Thank you very much! Welcome here in Waldkirch My name is Maximillian Röser, I’m the marketing director at Mack Rides. I’ve been here for 10 years now I’ve spent quite a few years with this company and I’m originally part of the fan community. I was the founder of EP-Info and the EP-Fans website and I flew across this place with a plane and this way I gained some insight into this company so I contacted Europa-Park and Mack Rides and now I’ve been here for 10 years. So what are we about to see and experience today? Well, at present we’re running two locations, here in Waldkirch we have the track track production, a paint shop, our GFK workshop and in Herbolzheim we’re gonna take a look at the train production, where the trains are put together. So you bend the tracks yourself right here? There’s a couple of manufacturers, even in Germany, who don’t do that themselves anymore Yes, all of our tracks are manufactured right here in Waldkirch. We have our bending machines here at this location, all of our technology and our new machines we use to process the track and create the track step by step, and that’s only done here in Germany and nowhere else. Planning and concepts are done right here as well or do you have another location for that? It’s actually located right behind you in the office building. There’s two stories of engineers who take care of the layouts and on top we have people taking care of the vehicles and calculate statistics and everything that’s part of it. “two stories of engineers”, how many engineers are there exactly? There’s a total of 85 people working in administration so quite a lot, and two thirds of those are of technological nature. We have a rather small team taking care of accounting and human resources but the majority of people is actually responsible for building roller coasters. Right now we’re standing inside the CNC production. This has been set up last summer and acquired two new large CNC mills which enable us to mill-cut the underparts for our vehicles right here in-house. This grants us great flexibility with component suppliers and another great advantage for our clients is the fact that we can do without lots of welding because we can just mill-cut the parts from an entire steel block. So, the wheel guards? Not only wheel guards but the entire vehicle substructure all the large metal pieces that are under there. We can take a look at one in a minute – we’re trying to dispense with the large number of welding seams to reduce the inspection effort for our clients immensely It’s a huge point during the yearly disassembly and inspection of the vehicles every welding seam we can cut down on means a reduced inspection effort for us and for the clients. And you don’t have to take the paint off to do the magnetic powder testing Exactly. It’s called non-destructive testing or NDT and that’s very high effort, and with the mill-cut parts those aren’t necessary. This way it’s much easier for the client. Here we’re standing in front of some parts that we received for inspection. Over there we have some frames for Blue Fire seats They’re not from Blue Fire itself but from another project We’re currently inspecting those seating frames You will notice with our more recent coasters we have a slightly different seating configuration We have different statics and safeguarding You’re gonna see that on the new vehicles when they’re released with the new project. This is the entire underconstruction of Blue Fire On this site where we’re standing is the pendant, the trailer hitch where the vehicle is attached, and on the other site is where the axle is and in the middle is where the carrier is gonna go for the seats and the seating area where people are gonna walk on. Today we pretty much exclusively use these cnc parts on our vehicles. On the one hand they save a lot of materials, and on the other hand they are more precise than welded parts. and we just did the first test runs with our cnc mills with a piece of Arthur, the large slewing ring you can see down there as well as the seating frames, which are also milled from a solid piece. Apart from the tools we have there’s some more we need to reload, because tools like that undergo lots of wear, since we’re milling from solid pieces you take of lots off shavings, so the tools need to replaced regularly and maintained, and for that we have a very large tool warehouse This huge magazine is where we have different drills and measuring instruments which we can use to measure the parts and use different bits depending on how hard we need to drill to take out the shavings. What’s special about this mill is that we have a pallet changer in the front This way this machine can basically run seven days a week. As soon as we’re finished, the machine pulls up the next pallet pulls in the next assembly piece and starts working on that. So that means friday at noon you line up everything yes, and on monday we hope everything’s done. That’s the plan. And if something ever goes wrong, people are called over here and check on it, but usually on friday everything should be in order so the machine can do it’s work. Insane. Alright! Yes. A beautiful machine. Not affordable at all. Now we’re standing next to our largest CNC mill This one has on big advantage it can work on extremely large parts What you see here is a double undercarriage of a roller coaster vehicle and opposed to what we do when changing pallets and putting in