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Everything posted by Electerik

  1. Not my place to second-guess the decision, but I really like Jetline and will definitely miss it. I imagine that the space (small as it is) and maybe even the station will be reused at some point for another coaster.
  2. I am amused and intrigued by the idea of an Invisible Man walk-around character.
  3. Proof that you don't read my trip reports! (Or, you just have a bad memory.) Short version: There's a famous statue in downtown Helsinki of three naked workers with tools. (I think it's kind of a socialist thing.) So the park has a homage/parody of that where the guys are taking a break and having some ice cream. Anyway, I really enjoyed Linnanmäki. In fact, it might just be a top 10 park for me. I thought I'd seen it quite well during our day there, but you had quite a few photos of things I'd missed entirely! Great day. Fun hang. Thanks, Bert.
  4. "They opened the gift shop for you, Misty. You *have* to get the big one!"
  5. Not sure exactly how everyone else does it, but my method feels overly time consuming. I just can't find a faster way that gives me the results I want. First, I go through all the photos (mine and Smisty's) from the place or places I want the update to be about, to familiarize myself with what I've got, and to make the next step a little easier. Then, I go through again, copying every photo that I find good, interesting, or that supports the story I think I want to tell, into a separate folder. Then I take all those photos and start numbering them into a reading order. If photos are similar, they'll get the same number, since I endeavor not to post overly similar photos. Then I go through the photos in order, over and over again, deleting down to just the very best essence of the story, and eliminating "duplicate" photos. Things often get reordered during this stage, as well. When there's nothing left to eliminate, then I'm done. I upload the photos and start captioning them. But often I'm so exhausted by this point that proofreading basically becomes impossible for me, so Misty does that part. Meaning that much of my, *ahem* humor just comes from being delirious. Then I sit back and await my accolades! And wait. And wait.
  6. Well, as everyone who has read anything of mine should know by now, you can't go by me. I guess I just imagined that "turbo mode" meant that it would spin like crazy. But in fact I don't think I really spun at all. Instead, it just beat the crap out of me. Awful. I wish you and Playland something better! Perhaps a Mack Extreme Spinner. Or a Volare. Just kidding. I've never ridden a Volare. But that's part of it for me. If looks to have no redeeming qualities, I don't ride. Tornado fooled me.
  7. And so at last we come to the final update of the longest trip report I've ever written, about the longest vacation I've ever taken, to the farthest place I've ever gone, to experience the worst roller coaster I've ever ridden. (Tornado at Bakken.) But let us not dwell on the negative, but rather focus our attentions on the very best things we encountered on this amazing trip.... 28: Big Finnish Up with the sunrise to catch our flight. And this is Helsinki, so sunrise is probably earlier than you think. And back home to the little strip of land we share with 750,000 other people near the Pacific Ocean. Time to reflect. Sometimes Smisty and I agreed as to what was the best of a particular thing, and sometimes we didn't. For example: Erik's Park of the Trip - Gröna Lund I really struggled with this one. Yes, I rate Gröna Lund as my second favorite park (with Europa being #1) but Liseberg was just so good on this trip. What I ultimately decided was this: If I can count the Grand Curiousa Hotel as part of Liseberg, then Liseberg wins--and if I can't, then Gröna Lund wins. And since it seems weird to me to count a hotel as part of an amusement park for this purpose, well...Gröna Lund wins. Smisty's Park of the Trip - Power Park I get it. I rated this one quite highly as well, and I skipped the crazy flat rides that Smisty cited as being particular highlights of Power Park. She also mentioned the Devil's Mine Hotel dark ride that gave you a limited number of shots. Best Wooden Coaster - Rutschebanen at Tivoli Gardens According to RCDB, Rutschebanen's elements are: Tunnel, Cable Lift Hill, Tunnel, Tunnel, Tunnel, Tunnel, Tunnel, Tunnel. But I think that's selling it a bit short. There are a few drops. And, of course, a brakeman. Normally, I don't distinguish between wood and steel for purposes of judging rides against one another, but doing it this way kept Misty and I in agreement. Otherwise, my favorite coaster overall would be her second favorite, and vice versa. Which, come to think of it, wouldn't really have changed very much in terms of presentation here. Best Steel Coaster - Fønix at Fårup Sommerland For me, it's not