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Chapter 5: During the Deluge, Part 1: Sommerland Syd & Legoland

 

Up to this point, the weather gods had been kind to us--some sunshine, comfortable temperatures, and just the occasional drizzle. Well, that changed after Hansa Park. We were out and about in some pretty serious rain for the next couple of days, but what the hell--it's Scandinavia, and it's often damp.

 

Give us your best shot, Thor! Long-haired, freakin' God of Thunder! Go to a barbershop, you pansy! We got credits to get, and ERT to get 'em!

 

We made a brief stop at Sommerland Syd, a nice little park, for a brief spot of ERT. The coasters here are nothing particularly special, just a decent Vekoma Invertigo and a Pinfari death machine, but there was this rather unusual splash boat. Let's just say that "political correctness" wasn't a factor on this ride; in fact, with it's theming dedicated to cannibals, it was geared to be as offensive (or hilarious, depending on your mood) as possible. Old Tarzan flicks were more enlightened than this thing.

 

My thanks to our gracious host, Helmut "the mechanic," who was our guide and ride op at Sommerland Syd. He went out in the pouring rain just so a bunch of coaster geeks could score some credits.

 

Next up was Legoland Billund, the original Legoland park (after Hansa Park). Although the pouring rain put a bit of a damper on the day, this was an excellent park for families--the best of the Legolands, or so those who have been to all of them said. (I've only been to Legoland Windsor.) It had the usual assortment of rides you see at other Legolands (Dragon and the Richochet in Technics drag), along with a log-themed kiddie coaster. But I thought the best thing there, rain and all, was the Lego version of Pirates of the Carribbean--a very nice knockoff of the Disney classic. Good rapids ride, too (well, we were already soaked, anyway).

 

Here's a word from our sponsor--plus a look at Sommerland Syd and Legoland.

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We rode the Pinfari, then headed out. Thanks, Helmut! Legoland awaits.

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Don't look now, Steve, but there's a Klan meeting going on behind you.

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We've endured the Vekoma--bring on the Pinfari!

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But that's how it goes . . . in the Twilight Zone! (Actually, the ride was OK.)

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By now, she realizes that her dream has become a nightmare.

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By this point, she's thinking, "It's a dream come true!"

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Meet Lena, a tour bus driver. She always hoped that some day, she'd be driving a busload of freaks to ride an Invertigo. Her dreams have been fulfilled now!

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Next up, is some goodness courtesy of the Vekoma corporation.

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. . . handburgers!" (Who comes up with this stuff--Noel Coward?)

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"Hmm--I sure am hungry. Guess I'll hit the drive-thru for some . . .

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. . . smoked Cubans!"

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"I daresay you do, Chauncey. Funny you should mention that, because guess what we're having tonight . . .

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"I say, Cyril! Do I have enough time to finish smoking my Cuban before dinner?"

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"The sooner we ride this, the sooner we get to the Vekoma!" (NOTE: The following images are about as far from PC as you can get--like that's ever stopped me before.)

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We rode this. In the pouring rain. Well, why not?

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"Hello! I'm Syd! Welcome to my rather rustic Sommerland!"

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Larry and I found a nice little tavern for dinner, too. (Mmm--pepper steak.)

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This little port town was quite pretty.

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Er, Larry . . . this is a bit awkward.

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Our hotel in Flensburg, Germany was very nice.

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Hi there, folks! Ever wonder what goes into sausage? Hell, what doesn't go into sausage! Well, at Sam's Sausage Remnants, Inc., we stuff our sausage with damn near anything, providing it's dead! Yes, Sam's Sausage Remnants--if we can scrape it off the pavement, we can stuff it in a sausage!

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You know, a REAL MAN will eat damn near anything! Chorizo, pickled tripe, pigs feet, Taco Bell--yes, anything!

 

At Sam's Sausage Remnants, Inc., we only stuff our sausage for REAL MEN!

 

Enjoy Legoland.

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And, on this damp day, this may have been the most popular part of Legoland. One more set of pics to come.

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I like these little boat trips to nowhere.

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Here's another familiar ride.

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"Sigh! I'll have to dress up like a Druid, again."

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Legoland Billund took the "robocoaster" idea from California and put it indoors. It was like a "rave" for Detroit-assembly-line robots in there.

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Just repeat to yourself, it's only Ricochet, it's only Ricochet . . .

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Aw, there's no need to be afraid of Xtreme Racers, little dragon dude!

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"Stonehenge! Where the demons dwell! Where the banshees live, and they do live well!"

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"Before the dawn of history . . . an ancient race of people . . . the Druids!"

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"Yes, I am thoroughly enjoying the Dragen so far. Thank you."

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Hmm--this looks rather familiar, only they spell it "Dragen."

