August 17, 2018 – Hansa Park announced Highlander, a gyro drop tower manufactured by the Austrian company Funtime GmbH, will open in 2019. With a height of 394 feet (120m), it will be the tallest freestanding drop tower in the world, and the third tallest overall. Highlander’s seats will be built to tilt, so riders drop down face first, but are quickly restored to a sitting position to ensure a comfortable “landing”.
Highlander features a Scottish theme and will be located in a new Britain area of the park. The first ride in this area has actually been in operation for close to 40 years, a Schwarzkopf looping coaster known as Nessie was built in 1980. Now, Nessie will finally receive some decoration to match its name, and become a centerpiece attraction in the Britain area. Highlander will actually be located inside one of Nessie’s helices.
Now, a bit of drop tower statistics: As mentioned, Highlander will be the third tallest drop tower in the world. The two taller drop towers are not freestanding, but mounted on the side of taller coaster structures. Both of those drop towers (Zumanjo at Six Flags Great America and Lex Luthor Drop of Doom at Six Flags Magic Mountain) and the coasters they are mounted to (Kingda Ka and Superman: Escape from Krypton, respectively) are both delivered by Intamin AG. Those two towers are 415 feet (126m) and 400 ft (122m) tall, respectively, meaning Highlander just barely loses out on second place. Intamin has also delivered what is currently the tallest freestanding drop tower in the world, Blue Fall at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Japan, which is 351 feet (107m) tall. Highlander will not be the first ultra-tall drop tower delivered by Funtime, as their Le Donjon de l’extrême at Nigoland in France currently holds the title of Europe’s tallest drop tower at a height of 230 feet (70m).
See what our members are saying about this thrilling park addition in our Forum discussion.