even close. I have Lech as my #1, and this now at #3, with Mako sandwiched in-between them, but probably just because I subconsciously don't want two such similar rides right next to each other at the top of my list. It's like someone took an MRI of my effed-up body, sent it to Vekoma, and challenged them to design a ride that specifically I would enjoy. And they did it twice (at least). Oh yeah, and Smisty likes it also. Best Coaster Collection - Liseberg Is this here just to make me feel better about choosing Gröna Lund over Liseberg? Yeah, probably. But there's not a bad coaster in this park, even if Balder is a bit overrated. Best Dark Ride - The Flying Trunk A weird multi-level dark ride that travels through narrated Hans Christian Andersen stories? Yes, please. I wouldn't say that there were a lot of dark rides on this trip, but many of the ones that did exist were relatively strong. Best Dark Ride Collection - Linnanmäki Witches and clowns, man. Erik's Favorite Water Ride of the Trip - Ragnarok at Tusenfryd On a trip without a lot of good log flumes, a rapids ride sneaks in and pillages my watery heart! (Or something.) Smisty's Favorite Water Ride of the Trip - The Three Hour Buffet Ferry Ride from Denmark to Norway Smisty, I don't think you're taking this very seriously. I was thinking more like an actual ride at a park. Maybe the log flume at Liseberg? No? *sigh* Fine. Erik's Favorite Walk-Through: Lustiga Huset at Gröna Lund I may be old and overweight, but I'm pretty sure-footed, and I love a good fun house. And this is the goodest. Smisty's Favorite Walk-Through: Gasten Ghost Hotel at Liseberg I'd love to show you a picture of it, especially the awesome flooded room--but photos are not allowed inside. So, instead, here's a picture of Smisty's favorite dessert of trip, Strawberry Shortcake Cake at Power Park's Road House. Erik's Favorite Flat Ride - Lake Carousel at Särkänniemi Yes, it's a Schwarzkopf. Yes, it's also very much a family ride. But it's just so gentle and fun! They don't make them like this anymore, but they should. Smisty's Favorite Flat Ride - Aquila at Tivoli Gardens A nicely themed Zamperla Air Race on top of a building. What more could a Smisty want? Transportation/Observation Ride of the Trip - Safari at Kolmården Zoo When I told Smisty the first draft nominee for this category, her response was, "That's it?" So then I threw in Särkänniemi's observation tower and Linnanmäki 's monorail to pad it out. But, really, what other possibility could there be besides this? Erik's Best Park Food/Restaurant - Spökbaren Gasten at Liseberg While food was perhaps not on balance as good as on our two previous European trips, there were some highlights. Such as the Danish Smørrebrød, or Liseberg's haunted pub. Of course, part of this choice is the atmosphere. After all, everyone knows that food tastes better when you're scared. Smisty's Best Park Food/Restaurant - The Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö, Sweden Smisty, you're making a mockery of this whole idea. This isn't even at a park and the whole point of the place is that the food is bad. Why do you hate me?? Erik's Best Non-Park Thing - The Paternoster Elevator What more can I say? Except that Smisty knew full well this was a category when she named a place that serves "three penis wine" as her favorite restaurant, and a buffet as her favorite water ride! Smisty's Best Non-Park Thing - Tropicario (or, as we call it, the Snake Zoo) Oh, I get it. By calling the Disgusting Food Museum your favorite restaurant, you got to mention both that and this. Cheater! Fine! I'm changing my favorite wooden roller coaster to the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum! How do you like those apples?! She likes those apples fine. I'd like to thank the following weirdos: Myself, for writing this trip report and taking most of the photos. Smisty, for proofreading it and being the B-camera. Bert, for being the only one who reads it. Goodballs, for being our pal. Elissa, for organizing the trip and herding the cats. Robb, for hating mango lassi. Peter Ellis, for inventing the Paternoster Elevator. And Hans Christian Andersen, without whom, we would be left with a dark ride themed to Mads Mikkelsen. Actually, that sounds kind of awesome. Goodbye forever!
  8. Thanks for the TR! The new stuff looks cool. I've only been to this park once (in 2022), but I enjoyed it. Maybe not the most thrilling coaster collection, but certainly a unique park with some fun attractions.
  9. Continuously moving, yes. Which seems a bit inefficient if there aren't a lot of people around. I did see one other person use it while I was there, but that was it. Still, what do I know? Maybe it doesn't take all that much energy, or maybe it's normally more heavily used. I'm certainly not complaining about any of it. Nah, it wasn't that small. I do think it said "2 persons max" somewhere, though.
