Fabuland 1986: Condor

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Offline Elch

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Fabuland 1986: Condor
« on: November 06, 2019, 07:03 PM »
Written by Bert Naumann, artistic director at Trimo Parks

It was January 1982 when it happened.

Holiday was supposed to be the great new addition for the 15th anniversary, the greatest investment so far, to that still small park in Southern Germany. It was a hard winter, and the construction costs were high... too high. The former owners wanted to push the small (but flourishing and well visited) park into the league of top Eurovision theme parks. That was the next step for them.
Well... we can't deny, that this was indeed the actual result of their actions, but one by one...

When it was clear that money became short, and no bank would grant any credit anymore, the construction of Holiday came to a halt.


Holiday, the first coaster in the park

Freizeit-Park Senden, as it was still called back then, did open for the 1982 season in late March, but some rides had to remain closed, and large parts of the staff got fired over night.
But this - obviously - made things only worse. The heavy storm in early April didn't help either.


Storm 1 : 0 Log Flume

Waste was covering the paths, the damaged log flume turned into a massive landfill site, and some visitors turned their anger into vandalism.


Even Sendi, the funny rabbit, had its turn

On 17 April 1982, the old owners did the only thing they could do at the time:
Close the park.


Geschlossen - Closed

After we, Trimo Parks, Trimontis at the time, bought the park in the summer of 1982, it took us a lot of work to clean up and fix what we found. We needed a massive marketing agenda to rebuild the reputation and trust, a few millions to complete Holiday, to construct new rides, to give the park a few tweaks in its layout, and finally, a new name:

Fabuland

...

And three years later, in June 1985, the big day would finally dawn...
the day on which we would reopen:


Early morning, a few hours before the gates opened to the public again


...to be continued!
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 02:39 PM by Elch »

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Offline JB

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Re: Fabuland: The beginning
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 10:29 PM »
A great background story, Elch. I liked the toppled lampposts and the leaning tree (I hope Sendi got his ear back). ;)  Judging from that early morning shot, I think the park will do just fine with the new owners. Nice start.

Re: Fabuland: The beginning
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 03:08 AM »
Always enjoy your presentation style, Elch.  The filter on your photos helps with the abandoned park feel (too bad Frontier never gave us weather options, like cloudy skies to help sell the mood sometimes.)  Seems like there's at least some sort of weather in Planet Zoo, so now we know they're capable.  :(

Love the name... I'm definitely expecting "fun and festive" from this place.  Anxious to see where it goes.

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Offline Plokoon111

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Re: Fabuland: The beginning
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 03:27 AM »
Looks like a rehabilitation park! Digging the story so far!

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Offline Elch

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Fabuland 1985: Grand Reopening Day
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2019, 06:56 PM »
Editor's notes:

First of all: Thanks guys, will comment individually in the spoiler. :)

Long post here, sorry for the lots of pics, it was too late at night when I noticed the amount, already put so much work into this post, so... here it is in its full length.

Fabuland is something I wanted to do since quite a while. Yes, it's yet another growing German park starting in the 70s. Originally I wanted to recreate my RCT3 "Tauber-Park", but I gave that up quickly when I tried to build a valley like the one that Tauber-Park was set in.

So this is going to be a new growing project again, it's supposed to make you guys familiar with my revamped Trimo Parks brand, and because it's Trimo ParkS, this means I'm working on more than one park. :) Dream Gardens Dublin is probably making a comeback to SGW too, very soon.

And even more, I have to insert a disclaimer here, that Fabuland is going to be another side project, as I am "secretly" (not anymore!) working on a big main project that I hope to launch to SGW in April.
I really hope I can improve with my park building, I'm quite not satisfied with my output yet, so my "secret" main project is the one I put the most effort in.

This is why I keep choosing these kind of settings, with old European parks, there's less of a pressure to heavy theming. If some things look plain, simple, maybe even uninspired, it's probably only realistic. :D This gives me more time for my main project in the background.

Btw, some of you, especially if you're from Europe, might feel familiar with some aspects of my park. In fact, large parts are an homage to the one German park I grew up with, feel free to guess which one. :) You'll also find some inspiration from 2-3 other German parks, but I think the main inspiration is clear. Anyone?  :P

Oh, and let me know what you think of that idea to put editor's notes at the top of the posts. I think I've always been too much in presentation mode and too little talking about my work and the way I work.



Spoiler (hover to show)

Now enough talking, here we go into the park!



It's me again, Bert. I hope you're ready to hear more about the Fabuland story!


