All of the photos on these pages were generously donated by Mark Rosenzweig during a recent visit to the most famous fair in the world– Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. The captions were written with input from Mark. Grab a Paulaner and strap on the Lederhosen, its time for Oktoberfest 2003. Piece owner's websites or other sites of interest are linked and have a blue text highlight.
People everywhere! Yes, Oktoberfest is known for midways chock full of fairgoers of all ages and in various states of sobriety.
The Krinoline (German for crinoline, a woman's hoop skirt) is one of the oldest attractions at Oktoberfest. It is owned by the Niederländer family and has been at the fair for over eighty years. It is a simple family ride, much like a carousel, which features an undulating platform that spins to the sound of a Bavarian band.
Trinken! Beer tents line the midways and can be seen wherever visitors look. This one is owned by the Hofbrauhäus of Munich. When someone thinks of a "beer tent" they probably see a flimsy structure in their mind. The massive structures the breweries erect on the grounds are anything but simple and look like they could stand year-round.
The Monsterbrut (owned by Fellerhoff) is a dark ride that is advertised as having "ghosts, monsters and other various worms." While it may look like a normal-sized attraction, take another peak. It is actually a multi-level dark ride that features connected cars (see the blue train to the upper-left part of the ride) that takes riders through at least three different floors of thrills.
This Ferris wheel, called the Russenrad (Russian wheel), opened at the 1925 Oktoberfest. For many years it remained one of the largest portable wheels in southern Germany at 14 meters. Today it is dwarfed by the many super spectaculars that surround it, but acts as an important link to the traditional days of Oktoberfest.
The Münchner Rutschn (the Munich Slide) is a staple on the Oktoberfest midway and owned by showman Adolf Stey. As the barker says, "Wer einmal rutscht, rutscht immer wieder (Whomever slides once, slides again and again)." The slide stands 23 meters high and 15 meters wide, making it much more than just a playground attraction.
The Disco Looping is a type of ride no longer seen in the U.S.- the Swingin' Gym. These are a liability nightmare you could only find in Germany. They work by the passenger using their bodyweight to get the cages to move. The downside is that momentum can often keep the cages going and patrons are thrown around, which makes them as fun to watch as they are to ride.