  10. Our last full day in Helsinki, and it was great! Yes, this is the last update. Except there will probably be one more. But other than that, this is the last one! 27: The Holy Grail of Vertical Conveyances Having struck out at Stockmann, my last shot was this office building, Hämeentie 19. My pre-trip research showed it was here, but there was little else to glean. Was it public, guarded, private, touristy? It was time to find out... Ladies and gentlemen, the Paternoster Elevator. As it turned out, there was a sort of reception desk, but it was unmanned. And no one seemed too interested in me or my peculiar interest in their elevators. A photo of the plaque, with Google Lens's translation superimposed over it. I understand that some Paternoster elevators out there warn you not to ride over the top or around the bottom. But this one says it's okay! Did I do that? Yes, yes I did. 08 PXL_20230627_082654535.TS.mp4 Paternoster is Latin for "Our Father." As in, "who art in Heaven." And a common nickname is, "The elevator of death." Which is a bit dramatic, of course. But I'm sure you can see why there are few left, and why none were ever built in the United States. Smisty was not nearly so interested in the Paternoster as I was, eventually just going outside for a sit. So the least I could do, once I was finally finished, was to reward her with lunch at a small ramen shop nearby. A bit warm inside, as unheard of heat likes to follow me around Europe, but the food was quite tasty! Speaking of Smisty rewards, it was time for the snake zoo! The snake zoo does not shortchange you on snakes. It also has things that are not snakes, but are snake-adjacent. Tropicario used to be located in Hämeenlinna, but moved to Helsinki in 2007 due to lack of visitors. Hämeenlinna is about 113 kilometers from Helsinki (or a little over 13,000 American SUVs), and the name means, "Town of Snake-Haters." Which makes you wonder why Tropicario thought it was a good idea to build there in the first place. A bird and some fish can be seen in this photo, and maybe even a snake or two that I haven't spotted. Who can say? I wouldn't get into a staring contest with that one. Smisty has no eyelids. The Finnish word for snake is käärme. The Latin word for snake is serpens. The Japanese word for snake is 蛇. Is that helpful? Does that help? This is not a snake. This is a cutetoes. I'm really good at zoo and aquarium captions. Sad snake doesn't understand why no one will play with him. It's cause he's poisonous. POISONOUS That outta get me some comments. I'm not proud. I didn't see any identifiers for this statue, but Google Lens (to rescue again) reveals it to be called, "The Worker Mother." And, incidentally, I definitely translated that Paternoster sign that says it's okay to ride all the way around before I did it and not after I got home and was going through these photos. I mention that for no reason. I assume this is a smoking shelter, for when it's really cold. That's my best theory anyway. Even Google Lens is baffled by this one. Hmm, what's this? It kind of looks familiar.... And we're back at Linnanmäki! Not for any particular reason. We just happened to be walking by on our way from one place to the next. But, I mean, since we're here. Sea Life's other "outside the park" entrance. Although, again, Linnanmäki is free to enter, so I'm not sure why it's needed. Maybe it's open all year and the park isn't? Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for joining on my brain's journey toward common sense! Taiga is a terrain coaster. Although, really, isn't every coaster a terrain coaster, if you really think about it? I stood here for a while waiting for a train to launch. Must've been down for a bit. A nearby underpass. That's not a very good caption. Wait, I know! A nearby underpass, with art. A very nice public park with some statues and memorial oak trees. I've seen some minor attractions in my time, but this might be the minor-est: "Cathedral of the Nature." It's a tree with a hole in it. There's a tiny matchstick model of a cabin inside and some music. Not that I'm in any way opposed to minor attractions, mind you. Our next stop: Tower of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. The tower is 72.71 metres tall. Or, in American, 72.71 meters. Guess I should go this way. There is an elevator, but you you have to take stairs to get up the last couple floors. The whole thing is quite small, but luckily there was only one other couple there during our visit. Construction of the Stadium began in 1934 and it was completed in 1938, in time for the 1940 Summer Olympics, which were moved from Tokyo to Helsinki before being cancelled due to World War II. So, sorry about that, Finland. It did host the 1952 Summer Olympics, however. Finland did participate in WWII, by the way. In fact, they participated on both sides! (Russia was a problem.) I see you, Linnanmäki. If you look closely you can see a bunch of stuff but I don't know what it is. Hmm. I should've learned more Finnish. The *ahem* "World's Smallest Power Plant." Ice cream. It was pretty good. Not the best I've ever had, but that's a good thing, as it seems unlikely that I shall have it again anytime soon. Also, this is Misty's hand and ice cream. But I had some, too. Had a great time exploring Helsinki. Glad we tacked on the extra couple of days. Two trains! I think I'm going to do one last wrap up post. But if you're not interested in that, then you're done. You're excused. Go outside and play.
  11. It was on our 'possibilities' list! But we didn't quite make it over there. As I recall, there was some kind of 4D theater thing it was paired with, but that seemed weak. If it had been a proper flying theater, we probably would've done it.
