Pop quiz- what ride do you think I rode first at Heide Park?
B) Desert Race because Colossos was closed
C) Something else because all the Intamins were closed
However, this was sort of a trick question. Heide Park lets guests into the park an hour early. They stage you in the entry plaza and since Nostalgiekarussell is in this area, they have it open.
As far as carousels go, this one was a bit funky. It was a small double-decker with some odd vehicles like spinning tea cups and swings. However, this was one of those carousels that sadly doesn’t play music. 5 out of 10
It was a cold and rainy weekday. In America, a fast pass would be unnecessary. In fact, the bigger concern would be whether or not the park even opens. But Europe is a different animal, so I got the Express Butler and it was worth every penny.
Heide Park’s system works through your smartphone. You sign into this website and can reserve one ride at a time. When it’s your turn to ride, you get a QR code. You also have the option to buy an instant ride if the return time isn’t to your liking.
When the park officially opened most people flocked to Colossos. Can you blame them? The coaster looks absolutely massive and dominates the park’s skyline. Plus it had been closed for almost 2.5 years.
In a move that made me chuckle, they had the balls to spin the ride’s closure as part of the ride’s theme. Only Merlin could turn their lack of maintenance into a thematic element.
Colossos starts like El Toro. You have an epic first drop with some powerful ejector air and two camelbacks with some major sustained ejector air. Now the air on the first drop and second camelback isn’t quite at the levels of El Toro, but the first camelback is. You then rip through a turnaround and over a speed hill with a hint of floater air.
Instead of going into the Rolling Thunder hill, Colossos decides to do its own thing. Colossos goes into this boring and forceless helix. I think the ride would be better without this since it kills the pacing and bleeds off a ton of speed.
That leads into the finale- 3 bunny hills. I was under the impression these hills would give the crazy airtime of Balder. Sadly, they do not. They do give some floater though and that Wicker Man statue is stunning.
So while Colossos has one of the best starts of any coaster, the second half lets up. But it’s still a blast and the refurbishment made it smooth as glass. This is as smooth as opening year El Toro. 9 out of 10
I intended to hit Desert Race next, but Intamin accelerators and rain don’t mix. So I sought refuge in Ghostbusters 5D, the park's screen-based shooter. This one had an element true to the film that made it quite tricky. On this one, you don’t just shoot the ghosts. You need to hold your blaster on them for a few seconds to catch them.
The rest of the ride didn’t really have any tie-ins to the events of the films. I was stunned the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was nowhere to be found. That being said, the ride was still enjoyable. 7 out of 10
I decided to hover around Desert Race since the day's weather would make that one a challenge to ride. So I killed time riding Indy-Blitz. But even by kiddie coaster standards, this one wasn't all that great. 2 out of 10
The rain stopped again, so I made a beeline to Desert Race and got back-to-back rides. Even though this is a smaller accelerator coaster, the launch still packed a mighty wallop and gave me that stomach drop sensation.
The rest of the ride consists of a series of S-hills with great pops of ejector air. And because of its compactness, you really feel the speed. More so if you’re lucky enough to get the front. 8 out of 10
For as long as I’ve known about Heide Park, I’ve always been intrigued by their towering slides of death. Hyping up a slide is never a good idea and let’s just say they failed to live up to expectations.
As I discovered at the City Museum, cargo shorts and slides do not mix. Along with being slow, I felt every single connection. On the bright side, the views of the park were amazing. 3 out of 10
Big Loop is one of the park’s most photogenic coasters as it’s situated on the water. And thankfully it rides well too. It has some nice air on the drop, forceful loops, quick corkscrews, and no headbanging. 6 out of 10
Krake is one of those coasters that looks better than it rides. This is a true one trick pony. The vertical drop into the shop and subsequent splashdown are breathtaking to watch. Just be careful you don’t get hit by the wave. It isn’t worth the photo.
Krake’s drop had some great air, but it does nothing else. The Immelmann and camelback have zero force to them. 7 out of 10
Flug der Damonen was a great wing coaster. This one started with one of those awesome wingover drops where you get some nice hangtime into heavy Gs at the bottom. You then rip over a speed hill with better airtime than most B&M hypers.
Per usual, the Immelmann did nothing for me. I’m just not a fan of this inversion. But the following zero-G roll and demonic knot were loaded with hangtime. I was also surprised by this funky wave turn/turnaround thing before the brake run.
Flug der Damonen was great. I think it may be my favorite wing coaster after Thunderbird and Fenix. This one was odd in that the back was more floaty and the front was more whippy. 8 out of 10
I felt like I was back at SFNE since Heide Park also had a drop tower called Scream. Except this one isn’t a subpar S&S tower. Rather, this one is a sizable Intamin gyro drop situated on a hill with a great drop. 8 out of 10
I have a confession to make. I am not a fan of Mack bobsleds. They vibrate way too much. And this is from someone who found the Mount Olympus wooden coasters perfectly fine. My ride in the front row of Bobbahn felt like a shopping cart rolling down a cobblestone hill.
In a moment of stupidity I decided to give it another shot. It was probably because of the layout. When I saw the short lift, I didn’t think Bobahn would be particularly long. Much to my surprise, it rips down a hill and actually has a second lift to return to the station.
And I learned an important lesson. Lean forward! I did this and the vibration disappeared. In retrospect, it made sense. I do that ride position all the time on rough woodies. I just didn’t think to do it on a steel coaster. 6 out of 10
I had put it off long enough. It was now time to risk a concussion on Limit. And while this SLC wasn’t the worst, it was pretty darn bad. Every time I ride one of these, I’m extremely grateful SFNE spent the extra cash to put the new trains on their SLC. 2 out of 10
The last credit (depending on your perspective) was Grottenblitz, one of those Mack powered coasters that are all the rage in Europe. This one was absolutely forceless, but it had a surprise indoor section. 4 out of 10
One of the oddest rides at the park was Drachengrotte, a How to Train Your Dragon themed boat ride. The outdoor section excels at landscaping. The indoor section...exists.
I applaud the park for trying, but the execution was a bit flawed. For example, there’s a point where you hear a dragon roar. So naturally you turn around and look. But instead of seeing a figure, you just see a giant box fan with a speaker next to it. The few figures they had did look good though. 5 out of 10
Since the sun was now making an appearance, I figured I might as well get wet again on the flume. If you could make the most average flume possible, that is Wildwasserbahn. 6 out of 10
Huss land has been ravaged. When you ride the observation tower, you can see all the empty pads. But fortunately, the rare Magic survived. Basically it’s an inverted break dance.
While it wasn’t as fast as a standard breakdance, the funky riding position was a novelty and it mixed in some tight spins with good Gs and drawn out spins with good whip. 7 out of 10
I finished the night with an hour marathon on Colossos. I was optimistic it would be faster, but the finale was just as slow as it was earlier. Maybe it was the cooler weather, but it always seems to be like that in Europe.
For those who rode the original Colossos, did the finale used to have stronger airtime?
Colossos is definitely behind El Toro and Balder, but it’s still a very good wooden coaster and a worthy star attraction. I think I have it 15th out of the almost 150 wooden coasters I’ve ridden.
Heide Park was arguably my favorite park of my Europe trip. It was a gorgeous park with an excellent ride lineup and a pinch of theming. Originally I was going to visit Heide Park in 2017, but I postponed my visit until Colossos reopened. While the park would have had plenty to keep me occupied, I’m glad I waited.