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Poland 2019 - Vekoma overload, SBF Visa disgust and more!

witchfinder

Member
Having missed out on the CF Live to Poland last year, it was high on my list of places to visit this year and so on May 4th (my birthday) we headed out for a 5 day break that would encompass coasters, culture and more besides.

We flew on a new route to Krakow from Doncaster/Sheffield airport, which was a new airport cred for us! I can’t really fault this tiny airport as we arrived, parked up, got through check-in and security and were sitting in the bar in less than 30 minutes. We flew with WizzAir who have a particularly infuriating policy around random seat assignment that tries to force you to pay up to £15 to reserve a seat, but otherwise it was a decent enough flight with no issues.

We arrived in Krakow at about 23:30, stayed in some accommodation very close to the airport, then picked our rental car up the next morning and headed straight to Chorzow in some fairly miserable weather for our first theme park of the trip.

We arrived at Legendia around midday. Sunday marked the end of a public holiday in Poland so we thought the park might be a bit busy, but then on the flip side I’d read that many rides don’t open when it rains so that made me wonder whether anything decent would be open at all. The park is only open at weekends this time of year so this was our only shot at getting in, so it was a relief that the rain had eased off by the time we arrived. Any thoughts of it being busy were immediately dispelled when we entered the car park to find just 4 cars there!

We headed to the park entrance and as we approached a large drip hit me on the head from one of the trees… or at least that’s what I initially thought. Turns out a bird had decided to welcome me to Chorzow with a big **** that splattered my head and jacket! So the next stop was the toilets to clean up before eventually buying our tickets from the solitary open kiosk and entering the park.


With the lack of cars and below-par weather, we were expecting the park to be quiet, but it’s wasn’t quiet. It was dead! I mean totally dead – we didn’t even see any other guests for the first 10 minutes we were in there, most of the restaurants and shops were closed and the staff outnumbered guests at least 2 to 1. It was rather eerie as we made our way anti-clockwise around the lake towards the main attraction.


We’d already been forewarned at the entrance that two of the four creds were closed. One was expected, as the former Tornado is being rethemed under its new name, which roughly translates as ‘Devil’s Loop’. Here’s a few pictures – it’s looking pretty good!




The other cred that was closed was one of the two old Zyklons, Scary Toys Factory. Annoying to miss out on the +1 but no great loss. I didn’t take any photos. There were quite a few other rides that seemed to be undergoing maintenance, probably because it’s still quite early in the season. We also passed the construction site of the park’s new ride for 2020, which I believe is a Rapids ride. Didn’t look like they’d made much progress yet!



So having made our way half way round the park and only seen two people (both staff members) we got to Lech coaster, which we’d seen running once as we approached. Obviously we weren’t expecting much of a queue, and once we’d negotiated the excessively long and confusing queue line (which I suspect is never full) and made our way through the pre-show (which looks nice but was in Polish) we got to the station, which was completely empty aside from two ride ops. So straight on to the front row we went… and then when we got back to the station we just stayed in our seats and went again!


Initial thoughts after 2 front row rides were probably similar to most people - wow, is this really a Vekoma? Such a smooth ride, with an incredible first drop, some serious intensity and a fab floater airtime hill immediately followed by that corkscrew through the station, which was just as good as I hoped it would be. Following that there are more twists and turns, inversions, airtime moments and a great helix near the end. All in all a fantastic ride, but it would need further rides to fully assess just how good.


With the knowledge that we were going to get as many rides as we wanted on whatever we wanted that day, we left Lech for the time being and grabbed lunch in the nearby restaurant, which has the same medieval theming as the coaster, which is really impressive for a park of this stature btw. We were probably the first people to enter the restaurant that day and were greeted by pleasant staff that helped us decipher the menu and explain the dishes on offer, which were traditional hot meals served canteen-style. We both enjoyed our choices although they could’ve been a bit warmer. I also had a pint with my lunch, which was the obvious brand…




After lunch we headed over to the other big new attraction, the dark ride Basilisk. We thought Lech had a ridiculously long queue line until we saw this one, which must take up almost half the building! I can only assume that Legendia gets very busy in the summer or they are planning for when the park gets more popular as it grows and gets more international appeal.










Once again the theming was very nice for this ride, especially in the queue line, and it’s certainly a high quality attraction. We had a couple of rides as it took a bit of time to work out exactly what could and couldn’t be shot, and I think we got the general gist of the story despite the language barrier.

