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Photo TR: Viking86 travels from Scandi to..... Scandi???


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So at the end of August I went on a little trip in Scandi. It wasn’t a pure coaster trip, but my main goal was to visit Liseberg as I had not been to the park after Helix opened. I also decided to visit Tusenfryd on the trip. Living on the Norwegian west coast, far away from any parks, it’s always nice to get away for a little and visit a couple of parks.

 

My tripstarted with a lovely 7+ hour, 300 mile drive to get to the other side of the mountains. I love long-distance driving, sitting behind the wheel with music on and just letting the mind wander off is something I find very relaxing.

 

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My driving route (blue) for the first part of the trip.

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As you can see the weather was absolutely beautiful! The highest area on this road is 1250 meters (4100 ft) above sea level.

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There were still some remaining patches of snow up in the mountains. Do you wanna build a snowman?

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So yeah, not particularly proud of this one. But hey, when it’s 11°C (51°F), windy and a fair amount of rain it’s very limited how much effort I’m gonna put into building a snowman.

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So I decided it didn’t have to be a snowman and drove off...

 

Okay, time for some amusement parks!

 

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After spending a couple of days visiting family, I headed onwards to Gothenburg (taking a small detour through Oslo to say hello to a friend)

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Fast forwards a couple of hours and I made it to Liseberg around 4 PM, about one hour after park opening (this was on a Thursday).

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Theres a real high-quality park to be found inside these gates.

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Also since it was Thursday, the park was really quiet.

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Naturally there was only one thing to do and that was to head directly up the escalators to ride Helix.

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The entrance to the queue line.

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The queue line for Helix is like a maze.

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There were so few people there, I kept wondering if I was going in the right direction

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The queue line also features an awesome soundtrack, though it can be a bit loud if you want to talk with your friends while waiting.

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Eventually I made it to the station for what was close to a walk-on.

 

I must complain a little bit about the station, it is not very well designed. Everyone enters right at the gates for the last rows, which means it easily gets congested if you have a group of riders who wants to wait for the back rows.

 

 

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I started with a front row ride. On my first ride Helix didn’t wow me. I must say though that due to a lack of sleep I was not in the best of shape this day, and that may have impacted my judgement. My opinion would change a lot on the next day though, more on that later.

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This hill delivers a lot of airtime.

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After Helix I went for a ride on Atmosfear. Intamin drop towers are always very fun, and this is no exception. Also with it’s position on top of the hill the views are spectacular.

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After Atmosfear I took the long path down the hill again. How many coasters can you spot in this picture?

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Time to check out some Intamin rides.

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Kanonen was closed, but it opened a couple of hours after the park. It’s an okay ride, the launch is very strong, but it tends to get forgotten among some of the other rides in this park.

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With Kanonen closed early on I headed for a ride on Balder.

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And this is why I absolutely LOVE the operations at Liseberg. Balder was walk-on all day, they ran BOTH trains and they had a total of SIX ride attendants in the station!!

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The first drop is excellent, but the rest of the ride felt very sluggish during the day, making it a very average ride. I will come back to Balder a bit later in this report.

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But first let’s check out some of the beauty of Liseberg.

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I love the atmosphere in this park.

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OMG INTAMIN RAINBOW!!! Double rainbow is soooooo 2010, it’s all about the Intamin rainbow now!

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I was a bit worried that the atmosphere in the park would be destroyed with Helix dominating the skyline, but even though it’s highly visible from most of the park it doesn’t ruin anything at all.

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At Liseberg you can win little Olafs. Now the important question is, where is Elsa???

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The entrance for Mechanica, Lisebergs new ride for 2015.

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I found it a bit strange that the ride was only running at 60% capacity, with two of the arms being closed. It must have been for technical reasons as it was the only ride in the park to gather a long line.

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It sure is an impressive looking ride and it drew quite a crowd of people simply watching the ride. I didn’t ride it on day 1, but I will get back to it on my day 2 report.

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Not many people on the rapids ride this day. That was fully understandable.

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No, I haven’t forgotten about Lisebergbanan. Still love this ride.

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This ride used to dominate the hillside at Liseberg. Now it’s being overshadowed by Helix and Uppsvinget. However it rides as good as it always has, providing great fun and thrills that the whole family can enjoy.

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Liseberg provides several forms of entertainment. Do you like to dance to a live band? Go to Liseberg on selected nights.

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There was a concert on the small stage which attracted a decent size crowd. I have no idea who was playing...

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The large stage was not in use on this day (on the right you can see the crowd for the small stage). I don’t have any pictures of it, but the day after there was a concert here and this whole area was packed with people.

