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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 Foreign Adventures


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Honestly that and the merely average food were the only things lacking. Everything else was top notch.

 

Let me guess, you only ate the "American food". I hope the food hasn't gone completely downhill over the past 8 years. I thought Port Aventura had a very good selection of quality items.

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I actually didn't have American food at the parks. I grabbed a burrito and nachos from the Mexican Cantina that were average. Same with the spring rolls from the Chinese place. The Hotel Caribe buffet had a large selection of food for both dinner and breakfast, but I found most of it pretty mediocre and on par with my college's dining hall.

 

The best food item I had by far at the resort was the canelones at Pit Lane. Everything else was average or below. I wouldn't be shocked if the resort had better restaurants, but I didn't have much luck during my visit. Is there a place that's most recommended at PortAventura?

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Just catching up on this report. Alton Towers and Port Aventura both look amazing, and I hope to get to them both eventually. I had heard mixed reviews on Blackpool, but after the extensive review, it totally looks like a place I would love, a place that's equal parts horrible and awesome. I loved Moreys, and Blackpool seems to have that same sort of vibe.

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For a theme park enthusiast, Blackpool is a must since it's a unique, classic park. I'd say Wildwood is an apt comparison in terms of the sheer number of attractions. I think I preferred Wildwood over Blackpool, but will take Pleasure Beach over Morey's Piers without a doubt.

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I actually didn't have American food at the parks. I grabbed a burrito and nachos from the Mexican Cantina that were average. Same with the spring rolls from the Chinese place.

 

Besides getting croquettas at stand near Furius Baco those are the only other places I ate at years ago so it sounds like the food has gone downhill.

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Nice report, Michael!

 

I wasn't horribly impressed with Thorpe when we visited several years ago, but they have gotten a lot more coasters since that time. What amazed me was the incredibly early close time of 5:00. We drove up with friends and got there around 1:00 so we really never got a chance to do all of the rides/attractions that we wanted. The park kind of reminded me of Canada's Wonderland in that they had a great flat ride collection, but the coaster selection was rather mehhh.

 

I said that if we ever get back to England that we would make the trek to Alton as well as check out Blackpool, as both look to be better parks than Thorpe.

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Just looked through your Port Aventura report. What an absolutely beautiful park! Thanks for sharing your great pictures!

 

Thanks! Yeah it's definitely one of the best landscaped parks in the world.

 

Nice report, Michael!

 

I wasn't horribly impressed with Thorpe when we visited several years ago, but they have gotten a lot more coasters since that time. What amazed me was the incredibly early close time of 5:00. We drove up with friends and got there around 1:00 so we really never got a chance to do all of the rides/attractions that we wanted. The park kind of reminded me of Canada's Wonderland in that they had a great flat ride collection, but the coaster selection was rather mehhh.

 

I said that if we ever get back to England that we would make the trek to Alton as well as check out Blackpool, as both look to be better parks than Thorpe.

 

I thought all the major coasters at Thorpe were quite good and complimented each other well. The only thing missing was a big airtime machine. Canada's Wonderland is quite a bit different (at least for me) in that they have 2 excellent coasters, my favorite suspended, and then the rest could be skipped on a visit and I wouldn't shed a tear.

 

They did have shortened hours too when I visited but that may have been more due to the fact that it was off peak times.

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[attachment=34]Tami-Tami Entrance.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=24]Shambhala Entrance.jpg[/attachment]

You wanted to know what a Tami Tami and Shambhala are?

 

The Tami Tami rollercoaster used to be in the Polynesia area of the park. In 2011 the Sesame Street area opened and the part of Polynesia including the Tami Tami rollercoaster was included into the new area. They kept the name and theming which has no link with Sesame Street.

A Tami tami is a mythical animal from Tahiti where it saves people from their boats, who are in danger.

 

Shambhala is a mythical kingdom north of the Himalayas

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shambhala

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Grona Lund

 

After consecutive large, sprawling corporate parks, it was an interesting contrast to visit Grona Lund, a compact park in the heart of Stockholm that uses every inch of space it has and then some. Like the parks in England, Grona Lund had reduced hours. While Thorpe, Alton, and Blackpool were open from 10-5, Grona Lund was open 3-10. Of the two, I’d prefer the late afternoon/evening like Grona Lund since it still allows me to get my night rides in.

 

With some hours to kill once I landed in Stockholm, I decided to have a nice lunch and walk to Grona Lund, stopping to see a few sights along the way. I grabbed lunch at a small place called Phil’s Burger. The burger was very juicy and delicious. However, the portions were considerably smaller than what I’d find stateside. Because of that, I indulged in a French hot dog off a street. The hot dog was pretty average in taste, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the food’s phallic appearance.

 

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Small but juicy.

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Do I even need to caption this? We all know what this hot dog looks like.

The walk to Grona Lund was about 2 miles and quite peaceful. Stockholm’s architecture was beautiful. I think Boston is an old city. I mean it is, but Stockholm has years on Boston. Along with the architecture, the city is also on the water. Stockholm is right up there with San Francisco as my favorite city to walk around.

