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  1. In my opinion this looks like the best LEGOLAND, and definitely the one I want to visit the most. I love the look of Polar X-Plorer, the Ice Pilots look quite good, Ghost look not bad, Viking River Splash looks almost too good, The Dragon looks good, the Pirate Splash Battle looks good, and so does Pirate Boats. On my list of foreign parks I HAVE to visit!
  2. Day 4a – Carlsberg Brewery Today was a day split between culture (or as cultured as you can get when visiting a Brewery) and coasters. As Bakken didn’t open until 2pm (closing at 11pm), during my research of things to do in Copenhagen I came across the Carlsberg Brewery Tour, and needless to say it didn’t take much convincing of people to partake in the 70DKK tour. In order to get there however, we had to brave the local transport. As we right by the train station this was simple, and we walked over, grabbed our tickets to the next station (a massive TWO stops from Copenhagen central) and we were off. A short 10/15 minute walk from the station was next, and it doesn’t look great as you go along, due to massive construction and then walking through an industrial park to get there. However, shortly before 10am, we arrived. We each paid our entrance fee (N.B. the 70DKK also gets you two drinks of alcoholic or non-alcoholic tastes) and we set on our quick tour of the old brewery. It was relatively interesting, mostly focusing on how Carlsberg grew up into the internationally recognised brand it is today, and had some statues, vehicles and the world’s largest collection of beer to look at. So… Much… Beer… We ventured into the new brewery building which unfortunately wasn’t in operation when we were there, but there were some smell testers and Table Football, which Mark and Holly eventually won after a very tense and nervy finish of next goal wins. Another drink followed and that was that. It’s a small place granted, but easy to get to and for Denmark, cheap, especially when you consider how much a pint of something costs in general. I would recommend it as a visit if you have time and a vested interest in alcohol.
  3. Day 8 – Farup Sommerland And so the final day, we packed up and departed Aarhus northwards. We eventually arrived after more venturing through country roads and paid upon arrival in the car (which took us all by surprise, fortunately we were prepared for this) and ended up in the car park, which strangely sits in the middle of the park, allowing for some good views of the two main coasters. Our first destination was Lynet, the Gerstlauer launched, to which I was excited for because Anubis back at Plopsa is made of win. Would Lynet (their first) continue the trend? After the dark and dingy Shockwave-esque queueline we arrived in the dark and atmospheric station before taking our comfy seats and rolling out into the small drop into the launch. Rolling launches need to exist more, and the quick and tight layout really showed some good imagination on the park and Gerst’s parts, featuring airtime, 2 corkscrews and a few tight helixes. This seems to be something Gerstlauer do well in relatively intense compact layouts. There was some bumpiness to it but nothing too extreme, why every other Gerstlauer I’ve been on that’s 2009 or older tonnes better than Saw? Either way, a solid headline ride perfect for Farup. 7/10 Another go lead us searching for a change of coaster, unfortunately Flagermusen was closed due to vomit cleaning, so we headed deeper into the woodland in which the park is set and eventually found Mine Expressen, a Vekoma Junior which was rattly and rough, hence, not very good indeed. It was at this point we realised that Farup was very much an adventure park with rides added on, rather than Djurs which seemed more focused on the ride aspect, as such we hit up the next play area to entice us, as well as some more Bouncy Mats that we found. New for 2013 at Farup is Ice Age 4D, so we headed to that corner of the park to see what system they had for times. Being regular, we decided a quick cool down on the Log Flume would be in order, before drying off. The flume was surprising long, with 3 decent drops throughout, although the force at which you stop on the final one is enough to fling you practically out of the boat if you’re not careful. Back to the show, which had an enthusiastic operator who treated us to the effects prior to the show, including moving chairs and the unsurprising water sprays, the moving seats were at first a novelty before becoming tiresome halfway through. It does have a scene missing from the version at Towers (the plant scene) which I found weird, but I didn’t really care that much in the end. We walked back towards the park entrance and decided to ride Flagermusen, yay for Zamperla spinning coasters! Actually, after Tornado, this was a god-send and actually quite fun since we had a relatively balanced car for it. Quite good in the end. We broke for lunch at the entrance and sat outside, enjoying the vast sunshine Denmark had decided to give us upon our last day, before our quest to the left side of the park continued with Pindsnivet a random kiddie coaster which was a welcome change from the constant Zierers we had endured. Onwards we went to were Orkanen (new for 2013 but alas, closed, actually opens on the day I am writing this) and Falken, a S&S Wooden coaster. This was good aside from the cornering not being brilliant, with lots of bumping along the track occurring at the finale helix. Not brilliant but not great either sums it up quite nicely. We felt like we needed a sugar rush, so Mark, Holly and Nicky elected for candyfloss whilst I went for a normal ice cream which was then dunked in chocolate