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Gardaland or Mirabilandia


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First off, I didn't put this in the Ask Alvey's board because I thought I'd get more traffic here. Move me if you must.

 

Ok, so here's the plan. I'm gonna be in Italy for 6 weeks in the months of June, July, and August. I would absolutely LOVE to go to one of the parks mentioned for a day trip, if possible. If not, then I'll try to stay at a cheap hostel (Flashes to movie scene ) I've done my research, and it looks like I could get either a 2.5 hour train for 37,40 € or a 4 hour train for 19,90 € to Gardaland. Or! I could get a 3 hour train for 31,80 € or maybe another 3 hour train for 9,85 €, though I only found one out of 20 scheduled times, to Mirabilandia. Tack on the price of tickets, and it looks to be 55,90 € to 73,40 € for Gardaland or 42,85 € to 64,8 € to Mirabilandia. Of course, prices may fluctuate, so here's where your input comes in.

 

WHERE SHOULD I GO? Yea. Go ahead you park savvy people. Which one should I choose? Give me your best choice and reasoning. Hopefully you'll be right.

 

There....done. Thank you for reading.

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First off, I think that this question will probably be better answered after Raptor opens at Gardaland. If top coasters are your priority, then Raptor will probably make a huge difference in your decision. Raptor is a first of its kind coaster for B&M. As such, it's hard to say whether it will be the best coaster on the planet, or just meh. My guess is that it will be somewhere in the middle, but that's completely a guess.

 

Otherwise, like with most similar questions about park preferences, it will really depend on YOUR priorities. If you could give us a sense of what is most important to you at parks -- theming, extreme coasters, number of attractions, having an attached water park, etc -- it will help to give an answer that will be best for you.

 

In general, I'd say that the answer really depends most on how important world class coasters are to you. If they're really important, then I'd go for Mirabilandia -- unless, of course, Raptor turns out to be a top tier coaster. In fact, in this category, the two parks aren't even close, since Gardaland has two world-class coasters, and Gardaland MAY have one, if Raptor qualifies.

 

Mirabilandia has both Katun and iSpeed. Katun is an old-school B&M inverted, and by old-school, I mean POWERFUL, before they tamed the G's. Katun has ranked in the top 10 of Mitch's Steel poll for years now, ranking at #8 in 2009. If you're a fan of B&M inverteds, it usually fights with Nemesis for the top ranked one on Mitch's poll, although I'd put both Montu and Pyrenees higher. Mirabilandia also has the new for 2009 iSPeed Intamin launched coaster, which ranks at #36 on Mitch's poll. None of the other coasters there are particularly notable.

 

Gardaland is opening Raptor, B&M's first foray sort of into the 4th Dimension, though not really because the seats don't flip. But it does have the same kind of seating on the sides (think Furius Baco.) It's any one's guess how good of a ride it will be. Other than that, they don't really have much of a signature coaster. Probably the biggest, most popular one they have is Blue Tornado, a standard Vekoma SLC, with an extended helix. Mammut, previously their newest coaster is an impressive mine train, but still just a mine train. Sequoia Adventure is one of the world's only S&S Screaming Squirrel. It's different, but enthusiast opinions on it very greatly. Magic MOuntain, their Vekoma double loop corkscrew coaster is notable mainly for its addition of new softer restraints that actually make it rideable. It's worth a few rides, but not worth traveling for. And Ortobruco Tour has got to be the world's longest wacky worm, which probably has more lift hills than any other coaster on the planet (something like 7!) Just imagine that Wacky Worms are made out of K'Nex, and someone thought it would be a good idea to put like 7 of them together. It's actually surprisingly fin and unique, but again, nothing to travel for.

 

Also, Mirabilandia has an attached water park that's not much extra (something like 5 euros), if that's important to you. And Gardaland has an attached Aquarium also for a small upcharge, if that's important to you.

