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Monster-Raving Goony Party: Liseberg.

Howie

Donkey in a hat
Soooo... I had the next chapter almost written up, nearly finished it was... and then yesterday I dropped and smashed my phone. 🤦‍♂️
All kitted out with a nice new one now but having to re-login to everything has meant that the draft has been lost. Gotta start again.
What a ...
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andrus

Giga Poster
My next vlog from Skara is now up!


Sent from my SM-S901B using Tapatalk
So I'm waiting for the Howie trip report and all, but meanwhile I'm wondering what your impressions where of Skara Sommarland, and Snake in particular?

We actually went to Skara with the family a couple of weeks after you've been. There have admittedly not been much cred hunting since we got kids. But Skara is actually a really great park to hang out in with smaller kids! Friendly atmosphere, clean, no queue jumping and lot's of different types of rides for the small ones. The water park is great too, even with some slides for the older teens and adults. But the fairground section have been lacking in the thrill department. That's why I was most pleased (and surprised) when Parks & Resorts decided to put a Funtime Chaos Pendle at the park!

I've been intrigued by this ride type ever since Wiener Prater opened Black Mamba. Heck I even think I started it's own topic back in the days 😅 So it's great to finally get on one! I've heard some people say that the experince is a lot less impressive onride than off ride. Personally though I really loved the ride and think it's a great fit for the park 🙂 While the ride experince aint as intense as it looks, the Chaos Pendle does pull som high G's and, to my surprise, have lots of moments of airtime! The seating is very exposed as well, making the views great at the top. I think it's a good ride and I will definitely ride it again at my next visit. And even more important: it's a spectacular attraction from off ride. Since most kids are too small or afraid to ride Snake I think Parks & Resorts made a brilliant choice to put in a Chaos Pendle as their high thrill attraction, since it still provides the rest of thepark visitors with great visuals and an awe-inspiring experience even off ride.

Will be interesting to hear your thoughts!
 

SilverArrow

Certified Ride Geek
So I'm waiting for the Howie trip report and all, but meanwhile I'm wondering what your impressions where of Skara Sommarland, and Snake in particular?

We actually went to Skara with the family a couple of weeks after you've been. There have admittedly not been much cred hunting since we got kids. But Skara is actually a really great park to hang out in with smaller kids! Friendly atmosphere, clean, no queue jumping and lot's of different types of rides for the small ones. The water park is great too, even with some slides for the older teens and adults. But the fairground section have been lacking in the thrill department. That's why I was most pleased (and surprised) when Parks & Resorts decided to put a Funtime Chaos Pendle at the park!

I've been intrigued by this ride type ever since Wiener Prater opened Black Mamba. Heck I even think I started it's own topic back in the days 😅 So it's great to finally get on one! I've heard some people say that the experince is a lot less impressive onride than off ride. Personally though I really loved the ride and think it's a great fit for the park 🙂 While the ride experince aint as intense as it looks, the Chaos Pendle does pull som high G's and, to my surprise, have lots of moments of airtime! The seating is very exposed as well, making the views great at the top. I think it's a good ride and I will definitely ride it again at my next visit. And even more important: it's a spectacular attraction from off ride. Since most kids are too small or afraid to ride Snake I think Parks & Resorts made a brilliant choice to put in a Chaos Pendle as their high thrill attraction, since it still provides the rest of thepark visitors with great visuals and an awe-inspiring experience even off ride.

Will be interesting to hear your thoughts!
I loved it. It was my third one this year so completed my Chaos Pendle set! I'd probably say Black Mamba was the most intense of the three but they're all great. I dragged a load of people on Snake and I know not everyone enjoyed it as much as I did, but I think most were impressed. 😂
 

andrus

Giga Poster
I loved it. It was my third one this year so completed my Chaos Pendle set! I'd probably say Black Mamba was the most intense of the three but they're all great. I dragged a load of people on Snake and I know not everyone enjoyed it as much as I did, but I think most were impressed. 😂
I'm glad you persuaded(/forced?) your companions to go on Snake! Like I wrote above I really loved the ride: some great and unexpected forces, not too dizzying and awe-inspiring looks. I hope that (at least) the majority of the group enjoyed their ride 😂
 

MouseAT

Hyper Poster
I'm wondering what your impressions where of Skara Sommarland, and Snake in particular?
Having been to Skara a few times now, it's an interesting place. It's annoyingly out of the way, but doable as a detour if you're taking a day to travel cross-country between the more notable parks. It's pleasant enough, but for enthusiasts, it's the sort of place where I'm happy to pop in for a few hours if people need the creds, and then move on.

