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.
One year on, the pull of Poland, or more specifically Energylandia, is still strong. Two new creds and another opportunity to experience Europe’s best one-two punch was all the persuading we needed to pop in again while in the area.
Day 15 – Energylandia
Of course it wasn’t just any old two creds. One of them is multi-launch sensation Abyssus, a coaster that I was once super excited by, though time, delays and riding most of the other recent Vekomas had caused those feelings to fade somewhat.
We headed straight to the back of the park for it, on a walk that manages to be even more exhausting than ever. The chocolate mine train thing that they’re building appears to be cutting off what will eventually be a quicker access route to the new Aqualantis area, so for now it’s a walk to Zadra… and then some. It’s no mean feat for first thing in the morning, particularly if you’re parked on the awful stoney car park right out in the corn fields. Luckily this meant basically no one had arrived yet, in a case of what I like to call Forbidden Valley syndrome, so our morning laps were mostly queueless.
So, how was #1 Abyssus? It begins with one of those awkward clicky launches that don’t quite sit right with me. I forget what other ride(s) do(es) it, but it definitely doesn’t happen on better coasters with LSMs. It’s sudden, but subtle, a very quick transition from nothing to everything as if to get over that initial inertia, before instantly dialling it back to a gradual ramping of acceleration. If you’re not doing ‘heads back, face forward, hold on tight and brace yourself’ it’ll tap you in the back of the head for it, just enough to be bothersome, but it won’t then keep it there with any force. I’m probably not describing it right but it feels unrefined and meh.
A mild twisty section follows, interspersed with a couple of promising airtime hill teasers. It’s quite a short section of track before hitting the second launch running. I always love a good rolling launch, though I’m not sure the satisfaction of it extending the ride time is quite there when you haven’t really done anything notable or special so far.
That propels you up into this turnaround top hat thing which is rather unremarkable upon entry and then (in the back at least) gives a weird sensation of ‘trying to eject you’ *pause* ‘trying to eject you again’ thanks to the silly trim brake.
The vertical loopings is up next, which gives that not-so-great bland sustain feeling from the likes of Lech, before hitting the highlight moment in the form of this strong hill towards the station, much like Lech. It’s well framed too of course, I can’t knock the aesthetics.
Ducking under the station leads into the Batwing. It might just be a weird ‘feeling I get’, but this to me is like 21st century Arrow coaster territory. Yes, we’re inverting, but why?
Things get a bit more varied after that, as it begins to rather elegantly bounce between the twists and turns and airtime hills that go on to give quite a lengthy and satisfying ride experience, leaning at last on one of the strengths I find in a multi-launch where I sometimes catch myself thinking ‘oh yes, we’re not done yet.’
The corkscrew’s rather decent. Some of these later moments deliver far better than others though, and not necessarily in a good way. It tries to do one of those funky sideways hills to keep up with the cool kids, like they did on the Space Warp models, but it’s really just a visual and doesn’t do much of anything. The train seems to run out of steam in the final few seconds as well, which I find further throws the pacing off. We had to be trimmed earlier to stop us greying out and now there’s not quite enough gas in the tank to end on a high.
I’m still not entirely sure how to feel about all that, it’s a very conflicting ride for me. Aside from all the negativity I managed to bring out in that blow by blow, some of which is simply annoying me even more as I type it, I actually liked Abyssus far more than I had (eventually) expected to. It’s no gamechanger, it’s not spectacular by any means and yet it’s still really good fun.
It’s not like anything else in this particular market and I think that appeals to the side of me that still loves to try new things that break the mould a bit. That doesn’t mean that what they’ve achieved is necessarily for the better, but they’ve developed their own style that is distinguishable from the competition and that is at the very least satisfying and refreshing to experience. I can also see why that has turned into what I believe is a somewhat misplaced fascination with what Vekoma are doing right now. For me this is their best work yet and I can’t even see why it wouldn’t make the sacred top 10%, but that doesn’t stop me picking a hundred holes in it.
Enough waffle, there’s another coaster to be had.
#2 Light Explorers, the park’s second junior boomerang and sixth or seventh Vekoma has a more linear layout to contrast the original. It’s all rather nicely decorated and set over this watery landscape. I do dig the Atlantis vibe they’ve got going on, though it’s clearly not finished yet and there seem to be still quite a few placeholders for things left to do. It’s nice that each of the new areas give off an aesthetic that can’t really be found in the bulk of the main park.