different pallets in this one we can place several parts inside the unit at the same time and then this large arm produces several parts one after another. Right now we are in our second area of our CNC hall which is used simultaneously to straighten spare parts and the parts we can assemble right here beforehand because since we opened a new factory at Herbolzheim a year ago we have a local distance that we need to bridge somehow and because of that we try to assemble all parts right here beforehand whereever we can. and then send them over for final assembly. Right now here we have vehicle axles and advancing wheels we need for the station and then there are smaller wheels which you don’t usually know from roller coasters because you don’t ride them, they’re only used in the maintenance area where the vehicle is propped up and these auxiliary wheels – Like with launch coasters when they kind of float in the air? and we do that with every coaster so the axles are accessible and usually you can’t see these wheels since they’re hidden under the GRP Right, you never see those – yes, never, unless you lie down underneath the coaster Was it impossible to expand here or why did you choose to open a second location? In fact we wanted to expand relatively quickly It has to do with us needing the flexibility because of the order situation and we had several very large orders on queue so we had to find something quickly, and in this region it’s pretty difficult to find something in close vicinity, you see the new place is 30km from here but still we didn’t want to tear down anything in this location right here because it would have interfered with the production processes and we didn’t want that, so we said we’re going to take over an existing structure an existing warehouse and build up a new final assembly site there. If I were to order a Mack Rides coaster, how long would I need to wait? Please, I’ll gladly take your order today 2022 is our closest delivery date, that’s not too bad. I heard something about four years, sometime one or two years ago The business pretty much works like a roller coaster. It goes up a lot, those are the years where we tell the clients they need to book earlier in advance and right now we’re in a place where we can say that two years in advance is enough It doesn’t need to be earlier than 2022 For us it would be nice if something was due in fall so it spreads out a bit more because right now we see that with Max & Moritz and all the other rides we’re opening around the world everything is packed tightly together and with the final assembly especially there are lots of projects that accumulate next to each other and that makes things pretty hectic for people that work at the end of the assembly line. What’s special is that we put a tag lots of, actually all of our parts before shipping them so people working on the construction site can just scan the barcode know exactly that a. the part is here and b. where it is supposed to go. “Can I have a wheel or can I buy one?” It’s not like we order 200 wheels and then see where we can use them. We buy wheels for use in projects. It’s not like we have a warehouse with a surplus of wheels We only purchase the wheels we need They are regular heavy duty wheels, if those wheels are used on heavy duty shelves no one notices, but as soon as they’re used on a coaster it’s a coaster wheel Anyway, these wheels are parts that we buy, we don’t make them ourselves. Now we’re standing in front of our high-bay warehouse This is for spare parts and all the parts we send to the construction sites and in the back we have a large lifting system, I’ll show you that in a moment where all our small parts, like screws, nuts, washers, welding wire, goggles, gloves, basically everything under 10cm of size we store in that system. do you store only your consumables here or also spare parts for the customer? Here we mainly have spare parts for customers. With our history everything is a bit different. we have a lot of exhibitor rides still travelling and therefore we have to keep a different stock of materials than someone who is just running a park. With parks, when we sell a coaster we simultaneously sell a set of spare parts with it. The park wants to make sure that if a ride goes out of service the necessary parts are in storage on location. With exhibitors it’s difficult, they can’t always take along three trucks full of spare parts We keep those parts in store right here so we can deliver from here if a ride goes down. Most of the time problems occur while setting up the rides and then you have to act very fast We receive a call, get the parts and send it to Was’n, Wies’n or Düsseldorf Rheinkirmes Everything gets shipped up there. “Berg & Talbahnen” used to be the great hit back then but there’s no new ones. Have you stopped making them or have clients stopped ordering them? We actually stopped building them. We still have the caterpillar which we regularly build for Legolands, but otherwise we don’t build those anymore, and there’s no demand for it. What about log flumes? Log flumes are difficult as well. We would have to design a new boat which needs to meet the new standard Din EN 13814 which pretty much everyone has heard of It’s a very difficult topic for us with those old installations to actually start building those again, because it’s basically reinvention of an existing product. and then we really have to decide, is there a market