Linnanmäki has now opened for this season with a whole bunch of new things/improvements:
- freefall tower Kingi from Moser Rides
- new music from IMAscore
- two new restaurants
- a refurbished restaurant and toilets
- Santa Claus World
- Shark Attack 4D
- dynamic pricing
- opening hours up to 23
First of all, the new ride Kingi. I got to ride it during our training (I work as a ride-op in a total of 7 rides with Kingi now as the newest one) and also rode it last Sunday. While I was concerned that it being 'only' 75 meters it could lack in the length of the drop, but I'm happy to say that I was proven wrong! Because the park is located atop of a hill, it compliments the height of the tower, and you can actually see pretty frickin' far from the top! Rumors say that with clear skies you can even see to Tallinn (Estonia), which is located overseas to the South of Finland
The surrounding landscape varies nicely and you get a good glimpse all around as the gondola spins as it ascends, making two rounds before reaching the top. The drop is about 2 seconds, which IMO is indeed nice. Not too short, and for Linnanmäki I think this is a good height, as this is the first of it's kind for most of the Finnish people. A taller tower would be too scary for most to ride and also the city of Helsinki probably didn't allow any taller than this to be built.
But Kingi isn't only super fun to ride, it also has one of the nicest queues/stations in the park! But not only pretty, it is functional as well, as it provides shade and cover from rain as well. Can you believe, that it was all designed by the parks very own headgardener? Awesome job, I must say
But wait, there's more: Kingi also has its very own soundtrack, provided by IMAscore! The station plays a nice medieval theme providing a nice background whilst queueing, and the car has speakers as well providing some themes while going up the tower. Sadly, the ride music was off when I rode, but with IMAscore you can't go wrong, right?
Linnanmäki also has a totally new set of background music playing all around the park, made by IMAscore as well. I have to say, this new music is so much better than the former mix of instrumental versions of other songs. These are all original and nice to listen, and they don't get stuck in your head in a bad way at all (in 2010 there was a instrumental version of My Heart Will Go On, which played every 45 minutes... not cool).
The restaurant-complex Kattila will have two of its six restaurants replaced. The new ones are a nordic TexMex-restaurant, and a small patisserie selling both sweets and savories. Also the fast food restaurant LintsiBurger got a new facade.
Last year one of the toilets got themed to race cars and princesses, and this year another toilet got themed to trains. Haven't tested them yet, but I've heard they are really nice.
Two new attractions have been added to the main gate area: Santa Claus World is originally located in northern Finland (where Santa Claus ACTUALLY comes from, not the North Pole
) and this attraction gives children (and tourists) a possibility to visit Santa during summer as well. I got to admit: they've done a really good job! The scripted journey to Santa's shop as a walkthrough attraction works nicely and immerses you immediately. But I won't spoil any more.
The other attraction is Shark Attack, which is a 4D simulator. This however didn't really appeal to me. It has potential, but somehow didn't really connect with me. Maybe for the younger ones it works better. All you do is stand in a room with 3D glasses and a film rolls (spoiler: it contains shark(s) ) with effects.
Sadly, they are both upcharge: 5 euros for a go, each. If you ask me, I'd definitely recommend Santa Claus World! You can even buy a photo with Santa! (We did, and got an awesome group photo
Finally, this year Linnanmäki has dynamic pricing and longer opening hours during fall. Last time Linnanmäki was open after 10pm was five or six years ago, and this year they decided to give it another go. With darkness falling around 7 or 8 the rides' lights really pop out during the Carnival of Lights in October. I'm already looking forward to it!