A lot of the appeal of the place seems to be in the water park, rather than the other rides. Tranan is uniquely quirky, and always worth riding, the other creds are mostly one and done, but there isn't much else of interest to me, personally. It's nice to see Snake find a permanent home there, after it was removed from Grona Lund. There's an OK log flume, the water ski machine is fun to watch as a spectator, and that's about it. Food options aren't exactly great either, in my experience.

As for Snake, it's a decently forceful ride, but quite unnerving. I think it's the combination of the height and the unpredictability. I'm usually fine with either, but combine the two, and it makes me uneasy. I'm glad I rode one, for the sake of doing something rare and different, but whilst I'd probably be up for re-riding one if I was with friends who also wanted to ride, I'd not go out of my way to ride another one otherwise.

Oh, and then there's the spinner. It was closed when we visited, so unfortunately the Skara Sommerland newbies all got spited, but who on earth though that putting spinning cars on what's basically a standard wild mouse layout was a good idea?
 

Howie

Donkey in a hat
Hello again you...
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To be honest, seems a bit pointless finishing this now, Mushy's vlogs are up, the POV's are up, you know all about Skara and Liseberg and Pontus and the guided tour and all that stuff. There's not really much left to tell....

Or is there?

Did he, for example, talk about the creepy house we stayed in after Kolmarden? Or the last minute Pizza Hut dash? Or me having to sleep in the car... again? Or the fact that Mushy's snoring is the loudest noise in the known universe? No, no he did not, so allow me if you will to fill in some of the gaps.

Our digs for that night were in... you know what? I can't even remember where it was now. Jönköping? Norrköping? I'm not sure... but definitely one of the 'köpings. Weird little place it was, a seemingly deserted 'beach' resort type town, except the 'beach' was on the shores of a massive lake rather than the actual 'seaside'. It was getting dark as we arrived, cloudy and rainy, not a soul about and nothing was open. No hotel this time, but three apartments within a creepy old house, the creepy old house itself attached to two or three more creepy old houses all surrounding a gated courtyard. In the courtyard stood a single oak tree. In the oak tree, a solitary seagull screeched ominously and repeatedly, probably translating as "Keep away, run for your lives, save yourselves!"

Creepy apartment with a bed in the dining area 🤷‍♂️ :
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Creepy stove:
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Creepy... whatever this is:
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Curiously, all three apartments contained a locked door that seemingly led to nowhere. Shortly after arrival, Lady Fingers said he heard mysterious organ music emanating from within the walls! 😮 At one point I got locked in the bog. Tell me, is there any panic like the panic you feel when you find yourself locked in a bog? Short of getting your hand or head stuck in something, no, I don't think there is.
And check this out, here is a picture of Tom with a mysterious, floating, ghostly pole through his head:
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I'm no expert on the paranormal, but I've seen The Omen and I know that mysterious, floating, ghostly poles-through-heads appearing in photographs is never a good thing. A portent of impending doom if ever there was one.
In an attempt to ward off evil spirits, me and Tom captured the screeching seagull and sacrificed the feathery little f*** to the flames:
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OK I made that bit up. It was pizza boxes.
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See, we had to have pizza because, as I said earlier, nothing was open. For all intents and purposes, Sweden closes at 8pm on a Sunday. Everything - bars, pubs, restaurants - the lot. Between us we'd made several phone calls en route, various restaurants etc.. only to be greeted with the same response; "You'd like what? A table for ... excuse me, eight people? At this time of night? On a Sunday in the rain? Are you mad?"
After much faff we eventually found a Pizza Hut that was open... but they couldn't deliver, oh no, of course not, we had to go and fetch it. Well, when I say 'we', I mean 'me'. 🙄

