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I believe the Dragen scrambled your brains. It is a "Flic Flac", not a "Flip Flop"

 

 

Yes, the brain damage was more extensive than I thought. Flic Flac is a much cooler name, anyway.

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Chapter 3: Knoebels Goes East, or Way, Way West--Bakken

 

Bakken is a perfect example of what a traditional, old-school amusement park is all about, a distinction it shares with Knoebels in Pennsylvania. While it has a lot of "off-the-shelf" flats, which proudly fly their traveling "fun fair" colors, the park has a great laid-back vibe and a beautiful setting in one of Denmark's national forests. The place is also very well maintained, with plenty to do for everyone.

 

And while, like Knoebels, Bakken can't boast the "biggest" or "fastest" coasters (well, there may be one exception when it comes to speed), what it has is really damn good.

 

Rutschebanen--Like its namesake at Tivoli Gardens, this is a side-friction woodie that uses trains with brakemen, only more insane! Yes, this old sucker is more intense than its cousin in Stockholm, especially on its two sets of double-down drops. But this is, apparently, the last year for the old-style trains. The park is planning to install a computerized braking system and new trains without brakemen for next season. We had ERT on the ride's oldest train, and they're going to keep one of the old trains handy, "just in case" they need it.

 

Tornado--This Intamin spinning mouse is probably the most intense coaster of its kind anywhere. The chainlift moves at El Toro speed, and you're simply hurled over the top and into the twistiest, windiest course anywhere. Even if your car doesn't spin all that much, you'll still feel like that poor cow in Twister when the ride's over. The ride's themeing is pretty good, too--even if it isn't finished yet.

 

Mine Train Ulven--OK, no prizes for guessing what sort of ride this is, but, again, it's another excellent ride of its type. The park nicely gave us a bit of ERT on this when Tornado was having technical problems. The group seemed to love this one, too.

 

Racing--This old "Flitzer" looks like a refugee from the carnival circuit, but it runs beautifully and is a lot of fun (just ask KidTums).

 

Mariehonen--Kiddie coaster, looks like a ladybug, you get the idea.

 

So, what else is there at Bakken? How about a very good, "Noah's Ark" type funhouse, a goofy shooting dark ride in which you take your revenge on darling plush animals, and a ghost train with a special surprise, which I wouldn't dream of giving away?

 

All this, and good food, too--visit Bakken!

 

Have a look for yourself.

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Phew! Looks they're gonna make it! More to come from Bakken.

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So far, so good.

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You may never see them again!

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Wave goodbye to these TPR members.

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Oh, dearie, dear.

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I wonder if she believes in geranium power?

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"I believe in the power of geraniums! I do! I do!"

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"Any questions?"

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"In other words, it make woodie go real fast!"

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"The resulting invisible vortex causes forward velocity to increase exponentially."

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"Yes, this harmless-looking flower that your grandmother grew in her window pots, when combined with a properly configured wooden structure, can actually bend the space-time continuum!"

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"Geraniums make coasters go faster!"

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"Greetings! Here at Bakken, we are always looking to use the latest technology to enhance the guest experience. Our research in coaster physics has yielded one of the most important discoveries in the history of the amusement industry!"

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Some people are so easily distracted.

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"Hello--I'm Rutschebanen! If you thought my cousin in Copenhagen was nuts, you ain't seen nothin' yet!"

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This is what happens if you go to the mens room right before they open the buffet. D'oh!

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. . . lunch!

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Yes, the park had set up some great ERT for us. But first things first . . .

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. . . the Danish Knoebels!

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Time to bid the beautiful city of Copenhagen farewell. Next stop . . .

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The Bakken segment is brought to you by the producers of "America's Next Top Fast-Food-Fashion Model." Can you look smokin' hot in a paper cap? Can you make the phrase "You want fries with that?" sound like the most suggestive of sexual innuendoes? Then you might have what it takes to be America's Top Fast-Food-Fashion Model!

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This week, on America's Next Top Fast-Food-Fashion Model, Janice scorches her fingers while fondling some chicken nuggets. Will this cause the judges to do a slow burn?

 

We now return to Bakken, already in progress.

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OK, who names a ride for something that grows in your colon? One more set of Bakken photos to come.

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But it's actually pretty smooth. Kristen rode it four times.

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Racing looks rather rough and painful.

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The Lone Credit Whore rides again!

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But one does what little one can.

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Yeah, you really need video to do this ride justice.

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It's just so freakin' fast! (And it has a big O every time.)