or do we rather build something new? back then every log flume was by Mack Rides, now everything’s built by Soquet or whatever. Yes, there’s other manufacturers, who fill this gap in the market and build these products. It’s not a bad product, on the contrary, they build great rides. for us it’s simply not as lucrative so that we want to keep pursuing it. to close on the subject of classics, the bob rides. there’s not many existing and now there’s no new ones at all. will there be some new ones, or doesn’t anyone want those anymore? actually nobody asks for those. but what’s also a problem, if you look at the amount of steel a bob ride needs, to build those tiny tubes and everything, that’s a lot of work. building this product back then was pure craftsmanship. we built those here on the premise, straightened them and saw if it work, then took them down, shipped them to client, rebuilt, then checked if everything fits, and we just can’t take this effort anymore. we also don’t build coasters on the premise anymore. I’m sorry, we will not be riding any coasters here today. they’re actually sent out just-in-time, move to the paint shop and then via sea container to the park. but it also has to do with track making being more precise than before? yes, making track is just so much easier for us. building a bob track would be much more of an effort, unfortunately. here we receive all the parts that we ordered. then we have our own laboratory where we keep a steady temperature the big advantage of that is that we can do all the inspection there. we can check incoming goods, we can see if the parts match our current needs, random pieces are measured before we move them to processing. now we’re standing in front of one of our order picking trolleys. here we collect all parts that go to Herbolzheim, for example, where we have one trolley for every project which contains all parts for a group. This is a special trolley that’s filled with replacement parts. Here we collect all replacement parts ordered by clients, we wait till it’s filled up a bit – we don’t just ship a single washer – sorted by urgency of delivery, and then they go to the client to be built in. Nothing secret? No nothing secret, but it’s always funny to see the collection of things on here. There’s still old names on here from back then which today are called differently, for example Six Flags Montreal, it’s of course not called that anymore. At least we have Legoland Florida. So this is probably the first time that we actually show something completely new, which so far we only showed behind closed doors in Orlando at the convention. It’s our idea of a new boat ride that we’re working on. Back then we have the prototype on the testing site. We can go over there and I’ll show you what that pretty ride can do. We’re standing next to the Rocking Boat. This is a new invention from a patent that we filed quite some time ago. Here we have a free floating boat, similar to Poseidon. We’re testing this with water coaster boats. What’s special is that we don’t have a trough in the water but a track. And this track lets us move the boat forward and save it from tipping over. So the boat is secured by this scissor, similar to an elevating platform. It can float freely with the waves, but it has the possibility to go around tight corners, it’s propelled, we can directly target show positions, we know exactly where the boat is, and so we have a hybrid of a boat ride and a themed ride, combined. And with the possibility of drops? Yes, we can have drops, we can go up with powered segments, we have motors on board and can go up inclines and down declines, we can make severe waves, we even had a wave machine in here before, so that the boat goes through waves similar to a rapids ride we can do all this with this boat, and this opens up a whole new market for storytellers. Amazing. Without saying who, is there already someone interested in this, or is this still in development? It’s been two months since we presented this. There are parks interested in it, but we’re currently in the process of categorizing what we want with this, because this can actually be scaled. We can make a kiddy flume with this with maybe two small boats. We can also do this with large Pirates of Batavia style boats, where we have 24 people and go around a larger course. We have to make decision regarding the scaling and which way we want to go with this and which direction the client wants to take it. There’s no definite request by a client but putting this idea out there for designers and storytellers is an important step to provide the means to say “with this vehicle you can create these scenarios”. This is what the system can do, now it’s your turn. Yes, think of something cool and maybe we have a deal. We can stop, go backwards, we can do everything with this vehicle. It’s really exciting. And on this test track you can see a power supply, with this we can make the boat move, which looks pretty funny, because it looks similar to a box car racer, but we can actually power this with electricity even in the water, or do it with supercaps, there’s different options we can offer the client. As you can see the radius is really tight. Yes, you can’t imagine the boat going through there. Imagine, we can have a boat riding one site and one on the opposite, you can’t make it that tight with a trough. Furthermore I can go at different speeds, which doesn’t work when the