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

Part 28: Big Finnish

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At last we come to the final park of the trip, Linnanmäki. The name means Water Castle Hill, but I think they should've included the word "rocky" in there somewhere, personally.


25: Sampo Circus



The park was founded, and is still run, by the non-profit Children's Day Foundation. Entry is free, though one must of course pay for the attractions. Can you guess what year it first opened?



The first ride of the day was Taiga, an Intamin LSM launch coaster not completely dissimilar in style to VelociCoaster. I think I like this one slightly more, though it does lack the theming of IOA's ride. Both are smooth and aggressive, but VelociCoster's first half feels like it's made up of smaller, more compact elements (which I guess I'm saying is less good).

A pretty great ride, in any case.



Taken through the window of the gift shop, because I'm artsy.



Next door to Taiga is Kyöpelinvuoren Hotelli, the exterior of which is "shown" here, in this shot from the queue for the Ferris wheel--because, again, artsy.



I had no idea this dark ride existed, and it was spectacular. It reminded me a lot of Blue Train, except where Blue Train is a celebration of random mix-and-match horror theming, Kyöpelinvuoren Hotelli has a consistent theme throughout--which might sound less interesting, in a way, but isn't because that theme is, "What if witches ran a hotel but a wizard showed up to fight them and got killed almost immediately and they also live in the hotel and there are werewolves too sometimes I guess."





Yes, the park has a fun house. But, it's a fairground-style trailer-mounted one. Better than not having a fun house though, to be sure!



I'm not afraid to punch a seagull.



I don't know what this is, but I appear to be having fun. I suppose you could classify it as a powered coaster, but I'm not sure what the point would be since no one should be counting powered coasters anyway.



Goldballs modelling the next "what the hell is this?" ride.



This dark ride I did know about.

I had no idea so many coaster enthusiasts were coulrophobic.



I thought it was great! (Giving Linnanmäki the best 1-2 dark ride punch of the trip.)

Let me know if you want more pictures of terrifying dark ride clowns!

Or witches!

Or that one wizard guy who died.






Next door to the Clown Circus is this walk-through haunted house and mirror maze. Well lit and family-ish, but I really enjoyed it. They give you 3-D glasses, but they feel pretty unnecessary, to be honest.



Some cool effects in the mirror maze, like glass that "breaks" to reveal monsters when triggered by passers-by.



Some areas of Linnanmäki are themed and some aren't--or I just don't understand what those areas are themed to.

Or, to put it another way, Linnanmäki is circus-themed except when it isn't, which is frequently.

Don't tell me that doesn't make sense unless you've been there.



There is no other theming of this kind in the park. Enjoy your pee!



I think this photo was taken from the "sky cabin" style observation tower, Panoraama.



Vuoristorata has a similar layout to Bakken's Rutschebanen, but this one is still breakman operated.

(Er...brake-person operated?)

Unfortunately, this one was rather rough and dull. Of course, I only rode it once (because it was rough and dull), and by its nature, one would expect some variation from ride to ride--but I can only judge by what I experienced. And what I experienced was pointless.

RMC it!




Why, bug?

Linnanmäki, that's why.



There's something weirdly interesting about a monorail built through a multi-level park in such a way that it travels directly alongside pathways.



In case it wasn't obvious, I fell in love with this park when we walked in.



Hot dog, lunch!



The train (which has a tiny graphic of a train on the front of it, presumably so that you'll know what it is once you get up close) travels around this water tower that doesn't have water in it, but can't be torn down for historic reasons.



It can apparently have a roller coaster built inside of it, though.



Linnunrata eXtra

Linnunrata means "Milky Way" and eXtra means "stupid VR goggles that you shouldn't use because the inside of this ride is actually really nicely themed!"

To space, obviously.


Oh, and hey, Barry's back!

He's been back for awhile actually. In fact, think he only missed, like, one park.

Don't rely on me for news updates is what I'm saying.



That looks cool. How do we get down there?



For an extra thrill, ride your horsy along the edge of a rocky cliff.



It's a walk-around character. Of some sort. Quick, walk around her!

Quickly googles "Linnanmaki mascot."

