Onride POV. Flight of the Giant Peach opened at Oakwood Theme Park in 2017 as part of a new area named ‘Dahland’. It was themed to Roald Dahl’s ‘James and the Giant Peach’.
As can be seen from this video, with the exception of the queue line the theming left much to be desired. So it is no surprise that the area has already been pulled and the coaster re-named for the 2018 season. Creepy Crawler is the ride’s current name. The coaster is a Pinfari RC40 and was originally located at M&D’s Scotland Theme Park.
The Wicker Man is the first new wooden roller coaster to be built in the UK since Megafobia in 1996.
Built by Great Coasters International (GCI), it features over 2000ft of track during which riders burst through a flaming Wicker Man three times.
Fantasy Island UK are preparing to open two new thrill rides for the 2018 season. ‘Frisbee’ and ‘Magic’ are both now built up ready for opening on 17th March, but if you can’t wait that long then read on to see what is in store!
Built by HUSS in 1994, the Frisbee is one of the original pendulum-swing type rides. Unlike most of it’s modern day counterparts which are powered by a motor at the top of the A-Frame structure, the HUSS Frisbee is tyre-driven from beneath the ride car.
Also unlike many of its modern counterparts is the shear size of this thing. It’s massive. Transportable rides of this size are scarcely seen in the UK these days, with the favour being placed on rides that can be folded down onto one or two trailers in a very short amount of time.
This particular ride was built in 1994 and travelled Germany under the ownership of Rudolf Robrahn. It was bought by James Mellor in 2014 where it opened at the Dubai Global Village before making its way to the UK in time for Nottingham Goose Fair 2017 and now the 2018 season at Fantasy Island Theme Park.
Hey hey hey.. it’s Magic! And this is the one we’re really excited about. Check it out;
Magic is another HUSS ride, this one built in 1993. Like the Frisbee, it was bought by showman and owner of Fantasy Island James Mellor in 2014 and spent some time in Dubai before coming to the UK at the end of 2017.
It really is a treat to see a Magic in the UK. Whilst the Frisbee is impressive, it is a ride type that generally everyone is well aware of and to some potentially nothing unique. A ‘Magic’ on the other hand is something I’ve only ever seen before overseas. It certainly seemed to be popular at Nottingham Goose Fair, attracting large crowds throughout the Friday evening of our visit.
In a world where travelling rides are getting more and more intense, it sometimes feels like manufacturers and owners have lost sight of the importance of making rides fun and enjoyable. Magic seems to be the perfect level of fun yet still a very thrilling experience. More like this please!
Fantasy Island reopens for the 2018 season on Saturday 17th March 2018.
This is Infinity, the tallest transportable looping ride ever made! Standing 65m high, this funfair ride is absolutely gigantic.
It was built by KMG and opened in 2016. Infinity travels in Germany under the ownership of Hoefnagels and Sohne. Includes onride and offride footage.
This roller coaster is the first and only of its kind to be made by Reverchon. The Drifting Coaster is travelled by FTE Ahrend of Hannover, Germany. It first opened in 2016 and features 10 cars with swinging seats.
Hey hey hey, it’s Magic! We take a seat on James Mellors’ HUSS Magic ride at the Nottingham Goose Fair.
This is the first time that the Magic has opened at funfair in the UK, however the Mellors group have owned the ride since 2014. It has spent the past 3 years open at the Global Village in Dubai before coming over here in 2017. The ride is expected to open at Fantasy Island for the 2018 season.
You won’t believe that this is a model and not the real thing! S&B Models’ latest kit is this amazing detailed Waltzer ride.
This model fun fair ride was built by S&B Models, for more information and pricing please contact them directly:
Take a close-up look at the latest model now available from S&B Models, a 1/24th scale miniature Waltzer ride. This is the first one to be completed and was built for Ray Grieve. It features a stunning light show, made using thousands of RGB colour-changing LEDs.
James Mellors’ HUSS Frisbee and Magic arrive for the 2017 Nottingham Goose Fair. This will be the first time that these rides have opened in the UK after spending the past few years at the Dubai Global Village.
Take a ride on this impressive Technical Park Loop Fighter ride, filmed here at the Nottingham Riverside Festival 2017
The ride was built in 2015 and is owned by UK Showman Charles James. It has spent most of its life at the Dubai Global Village but has recently come to the UK in time for summer 2017.
