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Austria 2015: Familypark Neusiedlersee

CookieCoasters

Active Member
This is one of the park's in Europe I've wanted to do for quite some time, so I was very happy when we decided that Vienna was going to be one of our short breaks this year. Now just to make it clear, this park certainly has not been on my wish list from the perspective of coaster enthusiasm, but more to the fact I love fun fairs and Prater always seemed like one of the largest in the world (it probably is in terms of permanent ones). The main reason I love fun fairs is because I am almost as much of a 'flat ride' enthusiast as a coaster enthusiast (when I say flat rides I mean like 'thrill rides', not dark rides or other types that may also come under this term) and fun fairs do tend to run their flats on the most intense/long cycles.

We visited Prater for a couple of hours on two separate evenings. In the first part of this report I will focus on the coasters at the park, whereas in the second part, I will review the other rides I rode at the park. Firstly though, I'll give some details of what I thought of Prater itself.



The first thing that struck me when we walked in on the first evening (Wednesday), was how the park was almost completely dead. I know that because Wednesday is mid-week that it certainly wasn't going to be the busiest night, but I was still expecting a 'healthy' number of people in the park. This made the whole place feel rather sketchy and atmosphere-less. Kind of strange and not what I was expecting. As the evening went on, a few more people came into the park so the atmosphere improved slightly, but still was lacking. When we walked around the whole area, it also seemed apparent that much of the 'theming' was in quite poor-condition, as were several of the smaller rides (particularly the water for the small boat rides </3). I know that because the rides are all owned by different operators that it is more complicated to maintain a consistent level of cleanliness and upkeep, but it was definitely one of the more unappealing city parks we've visited and I started to wonder if this was the reason it didn't seem as popular with the locals as I was expecting.

However, there was a definite improvement in atmosphere when we went last night. Even though you would clearly expect a Friday night to have buzz at a place like this, I was pleased to see how many more people were out enjoying the park. One of positives about having a larger number of people in the park was also that some of the more unsavoury parts were less-noticeable, which overall, left me and my parents with better feelings about the place in general. It is not on the level of other city parks such as Liseberg, Grona Lund and Tivoli Gardens, but because of it being in the style of a fun fair as opposed to an amusement/theme park, it provides quite a different experience in many respects, which unfortunately many of us enthusiasts will see as inferior. Although I like the fun fair style, I too think the overall experience at parks I've mentioned above is nicer, but from visiting on the Friday, I'm sold that Prater still offers a good place for locals to hang out on an evening and have a very enjoyable time.

Anyway, I'll get on with the coasters now :)



The first coaster you see when you enter the park is Dizzy Mouse, a Reverchon spinner. Now unlike many others, I actually find some level of enjoyment on these rides and this one was probably the smoothest I've ridden. However, it was also the most heavily trimmed so I guess that's just a balance of a pro and a con. It was still probably the most enjoyable one though, but obviously a very average coaster overall. 4.5/10



Just behind Dizzy Mouse (painted in a very similar colour-scheme, which could deceivingly make the two look like one big coaster) was Super 8er Bahn, a Pinfari coaster. Being a Pinfari, I was expecting to be it to be awful and it was a little bit awful, but not too bad really. The ride is very basic with its figure 8 layout (guessing that's where the 8 in the name comes from). It is quite bumpy in some sections, but overall, not dreadful and mildly thrilling. 4/10



Moving along, next up was Insider, a Maurer Sohne spinner. It had the same layout as their wild mouse coasters, but obviously with spinning cars. This was easily one of the most interesting experiences I had at Prater. Let's start with the queue line because that really blew my mind. From memory, you go up some stairs and enter a couple of very dark corridors, with the odd laser lighting up to guide you through. You then enter a large room with a fab mirror maze, in the dark with laser and light effects. It was really fun, if not a little creepy. After that, you go through some more laser lit corridors and then down into the station. It was really good and quite strange, being that I was the only person walking through it.