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Darkness starts to set over Liseberg

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Fully dark, time for some rides on Balder.

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As you can see the line was insane! And because it’s too much hazzle to remove a train, they kept running both trains until park closing (which was well over an hour after this picture was taken).

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Balder was running like a bat out of hell at night! It’s incredible how much the ride experience changed compared to how it was running during the day. It was FANTASTIC!

I also love the lighting package, it makes the ride looks great, but it still feels like a proper night ride when you’re on the ride.

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It’s awesome when you can have the whole last car for yourself. I think there was a total of around 10 people in the train on this particular ride.

 

And I will leave it with that for day 1. Stay tuned for day 2 of Liseberg, where I will write more about my experiences on Helix and Mechanica.

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I approve of this update because at the start of it you pretty much murdered Olaf!

 

He would have melted anyway....

 

As for Helix I will write a much more in-depth review of it in the next update, but overall I really liked the ride. There are some parts of that are quite forgettable, but then there are some parts of it which I thought were really good.

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Liseberg day 2

 

After spending a few hours in the city centre of Gothenburg I met up with fellow TPR member Marcus (TPR username lond) outside the gates of Liseberg at park opening. Since it was Friday there was noticably more people, but nothing too crowded. The weather was also better this day. For this day I have also included in-depth reviews of Helix and Mechanica, see further down.

 

We started the day by heading for the parks “Intamin corner” as we figured many people probably would head directly to Helix.

 

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For the second day in a row Kanonen was closed for the first couple of hours after park opening...

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...so we grabbed a ride on Balder while we were there. It was running a bit better than the day before, but still somewhat sluggish during the day. How can the difference between day and night rides be this big?

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Again Liseberg is a beautiful park.

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Such a great atmosphere.

 

We went back up the hill and grabbed a ride on Helix. At this point I really started to enjoy the ride. It has a few parts that I think are really good, and overall it’s a very fun ride.

 

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From the top of the hill there are some great vantage points

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Train going through the corkscrew after the first boost section.

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Train going through the tallest inversion on the ride.

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Lots of airtime here!!!

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There are many great viewing angles of this ride.

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Riders being accelerated for a second time...

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...and moments later Lisebergbanan zooms by.

 

So I promised an in-depth review of the ride so here we go. I have already covered the station in my day 1 report, so I will start with the trains. This one is easy, they are great! Comfortable seats and restraints, and no seatbelts makes loading and unloading very fast.

 

Despite dropping (literally) straight into the action, the ride starts off quite gentle with a small drop out of the station and a rather slow corkscrew followed by a long sweeping turn. Next comes the first launch section. Or as I prefer to call it, the first boost section. This is also quite gentle, the train is gaining speed, but there are no noteworthy acceleration forces.

 

The next part is quite good, with the corkscrew over the escalator, left turn followed by a twisting hill before heading down a long right turn into the pretzel loop. This hill has pretty good airtime. The pretzel loop is probably my least favorite element on the ride. It has some good positive G-forces, but it’s not memorable in any way.

 

Everything between the pretzel loop and second boost section is very good! Tight clearance under the lifthill on Lisebergbanan, great airtime over the next hill and a good zero-g roll. The highlight of the ride is easily the transition from the zero-g roll into the helix, that part is crazy! The helix is quite powerful, and the following right-hand turn also has some good forces. What I like about this part of the ride is how it seems to increase in intensity for every element. And again some very tight clearances.

 

The second boost section is just like the first one. Again, you can feel the train gaining speed, but no forces to speak off. The following inversion is the tallest point of the ride, but it’s difficult to get a good sensation of the height. A hill/tophat of some sort would have been preferable. It’s still quite good though. The following hill marks the second great part of the ride, it provides long sustained airtime in every seat. The rest of the ride is not particularly memorable, but the final roll is a nice way to end the ride.

 

All in all I really enjoyed Helix and had a lot of fun on it. I understand that if you go to Liseberg and expect a fantastic ride you might be dissappointed, as I was after my first ride. However the ride kinda grew on me and I appriciated it for what it was. Have to give credit to Liseberg for this ride, to even consider building a ride of this scale on an already crowded hillside is crazy. What is really cool is that you get a lot of great views of the ride from the various paths around the hillside. Also no netting over the footpaths except one place where the track gets really close. I also really liked the fact that they kept as many trees as possible, and the color scheme makes the ride blend in quite well.

 

So no, Helix is not ‘the best ride ever’, but I had great fun on it and I think it’s a wonderful addition to an already fantastic park. And with that said, time to move on with the rest of the trip report.