dust. If I wanted chocolate ice cream, I would have asked for it. No matter, we headed back across the park to the woodland side, and proceeded into THE adventure course… Treasure Hunt is something we did not see coming in its entirety. I had seen bits of it such as the water steps and the monkey bars over the water, but nothing can get you ready for the sheer length of the thing. It starts with a ‘maze’ before proceeding to make you slide, climb, step and pull your way around the woodland and over the lake. It was an amazing thing to go through and when we got through to the end we felt a high sense of full on achievement that we had done it. I’ll let the photos speak for some of it, but it cannot be missed. Next door there is a Fun House, which was exceedingly dark due to the theme of being the home of one of the woodland creatures. We then did some Mini Golf in which I managed to get 2 hole in ones throughout the course, of which some of the holes were excessively made of WHY? We found another playground and after some mincing around there we all felt like we were done for the day (Treasure Hunt really took it out of us, and we were in there for at least 45 minutes). So we headed back towards Lynet, being enticed by Chairswings along the way before laziness got the better of us and we got the train back to Falken for our very last ride of the trip. And that was that, we headed back to Aalborg to find it was in the middle of a Carnival the likes which were unprecedented, with our hotel slap bang in the middle. With some negotiating we got in and enjoyed one last burger in our oasis of calm before the flight home the next morning (N.B. Norwegian Air currently have Wi-Fi and fly from Gatwick to Aalborg). Overall, I would say Denmark is a wonderful place. We didn’t do that much in the way of culture, but in our week we could tell that the people are lovely and friendly, speak great English and have a good sense of humour. Bakken and BonBon aside their parks are lovely with a fantastic atmosphere in each one, whilst they might not be full of the biggest or best rides ever, you can tell the parks do care and there is great fun to be had at them. I would say Djurs took the top park spot, although Tivoli is just behind it, with Juvelen and Rusty Banana taking the top two spots for best rides. In the end though we discovered a wonderful country with some good (and bad) parks that I think we would happily visit again if we could in the near future. I would recommend Denmark to any theme park enthusiast who is bored of the typical European countries, and it excites me for the trip to Sweden next year. Happy Hedgehog thanks you for reading
  4. Day 7 – Legoland Billund Now here was an interesting one, the Merlin park of the group, a park that is usually a burden to visit in the UK, how would the original fare? Would it be smothered in adverts? Would it be full of low throughput rides? Would we hate it for being part of a massive corporate entity? Answers are found and more… After once again navigating the emptiness of Denmark and a surprise car park appearing out of nowhere (next door to Billund’s own airport) we had arrived and awaited our entry accompanied by two children and a burdenously annoying theme song. Eventually it opened, and we walked the entire bloody length of the park to arrive at the 2012 Polar Land, and Polar X-Plorer. This was to be the intriguing comparison to Thirteen, purely due to the freefall aspect, how would Zierer’s attempt stand up to Intamin’s extremely good system? We walked straight through the queue (the cattlepen of death stood on however) and onto the front row of the very comfy trains, and set out on our exploration of the local van-yard behind the park the Artic, and the ride’s surprise appeared. From the first drop to the mountain is actually extremely good and forceful… Grey out forceful in fact. Where did this come from? The first half was such a shock that our entry into the mountain turned into a complete jarring. Unthemed, relatively empty and a broken screen whilst being completely surrounded by the drop system, when the drop itself happened it was ok, but lacked the theatre and quickness that Intamin’s offers. The trundling out finale past some static figures didn’t improve much and eventually you pass the penguin enclosure wondering what happened? To put it blunty, the drop system is crap in a comparative sense to Intamin’s. The fact that it is hidden and allows for a variation of drops is a real plus point to it, allowing the pre-mentioned theatre and surprise to really take a hold. Maybe Verbolten does this better due to the pure darkness, but Polar fails to use the system to its potential, the trundle out of it making a real mockery of an exciting and impressive first half. The ideal family ride would be the first half of this with the second half of Thirteen it was agreed amongst our group after a second go on the back, where the system is even more blatant than before. A right shame in the end. 6/10 Unsure of our next destination, we spotted the Fire Academy next door to Polar Land, without a queue, something rarely seen ever. So we took the advantage and went 2 on 2 once more on it. Perhaps myself and Nicky took it slightly too seriously after the Fussball defeat, but we were back at base long before Mark and Holly had put out the fire. Overall I would say how much fun it was, if slightly tiring in the end. I would love to do this with a full on enthusiast take-over, then it really would get silly. Next was the Temple, the Laser Raiders of the park, but a Mack Omnimover instead. WHY ARE THE OTHERS MADE BY SALLY CORP? Anyways, it was essentially the same as the others, with the usual array of things that move