The problem I had with the ride is that while it is generally good quality, it’s a bit short and doesn’t really seem to reach any climax story-wise. There are references to vampires and werewolves in the queue line but no significant monsters really appear in the ride other than some kind of bizarre chicken/dragon hybrid in the final scene. Also the guns feel cheap and have no kind of feedback that lets you know you’re actually hitting anything, which coupled with the fact that it seems to take multiple hits to kill anything makes the whole experience quite unrewarding. That said, the mixture of practical and digital targets was clever and for a park of this scale it’s a pretty impressive bit of kit.

After a short wander around the rest of the park we headed back to the only other cred that was open – Dream Hunters Society, the other bright pink Zyklon. Obviously this had no queue and that’s where the problems started, as the ride op advised that this needed a minimum of 3 riders per car. There were only 2 of us and nobody else to be seen nearby that looked like they wanted to ride a crappy old coaster, so we left it in the hope that we’d see another group of 2 join the queue later.


Instead we tried the oldest ride at the park, Dream Flight Airlines. I believe this dates back to the 1950s when the park opened, and is a spinning aeroplane ride similar to the Flying Machines at Blackpool. The cool addition to this version is working propellers on the front of the little planes! It actually went quite a bit faster and flung the planes out wider than we’d anticipated, which made for quite a hair-raising ride when the only thing holding you in is a flimsy seatbelt and centrifugal force.



With no interest in any of the other flat rides, all of which looked vomit-inducing, we headed to the park’s water ride, Diamond River. It’s a pretty straightforward splash boat ride with two drops, neither of which got us particularly wet, which we were thankful of given the cool weather. This looked to have been themed fairly recently too, with a fresh-looking station building and some cute dwarves throughout.



With no other rides of interest other than the Zyklon (which we returned to later) it was time to head back to Lech and grab as many rides as we saw fit. Amazingly when we arrived back at the station we’d hit the busiest time of the day, as there were a colossal 4 people riding it! We joined them and took the back row.


Holy ****, this thing is intense on the back row. The way the train is yanked over the lift hill sets the tone for the rest of the ride as you’re thrown through the elements seemingly with much more force than the front. Interestingly the only other time I’ve felt that ‘yanking’ sensation over a lift hill is The Big One, which obviously also has a twisted drop, so maybe that feeling is unique to that kind of drop? Anyway, it was certainly very intense and although I didn’t grey out, Anna did and that was enough for her. She sat out while I continued to have a couple more rides – another on the back row and then two more on the front, the second of which was my first completely solo ride.



It’s a weird feeling to be the only rider on a cred of this size and calibre, and an opportunity you don’t get too often. While it was quite cool to think that this ride was running just for me, the lack of atmosphere that you’d usually get from fellow riders was a bit of downer.




After four successive rides I was starting to see stars myself so took a break for 15 minutes and then went back for another few rides, all solo again. After another two back row rides I was actually starting to feel a bit sick so I called it a day at that point. I’d certainly had enough rides to form an opinion and the solo riding was starting to get a bit embarrassing.



Thoughts on Lech Coaster then. It’s certainly a brilliant ride – smooth, incredibly forceful and with a great layout and nice theming. My favourite moment was definitely the airtime hill followed by the corkscrew through the station. There’s a fair amount of floater on the hill no matter where you sit and the station inversion is just a fantastic piece of design. After 5 front and 4 back row rides, I definitely prefer the front, as the back is insanely intense and I found the train does rattle a bit at the back.

When considering how highly to rank it, I compared it to Icon, which was my No.10 coaster at that point. In some ways it’s quite similar – really smooth, lots of twists and turns and decent airtime – but I decided that I didn’t enjoy it as much as Icon overall. That was mainly due to concerns about re-rideability, as I could happily ride Icon all day but several successive rides on Lech made me feel unwell. I also think the lack of atmosphere and fellow riders had an impact on my overall enjoyment of the ride, but it is still comfortably a Top 20 coaster for me and the sooner other parks around the world realise just how good these new Vekomas are, the better.

With Lech done, there wasn’t much else left of interest in the park other than trying to get the other operating cred. Sadly by now the park seemed even quieter (which was some feat) and we hung around near the entrance to the Zyklon for five minutes, seeing nobody, before giving up and calling it a day. We’d been in the park about 3 hours and probably seen no more than 15 paying visitors! I was a bit annoyed about missing out on an operating ride, but since it was a crappy +1 and there were two others that weren’t running, I’ll probably go back and get those sometime anyway.


Thoughts on Legendia – well firstly I hope the day we went was not representative of a normal weekend there, because they can’t be making any money if that’s the case! The lack of atmosphere certainly made our visit a bit sad, but I think on a sunnier, busier day it would’ve been a really nice park. Any park built around a lake has that classic feel, and they have the rides to match in some cases, but they’re obviously also focussed on bringing the park up to modern standards with rides like Lech and Basilisk, the upcoming rapids and the retheming of the older rides. Given that they have the thrill coasters covered for now, if I was running the park I’d be investing in a drop tower and a modern family coaster (maybe with a launch) next, and maybe replace one of those crappy Zyklons with a kiddie cred (which would doubtless be an SBF Visa spinner).

