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Erik & Smisty & TPR do Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland

Part 23: Mixed Blueberry Feelings

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I agree that Rutschebanen is way over-braked. The old version with the brake men was much better. I still get a kick out of Tornado, as insane as it is.

But, yep, the fun house and the haunted-house ride are the two best attractions there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What's the name of this thread? Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland? Anyway, here we are in Germany for Hansa Park.

 

09: Frog Frog Frog

 

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Inside the park looking back towards the entrance. It's quite nice, but unshaded compared to the rest of the park in a way that makes me feel like the whole area is new.

 

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While the park's two Marquee coasters are both Gerstlauers, the one I was most excited about was this Schwarzkopf, "Nessie."

Which was fine, but not amazing. Maybe the most interesting thing about it was the finale, which was a drop into the (tunneled) brake run.

 

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Pretty great logo, though.

 

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Crazy Mine is a fun Maurer wild mouse with an attached observation tower you can climb to take photos.

Fun story about how I'm stupid: As someone who doesn't speak German but pretty quickly picks up "entrance" and "exit" whilst visiting Northern European theme parks, I spent a long time looking for the entrance to said tower, but only kept finding the exit. Turns out there's only one way up and down, and "Aufgang" doesn't actually mean "exit," but rather "rising." Oops.

 

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Schwur des Kärnan (or "Kärnan's Oath") is pretty clearly the star of the park.

Smisty's review: "You spend a lot of time on your back."

I didn't ride it. Was on the fence, but leaning towards giving it shot. Then we got to a preshow in which I had to be separated from my glasses (strap or no) for who knows how long, and the ride ops were giving off a really weird energy.

So yes, I went all the way to Hansa Park in Germany and then chose not to ride Kärnan.

Hey, I don't tell you how to vacation!

 

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I liked the wild mouse, though.

 

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Animatronic butt.

 

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Not pictured: keyboard that made the frogs sing. And by "sing," I mean "say the word frog."

 

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Obstacle course and bouncy bridge!

 

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Smisty asked me to take a photo of her on the horse. And for not extra charge, I sexy-ied it up a little.

 

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Old West Christmas Store

 

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I was pretty excited about Hansa Park's proper powered observation tower, but it was down all day for queue painting...?

Lame.

I really did want to ride this, as Hansa Park is very near the Baltic Sea, but doesn't do much to really show off its location.

 

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Lunch at Restaurant Weltumsegler at the front of the park. Pretty good, and super-friendly staff. Also, I was able to keep my glasses on.

 

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This park is not ugly.

 

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Hansa doesn't have a proper dark ride, but it does have this boat ride with flowers and water features and fairies (or something). Sure, you can see every inch of it from the pathways that surround it, but I still like that it exists.

 

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Log flume #1 of 3!

 

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Pull yourself across the lake, but don't try to touch the Schlong of Midgard!

 

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I don't normally ride kiddie coasters, but this one seemed interesting and it was. There's an indoor section with an animatronic, and since the ride has two laps, he talks to the train twice--the first time is tell you to go kill the snake or whatever, and the second time is to complain about how much you failed the first time. (Or at least that's how I interpreted it.)

 

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These last four photos are all from a pretty nice kid's area. I probably should've led with that.

 

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Pirate-themed "doesn't get you wet" raft ride, with a cool station.

 

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*Ahem* ... With a cool station.

 

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These stupid rides are everywhere now. But very few are as nicely themed and plussed-up as this.

 

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Arigato.

 

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There's a little bridge that takes you over a road to this resort area. See? Sea.

Misty didn't come see this. So now we're even, credit-wise.

 

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Flucht von Novgorod is the park's other Gerstlauer. It features a dark ride section and some other fun accompaniments to try to obscure the fact that it's a Eurofighter.

Can you wear your glasses on this one? No idea. Didn't try.

 

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A warning about the over-the-head restraints?

 

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Look at this. In America, people would be straight up climbing onto the track and dying.

God, we're stupid.

 

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On the other hand, we did invent country bears. So, you know, it all evens out.

 

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Log flume #2. This one features animatronic rats that scurry out towards the logs as you leave the station!

(Well, "animatronic" might be an overstatement. Still awesome, though.)

 

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It also takes advantage of the terrain in order to feature something I'd never experienced but always wanted to: a single lift hill with drops both before and after it. Does anyone find that cool besides me? Probably not. But it's how I generally tried to build log flumes in RCT2, so I think it's neat.

 

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Log flume #3.

Well, a super flume with a very simple layout, but still.

 

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Late in the day, someone posted photos of a outdoor tracked jungle adventure jeep ride which we had not seen, which led us to this whole area of the park we had somehow missed.

 

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Misty finally gets her photo on a horse without me screwing it up.

 

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The little jeep ride has "cameras," attached via cord, that you can pick up and point at things. They do absolutely nothing, but they exist.

 

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Woo! Two updates in a row that basically end with a jungle adventure jeep ride!

 

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The bridge across the road to the parking lot and our bus.

 

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A quick stop off for dinner at an intersection with a couple of different fast food choices. We went for something local, "Sunset Boulevard," where I got this pretty decent burger and a blizzard/concrete ice cream thing with popcorn in it.

 

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Back in Denmark (specifically Aarhus) and in our room by sunset.