Oh, Rolle the Clown. Which, yeah, don't google that. She's not it. She's waaaaay less horrifying.



Yes, Smisty and Goldballs are on this thing. Photo by me.



Maybe this is more common than I think, but I've never seen a swinging ship ride with restraints that come down over your body and rows that face one another.

We rode just because it seemed weird.



The park's spinning coaster, Salama, was quite alarming in that the ride was janky and rough leaving the station and all the way to the top of the lift hill. But then it was fine and smooth and enjoyable. It was almost a feature. Like, let's make people think this ride is going to be horrible, but then it's fun actually!



This area of the park is largely themed to the Finnish epic, Kalevala. And if you don't know what this, there's a chance you actually do. At least, if you've ever seen the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring the Finnish/Russian film based on that mythology, "The Day the Earth Froze."

That's right. The big metal thing shooting water and fire is, in fact, meant to be a Sampo.


Wait...MST3K paired that film with a short called, "Here Comes the Circus."

Oh. Your. God.

That means that Linnanmäki is entirely themed after Episode 422 of Mystery Science Theater 3000.



Pikajuna is a Mack powered coaster that was primarily interesting for how it intertwined with some of the park's other coasters.



Speaking of Mack, we were warned that there's a reason Tulireki is the world's only Mack E-Motion Coaster. And during the first third, it didn't seem too bad. But oh that second third, the jack-hammering begins! And then the last third is kind of in-between, where it's just a little bit terrible.

I am not an engineer, but I have to suspect that the drunken elves that move the seats a bit in relation to the chassis just don't have the magic to maintain their composure at the bottom of the drops.



The park also has an upcharge Sea Life Aquarium. Well, not an upcharge, really, as the park is free to enter. So, just a charge, I guess. Maybe it's even weird to say, "the park has," since there's also an entrance from outside the park. Not that having to enter the park would be any great hindrance.

Anyway, naked dudes eating ice cream. And one has a bird on his head.

Just try that sh!t with me, gull. I'll mess you up.



Can verify that the aquarium has an underwater tunnel, making it officially legitimate.



It also put a little hat on a sea urchin, making it fun in a way that's kind of dubious.



"Just try putting a hat on me, aquarium. I'll mess you up."



I like Sea Life Aquariums. Maybe not quite as much as most city-run aquariums, but they'll do!



Linnanmäki. It's great. Maybe their overall coaster collection is just okay, on average--but Taiga was really good and Salama and Linnunrata are both fun. Two wonderful dark rides, plus a walk-though and a fun house. An observation tower, monorail, Ferris wheel, aquarium. Some interesting flat rides and lots and lots of weirdness. Yeah, this is an Erik park.

Score: 10



And so we say goodbye to TPR (here represented entirely by Robb).


But--and I apologize in advance--this is not the last update, as we spent two more full days in Helsinki doing Erik & Smisty stuff. So stay tuned for:


The elevator of death!

A drab office building full of snakes!

A really big store!

An observation tower that's part of a stadium!

A really tiny power plant!

Baby ribs!

Um...the airport!

And more!


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That means that Linnanmäki is entirely themed after Episode 422 of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The prophecy is fulfilled!



Or maybe not. But isn't it pretty to think so?



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  • 3 weeks later...

We planned two days on our own in Helsinki, after the end of the TPR trip, in order to do Erik & Smisty things. And we did! Here are the less good ones. (I don't know, it just worked out that way.)


26: Cork Is Sorry



Up bright and early, but it's hard to tell because our hotel is in Finland and that's where the sun lives.



Gotta have some beans and a donut to get me going, though.



Helsinki is nice, and I'm happy to spend time in pretty much any northern European city--or really almost anywhere that I've never been. But, having said that, it's no Stockholm.



Ooh, a grocery store!

Yes, we're easily amused.


We're fun and you're the problem. Ever think of that??



This seems like an unhealthy selection of breakfast cereals even by American standards. And I eat beans and donuts for breakfast,


09PXL_20230624_174003330.thumb.jpg.8ea7c63952bed9c04190614a1a81b15c.jpgSpeaking of unhealthy and American: I'd been looking for this particular Ben & Jerry's flavor the entire trip, after having encountered it at Gröna Lund in 2019., and really enjoying it. (Apparently it's a UK "only" flavor.)