The landscaping in the park is pleasant, the new entrance plaza and street is good and the restaurants seemed decent. Plenty of staff spoke reasonable English, which was unexpected based on reports I’d read, and they were all friendly and as enthusiastic as you can be when the park is so quiet. So it has the potential to be a decent park if the investment continues. I just hope the general public, local and international embrace it as it would be a real shame if the work they’ve done so far goes to waste.

That’s it for Legendia. The next day was a non-park day which I’ll briefly cover before moving on to the big park of the trip – Energylandia!
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
That solo photo in the middle of the ground-hugging turn is really ace. Awesome scenario excellently captured. Kudos to the one behind the shutter too!

Sounds like a pretty good day to me! Looking forward to the rest of the Vekomas... :p
 

PvM

New Member
I went there on a saturday in september last year and I must say, your experience sounds very familiar :p. Rode Lech Coaster 17 times that day and I love the intensity you get in the back. Especially the ejector air on every hill! Looking forward to your Energylandia experience. What I noticed there was that some of the entrances to the rides were in awkward locations so I couldn't immediatly find them lol.
 

witchfinder

Member
What I noticed there was that some of the entrances to the rides were in awkward locations so I couldn't immediatly find them lol.
Indeed. I'll be sharing my thoughts about the Energylandia park layout in due course :D

Day 2 of the trip saw up stick around in Chrozow for the morning, visiting the zoo, which is in the same park as Legendia (you can see Lech from the zoo entrance). This was just a time killer for a couple of hours as it only cost 20zl each to get in (that’s about £4) and while it was a bit outdated in some areas, it was clear they’ve also got investment to modernise the exhibits as there was plenty of maintenance and construction going on. Just like Legendia the day before, the place was dead and we barely saw any other visitors, but we did see some animals!







Chrozow Zoo also has a Dinosaur Valley - they weren't very well behaved though! :D


In the afternoon we headed to a more sombre tourist attraction – the Auschwitz museum. Definitely not a fun place to visit, but it’s certainly moving and educational. The place was absolutely packed on a drizzly Monday afternoon, which I find a little bizarre, but hopefully the majority of visitors were there for the right reasons. It feels awkward and disrespectful to take loads of photos of a place where thousands of people suffered and died, but there were plenty of tourists snapping away merrily – I’m sure they’ll look back on their pics and wonder why they took them. I just took a few snaps to show the sheer enormity of the place, to give some kind of perspective on just how many people were wrongfully imprisoned, tortured and murdered here by the Nazis.





We then headed to Zator, passing Energylandia on the way, to our accommodation for the next couple of nights – the Western Camp. This is a recently-opened wild west themed complex with a variety of accommodation. You could also see Energylandia form the car park!




We chose a wagon, which was really cool, with a cosy bed inside and air-con that allowed us to keep it nice and warm. With Wi-Fi and power points inside we weren’t cut off from civilisation and there was also a bar/restaurant on-site. The price for two nights including breakfast was £64, which was more than reasonable for a glamping experience and really puts Alton Towers stargazing pods into perspective!





Western Camp looked great and we were set for a cosy couple of nights in our wagon, but what we hadn’t anticipated was how noisy it was in the area. The road was nearby and had trucks travelling down it all night, the railway was also not far away and the area where the cabins were was in earshot of the neighbouring supermarket, which mean we could hear the noise of refrigeration units all night and were woken at 6:30 by the noise of trucks making deliveries. This was a real shame and spoiled things a bit, so I’d forewarn anyone thinking of staying there to either take earplugs or stay in one of the cabins rather than a wagon or teepee.

So after a pretty rough night’s sleep we were up early (whether we liked it or not) ready for our trip a couple of minutes up the road to Energylandia…
 

Coaster Hipster

Active Member
Great report so far, I really enjoy reading your comments on Legendia!

Visited the park on a sunny August day, and there wasn't much of a crowd either. Not to extreme levels of emptyness you experienced, but I'd say Lech was at the very most a 20-minute wait, most often just 5 min. Hope the park is doing well regardless, as their development policy looks smart especially considering they don't have EU subsidies unlike Energylandia.