The coaster layout is not at all special, but again it is vastly improved by more laser effects, music and otherwise, pitch-black darkness. It was quite jerky towards the end, but it didn't stop me from enjoying what was easily the most unexpected coaster surprise at Prater. But despite the surprise factor, I still can't say it is a particularly good coaster. 6/10



I believe the next coaster I rode was the Zamperla Volare. I've never done one of these coasters before, so even though they get a lot of hate, I was actually a little bit excited. The whole way you enter the ride vehicle and the restraint system is just weird. I also found it worrying that I couldn't feel the restraint system on my back, even when pushed myself upwards a little bit. I'm not gonna lie, I did find the coaster a little unnerving. As for the experience, it's fine except for when it turns and at those points it is gross. I enjoyed the inversions, but not much apart from that. Wasn't expecting to be impressed and I wasn't really. 4/10



After that was Megablitz, a Vekoma coaster, which was one of the few slightly above average coasters at the park. I was surprised at how smooth it was. It looked like it could have been quite rough, but it certainly wasn't. It has some okay drops and some highly banked turns which had a little bit of intensity. It was a decent coaster and there isn't much else to say about it. 5.5/10



Prater's 'New for 2015' roller coaster was Maskerade, a Gerstlauer spinning coaster that was partially enclosed. Now there are two things about this coaster which make it rather pointless. Firstly, it may be enclosed, but you can see perfectly well as it is not at all dark, so therefore, they might as well not have bothered with putting it in a shed. Secondly, it is far inferior in pretty much everywhere to Insider, yet it is essentially trying to be the same thing. This makes it a redundant addition. On top of that, it is also very short and just because it has an elevator lift, does not mean it is good :p It's only redeeming feature is that it's pretty smooth and so is perfectly comfortable to ride. 3.5/10



Wild Maus was just a standard Maurer mouse, with a less trimming than usual on the first mouse turn section. There's no need to go into anymore detail. 4/10



However, I would like to go into a little more detail for this fab little kiddie cred. Der Zug des Manitu is a CAM Baby Kart, which seemed to be themed around native American Indians in the Grand Canyon? Firstly, you start off backwards (a nice surprise) and then just after a tunnel I believe, you stop and change direction and carry on going forwards for about four circuits around the track. What I liked about it was that it wasn't really that tame and had a little bit of 'power' to it. I was laughing to myself that I was actually quite enjoying it. 5/10 (quite high for kiddie cred)



The most dull coaster at the park was definitely this Side Friction Wooden coaster, Hochschaubahn. It was also burdenous because it took us ages to find, to the point where my parents started saying "Are you sure they haven't gotten rid of it?" Thankfully, we eventually found it just behind Maskerade. The reason it's very dull is that it has about two or three drops, which are pretty small and then it just meanders around. The way it's integrated into the 'mountain' is nice, but it doesn't stop it being a bit ****. I'd give it a 2, but I'll add an extra point for theming. 3/10



I was actually spited by Boomerang on the Wednesday night because its owners clearly couldn't be bothered to open it, but luckily I got it last night. The main appeal of this Boomerang is the lap bar restraints, which I believe are unique to this clone. I've found the ones with the newer Vekoma OTSR's better and these restraints just took this one, a step further. I really enjoyed the forwards part (the backwards part is always a bit meh) because obviously the extra freedom makes the ride both more comfortable and more thrilling. The track itself was also one of the smoothest. This is arguably the Prater's most exciting cred, but although it's probably my favourite Boomerang, it still wasn't exactly 'world-class.' 6.5/10





Unfortunately, I was spited by Race (another kiddie cred) on both nights due to it being closed :roll: I wasn't expecting to get Auto BergBahn because I had read from several sources that they charge adults an extortionate amount of money to get the cred. Even so, this was also closed both nights.

Thank you for reading. As I said, in Part 2 I will report about the non-coaster rides I went on at Prater.
 

TilenB

Well-Known Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 1

Fab little report. I'll probably go to Vienna at some point during this year (I love the city and I got a 30€ Prater Gift Card from my aunt) and check out the newer coasters myself. I'm surprised you rank Der Zug des Manitu so high, I've found it to be a juddery and uncomfortable ride, rather dreadful tbh. Did you go on the old Ferris Wheel as well?


CookieCoasters said:
The main appeal of this Boomerang is the lap bar restraints, which I believe are unique to this clone.
One of the French Walibi parks have installed those on their model for the 2014 season.
 

ignace

Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 1

^awesome news. For myself, Boomerang was a damn fine coaster. I also liked the woodie: it's obviously not for adults, but themed very good and overall great fun? You have gnomes peing on you, what else do you want?

Loved Zug der Manitu for the same reason as you. It feels really dangerous, but makes me laugh. Great memories. Ride OP was very friendly to. Shame you missend Race, since the ride OP here was equelly friendly and helping. We tried to get on the Bergbahn, but they just said "no". They didn't ask for money though.
 

Pink Cadillac

Active Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 1

This place looks like everything I hate.
But at the same time that makes me really want to go.
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 1

TilenB said:
Did you go on the old Ferris Wheel as well?
No we didn't actually. My Mum said she had read some reviews that said it wasn't that good so we didn't bother. If it doesn't spin around at 60mph and flip upside-down, then I'll pass :p

Weiner Prater Part 2

There is a lot more to Wiener Prater than just the coasters (thankfully). There is a vast selection of flat rides, ghost trains, game stalls and also a couple of water rides. To be honest, I felt that the non-coaster selection at the park was far superior, but this is generally the case for most travelling fairs as well. I’ll review these rides in the order I came across them over the two nights.