Okay, now that you mention it, "baby back ribs" is a pretty weird name for a food already, but leaving the word 'back' out of it doesn't make it better.



Helsinkians really provide for their seagulls.



(I would go with 'Hellions' if it were me.)



Time to ferry about!

No wait, ferries carry cars. Water taxi? We're gonna ride on a boat boat, is my point.



"Switch costumes, you ignominious pretender!"

If you understand this reference, congratulations! You are unique in all the world and also you're me and your brain is broken.



We did not ride the SkyWheel Helsinki, so I cannot say whether or not licorice consumption is required onboard. But what I can tell you is that the single brown cabin is the world's only sauna on a Ferris wheel.

Actually, I'm just assuming it's the world's only. Their website actually says, "world's first," which seems to imply that someone else has since built another one. However, I can find no evidence of this. Which forces me to consider the even more insane possibility that SkyWheel Helsinki was so sure someone else would immediately copy this idea that they just went with 'first' right out of the gate.



And here we arrive at our destination: Korkeasaari Zoo, which is located on an island.



Just to reiterate: this entire island is a zoo. Which is awesome.

But, to be honest, it feel less like an island that they brought a bunch of zoo animals to, and more like an island that just kind of had some animals on it already, so they declared it a zoo.



So, the location is cool, but is the zoo actually any good?

Well, no. Did you not read the last caption?



But perhaps I'm being too harsh. It does have this leopard.



And a statue of a goat.

Note the building in the background. Which is a restaurant named--and I swear I'm not making this up--Restaurant Pukki.



Which did not make us vomit, I am happy to say.



Probably the most interesting animals at Korkeasaari, Amur tigers.



Other things of note: Korkeasaari is the largest zoo in Finland, was established in 1899, and is open year round.



These are also animals of some kind.



Karhulinna means "bear castle."



Yep, that's a bear.



The old, no longer in use, bear castle. You know, from back when people thought that bears would be more comfortable in a castle than surrounded by trees and stuff. And that they might like being stared at by a mural of a tiger all day.

Look, I'm pro-zoo, but just tear this thing down and never speak of it again, you know?



"I bless the herpetariums of Afriii-cAsia!"



Pop quiz: Is this snake from Africa or Asia?

If it helps, I 100% do not remember because I didn't take a photo of the sign and it's been like 10 months since then and this is easily the longest trip report I've ever done and I'm starting to have regrets.



I guess there's more to a zoo than just animals. There's also wooden planks.



They're not exactly the word leader in gift shops, either.



Wait, you can walk on and off this island? Why did we take a boat??



At this point, I can't really even get off on a naked statue unless there's a seagull on its head.



We wanted to visit Stockmann for a few reasons. For one, it was recommended to us by one of Smisty's co-workers who used to live in Helsinki. Two, it's the largest department store in the Nordic countries, and we like going to stores and malls and things when we're visiting new places. And three, it was a possible place I might find a little something I was hoping to track down while in Helsinki.

That third thing didn't really work out. As while I was able to confirm that it existed (in an employees-only area), I was not able to actually see or experience it.

I know, I know, I'm being terribly mysterious. But I won't make you wait long. Just until the next update.

Oh, wait...that could actually be awhile at the rate I'm going. You'll probably have forgotten all about it by then.



Big store. Lots of different stuff. I don't know. Things adults like.



We found our favorite section, toys!



This game sucks.



Okay, I feel better now.

Ultimately, it is just a really big department (and grocery) store. But we enjoyed checking it out.



Back out on the street, we get one of those classic European "this would be a national landmark in the US, but here it's a transit center" buildings.



The Three Smiths Statue is the metaphorical center point of Helsinki. I think you're supposed to see this one before the parody of it at Linnanmäki (Three Smiths on a Break).


Just one more day to go! Will I get it done before the end of April??

I mean, I have to get it done before the end of May. I can't take a whole year to finish this thing.

Actually, maybe I'll just quit now. That would be funny.


The end.