but with slightly grander sets and a decent finale room. Wanting more Mack fixings, we went on X-Treme Racers, another Wild Mouse but an actual Mack one, rather than a Maurer clone. Very jolty and rickety throughout this one, but at least tonnes better than the old Jungle Racer in a box. Completing our Legoland staples, Jungle Racer was actually next, but was a WaveRider this park around. Usual affair here, with waterbombs placed slightly out of reach of the riders, making them absolutely pointless. We then realised we had missed the Ice Pilots Academy back in Polar Land, and knowing that it would have a low throughput, we ran back and went on it before we strayed too far away. It was to be my first experience of a KUKA Robo-Arm ride of any form, having not been on Potterland yet, and the aspect of designing your ride (Read as, press the buttons randomly) was an intriguing idea. We started off slow (Speed 2), picked our moves and on we went to an extremely random and fun experience. So we headed back around and hit up Speed 5 and went X-Treme (as Lego would put it). The differences are quite telling, the transitions are faster and the motions wilder, but still not beyond the realms of too intense for the core audience of the park. A real surprise but with only 20 people max a go, it’s no surprise why these things are so rare, even if they are incredibly random and good fun. When all 5 in one section are going it is a mesmerising experience to say the least. We had a quick look at the Penguins whilst in the area as well. Back on park, it was time to return to the Legoland staples, and the Dragon coaster, which also returned us onto the path of the Mack. Strangely, this is a powered coaster, which automatically means a single train. WHY LEGOLAND? It still however retains the traditional dark ride section which felt longer and larger than our Windsor counterpart. In addition, the powered system of the ride came into play well on the transition from dark ride to coaster, providing a decent launch into the outdoor layout. It would be better if a second train were to appear on this. Maybe it does? Either way a decent coaster helped by the crazy ride host who singled out Mark and his Viking hat being Swedish and from Djurs. Upon exiting we realised that the stunt show was about to take place, so we took our seats and were allowed to enjoy an action heavy, dialogue-less romp around the mini-castle set, featuring (unsurprisingly) lots of people landing in water. It was a simple story to follow, but very entertaining, owing to the simple stunt gags they used and the old ‘suspension of disbelief’. I would certainly say that people should catch this (and the pre-show entertainment) if they’re ever at the park. Next door to the show was Viking River Splash, an Intamin version of the ride which is accentuated by the massive lift and drop combo. It’s similar to the other versions, with some scenes practically cloned in but a very different (and dizzy) layout allows it to give its own version of events. The lift and drop is a brilliant finale to have on it as well, and we all fully enjoyed our go on it. We broke for lunch at a Fish and Chips place, where you got (as a basic meal) 3 pieces of cod and a tonne of chips. Denmark <3 After lunch we faffed about what to do next and we elected upon the Pirate Boats, which ended up being a surprise dark ride (and you’ll never guess the ride it was ripping off). It was actually good if very dark at times due to the way in which the lighting was timed to go off between boats, either way I like dark rides that appear from nowhere and this one is no exception, even the duck enjoyed it. The final coaster of the day was Timber Ride, another Zierer coaster, which was well landscaped and themed but that was about it. We wondered over to the 4D Cinema to see when the Chima show was on, and had ages, so we elected for the Atlantis attraction. About the only Merlin thing in the park (no, serious), this is a walk-through Sea-Life with crap pre-show (we and the Danish family with us walked out) and a very well themed experience, with lots of buttons that activated bubbles in various figures. There were also Spider-Crabs, everyone loves them right? We then decided to do Mini-Land, which was the usual high standard you’d expect of a Lego park. We also did the Observation Tower, Lego Top to faff around and get some decent overall views of the park. Way too many photos to choose from on this one We ended up back in the Western area and decided to go on Mine Train, which is literally a train going through a mine. It had a mini dark ride section with a non Lego figure within (the HORROR) and was rather pointless if I’m honest. Lego Canoe was done by myself and Nicky, and was a rather boring Log Flume that went past a few animal figures with a singular drop. I might have fallen asleep mid-ride. After the faff it was time for Legends of Chima 4D, new for 2013 and a tie into the new range. I have no idea what was going on and it was even in English. It centred around a tour of the land and featured very basic 3D and 4D effects, and the two main characters were friends, then enemies. It made no sense. Then Mark said he thought they were fighting of Cheese rather than Chi, which made it funnier, but still no sense was made. To be young and naïve again. After that we had done pretty much everything we wanted to on park, so a few re-rides on Dragon, Temple, Ice Pilots and Polar X-Plorer were done. Overall Legoland Billund is a very nice park, and the least Merlin of the group, which can only be considered a good thing. We really enjoyed our day there but I sense it’d be absolute hell when packed solid and some of those cattlepen extensions were in use.
