Last minute decisions are often the best decisions. After spending the day at Heide Park yesterday, we were quite disappointed about it. It’s a thrill destination, but the atmosphere used to be a lot nicer before Merlin started to run te park. That’s why we decided that we didn’t need a second day at Heide Park, even tough it was included in our package. Instead, Nick suggests to visit Hansa-Park. Although it isn’t exactly close to Heide Park (the drive takes approximately 2 hours), there is a good reason for our trip: Der Schwur des Kärnan. This Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster opened two months ago and it’s world-famous for its bizarre lay-out, the lifthill, the crazy first descent and an unusual boarding procedure. And believe me… everything you heard about Kärnan is true. This is an insanely fast rollercoaster with some very intense transitions. Just like most Gerstlauer creations, the ride isn’t 100% smooth. However, thanks to the restraint system (Kärnan uses regular lap bars instead of over-the-shoulder restraints) it’s actually tolerable. Unfortunately, Der Schwur des Kärnan has no theming at all during the opening year, but Hansa-Park promises that this will change over the following seasons. For now, you can just enjoy a very unique Gerstlauer.
What’s better than one insane Gerstlauer coaster? Right: two insane Gerstlauer coasters! Hansa-Park is also home to Fluch Von Novgorod, which opened 6 years ago. This ride is at least as thrilling as Kärnan: it features a 100 km/h launch, an inline twist, a vertical lifthill and a beyond-vertical drop. The big difference with Kärnan is the fact that this ride’s decoration is already completed. Novgorod has a creepy, dark theme which perfectly matches with the coaster itself. I wouldn’t call it Disney level, but this is without a doubt one of the best themed rollercoasters in Germany. It would be pretty awesome if Kärnan received a similar treatment.
There are two big thrill coasters, but Hansa-Park is actually a very family-friendly destination. The park features several good family rollercoasters (including Nessie, a classic Schwarzkopf looping coaster), some excellent water attractions, lots of nicely decorated flat rides and there’s even a rope course in the centre of the park. Thanks to this extensive variety of rides, nice landscaping and a good atmosphere, I consider Hansa-Park as one of Europe’s finest family parks. The park has a rather Scandinavian flair and somehow reminds me of Djurs Sommerland. If you’re familiar with Djurs Somerland, you’ll definitely know that this is a huge compliment. So congratulations, Hansa-Park… you just received Glenn’s seal of approval.