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 © Gardaland
© Gardaland

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks and Magazine.

A wing coaster at Heide Park

Gardaland in Italien
Raptor at Gardaland
Speculations about the new attraction for 2014 at the Heide Park Resort had been leaked on the internet for quite some time now, but the biggest amusement park in Northern Germany stayed tight-lipped, even when the first supports of the track were clearly visible on the construction site. The secret became official on 19th August, 2013: Germany's first wing coaster in the Lunenburg Heath is sure to get a good dose of adrenaline pumping next year.

This type of roller coaster allows pairs of riders to sit on either side of the track, instead of above or below. The first wing coaster "Raptor" was built in 2011 at Gardaland. Although the length of the yet unknown ride is identical to the Italian prototype, the version in North Germany seems to become a bit more aggressive than the toothless predator, which definitely is a smooth ride, but it could use a bit more drive. Five inversions, the specified height of 40 metres and the announced top speed of 100 kilometres per hour are at least some factors indicating that the new wing coaster will make it somewhat more terrifying.

15 million euros

Gardaland in Italien
Raptor at Gardaland
"After a gentle 180-degree twist, riders start headfirst with a half loop before they experience five inversions in total, catch themselves turning 360 degrees around the track and fly at a 90 degree angle as though they were moving along a wall – these are only a couple of a total eight flying elements. Our wing coaster leaves no time to rest, but a whole lot of thrills.", said Thorsten Berwald, project director of the Heide Park Resort. Sabrina de Carvalho, chair of the board, added: "We always want to offer our guests a unique experience and therefore invest 15 million euros in Germany’s first wing coaster, the highest investment ever made in our 35-year history."

An important part of wing coasters, which are by the way manufactured by the Swiss company Bolliger & Mabillard, are "Near Misses", meaning elements that should make riders feel as though they were about to collide with parts of the themed construction. Therefore, the design of the area is the linchpin of the overall ride impression – Heide Park provides 13,000 square metres in its themed section "Transsilvanien" (German for Transylvania). Unfortunately, there are no artworks published at present, so there is again much room for speculation, this time about the design – a "Vampire" theme would make sense.

© parkscout/MV/AF

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