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JoshC.'s Mini Trips - In a Sommerland Far-up Away...

JoshC.

Strata Poster
I've got a few little / quick trips lined up over the coming weeks and months. I'll be shoving trips reports for them in this thread...starting off with this one!

For those unaware, I recently started working in a school. Great fun and loving it. But between working the usual Monday-Friday routine and being busy on the weekends, it has meant I've just had less free time than usual. Last month, I had some rare downtime and was bored. So, as one does, I idly searched through the likes of coast2coaster, Skyscanner and Google Flights to look at potential future trips. From this came up a surprising realisation that Djurs Sommerland is very close to Aarhus airport. And Tivoli Friheden isn't much further away. On top of that, Farup Sommerland isn't a much longer drive away either.

And so I looked into things. £30 return flights for that weekend. Oooh, tempting. The downside was that it was a Saturday morning flight out and Sunday morning return flights, meaning getting all 3 parks was unlikely. A quick check and Djurs and Friheden were both doable on the Saturday. Car hire was reasonable enough, and there was a cheap hotel close to the airport too. The stars aligned, and so I thought 'sod it', and the trip was booked. With 4 days notice, it's my most "last minute" abroad trip I've booked.

No delays on the outward flight, and I had an entire plane row to myself. Aarhus airport is nice and small, and I was able to get through security quickly with no problems. Now onto car hire. This was, in fact, the first time I was hiring a car since my America trip, where I had some confidence issues with driving abroad put a bit of a damper on the trip. I tried to not let it phase or worry me, especially since this trip had the extra layer of driving a manual. However, I can report I was totally fine, with the little Corsa with only 3km on the clock being a lovely car to drive.

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Aarhus airport is undergoing renovations, and is a small airport anyway. This meant the gate for arrivals and departures was in a semi-permanent marque. Novel if nothing else.

Djurs Sommerland
The drive from the airport to Djurs is about 20 minutes. And the roads are very quiet. Eerily quiet. Certainly helped calm the inhibitions I had anyway. I pulled up at the park just after the 10am opening time. The staff members in the car park were a joy; one miming that they were pulling my car forward which made me chuckle. What surprised me more, given it was a warm Saturday in June, is that the car park seemed very quiet. I noted before visiting that the park had just introduced their (more expensive) summer pricing a few days prior, so I wonder if that had something to do with it.

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The app gave queue times, and nothing was advertised beyond a 10 minute queue at this point. I didn't really have a plan of approach for the day, so I figured I'd just go with what was closest and make my way round. That meant I started my day off with DrageKongen, the park's more recent thrill coaster. One of only 2 Intamin family suspended coasters in the world, I'd heard mixed-to-positive things about it.

The queue line (especially indoor section) is really nice. I had forgotten prior to getting to the station that the ride started with a launch...so that was a nice surprise. The dispatch sequence is also very neat. The ride itself is okay, but largely forgettable and quite rattly. I don't see how Intamin basically made a larger version of what Vekoma offer and screwed it up. It's a shame really. Ultimately I ended up choosing not to re-ride, because, well, meh.

Reckoning that the park would be quiet all day, I decided to tick off the nearby +1, a Zierer Force Zero by the name of Jungle Rally, and move over to the park's pirate land.

It was now when I realised that Djurs as a park had a real big charm to it. This was a 'complete' park, with a good variety of rides and solid theming. Themed audio too, which is always a bonus. None of it seemed tacky or cheap, and the park felt well looked after. I hadn't been in the park long, but I already had a really good feeling about it.

With the weather being nice, I opted to tick off the park's water coaster, Skatteøen, next. Another short queue, with efficient operations followed, and I was on. The only other Mack water coasters I've ridden are Pulsar (different kettle of fish) and Supersplash at Plopsa (yes, it's a cred), so this was a pretty new experience for me. Overall, it was fine, but not as good as the Intamin cousin. The staff were great though; slightly dressed up to match the theme, and interacting as if they were pirates. Great to see.

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3 creds out of 8 in, and nothing to write home about. But again, the park still gave off very pleasant vibes which didn't make me feel disheartened. And it was time for something more exciting...Piraten. This was a walk on, and staff were again dressed up and playing pirates. Pretty certain on dispatch the operator was saying 'goodbye scallywags' or similar (well, it was a Danish word that sounded like scallywags, anyways). This was my first Mega Lite, so I didn't know what to expect. But in any case, I took my seat in the back row, and was whisked away on the lift hill.

And damn. This ride is good. I greyed out on the helix at the bottom. I'm less and less a fan of high g forces, but this was just right for me. Then bam, airtime. And again, airtime. Element after element just chucked you out of your seat, with just enough respite to recover, whilst not leaving you bored. The ride is a solid length and flows really well. Fantastic ride. Really really good.

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The ride was running on 2 trains and not stacking (which was very nice given the quiet crowds...they definitely could have gotten away with 1 train). So I went straight round again, this time for a front row ride. I much preferred this to the back, in part because it was slightly less intense (no greying out on the helix), and in part because it was just really nice to get the flow of elements at the front. I squeezed in 2 more rides before deciding to go in hunt of the other creds. But I knew I'd be back over here anyways.