 

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I was in love with Stockholm's architecture.

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This is the street corner where I bought my exciting hot dog. Or do I mean excited?

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I love the gold.

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This was probably my favorite building I saw.

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You couldn't pay me enough to set foot in there. Well I mean you could, but I'd have to negotiate how long you expect me to stay in there.

As I walked towards Grona Lund, I couldn’t help but notice a few rides running. I couldn’t believe how early they had started to test rides. Keep in mind, I’m used to Six Flags starting to test rides after opening. As I got closer to the park, I saw riders on the drop tower. Did Grona Lund open early? Sort of. They were open from 12-3 for students.

 

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What's that I see in the distance?

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It's on the tip of my bike.

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Grona Lund!

One of the benefits of Club TPR is one free admission to Grona Lund per year. Unfortunately the ticket booth wasn’t aware of the benefit, so I needed to make my way to guest services. It took two employees, but eventually I got my free ticket. But not before I saw the words “Trasig” next to Ikaros. Ikaros was one of my most anticipated rides at the park, so I scrambled to grab my phone’s translator. Though I’ll give you a hint; it’s an Intamin. If you guessed “out of order,” you would be correct. At least Tower Land had two other drop towers waiting for me.

 

I began with Vilda Musen, only to see a sign out front. Don’t tell me the students broke the ride! Instead of scrambling to my phone again, I asked the employee out front since a lot of people in Sweden speak better English than us Americans. Expecting another closed or out-of-order, I was relieved. The park was having a concert that night and Vilda Musen would close at 7:30. Before I ran in line, she also gave me a heads up the same would happen with Insane and Eclipse.

 

Vilda Musen literally translates to “wild mouse,” but it was much different than any other wild mouse I’ve been on. The ride had a series of twisting drops and banked turns instead of the tiny straight drops and hairpin turns on standard wild mice. The drops didn’t give any air, but they were quick and the whole ride was very smooth despite the compactness of the layout. The ride’s strength is really how well it’s shoehorned in the park above buildings and next to Jetline. 6 out of 10

 

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So far it looks like a wild mouse.

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But it really has some banked turns and some funky drops. I'll take that over the standard hairpin turns any day.

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To all parks that complain about a lack of space, just stop at look at what this park has done.

I saw Ikaros testing (something I’d get used to) so I immediately got in line. For my first ride, I was stationed on the side facing the park. The ascent is interesting since you are staring at Fritt Fall and Eclipse during the ascent, which is particularly weird since the latter is taller. That’s something that usually doesn’t happen with a drop tower. The view of the rest of Stockholm was quite good though, but the view was quickly disrupted when the gondola rotated 90 degrees towards the ground.

 

Hurakan Condor’s tilt was child’s play by comparison. Staring directly at the ground was pretty frightening. Then the drop began and it was…good. I guess I was expecting more. I was expecting a drop on par with the other Intamin drop towers, but it felt slow by comparison. Not sure if it was just the added wind resistance of the gondola or something, but it didn’t have the air or stomach drop of Intamin’s other towers. However, the novelty of staring at the ground was still exhilarating.

 

Back to the testing comment, Ikaros had a ton of downtime. There were three separate times I got in line only to have the ride go down. The ride wasn’t more than a one cycle wait (like everything at the park), but it was still frustrating to see the ride go down repeatedly. After the second breakdown I was in line for, they closed one side of Ikaros only for that side to go down for good later that night.

 

I was able to get three other rides in. The other side facing the water was the side to ride though. The view of Stockholm looking over the water was absolutely stunning. While Ikaros didn’t quite meet my lofty expectations, it was still a very good drop tower because of its uniqueness. Interestingly enough, it didn’t end up being the best one in the park. 9 out of 10

 

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Thankfully Ikaros reopened...for now.

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It was definitely freaky looking directly at the ground, but the drop was a bit slower than expected.

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The ride looked amazing at night.

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But it also broke down a lot. Care to guess that those words where the wait time should be mean? Here's a hint. It's an Intamin.

Ikaros’s exit was adjacent to the S&S tower (spoiler alert, this wasn’t the best tower), Katapulten. Oddly enough this one had the longest wait of any of the drop towers, as it was a solid 10 minute wait all day. A combo tower, Katapulten looks odd with the paneling at the base and top of the tower, but it quickly became apparent why. The ride is eerily silent. For those of you who have been on an S&S tower, you know the booming sound these things make. Not this one.

 

Because of this, Katapulten’s launch is sudden and unexpected. It’s also pretty powerful as well, which leads to some great floater air atop the tower. Like Ikaros, the views from the top were just as stunning even though it was probably 100 or so feet shorter. Unlike the tower at Ferrari Land, Katapulten had a really strong drop with a powerful pop of air. As far as S&S towers go, Katapulten is one of the best. And that figures that it’d be in a park with two superior Intamin towers. 8 out of 10

 

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Judging by those empty seats, I think everyone else knows which drop towers are better. But in reality this one consistently had the longest wait all day.