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I found it rather difficult to take pictures of Tornado.

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I'll never take me alive!

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Hmm--I never realized I was so bad!

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Introducing Dave as the goofy sidekick!

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"Give me your money, gringo!"

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You know, maybe I have been out ridin' fences for far too long. Time to settle down. (By the way, this version of the Desperado simulator was in English for some reason.)

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More parks need Intamin mine trains. That is all.

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Next, on America's Next Top Fast-Food-Fashion Model, will Arlene be as sizzlin' as a Wendy's triple with cheese fresh off the grill, or as cold as a Whopper in a microwave?

 

And did a certain fast-food icon who wears a crown get "supersized" during his private photo session with Nadja?

 

Back to Bakken.

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"Oh my god! She's on the top rope! Big Spla-s-s-s-s-sh comin' up! Stick the fork in him, he's done!" As is this chapter--thanks for reading so far.

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Hmm--they should post these signs in American public toilets, too.

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Boo! Not enough spinning! (One of the few bummers at Bakken.)

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And now, TPR's Resident Teacup Enthusiast gives Bakken's a try.

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"Over easy with those eggs, swab!"

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"I remember when rock was young! Me and Susie had so much fun!"

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I have no idea what this is. A large, sentient potato, perhaps?

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"Ahoy, Captain Larry! Thar be rats to starboard!"

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"Arr! This be no way for a good sailin' man to earn a livin,' sez I"

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All aboard for some old-time wackiness!

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Even the cars would scare the crap out of Steve.

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Bakken has a pretty durn good ghost train, even if it isn't Scottish Steve approved.

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Safari is for all those who could never win one of those damn plush dolls at a carnival game! Lock, load, and blast the stuffing out of them!

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Thanks for the picture showing me riding with Erik on Bakken's woodie. Ah the memories!

 

Since I appear to still be happy, it must be before he slammed me into the right side of the car, crushing me and bruising my ribs on the turnaround.

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Thanks VERY much for this update Chuck, especially the picture of us playing the shooting game!

 

Moose falsely accused me of cheating in it, saying I was standing up while playing, yet your picture CLEARLY shows me sitting on the horse

 

Thanks for proving my case and saving me from the lies and mistruths from Mr. Moose!

 

 

Peace, Big Mike

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^Hmm--I wouldn't say that my photo would be admissible as evidence in a court of law, Mike. Seems pretty inconclusive to me. Personally, I was too busy blasting bad guys to pay much attention to what anyone else was doing.

 

^^You and I both had our share of injuries on this trip, Larry.

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Is Bakken the oldest amusement park in the world? I'm getting the histories of all the old parks a bit crossed lol.

 

The park representative, Wikipedia, and RCDB all make that claim. 1583 is the year it supposedly opened.

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Moose falsely accused me of cheating in it, saying I was standing up while playing, yet your picture CLEARLY shows me sitting on the horse

 

Thanks for proving my case and saving me from the lies and mistruths from Mr. Moose!

 

Uhhh... Big Mike... love ya, but I gotta keep it real. I think you sat on the seat for the PICTURE and then stood up during the game. I saw it with my own eyes.

 

I believe that is called corroborating evidence! BOOM!

 

Great update, Chuck. LOVE the captions!!

 

-- Dave

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Loving the TR Chuck! It already feels like months ago since we were there.

 

And that Ghost Train was the worst one for me on the trip! The live actor touching my neck nearly reduced me to tears!

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^If only someone had told me before I had went on! When I first shouted to Lou "Something just touched me!" I thought maybe it was my OWN hand that touched my neck! We soon discovered that was not the case!

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^I think that guy "got" everyone who rode, Steve--even I was a little freaked.

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The guy ignored me. I think he was having too much fun scaring Steve who was in the car in front!

 

Great TR so far Chuck! I'll start mine once you finish yours! (Give or take a few days or weeks!)

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haha you had to be sitting on the left side of the car (at least that day) and whoever was in there got different parts of everyone. I got what felt like an upper leg massage (major creepy).

 

^Divv, good luck. I have no idea if and when I'll start one. It'll happen eventually though, it's always cool going through old pics.

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Chapter 4: Before the Deluge--Hansa Park

 

Hansa is a very good park that's working on being even better--all starting with a new, operational, if not-quite-finished world-class ride in Fluch von Novgorod.