Okay, so, on a scale of 0 to 10 (where a 0 means I have no desire to ever return and a 10 means it's literally a top 10 park--a system that currently works just about perfectly since I've been to around 100 parks) I give Hansa Park a 6.

Not sure why I'm giving them a numerical value. I've never done that before. Anyway, still more fun than sitting on my couch writing a trip report!

 

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Hansa Park was always a great "extra non-Scandi park", on the two Scandinavia Parks Tours I did with TPR.

Great collection of coasters and rides, and the layout of the place. For myself, always worth re-visits.

Your TR of your time there, definitely solidifies my desire to get over to there, one-more-time, heh.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The next park on the trip was Tivoli Friheden. We knew this park was unlikely to occupy us for the entire day, but the entire day we had. Luckily, we were in Denmark's second largest city, Aarhus, which had plenty of other stuff to do....

 

10: My Sense of Your Sense of Language

 

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A nice simple entrance. Looks like it confused Daniel, though.

 

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This is the best theme park logo I've ever seen.

 

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The main draw here is the last remaining SCAD tower. It's not so much a ride as just being dropped into a net. Of course, I have a medical condition that prevented me from experiencing it: cowardice.

Also, they strap a flat plastic mat to your back and I have scoliosis.

I might also weight too much? At the very least, I'm right on the line.

What I'm getting at here is that I didn't ride it, had no interest in riding it, probably shouldn't ride it, and also no.

 

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Smisty also passed. But lots of folks did do it, and some maybe even enjoyed it...?

 

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Don't worry though, I kept myself occupied by eating all of the ice cream and not sharing with any deadbeat broke-ass children.

 

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What else does this park have? Well, some pretty nice landscaping, fountains, and a fun house of illusions.

 

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Interesting that there was an upper level where you could look down on the mirror maze area.

 

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Not much to write home about on the coaster front. Just a very slow-moving "not particularly spinny" spin mouse and an SBF Visa spinner.

Of course, the park used to have another, more thrilling coaster. And by "more thrilling," I of course mean that you might non-metaphorically die.

 

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Speaking of death, you can also hunt zombies in this weird new-school meets old-school dark ride.

Okay, so, imagine that you wanted to combine a classic dark ride with a modern one. If you aced it, if you did absolutely everything right, you'd have created something like Blue Train at Gröna Lund. If, on the other hand, you completely botched the job, you would have this.

However, in all fairness, I still really liked it. (Maybe not for all the right reasons, but nevertheless.)

 

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#beesforreed

 

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Ooh, a Ferris Wheel! But first, let's have some PIT.sa!

 

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Not a lot of great food options available. It looked like there was a full service restaurant at the back, but it was closed for a private event. This pizza buffet was passable, though.

 

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Smisty repping Seattle.

 

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Looking back towards the front of the park.

Erik's score for Tivoli Friheden: 2

I still had fun. Don't be tricked into thinking a 2 means that I hated it. My ratings are so inscrutable as to be counterproductive to include them at all.

You're welcome.

 

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Construction update!

 

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We enjoy walking. Especially around new places. And, you know, Europe.

And across streets on green viking walk signs.

 

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This is a parking garage and transportation hub.

 

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This building houses the Gender Museum. Which sounded weird enough for us to check out.

 

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Okay.

 

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Honestly, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't this.

 

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I put my balls in the barometer, but like the rest of the museum, it was disappointingly uninteresting.

 

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This is a little better, I guess.

I don't know. Just kind of meh.

 

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Aarhus (in the middle of our street).

 

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Down this rather suspicious stairway lies a viking museum.

But I mean, if you get robbed or murdered at a viking museum, can you really complain?

 

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This is pretty much it. There's not even an employee. Just a machine to buy tickets from and a sign telling you that you really should buy a ticket.

But don't worry, the third museum is really going to hit!

 

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Can you even call yourself a European city if you don't have a canal?

 

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ARoS Aarhus Art Museum

 

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Spoiler: This place was great. One of the best museums we've been to. Just lots of different interesting types of art.

 

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Handy floor guide.

That was not a hand pun.

But now I guess it is, no matter what I say.

 

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"Your Rainbow Panorama"

 

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An art and an observation deck. What could be better?

 

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My first thought was penis.

Allow me to explain.

A lot of classical roman statues are nude figures that sometimes modern prudes object to, and demand be covered up. This figure seems to have been covered in a way that is injuring him, by driving spikes into his flesh that hold up the cloth that covers his junk. Thus, a statement.

Or I'm totally off base.

But isn't art supposed to make you think? And when one thinks, isn't one, in a sense, supposed to think of penises? I have always felt it to be so.

 

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Also a penis.

I assume.

 

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Jesus, guys, is everything here just a penis?

 

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Who is Boy?

 

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I, also, am an artist.

I call this photograph, "Penis."

Comedy comes in threes and that was four.

Comes.

 

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Ah yes, the third manned mission to land on the moon. Apollo 14, the one where they started to get experimental.

 

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French artist Annette Messager has quite a large area dedicated to her work, some of which is really interesting and thought-provoking and some of which is this.

 

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Bathrooms in Denmark are weird.

And for some reason I got thrown out of the museum right after this and I'm not sure why. Maybe I wasn't supposed to take pictures in there? I guess that makes sense.

 

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Any one of these could've been the title of this update.

What's the next park we're going to? Djurs? Maybe "Meow Meow Ocean Burst" could work for that one.

 

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This unisex bathroom was even weirder.

