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Corona Comfort | A Nostalgic 2019 Scandinavia TR | Part 4: Tivoli Gardens

CoasterCrazy

Active Member
Just when we all though we’d broken the back of another off-season, you-know-what hit, closing parks worldwide and grinding updates to an unexpected halt. So, to keep us all going, I've decided to dust off some memories and finally write up a trip report from last summer. I know I haven’t been active on here for a while, but hopefully I can provide some of the wholesome coaster content we’ve all been missing over the last few months. Hope you’re all keeping well during these challenging times.

We set off last August, a time when the UK was still in the EU, everyone had enough toilet roll and the only eyesight tests being conducted in Barnard Castle were by Specsavers. Oh, and for more context, West Coast Racers was still 4 months from opening. But more importantly, me and some mates from home decided to go on a 5-park cred run across Denmark and Sweden. Staying in hostels along the way, this was our itinerary (spoilers, obviously):

Graphical Abstract.png

6th August: Fly over to Aarhus
7th August: Exploring Aarhus
8th August: Tivoli Friheden
9th August: Djurs Sommerland
10th August: Travel and night out in Copenhagen
11th August: Bakken
12th August: Tivoli Gardens
13th August: Exploring Copenhagen, train to Gothenburg
14th August: Liseberg Day 1
15th August: Liseberg Day 1 1/2 and flight home

By some absolute miracle, the weather (mostly) held every day we visited a park and tipped it down every day we didn't. Even better, every cred was open and we ended the trip with an impressive +26! What a time to be alive.

I’ll try and update this thread regularly, so if it helps, you can pretend it’s happening live? I’m not doing this completely from memory, I wrote notes just after the trip, but I may a bit hazy on some details as a result of my ridiculous tardiness. I’m not sure why it took me quite so long to write this all up – but here I am anyway, and I hope you can all enjoy reading this.
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Part 1: Tivoli Friheden (8th August 2019)


It's important to clarify at this point that although my friends love coasters, they weren't (yet) goons. So before we flew out, I duly did my duty to the enthusiast world and introduced them to the terms "creds", "+1" and even "credit whore", which they were about to become. I ended up shamelessly showing them "that Coasterforce video":


Thankfully none of them ever chose tea, so it’s safe to say they all passed the test.

After landing, we checked into our hostel and spent the rest of the day exploring central Aarhus (particularly the bars). It's nothing spectacular, but it's a very pleasant city!



It's full of little cobbled streets like this!



Because every city needs one of these:



There was this fab little rooftop bar which offered some beautiful views of the city:







The modern art museum was (obviously) funky:



Then there was this absolute monstrosity:



"Boy" (see real human in the background for scale!)
Absolutely terrifying, definitely has gollum/smeagol vibes?



From our hostel downtown, we were able to walk half an hour or so down to the first park of the trip - Tivoli Friheden. I hadn't heard particularly great things about this place, but decided to do it for the creds and as a warm up for the rest of the parks. With the park bring fairly empty , we ended up having a great time and easily managed to spend the whole day there. Was it a world-class theme park? No. But did we have a great time? Yep!




Something tells me we wouldn’t have enjoyed this park nearly as much had we done it right at the end of the trip, but it was a good day nonetheless.

I'm also going to shamelessly plug my YouTube videos here, but I've got loads of embarrassing photos and video screen grabs to share too. Here's a music video for the park:


For our first ride of the trip, we decided to start in the deep end with one of the most intense coasters known to man:



Dragen (Tiny Pinfari thing): +1

Surprisingly not even the worst coaster of the trip. The only standout feature was this surprisingly violent airtime hill hidden at the end of the layout, which was hilarious given the hideous lack of legroom.

The first of 26 corny cred selfies of the trip then:





Decided to give their flagship coaster, Cobra, a try next:



Offride video:


Nerdy selfie:



Given the history of this coaster (it derailed shortly after opening and no more models were ever sold), I braced myself for the worst. Thankfully, it was relatively painless and genuinely enjoyable! Although slower, it was much smoother than the customary SLC – less hang and bang, more hang and rattle gently? This was largely due to the design of the trains, which featured some of the comfiest seats I’ve ever seen on a coaster and unoffensive OSTRs. The seats were basically gaming chairs.



Despite the obvious initial engineering flaw, I actually think this is a very well-designed coaster. For a ride with such a small footprint, particularly as an invert, this pint-sized coaster punches well above its weight. I mean, how on Earth did they manage to fit a cobra roll into a ride that’s not even 70ft tall? There are some great positive forces on the immelman and the entrance to the helix. The short trains give it that nice, snappy feel. My only major gripes with the ride are the shuffling in the cobra roll and the way the pacing completely dies after the first half of the helix. It’s actually reasonably intense and If it wasn’t for the negative press from the derailment, I’d imagine we’d have seen quite a few of these pop up at smaller parks.



Due to the small size of the trains, it's actually got quite a kick to it! And there's still a bit of a whip in the back.



The world's smallest cobra roll?



By this point it's absolutely CRAWLING!



These sound barriers are incredibly annoying for photography - but I guess they do the trick? They give the rides a little bit of extra character too. They seem a bit excessive - perhaps they exist solely to appease planning boards?



Next up, Tyfonen:



The proof(ish):



It's a middle-of-the-road reverchon spinner. Pretty smooth and a good amount of spinning. Enough said!



All things considered, they're decent fun.



Not to be outdone by the "mouse in a box" Dark Knight coasters, Tivoli Friheden presents a "mouse in half a transparent plexiglass box"?



Did I mention the cute boating lake?





When it's your turn to come in, your number lights up, but I imagine you could easily stay out for longer if you wanted to!

We then headed over to Bisværmen (“The Bees”):







Whatever that Bee's on, I want it!

Somehow my first SBF Visa spinner (maybe that’s a good thing?). Think we all know what they’re like by now. Some nice theming on this installation though.