Didn't know about this new Wild West ranch complex, might keep it in mind for my next Poland visit - which shouldn't be too far off :p
 

witchfinder

Member
Brace yourself, this post is a bit of an epic... ;)

After my terrible night’s sleep and a mediocre breakfast at Western Camp, I wasn’t in the best of moods, but the sun was peeping out from behind the clouds for the first time on our trip and things were looking promising upon arrival to Energylandia at around 9:45 – I believe this is the closest I’ve ever parked to the entrance of a theme park of this size! (Our car is the Yaris)


Hopes were high for it being a relatively quiet day, although there were several buses full of kids arriving. We went through the turnstiles and into the entrance plaza, where we had to wait until ‘rope drop’ and endure the park’s opening ceremony.



You had to at least appreciate the effort these guys were putting in on a Tuesday out of the core season, though I still have the annoying Energylandia theme song stuck in my head as I write this two weeks later. :rolleyes:

The park opened and as expected, most visitors started to flock towards Hyperion, which is right near the entrance. As experience theme park goers we of course made our way to the back of the park, with the aim of working our way from back to front getting as many creds as possible by lunchtime. Our primary target was the SLC, Roller Coaster Mayan.


So here’s my first gripe about Energylandia – the park is rather difficult to navigate in places. If you walk from front to back there are at least three dead ends (that we encountered) and the signage is very inconsistent. It’s pretty obvious that not a lot of forward planning was done when the park first opened, as most of the dead ends are caused by the placement of rides that have been there since 2014.

Anyway, after several wrong turns we finally got to the entrance of Mayan, from which you can also see the construction site of Zadra and the park’s next expansion. As expected this was going to be the first train of the day and a small group of schoolkids had also reached the back of the park and got in the queue first.

All the big rides at the park have a locker system in operation, where you pay 5zl (£1) for a wristband that allows you to drop your bags in a locker before you reach the station, then pick it up after. It’s a perfectly reasonable price to pay for the whole day and overall a good system, though the placement of lockers on some rides results in some backtracking to reclaim your bag, which could get annoying on a busy day.

As predicted the group of kids grabbed the front rows of the SLC so we went for the back, got strapped in with the vest-style restraints and waited. And here’s my second gripe about Energylandia – when it’s quiet, they don’t dispatch a train as soon as the queue line is empty. They wait to see if more people show up to fill the train. It seems like they give it a couple of minutes, then if more people make it to the station they let them on, then wait another 2-3 minutes, and then if nobody else shows up in that time they dispatch the train. This approach seemed fairly consistent across the park for most of the bigger rides, and when you’re just trying to get through some of the creds as quickly as possible it’s pretty annoying.

So eventually the ride ops decided nobody else was coming to fill the train (they were all at the front of the park, obviously) and dispatched it. Well, the rumours are true - for an SLC it was a pretty smooth and comfortable ride! There was a bit of rattle here and there and a few clunks, but it’s definitely the smoothest SLC I’ve ridden. The worst thing about the ride was the unimaginative all-red colour scheme! That said, it’s still just a regular SLC so one ride was enough.

As planned, we worked our way across the back of the park first and next up was the RMF Dragon Coaster. It looked like the entrance was this quite impressive structure:


But it turned out that the entrance was right round the other side of the ride. I wonder if the little volcano used to be the entrance and then they moved it when the park expanded. This ride had a huge queue line, which brings me to another gripe – no short cuts in the queue lines when the park is quiet! We probably wasted at least 30 minutes out of our day traversing these epic, empty queues when a bit better planning could’ve introduced a few short cuts that got us to the stations a bit quicker. Still, I suppose our step counts for the day were pretty impressive!

Anyway, once we’d got to the station and waited for the ride ops to deem the train full enough to dispatch, away we went. This is the larger size version of the Vekoma SFC and it was pretty good – the dive into the tunnel through the dragon’s mouth is cool, the ride is nice and smooth and it’s actually quite forceful in places, as recent visitors to Dollywood have found with their new installation. I’d certainly say it’s the best of the Vekoma family models and well worth a re-ride, which we had later.




If you’re keeping count then including Lech, that was the third successive Vekoma we’d ridden, and it wasn’t going to stop there as our next ride was another Vekoma, Formula. This was the first ride that had a little bit of a queue (only a one train wait) and we lucked out and got a back seat ride first.


What a great coaster this is! The theming is a bit tacky but the launch is fun, if not particularly intense, and then the layout and elements that follow give a really nice mixture of hangtime and airtime. That opening trio of sidewinder, airtime hill and corkscrew is really enjoyable. The only criticism is that it’s over a bit too quickly, but again this is another really good modern Vekoma cred, smooth as silk and thrilling too.



We went straight back on for a second ride, this time getting the front row, and that was just as good, though the airtime was marginally better on the back. I’m not sure what these things cost but every small-medium scale park should be looking at them as a possible thrill coaster investment. If Drayton Manor replaced G-Force with one of these then it would be a brilliant addition.