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"Oh, crap! What was in that brew last night . . . bleah!"

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Yes, even in the rain, there were some people crazy enough to ride the Splash Battle.

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. . . a whorin' we will go!

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. . . a whorin' we will go! High ho the merrio . . .

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A whorin' we will go, . . .

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Do not annoy the bunny with the chainsaw.

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There's one thing you have to remember when you visit Legoland Billund.

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Sam's Sausage Remnants, Inc., would like to remind you to eat responsibly.

 

Yes, you are responsible for each one of our sausages you eat.

 

And now, we return you to Legoland.

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Just to give you an idea of how wet it really was, this happened despite wearing a windbreaker and poncho over my sweatshirt. Thanks for reading so far--but there's a ways to go yet.

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Even a cactus needs a siesta from time to time. It's very tiring work standing around in the desert and all.

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"Well, bein' as I were all wet, anyway."

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"I suppose he'll be lettin'em share our busty Lego wenches, too! Blast that, sez I!"

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"So, the donkey be dolin' out shares of our treasure now, eh?"

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"Avast! Me donkey vouches fer 'em!"

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"Heave to! Stand and deliver, coaster-ridin' scum!"

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"Arr! I be the most effeminate-lookin' pirate ever in these pantaloons and shirt! What were I thinkin'?"

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"Hmm--I hear if you mix rum with gunpowder, then light it on fire, you get really high!"

 

"Let's check it out, dude!"

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"How about a little help fer yer old shipmate, lads? No? Well, how about shoving a marlin spike up yer fjord, then?"

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"Arr! Mangy curs act as though ye never seen a Lego shark before!"

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"Belay that! Maybe ye should work in the galley."

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"Up into the rigging, you scurvy dog!"

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Hmm--either that, or this ride uses an elevator. Yes, my seasoned park-enthusiast instincts are telling me the latter.

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"Hey, Bjorn! I think someone forgot to finish the lifthill!!"

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Now it's time to get wet--like Vikings!

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Where is that red-ponchoed guy... anyway, Chuck?

 

 

Awesome parks, even in the rain - the buffet at the LegoLand park was cool. And plentiful. And quite good.

 

And that river falls "tour" at Somerland Syd was..... oh well, it's too bad a lot of the guys on tour didn't actually do the ride, hmm? It made eventually getting (sort of) soaked kind of worth it, in a twisted non-pc kinda way, lol!

 

The rain on these tours really makes us work our butts off with what we can do in such weather, especially when the coasters are still available, lol. Damn we're good TPR Tourists!

 

Another great ongoing TR, Chuck.

Thanks in advance for more more more!

 

(Edit to add the LegoLand boat cave tour was pretty fun, too. All them pirrrates and swabbies an' lefties and.... it was cool.)

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Chapter 6: During the Deluge, Part 2--Farup Sommerland & Tivoli Friheden

 

We achieved new levels of wetness (and not in the fun way) at our next stop. This was a another two-park day, starting with Farup Sommerland.

 

Farup is like the coolest summer camp ever: rustic setting and buildings, plenty of chances for bodily injury, which don't involve a machete-wielding maniac in a hockey mask (I think that's an upcharge); and, of course, rides (never had rides at my old summer camp). Seriously, Farup is a beautiful, nicely maintained park that isn't afraid to run most of its attractions in the pouring rain.

 

Imagine that.

 

There's a good assortment of stuff here, including an obstacle course over leech-infested waters (not kidding here), speed boats (which aren't an upcharge), and these coasters:

 

Lynet--I think Gerstlauer is on the way to becoming my favorite ride manufacturer. First, Fulch at Hansa, and now this launcher at Farup. This little ride packs a wallop, with some nice airtime hills and a few surprises for first-time riders. ERT on this sucker was great (even in the rain).

 

Falken--GCI recently did some retracking work on this S&S woodie, but couldn't quite solve all its problems. Robb summed this ride up perfectly: "Fun-fun-fun, shuffle-shuffle-shuffle, fun-fun-fun, shuffle-shuffle-shuffle." I think the former cancels out the latter, for the most part--I enjoyed Falken (especially when the "Sword of Power" came into play).

 

Mine Expressen--You know, Vekoma makes a pretty dang good kiddie coaster. This one was a little better than average.

 

Flagermusen--This is a rather painful spinning mouse that doesn't really spin. But at least it's themed to bats. Bats are cool.

 

Next up was a brief stop at a aomewhat more "urban" park, Tivoli Friheden. This is a nice, family-oriented place that, nevertheless, had one of the most intense attractions anywhere--the SCAD freefall tower. The coasters were an oddball bunch:

 

Cobra--This is the "off-brand" inverted that derailed shortly after debuting last year. Well, it's back together now. It's better than your average Vekoma SLC, but still not very good.

