Percival’s Waltzer – a travelling nightclub?!


One of the UK’s best presented Waltzer rides is the ‘Disco Rider’ of William Percival. A stunning sound and light-show make this ride more visually impressive than many nightclubs!

Video recorded over the course of 2016 and 2017, with footage from Stamford Fair (2016 and 2017), Nottingham Goose Fair (2016) and Loughborough Fair (2016).

Tap the photo below to open photo gallery.


Inside Ice Mountain: The UK’s only travelling indoor rollercoaster!


Hop on-board the crazy Ice Mountain rollercoaster at London’s Winter Wonderland. This spinning rollercoaster experience is sure to impress you as it navigates its way through a frozen cavern inhabited by (fibreglass) polar bears and penguins!

Now in its fourth incarnation, Ice Mountain first appeared at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland in November 2013. The spinning rollercoaster has travelled the UK with owner James Mellors since 2001, albeit without the building and winter theme.

More commonly known as Magic Mouse or Cyclone, Winter Wonderland is currently the only event at which the ride is enclosed in its Ice Mountain disguise.

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Ice Mountain pictured without the building

Like a fine wine, Ice Mountain has certainly got better with age. It’s safe to say that its first year at Winter Wonderland, 2013, left many feeling short-changed. Apart from the external facade, there was absolutely no internal theming and the experience felt not too dissimilar from driving around a dark multi-storey car park.

With the intention of rivalling Hollenblitz, a (brilliant) indoor travelling coaster in Germany, Mr Mellors certainly had his work cut out to be able to return to Winter Wonderland for a second year with Ice Mountain. And thankfully he didn’t disappoint. 2014 saw the inside of Ice Mountain transformed into a fantastic dark-ride experience to rival many of the UK’s best (but do bear in mind that the UK doesn’t really have any good dark-rides).

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Subtle changes each year have led to 2016’s Ice Mountain being the best incarnation to-date. As well as speeding past polar bears and penguins you can expect to see plenty of lighting effects, the ‘northern lights’ and a crazy disco section where the rollercoaster car itself spins and leaves you feeling suitably dizzy!

Ice Mountain is open at Winter Wonderland from 18th November 2016 until 2nd January 2017 – have you ridden it yet? Let us know below!


First glimpse: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland opens celebrating 10th Anniversary


Bright lights, festive music and the smell of German sausage fill the air as London’s Winter Wonderland returns for its 10th Anniversary. We went along to the preview evening to see what this year’s event has in store.

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Nothing marks the start of Christmas better than the arrival of a festive German market and a bunch of seasonally decorated amusement rides. The Winter Wonderland has taken place in Hyde Park, London for 10 years now. And whilst the event has grown considerably from it’s routes as a Christmas market to the festive theme park of recent years, it has still managed to retain the magical charm that has been accountable for its success.

This year’s theme is strongly focussed on celebrating the tenth year of the event. From the moment you enter the site you’re instantly immersed into a Christmas wonderland that feels comfortably familiar yet strikingly different from the events of preceding years. Take a look around and you’ll notice a variety of new shows to entertain the family, new food and beverage outlets and spectacular new rides.

Never-seen-before Thrilling rides

Thrill seekers are certainly in for a treat at this year’s Winter Wonderland. The Ice Mountain coaster, Star Flyer and The Hangover freefall tower have all returned for 2016 and make up some of the 100 rides and games in attendance. But this year’s show-stopper is undoubtedly the Munich Looping Rollercoaster. Occupying a plot measuring 87 x 39 metres, Munich Looping is the World’s largest transportable rollercoaster and features five vertical loops. It has become famous for its appearances at the Munich Oktoberfest since 1989, however this is the first time the ride has ever opened in the UK.

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Shows for all the family

But maybe thrill rides aren’t your cup of mulled-wine. Well that’s OK, Winter Wonderland has something for you too. If the festive atmosphere and the constant fear of having a pram rammed into your ankles isn’t enough to get you in the mood, Hyde Park is offering a variety of shows to cater for all tastes.

Returning for 2016 are the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink, the Ice Kingdom and Zippos Circus. Joining them and new for this year are The Nutcracker on Ice, Cirque Berserk (from 7pm) and The Sooty Christmas show (11am daily). Booking is essential to guarantee entry, prices range from £7 – £18.95 per adult per show. Full details can be found on the official website.

