17th July 2007

This trip report refers to my 1000th coaster. Information discovered after the day resulted in changes to my coaster track record, which pushed the number out from where I expected it to be. The original text has been left in place for posterity.

The three and a half hour drive to TusenFryd from our overnight hotel in Karlstad was punishing for coach drivers and passengers alike. Several dramatic thunderstorms couldn't help but make us wonder whether we'd be driving to a park where all rides would be closed. Fortunately, everything was running. More to the point, the park continued to run rides that would be closed due to poor conditions in any other country. One shining example was the powered Dragon coaster, which has station brakes which don't operate reliably in the wet. A simple solution was arrived at; close off the front car, which was stopping past the station anyway, and continue to load the rest of the train.


My original plan for my thousandth coaster was to land it on the park's sole record breaking coaster. However, my feet took me in a different direction, and thus the landmark fell to an Intamin creation, Speed Monster (#1002). I'm only slightly embarrassed to record that for the first and probably last time in my life I made up one of those awful signs to mark the occasion. The photo across documents the moment in suitable fashion, with Owen picking his nose and someone who actually builds coasters making a silly face beside me.

The ride is yet another proof, as if more were needed, that Intamin should only install rocket coasters built to sensible heights and speeds. The two stupidly big models cost an absolute fortune to buy and install yet are renowned for their poor reliability. The more sensible sized models like this one are a huge amount of fun, suitable for the whole family to enjoy, and, for the most part, they work properly. Speed Monster has a design which takes full advantage of TusenFryd's mountainous terrain to come up with what I'd argue is possibly the best rocket coaster designed yet.

A particularly unpleasant Vekoma Tornado, here named Loopen (#1003), was without question a once-is-enough attraction. Thundercoaster (#1004) was considerably better once you worked out the trick, namely don't sit over an axle. Against my better judgment I decided to chance a circuit in the back seat and found it to be less painful than the front had been. It was my last ride of the day, however, taken in the middle of car three, that proved to be the sweet spot.

This brings me neatly to the record breaking coaster, proudly advertised as the smallest in the world. Dvergbanen (#1005) features a lift hill that cannot be more than four feet tall, but it is nevertheless a real coaster with noticeable lateral forces in the corners. One shouldn't forget SuperSplash (#1006), though it's fair to say that I probably wouldn't have bothered riding it if I didn't count coasters.

As for the rest of the park, we tried a ghost walkthrough which was full of dry ice fog, the first time I've seen something like that. We experienced a viking show which no doubt would have made good sense had I more than zero words of Norwegian. The log flume passed a few minutes but was unremarkable. We'd have liked to have done the Skycoaster, but not at a price of 195 Kroner per person (yikes!). The only other ride we tried was the Space Shot, which we must have ridden at least twenty times. It had a particularly good pop of airtime at the top, and a superb view in two of the four directions.

The day concluded with two ERS sessions on the big coasters and a tour of the Speed Monster engine room. The launch system looks utterly crazy in real life, and I have to admit disappointment that parks don't put these motors somewhere were the general public can see them. Clearly this would have to be through a glass window for safety reasons, but surely that'd be possible.

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