That was three decent creds done in the first hour, all of them Vekomas, so it was time to move through the park and pick up some of the +1s. By now the sun was shining and all the queue times were zero minutes, so we knew we were in for a good day. Then we went and spoiled it by riding the Viking coaster.


Yes, this SBF Visa contraption is very elaborately themed JASSM with OTSRs! What an absolute pile of ****. It didn’t help that we were stuck on the ride with two strangers and there is not enough room for two people next to each other to put their arms in a comfortable position due to the restraints. Absolutely vile.


With the bitter taste of SBF Visa in our mouths we went back to the far more palatable Vekoma and rode Boomerang, which is a family boomerang - you probably guessed that though, right? Nice theming on this one and the purple track was cool, but it’s the same layout as the one at Paultons so one ride was enough.



Continuing the Vekoma love-in and approaching the front of the park, we got to Energus, the family coaster inspired by the park’s mascot. Nothing special here but a decent enough ride with some reasonable theming. The queue line was interesting, though – kind of a maze that you could easily take a wrong turn in and end up further away from the ride than you started!



Six creds down, six to go and next up was another SBF Visa beauty – Frutti Loop Coaster! A shameful three laps were endured by Anna and I with nobody else riding. Why do these kiddie creds always seem to have the most dodgy-looking old geezers operating them?!


That brought us back to the front of the park and with lunchtime approaching, it was time to ride the big boy and the most anticipated cred of this trip – Circus Coaster! Just kidding, I mean Hyperion. :D


Anna was never going to ride this, so she had a nice relaxing sit down on some deckchairs opposite the ride entrance while I entered the impressive ride building – to call it a station would be understating it somewhat. Now I’ve already mentioned that this park loves to have excessively long queue lines with no short cuts, that take ages to walk through on quiet days, and Hyperion’s queue takes this to its logical conclusion.


After entering the building and climbing a flight of stairs that passes a nice spaceship model, you then proceed up about 5 storeys of ramps, then cross a bridge over the coaster’s track before walking back down the same number of storeys, but this time flights of stairs, before reaching the entrance to the station. On a busy day this might be necessary, and there are nice screens showing videos and stuff to keep you occupied, but on a quiet day this is absolutely bloody ridiculous and it took nearly ten minutes (including stops to take photos) to get to where there were actually people waiting.





What’s even worse is that you can see the ‘departure gate’ area from near the start of the queue line before you even start climbing up all the ramps. FFS, just put a bloody staircase in here that is only open on quiet days! :mad:


Upon reaching the departure gates I was delighted to find that there was virtually nobody waiting to ride the coaster. These have been covered in other people’s posts before but let’s go through the slightly convoluted batching system for the ride:


- Gate 1 is for front row riders, and 4 people are let through at a time. Simple.
- Gate 2 is for single riders, and they let 8 people through at a time, not all of whom will necessarily get on to the next train.
- Gates 3 and 3 are for groups and let 8 people through per gate. I have no idea why they decided to have two Gate 3s rather than just one that let 16 through!

Now I don’t speak Polish but it wasn’t that hard for me to work this out even without reading the signs (which have English translations) but clearly lots of people there didn’t get what was going on, as a group of 6 kids went through the single rider gate and then came back when they realised they weren’t going to be able to sit together. I do believe the park have overcomplicated this. :rolleyes:

For me of course it was simple – I could just fill a gap in whichever gate I wanted and get through to the station as quickly as possible. There were just seven people waiting in the front row queue so I ended up in the next batch with a group of 3, and made my way into the station for my first ride of this monster. I got the right hand seat and donned the compulsory goggles, waited for the countdown and away we went. Fair play to the park, they have themed the ride exceptionally well and the build-up of anticipation prior to dispatch is excellent.


First impressions of Hyperion then – it’s a bit of a beast! The near-vertical first drop at that height and speed going into the tunnel is breathtaking, the inverted turnaround is just as fab as I’d hoped, and the second half of the ride is packed with intense twists, overbanked turns and numerous airtime moments. As always I reserve full judgement until I’ve had a few re-rides, which I also knew wasn’t going to be a problem that day, but I already knew this was a Top Ten coaster for me. But we’ll get to exactly where in the Top Ten later, but basically it’s bloody great.




That brought us to lunchtime and we were having had a look around the numerous eateries when we happened upon an elaborate pyramid housing the 7D Cinema, which was about to start showing “Shark Island” so we decided to give it a try. I’m not sure what the 7 dimensions are – you’ve obviously got 3D, then you’ve got moving seats and various environmental effects, but I’m struggling beyond five to be honest. Anyway, it was complete garbage – the film looked like it had been rendered using original Playstation hardware, it didn’t take place on an island and it only had one bloody shark in it for about 15 seconds. Time for lunch.

