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Monster-Raving Goony Party: Liseberg.


Donkey in a hat
See... 'Monster' because that's the name of the new B&M invert at Grona Lund, 'Monster-raving' because we all really liked it and 'Goony party' because this was a bunch of CF'ers larging it in Sweden for a long weekend. Geddit?
Quite pleased with that title, I must admit. 😁

First of all, the obligatory paragraph detailing all the boring travel stuff:

Eight of us flew to Sweden and met up at Furuvik. Boom. That's that done.

There was me, @DelPiero , @SilverArrow , @chainedbanana , @Mysterious Sue , @Mushroom , @Libby_Liz and @MouseAT .
A fine selection of goons, I'm sure you'll agree.

Soooo, Furuvik then. S'alright. Probably best known for being the place where Alton Towers' Black Hole ended up, and when we booked the trip it was still in situ with its future uncertain but, alas, by the time we got there it had been completely removed. Bit of a blow to the Schwarzkopf fans among us but hey ho, what can you do? Go in and spend a nice couple of hours there anyway, that's what.

Pleasant little park to be fair. Nothing spectacular but clean and tidy, very green and woodland-y and not too busy. In fact, not busy at all, so there was none of that "queue time was advertised at 60 mins so we decided to give it a go" nonsense, we just walked up and rode stuff.




One running theme that might crop up in this report from time to time is funny sounding Swedish words. Here's the first of many:

Apparently, Tivoli means 'funfair' or 'carnival' in Swedish, so this is basically the bit of the park where the rides are at:

With the old Black Hole gone there's currently only 2 creds here, a Vekoma junior Boomerang called Fireball:


We rode it. S'alright. It's a case of 'ridden one, ridden 'em all' with these things innit. You know exactly what you're gonna get with a junior Boomerang - a smooth, comfortable and reasonably fun family coaster, nothing more, nothing less. Perfectly adequate for small parks like this. Big smiles all round:


And then there's Draken, a Zierer Force One:



It was alright.

Other stuff we rode included the fairly obligatory chair swings:


A Mondial Topscan. Been years since I've ridden one of these, so that was quite nice:


And a creepy, dark ride shooter:


It was alright.

We also rode what are undoubtedly the world's slowest bumper cars and a small, very underwhelming drop/bounce tower and.... actually I think that might be everything? Like I said, there's not a great deal here to be honest. We did, however, see some more amusing Swedish words like: 20220707_101624.jpg


And that was pretty much it from Furuvik. A very pleasant afternoon for sure and a great little warm-up park to get us ready for what would be a fairly full-on few days. When you get to a certain age bracket you need to pace yourself, it's important not to go too big too early. I may have been the oldest of this particular group but let's face it, none of this lot are Spring chickens anymore, are they? 😉
I wouldn't call Furuvik a must-visit park, definitely not worth flying to Sweden for alone, but only being an hour from Stockholm means it can be a nice little add-on to any Grona Lund trip. Of course, next year will see the arrival of The Black Hole's replacement, some sort of launched family roller skater from Vekoma which will undoubtedly make the trip that little bit more worthwhile.
It looks alright.

And with that it was back to the car for the short drive to Stockholm for food and drinks and larking around. Speaking of the car, one of the great things about Sweden is that you get decent rental cars. Check this out:
Brand new Jeep Compass hybrid with 10km on the clock, it was. Nice! Much better than the tin-pot Korean crap they fob you off with in France and Belgium, that's for sure.
Swedish car guy tried to sell it me as an upgrade at first (I'd only booked a basic Merc A class) which I declined, but then it turned out that Merc was due a service so he gave me the upgrade for free anyway. Ta very much, I said. 👍

En route, another funny Swedish word was spotted:

Hotel for the next 2 nights was in the heart of Stockholm, a short ferry ride away from the amazing Grona Lund. But that was for tomorrow. Tonight, after checking in, a quick change, a brush of the teeth and a swill of the balls, it was back out for dinner and drinks at Miss Behave's Bar. Nice little place it was, on the boardwalk with a rather splendid view:

Happy goons.

Some hot air balloons floated overhead too. Here is a picture of a Shrek one:

Even our hotel room had a view of Grona Lund, looking resplendent with all its lights twinkling in the distance:

Sleep that night would be minimal thanks to it being hot, humid and the tendency of partygoing Stockholmers to sing ABBA songs in the street til the early hours but it didn't matter, tomorrow would be a monstrously good day.
In the next part then, fairly predictably... Grona Lund.

*Footnote. Apart from the first one and the last couple, none of the photos in this report are mine so big thanks to Mark, Emily, Tom, Sue, Harry, Liz and Andrew for letting me lift them from the group chat. 😁
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Strata Poster
Big smiles all round:

The kid in the glasses definitely is NOT a goon in the making.