 

Orkanens Oje--This is a standard Pinfari looper. You'll wonder how much chewing gum and baling wire is needed to hold it together.

 

Tyfonen--Another nonspinning spinner. Ho hum.

 

Dragen--A Wacky Worm with dragon trains. OK for what it is.

 

Friheden has a pretty good dark ride--a hotel full of serial killers! It's a bit beat up, but most of the gags work and the opening "elevator" gag is great. Plus, while there, you can "eat the American Way" at "Mr. Big's."

 

Here's a look at a soaking wet day. The picture quality isn't the greatest, but the staff at both parks were--thanks for a great day!

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"Hmm," thinks Kristen. "If I had the Sword of Power, I would show them all! Yes, sweet, sweet vengeance would be mine!

 

"If I ever needed vengeance for something."

 

More to come from Farup.

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"WE HAVE THE POWER!"

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"We're passing the sword! We're passing the sword!"

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"Pass the sword! Pass the sword!"

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"Aw, it ain't that wet! Bring it on!"

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Find the masked wrestler.

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But we care not, for WE HAVE THE POWER!

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As you can see, the rain contiunes to fall.

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. . .Falken!

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Farup provided sandwiches and hot coffee for our next ERT session on . . .

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Now that's what I call a mass!

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We got Lynet!

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Hey, who needs Stonehenge?

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Yes, this is like a Druid orgy for coaster enthusiasts.

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Who would've thought paganism could be so much fun!

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. . . cr-a-a-a-a-a-a-p!"

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Everybody begins the chant: "O-o-o-o-o-o-o . . .

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The mysterious TPR Druid mass begins.

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OK, why is there a picture of a kid in the smoking area? Who installed these "Hags" cans--the American Tobacco Association?

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I guessed it's themed to a logging train gone amok, or something,

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And off go the TPR Druids to the High Temple of Lynet.

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Oh my god! Someone forgot to check those poor animals' restraints! They're all gonna die!

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Prepare to feel as though you are being stung by thousands of bees.

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Mike, you look like dry cleaning.

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Like a little rain is going to stop us!

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Hmm--relative humdity looks to be about 200% today.

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Hey there, Druids! Just because you follow an ancient pagan religion doesn't mean you have to look drab while doing it--not when there's new DruidWear! Robes and hoods in all colors of the rainbow!

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Hello again, Druids! We at DruidWear would like you to keep this in mind:

 

Stonehenge--cold and gray.

DruidWear products--hot and sassy!

 

We now return you to Farup Sommerland.

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. . . and Falken. Thanks for the great day, Farup--off to Friheden.

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On the way out, one last look at Lynet . . .

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Larry found his own way across.

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Thoughtful host that he is, Robb dries off the monkey bars.

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"No. It's better if I can't see what I'm doing."

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"Me crawl in hole! Haw, haw, haw!"

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Just before he was decapitated by a tree.

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. . . and let the mayhem begin!

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Cry havoc . . .

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"Hmm--this is a Sword of Power, not a Compass of Power. Where the hell are we?"

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OK, here is the most insane attraction at Farup--the maze and obstacle course. In the rain.

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. . . and beer!

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. . . lunch . . .

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Somebody help Fran before he's swept away! Or else he may miss . . .

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Here we see an ancient British custom dating back to the days of the Celts. The "Alpha Male" is taunting a would-be challenger with a sharp object, such as a pointed stick or, in this case, a brolly.

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And the rain continues to fall. Yet I was stupid enough to ride this.

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Er, Mark--do you realize you're sitting next to a psycho?

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Hey! Pull down that lapbar before ya get hurt!"

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"Bleah! Bleah! I'm a bat! Aren't you terrified?"

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"I could so kick Pierce Brosnan's ass."

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"What are you? Some kinda doomsday machine?"

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Here's your chance to reenact the boat chase from "The World Is Not Enough" or "Live and Let Die." (Just pick your favorite Bond.)

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And now, another attraction you'll probably never see at a U.S. park.

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"That ERT session was so cool, but so long! I can't hold it any longer! Ah-h-h-h-h . . ."

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Now that is one big slug. Perfect day for him, though.

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Just because you're a Druid, doesn't mean you can't look stylish.

 

DruidWear--look hot at your next Solstice festival!

 

And now, Tivoli Friheden.

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"Pass the . . . oh, cut it out!" One more set of pics to come.

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Remember--no spinning!

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"Well. That certainly was . . . different."

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. . . but it wasn't as rough as, say, Mind Eraser at SFA.

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Yeah, that looks a little messed up . . .

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"Yes--it is a good day to die."

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It does have comfortable, cool-looking trains.

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. . . Sartori! ("It stays on the track, or double your money back.")

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And now, Cobra, courtesy of . . .