+1 Obtained

I hadn’t realised just how tiny the park was! But it was dense. There’s also this weird section of the park to the East with just a scattering of family flats which are very easy to miss. It’s probably big enough for a medium-sized thrill coaster (a GG Woodie like Wood Express would definitely fit, but what do I know?)

There are several fab flat rides at the park too:



Hjertekig is an RES drop tower which is apparently over 200ft tall! This is almost certainly the most impressive ride at the park and ended up being the best drop tower on the trip! The drop is properly stomach-lurching and the minimalistic lap bar restraints make it even better. The ride provides some nice views over the city and runs in two distinct modes – observation tower and drop tower, both of which feature a good amount of rotation at the top. It doesn’t quite it offer the same sensation of speed as other larger towers (coughcough AtmosFear), but is undoubtedly the most forceful tower I’ve done!



So much exposure with these restraints!



Yeah, 200ft is about right...

There was also this infernal contraption, Pegasus:



Whoever designed this ride and its crazily long extended cycle is sick in the head, but if I’m honest I quite enjoyed it! It’s comically nauseating fun. It’s closed now, and whilst I’m glad I managed to ride it, I wouldn’t really want to give it another go. The new ride looks like a worthy replacement though:

Tivoli Friheden


It's like they looked at Pegasus and said, how can we make an even better torture machine?



Rest in peace, pieces, or perhaps a Scandinavian fair circuit?



Sommerluglen is the park’s Gerstlauer Sky Racer, like a Sky roller just without the elevation change. I utterly failed to spin this one though! Fortunately, I got my revenge later in the trip…

There were several rain spells during the day, but because the weather changes so rapidly, rain generally passes very quickly without spoiling your day! We decided to whore their Triotech shooters during the downpours, particularly their funky haunted house. It's a classic old school shooter with quirky dark ride section punctuated with the sudden appearance of 5D screens. Obviously, it was Zombies. Some of the props felt pretty low budget, but they certainly made the best of the resources available to them.



We managed to get ourselves onto the daily leaderboard, but couldn't get anywhere near the bloody kid with virtually all of the all-time top scores! Although apparently, he's at the park every week to maintain his status, so hats off to him?
Until next time kiddo...



And no, we didn’t do it (sorry). Kinda wished we had now, but Scandinavia is so expensive! Looked ****ing terrifying though.

Hilariously, the junior pirate ship was somehow better than the adult one. And of course, we were sad enough to embarrass ourselves on all the kiddie rides! Happy to report that we resoundingly beat the kids at all the interactive ones (phew).

So overall thoughts about the park then? Not world-beating by any means, but there are a couple of absolute gems in this tiny park, particularly their Sky Tower and drop tower. Cobra was surprisingly good too and the property has its quirks. If you judge it as a park for locals rather than tourists, then it's actually rather good. Massively helped that the park was dead though!

Score sheet:

Dragen X 2
Cobra X 5
Tyfonen X 2
The bees X 2
Haunted House X >10

Thanks for reading, and REMAIN INDOORS
remain indoors | Tumblr



Next stop: Djurs Sommerland
 

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Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
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Social Media Team
Wow, blast from the past with the CF video! Awesome.

Appreciate the effort to go back and write this one - gives us something nice to get lost and daydream in. :)
 

CoasterCrazy

Active Member
Wow, blast from the past with the CF video! Awesome.

Appreciate the effort to go back and write this one - gives us something nice to get lost and daydream in. :)
Thanks - great to hear it's working as intended! That CF video cracks me up every time!

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Part 2: Djurs Sommerland (9th August 2019)

After an entertaining warm-up day at Tivoli Friheden, it was time for the first destination park of the trip! Like many larger parks, Djurs Sommerland is more or less in the middle of nowhere but is fortunately very well connected by public transport. Midttraffik run a convenient service from the Aarhus bus station in the city centre, which takes less than hour. For anyone interested, we took the 400 route, which departs from right outside the ticketing office. Although my memory is (obviously) more than a little hazy on this, I believe the bus confusingly displayed a different number, but was fairly easy to track down based on the timetable and a little asking around. We paid separately, but you can apparently buy a combo ticket which includes park entry and travel on any Midtraffik service (a “Djursbilletten”) on the park’s website.

Anyway, however it was numbered, the bus worked really well and arrived only about 10 minutes after park opening. Naturally, we opted for the classic "run straight to the back of the park where you know it'll be less busy" strategy to start mopping up the 7 creds on offer. Having noted a suspicious-looking sign displaying some Danish I had no hope of understanding and the word “Juvelen”, the cred anxiety was starting to build. However, Piraten was at least testing, so maybe the Intamin Gods would smile on us after all?


Heading to the back of the park was all well and good, but I don’t think I’d quite appreciated the size of the park. It’s set in 33 hectares of land and most of the rides are extremely spread out, making it a bit of a trek! The biggest attractions are at the front or back of the park, with the kiddie farmyard area and a pretty extensive playground-like area in the middle.

Fortunately it was worth it, because Juvelen appeared to be open:



I’d heard some really glowing reviews about this thing, so I was relieved to be able to ride it!



And what a neat little coaster it was. No real airtime to write home about, but as a package, it really wasn't far off being the perfect family coaster! The launches were surprisingly punchy and it was excellently paced, with everything turning up a gear after the second launch whilst remaining as smooth as butter. Good positive forces, near misses and being over 3,000 feet long, the ride just keeps on giving. Loved the long sweeping turns with the unique trains but the rolling launch and slalom section were the standout moments for me. As it’s themed to jewel mining, the only thing I thought it was truly missing was a tunnel really – but that’s just nitpicking, and the excellent underground queueline provides that anyway. A ride like this could be a fantastic fit for (coughChessingtoncough).



Such a long ride experience!



Found the trains a little bit uncomfortable, but I really appreciated the theming!