water flow dictates the velocity. We can do all of this pretty neatly. How much involvement does the TÜV have in the invention of new things like this? We know the standards and norms, but in this case the TÜV is not yet involved. We have someone from TÜV in-house, our head of ride safety. He takes care of the safety of rides and ride vehicles. He gives input regarding where guests can reach, how fast we can go, but it’s not actually yet approved by the TÜV. Yes, but imagine you develop and invest in a direction where the TÜV eventually says no? No, we have our framework parameters inside which we develop this. We have enough experience to say this direction will work and we can go there, but the framework is set by law and norm, so we know what to expect. Are there countries you deliver to where things aren’t as strict? Yes, but we always build according to European norm. You have to know we have installations all around the world and we have higher safety standards than others, and that’s always a bit of a challenge to say we build for the Chinese market, the American market, since they all have their individual norms. We have to see that we build a product that we can sell to all markets without to much of an adaption, and that’s the difficulty. We don’t want to lay hands on every launch coaster just because it’s being built in another country The product needs to be good in America, China or Europe, so we try to keep the effort as low as possible. Now we’re standing next to our first robot which we installed three years ago. This is a robot that transforms pipes into diagonals. It works like that – we have a pickup system, the robot picks up the pipse and cuts them. Then it moves them to an induction oven that heats the pipes to 1200°C. Relatively quickly, under one minute. Then they are red hot and moved to a press where they are pressed, and then they are cut into shape with a plasma cutter. The advantage of this robot is that it works quickly so we can spend the time preparing following steps and then collect the finished diagonals. What’s also special about this robot is that we can do individual production. Our tracks are always individual, there’s no two tracks exactly the same. We have right turns, left turns, and so every diagonal has to be individual. We can send those coordinates to our robot, and then they are made in a way so we know exactly which diagonal goes on track piece 25 in the third upper right corner. That’s also printed on the pipe so the workers know where to put it. We’re now entering track assembly, we can’t show you that because it’s top secret. So, we are now inside Franz Mack house. This the house that Franz Mack built himself on this location. We have two of these houses here, this one for Franz Mack and over there is where Willi Mack lives. Relatively close, maybe you can do a cut so we can see just how close to the track production this is on the premise. This house hase been built in the year 1966. Franz Mack lived here with his wife, and his grandchilden often came to visit. Michael, Thomas and Ann-Kathrin frequently came to visit and were able to watch the company from here. Downstairs we have Franz Mack’s office with lots of old drawings. We have a bar downstairs where lots of contracts were made with exhibitors and theme parks. Back then when we didn’t have Europa-Park all of that happened in there. So people came here to sign the papers? Exactly, partly exhibitors looking to build wagons. Circusses came here as well, everyone came to Waldkirch to the bar. It was basically the hotspot to do business with us back then. That’s cool. It’s a historic house, if those walls could talk it would be pretty exciting. Downstairs we have the original drawings from the building of Colosseo, we have drawings of Alpenexpress and things like that and also concept studies on how Europa-Park would be able to develop. it’s pretty exciting what we can find there. Crazy. And this right here is kept up in memory of Franz Mack, or why do you keep this up, since you said you need space? Yes, it’s a two-sided thing, we need to expand and need the space, but on the other hand we can’t just tear down something like this. On the contrary, we’re very proud of our company’s history. Basically no one in the theme park industry has a history as rich as the Mack family’s. That’s what we’re trying to show here, because lots of clients are from the US or China and don’t know this history, and giving them a little insight and showing them this house, showing how close the family was tied to this company is important to us. We’re now in Herbolzheim, which is 5 minutes from Rust. So we’re exactly between Waldkirch and Europa-Park. Here we have 12.000m² in two warehouses where we have our track production as well as final vehicle assembly. The tracks have their final welding done there and behind me is where the vehicles are assembled. And what we also do here is service. Clients send their vehicles down here during winter break, we inspect them and replace parts if necessary and then send them back to the client for season opening. The track’s finally assembly, do you paint them here as well? It’s in the plan to start painting them here, right now we have a third party do that for us. It’s planned to do this in this warehouse but right we don’t do it ourselves. Over there we have our annealing furnace. This ones for preparing the metal we work on in our CNC mill, we have this