We’ve already published quite a few top rankings this month but this one could of course not be excluded. After our Top 10 of 2018, the coaster landscape in Europe has changed quite a bit. That’s why we expanded to a Top 20 instead!
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As you may or may not know, our European team expanded this year. We now have a lot of different tastes in house thanks to our members from Belgium, France, Germany, Spain & the UK! Next to that, we also used your opinions on Instagram to determine this top. From wood to steel, north to south and a variety of ride constructors, there’s something for everyone in Europe.
Some coasters got close to making it to the list but fell short compared to the 20 selected. Take Stuntfall for example, a Vekoma classic that stands strong among many of Europe’s best. Piraten got mentioned by you guys and several members, but didn’t rank high enough compared to others. Europa-Park didn’t make it with any of its coasters but Wodan and even Arthur are quite loved among our members. And then let’s not forget Sean & Alexander’s favorite Black Mamba and Hyperspace Mountain. Enough honorable mentions, let’s go to the team vote top 20 of 2020 in Europe!
We start with a 17 year old Intamin wooden coaster in Sweden. Those who say coasters with airtime in Europe will probably have Balder as one of the first that comes up in their mind. Although the layout doesn’t have the most amazing elements, it’s all about getting off your seat while riding. There’s not much theming going on, but the experience itself gives it the final spot of the 20 best in Europe.
Some may be disappointed that there’s only one Mirabilandia coaster on this list. Yet, the team vote decided to include iSpeed in the top instead of Katun. Indeed, another Intamin on the list which is all about (surprise surprise) speed. After a delicious top hat, you’re in for a wild ride full of twists, turns and inversions in a compact layout. So it might not be one of the biggest coasters, it sure delivers a punch you have to experience.
GCI’s second wooden coaster in Europe often ranks as the best one of its kind, especially in Europe. Also our opinions ranked it accordingly with good reason. A lengthy layout with lots of twists in the lovely Toverland. The park in the Netherlands has been growing year after year and this coaster really put it on the map of fans. 13 years later, it still delivers a fantastic experience with lovely music by IMAscore.
Unintentionally, we remain in Toverland for their second major coaster in the park. The B&M Wing Coaster, Fēnix, got crowned the best Wing in Europe by the team. The ride offers lovely theming with an incredible queue as it tells the story of Merlin. The station looks pretty too (although it has weird stairs to exit). And then the ride itself, simple but effective. It has both the positive and the negative G-forces and it ranks pretty intense in the backseats. Yet, you want to reride to try out the different sides and positions. So yes, you should plan a visit to Toverland as soon as you can.
Another small park but gem you should know about is Erlebnispark Tripsdrill. 7 years ago, the German park decided to built a Gerstlauer Infinity coaster called Karacho. The coaster in itself gives you reason enough to visit cause the punchy ride knows how to give you a great ride. A wonderful launch takes you along a track of several inversions but a favorite element has to be the tunnel. We feel that the ride doesn’t get mentioned enough so it’s great to see the ride in this list.
Again unintentionally but we stay a bit longer in Tripsdrill for one of their newest additions of 2020. Hals-über-Kopf, which literally translates “Suddenly Upside Down”, became famous as Vekoma’s first Suspended Thrill Coaster. After many many many SLC’s, they decided to bring back the concept in a new form thanks to their latest designs. Although I personally wasn’t blown away and still prefer Karacho as best coaster in the park, the team decided to award it the number 15 spot. Don’t get me wrong, they did a much better job than their SLC’s with this one but it very much feels like a first concept. However, it fits perfect for a park like Tripsdrill to stand out as one of their biggest coasters offering a family friendly thrilling coaster with inversions.
You know that at Coaster Kings HQ, we love our classics. In Europe, Nemesis has become one of them as it still can compete as a 26-year-old coaster among the newer additions. It also ranks as the only UK coaster in the top 20. Sure, some will prefer other rides that reside in the Merlin parks besides this B&M Invert but there’s no denying that this one started the boom of some major coasters in Europe. Although the theme doesn’t necessarily help it to rank high, the landscaping does.
The highest newcomer built in 2020 of course had to be F.L.Y.! After years of waiting, Rookburgh finally opened its gates at Phantasialand. Vekoma developed this special new Flying coaster type to the needs of the park to fit perfectly with the steampunk/factory theme. And yes, the theming definitely puts it quite high on the list because of it. F.L.Y. offers more than a coaster, it is a total package which we adore. Overall, reviews have been wonderful with a few complaints here and there about the restrains. Without spoiling more, know that the ride definitely stands as one of the most unique coasters in the world at the moment.
We talked earlier how when you think about the word airtime in Europe, some coasters come up immediately. The first one might actually be this one as that’s what Expedition GeForce is most famous for. The Intamin coaster, now in the hands of Plopsa, did not age that well however. With just one train, wait times usually get unnecessarily high. So not everyone in the team mentioned this one in the top 20. But fans adore it and its reputation does make it stand out to be on this list, considering its age too.
The last coaster before we go to the top 10: Hyperion. This Intamin Hyper either ranks pretty high or pretty low on your list. When you’ve ridden it, you can’t deny it has a spectacular First Drop though. As a typical parking lot coaster with Out and Back structure, the part where you turn back got printed in many memories as a wonderful element, especially backseat. The reason it doesn’t rank higher might be because of expectations. The lower elements don’t deliver the snappy turns you expect from an Intamin. Nevertheless, the ride definitely deserves a top spot in Europe due to its grandeur.