We ate lunch at the Orient Express, a Chinese outlet inexplicably housed inside a volcano. Some very weird theming choices at this park! The food was a ‘choose your own’ box of noodles or rice with met, veggies, sauce etc. It was freshly prepared, decent enough and like all food in Poland cost a pittance compared to the UK. I don’t remember the actual price but I suspect it was about £3 each.

The plan for the afternoon was to grab all the remaining creds, a few water rides and then re-rides of anything deemed worthy. First up was Speed, the Intamin water coaster that dominates the skyline at the back of the park. This would be the tallest coaster Anna had ever ridden at around 150ft and that elevator lift was a new experience for us both.


The theming on the ride wasn’t bad, vaguely pirate with the music from Pirates of the Caribbean playing in the station, no doubt without the required license. As with all of the big rides here there were lockers, an epically long queue line and no wait once you trekked to the station. In fact, most boats were dispatching half full at best. So we were straight on which handily gave Anna no time to change her mind, and before we knew it we had bobbed around to the lift and were on our way.



Bit of a weird ride this one. It’s tall and quite fast, but the drop is so shallow that it’s not really scary, the two splashdowns don’t really get you wet, and the rest of the ride is mostly just a trundle around, albeit at reasonably high speed. So it kind of fails as both a coaster and a water ride yet is still an impressive sight. It was probably the perfect choice for Anna to reach the 150ft landmark though and we had another go straight away. Oddly I took no photos of it splashing down.


Now all we had left were the remaining +1s, all manufactured by SBF Visa. We started with Happy Loops, one of their kiddie spinners. These things are the 21st Century equivalent of the Wacky Worm, cropping up at unambitious parks across the globe as the perfect entry-level coaster. I estimate this is the first of 5 of these I’ll ride this year and I don’t even have that many trips planned. It was pure ****e, obviously.


Next we came to Mars, best described as a small family coaster with cheap space alien theming vomited all over it. Seriously, look at all this!



We boarded the ride expecting a couple of laps of sheer tedium but the ride op had a surprise for us. It turned out that the entire train was full of adults or older teenagers, so firstly he wasn’t remotely bothered about us putting the lap bars down, and then he decided to send us on 9 laps of this damn thing! It has a couple of moments that rather whip you around the corners and after lurching through those elements nine times in quick succession I don’t mind admitting I felt a bit rough. There are also a few moments where you can reach out and touch the theming on the ride, which probably makes it one of the most dangerous creds I’ve ever ridden! :eek:


Right next to Mars was the final cred at the park, and we’d saved the best till last – Circus Coaster! Anna sat this one out after the unexpected nausea experienced on Mars, so it looked like I was about to do the laps of shame all on my own until the ride op (another dodgy looking old geezer) managed to convince a bunch of kids to ride as well. As if it wasn’t shameful enough for a 43 year old bloke to be riding front row on the smallest cred in the park with a bunch of teenagers, he gave us 6 laps too.

That's me on the front - the shame! :(

With all the creds done it was time to see what else the park had to offer and get some re-rides on the good stuff. It wasn’t even 3pm at this point so we had loads of time. Our next stop was the park’s only dark ride, Monster Attack.


I’d heard this ride was terrible so was keen to see just how bad it was. And boy was it bad! It’s like a crappy ghost train with pathetic light guns and some really ropey aliens to shoot. What was even more bizarre was that nobody seemed to be operating it – there was nobody supervising you getting on and off the ride and we couldn’t see a ride op in a booth anywhere either. Mysterious!



We then headed back to where our day had started (the back of the park) and rode Anaconda, a spillwater ride that looks nicely themed on the park map but actually isn’t. It was also leaking torrents of water from one of the two drops all over the queue line that went underneath it, which added an extra hazard. The ride itself was pretty dull – basically just a bigger version of the travelling log flumes you see at most small parks.

While we were in that area we grabbed another three rides on Formula, all back row by some twist of fate, and tried to get the best ORP we could manage. This was what we came up with:


ORPs are about £3 here by the way, so a far better price than most theme parks. For that you get a printed photo and a digital download.

We then had another ride on the Dragon before trying one of the two rapids rides the park has installed – Jungle Adventure. This is an Intamin rapids and presumably the better of the two (the other being SBF Visa) but it was still fairly unremarkable and the theming wasn’t great, having no relationship to a jungle whatsoever.

