. Don’t worry, it’s not the ride operators. That would be dangerous. They just have their obligatory cigarettes. The drinkers were the live band. Yes this ride had a live band. Before our ride, the operator handed them shots of beer for them to enjoy. Needless to say I have never seen anything quite like it.
The ride itself could only be described as traditional. It was like a hybrid of a trabant and a carousel. The ride had absolutely no restraints, but the tame movements didn’t require them. We had a blast just laughing at the whole ride set-up and enjoying the live music which captured the feel of Oktoberfest perfectly. It’s not a world-beater, but it’s something that needs to be experienced. For us, it was the perfect way to end a night. 6 out of 10
The child of a trabant and a carousel was pretty funky and cool.
I wasn't kidding. They seriously had a live band playing.
Oktoberfest was an incredible experience. Everything from the food to the beers to the people to the crazy rides made the event standout. There’s really nothing quite like it. I was there for 4 days (some full days, some partials) and could have easily spent more time. Riding all the rides does get expensive, but basically everything delivered and was worth it in my opinion. I don’t know when I’ll return to Oktoberfest, but I know I will return someday.
Bayern Park was the complete antithesis to Oktoberfest. Instead of the loud, bustling midways, Bayern Park had the feel of a well-shaded, scenic German village. The entry area reminded me of the architecture in the German section of Busch Gardens, but again, much quieter. As a whole, I'd say the park caters to children. But it was also home to two of the most intense rides on the trip, Freischutz and Duell der Adler. Interesting, these two rides are two of the park's newer attractions too so maybe they're trying to spark a demographic shift and target a whole new audience.
Hobo, I don't think we're in the city anymore.
This poor lion may have been slightly violated during our group photo. Only slightly.
The architecture on these buildings made me feel like I was at Busch Gardens.
We only had 3 hours at the park, so we began a quick loop. While the rides at Oktoberfest try to top each other in a dick measuring contest, Bayern Park really tucks most of its rides away. Without the map, we probably wouldn't have found 2-3 of the smaller coasters. We wanted to begin with the funky river rapids water slide. The weather was slated to get cooler as the day went on, so we wanted to knock this out first in case it got us drenched. So we proceeded through an odd-looking castle that we thought was the entrance.
Thought is the key word. The queue was a narrow, winding labyrinth in almost total darkness. When we reached the end, we realized we had made a mistake. We considered bailing out, but decided to stick around and see what was inside. We figured it'd be some type of walkthrough. When the doors opened, we were shocked to see a drop tower. Mind you, the tower was probably no more than 40-50 feet in height so it was clearly a junior drop tower model. But nonetheless we were intrigued by the ride being enclosed.
Soon after the ride began rotating (yes the tower spun too) towards the top. Each level of the tower had these creepy looking dolls that were honestly more terrifying than the garden variety ghosts in Tower of Terror. As a kids tower, the drops weren't that fast, but they did give a tiny stomach dropping sensation. Later in the ride, I was surprised by a few fast ascents to the top that even gave some pops of floater air. When we got off, we weren't really sure what we had just ridden. I still can't believe the amount of theming put into a junior drop tower, but we ended up enjoying the ride they call Thaolon. 7 out of 10
In retrospect, this doesn't really look like a river rapids ride.
Instead it was an enclosed, haunted, junior drop tower that ended up being way better than it should have been.
Next we actually got on Whitewater Rafting. Turns out the entrance passed right over the ride and had a big old sign next to it, go figure. None of us had ever seen a rapids ride quite like this. Honestly, it was pretty similar to those Whitewater West spinning raft things that Cypress Gardens and Six Flags New England used to have. Except here the dinky inflatable rafts were replaced by robust river rapids boats. And that honestly made the slide more terrifying.
The section leading up to the lift is a decent little lazy river section with some theming. I think it was themed to mining, though we're pretty sure one scene had a dude bludgeoning another dude with a hammer. I thought this was a kids park? But after the haunted dolls and murder, I wasn't so sure. After the lift, the thrilling section began. It felt wrong careening full speed in a river rapids boat towards an unbanked water slide turn. Since we had a pretty full boat, we were genuinely terrified four Americans would send the raft careening over the edge, giving the park some more bodies to use in Thaolon. I think you can tell we survived, but the rafts definitely slid up the walls more than expected. The final splash was surprisingly dry, but we appreciated it. 8 out of 10
We enjoyed the lazy river while those miners were non-lazy and mined.
It was a slightly unnerving feeling sliding up the walls in a big old raft, but when we realized it was well engineered, we ended up really liking it.
As the rest of the group enjoyed their first beer of the day, we decided to venture off to the far side of the park. One end of the park has a pretty large pond and the walkway loops around it. At the end of the loop are some kids rides, highlighted by the cute little mouse ride where we saw kids riding in the not-in-America position (aka sitting on the back of the car with their feet on the seat while enjoying an ice cream cone). But there was one adult ride down there and one that could genuinely be dangerous after beers, an alpine slide.