 

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But I do like Denmark.

Not as much as I like Sweden.

Okay, okay, I'm going!

 

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Something tells you that you've got to get away from it....

 

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Condiments are very specific in Denmark.

 

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Flea Market Genes

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still comfortably ensconced at our Zleep Aarhus hotel, it was time to venture out to our first Sommerland, Djurs.

 

11: Hammer & Sword

 

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You never want to be late. So we're usually first. Which leads to arty photos of nerds milling around the entrance.

 

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Wild Asia is home to no animals. (I don't know, it just sounds like an area that would have animals. I think it's the "wild" part.) But. it is home to an Intamin family invert called DrageKongen, which means "Drag King."

I'm sorry. "Drag on King."

And it was fine, I guess? I dunno, it's been like 4 months now. I rode a lot of stuff. Some of the elements were kind of crunchy, I think? Does that help?

 

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The last two European trips had a lot of log flumes with reversing sections. That really wasn't a thing this time. Instead, there were a lot of log flumes that had two drops that crossed over each other and just went up and right back down.

If you don't understand what I'm describing, I insist that it is your fault. My explanations are flawless.

 

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Bert and Big Mike enjoying their ride on Long Cun. I'll leave it to you to decided which dirty mispronunciation is funnier.

 

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If there was an award for "best themes" for a park's areas--and there is, surprise!--it has to go to Djurs Sommerland, which has areas themed to pirates, vikings, farm animals, and dinosaurs (among other things).

Lunch was at the Dino Pizza buffet...which was a bit of a disaster, honestly. They opened at noon and were immediately overwhelmed. Of course, it was a busy Saturday. And I'm a firm believer that you're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic.

Still, it's no fun to get to the front of the line to discover that there are no trays, no plates, and no pizza. But hey, at least there was salad, knives, and napkins. Make it work, man.

 

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Djurs does not have a proper dark ride. But it does have this long and highly enjoyable outdoor tracked ride with indoor sections and absolutely no reason for the mix of dig site excavation work and real actual dinosaurs and also King Kong for some reason and I love it.

Oh, oh, oh! And! This is great. There are small seats up front for kids, and big seats in the back for adults. And at one point, the front seats get squirted with water, but the back seats don't. Which is brilliant, because kids love getting randomly squirted with water and adults usually don't.

It's the little things, you know?

 

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He's guarding that oil! (Perhaps a relative?)

 

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Right next to the jeep ride, we have the powered T-RexFamily Coaster. (Hey, that's how it's written on the sign.)

 

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Both rides exit into the same gift shop, where your wife can buy goofy little dino stamps she can put all over your arms and legs for the rest of the day.

 

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SpinOsaurus. (Or, um, spine-osuarus?)

My dog's name is Disco.

 

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Viking-land! Probably actually called something else! I'm too lazy to look it up!

 

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Where little vikings learn to be tough.

 

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Where adult vikings learn to drink goat piss beer.

 

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Thor's Hammer - the Gerstlauer bobsled coaster.

Of course, in Norse mythology, Thor's hammer has a name (Mjölnir). But this is not called that. This is called Thor's Hammer.

 

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Quite a fun ride. Especially if you like stagnant water. Or Gerstlauer bobsled coasters. Which I do. The second one. Not the stagnant water.

 

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The ride's exit gift shop sells proper ice cream. So, yeah, best ride ever.

 

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Are we really calling these things "straddle coasters"? Because that's awful.

 

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As anyone who has even been to Mexico can tell you, the place is lousy with ATV's.

 

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It's fun. That's my review.

"Straddle coaster." Jesus.

 

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Either this ride was called Quetzalcoatl or I just want it to have been.

 

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Um...what?

 

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This photo reminds me that the Djurs ride ops have area-specific themed uniforms. Which is odd because this photo does not show that. But I do have another one that does. You can't see it though.

 

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I don't have a joke here. Or even an informative opinion. Didn't ride it. The line was too long. I don't like lines. I have a poorly chosen hobby.

Luckily, it's cheap.

Wait.

 

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A game where you shoot real guns. Step aside, Danes, Mr. America is here.

I'm just kidding. Why would I pay for something I can do for free at home?

 

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I think we can sneak past that guy.

 

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The "kill yo self" area of the park.

 

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This area is themed after George Orwell's 1945 romp, Animal Farm.

 

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I feel stalked.

 

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Muddy Pigs!

 

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Pirate Land is very cool. However, it is also a fairly long dead end in which bathrooms are only located at the front.

I guess pirates just go in the water.

Don't you try it though, or you'll find out just how un-pirate-y these posers really are.

 

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I haven't quite figured out if piranha are just called pirate fish in Dansk, or...

Nope, I've figured it out. It's that.

 

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Baby log flume!

Daniel, it's for BABIES.

 

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There were a couple of these on the trip. I must say that it looks like a rather dull trip back to the station.

 

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Some nice theming though.

Pirates. It's themed to pirates.

 

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This is Daniel's favorite kind of flat ride.

I'm not sure why this is all about Daniel all of a sudden.

I mean, I guess it's always kind of all about Daniel.

 

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Would you like to hear the story of how it took both the world's hunkiest maintenance guy and the literal park owner to get my seatbelt to connect?

No?

Well, your loss. It's a pretty great story.

 

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Okay, who wants to pose with the sword for me before the game begins?

Goddammit, Daniel.

