Saturday, 23 June 2007

Day 18 - Djurs Sommerland, Tivoli Friheden, Bonbon Land & Tivoli

On these trips there is always one day that gets labeled "the day from hell", and this had the potential to be it for this trip. Typically any day where you were visiting two parks in any 24 hour period can be pretty hectic as you run around to make the most of the park in the time you have. Today we had not two, not even three but four parks to visit although admittedly we'd be visiting the last one again.

Park number 1 was Djurs Sommerland, which was being visited by the park for the very first time. On the trip we also have a t-shirt day where everyone wears the trip shirt, today was that day in case you're wondering why people are dressed alike.

Some nice theming in the Western part of the park. Its a shame we weren't going to spend enough time here to properly take it all in.

This town, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhah, is rather like a ghost town.

Panning for fake gold.

The monkey is a nice touch!

The main reason for visiting this park was to take in Thor's Hammer a newly added bobsled coaster. The theming on the way in looked really good although I thought the hammer looked more like the handle and hilt of a sword.

HDR shot of the main drop, which takes place halfway through the ride.

The first half is all hairpins

Hurrah for wide-angle lenses.

"Should I ride, or should I remain sat atop this thinking rock" (copyright Dr Seuss 2007)

I think people enjoyed this ride, signs may have been more visible had we, and the ride, had time to wake up.

The main drop. Say cheese!

This themed rock contains runic scripture which translates as "ias iaa hat og brnllez ", which in today's language can be interpreted as "I's has a brain", a park in-joke for those who are geek enough to understate both lolcat speak and ancient celtic scripture.

This must be the African themed part of the park.

What are the odds on this themed ride existing in an African themed park in the US? In fact could you even have an African themed park there?

"I'm going to sue you for deformation of my afro-american ancestry".
"Sir, would you like to ride, you're holding up the queue"

Keith had threatened to wear his trampy jeans to this park and when he did it was only right he be locked up for his crimes to fashion.

Why Matt Dillon?

These are the park mascots, unfortunately I'm unable to find their names. Their hobbies are cross dressing and eating sweetcorn, on the cob of course.

This is the second coaster in the park, a caterpillar with the very strange name Karlo's Taxi.
"Hi, I'm Karlo, where would you like to go?"
"Through an apple then wiggle up and down a little bit before doing it all again"
"OK jump in"

and this is a line of coaster enthusiasts all in matching tops queuing to ride it. With the public waiting for the park to open barely 20 ft away the chance of a revolt from them towards us was very high, but they took it well. To be honest they were probably confused by the sight of 140 people wanting to ride this.

The new ride at the park was the Topple Tower, which I had been hoping to ride at Dollywood last year but it was closed for maintenance. So this would be my first. It starts like a normal gyro drop (where the ride rotates) but then the whole structure tips and starts rotating.

It actually looks a lot better than it rides. A lot of the movement is lost when you're on it and you just feel like you're spinning around. You don't really get the tip aspect of the ride. Still I'd ridden it.

Nice touch to have a fruit stand on the way out. I stocked up on bananas for the next leg of the trip to Tivoli Freheden. Djurs Sommerland looked like being a great park but, I suspect would happen today, we didn't spend enough time here to find out for sure. There's a large water park that we didn't even see for example. I'm certain the club will come back here and spend some more time then.

Tivoli Friheden is another city park, this time in the city of Arhus.

At the centre of the park was the Scad tower, a variation on the successful bungie jump attractions only on this ride you drop without being secured to any cord. Instead you fall into a big net that makes this loud crack sound that echoes around the park as if to signify that someone else has been stupid enough to give it a go.

As someone who can cause an Alpine slide to derail by merely turning my head and who has ricocheted around a sky diving simulator with a mere nod, I just knew that I had a high chance of landing on my neck, so I wasn't prepared to give this a go but some friends did and they appeared to have enjoyed it; it's not for me.

The park itself looked really really nice. Very well maintained and with a decent selection of rides.

Except this monster, it hurt, just like the one in Karolinalund.

Ow ow ow!!!

The little caterpillar was alright but it saw my camera and hid.

Now this I loved. Park mascots usually just walk around the park and interact with people on the ground. On the last Scandi trip I remember seeing the caterpillar in Tusenfryd deliberately kicking people in the arse and lifting womens' skirts knowing there'd be no retaliation, and up til now he was my favourite mascot. At this park however the mascots went on the ride, even this one that went upside down. Fortunately their heads remained on, I can only imagine the screams from little kids if they had fallen off.

The best coaster in the park would have to be the spinning mouse, never a good indictment of a park to be honest. These guys liked it so much they got to go round twice. Actually they'd somehow managed to lock the restraints down in the station and had to be sent around a second time before they could get off.

This was a weird spinning ride that I hadn't come across before. I didn't ride it to find out if it was any good.

The funhouse was pretty good, although a bit short, and a slight rip-off at being an upcharge attraction (not covered by the wristband).

The lean-in room was particularly clever as demonstrated by Keith. The hand rail contained a ball that rolled upwards. I'd not seen that in attractions like these before. Next door to this was a ghost train that was probably the best (apt saying that in Denmark) attraction in the park. It appeared to be home made and had nice little touches like rats scuttling across pipes.

Whilst we could have done with more time here I didn't feel I'd missed as much of it as I had with Djurs Sommerland. It was time to say "bye bye" to Tivoli Friheden, and head off to Bonbon land.