Did the pirate ship whilst waiting for Thor to open up for the day - fairly middle of the park for its ride type, but a very pretty setting nonetheless:



The back of the park was still dead at this time, so we managed to walk right onto Thor's Hammer:




This was my very first Gerstlauer bobsled – whilst nowhere near the level of Juvelen, it was still another great family coaster! Some good airtime moments scattered around, but this was a 'fun' cred and nothing more. Just like Juvelen, the pacing is excellent for the duration of the ride; as well as being the focal point of the attraction, that drop out of the tunnel and the helix over the lake at the end of the layout were personal highlights:







Had a go on the canoes a bit later in the day. Wasn't brave enough to bring my camera with me though!



As the oldest coaster at the park, it's great to see it still running well!



Now that all the surrounding foliage has grown up, the colour scheme provides great camouflage!

By this point half an hour into the visit, it had already put into perspective what a dump Chessington is! Smaller crowd sizes definitely helped (Chessington apparently has double the yearly attendance), but Djurs has *exactly* the same target audience and is *exactly* what the park could become if Merlin felt like investing in it properly. In other words, Scandinavia <3

Grabbed another +1 on the way back from Thor's, Vilde Hønsejagt:



Just another cred really but with a fab soundtrack. In fact, the whole farmyard area was just so hilariously goofy:



It was also really neat to see the ride ops using bars to check restraints and improve capacity. With such a low train, it must be so much better for their backs too!



There's a surprising amount of force in this turn!



They give you two laps as well!

It’s just a shame so many of the animals appear to have such a serious drug problem:



Such a bad example to set for the kids. Honestly.





Caption contest? Tag yourself.



Excuse me mate, are you okay?



Caught in the act.



Wasn't me!





What do you mean? I've never even seen this substance before.

Okay, that's enough stoned farm animals for the day.

As it was teasing us over the treetops, it was time to check out Tigeren:



It absolutely towers over everything else at the park.




Wow. Hands down the best flat ride I've ever ridden and quite possibly my favourite ride of the entire trip. Every time you think it's reached its swing apogee it somehow soars even higher and reaches another level. By the time it does, it's just flat out insane. Most of the fun is just a consequence of its ridiculous size and speed, reaching a swing height of 150ft size and 60+mph. The length of the cycle and the comfy yet minimalistic restraints make it even better. The seats whip around too, rotating fast enough to make every swing a unique experience. I was genuinely breathless, and I honestly can’t praise this ride more highly.



The sensation of speed is something else.



The maximum angle is way more than vertical – although it’s probably no more than 140 degrees, it feels more like 160 degrees on the ride.











Whilst the themed areas are nowhere near as immersive as world-leading parks, Djurs Sommerland has been consistently upping their theming game in recent years. The soundtrack and mysterious queueline theming on Tigeren give it an excellent atmosphere and make the ride look beautiful.



I see Tigeren (along with Piraten) as market research to test demand for more extreme thrill rides. As the queue length was consistently hitting 20-30 minutes (tied with DrageKongen & Juvelen for longest), I’d say the experiment certainly worked.



There's no cohesive story, but the area certainly looks good!



Always a big crowd present to simply watch this thing!

Up next, yet another Intamin creation, Drage Kongen:




Didn't have particularly high expectations of this ride, and it probably just about surpassed them. A good ride - but I just thought it didn't do that much? Loved the station launch and pre-lift though (why can't all coasters start like that?). After the appetizer, the first drop, tunnel and overbanked turn combo were really enjoyable, but then it mostly just faffed around and lost momentum. Definitely the worst paced coaster in the park unfortunately: fun but with no real oompf to it. It's not a particularly smooth ride either, but thankfully it's more of a juddery than painful type of roughness.



Not sure why they opted for an Intamin over a Vekoma suspended coaster? As such a large proportion of their rides are manufactured by Intamin, they seem to have an pretty cosy relationship with them. Maybe they’ve signed some kind of multi-ride deal with them?



Think we know who's having the better time.



The inside of the station is lovely, but I was a bit disappointed with the lack of theming on the station building's exterior (including around the back). Thought the blue walls were a bit of a cop-out, and they really detract from the overall theme of the area:





Jungle Rally was just another +1 really:



It looks so cute! Given this ride is basically for 5-year olds, it was another tight fit!



After that, I just couldn't wait any longer. Whether it had warmed up or not, it was time for the second-most anticipated coaster of the trip, Piraten:




Obviously, it was fantastic. If rides were judged on their thrill level per metre of height, these mega-lites would almost certainly be the best coasters in the world. Whilst it definitely made it into my top 10, I couldn’t quite give it a (Pira)ten out of (Pira)ten (sorry). Naturally the airtime is fantastic and present on every single hill and there's some good positives in the turns. In fact, other than the brake run, there's not a single dead spot in the layout.



However, I have 2 main gripes with this coaster. I know it’s a mega “lite” for a reason, but I really do think a little bit of extra height would go a long way. The pullout on the first drop comes just as the ejector airtime starts, but then the ride pins you down brilliantly on the high-G turn that follows.



Second, I’m not sure whether this has always been the case, but the cable lift slows down significantly approaching the crest, killing the momentum enough to prevent the airtime from truly being “God-tier”. This could be maintenance related (and probably sensible), but it really attenuated the whip over the first drop in the backseat. Not sure it has any real impact on the pacing of the rest of the layout though.



Interestingly, despite being the most intense coaster in Denmark (by quite a margin), I didn’t notice a significant difference in the clientele and popularity of Piraten compared to the other attractions in the park. Perhaps because of its diminutive height and lack of inversions, the ride doesn’t seem out of place at all.



I’d be very interested to ride Goliath at Walibi Holland to see what a difference that extra 50ft of height makes!





You just need to look at the hair to see how much ejector airtime there is on this thing!



See? There's even airtime on the last hill!











