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Solo Sweden (May 2019)

After starting my coaster enthusiasm somewhat officially about a 18 months ago (where I started actually going on dedicated theme park trips abroad) I decided that Sweden was just something I had to do. After getting on Icon (and loving it); the idea of a souped-up Mack Launcher in the form of Helix sounded wonderful and after all I have heard from everyone else, it was about time I experienced an RMC to see what all the fuss was about as well.
So I booked my tickets around November last year and began preparing for my 2nd solo coaster trip abroad.

Friday 10th May

To start things off I had a flight out of Gatwick Airport to Stockholm 9:20am which went nice and smoothly, resulting in my landing at Stockholm Arlanda airport at around 12:30 local time.

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The plan was to drive straight to Grona Lund and to get there for ride opening at 15:00. Whilst I was successful in some respect (getting to the park on time) the journey there could have definitely been smoother.

When I exited the arrivals part of the airport I saw bus signs for car hire, however in my infinite wisdom (or lack thereof) I looked up the Hertz car hire location on my phone and decided to venture there by foot. After a 15 minute walk I realised that I had ended up at the Hertz drop off car park, rather than the actual place to collect the car. Following that I checked my phone for the actual pick up location which was not within walking distance… ffs. So after a 15 minute adventure back to the bus stop, I got a free bus over to the Hertz pick up centre.

When getting to the pick-up centre I explained my trip to the Hertz staff members whilst filling out forms, for which they were all very jealous of but also managed to give me some good tips for parking round Stockholm and also surprisingly where to sit on Insane at Grona Lund (Now that is some serious customer service). They were also nice enough to give me a free upgrade on the car, so what should have been a Toyota Yaris or similar ended up being the hulking Toyota CH-R a great big hybrid automatic thing. This scared me ****less as it was my first time driving on the other side of the car, my first time driving an automatic and most notably my first time driving a car that size (I own a very diddy Renault Clio). Fortunately a phone call to a good friend asking ‘how do I drive an automatic’ whilst sitting in the car resolved one of the issues and gave me enough confidence to set off on my adventure.

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With all this extra faff of finding the car and getting over the vehicle I was driving, somehow a good 80 minutes had flown by, giving me only 70 minutes to get there before opening. Luckily, lovely Swedish pothole-free roads were on my side and I practically glided into Stockholm arriving about 40 minutes after leaving the airport. I parked at the recommend parking, which was a road called Narvavägen. It cost around 10 SEK (81p) an hour to park there, so as the park was open from 15:00 to 22:00 I loaded up 7 hours’ worth of parking (just in case) and headed off to Grona Lund. The park was a highly scenic 10 minute walk from where I was parked and I loved every minute of it. Bar seeing a really crazy coaster filled skyline like SFMM, this was easily my favourite approach to a park I’ve ever done (picture doesn't really do it justice).

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Right, I’m sure you’ve had enough of travel bits, onto the first park.

Grona Lund

What a wonderful little place this is. Great ride selection, super-friendly staff and some fantastic theming for such a small location.

Picking up my ticket was very painless. If you go down the outside of the park and stand as if you were facing Insane from the side with the water on your right, then do a full 180 degree spin you will be at the ticket booths. I printed out the ticket that I purchased online and then exchanged that for a paper card ticket there. Directly opposite is the side entrance to Grona Lund. After strolling through and having the about 5 coasters in my eye line at once (which makes for a very happy Alex) I decided to go for the closest and most anticipated option first.

Insane

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Now typically anything with the Intamin name attached to it strikes excitement in me to my very core and up to this point they’re easily my favourite manufacturer; this… didn’t fully warrant the hype. After jumping on the car facing the water (as recommended by the Hertz man) we ascended up the 118ft lift hill and crawled slowly along the first piece of track rocking back and forth. This bit was lovely, giving fantastic views of Stockholm, then the first drop… blegh that wasn’t nice. I was thrown back after going down the first drop, so that I was lying at about a 45 degree angle with my feet in the air going backwards at speed (much unpleasantness). The next drop fortunately flipped me back into an upright position and I actually quite enjoyed this one, it felt much more in the realm of a normal coaster feeling. Following that then slammed into the MCBR (if you can call it that) giving a nice little chest punch on the restraints. After that it all goes a bit mental, lots of flipping over down the next two drops till you end up hanging upside down for a disgustingly long time on the break run. Glad that was over to be honest, no desire to re-ride at all. 3/10

Twister


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After a pretty disappointing experience on Insane I decided to give my 2nd most anticipated ride at the park at try. This was the Gravity Group Woodie, Twister. I had heard good things about this from other people, but my god was this better than I expected. The height & speed to punch-that-is-packed ratio is completely off the charts here compared to any other coaster that I have ridden. Okay yes the airtime wasn’t as strong as its hulking Woodie neighbour 2 hours down the road (more on that later). But it was seriously strong for what it was. Lots of lovely lovely ejector. Rapid fire transitions and that last airtime hill on the back row absolutely gives you a kicking in the best of ways (as demonstrated by my pony tail in the picture below).

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All-in-all a cracking ride and by a long way my favourite coaster at the park. 8/10

After 2 back-to-back rides on this I actually got chatting to a group of Australians on tour round Europe who also happened to be riding Twister. They were all strangers to each other before embarking on the trip and were nice and forthcoming accepting me as one of their own, so with no obligations elsewhere I decided to join them on their day at the park.