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it's taking me just as long. . . LOL.. I'm still 3 parks behind you!

that "Bear Castle" reminds me SO much of the Deer enclosure at Marineland, Niagara.  but they STILL use that one - even if the Government took away all the bears from the enclosure they had, so you no longer can feed them ice cream cones.

as to the Helsinki Wheel?  Jon and I DID ride that one :)    (tho, no, we didn't do the Sauna car. that was extra).




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58 minutes ago, bert425 said:

as to the Helsinki Wheel?  Jon and I DID ride that one :)    (tho, no, we didn't do the Sauna car. that was extra).

It was on our 'possibilities' list! But we didn't quite make it over there. As I recall, there was some kind of 4D theater thing it was paired with, but that seemed weak. If it had been a proper flying theater, we probably would've done it.

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42 minutes ago, Electerik said:

It was on our 'possibilities' list! But we didn't quite make it over there. As I recall, there was some kind of 4D theater thing it was paired with, but that seemed weak. If it had been a proper flying theater, we probably would've done it.

it was closed for maintenance during our time there. . . .  so wasn't avail. regardless.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Our last full day in Helsinki, and it was great!

Yes, this is the last update. Except there will probably be one more. But other than that, this is the last one!


27: The Holy Grail of Vertical Conveyances



Having struck out at Stockmann, my last shot was this office building, Hämeentie 19. My pre-trip research showed it was here, but there was little else to glean. Was it public, guarded, private, touristy? It was time to find out...



Ladies and gentlemen, the Paternoster Elevator.

As it turned out, there was a sort of reception desk, but it was unmanned. And no one seemed too interested in me or my peculiar interest in their elevators.



A photo of the plaque, with Google Lens's translation superimposed over it.

I understand that some Paternoster elevators out there warn you not to ride over the top or around the bottom. But this one says it's okay!

Did I do that? Yes, yes I did.


Paternoster is Latin for "Our Father." As in, "who art in Heaven." And a common nickname is, "The elevator of death."

Which is a bit dramatic, of course. But I'm sure you can see why there are few left, and why none were ever built in the United States.



Smisty was not nearly so interested in the Paternoster as I was, eventually just going outside for a sit. So the least I could do, once I was finally finished, was to reward her with lunch at a small ramen shop nearby.



A bit warm inside, as unheard of heat likes to follow me around Europe, but the food was quite tasty!



Speaking of Smisty rewards, it was time for the snake zoo!



The snake zoo does not shortchange you on snakes.



It also has things that are not snakes, but are snake-adjacent.



Tropicario used to be located in Hämeenlinna, but moved to Helsinki in 2007 due to lack of visitors.

Hämeenlinna is about 113 kilometers from Helsinki (or a little over 13,000 American SUVs), and the name means, "Town of Snake-Haters." Which makes you wonder why Tropicario thought it was a good idea to build there in the first place.



A bird and some fish can be seen in this photo, and maybe even a snake or two that I haven't spotted. Who can say?



I wouldn't get into a staring contest with that one. Smisty has no eyelids.



The Finnish word for snake is käärme. The Latin word for snake is serpens. The Japanese word for snake is 蛇.

Is that helpful? Does that help?



This is not a snake. This is a cutetoes.



I'm really good at zoo and aquarium captions.



Sad snake doesn't understand why no one will play with him.



It's cause he's poisonous.


That outta get me some comments.

I'm not proud.



I didn't see any identifiers for this statue, but Google Lens (to rescue again) reveals it to be called, "The Worker Mother."

And, incidentally, I definitely translated that Paternoster sign that says it's okay to ride all the way around before I did it and not after I got home and was going through these photos.

I mention that for no reason.



I assume this is a smoking shelter, for when it's really cold.

That's my best theory anyway. Even Google Lens is baffled by this one.



Hmm, what's this? It kind of looks familiar....



And we're back at Linnanmäki!

Not for any particular reason. We just happened to be walking by on our way from one place to the next.



But, I mean, since we're here.



Sea Life's other "outside the park" entrance. Although, again, Linnanmäki is free to enter, so I'm not sure why it's needed. Maybe it's open all year and the park isn't? Yeah, that makes sense.

