Djurs Sommerland is a very spacious park located a little south of Aarhus. Trip planners looking at the park based on its coasters alone might make the assumption that two hours would be sufficient to explore the place thoroughly. We discovered almost immediately that this time window would be utterly inadequate, and given the schedule for the day there was absolutely nothing that could be done. The only consolation was that future visitors are unlikely to make the same mistake, especially when they read trip reports such as this one!
Half of our time in the park was given over to an exclusive session on the star coaster in the park, another glorious Gerstlauer creation, Thor's Hammer (#1008). Thor is the Norse god of thunder and war, and it is almost amusing that the major part of the ride theming is an audio recording of very bad weather on loop. HIs short handed war hammer, Mjolnir, can also be seen in the station, and a fairly serious weapon it looks too. The track itself is a straight clone of G'sengte Sau, albeit without the buildings in the middle of the course. Though their absence is certainly felt the coaster nevertheless remains a superb ride.
The remaining hour went altogether far too fast. The better part of the group spent a chunk of their time queueing to ride Karlo's Taxi (#1009), which was on some levels funny and on others embarrassing. Of particular note was a small child who came running into the park as it opened only to find a massive queue for her coaster. Tony made the point that this isn't at all fair, and it's hard to dispute that, though I don't agree with his view that smaller attractions should be restricted to smaller people. My take is that anyone who has paid full price admission to a park should be entitled to make use of any attraction they wish provided the can be safely accommodated. If it had been up to me, I'd have avoided this potential situation by having a parallel session on both coasters, as indeed was done in TusenFryd a few days ago with the rides on Dvergbanen.
At any rate, there was only time left for two flat rides, so it was necessary to pick and choose. In this situation I always try to go for the unusual or unique attractions even if there is something that looks cool. This time the log flume got the chop in favour of the Djurs Sommerland Grand Prix, a highly unusual dune-buggy style attraction. In short, slightly underpowered go-karts could be driven across a dirt track. Only a few members had time to experience this, and they were easy to spot from the fact that they were covered in mud. This ride has a great deal of potential; if the karts were a little more powerful it would be awesome indeed.
In the last ten minutes of time I ran for Ørnen, a Huss Topple Tower, in the mistaken recollection that I'd never been on one before. It was only when the tower dropped sideways for the first time that I remembered my previous encounter with one, at Bellewaerde Park. My views have not changed; to summarise, Huss have come up with an attraction that looks a lot better than it rides. Shame really.
20th July 2007
Thanks to some efficient driving we ended up with more time at Tivoli Friheden than we'd had at Djurs Sommerland, where hindsight planning would have suggested things be the other way round. The three mediocre coasters, Orkanens Øje (#1010), Tyfonen (#1011), and Dragen (#1012), were ticked off in less than twenty minutes, leaving ample time to explore the rest of the park. Two other attractions caught my attention. First was a very good dark ride, Ghost Hotel, featuring effects that... well, I won't spoil it for other people. Second was a Fun House, which was an up-charge attraction that frankly was not worth the money; it consisted of just four rooms in total, so little in fact that I walked backwards through it convinced that I'd missed something.
While walking around the park my eye caught something unusual on the Top Spin attraction. It looked like one seat was occupied by a bright green creature that I assumed to be a plastic model, part of the theming. However, the same character appeared a few minutes later on board the pirate ship, complete with a rather frightened bunny. It was then that I realised that these were, in fact, park patrons dressed up in costume. Go figure.
The real star of the park though was a thrill ride which had absolutely no attraction for me, namely the Sky Tower. This is one of only a handful of SCAD Dive attractions in the world. SCAD officially stands for suspended catch air device, though I'd like to suggest the alternate of stupid c*** attention-seeking device. The basic premise is that riders are dropped from approximately one hundred feet into a net, with no restraints of any kind, only a harness which apparently guarantees the correct body position and thus rider safety. The very idea of landing on my spine following a free fall conjures a whole host of unpleasant images, not least paralysis. I'm sure the design is safe, as it wouldn't be operational if it wasn't, but regardless it is not for me. Quite a number of club members had no such inhibitions, though, with around a dozen people getting to wonder for around three seconds whether their doom was imminent.
20th July 2007
The drive from Aarhus to BonBon-Land marked the second occasion in less than a week that our bus driver's satnav didn't know about low bridges. On this occasion we were forced into a lengthy detour, the end result being an arrival at BonBon-Land just over an hour before park closing. This was highly unfortunate and led to a whole stream of people complaining, thereby using up even more of their limited time in the park. I only had the time to zip through the three coasters I'd not previously ridden, leaving the highly regarded log flume and boat rides for another day. The famous dog-fart coaster, Hundeprut (#1013) is as much a rite of passage as anything else; it won't win any awards for statistics, it being a relatively small ride, but it certainly gains brownie points (oh dear) for theming.
Hvin & Hyl Rutsch (#1014) is one of those rides that stretches the definition of roller coaster. The two seater car is winched to the top of a v-shaped piece of track, then released to roll back and forth between the two ends until friction slows the car enough for the ride to end. Disregarding the inevitable arguments, I've got to say that I really like these rides (seriously). The current twenty foot tall model is clearly geared primarily at children; I'd love to see an adult version, maybe one hundred feet high with vertical spikes? Something like the Intamin Half-Pipe rides albeit with a chain?
The new coaster this year, though, is in a league of its own. Hankatten (#1015) can only be described as dogs bollocks brilliant, and given the general level of theming at BonBon-Land the description is eminently suitable. The ride takes the successful layout from Aqua Wind and adds a new element, spinning cars, which makes a superb ride even better. The forces experienced in a fast spinning car are extreme; there was no way I could ride more than a few times. This marked one of the few times this week that I was glad we had so many people; I rode all the cars I could in the exclusive session and still only got on it three times in total. Later on it transpired that the captain of coach three had taken to humming the music over the microphone. I was very glad to be on board a different bus!
20th July 2007
The conclusion of the day was a surprise trip to Tivoli Gardens. We had only ninety minutes before park closing (again!) but on this occasion there was no issue, as we all knew we were returning. I used the time to ride the new to me coaster, Karavanen (#1016), the Daemonen, and the Det gyldne Tårn tower ride.
The latter has, since my last visit, developed an unfortunate policy whereby glasses are not permitted even when secured by means of a strap. In three words, this pisses me off, and courtesy of a long day I decided to make a scene. It didn't do me any good, though; the operator stood her ground; it was either take my glasses off or don't ride. If anyone from Tivoli Gardens is reading this, please do something about this anal policy; if my glasses are safe on your roller coasters then I really don't think you need to be concerned about a tower ride throwing them, especially when they're tied to my head.
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