furnace to heat up the metal to change the quality and we have a large flame cutting machine since at first we need to cut out large pieces of metal from the plates That’s what happens over there. Behind me there’s a bunch of boxes where we keep our GRP part shapes, because we don’t just pretend to care about history, we do. For every park and every client we store the GRP part shapes we produced for them. It’s possible that in 20, 30 years, or even 10 years, a client contacts us saying “I need a GRP part for my installation”, then we pull it out of here and can 1:1 produce the part for them. There’s a few classics like log flumes and Eurosat plates we see sticking out there, or a dinosaur from the dinosaur ride, the parts we produced for Europa-Park are stored here. There’s a few treasures in there. Yes, seeing the shape for the log flume boats is pretty funny. Yes, but it’s very possible that a client calls us in need of boats, maybe the GRP is broken after a certain lifespan and like this we can simply rebuild boats for them without cutting it again, because these actually are hand-cut. We’re now standing between our furnace and our flame cutting machine, with which we cut down the larger steel parts. You can imagine that similar to when you’re cutting out cookies, rough cut at first and then fine cutting with the CNC mill. The rough part is done with this plasma cutter, where we can cut it before transporting it to Waldkirch. What’s special about these tracks is that we inspect every welding seam. You can tell by the green and white markings, where every seem is tested with ultrasound and non-destructive testing, if there’s any air or inconsistencies in the seams, that’s what we inspect here and when everything’s fine they get their green marking and we can send them over to coating and painting. It looks pretty mysterious when welding is done behind these curtains and you can only make out silhouettes of people. Here we finish welding on our tracks and there’s also a smaller service station right here Here we have seat frames for Blue Fire and with all this space it’s easily manageable. So we’ve just been inside the vehicles final assembly and unfortunately we can’t show you that because there are couple of unreleased things in there. It was really exciting though. My name is Christian von Elverfeldt. I have been with Mack Rides since 2005, and since august 2005 I’m managing director of the company. My job is to push the company forward. I am not an engineer, I’m not a manufacturer, I’m a salesman. That’s why I have to familiarize with all things technical and all these visions regarding rides. But it’s a lot of fun, and I gotta say it was the best decision of my life to get involved in this wonderful company. That sounds nice. You didn’t have any experience in the amusement industry before? No, not at all. I’m native to the area, but I had been away for many years. Of course I had known Europa-Park from the beginning. My father was with Deutsche Bank, and you know the famous stories, how Franz and Roland Mack traveled across the country looking for loans to build the park and all banks said “they are insane, this is never going to work.” And when the park eventually opened, I will never forget how my father said “we need to go there all together now, the whole family, and check it out.” So I was actually one of the first visitors, so I knew the park. But I went to Berlin and Munich and did many different things.
So I was actually one of the first visitors, so I knew the park. But I went to Berlin and Munich and did many different things. I worked for Bryce Waterhouse for many years and did corporate restructuring. And I managed a window building company in Mecklenburg, and then I wanted to go back home and worked in cosmetics in Baden-Baden for a couple years, which was terrible. I was in management and I though I would be choosing models, but that wasn’t the case, in reality they wanted me to decide if a cream was good or not, and that was pretty hard for me. That’s why getting into this here company was great for me. So your father wasn’t one of the ones who gave money for the park? No, he was one of the skeptics. That would have been way more romantic. Yes, unfortunately not. The Deutsche and the Dresdner were the banks that rejected it, and the Volksbank Lahr stepped in to fund it. Very smart, but that’s the way it is. While we’re at beginnings, how did Mack Rides start? Well, the Mack family took very close care of Europa-Park, which was rapidly growing at the time, and Mack Rides was neglected a bit. It also had an external managing director. Some mistakes were made, they kind of lost sight of the market. And then in 2005 the company didn’t do very well, and a good friend of mine who was close to the Mack family contacted me since I was good at redeveloping and asked if I could take a look at it. So we did a bit of redeveloping and stuff and in the end they asked me to keep working here, which was a great offer, even though in the beginning things were kind of tough since I was the evil redeveloper, and then I suddenly became manager. It wasn’t easy on the employees, they didn’t really trust or like me. Then Roland Mack pulled a really great move, that Michael Mack, who had just finished studying and returned from staying at parks out of country, was assigned to me as my assistant. That was a dream come true for me, because through him I got to know the industry. I