Thanks for joining on my brain's journey toward common sense!



Taiga is a terrain coaster.

Although, really, isn't every coaster a terrain coaster, if you really think about it?

I stood here for a while waiting for a train to launch. Must've been down for a bit.



A nearby underpass.

That's not a very good caption. Wait, I know!

A nearby underpass, with art.



A very nice public park with some statues and memorial oak trees.



I've seen some minor attractions in my time, but this might be the minor-est: "Cathedral of the Nature." It's a tree with a hole in it. There's a tiny matchstick model of a cabin inside and some music.

Not that I'm in any way opposed to minor attractions, mind you.



Our next stop: Tower of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium.

The tower is 72.71 metres tall. Or, in American, 72.71 meters.



Guess I should go this way.



There is an elevator, but you you have to take stairs to get up the last couple floors.

The whole thing is quite small, but luckily there was only one other couple there during our visit.



Construction of the Stadium began in 1934 and it was completed in 1938, in time for the 1940 Summer Olympics, which were moved from Tokyo to Helsinki before being cancelled due to World War II. So, sorry about that, Finland.

It did host the 1952 Summer Olympics, however.



Finland did participate in WWII, by the way. In fact, they participated on both sides! (Russia was a problem.)



I see you, Linnanmäki. 🫡



If you look closely you can see a bunch of stuff but I don't know what it is.



Hmm. I should've learned more Finnish.



The *ahem* "World's Smallest Power Plant."



Ice cream. It was pretty good. Not the best I've ever had, but that's a good thing, as it seems unlikely that I shall have it again anytime soon.

Also, this is Misty's hand and ice cream. But I had some, too.



Had a great time exploring Helsinki. Glad we tacked on the extra couple of days.



Two trains!


I think I'm going to do one last wrap up post. But if you're not interested in that, then you're done. You're excused. Go outside and play.


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^^ And is it continuously moving? That elevator system?

Or if stopped, you then push a button, etc?

(I do see a kind of control panel, there. But I thought I should still ask, etc.)

Great tour of Helsinki! I should've tacked on a day or two extra, when I was last there with TPR.

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1 hour ago, Nrthwnd said:

 And is it continuously moving? That elevator system?

Continuously moving, yes. Which seems a bit inefficient if there aren't a lot of people around. I did see one other person use it while I was there, but that was it.

Still, what do I know? Maybe it doesn't take all that much energy, or maybe it's normally more heavily used. I'm certainly not complaining about any of it.


On 4/28/2024 at 4:27 PM, bert425 said:

wow. . you weren't claustrophobic in that elevator??

Nah, it wasn't that small. I do think it said "2 persons max" somewhere, though.


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And so at last we come to the final update of the longest trip report I've ever written, about the longest vacation I've ever taken, to the farthest place I've ever gone, to experience the worst roller coaster I've ever ridden. (Tornado at Bakken.)

But let us not dwell on the negative, but rather focus our attentions on the very best things we encountered on this amazing trip....


28: Big Finnish



Up with the sunrise to catch our flight. And this is Helsinki, so sunrise is probably earlier than you think.



And back home to the little strip of land we share with 750,000 other people near the Pacific Ocean.


Time to reflect. Sometimes Smisty and I agreed as to what was the best of a particular thing, and sometimes we didn't. For example:


Erik's Park of the Trip - Gröna Lund

I really struggled with this one. Yes, I rate Gröna Lund as my second favorite park (with Europa being #1) but Liseberg was just so good on this trip. What I ultimately decided was this: If I can count the Grand Curiousa Hotel as part of Liseberg, then Liseberg wins--and if I can't, then Gröna Lund wins. And since it seems weird to me to count a hotel as part of an amusement park for this purpose, well...Gröna Lund wins.



Smisty's Park of the Trip - Power Park

I get it. I rated this one quite highly as well, and I skipped the crazy flat rides that Smisty cited as being particular highlights of Power Park. She also mentioned the Devil's Mine Hotel dark ride that gave you a limited number of shots.