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Phew! Made it!

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. . . and hope that the chewing gum holds!

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Grit your teeth, everyone . . .

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. . . and, of course, coasters, such as this Pinfari death machine.

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. . . this forbidding structure, . . .

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Well, there's enormous underwear, . . .

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So, just what is there at Friheden, anyway?

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DruidWear would like to announce it's new line of formal attire: DruidTux! Yes, tuxedo versions of those classic robes we all know and love, available for sale or rental!

 

And what do you have to wear under your DruidTux? Not a damn thing!

 

We now return you to Friheden.

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Yeah, I did the SCAD Tower, and I got the shirt to prove it. That's all for now.

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Always nice to meet a fellow American when traveling in a foreign land.

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You know what you need after freefalling over 100 feet? A big box of fried stuff from Mr. Big! (Seriously, I got a "small" box of fried chicken that probably held two or three pounds of food.)

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The net was absolutely soaked! It was like dropping into a swimming pool.

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. . . then drop you into this enormous net!

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. . . dangle you from a cable, . . .

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And now, for a mere $10 American, Friheden will take you up about 140 feet or so, . . .

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"Hey! Occupado here!"

 

"Sorry--we'll wait."

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Of course, some suburban housewives can be sort of scary.

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Why, isn't this just so cozy and domestic.

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Don't worry--Lou will protect you.

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Yes, Steve's enthusiam for this type of attraction is, indeed, infectious.

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Look, Scottish Steve! It's another dark ride!

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Chapter 7: After the Deluge--Djurs Sommerland and Tivoli Karolinelund

 

Well, I had just about all my clothes rung out by the time we rolled on to our next two parks. My sweatshirt required a whole extra day to finish drying, though. At least we didn't have to dress like Klansman or Druids when we visited Djurs Sommerlund.

 

Djurs was one of the most anticipated parks of the tour. Like Farup, it's has the vibe of an enormous summer camp, complete with elaborate playgrounds, plenty of chances for bodily injury, and three well-themed areas: to the Wild West (what, again?), the jungles of Africa, and, aye, pirates.

 

And how many summer camps come with Intamin goodness? The park has only three coasters, but one is plenty when it's . . .

 

Piraten--This is the first Intamin megalite I've ever ridden, and it delivers nearly as much of a punch as its larger cousins, like Expedition GeForce. Arr, thar be plenty of airtime despite yer being lashed to the rigging like yer ridin' out a typhoon! And he who don't fancy the pyrate themein' be a poor excuse fer a lubber, sez I! [Pirate Mode disengaged.]

 

Thor's Hammer--This is a slighly disappointing Gerstlauer Bobsled. It just isn't in the same league as Tripsdrill's, but the station is nicely themed, if you're into big, hairy guys with hammers.

 

Karlo's Taxi--It's a Wacky Worm. Karlo must be some sort of freak.

 

The flume and rapids rides are pretty good (nicely themed), and Chico and Poachers is a very odd combination of Disney's Jungle Cruise and Phantasialand's Hollywood Tour.

 

Tivoli Karolinelund is another small, urban park--more of a credit stop, actually. But it seems to have a good local following (a bunch of high-school jazz bands were performing while we were there), and it makes for nice evening out. There's a good dark ride and interesting selection of flats, but the coasters aren't particularly special:

 

Boomerang--The name says it all--standard-issue Vekoma (not the best, not the worst).

 

Looping TL59--This was probably the roughest Pinfari of the trip.

 

Caterpillar--Once again, it's our old friend the Wacky Worm. The TPR takeover of this thing was actually pretty hilarious.

 

Here's a look at an enjoyable, dry day.

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What are you gawkin' at? Get that craft shipshape! We sails with the tide!

 

More to come from Djurs Sommerlund.

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So, the ERT be over. Aye, and fine ERT it were! Thankee, Djurs!

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Avast! The park be open now! Blast!

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Did they not see me quotation marks? I'd a given the lubbers full credit! Draw yer cutlasses, lads! Time to teach 'em a wee bit about "fair use"!

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Arr! Ruddy Disney lawyers! Laid a cease-and-desist order on my pirate talk, they did!

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"Aye, it be too late to alter course now, mates . . ."

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Fire as yer guns bear!

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Pirates say "Ar-r-r-r-r!"

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And remember, pirates don't say "whe-e-e-e-e!"

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Hoist high the Jolly Roger!

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Are ye lashed in good and tight, lad? Thar be rough water ahead!

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Dead men smell no snails! Avast, that don't sound quite right, even though dead men can't smell. Well, they do smell, but they can't smell, if ye takes my meaning, matey.

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"Arr! Love, excitin' and new!/Come on board! It be expectin' you!/The Love Boat . . . arr!"