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Something to drink?

What better way to warm up on a cold winter’s night than to head into a bar made of ice?! Bar Ice offers a sub-zero drinking experience where everything you see, from the tables through to the glass you drink out of, are all sculpted from ice. But don’t worry, as well as one free cocktail, the £15 entry fee also gets you a pair of gloves and a cloak to prevent frostbite.

Fans of more traditional methods of eating and drinking will love the Bavarian Village – a huge complex featuring indoor and outdoor seating, german entertainment and Bratwurst aplenty. Also new for 2016, a range of Winter Wonderland merchandise that can be purchased either on-site or online. Items include a cuddly polar bear and a branded wooly-hat.

2016 is set to be a fantastic year for Winter Wonderland. Whilst there are fewer rides than we saw at last year’s event, what we do have this year is of a remarkably high quality. The layout has again been tweaked and removes some of the dead-ends and bottle-necks of yesteryear. But don’t just take our word for it, check it out for yourself by watching our video!

VIDEO: First glimpse at Winter Wonderland 2016

The nitty-gritty

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland runs from 18th November to 2nd January 2017. It’s open 10am – 10pm every day except Christmas day. Entry is free, no ticket required. You will however need a ticket for Ice Skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, Nutcracker on Ice, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, The Sooty Christmas Show, Giant Wheel and Bar Ice.

Ride tickets are all sold separately and available at ticket booths across the site. Contactless payment is available on Munich Looping, Wilde Maus XXL, Ice Mountain, Thriller and the Christmas Coaster.

The best way to get to the event is using Public Transport, the nearest tube stops are Bond Street, Green Park, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner.

More information can be found on the official website.


Düren Annakirmes 2016


The Annakirmes (St Anne’s Fair) takes place in Düren, Germany, every summer. The huge fair is one of the largest in Germany with over 150 attractions. This year the fair was held from 30th July – 7th August 2016.

Featured at this fair were the new KMG Infinity XXL and the Reverchon Drifting (Swinging) Coaster. Keep an eye on the channel for full videos of these rides.


Düsseldorf Rheinkirmes 2016 – massive German funfair!


Welcome to the biggest funfair on the Rhein! The Düsseldorf Rheinkirmes attracts over 4 million visitors annually, this year taking place between the 15th and 24th July (2016).

.. and what a spectacular lineup of rides and attractions! Hangover.. Alpina Bahn.. Wildwasser 3.. Infinity.. Blackout.. Predator.. Kong.. Apollo 13.. Break Dance.. and many, many more!


Tilburg Model Funfair Kermis Expo 2016


This model fairground exhibition was set up as part of the 2016 Tilburg Kermis. The miniature fair was contained within a transportable building and was free to enter, with plenty of models of traditional funfair rides inside.


Hold Tight Europe! 10 day Theme Park & Funfair Tour!


Join Hold Tight Riders & Ukrides.info on our epic European adventure through 3 countries, 3 funfairs and 7 theme parks! The trip took place in July 2016 and encompassed Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. We’ve done our best to cram as much as possible into 4 minutes of film, but rest assured there will be plenty of full length videos to come in the near future.

Includes Drivliet, Duinrell, Walibi Holland, Phantasialand, Walibi Belgium, Plopsaland, Bellewaerde, Dusseldorf Rheinkirmes, Tilburg Kermes, Duren Annakirmes and more!


Derren Brown’s Ghost Train – Thorpe Park, Exterior and Shop


Take a look inside the shop at Derren Brown’s Ghost Train at Thorpe Park. This ride is new for 2016 and is billed as a modern twist on the traditional Ghost Train, designed by illusionist Derren Brown.

The ride building is themed as a victorian train depot/station, with the shop offering plenty of uniquely themed merchandise.


Tomb Blaster 2016 Update POV


Chessington’s Tomb Blaster dark ride has received a refurbishment and update for the 2016 season. The interactive shooter ride now features a brand new gun and target system, as well as updates to the lighting and a few effects throughout.

The ride system has been in operation at the park since 1987 and has also been known as The 5th Dimension (1987-1993), Terror Tomb (1994-2001) and finally Tomb Blaster (v1: 2002-2015, v2: 2016 to present).

Take a look at our Onride POV of the newly updated ride and let us know your thoughts on the changes!