The Breakdance was the first non-coaster I rode. I’ll almost always ride these whenever they pop up because they are one of my favourite ‘classic’ flats. As with most ones at fairs or fair-style places, this one ran on an intense cycle. It was quite ferocious; so much so that it hurt my back a little bit. Nonetheless, I still loved it as much I usually love them. However, it wasn’t as impressive as the one I went on at the Hamburg Dom a couple of years ago (which went on FOREVER <3)





The Drop Tower was next (didn’t catch the name). I’d never been on one made by Funtime though, so I was intrigued to see how it would stack up against others. One of the main things I liked about was that you turn as you go up like an observation tower, which is nice because you get the full 360 degree view rather than just a small part of it. We were left at the top for ages, which got a little boring. Because of this though, I thought the drop was going to come as a surprise, but sadly, it makes a big noise/movement before dropping, so it was quite obvious that the drop would ensue. It was a good drop though. Not mind-blowing, but solid. The ride op also let us have two goes which was fab.





I had been eyeing up this next ride since I got into the park, so it was definitely time to have a go. Discovery Revolution is essentially an Afterburner (although probably not from KMG), but one that goes all the way over the top. I **** loved it <3 It’s pretty much as intense as a good standard Afterburner, but just by going that extra mile, made it an insane experience. I’ve done something similar at Fantasy Island, but it wasn’t as good. The hangtime you get as you move slowly over the top is ridiculous and actually quite frightening. It also had the perfect ride cycle length. Not too long that it would become nauseating or repetitive, but just long enough to make you feel satisfied. Such a great ride and definitely one of my all-time favourite flats.





I didn’t think any of the other rides would be any better, but this beauty just pipped it to the post.



This superb contraption was one that I have been longing to ride ever since I had looked into Wiener Prater. Black Mamba is another Futime creation and a more diverse variant on a standard Fabbri/KGM Booster. The ride has two moving arms (as opposed to normal boosters which only have one that moves), meaning that the size of rotations can vary each time. This makes the ride considerably more intense and unpredictable than your average booster, which is the main reason why I greatly endorse it. The added intensity also makes the ride vehicle flip more aggressively (not in a painful way though). It’s a truly fantastic flat ride and only matched I think by Vertigo at Tivoli Gardens in terms of quality. Definitely the best ride at the park.



When we first got into the park the second night, the first rides I did was the two water rides (potentially a mistake :) ).



The first one I went to was Wasserrutsche, an ABC rapids rides. I’ve done similar ones at WM Safari Park, LWV and a couple at travelling fairs, but I think they are from a different manufacturer (Fabbri??). Anyway, they all pale in comparison to this. First of all, the ride starts with a short meander and a vertical lift. Then as you start to slip down the water slide, a massive, unexpected spin-fest ensues. It’s like a spinning water flat ride, really fun <3 The atmosphere on the boat was great as well; everybody was laughing their heads off. The final splashdown also came as a surprise since the rest of the ride makes you so dizzy you can’t really tell where you are. I thought I was going to escape a soaking but in true rapids ride fashion, a load of water came over the side and drenched my lap. A little annoying as I had to where these jeans the rest of night, but so worth it!





I also did the log flume, Aqua Gaudi. It was a very decent size and had three drops (one of them had a little ‘airtime’ hill at the bottom as shown on the picture above). Obviously, the main thing that lets it down is that it has very little theming and no landscaping, like some of my favourite traditional log flumes have. So apart from the little hill, it wasn’t really anything special, but the fact it’s a log flume automatically means it was fun.



The flat ride I did last was easily one of the most insane (and most would probably say disgusting) things I have ever been on. It is called Extasy and your state while riding is probably comparable to that of somebody who has had far too much of it :) I sat on the ride for a while as it broke and the restraints had to go up and down several times, before we eventually got moving (and moving FAST). As I don’t think I can do the ride’s cycle justice in description, I’ll let someone’s off-ride video do the talking.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXwM2KLPjiU[/youtube]

I did actually quite enjoy it, but it is one of the only rides that has ever made me feel a little nauseous afterwards. I’d imagine not many people would want to ride it because of this.



I actually lied about Extasy being my last ride, I did have a second go on Black Mamba that night. Still amazing <3
I didn’t do any Ghost trains because they don’t interest me in the slightest, but there are also many of those for people that like them. There were also several other flats I didn’t do for various reasons, but I think I chose the best ones.