Now this did change the route round the park I had mapped out in my head, but everything was running, opps were good and the queues were no existent (lovely) so this really didn’t bother me too much. This also meant another thing… I could get the kiddie creds out the way without the shame of riding on my own. The Australian tour guide that they had seemed pretty determined to do everything as well, so considering they had only done the Wild Mouse, Twister and Insane; this was the perfect time for me to join in.

So after that we headed off to our next coaster for plenty of positive G’s.

Jetline

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Loved the American diner style station on this classic Schwarzkopf, but sadly that is where the excitement begins and ends for me. Sure the drops and turns are pretty forceful, but the repetitive bumpy nature of this ride just bored me a little. Reminded me a little bit of Munich Looping; just without the loops and with a drawn out section before actually getting into the meat of the ride. As a result, I don’t really have much else to say about it. Worth the cred, but I wouldn’t be doing any re-rides. 5/10

Ikaros


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Drop towers don’t really phase me too much, however the Australian’s in my group were absolutely petrified. Half the group didn’t ride and the half that did were practically dragged on by their tour guide. I mean there is no denying it’s a big ****er and definitely wins the award for ‘Most intimidating ride in the park’. When you’re watching it from off-ride, looking up at it and the seats face the floor it does look pretty ****ing nuts. So riding it and even in the queue it was great fun to stand in the queue with the Aussies that did ride, as they were all collectively ****ting themselves.

The anticipation on this ride and any nerves that I experienced were all whilst going up, once the seats tilted to face the floor they ****ed off double quick. “This just looks like the edge of some weird dive machine/drop tower hybrid” is the thought that went through my head; and you know what, that is exactly what it felt like. Seeing the track in front of you as you fall does not feel like a traditional drop tower at all and much more like you’re just going along rollercoaster track vertically. Still, it’s an absolute blast and I would love to see more parks get these beautiful contraptions. 8/10

After everyone realised it was actually just really good fun and not that scary, those of us that rode it went round again two more times and after that we were fully thrilled out for a little bit, so decided to venture onto the Starflyer, Eclipse.

Eclipse

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Now whilst Twister might have been my favourite coaster, this was my favourite ride. The views that you get of Stockholm are simply stunning. Being the tallest ride in the park you also go up past Ikaros and the other drop tower, getting great close ups of watching people plummet to the ground below. Even if you don’t like rollercoasters (obviously doesn’t apply to anyone here haha) I would recommend going to Grona Lund just to do this ride and get those views. Couldn’t stop smiling from start to finish. 10/10

Lustiga huset


Still not fully recovered from Ikaros, the group decided to venture onto another non-thrill ride. The fantastic Mad House at Grona Lund, Lustiga huset. Now this is one that you absolutely have to experience and is definitely the best one that I’ve had the pleasure of doing. As usual, health and safety would be all over this in the UK, but in Sweden they we happy to leave you to awkwardly traverse. I won’t go into too much detail as it is one of those that you do have to experience for yourself, but one thing I would note is that the moving ladders/stairs at the entrance will give your legs a damn good stretch if you don’t time it right. There were quite a few moments where had it not been for the handrails I’d have been sent tumbling back down crushing everyone behind me. One of the shorter Aussies made the unfortunate decision of wearing skin-tight jeans and to much hilarity, these steps made short work of them, leaving a nice gaping hole haha. 8/10

Bumbling though Eclipse and Lustiga huset killed a good 45 minutes so it was time to jump back on some coasters. Time for the next one.

Kvasten

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Nice, smooth and pretty quick for a junior coaster; this was still pretty relaxing but a cred nevertheless. Nice theming around it as well going through the roof of the station at one point. Pleasant little ride, but only cred worthy really. 5/10

After this we headed to the back of the park and picked up the junior +1’s which were nothing more than just that really. Not much theming and just done for the sake of getting done. Other than that there really wasn’t a lot of motivation to be in this part of the park.

Nyckelpigan

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+1 (round a nice little garden)

Tuff-Tuff Tåget

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+1 (with many switchbacks, no garden)

By this point the Aussies were nearing the end of their day at the park, they wanted to have a go on the last drop tower and the new for 2019, Snake; but that was it. Before doing these we decided to go for a beer at the bar next to Kvasten and chatted about their travels for a bit. One of them was even nice enough to buy me a can of some rather good 3.5% IPA which sadly I can’t remember the name of now; but it is definitely something I’ll look for again if I ever go back.

After finishing that nice little beer we headed over to the other drop tower.

Fritt Fall Tilt

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Now this felt like a proper drop tower, none of that facing the ground stuff. This one was older and didn’t feel nearly as polished, but it was brutally (or beautifully depending on your definition) forceful. I enjoyed this one just as much as Ikaros, because it was just so fast. It leaves your stomach 300ft or so in the air for longer than any other ride I’ve done and that is absolutely a good thing. Much more intense that Hurakan Condor as well, which left me a bit underwhelmed back in December; so this made up for it big time. Went on the standing side which was the usual borderline castration affair. Was great fun, but didn’t feel overly motivated to run my balls through that gauntlet again. 8/10

Onto the last ride of the day with the Aussies.

