24th-25th May 2014

Heide Park

 

Robert Soffers

After travelling 510km we finally arrived at the Port Royal hotel, ready to join a lot of other coaster fans for the Heide Park fandays. The first thing to do was to go to one of the meeting rooms in the hotel to get our badges and entrance tickets. Now we were ready to enter the park. More or less 150 other Heide Park fans went to the entrance of the Flug der Damonen coaster, starting point of the guided backstage tour. The presentation was in German and because there was part who didn’t understand German, people started talking to each other with the result that it became more and more difficult to hear the guide’s voice.

Once we entered the ride and went backstage through the control room, breaks area and maintenance room, the distance between us and our guide became so great that it became impossible to hear what he was talking about. Anyway, we were able to “see” everything and were asked a few times to not press any buttons at all!

It was nice to find out that when Heide Park contacted B&M they were offered 5 or 6 designs for a wing coaster. But the people from Heide Park didn’t like the designs and choose part of them instead. They asked ‘this turn from plan A’ and ‘that part from plan B’ and so on giving the engineers at B&M something to think about. But as we all could see, they succeeded and personally I think they did a rather good job too.

After some spare time in the park we had to gather again near the entrance of the park for a guided tour about the history of Heide Park done by the Heide Park fanclub. It was a nice tour through time showing the great development the park has made through the years. After half an hour we were dropped at the exit of the Schweizer Bobbahn. Here we met the head of the Boo team who told us some things about Halloween in Heide Park. The complete team aren’t employees of the park but consists of doctors, lawyers and all other professions, male and female who love to scare the hell out of people. Every year there are three or four areas they build up completely in their spare time. And you know what? One of the mazes they use is located above the Schweizer Bobbahn station. We were told that he would turn on the music and light effects and that we could go through the maze. The only difference is that there wouldn’t be any live actors inside this time (normally around 20) and afterwards we could do the same thing again with the lights on. Halloween in may… what a nice surprise.

At 12.30 we had to come to another meeting point inside one of the restaurants for a short presentation about marketing and plans. Just as with the backstage tour the presentation was completely in German. If you expect people from all over Europe maybe it’s a good idea to think about the English speaking crowd too, next year. After 45 minutes we started eating at the buffet. The rest of the afternoon was free to spend in the park. We were expected at Flug der Famonen around 6 PM because our ERS would start after park closure. A quarter before 6 it started raining. Not very hard but it was just enough rain to drive the regular visitors out of the park. A few minutes after 6, it was dry again and the ERS could start. Because there were so many people attending you could hardly speak about an ERS because the waiting time in between rides was around 25 minutes. While I was shoving on for the second time suddenly a thunderstorm broke loose and the ERS was cancelled because of it. But they promised it would continue the next morning at 9.30 AM.

We went back to the hotel and had a nice dinner with the rest of the group. Sunday morning 9.15 AM we were back at the wing coaster to continue our ERS from yesterday. After the first train had left the station, the loading on the second train started but the restraints refused to stay closed. After trying and calling other staff members for help the ERS was cancelled again because of this problem. But they promised to give us a continuation around noon. So we could go and spend another few hours in the park. When we arrived back around 12.00 it was possible to enter the ride through the exit and later on they gave us two fast pass tickets we could use on any ride we wanted. The rest of the day could be spend the way we liked.

Personally I think that Heide Park isn’t a place where you normally can spend two days in a row without getting bored. They have great rides but only a few and normally most days you don’t spend too much time in a queue. Because we had a busy schedule on Saturday these two days were exactly what was needed to have a fun time in the park without any stress. The hotel is great, the food was excellent, the only drawback was the lack of English opposed to their foreign guests. I understand the park is located in Germany and most of the clubs present were German but a little effort could make the people attending even more happy. Anyway, if we might join the fan days next year one more time, I hope I have convinced some of you guys (and girls) to come too.

 

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