Wow. In the end of July I had the most amazing trip so far in my life! I was a bit worried the legendary rides wouldn't hold up to my expectations, since I'd been planning this trip since January, but oh boy I was wrong!
Our trip began on a Sunday morning with a flight from Helsinki to Gothenburg. We stayed at Scandic Hotel Rubinen for two nights, which turned out to be right what we expected: a clean hotel with a good breakfast. What little interaction we had with the staff it was all very easy and friendly. First on Sunday morning we explored the city and found it to be very nice indeed. What most struck me (as a Finn, this is a very common opinion) is how beautiful the people look. And I'm not talking about just young women, but everyone: from young to old and men as well, everyone looks stunning (at least compared to us Finns). Maybe it's the vikings' genepool doing its magic
Anyway after a few hours of wandering, we couldn't wait any longer and decided to hit the first of the two parks in our trip: Liseberg.Liseberg
I've visited Liseberg thrice now, and every visit has been even better than the last! By far Liseberg is my favourite park in the world. It's not too big and the queues aren't that long, but it's big enough to easily fill even two days visit. We grabbed our wristbands and entered the park. There was no debating on what would be the first ride. It had to be Helix.
Helix, just wow. It looks and sounds intimidating as there's always a train rolling around. The green colour matches really good with the interaction with nature and landscape. But somehow it doesn't stick out to the eye, which I was a bit worried about when I saw how much of the vegetation they had to cut down. The queue is by far the best I've stood in. The maze is fun to walk through and the theme song blasts through providing a nice anticipation since you really can't see the ride from the queue. I especially liked the awesome app to keep you entertained while trying to beat the high score to receive a fast pass! Nevermind though that my Nokia didn't support the app, and I don't remember seeing anyone using the fast pass queue. After 40 mins we finally stood in the station area. It felt so surreal! I'd been waiting for it for two years and finally it was true! It was a no-brainer to head for the first row. I lowered the restraints and I was a bit surprised to notice that they only touched my thighs. Looking forward from the station is unique with the track dropping right away. I was ready to ride.
The first corkscrew is smooth as glass and I didn't notice any snapping. I'd heard that the launches aren't that powerful, but compared to Zamperla's MotoCoaster, this was definately a better launch. The second inversion gave a taste of what the ride's going to be: because of the high heartlining you feel ejector in the beginning and end of the rolls, but positives at the peak. This means it's very disorientating in a good way, and caught me by total surprise! The small hill leading to the drop has nice airtime as well. The pretzel/norwegian was perhaps the most predictable element but that doesn't mean it's not fun. The hill after diving under Lisebergbanan's lift is taken with super fast speed and gives massive ejector! Then it's another disorientating zero-g. Exiting the zero-g gives a good punch of positives, but the next element is the dive into the helix, which provides first negatives and then turns you sideways. As a result, I was a complete ragdoll as it caught me by a total surprise! There's a small moment to breathe before the second, powerful enough, launch into a very intimidating tophat. While the tophat is asymmetrical, the entrance and the exit feel very different. There's also plenty of time to realize that you are upside down high above the park! After the tophat there's so much ejector happening in the next airtime hill that my thighs had a good workout and I almost imagined I felt some slipping happening, but the restrainst were tight enough to keep me in the seat. This hill is just pure bliss as it seems to continue forever and it has a magnificent view! Next are a couple of turns up the hill and a strong finish with a heartline roll, which also tries it best to throw you out of your seat. The ride lasts a good two minutes and has zero boring moments.
After my first ride I was extatic. So far I've never had to have a break after any ride, but Helix was so much MORE than what I expected that we all had to sit down for ten minutes before continuing our day. So much positives and insane ejector, PLUS seven inversions AND two launches combined with comfortable trains and awesome layout. Liseberg really succeeded in building a world class coaster. Helix went instantly as my best coaster.
Of course we rode all the other major rides as well. Balder delivered, smooth as always, but I couldn't help the feeling that the layout makes it a bit more boring than I remembered. Kanonen on the other hand was way more powerful than I remembered! But because of the new restraints, the parts after the loop didn't feel uncomroftable at all. No headbanging of neck slashing at all. Lisebergbanan had once felt massive, but after Helix it feels like Helix's little brother. But nevertheless it remains as one of my favourite family rides and is just pure fun. AtmosFear was exciting, but this time around I found it wasn't as nerve-wracking as on my previous visit a couple of years ago. The operators pulled a fun prank on our first ride: as the car neared the top, they announced through the speakers (in swedish): ”All right guys, are you ready? Let's countdown together: 15...14...13” and then the car dropped
From Liseberg I bought a couple of onride-photos, some fridge magnets, and some Helix merch.
Next day it was riding all day again! After a good breakfast (with pancakes!) we headed off to Liseberg again. Helix had apparently opened before the rest of the park, because it had already queues up to an hour, so we decided to ride other rides first. Other than above we rode Kållerado, which is an Intamin rapids ride with great scenery and a crazy wavepool section with waves crashing over the seats! The log flume is also my favourite one with all the interactions it has with surrounding rides. I rode Helix this time in the back, but to my surprise, it wasn't that big of a difference. The initial drop from the station was what I found to be the only difference. But this isn't a bad thing at all IMO. Before eating at an italian restaurant we checked out the views from the bigger ferris wheel, which had air conditioned cars to cool us off. The temperatures were really high on both days and all of us were just pouring sweat and consuming soda multiple liters. After eating we headed for Spökhuset. I've never done any walkthrough scary attractions, so I wasn't too sure about this, but decided to man up and go.