Snake

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(cranes for the new B&M obscuring the view)

The only thing at the park that actually had a queue. It was pretty standard really, nothing ground-breaking here. Just a nice big flat ride that flips you upside down a few times, felt like a slightly more thrilling Fabbri booster. Worth the 20 minute queue that I sat in, but was not overly eager to re-ride or spend any more time with this one. Good addition as a filler this year whilst we wait for the B&M Invert. It still blows my mind that they’re going to find enough room for one of those (let’s just hope it doesn’t have vest restraints). 6/10

So I waved goodbye to my new found Aussie friends and decided it was time to cross the Wild Mouse off the list and get a few re-rides in.

Vilda musen

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Yeah this was a fun wild mouse. Probably the biggest one I’ve done and it interacted really nicely with Jetline. Was a bit weird to see banked corners on a wild mouse, but it was fun and something different. Like Jetline and Kvasten though, it wasn’t going to make me want to go for re-rides, despite being amusing. 5/10

At this point for me the park was pretty much done. The park was open till 11, but I was mindful of the two hour drive that needed to be done after my day at the park and I also still needed food so I didn’t want to stay till the end. Had I been on my own I probably could have had a go on everything within 3 hours, but as I tagged along with the Aussie’s it took a bit longer and by this time it was around 8pm so I decided to get in some re-rides on Twister, then polish off the day with a lovely sunset ride on Eclipse. Seeing Stockholm from that height with a lovely orange sunset tinge to it is just breath-taking to say the least. With that done I headed to the car, very happy to have such a successful first day.
So in conclusion I absolutely loved Grona Lund and would happily go back again. The park has a great atmosphere and all the attractions are solid. Whenever I end up venturing to Sweden again, I will be sure to take some time to visit.

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For the evening I would be staying in Jursla, about a 15-20 minute drive from Kolmården. I arrived at the AirBnB I would be staying at around 11:30pm, which was pretty much just a cabin in the garden with a double sofa bed and your basic amenities. It was super cheap, but clean and private which was nice. I would fully recommend to anyone looking just for a place to rest their head for the night, it can sleep two, but it might be a little cramped. Please feel free to DM me for a link.

Stay tuned for Kolmarden report tomorrow!
 

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Saturday 11th May

So after a nice long sleep I felt nice and refreshed. The sun was out and it was set to be clear blue skies at 18 degrees all day. Wicked. After getting ready I still had around an hour till the park opened, so I headed over to the local Co-Op (very close to the AirBnB and on the way to Kolmården) to get some breakfast.

Now whilst I am aware that this is a rollercoaster forum and that should be the main focus; I am aware that there are at least a few people on these forums that enjoy a bevvy or two and I feel like they should be warned about the alcohol situation in Sweden. So firstly all the booze is very expensive. Apparently the Swedish government have a monopoly on all alcohol sold in Sweden and they act as a middle-man between the alcohol manufacturers and the point of sale for the end consumer. Given that the alcohol manufacturers, the government and the point of sale all have to make margins on the booze they sell, this drives up the price considerably. Secondly (and the reason I mention this now) is that supermarkets cannot sell booze over 3.5% unless they’re government owned. What this means is that there is A LOT of non-alcoholic beer in the supermarkets. When I went to the Co-op I wanted a couple of drinks to have at the end of the day. So upon looking in the drinks aisle, there was loads of beer, but 90% of it was non-alcoholic and the other 10% was only 3.5% in strength. So that’s just a for-warning if (like myself) you were looking to get a little tipsy on your first Swedish holiday.

So after getting breakfast and two bottles of beer (ended up around £7.50 a bottle with the exchange rate), I drove on over to Kolmården to finally eradicate my RMC virginity.

Parked up, got my pay and display parking ticket and walked up to the ticket office in the car park to pay for entry (before you go over the bridge). After presenting my Grona Lund ticket from the day before I got a 33% discount (nice and nifty that is) and headed on up to the rather grand looking entrance.

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Kolmården

Chunky safari with lots of cool animals, habitats and a mean-as-**** coaster; what’s not to love.

So I won’t lie, from the moment I saw the entrance I was absolutely gagging to get on Wildfire. There was no doubt that this was the reason I was at Kolmården and I was so excited I could have run for the whole 20 minutes from the entrance straight there, but there was one issue. My cred count sat at 97, meaning that I could make Wildfire my 100. Now I do usually have a personal preference for not doing kiddie coasters on my own and I really don’t mind missing out on creds if they are overly expensive (Winter Wonderland creds), predictable as **** (SLC/Boomerang/Wacky Worm) or just embarrassing to be seen on (lone kiddie coaster rides)… but there definitely was a part of me that liked the idea of Wildfire being my 100th coaster. The first kiddie coaster (Godiståget) is not far from the entrance is on the way to Wildfire so it did make sense to do that first. The second (Delfinexpressen) is slap bang next to Wildfire, so I was already basically there… so I decided to say **** it and break my own rules for the day.

Godiståget

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Ok, well at least this had a bit more to it than the Grona Lund ones. There was some nice theming nearby, a little pond next to it and a cool bridge to get into the queue line. I could enjoy it for what it was but still, just a +1.

