“From hero to zero, thanks to Merlin Entertainments”
Heide Park opened in 1978 with just a few rides, but the park has grown steadily. Nowadays, it counts as one of Germany’s biggest theme parks and they have an enormous variety of family attractions, thrill rides and roller coasters. The park is currently managed by Merlin Entertainments, a British group that has added quite a few thrill rides and loads of darker theming elements.
Coaster enthusiasts have a few reasons to put Heide Park on their bucket lists. The park is home to Krake (a nicely decorated B&M Dive Machine), a smooth Wing Coaster called Flug der Dämonen, a large bobsled coaster manufactured by Mack Rides and Colossos – Kampf der Giganten. Colossos may be the main reason to visit Heide Park: this is one of Europe’s largest roller coasters and it’s famous for its powerful drops and insane airtime. However, personally I didn’t like Colossos that much. The ride doesn’t feel as insane as it used to be and the layout is everything but surprising. A major refurbishment has considerably improved the ride experience and the current theming is a lot better than it used to be, but the ride will never appear in my personal top 20.
Some parts of Heide Park have been elaborately decorated, but other parts aren’t themed at all. The strangest section of the park is the area where a Vekoma SLC, Big Loop and a bunch of arcade games were built: this looks even worse than most Cedar Fair parks. I really hope that Merlin Entertainments will add theming to improve the atmosphere in this area.
As mentioned above, Heide Park has its flaws when it comes to decoration and atmosphere. This used to be different, though. During my previous visits in 2009 and 2011, the park looked considerably better. Merlin adds new rides regularly, but they’re weak at maintaining the existing attractions and areas. This is especially noticeable near the park entrance, where the picturesque Heide Dorf once offered a warm welcome to all arriving guests. Nowadays, this German square has been closed to public and it’s overgrown by trees and grass. What a shame.
WORTH A VISIT?
The current version of Heide Park is rather focused on rides than on theming. And admittedly, the park performs well in the attraction segment. It offers some wonderful roller coasters, great water rides, quite a few thrill rides and they also cater to families with young children. In other words: there’s much to do at Heide Park for every age group. Still, it’s sad to see that the park performed considerably better in the past than it does nowadays.
If you’re searching for thrill rides and spectacular roller coasters, then Heide Park is one of Germany’s finest destinations. However, if you’re in need of an immersive theme park experience, you’d better find another place to go. Heide Park has a better atmosphere than most Cedar Fair or Six Flags parks, but this isn’t at the same level as Europa-Park or Phantasialand.
PEPPA PIG LAND
DRACHENZÄHMEN – DIE INSEL
LAND DER VERGESSENEN
BUCHT DER PIRATEN
HEIDE PARK ABENTEUERHOTEL
Do you agree with me or am I too critical for Heide Park? Do you think that this is Germany’s thrill capital? And did you enjoy your ride on Colossos? Share your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of this page.