Now for a little summary of my thoughts on Prater. When you take away all the rides from the equation, it is not a park I find attractive or particularly appealing in an aesthetic sense. However, as you can tell particularly from this part of the report, there are several rides in the park which I loved. Also, even though none of the coasters were very good, I did quite enjoy just hopping off one and on to another because there were quite a lot of them. There is something to be said for quantity as well as quality IMO. It may not be a park that I would want to rush back to, but overall, I don’t think it’s a bad park either and could be significantly improved with a little bit of TLC. It is quite expensive, especially if you want to do more than just the coasters, but I would actually advise this because I think you’ll get a better sense of what the park has to offer.

Thank you for reading. I’ll be doing my Familypark report next, which should hopefully be done within the next couple of days.
 

cjbrandy

Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 2

Fantastic well written report, Extasy and Black Mamba both look like great fun and brilliantly intense flat rides.
 

gavin

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
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Social Media Team
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 2

Black Mamba is the only flat ride I bothered with thanks to the ridiculous prices, but I agree it was very good. Glad that I seemingly made the right choice.
 

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 2

Thanks for the great report. I've been meaning to read it for a while and finally found time. Sad that the coasters are a bit crap, but still, lots of plus ones in one place :)

Question: do you think with all the spinners that there would be any problems single riding? I'm planning a visit later in the year when I'm over with work and may end up visiting on my own.
 

ignace

Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 2

Mysterious Sue said:
Thanks for the great report. I've been meaning to read it for a while and finally found time. Sad that the coasters are a bit crap, but still, lots of plus ones in one place :)

Question: do you think with all the spinners that there would be any problems single riding? I'm planning a visit later in the year when I'm over with work and may end up visiting on my own.
I'm just guessing here, But I don't think they will make an issue of it. Even one client means money. Me and my boyfriend got "private rides" in almost all the coasters (except for Boomerang, which ran with 4 guests)

Will there be another part? Some of the darkrides (like the old ghost train and Jack the Ripper) are very good.
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 2

Mysterious Sue said:
Question: do you think with all the spinners that there would be any problems single riding? I'm planning a visit later in the year when I'm over with work and may end up visiting on my own.
I rode on my own for all of them and it was fine. You shouldn't have any problems.

ignace said:
Will there be another part? Some of the darkrides (like the old ghost train and Jack the Ripper) are very good.
No unfortunately that's it for Prater, but I'll be doing Familypark soon. I don't really like Ghost trains, so I didn't do any of them.
 

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 2

Brilliant thanks, thats great news. Not like some of the burdenous parks in the UK then, where you need exactly 4 to fill a Reverchon :(
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Re: Austria 2015: Wiener Prater Part 2

I'm glad you all seem to be enjoying the report. Here's the final part:

Familypark Neusiedlersee

It's actually just called Familypark now, but I used the former name because that's what most people will probably know it by.



The drive was about 50 minutes from Vienna. We got into the park about 40 minutes after the opening. There was quite a few school groups there, but the queues were always very short. I can't imagine the park is ever particularly busy.



I knew as soon as we walked in that it would be a very charming, forest-y, well-kept park. It's got very simple, natural beauty, which meant it had a pleasant and relaxing vibe to it. I guess it's quite similar to Nigloland, or the front half of Tripsdrill in this respect.



The first thing I did was the Butterfly 'coaster', Alderflug. This was one of several coin-operated rides at the park, which reminded me of Klotten park. I'd never done one of these until here and have never been sure whether I'd count them as creds or not. I thought I'd wait to ride one before I decided. Well, riding one gave me no new insight really. However, it is counted not just by coaster count, but also by rcdb, so I'll count it as one for now. It was a fairly fun, although they're clearly intended for children :p 3/10





We continued to walk through the park up to the next cred. It is really gorgeous, but in just such a simple way. They don't try to do anything over the top, but you can tell they put a lot of effort into the appearance of the park.





The next point of interest was Götterblitz, a Mack Youngstar coaster, the same as Pegasus at Europa Park or the Bugs bunny one at Parque Warner of which the name escapes me. There good family coasters actually, although I don't remember being as impressed with the other two. Quite speedy and snappy for its size. Probably one of the best, if not the best small-scale family coaster. 5.5/10



Familypark have opened a rather fabulous-looking Gerstlauer Sky Fly this year, called Leonardos Flugmaschine.