Blackpool Pleasure Beach opens for 2016 Season – Trip Report


Blackpool Pleasure Beach have become notorious for their early-season opening, allowing thrill seekers to enjoy the whole park over a month before the Theme Park season kicks off for the rest of the UK. From the 7th February to 20th March 2016 the park will be open at weekends, offering half price (£15) tickets when booked online in advance. We made a trip to Blackpool for the opening day, Sunday 7th March 2016.

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Arriving at the park it quickly dawned on us that it was very windy and that this would surely affect ride availability (particularly the Big One) throughout the day. Not deterred by this we put our coats on and joined the disgustingly long queue to pick up the tickets that we’d already bought and paid for. If there’s one thing that we wish Pleasure Beach would improve upon it would be their ticketing system – it’s 2016 – why can’t we just print off our tickets at home and walk straight through the turnstiles? Flaming-o-land manages it very well!

Anyway. It’s always nice visiting a park on opening day as all the staff are still really enthusiastic and haven’t yet recieved their first pay cheque and realised how much of a struggle their year is going to be. The park is open from 11am – 5pm however the rides seem to open on a staggered basis based upon whenever the hell they can be arsed to get them going. – Yes this sounds sarcastic but it seems to work and helps get guests flowing around the park, and we love the whitty banterful charm of the way the park is run.

So the bit you all want to see – the missing bridge:

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The Tom Sawyer Bridge has been a part of the park for as long as we can remember, and it’s demolition has sparked great speculation over whether or not a new coaster could be coming to the park in the near future. If rumours are to be believed we could be in for Mack Multi-Launch coaster similar to that of Blue Fire at Europa Park and Helix at Liseberg. If the park was to also remove the Grand Prix ride we’d have a massive space on our hands ready for something huge. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the bridge was just totally shagged after all these years and the only option was to remove it, but we’ll remain optimistic!

Time for some rides

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Infusion. Love it or hate it, it’s the newest coaster at the park and it does offer something none of their other rides do, and is a fantastic place to eat a cheese sandwhich before going to Specsavers. We were pleased to see it running on two trains and with a really good dispatch rate.

Fast forward a bit, we managed to get on everything that was open and were having a great day. Even the Zipper Dipper Blue Flyer was riding well.

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Now we should probably touch on a few of the rides that were not open. When we picked up our tickets we were told that Avatar Airbender, Spongbob’s Splash Battle and the Gallopers would not be operating. Unfortunately there were a few more to add to that list, including; The Big One, Steeplechase, Wild Mouse, Valhalla which were closed and Alice, Avalanche, Grand National, Big Dipper which all either broke down or opened late.

Yes, this is disappointing, but we must bare in mind that the park has a very short closed season to get the rides stripped and re-built, and a large factor was the high wind speeds, not to mention we only paid £15 to get in. On the off chance, we left a comment at Guest Services at the end of the day and ended up having our wristbands re-validated for a free return trip before 20th March. Fair play to PB, their customer service on the day was excellent.

A few more photos

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High winds cause the Avalanche to stall on the brakes during a test run. Where’s Jim Roland when you need him?!

All in all we had a fantastic day out. We love the traditional “what you see is what you get” feel of the park and that genuine sense of fun that the park conveys. The staff were certainly doing a great job and we left with free tickets for another day. Well done Blackpool!

Check out our video of the day and if you enjoy it, please share this post with your friends!


Blackpool Pleasure Beach 2016 opening day


A look at the opening day of Blackpool Pleasure Beach 2016, and a short spoof documentary based on the 1998 TV series “Pleasure Beach”. All views are purely with humorous intent and no offence is meant.

Unfortunately many of the rides were unavailable throughout the day due to breakdowns and high winds, but we still managed to have a great day.


Churchdown Funfair Extravaganza 2016


The Churchdown Funfair Extravaganza has quickly become a highlight in the fairground calendar. Taking place annually in January, the event features a mixture of fairground models, fairground transport, slide shows, presentations and of course – a licensed bar!

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This year’s event featured over 60 model exhibits in various scales and categories, making it one of the biggest in the event’s 11 year history. Highlights included S&B models’ Superstar, Tarn Moore’s K’nex Top Scan, as well as John and Michael Molden’s Haunted Mansion, which scooped them the Best In Show award.

But that’s enough talk – here is our full video of this year’s show. Be sure to share with your friends and help to keep this hobby alive!


