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Eye of the Taiga – Finland July 2019

JamesB

New Member
Moi! For those who don’t know me I’m James, I’ve been a member here a long time and trying to get into posting a bit more. I am currently based near Portsmouth, funnily enough the place where my love of roller coasters and all things related began. My dad often recalls the infamous tale of me getting of the roller coaster at Clarence Pier white as a sheet... and then declaring I wanted to do it again! The sign of a true adrenaline junkie.

I’ve recently returned from an amazing trip over to Finland, mainly in the pursuit of creds and a bit of culture on the side. In this post and the following I will cover my trips to Linnanmaki and Sarkanniemi and perhaps throw in some photos of Helsinki at the end!

July 15th: Linnanmaki
My original plan had to be to do Linnanmaki on my birthday, the 16th. However the weather forecast was looking rainy so I decided to head straight to the park after checking into my Airbnb. I had already spotted some of the creds on the train ride from the airport to the city centre. That always adds a good bit of anticipation!
The park was reasonably busy with Taiga having a queue up to an hour most the afternoon with other main rides around 30-45 minutes. Let’s have a look at the coasters first...



Kirnu
I wasn’t sure of what to expect of Kirnu given I’d heard mixed things about it. For me it was a big ‘meh’... it was intense but not necessarily in the right way. The flipping at the end of the ride is something you really have to prepare yourself for.





Ukko
Ukko is one of the most visible rides in the park being big and yellow. It looks pretty impressive off ride. On ride it offers yet again some incredible intensity as it races through the station and back again. I enjoyed it aside from the clunkiness of it, including the stop on the lift hill at the end.



Salama
Pretty much an ‘off the shelf’ spinner. The first drop offers some Gs and speed, after that it really just loses any momentum and trundles through the rest of the course.





Taiga
This is what I came for! After two rides Taiga has sailed to my #2 sitting comfortable below Helix. Taiga just dominates the skyline on that side of the park with its roar and tangled mess of track. The two launches are incredible and just the amount of rush to be enjoyable. The first half of the ride rode perfectly however after the top hat the ride became incredible rattly for me. I could feel the cars and headrest vibrating under the speed and turns of the track. This was my first Intamin Blitz so I’m unsure if the others ride like this?
That said, the park have done an amazing job of the build up to the ride. The queue under the ride where you can hear the launches and screams accompanied with the rides soundtrack playing really gets you pumped for the ride. The locals seem to be lapping this ride up. I should note here that one thing Linnanmaki really lacked was music around the park, I noticed none of the rides were playing any music or sounds in the queues aside from Taiga.

















Pikajuna
A cute powered coaster located right next to Taiga giving great views in the queue and on ride. Not a lot else to say here!

Vuoristorata
Very similar to the Woodie at Tivoli, this is a brakeman operated Wooden Coaster. Off ride it looks a fun ride, it gains a good amount of speed but unfortunately the breaking cuts out just about any air time going over the hills.



Linnunrata eXtra

This is an indoor family coaster which has been given the VR makeover. This was my second coaster with VR and I actually really enjoyed it. The boarding for each ride was done quickly, the goggles were on the seat ready for you to put on and then choose which film you wished to experience. I found myself gripping the handlebars as I whizzed through a Haunted House.

Tulireki

This delightful coaster offered me a near spite. Earlier in the day I was stood in the line for 20 minutes when it decided to break down on the MCBR and the ride was shut down. Lucky for me the ride was reopened and I got to experience this delight of ride design. I really hoped you picked up the sarcasm there. What was Mack thinking building this monstrosity? Rip it down already. It rode like a wild mouse crossed with a Vekoma SLC. Enough said.



Aside from the credits I also had time to ride a few of the flat rides. I did the Monorail which allowed me some great views of Taiga and the rest of the park. Kingi the Moser drop tower provided views over the city before a terrifying drop. Magia is a Heavy Rotation ride from Technical Park. Starting with very intense spins as the ride platform raises in the air, this was a lot of fun as it started to rain! Last but not least there was the Haunted House which offered standard fare for these types of rides.







Final ride count:
Kirnu x 2
Ukko x 2
Salama
Taiga x 2
Pikajuna
Vuoristorata
Linnunrata eXtra
Tulireki
Monorail
Kingi
Magia
Haunted House

Thanks for reading - up next will be Sarkanniemi.
 