That rounded off any other rides we thought were worthy of trying (the other water rides and drop tower looked crap) so the only thing left to do was go back and re-ride Hyperion. By now the park was even quieter and there was never more than a one train wait for the ride, but there was still the infuriating 6-8 minute journey through the queue line to endure between each ride. Ultimately I managed another five rides, three of which were back row and another one on the front, before leaving the park at around 5:30 to get some photos of Hyperion in action from the car park.




It’s hard to say whether front or back row is the best for Hyperion. The front gives more thrills on the drop and speeding through all the other elements, but the drop is also great at the back and there’s more floater airtime on the first hill. So I’m undecided but it gives a great ride on either.



As I said earlier it’s a Top Ten cred for me, but definitely not number one. I felt it had a mixture of elements that I like from some of my top coasters, but doesn’t do any of them quite as well. It has the steep drop and airtime hills of a B&M Hyper, but the floater airtime hills are nowhere near as good as on Goliath at SFOG. The second half has the overbanked hills and low to the ground twists and turns of Taron, but they’re not quite as good, probably due to the size of the train and the lack of theming. And it has wild pops of ejector airtime but they’re not as impressive as on Wicked Cyclone. So with all that taken into consideration I’ve ranked it fifth in my Top Ten. :)

This one was taken whilst waiting for them to take the other train off late in the day

That concludes the day at Energylandia, although we did go back the following day just to get some photos of the Zadra construction (which are already in that topic). It’s not a bad park but there are some frustrations. It’s pretty obvious that when it first opened they just bought whatever **** they could afford and added whatever crappy theming they thought was best, and as a result a lot of the rides are pretty bad. The number of lacklustre water rides they have there is ridiculous – really, who needs two rapids rides and I think we saw three different splash battle rides? And as already mentioned, the park layout has resulted is several dead ends and the queue lines are not very well thought out. It’s a very Six Flags looking park with not a great deal of landscaping and lots of brick paths, though to be fair it is well maintained and not unattractive for the most part. The operations on the better coasters are frustrating too but that would probably be less of a problem on a slightly busier day, ironically.

On the plus side, most of the more recent ride additions are much better quality, they’re improving the theming, the staff were mostly enthusiastic and the food was cheap and palatable. We also liked the locker system and the turnstiles at most station entrances that tell you how many spaces are left. Obviously they’re continuing to expand and I expect the new area where Zadra is will be much better, but they would benefit from selling off some of the crappier rides and investing in a high quality dark ride, a better drop tower and some flats that aren’t fairground standard. Given their continued growth I fully intend to return and hopefully if it’s a similar day to the one we visited on, get plenty of rides on the good stuff and ignore all that disgusting SBF Visa garbage. I’d also like to check out the stunt show, which sounded great, and maybe the waterpark too.

Next up is another small theme park trip and a quick summary of our visit to Krakow, but I’ll leave you with a few random Energylandia park pics for now.



They love their dragons here!





The shape of things to come! :D
 

witchfinder

Member
Awesome! Man, what a day to have in the park. Motoring through all the creds, and then just loads of laps on Hyperion. Ideal.
Yep, it was perfect really - quiet enough that nothing had a queue but just busy enough that it had some atmosphere. And decent weather too! :D
 

witchfinder

Member
The next day was another sunny one – even nicer in fact – and overall I had a better night’s sleep in the wagon after buying some earplugs, though we were still awoken by what sounded like an air raid siren at 7am. :(

After revisiting Energylandia for the Zadra photos, we headed to Zator’s other theme park – Zatorland!


This is a small park mainly focussed on educational exhibits more than rides, and it’s no competition for its noisy neighbour up the road, but it was encouraging to see that it was still fairly busy for a Wednesday morning, with several school trips and family groups there.

After buying our entry ticket we started off with the dinosaur walk-through, a nice stroll through the woodland with an extensive collection of animatronic dinosaurs. They probably weren’t the highest quality ones (I’ve seen better at West Midlands Safari Park) but they were certainly plentiful in number and huge in size, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love dinosaurs? :)





This guy didn’t like me though. :D



After that we went back to the amusement park area and started with a pretty unusual ride called Bonanza 3D, which I can only describe as a wild west wagon ride simulator, which had a video showing the view out of the back of a wagon being pursued by cowboys and Indians while the wagon itself shook around and several small explosion effects went off. It was actually pretty fun although oddly it wasn’t in 3D.



After that we rode the park’s only cred, Dinocoaster. This ended up being my 250th cred – the intention was for Hyperion to mark that milestone, but thanks to the three spites at Legendia that became impossible. Nothing much more to say about it really so here’s a picture.


We then had a fun ride on the cute little drop and twist tower, a walk through the topsy-turvy house and then called it a day.




