Attraction Review: Wiener Prater- Part Two

If you haven't already, check out Part One of my visit to Wiener Prater before diving in to this one!

So, after getting a few beers and some apple strudel in our bellies we ventured out to Prater After Dark. Pretty much everyone I've ever spoken to about Prater have all said that the place really comes alive at night. And whilst I do love me some neon lights, I have to be honest and say that we actually found it to be much more lively during the day. Once the sun went down a lot of people left and it became a bit of a ghost town! That's not to say it wasn't fab, I just wasn't getting the infamous atmosphere everyone bangs on about. Oh well.

Whilst our priority was to get all of the creds, I was also really excited to get a few of the dark rides under my belt, and that was the aim of the game now that we were back on park. Honestly, I can't remember the exact order we did everything in now because I have the memory of a goldfish, so this is just going to be a bit of a brain dump of opinions, hope you don't mind!

What I want to come and say outright is that the dark rides are clearly the highlight of Prater, Whilst they don't exactly have much to contend with considering the quality of the coasters available, that doesn't detract from just how weird and wonderful the dark rides are in their own right. I absolutely adore anything rough around the edges and just completely out there when it comes to dark rides, and I always find European parks absolutely nail this with their attractions. Basically, if I don't come off going 'what the heck was that?!' then I'm not satisfied. And Prater definitely delivered on the WTF-factor.

Annoyingly, having made my bank balance cry a bit with the expense of the creds, I didn't have LOADS of spare cash to ride all of the dark rides. So instead we did a bit of a loop and made a mental note of the best looking ones we'd like to try. Mostly Ghost Trains, but top of my list was something called Blue Planet World of Dinosaurs (or something to that effect). Context - it was a fucking HUGE building with weird dinosaur animatronics and some inexplicable grainy footage of some dinos on the outside. Intrigued, we HAD to know what was in the warehouse so took a gamble and coughed up €4 praying for value for money.

Holy shit. This attraction is AMAZING! I'm not going to go into too much detail because half the fun was walking around the corner and going WHAT THE FUCK with every next show room, but jesus christ - WHO DESIGNED THIS THING?! Weird elevator thing? Check! Awesome home-made dinosaur animatronic things? Check! Crap grainy definitely-not-ripped-off-from-Jurassic-Park footage? Check! ROPE BRIDGE THROUGH MASSIVE DINO SHOW ROOM? Fucking check! It just kept going and kept getting better and better with every room. If you love off the wall, totally unique dark ride madness then I implore you to take the time to do Blue Planet, I personally guarantee you will not regret it!

Ahem. So as you can tell, I really enjoyed Blue Planet. But that's not the only dark ride thing we did! The place is absolutely stacked with Ghost Trains, and I'd heard amazing things about Hotel Psycho so that was definitely on the list. But first we wanted to try out Jack the Ripper, which had a really cool and modern looking exterior that appealed a little more in comparison with some of the rougher looking Geisterschloss, so we coughed up a fiver and wandered in.

Considering a few of the other coasters and things had little pre-ride fun things (like the mirror maze before Insider, that kind of thing), it didn't take us by surprise that there were a few rooms with gross out animatronic things to look at first. Thing is, every room we entered expecting a loading station was just filled with yet more gross out animatronics. Yeah, turns out...not a ghost train. It's actually just an elaborate themed walk-through. Also, despite the huge lettering on the front of the building, it's mostly NOT themed to Jack the Ripper...

I wouldn't say I didn't like this attraction, because the animatronics were absolutely mad and REALLY graphic in some cases which was enjoyable (who doesn't love a room of skinless mutants pulling their internal organs out whilst smiling like lunatics?) but I think for a fiver we were expecting some sort of actual ride. It was just kind of frustrating because we didn't really stop to enjoy all the stuff because we just dismissed it as fun faff queue stuff before the actual ride. 

So, to relieve our Ghost Train blue balls we decided to try one we were 100% sure was an actual ride because you could see the cars from the outside of the attraction. The thing I've always found with ghost trains is they're never actually that scary? Like, they're camp and kitsch and spooky and fun, but not actual scary. And it's something I've always wanted - that kind of scary you get when you do a scare maze at Halloween - the kind of ghost train like the Murder Ride from House of 1000 Corpses. Well, I'm pleased to say that it does exist and it's called Hotel Psycho and it's at Wiener Prater in Austria.

This ride is so. Fucked. Up. Like, I was genuinely scared and flinching around every corner. Ok, so essentially whoever made this thing just went to a scare show and bought a bunch of awesome high-tech scare gags, but my god it works! The timing is amazing, the scares come thick and fast, the cars are high tech too and spin and go backwards and shit and it's just fab. We actually went back and rode it again the next day because we enjoyed it so much! Probably the best example of a 'classic' Ghost Train style ride I've ever been on. 

And with that, we were officially broke, so spent the rest of the night just having a wander and taking in some of the atmosphere. I think at some point the guys rode the Starflyer too. I stayed on the ground because Starflyers are actually the most terrifying rides ever. Don't be fooled by their cutesy charm, they're actually horrifying.

If somebody donated more cash to my account on that day, I definitely would have ridden a few more dark rides. Ideally I'd have loved to have done all of the ghost trains and there were a few other fairytale themed things too. I'm just a little bit obsessed with the idea that some independent fairground ride owner would go to all the effort of not only creating something like this but also continuing the upkeep and keeping everything working. It's actually really fab!

And that was our day at Prater! It was just so much better than I thought it would be in every way possible. Yes, there are parts that feel a little bit sketchy, but generally it's absolutely beautiful and just so charming. For the rest of the trip we wandered through the park loads of times just to enjoy the atmosphere as much as we could. Creds aside, if you get a chance to visit this park please make sure you do. On top of being stacked wall to wall with rides and deep fried foods, Vienna itself is a stunning city and is the perfect short break balance of theme parks and culture. It's honestly one of my favourite trips I've been on in a long time and I'm kicking myself that I didn't go sooner!

Talk later xoxo,