A nice sky en-route to Holme-Olstrup in southern Denmark home to the park.

Calling Bonbon land a one of a kind park is an understatement. It's so out there it's untrue (this is the farting dog that welcomes you to the park as an example), and in terms of theming has to be one of the most unique themed parks in the world. The Bonbon company markets a range around Scandinavia with lovely names like "bull shit", "pigeon crap" etc. We were welcomed to the park by Michael, the guy behind both the company and the park who shook everyone's hand as we made our way in. He's a really nice guy, not what you'd expect from someone with such a crazy imagination.

Last time we were here it was to ride the first installation of the Eurofighter coaster, Vild Svinet (Wild Pig). It was a nice ride at the time and still pretty good.

The back end of Svinet. I think the high points on the ride are painted light blue to hide the ride a bit. So it seems odd that there's no issue with the drop tower.

This is a butterfly coaster, which is perhaps the most basic version of a rollercoaster you'll ever come across. It's operated by the rider and has an awful throughput as a result. We were surprised that everyone who wanted to ride this got to do so. I'd have expected the queue to have been longer than we had time for (much like Parken Zoo)

I believe there are only a small number of parks where the theming offers as much of an enjoyable experience as the rides. Tokyo Disneysea is perhaps the best example and this has to be the second. This is a Disk-O ride themed as running over the wings of a demented looking gull.

Look at that rat, and where it's sat. I think the mad cat stole its hat. (more Dr Seuss). At Han-Katten does wear a hat so it does make sense.

A cool looking polyp type ride. I guess it can't be easy to make an octopus look cute but they've managed it here.

The Bigbone tower (snigger).

This is what theming should be like, irrelevant to anything around it but worth looking at all the same. You can just imagine Michael walking around the park pointing at places and going "I want a drunk rat up there"..........OK, maybe you can't. His head works in a different way, but it's a good way.

This is the famous dog fart coaster. A rather straight forward coaster made memorable by playing a fart noise as you go through the kennel and featuring a statue of a dog taking a crap in its centre. Apparently this ride was conceived by Michael's son who when asked what kind of ride he'd like to see in his dad's park replied "dog fart". Just as well he didn't respond "monkey spunk" then.

Most parks usually insist that people under the influence of drugs not enter this park. I think doing so in this park would induce seizures.

This is the new ride and which had only opened a week prior to us visiting. Han-Katten (with hat) is a new generation of spinning mouse type rides where people sit opposite each other. I had ridden one before on the America trip at Six Flags New England and I think this was the first of its kind in Europe, but I hope not the last. Head of Six Flags Mark Shapiro likes these rides too and has started putting them into his parks. A clever move!

I went on with Martin and Lisa and we had an absolutely blinding ride on this, quite literally. We spun so much everything was just one big blur. Simon who was fortunate enough to witness our run said he'd never seen a car spin so much, and as we came back into the station even the ride engineers were looking at the car and shaking their heads in disbelief and laughing.

I had to run over to Michael and tell him what a great ride he had, before running back for another go. This for me was the most fun ride on the trip by quite a margin. I think having people sat opposite and seeing their reaction to the ride acts as a catalyst to your enjoyment and leads to everyone coming off laughing.

After dinner at the park we left Bonbon and headed into Copenhagen for a quick Tivoli fix. Personally I think Bonbon is a day park, not a few hours park. We really needed to spend more time here as it had so much to offer. The last time we came to Bonbon we had takeovers allover the park including the children's assault course (physically exhausting) and the rocking cow (which was just plain mental) however there was no time for any of that, and checking the new park map it looks like both may have gone, a pity.

I should also mention that I'd also taken quite a lot of photos at this park before realising late on that I hadn't put the memory card back into the camera after backing up my Tivoli Friheden pictures, so these were taken very quickly on the way out, and I really need to get back there.

We arrived very late in Copenhagen and made our way over to the park to experience it at night. Tivoli is an amazing park and my words won't really do it justice (becoz I can't choose the bestest wordz). We were going to have 2 nights and a day here and as I had been here before I deliberately avoided the rides and relaxed in the gardens instead.

A rather naff shot of the entrance lit up in all is glory, which I failed to capture.

Although a small city park, there are over a dozen restaurants, a theme park, various stages and theatres. The perfect recipe for a city park that caters to all ages. This is the chinese theatre that wasn't actually showing anything when we got there, but did have a ballet performance the next night.

The main stage in the centre of the park was hosting a concert from a Danish band. Alas it wasn't Aqua, I would have liked to have heard Barbie Girl sung live for comedy value alone, but given the turnout it was probably someone a bit more hip. It was also quite amusing seeing the first timers to this park trying to figure out a way to the rides without trying to squeeze past this lot!

The chinese pagoda near the back of the park. Nicely themed, and also home to Daemonen, the one ride I hadn't done at this park.

The Chinese Dragon close to Daemonen's queue line. I doubt it was theming but there was a nasty smell of vomit around here.

It was closed (it was quite late after all) so I just played with the camera and tried to get some long exposure shots.

After I'd got bored taking pictures I met up with some of the others who had chosen to relax with a drink rather than ride the rides, and we just relaxed at Cafe George (of all the places) and had a good chat and laugh. After a short laser and fountain show (we were too relaxed to go and watch) we were then kicked out of the park and made our way to our rooms.

The longest day had come to an end and whilst I wasn't overly tired I missed spending more time at the first three parks, particularly Djurs and Bonbon.

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