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"I see your hunger for a fortune/Could be better served beneath my flag . . ." Arr! Belay that Emerson, Lake, and Palmer bilge! This be Piraten!

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Crash! Of thunder. 'Cause it's Thor's ride.

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Boom!

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And with the Thunder God's blessing, ERT began.

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Yeah. Nice landscaping.

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Nice place ya got here, Mr. Thor.

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"From the rainbow Bridge of Asgaard! Where the booming heavens roar! You'll behold in breathless wonder, the God of Thunder, Mighty Thor!" Everybody sing it! Excelsior!

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Behold the Sacred Inverted Hidden Mickey of Thor!

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"THOR! WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT LEAVING YOUR FREAKIN' HAMMER JUST ANY OLD PLACE!"

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Hey, here's another chance to get hammered, folks!

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"Hmm--now where is that Wacky Worm?"

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Everyone nice and dry? (Not to mention sober?)

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Ah, that's better!

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And now, a word from our sponsor. "Let's face it--once you take away your guns, knives, clubs, and vacuum cleaners, you nearly hairless bipeds are no match for your average housecat! Ya got no teeth! Ya got no claws! And ya couldn't outrun or outjump your average Basset hound! That's why you need the Angus McNasty School of Self-Defense! Are you ready to get as McNasty as you can be?"

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Hello--Angus McNasty here, and I could rip your face off before you even knew I was in the room! That's why you need to defend yourself the McNasty way!

 

Here's lesson #1: Always carry a ball of yarn. When you're confronted by a cat, just toss the yarn, allowing it to unroll. The cat will instantly become confused, then playful. Then you run like hell!

 

Stay safe!

 

Back to Djurs Sommerland.

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I think "y'all" is Danish for "Have a nice day," or something. More to come from Djurs.

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It's wetter waiting in line than it is riding the swings.

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Ride it, or the terrorists win!

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And it's rather "patriotic."

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Yes, it is a very nice Wave Swinger.

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Now here is a strange attraction to find in Scandinavia.

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Hmm--it appears we have some "colorful" locals of our own.

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"Hey, gringo--you got a cigarette?"

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. . . and colorful friendly locals.

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Just look at the beautiful countryside . . .

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Djurs will now take you back to Old Mexico.

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. . . and cheap credit whores.

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. . . Wacky Worm! Yes, the Wacky Worm. It's like Piraten for little kids . . .

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This is the line for the . . .

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I really have to review my geography.

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Hmm--I didn't know that the chilly Colorado flowed through Denmark.

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Let's face it, when you lack teeth and claws, you're just not going to last long in the cat world. And your world will be "Cat World" one day. It's only a matter of time.

 

So, here's another way you can appease, er, defend yourself from your feline overlords.

 

Lesson #2: Always carry a can of Fancy Feast. When confronted by aa gang of aggressive cats:

 

1. Pull can from pocket.

2. Grasp pull ring with index finger.

3. Pull ring, open can.

4. Check that ring! Make sure it's on the index finger. If so, discard it.

5. Throw can of Fancy Feast at feline attackers.

6. Run like hell the other way as they feast!

 

Simple, isn't it? Back to Djurs Sommerland!

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Arr, and here be one last look at Piraten, because it does an old seadog's heart good. We drops our anchor at Karolinelund next.

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And here's how they hoop it in Scotland.

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Here's how they hoop it in England.

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Perhaps you guys in the net would like to be alone for a while?

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Me Divv. Me need little help here.

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Me Dave. Me pull groin muscle.

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Me Larry. Me swing big rope.

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Yep--it's another obstacle course.

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Yeah, it's a story I've seen a million times. Chico was on top of the world--but it was a long fall to the gutter.

Dum-da-dum-dum!

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But, as his type always does, Chico had one fatal weakness. Banana daquiries.

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Even his old boss, Kong, was scared to death of Chico.

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Soon Chico was out of control. No one in the jungle was safe.

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"Hey, no one disses the Father of Montage when Chico is around!"

"Aghh! Chico! I didn't mean it, man!"

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"Chico? Hmm--no officer. I don't know no Chico. And I don't know what happened to that, who was it, Eisenstein dude, either. Yeah, what do I care about some Russian movie director?"

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"Hey, Einstein! E = MC THIS!"

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Not even Albert Einstein, the Father of Modern Physics, is safe from Chico and his gang.

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"I'm on a one-way trip to hell, baby!"

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"You know a chimp named Chico?"

"No, but we know a chump named Rico."

"Don't get cute with me, gentlemen."

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This is Chico--a sweet, innocent-looking chimp. But behind that huggable exterior beats the heart of a sociopath. A killer.

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The following story is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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So, to review, what are the two things you need to defend yourself from an aggressive cat?

