I’d allowed ninety minutes to cover the seventy kilometre journey to Park Miniatur Świat Marzeń from my hotel in Katowice, as I assumed that traffic would be a challenge first thing on a Monday morning. My estimate was about half an hour short of the actual requirement, primarily due to a long delay crossing the A4 near Mysłowice; readers retracing my steps should ideally find accommodation on the south side of the motorway.
Having said that, I arrived at an almost completely empty park – and after a brief exploration of various miniatures I set about the far more important task of trying to find someone to run the Egypt Spinning Coaster (#3012) for me. Google Translate on the signage indicated that the ride operated every fifteen minutes unless there were more than five people available. As luck would have it both requirements were met at more or less the same time, allowing me to enjoy my credit. I thought for a minute that it might be a bust as the ride didn’t want to start – but after the operator opened and shut the gates three times the computer finally said yes.
The park is home to a small spinning rapids, and while I do like these I decided it’d be sensible to eschew given that I didn’t have a change of jeans with me. Instead, my only other attraction became the Egypt Horror Show, a haunted walkthrough. This was respectable enough, with a series of detailed scenes triggered by motion sensors.
6th June 2022
My second stop was at Zatorland, a family park that has added a new roller coaster for this season. There was an automatic ticket machine to the left of the entrance which saved me queuing, though curiously it wasn’t able to sell the 12zl (~€2.60) card required to get out of the car park on departure. I completely forgot to pick one up on my way out and ended up having to run back to the ticket window; if anyone from the park is reading this, it’d be great if you could sort this out (or for preference add a credit card reader on the exit barrier like the rest of the world).
I started my visit with a ten lap cycle on Dinocoaster, an extended single helix ride relocated within the park for the 2019 season. With that done, I made my way into the adjacent Park Owadów area for RobalCoaster (#3013) – a brand-new and brightly-coloured SBF Big Apple. With both rides ticked off I made a rapid exit.
6th June 2022
All readers of my trip reports will be familiar with Energylandia, a park that has expanded at a phenomenal rate since it first exploded onto the scene in 2014. In its early years there was a definite air of Roller Coaster Tycoon about the development with rides of all shapes, sizes, and quality levels being placed almost randomly; fortunately the owners have become much more disciplined of late. Smoczy Gród (Dragon Zone) raised the bar for theming when it opened in 2019, and the high standard continued with Aqualantis in 2021. The seventh zone, Sweet Valley, is under construction as of this writing with an anticipated premiere later this year – though it wouldn’t surprise me if that date slips given the general state it was in today.
I decided to start my visit at Aqualantis, home to the two coasters added since my last visit. Getting there from the main entrance requires a walk of around three quarters of a mile, and while that distance will shorten slightly when Sweet Valley is ready it was telling that a lot of the security staff I saw were moving around on mobility scooters. The park is now large enough to justify an orbital monorail or train ride, though given how fast it continues to grow I can’t help but wonder whether a full scale metro system would be a better choice as it would allow for additional stations and/or branch lines in the future!
My first hit was Light Explorers (#3014), the park’s second Vekoma Family Boomerang. This installation is a so-called Spirit model identical to the version that premiered at Fårup Sommerland in June 2020. The design is long and largely straight; the two ends of the track are located just over two hundred metres apart as the crow flies. Today the ride was running well, and as the queue was less than five minutes I decided it’d be rude not to do a second lap for luck.
With that out of the way I made my way to Abyssus (#3015), a Vekoma Shockwave that I fully expected to be the best coaster of my few days in Poland. The ride features two launches, four graceful inversions, and a number of aggressive airtime hills that are considerably more lively than one typically sees from Vekoma designs. The layout is varied and interesting, and I really wanted to like it. Unfortunately, I found that the nausea factor was sufficiently high to limit my enjoyment, particularly at the back of the train. After one lap this seasoned enthusiast felt more than a little queasy, and while a second circuit in the front an hour later was better it still wasn’t the sort of thing I’d be able to ride more than a few times in a day.
I wondered whether my difficulties might be the fact that I'm not twenty-five any more, but I honestly don't think so; I enjoyed a sublime back seat ride on Zadra later in the afternoon that presented no problems at all, despite a layout that is if anything more aggressive. I’ve really no idea why Abyssus impacted me the way that it did, but the fact is that today at least the RMC design was the more enjoyable coaster by a large margin.
I also tried two other rides in the Aqualantis area. First up was Grotto Expedition, a slow moving boat ride that routes under and around Light Explorers. This is great for photographers or those seeking a few minutes of serenity, though otherwise I’d argue it to be largely pointless – there’s really nothing to be seen from it that isn’t clearly visible from the midway. With that done I enjoyed a spin on Tidal Wave Twister, a standard layout DiskO Coaster.
My final ride of the day was on Hyperion, where I ended up in the back left seat. The first drop was great, but I'm sorry to say that it was the only portion of the layout that was; today the rest of the layout felt like a poorly maintained wooden coaster – almost as if the wheel under my seat wasn’t entirely circular. I thought about taking a bit of time to recover and going back to Zadra, but the weather was beginning to close in so I decided to return to my car instead.
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