Saturday, the 9th of June 1985, was the big (re-)opening day. We were quite nervous. Fabuland was our first park in Germany, I think, located near Ulm in the South of the country. Our biggest regional competitor was Europa-Park, so we knew we had to put a lot of work into new rides, to have a chance.
Fabuland just had to be the 6th big German park, next to Europa-Park, Phantasialand, Heide-Park, Holiday-Park and Hansa-Park.

I arrived at the park just around 7:00 in the morning.


Nearly everone was at their place already. Nothing must go wrong on an opening day.
Mister Schultheiss was carrying the last set of balloons to their position for the opening celebration. He didn't notice I took this photo. He is still angry at me now 34 years later.


Nothing about walking in a closed park outside the opening hours! We moved the Merry-Go-Round right behind the entrance. Sendi, the funny rabbit, had to move away from that space...


but don't worry, he found a new place...


just at the end of the new "central path" - if that's a word for a main street without buildings? - and of course he got his left ear back.


Just behind Sendi, we see the park map. We divided the park into five areas:


Wunderland (Wonderland) - includes the area behind the entrance and the southwestern parts. We added a new boat ride there.

Abenteuerland (Adventureland) - just a generic name for an area that can't further be specified.
The park's first rollercoaster is located here, as well as two more new rides.

Bayrischer Platz (Bavarian Plaza) - I'm not sure if this is really Bavarian. The former owners didn't have a lot of talent, and we didn't put much additional work into that area. Maybe we will some day? We replaced the merry-go-round with a chairswing here.

Coyote City - The wild west area got a station of the new panorama train.

Spassland (Funland) - what a boring name for an uninspired area! We had to lift the mood there a bit by calling it that. The 70s style beer garden, the playground, the bumper cars, the very basic open air stage, it's all there and untouched. Maybe we will do something else with this part of the park in the future.

One hour to go! Some more impressions from the still empty park:

Holiday, completed

50 minutes to go, the staff at Bavarian Plaza is getting nervous...

40 minutes to go, inside of Spukschloss, Thomas from the haunted castle (I can't remember his surname) is scared... of his new job or the ghosts? we'll never know...

30 minutes to go, the Log Flume is doing test rounds...

20 minutes to go, I'm buying popcorn against the nervosity. Will the visitors like our work? Did my creative department do well?

10 minutes to go, the visitors from the main parking space on the other side of the road start arriving...

it's 9:00 and...

Fabuland is open! Let me show you some more from that day:

Wunderland

The Postautofahrt (post car ride), THE classic of the original park, is back in top shape.

Kanalfahrt durch den Zauberwald, meaning "channel ride through the magic forest", became an instant hit.



Abenteuerland

One of Germany's oldest log flumes, simply called Wildwasserbahn, survived the heavy damages that it got when the old park went downhill.

Fabuland Express takes the visitors from one end of the park to the other.

Abenteuerland got incredibly crowded not even 1 hour into the new life of the park. The lady in green on the left edge told me she was there when the park went downhill, and said that we did a good job. I guess she was right!

Krake is our new flatride. We moved the Troika a bit into the background, so that these 2 flatrides fill the space between the Log Flume, the Haunted Castle, and Holiday, the corkscrew.

Spukschloss, the Haunted Castle. An instant classic.


The west station of the Fabuland Express. Not to be confused with the Wild West station.

The queue at Holiday was packed. I think it was the second rollercoaster with inversions in Southern Germany.

Bayrischer Platz

Now on to a much more quiet corner of the park. The Bavarian Plaza was left in peace rather...

Nearly nobody paid attention to the chairswing Wellenflieger and the games arcades. The wheel of fortune spinned all alone. Maybe the Bavaria theming was too uninteresting for the locals?

Coyote City

Coyote City was doing only slightly better, thanks to the wild west station of Fabuland Express.


The refurbished Hotel Blue Buffalo, a fun house, was decently visited, but no major success.

The bank to the left featured the first ATM in the park. Modern times in the Wild West!


Spassland

Oh Spassland. The land of fun!

Wanna get wet without queuing for the log flume? The fountain plaza is for you.

The beer garden wasn't very well visited. Probably the rides were too exciting?

The open air stage between show times. In 1985, it featured various shows throughout the day.
Playground* and bumper cars in the backgroud.

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Spoiler (hover to show)

What more?

That was the day on which Fabuland was born. "Freizeit-Park Senden", the old name, was gone completely, people's thoughts included. What was good lived on. What was bad didn't.


Work done, day one.

