Lost in translation
Saloons, railroads and…dragons? Oh my! Those aren’t the first things you think of when you imagine the Wild West, but they’re all attractions found in Germany’s Fort Fun Abenteuerland, a Western-themed amusement park in the Bestwig Waterfall region.
The 75-acre park features over 40 attractions and two live shows, many of which are interesting interpretations of traditional Wild West lore (the live shows, for example, tell the “ancient tale” of actress Tala Takenya and the story of Old McDonald’s farm).
Thrillseekers can try the rotating ride Tomahawk, wander through the “Mystery Warehouse,” try wrangling some horses, test out the “flying machine” or queue up for one of two pirate-themed rides (you know, pirates, like the kinds who ride horses on ranches!)
The area originally opened as a ski lift in 1967, later offering summer tobogganing and, in 1985, adding a roster of attractions. Nearly 400,000 visitors annually flock to the park to partake in some good ol’ fashioned fun.
In addition to ball pits, bouncy castles and water rides for the kids, there’s also a “Youth Club” apparently featuring a fleet of child-size semi-trucks. Thrillseekers can try the rotating ride Tomahawk, wander through the “Mystery Warehouse,” try wrangling some horses, test out the “flying machine” or queue up for one of two pirate-themed rides (you know, pirates, like the kinds who ride horses on ranches!)
Less adventurous guests can take in the view from a ferris wheel, chairlift or what can only be described as a modified oil rig (official name: Stüppelturm).
While most of the miss-the-mark attractions at Fort Fun Abenteuerland are adorable examples of cultural divides, a few are just flat-out funny:
“Torrential floods in the Mexican landscape,” promises (or threatens) this water attraction.
“Let yourself be surprised!” by this ride, described as a “washing machine.” There’s no way this one’s not at least a little creepy.
I’ve heard of the Marfa Lights, but dragons in the Wild West is nearing Jon Favreau territory.
Located near the more appropriate Tractor Ride, Beverly Hills Drive features a fleet of miniature sports cars. Yee haw!
“Experience the special dance of medicine man Darkraver with stark sounds and a body sensation that you will never forget!” This one speaks for itself.
Take a tour of Fort Fun Abeneteurland: