Finland 08/19 – PowerPark + Särkänniemi

Finland has been on the back burner for a few years now. Had a little bit of interest, but nothing really worth pushing for. Then Taiga happened.
And now here we are.

Powerland

The hilariously limited operating season of this place forced our hand on the order events for this leg of the trip, being open on Saturdays only by the end of August.

A bit more funfairy than I was expecting, but we’ll let the creds do the talking.

#1 Junker

Junker was first on the agenda. The look of the park has already improved with the walk under this ride, admiring the interactions. Based on previous experiences this cool looking Gerstlauer Infinity could have been a hit or a miss.

Luckily it’s a hit. Once again they exceed my expectations and knocked out a varied, forceful and fun layout.
The launch on these is a lot better when they don’t awkwardly drop into it and you soon find yourself cresting a weirdly shaped top hat. They seem to be all the rage these days.

This is followed by some decent airtime into the Finnish loop, which I loved. The weird drawn out shape of the inverted section provides some great contrast.
It powered through the mid course without hesitation, kicking ass into the second half which has another couple of great inversions and a twisty airtime hill.

#2 Neo’s Twister

Next was a Fabbri spinner with some anime looking characters on the cars. Used to think these were quite rare but the seem to be popping up on me everywhere now. They’re alright.
Most unique feature is the RCT style right angle in the lift hill and the fact that they free spin on the lift as well. Strong stuff.

#3 Thunderbird

Wood Coaster had recently reignited my love for GCI, but sadly Thunderbird was another very run of the mill woodie experience. Though it tries to do some of the features of the better stuff, it lacked the size to make it effective. It had a nice little straight section of what should have been airtime hills, which they don’t seem to bother with on a lot of their layouts. This wasn’t taken at enough pace to be any good though.

#4 Cobra

Oh good, another Boomerang with weirdly modified trains, just not lap bars. This thing needs no attention.

#5 Mine Train

There was another Zamperla 80STD at the back of the park, but I don’t have a picture of it. So here’s a stock photo of another I’ve done this year, complete with stock name and stock font. There’s more to come too.

#6 Joyride

And rounding off the creds is this thing by L&T. It had upcharge Virtual Reality available. Nope.

The one other thing that was deemed worthy of doing before rerides was this shooting dark ride, Devil’s Mine Hotel.
It’s ‘set off the effects by shooting them’-style, but in a way that you can’t really take any of it in.
Bonus reference points for Yukon Mining though, along with having what looked like a demonised Gruffalo inside.

So there we go. A fairly insignificant park that’s a nice half a day out and well worth the visit on a Finland scale, if only for Junker.

After that success, the rest of the bright Scandinavian evening was now dedicated to:

Särkänniemi

Park expectations were twisted again, the lineup always made me think eww, no effort, but the place itself has a great little aesthetic with its location in the city by the lake.

#7 Tornado

Talking of lineups, Tornado was meant to be the best thing going. I didn’t have high hopes because the Spanish one sucked.

This one is a massive improvement though. It has presence. The station is underground in this big concrete cave. You enter the air gates and a bright orange train comes screaming through an inversion straight over the top of the station. I love a bit of intimidation framing.

It’s not like really good however, just a bit of fun and a bit of a change of pace. It doesn’t quite have the grace and force of better inverted stuff. The cobra is a bit lame and it barely moves through this overbank turn. The roll in the station and the overall interaction was the highlight for me.

We wanted to get the Volare out of the way, but it broke down in our face. Good.

Then we got lost on the way to the Sky Rocket and ended up at this.

#8 Vauhtimato

Angry Birds themed Zierer Tivoli. Better than Thorpe’s attempt at theming, but still very shoehorned. The train has the same old bug eyes and leaf.

#9 Hype

There it is. Second best one of these I’ve done just for not having comfort collars or shin crushers. They are… quite good for a basic clone. The launch always surprises me with how much kick it has and the trimmed drop out of the top section still packs a punch.
Finland’s frenzy in getting every single compact coaster type with no corners starts off OK.

#10 Trombi

They fixed the Volare. Good.
Never had a massive issue with these despite their reputation. They’re as dumb as they are brutal, but not to any damaging degree and it’s quite funny to endure. It was absolutely flying through the blocks at ridiculous speeds into those sharp corners, with hilarious consequences.

#11 MotoGee

Golden Horse do this layout better, so I’ll let that one speak for itself.

Hated my last one of these. This one was alright. Might depend on where you sit. Launching sideways with a shoulder restraint didn’t seem to be an issue any more.

With all that out of the way, headed up to the upcharge observation deck for some views.

The glass was pretty terrible up here and they’ve closed off the outdoor section due to anti-social behaviour… but here’s a nice overview of Tornado’s layout.

And a bit of Tampere.

Nice.
Up next – the bird!

Day 2

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