Donkey in a hat
'Ello you slaaaags!


Day 2: Grona Lund.
Not gonna lie, the exact sequence of events on Grona Lund day eludes me somewhat. See, they've got this double-shift thing going on. You can't just buy a day ticket anymore, you have to pick a morning or an evening session, either 10.00 - 15.30 or 16.30 - 22.00.
European Coaster Club (ECC) membership would give us free access to one of those sessions... or so we thought. Some of the group needed all the creds, some of the group just needed the new cred, but some of the group also needed some of the assorted Stockholm culture too. Y'know, museums n stuff ... 😴
There was a bit of faff and indecision at this point: do we cred run the morning session and then those that want to do culture afterwards can do so? Or do we split up and do the museums and stuff in the morning and then regroup later for the evening session? Or what?
Turns out, after a brief conversation with ticket office guy, on this occasion they'd let us have the morning and the evening session for free. I'm not sure whether that's standard practice for ECC members or whether we just caught ticket office guy in a particularly generous mood that day, but either way... result! So, we all decided to do the morning session to start with and 'see how it goes'.
Needless to say, 'it went'.
Really rather well, actually.
So well, in fact, that after a fabulous morning of loads of rides, minimal wait times and lots of cocking about, all eight of us decided that we'd come back and do it all again in the afternoon, screw the museums!
As such, it was a really long day and I've totally forgotten the order we did things in or how many times we rode stuff... all I can say is that we did a lot!

Park looks fab. To be fair It looked fab last time I was here too (2016) but now, with the addition of a B&M lift hill and a fourth massive tower ride, the skyline looks even more impressive than before:

One thing I can remember for certain is that we had a couple of goes on Monster first. It was only a short 2 or 3 train wait so why not eh? Some of us went for the back row first (including me), the others choosing to wait a wee bit longer for a front row POV. Next lap saw most of us simply switching ends with a couple of stragglers choosing to go middle. But here's the thing, no matter where people sat and despite it being early morning 'cold' laps, the verdict was fairly unanimous: it's bloody brilliant!


Post-ride chatter among the group was enthusiastic and excitable:
"So good" we said.
"That view from the lift hill, wowzers!"
"How did they even fit it in?"
"What about the footchoppers on that helix?"
"Longer than I expected."
"Did anyone else see that near miss with the tree?"
"OMG - that surprise airtime moment at the end!"
Just a few of the comments I remember being banded around after our first rides.
A resounding hit, then. Despite being one of the smallest B&M inverts out there, I think we all agreed Monster is easily one of the best. It has an intense, action-packed and unusual layout, bags of character and, of course, tonnes of interaction with buildings, other rides, trees, bridges and pathways below. The underground loading station is an engineering marvel in itself:

Undoubtedly the headline attraction that Grona Lund needed. Fantastic stuff.


I think we rode Jetline next. Great coaster this, love a good Schwarzkopf, me.


Amazing how smooth this coaster still is. I mean, you can tell it's an old girl by some of the dated track profiling and occasionally shonky turns but, just like a classic Jaaaag, in a straight line she runs like absolute velvet. We had several rides on this beaut' throughout the day.
Looks like some folks will be uploading POV's to their respective channels soon 😁:

In the meantime, here's a great screen grab that Mushy shared to the group that really shows just how jam packed this park is. Can't wait to watch it, fella (ie hurry up! 😉)

See that small-ish wooden coaster at the back there? That's Twister that is, and it's awesome! Another example of how, with a bit of ingenuity and creative thinking, this incredible park somehow manages to squeeze in loads of brilliant attractions in tiny, tiny footprints. 20220710_214544.jpg


It's tiny - in terms of raw size this thing makes Wicker Man look like El Toro - but it packs an almighty punch, cramming in loads of airtime moments and ridiculously tight turns. And just when you think it's running out of steam and coming to end, nope, a surprise drop comes out of nowhere and off you go again. Fab!

Here is a random goon shot:

Like I said, some of the group needed all the creds so we rattled off the +1's next. There was Kvasten, a standard Vekoma SFC. It was alright:

And Vilda Musen:
... a Gerstlauer bobsled that is most notable for occupying the same footprint as Jetline and even sharing the same support structure in certain places. Indeed, at first glance it can be quite hard to decipher which was built first.
It also has what is probably the most claustrophobic queueline in the history of the world.
How does it ride? It was alright.
Here is an another cool screengrab from a POV, thanks to Mushroom:

And then... oh dear lord, and then, it was time for Insane. Not for me of course, I'd ridden it before and knew better, as did Delly P and Mouse so we elected not to ride, preferring instead to watch, capture and laugh at the noobs enduring their ritual torture:



Bizarrely, some of them decided to have another go, just to see if one side was better than the other! Spoiler alert: it wasn't. Personally, I wouldn't ride another one of these contraptions even for the +1, but to ride the same one twice in a row is just unthinkable. It's... insane!