 

1. Yarn

2. Food

 

Yeah, you can't really defend yourself--you can only make the cat happy and hope for the best.

 

And you heard it here first at the Angus McNasty School of Self-Defense. Good luck, meat bag!

 

Enjoy this look at Tivoli Karolinelund.

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Big Grinning Death's Head says, "Peace out." Thanks for a nice evening, Karolinelund!

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"Hmm--I not getting anything on my EMG meter. Nope. No ghosts here."

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I blame the electromagnetic field generated by a supernatural entity for the blurriness of this photo. Just look at the stream of ectoplasm following them! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Ghost Hunters on the Sci-Fi, er, SyFy Channel!

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Karolinelund also provided some unexpected ERT on the ghost train, too. Thank you!

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Hmm--this is really putting the structural integrity of the Wacky Worm to the test here.

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Nice paint job though--very fresh looking.

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"Well, it's not a Boomerang, but I guess it will be OK. Right, Dave?"

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Will their joy be short-lived?

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Yep--it's "looping," alright. Couldn't very well do anything else.

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You know what it's like.

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Old-school Boomerang, too.

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And now, the cleverly named "Boomerang."

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What happens in Karolinelund stays in Vegas.

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Just in case you forgot where we were going.

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Chapter 8: A Case of Norwegian Deja Vu--Tusenfryd

 

Have you ever had the feeling that you've been someplace before--particularly if you have been someplace before?

 

OK, so there's nothing "supernatural" about this. I visited Tusenfryd as part of the add-on to TPR's 2006 U.K. Trip. Nothing to call Ghost Hunters about here.

 

I was looking forward to visiting Tusenfryd again. The park's location is beautiful. It looks like it should be part of a ski resort with its beautiful mountains (and rather steep paths). Heck, it was the only park in '06 that had a t-shirt in my size, too.

 

I enjoyed the place in 2006, and I liked it in 2009--with two minor bummers in the form of closed attractions. There used to be a very good multimedia show about the Vikings there that would fit in perfectly at Epcot, and a rather cheesy, but fun, haunted walkthrough; alas, both are now closed (although the old Viking theatre can be rented out for group banquets).

 

But, no matter. Tusenfryd still had two of my favorite coasters from 2006:

 

Speed Monster--I prefer this style of Intamin launched coaster to the one-trick ponies like Kingda Ka and Stealth. This one may not climb to great heights, but it has quite a few more tricks and is, in my opinion, a much more complete ride than the big "high hats."

 

Thunder Coaster--This Vekoma woodie is still a lot of fun (although not as insane as it was on that rainy day when I first rode it back in 2006). A good, solid, twisty ride with a fair amount of airtime.

 

Teeny Weeny--The world's smallest coaster (or so the park claims). Didn't ride it this time, but I did in '06 (doubt that it's changed much).

 

Loopen--And here's the other extreme of Vekoma, a painful "loopscrew." I passed on it this time--got the credit in 2006). Still, I do prefer it to Alton's old Corkscrew.

 

There are plenty of flats for those who like to be shaken, stirred, flipped, and flopped, not to mention a "Super Splash" ride. My thanks to Tusenfryd for a very good day.

 

Off to Tusenfryd!

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Spot the Vekoma employee in this group. (I kid Erik and Vekoma--they've made a number of rides I like, too, such as Everest, RnR, and Kumali.)

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More lost lambs being led to the slaughter.

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"Aghh! The prayers do nothing!"

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. . . for we know not what we do! Amen."

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"Oh, Lord, do not forsake us . . .

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"Before we ride Loopen, I'd like to lead us in a little prayer."

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Erik says, "OK, now that we have ridden the Intamin, it is time for the Vekoma!"

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This, I believe, is called "track." (Yeah, I suck at technical jargon.)

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As does this.

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OK, this has something to do with making the ride "go" (as the technicians say).

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Here we have some recovered items. I believe the technical term is "somebody's lost crap."

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And now a frightfully technical backstage tour.

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Hey, kids--wanna go faster?

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. . . but can it do this? (Retort from Stealth: "Yeah, I could--I just don't want to!")

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Yes, Stealth is bigger, . . .

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. . . but it can't do this.

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Yeah, Kinda Krap (er, I mean Kingda Ka) is taller, . . .

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Able to leap tall park entrances at a single bound! (OK, here we have photographic evidence.)

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More powerful than a locomotive! (I have no empirical evidence to back up this claim.)

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Faster than a speeding bullet! (If the bullet is thrown as opposed to "fired.")

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First stop, Speed Monster. ("Zoom-zoom?" Where's that creepy little kid from the Nissan commercials?)

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This is the Norwegian version of Parque Espana's "Magic Escalator Ride." This place is so hilly that you have to take this ride to get from the main entrance to the park itself.

