Friday would be my most ambitious day of the trip. The ultimate reason I came to Sweden was for Liseberg. Any park with an Intamin pre-fab is automatically on my bucket list, and it got pushed up further once Helix opened. Getting from Stockholm to Gothenburg is easy. I could pick train or plane.
However, when I looked at the map and saw a massive wooden RMC two hours south of Stockholm, I knew I needed to incorporate Kolmarden into my trip as well. That threw a major curveball. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it was technically doable. It just required 3 trains, 2 buses, and a Viking boat, and I’m not even kidding on the last part.
My journey began with a 6:50 am bus ride to Kolmarden’s train station. Shortly thereafter I was on a local town bus that dumped me off right in front of the park. I was a little nervous I’d miss the stop, but fortunately I saw 2-3 people in Kolmarden Zoo uniforms so I figured it would be safe to get off the same stop as them. I was correct.
One of three trains on this day.
It appears I arrived a tad early. At least I could enjoy the beautiful weather (note the sarcasm).
I arrived an hour before opening so I had to wait for the ticket booths to open, but once they did I flashed my Club TPR card and they immediately knew what to do. 30 seconds later I had my free ticket (seriously one of the best perks of Club TPR) and made my way in the front gate. I had two hours until my next bus, so my plan was simple. Go straight to Wildfire, ride Wildfire as many times as possible, hit the two junior coasters if they were walk-ons, and ignore the animals. That last part is something only a coaster enthusiast would do when they’re at one of the world’s largest zoos.
Best Club TPR perk, complimentary admission once per year.
I'm going out on a limb and guessing I was the only person at the zoo this day with the sole intent of riding the coasters.
Large is an understatement. I knew Wildfire was in the back of the park, so I figured it’d be a 10-15 minute walk tops. Then I saw the park map. The place is 425 acres in size! That’s four times bigger than the Magic Kingdom. The park map is kind enough to list the approximate walking times from the main gate to different attractions, including Wildfire. Wildfire was listed as a 30 minute walk from the park entrance and they weren’t kidding. It’s also more of a hike than a walk since a good chunk is uphill.
When a park lists the approximate wait time from the park entrance to certain areas, you know it must be big.
Proof there were animals.
Factoring in two half-hour walks, I really only had an hour to ride everything. Thankfully the park was absolutely empty. As I made my way towards Wildfire, I had to pass through the main ride area of the park Bamses World. My plan was to hit Wildfire first, but Bamses World had the park’s smallest coaster and there was no one in line. I figured it’d only be a 5 minute detour tops, so about a minute later I was on the first train of the day of Godistaget.
As far as junior coasters go, this one was actually quite good. The first drop builds up a good head of speed and felt like it could almost give airtime. The two helixes were smooth as well. This is one of those junior coasters that’s comfortable for an adult, much like a roller skater usually is (more on this later). After the second lap, the operator enthusiastically asked if I wanted to go again. I almost felt bad enough to stay since he looked pretty lonely in the deserted kids area, but almost is the key word. I couldn’t get out of that train fast enough to continue the journey to Wildfire. 4 out of 10
Must head to Wildfire and not get distracted.
Well if it has no line...
About 20 minutes later I finally reached Wildfire. There were points on my trek where I wondered if the ride really existed. But eventually I saw the lift hill peek above the treeline. Somehow the park was able to conceal a massive 180ft wooden coaster until you’re right on top of it. Not just from a visual perspective, but I couldn’t hear the rumble of the ride either walking through the zoo. I’m sure the animals certainly appreciate it because what could be more natural than a hulking wooden coaster on top of a rock cliff with a support structure so odd that the ride doesn’t even look real.
I started in the back row because that’s my favorite seat on every single RMC so I can fully experience that first drop. And Wildfire’s is even taller than the others I’ve been on. The view on that high elevated turn should have been spectacular. I say should have since the dreary weather concealed the Swedish countryside in dense mist. I think there’s a body of water adjacent to the park based on the bus route, but I honestly couldn’t tell. Anyways I was too distracted by the incredible first plunge that followed. It was pure ejector air the whole way down.