 

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Best park of the trip to this point? Yes.

 

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Final Pirate Score: 9 Djurbloons

 

Stay tuned for our next installment (if I ever get around to it) featuring the best coaster of the trip!

 

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19 hours ago, bert425 said:

now Erik. .you can't bring up the world's hunkiest maintenence guy and not show a picture.

It was a blatant ploy to get replies. 😉

And also I didn't have one.

My "random hot dudes" folder seems to be empty, for some reason.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fårup Sommerland is located...um, I dunno, in Denmark somewhere. I wasn't driving. But it definitely felt remote! Or at least out in the woods.

The park is wooded. That's what I should've said.

 

12: Hooked on Fønix

 

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If there's an award for "Worst Park Layout," Fårup Sommerland wins. (Or, um loses?)

It's just dead ends on dead ends. It's like Six Flags Over Georgia had a baby with Six Flags Over Texas and it died.

Okay, that was dark.

To be fair, a bad layout doesn't actually ruin a park, in my opinion. In fact, this park is pretty good. And it is mostly flat, so I guess it's not that bad.

Look, I have to talk about something, okay?

 

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Dammit, Daniel. I'm trying to take a photo of Smisty!

This ride actually has a really interesting layout. And the straight sections were pretty smooth. But the turns were super shuffle-y.

 

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Orkanen is one of those fun Vekoma family suspended coasters that dives into an underwater tunnel.

There are better places to take photos of it, but I like this one.

In the background, on the left, you can just make out the park's onsite hotel.

[Transition!]

 

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I think the official lunch was another pizza buffet, but I wanted to check out the hotel restaurant, and avoid a possible rush by eating lunch early.

Which worked out spectacularly. Food was pretty good, too. And they even had ice!

 

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Fårup means "sheep's cry." 

I did not see any sheep in the park.

Their mascot is a hedgehog.

 

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My wife refused to wait one more train to ride in the front seat. Or, to put it another way, will use any excuse to not sit with me.

 

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Fårup Rafting was mildly fun and not too wet.

 

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We hung out with Hawk and Doug a lot at this park. Or, to put it another way, they had a hard time avoiding us. I blame the dead ends.

 

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The queue for the rickety spin mouse is not wheelchair accessible.

 

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Flagermusen spun a lot for our unbalanced asses. Wild in the best way.

 

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Flagermusen means "bat." Getting from there to Dracula is up to you.

 

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Lynet means "lightning." And Gerstlauer over-the-shoulder-restraints means "not riding."

 

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This looks inviting.

 

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An outdoor obstacle course maze and slides kind of thing.

 

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Followed by an indoor fun house crooked house kind of thing. Not sure how I got Misty in here, but this was the only time for all three European trips.

 

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Wasn't sure what this was, exactly--but it looked cool from out here, so we went in.

 

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Turned out to be a roller skater. And kind of rough and bumpy compared to most. But surrounded by trees, so that was cool.

 

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Another park without a proper dark ride, but at least it had this outdoor tracked car ride.

 

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SMIIIL

 

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The last train of the morning that got to ride again if they participated in a "hand, shoulders, knees, and toes" demonstration and sing along.

 

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Another look at the Saven family boomerang, this time from the park's train.

 

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More Danish Mexican food, because we just can't help ourselves.

 

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Fårup Sommerland also has the largest water park in the country. A fact I'm choosing to share with you in conjunction with this photo of sand.

 

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I like how this little carousel has photo of other rides in the park.

 

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The pirate ship is actually part of the "advanced" obstacle course. I think. I didn't go anywhere near the thing.

 

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Was too busy defending my ice cream.

 

Fun story. Back when we were at Tivoli Friheden, I sent some work friends back home that photo of Smisty on the Ferris wheel with the Space Needle fan, and they recreated it with a homemade "Tivoli Friheden" fan. This started a whole weird thing, of which the following might've been the highlight:

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So there you go.

 

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We like log flumes. And we were going to ride this one. But when we got up to the station, the ride op insisted that we ride up front together. Not so that more people could ride with us, mind you, but "to balance the log and keep you from getting so wet."

Now, I've never been on this particular log flume, so I could be wrong...but that don't sound right to me.

 

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Also, the station looked like this. So we bailed.

Rides are like dark alleys. If it doesn't feel right, don't go.

 

Okay, now, I don't normally do this. I try to be very selective with what I post. But I'm going to spend the rest of this report just spamming Fønix photos:

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Like an octopus in the wilderness.

You heard me.

 

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Me: "These restraints are really good for me."

Someone else on the trip: "These restraints are good for everybody."

 

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This ride is so smooth, so well-engineered, so..."confident"...that it makes all other manufacturers look like amateurs.

 

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The best coaster of the trip, for my money.

 

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Didn't think I'd like the stall very much, but I did. At this point, new Vekoma might be able to make me like broccoli.

 

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As great as it is, I do prefer Lech. Fønix has more airtime--but Lech is wilder, more out of control, and more intense.

 

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None of which should be taken as a slight on Fønix, which currently sits at #3 on my top 10 coaster list.

 

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Smisty says Fønix is her favorite steel coaster. And she's also been on Lech, so there you go.

 

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Fårup Sommerland's score: 8

(But it's mostly that high because of Fønix.)

 

Next time: The debut of a new shirt!

 

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Porcupine??? 