Instead of completing the drop tower trifecta, I next went with Jetline. I’ve heard many people gushing over this and Lisebergbanan, but I was wondering just how good these coasters could be since their stats scream family coaster. Well Jetline is a surprisingly intense ride. The strength of the ride is its compactness and how it’s interwoven with itself, Vilda Musen, and a few buildings.

 

The first drop was far from steep, but the great tunnel at the conclusion of the drop makes it interesting. The real drop on this ride is the second one. It’s a surprisingly steep, twisting plunge that really whips you through it. Think of that crazy drop on a Windstorm, except make it 2-3 times taller. The Gs on the subsequent ascent were equally as wild. The rest of the ride consisted of a series of forceful helixes as the ride descended to ground level. Jetline was the park’s second best coaster. 8 out of 10

 

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I loved the ride's classic sign. Oh and the ride was pretty good too.

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Take the tunnel!

The honor of the park’s best coaster goes to another one with the stats of a family coaster, Twister. However, anyone who has ridden one of the compact Gravity Group woodies stateside knows just how intense these little coasters can be. If you thought Vilda Musen and Jetline were shoehorned in, wait until you see Twister. I have a feeling they probably got a few no quotes/no bids when they tried building Twister since it’s honestly mind-blowing they fit a ride into this space. The ride dives over buildings, pathways, and some other rides.

 

The back row is the place to ride Twister. The first drop has some powerful ejector air towards the back of the train and that’s followed by the highlight of the ride, the second hill. Every single rider in the train has 2 seconds of sustained air. There were probably 4 more hills with strong pops of ejector as well with the final drop before the camera being the most powerful. I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is to ride Twister in the very back since even one row forward will sap the strength of that air considerably.

 

Let’s talk about the layout for a second. Gravity Group deserves a lot of praise for fitting a coaster into such a compact space. However, the compactness of some of the twists and turns leads to some bumpiness. I didn’t find it painful and it didn’t hamper rerides (I rode it 10-12 times in a row without getting off at the end of the night), but it was a very noticeable shuffle. I had a feeling that may be the case based on Roar-o-Saurus’s tight turns, so I came in expecting that. In the back row, Twister is a great little wooden coaster better than coasters 2-3 times its size. In the front, the air is considerably weaker but you can still appreciate this ambitious layout. 8.5 out of 10

 

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"You can't fit a coaster here." Grona Lund- "Challenge accepted."

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The stats may look unimpressive (50 ft, 38 mph, 1500ft long), but you're going to be out of your seat a ton, especially in the back row.

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I loved the queue line decorations. They looked nice, but I didn't have to look at them too long on this day.

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The second hill was the best part of the ride.

While Twister may be the park’s best ride, the most unique is probably their classic fun house, Lustiga Huset. I knew I would be getting a classic fun house, but I wasn’t expecting a fun house this long. Lustiga Huset has every single gag and trick you can think of. The sliding staircase alone made this fun house a win in my book, but when you add the amount of gags inside here that I think are purposefully designed to mess with your equilibrium and cause you to wipe out like a drunk ice skater, it makes it even better. The person who thought it would be a great idea to put the spinning vortex tunnel effect right before the barrel is an evil mastermind. And that’s without talking about the misaligned staircases or inclined rooms.

 

Then there were also some effects I’ve never seen in America. I particularly liked the bouncing bridge, for a lack of a better term. There were two brides, side-by-side, that oscillated a good 3 feet. And they were moving pretty rapidly too. If you walked over the bridge as it was surging upwards, you’d get some pretty terrifying, never in America airtime. But the best part was the climatic slide at the end. While the fun houses in America often have that slow-as-molasses spiral slide adults can barely fit into, Lustiga Huset has a very fast and steep double down slide in total darkness. You plop down and the platform raises up like a wet/dry water slide to dump you down. I’m pretty sure with enough weight, you could get airtime on this thing. I built up a pretty significant head of steam and I only weigh 160 pounds.

 

The whole fun house probably takes 6-7 minutes to walkthrough and there isn’t a moment lacking a gag. I detailed several of the gags already, but there were even more I didn’t bring up such as the mirror room, spinning wheel, etc. Honestly, there were so many gags I couldn’t possibly remember them all. This is the pinnacle of fun houses with a great emphasis on fun. 10 out of 10

 

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What an amazing classic fun house!

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If you thought you knew how scary airtime could be, stand on the middle of that platform. I dare you.

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Spinning vortexes are dizzying enough.

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So the person who put a barrel afterwards is a criminal mastermind.

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Feed that monkey/human thing.

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The huge slide was the perfect way to end the fun house. Alone this slide would have been a great attraction. It's super fast!