 

I'd actually give a slight not to Gardaland if non-coaster rides and theming are what's important to you. Both parks have several good rides and some nice theming, but with only a few exceptions (like Milabilandia's nicely themed Reset shooting dark ride), I'd give Mirabilandia the definite edge in theming. There are also a lot more non-coaster attractions there.

 

Whichever park you go to, I'd strongly suggest spending a little extra on their line jumper systems. Mirabilandia's version is the Q-Bot, an electronic pager that lets you join in any line in the park from anywhere. You can get a lot of rides in on Katun and get all of your credits in. Plus, you'll save a ton of time in the lines for the haunted dark ride, the mouse coaster and iSpeed. Their version is more expensive than Gardaland's. At Gardaland, you buy a ticket than includes line jumping at 10 rides for ten Euros (unless the price has gone up.) They have two versions of the ticket, one being more thrill rides and the other being more family and water rides. The great thing about this is you don't have to set up a time and do a fast tour of the park, just walking up to rides and getting on the next train. And you get to choose your seat before they let the other people in, so if you want the front or back row, this might be the only way to get it! (And at only one Euro per ride to save 30-60 minutes in line, it's a steal!)

 

I hope this helps. Personally, I'd go to both parks! In fact, I did!

 

I have a short stay in Milan on this year's trip, and I doubt I'll have time to go to Mirabilandia. Since Milan is much closer to Gardaland and since they're adding a new B&M, I'm definitely heading there. I wish I had another day to do both parks (and Venice!) though!

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Great response! I am not a picky person when it comes to which park I want to go to. The only thing I don't prefer are water rides (I have a Dan tolerance with water ). Besides that, scenery is definitely a plus, I like pretty things. And an aquarium add on would be cool. And, I just realized that the prices were only for a one way ticket, so I can only do one of the parks, since I don't know how I'll be with money.

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This is very easy. If you prefer great thrill rides, go to Mirabiliandia. If you want a pretty, well-themed park, go to Gardaland.

 

I concur! Katun and iSpeed are two top notch coasters.

And this is reason alone I'd choose Mirabilandia. Even if X-Raptor is better than both of these, that gives Gardaland one world class coaster, where Mirabilandia has two. I would place my bets though on X-Raptor not being better than Katun or iSpeed though (sorry, Bruno!), and that is just based on the lack-luster, forceless product we've seen from most B&M rides in the past decade. I'm sure X-Raptor will be an amazing amount of fun, but it would be pretty hard to top Katun.

 

If you're a BGT fanboy - iSpeed and Katun are Italy's response to Kumba and Montu.

 

And I would say that it's a very hard call as to which steel combo I prefer. They are THAT good.

 

--Robb

Edited by robbalvey
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I'd do Mirabilandia over Gardaland any day.

 

As of last year the only good coaster in Gardaland was the oversized kiddie coaster "Ortobruco Tour". Hopefully the new B&M will change the pattern a bit, but that's still only one decent coaster.

 

Mirabilandia, on the other hand, has iSpeed and Katun.

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I like your responses, it looks like both are great, but Mirabilandia has to two coasters over Gardaland's one coaster. Well, I still have time, and hopefully, I can save enough for both!

 

Also, how much is the V-Pass at Mirabilandia? I cannot find a price on their website.

 

Oh, and if anyone else wants to put in more insight, by all means, go for it.

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A quick note on the two virtual pass systems, and the benefits of each.

 

For one thing, assuming that the prices stay the same (which they very well may not) Gardaland's is cheaper. Well, they're the same price per person, but you have to pay an extra 10 Euros for the Q-bot rental itself at Mirabilandia. So, if you're alone, it's twice as much, but if you're with 5 others, it's only a negligible 1.67 each extra. Gardaland's also gives you instant line cutting. Just walk up to the ride and get on the next train. And they let you in before the rest of the people waiting, so you'll get choice of seats. On the down side, you get a pre-selected slate of 10 rides total (sometimes, there's a second ride on several of them, but it's 10 total rides. If you want to get all of the coasters, you might have to do both of the tickets. And once you've gotten your ride, or rides, on your favorite coaster, you'd have to buy a whole new card to get more rides on it (even if you wanted to ride only that ONE ride again!)