All Aboard Derren Brown’s Ghost Train at Thorpe Park


Following months of rumour and speculation, Thorpe Park have today revealed further details of their new-for-2016 attraction. Derren Brown’s Ghost Train aims to re-invent the concept of the ghost train and has been in the making for over 3 years. But what can we expect?

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“People can expect a heart stopping experience that includes grand illusion, live action and special effects, that will completely re-write the rules of what theme parks can do”

– Derren Brown

What exactly the ride is or what it will do is still shrowded in mystery. What is known is that the 13-minute ride experience will be made up of five multi-sensory experiences, one of which being Virtual Reality and using the HTC Vive headset.

Housed within a massive (2306 sq-metres) Victorian-themed warehouse, the attraction’s focal point will be a full size railway carriage suspended 3 metres above the ground using iron chains. As guests enter the “seemingly innocent carriage, it soon becomes clear as sights and sounds fill your senses, that you will come face to face with what lies at the end of the line.”

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Derren Brown is keen to keep the contents of the ride a mystery, and as he does with his live shows, is asking that anyone who tries the ride keeps the secrets to themselves so as not to spoil it for others. What we do know is that the experience will not be the same for everybody. Derren Brown’s Ghost Train will feature 12 possible routes based on decisions that guests make leading them to one of two possible different endings.

According to the statistics we have each “train” will hold 60 people. What exactly this means we are unsure, but expect that it relates to the size of the groups that are batched into the attraction and does not neccessarily mean that you will progress through the whole ride in groups of 60 but will likely break off into smaller groups.

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“This is the reinvention of the ghost train. It is something very different. It is the first of its kind and, without sounding too arrogant about it, I think it will change what theme parks will be doing in the future.”

– Derren Brown.

Derren Brown’s Ghost Train will open in spring 2016.

http://www.mindswanted.co.uk


Hinzen’s Haunted Mansion ride – Meccano model


ONRIDE and OFFRIDE POV!

This is a fully working model of Johan Hinzen’s Haunted Mansion Geisterbahn (Ghost Train). The model was built by John and Michael Molden and took over two years to construct.

The model is fully automated, with the suspended ride cars automatically stopping in the loading station and then dispatching when the train ahead reaches the upper level of the ride. The real ride that the model is based on travels in Germany and Holland but has recently been seen in London at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

This video was filmed at the Churchdown Funfair Extravaganza 2016, where the model won the Best In Show award. There is also some onride footage of the real ride mixed into this video (filmed by Michael Molden) – prizes to anyone who can guess what country it was filmed in!


Efteling to open Symbolica Dark Ride in 2017


Dutch Theme Park Efteling have announced their latest project to be a €35 million dark ride named Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy. This family attraction is due to open in 2017 and will be the largest and most expensive Efteling attraction built to date.

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“Visitors are invited to rediscover their imagination on an adventure through the magical, hidden rooms of the Palace. A maximum of six people will step into a carriage and then choose one of three different routes. Each route will offer a different adventure with interactive elements through the Palace of Fantasy.” – Efteling.

Whilst not confirmed, it is now believed that the ride system will be trackless with spinning powered cars. This is contrary to original rumours that the ride would feature robotic-arms from Vekoma. The trackless system is likely to be from Dutch company ETF Rides, who have previously worked on projects such as Maus Au Chocolate at Phantasialand and Challenge of Tutankamen at Walibi Belgium. ETF Director Ruud Koppens has said that he is unable to comment at this time. Pictured below is an example of a trackless spinning car from the company.

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Efteling’s new dark ride was first rumoured in 2012 under the alternative name Hartenhof but saw various setbacks, including the announcement and opening of Baron 1898 in 2015, a B&M Dive Coaster. Symbolica, is however, very much happening; with the construction site already fenced off and early groundworks taking place. The ride will be located in the centre of the park at the end of the main promenade, and it’s large building will surely be a fantastic focal point for visitors.

We will keep you updated as this story develops. Featured below is a video of a trackless ride car from ETF in action, a product the company call the “Xperience Mover”. Exciting stuff!


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland boasts biggest line-up to date!


Winter always used to be a dull time for the UK attractions industry, with the country’s Theme Parks all closed and many other tourist attractions and funfairs all finished for the year. So when Winter Wonderland first opened it’s gates in December 2007 nobody could have predicted the impact it would have had on the industry.