Having ridden Green Lantern at SFMM, I was intrigued to try Insane, which is universally considered better. While I didn’t completely hate Green Lantern, it definitely wasn’t as good as it could have been. The forces were intense, more-so than the S&S free flies, but it wasn’t really comfortable. It’s almost as if Six Flags restricted the cars from spinning so much that the forces are distributed in an unnatural way. I remember one ride in particular where our car got stuck upside down for the entire second half. Having blood rush to your head while stuck upside down isn’t an experience I want to relive.

 

As the cars began to rock a bit as they ascended the lift, I already saw an improvement. The raven turns were still just as intense with a truly gut-wrenching feeling as you traversed them. While the cars didn’t invert as much as I had anticipated, the allowed rocking on each dip made the experience much more comfortable. Some of the movements are still a bit uncomfortable due to the restraints being looser than those on a free fly, but overall I’d say this one was actually reridable. I mention there not being as many flips as expected, but without fail the tiny little hump at the end is guaranteed to violently fully invert you.

 

I would still pick a free fly over Insane for the superior comfort of the vest restraints, but Insane is the more intense ride in my opinion. The raven turns and flipping feel much wilder and more uncontrolled on Insane. For that reason, this is a ride that does genuinely terrify me before each ride. Typically Grona Lund tried to balance the cars, but on my last ride I was paired with a young boy who I would estimate was half my weight. That ride was absolutely bonkers and had the most intense flipping. I probably got 3 flips total as opposed to the lone flip at the end. If you, like most enthusiasts, hate Green Latern and have denounced ZacSpins as absolute hell, give Insane a try. 8 out of 10

 

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This one isn't green. You're safe.

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When the cars are actually allowed to rock a la Grona Lund, these Zac Spins are far more enjoyable.

I mentioned that Ikaros wasn’t the park’s best drop tower. In my opinion that honor goes to Fritt Fall. More specifically, the honor goes to one side of Fritt Fall. The park retrofitted one side of their second gen Intamin tower with the stand-up, floorless, tilting seats like Hurakan Condor. I would have preferred this side anyway over the sit down cars, but as an added bonus, the stand-up side also has the best view since it faces the water.

 

Like Hurakan Condor, this one has a camera fixed at the top, but the picture’s flash seemed to coincide better with the start of the plunge rather than tipping riders off a half second before. Then the drop is just as intense. My stomach was left at the top of the tower and I floated the whole way down, a really cool sensation as you’re standing up. It felt like we dropped like a rock unlike on Ikaros. For that reason, the tilt side is my favorite of the park’s towers. And unlike the early versions like Acrophobia, the braking didn’t squash my nuts. Not sure what Intamin did to fix it, but neither myself nor my future kids will complain. I also tried the sit-down side once and it was fun (probably a 9/10 type of ride), among the better 2nd gen towers, but I didn’t see the point to ride it when I could ride the superior tilt tower next door. 10 out of 10

 

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Tilt is the only way to go. And it's safe if you want to have kids. I donated my groin to the cause.

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Grona Lund seriously should be called Tower Land.

The longest wait all day was for Kvasten, the park’s Vekoma suspended coaster. That wait was only 10 minutes, so that puts in perspective the kind of crowds I had during my visit. The ride’s station looks fantastic and is particularly eerie at night. While the layout is relatively basic, what elevates this ride is its placement over the walkway. The first drop in particular is memorable since it combines a headchopper with Jetline above and a footchopper with a pathway below.

 

The rest of the ride consists of a few helixes and cool tunnel above the station. The final helix in particular was more forceful than anticipated since the ride feels like it reaches its max speed at this point and the tightness of the maneuver pulls a few Gs. I got a few rides, including one in the front, and could have easily ridden it more if the park’s other rides weren’t calling me. I think the best aspect about the ride is its smoothness. Unlike the Arrow suspended coasters where the swinging is a tad jerky, this one was glass smooth. I’ll still take the Arrows with the large drops (Vortex, Bat, Big Bad Wolf) over this one, but after that I may honestly give the nod to this compact little Vekoma. 7 out of 10

 

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This isn't just a smooth Vekoma, it's smooth by anyone's standards.

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Out they come.

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I love how Kvasten soars above the pathway. You can tell this was the original layout that was cloned by a few other parks, including Fun Spot.

I’m lucky enough to have a supersized star flyer at SFNE within a 2 hour drive of me, but I was certainly looking forward to Eclipse not necessarily for the height, but more for the views. Stockholm was an absolutely beautiful city from the ground, so I was eager to see it from almost 400 feet in the air. The views were as amazing as I anticipated (I got both day and night rides), but I was shocked and pleasantly surprised by the cycle. SFNE’s and SFOT’s jumbo sky screamers ascended once and descended shortly thereafter. It’s not exactly fast ascending a 400 foot tower! But on Grona Lund, it ascended the tower twice much like those smaller SkyScreamers do. As far as star flyers go, this one is definitely my favorite for the super long cycle, height, and spectacular views. It sure beat looking at downtown Springfield, MA. 10 out of 10

 

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Eclipse is the best of the star flyers.

