Sweden 08/23 – Gröna Lund

The Scandi season is a harsh mistress. Time had flown since our frozen and failed attempt at Tusenfryd earlier in the year, and suddenly there was very little opportunity left to make it right.

Not having enough faith in the revenge target being a strong enough headline act however, the horizons were broadened in light of other newness further afield. Needs to be worth the faff after all.

As such we landed in Stockholm one early afternoon and took a leisurely drive in our freely upgraded Citroen (?) down to the city centre. Gröna Lund recommends this big underground car park not too far away and it was surprisingly cheap given the location.

Day 1 – Gröna Lund

A stroll through scenic Stockholm soon had us being frisked by teenagers in order to enter the park, where we immediately got confused as to where to collect the wristbands. A gesture in the direction of a new machine, like the Liseberg ones, that it turns out doesn’t work here, led to more machines that were boarded up and some aimless wandering before realising the gesture had been towards a human ticket desk all along. Got what we needed the old fashioned way and then proceeded to get what we came for.


Namely #1 Monster, the first culprit to break my ‘all B&Ms in Europe’ set and, perhaps more scarily, the last unique B&M Invert layout left for me in the world. We had a free fastrack booked with the online tickets but this was entirely unnecessary. I assume as a consequence of recent unfortunate events that a park that should have been thriving on a summer’s day was a relative ghost town and two trains were ensuring this could hold nothing but a front row queue.

So, how was the ride? Good! I’ve become a cliché by ragging on modern B&Ms as of late, though I believe it’s more justified now than it was 10 years ago. The invert however remains the quintessential model that retains the prestige that was once synonymous with the manufacturer. It was forceful, fun and full of surprises.


The steep, curved drop has a pretty wicked kick to it, particularly not one you’d usually be used to on an inverted coaster. The compactness of the subsequent turn and pullout immediately brings the signature positives that get the old feet tingling. A floaty inversion happens in a solid moment of contrast, though a few weeks later I’d struggle to name what and how many there are of those on the ride – a sign of seemlessness or a bit of blandness? You decide.


From there the surprises keep on happening, the integration of the layout into the surroundings have you guessing where things are headed next while it treats you to more tight turns. Things culminate in an effective footchopper moment and surprise airtime hill before swinging you round into the weird brake run. With space at a premium, an unusually steep downwards incline has you slowly chugging back into the station.

Talking of the station, it’s rather elegant. I liked the vibe (and the music), though any semblance of storyline that there’s meant to be a subway monster chasing you is never made obvious. Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed our several laps front and back, with back winning out for the drop of course.

There are other things in this park though, right? Well the lineup was a little wounded, what with Twister also being unavailable. The only other new thing we needed was Ikaros, for which we also had free fastrack booked and, on pure principle, held out on.


This tunnel of love dark ride, Kärlekstunneln was… interesting. I like a bit of quirk.


Courtesy laps were taken on Kvasten and Vilda Musen, which were both riding better than before, along with the kiddie creds, because why not. Anything is better than Insane.


Blå Tåget was awesome, can’t recall if they’ve changed something up or I didn’t know what i was looking for in a Ghost Train back then, but it’s certainly one of the best examples of one in the world. Tons of cool effects, well paced, not over reliant on obnoxious noises, they even let us go round twice for lack of queue.


Having not fully appreciated the park before, took the time to chill on some flats too. The magic carpet ride was terrifyingly vicious, took me back to the old days of trying to do quantum without bracing. This one is either better, or I’m not as good any more.


Blackfisken was my first ever one of whatever these things are, spinny and bouncy. I believe people make a fuss about them and it was pretty hectic and funny.

Fritt Fall remains a beast, though I’m not sure stand-up golden drill can ever be topped when it comes to these old Intamins now.


As for new Intamins, it was time for Ikaros and we did actually manage to skip a single cycle with the fastrack. No time to get nervous then, straight in and straight up. Well, straight apart from the facing the floor bit. I like the gimmick for the fear factor, but I still get a better feeling out of a regular decent drop tower. There’s simply less room for internal organs to shift in the horizontal. Better than the Busch one.

We left before the tallest man on earth could make things any more rowdy. All in all a highly satisfying evening, Gröna Lund redeemed itself by not giving me a headache. I wonder what to blame for that.

Day 2

USA 06/23 – Alley Cats, Prairie Playland + Summary
Sweden 08/23 – Kolmården

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