Really loving this TR, Chuck! I've always wanted to go to Germany and hope to some day get there. The amount of fun you're having is felt by the reader through your pictures and witty comments. Somehow I never knew that there was a gorgeous bridge across from Neuschwantstein castle and that's where the famous views and photos are from! Super cool. Looking forward to seeing what's still to come!
I'm glad everyone is enjoying this trip report. But the time has nearly come to leave Munich and Oktoberfest behind.
Part 3--Two Half Days at Bayern and Skyline
We visited a few traditional German amusement parks during this trip. I’m going to handle two of them here: Bayern and Skyline.
“Traditional” parks in Europe are a bit different than those in the United States. In general, they’re more like gardens or forests with rides and other attractions scattered about. Many of these rides are self-operated, such as Butterfly coasters and Nautic Jet jumping boats--rides you’re not going to see in our more litigious country. (The Germans trust people to be responsible.)
We visited Bayern during our second day in Munich. The park itself is beautiful, with well-maintained grounds and gardens, tall trees, and even a small lake with a stern-wheeler boat ride. It also has the usual attractions you find in many similar parks: self-operated Butterfly coasters (one outside, one indoors), a crazy self-operated indoor swing ride, kiddie and family coasters, and some slides. But these rides make it stand out:
Freischütz--I have mixed feelings about Mauer coasters, and Freischütz left them as mixed up as ever. This launched X Car ride was pretty shaky and rough in the second car (the ride toward the front was a bit smoother). It does have a good layout and would be more enjoyable it wasn’t trying to shake the fillings out of your teeth. It was OK, but not something I need to ride again.
Two alpine slides--These differ from alpine coasters. Instead of being mounted on a track, your sled rolls free in a stainless-steel trough. Lots of fun.
Tube Racer--Think of this as a huge “Slip ‘n’ Slide.”
Spinning boats--This is a nice, relaxing trip through a beautiful garden that ends with cave featuring a mural of naked women (you won’t see this in the States).
Eagles Challenge--You’ll never catch me riding one of these Gerstlauer “flying” flat rides, but many people enjoy flipping upside-down continously. Go for it.
Thaolon--Trolls and treasure await you as you bounce around on this indoor mini-drop-tower ride.
I enjoyed ambling around Bayern. Let’s amble together.
First, bye-bye Munich. We’ll be back later.
Hmm--according to Google Translate, "Bayern" is German for "Bavaria."
Mike the guide was really into Bavarian flower boxes, too. These are particularly nice.
KT takes care of TPR business on the Butterfly coaster.
Joy or terror? You make the call.
Bring the prisoners to the Castle of the Inquisition for judgment!
You see just a sample of the terrors that await you, heretic!
Perhaps some time in our Blue Ball Pit of Never-ending Frustration will soften your spine!
Confess, heretics, and your suffering will end!
Yes, the Inquisition has technology you can barely conceive of! Behold the Green Ray of Eternal Righteousness!
So, you still refuse to confess? Very well! The Swing of Satan will strip the skin off your bones!
We escaped the Inquisition long enough to ride an alpine slide . . .
. . . and a regular silde.
Tube Racer is fun, but . . .
. . . hang on to your hat.
Why am I having Knott’s flashbacks?
I skipped the tiny kiddie coaster, but rode this one.
Spot the TPR member in the stern wheeler.
“Hello. I’m what they call ‘theming.’ Enjoy me.”
How about a nice spin around the gardens?
All very pleasant and family friendly . . .
. . . in a very European way.
Best spinning boat ride ever!
Caesar is, like, pumped for alpine slide number 2.
This is Thaolon--one of the strangest kids rides ever. It’s a small, rotating drop ride with different animated scenes that look like some Tolkien fan’s fever dream.
It's like Tower of Terror, only dorky. If you’re into dwarfs, hobbits, and elves, you’ll probably like it.
Now we get to the main event: Freischütz.
It isn’t the worst coaster ever . . .
. . . but not really the best, either. But it’s pretty impressive for a small park like Bayern.
So, heretics, we meet again! Bring them to the Eagles Challenge!
You think you have the strength to defy the will of the Inquisition? Confess!
"I totally confess to whatever it is you want me to confess to!"
“I can’t help myself It’s who I am!”
Oh, come on! somebody confess! You’re making us look bad!
