I've managed to ride a large percentage of European portable coasters in my travels, and for some time now I've been working on mopping up the remaining models. Today I managed to work out an itinerary that picked up a total of six coasters, three in Germany and three in the Netherlands, culminating in a credit that I've been trying to get to for a few years. But more on that later.
We arrived in the German town of Kleve shortly before opening, giving us ample time to wander around the fair and admire the various rides. The steel shutter on the Crazy Mouse (Ahrend) (#1943) pay box was jammed, forcing us to wait for about half an hour while that was fixed before we could grab our credit and exit.
Crash Test (Hendriks) (#1944), a spinning mouse ride, was supposed to make its debut last year, but was delayed due to construction problems. The name felt oddly appropriate, as every single corner was marked by a crunching impact that turned what should have been an enjoyable coaster into an endurance test. It's hard to understand how something like this can happen with a successful design that has been duplicated so many times; what on earth did Zamperla think they were doing?
The second coaster at the fair was Fun4All (#1945), a standard Big Apple design upgraded with spinning cars. The new train turned an otherwise dull ride into something that was great fun. I'd advise riders to hold on to the restraint bar, though, as the drop is aggressive; on our first lap my girlfriend screamed involuntarily, and I ended up with an embarrassing coaster injury, my first this year!
21st July 2013
Six hours later (yes, I know...) we arrived at Biberach, a small town to the south of Stuttgart in Germany. We quickly ticked off Willy der Wurm (#1946) before heading for the main attraction.
A few years ago, the Swiss-based Bauer Mobile Entertainment purchased a Wild Wind roller coaster from Interpark, which they christened XenoX. On several occasions I tried to work this ride into one of my trips, but it just wasn't possible to do as the locations were always too awkward. Eventually the ride disappeared from the Swiss circuit. Fast forward to this year, when German showman Michael Agstch introduced Cobra - Lost Kingdom Coaster (#1947). It didn't take long to figure out that this ride was a retheme of XenoX, and a big of digging turned up the fact that it was going to be in Biberach.
It was the final evening at the Schutzenfest, and the operators had already begun to disassemble their ride even as it continued to operate. We were seated in the front seat and dispatched just as large portion of the station wall was removed, a thoroughly disconcerting sight. In due course, however, the ride picked up speed and crazy coaster euphoria took over from uncertainty, as we were sent through an inversion and several helices crammed into a ridiculously small space. The train did suffer from some significant vibration, but the ride wasn't rough, and we were given two laps.