I thought he was a hedgehog.

and I LOVE you for getting a pic of folks doing Head,Shoulders,Knees & Toes on Saven. .as folks I've told about doing that tend not to believe me it happened :)

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4 hours ago, bert425 said:

Porcupine??? 

I thought he was a hedgehog.

So did I. But a quick internet search suggested porcupine.

Then you posted this, and I searched a bit deeper, and now I have no idea. We'll go with hedgehog.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

LEGO House has been on our radar for a few years now, but just didn't seem like the kind of place we were likely to get to. But when this trip came up, it suddenly started to feel like a possibility, existing just down the road from Legoland Billund. Still, some logistical challenges remained. Basically, we would have to take 2 or 3 hours away from an already short-ish operating day at the world's fullest Legoland (which looked quite good and which we had also never been to).

Would we be able to pull it off without shortchanging ourselves in the park? Am I trying to build suspense for some reason? Am I going to name this update "No Butter No Chicken"? The answers lie ahead....

 

13: Today in the Dog

 

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Enough Daniel! It's Erik's special day!

This shirt proved very popular with both the staff and the park's patrons.

 

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Full disclosure: I'd only ever been to one other Legoland Park, Florida's. Which I quite like. But, of course, that park has an interesting mixed-cultural parentage. Which is sort of its claim to fame. Billund's claim to fame is that it has a whole slew of rides that the other parks just don't.

 

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Much of Legoland Billund, with Lego Campus and LEGO House both in the distance.

 

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The park has 4 roller coasters, 3 of which are roller coasters, and none of which are particularly good.

Most in the group seemed to like this one, Polar X-Plorer.

 

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The Lego Movie World section before park open. Lots of nice details, though the area does feel a little cramped.

 

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Yes, it's a flying theater!

Turns out that Dansk for "Awesome" is "Super Duper!"

I've no idea what "Today in the Dog" means.

 

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It was fun. But the smell-effects only worked on one side of it...!?

 

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World's Least Wild Wild Mouse

 

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Indoor/Outdoor Pirate Ride (though not nearly as elaborate as a Disney Pirate Ride).

 

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Le-Go, Le-Go, a plastic life for me!

That's terrible.

 

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The queue for Dragen. The dark ride section at the beginning is quite similar to the one in Florida, but I don't think this works as well as a powered coaster, personally.

 

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Legoland Billund has a full scale (in terms of boats and trough-width) miniature (in terms of height) log flume!

 

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It basically just goes up, cruises past some Lego animals, and then ends in a small drop. But it's fun.

 

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Careful, Mr. Spider, those children really hurt if you step on one.

 

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A Legoland haunted house?

 

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Mostly a walk-through...

 

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...that ends with an enclosed mini drop tower.

Maybe the best attraction here?

 

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There was a walk-up selling different kinds of fancy hot dogs, and one that had steak instead of the hot dog. So I asked if I could get the steak on the hot dog, and the man shed a single tear and whispered, "American."

 

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Hey, I've been to the real version of this place! Now, when was that? Oh, like, 10 days ago.

 

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There's a miniature of the LEGO House in Legoland Billund. Which kind of makes sense, but is still interesting in historical context.

The quick and dirty version: Lego, doing quite well with their product and their factory tour, decides to build a theme park. Then comes more theme parks. Then comes hard financial times and they sell off the theme parks in order to survive. They recover and try to buy the theme parks back, but no luck. So, back in their original position of doing quite well with their product, they build the LEGO House.

So LEGO owns LEGO House, but not Legoland. However, Lego started an investment company a couple of years back that now has a 30% stake in Merlin, who currently own the Legoland parks. So...yeah.

 

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Man, all that corporate business talk has made me hungry. Time for group lunch at the pizza buffet!

 

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Traditional Danish hot dog and corn pizza.

 

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You already know if I used this as the title of this update, but I don't.

 

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Legoland Billund has a SeaLife Aquarium, but it's a bit smaller in scale and included with park admission.

 

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Yup, it's a real aquarium.

 

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Lego theming is the easiest theming.

 

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A view of the entry midway from the main store. At this point, we've decided to go for the LEGO House.

 

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And here it is! That wasn't so bad.

 

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The CreativiTree.

It's not called that. Hang on.

"Tree of Creativity"

Wow. Mine is actually better.

 

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Is this better than a theme park? Well, no. But as someone who was into Lego as a kid, but doesn't do anything with them now, I'd say the LEGO House is still pretty cool, and well worth a visit.

 

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I might need help with this caption. Bert?

 

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The basement level is more museum-like.

 

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You order your food by putting Lego together. Like, a blue brick equals a tuna sandwich, and a red brick equals an apple, or whatever.

 

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We ran into AJ, who (as far as I know) is the only other member of our group to head over here.

For clarity, this is not a photo of AJ, but rather of an elevator shaft.

See, many parts of the LEGO House are free, included roof access. Which I had no idea was even a thing and probably would've missed if not for AJ.

 

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Looking back at Lego Campus and Legoland.

 

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It took all of our strength not to check this out.

And, in different circumstances. But we were already on a pretty tight schedule, and there were still things back at the park we hadn't done yet.

So LEGO House, yes. Teddy Bear Art Museum, unfortunately no.

 

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LEGO Campus. Not really for civilians and more of a fun-for-employees headquarters. We made no attempt to enter.

 

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We also passed by a couple of Lego Hotels on the way back to the park.