Up next is a stall much like the one on Wicked Cyclone, except this one is twice as tall. It simply looks massive. But like Wicked Cyclone’s stall, this one had 2-3 seconds of sustained hangtime before plunging back down. This was followed with a bonkers 90 degree outward banked hill that didn’t look like it could possibly give air, but looks were deceiving. And it wasn’t even a little pop of air either. It was sustained airtime much like the stall. Wildfire was off to a great start.
Three tiny hills followed that all gave strong pops of air and that was followed by the second inversion, a barrel roll. While most barrel rolls are straight (for a lack of a better term), this one is angled downwards. So you get the usual hangtime, but by the end of the element the train regains its speed so you really get whipped through this element in the back seat. It’s a weird feeling starting with the grace of a newer B&M zero-G roll but finishing with the tenacity of an old-school B&M zero-G roll. Except here you only have a lap bar.
Two more hills followed with good pops of air and that was followed by the third and final inversion, yet another barrel roll. This one is taken considerably faster, but still delivers some great hang-time. Wildfire then lets up a bit for the finale. The next hill has a little pop of air and the train crawls over a decently large drop that dives below the first drop. In the back, you get your last moment of ejector air. The train then weaves back to the brake run.
I ultimately got 15 rides on Wildfire. On probably about 10 of them, I was the only one on the train. So I basically got ERT on the coaster. Most of my rides were in the back car, but I also sprinkled 4-5 front seat rides in as well. I preferred the back not only from a ride perspective, but with the rain picking up, the front row was also a bit uncomfortable due to the ride’s speed. My favorite seat was actually the second from the back since I felt a few bumps here and there in the back row riding on top of the wheels. As a whole the ride is incredibly smooth and if I had a few minutes in between rides, I wouldn’t have noticed it. But on consecutive rerides, I did start to feel it after my 5th straight ride in the very back.
So how does it stack up to the other woodies I’ve been on? It’s definitely a top 3 wooden coaster for me. The ride’s incredible setting on a wooded rock cliff is hard to beat. It also has some absolutely insane elements, particularly the first drop, inversions, and outward banked hill. I think I prefer Phoenix since I always come off that ride laughing. But it’s a toss-up for me between this and Boulder Dash. I think I’d take Boulder Dash front row over Wildfire (especially at night), but I’d go with Wildfire over any other seat on Boulder Dash. That’s amazing company and it’s easy a 10 out of 10 ride for me.
I finally made it to Wildfire and it was awesome.
The first drop was pure bliss. One of the most intense drops on any ride.
The ride doesn't even look real. Just look at its placement on that rock wall and the support structure.
Easily a top 3 wooden coaster for me. Possibly number 2. It's neck and neck with Boulder Dash.
With 10 minutes left before I needed to journey towards the front of the park, I ran over to Delfinexpressen to get my final credit. This was one of those extended Vekoma roller skaters. But unlike the other roller skaters, this one had different restraints that were considerably bulkier. It was a bit uncomfortable. The closest comparison I can think of is the oversized Superman restraints at SFNE. Besides the restraints, it also had a bit of a rattle to it. I noticed the same thing on Cedar Point’s Woodstock Express, but attributed that to the large train on front. But after the same thing happened here, I’m not so sure. It’s weird since the standard ones are nothing but smooth. 2 out of 10
The world's most uncomfortable roller skater.
Just focus on Wildifre, which I just realized now was photobombing this picture.
On my way to the front, I saw one of my many weaknesses, a massive play structure. With no kids in sight, I threw my bag in the sand, climbed up the massive tower, and threw myself into the big slide…only to get stuck. I expected to fly down the slide, but instead I had to pull myself down. That was certainly a buzzkill, but at least there were no witnesses.
It looked so good, but those slides were slower than molasses.