Ok, so before I get to kiddie cred Delfinexpressen & Wildfire I had a 15 minute walk across the park to enjoy. Despite taking some wrong turns and having to back-track on myself, the walk was super enjoyable. The park is really picturesque with each animal enclosure nicely detailed and themed. So I did have to battle the urge to get distracted on my walk over to Wildfire, but onwards I went and just when I reached the crest of the hill next to the tiger enclosure there it was in all its RMC glory.

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Holy **** it’s big. I was in absolute awe of the size of this thing. God it was hard to go on kiddie cred no. 2 and avoid going straight on this beast, but it just gave me an extra 10 minutes to get even more hyped. I bolted down past the entrance of Wildfire to Delfinexpressen, I wanted to get this done and over with ASAP.

Delfinexpressen

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Straight on, not even one trains worth of a queue. I won’t lie, I don’t think I looked at the track once the entire ride. Every direction we went in I would just turn my head straight away to absorb the godly views of the wooden monster next to us. Didn’t soak any of it in at all, the hype had definitely overwhelmed me. +1.

Off to Wildfire.

Wildfire

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So this was probably… no it definitely was, my gooniest moment as an enthusiast. Wearing my “Insert Generic Fury Shirt Here” shirt (got to rep TDR) in the most cringe inducing bright green and armed with a piece of paper with the number 100 written across it; I quickly found someone to take a photo of me at the entrance and holding up the number with a goony grin across my face.

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After that it was into the queue, most of which had been roped off as it was pretty dead for a Saturday, and a walk straight into the station. The ride ops had clearly seen my type before and as soon as they saw the piece of paper with 100 across it they insisted on taking several photos of me in my row 4 seat which was awesome.

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Pictures done and thumbs up from the opps, it was finally time to tackle this chunky ****er and my god what a ride it was.

Within one ride I knew this was going to be my no.1. The ejector on the drop, the hangtime on the stall, the weird sideways airtime on the wave turn; all incredible and that was in row 4! So many elements that I hadn’t experienced before, it took me back to when I remember doing things like my first beyond vertical drop, my first loop, my first zero-g roll. So fresh, new and exciting; the adrenaline starts pumping through my veins just thinking about it. Every element it went through right up until the last 5th of the ride when it starts to lose a little pace was just relentless. By the time we slammed into the break run I didn’t know how to comprehend what the **** had just happened… but I knew I needed more. I ran straight back round for another ride, this time though I was on the back row. Oh good lord that drop in the back row is just pure ejector godliness. Standing straight up in the seat and fearing for your life as you just hang the whole way down. It’s just so ****ing good! That ride confirmed for me that it was my no.1 and despite one train operations there was no queue, so I ended up running in circles and doing 8 rides back-to-back. 10/10

After the last ride, I was ready to sit back, have a ciggy and reflect on the craziness that had just unfolded. Whilst smoking what felt like the best victory cigarette ever, a lady (terrible with names sorry!) walked up to me and asked if I was on the forums. At first this took me by surprise, but then she explained that she was there with her brother, @PvM, and they had seen me being a cringy little goon whilst holding up my number and sessioning Wildfire. They were doing the exact same trip through Sweden, just in reverse order, so we exchanged all our tips for Liseberg/Grona Lund and had a really nice chat. It was cool as I was there on my own, so it was good to hang with people. I then went for a couple more rides on Wildfire and decided it was time to grab some food and go look at the animals for a bit.

I had a pretty standard chicken burger and chips which was nothing to rave about, but it filled a hole and off I went to try the sky ride thing they had. After trekking up there people were saying it was about a 40 minute wait and after not queuing for two days I didn’t really fancy starting now, so I decided to go for a wander instead which was not a bad idea at all. After going through the awesome tiger enclosure I’d abandoned earlier whilst being fixated on Wildfire, I headed over to a large open area that had loads of different species in a massive pit. There were camels, zebras and lots of other animals just chilling in the same place, which I thought was pretty cool. They had loads more roaming room as well than your traditional zoo, so despite it not being quite as good as the real wild I have no doubt that the animals would have rather been here that somewhere like London. The way it was set up as well it was really nice to see the animals and not have to peer through fences or glass, you could walk right up to the edge of the enclosure with no real barrier aside from height between you and the animals which gave it a much nicer vibe. Understandably in the predator enclosures they did have a bit more security, but they still made a real effort to ensure that you could see as much of the animals as possible without including wire fencing or glass. Bar going on actual safari in Africa this is probably the best you can get, from my experience at least. When I’m older I’d love to come back here with my future family because there really is something for everyone at this place (and I can session Wildfire some more). After that I managed to catch their birds of prey show which was pretty awesome, they’ve got music to go in time with the birds movements and the choreography is just spot on. Really impressed by that. All that killed a fair bit of time and I was ready to go back and get my Wildfire fix again.

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Bumped into both PvM and his sister this time at the smoking spot next to Wildfire. It was really nice to meet PvM, super friendly Dutch guy and hope to see him on a Coasterforce live at some point in the future. After having the ciggy PvM, his sister and me spent the rest of the day riding Wildfire pretty till close and talking rollercoasters. The queue had built up a little as the others had finally made it round to the back of the park, but it was awesome wholesome coaster fun and was a great way to spend the remainder of my afternoon. One thing that was quite funny was that PvM’s sister feared the back row to some extent, so basically we encouraged her to go further and further back with each ride, despite having loads of rides every time she seemed to be getting progressively more frightened by it, which was very amusing. Both his sister and myself planned to have one more smoke before the last ride of the day, but sadly we ended up missing it leaving me to settle for a total 17 rides on Wildfire that day.