  12. We planned two days on our own in Helsinki, after the end of the TPR trip, in order to do Erik & Smisty things. And we did! Here are the less good ones. (I don't know, it just worked out that way.) 26: Cork Is Sorry Up bright and early, but it's hard to tell because our hotel is in Finland and that's where the sun lives. Gotta have some beans and a donut to get me going, though. Helsinki is nice, and I'm happy to spend time in pretty much any northern European city--or really almost anywhere that I've never been. But, having said that, it's no Stockholm. Ooh, a grocery store! Yes, we're easily amused. OR We're fun and you're the problem. Ever think of that?? This seems like an unhealthy selection of breakfast cereals even by American standards. And I eat beans and donuts for breakfast, Speaking of unhealthy and American: I'd been looking for this particular Ben & Jerry's flavor the entire trip, after having encountered it at Gröna Lund in 2019., and really enjoying it. (Apparently it's a UK "only" flavor.) Okay, now that you mention it, "baby back ribs" is a pretty weird name for a food already, but leaving the word 'back' out of it doesn't make it better. Helsinkians really provide for their seagulls. Helsinkites? Helsinks? (I would go with 'Hellions' if it were me.) Time to ferry about! No wait, ferries carry cars. Water taxi? We're gonna ride on a boat boat, is my point. "Switch costumes, you ignominious pretender!" If you understand this reference, congratulations! You are unique in all the world and also you're me and your brain is broken. We did not ride the SkyWheel Helsinki, so I cannot say whether or not licorice consumption is required onboard. But what I can tell you is that the single brown cabin is the world's only sauna on a Ferris wheel. Actually, I'm just assuming it's the world's only. Their website actually says, "world's first," which seems to imply that someone else has since built another one. However, I can find no evidence of this. Which forces me to consider the even more insane possibility that SkyWheel Helsinki was so sure someone else would immediately copy this idea that they just went with 'first' right out of the gate. And here we arrive at our destination: Korkeasaari Zoo, which is located on an island. Just to reiterate: this entire island is a zoo. Which is awesome. But, to be honest, it feel less like an island that they brought a bunch of zoo animals to, and more like an island that just kind of had some animals on it already, so they declared it a zoo. So, the location is cool, but is the zoo actually any good? Well, no. Did you not read the last caption? But perhaps I'm being too harsh. It does have this leopard. And a statue of a goat. Note the building in the background. Which is a restaurant named--and I swear I'm not making this up--Restaurant Pukki. Which did not make us vomit, I am happy to say. Probably the most interesting animals at Korkeasaari, Amur tigers. Other things of note: Korkeasaari is the largest zoo in Finland, was established in 1899, and is open year round. These are also animals of some kind. Karhulinna means "bear castle." Yep, that's a bear. The old, no longer in use, bear castle. You know, from back when people thought that bears would be more comfortable in a castle than surrounded by trees and stuff. And that they might like being stared at by a mural of a tiger all day. Look, I'm pro-zoo, but just tear this thing down and never speak of it again, you know? "I bless the herpetariums of Afriii-cAsia!" Pop quiz: Is this snake from Africa or Asia? If it helps, I 100% do not remember because I didn't take a photo of the sign and it's been like 10 months since then and this is easily the longest trip report I've ever done and I'm starting to have regrets. I guess there's more to a zoo than just animals. There's also wooden planks. They're not exactly the word leader in gift shops, either. Wait, you can walk on and off this island? Why did we take a boat?? At this point, I can't really even get off on a naked statue unless there's a seagull on its head. We wanted to visit Stockmann for a few reasons. For one, it was recommended to us by one of Smisty's co-workers who used to live in Helsinki. Two, it's the largest department store in the Nordic countries, and we like going to stores and malls and things when we're visiting new places. And three, it was a possible place I might find a little something I was hoping to track down while in Helsinki. That third thing didn't really work out. As while I was able to confirm that it existed (in an employees-only area), I was not able to actually see or experience it. I know, I know, I'm being terribly mysterious. But I won't make you wait long. Just until the next update. Oh, wait...that could actually be awhile at the rate I'm going. You'll probably have forgotten all about it by then. Big store. Lots of different stuff. I don't know. Things adults like. We found our favorite section, toys! This game sucks. Okay, I feel better now. Ultimately, it is just a really big department (and grocery) store. But we enjoyed checking it out. Back out on the street, we get one of those classic European "this would be a national landmark in the US, but here it's a transit center" buildings. The Three Smiths Statue is the metaphorical center point of Helsinki. I think you're supposed to see this one before the parody of it at Linnanmäki (Three Smiths on a Break). Just one more day to go! Will I get it done before the end of April?? I mean, I have to get it done before the end of May. I can't take a whole year to finish this thing. Actually, maybe I'll just quit now. That would be funny. The end.
