Park Hires Shrink for People with Rollercoaster Angst | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 13.05.2004
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Park Hires Shrink for People with Rollercoaster Angst

Scared of rollercoasters? A German amusement park in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate may have the cure for you.


Afraid of flying? Feel the urge to purge?

Holiday Park in the city of Hassloch has hired a psychologist to help angst-ridden park visitors get over their phobia of plunging down massive steel tracks, winding around bank turns and falling at speeds exceeding 120 kilometers (76 miles) per hour.

Later this month, the head of the German Flight Fear Center, Marc-Roman Trautmann, will offer a seminar teaching people that rollercoasters are "not bad, totally safe -- and just a little thrilling." The workshop also includes visits from a technician who explains rollercoasters' magnetic braking systems and a heart specialist to clarify why people's tickers thump a little harder when they take the plunge.

Visitors may need it, too. Holiday Park is home to one of the world's largest rollercoasters. The Expedition GeForce has an incline of 62 meters (68 yards) and flies through the tracks at over 100 kilometers per hour.

The German airline Lufthansa has offered seminars aimed at countering fear of flying for over 20 years with a success rate of 94 percent, and Holiday Park is hoping for similar results.