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Shambhala © Marcel Ringhoff
© Marcel Ringhoff

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks and Magazine.

Shambhala breaks European records

Europe has set few records so far: Multilooper Colossus at Thorpe Park in the UK was the first to count ten inversions and Sequoia Adventure brings with 177° the steepest "drop” to Gardaland, Italy, but speed and height are nearly neglected, compared to the worldwide thrills. Nevertheless, even good old Europe is constructing new, more amazing rides, trumping at least the own records. And so does Shambhala, the new Bolliger & Mabillard Speedcoaster at PortAventura, Spain.

Shambhala © Marcel Ringhoff
© Marcel Ringhoff
The new giant at PortAventura
76 metres tall and dropping 78 metres towards the earth, it supersedes former European record holder Silver-Star at Europa Park, Germany, with additional five metres. Reaching a speed of 128 km/h, it comes in second in European records just behind Furius Baco, the accelerated coaster located at the same park. These parameters raise expectations for a thrilling ride tremendously – but will they be reached at all?

The height and speed truly are impressive, anyway – strangely enough – exactly these features will play a secondary role when taking the expedition through the Himalayas on Shambhala. There is another thing that makes this coaster so memorable for many of us enthusiasts: its massive floating airtime. Riders will pass weightlessly one hill after another, feeling free as a bird, which is probably underlined by the very openly designed new trains. Instead of 4 seats in a row, the two inner ones are placed about one metre in front of the others, allowing a great view to the side on the one hand, and on the other forming a totally new ride-experience, sitting on one of the freely installed "single-seats” on the brink of the train.

Opening day of Shambhala

Bild links Bild rechts
  • Shambhala<br />© Marcel Ringhoff
  • Shambhala<br />© Marcel Ringhoff
  • Shambhala<br />© Marcel Ringhoff
  • Shambhala<br />© Marcel Ringhoff
  • Shambhala<br />© Marcel Ringhoff
  • Shambhala<br />© Marcel Ringhoff
  • Shambhala<br />© Marcel Ringhoff

Further striking elements are the "8”-shaped turnaround at the end of the area, where guest rush through in high speed, and the main attraction for those, who do not dare to take a ride: the photo point with its splash. To be honest, it is no real splash, it is just a horizontal track placed in a water basin combined with computer-controlled water nozzles, which imitate a perfect waterwall.

Shambhala is a good addition of the park's ride portfolio and perfectly fits into the Chinese theme area in the park. Fans of Dragon Khan, the park's eight-inversion coaster, might become a little jealous, because the new giant marks its district right behind the red dragon. Even optically these two roller coasters interact very well, offering great views on both tracks from underneath. Shambhala is a huge coaster that makes a good theme park even better.

Onride-Video of "Shambhala"

© parkscout/MR/AM

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