 

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So many transportation rides.

 

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Time for a shooting dark ride but karate chops instead of guns and also you can't do it!

 

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A classic Legoland "let the kids play with Lego while the adults wait in line" setup.

 

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Is it a good dark ride? I dunno, I spent most of it trying to figure out what hand movements to make to actually shoot at the targets. But maybe it's not really for me.  I bet the kids figure it our right away.

Ah well.

Stupid kids.

 

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Lego sex is only for the very brave.

 

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Smisty insisted on a plushy. I tried to talk her out of it. I did not succeed.

 

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Legoland Billund also has a rapids ride.

Yes, I know this is a photo of pigs. Look behind them.

 

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Complete with a vertical lift and a drop.

 

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The more normal shooting dark ride, The Temple.

 

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A pretty common Legoland ride. Basically, this park has most of the common ones, and then a bunch of rare and unique ones.

 

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Okay, time to make like a mummy and Lego.

That made no sense.

Score: 7

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, we're about halfway through the trip, and it's time to leave Denmark for good and head to Norway. So it'll just be a short "travel day" update.

 

14: Norway Jose

 

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And how does one get from Denmark to Norway? Well, I suppose one could fly, but where's the fun in that?

 

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This ferry was a bit different, in that we had to get off the bus and board individually. Here's most of our group mixed with a bunch of randos, while I watch from the heavens like a god.

 

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Everyone on the ferry gets an assigned seat. Ours were in the buffet.

Thanks, Elissa. You really know us.

 

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Apparently, Robb wasn't allowed to buy any more stuffed animals. So Smisty ran off and bought one for him...? I don't know. I don't get involved in such things. I was too busy with the 4-hour buffet.

 

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I've been on plenty of ferries--I live in Seattle. But I daresay this is the biggest ferry I've ever been on.

 

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We boarded on foot, but we leave on the bus. After a bit of a tight squeeze to get back on, mind you.

 

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I don't know what bridge this is, but...welcome to Norway!

 

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In front of our hotel is this lovely statue of Fry and Frya, twin babies who were raised by halibut and founded Oslo, according to Norwegian mythology.

 

So, our hotel was two stories tall but quite long, with elevators only on one side and stairs that were emergency use only. As a result, the shortest path to our particular room was a bit of a trek.

If this is impossible to watch--or just painfully unfunny--my apologies. I don't normally do video.

 

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The view from our room made the long walk worth it, though.

 

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Also, we could walk right from the hotel lobby into this mall/transportation hub.

 

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Now where have I seen this before?

 

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We had a couple hours left in the day for sightseeing in Oslo. Some people went much farther than us, and stayed out much later--but we're old and need our sleep, so we kept pretty close to the hotel. Luckily, there was some good stuff nearby.

I mean, I say "luckily," but I guess I really should say, "Elissaly," as the hotel being near good stuff was certainly no accident.

 

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The Oslo Opera House is designed to be walked up, serving as a sort of public park/observation deck, and giving some pretty nice views of the harbor.

 

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A bit of the view, and a bit of the inside.

 

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Mexican food is a big deal for both Smisty and I, and because we're weird, we can't help but to keep trying Northern Europe's weird takes on Mexican food.

But Oslo was different. El Camino was analogous to Chipotle. Now, sure, Chipotle isn't exactly authentic, per se--but it is closer to real Mexican food than the pickled onions and taco toast we'd been "enjoying" everywhere else in the region. Which is less an actual endorsement of El Camino, I suppose, and more  just something I found interesting.

 

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I wouldn't say that we really saw everything that Oslo had to offer, but I did very much enjoy what we were able to explore.

 

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Thor's Hammer. But not the roller coaster at Djurs Sommerland.

I must say it's quite interesting that Scandinavia wants to keep naming things "Thor's Hammer," when I as an American know the actual name of the thing. But nope, no Mjolnir round these parts, just "Thor's Hammer."

 

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Goodbye, Oslo. I can't imagine that I'll ever be back--but I'd certainly welcome returning.

Next time: Thor's Hammer!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Before this trip was a thing, I just assumed that Norway had multiple parks in it. And of course it does, but it really only has one major thrill park: Tusenfryd. Which is a shame, because I would've liked to have spent more time in the country and visited some other places. But of course, it also makes sense, as Norway has a far smaller population than say, Sweden or Denmark.

 

15: You Can't Put Shoes on a Shark

 

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Tusenfryd's iconic escalators that connect the entrance and exit to the park proper.

 

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"Gunball"

 

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They don't make much of it, besides this statue, but the park's mascot is a centipede.

100%

No notes.

 

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The park's newest coaster is "Storm - The Dragon Legend."

Seemed like it was having quite a few problems before and after our visit. But unfortunately, it was running while we were there.

Haha! I joke. But let's just say that reviews were mixed.

 

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What did I think? I think I was wise to make Smisty ride first. And she recommended that I pass. Which I did. So, really, I have no idea what I'm talking about. Maybe it's great.

 

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What are they all looking at? Did I take a photo of the wrong thing?

 

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Tusenfryd is quite hilly, and the log flume really takes advantage of the uneven terrain in order to somehow still not be very interesting.

But that's okay, they have a much better water ride that we'll get to later.

 

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The food in the park was mostly substandard, but they did have this!

 

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Loopen. It's a Vekoma, but not a New Vekoma.