Beauty and the beast:

There may also have been a kiddy cred somewhere in there too, but we won't talk about that:

Bla Taget happened at some point. Bloody good ghost train, this, an absolute must-do on any visit to Grona. Such weird, disturbing theming, like something out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Truly the stuff of nightmares:



There's also a really good fun house which, as always, is best enjoyed with a large group of like-minded, childish goons. A right good laugh, this:

High five! 😁


See? I told you this was a busy day... and we're still on the morning session, we haven't even got to the evening yet.

Quick question for the mods: how come I can only attach 30 pictures per post? I've seen other trip reports with loads more pictures than 30, am I doing it wrong? 🤔

Like I said y'all, we did loads more stuff here but CF isn't letting me add any more pictures to this post so I'll finish off the Grona day in the next one.
See ya in a bit.
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Hyper Poster
Quick question for the mods: how come I can only attach 30 pictures per post? I've seen other trip reports with loads more pictures than 30, am I doing it wrong? 🤔

Not a mod but it may be that those reports with over 30 pics have them hosted elsewhere and linked to in the post, rather than uploading them to the forum. That's the case for me anyway!

Glad you all enjoyed Monster. Third behind Nemmy and Montu for me but I haven't ridden Raptor or Banshee... yet!


Donkey in a hat
Not a mod but it may be that those reports with over 30 pics have them hosted elsewhere and linked to in the post, rather than uploading them to the forum.
That might be it, I don't 'host' my pictures anywhere, just drop 'em straight in from the camera album on my phone. In fact, most of these pictures are nicked off of other people's Facebook feeds anyway, soooo... 😝
Thanks for the heads up tho. 👍

Grona Lund cont...

Just look at the size of those f***ing towers!

From left to right we have an old skool Intamin gen 2 drop tower, a new gen Intamin face-down drop tower, a disgusting 400ft Starflyer and an old skool S&S shot tower. Of the four, we rode 2 of 'em, the S&S and the new Intamin. The S&S is probably the weakest of the bunch to be fair, being the smallest and least scary of the lot, but it's still fairly decent as S&S shot towers go.
Ikaros, on the other hand, is Brill! Being face-down on the drop really adds an extra level of intensity and when you're at the top, looking down on the shot tower, yeah it's pretty bloody scary.


Love how they just seem to have bolted it onto the roof of a building with no visible footers or foundations - you can literally walk directly underneath the base of the tower! Freaky!

And then there's this thing. Holy crap, just look at it! 🤮

On my first visit here back in 2016 I just plain chickened out of riding the Starflyer. No thanks. Too high. Too cold. I did sort of regret it afterwards though so this time I was... let's say 'semi keen' to give it a whirl. To be fair, it did occasionally come up in conversation:
"Maybe we should ride the Starflyer... if the queue's not too big?" someone would meekly say.
"I'll ride it someone else does" someone would reply.
"Not a chance in hell" said Tom.
But that's as far as it ever got, nobody would actually step up and commit. And so, alas, it went un-ridden... again. Can't say I'm massively upset about that to be honest but at some point I'd like to be able to say I've done it. Maybe one day...
Apparently Mouse has ridden it before and according to him the views from top are breathtaking but... yeah nah, not this time. We did, however, make up for it by riding the chair swings. Much more our sort of intensity level 😁:
Still a pretty decent view from the chair swings to be fair...

We were having such a lovely day that three of us bought matching Grona Lund gooniform. Less than a tenner each, they were. For Sweden, that's an absolute steal!

If I remember rightly, the early part of the day was finished off with a nice leisurely lunch and beer in one of the on site restaurants - can't remember which one exactly, this place is so confusing - but it was on a bridge with a nice view of Monster.
It was at this point that Harry would earn his temporary (permanent?) moniker of 'Lady Fingers', courtesy of the lovely Swedish waitressing lady! Can't handle his hot jugs, it would seem... 🤣

During the 1 hour 'interval' between opening times, the eight of us slinked off for another cheeky beer (or in my case, a pina colada flavoured cider 🙄) next to the nearby Viking museum and then, come 4.30pm, it was back into Grona Lund for another 5 and a half hours of more rides, some re-rides and a lot more cocking about.
Here is a picture of Harry... sorry, 'Lady Fingers', cocking about with a bag on his head, because.... reasons. 🤷‍♂️

As the afternoon wore on, other rides and attractions were mopped up. Here is a spinny, octopus type thing that we rode:
20220713_072625.jpgIt was alright.