Something is calling to us in the distance though. With everything new out of the way it was back to Energylandia basics. Once you’ve trimmed away all the fat there’s nothing left to do but see the day out by bouncing between Zadra and Hyperion.
We began on the former, which is still a ridiculous thing of epic magnitude and instantly casts aside any doubt of what an actual top tier coaster rides like, just in case Vekoma had you doubting yourself for a minute in the midst of your filler-filled two-week coaster marathon. The first drop was better than I remember. The massive airtime hill was slightly worse than I remember. Perfectly balanced as all things should be and Zadra remains exactly where it was in my mind.
Hyperion still had a hilarious vibration to it in my personal favourite seats (outside back row). For me this only adds to the experience, spicing up those moments like the return hill that just don’t quite hit the mark amongst an otherwise outstanding coaster. Character. It may as well be a woodie at this point.
Somehow across a two day visit last time we never found the time to queue what seems to be a perpetual 20 minutes for the dark ride here. Now it’s supposed to be one of my things I do, there was no excuse, though it still felt like time not well spent in those switchbacks. And the feelings are justified; Monster House is a pretty awful ghost train with zero atmosphere. The lighting, the audio, the alien things just don’t add up to a cohesive experience. Hasn’t this already been revamped as well?
The park had been decently busy all day, almost to the point of unpleasantness in certain areas like the Zadra zone, what with Oktoberfest going on, and there being lots of extra food and drink stalls crammed in. There were far too many bodies at certain times of day, but this was rewarded with a park-wide announcement of an extension to the opening hours from 6pm to 8pm. Can’t argue with that.
It all turned into a bit of a game at the end of the evening, trying to maximise opportunity, minimise queues and get the optimum number of laps on each of the big boys to then end the day with an Abyssus pseudo-night ride that had previously not even been an option. There’s always some worry as the day draws to a close at Energylandia, they do have an over-eagerness to add and remove trains on rides as and when the queue times fluctuate, constantly chasing their tails a bit and when you’re waiting at least half an hour a pop it can easily cost you a precious lap or two.
Everything ran almost too perfectly though. Hyperion got stupidly busy as soon as we left it, Zadra clung on to those two train ops until just after we departed and the night ended by running like idiots to Abyssus, hoping they wouldn’t shut the queue early in order to ‘clear the area.’ They didn’t, in fact we ended up on it twice in the dark as almost no one else in the park appeared to want to commit to ending the day so far from the main entrance. It wasn’t a patch on the other night rides available here, but it was still pretty damn special.
Well now, I’ve gone and surprised myself by managing to make it to the end without ever uttering the words vest restraints.
With so much spare time on our hands thanks to France and the Netherlands being no go zones, the next 2 days were spent at what I’d best describe as might as well parks.
And the first of them was Majaland, a park only recently added to the Polish coaster scene, located not far from the border with Germany.
The park is operated by Studio 100 and originally started life as another one of their indoor only parks, recently however they have expanded outdoors and added Poland’s only true wooden coaster, this is where we come in.
Inside stuff first though.
Zierer Force Two clone that Studio 100 have added to almost all of their parks by this point. It was really well themed in places and thanks to being new and indoors was glass smooth.
There was nothing else of interest to us indoors so it was time venture outside.
And straight to the aforementioned woodie, Wilkołak.
Wilkołak is Polish for Werewolf, which is a fantastic name for a coaster and the park have done an amazing job theming it as such. The station building looks amazing inside and out, the queue looks great and the train being covered in claw marks is great attention to detail.
Sadly the coaster is a mirrored clone of an almost clone, but as we didn’t get to experience enough of Heidi The Ride to form a true opinion, Wilkołak will be fighting for it’s own honour as well as Heidi’s.
And it’s good! Wilkołak offers a experience that is purely fun, it doesn’t bring anything special or particularly exciting to the table but you could keep riding it all day and have a good time.
Next up we went to get the rare points from riding but not counting the park’s brand new Disk’O and with that we were done with the park, so after many more laps of Wilkołak we called it a day and took our leave.
While the park only had 1 attraction worth the effort, it was a pleasant enough visit, which is more than can say for my previous visits to Studio 100 parks…
Today’s plan was to hit as many +1s as possible on our return to Germany.
Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Elstal
Starting with the first of the many Karls parks today. These parks are part theme park, part working food factory and part massive store selling all the tasty treats they make there. The indoor part of these attractions smell absolutely amazing and are guaranteed to make you hungry. We’d promised ourselves we weren’t allowed to have any treats until we had completed all 4 of the Karls parks however.
The main attraction at this site and currently the best attraction at any of the Karls is K2, AKA Potato Coaster.
K2 is the largest Tube Coaster ever built by abc rides and is honestly awesome. It starts with a long and extremely well themed dark ride section before it travels outside, climbs 80 feet and then takes you on a far more intense ride than you’d imagine. Minimal restraints is an understatement so when this beast starts tearing around the track it is slightly concerning.
If it wasn’t for the slightly pricey pay per ride cost and the massive queue I’d have loved to have gotten in a few more laps.
We’ve also got places to be, not that Germany wanted us getting there… Between Karls Elstal and our next location we crawled and turned a 3 hour drive into a 4 and a half hour one…
Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Koserow
But of course we made it!
None of the other Karls parks could match the quality of K2 but they did all feature some of the nicest looking Wacky Worms I’ve ever seen. They all had insane entrances, massive animatronics, crazy theming and gift shops.
Next up we planned to visit Rügen Park but it wasn’t to be. Though we arrived with over an hour of their operating day left, the entrance was padlocked shut and there were no staff in sight. We could see guests enjoying their day out through the fence, so they certainly weren’t closed yet. We decided to phone the park and explain the situation but this led nowhere. First time they laughed at us and then hung up, the second time they outright refused to answer the phone… Fair enough, I guess you don’t want our money then, thanks for nothing, oh and wasting our time…
Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Zirkow
You can always count on Karls though!
Round 2 lads.
Far too many hold ups and the bastards at Rügen Park had us now running extremely late, if we had just 1 more hold up we’d fail our quest.
Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Rövershagen
We arrived around 15 minutes before closing, would we have time to get both of the creds?
Yeah you read that right, this Karls site had 2 coasters and this threw a bit of a spanner in the works. We’d learnt the quickest ways to get to the rides at the previous Karls but with 2 coasters up for grabs and a much bigger location things were going to be extra tricky with our already super tight time limit.
After running around completely lost for a while, we finally arrived at Kaffeekannen-Express. This SBF Visa creation is currently exclusive to this location and offers an interesting experience as you ride around up high passing lots of special effects that are triggered as you approach.
Things were super desperate now and we were almost certain the other coaster had already closed, but with nothing to lose other than our dignity we sprinted in the direction of the final strawberry worm.
And we JUST made it! 30 seconds to a minute later and we’d have missed out, I couldn’t believe our luck, sometimes the coaster Gods shine on you. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so content on a Wacky Worm and the operator gave us a bonus lap to help us celebrate.
The prophecy had been fulfilled and we were now allowed to purchase some of them sweet smelling snacks.
But don’t eat too many because tonight we’ll be dining at Hamburg’s Rollercoaster Restaurant.
Mine and Heartline’s experience of the one at Europa Park was awful. Packed arm to arm with rowdy Germans, no food we actually wanted to eat and everything cost the Earth.
But tonight in Hamburg I really enjoyed it. Being the massive child that I am, the idea of ordering food on an iPad then watching it coast to you was amazing. So were the immense risks involved in getting the insanely hot pot of food off the track without burning yourself or dropping it. The food was fantastic too, as were the friendly members of staff, what an improvement, I am honestly a fan of these places now.
Thanks for reading, click here for day 11, where we visit Serengeti Park and Fort Fun Abenteuerland.
Sometimes despite our best efforts we can’t help but make assumptions about things and places that are completely wrong.
I assumed Poland and it’s people were going to be harsher and less welcoming than the other countries on our trip. I was wrong.
I assumed Energylandia was going to be an overhyped collection of rides dumped on concrete with an unpleasant atmosphere. I was wrong.
I assumed Legendia was going to the better of the 2 major Polish parks. I was very wrong…
In fact things started to go wrong as soon as we reached the car park and had to walk past abandoned drug dens to reach the entrance. I thought this park was going to beautiful but I’m not so sure anymore…
The entrance plaza looks quite nice though.
Legendia’s park layout is a massive circle around a lake and being the rebels that we are we decided to tackle things counter-clockwise.
Exactly half way around the circle is Lech Coaster, the park did a fantastic job placing this thing.