Usually I skip upcharges, but I had heard not to skip the House of Nightmares walkthrough. I’m certainly glad I listened. The walkthrough probably took about 5 minutes, but it was of much higher quality than most Halloween haunts I’ve seen. The closest thing I can think of in the US is the Ghost Ship at Morey’s Piers except have it take place in a more traditional Victorian house. It seemed like there was an actor lurking around every corner and that was combined with some pretty awesome animatronics. 10 out of 10

 

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This permanent style haunt is far superior to what you'll find at a Six Flags park. It was elaborately themed with plenty of live scare actors.

Bla Taget had some technical difficulties early in the day, but it eventually opened around 6 or 7. Based on the building, I was expecting an old school ghost house. I found out after the fact that the ride was refurbished a few years ago, so all of the effects were incredibly well maintained. As a man with simple tastes, I was entertained by the gigantic sparks, fire, and man pooping on a toilet. Yes you read that right. One of the “haunts” is a man pooping on a toilet.

 

 

 

 

But the real highlight of Bla Taget was the cars. I thought they looked sleek and modern when I boarded, but I didn’t realize just how sophisticated the cars were until they started to spook me. The cars are like the seats at Disney’s 3D movies. The one that comes to mind specifically is It’s Tough to be a Bug. At various points during the ride, the cars will blast you with air, vibrate your seat, and even punch you in the back. These effects completely caught me off-guard and really caused me to jump.

 

[END SPOILERS]

 

Bla Taget was one of the best haunted houses/ghost trains I’ve been on because of how well maintained it is combined with the surprises. I haven’t been on a haunted house that incorporated scares like Bla Taget did and that’s what made it special for me. 10 out of 10

 

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This was a surprisingly good haunted house.

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It may look straightforward, but there are some pretty well hidden surprises. Just look at their faces.

I loved Santa Cruz’s break dance since they placed it indoors. The enclosed room combined with the music and lights amplified the ride much like an indoor scrambler. I have been shocked more parks don’t do this, but Grona Lund is an exception with Pop-Expressen. This ride had a pretty consistent 10 minute wait like Kvasten. But I had no problem waiting since I got to listen to crazy Swedish techno music and also the operators were crazy in a good way. All of the operators at Grona Lund were extremely outgoing and friendly, but the ops at Pop-Expressen took it to a new level. They were dancing across the ride platform as they checked restraints and that couldn’t help but bring a smile to my face.

 

I sat down and fully expected some more Swedish rave music. So I couldn’t help but burst out laughing when I heard “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want…” Growing up in the 90s, Wannabe is a staple of my generation and the randomness that it would pop up on a break dance in Sweden after hearing nothing even close to an American pop song was hysterical, especially when half the riders started singing along.

 

As far as break dances go, this one is run relatively fast and has some pretty strong spins. The cycle is also quite long and it seemed to coincide with the length of the song playing. Interestingly enough, people can submit songs to be played (presumably through an app). My second ride had a far less enjoyable song. There are only a few artists I genuinely detest and refuse to listen to their voice, but Justin Bieber is one of them. When I heard the sound of the mating dolphins, I knew I was doomed and stuck listening to Sorry for the next 3.5 minutes. I’m going to judge the ride off my Spice Girls fueled ride and say it’s one of the park’s best flats. 9 out of 10

 

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Are you ready to party Swedish style?

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Or should I say American style since I got Spice Girls and Justin Bieber songs.

Normally I’ll skip the wave swingers, but Grona Lund’s was an exception thanks to its placement over the water. Kattingflygaren is built on a little pier over the water, much like what Indiana Beach did with their’s stateside. The big difference here is that this is the superior wave swinger style swinger as opposed to Indiana Beach’s yo-yo style swinger. I rode it around sunset, so the view of swinging over the water while seeing the golden sun descend over Stockholm was really beautiful. The ride itself was your otherwise standard wave swinger. 7 out of 10

 

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Any ride is better over the water. Ok well except maybe Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

I almost missed Karlekstunneln, aka the tunnel of love, because of how the ride’s entrance is adjacent to the photo booth for the fun house (yet another reason why the fun house is awesome). I don’t think there’s any other way to describe the ride system than old and cute. The boats are extremely low to the ground and that compliments the ride’s scenes well, which consist of a series of miniaturized models. But the highlight for any guy is the exposed boobs along the way. You aren’t going to see that in America. 7 out of 10

 

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Boobs ahoy.

Having gotten on all of the major rides I intended, I had some time to credit whore the two kiddie coasters. I started with the more embarrassing of the two, Tuff-Tuff Taget. Kiddie coasters are already small, but this one may have set a new low for me as it didn’t have a single drop on the ride. It was just a gradual downhill slope with a few hairpin turns. Those turns did have some laterals! Actually they probably didn’t have any and I was just trying to justify the ride in my mind. 1 out of 10

 

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Not going to lie, I felt pretty dirty riding this one.

