Saturday, October 23, 2010

Movie Park - Germany's Favorite Amusement Park

We made the short drive to Movie Park in nearby Bottrop on Sunday morning last week.  We met our friends Sven and Martin there.  Sven works there while he is in school, so he was able to get us free tickets. 
Anyways, we had a good time and we at least felt safe on the children rides.  Dylan really enjoyed his kiddie rides (and I did too.)  The adult rides, were a different story. 

We noted that the rides weren’t as tall or as fast as the rides in America, but they were still a lot scarier.  I am not sure if the European standards of safety are not as high, but we sure felt like they weren’t.  It didn’t help that Sven knew all of the horror stories for all of the rides and was more than happy to stay back and watch Dylan while we were riding.  
It started with the NY Transformer ride and ended with the High Fall Tower.  The NY ride was more like a carnival ride, ala the zipper, with many flips, rolls and hanging upside down for considerable periods of time.  As I stepped into the seat, I wondered how long it had been since the last person threw up in this very seat.  I quickly tried to focus on something else.  So, I began a dialogue with Martin.
Me: So I hear you went out last night.  Was it fun? 
Martin: Yes, it was good.  We were in Recklinghausen at a club. 
Me:  When did you get home?
Martin: 6am. 
Me: But it’s 10:30 am now.  How are you…?
Before I can finish, the ride begins with 6 consecutive end over end flips.  With each flip, I can hear Martin going, “Oh Nein! Oh Nein! Oh Nein! Oh Nein! Oh Nein! Oh Nein!”   Our stomachs are completely disheveled and we were only 20 seconds into the ride.  All of our breakfasts stayed in, so that was a win. 
We went around to some other roller coasters and rides, ended with the High Fall Tower (no need for translation).  It drops you 58 meters (190 feet), which is a scary feeling.  But what really makes it scary is that this ride doesn’t begin to stop until you are dangerously close to the ground.  It’s so close that when you are riding, you really question if the hydraulics and shocks are going to work.  (Watch the video below and you will see for yourself.)
This time, we knew that the High Fall Tower wasn’t going to begin stopping until about 30 feet from the ground.   However, we didn’t know that this ride had a new feature.   Once we got up to the top of the ride, it unexpectedly tipped us forward! 
Now, for about 10-15 seconds, we were leaning forward, with all of our weight (and our lives) relying on the harness not to give out.  For those seconds, the ride stopped being fun and was legitimately scary.  We were actually relieved to begin our free fall, as it meant it would take us closer to the ground.  We laughed about it when we finally reached the ground and were ready to make it home safely afterwards.

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