 

This park was the original home of Legoland, and it's steadily evolving as a theme park with an nice collection of rides and some impressive themed areas (to the Old West and Old Mexico). But Hansa's future plans are what will really make it stand out. The entire front of the park is going to be extensively rethemed from a sort of generic entry portal into a tribute to the great port cities of Europe. It's a huge project and should be awesome when it's finished.

 

Hansa's new ride will do (heck, is already doing) quite a bit to beef up their offerings.

 

Fluch von Novgorod-- This new, launched Eurofighter, which blasts off from, around, and through a cursed castle, is fully operational as a coaster, even though they're still putting on a lot of finishing touches, such as theming in the queue and what should be a very impressive dark-ride portion (akin to Mystery Mine at Dollywood). The ride is already great in its "unfinished" state, and I'd love to go back when all the elements are in place. Plenty of air and surprises on this one.

 

Nessie--Another nice, old looping Schwartzkopf. It's not exactly an airtime machine, but it whips around like the famous Scottish monster it's named for (complete with a crop into Nessie's mouth).

 

Rasender Roland--This is a better-than-average mine train that interacts with Nessie (right through the loop, as a matter of fact). It looks like you could "high five" the Schwarzkopf riders when they circle overhead.

 

Crazy Mine--For all you nuts who actually kind of like the "Rattlesnake" clones (like me), this ride is for you. Kind of rough, but very nicely themed (particularly the queue, which has its own "jug band").

 

The park boasts an excellent flume ride, a pretty good Mack splash boat ride (rather old school), and a decent spinning-raft ride, in addition to a respectable collection of flats. It could use a first-class ghost train (in addition to Fulch von Novgorod), but I really enjoyed myself. The park has a good vibe and is quite beautiful, too.

 

Here's a look at Hansa Park. Some of the pictures are a bit dark (it was a cloudy, drizzly day--but nothing compared to what was coming).

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There is another surprise in the queue-if you take the wrong path. More to come, after I finish dinner.

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When you exit Fulch, you can take the stairs, or the Cursed Blood-Red Slide of Death!

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"Yeah, I think they've took care of every detail. . . oh my freakin' god! they forgot about this wall . . . crap!"

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"Wainscotting? Pots of geraniums, maybe? I think it's fine the way it is."

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"Hell, they got this twisty part done. So, what else do ya want?"

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"Looks pretty much done to me!"

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"Whaddaya mean this sucker's not finished?"

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"At least the electrician's on the ball. Now if we could just finish the roof to keep the birds out."

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"Damn Lowe's contractors! Never show up when they're supposed to!"

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. . . if not-quite-finished Fulch von Novgorod.

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. . . the fully operational . . .

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After learning what it was like to be some stuntman in a rubber monster suit, it was time for some ERT on . . .

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"So this is what it's like to be Godzilla!"

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Behold the future!

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Once again, here's a park that treated us really well.

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"Really, when you take into account the evolution of most coaster braking systems . . ." Crickets chirping . . .

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Hansa Park has a pretty impressive gate.

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Good eats, too.

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This was my favorite hotel of the trip until we got to Power Park.

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. . . then I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can."

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"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp-drizzly November in my soul . . .

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We took a three-hour ferry ride from Denmark to Germany the night before.

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This chapter is brought to you by Bag 'o' Booze! Yes, we will definitely put you in the bag!

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Well, Chuck has just finished cooking and eating a nice dinner of BBQued pork ribs with steamed broccoli and cauliflower. You know what would've been perfect with this meal?

 

Yes, a nice Bag 'o' Booze! You can wash down damn near anything with the right liquor in nice, convenient, airline-sized bottles!

 

Here's some more from Hansa Park.

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Turn . . . bang . . . ow . . . repeat. Still more to come.

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Even the mouse's queue is pretty well themed.

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"When we begin the beguine . . ."

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This should shake, rattle, and roll them awake.

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Aw, bless their wittle hearts.

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Problem solved.

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Of course, there is always the danger of "wardrobe malfunction."

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Jolie could so totally do that--she just doesn't want to.

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. . . and risk great bodily injury."

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"After all, there are other ways to warm up . . .

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"Why are we warming our hands around the imaginary fire?"

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"OK, you laugh--but at least I'll know where I've been."

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Hmm--not sure what it's inspired in Erik, though.

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The theming even caused spontaneous hoedowns to break out among the Brits.

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Why, why do European parks do such a great job with Wild West theming? The James Boys would be proud to shoot out windows on this street while on a murderous rampage.

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I fail at taking pictures of this ride--sorry.