Did the 20 minute trek back to the entrance with them then headed off our separate ways. Despite being very happy, leaving here was actually pretty painful. I really felt that I could have spent more time at Kolmården and that doesn’t happen often when leaving parks these days, in recent memory only Phantasialand and Port Aventura have left me with the same feeling.

All-in-all another amazing day on the trip. Kolmården is a fantastic place to visit and I would fully recommend to anyone, enthusiast or not, to visit. One more thing that I wanted to mention about the park is again the friendliness of the staff. Whilst the dispatches weren’t at the speed of Grona Lund, they didn’t need to be and they chatted with all the guests between rides. I think a lot of enthusiasts come here just for Wildfire because all the opps were telling me about guests that had travelled from all over the world to ride it. One guy from Pennsylvania apparently rode it 50 times in one day! I wonder how it compared on his rankings to Skyrush haha. Definitely seeing a common theme though in Swedish people in general just being lovely.

With that all done I then had a 4 hour drive over to the next AirBnB near Gothenburg. Really nice drive to be fair, sun and scenery was amazing. To top that off the wonderful Drunk Riders dropped their latest podcast during that drive. Listening to them chatting **** one of my absolute favourite ways to kill time on long drives, made it go just that bit smoother.

I got to this AirBnB a little earlier that the one the night before around 10:30pm; so more than enough time to consume the two beers purchased earlier. I was greeted by my very enthusiastic AirBnB hosts and given a tour of the facilities available to me which was very helpful; by this point though I just wanted beers and bed. Again it was a cabin set up, so nice and cheap but also very much your own private space. It was right near Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, so if you’re looking for somewhere close by to stay then I would fully recommend. Please feel free to DM me for a link.

Stay tuned for Liseberg!
 
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Benenen

Member
Loving this report so far. I did a similar trip to you in 2016 (minus the Stockholm bit) and Kolmarden blew me away. A lot of reports I see from it have people being underwhelmed by Wildfire and not embracing the zoo element of the park so it was great to hear you smashing out Wildfire laps while also exploring the zoo and shows. Wildfire is also my number one, the variety of elements combined with the smoothness and airtime makes it unlike anything I've ridden. The outward banked turn in the left seat is a particular highlight. Out of Kolmarden and Liseberg, Kolmarden was the park I wish I had planned two days for. Seven hours isn't enough to explore the zoo, see all the shows and feedings, ride the safari and whore Wildfire, I had no idea how huge the park was before I visited.

Looking forward to hearing all about Liseberg!
 

.Ac.

Member
Fab report and look forward to hearing about liseberg

For money reasons I need to suppress the urge to book a flight out to Sweden / Kolmården and this ain't helping one bit

If it makes you feel better @Slamming Coastercore , while out in america in February i drove my first automatic car and it was comical affair to say the least.

Turns out trying to use both feet while driving an automatic is not the best idea, a lot smoother ride is had by just using the one.
 
Loving this report so far. I did a similar trip to you in 2016 (minus the Stockholm bit) and Kolmarden blew me away. A lot of reports I see from it have people being underwhelmed by Wildfire and not embracing the zoo element of the park so it was great to hear you smashing out Wildfire laps while also exploring the zoo and shows. Wildfire is also my number one, the variety of elements combined with the smoothness and airtime makes it unlike anything I've ridden. The outward banked turn in the left seat is a particular highlight. Out of Kolmarden and Liseberg, Kolmarden was the park I wish I had planned two days for. Seven hours isn't enough to explore the zoo, see all the shows and feedings, ride the safari and whore Wildfire, I had no idea how huge the park was before I visited.

Looking forward to hearing all about Liseberg!
Glad to hear you're enjoying it!

Oh absolutely, Kolmarden blew me away. It surprises me greatly to hear that people have been underwhelmed by Wildfire, but maybe those with higher coaster counts have experienced so many that it takes more to stand out. Like yourself though, for me it was pretty much perfection. I didn't really have a preference on the particular seat, but back row was definitely the best for me and I can see how the left seat would have been better. I just didn't notice it particularily haha. That mad turn is truly lethal though, I had my arms up most times I went round and I had bruises on my sides from being slammed in and out of that element (they were bruises of love though, totally worthwhile).

I could have easily had two days at Kolmarden so I don't blame you at all. Didn't even come close to seeing all the stuff on offer. Probably something to consider for when I go again.
 
Fab report and look forward to hearing about liseberg

For money reasons I need to suppress the urge to book a flight out to Sweden / Kolmården and this ain't helping one bit

If it makes you feel better @Slamming Coastercore , while out in america in February i drove my first automatic car and it was comical affair to say the least.

Turns out trying to use both feet while driving an automatic is not the best idea, a lot smoother ride is had by just using the one.
Good to hear you're enjoying it too!

Yeah I don't blame you, it isn't a cheap trip. I think everything included it cost me around £800. Would have been significantly cheaper if I had someone with me and I drunk less, but hey ho, what are you going to do haha.

