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Heide & Hansa. Das ist Gut!


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I turned 42 last week. Can't say I was overly happy about that, so as some sort of compensation to myself, I dragged Mrs Howie, kicking and screaming, off to Germany for a cheeky dose of birthday goonage.
Spent many months in the trip-planning section trying to figure out the best way to tackle these 2 parks, got lots of useful advice off you guys but in the end I ignored it all and just booked a 2 night, all-inclusive stay at the AbenteuerHotel. What the hell, I thought, it's not every day you turn 42 is it?

Due to an early morning flight, we arrived on park about noon, expecting to be told that we couldn't check in to our room til 4pm or sumat daft like that and would have to loiter for a bit... but no, our room was ready and we were free to go up. Good start!
It's quite a nice hotel. They have portraits on the wall that move, Hogwarts style. They also have an oversized chair in the lobby, always a hilarious photo opportunity, guaranteed.

After a short chillax in the room, we headed into the park. Now I wasn't expecting it to be too busy, being a week day during school time and all that, but man, the place was practically deserted. Seriously, it was actually quite spooky. Do they even make a profit when it's this quiet??
The first thing you come to (from the hotel entrance anyway) is a series of concrete, comedy turtles. That'll be a photo then. Ooh look, Minions in the background too. Joy.

*Like, where are all the, y'know, people?

The first major ride you stumble across is Krake. This would be my first time on one of these 'mini' dive machines and to be honest I wasn't overly excited about riding it. After going on the bigguns - Sheikra, Griffon etc.. I kinda didn't see the point in a small one, but the queue board said the wait time was 'UNTER 10 MINUTEN'. You don't need to be fluent in German to know that that's a good sign, so in we went. To be fair, I was quite pleasantly surprised by it. Dangling over the edge of the drop is still quite intimidating, and it's a beautifully smooth, graceful little coaster, lots of fun.... but you do have to wonder why they didn't make it just that little bit bigger. 7/10

A short walk round the corner from Krake is Flug. Now I was looking forward to Flug, I love The Swarm and was keen to sample another wing-rider. It measures up very well, good solid, forceful ride. The Swarm might have a slightly better theme, styling and paint job but when it comes to ride length, track layout, sequence of elements, pacing etc... Flug takes it. Easily. 9/10

Next up was Scream. I'm gonna level with you - I'm not that keen on drop towers. They scare me, plain and simple. A couple of years ago at SFGAdv, I was actually quite relieved that Zumanjaro wasn't finished. The one at Kings Dominion? I just plain wussed out of that one. Even the little one at Thorpe Park gives me the willies. This time I was determined to show some balls (giggedy).
I still shat myself as it climbed up the tower, not denying that, but I have to admit that the drop is awesome. Unlike Detonator, you really get a good chance to appreciate the free-falling sensation on these bigguns. I officially love drop towers now! Great ride, 9/10. Love the giant, grinding cogs as the gondola goes up the tower.

Things were going well, rides were running, queues were non-existant, rain was keeping away and we were ticking off creds at a speedy rate :)
Bobbaahn came next:

I like bobsled coasters me, they make me giggle, and Heide Park's is a good one. I'm not sure if it's the longest one, but it certainly feels like it - it lasts for ages! This is my 4th of the 5 Mack bobsleds out there, if I can get the one at Parc Asterix I'll have my first complete coaster set. Woo hoo!

Then it all went wrong. Spite of all spites - Limit was closed.

Imagine my heartbreak, the one ride I was looking forward to more than any other, closed for maintenance. Gutted. :-(
Oh wait, that's right, it's just an SLC. I wasn't gutted at all. In fact I was quite pleased. In 30-sumat years of riding roller coasters I've skilfully managed to avoid going on too many of these. Up until about 3 weeks ago I'd only been on 2 - El Condor and Flight Deck - but then everybody forced me to go on Infusion at the Blackpool Live.
Oh yes you did.
And just as I'm in danger of riding 2 in the space of a few weeks, Heide Park go and close Limit for maintenance. Yay Merlin! Xx

Ok, enough of this faffing, it was time to ride the big boy and the main reason for me wanting to come here; Colossos.

A couple of cheeky lift-hill shots:

From a distance, all of Heide Park's white coasters kinda merge into one.

Sadly, I think Colossos is starting to show its age a bit now. Even the colour of it - it's more of a greeny grey these days instead of a nice, golden brown. Could do with sanding down and a lick of Ronseal. 2 large tins should do it.
More importantly, the ride itself is a tad rough in places - the turnaround and the helix are particularly bumpy.
But none of that matters really. Despite those niggles, this remains a truly spectacular, airtime filled monster and I loved it! Perhaps not quite as insane as El Toro, but pretty darn close. 9/10.

We followed that with a blast on Desert Race. Meh. It's just like Rita. The launch is cool - it always is on these accelerator coasters - but overall it's still a bit meh. With all the space they have there, and without the height restrictions that Alton Towers suffers, you have to wonder why they cloned a ride that didn't exactly set the world alight in the first place? Surely a Stealth-alike would have made more sense? But hey, it's Merlin. Who knows what goes on in their boardroom.

