Europe 08/20 – Energylandia
The coaster lineup here at Energylandia currently sits at 15 and they were all running perfectly, so the park managed to top my previous record for most creds in a day (13) without even breaking a sweat (something even Magic Mountain couldn’t handle). It felt unsettlingly easy though. I’m already thinking I want to break that again with something rather more challenging (but where?)
Day 6 – Energylandia
With 996 creds to my name and plan of action in my head we headed straight to the far end of the park to find the newest and nicest looking area.
Started strong on this little thing. The views were a little distracting and I forgot what happened.
Vekoma Junior #1 for me was Frida. I like the colour and the owl logo, but the fact that this has its own exit shop and line of merchandise is pushing things a little bit.
Zadra became #999 and is, of course, an amazing ride.
Because they’re just so damn good I’m getting extra picky with these now and for me personally it needed a few more significant airtime moments spread throughout the layout to truly compete with the best of the best.
The larger inversions and other elements, though visually impressive, lacked a little substance, but it builds to an epic climax that’s almost too much to handle.
This ending reminding me of both Untamed and Lightning Rod and it was this sequence of 3 vicious twisty hills, a quick upwards inversion and a ridiculously fast slam into the brakes that I loved most about Zadra. Goes out with a bang.
I wonder how many people spot this little shrine to the construction (or collapse) of the ride, just inside the queue entrance. It’s easy to miss if you’re rushing past out of excitement.
Now it was time for a good 10 minute walk to the opposite end of the park to Hyperion in order to make it my one thousandth coaster. I had made the conscious decision to make it this over Zadra because I was already a massive fan of both the actual winged Intamin hypers (not that I’m not a huge fan of the other boys too, this just sits in a little more of an exclusive club right now, plus I already had an RMC at #800).
The humongous first drop, first hill and dive loop sequence alone made me prefer this to any other more traditional hyper that I can think of, Intamin or otherwise.
This hill contains both so much ejection and so much sustain that actually I felt my brain caressing my skull, and I think I liked it.
But my favourite part was the dive loop – back right seat. This was the only true moment of the ride trying to kick me out sideways. I wanted more of that.
With the outside seats not quite delivering the same effect as Skyrush and Flying Aces it never quite lived up to the true insanity of what makes those rides so special but it gave it a damn good go.
The return leg is noticably weaker, though once the train gets low and stays low at such high speeds it really is a lot of fun and the final hill provides a very strong finish.
I’ll weigh in on the rough train discussion I’ve seen around – I definitely noticed it on one of them but to be honest I enjoyed it more when it did happen. It was a similar sort of bouncing/shaking to what you get on B&M wings when they’re doing the more forceful turns, only much quicker and this just served to make me laugh and give Hyperion an even greater intensity.
As a stark reminder of what my life will start (continue) to look like if I ever hope to reach the next thousand, #1001 was the park’s Wacky Worm.
From there it was a simple tick box exercise through the Vekoma catalogue with Junior #2.
This one had lockers. Again, excessive?
Junior #3 (but a boomerang).
They’re building another don’t you know.
And an SLC. Yawn.
My excitement for the third best ride in the park Formuła had been mostly diminished by riding Celestial Gauntlet in Changsha at the beginning of this year. They share mostly the same layout, differing only in a launch vs a lift hill and the latter has an extended hill sequence at the end, looks 100x nicer and is simply better.
You know I don’t say this nearly enough, but from a purely selfish perspective I wish that we never had clones and copies of major rollercoasters as it diminishes their impact to anyone who rides multiple versions (me) and this was a clear example of that effect.
It’s solid fun, but I’m starting to think that these ‘new gen’ Vekomas look deceptively better than they actually ride. A certain spark is missing and though the vests aren’t uncomfortable they definitely have both a physical and psychological impact on freedom of upper body movement, which matters in the end game. As much as the upcoming multi-launcher Abyssus excites me, I feel that if it rides like these ones it may end up being a disappointment.
There’s a similar situation with the neighbouring Vekoma SFC that started out as a humble layout in Denmark and is starting to appear everywhere I go. While a decent ride for the size, there will always be something better to do here, particularly when it isn’t unique to the park.
The SBF crawl of shame followed – through the densely themed family coaster
The questionable life choices of this contraption.
I hit my head on the tail of this on the first lap so had to lean forward for the remainder. Operator was amazing here, using the restraint un-locker to blow air in people’s faces.
And the 3rd ‘MX609 3 Loops’ spinner of the trip so far.
To end up at their larger spinner model that for some hellish reason has over the shoulder restraints. I tried to brace but the ear knobbling was seemingly unavoidable. Likely gave me a concussion as I forgot to collect my belongings at the end. No, I’ll blame the poor station layout for that – it has separate offload and you have to slither past the op box back into onload to reach the cubby holes.
Tactics had left this until last – my 3rd Intamin water coaster with wacky elevator lift, set complete? (checks) no… damnit Turkey! It was time to don a disposable mask to avoid ruining the one I was wearing regularly, get a good soaking and then spend the evening drying off with many laps on the star attractions.
Generally the operations at the park were very efficient, but they seem to have developed an unnecessary over-keenness to remove trains from the big rides the moment the queues dip down to 10- 15 minutes. An announcement will be played, 10 minutes will be lost in the process and all the while the queue builds back up again. In one case they literally removed and added one in the same sequence upon realising the immediate impact on the wait time. This got a little frustrating as we were trying to specifically time our evening marathons with the sun setting about half an hour before close for a pseudo-night ride or two.
I was surprised at how nice a lot of the park looks, previously imagining a lot of it to have been thrown together with the rate the park has been growing. There’s plenty of decent scenery around and some greenery is starting to develop nicely in a few areas. Although the unorthodox US city grid-like path layout is a little haphazard it makes the park surprisingly easy to navigate around (Tripsdrill) with no real dead ends to speak of.
It also means all roads lead to Hyperion, which is where the first night ended with a glorious ride just after sunset.
A second day of riding nothing but the two big boys all day and an evening of Zadra trying to murder me it became clear to me that I preferred the RMC in the end (no regrets), but they’re both spectacular coasters well amongst some of the best in Europe and so far the best one-two punch I’ve encountered of any park in the world, finally taking the title from Wanda Nanchang.
Day 7 – Zatorland
We did this the following morning before our second day at Energylandia, because of course.
I haven’t done a park beginning with Z before so that was an added bonus for the list.
In and out in under 5 minutes. That’s the way.