Wild Alpen Bahn

7

 

Although this ride has river rapids style boats this ride operates more like a giant water slide than a more traditional rapids ride. It starts off with a small river section, but this is really just a transfer section to get you from the station to the hill lift. This is quite an interesting hill lift, it's an elevator style lift with the boat being loaded on to a platform and being raised vertically to the top of the ride. Being raised up while in the open like this, while sitting in a rapids boat is a bit of a strange experience.

From the top you slide down a big chute, like you would on a water slide, with you going around a number of twists and turns before splashing down in to the river section at the bottom that takes you back to the station.

You could argue that this counts as a water coaster to put on your coaster count, as it completes a full circuit without human intervention, and is gravity powered in all but the transfer sections. The main argument I've heard against this is the lack of wheels, so you could argue no coasting occurs. I personally still count it though, as I think it does coast over the surface of the water, under the power of gravity, and the lack of wheels argument could be neutralised if the cars were changed.

I have been on a few similar rides, and I think this is one of the weaker examples. I've been on similar rapid rides, with some white water rapid sections as part of the ride, which make the ride more exciting than just a long slide section. I've also been on versions of a giant water slide with rubber rafts you sit at the edge of. This feels more exciting due to the more exposed feel and sense of danger. It's a shame this ride doesn't have similar boats, as I feel this would improve it. Still it's a fun ride, and stands up as an innovative example of a family water ride.