It was about this time that Mrs Howie started to feel the pace a little bit and decided she needed to go back to the room, leaving me to mop up the other creds and re-ride the good stuff on my own for the last hour. Yay!
Aw man, I tell ya - being in a new park, on your own, with quality creds and no queues - you just can't beat it. :)

That evening, we enjoyed the buffet dinner in the hotel restaurant (complete with unlimited wine and draught beer!!) while watching some cheesy entertainment (singer, magician, acrobat etc. The usual drill.) then crashed out in front some German tv.

Badly translated card and chocolate coinage off Lord Explrorus himself. My birthday was complete!

Day 2 followed much the same sort of pattern as day 1. The complete absence of any crowds meant were free to casually wander around all day, going on whatever rides we wanted as and when we liked, enjoy a leisurely lunch, take a few snaps and generally act like 2 goons. Well... 1 goon and his girlfriend.

Comedy mascots. Gotta love em!

Some haggard old woman. And a park prop.

Assorted fowl. Take that how you will.

Once again, Mrs Howie called it a day at around 3pm leaving me to go for one final bout of solo ride-whoring on the big stuff, finishing off with 4 consecutive laps on Colossos, the last 2 of which were on the very back row without even leaving my seat. Awesome!
The ride op said to me "You are einen achterbahn freak, yah?" I said "Yah!" :)

On the whole then, Heide Park is pretty fab. Solid coaster line up, respectable flat ride line up (although the top-spin was how you see most top-spins these days, ie in bits with gondola missing), couple of decent water rides, nice atmosphere and lots to do. Couple of the older coasters are a bit dodg', and a decent dark ride wouldn't go amiss, but generally I really liked it.
Operations seemed ok, but then with such low visitor numbers they weren't really tested. How they'd cope if you threw in a few crowds is a different matter but on this occasion everything went well.
Park score 8/10.

On Day 3 we were flying home, but not until 9pm in the evening, plenty of time to squeeze in a little bonus park, so after our final breakfast in the AbenteuerHotel we waved goodbye to Heide and drove the 2 hours north to Hansa Park.

Now Hansa Park offers a very different recipe to the corporate-run, Merlin-esque world of Heide Park. It's a lot smaller for a start, with a smaller budget and an older, less impressive line up of attractions but what it lacks in expensive ride hardware it makes up for with charm, attention to detail and oodles of imagination. For example, just outside the main gate as you go in, there was a 4 piece, German Oompah band playing happy stuff. Instant smile!

Surprisingly it was a lot busier here than Heide Park, but still not exactly heaving. First up was Nessie Super Roller Coaster. A nice but fairly modest, single looper that won't blow you away... but it's a Schwarzkopf so it automatically gets some extra cool points. 7/10

Rattled off a couple of the lesser creds before joining the 20 minute queue for Fluch von Novgorod.
I loved this ride! Sooo much fun - the theming, the queue-line, the atmosphere - and then the ride itself, with its sneaky launch, the enclosed vertical lift, the effects and then finally the snappy little outdoor section. Fabulous little coaster!
Mrs Howie (who I should point out is non-goon!) absolutely loved it. In fact, she said it was the most enjoyable rollercoaster she'd ever been on, and I can honestly say I don't think I've ever heard her laugh so much on a ride!
Personally I'd give it a 9/10, only missing out on that extra point because of a touch of that tell-tale Gerstlauer roughness and one or two awkward transitions.

They have a wild mouse coaster called Crazy Mine which, like most mice, is pretty awful but check this out;
Set in the middle of the Crazy Mine's theming is an animatronic Wild West band playing Country n Western songs, complete with a cute, waggy tailed dog in the centre :)
I mean, how cool is that? It's the little touches like this, things that you don't find in the Merlin parks, that make Hansa Park such a refreshing change from the big corporate places.

*Note Mrs Howie's ever-flattering mid-blink pose. Always a winner!

Look, they have a whole load of wonky mirrors too. Comedy gold!

Diet's going well then?

Got me some German beaver. Here I am giving it a stroke - giggedy!

Random goonery:

One thing I didn't realise was that Hansa Park is by the seaside. Who'd have thunk it??

Obviously, the main attraction at Hansa Park these days is Kärnan. A 60 minute wait time throughout the day reflects that. We left it til late in the afternoon in the hope that the queue would shrink.
It didn't.
So we joined it anyway... as you do.
It doesn't matter where you go or what parks you visit, on every trip there's always something that doesn't quite match expectations, am I right? That one ride that you were quietly hoping would be awesome and just... isn't?
Well, on this trip, this was it folks.

It looks good... kinda.

I dunno, what can I say, it just didn't pump my 'nads.
They've tried, I'll give them that, they've definitely put some effort into doing something new and exciting and mysterious, but in practice it all just comes across as a lot of faff. Just the loading procedure for example, they've tried to make it spooky, it's in the dark, there's loud noises and sliding doors and things but it's all just confusing faff.
Then the lift hill - you go up, you stop for a bit, you drop back down, you hang around for a bit more ... oh ffs, just get on with it!
I hate to say it, but it kinda reminded me of X:WTF in its backwards days.