Bonus points for being stabbed in the back by a toy sword brandished by one of the ride ops. For some reason, the park insists on giving all the ride staff zany props depending on which area of the park they work in. The costumes are good enough, but the accessories are a cute extra touch. Think my favourite has to be the Skatteøen crew's Kraken hats, which you can just about see here:



The Thor’s Hammer outfits are probably the best complete package though:



The swords seem really inconvenient, but whatever!

Back on topic, we then headed over to Skatteøen to get our final cred of the day :(




I've always liked the look of these Mack water coasters and really enjoyed the Orlando version of journey to Atlantis. However, whilst the SWO ride is a solid water ride with coaster elements thrown in to surprise you, Skatteøen felt a bit like the awkward lovechild of a water ride and a coaster that tried hard to be both and ended up being good at neither. The flume portion of the ride was short, not particularly well themed and the splashdown leaves you bone dry. Whilst the main drop and hill are fun, the coaster section is too short and drawn out to make up for it. The two sections combined are enough to give a ride which is about average but just feels really disappointing.



To be fair to the thing, it's a solid family attraction, but I just feel it's a jack of all trades but a master of none.



At least it looks the part!





The flat spot at the start of the drop pretty much kills any possibility of airtime. Anyone got any idea why Mack water coasters are profiled with this? Maybe it's a maintenance thing, to reduce stress on the upstop wheels (for reference, there's very little airtime on the bunny hill too).

With all the creds polished off and a cheeky +7 to our name, we went back for rerides and the filler attractions we missed first time around. The park's surprisingly massive and features plenty of picnic space, playground equipment and self-operated rides (all of which would last about a week if they were subjected to the UK GP). This made Djurs really refreshingly different to all the other parks on the trip.

We had a hilarious time on Solguden (next to Juvelen), mostly because of its ridiculously catchy soundtrack, which I'll link if you want to get something stuck in your head:



It was well themed and came with some water effects too!


Yeah, I'm pretty sure that song kept me up that night.

There was also a relatively new Gerstlauer Troika next to piraten, which was also a laugh. I think they had the same model at Liseberg - and both were really surprising forceful and fun, running good length cycles.



There was also a chair swing that had a backwards setting. Lovely stuff.



The other water rides were good too, with the rapids being fast, fun and just the right amount of wet.



In general, I'd say the western and African themed areas were in need of the most TLC. With very few major attractions and theming which was clearly sub-par compared to the rest of the park, I'd hope the park views these areas as sites for near-term investments. The Rio Grande rapids looked good, but the African land was particularly humbled by the theming on the newer attractions.

The larger log flume has 3 drops, all of which throw you around a lot with no restraints in sight.



All things considered, it's a really good attraction and certainly doesn't receive the attention it deserves. A hidden gem for sure, a bit like the whole park really.

There's also this incredibly cute baby log flume:



In true enthusiast style, we ended up getting so distracted by whoring Piraten in the “magic seats” of the penultimate row that we ended up missing the bus back. Djurs closed at 8 that day, which was apparently the same time bus departed. What were we supposed to do, leave before closing???

Overall Djurs Sommerland is everything Chessington should be (and isn't), so a fantastic park which is definitely worth a visit! One thing that became quite apparent to me after visiting is that there are very deliberately no inverting rides in the whole park? I feel like as a family park it doesn't need any - making it possibly the best park in the world not to have a single inversion. There are obviously some gaps in its line up, which feels like a bit of an Intamin catalogue at the moment. For example, it hasn't yet got a good dark ride (unless I missed it?) or a drop tower. Both a small GG and/or a larger GCI like mystic timbers would be very much at home here too! I’d be really interested to see if they do go for an inverting coaster in 2022. If they do, I’d imagine it’ll be smaller and more compact side to make it less imposing – perhaps a smaller Gerstlauer infinity coaster. However, in my personal opinion, that large woodie or dark ride would be a more suitable investment for the park.

But honestly, the place is worth visiting for Tigeren and Piraten alone. The overall scorecard then:

Juvelen X 2
Thor's Hammer X2
Vilde Zierer Force Thing X2
Tigeren X 5
Pirafive
Drage Kongen X 3
Jungle Rally X 1
Skatteøen X 1

If anyone wants to duplicate the itenary/travel arrangements, PM me and I can send them over!
 
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Hutch

Well-Known Member
Thanks for reaching into the backlog and giving the trip reports section some content. Must be nice to reminisce about pre covid times!

Really like the look of Djurs, didn't realize how nice it is! And Piraten just looks like pure fun. The fact that the pullout of the first drop is tighter than the top of the hill cracks me up.
 

CoasterCrazy

Active Member
Thanks for reaching into the backlog and giving the trip reports section some content. Must be nice to reminisce about pre covid times!

Really like the look of Djurs, didn't realize how nice it is! And Piraten just looks like pure fun. The fact that the pullout of the first drop is tighter than the top of the hill cracks me up.
Thanks! Looking back at all the crowds is definitely giving me mild anxiety over the lack of social distancing! At the current rate of expansion, Djurs is certainly a park I'd love to revisit in a decade or so.

Bakken – 11th August 2019

We’d been extremely lucky with weather the entire trip and true to form, it absolutely chucked it down as we made the bus journey over to Copenhagen the next day. For anyone else considering doing it, we took the Flixbus route 999/bus 180. It takes the best part of a day, but some of the scenery, particularly the ridiculously massive Great Belt Bridge, is stunning (or at least would be in the sun…). Honestly quite a pleasant experience, especially given how it seemed the coaster gods were smiling on us.







Anyway, once we arrived in the city we met up with a friend and went for a night out in the gorgeous city. My bank account tells me I won't be doing that again soon!



Found some home comforts as well...



Knowing Tivoli gardens was the better of the 2 parks and the weather was supposed to be better the day after, we decided to take a quick train to Klampenborg and hit Bakken first.