There were other attractions that might have been worth a look, such as the 5D Cinema that I completely forgot about and the myths and legends exhibition which looked quite good in retrospect, but we wanted to get on the road back to Krakow before lunch. It’s a nice little park, clean and friendly enough, though nobody spoke much English. Clearly it’s not trying to compete with Energylandia but it’s still worth a visit for the +1 and the dinosaurs.


That’s it for theme park related stuff, so stop now if you’re not interested in anything else! ;)

We then headed back to Krakow with the intention of spending a few hours in a large park on the western side of the city. Within that park is Krakow Zoo, and while we didn’t really intend to visit, we ended up paying for parking right near it and eating lunch at a café right by the elephants.


So in the end we thought we may as well visit the zoo, especially as it only cost 18zl to get in (about £3.60!) and we had a nice walk around in the afternoon sun, seeing several big cats, otters and more put on a show. It’s another zoo that is undergoing modernisation but overall it was far nicer than the Chorzow one, though the weather probably helped.




Cheeky monkey stealing plants from outside its cage!

After that we headed into the city, checked into our apartment and went on a ‘free’ evening city tour (you just give the guide a tip) which covered some of the more obscure and macabre stories about the city, culminating at the statue of their famous dragon.





Our final day in Krakow saw the weather take a turn for the worse but it didn’t matter too much as our destination for the morning was indoors anyway, as we visited two interesting museums in the same building. First up, the Gallery of Steel figures, which has a collection of amazing sculptures of pop culture characters made from bits of steel welded together. They were really amazing and must have taken ages to create, and the best part was you could touch and interact with everything.













After that we visited HistoryLand, a fantastic exhibition about the history of Krakow, with all the exhibits built from Lego! This was a brilliant way of teaching the history of the city, really well done with interactive elements and AV elements, and was busy with several school groups. I highly recommend it!














When we left the museums the rain had subsided so the afternoon was spent wandering round the city and looking in a few shops before we headed back to the airport for our flight home. All in all it was a great trip, with enjoyable visits to the three theme parks and plenty of interesting stuff to do besides. Poland is now a great tourist destination with lots to see and it’s still super cheap for the most part so great for a short break.

I ended up adding +14 to my coaster count and three new creds made it into my Top 20, two of which were Vekomas, so to say that was a pleasant surprise would be an understatement! I’m absolutely sure I’ll return to Legendia and Energylandia in the future, and the only real question is when the latter is going to stop building amazing new coasters to give us all the chance choose the right time to visit. But I suppose you could put it another way and say with 17 creds and counting, there’s never a bad time to visit this region of Poland! :)
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Zatorland looks far more substantial than I expected. I was picturing just a load of tat on concrete, but hadn't really appreciated it had much more going on with all the dinosaurs, etc.

Good report, thanks for sharing. :)
 

Howie

Active Member
Nice reporting Witch'. Good effort. :)
Looks like a decent trip, probably gonna give it a shot myself at some point. When I say at some point, I mean when Zadra opens!
 

i.d.b

New Member
Thoroughly enjoyable report. It is definitely on my list to visit. Could you please give some more details on car rental and how easy it is to drive there? I know Shaun @ TPWW did both parks by public transport, but a car would make things easier.
 

witchfinder

Member
Could you please give some more details on car rental and how easy it is to drive there?
Sure. Car rental is pretty straightforward. Most of the major companies have desks inside Krakow airport and the cars are all in the multi-storey car park that is connected to the airport. Getting out is easy and there are no major motorways immediately so you have a few minutes to get acclimatised to the car.

We booked our rental with a local company (Car Net) and it cost £74 for 5 days, so nice and cheap. There are other, even cheaper companies but beware that some of them (Global Car Rental and Green Motion I believe) are notorious for charging your credit card a few weeks later for some innocuous 'damage' that they've discovered. So definitely read reviews of a company before you rent from them and I would take out an excess insurance policy with another company just to be safe (ours was another £11 from ReduceMyExcess.co.uk)

In terms of the driving experience, it much the same as most European countries - the roads are fine, the drivers can be a bit nutty so just be wary. It's easy to get from Krakow to Legendia and Energylandia so as long as you have SatNav (i.e. Google maps) and some experience of driving on the right it should be fine :)
 
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Hutch

Active Member
Only just catching up on this, but it sounds like a successful trip! Don't know when I'd get out there, but Hyperion and Zadra seem worth it alone. I do hope Energylandia spices things up a bit as it outside of the few good creds it doesn't look all that appealing to me (just lots of rides plopped down together; plus seems like a chore to get through all the crap creds).

Lech Coaster continues to intrigue me though. Never really understood the hype to begin with but it does seem like a promising ride after seeing/hearing all great reviews.
 
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