  13. At last we come to the final park of the trip, Linnanmäki. The name means Water Castle Hill, but I think they should've included the word "rocky" in there somewhere, personally. 25: Sampo Circus The park was founded, and is still run, by the non-profit Children's Day Foundation. Entry is free, though one must of course pay for the attractions. Can you guess what year it first opened? The first ride of the day was Taiga, an Intamin LSM launch coaster not completely dissimilar in style to VelociCoaster. I think I like this one slightly more, though it does lack the theming of IOA's ride. Both are smooth and aggressive, but VelociCoster's first half feels like it's made up of smaller, more compact elements (which I guess I'm saying is less good). A pretty great ride, in any case. Taken through the window of the gift shop, because I'm artsy. Next door to Taiga is Kyöpelinvuoren Hotelli, the exterior of which is "shown" here, in this shot from the queue for the Ferris wheel--because, again, artsy. I had no idea this dark ride existed, and it was spectacular. It reminded me a lot of Blue Train, except where Blue Train is a celebration of random mix-and-match horror theming, Kyöpelinvuoren Hotelli has a consistent theme throughout--which might sound less interesting, in a way, but isn't because that theme is, "What if witches ran a hotel but a wizard showed up to fight them and got killed almost immediately and they also live in the hotel and there are werewolves too sometimes I guess." "Again!" Yes, the park has a fun house. But, it's a fairground-style trailer-mounted one. Better than not having a fun house though, to be sure! I'm not afraid to punch a seagull. I don't know what this is, but I appear to be having fun. I suppose you could classify it as a powered coaster, but I'm not sure what the point would be since no one should be counting powered coasters anyway. Goldballs modelling the next "what the hell is this?" ride. This dark ride I did know about. I had no idea so many coaster enthusiasts were coulrophobic. I thought it was great! (Giving Linnanmäki the best 1-2 dark ride punch of the trip.) Let me know if you want more pictures of terrifying dark ride clowns! Or witches! Or that one wizard guy who died. "Again"? Next door to the Clown Circus is this walk-through haunted house and mirror maze. Well lit and family-ish, but I really enjoyed it. They give you 3-D glasses, but they feel pretty unnecessary, to be honest. Some cool effects in the mirror maze, like glass that "breaks" to reveal monsters when triggered by passers-by. Some areas of Linnanmäki are themed and some aren't--or I just don't understand what those areas are themed to. Or, to put it another way, Linnanmäki is circus-themed except when it isn't, which is frequently. Don't tell me that doesn't make sense unless you've been there. There is no other theming of this kind in the park. Enjoy your pee! I think this photo was taken from the "sky cabin" style observation tower, Panoraama. Vuoristorata has a similar layout to Bakken's Rutschebanen, but this one is still breakman operated. (Er...brake-person operated?) Unfortunately, this one was rather rough and dull. Of course, I only rode it once (because it was rough and dull), and by its nature, one would expect some variation from ride to ride--but I can only judge by what I experienced. And what I experienced was pointless. RMC it! Bug Why, bug? Linnanmäki, that's why. There's something weirdly interesting about a monorail built through a multi-level park in such a way that it travels directly alongside pathways. In case it wasn't obvious, I fell in love with this park when we walked in. Hot dog, lunch! The train (which has a tiny graphic of a train on the front of it, presumably so that you'll know what it is once you get up close) travels around this water tower that doesn't have water in it, but can't be torn down for historic reasons. It can apparently have a roller coaster built inside of it, though. Linnunrata eXtra Linnunrata means "Milky Way" and eXtra means "stupid VR goggles that you shouldn't use because the inside of this ride is actually really nicely themed!" To space, obviously. Oh, and hey, Barry's back! He's been back for awhile actually. In fact, think he only missed, like, one park. Don't rely on me for news updates is what I'm saying. That looks cool. How do we get down there? For an extra thrill, ride your horsy along the edge of a rocky cliff. It's a walk-around character. Of some sort. Quick, walk around her! Quickly googles "Linnanmaki mascot." Oh, Rolle the Clown. Which, yeah, don't google that. She's not it. She's waaaaay less horrifying. Yes, Smisty and Goldballs are on this thing. Photo by me. Maybe this is more common than I think, but I've never seen a swinging ship ride with restraints that come down over your body and rows that face one another. We rode just because it seemed weird. The park's spinning coaster, Salama, was quite alarming in that the ride was janky and rough leaving the station and all the way to the top of the lift hill. But then it was fine and smooth and enjoyable. It was almost a feature. Like, let's make people think this ride is going to be horrible, but then it's fun actually! This area of the park is largely themed to the Finnish epic, Kalevala. And if you don't know what this, there's a chance you actually do. At least, if you've ever seen the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring the Finnish/Russian film based on that mythology, "The Day the Earth Froze." That's right. The big metal thing shooting water and fire is, in fact, meant to be a Sampo. Wait...MST3K paired that film with a short called, "Here Comes the Circus." Oh. Your. God. That means that Linnanmäki is entirely themed after Episode 422 of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Pikajuna is a Mack powered coaster that was primarily interesting for how it intertwined with some of the park's other coasters. Speaking of Mack, we were warned that there's a reason Tulireki is the world's only Mack E-Motion Coaster. And during the first third, it didn't seem too bad. But oh that second third, the jack-hammering begins! And then the last third is kind of in-between, where it's just a little bit terrible. I am not an engineer, but I have to suspect that the drunken elves that move the seats a bit in relation to the chassis just don't have the magic to maintain their composure at the bottom of the drops. The park also has an upcharge Sea Life Aquarium. Well, not an upcharge, really, as the park is free to enter. So, just a charge, I guess. Maybe it's even weird to say, "the park has," since there's also an entrance from outside the park. Not that having to enter the park would be any great hindrance. Anyway, naked dudes eating ice cream. And one has a bird on his head. Just try that sh!t with me, gull. I'll mess you up. Can verify that the aquarium has an underwater tunnel, making it officially legitimate. It also put a little hat on a sea urchin, making it fun in a way that's kind of dubious. "Just try putting a hat on me, aquarium. I'll mess you up." I like Sea Life Aquariums. Maybe not quite as much as most city-run aquariums, but they'll do! Linnanmäki. It's great. Maybe their overall coaster collection is just okay, on average--but Taiga was really good and Salama and Linnunrata are both fun. Two wonderful dark rides, plus a walk-though and a fun house. An observation tower, monorail, Ferris wheel, aquarium. Some interesting flat rides and lots and lots of weirdness. Yeah, this is an Erik park. Score: 10 And so we say goodbye to TPR (here represented entirely by Robb). But--and I apologize in advance--this is not the last update, as we spent two more full days in Helsinki doing Erik & Smisty stuff. So stay tuned for: The elevator of death! A drab office building full of snakes! A really big store! An observation tower that's part of a stadium! A really tiny power plant! Baby ribs! Um...the airport! And more!