Winter Wonderland has grown rapidly, in all senses – with each year seeing more rides, more attractions and more visitors. 2015 is no exception, and is infact the most notable shake up of the event in it’s history, with over 60 large attractions, 22 more than were present in 2014.

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Situated in London’s iconic Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland boasts something for everybody, with plenty of Christmas spirit thrown in! From fairground rides to live shows, festive treats to ice skating, the event offers a huge range of entertainment all suited to the winter theme.

Whilst the event is very well dressed up, for us the heart of it will always be the fairground. With rides travelling to the event from all over Europe, this is surely the best funfair in the UK. Whilst the purists amongst you may be screaming “WHAT ABOUT HULL AND GOOSE?!” at your screens, we do firmly believe that Winter Wonderland is in a league of it’s own. Whilst Hull fair and Nottingham Goose fair are indeed incredibly large fairs in the UK calendar, they lack the coherant theme, enterainment, layout and presentation of the Hyde Park event. Oh, and did we mention that Eberhard’s AirWolf is there?!

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Where else in the UK can you see a Mondial Inferno? Nowhere! This classic ride has instantly been a hit with the British public, most of whom have never seen a ride like it before. Other notable rides at this year’s event include Lagerin’s Huss Breakdance from Germany, Schneider’s new Hangover Freefall Tower, Hart’s Huss Top Spin, Mannings Capriolo 10 and Dotremont’s KMG XXL. Also new for this year is the world’s largest mobile ghost train – Daemonium.

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There’s literally loads to see and do, too much to write about in one short article. Interestingly the Irvin family have actually purchased three brand new rides just for the event – these being a Waltzer, Extreme and Dodgems. Meanwhile, coaster fans are spoilt for choice with both Eberhard’s Wild Maus XXL and Mellor’s Ice Mountain – the world’s first entertaining Reverchon ride.

The good news is that you don’t need to pay to get in – you just pay for the attractions that you want to ride and/or experience. This means that you can bring Grandma along and she can happily toddle around the market stocking up on knitting needles whilst you’re busy shouting horrific swear words and pooing yourself 90 meters in the air on the Hangover tower. Prices are best described as “London prices” which roughly translates to “bloody expensive” , but hey, it’s Christmas – and it is worth it for the atmosphere alone.

Winter Wonderland runs from the 20th November 2015 to 3rd January 2016 and is open from 10am-10pm. Access is recommended via the Marble Arch tube station.


Thorpe Park release teaser video of Derren Brown dark ride


The one thing that the UK Theme Park industry is good at is keeping a secret. Thorpe Park is no exception to this trend, with their new-for-2016 attraction shrowded in mystery. Today the park have released a new teaser video featuring life size victorian dolls and the London Underground. This certainly hints towards a dark, creepy theme.

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So, what do we know already? The ride will be indoors – a ‘dark ride’. It is likely to involve multiple parts/rooms as well as a ride element and the whole experience will last for around 13 minutes. Derren Brown has been heavily involved in the design of the ride, and it is rumoured to be Merlin Attractions’ biggest investment in a single ride to date.

Brown said:

“First and foremost it’s a theme park attraction, the psychological part of it is a layer to it but its ultimate reason for existing is to thrill. So, it’s a theme park attraction that I’ve come up with over the last three years, working with the Thorpe Park guys trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

“IN A WORLD’S FIRST DERREN BROWN THE MASTER OF MANIPULATION PROMISES TO TAKE YOU ON A JOURNEY INTO DISTORTED EXISTENCE. PREPARE TO LOSE YOUR MIND WITH A PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTRACTION LIKE NO OTHER.”

For more information, visit https://mindswanted.co.uk


Legoland to build Haunted House Drop Ride


Following a lengthy appeal process, Legoland Windsor have finally recieved permission to build the Haunted House Drop Ride that they originally intended to build for the 2015 season. The attraction is believed to be very similar to the “Ghost” ride that opened at Legoland Billund in 2014, featuring a themed walkthrough that culminates with a ride on a drop tower – believed to be 10 meters tall from ABC Rides.

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The ride is expected to open for the 2017 season, two years behind the original plans which were rejected in 2014 due to fears that the local area could “not cope” with the increased traffic from extra visitors attracted to the park.

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Stay tuned for further updates, but in the mean time the video below of the Legoland Billund ride will give you a good idea of what to expect.