Travel Note

28th September 2019

My draft itinerary for today featured Schwaben Park and a few smaller hits that were more or less on the direct route to an overnight hotel in Mulhouse. I'd have stuck with that idea had late research not revealed three separate fairs in the general vicinity of Frankfurt, all of which had coasters that were new to me. An updated plan took all of them in, though it was stupidly ambitious and entirely dependent on the correct alignment of the stars, which on this occasion were not in my favour; heavy traffic along the route eventually forced me to drop the event in Andernach. On a happier note, that change cut three hundred kilometres off the total for the day, which was probably just as well given that I was pretty tired by evening.

 

Schwaben Park

28th September 2019

When I first travelled to Schwaben Park back in 2009 the star attraction was a Wildcat, at the time one of just three permanently installed examples of the type remaining in Europe. It was retired at the end of 2015 due to increasing maintenance costs, though it has since been comprehensively overhauled and can now be found touring the German fair circuit. (As an aside it's worth noting that the final Wildcat left the Schwarzkopf factory during the eighties; it is a testament to the calibre of the design that eleven of the original thirty-two remain in operation as of 2019.)

Wilde Hilde

The newest coaster in the park as of this writing is Wilde Hilde (#2831), a smaller and somewhat less intense version of the Roller Ball design I caught up with earlier this year at Parc Spirou Provence. The ride has a bizarre theme involving singing chickens (with a catchy song) that is probably better seen than explained. The on board sensations were fun, though they were not the sort of thing that I felt compelled to experience more than twice, and that seemed to be the consensus today; the ride was walk-on despite there being a two train wait for the adjacent Force One (which I'm sorry to report has not aged well; my front seat ride suffered from headache-inducing vibration).

My next stop was at the Bobkart, which today was being run with no operator; instead those in line were trusted to follow the safety guidelines. The ride was perfectly respectable and a lot fun; I'd gladly have ridden more than once if the queue had been a little shorter. Instead I made my way into Azura und das Geheimnis des magischen Mühlbach, a new-for-2019 indoor boat ride. I'd assumed this to be a dark ride, as indeed it was, but not in the traditional sense; instead of animatronics the interior contained dancing fountains accompanied by light and flame effects. The presentation was interesting for about thirty seconds, but no more than that.

 

Michaelismesse Wertheim

28th September 2019

The Michaelismesse is annual nine day event in Wertheim that dates back to the early part of the nineteenth century. The official opening is marked by a rifle call and a parade, and while the latter is underway almost all of the roads in the area are closed to traffic. I'd spotted the fairground (49.7548, 9.5190) on Google Earth, but the closest I could get to it was a parking lot (49.7551, 9.5136) roughly ten minutes walk away at the top of a hill. My efforts were rewarded by a lap on Crazy Coaster (Hartmann) (#2832), a standard model figure eight spinner with comedy cartoon theming. There were no other attractions of interest to me today, though I did hand over €3 for a regulation bratwurst.

 

Technik Museum Speyer

28th September 2019

Technic Museum Speyer was a last minute addition to my trip today after it became obvious that I wouldn't make it to the fairground in Andernach before closing time. This wasn't all that much of a hardship, as the place was on my bucket list anyway. The various exhibits are along similar lines to those at Technik Museum Sinsheim; a range of aircraft, classic cars, a Buran shuttle, a 1960s U-boat, and a Butterfly (#2833). The terminally obsessive have the option of doing the coaster (€1) without buying a museum ticket, though that would be really really sad.

Buran

 

Mannheim Oktobermess

28th September 2019

One of the disadvantages of counting credits is the occasional requirement to ride coasters that (in an ideal world) would be sold for scrap metal. Regular readers will have their own examples; some of mine include looping Pinfaris, Vekoma SLCs, Zamperla Volares, and everything from Hebei Zhongye Metallurgical Manufacturing. The Reverchon Gliding Coaster is a machine that I will do if I have to, but today that wasn't necessary, as I'd ticked off Euro Coaster (Buwalda) in late 2009. It was a privilege to walk past the ticket booth without joining the queue.

The main attraction for me today was Gold Rusher (Bügler) (#2834), a themed Big Apple with the same curved station I'd seen a day earlier at Oktoberfest. The ride was beautifully presented as befits a German fair; it's a shame that more owners of the type don't put as much effort into their theming.