Earlier this summer, I rode my first alpine slide at Attitash. I really enjoyed the ride, but I definitely rode it with training wheels and exercised discretion around almost all of the turns. On Attitash's, there were several steep drops that were seemingly engineered for stupid decisions. Accidents on that thing are common bedside stories in New England. Give me a mountain coaster and I'll ignore the brake like Massachusetts drivers ignore the speed limit. But when it's possible to fly off the course, I am careful. I started with that tentative approach on Twinbob Rodelbahn, but about 1/3 of the way down I realized the downward angle was so slight that I couldn't possibly fly off the course. My hubris was rewarded as I sped (though that's an overstatement) the rest of the way down. Honestly it was ok, but I found this one a little too tame and significantly shorter than Attitash's. 5 out of 10
I'd say riding this after beers was tempting fate, but I don't think this one went fast enough to send you over the edge.
Note the kid definitely not sitting on the seat.
At one end of the pond was a Disneyland sized castle.
After burning the good chunk of the day on non-coasters, we figured we should start racking up the credits. The first one we hit was the custom Zierer Tivoli, Achterbahn (aka Roller Coaster in German). There were no real drops, but the ride had the obligatory super long train so the helixes generated decent speed in the back. The best part of the ride was how it interacted with the nearby trees. It was definitely better than most junior coasters, but just an ok ride overall. 5 out of 10
It's a Zierer so of course the train is a gazillion cars long.
Many of the ride's helixes loop around trees, which is always better than the standard Six Flags parking lot.
On the way, we passed the park's flume and since it was a walk-on, we gave it a whirl. While Oktoberfest had the unique traveling flume, Whitewater Ride had the standard portable flume layout. The drops were just ok, but what made the flume slightly better than usual was the little landscaping and theming around the ride. While a standard layout, it's built on a hill and the first turn actually had some hidden theming. I guess it's obligatory for all German flumes to have at least one random show scene. 5 out of 10
I've seen this layout a few times, but I've never seen it look this good.
Continuing the theme of the day, we again got distracted on our way to the credits and made our stop at the slide. Usually slides are relatively tame affairs unless they have been throughly waxed and can give some air. This slide was different. I honestly think this slide would never have to be waxed and it would still give a crazy ride. Called the Steep Slide, it's appropriately named. I don't know what the angle of descent was, but I can confidently say it was steeper than most coasters and was on par with a speed slide. Because of the tight radius at the start of the slide, you're guaranteed to get some frightening airtime. The whole experience isn't more than 3-4 seconds, but it's a rush. 10 out of 10
The slide on the left is your normal wave slide, but what's that on the right?
That angle of descent looks steeper than most coasters. And it gives better airtime than most drops too.
We then went into credit whore mode since we had less than an hour left. Next to the death-defying slide was Froschbahn (aka the Frog Ride). Also a Zierer, this one was far less respectable than the larger one across the park. Like most rides at the park, it looked great and the layout was well-hidden. The latter was a plus so no one (hopefully) saw us riding this credit. 2 out of 10
The layout goes behind those trees. All 200 feet of it.
It was time to try my first Butterfly. But which one to pick? The park has two, one enclosed and one outside. We decided to go all in and picked the indoor one first. The coaster (if you call it that, I do) is located in an odd castle building that contains quite a few do-it-yourself attractions. Along with Star Shuttle, there was also some rock walls, a manual swinging ship, a weird looping ride, and some free arcade games. Naturally we all ran to the credit first.
I was in a group of 4 people that had never ridden a Butterfly before, so it took us some fumbling around to figure out how to operate it. Eventually we got it and the ride was fun. The first drop really had me feeling it in the gut, kind of like the first drop on a Vekoma boomerang, but the rest of the ride was just meh. It seemed to take a while to stop; a fact that made for an entertaining show with a few other members on the trip. 4 out of 10
This park really has a thing for castles, doesn't it?
While we were in the building, I decided to try the manual swinging ship, Komet. I hadn't seen it run, so I figured it'd be a cute little ride that rocked back and forth. I pulled the lapbar down that rested a good foot off my lap and pulled the string to start the ride. The instructions said to hold the string to keep the ride swinging. The first few swings were like a lawn swing, so just as I started yawning, the ride reved and made a sound that would excite 1001 Nachts woman. It then got higher and higher and higher. When it reached its max height, I was afraid I'd break the dang thing, but I was getting some surprising ejector air. Who would have thought a swing no taller than 20 feet could be capable of air that strong. I would have loved to keep going, but I didn't want to be a dick and stopped so the next passenger could be treated to the airtime buffet. 9 out of 10
Aw so cute.
And then it transforms into an airtime machine.
