You have to admire the ingenuity and creativity that goes into making a Bobsled Coaster. Think about it, the cars aren’t actually held on the track by anything, so you have to be super-careful with the design to make sure you’ve got enough curvature that the cars will stay in that channel of their own accord. And on top of that, you have to try and make the ride as exciting as possible as well.
Efteling’s Bob (or Bobbaan, or Bobslee, depending on which signs you read) is a great example of what a Bobsled Coaster should look and feel like. It’s fast and exciting, with plenty of twists and turns that are handily separated into sections by brake runs. This does mean that there is a bit of stop-starting going on, but as I mentioned in the intro this is necessary to reduce the speed of the car and make sure it doesn’t go flying off into the woods. This also results in the ride getting a little bit rough and bumpy at times due to the guide rails that direct the cars into the centre of the brake run, but fortunately this doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of riding too much.
It’s hard to explain what makes Bob an enjoyable ride, but I think the main thing is the relative uniqueness of it. Rides like this are few and far between, which isn’t really surprising given the obvious degree of difficulty in creating a successful one. I think the feeling of relative freedom and knowing that it’s a risky and dangerous ride adds to the experience as well – and I’m still not convinced we didn’t leave the tracks a couple of times on some of those drops! But it’s all in good fun, and the height restriction means that Bob makes a great family coaster, although younger guests probably won’t see an awful lot due to the high sides of the cars.
Bob’s theme is…interesting, to say the least. It’s essentially a Swiss Bobsleigh ride in the middle of a forest, which is at odds to the majority which are themed around genuine icy bobsleigh runs. To their credit, Efteling have tried to cover up this fact by painting the outside of the tracks green and giving the cars a very nice wood effect…and then they go and play yodelling music in the station. I don’t know why. Other minor issues with Bob include the relatively low throughput, though this is alleviated somewhat by the dual-loading station and the fact they have a single rider queue, but it does mean you do have to queue a little sometimes. And yes, there may be potential for some bruises due to the age and roughness of those guide rails, so if you like your rides as smooth as a baby’s bottom, this isn’t one for you.
Overall though, Bob is a good friend who might be past his thirtieth birthday, but still knows how to make sure everyone has a good time.
See you around =] x x