  14. Was really looking forward to going to Japan next year and not being allowed to ride it.
  15. I love Gröna Lund so much. Having said that, it would be nice if one of their 75 drop tower rides was an observation tower instead. I'm just saying.
  16. Särkänniemi is a city-owned amusement park with a great location and an interesting and varied collection of attractions. Its coaster lineup is perhaps a bit lacking, though, and there aren't a whole bunch of them. Which is okay by me, but maybe left a lot of my fellow trip participants ready to move on well before I was. Which is a shame, as there are sections of this park I felt like I really had to rush through, and some areas I never even saw. 24: Born To Boom Näsinneula Observation Tower & Tornado greet us as we enter the park. Also, some really pretty benches, all at weird angles to make sitting more challenging and fun! Tornado's station is impressively dark and spooky and carved out of rock. And one of its two heartline rolls similarly sweeps under mountain. Which is cool, because when I think "Tornado," I think "underground caves." A good ride, but a bit rattly. On the other hand, I exclusively rode on the much less full train, and those on the more heavily-weighted train did not seem to agree with my 'rattly' accusation. So take that for what it's worth. Tornado intertwines with the park's log flume, Tukkijoki--which means "log nonsense" (maybe). Also, that "floating" faucet would maybe be more convincing if they, like, tried. Is it better to boom before pizza, or after? No, serious question. The park wants to know. It's hip and cool and for the trendy kids. Except that it is actually kind of cool looking. Oh, wait, if I think it's cool, then it definitely isn't, because I'm old and decidedly unhip. So I don't know what it is. It's the Park Shop. Beware of smartphone zombies. These symbols actually spell out a word! See it? All aboard the hype train! See, because, the ride is called Hype. And it has a train. Stop in the name of burger. Also, take off. Piggy Town is Pouta Pig's hometown. "Pouta" means dry weather in Finnish. And that's good weather for a candy cane. Thus, this photo. If you look closely you can not see me. Because I didn't ride it. But you can see Smusty and Goldirt. I did ride--and very much enjoyed--this seaside car ride, though. "The ride is calm, although the steep cliffs can be a bit exciting." Järvikaruselli is a beautiful old Schwarzkopf ride that's very gentle but still really fun. To stumble across it felt like finding a rare coin worth way more than the amount printed on it. MotoGee is a Zamperla straddle coaster (no, seriously...is that what we're calling them??) It was...fine, I guess? I barely remember it. Anyway, here's a photo of some random Fins acting like goons because they're about to ride it. Love when park guests treat photo ops like benches. Yeah, you're number 1, dude. Hope nobody else is here to have fun. That's pretty great for a bumper cars facade. Going up the observation tower for big time looking at stuff. Yes, here we are at the top of the Näsinneula (or, "Eye Stabber") Observation Tower. Except we're not quite at the top, because there's a ceiling above us. And above that, another floor! Looking down on the rapids ride and petting zoo kids farm area. A group of us had lunch at the Observation Tower's rotating restaurant. Here you can see Misty doing that thing where you're so focused on making every other part of the photo work that you forget to pose yourself. Culturally, full-service dining in Finland is meant to be relaxed and unrushed--even more so than in the Netherlands. So the decision to eat here (admittedly, championed largely by me) certainly contributed to my having less time to explore the rest of the park. So at least some blame on myself for that whole situation. I do not remember what this was, exactly. But I don't remember anything not being good. Except for the first drop, you can see most of Tornado's layout here--among other things. The non-amusement park we visited in the last update can be seen off to the right across the water. Särkänniemi also has an aquarium, located at the base of the Tower. Slither Fish Koskiseikkailu, which means "butt splasher." No, I'm never going to get tired of these dumb translation jokes. See? Proof that what I said was true. The Doghill Fairytale Farm area of the park. I'm not sure if I saw all of it or not, but what I saw I liked. Raatiuone means "Town Hall." No, wait, it does actually. However, I believe it was a bakery or something. Certainly, there was no lively local political debate, much to my disappointment. Okay, loaded fries. And some kind of kebab. And um.... Okay, wow. And a vegan thing. Got it. This is like a haunted indoor play structure, or something? (A rather unkind description of me, but sure, I guess so.) Oh, Mr. Fancypants Child has to be led to the haunted play structure on a horse. Lad-di-da! I don't know what's wrong with me. But thanks for wondering! Sheeeeeeep! See, it's cute. It's a fun area. This area needs a dark ride. And by "this area" I mean "this park." But I feel that way about every area and every park. Sometimes I'm on a dark ride and I think, "Hmm, you know what this dark ride needs? A dark ride." Park Score: Um, I'm not sure? There are some rides I was interested in but never made it on. I dunno. 6 or 7? Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and go with 7. Next up: The final park of the trip!