 

 

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The park has two S&S towers, one drop tower and one shot tower. I didn’t ride any of them, they are quite tame and when there’s a 300 ft Intamin droptower in the same park it becomes an easy choice which ride to go on

 

At 6 PM we met up with fellow TPR member Antti (TPR username Anac0nda) and three of his friends outside the Helix entrance. Naturally we went for another ride. Not much pictures from the rest of the evening, but we did Helix, Kanonen, Balder and some of us felt like singing so we went on the log flume. And naturally we had to go for a ride on Mechanica.

 

 

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The ride looks even more impressive at night.

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The queue line was very well themed. As the ride was only running at 60% capacity this day as well, we did spent quite a bit of time in this queue line.

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Now that is a big ball!!!

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Riders enjoying the view from the top.

 

So how was the ride? Well, I was laughing hysterically throughout the entire ride and after the only words I could think of was “What the F*CK just happened?!”. Fact is, I still don’t know how to describe the ride experience other than that I loved the ride and I think it’s a fantastic addition to Liseberg! It was also fun to actually be a little nervous before riding (but in a good way). It’s not a feeling I get very often on amusement rides, but for this one I had no idea what to expect.

 

We ended the night with rides on Balder and Helix, both which were running great in the dark. Especially Balder, I still think it’s the star in the park despite the sluggish day rides.

 

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Helix station lit up at night.

 

After leaving the park I said goodbye to Marcus, Antti and the rest of the group and went back to the hotel. Was great meeting up with you guys, hope to see you again in the future!

 

Stay tuned for Tusenfryd report coming soon!

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Great trip report! I loved your in-depth review of Helix.

 

I haven't been to Liseberg yet, which is bad since I'm not THAT far away. I'll definitely go next year to check it out, the park looks great, and that collection of coasters is hard to beat (in Scandinavia at least).

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It kind of sounds like Helix is somewhat similar to Cheetah Hunt, not a top 10 blow you away kind of ride but a really fun solid attraction. Although I have heard more positive reveiws of Cheetah Hunt than I have of Helix. Both really do have kind of similar layouts and concepts although they are compeltly different.

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Those are some great photos!

 

I really did not like the Zierer Star Shape after riding two in Germany. I have heard that this one is faster, so hopefully my opinion will change when I ride Mechanica hopefully at Halloween

 

It kind of sounds like Helix is somewhat similar to Cheetah Hunt, not a top 10 blow you away kind of ride but a really fun solid attraction.

 

It blew me away, but I had really low expectations since I had ridden Blue Fire which is great but not so intense. I like to compare Helix to a great all-mountain ski. It's great at everything but not amazing at anything.

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Thanks for the nice comments!

 

I haven't been to Liseberg yet, which is bad since I'm not THAT far away. I'll definitely go next year to check it out, the park looks great, and that collection of coasters is hard to beat (in Scandinavia at least).

 

Yes, you should definitely go. Liseberg is overall a great park, and with the new additions over the last couple of years they really have a lot to offer.

 

It kind of sounds like Helix is somewhat similar to Cheetah Hunt, not a top 10 blow you away kind of ride but a really fun solid attraction. Although I have heard more positive reveiws of Cheetah Hunt than I have of Helix. Both really do have kind of similar layouts and concepts although they are compeltly different.

 

Both yes and no. Helix is more intense than Cheetah Hunt, and is definitely a thrill ride. It has also been marketed as such. Cheetah Hunt is more like a giant family ride. In fact, I think Cheetah Hunt would be perfect if they removed the inversion and installed lap bars. I think the reason why Cheetah Hunt has been getting more positive reviews is due to the fact that people have set their expectations lower before riding. I loved Cheetah Hunt, it's a ride that is just pure fun.

 

It blew me away, but I had really low expectations since I had ridden Blue Fire which is great but not so intense. I like to compare Helix to a great all-mountain ski. It's great at everything but not amazing at anything.

 

Like I said, I've learnt that how much I enjoy a ride have a lot to do with how I set my expectations. I had high expectations for Helix, which is why my opinion after my first ride was kinda 'meh'. Then as I rode it several more times on the second day I liked the ride more and more.

 

 

As for Mechanica I cannot compare to any of the other Zierer Star Shape rides, I just know that I thought the ride was absolutely hilarious in a good way.

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^Thanks! Helix never blew me away at any point either, but it ended up being a ride I really liked. As for Balder, I didn't take many pictures of it as there aren't really many good angles to take pictures from.