The next point of call was the other highly anticipated cred at Djurs...Juvelen. The straddled seating, multi-launch family coaster, which also happens to be the longest in Denmark. I'd heard loads of good things about this, with many dubbing the ride Joyvelen. I had a 20 minute wait - in the really neat indoor themed queue! - to find out.

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I didn't know there was a little on-ride pre-show before the first launch, so that was a nice surprise. Even better was that the quality of it was decent. Then boom, first launch. Not too powerful, but with a good bit of oomph. The layout is well-paced and varied, with some nice lil pops of airtime and good turns. The second launch is surprisingly punchy, especially given the seating configuration. And then the ride carries on, again well-paced, varied and just generally being a ton of fun. It's long, but doesn't overstay its welcome.

Juvelen is indeed full of joy!

Now I hesitate to say this, because I don't like using this word. But I think Juvelen is, pretty much, the perfect family coaster. This is the very definition of family-thrill in terms of what it offers. It has enough to satisfy the "thrill seekers", whilst also being accessible to those who just hit 1.2m and are riding their first 'thrill' ride. It sets the bar high for younger riders. It has a nice theme, nice theming and good surroundings. The launches aren't intimidating, but they pack a punch. The seats are comfortable yet freeing. As I say, I don't like using the word, but I think Juvelen is the perfect family coaster.

Juvelen's queue remained a consistent 20 minutes throughout the day, so I left it in hunt of the other creds. Next up was Thor's Hammer, an extended version of Paulton's Cobra (well, Cobra is a shorter version of Thor, but you know what I mean). I really like Cobra. And I do like this a lot too, but I think the extra helices before the station are unnecessary and hamper the ending of the ride a bit.

Having been up for several hours, a spot of lunch was the next port of call. One thing which threw me a bit at Djurs was there didn't seem to be many "grab n go" places for lunch. They had lots of snack stands, and quite a few sit-down restaurants / buffets (which were rather expensive). But there were few mid-range places. I found one, a kebab stand, which was very busy, and took almost 20 minutes from ordering to getting my food. Not a big issue, but a tad annoying all the same.

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It might have been almost the longest queue of the day, but at least it was tasty and fresh (and yes, I still take photos of food - sue me!)

After lunch, I ticked off the rapids, which were fun, before heading to the park's newest coaster, the Mack powered T-Rex Family Coaster. This ended up having a couple of technical difficulties throughout my wait, but nothing major. The layout is pretty fun, and passes a lot of dinosaurs. The area is a bit barren, possibly by design, but feels like some more grown vegetation wouldn't go amiss. So maybe that just needs more time to grow and bed in.

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roar

I then ticked off the final cred, Vilde Hønsejagt, which meant I'd ticked off the +8 the park had to offer in a little over 3 hours. This meant plenty of time for re-rides, to tick off the flat/water rides of interest and soak up the park. A tiny part of me considered whether it was worth making the near 2 hour drive to Farup to try and squeeze in the creds there, given that Tivoli was open till late, but I felt that Djurs was a park I didn't just want to cred run.

Plenty of rides were had on Juvelen and Piraten (5 and 7 in total respectively). Juvelen remained a joy, and it solidified itself in my "Top 10%". Piraten just misses out; despite what the numbers suggest, it's not as re-rideable as I'd like. It warms up very nicely, but that in turn means it does become a bit more intense and erring on the side of "a bit much" for me. Definitely a morning ride!

The park remained quiet all day (Juvelen's 20 minute queue was the peak), but it was slowly getting busier. Sometime between 3-4pm I called it a day at the park, ensuring I had plenty of time to get to Tivoli and explore all it had to offer.

Final Djurs thoughts: Don't let the "leaving a couple of hours before park close" fool you, I loved Djurs. As I said, it is a complete park, giving a great variety of rides, amazing staff and great atmosphere. It's an utter joy to be in, and it has gone in as one of my favourite parks. I'd love to see them invest in a large scale dark ride, and maybe an inverting coaster, in the next decade; both would be significant and worthwhile additions to the park.

On a more philosophical note. I'm sure as goons we've all had, at one point or another, someone raise an eyebrow at the hobby. Someone who can't 'get' the idea of travelling hundreds/thousands of miles for a theme park. Djurs is one of the few parks I feel like I could take that sort of person to, and then they'd 'get' it. It's just that damn good.


Coming soon: Aarhus Pt1.5, Tivoli Friheden!
And then a jaunt to Asterix.
Hopefully I'll get those written up before my next lil trip, which is in...3 and a half weeks!
 
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James F

Hyper Poster
Great TR! I'd like to get out to the Danish parks one day. The Sommerland parks looks incredibly well kept and seem to hit that "family park" market perfect.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
Sometime between 3-4pm I called it a day at the park, ensuring I had plenty of time to get to Tivoli and explore all it had to offer.

