Europe 08/22 – Sommerland Sjælland + BonBon Land
I’ve always treated the two sides of Denmark as separate entities when visiting in the past so crossing between them the next morning was quite a novel experience.
Our weapon of choice was the Storebæltsbroen, I do admire a good bridge and this one is absolutely massive. Love how it was inside the cloud, it’s even tall enough for the world’s biggest cruise ships to just pass under. A tad pricey though.
Day 3 – Sommerland Sjælland
Talking of pricey, the first park of the day definitely suffers from coast2coaster syndrome somewhat. One look at their uninteresting +3 lineup certainly had us exclaiming how can they justify charging more than Fårup? For tarmac and an SBF Visa spinner. There is more to the place than it would appear though.
Entry is the same procedure, with the admissions booths being a drive-thru. You can then head down the car park and stroll through the entrance uninhibited by the staff-less presence.
It all began with said SBF Visa on tarmac, which shares both the name and look of the Beech Bend equivalent – #1 Spinning Out. Ignore those two in the back.
The major rides here can operate on time slots or rotation during the ‘low’ season which it already was by this point, so although we saw an engineer sign off the biggest coaster for the day, it was a case of come back later for it. Sommer is over.
Heading off into more of the park, we stumbled across the amusingly named Simulator Inator, the entrance of which is shared with an eatery.
Didn’t know what sort of hardware to expect, but this TV screen in the tiniest of queuelines gave it away. What’s unusual about this picture?
The active film was called Great Wall of China and began with an over-enthusiastic rickshaw driver taking us for a spin along said wall. Full marks for realism. Before long we look down to notice he’s attached a couple of fireworks to our transportation and, once lit, things get a little wild. Before long we’re mechanically separated from the driver.
It all boils down to that age old simulator styling of making every situation into a fantasy, physics-defying rollercoaster, but also not very good. It did go on for quite a significant amount of time, day turned to night, summer turned to winter and it ended on the big visuals of a massive fireworks festival, during which our lost driver makes another appearance by shooting over the moon and into the ocean. Full marks for continuity.
I fully believe the entrance price is justified by this nightmare fuel alone. I do love a good custom Wacky Worm face, particularly when they aim for the more weird and grotesque, essentially mocking our very hobby.
#2 Vildbassen was a standout in more than one way, by also not having any form of restraint for adults and just a seatbelt for the kids. This meant I was getting fully Skyrushed sideways out of the train on the turn after the station for 8 of the 9, 9 laps. Which had me wondering what the clearance envelope is.
We’d heard tales of a boat ride at the park that contained ‘indoor scenes’ and wanted to verify for ourselves whether it could obtain ‘dark ride status’ or not. Subsequently we got very lost in the park for a good while trying to find it, which is when we found out how many other things the place has to offer.
Alright, let’s take a closer look at these spitey things. The blue one is ready to go as far as I can tell but this rain-soaked piece of paper says we have to wait for the grand opening next year. Construction, get excited.
You can get scared by hanging out with goats and Black Phillip.
You can feel like a giant, roaming freely amongst these miniatures.
Better than Silver Dollar City. And Gold Rush. And Bakken.
After much searching and time killing we found what we were looking for. Amazonas.
It was very impressively themed, they clearly went all out on this thing. The ride lasts for over 7 minutes as well, with various jungle exploration escapades going on. Sadly, by definition of the database, it only goes into a cave once with just the one scene, so is decidedly not dark enough. Good though.
All that wandering meant we arrived back at the Pinfari to see the SBF operator shut shop and head on over to run the #3 Vildkatten. While hell on earth for us coaster folk, it’s a highly popular ride here. Everyone else on our train did a Rollercoaster Tycoon and jumped for joy at the exit before heading straight back round for another lap. We, on the other hand, nursed a couple of bruises and thought ‘I want to go home’, heading straight for the park exit.
The other park for the day was BonBon Land, a place that I’ve previously declared the largest park left in Europe that I hadn’t yet visited. I’m sure there’s various different ways of measuring it, but I’m not even sure who that title falls to now. Maybe that Italian place who can’t spell Eurofighter.
Let’s talk about BonBon land though, or perhaps not, because I don’t think words can do this park justice. Pictures speak a thousand of them. Vildbassen was being outdone at every turn and the charm of this place was through the roof. I loved every second of it.
#4 Hundeprutten, the dog fart coaster, cracked me up. I usually like to consider myself above toilet humour but just the terror on the face of this train paints a picture of it being a serious medical condition and his desperate plea for us to stop taking advantage of it. Every lap, without fail, the non-descript speaker inside the dog house makes that sound and the comedic timing is nothing short of genius. Best Zierer Force One in the world.
World’s first Eurofighter, the #5 Vildsnivet. Wild Boar coaster. Why?
Because he’s a racing driver, and straddling the back of the car like a madman. That’s why.
I actually rather enjoyed the ride too. It’s a good little layout and rides surprisingly elegantly considering it’s the first and how bad some of the next few ones were. The whippy banked turn out of the first drop is done really well and the loop is solid.
#6 Han-Katten was a bit of a let-down (that brake run though). There’s some rather superlative reviews knocking around the internet from over a decade ago. Claims of this being the most intense spinner in existence, of some of the biggest names in our hobby being unable to stand after riding.
It was as decidedly meh as with all my early experiences with Gerstlauer spinners, don’t tell me it never gets better than Six Flags.
#7 Viktor Vandorm brought it all back to reality with a quirky custom Zierer Tivoli layout that was originally designed for a specific piece of land, in a park in Germany. It even had wooden supports back then. Hybrid.
One of those evil tilting forwards drop towers.
Can never say no to a Fabbri tower either, even with weird sketchy seating.
I got excited here, thinking the ‘new for 2022’ attraction Prærie Expressen was another potential database entry. They used to have an old Alterface interactive theatre in this spot, have they gone and got a new one?
Alas, no, no ride system. Just sitting on stumps (or standing) and shooting cowboys on a new film on the screen. Got the best score of the day though.
Bon-Bio 4D was unhinged.
There’s a bizarre utilitarian shift inside, unlike anything else in the park.
It was playing both Moby Dick and Aladdin back to back, but not as we know them, in films that were more than a little off in many aspects.
I can’t really do the situation justice but the language kept changing, which synced up parody-poorly with the characters mouth movements. A whale is captured by an evil scientist in a mechanical octopus contraption and we pursue in an attempt to save it. Various peril occurs but there’s this crab channelling One Punch Man who just, with no physical or audio effect, casually sends characters flying off the horizon with a single touch. Yet strangely he’s not the hero of our story as, entirely unrelated to what has been happening, the parent whales show up out of nowhere at the end and save the day. Damn you, Moby Dick, I’ll get you next time, hahahahahaha. Punch.
Before we had time to recover from that one, the developer logo played twice and Aladdin was on his smart phone, having a picnic. Jasmine video calls and is thoroughly pissed off. He wakes up the genie, who is also scared by this, they need to get home now. Various peril occurs but it makes even less sense. Random 3D slow-mo cuts happen in the wrong places with no impact, creatures behave in very strange ways, it’s like all of the developers were locked away in separate dungeons, and also have no concept of what actually makes things good. We finally get to, wherever his home is, and spend an age flying through and near-missing a ton of towers while (another) massive firework display is going off. He lands on his balcony, is dragged into the bedroom by the ear and the doors slam shut, while genie adopts a bodyguard outfit in front of it and shakes his head at us. End.
Enough waffle, don’t even know where to start on this boat ride.
Or how to end this report.
What a place.