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Tusenfryd

 

Tusenfryd has never been anywhere near the top of my favorite parks list, and visiting it directly after Liseberg doesn’t really help, but I hadn’t been since 2013 and I was curious to see how Thundercoaster was running with the new Timberliner trains. Also with Tusenfryd only open on Saturdays and Sundays this time of the year, and Sunday being the day I had to travel home, it left with me no choice but to visit on Saturday. So I got up early that day and drove the two and a half hours from Gothenburg to Tusenfryd and met up with a friend about an hour and a half after park opening.

 

 

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My driving route this morning.

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Tusenfryd has one of the more impressive entrances due to the whole park being situated on a hillside.

 

I love that you can buy your tickets on machines outside in addition to the ticket booths. Makes buying tickets quite fast.

 

 

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Dagen er din - It’s your day!

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The “grand” carousel at the top of the escalators

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We started the day by taking a ride on Thundercoaster.

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I was curious to see how the ride was with the new Timberliner trains.

 

Thundercoaster was only running one train, and apparently it has been like this all season. This made the wait quite long, about one hour. At least there are plenty of interesting views of the ride from the queue line.

 

 

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The 90-degree turn seen behind the structure used to be rather wild, but after it was reprofiled by GCI some years ago it lost much of its punch.

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The train was tracking seriously bad over this hill. You could see both the train and the passengers jerking violently from the queue line.

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Plenty of new bracing on the brake run structure.

 

Finally we got on the ride and went for a ride in the backseat. I have been on Twister at Gröna Lund, so it was not my first experience with the Timberliner trains. As expected they were comfortable. Well, at least as long as we were stitting still in the station. It only took us until we were about halfway down the first drop to understand that this would not be a comfortable ride. I’m sorry to say this, but Thundercoaster needs more than new trains to fix this ride because some parts were BAD..... and I mean like Gwazi bad! Those parts which had fairly new track were alright though, but the ride seems to have lost a lot of the aggressive style it once had. With the line being so long (60-90) minutes and a rather uncomfortable ride, we did not ride Thundercoaster any more this day.

 

 

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Thankfully Speedmonster was running both trains and line was only about 20 minutes. This picture is taken where the line started.

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There is a great view of the final corkscrew from the line. I would have loved to see the track drop all the way down to the parking lot after the corkscrew, but that’s just the enthusiast in me talking.

 

Overall Speedmonster is a very fun ride. It’s not the most intense ride, but I enjoy it very much and it’s still quite smooth. A little bit of rattling, but it doesn’t add any discomfort to the ride. More pictures of Speedmonster coming later in this report.

 

 

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You can’t visit Tusenfryd without going for a spin on Loopen, the parks Vekoma looping coaster

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This Vekoma Tornado model was the star of the park from it opened in 1988 until Thundercoaster opened in 2001.

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It’s not the smoothest ride, but it’s fun and it seems quite well taken care of. The track is faded quite badly, but the Arrow trains looked like they came straight out of the factory. Super clean and with lots of shiny wheels.

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SpinSpider was closed as it has been pretty much all season.

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Shame, I really like this ride.

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In 2012 Tusenfryd expanded their western town by adding Western-Expressen. This ride was relocated from Mirabilandia in Italy. Unfortunately minimal effort was put into theming and scenery. On a positive note it was running two trains.

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The famous hill down to Superslash.

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We didn’t ride Supersplash on this visit as we didn’t feel like getting wet, but it’s quite a good ride. I’ve always enjoyed it.

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The sea monster didn’t look so happy though...

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...but that’s fully understandable when this is the treatment you get all day.

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There were plenty of kids having fun getting absolutely drenched from the splash.

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We took a ride on Thor’s Hammer. It’s an okay dark ride, but nothing to write home about.

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We took a ride on Spaceshot. Fun ride, and great view from the top.

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Disney was also represented at the park this weekend.

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Donald Ducks famous car.

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Another train full of victims being pulled to the top.

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The first drop is quite good in the backseat in terms of forces, but you quickly realize it’s not going to be a comfortable ride.

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The once famous second drop. Doesn't feel like it once did...

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The train screeching around the turn. Thundercoaster sure lives up to its name, this ride is LOUD!!

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Heading into the final hills. Lots of new wood in this area.

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Speedmonster is launching so fast it turns the riders into a blur.

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Upside-down!!!

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Upside-down #2!!!

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Twisty hills!

 

The ride-ops screwed up badly when closing the line early on Speedmonster. They closed the line over half an hour before park closure, then they had to re-open the line because they realized there would be no riders left in line 15-20 minutes before park closure. And with only 2 ride attendants in the station, the ride stopped running while one of them left the station to open/close the line.