Anyways, fed and watered, the group was happy again... ish.
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We even had pudding, vegan chocolate ice cream. It mght look like something that had been scooped up from the elephant enclosure back at Kolmarden, but it was actually alright:
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And then, after a few more beers and a creepy game of cards, it was bedtime. A reasonably early night by our standards, a comfy bed and cooler temperatures meant that maybe, finally, I'd get a decent night's sleep.
Pah! Not a chance!
See, the sleeping arrangements were different here, instead of four twin rooms we had two 3's and a 2, which meant that Mushy bunked in with me and Delly P.
Oh my God, you ain't heard nothing like it in your life! I thought Tom's snoring was bad but Mushy takes it to a whole new level. Imagine the sound a grizzly bear makes when it's drowning in porridge, then take that sound and pump it through a Bowers & Wilkins hi fi at full blast and you'll be about half way there. We love you Mush, but holy crap, that's insane mate! 🤣
For a short while at least, there was a solution - Bluetooth earbuds. With some music playing you could just about drown out the racket and doze off but then, after about an hour, oh no, disaster strikes, batteries die on the earbuds and boom, I'm suddenly awoken to the sound of the drowning bear again. 🤦‍♂️
So now what? Try and sneak into one of the other apartments? No, can't, all locked. Besides, no more beds anyway. On the bathroom floor? No, can still hear him from in there just as loudly. Recharge the earbuds? Nope, left charging lead at home. Kill Mushy in his sleep? Tempting... but no, we needed him for the Liseberg tickets. In the end, desperate to get away from the noise, I grabbed a sheet and a pillow and marched across the street, in the rain, in my pants, and took refuge in the back of my trusty Jeep until morning. I'd already got some kip in the Jeep earlier that afternoon back at Kolmarden so I knew it could be done. It wasn't ideal, not particularly comfortable and a wee bit chilly... but the peace and quiet was blissful! 😁
I make that 4 nights in a row with very little sleep. Not bad for a bunch of old'uns ay? And besides, it's not like we had 2 parks and loads of driving to do the next day.
Oh wait...

Day 4. Skara Sommarland.
AKA The Snake and Trannan show.
Not bad for a small, regional park but there's really not much else here worthy of attention. I think the waterpark is the main attraction here to be honest, the amusement park side of Skara is not exactly extensive. Make no mistake, this park is the textbook definition of a 'cred run', worthy of no more than a couple of hours, tops. Some of us likened it to Pleasurewood Hills which should give you a rough idea of what it's like. But that's not to say we didn't enjoy it, there was some fun to be had and it's still a fairly pleasant place to be:

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We hit Trannan first. I'm sure you know the drill here - it's weird, unusual, quirky, totally unique and mildly amusing because of said quirkiness but... yeah, it's just not very good. I know it's only a prototype and I do think the concept has potential but it does need a lot of refining. Fairly slow, not very thrilling and one or two very shonky turns mean this is little more than a one-and-done.
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Next up was Snakey McSnakeface, the newest, most thrilling and easily the best ride in the park. I had to look this up, but apparently it's a 'Chaos Pendle' from Funtime Rides. A bit like a classic Booster ride but with this weird, double-pivot thing going on that really makes it look wonky and unbalanced:
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I really liked it. One of the best things about visiting the smaller, more obscure parks is getting to try out these weird and wonderful ride types. I mean, let's face it, if this was at Cedar Point it'd be so far down the pecking order you'd never get round to it but here, where it's pretty much the star attraction, you're almost forced to give it a go, even if it's only to get your money's worth.
I thought it was fab! As you may have seen from previous comments, not everyone agreed. Much too scary for some delicate souls. 😉
To be fair, a sudden monsoon while we were riding probably didn't help:
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Seeing as we took refuge in the Trannan station (pretty much the only place in the area with a roof), it made sense to ride the other side once the rain had passed. OK so it's a two-and-done:
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They've got a JASSM here too (Just Another Sh**ty Spinning Mouse)...
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... but it was closed, so that saved us a chore. And that left us with only the mine train left to do:
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It was alright, but nothing memorable. +1.
And that, apart from a quick bite to eat, was Skara Sommarland. Told you it was just a cred run.

In the next and final part then, if I can be arsed, Liseberg.
 
