This is one park where you are sorely missing out on the experience if you just ride the coasters. None of them are particularly exciting. Hochschaubahn is a sixty year old side friction woodie and the Boomerang has unique tiered seating and superior restraints to other versions making the ride quite fun.
What you are missing if you only ride the coasters is the largest collection of ghost trains, fun houses and walk-throughs in one place. As of 2010 there were four Fun Houses, three Ghost Trains, three walk through haunted attractions, three Mirror Mazes/Glass Houses, three Fairy Tale/Cartoon themed Dark Rides a Shooting Dark Ride and one Miscellaneous indoor ride/laser show.
However, since the rides are run by independent operators they bring in intense flat rides (Turbo Booster, Tornado, Octopus and Extasy) and run other flats at extreme settings (Tagada, Rotor, Breakdance, Discovery). This also causes the operators to swap out rides if riders aren't paying for them.
Of course you also can't miss seeing Parter Turm, the world tallest star flyer at 383 feet, or Riesenrad a spectacular looking ferris wheel.
Wiener Prater is set up like a permanent fair and there are dozens of vendors (sit down service and stands) with many serving authentic Viennese style Schnitzel (veal, chicken and pork cutlets) made to order, nothing pre-made. If local cuisine is not to your liking you can also find hot dogs, bratwurst, burgers and pizza. Most restaurants have menus with pictures.
The amusement rides are open from March 15th - October 31st. However, since the rides are owned and run by independent operators not all are open from 10:00AM to 1:00AM. They will open when the operator gets there and close whenever the operators need a break.
Access & Location
The amusements are located in a large public park within Vienna and can easily be accessed that is free for all. The park is easily accessed by taking the U Bahn, Vienna's subway system, to Wien Praterstern station and then a 5-10 minute walk from the station.
There is no need to stay immediately near the park and there aren't many options within walking distance of Wiener Prater outside of the Austria Trend Hotel Messe and Suite Novotel.
The U Bahn system is so efficient in Vienna there are many options within Vienna that put you within 30 minutes of the park. Here are some suggestions from the park website. http://www.prater.at/Hotels.php
Virtual Queue Options
There are on-site theaters whose offerings change each season. Many concerts are also held in theaters, but all shows are an upcharge.
Wiener Prater is a free-admission park within a larger city park. There is not a pay-one-price option and you must pay per ride. Rides are run by independent operators who lease space from the park. This results in some operators bringing in the latest flats to maximize profits. Your wallet can be depleted quickly as there are over 60 attractions, and that's without counting the children's rides. But the pay-per-ride option does maximize efficiency as most locals take the park at a leisurely pace. The cost for most rides is in the 2-4 euro range. The roller coasters are not very intense. However, many flat rides are run at their most extreme settings for a good long cycle.
There are well over a dozen dark rides (ghost trains, fun houses, walkthroughs, glass houses, an indoor drop tower with a laser show, and a shooting dark ride), so if you're a fan of them this park is a must-visit mecca.
For those who prefer a good view from above you have the option of the historic Reisenrad (Ferris Wheel) where you can even rent a cabin by the hour and be served a meal if so inclined, or you can ride one of the park's two Star Flyers, including the world's tallest in Prater Turm (383 feet, or 117 meters).
This park is huge, but there are plenty of places to rest and eat. Speaking of food, there are many options, including authentic Austrian food and beer, at reasonable prices.
This is pretty much a fun fair. You pay per ride, they have food stands, lots of beer stands (YAY!) and tons of attraction line ups. There are more rides here than you could possibly ride. Sad thing is, they are extremely expensive. The boomerang coaster here is the best in the world. The trains make the ride smooth as glass. The thrill ride line up is the best. Almost any kind of thrill ride you could want is here, plus some you have never seen before.
Also, they all run under European ride cycles, so you can be spinning for a long time. There is no theme to this park, but the overall atmosphere is extremely exciting and uplifting. With the smells, sounds, and cultures. This park is a true European fair experience that is not to be missed
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