No Oktoberfest ride is older than the “Witches’ Swing”. It was 1894 when it first fooled the sense of orientation of its brave riders.
The Witches‘ Swing, a mad house type attraction, is by far the oldest ride at the Oktoberfest. It was 1894, when its drum rotated for the first time at the Oktoberfest. However, it’s only since 1994, that the Hexenschaukel has been an Oktoberfest regular again, after Ulrich Keller bought and restored the old gem. Ironically, Keller is actually a pastor in his normal life and his co-workers are mostly theology students.
The ride confuses the sense of orientation of its riders in a way, that they feel like turning upside down, while they aren’t. To create this illusion, the gondola and the whole room can both move in the same or the opposite direction. This illusion is so popular that it has not only been surviving for decades, but was also used in a number of theme park attractions in the more recent past.
For many, it recently became a ritual to spend the last hour of the last day of Oktoberfest in front of the Hexenschaukel, reminiscing about this magnificent time of the year.