It was kind of disappointing though. They didn't run it very fast, so nobody (including me) could get it spinning, which essentially ruins the purpose of the ride. I guess however that because the park's target market is families with quite young children, running it at this speed is more suitable. Nevermind, at least it looks great!



They also had one of those super spiteful, Gerstlauer 'box' coasters. They're cute, but still </3





We then strolled back into the hilly forest section of the park, in order to find the final cred. The park's got one of those chair-swings themed to apple trees, like the one at Nigloland. They look so much better than the standard chair-swing design.



The ride I was most excited about was this terrain-following, Gerstlauer bobsled coaster, Rattenmühle.





It starts with a drop straight out of the station, before turning and then onto the lift hill. The rest of the ride is comprised with a number of hills, surprisingly only one mouse-style turn, but much twisting. Sadly the ride definitely lacked the airtime it looked to potentially have. At the most, it was very weak. The best parts of the ride were the fast turning transitions, which gave the ride some snap. It's a very fun coaster (as are all Gerstlauer bobsleds I've ridden), but I guess I was just a little disappointed because it looks better than it actually is. Still, I'd probably put joint best coaster in Austria, along with Boomerang. 6.5/10



I went back and re-rode it quite a few times, being that the queue was minimal.





Another one of the self-operated rides.



There wasn't any other different rides that I was that bothered about, so we just perused the park for a little while, after having some lunch.





I did have another go on Götterblitz, while we were in the area. It's funny how you appreciate certain rides much more at smaller parks. Despite having visited Europa Park many times, I sometimes forget Pegasus even exists, yet here it is one of the stand-out rides.



Fab ice cream machine <3



After a final ride on Rattenmühle, we decided it was time to leave the park. I really liked Familypark because it respects that it's the little details that can really improve park experience. It was very clean, well-maintained, well presented, just an adorable little park. It isn't yet at the level of top family parks (such as Tripsdrill, Djurs etc.) yet, in terms of rides, but considering that they recently purchased a Gerstlauer Bobsled and Sky Fly, I think it's safe to say that we can expect an Infinity coaster in the next few years :p

Something like this would definitely give it the signature coaster it needs, but I hope they would be able to keep it's surroundings consistent with the quality of the rest of the park.

Thank you again for reading my report! I had a great time in Austria, although I suppose I'm a little surprised it doesn't have at least one high quality coaster.
 

TilenB

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the insight on Prater's flat rides. Now I know which ones will make my money worth once I get around for a re-visit! :)

And Familypark looks so nice, I'm sure I'll make an effort to visit it when I'm back in the area.

Thank you again for reading my report! I had a great time in Austria, although I suppose I'm a little surprised it doesn't have at least one high quality coaster.
Which park could support a high quality coaster? As has been stated Prater is made up of several showmen, none of which is expected to spend a large sum of money on a single ride. As it goes for the other parks, they are mostly small parks around the size of Familypark or even smaller. Given their size, I think their coaster selection isn't all that bad (Zierer ESC in Familienland, Pax contraption in Fantasiana), at least compared to the English (or other European in that matter) parks of the same size...
 

ignace

Member
Familypark is amazing. Went there two months ago (by bus from Vienna, which was like the final instalment of Mission Impossible) and had a great time. No standout rides, but the place feels magical and very friendly. Thanks for the Report!
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
^ You're welcome.

owentaylor121 said:
The Sky Fly's never run fast, It takes a few rides to get used to them but once you flip it once, it won't stop!
I thought the one at Nigloland ran slightly faster than this one, could be wrong. I couldn't get that spinning either, so clearly I'm a bit **** at these rides anyway, but the fact no-one else could either made me feel better :)

I'll reserve judgement on this model as a whole until I've done the Blackpool one.

TilenB said:
Which park could support a high quality coaster? As has been stated Prater is made up of several showmen, none of which is expected to spend a large sum of money on a single ride. As it goes for the other parks, they are mostly small parks around the size of Familypark or even smaller. Given their size, I think their coaster selection isn't all that bad (Zierer ESC in Familienland, Pax contraption in Fantasiana), at least compared to the English (or other European in that matter) parks of the same size...
I'm not surprised that the current Austrian parks don't have one. I guess I'm just surprised that there isn't a larger park in the country that by now would have one, especially because it's right next Germany i.e. European coaster haven :) . It's just down to misguided expectations I suppose.
 

ThomVD

Active Member
Great report. Familypark looks amazing! Looks like my kind of park. A bit like Tripsdrill which I'm visiting soon. Shame the Gerst bobsled disappoints a bit though. I loved Pegasus and I think it's one of the best coasters in Europa Park aside from the big 3 and Eurosat, so I'd love to see more of those Youngstars.
 
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