After passing several closed restaurants and a closed Zyklon Galaxi, we came across the park’s Soquet Looper, Diabelska Pętla. I was half expecting this to beat the crap out of us but it was completely uneventful and we managed to continue our conversation fully while riding.
Oh the wasted potential…
I’ll get it out of the way early, I’m not a fan of Lech Coaster and now I’ve got to try and explain why when I’m not really sure what exactly went wrong myself. I believe it’s a combination of things adding up that spoil the coaster for me.
Let’s start with the hype. Anyone hyping this coaster up as anything super special is deceiving you, as they did me. Lech Coaster is fine, you’ll probably enjoy it but it’s nothing World Class.
Now the looks. Lech looks stunning but looks can be deceiving. The first drop, the massive airtime hill and the roll over the station look fantastic but ride nowhere near as good as they look.
Trains next. Much like Formuła from yesterday, the vest restraints don’t ruin the ride but certainly get in the way. Lech has a couple of moments of decent airtime but they are spoiled by the clunky restraints. Inversions and the twisted first drop also suffer from the upper half of your body having no freedom to move.
Finally the forces. Lech Coaster has an unpleasant amount of positive Gs at the bottom of the first drop and into the first inversion and then nothing much of note other than a couple of decent pops of air for the rest of the layout. It’s really off putting and almost comes across as accidental. It gave me a headache and had Heartline worried about too many re-rides.
Not that I cared much about many re-rides. After about 5 laps of nothing changing or improving I told Heartline I’d keep riding until he was satisfied but I was done now.
I wanted to love Lech and even secretly hoped I’d walk away thinking it was the real gem of Poland but no, it wasn’t to be. That’s now 2 modern Vekoma monsters that have disappointed me, fingers crossed it’s 3rd time lucky when Abyssus finally opens.
Dream Hunters Society
After passing many flat rides in pieces we came across Legendia’s final coaster, Dream Hunters Society. This was yet another Zyklon Galaxi, but this one was open, despite it appearing to be in a state of disrepair. We got a bit of a treat in the form of a rollback when this piece of junk failed to engage with the chain lift, thankfully the hosts soon came powering over and got us moving, not so thankfully I managed to smash my knee to pieces on the not so well maintained brake run…
Next up was a ride on the park’s Ferris Wheel, it was here we came across the only genuinely friendly member of staff in the entire park.
Dammit Lech you make me so mad, stop looking so amazing over there, you’ll just make me come over for another lap and then I’ll get reminded that you’re not very good…
Hopefully Legendia’s much hyped trackless dark ride will save me from walking away today feeling completely disappointed. Er no… It’s not bad, it’s just not very good. The trackless ride system isn’t taken advantage of which is a real shame. Then there’s far too many screens for my liking and the theming is 90 percent cardboard cut outs.
The final ride worth our time at Legendia was their brand new Hafema rapids and somehow they even managed to mess that up. Hafema build insanely good rapid rides but only when they are allowed to go crazy and pack them full of special effects and incredible tricks. When they are tasked to build just a rapids ride with no add ons they cannot deliver an attraction worthy of putting their name on and they haven’t because Jaga Valley is a boring waste.
Count em lads. 6 rides worth riding. 1 a Ferris Wheel, 1 a Soquet Looper and 1 a Zyklon Galaxi…
So our plan now was to head out, ride some +1s and then come back later to see if Lech is any better at almost night, but there was an issue. We asked the lady on admissions for a handstamp to come back later, she got all shifty and told us we’d need to go see guest services, no problem. In there we were informed by a rude woman that we can only leave for 30 minutes and we’d be given a signed piece of paper to make sure we didn’t abuse that rule. She was also disgusted that all 3 of us wanted permission to leave for 30 minutes…
Well, there goes the little bit of respect I still had left for the park…
We ate lunch in the car and came up with a plan. There’s no way we’re going to be able to spend all day here and since we can’t leave and come back, let’s go back in, get our final fill and then leave and never look back.
The woman on admissions gave us a real filthy look as we re-entered the park with our stupid bit of paper, look we don’t want to be here either lady.
This time we travelled the loop clockwise and got to see yet more wrecked flat rides, this time featuring possible fire damage.
Back to Bazyliszek, I enjoyed it even less a second time.
Then back to Lech, where things hadn’t improved at all. I continued to join Heartline on another run of re-rides until he too got fed up and we called it a day.
And that was Legendia.
After much discussion the +1 we decided on was at Park Kolejowy, chosen because it was the only park nearby that was pay per ride.
