Europe 09/21 – Energylandia
A little over a year since our last (and first) visit, it was already time to head back to Energylandia to check out their brand new multi launch coaster Abyssus. This was fine by me because I really enjoyed my last visit to the park and couldn’t wait to get back on 2 of the greatest coasters in Europe, Zadra and Hyperion.
The day started as it always seems to with Energylandia, sitting in miles of traffic on approach to the park at a junction that was never designed to deal with the amount of traffic the park puts on it.
Finally though, only about 40 minutes late, we were riding one of the endless shuttles from Energylandia’s vast car park to the park entrance.
The park’s admissions area never fails to amaze me with just how quickly it churns through people. You arrive to a sea of bodies, think “oh God no”, then realise they have about 50 ticket offices open and you’ll only be waiting 5 minutes tops. I waited over an hour once for less than a 10th of the amount of people to be processed at Alton Towers, the Polish putting us to shame yet again.
“Busy but it’s not really an issue” is a great way to sum up the overall feeling at the park actually. The sheer amount of things to do, shows to watch and things to eat mean that even the most daunting looking crowds doesn’t mean you’ll be walking away with a terrible ride count, looking at you again Alton Towers, OK I’ll stop…
Knowing the park layout this time really helped us in hauling across the entire park in the direction of Abyssus without getting lost.
Let me just say before we get too critical that Abyssus and its theming (currently not even finished) look fantastic and that I love walking through the centre of the Batwing to the ride’s entrance. It’s also the first time I’ve been fond of Vekoma’s new track design, which in this instance, with that paint scheme, looks amazing. I’m also a huge fan of the train design, visually I mean, not practically, we will get to that.
Enough with the visuals though, let’s talk about the ride experience, this could be tricky… How can I string out “it’s good but not THAT good” into something interesting to read? I know, let’s see how this brand new Vekoma multi-launch coaster stacks up against the park’s current line up, multi-launch coasters in general and the new breed of Vekomas.
Let’s start by comparing it against the other new Vekomas that I’ve ridden, F.LY., Hals-über-Kopf, Lech Coaster & Formuła. Abyssus easily offers the best ride experience out of all of them. It is one of the most comfortable coasters I’ve ever ridden, unlike F.L.Y. and Lech Coaster. It has some great air time moments, unlike Lech Coaster. It’s forceful, unlike Hals-über-Kopf and Formuła. It’s very re-rideable unlike literally every other modern Vekoma. Yeah, Abyssus is pretty great when compared to its relatives.
Now let’s compare the new boy against the park’s other star attractions, this won’t end well… As I said earlier, Zadra and Hyperion are 2 of the best coasters in Europe, Abyssus certainly is not. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not World class. Zadra and Hyperion offer 2 of the best first drops in the industry, Abyssus’ drop is trimmed. Zadra and Hyperion offer some of the most extreme air time in the industry, Abyssus offers decent air time moments, lessened by the vests. Speaking of, Zadra and Hyperion have 2 of the best train and restraint designs out there, Abyssus has vests. Zadra and Hyperion both feature at least one inversion that’s insane, Abyssus somehow manages to deliver the same forces no matter which inversion you are experiencing. Yeah, Abyssus doesn’t stack up well against the park’s other legends, it utterly destroys Formuła though, is it that much of a sin to be 3rd place against 2 of the best in Europe? I don’t think so.
Now the big one, how does Abyssus stack up against other multi-launch coasters? It doesn’t.
After several laps on Abyssus while the crowds in the area were light, we next headed over to the park’s other new coaster, Light Explorers.
Energylandia’s second Vekoma Family Boomerang (yes really) is much better than its first, both in terms of ride experience and presentation.
Then it was time to visit an old friend.
Still my favourite RMC in the World, still in my top 10, Zadra is still every bit the monster that took my breath away last year, the only thing that has changed is I might appreciate it even more now. My only complaint is that it isn’t any longer, which it really could have been given the insane speed it hits the brakes at.
After a couple of laps of Zadra, we got a pizza from the shack opposite, which was just as good as I remembered, before making our way over to the park’s other icon.
Much like Zadra, this Intamin monster was every bit as incredible as I remembered it and it still sits proudly in my top 20. The first drop is still legendary, the positive Gs are still crushing, the air time is still ridiculous, the low to the ground quick changes in direction are still great fun, but most importantly Hyperion’s dive loop remains one of my favourite inversions ever.
We spent the next few hours bouncing back and forth between Zadra and Hyperion, loving every second of it and only stopping the carnage to check out the park’s dark ride we skipped last time.
I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it.
Monster House takes you a pointless, almost silent journey past static figures in the dark.
My experience was made even more strange by having half of Poland crashing into the back of my 2 seater car, taking away what was left of the atmosphere.
Right, back to the coasters.
More Hyperion, more Zadra, then ending the day with more rides on Abyssus, including getting the last train of the day and a night ride.
It was so nice getting to experience the park like this, having the time to get enough rides on Abyssus to form a valid opinion and getting countless rides on 2 of my favourite coasters in the World. To those reading who haven’t visited before, that care about counting creds, you seriously need 2 days at the park to truly enjoy it, 1 day for getting the creds and the other for re-riding the big 3.
Once again I was leaving Energylandia with a positive opinion of the place. The park is tied with Liseberg for having the best 1-2 punch in the World, the operations are (mostly) great, the staff are (mostly) friendly and there’s just an atmosphere the place gives off that makes me happy.
Apparently though us having such a great day out angered the spirits and everything that could go wrong after leaving the park did go wrong…
Firstly, the Tesco store we went out of our way to visit as we left the park was a few days off closing down forever, meaning the shelves resembled something out of a zombie movie, or the first week of Covid being a thing.
Then we went to a local Polish supermarket, saw a great deal on chocolate, didn’t get the great deal and left the building with no chocolate.
Enough distractions, we need get going, at present we aren’t going to reach our hotel several miles from the German border until 1am.
Then it happened, the one you’ve all been waiting for, the worst roads hating us incident of the trip and it’s good one…
We are cruising along the motorway, roads are looking quiet, I think we managed to even knock a couple of minutes off the arrival time.
Suddenly we see a police car parked on the hard shoulder with its lights on, what the hell does that mean?
Well apparently that means the motorway’s closed due to a crash lads…
Soon after seeing the World’s most useless police officier we hit the back of a massive standstill traffic jam, where we sat for almost 2 hours, drifting in and out of consciousness, not knowing how long it was going to be before we were moving again.
When we finally did get moving again it was a gruelling drive to the hotel, where of course things went wrong again.
Our hotel had a clone on the opposite side of the motorway, you can see where this is heading…
We entered the hotel, gave our names, then were told, with a laugh, that we were on the wrong side of the road.
Despite the hotel looking barely half full, being owned by the same company and it being 3am we were given no option but to rejoin the motorway, drive 5km in the wrong direction, only to drive 5km back, to get to our beds for the night, absolutely brutal.
Before we finally passed out for the night we knew we’d need to change tomorrow’s plan of getting up at 6am and cut the day’s activities back a bit if we wanted to actually experience the day as functioning human beings.
Thanks for reading, click here for day 16 of my trip report where we visit Erlebniswelt Seilbahnen Thale and I may or may not do something potentially regrettable.