First impressions were quite underwhelming if I'm honest. There were no signs we'd actually reached the place until we were stood right next to it, and even then it looked like more of a travelling circus. As entry to the amusement park is free, there was no real entrance plaza - you just go in through one of the many paths and find the nearest place selling wristbands. On the other hand, it was refreshingly different and great to see that even after almost 450 years, the property has still retained some kind of old-school feel. For those unaware, Bakken is the oldest operating amusement park in the world – opening way back in 1583!

Because of its compact size and lack of entrance fee, it was very hard to gauge the park’s popularity. It seemed like Bakken was relatively near hitting capacity (all the walkways were rammed), but none of the attractions had more than a 10-minute wait. I think small paths can be deceiving!



We arrived later in the day and the queues didn’t seem to be too bad, so no running straight to the back of the park this time. We headed straight to the first coaster we saw, which was Mine Train Ulven.



And yes, there are three of us now and will be for the rest of the trip!



This is the only coaster visible through the trees and has a lovely setting. It’s the only ride in the park that doesn’t feel in any way claustrophobic:



This deceivingly small coaster actually packed quite a punch. With most of the layout obscured by dense forest you can't really gauge what to expect. So it was a really pleasant surprise to discover a long, winding layout with some forceful helices and even a few tunnels chucked in for good measure. Some nice pops of airtime scattered around too. Really enjoyable family coaster with no theming, but a great location. Unexpectedly fast too - it reaches 40mph, but due to the forest setting, it definitely feels quicker than that!



Next up: The circa 1932 Rutschebanen




I’d never ridden a scenic railway, or any kind of side friction coaster, before and was intrigued to find out how they rode. Clearly I picked a bad first example. I knew enthusiasts were bitter when they replaced the original trains and adjusted the layout, but I couldn't really understand how giving an 80 year old coaster a facelift could be such a terrible idea. But the trims. Oh god the trims. After riding this, I don't think I can complain about B&M trims ever again. Every time the ride started to build some momentum, there was a trim to bring the coaster to a virtual standstill. Every single corner had a trim, even the pre-drop. It was rough too, but it was very bearable and nothing unexpected for a coaster of its age. The drop, double down and the 2 airtime hills were enjoyable, but had quite clearly been neutered. A real shame, especially given the standing airtime which apparently existed on the double down during its glory days.





The first drop is very...bouncy, let's just say!





The KumbaK trains aren't even particularly comfortable either!





It looks so promising doesn't it?



At least someone enjoyed it?

Looking to make amends, we headed over to Tornado, the (in)famous Intamin spinner. Looking through the creds before the trip, I figured this one was the most likely to be down, so I was relieved to see it operating. Yet another Intamin coaster – the 5th of the trip so far.



What to say about Tornado? +1? It was an experience. Been there, done that. From the moment the lift hill goes into overdrive, the ride is undoubtedly very intense and there’s nothing else quite like it. This is one of the snappiest coasters I’ve ever ridden – sudden directional changes are definitely the ride’s USP. But it wasn't the intensity that I had a problem with (in fact, I would even say I liked it), it was just that the layout just...wasn't particularly good? It’s almost impossible to keep track of the sequence of elements, but it feels like it’s literally just 180 degree turns. They’re all reasonably forceful, but I’d say the intensity comes from the fact the forces are sustained throughout the entire layout, with no respite or diversity of elements. Oh, and the spinning. It spins A LOT, but that alone didn’t put me off it.



Roman makes his thoughts pretty clear in that photo...

The lift is fun, and with the rate you ascend it, there's a cute pop of airtime over the top. It’s more of a launch really! The rest is then a blur. It's just a constant series of direction changes and a few decently fun helices until you're there, on the brake run, spinning around in a teacup, wondering what the hell just happened to you.



Oh, and the restraints are pretty vile for a ride of its type.

The start and end of the ride are definitely the highlights of the ride! I really liked the whip over the top of the lift, and the first drop feels much bigger than 40ft.



I rerode it later, thinking that after having made a bit of sense of the layout, I might enjoy it more, but I didn't. I wouldn't call it rough (though it wasn't smooth), but it just felt like it was trying to jerk you around as much as possible. Although I really enjoyed the general theme of the ride where it was present, the bland interior made it feel even more like the inside of a washing machine.There are far too many jerky s-bends, and they really rough you up.



Going further round the park, we opted to give the sky roller a try. I couldn't get the hang of the one at Tivoli Friheden and sure enough, I couldn't get anything out of this one either.



Until I tried it later, that was. It's funny, because if you don't have the knack, these are some of the most sedate rides in the world. When you do, they're just mind bogglingly insane. The elevation of the ride really makes a difference too!

If you've not managed to spin one of these yet, don't worry about it - it's a difficult skill which from my experience, is all about timing and weight distribution. After an embarrassingly large number of attempts where I knackered myself, I found that the key to it all was to relax and focus on changing direction as suddenly as possible, just before you hit apogee. Once you've spun once, keep your weight distributed in the direction of spinning and then you just don't stop. And it's joyous.



Biggest achievement of the trip 😅 Found I couldn't achieve it consistently though, mind you. For some reason, it’s significantly easier in the inner seats. Whilst shifting your weight round is a little uncomfortable in the OSTRs, the experience that follows is absolutely worth the effort!

We headed down the amusement style midway in search of the next cred, the wild mouse. Before that, we thought we'd sneak into a few bonus attractions to make the most of our wristbands.



Including of course, squeezing into the tiny Zierer thing (Mariehønen).

Loads of laps and randomly stops on the lift hill mid-cycle, but otherwise just a +1. We followed it up by getting plenty of weird looks on the frog hopper. Lovely stuff.



Had a spin on Extreme too, the other big flat ride at the park. Some good moments, but a bit too uncomfortable for my taste, with no real intensity to it. Can't really remember a lot about it, other than it was a bit vile for no real reward.



After navigating the crowds (social distancing really wouldn’t work well here), we made it over to Vilde Mus, the fourth cred of the day.



It looked cute, but despite only being 8 years old, it was actually quite rough. Enjoyable, but still very middling.