  5. Day 6 - Djurs Sommerland After a long rainy drive to Aarhus the day after was nice and sunny for our next venture into the middle of nowhere for a theme park. Djurs seemed to be a 'true' theme park in comparison to the parks so far, so I was intrigued to see how they would go with it. We arrived into the rather empty car park and ventured to the gates. The park opened, and we ventured to the nearest coaster, and a highly rated one to boot, that of Piraten. Apparently the worst Mega-Lite in the world, but my first experience of one and that was an experience that had been quite hyped up to severe levels. Unsurprising then, that it didn't live up to such on the first ride of the day. Not to say that it was a bad ride, far from it, solid forces and pops of airtime abounded from it, cementing my opinion that all Intamins with deadly lapbars are better than their crappy OTSRs. But it seemed to have that old problem where the first drop was the best thing to it upon our first two rides. However later in the day the airtime machine within burst out into the sunlight, if only the throughputs could be improved by neglecting the seat-belts or actually giving them some length. A park in the UK would do well to buy one in the future. 8/10 Themed staff outfits <3 Next up was Skattoen a Mack Water Coaster which was essentially the first half of Europa's Poseidon with the final drop latched in for good measure. This meant that there was an immense improvement to the overall ride experience due to removing the dull trek between lift hills, and was a very smooth and fun ride to boot. Was nice to get a decent soaking on the warm morning as well. Next on the list was the weird Sword flat ride known as Sablen. I have no idea who made this, but this Frog Hopper esque ride has a small surprise hidden within, as the ride mid-way through tilts from side to side as you rise and fall during the sequence. Nothing too intense but certainly produced some excited reactions from the small crowd riding it. Further into the park we delved and found Karlo's Taxi, a Wacky Worm, which was a quick smash and grab credit before we moved on towards Juvelen. Which unfortunately had yet to open at the time (this was discovered to be due to the queue flooding rather than any ride based issues), so we moved onto the next coaster and a Gerstlauer that was open on the 23rd May, Thor's Hammer. A clone of Tripsdrill's Bobsled coaster, these are a fun evolution of the original Wild Mouse concept and certainly much more exciting things to experience. One thing Gerstlauer do well are tight helixes and airtime hills. We ventured back to Juvelen and with it still not open we elected to mess around in the playground opposite, which included trampolines, a climbing volcano thing and one of those massive spider web climbing frames. Mark is a fierce Viking according to the Cashier Eventually, we spotted that Juvelen had opened, so we headed into the massive temple themed queueline. This was extremely well themed it must be said, and although a short indoor queue, this quality of theme continued into the station and the surprise pre-show room. The ATV trains are also extremely comfortable, with a simple lap bar design from under the handlebars, as such there is a lot of space and you can freely move your entire body about. A quick dispatch sends us deeper into the temple, and the surprise pre-show which makes no sense (cos Danish) and eventually the doors open and we get a short and reasonable launch into the first half of Rita. This is actually enjoyable with just lapbars, and before long another curve leads us into the second launch of the ride, which instantly hits us, slams us back and forces us into a wild second half of the ride. The second half focuses on quick turns left to ride, evading a few thematic pieces throughout, the main factor of this is the sudden speed achieved by the second launch, creating a mental half of the ride which ends with a few large bunny hops and ends with one final helix. Overall, Juvelen was a massive surprise to us all, and easily the best coaster we had experience on the trip. It fulfils quite a fair few points that few coasters hit completely, creating a ride that is fun, forceful and extremely re-rideable, proving that not all rides need to throw you around or make you grey out to be any good. I would definitely say that more parks should get a variation of these, as they can be a well themed and cheaper variation of a launched coaster that can be accessible to the majority of guests whilst still producing a good fun ride. 9/10 After that bundle of JOY, we searched high and low for food which led us to the Western area (stereotypical ride area themes ftw!), and after a quick bite we headed towards the Rapids. A very hidden and surprising rapids indeed, which is rather well themed and enjoys one of those surprise soaking moments that I was to play the victim of unfortunately. Either way though, a good set of rapids. Onwards we went and found the Topple Tower, which was boring to say the least. It sounded creaky and awful to boot and we all came off wondering why we had bothered in the end. At least the ones in Europe are open mind unlike Dollywood's. We found another playarea which had a massive bouncy pillow thing that are quite commonplace in a fair few European parks and we discovered how fun these things are. Would never make it over here mind. Next up was the African themed area, and another play area to conquer which was a long and arduous journey in the end. We then decided to experience the Jungle Cruise, in the good old traditional values of European Disney rip-offs it was full of tatty basic animatronics, tackily themed and tonnes of monkeys. Then a giant King Kong appears and the random Tunnel of DOOM and the ride just goes nuts. Europe <3 After that craziness we decided to re-ride things, and started with Thor's Hammer before another two goes on Joyvelen. More trampolines and another play area followed before a jaunt to Ben & Jerrys. As we were enjoying ourselves, Mark and Holly decided to re-enact their experience on Tornado. https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/947095_10152875990465220_319960952_n.jpg https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/945153_10152875990630220_129785204_n.jpg After that we went back for more Piraten, which as mentioned had become a beast since the morning, before another 3 goes on Joyvelen finished the day off. Overall Djurs is a lovely park and we all really enjoyed our day there. An excellent selection of coasters throughout and some decent theming, it's hard to find many faults with the park. After the misery of Bakken, it was an excellent change to have a quality park appear out of the unexpectedness of it all. https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/970164_10152875993915220_2095919875_n.jpg https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/970846_10152875979625220_2027340343_n.jpg If you don't visit Djurs, this puppy will be sad. Do you want a sad puppy on your conscience?
