As discussed a few weeks ago, the München Looping has returned to London’s Hyde park for a third year running! The sections of the park needed for Winter Wonderland were closed off from the 4th November and the perimeter fence put up. On Monday 5th November the different venues started coming in, namely some of the biggest, like the huge structure for the new Mega Dome, and of course the München Looping, which takes quite a bit of estate area in the east central part of the site.
The Mega Dome in its new, 2018 location, on the north side of the Winter Wonderland complex.
This year it seems so far the biggest change is the Mega Dome. Its not really a dome but a massive tent that houses Zippos Circus. From this it seems some changes have been made to the site’s layout, the circus has traditionally been on the south side of the site. This year its at the north or Marble Arch side of the site. I am not sure if this also means the kid’s section on the south side is also being merged with that on the north side. Time will tell. The organisers are however creating a special family entrance for the first time this year at the Marble Arch entrance, thus in part explaining why the huge tent has moved location.
Posters on the perimeter wall explaining the site preparation work.
The work on the München Looping began on Monday, however (as observed from a passing bus) by Tuesday pm little had been raised up from the ground. On Wednesday the smaller loops were going up and by Thursday lunch time four of the ride’s five loops had been completed. These loops are probably the easiest part of the ride to be built as the loops are stand alone (they are not dependent on other aspects of the total structure.)
The big main loop (the black one) has not yet gone up. Its a far more complex loop (as well as being a loop it also changes direction considerably in order to transit from one section of track to the next, this being a chicane which brings the ride about in the other direction, which mean the loop’s dependent on other sections of track and supports yet to be built.
I took a few shots of the München Looping from various vantage points, some of which are posted here and hopefully are interesting!
Working on bolting the sections of track together.
A nice shot of the München Looping from the south west as the setting sun’s rays fall on its structure.
The ride’s new digital lighting, first installed for Oktoberfest, can be easily seen in this picture.
In just two weeks’ time Winter Wonderland will be open for the 2018/19 season. This is one of the rarer years where we get almost an entire week (six days) at the beginning of January instead of it closing down just after the new year. It all depends on when New Year’s day falls. The first Sunday after is the day the park closes. Looking at the calendar there have been two other such occasions when this has occurred. To get a completely full week (seven days) following the New Year is even rarer and the first time this will happen is 2024.
A track section being raised into position.
One of the ride’s construction staff working on joining the track panels together.
For the first time this year a Coaster Pass is being made available. Its a pre-payment tap and ride for all the coasters available at the park, including the München Looping and the new Dr. Archibald ride. Its not a priority pass however so do not expect it to help you to beat the queues. Details here.
A large truss support being lifted into its position.
A section of track among the clouds!
One thing I have often wondered is whether its officially the Munich Looping or the München Looping, In my view if you are strong on everything being British I suppose the former is the best choice, even Winter Wonderland calls it the Munich Looping! Personally I call it the München Looping because that is how the ride itself is billed. The wonderland venue itself is based on a Bavarian concept of winter joy hence many rides originate from Germany.
Rudolf Barth’s famous ride and the company’s own crane which is used to build the entire structure.
Therefore its up to people whether they want to read for example, the Wilde Maus as the Wild Mouse and so on. The coaster ride itself is officially the Olympia Looping and its operators are Barth’s of München (Munich.) The simple reason it becomes the München Looping for its London visits is because Munich is the capital of Bavaria, thus fitting in with the Winter Wonderland theme.
The ride as its usually known. The Olympia Looping, with a five olympic loops sign, operated by Barth of München. Source: Wiesnkini
How the ride billed itself in 2016!
In 2016 one had to stand at an awkward angle to get the display to read correctly as München Looping.
The changes to the ride does however leave one of the loops without a name board on its top. The first time the ride came to London they simply took the ‘Olympia’ away. That left the ride calling itself the ‘Looping München’ which wasn’t quite right. For Winter Wonderland 2017 Barth switched the huge letters around so it was billed correctly as the München Looping.
Barth are happy to use English terminology to bill their ride, for example that below ‘the very famous Oktoberfest rollercoaster’ however the name remains the way they conceived it and so I follow their definition rather than Winter Wonderland’s. But again, its just a personal choice!
Billboard advertising the ride with the original analogue lighting evident.
Winter Wonderland has a special preview day from 4pm on 22 November. It is fully open from 10am – 10pm every day 23 November 2018 to 6 January 2019 except Xmas Day.