In mid-September I decided that I wanted to fit in a quick coaster weekend before the end of the European season. I considered a few different options before settling on Scandinavia, the decision taken primarily because I was able to pick up a stupidly cheap flight to Stockholm with a Friday evening departure time. Ryanair’s entry on the Dublin to Arlanda market has resulted in fares plummeting to less than a fifth of what they were this time last year, and while the on-board product doesn't quite match that of SAS (to put it mildly) it’s difficult to argue with the price.
Furuvik is located in Gävle, around 140 kilometres north of the airport. It is trivially easy to get to by public transport: a dedicated train station is just fifty metres from the park entrance, and connects to the airport in under two hours with a single change at Uppsala. I’d planned to try this option out, but Mats offered to give me a lift which was even easier. He collected me from my airport hotel at 9:30am, allowing us to arrive at the park just ten minutes before scheduled opening.
Halloween was very much in evidence as we made our way through the gate. Pumpkins, skeletons, fog effects, and dozens of actors added a level of atmosphere far beyond what I’d expected from previous visits. We inadvertently wandered through a temporary “pumpkin trail” and maze before realising our mistake and redirecting towards the ride area, which featured a prominent seasonal “Creepy Carnevil” overlay on its entrance archway.
The first hit of the morning became Draken (#3099), a Zierer Force One family coaster. We were the only people riding at this early stage of the day, and enjoyed a two lap cycle in the front seat that was a pleasant way to shake off the morning cobwebs. The ride was undistinguished but pleasant enough, aside from the harsh magnetic braking between laps; it’d have been nicer if the train was allowed to maintain speed on its pass through the station. Later in the day we queued for an exhilarating back seat cycle, mainly because we could. (I realised subsequently that this was the final example of the type I needed to complete the set; I am not proud.)
We next headed in the direction of the adult coasters, where we learned the bad news: both were closed due to a low ambient air temperature. The Sky Tower drop ride was also in an advanced state of non-functionality, apparently for the same reason. Staff advised that all could open later in the day if conditions improved, but sadly this never happened. I've since learned that a minimum of 5ºC is required to register on the ride computers, meaning that the 6ºC showing on Apple Weather was no good to us at all. In the interests of fairness, the eternally snarky CARROT Weather said that the maximum temperature was 4ºC with a “feels like” value edging into negative territory. Painful as it is for me to admit it, this was most likely correct.
After a thorough and somewhat forlorn look at the new-for-2023 Lightning we headed to Spökjakten, a target-shooting attraction with a ghost theme supplied by Sally Rides. This was great, so much so that we ended up doing it three times over the course of the day (and not only because it was indoors and relatively warm). The ride operates with four seat vehicles that follow a tracked route past illuminated animatronics with appropriate sound effects. The highlight comes a little after the half-way point, when a vaguely demonic monster is projected onto a smoke screen at head height.
With the major attractions closed the only other intentional hit for us today was Kättingflygaren, an original Zierer Wave Swinger and a ride type I've not experienced in many years. With that done we wrapped up our visit with a journey through the Zombie Expressen haunted walkthrough.