  6. Day 4b – Bakken After a morning of alcohol we returned to the car and ventured off to Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park. Set within an old hunting ground the woodland setting is quite nice, although the layout of the car park is little to be desired. We went in, purchased our wristbands and found a place to eat whilst we waited for Tornado to open at 2. It did, and we were ready to experience the World’s first (and only) Intamin Spinning Coaster. Tornado is a very fast spinning coaster, mainly as a result of the launched lift hill, which really throws you into the first corner. It is also one of the few entirely free spinning coasters, so when you get kicked out of the station by the ride staff (a literal fact I’m afraid) you’re already spinning madly. However, I wish I could continue this charade of it being a good coaster, the simple fact is that Tornado is one of the worst coasters I have experienced, comparing that to Goudrix, Sequoia Adventure and Mean Streak, and it’s an impressive feat for all the wrong reasons. And as with most Intamins, one of the major flaws are the shoulder restraints, which follow in design as the Accelerators, but use a different style of material. This does not improve matters, and in my case, actually physically cut me due to the aforementioned launching lift. As a result you spend the ride cursing at Intamin for not thinking yet another design through properly, and attempting to brace yourself against the restraints digging into your arms. I would think that without the launch it might be a decent ride, but it’s impossible to judge because of it. I can never enjoy a ride I have to brace myself for throughout it, and as such, Tornado gets thrown to the bottom of the pile, and makes me fear for Baco later this year. 1/10 After that catastrophe of a ride, we had another Rusty Banana to look forward to, especially after Tivoli’s fabulous one. But what’s this? Bakken decided to get new trains and systems in? Well I guess it might save them money on training and wages… Who did they get to redesign it? Kumbak? FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU… Yep, just when things couldn’t get worse, Kumbak, those perennial rapers of coasters appeared. And naturally, they managed to absolutely ruin another coaster through the train designs (and leg crushing lapbars) and braking the train at every… single… chance… they… got… Every time there was momentum it was killed completely, the train slowing to speeds where it could just about finish the corner. Diabolical doesn’t cover it, especially after Tivoli, where we found a brilliantly smooth and fun coaster. This was just rough, slow and pathetic. Still, better than Tornado. 2/10 Opposite Ulven was Racingbahn, a weird oval racing car attraction which worked similar to Dodgems and Go-Karts. It was good fun but doesn’t have a real race feel to it due to the lack of starting cars at the same point. We followed this up with the imaginatively named Racing, a Zierer (apparently), which looked like a death trap but was actually a very fun attraction, with good speed and forces building throughout the ride. No restraints as well which was a change. Next door was Vilde Mus a Mack coaster pretending to be a Maurer Sohne. It was not very wild or very fun. We then encountered the Spin Zone a weird Horror/Space theme set of Dodgems which were more like Daleks. Controlled by joysticks to spin on the spot and move forward, we spent most of our time spinning on the spot as it was generally more fun. We followed this with the Fun House, typical one really with lots of levels and moving things themed to a ship/harbour. Wasn’t bad but wasn’t great either. Heading back towards the park entrance we did the Ladybird, another baby Zierer but with added crazy attendant who stopped the car on the lift on the last circuit. The final attraction of this block were the original African themed Teacups. The Fun House CANNOT be unseen! WHY are we at Bakken? Smug clowny git We then elected to give Tornado another go, and it was still bad; then Rusty Banana, which again, was still bad. We noticed a show nearby and had time to kill, so we rode the Swanorail, which was another pedal one taking place over the nearby Log Flume. I spent most of my time trying to cause crashes as that was more enjoyable than spending time in the park. We did Ulven again and upon our return to the station the ride op was texting and smoking at the same time, if the park’s image could drop ANY lower. It was time for the scary clown show which ended up being a magic show. Which was decent enough for the kids, especially when one got owned by one of the tricks after he had declared he knew the answer. Poor lad. The racing cars were done again before we did the Crazy Theatre, which was the same thing at Bon Bon Land but a rejigged video. Another Dillon attraction was found but this was a WaveSurfer instead of Huss spinning thing. Polyp we found to be the same ride as Hydra at Asterix, which made us so happy we did it twice, and was clearly the best ride on the park. Wall of dummies… We did Racing again before Double Shot, a teeny S&S tower which had some airtime to it, always think the shorter tower rides are better than those 200ft plus jobs. The Spin Zone was repeated as was the Fun House, before one last go on Rusty confirmed our fears and we ran out in a hurry at 5:30. Meaning we had spent 3 and a half hours. I spend longer days at a busy Thorpe, which tells how crap this place was. Full of utter tat rides and awful headliners, no charm and was essentially a more permanent fair. All 4 of us were glad to get out as soon as we felt possible.