Here is a magic carpet type ride that we rode:
It was alright.
Actually that's not true, it was better than alright, I really rather like these. One of the best airtime machines out there... if they're running properly, which this one was. Did you know Alton Towers had one back in the 80's? One of my favourite rides growing up it was, so I always like to have a rip whenever I see one, y'know, for old times' sake. The only downside with this one was that it had those little nut-crusher bolsters on the seats, so definitely a case of 'brace-brace-brace' here unless you want bruised plums.

Emily found another, well hidden spinny ride on a rooftop that we rode. It was alright:

Not sure what Tom was laughing at here, but it was clearly hilll-arious. Me, probably, being funniest member and all that... 😁

At one point, Delpiero took me in the Tunnel of Love. It was... cosy. 😉




Thanks to Emily, again, more spinning madness was found in the form of a Huss Breakdance. An indoor one, with disco music, no less. Not really cut out for these spin n spew rides anymore if I'm being honest, but you know how Emily just loves her retro spinners so, like the good goons that we are, we all had a go.

Make that 2 goes, the second of which later in the evening was made all the more memorable by watching Tom try to demolish a large kebab & chip dinner while standing in the queue for it! Funniest thing ever! "G'waan lad, shovel it in, you've got about 3 minutes, we're on next!"
Turns out he needn't have rushed - the ride ops were quite happy to let him leave his half eaten kebab and chips in the loose items box! 🤣

They've got one of those walk-through, house of horror things too.

It was... meh. What can I say, I guess this type of thing just 'isn't my bag'. I don't get it. Never have, not sure I ever will. It doesn't matter how you dress it up or how well it's been done, at the end of the day all of these horror maze attractions involve basically the same thing: walking through rooms. That's it. That's all you do - you walk through some rooms. Occasionally some park employee in crap makeup will try and scare you by banging something. Well, forgive me if I remain resolutely non-plussed by such antics. In my book, walking through some rooms does not a worthy attraction make. It's like... it's like having a well themed queueline, but with no ride at the end of it. Like... what's the point? Where's the payoff? You just stumble out into the daylight at the end thinking "Was that it? All I did was walk through some rooms."
And besides, when you've done The Clinic at Walibi Holland, all other scare attractions kinda pale into insignificance really, don't they? (Knowing nod, JC. 😉)
To be fair, some of the others seemed to like it, but me? I thought it was...20220714_004326.jpg

But it's ok, that was not the damp squib that we ended the day on. We followed this up with more rides on Monster:

More rides on Jetline:

More rides on Twister:

More funny sounding Swedish words:


And more beers. We found a nice little beer garden directly underneath Monster's first drop, which was a cool place to hang out for a bit.

You've heard of tree-huggers, meet the B&M huggers. Don't knock it, you get good reiki off a B&M support column. Sense those vibes, man:

I think that just about wraps things up from Grona Lund. What a brilliant day!
Last time I came here I thought it was a decent park, but nothing special. To be fair, that first visit felt a tiny bit rushed, we only had an afternoon there so it was treated more as a cred run than a full park day. This time, with lower crowds, more rerides and plenty of time to explore Grona's many hidden treasures, not to mention two fantastic new additions in the form of Monster and Ikaros, the place has really won me over. I love it!
Cheers Grona. 🍺

We stayed in Stockholm again that night - no driving, yay! - so after park close it was into a convenient bar for, yes you guessed it, more beers. A nice finish to a great day then, we all got pleasantly sloshed. Ended up being quite a late night actually, was well after 1am before we all crashed out. I mean, it's not like we had an early start and a long drive to do the next morning or anything.
Oh, wait... 🙄

In the next part then, an early start and a long drive to Kolmarden.
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Hyper Poster
The starflyer has mint views over the water and gives amazing perspectives of how everything is crammed into a quarter of pleasure beach.

It's also nearly 400ft high and catches the wind every rotation, spinning the seats. 400ft up. We did it just to say we'd done it and don't have to ride it ever again!


Giga Poster
Great read! Sorry I couldn't join... I had work and couldn't take the time of. But at least I did take the time to log onto CF after a looong break to check out how things went 😄

It looks like you had a blast at Gröna Lund! Great park. Even though they've been missing a headliner, the park quite litterally have no bad rides imo. I always have a great time at "Grönan". But now I'm even more intrigued since you're all raving about Monster. Have to go and check it out soon!