We were 5 of us who entered, 2 of us male. The other male wanted to go as the first one in the conga line, but none of the girls wanted to be last so I drew the shortest straw. Luckily we got two local (beautiful) young girls who walked behind me. Just before we entered, the previous group (all men in their thirties) suddenly almost kicked the door open and one of them ran outside with a very scared expression on his face. The employee (dressed as a zombiefied maid) ran after him trying to give his ticket back but the man refused. He just wanted to get out. Then the maid went inside and made a devilish face a second before she closed the door behind her! A few minutes after we went inside followed by the same maid. She instructed us and sent us on our way. I think it was about 10 minutes of walking. The girls in front of and behind me got multiple touches and scares from the actor but they seemed to leave us men alone
Good for me. I don't know if I would've liked to get poked in the back 6 times during the walking. Afterwards I noticed I liked it! Maybe I'll do some more of these in the future.
Then it started to get darker and oh my does Liseberg look beautiful! Even during daytime it's pretty but the darkness really brings out the eye candy. We rushed to get a darker ride on Helix, but left Uppswinget as our last and let me tell you. Uppswinget in the dark is just something completely nuts!
Next day the three of us had an early wake-up while the rest of us stayed and later visited Liseberg again. We took a ferry to Denmark and travelled by train to the city of Randers. Randers turned out to be a very Danish city: while it was beautiful, it was also very very quiet. We stayed at Best Western for two nights, and as the whole city, the hotel was quiet (but nice) as well. After checking in we took a quick stroll to look around the city, eat something and most importantly: we found ourselves Danish ice cream! Seriously, that is just magical stuff, and it's reasonably cheap as well. The flavours ranged from here to infinity, and we all tried different combinations. Later I found out that my favourite is chocolate, lemon and vanilla.
Next day it was Djurs Sommerland. Breakfast wasn't as great as the Scandic Hotel but it was enough to fuel our morning and we headed for the bus terminal. Though I had booked everything for this trip, I hadn't come across that you can buy combo-tickets which include bus rides to and from as well as entrances to Djurs Sommerland. And they only cost 10 kroner more than just the entrance! That's nearly free of charge bus tickets and was a pleasant surprise.Djurs Sommerland
Djurs is a park I'll definitely visit again! It has everything: solid rides, loads of climbing and bouncing attractions, great buffets, endless greenery and places to eat your own food AND a full fledged water park! Only one day isn't enough to do everything, but we decided to skip the water park and focus on the rest of the area. While the ride selection wasn't that wide, I found all the rides to be good solid ones. And surprisingly so many rides incorporated water! I also liked the different themed areas. But what really struck us was the operators' interaction with little kids. In Finland if a worker poked any childred with a toy sword it'd be a legal matter in seconds. But the danish just laughed and as we noticed it's cool by everyone, we laughed as well! The operators clearly had fun doing their job and we chatted with them in numerous occasions. Our buffet was a western type, and it was one of the best ones I've had so far. It had numerous salads, potatoes, three kind of meat and my favourite grilled salmon with multiple sauces. I also had my largest cup of soda so far: 0,8 liters.
Piraten was my 70th credit. While I admit it is a great ride, it somehow didn't quite live up to its hype about the number one coaster in the world. Top 5 clearly, but Helix is IMO way better. The first drop is very intimidating, every hill produces mad ejector and turns are taken at what seems like light speed, it felt like something is missing. Don't know what it would be, but anyway I'm glad I finally got to ride the legendary Piraten. Would've liked to get another ride, but we had to catch a bus and had to leave the queue in the evening.
Örnen was a functioning Topple Tower with splash effects. It seemed the splashes could reach only the riders' feet but we got a full head on collision and were dripping water afterwards!
Djurs' Rapids ride had a nice scenery as well, and a very intimidating waterfall-section. But my favourite moment was literally a bucket of water that was thrown into the raft near the end! The jungle boat ride had the best operator of the day, and the ride didn't disappoint either. It was a bit ghetto, I'll give that, but the King Kong animatronic was huge! Skatteöen was perhaps the only letdown of the trip. It was a bit bumpy, but the splash was friendly and didn't soak us completely. I'd almost say it was an acceptable amount of wetness
The theming was top notch, though.
Denmarks longest coaster indeed! First launch is friendly and gives decent speed, but the second launch is like a roundhouse kick! Once again I found myself ragdolling and barely staying with the train in the following curves. The ride feels like a two-dimensional spaghetti bowl and the twists just keep coming. The ending has some floater airtime. In my opinion (and to my surprise) I liked Juvelen even better than Piraten. After a couple of years when the vegetation has grown, Juvelen will surely raise to the 'epic' class with numerous near misses and theming.
Thor's Hammer is your classic Gerstie bobsled, but once again I'll give credit to the awesome operators whose energy transferred to us as well! After the ride we chatted a long time with a shopkeeper who was super friendly. I bought an awesome hammer as a souvenir as well.
The last day it was travelling again, first by train, then by a ferry and last by a plane back to Finland. Five days of almost continuous walking, great weather, world class rides and good food. It was tiresome at times and money was spent, but it was all worth it! Both parks convinced me to visit them again, and that I will do!