And so we move onto Part 1.5!

Tivoli Friheden is about 45 minutes away from Djurs. The roads there were a bit more lively than the roads to Djurs, which was to be expected given Tivoli is a city park. Though there's no designated parking for the park, there's loads of on-street parking around the park, and paying via any one of the Danish parking is easy enough.

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After getting my wristband, I made a beeline to what brought me to the park in the first place: Sky Tower
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For those unacquainted, the Sky Tower is a 40m free fall onto a net. Whilst falling, you have no restraint or harness. It is complete and utter freefall. You do have a level of safety: you are made to wear a helmet, and have a board strapped to your back. But the appeal is very much just completely falling with nothing attached to you.

Naturally, this is an upcharge. With the ride wristband, this was 50DKK (just under £6). Annoyingly, payment for this was only at the attraction, and could only be paid for in cash or via an app. I tried downloading the app, but it wouldn't work for some reason. So I had to go back to the entrance, get cash out at customer services, then go back. A minor inconvenience.

I got geared up and went up the lift with the staff member and one other person. Now, like many on here I imagine, I don't get particularly nervous or scared by most rides these days. And I've done a similarly-sized bungee jump in the past. But going up this slow lift, with the wind breezing through, I was a bit scared. I had that feeling in my stomach. It was unfamiliar, but exhilarating all the same.

The person I was with ended up going first; they seemed really worried and wanted to get it out the way. The waiting made me that bit more apprehensive. It was then my turn. You get strapped up, with harnesses that are connected to the board on your back. You then lean back so you're facing the sky, balancing on the board held up by the harnesses. All but one of these harnesses are then released, and then you get dangled above net 40m below.

The staff member was chatting with me. He asked "How do you want to do this?". A question I was unprepared for, frankly. I stuttered a bit and said "I don't mind, however". He chuckled and said okay. There was a bit of wind still, so he just made general chit chat. He said he'd have to wait till I stopped swaying in the wind because we "don't want you to miss the net". Then, mid way through a sentence, he released the harnesses and I hurtled down. Completely unexpected.

I can't explain what went through my head at this time. Everything and nothing. The pure thrill and adrenaline. The seconds-long freefall felt much longer. The not knowing how long till you crash into the net just adds to it. Having no one with you. Knowing that you're connected to nothing. I didn't have time to react really. All I can say is that I loved it. An absolutely incredible experience. Completely unlike anything I've ever done before. Crashing into the net led to a largely euphoric state which led to laughter.

My words (and pictures) wouldn't do it justice, so here's some decent videos to show it off too:


With that ticked off, it was time to get the creds. The park have 3. The biggest is a spinning wild mouse. The other two are kiddie creds. So really it is just a +3. Nothing to write home about.

I then had a spot of dinner. The park had a nice pizzeria, so I got a spicy pepperoni pizza there, which was a bit spicier than I expected! Having done everything I came here for, it was now just a case of exploring the park and relaxing.

The park have a dark ride, Haunted House 5D. It's part Ghost Train, part 3D shooter. It was an interesting concept, and for a small city park, not all that badly executed. It wasn't great, and I wasn't a fan of not being able to see your score during the ride. But there's legs in this concept, and I'd like to do something like this on a bigger scale.
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Image shamelessly stolen for drdb - https://darkridedatabase.com/behind-the-scenes-in-haunted-house-5d/

The only other ride of note was their drop tower: 65m tall and just featuring lap bars. By far the tallest drop tower I've done with just lap bars. Good views, really nice and open, and no silly tilting gimmicks. Just great fun!

Tivoli Friheden is a nice little park really for what it is. I enjoyed my time there, even if it was brief. The loss of Cobra has hit the park's line up, but the addition of the Gerstlauer Eurofighter Vindfald next year is exactly what the park will need and serves well as a good headline coaster for them. It's a shame it's not something a bit more unique for the Danish line up, but equally, it's still good for its location!


With an early-ish flight on the Sunday, I had booked my hotel reasonably close to the airport, meaning it was a 40 minute or so drive there. Nice and easy and chill, although it wasn't the easiest to find when I got there. There was a nice supermarket just opposite which was nice. The hotel is one of the worst I've stayed at on my theme park travels: in the morning I found a large group of ants in the room; fortunately in a corner away from my stuff and where I was sleeping, but still not ideal. Very much made my skin crawl. Being a small hotel and early on a Sunday, there was no one to speak to at the time, so that was something to deal with after the trip.

With Aarhus airport being very 'middle of nowhere', the only sensible option for refilling petrol for the car hire was at the airport. I was surprised at:
1. How reasonably priced the petrol was for an airport
2. How little petrol I used
I ended up putting in just under £10 worth of petrol to fill the tank back up; I'll take that.