Nyckelpigan was actually pretty respectable. It was small for sure (it wouldn’t be a kiddie coaster otherwise), but the ride’s placement was fantastic. The first drop is situated above a building and also has a headchopper with a nearby tree. The final turn also has some laterals; this time I actually mean that. This was also one of my longer waits of the day as it was almost as long as Kvasten, but I guess that’s the price you pay for a quality kiddie coaster. 3 out of 10

 

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Now this is a marginally acceptable kiddie coaster.

I took a quick ride break to indulge in a meal. I had passed the fish & chips stand a few times during the day and kept whiffing the aroma of deep fried fish, so I knew where I was going to go. The fish was really good. It was pretty interesting how it was served in a cone, but the piece I got was quite big. While I ate, I watched a bit of the concert. I have absolutely no clue who Linnea Henriksson was, but her music seemed about on par with the stylings of US pop music.

 

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I ate a lot of fish "n" chips on this trip and that's fine by me.

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No clue who Linnea Henriksson was, but she seemed to be pretty popular.

After eating, there is no better time for a spinning ride so I hopped on Blackfisken, the park’s spider/polyp type ride. Like their swings, this ride was situated on a pier right over the water which already made it better. The cycle was oddly short compared to the rest of the park’s rides, but it was non-stop spinning from start to finish. 8 out of 10

 

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Grona Lund is a seriously beautiful park at night. Don't let my cruddy night pics tell you otherwise.

Throughout the day I also sprinkled in several rerides on my favorites, punctuated by a 45 minute marathon of Twister until park closing. Grona Lund may have been the smallest park (by far) on the trip, but the amount of great rides packed into that space is impressive. And that’s combined with incredibly friendly, bilingual employees who went above and beyond what I expected from a service perspective. Stockholm was an amazing city I plan to revisit someday and that visit is sure to include a trip to Grona Lund, especially since they’ll be getting that B&M invert.

 

Also I just had to post this. Yes that guy is in the middle of a solo ride on the bumper cars.

 

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Solo rides on coasters are cool. On bumper cars? Not so much.

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As someone who's spent the last three summers operating an S&S Tower, I don't know what I find more disturbing: that there are panels covering up the interior mechanisms of the tower, or that it is without the air rush sound that's etched itself into my brain.

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Great tour of Grona Lund. I love that park, with everything in it.

My only regret is not getting a ride on their StarFlyer. )o: I kept

forgetting to go on it, last time I was there, with TPR.

 

To me, Grona Lund is the "Blackpool of Sweden". And I would love

to spend a day or two, just exploring all their museums and "touristy spots."

 

Like ABBA.

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Your trips report are AMAZING! I love traveling, and I love when other people are traveling! Maybe this is why I'm always solo when I travel to theme parks/new cities because most people are in a rush, and doesn't take the time to admire their surroundings. I'm from a small town in AL, and most people there couldn't tell you if other countries exist. LOL.

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Great tour of Grona Lund. I love that park, with everything in it.

My only regret is not getting a ride on their StarFlyer. )o: I kept

forgetting to go on it, last time I was there, with TPR.

 

To me, Grona Lund is the "Blackpool of Sweden". And I would love

to spend a day or two, just exploring all their museums and "touristy spots."

 

Like ABBA.

 

That's pretty funny you forgot to go on the park's tallest ride since you can basically see it from anywhere. But then again pretty much every ride in the park is awesome so it's easy to get distracted.

 

You can enjoy Abba all by yourself.

 

Your trips report are AMAZING! I love traveling, and I love when other people are traveling! Maybe this is why I'm always solo when I travel to theme parks/new cities because most people are in a rush, and doesn't take the time to admire their surroundings. I'm from a small town in AL, and most people there couldn't tell you if other countries exist. LOL.

 

Thanks! I can get guilty of rushing to a park rather than enjoying the culture, which is one reason I'm pretty happy in retrospect that Grona Lund opened at 3. It gave me time to explore Stockholm in the late morning/early afternoon.

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That's pretty funny you forgot to go on the park's tallest ride since you can basically see it from anywhere. But then again pretty much every ride in the park is awesome so it's easy to get distracted.

 

I know! And we have an awesome StarFlyer (AtmosFEAR) here in Vancouver, which I love!

And I have ridden several, around the world too. But not that one. Oh well, the park's still there,

as is that ride. Eventually, I hope.

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Got a few great shots of it, but totally forgot to ride it. Bad bear. )o: TPR 2014 Scandi Tour.

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^ I'm definitely glad to see these spring up more and more since they're fantastic flats, but the 400 footers are particularly great.

 

Woah, awesome report to this park. I think I'm holding out for the B&M Invert, but I really want to get to Grona Lund. Definitely one of the most in-depth reviews of this park that I've seen!

 

It's perfect incentive for me to return. The park has a great atmosphere, incredible ops, and a perfect mix of dark rides, flat rides, and coasters. Really the only thing the park doesn't have is a water ride like a flume.

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Kolmarden Zoo

 

Friday would be my most ambitious day of the trip. The ultimate reason I came to Sweden was for Liseberg. Any park with an Intamin pre-fab is automatically on my bucket list, and it got pushed up further once Helix opened. Getting from Stockholm to Gothenburg is easy. I could pick train or plane.