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Kristin doesn't speak Norwegian; fortunately, fun is a universal language.

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You know, there's something about the sun that brings out the wild side of Hanno.

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"Hi there! I'm Speed Monster! Welcome to Tusenfryd!"

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Fjord? But wouldn't you really rather have a Buick?

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"Anth has the poker face, but I have all the M&Ms."

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We killed some time with a friendly game of Texas Hold'em with M&Ms for stakes. This is Anth, better known as "Balls" for his bold bluffs.

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Another day, another ferry ride--this time to Sweden.

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Tusenfryd is brought to you by Bacon Boy! 'Cause, let's face it--guys like bacon in all its forms! Our pigs die with a big, fat grin on their faces!

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The makers of Bacon Boy products would like to remind you that bacon is not just for breakfast anymore. Why, you can use it to lube tank tracks, too!

 

And now, back to Tusenfryd, which smells nothing like bacon--but we like it, anyway!

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Thanks for a fun day, Tusenfryd! Eerie! I feel like I've been here before, too! (That's because I have.)

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But here's a pic from '06 with some Norwegian kid flipping me off as he rides by.

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Unfortunately, I really failed at taking pictures of it this year.

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I really like this ride.

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All those Terror Balls just going to waste.

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Hello? Gomez? Morticia? You home?

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Hmm--no creaking doors or howling wolves or random dummies sitting up in coffins today.

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This is more my speed.

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. . . and spew.

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. . . spin, . . .

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Time to swing, . . .

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I was content to watch this one.

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Spin Spider is one huge frisbee.

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After a tough hike, it's always nice to enjoy a refreshing beverage.

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Low bridge, Erik.

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Hmm--looks like a shortcut to Camp Crystal Lake, or something.

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"Yay! Bestest ride ever!"

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Teeny Weeny is surprisingly roomy. Yes, the trains are actually more roomy than on some full-sized coasters in Japan! And, hey, they just look cool.

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. . .Teeny Weeny!

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Don't be sad, guys. There's always . . .

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Rest in Peace, Vikingtoktet!

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Sigh! No more Viking show.

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"2:53 pm, July 15, 2010. The arm-wrestling machine becomes self-aware. It commences Judgment Day."

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Yeah, this is a pretty hilly place. You get quite a workout walking around Tusenfryd,

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This is a surprising little "swinging ship." It actually alternates between a less-intense and more-intense setting (the latter is surprisingly foreceful).

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"OK, is this Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian money?"

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Great update again chuck. MMMMM bacon.

 

Spin Spider was amazingly fightening yet awesome at the same time. I wish the ONE RIDE OP FOR A BRAND NEW RIDE would have tried harder to staple me.

 

Speaking of ONE RIDE OP FOR A BRAND NEW RIDE. That was my complaint of this place. Staffing. Do they really need three girls chatting at the Vekoma when two would suffice (since they were hardly working anyway) when their brand new ride only has one girl to check all 40 (50?) restraints and then start the ride?

 

Bah.

 

The vekoma wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. It had one really wonky moment on the lift and then it was decent. We were told by someone to ride in the back and it'd be better... and they were right!

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^I had such a lousy ride on Loopen back in '06 that I didn't bother with it this year. Maybe I was sitting in the wrong seat.

 

The Spin Spider line was outrageously long, as was the Super Splash line (one-boat operation).

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The Spin Spider line was outrageously long, as was the Super Splash line (one-boat operation).

 

Fortunately, we had Ivan to cool us down with his squirt gun while in that very long Super Splash line.

 

Yes, operations/staffing were the one weak point of an otherwise very nice and unique park. I waited like 20 minutes to buy just one popsicle at the end of the day.

 

I wonder if the laid back operations have anything to do with being the only major park in a very wealthy country. Or are they just a laid back culture? Guess I'll have to go back to Norway some day and investigate further. They certainly have enough natural beauty to draw me right back.

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I had jokingly been referring to the park as Tusen-Q all day because of the slow operations.

 

I'm still wondering what the female ride op at Loopen was thinking with the queue gate and the way she was making everyone squeeze around, over, and under each other through the line to get to the back. It seemed all she had to do was swing the gate shut and start a new queue. Did she know something we didn't?

 

Overall it's a nice park that could use a lot more operations help.

 

Edit to add...great update Chuck!

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Thanks for the comments and kind words, everyone.

 

Chapter 9: A Case of Swedish Deja Vu--Liseberg

 

Liseberg is one of my favorite parks anywhere, and why not? After all, my favorite wooden roller coaster is still there, rumblin' on, along with my favorite haunted walkthrough. Pile on the park's other attractions, good food, friendly staff, and beautiful setting, and it's no surprise that Robb and Elissa were saying that every TPR trip, no matter where it goes, should have Liseberg as an add-on. I was really looking forward to seeing this park again.