 

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Tusenfryd doesn't really have a "Main Street," but one end of "Route 66" is fairly close to the escalators, so I guess that kind of works.

You can tell that the park trying to transition from a traditional amusement park to more of a theme park.

 

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I'm quite proud of this photo and I just realized that it has some TPR people in it.

 

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HuriHuri is a Zamperla compact spinning coaster, and I thought it was decently fun for a kiddie/family coaster.

 

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Weird troll-filled outdoor walk-through thing.

 

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Den Aller Minste (aka, Teeny Weeny) claims to be the world's smallest roller coaster.

 

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We are not proud.

 

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Thundercoaster

 

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Who's more interesting: me, or Robb?

Well, Robb by sheer numbers. But at least Shane and Smisty chose me.

 

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I don't care for Timberliner trains.

 

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Just a bit downhill to the Tusenfryd's viking section, which contains my two favorite rides in the park.

 

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Hey, this looks pretty sedate.

 

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Nope!

 

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The rapids ride is named Ragnarok and it's great.

 

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The trough itself is a bit concrete-y, but the rest of the scenery is well done, and the layout and pacing are top notch. 

 

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I love when there's a map of the ride.

 

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My new favorite rapids ride. (Sorry Popeye & Bluto's.)

 

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One more shot of Ragnarok. It was a tad wet, but I rode thrice.

 

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*ahem*

Thor's Hammer

 

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It's an "Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man"-lite dark ride built in a legitimate cave.

A bit talky--an opinion I believe I would still hold even if I spoke Norwegian--but still really good.

 

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The entrance and exit of Thor's Hammer.

Um...guys, that's a sword.

 

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A portable roller skater...?

 

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This part of the park was mostly closed by the time we got to it. Possibly because it's unpopular?

 

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Apparently there's some similarity?

I was asked by Elissa and Smisty to pose as though someone had just served me vegetables.

 

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The park's signature ride, Speed Monster.

But unfortunately....

 

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MORE BAD TRAINS

 

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I spent most of ERT taking photos.

 

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So, good dark ride, great rapids ride, a lovely wooded hillside setting, and very kind staff and management.

But, none of the big coasters were really for me, a lot of the other rides that would normally appeal to me (log flume, car ride) were substandard, and the food was unremarkable at best.

 

Erik's score: 5

 

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the setting really sold this park for me (I get to it on my next update too :p ) . . . but those hills were killers to walk.

I thought Thundercoaster was by far the most painful ride in the park - yeah, even the Vekoma was smoother!   and I recall being shocked how shaky Storm was for a brand new ride!   

 

agree 100% everything down in the Viking section makes it TOTALLY worth the walk back up from there.

as to the food, I think I recall liking the food in the sit down Italian place . . I think I had the lasagna.  tho the ordering/ serving was  a mess, and you could tell that they were not used to having so many people in at once, as they were mixing up the orders.   but I remember the food was decent.

edit: confirmed I had the lasagna here, as I took a pic of it :)



great update.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Now we come to the first of three parks that Smisty and I had actually been to before. On our trip to Liseberg with TPR in 2019, I didn't exactly fall in love with the place. There are lots of things I could "blame" for that, some of which were within the park's control, and some of which certainly were not. I'll spare you the full details, but I will say that I was looking forward to going back and reassessing it under (hopefully) better circumstances. Would Liseberg win me over this time? Or will Erik remain steadfast in his grumpy contrariness? Read on to find out....

 

16: Godiscupcake

 

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To begin with, we had two full days in the park, and three nights at their brand new, very on-site hotel. This meant that we could head back to our room whenever we pleased in between exploring the park and riding stuff, so that's already a pretty big plus--especially if you're old.

 

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And what a hotel it is! The Grand Curiosa was fun, beautiful, and weird (in the best way). It was also very American-friendly, with proper in-room air conditioning, and ice machines on multiple floors. Amazing!

On a different note, is it more impressive to say that I photoshopped Misty into this picture, or that I didn't?

 

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The hotel also features both a children's carousel and a cafe/ice cream parlor in the lobby.

Sadly, Bert did not get to ride the carousel. But I did get to eat the ice cream.

Multiple times.

 

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There's also a buffet, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pretty sure we had all three at one point or another.

 

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The building on the right is the hotel. So, as you can see, it's not exactly a tough walk to Liseberg's newly-redone back entrance.

 

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Rather than opening at, like, 10:00am and doing staggered openings for a couple of hours (like the last time we were here), the park opened at noon and closed late. Normally I wouldn't be a big fan of a noon opening, but it seemed to work, with the park not really starting to get busy until after work hours--and I did like that everything opened at the same time.

 

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Liseberg doesn't really have themed areas, but the rides grouped together here are all named after Norse mythology. No "Thor's Hammer" though.

Instead there's a Max Burger.

We like Max Burger.

 

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My feelings about Balder haven't changed. It's objectively good, but I just find it repetitive and uninteresting.

We're literally the only ones who feel that way, though. These guys were all still riding after we went to bed.

 

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Didn't stop me from drawing a penis on it.

 

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Kållerado is named after the Norse god of skiing and being proud of your flag.

 

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The rapids ride runs ride up alongside the park's walk-through (and upcharge?) haunted house, Gasten Ghost Hotel.

These two Swedish girls were scared and wanted us to go with them. Which was fine. Except that we had to do the conga line thing, and they were in back and sort of pulling me backwards while the scare-actors kept yelling at us to go faster.

