Yes, we have arrived in Stockholm for the last two days of the trip. That’s the bad news. But we’re going to Grona Lund! That’s the good news.
Grona Lund is a classic amusement park on the water, just across the street from our hotel, the official ABBA Museum, and a place that makes damn good pizza.
If you’re looking for a grand finale for your theme-park vacation, it’s hard to top Grona Lund. They always show TPR a great time, and they offer everything you’re looking for in a classic, old-school park, including some great coasters, a very enjoyable dark ride, every type of drop tower you could want, a lawyer’s dream of a fun house, and even some nudity (if you know where to look for it).
The park’s resident historian, Andreas, gave us an interesting presentation about the park’s history, as well as a tour of their latest project--a new B&M Inverted Coaster. Well, at the moment, it’s nicknamed “the Big Hole,” because they’re building the station under part of the park. That’s what you have to do when your space is a bit tight topside. This is going to be unique ride, especially during a time when Dive Machines, Wing Coasters, and launched coasters are sprouting on the theme-park landscape like dandelions. Sounds like a good reason to go back to Grona Lund someday.
So, let’s have a look at TPR’s last two “official” days in Sweden. But before we go in, I want to thank Robb and Elissa for another excellent theme-park tour--first rate all the way! And my thanks to Mathias, whose family owns Grona Lund and Kolmarden, for making the trip’s big finish even bigger.
Welcome to Grona Lund! Can you not hear the ABBA tunes already?
Andreas fills us in on the park’s history.
Rides from the old days. The one on the right looks a tad sketchy.
The park has been home to many great concerts by performers such as Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong, Elton John, Miles Davis, and, of course, ABBA.
This classic Schwarzkopf is gone, but the park has another to make up for it.
OK, who wants to see a Big Hole?
The park put up some carnival games near the construction site of the new invert.
These games hide a “secret entrance" to the Big Hole.
Dracula could hide a lot of coffins down here.
I’m sure Drac wouldn’t mind a little dampness.
I was impressed with the size of this project.
“Yes, I see it now. That water stain looks just like ABBA in concert.”
Yes, the ride will start down here somewhere . . .
. . . and head outside to add another coaster to the park’s skyline.
Hey--I’ve been looking everywhere for that CD!
Imagine what they could do with this rebar in “Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Sweden.”
OK, Andy, careful! Slowly step back from the edge . . .
Who wants to ride the Snake?
“Whee! Serpents are evil, yet fun! Who knew?”
Robb goes to work.
“Er, is it supposed to do that?”
“WE REGRET NOTHING!”
“Er, we might have a few regrets.”
People were also going (on) Insane.
“Have mercy on us, Odin!”
"Odin? Hah! You're in the hands of Loki, now!"
Robb also did some filming on Ikaros, the park’s face-down drop ride. I didn’t get any decent photos of the ride running, but I liked it a lot.
Jetline was my favorite of the Schwarzkopf coasters until I rode Olympia Looping.
It’s a great ride, and the park takes great pride in it--lots of fun.
Andreas gave us a backstage tour of the park’s concert venue, too. We got a good look at someone's elbow, too.
Yes, many classic acts performed there, . . .
. . . but none of them charmed the ladies more than Evert Taube.
It’s too bad Gaga never had the chance to collaborate with Evert.
Is Larry ready for the exquisite horror of the House of Nightmares?
It’s amazing how many rides they’ve crammed into this park.
Shaken by the House of Nightmares, Larry soothed his jangled nerves on this kiddie coaster. More to come.
Oooooh Chuck this is all awesome of Grona Lund! So many memories I have, from my tours there. Love re-seeing all the old stuff, and the new stuff, too. By the way, how was the new (for us) Haunt House there? Still two levels, with stairs, etc.?
Looking forward to The Final Day <sad> from you.
p.s. Grona Lund is the "Blackpool of Scandinavia" to me. And then some!
Ah, the fun house! Surely, this will assuage the terror of the House of Nightmares.
It's fun! What's so scary about that?
Agh! What is happening? This place is more nightmarish than the House of Nightmares!
Angry spirits! Please stop warping the floor!
In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room! . . . not that song! Why are these ghosts so mad at us?
You are getting sleepy . . . your eyelids feel very heavy . . .
What place is this? There is some deviltry at work here! I sense the presence of . . . Loki!
“So, Elissa questions my Whack-a-Mole skills, does she?” (Satan is standing behind Larry, grinning over the trouble he’s caused between two friends.)
Behold the Towers of Grona Lund: Frit Fall, Ikaros, Eclipse, and Katapulten. (Larry suggested this photo. He was on quite a roll that day.)
Grona Lund tore down this dark ride to build Twister (a wooden coaster), then rebuilt and upgraded it when the coaster was done.
I’m happy that they kept this wonderfully weird facade.
From a lost verse of the Book of Revelations: “And then I beheld an enormous bird with the face of a crocodile and swollen breasts cooking a demon with enormous ears in a pile of burning charcoal. And by this vision did I know the Beast was near.”
“Hmm--that was a good one. Nine out of 10!”
“We’re Sgt. Pepper’s Only Dead Club Band!”
Brad and Larry are entranced by the swirling flames.
Boogie, boogie, boogie!
I didn’t know Jetline had working headlights.
I like Eclipse, but I can understand why people are terrified of it. You’re 200 feet up, and your life depends on those tiny chains!
Grona Lund had a bunch of these kites on the roof tops.
Who doesn’t like Jetline’s retro station and lighting?
How to make a great ride even better? Nighttime ERT!
Who wants to ride the pink tower?
As the sun sets on Stockholm . . .
. . . Twister lights up like an old-time penny arcade. Again, I love this retro lighting.
Are you ready, gentlemen?
How about the rest of you?
A study in contrasts.
“My own personal train? YES!”
One last half day in Grona Lund: How about a cruise in the park’s “Tunnel of Love” ride?
It has some nice tableaus . . .
. . . and, er, some nice . . . this. She must be thinking of Evert Taube singing ABBA songs with Lady Gaga.
“Let’s see. There are naked women in here, but we’re doing this . . . we are so lame.”
It was a beautiful last day in Stockholm.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say . . .
. . . people like Twister, with the exception of the boy in the front row.
“Hmm--turning him into a toad is so tempting . . .”
My last beer in Sweden.
Goodbye, Grona Lund! Farewell, Stockholm. Till next time, that’s a wrap. Thanks for reading this!
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