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James | Park Thoughts

Posts by James

Spotlight: Gerstlauer

Posted on September 12, 2009 in Uncategorized by


In 1982 Hurbert Gerstlauer a former employee of Schwarzkopf set up his own company named

“Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH” The company was mainly used to deliver electrical and pnuematic equipment to Schwarzkopf’s facilities.


After filing bankruptcy in 1992 Hurbet acquired part of Schwarzkopf’s old production halls and continued the making of amusement rides and roller coasters. Following the increase of sales the company was renamed “Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GmbH” in March 2007.



G'sengte Sau -  Gerstlauer's First Roller Coaster

G'sengte Sau - Gerstlauer's First Roller Coaster


Gerstlauer’s first roller coaster was G’sengte Sau a Bobsled roller coaster at Erlebnispark Tripsdrill. After a instant success the company started coming up with their own designs including the ever popular eurofighter and their own version of the spinning roller coaster where the riders face inwards instead of outwards like the normal spinning roller coasters.


Saw: The Ride

Saw: The Ride



As well as building roller coasters they also build the cars for wooden roller coasters and a wide variety of flat rides. One of their latest developments is the Sky Roller which gives riders a unique flying experience.


Its pretty safe to say that for many years to come Gerstlauer will be coming up with many innovative roller coaster designs and bringing joy to many roller coaster fans!

Spotlight: The Ten Inversion Coaster

Posted on August 22, 2009 in Uncategorized by

The first ever ten inversion roller coaster opened on the 22nd of March 2002 at Thorpe Park, England. The initial reception of Colossus was great, being the most inverted roller coaster in the world was a real challenge for rides and wasn’t for the faint hearted. Four years later Chime-Long Paradise opened a replica of Colossus the only difference being the colour scheme.


Ten Inversion Coaster At Chime-Long Paradise

Ten Inversion Coaster At Chime-Long Paradise


During the planning and construction stages Colossus was know as Project Odyssey due to being built in a area themed around ancient Greece. The roller coaster was originally planned as an adaptation of Monte Makaya In Brazil. John Wardley took on the task and added two extra inversions as well as reducing the height. The first part of the ride is built below the station which enables the car to slow down before going into the inline twists, a very clever idea by the designers.



Colossus At Thorpe Park


Manufacturers Intamin based the ride cars on the Hyper Coaster, this however caused safety problems as the cars allowed riders to lift their legs outside of the car. Metal bars were added to the side of the car to prevent this. In 2003 the cars were redesigned with new restraints which prevented this and enabled a much more comfortable and safer ride.



Colossus Inline Twists


The ride has now been running successfully for 7 years, in recent years several safety nets have been added to the ride to catch anything which happens to fall from visitors while riding. Many riders have complained about the general state of the ride, a repaint and refurbishment is well overdue but going by Thorpe parks standards it may never happen.


I hope you have enjoyed the first ever Spotlight of Park Thoughts, look out for our next one coming soon.

Disneyland Paris: Part 2

Posted on July 1, 2009 in Reviews by

Welcome to part 2 of my review of Disneyland Paris. Today I’m going to be focusing on the Walt Disney Studios Park. Over the past few years the park has expanded with the arrival Crush’s Coaster, Cars Race Rally, and The Tower Of Terror.  In this review I’m going to be focusing on the two main thrill rides, Crush’s Coaster and The Tower Of Terror and their ups and downs. Literally.

The Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror

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The Tower Of Terror opened in 2007 in the quickly expanding Production Courtyard. Many riders are not aware of the whole storyline but trust me, it really adds to at the atmosphere.

Once arriving inside the hotel lobby you are guided into a large elevator. The TV on the wall crackles to life and immediately sets the scene. Fitting in with the whole movie theme the pre-show announces that you are the start of this weeks Twilight Zone show and its your task to discover what happens in this mysterious service elevator that magically disappear at the 13th level. You then exit the elevator and arrive in a back passage of the hotel filled with boilers and metal pipes. Disney really goes to all lengths to set the scene here, that’s the real wonder of this ride.

You are then guided to your elevator where a ever so friendly attendant welcomes you in with a pleasant smile. He announces that your just about to experience the twilight zone, please hold onto your breakfast and lunch. Au Revoir. The elevator doors close and your in the dark, the lift slowly starts to elevate where you see several scenes of the story. You are first welcomed to the hotel lobby, then to the staircase where suddenly the visitors start disappearing. You finally reach the twilight zone, you see the last few visitors floating away in the distance where they enter the lift and suddenly drops. At this point your lift has reached the top of the tower and you know whats going to happen, the drop. One of the best effects of the best effects here is the opening shutters at the top of the tower which give you a brilliant view of the whole of Disneyland before dropping you back to the basement. This then repeats a few times before slowing down and arriving at the exit again. The door opens and your relieved to be back to normal life. Overall its a thrilling but short ride, i would say its not worth more than a 20 minute wait though.

My Overall View

Good points: Great atmosphere and a well presented thrilling ride.

Bad Points: Most of the storyline was in French which made it very hard to keep with the plot.

Overall Rating: 9/10


Crush’s Coaster


Crush’s Coaster may sound like your average kids ride but its most definitely not. Unusual to Disney Crush’s Coaster has a very basic storyline. Riders are invited by Crush to board a Turtle Shell and experience the East Australian Currents.

The ride starts with a short lift hill and then a small curved drop which takes you into the slow part of the ride where you watch Nemo and Squirt swimming around you. Disney uses new technology here to Coretta the atmosphere that the fish are actually with you in the ride. Two large digital video projection effects create this visual effect and make the ride even more fun  for everyone. After these short few scenes you are sucked up the lift hill, at quite a speed! You catch a glimpse of Bruce the baddie from the film before plunging into the Australian currents. From here the ride is your usual spinning coaster with of course the added sea effect. During the ride you fly through various reefs and fish seem to swim past you as you whizz round the sea bed. The ride comes to a sharp break run before progressing back into the station which is themed around a small harbour, nothing much to see!

My Overall View

Good Points: A well presented family ride.

Bad Points: Always long queues, very little theming in most places.

Overall Rating: 7/10


Thanks for taking time to read this, I hope you have learnt a lot and now one bit more wiser about Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris: Part 1

Posted on June 27, 2009 in Reviews by

Disneyland Paris: Big Thunder Mountain and Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast Review

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris

From the 19th of June to the 23rd of June I enjoyed the thrill of Disneyland Paris for a second time. Disneyland is one of those places where you can really relax and have a great time, and that’s exactly what I did. Visiting at off-peak season has its...

European Update: Mumbo Jumbo

Posted on June 17, 2009 in News by

For you guys that don’t know, Mumbo Jumbo is a S&S Power El Loco roller coaster opening in Flamingo Land Resort, England. The rides main thrill factor is the fact that it will feature the steepest drop on a roller coaster, stealing the title from Steel Hawg, also a El Loco type roller coaster.

The roller coaster was built in an...