And with that, my 25 hours in Aarhus were coming to an end. Minimal faff at security. No delays for the plane, although it was significantly busier than the outward journey! Definitely a fun, worthwhile, easy and reasonably cost-effective mini trip for anyone who hasn't managed to get out there, and a nice +11 (soon to be +12), with potential to even add another +8 with Farup too!
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
Once again, I'm finding myself in a trip report deficit (goon problems, am I right?)

Anyways, I'll try and keep things reasonably brief for this, and it'll mostly be a Toutatis review than anything else.

Parc Asterix - 19th July

I had originally planned to go out to Asterix in late May. Unfortunately a cancelled outward flight derailed those plans, though Easyjet's compensation was handsome enough. This was another trip I was doing on the cheap, and fortunately, Asterix in a day is fairly straightforward: early morning flight from Luton to Paris CDG. There's then a direct shuttle bus outside the terminal to the park, which takes about 15 minutes to get there. There's a 9pm flight back to Luton too, which is perfect for this sort of day.

Paris CDG airport was nice to get through, with automatic passport barriers for UK residents, which were much more efficient than having to speak with security, and gave me a slice of pre-Brexit travel once again.

The shuttle buses are easy to locate; about 10-15 minutes to get there from security, and clearly signposted. The bus is a 10 euro return, which is reasonable enough, and can be booked online. No faff, and I got on the first bus of the day. This meant I got to the park at a nice and early 9.15, ready for the 10am opening.

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I had anticipated getting to the park later, so being one of the first through the gates was a pleasant surprise. As such, my original plan was to avoid Toutatis at first, letting the original rush die down. But this had changed, and I made my way to the big new Intamin cred, and was on within 10 minutes...

Toutatis
My first ride on Toutatis was towards the back of the train. And really, this ride is just mental from the word go.

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The first launch is fun, and the following elements flow nicely, giving nice pops of airtime, whilst also warming you up for what's to come. The swing launch is insane. The airtime as you go through is fun. The train gets decent height before rolling back. The backwards launch is powerful, giving fabulous airtime which really has to be felt to be believed. Again, the train gets good height on spike, and the final launch is just intense, in-you-face with some wicked airtime to boot.

The top hat section is great. I know some have expressed concerns about the brake fin, or aren't fans of it. Whilst it is obviously noticeable, it certainly adds a different sensation to the ride, and a mid-ride respite for some who maybe need it. Fortunately, it doesn't affect the rest of the ride, which is still fast-paced, airtime filled, smooth and just an all-round mind-blowing experience. The stall is amazing. The final inversion is whippy. The last pops of airtime into the brake run are still etched into my brain a month and a bit later.

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Immediately from my first ride, I knew Toutatis was something special. This was easily a Top 5 ride for me. As much as possible, I like to re-ride a ride before truly ranking it, but I knew that - barring some strange rides later - this would be one of my absolute favourites.

Throughout the day, I got a total of 6 rides on Toutatis. I queued between 20-40 minutes each time (the ride has a single rider queue, but apparently that was/is temporarily closed due to it being abused?). I got 3 front row rides, thanks to the front row queue being slightly hidden. And damn, Toutatis is a front row ride. The launches feel all the more powerful. The rollback from the top hat is tantalising. You still get good height on the spike. And I think my favourite part of the front row experience is the brake on the top hat, giving you a real good hanging experience.

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I still haven't talked about the further theming and experience. The Toutatis area looks fab. It's nothing ground breaking or different, it's just a well done, cohesively themed area, which a subtle background soundtrack which works. The station and dispatch sequence are really cool. Again, nothing overtly special, just a cool, well done thing. The ride after the top hat until the final inversion pretty much is hidden away and pretty bare, which I didn't have a problem with. Whilst it certainly would have been awesome to have that interaction and those views, I like the hidden away aspect. It's different to something like, for example, Taron, which has a everything in plain sight, and uses that to its advantage.

After riding it multiple times in the day (frankly, after my second ride), I concluded that Toutatis was my new number 1. Whether there was some recency bias, Taron-fatigue (my previous number 1) or that Toutatis is simply better is still something which can be discussed. But simply put, if you put Toutatis and Taron right in front of me, I would rather ride Toutatis than Taron. That swing launch experience is just perfect.

And a quick fun fact, before I move on. My Top 3 creds are now Toutatis, Taron and Taiga. All Intamin multi-launches and all have single-word names beginning with T. Just in case any parks are out there reading this and want to introduce a new cred favourably reviewed by me ;)



My last visit to Asterix was in 2020, which was a weird visit owing to some Covid restrictions (masks having to be worn in queue lines and on rides). So it was nice to see the park in a more 'normal' light. Of course, there wasn't much difference in operations or anything, but still, nice. For mid-July, and a 10pm close day, the park wasn't that busy, which meant I was able to enjoy the greatest hits of the park, and not have to worry about wasting time on rides I may or may not like.

I got a couple of rides in on Oz'Iris, which remains my favourite B&M invert, and still sits nicely in my Top 10. An absolutely fantastic ride from start to finish, with the right level of intensity and force, mixed with grace and elegance. And the park were still running this superbly, with staff working their absolute socks off constantly to get trains out quicker than I could have ever imagined. Just in general, this ride is fantastic.