Looking forward to the upcoming parts, and read your impressions of Kolmården and Liseberg 🙂


Hyper Poster
As far as I’m concerned, there’s never a bad time to visit the Swedish parks. I always have an amazing time whenever I’m in the country, Stockholm is fab, and collectively Grona Lund, Kolmarden, and Liseberg are some of my favourite places to visit in Europe. Add in a line up of top-tier goons to travel with, and what’s not to like?

Howie said:
Soooo, Furuvik then. S'alright.

^Very good. What he said.

I did arrive later on, so didn’t see too much of the park outside of the ride area, but the whole place seemed pleasant enough, as you would expect from anywhere owned by Parks and Resorts. The ride area is fairly small, but had enough to keep us entertained for a few hours, between our arrival at Arlanda, and our evening in Stockholm. There’s also a bunch of animal exhibits that I didn’t really have the time to explore myself, but didn’t really miss, given that Kolmarden was also on the cards.

Would I bother going back? Unlikely if I was travelling alone, given that it’s a bit out of the way, and I personally prefer not to deal with hire cars in the Stockholm area. That said, if others were going, I’d be game for spending another half day there for the sake of a +1.

Evening meals and drinks in Stockholm were great, with fantastic burgers down by the waterfront, and then the rooftop hotel bar with fantastic views across the water to Grona Lund. Attempts were subsequently made to sleep, with varying degrees of success, before... Grona Lund!

I have a bit of a mixed history with pre-2021 Grona Lund. I could probably go on for paragraphs, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll summarise in a few bullet points.
  • A lot of the appeal of the park lies in the way in which they packed in an insane number of attractions into such a small space.
  • Twister and Jetline are a lot of fun, but not outstanding. The park lacked a real headline coaster.
  • Many of Grona Lund’s best attractions have traditionally been the flat and dark rides. To really appreciate the park, you cannot just cred run the place; You need enough time to take in everything.
  • If the park is really busy, and all of the queue lines are full, few of the attractions are worth an extended wait, and the park becomes unpleasant, rather than fun.
So, what of our 2022 visit, then?

I can safely say that this was the best day I’ve had at Grona Lund, and has made me a firm believer in the park. Monster is the perfect headline attraction for the place; In typical Grona Lund style, it's crammed in to unbelievably small spaces, but fortunately, it's also a step up from B&M's recent mediocrity, and is a damn fine ride. Despite visiting on a Saturday in July, the park wasn't too busy, leaving plenty of time across our two sessions to take in the majority of attractions, including ones I'd forgotten about, or didn't know existed.

In order to properly discuss Monster, we need to discuss two things; How it's presented, and how it rides. From off ride, there's the impressive looking first drop, sweeping round just above the Baltic, and then subsequently twisting and turning through the park, over and through other attractions. Inside, the ride is a bit of a mixed bag, as some of the theming is clearly incomplete. The ride station itself is a full-on Art Deco masterpiece, that gave me major Bioshock vibes, and the entry staircase was similarly good in terms of presentation. A lot of areas are still bare concrete, though, which gave us some laughs. One room had some illuminated mesh grids, prompting comparisons with Helix; Immediately afterwards, we emerged onto a small, bland, concrete rooftop cattlepen, where I immediately joked that we'd found the part themed after Kanonen's old queue. Hopefully they'll finish up the work, and within a year or so, the whole queue will be a lot more immersive. Fortunately, we didn't have to spend a lot of time waiting in it.

As for the ride itself, it's a solid return to form for B&M. Without the space to build large, bland, drawn out elements, they've had to pack the ride full of interesting moments, including floaty airtime, higher intensity turnarounds, and near misses. It's no Nemesis or Katun, but it's definiely one of the best B&Ms I've ridden from the last decade. I came in with moderate expectations, and the ride significantly exceeded them, so props to both park and manufacturer for pulling that off.

As for the rest of the park, with queues varying between walk on and 20 mins for most rides during the day, we had chance to take in most of the major rides, bar Eclipse, and Fritt Fall. I was a little disappointed about not re-riding the former, but I've ridden twice in the past, and given all of the other amazing stuff that we did, I'm fine with that trade-off.

Indoor breakdances with banging tunes, and awesome lighting. One of the best "traditional" ghost trains in the world. One of the best funhouses in the world. A wave swinger that dangles you out over the Baltic. A classic octopus ride that I forgot the park even had. A fab shot and drop tower that had me slightly unnerved. Ikaros, a ride that I was remarkably chilled on, given that I'd already ridden it once, and was aware that, despite the height and tilt, the actual drop is more fun than intense. It's really worth taking the time to do these sorts of side attractions, as they're a really important part of the overall Grona Lund experience.

I suspect there will be plenty more POVs to come, but if you've not already seen Mushroom's POV of Jetline, I'd recommend paying attention to just how much is always going on with the nearby rides during that single lap. If you're looking for something to really sum up the park, that video is probably the closest I've seen so far. No matter where you look, there's always something happening.