Best Wooden Coaster - Rutschebanen at Tivoli Gardens

According to RCDB, Rutschebanen's elements are: Tunnel, Cable Lift Hill, Tunnel, Tunnel, Tunnel, Tunnel, Tunnel, Tunnel. But I think that's selling it a bit short. There are a few drops. And, of course, a brakeman.

Normally, I don't distinguish between wood and steel for purposes of judging rides against one another, but doing it this way kept Misty and I in agreement. Otherwise, my favorite coaster overall would be her second favorite, and vice versa. Which, come to think of it, wouldn't really have changed very much in terms of presentation here.



Best Steel Coaster - Fønix at Fårup Sommerland

For me, it's not even close. I have Lech as my #1, and this now at #3, with Mako sandwiched in-between them, but probably just because I subconsciously don't want two such similar rides right next to each other at the top of my list.

It's like someone took an MRI of my effed-up body, sent it to Vekoma, and challenged them to design a ride that specifically I would enjoy. And they did it twice (at least).

Oh yeah, and Smisty likes it also.



Best Coaster Collection - Liseberg

Is this here just to make me feel better about choosing Gröna Lund over Liseberg? Yeah, probably. But there's not a bad coaster in this park, even if Balder is a bit overrated.



Best Dark Ride - The Flying Trunk

A weird multi-level dark ride that travels through narrated Hans Christian Andersen stories? Yes, please. I wouldn't say that there were a lot of dark rides on this trip, but many of the ones that did exist were relatively strong.



Best Dark Ride Collection - Linnanmäki

Witches and clowns, man.



Erik's Favorite Water Ride of the Trip - Ragnarok at Tusenfryd

On a trip without a lot of good log flumes, a rapids ride sneaks in and pillages my watery heart!

(Or something.)



Smisty's Favorite Water Ride of the Trip - The Three Hour Buffet Ferry Ride from Denmark to Norway

Smisty, I don't think you're taking this very seriously. I was thinking more like an actual ride at a park. Maybe the log flume at Liseberg? No?





Erik's Favorite Walk-Through: Lustiga Huset at Gröna Lund

I may be old and overweight, but I'm pretty sure-footed, and I love a good fun house. And this is the goodest.



Smisty's Favorite Walk-Through: Gasten Ghost Hotel at Liseberg

I'd love to show you a picture of it, especially the awesome flooded room--but photos are not allowed inside. So, instead, here's a picture of Smisty's favorite dessert of trip, Strawberry Shortcake Cake at Power Park's Road House.



Erik's Favorite Flat Ride - Lake Carousel at Särkänniemi

Yes, it's a Schwarzkopf. Yes, it's also very much a family ride. But it's just so gentle and fun! They don't make them like this anymore, but they should.



Smisty's Favorite Flat Ride - Aquila at Tivoli Gardens

A nicely themed Zamperla Air Race on top of a building. What more could a Smisty want?



Transportation/Observation Ride of the Trip - Safari at Kolmården Zoo

When I told Smisty the first draft nominee for this category, her response was, "That's it?" So then I threw in Särkänniemi's observation tower and Linnanmäki 's monorail to pad it out. But, really, what other possibility could there be besides this?



Erik's Best Park Food/Restaurant - Spökbaren Gasten at Liseberg

While food was perhaps not on balance as good as on our two previous European trips, there were some highlights. Such as the Danish Smørrebrød, or Liseberg's haunted pub. Of course, part of this choice is the atmosphere. After all, everyone knows that food tastes better when you're scared.



Smisty's Best Park Food/Restaurant - The Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö, Sweden

Smisty, you're making a mockery of this whole idea. This isn't even at a park and the whole point of the place is that the food is bad. Why do you hate me??



Erik's Best Non-Park Thing - The Paternoster Elevator

What more can I say? Except that Smisty knew full well this was a category when she named a place that serves "three penis wine" as her favorite restaurant, and a buffet as her favorite water ride!



Smisty's Best Non-Park Thing - Tropicario (or, as we call it, the Snake Zoo)

Oh, I get it. By calling the Disgusting Food Museum your favorite restaurant, you got to mention both that and this. Cheater!



Fine! I'm changing my favorite wooden roller coaster to the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum! How do you like those apples?!