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DelPiero

Strata Poster
Nope, not combined. Tom didn't make a sound (to begin with at least) and I was in the Jeep. That was all Mushy's work! 🤣
I didn't make a sound because I was awake until around 3am as well, tried everything to drown out the noise, I had to put on my over head headphones and listen to Pink! to actually get any sleep. Honestly, worst night's sleep I've ever had.
Still love the Mush though, no idea how Sue slept through it on the last night 😂
 

Gazza

Giga Poster
Yeah I was at Skara a few weeks ago too, pretty much because I wanted to try Tranan, but I also did the water park because Im a huge Proslide goon.
I think i stayed about 5 or so hours, not rushed at all.

Tranan just feels awkward. If you've ever ridden a whip, you'll know the feeling you get on the turns at the end

(The radius forces a sudden increase in velocity because you're now having to follow a longer path than the cable you were previously going the same speed as)

It's like that on Tranan, but the opposite is true too. On the inside of the turns it feels like you are hitting the brakes suddenly because you are following a shorter path than the actual vehicle on the track.

So it just feels weird and not flowing, you get pulled this way and that. But i still rode it like 5 or 6 times because we're literally never going to see one again.
 

Libby_Liz

Roller Poster
I didn't make a sound because I was awake until around 3am as well, tried everything to drown out the noise, I had to put on my over head headphones and listen to Pink! to actually get any sleep. Honestly, worst night's sleep I've ever had.
Still love the Mush though, no idea how Sue slept through it on the last night 😂
To be fair I was also woken up by Sue trying to Spiderman around the room rather than walk on the creaky floorboards 😆
 

MouseAT

Hyper Poster
I’ve been putting off the Liseberg write-up for far too long. A trip this awesome deserves a proper conclusion, and Liseberg deserves, at minimum, a proper write up, given that they really rolled out the red carpet for all of us. More on that later.

Liseberg is an odd park to describe. It’s more of an amusement park than a true “theme” park, but it’s really well put together. Most rides have some degree of theme to them, some more so than others. Outside of the waterfront area, most areas don’t have an obvious, cohesive theme, but many rides have related themes, and tend to be clustered together. The park feels oddly corporate in some ways, at least when compared to the other major Swedish parks, but when you look a bit deeper, there’s a lot of care and attention that has gone into the place. Recent additions to the park have been carefully selected for their quality ride experience, and some careful planning has gone into making the areas transition into each other in a logical way, even if it’s not immediately obvious.

Liseberg is one of those parks that can be done in a full day, but has more than enough to keep you entertained for two. We planned on splitting the difference, by arriving mid-afternoon on the first day, staying until park close, then spending a few hours on park the following day, before getting a late flight back to the UK.

Then flight cancellations happened. Those of us flying with BA found ourselves bumped to a midday flight, and day two was suddenly off the cards. Suddenly, we were down to around 8 hours of park time, and with this being Liz’s first visit to the park, we had kiddie creds to find time for.

Fortunately, we had a Mushroom.

Mark decided to reach out to the park, and enquire about whether it would be possible for him to film a few POVs for the Mushroom Productions YouTube channel, as the park doesn’t allow unattended filming. We got lucky. His email put us back in contact with this legend:

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This is Pontus Hallsberg, Liseberg’s enthusiast liaison. Mark and I met him back in 2019, when we attended a PBE event at the park. Mark and Pontus started communicating, and next thing we knew, perks were being offered to our group of random, unaffiliated goons. How about the opportunity for Mark and Emily to film POVs on Helix and Lisebergbanan for the Mushroom Productions and Retro Rollercoasters YouTube channels, respectively? What about discounted park entry for everyone? Would you like a workshop and control booth tour of Lisebergbanan as well? Wow, yes, thank you very much! More on that later; Believe me when I say, that was just the starting point.

Anyway, we’d all arrived on park mid-afternoon, and with the kids area due to close before the rest of the park, we started by getting the kiddie creds out of the way.

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With those out of the way, we had a few hours to ourselves, before we were due to meet Pontus at 5:30. Baldur was closed for a major refurbishment and re-tracking, and as we were expecting to be filming on some of the major coasters later in the day, we decided to tackle some of our favourite flat and water rides. Loke, the gyro swing, is always a fun time, as is Jukebox. Do not sleep on Jukebox; It may not look like much, but it’s an extremely entertaining ride.

