Why Olympia Looping Coming to London is a BIG DEAL

(Source: Thomas Frank, Parkerlebnis.de)

In case you've had your head under a rock for the past few weeks, you'll be well aware that legendary travelling coaster Olympia Looping has finally rocked up at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland. And the UK enthusiast scene has absolutely lost their shit, with some even going as far as to say it's one of the best coasters in the entire world. Whilst I disagree with the last statement, it's hard not to feel excited that one of the world's most iconic rollercoasters is now just a stone's throw away from my flat. But why is this such a big deal? I thought we'd have a look at what it is about this particular coaster that has the UK enthusiast community collectively pissing its pants.

Schwarzkopfs are a dying breed
Olympia Looping was manufactured by Schwarzkopf, a now defunct German manufacturer whose coaster designs are often held as some of the most intense around - real old school forceful goodness. Of the 92 once operating in Europe, only 15 remain (not counting the ones on the travelling circuit) and of those only 2 remain operational in the UK. So suffice to say they're a bit of a rarity in themselves so you can see where the excitement stems from when one of the biggest ones around turns up in your local park!

It paves the way for more of the travelling big boys
For years we've had to put up with, frankly, a load of old shit on the UK travelling scene. So much so that a few years back when a bloody Wild Mouse XXL rocked up at Winter Wonderland everybody was buzzing. Think about that for a second - buzzing over a wild mouse. Yh, we're kind of a thirsty crowd when it comes to travelling coasters so anything above wild mouse status is touching on dream territory. The fact that Olympia Looping has FINALLY shown up at Winter Wonderland really opens the door for the likes of Hollenblitz and Cobra to cross the Channel next year. And when they see the killing Olympia Looping will undoubtedly make from its stint at one of the world's busiest Christmas Fairs I'm sure they won't take much convincing!

It gives those who find it difficult to travel a chance to ride
Yh, I'm not a massive fan of the 'oh, but I'd never get to ride it otherwise' argument usually, because realistically a flight to Germany is a lot cheaper in some areas of the UK than a return ticket to London. That said, that wouldn't take into account all of those who can't travel abroad for any other number of reasons, so it's fantastic for such an iconic coaster to suddenly become an attainable dream for so many. I guess it's like the equivalent of hosting a big sports tournament - many would be reluctant to travel abroad to experience it but far more likely when it's happening on their doorstep! And that's awesome, the more people who get to ride this beast and enjoy a very cool piece of coaster history the better!

It may encourage more to head over to the German fairs
On the flip side of the above point, a taste of Olympia Looping may whet the appetite of many to finally bite the bullet and get over to Oktoberfest to fully experience what the German fair circuit has to offer. Yes, Winter Wonderland does a pretty good job of emulating essentially what a German fair is, but there's still that je ne sais quoi that one can only really experience with a stein in hand surround by true Germans in lederhosen. It's definitely something I'd advise for everybody on put on their bucket list, especially if you're a coaster enthusiast! Oh, and a ride on Olympia Looping won't set you back £9 a go over there either!

It's a marvel of engineering
For the true coaster geeks among us, riding Olympia Looping at Winter Wonderland is a chance to experience a true marvel of engineering. Stand in front of it, take in the sheer size and weight of the thing and then try to comprehend designing it so that it can be carted, disassembled and reassembled all over Europe. At over 900 tons and over 1250m of track, it's almost impossible to imagine how this was even managed. Incredible.

It's awesome
It really is. And like I said, whilst I wouldn't rate it as one of the best in the world, when you take in all the above factors and add to it that it gives a damn intense and enjoyable ride itself it's hard not to marvel over Olympia Looping. It's got that old school intensity that at some points is almost unbearable, the excitement of riding at night when it's lit up for the gods and the underlying fear that that just a few weeks ago the thing was in bits on the back of a lorry. And that is pretty insane!

So go and enjoy Olympia Looping whilst you still can. Make the most of having such an icon just around the corner (for many of us anyway!) and tick riding this legend off of your coaster bucket list!

Talk later xoxo