Hahaha I thought I might not be the only one that has been struck with the automatic conundrum whilst abroad. That definitely gave me a comforting chuckle!
 

Howie

Active Member
I too have the goony milestone picture taken in front of Wildfire (except mine was 200 :p ), and it was also my first RMC (got 5 now :p). Bloody good though, innit? What a moment for a fledgling goon. Well done, Sir.
 

PvM

New Member
It was great meeting you in Kolmarden. I think my sis was getting a bit crazy from all my coaster talk so it was nice having someone else with the same interest haha. Still bummed we missed that last ride on Wildfire though lol.

P.S. I'll definitely join one of the Coasterforce meet-ups in the future.
 
I too have the goony milestone picture taken in front of Wildfire (except mine was 200 :p ), and it was also my first RMC (got 5 now :p). Bloody good though, innit? What a moment for a fledgling goon. Well done, Sir.
Haha that's amazing! Hopefully I'll catch you up at some point in my goon career! Thank you very much. Definitely a milestone in more ways than one. Will not be forgotten any time soon :)
 
It was great meeting you in Kolmarden. I think my sis was getting a bit crazy from all my coaster talk so it was nice having someone else with the same interest haha. Still bummed we missed that last ride on Wildfire though lol.

P.S. I'll definitely join one of the Coasterforce meet-ups in the future.
Likewise mate! I'm glad I could be of assistance haha. Please do come along to one, whilst I can't make The Netherlands CoasterForce lives this year I'll be sure to make my best efforts another time :)
 
Sunday 12th May

(apologies in advance for the lack of pictures)

Last day of my little weekend break and time to venture off to Liseberg! I was due to drop off my hire car at 9am and then jump on a bus into Gothenburg. This went pretty smoothly, the Hertz drop off place was simple enough, find a spot then put your key into a deposit machine. Again the smoothness continued and I managed to get onto the bus for around 9:10am, no traffic and I was outside Liseberg for 9:30am. The journey in was awesome. When you’re coming into Liseberg from the airport you go down a main road right next to the park, the road gives you a stunning view of the park; Valkyria, Balder, Helix and all the other large attractions are clearly visible which really gets the hype going. The fact that the road is right next to Balder as well is awesome, you’re probably about 60ft up from the bottom of the chain lift when you drive past so it gives fantastic views of the lift hill and drop too. Needless to say all this had made me very very excited for my day ahead.

The park opened at 10am, but none of the rides were open till 11am so I spent a little while dawdling outside the entrance. As soon as it hit 10am though I picked up my ticket and went straight in.

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Liseberg

I was in awe looking around at all the awesome rides, on paper and visually, they have a fantastic 1, 2, 3 punch with their coasters so I couldn’t wait to get going on some of these beasts. After a little lap of the park going up to those main 3 coasters and drawling all over the airtime hill after the second launch on Helix, I thought it was probably best to secure my place in the Helix queue for the ride opening as really that was my priority for being here.

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I got to the entrance of Helix with 45 minutes to spare and tucked myself into the holding area just beyond the sign. Around 15 minutes later a German enthusiast who was also on a solo trip started queuing up and we chatted about coasters to pass the time. His local park was Europa Park (which I have still not had the pleasure of visiting) and he could not express enough how much Helix was better than Blue Fire and his no.1. So it’s fair to say I was absolutely buzzing. Around 10:50am a little queue started to form behind us, which continued to grow until 11am… then for some reason most of the queue buggered off. Not a good feeling. I asked one of the people where everyone was going and then, looking at the queue time board I was facing the back of, he uttered those horrible words “The sign says it’s closed all day”. Urgh, absolute heartbreak. Again I’ve travelled to another country, to a park to ride a specific ride, only to be spited. It was very reminiscent of being spited by Expedition GeForce, the one saving grace was that there was a lot more to do at this park. I headed over to guest services and explained that I had travelled for Helix… blah blah blah. Nope, sadly nothing I said was going to get it open today, to top it off AtmosFEAR was also closed. So I moped around for a bit and decided to remain optimistic. I thought to myself, I like B&M, I like Intamin, I like Dive Coasters, I like Woodies; maybe this won’t be all that bad. So I headed over to the corner of the park where Valkyria and Balder were situated.

Despite the bad mood, just seeing the theming in this area did put a smile on my face. Very much nailed the Viking theme right on the head, really enjoyed the architecture and the way it had been put together, even down to the ride names and signs.

Valkyria

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I charged on into Valkyria’s queue line intent on improving my mood, however I was halted by one of the ride staff as I had my bag and had to put it in a locker. This was the first time I’ve experienced this, but I was fine with it. You have to put your bag in a locker, in the locker room beneth the entrance to Valkyria. They’ve got a weird screen assigning locker system. Just make sure you remember your number haha. Anyway…

Ahh Valkyria, so much promise. The entrance is beautiful; the building is large and imposing and really does give epic viking quest vibes. The soundtrack booms throughout the queue line and really sets the tone. Unlike the rides at Grona Lund or Kolmården you could pick which row you wanted so if you wanted to queue for longer to go on the front row it was an option. I picked front row for my ride and still only waited for 15 minutes, so that was pretty good. The station is beautiful with massive flaming bowl things (forgive me for not knowing the proper name) hanging from the ceiling and a projected silhouette of a dragon on the wall. The whole place feels like the halls of Valhalla and is really awesomely immersive. The trains are very slick, look super modern and the way the floor peels back to let each train go is a very impressive mechanism to watch. To top it all off they were running 3 trains and the opps were absolutely flying, up to this point it was all looking good.

