• Eve Volungeviciute

Out of a Notebook of an Adrenaline Junkie: Discussing Rides of Theme Parks in Europe

Updated: May 7, 2020

I have quite a few surprises up my sleeve, and being a roller coaster fanatic is one of them. While some people are completely fine spending a whole day in a theme park just strolling about with a snack in hand, I make it my mission to try as many rides as possible (and because of those hellish queues, it’s definitely a challenge).


To put my experiences to good use, I decided to discuss some of the theme parks I went to throughout my life, and possibly recommend a few attractions for fellow fans.


Let’s get on this ride, shall we?


Europa Park


The biggest theme park in Germany, it has been my favourite purely because just as much as it prioritizes the speed and scare factor of the rollercoasters, it also ties creativity into it.  Dividing the sections of the park into European countries and styling the rides to reflect the aesthetic of said countries feels like you’re walking through a tiny man-made version of the continent (although my homeland remains forgotten).


I can’t possibly choose a favourite ride, so I will recommend a few depending on your taste. If you wish to be almost knocked out of a catapult coaster seat, try out the Blue Fire Megacoaster. If you’re not scared to open your eyes throughout, you’ll see some Iceland landscape consisting of cliffs and rocks on the way (a way to experience the country without the cold!).


Euro-Mir is a coaster that really plays into your fear of heights (not big enough for you to not want to go on the ride, of course). After rising up to 28 metres inside a tower, you are spun 360 degrees, getting to observe the entirety of the park just long enough for you to be almost happy when the train finally descends. Eurosat has a similar experience, except it’s constructed indoors, providing the riders a replica of Paris illuminations as they ascend.


Last but not least, you just can’t exit the park without trying out the Silver Star, a combination of height, speed and 4G forces that will leave you shaking once it’s done (but in a good way). The best part is – most of the rollercoasters are within a close distance from each other, so you don’t have to waste time trying to get from one to another. Who doesn’t love that?





Heide Park


While exterior-wise it’s not as diverse, the design focusing mostly on pirates, cowboys and Transylvanian castles, Heide Park offers a thrilling choice of rides that vary in their extremity. I would absolutely recommend Colossos – a wooden coaster with a 60-degree steepness that goes as far as 120km/h, which surprisingly isn’t that heart-attack-inducing, minus the first ascend at the beginning of the ride.


Another personal favourite of mine would be Flug der Damonen, a wing coaster, which, once again, is surprisingly light considering its speed. Kraken is also one for the those looking for a more extreme experience, leaving its riders dangling at a 40m height and an almost 90-degree angle before throwing you into a dark tunnel and drenching your clothes (I’d recommend wearing one of those plastic covers they sell in the park if it’s the autumn season).


There are quite a few other choices if you’re looking for something slightly less intimidating, such as Schweizer Bobbahn, which is like competing in your own car race. All in all, this place offers something for everyone!






Gardaland


This is the theme park I’ve only been to once, and because of the scorching July heat, my memory on it’s a bit fuzzy. There aren’t that many roller coasters in this park compared to some others, but the ones present lived up their name.


Oblivion: The Black Hole works in a similar manner as the Kraken, except it’s designed with more sci-fi related concepts. Raptor is familiar to Flug der Damonen, providing to those who can’t make it to Northern Germany to experience the adrenaline rush. If you fancy a drop into the darkness, try out the Space Vertigo – a scream-inducing descend from a 40m height.


The one ride that really stuck with me was the Magic House – an indoor spinning coaster that went upside down as illusions were being played on the walls. Let’s just say it would’ve been a slightly nauseating experience if I didn’t have my lunch way earlier that day.


While I personally prefer the other two theme parks, this one still definitely deserves a chance from anyone who lives around the area as is it still a great idea for a day out.






Energylandia


I saved the one I’ve been to the most recently for last. One thing I can say for sure is that Energylandia definitely likes to shake up those brave enough to go on the rides as some of them have been a bit too much even for my thrill-seeking soul. That’s not to say I didn’t go on them at least once!


Hyperion goes as high as 80 metres and reaches the speed of over 140km/h, so to say you don’t get a chance to breathe is an understatement. As if that wasn’t enough, there are also water effects, so prepare to get a little soaked if you happen to sit on the sides. Speaking of water fun, there’s nothing better if you’re in the need of cooling down from the summer heat than Speed. At first, you’ll get to be brought up to 60m height for long enough to enjoy the view (or shut your eyes tight, if you prefer), and then you’ll participate in what can only be described as waterworks.


Now, the ride I would only recommend for the strong-hearted is Zadra. The biggest wooden roller coaster for a reason, it was one of the bumpiest rides I ever took (and that includes driving on the countryside roads) and I’m pretty sure afterwards I looked a little green. Regardless, I’m still glad I tried it out. Residing in its own separate zone in the park, it is definitely worth the trip.








I can only hope that eventually one day I’ll get to go to even more theme parks and make a continuation of this little piece (my hope’s on Disneyland). Here’s to next time...

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