Some offride and aerial shots of the amazing Wildfire roller coaster at Kolmården, Sweden.
For the first time in UK fair history, an English showman has purchased a Maurer Power Tower ride. We went over to Liverpool to check it out on its opening day.
Built by German firm Maurer, the Power Tower is somewhat iconic amongst fairground enthusiasts. This is largely thanks to Ewald Schneider of Germany who famously travelled Power Tower 1 and then Power Tower 2, the latter of which has visited the UK in the past for the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
What makes the Maurer towers special is the fact that unlike a ‘true’ free fall tower where the car is released and dropped, the car is instead attached to the pulley system even when it is dropping, allowing the ride to run long sequences with drops from different heights, pauses and fast upward travel.
This is the first time an English showman has ever owned a tower ride of this type. Bought by Peter Sedgwick Jnr, the ride will spend Summer 2017 at the Liverpool Pier Head Village.
Prior to its arrival in the UK, the Power Tower spent its early life in Germany. It was originally built in 1998 for German showman Kinzler, who travelled it under the name Freifall Turm, sporting an all-blue painted tower with yellow lights. In 2003 the ride changed hands and became known as the Action Tower whilst travelling under the ownership of Kipp. This lasted until 2007 when the Tower went back to Maurer, was refurbished, and then put into storage until today.
It has to be said that this really is a fantastic addition to the UK fair scene. The ride really does look big and imposing when stood in front of it – pictures don’t do the 55m height justice! It is also very well presented with a clean and fresh looking paint job. And of course, the ride experience itself is brilliant – riders were being treated to up to 9 drops per-cycle during our visit.
The Liverpool Pier Head Village is open from 30th June – 10th September 2017. Entry is free. More details can be found on their website.
Thrill seekers are in for a treat as Zip World Fforest open the UK’s only Alpine Coaster.
It’s called the Fforest Coaster. And no, that’s not a typo. The one-of-a-kind downhill adventure is located in Wales, where one F just isn’t enough! Lets start by taking a ride.
Just like a traditional roller coaster, the Fforest Coaster starts with a powered lift hill which drags riders to the top of the course. The similarities end when the ‘sleds’ that the passengers sit in reach the peak and begin their downward decent. Unlike a normal rollercoaster where riders have no input, each sled on the Fforest coaster has its own manual braking system. This allows the rider to control the speed of the ride.
The Fforest coaster comes from German firm Wiegand, who’ve been responsible for many Alpine Coasters all over the world. You’ll notice that we’ve (awkwardly) worded the title of this post to state that Zip World’s ride is the UK’s only Alpine Coaster and not the UK’s first. This is because we did used to have a similar Alpine Coaster in Stoke-On-Trent. Located at Stoke Ski Slope, the ride operated between 2003 and 2007 and was around 425 meters long.
Zip World’s new coaster is over twice this length, featuring a 365 m upward lift (split into two sections) and a 710 m downhill slalom through the trees. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty tiny when you compare it to some of the German alpine coasters located on the side of mountains, but it’s still long enough to pick up a bit of speed and feel like you’ve gone on a bit of an adventure. Take a look at the layout shown in the planning document below;
The ride lasts for around 6 minutes, during which riders can reach speeds of up to a limited 25mph.
You read that correctly. The FForest coaster’s top speed is restricted to 25mph. Not gunna lie, this came as a massive disappointment. After all, Alpine Coasters are known specifically for the fact that you can ride them without using the brakes, reaching blistering speeds, all the way down the hill, whilst recording an onride video for YouTube entitled “CRAZY alpine coaster with NO BRAKES! Absolutely INSANE!”, which will then go viral and make the poster thousands in Ad Revenue. Soz Theme Park Review.
Jokes aside, it is 2017 and Health & Safety is definitely “a thing” now, so it doesn’t really come as a surprise. In fact the way in which the speeds are monitored and controlled is actually surprisingly advanced and rather interesting. Allow this diagram to explain;
Named the “Driver’s Assistance system”, it relies on magnetic eddy-current technology working in harmony with electronic sensors and control system. When the sled reaches 25mph the system automatically kicks in to slow it down. As well as limiting speed, the system acts as a spacer and ensures that all of the sleds are at least 25meters apart from each other at all times during the decent. This does unfortunately mean that if the person in front of you is a pansy and braking all the way down your sled will automatically be slowed down too.