I clambered on into the front far left seat and lowered the restraint. It has the new style B&M vest restraints and was more comfortable than the vest restraints featured on The Swarm so this gave me some hope. Alas, it was misplaced. After ascending up the lift hill, turning round and being presented with some amazing views of the park you lock into the holding break and let forcelessness ensue. The layout has some really great, interesting elements for a dive coaster but the restraints just absolutely kill it. The drop is bigger than Baron, yet somehow gives less forces (if anyone has any idea why this is, profiling? Trains? Restraints? Please let me know, it would be interesting to get your thoughts). The layout is more inspired that Oblivion or Sheikra, yet left me feeling cold and unamused (I would love that . Of those that I have done this is definitely my least favourite dive machine out of the bunch and it is all to do with the restraints. The back row is a minor improvement but it still leaves a lot to be desired. What I would say is that I bet there are a lot of people that would love this ride. It’s smooth as silk and doesn’t have bad pacing by any stretch of the imagination, plus it is beautiful to watch and the dive into the smoke filled tunnel is fun. For me though, I was really disappointed and if this is a sign of things to come, it has made me really worried for the way B&M is going in the future. 4/10

It did actually disappointed me so much I thought I preferred Geurstlaur to B&M for a brief moment, then I rode Katun a couple of weeks later and any doubt of my B&M love was completely obliterated (not fully worthy of a trip report that one, but a nice day at Mirabilandia).

After this I was seriously starting to feel down in the dumps. I knew there was still plenty in the park for me to try, but with Helix constantly looming over me it was a painful reminder that would not go away. Next up was Balder anyway, so I put on a brave face and on I went.

Balder

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The other Intamin pre-fab woodies receive a lot of praise internationally amongst the coaster enthusiasts so I was very interested to see how this rode, after Valkyria though, I tampered my expectations. Much less theming on this one, you can tell that Valkyria has received the high end treatment whereas this was much more just “the coaster will be the theming” which I’m fine with. I do love walking around a roaring wooden coaster. This was pretty much a walk on all day, and for my first ride I went straight to the back row.

Ok, so I’m just going to mirror some of the comments I’ve already seen about this coaster, but they’re right, the layout is pretty repetitive. There aren’t really any stand-out moments, but all the hills deliver pretty much the exact some level of decent airtime. The airtime is good, but what stops it from being a top tier coaster is the lack of strength in the airtime and how brief those pops of airtime are. In all honesty, my opinion of this coaster probably would have been better if I hadn’t just been spoiled by the crazy sustained airtime on Wildfire the day before, but I did enjoy it. I did have a lot more fun than on the dive machine next door, but there is no doubt that there are no surprises here. 7.5/10

Hmmm… neither of those coasters really had the desired effect, I was still in a god awful mood and it wasn’t even mid-day yet. Time for a ciggy. As I headed over to the smoking area, I saw one train of Helix sitting idle on the 2nd launch. That wasn’t there before so that raised my hopes a little. I went to the smoking area next to the queue time board for Helix, but sadly it still read “stängd hela dagen” in a mocking tone that I’m pretty sure only I heard in my head. Those words are now burned into my skull with the amount of times I read it that day. *sigh*. With the ciggy done I decided to jump on Lisebergbannan, with my previous experience of Swartzkopf coasters though I wasn’t expecting much.

Lisebergbannan

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Really nice station for this one to be fair, very pretty with hanging plants and kind of a fresh Victorian greenhouse vibe to it. That was a nice touch. The lift hill is also really cool, climbing up the side of the hill. I really enjoyed this one, despite the close interactions with Helix teasing me. There is a surprising speed and length to it that just makes it pleasant to ride. The fact it’s a terrain coaster also really lends well to the dips and turns. No airtime or inversions, but you still pull some solid G’s on those banked drops and it’s definitely my favourite Swartzkopf. Whilst I did make some complaints about the repetitive nature of Jetline and it definitely has its similarities, Lisebergbannan just seemed to have a lot more character than its brother over in Stockholm. 7/10

Still trying to vaguely hang around Helix I did Uppswinget, their S&S Screamin' Swing.

Uppswinget
If you've ridden Rush at Thorpe you know what this is all about. Tiny hints of airtime at the top of each cycle, but nothing to write home about. The view of Lisebergbannan beneath you does make it slightly more interesting, but my opinion of these remains the same. 5/10

No signs of life from Helix, that was all the open coasters that I wanted to ride out the way. I had a couple of flat rides, a couple of water rides and the horror maze left to do; along with some re-rides on the coasters… in all honesty though, I just couldn’t get myself excited to do any of those things and it had passed midday. So I went and got a beer.

