One of the best things during the trip was watching small groups of people, from different countries, interacting with each other, even though they had never met before. Justin and I often just stood back and looked at the intense conversations that were taking place between these newly found friends. For me, the trip was worth it just for that.
Personal highlights for me include getting the chance to operate two coasters: ThunderCoaster and Jet Line. I’d never done this before and getting the chance to operate my new #1 was like a dream come true. The special brake-less ERS at Bakken was amazing, as was meeting Hans the ride’s manager; a top bloke. The midnight ERS on Lisebergbanan was wonderful. The look on peoples’ faces when we announced the surprise ERS at TusenFryd will stay with me forever.
Personally, I loved the Bakken Woodie best, especially when Hans the ‘no-brake’ man was in charge. The Tivoli woodie was excellent, even though it was quite small. When we sat in the back seat on the last morning during the rain, both Mick and I thought the cars were actually leaving the track as the train sped around the bends.
BonBon Land was fun, particularly the ‘Scream and Screech Slide’, which looked like a predecessor to the Hammerhead Stall we saw at Vekoma, but much, much smaller. We enjoyed the Valhalla Haunted Swing at Tivoli, Viking Expedition at Tusenfryd and Dino World II at Linnanmäki. These were just some of the ‘different’ rides which we found at the parks. Thanks to all who organised the trip for us, also thanks to the parks for treating us so well.
Well what a trip the Coolest Coaster Tour was. One of the best, if not the absolute best coaster trip we have ever done – all good parks, good hotels and not too much time spent on a coach. All of the parks had a good selection of attractions and atmosphere that I could not liken to anything in the UK.
Tivoli was the first park of the trip and there was nothing organised for us for the Saturday evening. This gave us enough time to sample many of the attractions and take in the atmosphere of the park. It is quite easy to see how Disney and others could be inspired by this park.
The Rutschebanen was a good fun Scenic Railway. Tivoli also had one of the best Mack powered coasters, the Odin Express, which seemed to be one of the fastest about. Slangen (Snake) was the park’s other coaster and was very similar to Parc Asterix’s Vol d’Icare which was also good fun.
The following day saw us visit Bakken, which is the oldest operating amusement park in the world. This park didn’t have a pay one-price option, but we were given ride tickets and our trip passes got us on the Rutschebanen, which is the best Scenic I have ever ridden, especially when there was just Club members on and they were running it flat out. The entrance to one of the tunnels would never be seen in the UK especially as you went between a naked woman’s open legs!
BonBon Land is owned by a Danish sweet company and home to a small Zierer called the Hundeprut (which translates to Dog Fart – seriously!). The ride travels through a kennel and past a large dog with its leg cocked and some “mess” on the floor. There are also sound effects! This was quite a nicely themed park and I would have liked to have spent more time at.
Shortly after arriving at Liseberg we made our way to the Lisebergbanan – which was a good fun Schwarzkopf coaster. It is built on the side of a hill, is really quiet and smooth and a real queue eater!
We headed out to TusenFryd for a surprise 30 minutes evening ERS. ThunderCoaster, what a ride – loaded with air time and no let up from leaving the lift hill until arriving back at the brakes. The second drop was the highlight of the ride for me. The only problem with it is the lap bars, they are metal with no padding.
Gröna Lund was home to the Schwarzkopf Jet Line coaster, again very smooth and quiet like the Lisebergbanan. The park converterd their viewing tower to an excellent Giant Drop a few years ago, and also have a S&S Combo Tower.
We next went to Särkänniemi, home of the new Intamin inverted coaster called Tornado. The ride is very smooth, and is unusual in that it features an underground station. When we arrived at the park, they took us straight to the top of the viewing tower and into the five star restaurant for dinner. After this we were taken via the exit ramp for a go on Tornado, ahead of our ERS on it later in the evening.
The final park of the trip was Linnanmaki home to another Scenic Railway that was the same as the one at Bakken and celebrated its 50th birthday this year. New for this year was the Premier Rides Liquid coaster, which was quite a good ride and very wet indeed, mainly due to some screens to stop water splashing over the neighbouring road and path.
This trip was the biggest and most complex we had ever undertaken. We knew the parks were all superb, but would enough people agree and want to come? We didn’t need to worry.
It was called the “best coaster trip ever” by some of those in attendance that had been on many trips before. The reason for its success, in my opinion, was simple. The parks. Without exception they were just stunning, and their generosity was second to none. It must have been good; we did it again two years later.