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I also decided to ride Tonnerre 2 Zeus. I wasn't a fan of this pre-retrack, so was curious how the retrack/reprofiling would go down. This was probably my longest wait of the day too, at about 45minutes. I also ended up, for some reason, riding it in the backwards row (which is now free, after being an upcharge upon opening). I didn't enjoy the backwards sensation all that much. It was also painfully obvious which parts of the ride were new and old. The old track rattled, whirred and shook like a broken vibrator you couldn't turn off.
T2Z is a relic of wooden coasters from the past. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it really shows how far rides have developed in the last 25 years.

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If you go to Asterix and don't take a photo of Zeus' underwear, did you really go to Asterix?

Pégase Express was the only other coaster I rode on park. This is a tricky one. I really appreciate the ride and everything it does. It's got a solid layout, looks lovely and fits the bill wonderfully for a family coaster in the park. And I want to like it. But, even as a family coaster, it just doesn't do it for me. As I say, I really appreciate it and recognise its worth, but I just don't rate it all that much.

A trip to Asterix wouldn't feel complete to me without rides on their log flume or L'Aerolaf, which of course were done. One ride which I was looking forward to doing was their madhouse, Le Defi de Cesar. Because I had only visited during the Covid-impacted time, all of the preshows for the ride were skipped when I last rode, meaning you entered just the ride portion, and did so through the exit. And my ride also had a few effects not working on ride (no audio, for example). So this time, I hoped to get the full experience. Sadly not. Again, all preshows were skipped, and some of the screens on-ride were not working. Poor experience all round, and one which the park need to sort.

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Looking slightly less petrified than on my previous visit

All in, though, I had a magnificent time at Asterix. Toutatis is truly amazing, and the park in general is really good. It's still perhaps up there as my 2nd favourite park, behind Phantasialand. It was difficult to leave the park knowing that it was open till 10pm, but alas, the joys of a day-trip and a 9pm flight called me. The shuttle bus back to the airport was again easy and straightforward, and the journey home was uneventful.

Coming soon: A trip report on Tusenfryd! Hopefully before my next trip......
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
Oooh, a sensible time frame between TRs. Go me.
At least it was when I started writing this like 2 weeks ago...

Mid-August, I went to Tusenfryd. The park was vaguely on my radar because of their new coaster opening, but I wasn't overly fussed either way, especially since I'd heard loads of not-great reviews about the park. However, thanks to the aforementioned Easyjet compensation from my cancelled May flight, it just worked out.

Of course, as is the running theme with these trips, to minimise costs, I turned this into a day trip. Norway was a new country for me, and of course I'd have liked to spend a bit more time there, but again, I wasn't that fussed. A few of my friends thought I was mad doing a day trip to Oslo from Surrey. Clearly, though, goon minds think alike, as I see @Rob Coasters also did the same thing a little bit before me!

I ended up going on the 16th, aka "Roller Coaster Day", as that's when flights from Stansted were cheapest. This was also Tusenfryd's last day of being open every day, before moving to peak days only I assume, and for some reason, the cost of a ticket to the park was like £15 cheaper - not complaining!

My journey to the park was not without hassle. A drive to Stansted from Surrey was made longer thanks to closures on the M25; not exactly what I wanted at 3am. The flight itself was fine. Passing through security as OSL airport, however, was a faff, and a first for me.

"What brings you to Oslo sir?" asked the security lady.
"I'm going to Tusenfryd, the theme park"
"Huh, sorry"
"Tusenfreed, the theme park"
"Oh yes, yes, I know. How long are you here for?"
"Just the day; I'm flying back tonight."
"You've come all the way to Oslo from London for a theme park? You do know it is a kids park, right?" With a suspicious eyebrow raised..
"Oh yeah, I know it's a family park. Visiting theme parks is my hobby and they've got a couple of cool rides I want to ride!"
"...Are you travelling by yourself?"
"Yeah"

The security lady gave me a very stern, rather suspicious glare still. She grabbed the passport stamp, and still glaring it at me, very slowly stamped my passport and gave it back to me. She clearly had her suspicions about me, but didn't have enough to feel I was a risk. First time anything like this has happened to me though. I've done a couple of day trips to parks now. I've been to some parks which are definitely family-focused. I've never had any suspicions thrown my way - if anything, security have always been really enthused by it. Some even offer tips.

It's strange too. Both on paper and after visiting, I wouldn't refer to Tusenfryd as a "kids park". Family park, yeah, sure. But that's the beauty of a family park, it has a bit for everyone. Obviously it didn't impact the day in any way, and only added an extra minute or two to the security process. But still an unusual faff and a first for me. Any other CF-ers had similar suspicious eyebrows thrown their way, or am I just dodgy-looking?

Anyways, aside from that, the journey to the park was chill and uneventful, although very picturesque.
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One train, one bus and one hour later, I was at the park, a little after opening!