 

This is another one of those urban parks that they do so well in the Scandinavian countries--kind of like Tivoli Gardens with a big hill in the middle of it. As for the four coasters, there isn't a bad one in the bunch:

 

Balder--I was wondering if the park's 70-degree-drop woodie would regain the number-one ranking I gave it back in 2006. It did. There is nothing but airtime from beginning to end. This ride doesn't let up, yet it's amazingly re-rideable. As much as I like El Toro, Colossos, and the Voyage, if I ride them three times in sucession, I usually get a bit of a headache. Not so with Balder. I really could ride this coaster all day.

 

Lisebergbanan--This is supposed to be Anton Schwarzkopf's personal favorite out of all the rides he designed, and I can understand why. It's not an airtime machine, but you can't beat this ride's hillside setting--it's an excellent terrain coaster. But it does have those patented, kneecap-busting Schwarzkopf "broms" (or "brakes"). Great views of the park and city and lots of fun.

 

Kanonen--Another good Intamin launcher with plenty of twists and turns. It does seem to have barely enough momentum to complete its course, though.

 

Rabalder--This is the park's new kiddie coaster. It's an improvement over the old "dragon coaster" that used to be here, and like many kiddie coasters in European parks, it's nicely themed and landscaped.

 

If you're into dizziness and disorientation, there are plenty of flat rides, and the log flume can be a real soaker (the rapids ride not as much). The Hotell Gasten walkthrough is not to be missed--this is a Disney/Universal-level attraction with plenty of creepy atmosphere and creepier scareactors.

 

Here's a look at a great day at Liseberg. My thanks to the staff and management there for treating us so well--and to Robb and Elissa for setting all this up.

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Is it time to go back to Liseberg yet? More to come.

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But it never forgets that it's all about the air.

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Balder also throws in a few laterals just for the hell of it.

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Yes, red coaster trains need love, too.

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But let's give the red train its due.

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No "blues" on this ride, though.

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Let's hear it for the blue train, folks!

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70 DEGREES!

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Ryan's whole life has been leading up to this! All will be meaningless after Balder! (OK, this is a bit of an exaggeration.)

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With all the hammering and drinking concluded, it was time for ERT.

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No, they are the ecstatic moans and howls of an artiste!

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Those howls and screams you hear are not just those of a man who has crushed his thumb with a hammer.

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And here's my 2009 childish scrawl and nail for future generations.

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My childish scrawl and nail from '06 are still here.

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. . . which seems to have developed a "technical problem."

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Here we are, behind the scenes at the Big Mike Road Show, . . .

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Yes, Kristin--we actually want you to write on the coaster.

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OK, TPR people--start writin' and hammerin'. This ride ain't gonna finish itself.

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Looks like Hanno's had a few beers already.

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Let's see . . . Balder hat, green bunny ears, beer . . . yeah, I'm good.

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. . . we were off to a rather familiar little place--the wee house under Balder.

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After a few words of welcome, . . .

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. . .Sven-Bertil Taube. (Sven-Bertil Taube? Yes, my ignorance of Swedish pop culture is showing.)

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. . . ABBA, and . . .

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Yes, many international superstars are honored here, such as the late Michael Jackson, . . .

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Ah, Liseberg! Home of Balder, Hotell Gasten, and their own personal "Walk of Fame."

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Some of you may have noticed that there's no sponsor for this chapter. Yes, this space is available--for a nominal fee, of course.

 

Back to Liseberg.

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"Yeah--I thought I was a freak! But I'm normal compared to these coaster geeks." Well, off to take a shower. I'll finish posting the rest later.

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You have no idea.

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"Look at those people in line! They're scary!"

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Yes, it's a TPR/green-bunny-ears takeover.

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After Gasten, everybody went to snag the kiddie credit.

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"Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses . . . or just get me a corn dog."

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Unfortunately, if I showed you anymore, I'd have to kill you. Sorry.

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Next up was a backstage tour of Hotell Gasten with one of the attraction's actors. This was a major highlight of the whole trip. Even with the worklights on, Hotell Gasten looks pretty creepy.

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The dark side of the Schwarz!

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"I see that your Schwarz is nearly as big as mine."

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Hmm--so powerful that I'm having problems getting decent pictures of it.

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Time to experience the Power of the Schwarz!

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The station looks like a, well, train station.

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Time for Lisebergan . . . er . . . the "banana" coaster.

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"Aw, Chuck looks much prettier after Kristin takes a picture of him with her phone."

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Kanonen is comin' down the track . . .

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I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could!

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I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

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Joy, joy, joy!

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Happy, happy, happy!

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As we did in '06, we had ERT on Kanonen, too.

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