Had a quick go on Double Shot, their miniature S&S shot tower, which turned out to be fairly forceful. As is often the case with these S&S rides, the drop itself was very tame, somehow being even weaker than the kids’ tower nearby.





Yeah, that tiny kids' tower!



But considering the power of the drop, it made for a pleasant surprise. Sadly only one of very few rides which exceeded my expectations for the day.

Then then all of a sudden, it was time for the last cred and oldest steel coaster at the park, Racing:



These Zierer Flitzers are disappearing left, right and centre at the moment, so it was nice to be able to get on one! After a ride, it's not hard to see why. They've done well to pack so much track into so little space, but boy is it rough! Think classic Zierer "vibrating bottomness". The helices were okay, but there were no real redeeming qualities to it. One and done!



I can totally see the appeal of these models in the 1970s, but this particular installation hasn’t aged well at all. At best, it’s a very tame family ride with the novelty of a single-file “bobsled” rider arrangement. So at least you can ride with your young kids?



Feeling fairly disappointed with the park so far, we set off again to complete the loop of the park. Ticked off the pirate ship (mediocre) and the Polyp (good fun).



Even though it was weak, bonus points for actually being a pretty badass-looking dragon?



Left the park’s ghost train, Spogelsesslottet, until last as it was supposed to be the best thing there. From the outside, I wasn't really sure why. Just looked like a pretty standard classic ghost train to me? I knew there was some kind of surprise, but deliberately hadn't read enough spoilers to know what it was. From the outside it didn’t seem up to that much – the façade had that old-school look, but was nowhere near as elaborately themed as some of the travelling editions.



So enough pre-amble, on we went. The doors open in cheesy ghost Train fashion, it's pitch black and there are a few poorly lit props on show. Nothing particularly special or scary, to the extent it actually becomes quite a bore. Which sets you up beautifully for what happens next.



SPOILERS: The anticipation is what makes this ride so good. After another tight corner, your elbow brushes against something, and you think nothing of it. But what then follows is probably the single most terrifying moment I've ever had at a park. The strobe lights flicker and bam, there's a guy in a Michael Myers Halloween mask standing right in front of your face. Absolutely ****ing terrifying, because it's just so unexpected. He comes closer, disappears again, and just when you think it's over, he returns to grab the back of your neck as a parting gift. Noticed on subsequent rides that he's actually wearing a Bakken uniform, which was kinda hilarious. In the UK, I'd have thought they'd need some kind of disclaimer sign about the presence of live actors? That would've totally given the game away, so I'm really glad they didn't have any!

Naturally, the obvious response to being scared sh*tless was to do it all over again. Twice, in fact. Can't say it made it any less terrifying. In fact, it's almost made worse given the anitcipation, and the way he appears in a slightly different place each time. Retrospectively, the mediocre first half is actually fantastically designed to lull you into a false sense of security.



So yeah, whilst most of it was pretty boring, it's kinda hard not to give this a ten!

And If you don't want any spoilers, I will say one thing only, which is that it's comfortably the best ride in the park.

We then ticked off everything else, including almost all the filler attractions. The log flume was faily bland, but decently wet, long and a lot of fun.







Oh, and they have Swans here too. Which Swans? These Swans:



Just swanning in.

Anyway, that was the park complete. Went round again for some rerides (made a poor life choice and gave Tornado another go), before heading back into Copenhagen. Found a food market and a pint of Jakobsen’s gorgeous Yakima IPA. Perfect! Quality, not quantity is the motto.



Scorecard:

Mine Train Ulven x 2
Tornado x 2
Rutschetabhan x 2
Sky Roller x 3
Mariehønen x 1
Extreme x 1
Wilde Maus (?) x 1
Racing x 1
Log Flume x 1
Ghost train x 3

Thoughts on Bakken then? It's a pretty tacky place, that looks and feels very much like a travelling amusement park. But in fairness to the place, it’s an incredibly unique property and doesn't try to be anything it's not. If you were really on a mission to mop up the creds, you’d probably be able to do it in under two hours, even at peak times.

That said, there are some real hidden gems in the park. Mine train Ulven is an excellent family coaster (and just about the best cred there) and the Sky roller is fun, Tornado is "interesting" but of course, the ghost train is the star of the show. A must-ride for new visitors.

With a tidy +6 to our names, we got plenty of rest for the next day - the fabulous Tivoli Gardens!
 

Benenen

Member
Nice, I think that's a fair assessment of Bakken. I enjoyed my time there but I treated it as more of an evening bar crawl with some rides in between. I think if you go to Bakken at opening and hammer out the rides you probably won't have a great time but I think it has a certain charm and there's some lovely little pubs. You're right about the ride line up, it's not fantastic but I'm glad you didn't completely slate Tornado (I really liked it).

Once again thanks for bringing this little ray of sunshine of a trip report to us all, looking forward to hearing about Tivoli.
 

UP87

Member
Rutschebanen in Bakken is really bad with the trims but I'm afraid these are somewhat necessary. Unfortunately the system seemed static to me and just brakes the train to a value that is always safe and doesn't work in reply to the actual forces that occur under the current conditions as a brakeman could (weight, temperature, etc). Rutschebanen at Tivoli Gardens on the other hand still features a brakeman and it's just awesome.

Tornado was okay to me. But my girlfriend got some hits from the restraints. I didn't go for a reride without her. So I'll remember it as quite forceful but rather boring aside of the surprising lift - even though I knew before.

I have to say I really liked racer. It's basically just a long right turn with a single left curve thrown in. I'd be sad if all of those retro coasters were gone. I remember it as rather smooth though. This one has a brakeman sitting at the end and you can get some fun interaction with him :)

And a good thing we did do the ghost train. Otherwise I'd be sad now. I agree with you: It's really an experience to remember.

