Germany'sEuropa-Park plans to open an elaborately themed wooden roller coaster in March 2012 that celebrates the Norse mythology of legendary heroes and supernatural creatures.
> Photos: Concept art of Europa-Park's new wooden coaster
Dubbed Wodan, the theme park's first wooden roller coaster will top out at 115 feet and reach speeds of 60 mph while navigating hairpin turns and airtime hills over a 3,500-foot-long track in the Icelandic area of the park. The new coaster, Europa-Park's 11th, will cross the tracks of the Atlantica SuperSplash water ride and the Blue Fire steel coaster.
A billboard in the park showing images of the entry arch and station house announces "Ein Mythos Erwacht," German for "A Myth Awakens." The sign led the online coaster community to dub the ride Mythos, although ride's official name is Wodan Timburcoaster.
A video teaser for the new wooden coaster contains the legend: From the deep of night… from the darkness of time... are plunging powerful creatures... from the halls of eternity... in the world of the living.
According to concept art, riders will enter through a front gate that's equal parts mountain, fortress and castle entwined in vines. Bearded warriors bearing gold swords flank the entrance.
The multi-layered roof of the coaster's station house recalls a Scandinavian stave church with carved dragonheads extending from the gables like the prow of a Viking ship.
In the queue, riders will walk past a snake-like winged dragon spewing smoke. In another section of the queue, a Viking's face appears on a mist screen beneath an eyeball peering down from the ceiling of a columned alcove.
Inside the coaster load station, armored Norse goddesses bearing shields and spears form the structural columns supporting the nave.
Owned and operated by Mack Rides, Europa-Park has served as a proving ground for the ride manufacturer's prototype attractions – including the Poseidon water coaster (2000) and the Blue Fire mega coaster (2009).
But while Mack Rides makes steel coasters, water rides, dark rides and spinning rides, the manufacturer hasn't built a wooden coaster in decades. As a result, Europa-Park will partner with Great Coasters International for the new ride.
Mack Rides built a wooden coaster in 1921 called Turmbahn that was moved to Tivoli Gardens in Denmark in the late 1930s. Turmbahn was the only wooden coaster ever built by Mack Rides, according to Roller Coaster Database.