She likes those apples fine.


I'd like to thank the following weirdos:

Myself, for writing this trip report and taking most of the photos.

Smisty, for proofreading it and being the B-camera.

Bert, for being the only one who reads it.

Goodballs, for being our pal.

Elissa, for organizing the trip and herding the cats.

Robb, for hating mango lassi.

Peter Ellis, for inventing the Paternoster Elevator.

And Hans Christian Andersen, without whom, we would be left with a dark ride themed to Mads Mikkelsen.


Actually, that sounds kind of awesome.


Goodbye forever!



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I might be the only one who tends to comment sometimes. . but trust me, many read your reports.

and I LOVE them.


y'all are freaking hilarious, and I loved spending some time with you both.   

great pics.

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^ What he said. I always enjoy reading through what you've .....uh ......been through, on all your tour TRs! 👍

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... But - I gotta say.... Tornado your worst coaster? LOL I rode it back in '09 and '14 in the early TPR tours, and found it to be one of my all time faves in the tours! Slow speed lift or insanely speedy lift! When I knew it was coming I braced myself accordingly. And I actually dreamed of one of these being built in Playland(PNE), my home park...

Anyway, sorry it's not one you enjoyed.


TPR tour 2014 - Bakken park - where I ran into my folks, that trip. 😉


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On 5/6/2024 at 5:32 PM, Nrthwnd said:

... But - I gotta say.... Tornado your worst coaster? LOL I rode it back in '09 and '14 in the early TPR tours, and found it to be one of my all time faves in the tours! Slow speed lift or insanely speedy lift! When I knew it was coming I braced myself accordingly. And I actually dreamed of one of these being built in Playland(PNE), my home park...

Anyway, sorry it's not one you enjoyed.

Well, as everyone who has read anything of mine should know by now, you can't go by me.

I guess I just imagined that "turbo mode" meant that it would spin like crazy. But in fact I don't think I really spun at all. Instead, it just beat the crap out of me. Awful.

I wish you and Playland something better! Perhaps a Mack Extreme Spinner.

Or a Volare.

Just kidding. I've never ridden a Volare.

But that's part of it for me. If looks to have no redeeming qualities, I don't ride. Tornado fooled me.


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I read, and I enjoy.

And Tornado was too painful for me to love in turbo mode, so I get it!

Jealous you found the weird elevator in Helsinki (I thought about it but ran out of time) and, unrelatedly, now I want to go back to Aarhus.

Or maybe I just need a break from Ohio.

Thanks for posting all of this. Know how much work it is (which is why I can't find the time to do it anymore) but it's great to look back at a fun three weeks.

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On 5/12/2024 at 6:09 AM, The Great Zo said:

Know how much work it is (which is why I can't find the time to do it anymore) but it's great to look back at a fun three weeks.

Not sure exactly how everyone else does it, but my method feels overly time consuming. I just can't find a faster way that gives me the results I want.

First, I go through all the photos (mine and Smisty's) from the place or places I want the update to be about, to familiarize myself with what I've got, and to make the next step a little easier.

Then, I go through again, copying every photo that I find good, interesting, or that supports the story I think I want to tell, into a separate folder.

Then I take all those photos and start numbering them into a reading order. If photos are similar, they'll get the same number, since I endeavor not to post overly similar photos.

Then I go through the photos in order, over and over again, deleting down to just the very best essence of the story, and eliminating "duplicate" photos. Things often get reordered during this stage, as well.

When there's nothing left to eliminate, then I'm done.

I upload the photos and start captioning them. But often I'm so exhausted by this point that proofreading basically becomes impossible for me, so Misty does that part. Meaning that much of my, *ahem* humor just comes from being delirious.

Then I sit back and await my accolades!



And wait.



And wait.




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I also rate the three hour buffet as the best water ride of the trip. Smisty is right, as usual, except when she encourages my husband to get even more stuffed animals!!!

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20 hours ago, SharkTums said:

 Smisty is right, as usual, except when she encourages my husband to get even more stuffed animals!!!


"They opened the gift shop for you, Misty. You *have* to get the big one!"



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