We punched the details into the sat nav, went on a leisurely drive and soon arrived at what appeared to be some form of hospital or possibly a retirement home. “Mate…. this can’t be the place….” As we did a lap of the car park to access the situation 2 things happened. Heartline spotted a banner declaring that this was infact the correct car park for Park Kolejowy and then an actual corpse was rolled out of the building and put into a van right infront of us. I feel dirty… right where’s the coaster?
After following the banner around the side of the building we ended up walking straight into the park. There was no entrance area, no signage, just a park full of miniature ride on trains and we were the only ones there. Well other than a friendly man mowing the grass, who immediately stopped upon seeing us and came over. Feeling slightly as if we weren’t meant to be there we timidly told him we were there for the roller coaster. He smiled, told us he doesn’t speak good english and then pointed us further into the park, where we assumed the coaster must be.
As we walked in the direction, still the only ones there, we assumed our man had gone back to mowing but as we neared the completely deserted coaster we turned around to see him following us keys in hand. He must be the park owner we thought, what an absolute hero.
Slight problem. None of us have any cash on us and this doesn’t appear to be the kind of place where we are going to be able to use a card. I hope we haven’t made this poor man stop mowing for nothing.
Without asking for the money upfront he let us onto the coaster and sent us on many laps, with each lap we felt slightly more guilty for possibly not being able to pay when this ends.
Thankfully for us when payment was requested he informed us that he did infact have a card machine and he walked us to the park gift shop in order to make the transaction, legend.
What a strange but awesome way to end the day.
Thanks for reading, click here for the next part of my report, where we visit Majaland and too many Karls.
Only 4 months later than planned we finally made it to Energylandia.
I know everyone has already visted this park and we are way late to the party but this still felt rather special. 15 coasters for the taking with 2 of them appearing World class, there’s no time to waste, let’s get in there.
There was a large rabble of people waiting to buy tickets which got us slightly worried but thanks to Polish efficiency the queue absolutely flew by and we were soon powering into this massive park and heading towards the very back, to Zadra.
Commence screaming now.
But first we need to warm up on the park’s only Italian kiddy coaster with a twisted airtime hill, Draken. In my excitement for Zadra I forgot to take a photo…
And while we’re here let’s ride the first of the park’s two Vekoma Juniors. This one is better, sorry but it is.
Finally, the time has come.
I went into my first ride on Zadra not expecting much and believing it was overhyped by the lesser RMC experienced European masses. I came off of my first ride on Zadra absolutely blown away.
Yeah, there’s no point keeping you in suspense, Zadra is my new favourite RMC and a seriously outstanding coaster.
Zadra takes a similar approach to things as Untamed by featuring a more varied layout, instead of focussing solely on airtime, this in my opinion makes for a more complete experience. This is coming from a man who lives for airtime, so you can understand how it pains me to say that but it’s true.
Similar to Untamed in approach, nothing like any other RMC I’ve ridden in execution, Zadra is an absolute monster. You feel every inch of the 200+ foot drop, you’re fully aware you’re flying around at speeds over 70mph. The airtime moments, though less than you might like, are all insane. All of the inversions hit hard and are memorable. Zadra has everything for everyone and I’m in love with everything about it.
So, Zadra far exceeded my expectations, can the park’s other star attraction do the same?
Yes it can!
Hyperion is the park’s winged Intamin Hyper coaster, it’s the coaster that put them on the map back in 2018, but it’s not without it’s critics. Going in I didn’t believe it was going to be a bad coaster, I just wasn’t so sure if it was going to ride as amazingly as it looks. And then it did.
In a World with so many lacklustre first drops, Energylandia have done the unthinkable and both their major coasters have kick ass ones. On Hyperion you get more than enough time to get concerned on the decent as you’re pinned into your very minimal restraint.
Then there’s the airtime. Similar to Zadra, there may not be enough for some, but what’s there is honestly brutal. Speaking of brutal, the positive Gs this thing subjects you to are insane, I really wasn’t expecting that. I also wasn’t expecting, much like Zadra, for Hyperion to make me appreciate the sensation of speed, which I really did when we were flying around a few feet off the ground at 80mph.
And then there’s the dive loop…
In most seats it’s great fun. In the back left winged seat it’s incredible.
Yeah, the park are 2 for 2 now.
Zadra and Hyperion are certainly 2 of the greatest coasters out there, more than deserving of both entering my top 25.
