Chapter 3: Knoebels Goes East, or Way, Way West--Bakken
Bakken is a perfect example of what a traditional, old-school amusement park is all about, a distinction it shares with Knoebels in Pennsylvania. While it has a lot of "off-the-shelf" flats, which proudly fly their traveling "fun fair" colors, the park has a great laid-back vibe and a beautiful setting in one of Denmark's national forests. The place is also very well maintained, with plenty to do for everyone.
And while, like Knoebels, Bakken can't boast the "biggest" or "fastest" coasters (well, there may be one exception when it comes to speed), what it has is really damn good.
Rutschebanen--Like its namesake at Tivoli Gardens, this is a side-friction woodie that uses trains with brakemen, only more insane! Yes, this old sucker is more intense than its cousin in Stockholm, especially on its two sets of double-down drops. But this is, apparently, the last year for the old-style trains. The park is planning to install a computerized braking system and new trains without brakemen for next season. We had ERT on the ride's oldest train, and they're going to keep one of the old trains handy, "just in case" they need it.
Tornado--This Intamin spinning mouse is probably the most intense coaster of its kind anywhere. The chainlift moves at El Toro speed, and you're simply hurled over the top and into the twistiest, windiest course anywhere. Even if your car doesn't spin all that much, you'll still feel like that poor cow in Twister when the ride's over. The ride's themeing is pretty good, too--even if it isn't finished yet.
Mine Train Ulven--OK, no prizes for guessing what sort of ride this is, but, again, it's another excellent ride of its type. The park nicely gave us a bit of ERT on this when Tornado was having technical problems. The group seemed to love this one, too.
Racing--This old "Flitzer" looks like a refugee from the carnival circuit, but it runs beautifully and is a lot of fun (just ask KidTums).
Mariehonen--Kiddie coaster, looks like a ladybug, you get the idea.
So, what else is there at Bakken? How about a very good, "Noah's Ark" type funhouse, a goofy shooting dark ride in which you take your revenge on darling plush animals, and a ghost train with a special surprise, which I wouldn't dream of giving away?
All this, and good food, too--visit Bakken!
Have a look for yourself.
The Bakken segment is brought to you by the producers of "America's Next Top Fast-Food-Fashion Model." Can you look smokin' hot in a paper cap? Can you make the phrase "You want fries with that?" sound like the most suggestive of sexual innuendoes? Then you might have what it takes to be America's Top Fast-Food-Fashion Model!
Time to bid the beautiful city of Copenhagen farewell. Next stop . . .
. . . the Danish Knoebels!
Yes, the park had set up some great ERT for us. But first things first . . .
. . . lunch!
This is what happens if you go to the mens room right before they open the buffet. D'oh!
"Hello--I'm Rutschebanen! If you thought my cousin in Copenhagen was nuts, you ain't seen nothin' yet!"
Some people are so easily distracted.
"Greetings! Here at Bakken, we are always looking to use the latest technology to enhance the guest experience. Our research in coaster physics has yielded one of the most important discoveries in the history of the amusement industry!"
"Geraniums make coasters go faster!"
"Yes, this harmless-looking flower that your grandmother grew in her window pots, when combined with a properly configured wooden structure, can actually bend the space-time continuum!"
"The resulting invisible vortex causes forward velocity to increase exponentially."
"In other words, it make woodie go real fast!"
"I believe in the power of geraniums! I do! I do!"
I wonder if she believes in geranium power?
Oh, dearie, dear.
Wave goodbye to these TPR members.
You may never see them again!
So far, so good.
Phew! Looks they're gonna make it! More to come from Bakken.
^Hmm--I wouldn't say that my photo would be admissible as evidence in a court of law, Mike. Seems pretty inconclusive to me. Personally, I was too busy blasting bad guys to pay much attention to what anyone else was doing.
^^You and I both had our share of injuries on this trip, Larry.
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