  7. Day 3 – Bon Bon Land A park that is relatively infamous and well known from a certain American coaster site, Bon Bon Land is essentially famous for being silly. With farting dogs, defecating seagulls and various other creatures doing random stuff; it’s a park I’ve been interested to visit to see what the hype is all about. So we hopped into the Nissan of Narcissism and directed by Cassandra the Sat-Nav and were taken off the motorway into the middle of nowhere, a theme certainly to be followed through most Danish parks. Needless to say, it was a rather underwhelming place. They’ve got a gimmick that’s for sure, but that’s it, there’s barely any substance behind it overall. And once you get over the fart and pee jokes around the park, there’s nothing really special about it. It’s no surprise the Americans seem to love this place, but for me, whilst the various models dotted around the park are nice with a home-made feel to it, there’s not much else going on for it. Either way our first port of call was Wild Hog, the first Eurofighter, but it was shut. As was the Gerstlauer Spinner Han-Katten (which didn’t open all day). We waited and noticed that the Zierer Viktor Vandorm had opened, so ran to that and it’s millions of stairs to the station. A weird coaster by anyone’s standards. A short lift hill lead into a decent drop into a long channel built into the lake, and then the designer clearly gave up with his life and proceeded to play RCT for so long he reached his dead-line and hence had to make up some random crap. It reminded me of the Dragon at Legoland Windsor’s outdoor section, but slow, burdenous and not very entertaining. We got two goes around and things didn’t improve much, especially when the bars refused to open on our return to the station, causing a self-evacuation of 90% of the train (the two remaining kids were too fat to escape). Not a great start to the day. 3/10 NOT the actual entrance… After this we headed towards Sveng Swingarm a gigantic Frisbee ride off, someone… Actually an excellent ride to be honest, the height making it seem much more intense yet enjoyable (in comparison to the full intensity of Flamingoland’s Flip Flop), and the constant change of direction was a decent addition. Solid attraction and the first thing we all really liked at the park. Maybe things were going to look up as we found a Fabbri Drop Tower Cobra Tarnet, which wasn’t as good as Detonator unfortunately. In search of new attractions and the sun making an appearance we decided the Baever Rafting would be next. A decent themed rapids ride which had a weird hiking pathway queue. Didn’t get too wet but that wasn’t too much of an issue as the water looked dire as hell. Dillen (you son of a bitch!) was next, a Huss flat ride of some description themed to crocodiles and short queuelines and ended up being a decent enough ride to fill up some extra time. More meandering around empty pathways lead us to the final coaster of the park, and the most well-known, Dog Fart Coaster. Apparently the farting dog is a famous character in the Bon Bon world of sweets, so of course he was to have his own coaster. And with enthusiasts from that site again proclaiming it’s brilliance, surely we’ll hit a good coaster here? Well, no… It’s a mini Zierer with a helix that goes into a massive kennel… I thought it was going to be something of the length of Vandorm, but no, one drop, one helix, one turn, station. And we think Smiler is going to be overhyped? Dreadful ride, and the whole ‘fart’ gimmick wasn’t even working. 2/10 After that disappointment we headed to the Drunk Turtle Waveswinger, which was its usual boring dependable self. Then we did my first ever set of porn ponies, Hestepaererne which was long and well themed. This was followed by a boat tour around the world of dodgy stereotypes and rubbish animatronics on Soloven, which was pretty crap but it involved a sit down for some time at least. We headed towards the Crow Tower which are the same attraction as the infamous Tree Houses at Tripsdrill, of which Nicky and Holly had never seen before. As such, the secret was kept secret and the surprise that the ride gives was fully appreciated by them both. So much so we did it twice without moving off it. We broke for lunch into the Western area specifically. Why? Because Pulled Pork sandwiches! <3 Whilst we waited for them to be cooked we played Coaster Top Trumps, where it appears Jimmy Neutron is more thrilling than Diamondback… At least Merlin’s make some semblance of sense and balance. Anyways, Pulled Pork is made of joy, on we go. On our way out we popped into the Office Block/Western themed Hestorado, which was an Alterface thing of shooting at a screen for 10 minutes. It was made of WHY. Walking back into the main section of the park we did Viktor again, which was still crap, but doing the amusingly named Disko, AlbaTossen, which was quite intense. The pedal Monorail Mageklatterne was next, which involved plenty of collisions and other pointlessness. We were all starting to get a bit bored of the park and since Han-Katten didn’t look like opening, we headed back to the entrance. Bored, Mark and Holly decide to act out Star Wars On our way out, we suggested to venture into the massive Fantasy World building, certainly worth it. Inside is the most random array of animatronics and other things ever. There’s even a ball pit to which we spent some time in because it was the most fun thing we had seen at the park all day. After spending some time in there, we were done and headed home. It annoys me that I have to return to this place for the missing coaster, because I don’t really want to. An incredibly over-rated park that we didn’t really enjoy because of the sheer lack of anything really. Lots of empty space and we just didn’t connect with it, especially after a wonderful day at Tivoli before.