When you finally do crest the lift hill and drop down out of the tower it's actually pretty cool, and the big twisty non-loop thing is nice and big and twisty... but it was too late, I'd lost interest by this point. Plus I'd spent so long in a dark queue and then a dark loading station and then a big-ass dark tower, when I finally emerged into the daylight I was too busy squinting to focus on what the ride was doing.
After about 3000ft of meandering Gerstlauer-ness, you arrive at the brake run and then disappear inside the building again for a somewhat pointless low-speed inversion before arriving back at the station.
I mean, what's that about? You've had the pre lift-hill inversion, look out for the post brake-run inversion, coming soon to a Gerstlauer near you.
So no, on the whole I didn't like it. Sorry, Hansa fans.
The whole thing just doesn't gel very well, it looks out of place, it's in the wrong park. Basically what Hansa Park have done, is build a larger but inferior version of their very own Fluch von Novgorod. I'll give it 6/10, and that's being generous.

Only one thing to do then; have another go on Fluch (which was awesome... again) before jumping in the car and heading back to the airport.

On the whole then, it was a fab few days.
Neither park is what you'd call 'awesome', not really, but you'd class both of them as 'very good' and between them they make a very attractive 2 park combo. Heide Park has got the showpiece coasters, the extensive (if a little generic) line up of flats and all the frills but ... I dunno, it's all just a bit too familiar. Same food choices, same overpriced tat shops (big mugs, Flug hoody's etc...) and the same kind of vibe as the Merlin parks back home.
Hansa Park on the other hand offers a bit of individuality, some interesting novelty creds, better food (burger from the Western grill was stupendous!) and a much more varied selection of unique tat shops. I bought some hand-made, garden secateurs with hardwood handles and a piece of oak bark carved into the shape of a rabbit, all for 15euros.
No, really.

I think that's about it.
Any thoughts/questions/comments, feel free to ask. Am I the only one who thought Kärnan was a bit of a let down?
Thanks for reading :)


Social Media Team
Social Media Team
I love how they were meant to have themed Karnan and just, haven't bothered.

I really liked it though, the drop is just obscene.

But yeah, Fluch is fab. And so is Flug yay so glad someone agrees!


Active Member
^Why, is Flug not popular? What can people possibly have against Flug? It's a bit... white, but it's still good.
People are weird.


Staff member
Social Media Team
I too enjoyed Flug. Probably the best of the wing coasters I've been on if I'm honest! At least tied with X-Flight.

I'm with Ben on Karnan though, it's great! I do think it's a shame there's so much faff on the lift hill, but the rest of the coaster is mad. Shame they didn't sort out the theming...


Staff member
Social Media Team
In fact I was quite pleased. In 30-sumat years of riding roller coasters I've skilfully managed to avoid going on too many of these. Up until about 3 weeks ago I'd only been on 2 - El Condor and Flight Deck
You've at least managed to get two of the absolute worst examples - the sloppy, unexpected diarrhea of the family of s**te that is the Vekoma SLC - so that's something to be proud of!

Loved the report by the way. Detailed enough to be interesting without resorting to describing each individual Coco Pop at breakfast, good mix of pictures and pesky words, well-written blah blah blah...


Well-Known Member
That was a good read, our opinions seem quite similar on Heide, as I too am a fan of Flug, although I was slightly more impressed with Krake that you were. Scream <3
I'm hoping to head to Hansa in October so I'll have to try one of those burgers.


Active Member
^Dude, don't miss that burger! In the Wildy Westy bit, there's a saloon style restaurant - in there! Can't remember the name of the burger... but it was the BIG one. Epic!

^^Gav - good to know I've secured 2 of the worst SLC's out there. For some reason though, I can't imagine the 'good' ones being that much better...


Well-Known Member
Now you mention it - back on the euro live all those years ago, I had one of the hansa park burgers - and it was great!

Oh - and next TR I'm describing coco pops!

Coaster Hipster

Active Member
That was an enjoyable report to read :) Heide's coasters (well, some of them) sure look great and Hansa Park definitively has its charm.

I didn't know much about Fluch before (kinda underestimate any Gerstlauer coaster actually) but I am pleasantly surprised that you liked it that much. Which makes me consider a trip there one day ^^


Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Fab report, really fun to read! Nice to see Fluch VN getting some love, it's such a great, underrated coaster.

I got spited by Karnan last year so I'm kinda glad to hear it's not that good.


Active Member
Serena said:
Fab report, really fun to read! Nice to see Fluch VN getting some love, it's such a great, underrated coaster.

I got spited by Karnan last year so I'm kinda glad to hear it's not that good.
Fank uuu! Was gonna try and throw in a pie chart too but I just... didn't know how!
I notice you've got Fluch as your all time number 1 - that's awesome, I totally get that. Mrs Howie agrees with you too. I need my coasters to be a tad more extreme to be truly memorable but even so, it only just misses out on a top 10 spot. Definitely the best coaster on this particular trip.
So yay, big up the Fluch love!