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Heide Park Resort

Entrance in 2012
LocationSoltau, Lower Saxony, Germany
Coordinates53°01′41″N 9°52′09″E / 53.02806°N 9.86917°E / 53.02806; 9.86917
Opened19 August 1978
OwnerMerlin Entertainments
SloganThere's Nowhere To Hyde!
AttendanceIncrease1.7 million (2018)
Area850,000 m2 (210 acres)
Attractions
Total41
Roller coasters9
Water rides3
WebsiteOfficial Website

Heide Park Resort, commonly known as Heide Park, is a theme park in Soltau, Lower Saxony, Germany. With an overall area of over 850,000 m2 (210 acres), it is the largest amusement park in Northern Germany and among the largest in the country. It is part of the British-based Merlin Entertainments, which operates 123 attractions in 24 countries.[1]

History

The site originally belonged to the Heidenhof Wildlife Park, which was named after the chapel that was built there in 1350. After the zoo was closed in 1972 following a devastating storm, the showman Hans-Jürgen Tiemann bought the land and opened a small amusement park in 1978 (with the contractual requirement to maintain Heidenhof Chapel as well as the keeping of native animals). When Heide Park opened on 19 August 1978 it offered only six rides: the Monzapiste, the Heide Park Express, the Oldtimerrundkurs, the Floßfahrt (tow boat ride), the Wichtelhausenbahn and the Hochbahn. In its first season, the Heide Park had just under 200,000 visitors. 1979 saw the first dolphin show, for which they built a large domed roof a year later (after the 2008 season, the dolphinarium was closed due to protests).

Heide-Park is located in Germany
Heide-Park
Heide-Park
The location of Heide-Park

The Heide-Dorf (Heath Village), a richly detailed replica of typical buildings from the Lüneburg Heath, was inaugurated in the 1988 season. In 1996/'97, the Dutch section of the park was built, with a windmill and canal at the other end of the park.

With the growth of the park, the catchment area grew as well. In the 1990s, up to two million people visited Heide-Park each season, with 2,100,000 guests in 2001. The following year the UK-based Tussauds Group bought the park and since then attendance to the park has decreased to 1.5–1.6 million visitors per annum. Hans-Jürgen Tiemann still has influence in the park by shares and as an advisory director of the Tussauds Group. In early 2007 the Merlin Entertainments Group bought the majority of the shares of Tussauds Group from Dubai International Capital, which had taken over the shares in 2005.

The most recognizable landmark in the park is a 1/3 scale replica of the Statue of Liberty (35 meters tall), it was inaugurated on 4 July 1986 on the 100th anniversary of the original statue. At the end of 2011 the whole structure was relocated to stand within the roller coaster Colossos. The park's mascot is a bear called Wumbo.

In the 1990s, Hans-Jurgen Tiemann was successful as a driver and sponsor on the touring-car racing circuit, while his son Marcel Tiemann began a career as a professional race car driver.

The Park's owner, The Tussauds Group, was sold in May 2007 to the Blackstone Group.[2][3] The Tussauds Group as a separate entity ceased to exist, and was merged into the Blackstone-owned Merlin Entertainments, which has since operated the Park.[3]

Music and events

The music played at Heide Park is a combination of commercial tracks, library music and commissioned music. The following composers have had their music played at the park: Graham Smart, Ian Habgood, David Buckley, Crispin Merrell, IMAscore and John Sanderson.

Halloween in October is a special event.

Heide Park Resort

Mascot Mumbo Wumbo at the Holiday Camps

Hotel Port Royal was opened in 2007 with 150 family rooms and 16 suites. There is also a Holiday Camp that opened in 2005 with 81 wooden houses in Caribbean style with a total of 536 beds.

Park areas

The park is divided into five areas.

Attractions

Heide Park currently has about 40 rides which are mainly aimed at families but its thrill rides are also very popular. One of the main attractions is Colossos - Kampf der Giganten, a wooden roller coaster, which until the opening of Balder, on 12 April 2003 in the Swedish amusement park Liseberg, was the steepest wooden roller coaster in the world. The latest attraction is the wing coaster Flug der Dämonen. It is Germany's first wing coaster and reaches a maximum of 4 g positive during the ride.

Roller coasters

Name Picture Type Opened Max.
Height
Length Max.
Speed
Manufacturer
Big Loop Steel
coaster
1983 30 m 706 m 67 km/h Vekoma
Colossos - Kampf der Giganten Wooden
coaster
2001 52 m 1344 m 110 km/h Intamin
Desert Race Launched
coaster
2007 19 m 650 m 102 km/h Intamin
Flug der
Dämonen
Wing Coaster 2014 40 m 772 m 100 km/h Bolliger & Mabillard
Grottenblitz Powered
coaster
1985 6 m 370 m 45 km/h Mack Rides
Indy-Blitz Steel coaster 2008 4,5 m 128 m 23 km/h Zierer
Krake Dive coaster 2011 41m 476 m 103 km/h Bolliger & Mabillard
Toxic Garden Vekoma SLC 1999 33 m 689 m 80 km/h Vekoma
Schweizer
Bobbahn
Bobsled
coaster
1993 27 m 990 m 53 km/h Mack Rides

Water rides

Name Picture Type Opened in Max. Height Ride length Producer
Mountain Rafting River rapids ride 1992 - 600 m Intamin
Wildwasserbahn I Log flume 1980 12 m 600 m Mack Rides
ToPiLauLa-Schlacht Splashbattle 2010 - 150 m Mack Rides

Other attractions

Name Type Opened in Producer
Bounty Pirate Ship 1982 Intamin
Break Dance Break Dance 1991 HUSS Maschinenfabrik
La Ola Wave Swinger 2009 Zierer
Floßfahrt Tow boat ride 1978 Mack Rides
Heide-Park Express CP Huntington train 1978, rebuilt 2004 Chance-Morgan
slow boat ride How to Train Your Dragon theme 1991 Mack Rides
Flying Fish How to Train Your Dragon theme 2016 Zierer
Giant Skychaser How to Train Your Dragon theme 2016 Zamperla
Magic Fast spinning ride 1991 Huss
Monorail Monorail 1985, renewed 1995 Intamin
Oldtimer Steerable oldtimer track 1978 Mack Rides
Panorama a 75m tall Gyro tower 1985 Intamin
Panoramabahn Train Ride 1978 Mack Rides
round boats ride a leisurely 4 min boat ride 1997 Mack Rides
Scream a 103m tall Drop Tower 2003 Intamin
Ghostbusters 5D An interactive dark ride 2017 Triotech

Krake Alive! - a 7 min horror maze (2012); Heide Park. This indoor horror maze has 7 different scenes in the 300 sq m building with plenty of special effects and live actors as well. Age limit 12 years.

Go Karts - go karts (2004); extra charge

Kiddie Rides

Shows

Scene from Gold of Port Royal

Five shows are available each day at Heide Park, these are;

Trivia

Gallery

Main gallery: Heide Park at WikiCommons

References

  1. ^ "Impressum und Kontakt | Heide Park Resort". Heide Park (in German). Retrieved 2023-12-05.
  2. ^ "Merlin conjures up leaseback deal". 17 July 2007 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  3. ^ a b Cho, David (6 March 2007). "Blackstone Buys Madame Tussauds Chain" – via www.washingtonpost.com.