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I believe the rapids followed. They’re OK, but a bit middle of the road. When efforts to drown the snoring bear on the rapids were unsuccessful, and with no porridge on hand, Tom decided to improvise, put Mush at the front of the log flume, and try again.

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Success!

Mush decided he needed a new shirt to get through the rest of the afternoon, so we decided to check out the main merch store. Liseberg has really upped their game when it comes to park merchandise in the last few years, and they have a really impressive selection of stuff these days. I think quite a few of us wished we had some more space in our luggage, so that we could take loads of awesome stuff back with us.

With 5:30 fast approaching, we headed for the meet-up point, and soon afterwards, we had a Pontus! This was where the red carpet really got rolled out for us, as he explained that he was available until 9pm, and he was happy to escort us around as many of the major attractions as possible during those three and a half hours. Welcome, everyone, to goon heaven!

We started with a backstage tour of Valkyria, with views of the ride from the staff areas, and a tour of the workshop, with accompanying tales of how all of the rides in the Norse-themed area (i.e. Balder, Loke, and Valkyria) all tie together. Pontus has worked at Liseberg for well over a decade, and is an absolute wealth of knowledge when it comes to the park. We then got to see the ride control booth, complete with Mack-style control chair, before strapping on GoPros, ready to have our rides, and where applicable, film POVs.

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Then, it was over to Lisebergbanan. Again, it was time to see the ride from behind the scenes, and tour the workshop.

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Stay well away from the red button!

Emily is a huge Schwarzkopf fangirl, so she had her opportunity to fully embrace her “goon of the year” title:

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Lisebergbanan is known to be one of Anton Schwarzkopf’s favourite coasters. Apparently, when he heard that the park was planning to build a roller coaster on the hillside, he drew up plans for Lisebergbanan, and submitted them to the park, even though they’d not been considering Zierer for the project. The park received his unexpected proposal, and agreed with him that his design was awesome, and therefore what they should build. Over the years, the ride has received new trains, which are virtually identical to the originals, and a few changes have been made to the support structure. However, the track is still 100% original. The park has never needed to replace any of the track in 35 years of operation.

We emerged from the workshop into the beginnings of a thunderstorm, which meant all of the rides on the hillside had to close. Never mind, off we all went to check out the new dark ride, and underground home of the Liseberg bunnies: Underlandet.

Liseberg is home to a grumpy old man, who hates the rabbits. This is his shed. One of the signs translates as “Private sign, forbidden to read”. That’s his personality in a nutshell.

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Underlandet takes you on a tour of the rabbit burrow, where they have retreated to avoid him, and where he’s trying to mess with them… with very little success. He’s ultimately captured by the rabbits, and forced to play nice.

The rabbits, by the way, come from outer space. That's why they are green.

Nearby to Underlandet is Hotel Gasten, the park’s haunted hotel walkthrough. Once again, we got escorted to the front of the queue, and given the backstory to the hotel, where everyone who ever entered got lost inside, and no-one escaped alive. As horror walkthroughs go, this is one of the better ones, as the level of detail in the sets is spectacular. We went through as a full group of eight, with seven of us admiring the awesome hotel décor, and a very nervous Liz on edge the whole way through.

By the time we escaped from the hotel, the thunderstorms had passed, and the rides on the hill were beginning to re-open. That meant it was time to get ourselves back over to ‘Banan. First, we got to see the ride ops crank out trains like no tomorrow, from inside the control booth.

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Then it was time to stap on the cameras again, and go for a ride. Lisebergbanan is solid, family friendly fun, and remains a great ride to this day. Mark and Emily both have POVs on their respective YouTube channels; Emily’s is particularly good at capturing the character of the ride, including the grab for the front of the train when passing the “broms” sign.


We didn’t have enough time to do a Helix tour this time around, so were escorted straight into the station, so that we could film. I absolutely adore Helix. It is, and remains, my number one, at least when it’s running well. It took Helix a while to warm back up after the rain and close down, so it didn’t really hit its stride until the very end of the night, but I’ve never had a ride on it that isn’t fun.