didn’t know much about the industry before, I knew Europa-Park and had been to Oktoberfest but that’s it, He explained the industry to me, that way we added on to each other, I knew numbers, he knew the industry. And like that we took care of this company together, until he went back to Rust after about two years. This showed the employees that the Mack family is committed to me, that was great and it worked well. And then thank god the numbers went back up again. I guess you can say that. One big milestone I always mention was Blue Fire in 2009. Michael Mack pushed through on that one in the family, so we could build this roller coaster. It was obvious that we needed a big coaster, but Mack Rides wasn’t really trusted if they could do it. And he really insisted on it. There’s this beautiful story how before the christmas party, in 2007 we had christmas party here, and Roland and Jürgen Mack came, and we sat in the meeting room, and Roland Mack said “well then just build it!”. That was the breakthrough success, and we built it. And it worked great from the start. That was a really important milestone for the Mack company. It took some time – until then we only had Wild Mouse coasters and water rides, but weren’t that goood in roller coasters. So that was a real milestone that pushed us forward. And then clones of Blue Fire have been sold, I’m not sure but I think 12 times around the world. That’s great. Everything started with wagon building which doesn’t exist anymore today. What were the milestones on the road from wagon building to building modern installations, roughly summed up? Wagon building is what Mack came from in 1780 when the company started under Paul Mack. They did other things as well, like laying wooden water lines. But wagon construction has always been their thing. And during the high times of exhibitors, 50s, 60s, 70s, even 80s, everyone wanted a Mack wagon. Unfortunately I didn’t experience that but I saw many of those wagons, they were amazing, have you seen them? I saw some of them. Some would love to live in one! They were gigantic, and so the money came, but some day it went away. So Roland Mack made the important decision in the late 90s and ended the wagon construction business. Back then we pretty much exclusively worked for exhibitors. Berg- und Talbahn, wild mouse… Right, and bumper cars were a huge business – ghost trains, yes. This started coming to an end and we had to rearrange. So we started concentrating on parks. When I look at mobile installations today, we don’t even know how to make those anymore. How quickly know-how vanishes. And as a traditional company like this you have to be innovative, because you constantly need to rearrange. Standing still is taking steps back. The world keeps changing faster, and you need to keep up with it, in the front. Will Mack only build roller coasters in the future? No! No. I’ll fight that with my life. Of course flat rides have gotten scarce I’ll admit. With Mack Next and Mack Media we’re trying to do more media-supported rides. We created a brand under Mack Rides for that called Tacumeon. Under that we may put more focus on flat rides again. But water rides – i mean looking at Power Splash we have the world’s first launched water ride. Which is pretty awesome. Yes, and I have to admit when I first saw the plans I thought it was gonna be boring. I thought so too, but I guessed I’ll give it a try. But once that thing is done, I will never forget my first ride on it, amazing. Where do these ideas come from? Does Mack Rides come up with it, or do parks come to you and say “I want something like that?” Since you said you found it boring at first. This idea came from us, from construction. The idea of a launched water ride sounded great of course, I just didn’t find the scribble very exciting. The turntable looked to be the most exciting thing about it. Europa-Park didn’t ask for this, it came from here. It’s always different when the park has an idea. Artuhr for example, that idea came from Europa-Park and they asked if we could invent something together. It turned out a really fantastic product. With Power Splash, Europa-Park didn’t really show an interest in it. And that’s a problem in the industry, when we have a new idea, unlike in the car industry we just develop it until it’s final and sell a million of it. The first product has to work right away. We need a buyer for it, which we found in Walibi and it worked out well. How many ideas are there in your drawers that don’t have a buyer yet? There’s lots, lots. Yesterday we had our yearly director tour at Europa-Park where we as Mack Rides get to present a bit, and we served up big, showing lots of stuff from our drawers hoping that Europa-Park like any of it and asks us to realize something with them. That’s our big advantage to our competition, that we have our own park and can develop things inside our own park. which is always nicer to do in your own family as opposed to strangers, who are less understanding if something doesn’t work right away. That works better in your own park, and you can gain experience and optimize rides afterwards and then put them on the market. So you always turn to Europa-Park first with new ideas and see if they’re interested in them, and other wise you pitch it elsewhere? Yes exactly. If we’re convinced with our product – we have a bunch of ideas of which some we show to our clients, some we keep on the low, and we actually