In 1985, the park still didn't have the number of rides and shows that its bigger competitors have had at the time, but the following 34 years would make Fabuland the park that it is today.

I'm excited to share its history with you!

Until next time, Bert Naumann



Oh, and here: The park map 1985. Let me know if you prefer English versions in the future, they are harder to find than the German ones. Seeya!

« Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 07:03 PM by Elch »

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Offline shyguy

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Re: Fabuland 1985: Grand Reopening Day
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2019, 09:01 PM »
Great job on this little park. The themeing of each land is just perfect. Nothing is overdone, with just the right amount of details in each land. I'm especially impressed with the park map. It's so professionally done, that I thought there must be a real Fabuland somewhere and you used their park map, downloaded from the internet.

Fabuland is just fabulous!! :D
Browse the Best of the Workshop at the Planet Coaster Depot


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Offline JB

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Re: Fabuland 1985: Grand Reopening Day
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2019, 10:20 PM »
Okay, *catches breath*, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start." ;)  I like the Fabuland title font; it has an old European look to it. Sendi looks happier in his/her new location- he's grinning from ear-to-ear, (he couldn't do that before since he was missing his left ear :P). I can tell from the glimpse at the Spukschloss interior that the ride will look elegantly weird (you seem to specialize in that). As does the exterior; a once-great mansion that has fallen into disrepair.

I'm not sure what "post car ride" means? I've never heard that term before. :-\

The Hotel Blue Buffalo (fun house) looks... fun. :D  Does it have a working interior? A walk-through perhaps? I like the beer garden shot with the green tables and orangey-red umbrellas. They look like flowers.

And like shyguy said, the park map looks great. The green background is a stand-in for a tree-filled forest. The text is very easy to read. And I like how you tinted the paths in the different areas to match the color of the text for that area. (You seem to specialize in that, too.)

I think the editor's notes are a good way let us know what to expect, and to let us know why you did things the way you did them.

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Offline Plokoon111

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Re: Fabuland 1985: Grand Reopening Day
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2019, 03:25 AM »
I love the layout! It flows very well and makes sense; I also love the park map for guests to see. Wonderful simple but working theme you have! Great job!

Re: Fabuland 1985: Grand Reopening Day
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2019, 05:23 AM »
First off, you never have to apologize to me for too many pictures.  And I'm fine with the maps in German; I kind of think it's important given the geography of your location. 

As for the content, WOW you've done a lot of work.  So much that I was afraid you were going to end this post with a download link stating the park is done.   But I remember your timeline parks from RCT3 so I feel comfortable now that there is much much more to come.  Great work!

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Offline corkscrewloop

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Re: Fabuland 1985: Grand Reopening Day
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2019, 02:45 PM »
Fantastic! I like the pics, but what blows me away is the parkmap... Amazing work for sure, great set of attractions and every picture is so full of life! :)
My Workshop: Steam Workshop

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Offline Elch

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Fabuland 1986: Condor
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2019, 02:39 PM »
Editor's notes:

Fabuland, while supposed to be a project that I hopefully get to present here for the next few months,  is not based on a long-term plan. I am currently having a rough plan until 1992, but nothing is fix unless I actually build it.
I want to experience the decision-making of the time, without knowing what great new ride types would be around the corner, that's why I restrict myself to a credible palette of ride types for each year's decision. It's Europe, it's the last century, and really big coasters are still unthinkable at this point. I don't even know yet if Fabuland will get there one day, or will rather go down the theming-heavy family park route, I let it all open on purpose. :)

One year, Fabuland will get a big ride, the other, there will be general improvements around the park, then there might be a flatride, or even nothing for a few subsequent years, anything can happen with this one, and I wanted to do that kind of open project for a long time. :)



Spoiler (hover to show)

Just a short update today, but the next one won't be far from now.


It's me again, Bert. The reopening of Fabuland, previously Freizeit-Park Senden, was a huge success. We had invested a lot of money and work, and 1987 was a good year to take it a bit more easy.

To me, the most beautiful flatride ever created was hitting parks and fairgrounds by the mid 1980s, and obviously we had to get one for Fabuland:

The Condor.



It replaced the flatride ("Wirbelwind") on the intersection between the log flume, the ferris wheel and the Postautofahrt, and was a big success with our audience.

And yeah, this is an admittedly short update and nothing much compared to last time, but I won't wait long before my next post.  :)

Until next time, Bert Naumann

Re: Fabuland 1986: Condor
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 03:08 PM »
Great park and I love the name. It reminded me straight away of my childhood lego Fabuland toys. Even the small rabitt statue looked a bit as one of those figures