When I thought about what I considered the best coaster at Bakken I remembered I did one of my few Reddit posts on that. So... It was Mine Train Ulven :D
 

Benenen

Member
All this talk of the ghost train, I'm assuming it sometimes runs with live actors? I visited last June where this wasn't the case and I found it one of the worst ghost trains I've been on. Not a lot of theming and sets and more just a few startling noises. What was it like with the actors and what sort of scenes did they create?
 

CoasterCrazy

Active Member
Nice, I think that's a fair assessment of Bakken. I enjoyed my time there but I treated it as more of an evening bar crawl with some rides in between. I think if you go to Bakken at opening and hammer out the rides you probably won't have a great time but I think it has a certain charm and there's some lovely little pubs. You're right about the ride line up, it's not fantastic but I'm glad you didn't completely slate Tornado (I really liked it).

Once again thanks for bringing this little ray of sunshine of a trip report to us all, looking forward to hearing about Tivoli.
All this talk of the ghost train, I'm assuming it sometimes runs with live actors? I visited last June where this wasn't the case and I found it one of the worst ghost trains I've been on. Not a lot of theming and sets and more just a few startling noises. What was it like with the actors and what sort of scenes did they create?
That's clearly where we went wrong! Would've been a great place for a bar crawl, although not sure I'd have wanted to do Tornado or the Sky fly! You're completely right about the ghost train though - other than "that bit", it really is a bit rubbish. But the contrast is what makes it so terrifying. If you'd already experienced a bunch of jumpscares beforehand, you'd be expecting it and the effect wouldn't be the same? Thanks!

Rutschebanen in Bakken is really bad with the trims but I'm afraid these are somewhat necessary. Unfortunately the system seemed static to me and just brakes the train to a value that is always safe and doesn't work in reply to the actual forces that occur under the current conditions as a brakeman could (weight, temperature, etc). Rutschebanen at Tivoli Gardens on the other hand still features a brakeman and it's just awesome.

Tornado was okay to me. But my girlfriend got some hits from the restraints. I didn't go for a reride without her. So I'll remember it as quite forceful but rather boring aside of the surprising lift - even though I knew before.

I have to say I really liked racer. It's basically just a long right turn with a single left curve thrown in. I'd be sad if all of those retro coasters were gone. I remember it as rather smooth though. This one has a brakeman sitting at the end and you can get some fun interaction with him :)

And a good thing we did do the ghost train. Otherwise I'd be sad now. I agree with you: It's really an experience to remember.

When I thought about what I considered the best coaster at Bakken I remembered I did one of my few Reddit posts on that. So... It was Mine Train Ulven :D
It's such a shame to see that Rutschebanen was such a shadow of its former self, but I suppose they probably did do the best job they could to keep it within the safety margins? I imagine the trains are a little more comfortable now too. I wasn't expecting Mine Train Ulven to be the best ride there either!

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Tivoli Gardens – 12th August



Frome one historic Copenhagen theme park to the next. Having thoroughly pigged out on the hostel buffet breakfast, we made the short stroll over to the park. Before seeing it in the flesh, I hadn't quite clocked just how centrally located the place was – Tivoli Gardens is nestled beautifully into the city centre, offering fantastic views of the city skyline on any ride over about 20ft. Compared to Bakken, the park is “only” 176 years old.



It’s also important to point out that as the name implies, Tivoli Gardens is not *just* a theme park. The rides are packed into the back of the property, whilst the front is home to the famous gardens, restaurants and entertainment venues that exude so much of the park’s charm. With relatively little space available for the rides, the back section of the park is extremely dense, but not in a claustrophobic way. Whilst attendance is sky high (Tivoli is the 5th most visited park in Europe), most of the visitors come for the culture rather than the rides, leaving queues for attractions relatively light. The pricing structure reflects this, with ride wristbands being an optional extra on top of the base price of an entrance fee.



The lovely entrance plaza really sets the tone for the rest of the park. I’ll share some photos of the front of the park to seem cultured, but I’m not going to pretend I didn’t head straight to the the creds…



Park video (this one is one of my favourites):


The first ride of the day then:
Rutschebanen (the good one)



After the disappointment of the younger, but more heavily modified scenic railway in Bakken, my expectations for this one had fallen somewhat. However, it was great to see this one was still running brakeman-style trains and with its gorgeous mountain façade, it was hard not to love this ride. Boarding the ride felt like entering a time machine; I imagine very little has changed since it opened all the way back in 1914(!) and it rode exactly how I wanted and hoped it would.



What struck me most was just how smooth it was, whilst at the same time maintaining that classic rickety wooden feel. The turns were taken at the perfect speed to generate some good laterals and whilst there was nothing even approaching ejector airtime, there were pops of floater on almost every hill and drop. I think that's the real advantage of a brakeman – the ability to maintain consistent pacing. I’d say this is easily one of the best paced coasters rides I’ve ridden, with the tighter hills and drops being just as much fun as the larger, swooping elements of the first half. It doesn’t seem to bleed momentum at any point in the layout, maintaining a nice level of intensity throughout its long layout.



I know it hasn’t always been in such a good state of repair – but the way it is now is absolutely perfect!



The brakemen are immaculately dressed too...

Despite being considerably smaller than its Bakken counterpart (by about 30ft), the mountain façade made it feel so much more impressive. It truly is a “scenic railway”, with the turns taken at just about the right pace to view the scenes surrounding them. Another thing to consider is that this ride is an absolute capacity monster! Having a brakeman in the trains massively inflates the number of “block sections” on the attraction, so with separate load/unload platforms and a rolling station regularly achieving sub-20 second dispatches, the ride is apparently capable of 3,200 riders per hour. Based on my experience, I don’t at all doubt that.

Next up we decided to try Minen, a unique blend of a shooter and water ride. Even if the shooting aspect was a bit naff, I really enjoyed the jewel mine theming, and there were a couple of quite decent drops too!