Donkey in a hat
Day 3: Kolmården.

Ugh - day 3 fatigue. It's a thing. You know how it goes - for the first couple of days you're all high on adrenalin and excitement. You're on a trip. Buzzin'! You're getting some new creds, you're visiting some cool parks, you're with a bunch of your best mates and, despite lots of travelling, credding, drinking, long days and hot, sweaty sleepless nights, everything is awe-sommmme! We're goons - we're built for this sh**!
But there comes a time when it all catches up with you, am I right? When the stamina and the enthusiasm runs out, when that realisation kicks in that you've only had a total of about 6 hours sleep since you left home and your first and only instinct at this point is to get some rest!
More often than not, that moment comes on the morning of the third day. One night you can handle, no problem. Two nights... it's a stretch, but with a few Red Bulls you can soldier through it, but three nights? Nah man, not at our age. That's when your body says enough is enough, when it tells you to 'slow it down, bell-end.'
But we can't, not today, for today is Kolmården day and Kolmården, which opens at 10am, is a good 2 hour drive away from Stockholm, so realistically we needed to be on the road for 7.30am at the latest in order to be there in plenty of time. Euuch... disgusting! We were still in the pub at 1am remember, and a 3am chorus of 'Dancing Queen' from a bunch of street revellers didn't help in the quest for sleep either. Still, the hotel restaurant opens at 7, at least we'd have time for breakfast, right?

But wait... what's this? We have to be there at 9am, not 10?? You mean... you mean we have to leave at... excuse me... 6.30am? We won't even have time for breakfast. Or a coffee! Why the fu....

"Because we have 30 minutes ERT on Wildfire and a sneaky peak at the workshop, that's why"

"Oh ok then."

Turns out, a few days before our departure, Delly P had dropped Kolmården a little email:
'Hi' he said. 'Me and some of my mates are coming to your fab zoo all the way from England in a few days and we really love Wildfire. Would it be ok if we filmed a couple of on ride POV's?'
It was a long shot to be fair, it's not like there was a large group of us or the vloggers among us had massive YouTube followings or anything, we weren't even there in any official capacity as CF'ers, just eight random goons on a trip. But guess what? They replied promptly:
'Sure, no problem' they said. 'In fact, come an hour early and you can have 30 minutes of Wildfire to yourselves and then someone will take you backstage to the workshop for a look round. Sound good?'
Wowzers, how cool is that? Too bloomin' right it sounded good and it goes without saying that we snatched their hand off.
But at 6.30 that morning, as we stumbled out of the hotel, hungover, bleary eyed and fuzzy headed into the already searing sunshine for our long drive to Kolmården, I think it's safe to say that none of us were 'feeling it' at that point.
Be we did it anyway, cos we're dedicated goons and we made it to Kolmården in time for 9am.


The long trek from here to Wildfire is arduous, a good 15 minute hike. It's hilly, it was hot, it was sweaty, why on earth do we do this to ourselves?

Oh yes, I remember now:

Just look at it!


Ahhh, that's better! It's amazing how a few early morning laps on one of the world's most spectacular RMC's can revive a tired mind. This was just the little pick-me-up that we needed, the spiritual dose of Alka Seltzer that recharged us all. The group was happy again! 😁


Mush' got a rather nice, 5K, wide angle POV on the day too. S'good:

Got a couple of emotional ties to this coaster, I have. Back in 2016 this was my first ever RMC. It was also my 200th cred and it also just happened to be on my very first overseas CoasterForce Live. Here's a picture of me getting the illustrious handshake from the chief:

At the time, Wildfire comfortably made my Top 10. It's a fantastic ride, ain't no doubt about that but... hmm, I dunno. It wasn't quite the instant number 1 smash that I was quietly hoping for. That title had already gone to Helix the day before. Hard to explain why Wildfire didn't quite resonate with me, I think maybe because the ride just didn't surprise me in any way, it rode exactly how I expected it to ride. Amazing, sure, but given all the hype surrounding these new fangled RMC creations at the time, I was kinda hoping for some sort of epiphany, an awakening, an out-of-body, moment of holy enlightenment type thing, rather than just a 'good ride' but no, it turned out it was just a coaster after all. Bloomin' good one, but still just a coaster.
So, the big question then; six years, another 227 creds and 8 RMC's later, how does Wildfire stack up now?
Well, it's bad-ass! Really, really bad-ass. Weirdly, it's somehow more bad-ass than I remember it being. We had 6 or 7 laps on our ERT session, and they were all top notch - fast, forceful and relentless. Just so we're clear, I'm not saying the ride has gotten better with age, far from it, I just think that this time my expectations were calibrated correctly. Without that enormous weight of expectation that is normally placed on one's first encounter with an RMC, I was free to appreciate what Wildfire does offer, rather than what it doesn't. It's a hilarious, gigantic, wild, wooden roller coaster in just about the most gorgeous setting you could imagine... but I know now that it's not a life changing experience, not quite. With that in mind, I loved it. Easily one of the best coasters in Europe and more than worthy of a top 10 placement. Nitpick about the pacing if you like and sure, Zadra might have a better stall, Untamed has better airtime, Goliath has a better first drop and Steel Vengeance has a better everything but there's one thing Wildfire has that none of the others do: the setting. The visuals here, both on and off ride are unparalleled. It's a truly magnificent thing to behold.