After Komet, I had to try the funky inverting wheel. I had to wait about 3-4 runs (the longest wait of the day by far) and was treated to a considerably tamer ride. Yes it inverted. But the inversions were taken incredibly slowly. Honestly the best part was intentionally stalling the wheel upside down much to the chagrin of the passengers waiting in line. It was an interesting little ride, but I wish it inverted a little faster like the Unicoasters. 5 out of 10
The powered wheel of death was shockingly tame by comparison after the little swing ride.
With only 20 minutes left before ERT, we ran over to Butterfly. A few people sat it out after the first one, but the real credit whores (myself included) made sure to ride the outdoor one as well. It was the same ride pretty much, except this one was shaded by trees instead of being illuminated by incandescent light bulbs. 4 out of 10
So you may have realized that I saved the park's two biggest thrill rides (and arguably best rides) for last in Freischutz and Duell der Adler (the Sky Roller). That was intentional for two reasons. One, I didn't want to make everything else in the park seem tame by comparison. Two, we had ERT on them and I wanted to ensure I had time to hit everything else. Number two is the primary reason, but since we had 10 minutes before ERT, we decided to sneak a ride on Freischutz through the normal queue. Thought normal isn't the right word here. The queue is a maze. And I don't mean that in the sense that it's ridiculously long. No I mean it in the literal sense. It is actually a series of 3 mazes with multiple routes. All paths seemed to lead to the station, but it was still weird.
This was my second Maurer X-Car. My first was Rip Ride Rockit. When the Rockit opened, I remember reading several reviews stating the ride was rough. I was worried during my ride, but I was treated to an almost glass-smooth, intense coaster that I ended up loving. With the same lapbar only trains, I had high hopes that Freischutz would deliver another smooth and intense ride. It did half of that. The top speed is less than 50 MPH, but that launch was surprisingly forceful. It was no Top Thrill Dragster, but it put the launches of Helix and Flight of Fear to shame.
The inverted top hat was excellent (I seriously love these inversions) and had some great hang-time. The next bit gave the ride its positive Gs. The vertical loop was decent, but the two overbanked turns afterwards were incredibly forceful and caused me to grey out a bit. The hang-time returned on the zero-G roll and that was followed by a ferocious final corkscrew that really whips you through it. The ride is short, but it's a rush that perfectly alternates between positive and negative Gs.
So you may have discerned by this point that if I'm praising the ride's forces, that it let me down in the smoothness department. And you'd be correct. Thankfully there were no OSTRs or else this could have been brutal. Even without banging my head, I still got a bit of a headache since the ride rattled the entire way through. I don't think there was a single track piece after the launch where I didn't feel like I was riding a vibrator. I got rides in the very front, front of the back car, and very back, and all 3 seats were quite rattly. I did hear the middle seats on both cars were smoother, but I didn't get a chance to try those. Still despite the vibrations, I did enjoy Freischutz since it is a really intense ride with impeccable pacing. 8 out of 10
The queue looks so unassuming, but it's a labyrinth. An actual labyrinth.
Any looper with lap bar only trains gets a thumbs up from me.
The ride perfectly alternates from positive to negative Gs.
Sadly the launch is the only smooth part of the ride. A shame since this could have been pretty high in my rankings otherwise. Still a fun, forceful ride though.
We wrapped up with Duell der Adler, the Sky Roller. I had experience on the versions at Canada's Wonderland, Blackpool, and Liseberg, so I knew how to put on a good show. I rocked the wings in rhythm and was eventually treated to the balls-to-the-wall, intensity that I crave. I probably averaged 50-60 flips per ride. The most amazing thing to me about this flat is just how intense the flipping is. I can't think of a single ride with faster flips out there and for that reason, I absolutely love it.
On what we thought was our last ride, we waited for our restraints to be unlocked, but the park gave us another lap. Most riders were excited by this and we made sure to go out with a bang. The one feature I particularly liked on this one is that the ride statistics are fully visible to riders as they exit. On the other versions I've been on, the flipping stats seem to be hidden in the operator box, so the only way you can keep track of your flips is if the operator calls it out or if you can miraculously keep count while going head-over-heels. Here, there's a monitor so you can either brag about your performance or run before someone calls you out for having as many flips as Big Thunder Mountain. 10 out of 10
I can't emphasize it enough that this is one of my favorite flats out there.
It was great riding with others than fully intended to flip these like madmen. Usually you only see 1-2 people going balls out while the rest of them are stationary or barely rocking.
Yours truly was in car 2.
I thoroughly enjoyed our few hours at Bayern Park. As a whole, it's a perfect family park. But then Freischutz and Duell der Adler are two of the more intense rides out there. I'm not sure if that's the direction the park wants to go in or if they just wanted some added variety in their lineup, but as long as the park keeps their quirky and funky charm going with all their additions, I think Bayern Park will always be worth the day trip when I'm out in Munich.
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