Listen, girls, you need to understand: I am a rule-follower, and you are making me look bad!

 

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No notes.

 

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Below the Gasten Ghost Hotel is the Gasten Ghost Bar and Restaurant, where you may be eaten by a scary monster if you are a chocolate brownie and pear ice cream dessert.

This place proved pretty popular with our group. So it's weird that I also liked it.

 

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Parts of this park are very pretty. And by "parts" I mean most of it.

 

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Ooh, a car ride!

And the award for best terrain goes to Liseberg, in that they're blessed with a long decently wide flat section abutting a long hillside.

 

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My favorite part of this photo is the sign portraying a drunk man fighting a forklift.

 

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Smisty is all in.

 

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While the children are distracted, we sneak by to try out the new dark ride.

 

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The indoor queue is well themed and leads to an "elevator" preshow.

 

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See, the bunnies make ice cream, but a guy who looks like a magician but isn't doesn't like them for some reason and tries to send their mining carts off course.

 

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It's a little weird, but we rode it a lot.

 

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Um...okay, it's a lot weird.

One of the bunnies is a magician, incidentally. I don't know why.

 

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After three trips to Europe (and an entire life of being alive somewhere), I finally found a stuffy worth buying.

Of course, it did fit in my backpack. I'm not an idiot.

 

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Liseberg doesn't have a proper fun house. But they do have a house-like thing that you can have fun in.

 

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I mean, kind of. Really, it's more for kids to just kind of run around in and explore. But I appreciate that they let me check it out.

 

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While some people travel the world and never find their name on anything (*cough* Elissa), I only need to go to Sweden.

I actually have a disturbing amount of photos from this trip of stuff that has my name on it.

 

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We actually spent quite a lot of time in the kids area. I'm sure the dark ride helped. Still didn't ride the kiddie coaster, though.

 

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An enchanting game of tossing carrots into buckets in order to both feed and win horses.

 

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Mo' bunnies, mo' problems.

 

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Stampbanan. Which apparently means, "the stomping ground."

 

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Scary stairs down from the, uh...hang on... "Kaninlandsbanan."

 

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Also unchanged is my opinion of Lisebergbanana, seen here about to leave the station and head up the long never-too-far-off-the-ground lift hill. It's fast and janky and great!

This and the log flume are the park's iconic workhorse attractions.

 

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Nude gardens and lush statues await you at the front of the park.

 

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Let's head up the hill, shall we?

That's not a good caption.

How about this: The name "Liseberg" comes from the phrase "Lisas Berg" or "Lisa's Mountain."

 

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Some of the pathway's up around here are a bit dicey and feel a little "back of house." 

 

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There was a concert going on in the park one of the two nights we were there. I have no idea who it was. But here's a view of it from the Ferris wheel!

You can also see some construction off to the left. Liseberg was (and is) in full expansion mode.

 

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Speaking of which...those who were interested got a construction tour of the new indoor waterpark. Pretty cool.

 

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Have you ever climbed to the top of a mountain only to find that you could've just ridden a roller coaster up there instead?

 

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Oh, I guess I could've also taken escalators.

 

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I wasn't too keen on Helix last time, so I was content to just watch and take photos whilst Smisty rode over and over during ERT. But then the ERT just kept going. And everyone kept talking about how much better the ride was running than in 2019. So I gave it another shot. This time I sat in the middle-back, rather than the front, and rode much more defensively.

And...it was pretty good, actually.

Never let it be said that I am incapable of changing my mind.

 

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Right out of the station.

 

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Balder, Valkyria, Lisa Banana, Flume Ride, and Helix.

This pathway is an absolute photographic wonderland. And Liseberg's operations keep the kinetic energy buzzing, inviting you to just stick around and see if you can get one more train in the photo.

 

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Adding even more movement to the area is the park's new family boomerang, Luna.

 

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This area has been rebranded as "Luna Park," and some of the older flat rides have been swapped out for new ones. Sadly, Smisty's favorite tilt-a-whirl was one such victim.

I don't mind so much, because now she can't make me ride it.

 

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The park even added a new air conditioned bathroom up here, complete with fancy statue-man sink.

 

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Liseberg's Flume Ride is unique in terms of both its layout (lift hill, cruise around a bit, lift hill, drop, drop, drop) and in that the park's website claims the logs to be "laughter-impregnated."

 

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There are rumors of removal, but I just can't imagine such a crime. Hopefully, it's a rehab instead, if anything.

 

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An interesting vantage point for Valkyria as we head back to the hotel.

My opinion of this B&M dive coaster hasn't changed either. (It's good!)

 

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The hotel also has a full service Chinese restaurant, the Mei Rose Rooftop Bar & Bistro, where you can (and should) have your dessert served to you ON FIRE.

 

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Every floor of the hotel has a slightly different sub-theme. We were put on the amusement rides floor, for some reason.

 

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The view from our room.

 

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One last shot of...whatever this is.

So, did I like Liseberg more this time?

Decidedly yes.

 

Erik's Score: 10

 

Tune in next time, when the pendulum swings back hard the other way!

 

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great update.

and I may have shared on the trip, but the Supervisor (who was working the flume when we rode) got to talking a bit and he told me it's absolutely a rehab, and not a removal.

I trust him more than a dippin dots guy :)

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