Slagharen, The Netherlands
“Decent family amusement park, but in desperate need of an awesome ride”
Most European theme parks feature an area which is themed to the Far West and cowboys. Nothing wrong with that. Some other parks are even entirely themed to the Wild West. Attractiepark Slagharen is one of those places. The park is located in northern Holland, not too far from the German border. It used to be known as Ponypark Slagharen, because the park offered some holiday cottages with a personal pony right next to it. The ponies aren’t there anymore, but the cottages and the park remained.
Slagharen is a rather simple amusement park. They don’t have the most extensive theming and the park mainly consists of flat rides. Furthermore, Slagharen isn’t exactly the place to be if you’re interested in coaster credits. The park offers only two roller coasters and one of them is a regular Vekoma family coaster. These rides aren’t bad, but they are pretty unremarkable too. That’s why one ride on Slagharen’s Mine Train is definitely enough.
The park’s signature ride is undoubtedly Gold Rush, a Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster that opened in 2017. It replaced the classic Schwarzkopf Thunder Loop, which operated at Attractiepark Slagharen from 1979 until 2016. First of all… Gold Rush looks stunning. I’m not a huge fan of its abundance of supports, but the colour scheme looks great and the park placed some effective decoration in the queue. The actual ride experience is so-so. This is a triple launch coaster. That sounds very thrilling, but I actually don’t like it that much. Since Gold Rush launches the train in 3 stages (2 forward and 1 backward) the power is raised very gradually. I would prefer an intense launch which creates enough speed to conquer the top hat immediately. The rest of the layout is okay, but this definitely isn’t another Taron or Helix.
We visited Slagharen on a chilly October day, so I wasn’t really interested in water attractions. However, the visitors who wanted to get wet could opt for a ride on Ripsaw Falls. This log flume has two drops and theming is simple, but it fits perfectly in the park’s ride collection. Slagharen’s second water ride is Expedition Nautilus. Have you ever ridden a classic tea cups ride in an artificial pond with water guns? I haven’t and things won’t change here at Slagharen. This Twist ‘n’ Splash built by Mack Rides remains closed today. That seems logical with these cool autumn temperatures.
I really didn’t expect a dark ride at Slagharen, so it was surprised to discover Wild West Adventure. Inside this dome, we rode a rapid river-like attraction with some Far West scenes. The decoration is simple, predictable and even a little tacky, but hey… I’m a dark ride lover so I won’t complain about that. The 20-minute queue was the longest of the entire day.
One particular thing that I like about Attractiepark Slagharen, is its Main Street. The park is shaped like an hourglass, with the Main Street being the middle piece of it. That’s why the Main Street is literally in the centre of the park and it remains a busy shopping and dining hub throughout the day. Those who feel too lazy to walk the full length of Main Street, can use the cable car soaring above it.
As I mentioned before, Slagharen offers a surprisingly large amount of classic flat rides. The Huss Troika used to be a common theme park ride, but lots of parks have removed it during the last decade. Slagharen is one of the few European parks where it can still be found. Other classics at Slagharen are a Condor, an old-fashioned Enterprise, a rodeo-themed Schwarzkopf Monster and an impressive moon-shaped wave swinger.
WORTH A VISIT?
Despite the (mostly German) crowds, we didn’t need more than three hours to complete our tour of Attractiepark Slagharen. I’m very glad that I finally got to discover this place with my own eyes. I heard lots of things about it and this was one of those few Dutch parks that I had not visited yet. That’s mainly due to the location (it’s a 2h30 drive from my hometown) and the lack of a real blockbuster attraction. Slagharen has become a little more interesting since Gold Rush opened, but it’s still a regional park that fails to amaze. Will I ever visit this place again? Unless they decide to add a monstrous roller coaster in the future, I highly doubt it.
Photo Gallery 2018
Do you prefer Gold Rush over its Schwarzkopf predecessor? What’s your favourite flat ride at Slagharen? Am I the only one who thinks that the park’s wave swinger looks extremely cool? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.