  17. There were three total "travel days" on this trip, one of which was to get to Power Park, and one of which was to get away from Power Park. This is that last one. 23: Mixed Blueberry Feelings Traditional Finnish breakfast things and also beans to keep the English tourists happy. Goodbye, Power Park, my weird new friend! Stopped off at some random rest stop with fancy pay toilets, groceries, and souvenirs. And also they make cheese curds. Or I guess cheese. Both really. This photo is ridiculous. Anyway, here we are in Tampere, Finland--the largest inland city in the Nordic countries, and allegedly the sauna capital of the world. Plus, they have a Taco Bell. So that's exciting. Taco Bell's are a bit different in this part of the world. We arrived in Tampere just in time for Midsummer, which many Fins celebrate with human sacrifice and not being in cities. So that was interesting timing in that it meant that a lot of the museums and such were closed. Impenetrable. Not sure why this mermaid was crying. Probably because of something Bert did. Does this make drowning oneself easier or harder? Discuss. Oh, look where we all just accidentally ended up...! The park was still open for a couple of hours, but we were just here to take photo from across the water. In retrospect, I wish I'd gone in, considering what would happen the next day. But here, that just seemed like a waste of time, money, and effort. Bike lanes are complicated here. A sitty park across the bay. See what I did there? The same park, just at a smaller scale. Tampere was very pleasant to stroll around, and it seems like there are a lot of museums you could check out if you're there at not the wrong time. Incidentally, the name of this statue is "Memorial of the Shipwreck of Steamboat Kuru," in case that's not obvious. Okay, just two more parks to go! (And then like two or three more updates after that.)
  18. Echoing what Bert said. Hopefully it was insured in a way that will allow the park to rebuild it fairly quickly.
  19. Grew up with Monte. Hate to see it go. But it sounds like the park didn't really want to get rid of it, so I'll give them credit for that (even if I wasn't too excited by what they were planning to do to it). Considering the footprint left behind, perhaps one of those new Vekoma Super Boomerangs might work there.
  20. We actually didn't ride it...because you told us they wouldn't let you take photos!
  21. At the beginning of these trips, Smisty and I generally keep to ourselves, snarling and hissing at anyone who tries to talk to us. But, by the end, we usually loosen up and have learned the names of two or sometimes even three of our fellow travelers. I tell you this because I feel like the following trip report contains a slightly higher percentage of photos with other trip participants in it than I normally post--and also because I like writing a few sentences before the title. 22: The Happiest People in the World The "main" entrance to PowerPark. Look, don't worry about what the sign says. Nothing here makes sense. This park has two Gerstlauer infinity coasters, with the same color scheme, and the same trains, right next to each other. It's such a weird move that I actually love it. But I'm an enthusiast. I can't believe it's really a good idea when it comes to the general public, though: "Did you go on the green one?" "No, I don't like going upside down." "Dude, it didn't go upside down." "Shut your human face, garbage man. It most certainly did do the loop-de-loops!" "Wait...you went to PowerPark, right?" "Nah, bro, Powerland." "Apologies, sauce nugget. The fool is I." "No concerns, home entertainment system. Let us go have a milkshake and a game of chess." This is Junker. Everyone loved it. Well....almost everyone. Of course, I also had no idea what had just happened, because they wouldn't let me wear my glasses. So there's that. When my dog wants to leave the dog park, he goes and sits by the gate. Anyway, here's Misty having a sit by the Mexican restaurant sign. It was a buffet, where you try to make tacos out of whatever weird things the Finns think seem Mexican. It was okay, but mostly because I'm awesome. I tried to order the fanciest ice cream concoction on the menu, but ended up with the most basic one. Bit of a language barrier problem, I fear. Or maybe the girl just didn't like me. Hard to say. But what I can say is that "happiest" is not the same thing as "friendliest." This is the Kwai Bridge. Well, not *the* Kwai Bridge, I suppose. Just Powerland's version of it. Also pictured is Kwai River, which travels on the bridge. At least, for some of it. Look, it'll make more sense in the next photo. It really doesn't. But I'll try to explain: The super flume leaves the station, travels along the bridge for a bit, then dives under the bridge, makes a sharp right, and then drops again. It's kind of like a double down with a curve in the middle. It's pretty fun, but what it has to do with a bridge across a river in Indonesia and/or the associated 1957 academy award winning film is beyond me. Wait... Junker, Pitts Special, River Kwai...is this park secretly themed to World War 2? How wet is the flume ride? Well, that depends. Are you one of 6 Americans who decided to ride together? You may have noticed a wooden coaster in the background of a couple of the previous photos. That would be Thunderbird. While