Pontus was keen to show us the VR on Atmosfear, as the park are incredibly proud of it. There is some limited footage of the VR available on YouTube, and from those videos, it certainly looks impressive. However, as we were escorted down to the ride exit, it became apparent that the VR systems had just failed, so we’d be riding the old-fashioned way. Honestly, I was OK with that for my first ride on Atmosfear, as drop towers tend to unnerve me, and the view from the top is pretty spectacular. It was a Monday evening, and down below, the park was filming a weekly, televised concert that’s basically a massive crowd karaoke session. Being on the Eastern side of the tower, and watching a concert crowd singing “Dancing Queen” from over 300ft above them made for a rather surreal experience. Atmosfear is certainly intimidating due to the height, but if you can handle the height, the drop itself is one of the tamer ones, so all in all, I’d say it wasn’t too bad. Sue may disagree.


By this point, we were approaching 9pm, and Pontus had to leave us. Thanks were exchanged, a round of applause was given by the top of the escalators, Pontus disappeared off into the night, and the rest of us made our way back down to ground level to re-ride Lisebergbanan, and grab some much-needed food and drink to get us through the rest of the evening. Liseberg is home to some decent food outlets, but as time was of the essence, we ended up popping into the Mattorget food court, just across the way from ‘Banan. The food was certainly edible, but there are definitely much better places to eat on park, if you have the time for a proper sit-down meal.

With food consumed, we were ready to finish up the evening with some re-rides. That mostly meant trying to get as many laps on Helix before ride close. Helix was starting to warm back up after the closure, and whilst it still wasn’t running at its peak, it was definitely reminding me why I adore the ride so much. It has a subtlety to it, so it took me a while to properly appreciate it the first few times I rode it, but I love the varied elements, the few spectacular moments of sustained ejector airtime, and absolutely sublime pacing. IMO, the best seat can vary, depending on how quickly it’s running, and therefore what time of day it is. The back is always fun, but when the ride is properly warmed up and running at its best, the front rows are definitely where it’s at.

Those of us fortunate to be on the last trains of the day even got a bonus lap, as the ride operators sent us round for a second lap of the ride, before asking us to close the restraints so that they could send the empty trains back into storage for the night. Two night rides in a row, on the front row of my favourite coaster? I know this was through sheer luck, but still; Thank you Liseberg, you absolute legends!

With our day over, it was time to head over the road to Gothia Towers, and get checked in. Howie, old man that he is, decided to turn in for the night, whilst the rest of us briefly reconvened in one of the hotel bars for a bit, to have a brief drink and chat, before heading off to bed.

The following morning, Tom, Howie, and I all had a view out over the park, and could see the rides testing. I immediately grabbed the telephoto lens for my camera, and grabbed a few pictures from my hotel window:

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Then it was time to grab breakfast, check out of the hotel, and say our goodbyes. Sue and Harry had a later flight than the rest of us, as they weren’t flying with BA, so they went to wander around Liseberg for a bit, whilst the rest of us jumped back into the hire cars, and headed to Landvetter, to catch our earlier flight home.

So, overall trip summary, then? “Condensed awesomeness” is the probably the way I’d sum it up. We crammed the best of Sweden into four incredibly entertaining park days, ate loads of amazing food, enjoyed some very pleasant alcoholic beverages, and generally had an amazing time, doing some of the things we enjoy the most with some of our best friends in the theme park community. I know I say this every time I go on a trip or attend an event like this, but thank you to everyone who was a part of this. You’re all amazing people, and the trip just wouldn’t have been the same without any of you.

Oh, and a special thanks to Tom for his trip organising skills and driving. You were an absolute star, mate, in making this happen, and saving the rest of us a lot of time and effort. Mushroom also gets a big thumbs up for his work with Liseberg, which really helped make our day there, as does Howie for being our second designated driver.

Anyway, just to finish off, there were photos. Here’s a link to the rest of mine, covering our full time in Sweden. What an amazing country! Now, when are we all going back?
 
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DelPiero

Strata Poster
Thanks for writing this up Andy. Brought back wonderful memories.
Pontus was an absolute star, the knowledge that man has is unbelievable, being able to set foot in the control booths and watch the teams at work was amazing as was seeing a few totally off limit documents in the maintenance areas.
The log flume was probably the hardest I've ever laughed at anything, I've never seen someone get so drenched in my life.
The double rides on Helix at the end were magical, it comes alive in those last 30 minutes for sure.

Again it's all about the people, had such an amazing time with everyone, even the faffy stuff was funny and memorable.
 
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