hope for Europa-Park, because then it has the potential to go big. The Xtreme Spinning Coaster has been tested on Blue Fire, but Europa-Park wasn’t interested so it went elsewhere? Yes, and today they’re jealous. No really, it went a bit like that. We tested it and flew Herschend Family out to Rust, which we were proud of that they came to us from Missouri. They were thrilled, but the older generation of the Mack Family found it to be too crazy, you get sick and you end up throwing up, but that’s not the case since we can limit the spinning, and that was very important to the client from the USA. And now it stands there in Missouri where it’s hard to get to. And in Belgium next year. Right, that’s what you said right now. Well it’s public. Yes, it’s public, I know, but I’m still cautious because sometimes clients don’t like when you spread info like that too much. Yes, no problem. With artworks like the one for Belgium, or coasters like Icon, does Mack dare to take a more thrilling direction, or are they even obligated to do so? We definitely dare to, but our philosophy, which I respect, is that we don’t want to be too extreme. We want to build family rides. With thrill, of course, they need to be a bit challenging, but I want to – well we know that about 70% of our guests want to ride Blue Fire at Europa-Park, the majority of guests, and that’s important to me. That’s what the park thrives on. If we have a ride that only appeals to 19-29 year olds I don’t have the audience that I want to have. But yes, we do dare to try more, we have a bunch of young new engineers with pretty wild ideas, who want to do wild things. But not too intense, we don’t want that. What about launch coasters? With Mack the acceleration – and that’s my opinion – tends to be kind of lame in comparison to others. Is that intentional or is there no other way? Good question. At first it wasn’t intentional. By now, we see that Intamin launches are pretty powerful. But that means a lot of work, things have to be constructed differently, it’s pretty complex, and also we currently don’t have a different one, we work closely with Intrasys. We’re in conversation with them, and there will be something coming. Are there any tricks, like launching over a hill like with the Power Splashes, to make it feel more intense? It’s my subjective perception, but it feels more intense launching over a hill. Right, but that was a surprise for me, I didn’t expect the effect to be this intense. You also did it with Copperhead Strike and to me it seemed like a little trick to make the moderate launches more intense. Well, yes, you can put it like that, right. Going back to Arthur, that was pitched by Europa-Park, but has been sold to Motiongate, what’s it like if Europa-Park has the idea and you sell the concept to someone else? The Mack family, since they own both businesses, are very open about that. When we do something in Europa-Park, it has to contain something new which is profitable for the market, not strictly themselves, but for the international market, to support Mack Rides. Regarding Arthur, there have been easier concepts which would have also been cheaper. But they wanted something special, so they invested in it, and it’s a great ride. You can say the number of buyers for this ride is limited, most family parks can’t afford it, but there’s buyers for it and we built one at Motiongate. It’s really good, a lot of fun. Yes, and they themed it pretty well. Unfortunately there’s not many guests. Yes, we noticed that, too. That’s a shame. Finally, why should you buy from Mack Rides, as opposed to the competition? That’s easy, we’re the best. Enough said. No, I think one thing we do is, and I don’t think it’s wrong to say that, we don’t only put effort into building a great ride, we also focus on building low-maintenance rides. We want to provide low-maintenance products. By investing in CNC mills we have less welding seems on our vehicles, which keeps maintenance efforts lower. Unfortunately the market doesn’t really understand that yet. The smaller ones are more likely to, but the big ones just buy and then hand over to the operators, and the buyer doesn’t really give a sh*t, sorry. He just looks for a good price and the rest is not their problem. And that’s what we try to incorporate into the market, pay attention to long-lasting fun, and not only 2-3 years. I think in that regard we are very strong. And of course, with Europa-Park, also regarding theming we can offer everything. Those are some more advantages. We’re clearly not cheap, but if I’m able to operate a ride for 30-40 years, I think you have to plan long-term. Final words? This conversation was lots of fun. To a great future for Mack Rides! And for the industry as a whole. Do you also feel like the industry is booming and growing? Yes, but it also feels like it’s getting quieter again. The recent years it completely went off, higher, faster, longer, more parks here and there. Worldwide, Asia especially. And I feel like it is calming down a bit. Doesn’t have to be bad, it can be a good thing when the market does a bit of selection and maybe some parks disappear. But I’m seeing a bright future ahead. And I wish for it, because it’s a wonderful industry. It’s so nice to see all the people, I love it,when a new ride opens, I like to stand by the exit for an hour and watch people come off and see if they’re all happy, that’s great fun. It’s a great present we have.