 

However, when I looked at the map and saw a massive wooden RMC two hours south of Stockholm, I knew I needed to incorporate Kolmarden into my trip as well. That threw a major curveball. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it was technically doable. It just required 3 trains, 2 buses, and a Viking boat, and I’m not even kidding on the last part.

 

My journey began with a 6:50 am bus ride to Kolmarden’s train station. Shortly thereafter I was on a local town bus that dumped me off right in front of the park. I was a little nervous I’d miss the stop, but fortunately I saw 2-3 people in Kolmarden Zoo uniforms so I figured it would be safe to get off the same stop as them. I was correct.

 

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One of three trains on this day.

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It appears I arrived a tad early. At least I could enjoy the beautiful weather (note the sarcasm).

I arrived an hour before opening so I had to wait for the ticket booths to open, but once they did I flashed my Club TPR card and they immediately knew what to do. 30 seconds later I had my free ticket (seriously one of the best perks of Club TPR) and made my way in the front gate. I had two hours until my next bus, so my plan was simple. Go straight to Wildfire, ride Wildfire as many times as possible, hit the two junior coasters if they were walk-ons, and ignore the animals. That last part is something only a coaster enthusiast would do when they’re at one of the world’s largest zoos.

 

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Best Club TPR perk, complimentary admission once per year.

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I'm going out on a limb and guessing I was the only person at the zoo this day with the sole intent of riding the coasters.

Large is an understatement. I knew Wildfire was in the back of the park, so I figured it’d be a 10-15 minute walk tops. Then I saw the park map. The place is 425 acres in size! That’s four times bigger than the Magic Kingdom. The park map is kind enough to list the approximate walking times from the main gate to different attractions, including Wildfire. Wildfire was listed as a 30 minute walk from the park entrance and they weren’t kidding. It’s also more of a hike than a walk since a good chunk is uphill.

 

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When a park lists the approximate wait time from the park entrance to certain areas, you know it must be big.

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Proof there were animals.

Factoring in two half-hour walks, I really only had an hour to ride everything. Thankfully the park was absolutely empty. As I made my way towards Wildfire, I had to pass through the main ride area of the park Bamses World. My plan was to hit Wildfire first, but Bamses World had the park’s smallest coaster and there was no one in line. I figured it’d only be a 5 minute detour tops, so about a minute later I was on the first train of the day of Godistaget.

 

As far as junior coasters go, this one was actually quite good. The first drop builds up a good head of speed and felt like it could almost give airtime. The two helixes were smooth as well. This is one of those junior coasters that’s comfortable for an adult, much like a roller skater usually is (more on this later). After the second lap, the operator enthusiastically asked if I wanted to go again. I almost felt bad enough to stay since he looked pretty lonely in the deserted kids area, but almost is the key word. I couldn’t get out of that train fast enough to continue the journey to Wildfire. 4 out of 10

 

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Must head to Wildfire and not get distracted.

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Well if it has no line...

About 20 minutes later I finally reached Wildfire. There were points on my trek where I wondered if the ride really existed. But eventually I saw the lift hill peek above the treeline. Somehow the park was able to conceal a massive 180ft wooden coaster until you’re right on top of it. Not just from a visual perspective, but I couldn’t hear the rumble of the ride either walking through the zoo. I’m sure the animals certainly appreciate it because what could be more natural than a hulking wooden coaster on top of a rock cliff with a support structure so odd that the ride doesn’t even look real.

 

I started in the back row because that’s my favorite seat on every single RMC so I can fully experience that first drop. And Wildfire’s is even taller than the others I’ve been on. The view on that high elevated turn should have been spectacular. I say should have since the dreary weather concealed the Swedish countryside in dense mist. I think there’s a body of water adjacent to the park based on the bus route, but I honestly couldn’t tell. Anyways I was too distracted by the incredible first plunge that followed. It was pure ejector air the whole way down.

 

Up next is a stall much like the one on Wicked Cyclone, except this one is twice as tall. It simply looks massive. But like Wicked Cyclone’s stall, this one had 2-3 seconds of sustained hangtime before plunging back down. This was followed with a bonkers 90 degree outward banked hill that didn’t look like it could possibly give air, but looks were deceiving. And it wasn’t even a little pop of air either. It was sustained airtime much like the stall. Wildfire was off to a great start.

 

Three tiny hills followed that all gave strong pops of air and that was followed by the second inversion, a barrel roll. While most barrel rolls are straight (for a lack of a better term), this one is angled downwards. So you get the usual hangtime, but by the end of the element the train regains its speed so you really get whipped through this element in the back seat. It’s a weird feeling starting with the grace of a newer B&M zero-G roll but finishing with the tenacity of an old-school B&M zero-G roll. Except here you only have a lap bar.