To the workshop then! Here are some nerd shots:





It was cool, very interesting. We spent a good 25 minutes rooting around in there. Here are some semi-interesting Wildfire facts we learned on our tour.
• Queue times for Wildfire very rarely warrant 2 train operation, so they alternate the trains on a daily basis to reduce wear and tear on one.
• To clean the track, one pair of steel wheels is fitted to a carriage and then they just send the train round.
• Fitting steel wheels to the entire train would make it run so fast that riding it would very possibly be lethal.
• RMC running wheels are extremely heavy.
• Part of daily maintenance routine involves the staff riding the coaster and looking, listening and feeling for any abnormalities. Nice work if you can get it.
• Touch anything in this workshop and you are instantly smothered from head to foot in axle grease.

All in all, this was a pretty amazing first hour at a park and on balance, I think we all agreed it was totally worth getting up for. I doubt they're reading but if they are - thank you Kolmården. 😁
Happy goons:

Moving on from Wildfire, then. One of the nice things about Kolmården is that the trip report is fairly easy to write. A couple of paragraphs gushing about how good Wildfire is and then you just dump a load of animal photos because... well, it's a zoo.
In that tradition then, here are some random animal photos, largely thanks to Lady Fingers:






Of course, the 'main event' of the animal based attractions is the fab cable car safari. Gets busy this, a really popular attraction that draws much bigger queues than Wildfire. Worth getting out of the way early on in the day:




Gliding silently over the vast safari park gives some amazing views of the animals just going about their business, but also some rather splendid vantage points to snap Wildfire:

It's really good, this. Lasts about 40 mins and as far I'm aware, is the only attraction of its type in the world.

There was a dolphin show too, it was ok. Bit manipulative perhaps, a bit preachy and to be honest most of the show took place on a large screen at the back, punctuated occasionally by a dolphin doing a spinny thing in the water, but effective use of well known movie music meant that it tugged at the heartstrings when necessary.

Ooh dolphin go flippy flippy:

Then a bird show happened. It was nice. Ooh vulture thing go flappy flappy:

And then lunch happened. One of the highlights of any trip to Kolmården is the buffet lunch in that restaurant with the terrace overlooking the glorious panorama of the lakes. The view here is as good as it is from Wildfire's first drop but thankfully you have a little more time to relax and enjoy it from here. It's lovely!

Tired goons. Could have spent the whole afternoon here!

Exhausted from the last three days and now with a belly full of food, this particular goon took the opportunity to 'have an old' and I went back to the car to grab a power nap. There was another longish drive to do this evening and I figured it would be better to do my snoozing now rather than on the road. 😮

I'm reliably informed that the others had a successful afternoon where they saw some more animals, re rode Wildfire (still awesome) and the first timers picked up the pair of +1's.

I'm not an expert on zoos, but this surely has to be one of the biggest and best in the world? The enclosures are vast, all the animals look healthy and happy and the whole place just looks and feels like a natural environment... largely because it is. It's beautiful!
I'm sure there are plenty of bad zoos out there but I'm fairly confident that Kolmården is one of the good ones and you can leave here with a clear conscience.

I'll wrap things up with my favourite ever zoo joke: I went to the zoo the other day and the only animal they had was a small Chinese dog.
It was a Shih Tzu.

Up next. Creepy digs and Skara Sommerland.
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Hyper Poster
Without that enormous weight of expectation that is normally placed on one's first encounter with an RMC, I was free to appreciate what Wildfire does offer, rather than what it doesn't.

^ @Howie you’ve hit the nail on the head here with how your mindset can inform your response to any ride. It’s very easy to have a ‘critical eye’ going in, but with that approach it’s very rare that you’re going to get the buzz of just enjoying rides for what they are.

I think this is why I’m most delighted (“wow that was fun!”) with older, less ‘magnificent’ rides. No expectations, no hype. Just a good time.

Thanks, I enjoyed reading 👍


Roller Poster
Pretty sure I had a nappy nap while the dolphins and birds went flippy flap....