  8. Day 2 - Tivoli Gardens After an afternoon of lovely sunshine and warmth, the Sunday morning was the complete opposite, with rain pelting down as we prepared to venture into our first park of the trip. As we waited outside the park, the Gumball 500 decided to venture forth, so we had some entertainment building up to the park opening. The park opened at 11, but the majority of rides opened at 11:30, so we hid under a building and awaited our first ride and coaster to open Daemonen. The smallest B&M and by definition the cutest, 6 rows of the tiny floorless cars flit about the tiny compact layout, squeezed into the back end of the park (the exit steps might as well be on the adjoining road). The area and station however are nicely themed to a Chinese back alley area. We followed the ride staff who had opened the ride and went for the front row, ending up to be the only people (stupid enough) to ride during the reasonable rain storm on-going. As such, I didn't see much of the ride, but the ride itself was decent, not the best B&M, but at the same time, not the worst. You can see how limited the park were in their design of the ride with the space and local area unlikely to it anything bigger than the existing layout. Upon repeat riding in the back due to no queue, it still set itself as a solid if unremarkable ride. It's flaws are to do with the limitations of the park's ability to build anything bigger or longer, and I cannot fault the ride for those limits set upon itself. It was still a fun and enjoyable ride at the end of the day, and that's what counts. 6/10 With the rain still lashing down, we seeked more shelter and hid in the nearby dark ride The Flying Trunk. This 'such a cred' dark ride takes us through the various tales of H.C. Andersen in a rather Small World style ride. Typical European dark ride that are always random anyway, and at least we were able to listen to the narration in English. We exited into, surprisingly, more rain, but it had slightly lessened so we went onwards to our next attraction Odin Expressen. A trip above one of the many buildings in the park is this powered Mack's forte, not particularly brilliant although the final helix into a tunnel is decent. Either way it's not the best Mack Powered I've ever been on. 5/10 We headed towards Rustchebahn (furthermore known as Rusty Banana) only to find it was closed due to the rain, so we elected to find the other coaster, discovering a live band playing Musical Statues at the main stage area. Onwards to Karavanen, one of those small Tivoli creds which proceeded to give us 7 laps of it. Usual affair with this type of ride, randomly decent airtime though. After this it was suggested we ride Monsoon the Inverted Magic Carpet which had an excessively long cycle but was good fun regardless. We missed out on the water fountains being used however, no doubt due to the spiteful rain. The Golden Tower was next, an S&S drop tower, for which we had an audience for since we were the only riders. The rain still pouring, we walked towards the Dodgems we had seen earlier, only to find that they had laser guns attached. Mentally fast Dodgems with targets and lasers, Takeshi's Castle called Tivoli, they want their attraction back! However they were awesome due to the ridiculous speed, however with tempermental guns and a lack of obvious scoring system meant it wasn't as good as it could have been. After this we elected for lunch at the Burger Kitchen, which was cooked to order and damn tasty once we had translated the menu. It was a trend to continue throughout the week with our surprise at the quality and the portions of the food at the parks. Upon our exit of the restaurant, the Pippi Longstocking show was starting at the main stage, so after seeing that we went into the Fun House located in the Rusty Banana mountain. I miss the one at Southport, and this was a decent substitute, with lots of levels and different obstacles up and down the building. After some time we heard a new rumbling noise in amongst the sound effects, and realised that they were testing Rusty Banana. We headed out and waited for a short time before it opened. Rusty being 99 years old is one of them old Scenic Railway style coasters, brakeman included and cable lift hill before Intamin made them cool. Having only done the one since Dreamland I was excited to ride another (and the others hadn't done one before at all). What we found was one of the most fun, smooth and brilliant coasters we had ever ridden. Glass smooth, great airtime, good laterals. Rusty has is all, ducking in and out of the mountain element all the while, with some portions in the pitch black to boot. Quite simply a brilliant attraction, and for something reaching 100 years old next year to be smoother than rides not even 5 years old says a lot about the quality of the ride (and it's renovations). They plan on redoing bits of it next year so it might even gain more thematic elements in the future, but regardless, a