One of the largest parks on our trip was Heide Park in Soltau, Germany – home to one of Europe’s most diverse coaster collections. While we made time for a ride on each of the park’s monorails, our focus was on each of the park’s nine coasters.
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Heide Park is a massive park that is, for the most part, quite beautiful. There’s nice landscaping, fresh paint, and general evidence of upkeep. However, as our day wore on, we couldn’t help but notice that the park is seemingly too big to keep entirely maintained. Abandoned ride plots pepper the park (the vacancy left by the observation tower is especially glaring, as were the many vacancies in the half-shuttered Mayan flat ride area), and the larger monorail even shows off a totally derelict wing of the park encircling Wild Wasserbahn 1 . Critiques aside, we had an excellent visit on this mostly-empty park day, and all of the coasters were open!
The first coaster of the day was Krake – while not one we were necessarily prioritizing, it opened as we were walking by and we decided to get a ride in. The smallest of the looping B&M Dive Machines, Krake still offers a satisfying ride.
We followed up with the park’s other B&M, Flug der Dämonen. Built in 2014, this Wing Coaster offers a superb mix of distinctively wing-coaster-esque acrobatics in a very compact space – as big fans of this product line, it became an instant favorite.
Our favorite coaster of the day, and the one we were most excited about, was Bobbahn! This enormous Mack Bobsled became Heide Park’s signature coaster when it opened in 1993, and we feel that it remains as such to this day. The ride’s clever use of terrain and impressive length remain unique qualities among bobsled coasters.
Now for the Vekomas – and if you know us, you won’t be surprised that we enjoyed this modern classics well enough to go back for rerides. Big Loop is an understated gem, and Limit is easily one of the better SLCs (and that station music can’t be beat).
And of course we still have two of the park’s most noteworthy coasters; a pair of noughties Intamins – Colossos and Desert Race. The former just reopened from a three-year closure with a fresh trackwork, a thematic gag, and a subtitle (Kampf der Giganten), and the latter is just how I remember it in 2013 – a fun, if peculiar, choice for the park (why they didn’t do something taller – we may never know).
We love this collection of coasters, and we’re grateful that Heide Park is so dedicated to keeping them running so well. The park’s ninth coaster, Mack Blauer Enzien Grottenblitz, is the only coaster here that could do with a little TLC, but we’re sure the park’s trend of revitalizing existing rides will continue. When we inevitably return for our Bobbahn fix, we’ll be curious to see what changes will have come to Heide Park.
For a closer look at the good, the bad, and the ugly at Heide Park, check out our vlog!