 

Two more hills followed with good pops of air and that was followed by the third and final inversion, yet another barrel roll. This one is taken considerably faster, but still delivers some great hang-time. Wildfire then lets up a bit for the finale. The next hill has a little pop of air and the train crawls over a decently large drop that dives below the first drop. In the back, you get your last moment of ejector air. The train then weaves back to the brake run.

 

I ultimately got 15 rides on Wildfire. On probably about 10 of them, I was the only one on the train. So I basically got ERT on the coaster. Most of my rides were in the back car, but I also sprinkled 4-5 front seat rides in as well. I preferred the back not only from a ride perspective, but with the rain picking up, the front row was also a bit uncomfortable due to the ride’s speed. My favorite seat was actually the second from the back since I felt a few bumps here and there in the back row riding on top of the wheels. As a whole the ride is incredibly smooth and if I had a few minutes in between rides, I wouldn’t have noticed it. But on consecutive rerides, I did start to feel it after my 5th straight ride in the very back.

 

So how does it stack up to the other woodies I’ve been on? It’s definitely a top 3 wooden coaster for me. The ride’s incredible setting on a wooded rock cliff is hard to beat. It also has some absolutely insane elements, particularly the first drop, inversions, and outward banked hill. I think I prefer Phoenix since I always come off that ride laughing. But it’s a toss-up for me between this and Boulder Dash. I think I’d take Boulder Dash front row over Wildfire (especially at night), but I’d go with Wildfire over any other seat on Boulder Dash. That’s amazing company and it’s easy a 10 out of 10 ride for me.

 

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I finally made it to Wildfire and it was awesome.

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The first drop was pure bliss. One of the most intense drops on any ride.

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The ride doesn't even look real. Just look at its placement on that rock wall and the support structure.

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Easily a top 3 wooden coaster for me. Possibly number 2. It's neck and neck with Boulder Dash.

With 10 minutes left before I needed to journey towards the front of the park, I ran over to Delfinexpressen to get my final credit. This was one of those extended Vekoma roller skaters. But unlike the other roller skaters, this one had different restraints that were considerably bulkier. It was a bit uncomfortable. The closest comparison I can think of is the oversized Superman restraints at SFNE. Besides the restraints, it also had a bit of a rattle to it. I noticed the same thing on Cedar Point’s Woodstock Express, but attributed that to the large train on front. But after the same thing happened here, I’m not so sure. It’s weird since the standard ones are nothing but smooth. 2 out of 10

 

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The world's most uncomfortable roller skater.

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Just focus on Wildifre, which I just realized now was photobombing this picture.

On my way to the front, I saw one of my many weaknesses, a massive play structure. With no kids in sight, I threw my bag in the sand, climbed up the massive tower, and threw myself into the big slide…only to get stuck. I expected to fly down the slide, but instead I had to pull myself down. That was certainly a buzzkill, but at least there were no witnesses.

 

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It looked so good, but those slides were slower than molasses.

I also had time to grab some pictures of Kolmarden's other rides. The one's that are ignored when you have a shiny new RMC dominating TRs.

 

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The swinging ship was the only flat ride near Wildfire.

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All the other flats were down in Bamses World.

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There were balloons.

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Spinning honey pots.

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And cars. There was also a little Rockin' Tug, but I didn't have time to walk over there.

I made it to my bus with 10 minutes to spare. I definitely could have spent a full day at Kolmarden exploring the wildlife, but in order to hit Liseberg, I didn’t have time. I had a relatively brief visit, but the zoo looked fantastic and appeared to have a large diversity of animals. Then for us coaster enthusiasts, I’m sure we could all ride Wildfire non-stop from opening to closing. It’s that good of a ride. If I’m ever back in Stockholm, Kolmarden is a day trip I’ll always throw in.

 

I teased the Viking boat, so I feel I have to explain. The bus brought me to the Norrkoping train station. A half hour later, I was at Katrineholm. I then had an hour before my next train, so I decided to grab lunch. Truth be told, I probably could have stayed at Kolmarden Zoo for another hour, but it would have been risky. I would have come on a later train from Norrkoping and would have only had 10 minutes for my connection. If either my bus or my train were late, I wouldn’t have made it to Liseberg with more than an hour. I knew I wanted to maximize my time there.

 

So the hour gave me an opportunity to eat something. Katrineholm was a cute little town, so I stopped in a pizza place. I’m pretty plain when it comes to pizza, but the exchange went like this:

 

Me- “Large cheese pizza, please.”

Cashier- “Viking boat?”

Me- “No, large cheese pizza.”

Cashier- “Ok.” (but he had a really awkward smile)

 

I sat down and had no clue what I was going to get. Sure enough, I got a Viking boat. I somehow got a pizza formed in the shape of a boat topped with steak. How my cheese pizza turned into this, I couldn’t tell you. But I loved every bite of it. It was more akin to a steak and cheese calzone than a pizza, but it was scrumptious. After my Viking boat, I returned to the train station to catch a train to Gothenburg.

 

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I actually got a Viking boat. And it was delicious.

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Gustoso, home of the Viking Boat.

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