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. . . Nessie!

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Yes, under the enlightened leadership of Engineer Liz, all returned safely from their close encounter with . . .

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"I'm Engineer Liz! Yay me!"

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"When some stupid with a flare gun/Burned the place to the ground!/Smo-o-o-oke on the wa-a-ter . . ."

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Hansa's mascot looks like a killer whale crossed with a penguin, which is odd because the former often eats the latter, right?

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The makers of Bag 'o' Booze would like to remind you to drink responsibly.

 

Yes. We really would.

 

Back to Hansa Park.

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Eventually, the singing carnivorous tree will eat of the cannibal, die, fall over, rot, and provide food for the next little flower. Yes, the Cycle of Nature in all its glory! One more set of Hansa pics to come.

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Then this cannibal will kill the gnome with his blow gun, then eat him (except for the spleen, which he doesn't fancy). And this is the Cycle of Nature.

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The frog will be eaten by the gnome--for that, too, is the Cycle of Nature.

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But, no. The little flower must someday yield to the water, and be eaten by the frog. Such is the Cycle of Nature.

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Witness, the case of this flower. Hang in there little flower!

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Nature, for all its beauty, can be harsh and unyielding.

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And now, a relaxing boat ride that illustrates the eternal Cycle of Nature.

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"Hmm--maybe we can just squeeze between these streams of water."

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Next group.

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They did it! Or did they?

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Kind of tricky when you don't know much German. How's it coming, guys?

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It did have this cool exit, though. You have to solve series of puzzles involving music and tones to get past the water obstacles.

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Kind of "meh."

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Here's an old ride you don't see too often anymore.

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. . . or ride the El Paso Express."

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"We're feeling a damp, drizzly November in our souls! Time to go to sea . . .

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"Of course, there are some people who like to go both ways. Sick puppies, I call them."

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"You know what this park needs? A Boomerang!"

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"I think this ride needs to sit back, take a deep breath, and meditate on the nature of existence."

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"More spinning. And the Swedish Bikini Team."

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"OK, everyone--what does this ride need?"

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Yep--even the station for the raft ride is pretty nice. (U.S. parks take note.)

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"What? Read the safety instructions to you? Do I look German, gringo?"

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And now, the not-so-spinny raft ride.

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You know, booze is good for what ails you. Yes, one little Bag 'o' Booze, and all your problems magically just go away.

 

Only to come back when you sober up.

 

So, buy another Bag 'o' Booze and keep your troubles at bay!

 

We hope you enjoy this one last look at Hansa Park.

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Thank you, Hansa! TPR says, "Good night!"

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Time to call it day at Hansa Park--a great place run by some great people. I'll have to come back here again.

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Well done, gentlemen.

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Yes, we have just witnessed genius!

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Re-emergence must be sudden.

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Envelopment must be full and complete.

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Note the symmetry of their initial contact. These men are artists!

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Observe their subtle technique as they approach the pool.

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Well, Ron, Dave, Fran, Jon, and Michael are gonna show you how to make a man-sized splash.

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Pfft! You call that a splash?

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Hey, looks like three of the Five Bear Rugs found work, too!

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"We're sorry, but only goofy-looking cartoon people may board the log flume."

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"You know, my other mermaid just doesn't understand me."

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"Hello, sailor." (Yes, that was far too easy.)

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Chuck, another great update, thank you!

 

The park was definitely another of the nicest that we visited. Also, the overall enthusiasm for having us there was contagious. They are obviously proud of what they have and especially of what's coming in the future. I do wish that Orchy made an appearance though. lol.

 

That obstacle course was somewhat insane as well and I think one of the two best that we came across.

 

*Personal side-note* I have to say thanks to whoever kept up the cheering as I really thought I wasn't going to make it past that last obstacle with the stirrups on ropes. Always happens on the last one I guess where the steam was just about worn out lol

 

The only bummer was that the interesting looking bell ride wasn't working. I think it's made by the Starflyer folks.

 

Looking forward to the rest Chuck.

 

Cheers,

J

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The only bummer was that the interesting looking bell ride wasn't working. I think it's made by the Starflyer folks.

 

Yeah, I was saddened that (what I call it) The Taco Bell Ride wasn't open, and it didn't look like it was ever going to open, although they did seem to get their effects (fire, water fountain) working ok. Another time I guess, hmm?

 

Great TR as usual Chuck. Your always special and unique photos, and added captions of wit and general are great to read through and enjoy.

 

Looking forward to more.

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