Making our way over to the rest of the creds, we ticked off a few of the park’s flat rides:



Tik Tak is the park’s newest flat ride and incredibly good fun. Put quite simply, it’s effectively spinning teacups on steroids (and OSTRs). With so many different axes of rotation, it feels extremely frantic, with some excellent forces on offer. Whilst the ride platform rotates reasonably quickly, the cars themselves are quite lethargic to flip, leading to some great hangtime whilst moving around at considerable pace. Not too nauseating, but not something you’d want to walk straight back onto.



There's not much theming surrounding the ride itself, but this park is all about the little touches. I really dig the retro look of this flat!

Wasn’t that impressed with Aquila, the park’s Zamperla Air race. It looks lovely, but in my humble opinion never really got going. The intensity wasn’t quite there!



As with so many of the rides in the park, Aquila is incredibly compact, with the entirety of the queue, entrance and exit below the ride.



Had a go on the Galley ships – a pretty standard experience for a ride of its type. But check out the theming on this! It elevates the ride immensely. There was smoke too!



With the Star flyer closed and Mælkevejen, the new powered coaster, still under construction, we headed over to the Chinese themed area of the park. Amazing that this was our only “spite” of the trip, and not even that!



Noooo - we trusted you Mack! But is it even a spite if the cred is still under construction? Not really in my book. Thought we'd only missed opening by a month or so, but the ride ended up opening in November, 3 months later than our trip.



This of course meant Dæmonen, the World’s smallest, but most picturesque B&M floorless coaster!




Putting its fabulous setting aside, I’m not going to pretend this coaster is anything particularly special. Given the limited space available however, the designers did an excellent job. The pre-drop section is a good teaser and the next 4 elements are thoroughly enjoyable. The drop is entered at a good speed, offering some good floater leading into a solid vertical loop. The snappy immelman (which is shaped more like a Jr immelman really) is probably my favourite part of the ride, with a surprising amount of intensity. The zero-G roll that follows is nice and floaty, with some great views over the water. The next few turns don’t really offer much, before a little pop of air into the brakes.





It’s a little bit rough around the edges, but overall excellent fun, even if it is only really 4 elements.





And of course, the setting is stunning. A little bit less impressive in person due to the small size of the boating lake, but still beautiful when viewed from the bridge.





Oh, and it had VR too:



But with it being Scandinavian prices and all that, we didn't bother in the end.





And have a few more photos of this beautiful coaster:















It's got a fabulously well-disguised maintenance building too!

Completing the coaster line-up, we decided to suck up the weird looks and ride Karavenen:



It’s cute, it’s smooth and it was new for 2019! What’s not to love?






Next up: Golden Tower (Det gyldne tårn), the park’s ft 206ft tall S&S Turbo drop. Having been consistently underwhelmed with the forces on the giga combo towers, I was really impressed with the intensity of this one and its panoramic views!



Probably the second best drop tower on the trip, just a shade behind Tivoli Friheden's!



We then had a go on Fantamorgana, a weird hybrid Huss Condor ride. Good fun, but sadly not quite tall enough to provide the views I was expecting.



Good all-round family fun though!



Then onto Monsoon – I really nice inverted Zierer magic carpet ride running a really long cycle.





Then finally, it was time to ride what we truly came for. Or rather, stand in the painfully slow-moving queue beneath Vertigo for over an hour, as only one of the arms was running.




Vertigo, in (half of) its glory!



But in fairness, if I had to choose a flat ride to stand under for so long, I would probably choose this one! It really does make you think twice about choosing to ride it…



I’m quite surprised such a well-attended theme park decided to build such a low capacity ride. But I’m so bloody glad they did!



After just the one ride, I’m convinced this is the most intense flat in the world. Did it exceed my sky-high expectations of it? Not quite, but I’ve never ridden anything like it. The ride cycle is a bit more complex than I originally thought, rolling you several times on the ground before gently twisting through the sky on the first few revolutions. This part I really enjoyed, as it really gives you a chance to appreciate the height of the ride with some fantastic hangtime. It sets you up beautifully for the main event.







Slowly, but surely the ride goes up the gears until the point of sheer insanity. I can confirm it’s just as insane on-ride as it is off-ride. The ridiculous G forces and sensation of speed make it something else! After a few revolutions, you completely forget your blurred surroundings and just live in the moment.



Even if it’s only 100ft tall and 60 mph, it feels like so much more!







Then at the start of the evening, the winds finally died down enough to allow the star flyer to finally open up. I was really pleased to be able to film it running – but less pleased that I actually had to ride it. I’m absolutely ****ing terrified of these things. With the minimalist restraints, they’re just so disconcerting! The wind was still pretty strong, but the early evening views of Copenhagen were absolutely stunning, making the experience worthwhile. Wasn’t up for rerides though.





Some shots of the ride at dusk:



Did I mention how much I love the architectural styles at the park? Take these lights for instance - ridiculously stylish! You don't see these little details at 99% of other parks!



Of course, the park truly comes to life at night! Some of these photos came out beautifully on my Pixel 3, and I'm really proud of them!







Yeah, I probably should've ridden it again in the dark...ah well!













After a quick round of rerides, we nipped back to try Vertigo again just before closing time, but to no avail. However, to make up for it, we were treated to a surprise light show right at the end of the day, right over the boating lake:



Magical!



Thoughts on the park then? It’s an absolutely stunning property, with fantastic attention to detail and some real gems. Whilst the calibre of the coasters is greatly limited by the available space, the park works extremely well with what they’ve got. Rutschebanen, Vertigo and Tik tak are the undoubted star attractions of the park, backed up by an extremely well-rounded set of filler attractions. Combine that with the atmosphere and you’ve got an absolutely fantastic park that’s difficult not to love.

And finally, "the money shot" (aka my new laptop lock screen):

 

JamesB

New Member
Great photos and report, especially the 'money shot'! Did you go on the dark ride which is sort of their own version of It's A Small World? It's such a beautiful park.
 
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