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Arriving in the park, I saw Speed Monster operating, but it looked like it had a long queue. One of the main negatives I'd heard about Tusenfryd was the terrible operations, so I thought I'd skip it for now, and look for something less scary-looking. I went straight to the back of the park, and I quickly learnt that this park was gonna be full of hills. One trek later, and I was in Dragonville and at Storm - The Dragon Legend.

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Now I don't know if it's because it had just opened, or just because it was at the back of the park, but it had a short queue, which was a nice bonus.

I've ridden one Gerstlauer triple launch, the pretty similar-in-layout Gold Rush at Slagharen. That was a few years ago now, but I did like it. And Storm was a big driving factor in ever considering visiting Tusenfryd.

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I hadn't seen any reviews of this prior to riding. But I think my review will largely echo @Rob Coasters, after having read his. The first launch happens and is nothing special. You don't get too high up the first inversion. When rolling back, you expect the second launch but it just doesn't come. Until BAM - it hits hard as the back of the train is just about to exit the station. It really took me by surprise, but it was fantastic. The train overall gets great height here too. Owing to the length of the train, the front of it doesn't quite get the same hangtime as at the back (unlike Gold Rush, where it's pretty consistent). What that does mean it offers two very different experiences.

Across my 3 rides, I got one near the front and 2 at the very back. The very back gives a brilliant amount of hangtime, with the train effectively inverted, which feels unnatural and slightly terrifying with the lap bars on an invert. The front is tamer, but still great fun. The third launch hits with a similar punch in the best possible way too.

The rest of the ride is, surprisingly for a Gerstlauer, crystal smooth. Maybe that's an age thing. But it is very comfortable and slick, whilst also being forceful, but not too forceful. The airtime hill following the first inversion gives a great pop (probably the best I've experienced on an invert). Whilst the ride layout is short and repetitive, it doesn't hurt the ride experience. If anything, this is one of those rides where the layout was clearly designed to be repetitive to work in favour of the ride experience.

The throughput is a bit of an issue, though the ride does have an SRQ which I was able to use effectively. But aside from that, Storm is a really solid addition to the park and is well-presented and styled, and just works. And the ride experience is actually really good. Top 10%? No, absolutely not. But definitely in the upper sections of my ranking, which to be honest, I was not expecting.

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Storm brought some dark clouds, but no storms here!

It was at this point I got to experience Tusenfryd's poor reputation. I decided to tick off the reasonably nearby Western Express cred, but that wasn't open till 12, with only a tiny little sign by the entrance saying so. I wandered over to Thunder Coaster, the park's woodie. It had a fair bit of a queue, but was on 2 trains and seemed to be running okay. But then that shut down, with a train stuck on the lift. I waited for a few minutes and the train got going again. The ride then did a couple of test runs, and again, the same train got stuck on the lift. The engineer at the ride did a shout out to the queue line, explaining something, and very few people left. This made me think things would get moving again quickly, and wasn't the more usual "We don't know how long this ride will be shut, we recommend you do something else".

However, either the engineer was wrong or Norwegians are very patient, very stubborn people, as nothing happened for a good few minutes longer, so I decided to cut my loses and try something else.

I trekked down the long, winding pathway down to the park's water coaster, SuperSplash. There was a queue of people outside the entrance, and a sign saying the ride was open from 11am...although at this point it was about 20 past 11...

Fortunately, I was only there for a couple of minutes before the ride was opened. This was fairly bog standard, +1 really.

I then did the park's Hafema rapids, Ragnarok. I find that Hafema rapids are very hit or miss. Fortunately, this was a hit, with a fun layout, featuring a whirlpool as well as another drop, plus some waterfalls and neat effects. A bonus was that it was walk-on, which was particularly nice given the surprisingly warm 22C weather!

The next stop was set to be Thor's Hammer, the park's dark ride literally built into a cave. Unfortunately that wasn't scheduled to open till 12. Though the park didn't feel extremely busy, with this - albeit nicely themed - Viking Land being a dead end at a big hill, I didn't want to risk leaving the area now and not getting a chance to ride later. So I hung around, and fortunately the doors opened dead on 12.

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I'd heard good things about this, but didn't really know what the ride was or what to expect. For those unaware, it's a tracked dark ride where the cars can spin 360 degrees, tilt, featuring 3D screens and real life sets, where you help Thor get his hammer back. And in short, it is really bloody good. I was really surprised at it all, especially from a park like Tusenfryd which doesn't strike you as the sort of park to have a dark ride of this quality. It ticks all the right boxes and is just really well done. The 3D isn't the greatest; but I'm never too sure with 3D if where I wear glasses and my eyes are a bit rubbish that has a negative impact on me. But that would be my only complaint.

With that done, I trekked back up the long and winding pathway and heard the distinct rumble of a wooden coaster. Thunder Coaster had reopened, albeit on one train. Operations were alright all things considered. I got a mid-train ride and...it wasn't great. There was a particularly rough turn early on which jolted me and I did not like. And pretty much anything that didn't involved the ride going straight was uncomfortable. Ooft.