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Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Nice report. It's good to hear reviews of the park - I'm looking at a visit next spring, so your thoughts will prove valuable.

Looking forward to the next bit.
 

JamesB

New Member
18th July: Sarkanniemi
On the fourth day of my visit I ventured to the next theme park: Sarkanniemi. The park is easily doable as a day trip from Helsinki, the train takes just under 2 hours and can be easily booked online. The train journey itself was beautiful passing many lakes and little towns on the way. Once in the city of Tampere, the park is about a 30 minute walk from the station or there are buses available too.

I got to the park for 11 when the aquarium, observation tower, planetarium and farm attractions open. I did the first two of these before the theme park opens at 12. The aquarium is quite small but houses a good range of species. The observation tower is huge and provides great views over the city and the lake which the park is located on. You can buy a wristband for either the theme park or one that covers all the attractions.



There are 4 credits in the above photo!

Sarkanniemi is home to 6 credits, let’s have a look at them in the order I rode them...

Hype
I’ve always been a bit doubtful over Sky Rockets, especially seeing them being installed in bigger parks. Hype is the perfect fit for the park in terms of thrills and size. You can see the coaster way before you get to the entrance of the park. I loved my first experience of a Sky Rocket, the launch is so forceful and the transitions through the elements are well paced unlike Ukko and Kirnu.



Vauhtimato
Everyone needs an Angry Birds themed coaster in their life! This tiny Tivoli is themed to the bag pigs of the game, which came from Finland in case you didn’t know, The park is home to a whole Angry Birds land which is themed very well to the game.



Motogee
Having ridden Velocity and its cousin at Chimelong I was dubious if I would enjoy this ride. The launch is pretty tame and the seats were more comfortable than my previous experiences. Nothing special though. (I managed not to get any photos of this one – sorry!)

Half Pipe
Similar to the one above, I had ridden the same model at Chimelong and hated it! The one here is perhaps better maintained as the ride was intense but still relatively smooth.



Tornado
After Taiga, Tornado was my most anticipated coaster of the trip and it didn’t disappoint. Tornado bears a strong resemblance to both the Nemesis coasters. The station is housed down in a concrete cave before rising up to ground level on the lift hill. Tornado features 5 inversions including a riveting twist which flies through the station. The trains are incredible comfortable and I experienced no head banging at all on my three rides. Tornado has now placed at #8 in my top 10. It seems a shame that Intamin built so few of them.





Trombi
Trombi was my second Volare, which I had to practically force myself to ride. Burn it down already. In all honesty the park could fit a nice spinning coaster in its spot.



Flat Rides: the park is home to a wide variety of flat rides which I have provided photos of below. X was my particular favourite, being an giant Discovery Revolution. The hang time when upside down is insane on these models. Surge, the Disk-O located right on the edge by the lake also took me by surprise, at some points of the ride you are literally over the water!





Final Impressions: Sarkanniemi is very similar to Linnanmaki in many ways in their evolved funfair style. I would say Sarkanniemi takes the edge overall, with music playing over most the park and generally a positive vibe about the place. The food options are also definitely a lot better here too. I am excited to follow the progress of this park over the next few years. Although space seems limited they could easily remove the Volare and put something better in its spot, same with the Motocoaster.

Final ride count:
Hype x 2
Vauhtimato
Motogee
Half Pipe
Tornado x 3
Trombi
Troika
Take Off
Surge
High Voltage
X
 
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Benenen

Member
Lovely, really enjoyed this report as I had no idea the second park actually existed. This is definitely a trip I want to recreate at some point and I'm sure you've inspired a lot of people to look into going to Finland so cheers for taking the time to share this with us.
 

JamesB

New Member
Lovely, really enjoyed this report as I had no idea the second park actually existed. This is definitely a trip I want to recreate at some point and I'm sure you've inspired a lot of people to look into going to Finland so cheers for taking the time to share this with us.
Thank you! Finland is a beautiful country. There is also PowerPark in the north of the country, it was too far for me to get on this trip. I can only hope I have inspired people to visit, I'm a big fan of the Nordic countries. They have excellent transport links, mostly everyone speaks English and always happy to help. And most importantly they know how to create a great theme park!

To finish the report I'm going to include some photos below for some more inspiration and to share how wonderful Helsinki is with you all! Enjoy...
















Reindeer - a local delicacy! It was extremely tender and delicious.


A flying cinema which was actually quite enjoyable and a good cost for what it was.

 
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