 

Mirabilandia's Q-Bot is a bit more expensive, but it offers as many rides as you can manage in one day, with as many rerides on each as you want. (And they're generally open until 11 PM in the Summer, although the trains don't run nearly as late.) You have to get in the virtual queue by reserving the time on the machine, but you can reserve any ride from anywhere in the park, and the machine will tell you how long the wait is for each ride. And the waits are generally quite a bit less than the regular wait times, especially on the non-signature rides with low throughput, like the haunted dark ride and the wild mouse coaster. You can get a TON of rides on Katun, and a bunch (but not as many, because the wait times are longer) on iSpeed.

 

In short, if you just want to run through the park and ride everything major once, then leave, Gardaland's system is better for you. If you'd rather stay in the park for a while and get a bunch of rerides on some world class coasters, then Mirabilandia's system is better for you.

 

Although I still prefer the systems at PortAventura and Parque Warner in Spain, where you get a wristband and can just walk up to any ride with no wait and get on the next train! And they're both fairly cheap, especially for all the rides you can get in. (Now, if only Parque Warner would add their signature ride, Superman, to their system!)

 

And, Larry, were those prices from last year's trip? IF so, I think that it might have actually been cheaper than when we went the previous year. I don't remember exactly (a friend got ours for us while we waited for iSpeed), but I seem to recall it being a bit more than that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok, I'm gonna need some help on this subject too!

 

I've been boooked up and ready to go to both Gardaland and Mirabilandia next and I've just discovered, that Mirabilandia isn't open the week day that we have it booked in for, the park seems to be open only weekends so far. As my friend isn't prepared to drive two and a half hours there and back in a day, Im trying to find a way to get down there from Venice on a train, which will have to be a Sunday, the only day it's open on my trip. Rubbish!

 

Any ideas, would be mostly appreciated.

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^According to the website, there is a shuttle bus that picks up at the Lido Di Classe-Lido Di Savio train station. They don't post the shuttle schedule online, but I guess it runs continuously for most of the day. If you know anyone that speaks Italian, you could have them try to call the park

 

The summer train schedules aren't posted yet. The schedule might be different for the summer. So, you'll have to check for the dates you want when the timetables for summer come out. So, I searched for Sunday, June 5th just to give you an idea of what you day might be like:

 

-Train #2229: Departs Venezia S. Lucia @ 07:57. Arrives Ferrara @ 09:30

-Train #6535: Departs Ferrara @ 10:04. Arrives Lido Di Classe-Lido Di Savio @ 11:25

 

Venezia Santa Lucia is the train station actually on the island.

 

To get back to Venezia, you could do the following (also on Sunday, June 5th):

 

-Train #11606: Departs Lido Di Classe-Lido Di Savio @ 20:18. Arrives Ravenna @ 20:28.

-Train #3018: Departs Ravenna @ 20:33. Arrives Bologna Centrale @ 21:54. (Note the tight connection at Ravenna).

-Train #9426: Departs Bologna Centrale @ 22:10. Arrives Venezia S. Lucia @ 23:33.

 

Italian train schedules are available here.

 

Note that if you budget an hour each way on the shuttle, you're only going to get about 5.5 hours in the park (assuming the park closes at 6 PM that day). You might consider coming in by train on Saturday and spending the night at a hotel near the park or Lido Di Classe train station.

 

About that tight connection at Ravenna, I would try to find a train itinerary that gives you more time at each station. 5 minutes isn't enough time to even run between trains at larger stations. Even though I doubt Ravenna is that big, if your train arrives late you'd miss that connection to Bologna.

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