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This was also the final Vekoma woodie I needed to get the whole set. Yay, go me!! This was also the worst of the three.

I decided to just keep ticking off creds at this point. I went back over towards the entrance and ticked off Loopen, the Vekoma Tornado looping coaster. This was basically just as awful as the one at Hellendoorn, did not enjoy.

A ride I did enjoy, however, was my back row ride on Speed Monster, the park's picturesque Intamin hydraulic launch. Had a bit of a queue for this, but nothing major. Whilst the launch isn't all that (probably one of, if not, the weakest Intamin hydraulic launch?), the rest of the layout is fun, varied and a decent length. The Norwegian loop is naturally the highlight, and again, the picturesque setting of it above the entrance is a really cool feature. In terms of quality, I prefer Storm, but this is still - likely quite rightly - the park's headline coaster.

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With all the big creds got, I could relax a bit more now. I had a spot of lunch and then ticked off the Zamperla family spinning coaster HuriHuri, a cheeky +1. I did want to ride the self-proclaimed world's smallest coaster, Den Aller MInste, but it was shut for the day, with an engineering hammering away at the lift hill when I walked past.

Instead, I trekked back up the hills of Tusenfryd and back to Dragonville. But Storm wasn't my first port of call. Instead, I went to The Dungeon, the park's permanent scare maze that opened up last year. An upcharge, at about £4.50, I was curious what it was all about. I got a solo run - it wasn't very popular - and got the pre-show in English as a result. Basically the story is that you're visiting the Dungeon Keeper's child, and they're going to show you around as they're being trained to be the new Dungeon Keeper. Kudos to the actor here, who really sold the story and made it creepy.

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The maze itself was extremely well themed and a fair length. It had a good number of actors, and some cool atmosphere and sound effects. It was your standard, paint-by-numbers scare maze. But it was really well done. And I don't know whether it was the solo runthrough, the fact the actors were shouting at me in Norwegian or what, but it did get me a bit - a couple of really good jumps. The ending has something I don't think I've ever seen before in a scare maze. It's nothing special, but a cool element which sold it for me.
So yeah, if you visit Tusenfryd and like scare mazes, definitely don't miss The Dungeon!

The rest of the day involved the aforementioned re-rides on Storm, one on Speed Monster and Thor's Hammer and ticking off a couple more uneventful rides, including grabbing the +1 of Western Express.

One thing which struck me about Tusenfryd was how stuff was...reasonably priced? This was my first time in Norway, and I'd heard plenty of things about how expensive the country is. The journey from the airport wasn't that cheap. But from entrance ticket, to food and drink and the merch on offer, everything at Tusenfryd was reasonably priced and arguably on the cheaper side of what I expected. Not that I'm complaining of course!

All in, I was quite happy with my day at Tusenfryd. I'd heard plenty of negatives about the park, and whilst it's true their operations leave a lot to be desired, the park is well-presented, has a fair selection of decent attractions and was just all-round a nice park to be in. It's not a park I'll be in any rush to get back to, but it is a park which is very worthwhile to have visited!

Journey back to the airport was easy. Return flight was a bit of faff; staff were a bit rude in the airport and flight was delayed by an hour with no communication (good ol' Ryanair). Driving back to Surrey was a nightmare - closures on the M25, no clear diversions set up and Google Maps not working. Ended up taking almost twice the length of time it normally does for me to get home.

The things we do for creds, ey?
 

Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
Damn, shame I skipped Thor's Hammer & Dungeon after hearing your praises they sound really good. But Storm was calling my name!
 

HeartlineCoaster

Theme Park Superhero
It's strange too. Both on paper and after visiting, I wouldn't refer to Tusenfryd as a "kids park". Family park, yeah, sure. But that's the beauty of a family park, it has a bit for everyone. Obviously it didn't impact the day in any way, and only added an extra minute or two to the security process. But still an unusual faff and a first for me. Any other CF-ers had similar suspicious eyebrows thrown their way, or am I just dodgy-looking?
That is an unfortunately misinformed opinion for them to be forcing on you in such a situation. Have noticed that Scandi countries have been a bit more inquisitive than usual as a rule on the past couple of visits, but this is fair enough and it's probably more the day-trip aspect that made this slightly more unusual.

I usually just lead with 'rollercoasters' wherever we go, it comes off as a bit more of a direct purpose than 'visiting a theme park' which, sadly it seems, isn't mutually exclusive from suspicious activity.

I'm not dodgy-looking, so can't comment there ;)
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
That is an unfortunately misinformed opinion for them to be forcing on you in such a situation. Have noticed that Scandi countries have been a bit more inquisitive than usual as a rule on the past couple of visits, but this is fair enough and it's probably more the day-trip aspect that made this slightly more unusual.

I usually just lead with 'rollercoasters' wherever we go, it comes off as a bit more of a direct purpose than 'visiting a theme park' which, sadly it seems, isn't mutually exclusive from suspicious activity.