There is a lovely bar inside the restaurant that has a variety of ales, so I thought, I’d start off with one and then come back for another if I fancied it. I didn’t have to drive on this day so I wasn’t too worried about being over the limit. It was an overcast day with a couple of nice patches of sun and you could sit outside of the bar just opposite the children’s show area; so I ended up catching the show they had on which was light-hearted enough to put a smile on my face whilst I had a been in hand. It was aimed at kids as well, so my non-existent Swedish didn’t really make it difficult to follow. Hmm… the first beer didn’t really do the trick so I decided to have another. After that the tipsiness started kicking in and I was ready to have my next ride stint again. I wanted another go on Balder and to give Valkyria another chance and on the way I had Loke and Kållerado.

Loke

Eh, it’s ok I guess. Don’t really know how I’ve managed to visit as many parks as I have and not managed to ride one of these Intamin Gyro Swings. I did enjoy it, but it didn’t really spin all that much and the swinging wasn’t very fast. Like its Viking dive machine neighbour the theming and views of the park were definitely the best bits about it. Wouldn’t be rushing to jump back on this one. 5/10

The weather turned a little chilly at this point so I thought I’d come back to Kållerado. I hit up both the coasters with near identical rides (aside from the minor improvement of the back row on Valkyria) and shot off to Mechanica.

Mechanica

Somehow this managed to get the longest queue of the day and I ended up waiting 30 minutes for this. It did start to get a bit painful at around 20 minutes in, the 2 beers from earlier hit my bladder so I rode whilst focusing very hard on not to piss all over myself, fun fun fun.

For the ride itself I was sort of expecting a Samurai at Thorpe Park kind of experience however there was much less ‘upside-down’ time and it felt slower as well. It was more just focused on holding you quite slowly at the highest point, which made the ‘arms’ flip back to an upright position. I did have a little more fun on this than on Loke. I love how menacing this ride looks with the dark gold and lights, so I did come back for a ride later in the day when it was a little darker. 6/10

About 3 engineers were now crawling all over Helix’s second launch, but I had totally given up by this point. There really is something about a spite that gives you a bad taste in the mouth that you can’t get rid of. So I thought more pints may cure this.

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Cheers. You spiteful bitch.

Luckily my beloved football team, Crystal Palace, were due to kick off around this time. So I streamed the game on my phone whilst enjoying pints in the sun, in the same place I was before. Whilst i’m sure most of you don’t care for the details of the game, but we ended up winning 5-3 which put me in a better mood. I managed to have a pint of each lager/ale on offer so, the 4/5 pints (pray for my bank) that I consumed had pushed me to the point of heavily tipsy which further stimulated my mood and I still had 3 hours to go until the end of the day.

Now even cooler I did decide to give Kållerado a miss and my intoxication had pushed me to the point where a fair review of anything had gone out the window. I did have a really nice ride on the log flume as people seemed to be much drier coming off that than they did off Kållerado. The station is really pretty for the flume and going around the terrain next to Lisebergbannan and Helix offers some great views. I would definitely like to do this again when I inevitably revisit. My state also meant that I completely forgot about their tucked away horror maze which was a shame as I was told good things about it the day before by PvM.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, I had lots re-rides on the 3 available coasters but nothing opinion changing really (aside from a front row ride on Balder that had no airtime and felt disgustingly slow).

That’s pretty much it for Liseberg. I can see exactly why so many people rate it as one of their favourite parks and I will definitely visit again. With the combination of being on my own and having Helix and AtmosFEAR closed all day though, personally I really felt that it didn’t live up to its hype at all. I think for me to enjoy a whole day at a park on my own, I really need a solid selection of coasters or one absolutely stand out coaster that I can session the **** out of. That’s the thing that Liseberg was missing for me and it just left me feeling a little cold. When I went to Mirabilandia on my own later in May, despite Liseberg being a much better park in virtually every way, I had a much better time and that was simply down to the coasters. Helix… please don’t spite me again, I want to appreciate Liseberg the way it deserves to be appreciated.

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After that I shot back to the AirBnB on the bus, crashed for the night and then my host was kind enough to give me a lift to the airport in the morning free of charge. Before I knew it I was back at Gatwick airport and the normal mundanity of life could resume.

All-in-all, despite the last day I had an amazing time in Sweden and I would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone else considering it. It will probably be a case of waiting till Grona Lund get their B&M invert before I head back, but it’s definitely not through a lack of wanting to go. There are just so many parks that I have yet to experience and I only have so much time off and money available.

If you’ve made it this far you’re a star as you’ve read 12 ½ pages of unconcise literary diarrhoea and for that I salute you, well done. This is my first trip report on here though, so any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hixee

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Bugger, that's a real shame! But, to try and find some MattN optimism, at least you've an excuse to go back and you'll be all the wiser a second time!

Enjoyed reading this one, mate. I look forward to reading more of your adventures!
 
Bugger, that's a real shame! But, to try and find some MattN optimism, at least you've an excuse to go back and you'll be all the wiser a second time!

Enjoyed reading this one, mate. I look forward to reading more of your adventures!
Haha I'll do my best! I think when Matt N has worked his arse off to single-handedly afford to go on a specific coaster abroad only to get spited then his optimisation may fade a little ;) Give it time haha.

You're not wrong about it giving me an excuse to go back though so that is the plus side (plus it's so close to Wildfire haha). I will do my best to write up a report when I go on another adventure worthy of documenting. The response from you guys has been really good and I've enjoyed writing it. Love the community we have here :)
 
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