The 50 Coasters of 2016: West Europe

2016 is gone and our team voted on the 50 Coasters of Europe! Our choice is based not only on thrill, but also on experience, theming, setting, originality and more. We devide this series of articles between five parts dealing with the four regions of Europe and the 10 All-Star coasters! In part four we talk about the 10 coasters selected in Western Europe!


The final region is West Europe where we had a look at all the countries on the west side of Germany and these are quite a lot. It includes two important European countries: France and the United Kingdom. But also in the smaller countries, there are coasters to put on your list. We made our choice out of 32 different ones, but here’s the 10 of the West!

Pulsar (Walibi Belgium, Belgium)

Brand new in 2016! Many were curious about how this blue world’s first would turn out, and it did not disappoint. Some may argue if it can be considered a coaster. Well, let’s be honest, it’s not a classic type. It’s also a thrill and water ride which would fit in many parks. And why is it so good? One word: launch! Both forwards and backwards, you’ll enjoy it. Besides that, Pulsar has interesting technology systems with the rotating platform and pumps is also really well found.

Big Thunder Mountain (Disneyland Park, France)

This one definitely had to be on the list. Disneyland Paris has quite a few thriling coasters but this one is special for different reasons. First of all, the island. How cool is it that the ride goes below the water twice? It’s accessible for almost the whole family and Frontierland at Disneyland Paris is one of the best themed areas in any park. The background story is so well portrayed. The coaster was closed for almost the entire 2016 except for December where it finally reopened. The coaster shines as never before, plus the added effects really give it a fresh touch.

Oziris (Parc Astérix, Frankrijk)

Dive into the world of Astérix and experience Oziris, the mesmerizing B&M Inverted coaster at Parc Astérix. This coaster has everything that you woudl expect from an awesome coaster. It has inversions, speed, theming, and even a fog tunnel! It has a very smooth experience and it keeps going until the end. When they installed it, they really stepped up the level as Gouderix is the only other looping coaster in the park. It was also the first ride that was visible from the highway. Ready to fly?

Baron 1898 (Efteling, The Netherlands)

You are hired by Baron Gustave Hoogmoed to mine the gold, but the white women won’t let you get away that easily. Up to you to dive anyway. This B&M Dive coaster is not the most thrilling, but probably one of the best themed rollercoasters in the whole world, also thanks to the preshows. Plus, it’s the only dive coaster that goes straight from lifthill to dive. Experience it yourself and be amazed, but be warned!

The Smiler (Alton Towers, United Kingdom)

Who doesn’t know about the Smiler ? The coaster with the most inversions in the world, and one of those weird and unique coasters in Europe. Of course, it is manufactured by Gerstlauer, so its unique layout is miles away from the large traditional B&M style coasters. Almost the whole coaster is a crazy succession of diverse inversions. The theming and the music also helps to that crazy atmosphere. All that combined to a mind upside-down turning experience will cause a few to have some difficulties to walk normally after exciting this crazy machine. The layout made only of inversion can be seen as boring, but nonetheless it is unique, impressive and mind blowing. 2016 was the year it reopend after it’s not so bright history.

Cú Chulainn (Tayto Park, Ireland)

Ireland’s first wooden rollercoaster and immediatly Europe’s largest opened on June 5th 2015. With a strong focus on mythological Irish history, the rollercoaster has been named after one of the great eternal heros of Irish history, Cú Chulainn. Be prepared to feel the strength of the Irish mythological history made by the Gravity Group!

Source: Tayto Park

Big One (Blackpool Pleasure Beach, United Kingdom)

A classic ride that never gets old. Located by the seaside, this hypercoaster is the landmark of Blackpool Pleasure Beach and a reminiscent of Arrow Dynamics. Entertaining guests since 1994, this coaster is almost a 2-in-1, as the first part of the layout is more camelback and height filled, while the second part is all about twists and turns closer to the ground.

Source: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Joris en de Draak (Efteling, The Netherlands)

First off, racing coasters are awesome. Secondly, GCI woodies are some of the twistiest coasters out there. Combine this and you have an awesome coaster for sure! Efteling’s 2010 addition isn’t only  well themed, it also happens to be a very fun coaster. This dual coaster features a Water/Blue and Fire/Red side, both of which are about 800 m (2,600 feet) long racing around. It located in the Ruigrijk section of the park over water, and past the park’s popular Vliegende Hollander and Python coasters! The ride’s top speed is about 76 km/h (47 miles/h) and both tracks stand 22 m (72.4 feet) tall. This may not be terribly tall for a coaster but this coaster wonderfully uses the terrain and is a low-to-the-ground type of coaster.

The Swarm (Thorpe Park, United Kingdom)

Themed to an apocalyptic future and aliens, this Wing Coaster is all you need to have fun. Its smooth and clever layout and the train configuration makes the perfect mix with a good theming. The Swarm is a coaster you’ll want to ride again and again. One of the best coasters at Thorpe!

Galactica/ Air (Alton Towers, United Kingdom)

After the missed shot of Skytrack total at Granada Studio Tour 1997, and the three Vekoma flying coasters 2000 and 2001, Bolliger & Mabillard came up with their own version of the flying coaster. Air is the very first model of those coasters that later became far more successful than the previous flying coaster versions. As a prototype, Air is not very high, has decent speed, but incorporates already all the achievements of the later B&M flyers. Comfortable seating position, smooth track and the fly-to-lie/lie-to-fly element that are really enjoyable. The coaster was re-themed to Galactica this year incorporating virtual reality but this led to mixed reviews. What makes it particular is like most coasters at Alton Towers, its ground-near layout, and, not thinking about some painful Zamperla Volare models, Air/Galactica is still the only flying coaster in Europe.

Only one part remains: Europe’s 10 All-stars!


cropped-NEW-ECK-logo-Feb-2016-001-Large.jpgThanks so much for reading our 50 Coasters of Europe: West Europe.  Please keep in mind, all images found on this site, unless otherwise stated, are owned by European Coaster Kings! Sharing them is fine, but only if credit to europeancoasterkings.com is given!

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