There’s no denying that it detracts from the overall ride experience, however the safety benefits probably outweigh the lack of speed. Coupled with this, the cost of maintenance is likely to be less as magnetic brakes are non-contact and require less maintaining than traditional friction brakes.
But lets not get bogged down by the speed, the Fforest coaster is awesome! We really are lucky to have an Alpine Coaster of this length and quality in the UK. The setting couldn’t really be any better, with the track weaving in and out of the trees throughout the ride – the only obvious comment to make is “can we have another one that’s even longer?!”. With Zip World growing as quickly as it is and with multiple sites in Snowdonia, maybe we’ll have an answer to that question in the next few years!
It’s also definitely worth mentioning how friendly and accommodating the Zip World staff were, so thanks!
The Fforest coaster opened on 10th May and is located at Zip World Fforest, LL24 OHA. Riders must be 9 years old and 1.35 m or taller to ride unaccompanied. More details can be found on the official website.
After what feels like a decade of waiting, the new Exciter ride of Dane Crow has made its debut appearance at the Conisbrough Ticklecock Fair.
Known to the public as “Exciter”, the new ride comes from British manufacturers Tivoli. Tivoli are perhaps most known for their Orbiter and Extreme rides that are slowly beginning to saturate the UK fair scene – so this new innovation is certainly welcome.
New? Are you sure?
Those who are familiar with their funfairs will certainly see some familiarity in the design of the Exciter. Named by Tivoli as the ‘Warp 10’, Exciter is a modernised version of the ‘Force 10’ – or Tip Top – which was originally introduced in 1980.
Whilst largely similar to the Tip Top, the USP of Exciter comes in the form of its seating. Replacing the enclosed cars of the 80’s are modern ‘dangly-feet’ three-seater cars with a bonus party-trick hidden up their sleeves – the ability to tilt.
When the tilting feature was first rumoured there was quite a lot of excitement in the enthusiast community. People began to visualise a system similar to that of the Air rollercoaster at Alton Towers where riders lie fully on their fronts, creating the illusion of flight. But as the years went by, it became apparent that there was clearly a delay with the construction of Exciter – believed to be due to the implementation of these tilting seats.
It was therefore somewhat disappointing to find out that the seats actually only tilt about 40 degrees forwards and return to their upright position before the ride accelerates to its full speed. Ah well.
Debut event – Conisbrough Ticklecock Fair
The Exciter finally made its public debut at the Conisbrough Ticklecock Fair on 13th April 2017. So what do we think?
There’s no denying that the ride is presented in an immaculate condition, as is the case of most rides operated by the Crow family. On closer inspection the attention to detail becomes apparent – from the laser-cut designs on the perimeter fencing to the Disco Smash speakers fitted to the back of each of the 12 cars. The LED lighting package is stunning, however has lost some of the impact that it would have had if the ride made its debut when it was originally intended to, due to LED lighting becoming the norm across many of the country’s rides in the past 24 months.
Was it worth the wait?
To put it simply, not really. Whilst there’s no denying that Exciter is a solid addition to the UK fair industry, it just doesn’t really tick all the boxes for us. At the end of the day the ride experience is essentially spinning in an unbroken circle for 3 minutes, and therefore somewhat nauseating to ride. Whilst the tilting seats are a good idea in theory, at the moment they’re not being utilised very effectively and go largely unnoticed whilst on the ride. Take a look for yourself in the full onride cycle below:
BUT don’t just take our word for it. It seems to be a bit of a generation thing – having read many comments on the internet it would seem that Exciter has gone down a treat with the older generation who have fond memories of the original Tip Top. To this extent, Exciter should be a big success with all ages – the oldies who remember the original and the young’uns who’ve never seen one before and think it’s something new.
It’s worth remembering that it is the Crows that were responsible for the first ‘lifting twist’ (Cyclone), and they do have to be admired for their innovative foresight – even if the final products are a little odd. What next, a tilting carousel?!
We wish the Crows all the best with Exciter and look forward to seeing it over the course of 2017!
Drayton Manor’s Ben 10 roller coaster has had a makeover! ‘New’ for 2017 comes Accelerator. Take a look at what’s changed.
On first glance you may think that not much has changed. And you’d be right. Externally the ride is pretty much identical to its former self, with the exception of a new name sign and a bit of graffiti artwork. The main change comes in the internal queue-line, which has had a complete overhaul to suit the Accelerator theme – racing cars and their parts.
It’s looking good!
Pulsar is the first “Power Splash” roller coaster from MACK Rides. It opened at Walibi Belgium in 2016, and it gets you SOAKED!
The ride is a shuttle coaster, powered by LSM launches. During the ride you’re launched 3 times – twice backwards and once forwards. After the final backwards launch flood gates quickly open and allow the final section of track to flood with water, ready for the final splashdown. You can see this gates operating in this video!
Pulsar can run with two boats on the system, thanks to it’s rotating loading platform. Unfortunately the ride was experiencing technical difficulties during our visit and was only operating with one boat, causing very long queue times!
2016 has been an exciting year for new coasters in Europe. And whilst social media has been awash with photos and videos of the latest rides, the chances are that there was one that kept cropping up and catching your eye – TARON.
Located at Phantasialand, Brühl (that’s in Germany), Taron is a multi-launch coaster from Swiss manufacturer Intamin. Unlike the UK-based Intamin launch coasters Rita and Stealth, which are both hydraulically launched, Taron uses an LSM system to propel the trains twice during the ride. And with a maximum speed of 72.7mph, Taron is the world’s fastest multi-launch coaster!
Taron opened on 30th June 2016 as part of a new themed-world named Klugheim. Themed as a rocky basalt landscape with a rustic village at its heart, Klugheim also features a smaller (also new) coaster for the younger adventurers, Raik. This is a Vekoma Family Boomerang and, like everything else in Klugheim, features heavy theming.
Big statement, we know. And you don’t have to agree with it. Although it is hard to justify yourself if you don’t.
Taron is the full package. It’s not hard to find a coaster that is super thrilling and smooth. It’s also not hard to find a coaster with incredibly immersive theming. What is rare is to find one coaster that combines the two of these features into one fully coherent and immersive ride.
The ride experience itself is phantastic (see what we did there?). Intamin have done an incredible job with the layout and build, resulting in a smooth and comfortable ride with bucketloads of force and airtime. The trains are a new design to that of the old Intamin launchers and feature lap-bars and a raised seating position that will feel conveniently familiar to those who’ve previously ridden a MACK Mega Coaster such as Blue Fire or Helix.
Speaking of Helix…
Helix (at Liseberg, Sweden) seems to be the ride that everybody wants to compare to Taron. Whilst they’re both from different manufacturers, they do share the similarities of both being LSM Multi-launch coasters with similar trains and long layouts.
They’re both great rides for different reasons – Helix has the advantage of taking the riders on a real journey through the park as its layout sprawls from one side of Liseberg to the other, but the LSM launches are more gentle nudges than anything else. Conversely, Taron’s launches are really forceful but the ride has a very small footprint so you don’t get that same sense of going on a journey.
Just to confirm though, for us Taron is far superior to Helix. Just look at it!
We’re clearly not the only ones who love Taron. Check out the state of the overflow queue line during our visit.
The good news is it’s really easy to get to Phantasialand. Flights are often £9.99 each way with Ryanair from London Stansted to Cologne, with public transport taking you from the airport to the park in around about 90 minutes at a cost of £10(ish). Already ridden Taron? Let us know how it ranks for you in the comments below!
We take an in-depth look at the latest fairground model from S & B Models, a 1/24th scale replica of a Lamberink RL45 Ferris Wheel. It features 3640 colour changing LEDs and stands at almost 2 metres tall, taking approximately 3.5 hours to set up.
The model was built for David Wragg and made it’s debut at the Nottingham Goose Fair model show on 8th October 2016, where this video was filmed. This video includes a build-up/set-up timelapse, onride view, and a look at the impressive lighting sequence in action.
For more information and pricing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Unfortunately Hold Tight Riders are unable to respond to requests for purchase information, please contact S&B Models directly.
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!