 

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And I will end this trip report with one final picture of Speedmonster.

 

So yeah, that’s it for Tusenfryd. I feel it’s a very average park, Speedmonster is a good coaster, while Thundercoaster needs more work to make it a good ride again. It’s nice to see the park investing in new rides, though I’m still not convinced if a rapids ride is what the park needs most at the moment. Either way I’m sure it will be a fun ride.

 

Also visiting the park directly after visiting Liseberg sure isn’t doing it any favours in my review. Just to take one example, the number of ride attendants on Balder equaled the number of ride attendants on Speedmonster, Thundercoaster and Loopen combined. Liseberg has always been top of the class when it comes to operations, the same cannot be said about Tusenfryd. Keep in mind though this is in no way criticism of those who were working at Tusenfryd on this day, they seemed to be doing their job just fine (with the exception of the line closure incident on Speedmonster). This is pointing fingers at how the park is operated from a park management level.

 

On a positive note I had a very good kebab at Tusenfryd, so thumbs up for that!

 

I don’t know when my next visit will be. I’m currently averaging on one visit every second year, and I don’t see much that will change that in near future. If I’m in the area next year I might stop by to to check out the new rapids ride, but at the moment there is nothing that will make me go out of my way to visit the park.

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Wow that looks mediocre!

 

I never really thought about it until now, but without a great running Thundercoaster and a running SpinSpider I'm not sure I would wan't to visit Tusenfryd.

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^The thing is I have never had a bad visit to Tusenfryd, but on the other hand I haven't had any really great visits to the park since 2006. If I lived close to the park I would probably have a season ticket and visit a couple of times each year, but as I live 450 kilometers away from the park it doesn't have what it takes to make me put in the effort to go there. Which is why all of my visits to the park over the last 7-8 years is if I'm already in the area.

 

^^Not all of Thundercoaster was bad, but the overall impression was not so great. The parts that stood out as the worst were the first drop and following turn into the second hill, and coming out of the turn after the second drop into and over the third hill. Particularly the latter was really terrible! As mentioned the retracked sections were not bad in terms of rider comfort.

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^^Not all of Thundercoaster was bad, but the overall impression was not so great. The parts that stood out as the worst were the first drop and following turn into the second hill, and coming out of the turn after the second drop into and over the third hill. Particularly the latter was really terrible! As mentioned the retracked sections were not bad in terms of rider comfort.

 

The part before the second drop where quite bumpy last year but not the following turn and hill, weird... Maybe the old trains handled rough track sections better?

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You can’t visit Tusenfryd without going for a spin on Loopen, the parks Vekoma looping coaster

 

Oh yes, you can.

 

sorry to hear that Thundercoaster was running so badly. It was a lot of fun when I visited the park with TPR, but that was years ago.

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You can’t visit Tusenfryd without going for a spin on Loopen, the parks Vekoma looping coaster

 

Oh yes, you can.

 

Im pretty sure on the last Scandi trip some people had to ride it multiple times due to it repeatedly over shooting the station. I had the pleasure of watching that happen and laughing hysterically.

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You can’t visit Tusenfryd without going for a spin on Loopen, the parks Vekoma looping coaster

 

Oh yes, you can.

 

Agree with Chuck, on my second visit to Tusenfryd it was very easy to skip.

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^For me I always have to take at least one ride it on when I visit the park. Not because it's a great ride by any means, but because until Thundercoaster opened in 2001 this was the ONLY major rollercoaster in all of Norway. I remember staring at the ride in awe as a child, too scared to even think about going on it. How things have changed huh.... but yeah, I can of course understand it's easy to skip, but for me the ride holds some sentimental value. Plus I always have fun on it!

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Unfortunately, it's not to surprising that Thundercoaster turned out how it did with the Timberliners, mostly because of how Hades 360 ended up turning out. (The general consensus = BAD.) I think the problem with these Timberliners is that they are meant to steer with the track rather then sort of "shuffle over it" that something like a PTC Box would. That's great for newer, twisty rides like Switchback Railroad and Twister that had them in mind. But when you start to run them on an old, beat-up track like this, rather than just "shuffling" over all the little bumps and blemishes like a box would, they're going to actually steer into them, making a section than can already be violent even more so. Don't get me wrong, they are some fine trains, but parks need to start re-tracking these rides when ever they decide to add new trains or else it's just going to end up just as bad or even worst as it already was.

 

Oh, and I do need to add that this was a really cool TR! Speed Monster is still pretty high on my bucket list as it looks like a fantastic ride!

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