smooth, there was no airtime to be found. Of course, it was just me and Goldballs in the front of one of the first trains of the day, so it probably wasn't running at its fastest. It's worth mentioning that between the brake run and the station is a 180-degree turn and the transfer track. It takes approximately the same length of time to traverse these two sections as it does to do the entire rest of the ride. Which is to say that it's laughably slow. But, hey, it made me laugh. Bert and Smisty were on the train behind us. They got stuck on the brakes. Which is doubly hilarious when you realize that once their train got moving again, it still had to do the turn and transfer track. What must they have thought during that? While I didn't get any good photos, quite a few rides in the park have signs that basically say, "Hey, when this ride breaks down, just sit tight. Help is on the way." Which I found quite amusing. Oh, a fun house! Themed to construction workers...? Alright, sure. This spinning tunnel really should've been made to look like a cement mixer in some way. Come on, guys. Wait, what is Bert taking a photo of? (For the record, I did not mean that last caption literally.) Anyway, it's not Gröna Lund, but it is a fun house. So...yay! Here's something Gröna Lund doesn't have: a large forested troll village that was used to film a movie! Sure, you've never heard of that movie. But nevertheless. Smisty posing with Rölli the Troll (who is not, in fact, a troll...don't ask) and Mormon Zelda, who may or may not be a fair forest maiden, or rather an effeminate man. I did not see any signage indicating that you *couldn't* lay on the bed. I mean, I didn't. But just know that, in America, we call that an invitation. "By my dirty toes!" That's Rölli's catchphrase. Yes, seriously. Oh, an actual Technical Park ride! How exciting! You guys have fun! They said it was good. They're idiots. It's like Legoland except everything is made out of weird. Hawk & Doug having just enjoyed Neo's Twister. I'm not sure who Neo is, but the ride has a split lift and spun me whilst air-timing me into that metal seat divider bar in a way that was painfully funny. So, new mouse manufacturer credit for me here in Fabbri. The paradox of making a thing totally insane by trying to make it make sense. I nearly didn't ride Pitts Special because I didn't really like Junker, don't much care for Gerstlauer Eurofighters/Infinity Coasters anyway, can't stand vertical lifts, figured that I wouldn't be able to wear my glasses on this one either, and others in the group said this was rougher. But I really liked the look of the layout and was intrigued by the lack of inversions, so I gave it a shot. And, yes, I liked it much more than Junker. There was one fairly nasty jolt about halfway through, but beyond that I wouldn't call it rough, it had some nice airtime, and yeah...I just really liked the layout (other than the lift). "Enjoyable ride that gives you tickles you tummy with its' whirling and up-and-down motion. Fun and suitable for all!" [sic] [sick] Joyride. Also known as, the coaster this park chose to put VR goggles on for a couple of years until everyone came to their collective senses. A view from the Ferris wheel. Note the Road House in the upper left of the photo. Also note the Frisbee thing that slices through a house. Also note the mini golf course and the small yellow and green ride that's kind of like a spinning ball bit but is sadly only for children. Just note everything. Seems dirty. Inside the restaurant that the outside of was in the background of the previous photo. Sometimes I can't tell if English is nonsense or I just don't know how to use it. By the time we got to this area of the park, this was closed for the day. Which is a shame. I mean, I wouldn't have ridden it, as I rather enjoy having two eyes--but I would've liked to have watched other people fall off of it. Ah yes, the Devil's Mine Hotel. So...is it a hotel in a mine? Or a mine in a hotel? And the devil owns both of them? This dark ride is interesting in that every successful shot scores (only) one point, you have a limited number of shots (which is fairly high, but you can still run out if you just go crazy), and at one point (for no discernible reason and seemingly connected to nothing) you come around a corner and are greeted by an audio recording of Jim Carrey saying, "Alrighty then!" Regular animals *and* dinosaurs, but for some reason you're not allowed to take photos on this ride? The day was winding down and the park was getting ready to close. Which meant ERT on Junker for most of the group. But we wanted to play their mini golf course. Each hole had two suggested "solutions," one easy and one difficult. This proved to be rather misleading though, as almost every hole was quite difficult regardless of approach. Quite a pleasing course visually, though. And not without little challenges. Mini golf conquered (or at least survived), it was back to the Road House for dinner. Wait, what? As "Junker" looked unavailable, we ate at Boulevard Bistro, which was pretty good. certainly better than the food that had been available in the park. And this "brezel" ( a cross between a breeze and an Edsel?) belongs on the trip's Mount Dessertmore. Such a weird park. But, hey, it's me. Score: 9
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