I also had time to grab some pictures of Kolmarden's other rides. The one's that are ignored when you have a shiny new RMC dominating TRs.
The swinging ship was the only flat ride near Wildfire.
All the other flats were down in Bamses World.
There were balloons.
Spinning honey pots.
And cars. There was also a little Rockin' Tug, but I didn't have time to walk over there.
I made it to my bus with 10 minutes to spare. I definitely could have spent a full day at Kolmarden exploring the wildlife, but in order to hit Liseberg, I didn’t have time. I had a relatively brief visit, but the zoo looked fantastic and appeared to have a large diversity of animals. Then for us coaster enthusiasts, I’m sure we could all ride Wildfire non-stop from opening to closing. It’s that good of a ride. If I’m ever back in Stockholm, Kolmarden is a day trip I’ll always throw in.
I teased the Viking boat, so I feel I have to explain. The bus brought me to the Norrkoping train station. A half hour later, I was at Katrineholm. I then had an hour before my next train, so I decided to grab lunch. Truth be told, I probably could have stayed at Kolmarden Zoo for another hour, but it would have been risky. I would have come on a later train from Norrkoping and would have only had 10 minutes for my connection. If either my bus or my train were late, I wouldn’t have made it to Liseberg with more than an hour. I knew I wanted to maximize my time there.
So the hour gave me an opportunity to eat something. Katrineholm was a cute little town, so I stopped in a pizza place. I’m pretty plain when it comes to pizza, but the exchange went like this:
Me- “Large cheese pizza, please.” Cashier- “Viking boat?” Me- “No, large cheese pizza.” Cashier- “Ok.” (but he had a really awkward smile)
I sat down and had no clue what I was going to get. Sure enough, I got a Viking boat. I somehow got a pizza formed in the shape of a boat topped with steak. How my cheese pizza turned into this, I couldn’t tell you. But I loved every bite of it. It was more akin to a steak and cheese calzone than a pizza, but it was scrumptious. After my Viking boat, I returned to the train station to catch a train to Gothenburg.
I actually got a Viking boat. And it was delicious.
Gustoso, home of the Viking Boat.
Top 5 Wood- Lightning Rod, Phoenix, Boulder Dash, Wildfire, Outlaw Run Top 5 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Twisted Colossus, Expedition GeForce, Iron Rattler, Fury 325 Most Recent Trip Reports- Galaxyland
Nrthwnd wrote:Great tour of Grona Lund. I love that park, with everything in it. My only regret is not getting a ride on their StarFlyer. )o: I kept forgetting to go on it, last time I was there, with TPR.
To me, Grona Lund is the "Blackpool of Sweden". And I would love to spend a day or two, just exploring all their museums and "touristy spots."
If I were in Sweden, I would go visit the ABBA Museum, as it would count as a "culture credit"
Top 10 steel: Steel Vengeance, Millennium Force, Maverick, Mako, Incredible Hulk, Banshee, Diamondback, Raptor, SheiKra, Montu Top 10 wood: Mystic Timbers, Shivering Timbers, Beast, Racer (KI), Viper, American Eagle, Woodstock Express, Blue Streak (CP), Mean Streak (RIP), Wolverine Wildcat
I know I'm late to remark on this one, but Grona Lund can seriously rival places like CP when it comes to their concerts. In the past few years alone, they've had Skillet, Ghost, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Korn, Bad Religion, Megadeth, Brad Paisley, Elton John, Slayer, Rob Zombie, Iggy Pop, and Beastie Boys. Sources courtesy of setlist.fm btw
Been Riding For: 4 Years Coaster Count: 80 (63 steel, 20 wood) at 14 Parks (9 states, 1 country, 1 continent, 1 planet) Steel: 1: 1: Skyrush 2: Millennium Force 3: StormChaser 4: Goliath 5: Maverick Wood: 1: OutlawRun 2: Voyage 3: GreatAmericanScream Machine 4: GeorgiaCyclone 5: MysticTimbers Add me on Coasterbuzz: MohawkWarrior
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