I'm not dodgy-looking, so can't comment there ;)

Yeah, it's certainly an unusual situation. Tbf I guess it was something that was bound to happen at one point or another, and it was inconsequential. Maybe I'll start going with "roller coasters" over "theme parks" in future!
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
I'm nothing if not a completist. I went to Farup Sommerland 2 months ago, and I just haven't had the chance to write up a trip report until now. So I'll do a quick write up now.

Travel
I flew from Stansted to Aarhus, which was again an easy flight. It was then a 2 hour drive to the park, which was incredibly easy and a nice fun drive if truth be told. It meant I arrived to the park at around midday.

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Being late October, it was unsurprisingly cold. Farup don't do a Halloween event, but instead an autumn event, 'Lysfald', where they light the park up beautifully in the evening, and open till 9pm. The park was also quiet, so no queues in sight.

With the weather being cold and not knowing what its operating conditions were like, I opted to head over to the highlight attraction of the park, Fonix. It was running, and walk on. Perfect.

Fonix is a fantastic coaster. It is crystal smooth, with comfy restraints, pops of airtime throughout and it just flows perfectly. It doesn't have the issue that Lech has, for example, of being too intense though, making it very easy to re-ride. I got 4 re-rides without having to leave the train at first, and a grand total of 10 throughout the day. Each ride was just pure joy. I got rides in at the front and back, and this is more of a front row ride for me I think. The stall loop after the first drop is an absolute highlight of the ride too, and I'm very excited to see that that element (or close variations thereof) is appearing on other coasters.

Fonix does make it into my Top 10%, and it even takes the crown of my favourite Danish coaster (taking the reigns from Joy-velen). However, if there was one 'criticism' I could offer of Fonix. It is almost too smooth. By that, I mean it feels over controlled and engineered. Like, the ride knows exactly to the millimetre how far out of your seat you'll go during every airtime moment, how far left or right your body goes during a turn, etc, and then does everything it can to correct your position. This may not sound like a bad thing, or it may not make sense. But it almost feels like you're riding a simulation, not an actual roller coaster. Obviously it's still a fantastic roller coaster, being in my Top 10% shows that, but if it had a little bit more...aggression, it would be even higher.

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In terms of other major coasters, Lynet was one I was really looking forward to as well. The Gerstlauer launch had been high on my list due to my fondness for Anubis at Plopsaland. The queue for the ride is pretty cool, which surprised me a bit. The ride itself is a mixed bag. The launch is, naturally, fabulous. The airtime, wonderful. Any time the ride is not making a turn, joyous. But the second the ride makes any sort of turn, it is uncomfortable and rattly. I said that Fonix needed a bit more aggression. Well Lynet needs a bit less.

It is a classic Gerstlauer in this sense I guess. It shows glimpses of why they can produce great rides, but falls apart in other ways. Not too dissimilar to Anubis I guess.

Falken was the next major ride on the bucket list. My first S&S wooden coaster, one of only four they've made. To be honest, the ride was pretty uneventful. It starts off okay, and then just peters off quickly, before really struggling to get to the end. This coaster reminded me of an old John Wardley quote/interview, where he says that coasters start off tall and fast, before getting shorter and slower towards the end of the ride, leaving a ride to end on a boring note (which is something Nemesis successfully avoids doing). Falken is the epitome of the ride Wardley described. And that's all there is to say about that.

The final major ride is of course Orkanen. I've ridden a couple of clones of this already, so it was nice to tick off the original, especially with the lake surrounding. Solid ride, nothing special, fits the park well. The same could be said for Saven, the park's Vekoma junior boomerang. It looks lovely, has some nice water effects, and just works well in the park. This was my first junior boomerang with one of this stretched out layouts (the others I've done are a bit more compact, rather than linear), and I think I prefer the ones where you cross over yourself a couple of times. Just seems to fit in nicely.

The rest of the park, including a few smaller creds, is really nicely put together. There's some nice rides (I enjoyed their rapids and log flume), staff are lovely and the whole vibe of the park is fab. It's by no means a must-do park, but Fonix really does bring it up the list.

And I'll end the review there. I didn't taken many photos, this is a couple of months old now, and yeah, best to be short and sweet.

I ended up staying at a hotel about a 10-15min drive. It was a tad unnerving...I was the only person staying in the hotel, and it was behind a what-looked-abandoned building. The hotel itself was really nice, owner seemed lovely, but I couldn't help but feel like something was a tad off. Owner said he wouldn't be on site so I'd be all alone in the complex (I requested a contactless check out on booking.com). I was getting up very early in the morning so I could do the 2hr drive back to Aarhus airport for my early flight, so when I was asked when I was leaving, a said a time which was an hour or so after I planned to leave, just in case something sus was up.

Needless to say, I survived the night, and when I left, my hire car was the only car in the car park. All was safe. Maybe I've just watched a couple too many horror films?

Anyways, leaving on that anticlimactic feels a bit odd, so........Fonix is fab.
 
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