ERT on Wildfire was just incredible, I have so much love for it. That stall 😍


Hyper Poster
I feel like I did the group a bit of a disservice with my Grona post. Reading it again, it reads more like a park review than a trip report. Suffice to say, the group dynamic throughout the day was amazing. Just imagine a bunch of excitable goons, swooning over Monster, grumbling about the impact Jetline's jolts had on our ageing backs, and laughing at the reactions to Insane, whether positive or negative. We had an amazing sit-down lunch in the park's Kryddhyllan restaurant, I staged an intervention to prevent Sue's flip flops from ending up in the Baltic, and Ikaros... well, the video says it all. I think Howie managed to nail the group atmosphere in his reports, and hopefully I'll have some photos online shortly as well that capture a bit more of that delightful stuff.

Anyway, the whole trip moved on to Kolmarden, where Tom, superstar that he is, had managed to sort us out with the early morning ERT for Wildfire. That got our day of to an amazing start, with all of us moving around the train, trying different seats, and with a couple of us filming POVs. Wildfire is perhaps a bit more rattly than I remember it, but it was absolutely hauling through the layout all day, and has some real character. That drop. That stall. That wave turn. That view. Tom's wallet decided it liked the ride so much, it wanted an extended stay in the area. (Props to the ride staff, for locating the wallet the following day, and arranging to mail it back to him!)

Whenever I bring up Kolmarden in conversation, I always sum up the place by saying "go for the RMC, stay for everything else". I then go on a ramble about how great the zoo is, and that whilst you don't necessarily have to stay to closing time, you should never try to cred run the place. Let me be clear, photos and videos do not do the place justice, as they cannot adequately convey the size of the place. Kolmarden isn't a theme park, it's a zoo with a few rides. Ride wise, there's Wildfire, two kiddie creds, a pirate ship that, after three visits, I've still not got around to riding, and that's about it. For me, a typical breakdown of my time on park is around 15-20% Wildfire, 5-10% other creds (depending on queues), and around 70-75% of my time spend focussed on the zoo's animals. The place is huge, it takes around 15 minutes to walk from one side of the zoo to the other, the enclosures are vast, and the area covered by the safari gondolas is almost as large as the rest of the zoo is. Cue lots of time spent wandering around as a group, admiring the animals in their amazing environments.

A typical day at the park goes something like this: Ride Wildfire lots in the morning, before it gets too busy, get the nearby dolphin coaster cred, then head for the safari gondolas before the queue gets too insane. Wander around the animal areas, get some food, see some shows, come back for afternoon rides on Wildfire once it's warmed up. Check out some more animals and ride the other kiddie cred. It's a familiar formula at this point, but after three visits, it has yet to get dull, and it's always great when you're visiting with new people who are experiencing the magic of Kolmarden for the first time.

We were keen to see the dolphin show, as it's due to be removed in the not too distant future. I don't know what the long term plans are for the dolphins if they're leaving the park, but fair play to Kolmarden if they think they can do better for these amazing animals, and hopefully they'll have a bright future ahead of them. I'd seen the show once before, and remembered being quite impressed. Having seen it one final time, it seemed a little disjointed, probably because it's presented in Swedish, and because it's quite stop-start. There are bursts of the dolphins performing, separated with lulls in which Swedish-language video is shown on the giant screen at the back. That said, the moments where the dolphins were making spectacular jumps, and interacting with their trainers or the audience, were amazing as ever. I'm not crying; You're crying.

Howie said:
One of the highlights of any trip to Kolmården is the buffet lunch in that restaurant with the terrace overlooking the glorious panorama of the lakes.

Seconded. The food is good, and the price is reasonable if you're taking the time to properly stuff your face. That's no mere lake, though; That's the Baltic!

Emily was keen to check out the bird show, which was a good call. It's fairly short, but showcases an interesting variety of birds, rather than just the usual birds of prey. Interestingly, they actually fly the birds in and out of the show area, rather than having them all in the area ahead of time, which somehow changes the dynamic of the show a bit, especially when the birds flying past catches the attention and curiosity of a nearby Tapir!

Anyway, a few more animals and an RMC later, we were on the road to Jonkopping, trying to figure out what best to do about food on a Sunday night. With so many places closed, we ended up heading straight for what would turn out to be weirdly creepy apartments, dropping bags, and then making a last minute dash for supplies. As the sun went down, we all settled into one of the apartment kitchens with a load of Pizza Hut pizzas, and Sue's supply of fantastic vegan ice cream. A fab meal later, I was ready to get my head down and try to catch up on sleep, before our double header at Skara Sommerland and Liseberg the following day.
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