Merlin Entertainments Group
Park News - (3/17/17) In a somewhat shocking development Heide Park has announced that their massive Colossos wooden coaster (Intamin) will not be opening at all for the entire 2017 season. As seen on the Heide Park Resort Facebook page, a large decorated construction fence has already been put up, blocking all access to the ride area.
So what happened to Colossos? From what Screamscape has heard, Germany's TÜV ordered the coaster shut down late last summer, as the ride experience had just deteriorated to the point where it was clear something was wrong. According to one report, Colossos had simply become too rough.. and not in the same way that you would expect a wooden coaster to get rough with age, but had evolved into an experience similar to having a jackhammer on your spine for the duration of the ride.
For those that may not know, Colossos represented the first version of a new experimental construction method for wooden coasters from Intamin. Instead of putting down layers of wood under the rails, these sections of the ride were each custom milled from large wooden blocks for each track section, had the custom designed rails mounted to them, and then delivered to the site ready for installation. The large wooden track sections are designed so they can be assembled together on site, almost like putting together a Lego model. (A photo showing off a couple of these can be found here.)
The idea was that down the line, when a section of the ride was in need of re-tracking, they could simply order the specific pieces needed and then swap them out, much like you would do with a steel coaster. As Colossos is the oldest of the four Intamin Pre-Fab wooden coasters, built to open in 2001, apparently we now know just how long this new design of track will last, as we've heard that Colossos is now in need of extensive re-tracking.
So what's the problem? It seems this is going to be one hell of an expensive job, and by the time the ride was closed last season the park had already committed their 2017 budget towards building the new Ghostbusters dark ride, and did not have the funds needed to also re-track Colossos for 2017, so it is expected that the park's 2018 attraction budget will be spent to fix Colossos at this time.
On a related note, I've also been told that T-Express at Everland in South Korea, the youngest of the four Intamin Pre-Fab coasters (opened in 2008) is now also listed as being closed on the park's website. While T-Express is probably just closed for regular maintenance, it does make me interesting in knowing how well it and the other two Intamin coasters (El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure and Balder at Liseberg) are holding up as they age, and if any of them have had to under-go any track replacement over the years.
(8/18/16) Screamscape sources tell us that Colossos at Heide Park is closed for the rest of the season. According to our source, some major issues were discovered with the track that need to be addressed, which could involve replacing some sections of track entirely.
2017 - Ghostbusters 5D - Confirmed - (10/17/16) Heide Park will open a new Ghostbusters 5D attraction in 2017 according to this update. The new Ghostbusters attraction was just announced on Oct. 14th at the park and described as a dark ride style experience where guests ride in an ECTO-1 car, armed with their own proton blaster to bust ghosts and their master Lord Explorus inside a mysterious warehouse. The park will actually put an existing structure to use to house the new dark ride inside th e former 'Spencer Hall' building that was previously being used for a LEGO shop and a children's show.
2018 - Refurbish Colossos - Rumor - (3/17/17) The park is rumored to spend their 2018 capital budget on fixing and reopening the closed Colossos wooden coaster.