The lion bids us “good day” as we head back to Munich. More to come.
^ Lol, I wonder if Hummel made that lion figure there in the last photo.
Whew! I was sad (I thought) you were "done with Munich." Glad you headed back. I think at my age and body, those do-it-yourself rides would do-me-in, in no time at all. But it's great they are still having them in various parks.
Good for Germany and it's sensibility about bruises and bumps NOT being used in lawsuits.
Great TR as always, Chuck! Looking forward to reading more.
We visited Skyline Park on our way from Munich to Europa. I didn’t enjoy Skyline as much as Bayern, but I think we hit the place at an awkward time. They seemed to be running an “off-season” schedule with staggered openings and closings for the rides; in fact, single ride ops would work a half-hour at one ride, close it, then move to another.
Some of us were heading to the park’s Galaxy coaster with what we thought was five minutes to spare, only to see the operator close the line (after which she ran over to the spinning-mouse coaster). Bob and I tried to ride the Galaxy later, only to see the op close the line ten minutes early. I think she closed five minutes earlier each cycle, so that she can walk past her rides, wave, say the ride’s closed, then head home early.
Skyline had one unique ride: Sky Dragster, an odd, powered “Steeplechase/Motorcycle” coaster by Mauer in which the rider controlled the speed (sort of). The cars used in-line seating, with handlebars and a throttle in front. The ride looks cool, but it’s a bit sluggish.
Speaking of Mauer, Skyline also has a SkyLoop called Sky Wheel (they also like to use “Sky” in their ride names). These rides are unnerving but fun, and they run you through the cycle twice at Skyline. We had to wait for the ride op to close the nearby Huss Condor though before we could ride the coaster.
Here’s a look at Skyline.
Yet another smiling predator welcomes you to another Bavarian park.
In Germany, even the wheelchair ramps are a challenge.
Inverted candy tornados are a common hazard in Bavaria.
Now there’s a creative way to use an old toilet.
The park opened the slingshot ride for us.
No worries, guys.
Spider-Man is ready for action in the event of any trouble!
This is either a petting zoo or one of those hostels you see in Eli Roth movies.
What? They’ve replaced this bear’s guts with a soft-serve ice-cream machine? Why isn’t PETA all over this? And they say SeaWorld is bad!
Sky Dragster does look pretty cool--nice layout.
A sign for Larry.
If the makers of Star Trek designed a ride-on mower, it would look like this.
Set phasers to "mulch.”
Captain, the engines canna take much more ‘o’ this!
“Just wrap your legs . . .
“ . . . ‘round these velvet rims . . .
“ . . . and strap your hands ‘cross my engines!”
Bob and I missed the Galaxy twice. But being as we’d ridden Galaxies before, it wasn’t a huge loss.
We did get on Sky Spin.
Joey is the zen master of Sky Spin.
Why is the trash can winking at me? Just back slowly away, and don't make eye contact.
I do like these Mauer SkyLoops.
The double cycle did catch me off guard.
You too, Jack? (Photo by Robb.)
Almost forgot this spinning cow coaster. It made me queasier than the Sky Wheel.
Walking Dead: The Kiddie Ride.
Just set a few zombies loose in here and scare the crap out of the little darlings!
They had self-operated Nautic Jets.
Probably best to keep your mouth closed and avoid swallowing that water.
Goodbye, Skyline . . .
. . . and hello, Hotel Colosseo! That’s all for now.
This cool-looking single rail coaster, is now making me wonder if an American park *cough-UniversalOrlando-cough* is considering, for their new Potter attraction, which recently leveled a much-beloved attraction, with no reason to demolish, etc.? And probably inside a show building too?
Hey, actually that could be Disney's new attraction ride setup , in the old Universe of Energy pavilion (into a new ride bldg.) at EPCOT....
Oooo, now I am intrigued with this type of coaster!
Thanks for the TR on it, Chuck! I think it's going to be a great step forward in "racing coasters," etc. And that kids' car ride through all the (ahem) street crap/garbage looks actually great! Considering the faux 'fantasy theme' some car rides do, to reasonable success. And upkeep, ugh. Real Reality, kids' size, lol!
Great report! I agree on Sky Dragster. The initial launch/acceleration was quite good but it quickly fizzled out.
I still cannot believe the crazy ride schedule at the park. That was my main gripe with the place.
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