class ride that all should ride before it gets Bakken'd. 9/10 Time for some more flat rides, and we started with the Star Flyer, which was heavily affected by the high winds flowing through Copenhagen, making the experience better than usual. This was followed with a visit to the park's new area, with the Air Race and Spinny Tower thingy. The Air Race was certainly something different and quite intense at times, it required ice cream times to sort it out, but I wouldn't say no to one being built in the UK. A quick meander around the gardens followed, it is a very nice park to be sure. We went searching for costumed characters who unfortunately weren't around, however timed it to see the Guards on Parade. The most random thing I've ever seen in a theme park environment quite simply, but when in Denmark. Another ride on Rusty followed on, before we rode The Mine another excessively random dark ride of random. This indoor boat ride decided that laser wands shooting coloured gems would be an idea, and it actually kinda worked in the end. Random, enjoyable and long, a hidden gem. We followed with a ride on the Breakdance, which made us all miss Rodeo. Back to Daemonen for two more goes, was still quite good before me and Nicky decided we would brave Vertigo, a Technical Park thing of WHY?! Two planes of 4 people attached to a massive arm are either controlled by the guests or put on a preset setting, either forwards, or backwards, with a potential for a turbo mode which sends you to 5G. We didn't opt for this one, going for the basic mode, which lead us to do some mental spinning as the ride got started, then lots of flat rotations before once again spinning as we began to slow down again. One word describes Vertigo, mental. I would dread to think what turbo would be like (as I saw it often from our hotel). In the end I enjoyed it up to the spinning at the end, which was just too much, but I survived it, and would have no doubt regretted not riding in the end. We rode Karavanen again for 7 more laps before Mark and Holly ventured back onto the S&S, upon returning to the floor, they proclaimed that they heard Only Teardrops playing at the main stage. So we ran to discover Emilie receiving an award from some bloke and looking like she was going to leave. But then, peer pressure won out and she performed the winning song again, everyone went mental and we joined in. Certainly an unique moment to have at any park, let alone on holiday. We had a quick go on Rusty again before heading back into the Fun House for the girls to let off some extra steam as me and Mark made use of the free WiFi available. Another ride on Rusty in the front followed before we headed to Wagamama for food (local Danish food ftw!). One more ride on Daemonen followed by Rusty again and we were done. We bid farewell to Tivoli and thanked it for being a lovely park. Blackpool with a sense of decorum and class I'd like to see it as, randomly plonked in the middle of a city with some old school and modern attractions in amongst each other. We didn't see much of the actual gardens but we already have the idea to return to here over a weekend at the least, I would recommend the park to all for its atmosphere, decent attractions and of course, Rusty Banana.
  9. A trip designed to visit one of the lesser countries in Europe known for its parks, even if it has 6 big parks, including one of the most visited in the continent, not much ever seems to come out of Denmark, so as such, this trip was created, organised and visited. Day 1 - Arrival and Copenhagen We arrived in the afternoon to a warm and humid Denmark, a certain surprise to the 4 of us who were travelling along, and it wasn't long until we realised the Danish way of life was completely different to our own. Very laid back, no expectations and a good versing in foreign languages, leading us to just speak English all week, such is the way of life. We picked up the car, found our hotel in central Copenhagen (near Tivoli and the central station) and began our adventures through a quick wander around the city. We headed to the main plaza where they were setting up a big screen for Eurovision later, whilst the Gumball derby was also taking place. We later learnt that this was a Bank Holiday Weekend for the Danes, so we had clearly timed our trip well to coincide with these events. We went down towards the Royal Palaces to have a quick look at them, before hunger struck us and we went back to the plaza in search for food. In the end, McDonalds was our port of call. Afterwards we decided to head back to the hotel via a small supermarket to stock up on drinks and snacks, and we had a mini-Eurovision night. Great fun, especially as Denmark took the honours, the atmosphere outside our hotel was bouncing around and it was great to be part of a country that won for a change. And with that, the first night ended on a high, and we hadn't even ridden a ride yet.
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