The monsters out the way, now it’s time to knock off the rest of the park’s coasters, this may take a while…
Frutti Loop Coaster
We started with the Wacky Worm, it was quite amusing seeing the park using a turnstyle and countdown system on such an insignificant attraction.
Energuś Roller Coaster
Next up was the park’s second Vekoma Junior. You weren’t allowed to bring loose articles into the station on this one, see I told you the other one was better.
Another Vekoma next, this time a Junior Boomerang, I liked the paint on this one.
Roller Coaster Mayan
Time for the SLC…
Me and Heartline spent the entire ride in stitches after I aggressively starting mocking those who say that with the right restraints SLCs actually offer a decent ride experience, they seriously don’t. At least with the over the shoulder restraints you have something to concentrate on, without them it just highlights how awful the layout and ride quality is.
Damn, this thing was a disappointment…
I was expecting something rather special from this modern Vekoma launch coaster, especially after Heartline rode and enjoyed an almost clone in China, but it wasn’t to be and that saddened me.
It was just a bit lacklustre. The airtime was fine but was hampered by the bad train design. The inversions were fine but no where near snappy enough for my liking, they probably would have been better with better trains. The launch felt a bit pointless, made worse by Heartline saying the lifthill version has a much stronger start.
After 1 lap I thought it was me being fussy, but after several I’m sure I’m not really a fan. I hope this is just a bad example of a modern Vekoma otherwise I’m slightly concerned for both Lech Coaster soon and Abyssus when it finally opens…
Vekoma SFC next. It certainly wasn’t as pretty as the other layout clones of this I’ve ridden.
In punishment for attempting to ride this questionable coaster I stapled myself so hard that I couldn’t breathe at all for the entire ride… Apart from that though the ride operator was a bit of a legend, scaring kids with the air line used for unlocking the restraints.
Another SBF contraption next but this time I could actually breathe. The operator of Circus Coaster waved to us as we crested the lift, he either knows we are on a serious cred run or thinks we’re insane, or both, either way top bloke.
Another SBF Visa? Alright then…
Viking Roller Coaster
The penultimate peril. It was now time to experience the infamous spinning mouse with over the shoulder restraints. I didn’t mind it, I actually found it quite funny, Heartline however, yeah, he wasn’t a fan so much.
Also that makes 4 SBF Visas in a row, 5 in a day, is that some kind of record?
While I enjoyed this Intamin Water Coaster far more than I did with Divertical, that was only because it had clean water and didn’t feature several hundred half naked Italians. These things are all about the ascent up that tower, which still worries me, but from there they are just a bit pointless in my eyes, as both a water ride and a coaster.
Park complete, let’s go ride Zadra and Hyperion until we bleed.
We started with Zadra and got several rides in before heading to Hyperion where we stayed until close. This was to get an almost night ride on the Intamin monster, which we did and it was incredible.
A minus point to the park now for being a little too fussy with their train management. The big boys were both running 2 trains for the most part but anytime the queue dropped below 15 minutes the ride team would instantly cease operations to take a train off. This would of course cause the queue to build back up, so they’d then have to re-add a train almost instantly. It was strange and it cost us valuable Zadra/Hyperion time.
I’d heard quite a lot of negative reviews of Enerylandia, with people saying it has a nasty atmosphere and feels like an oversized funfair. Well, in my opinion, on the 2 days I visited, I had a lovely time and other than the questionable train management I saw nothing at all to take issue with. I would happily return tomorrow for more time with Zadra and Hyperion and I cannot wait for the park to continue it’s incredible growth so I can return again.
Knowing today was going to be an easy one, bouncing between Zadra and Hyperion all day, we decided to start things off by getting the +1 at Zatorland, which is about 15 minutes from Energylandia.
And there it is and Christ was it riding violently.
Park complete, let’s get back to the beasts.
Today we did a couple of things differently. We used the park’s all day locker rental wristband system, which is both extremely well priced and a lifesaver. We also got pizza from a shack opposite Zadra, which once again was really well priced and tasted awesome.
We’d spend all day bouncing between Zadra and Hyperion, with the occasional stop off at Formuła if the queue looked acceptable.
Today we ended things with an almost night ride on Zadra which was both amazing and awful at the same time. Awful because as the sun set the layout became surrounded by these tiny bugs. You could feel them getting swatted by your hands and you had to keep your mouth closed to avoid eating them. Sadly several got in mine and Heartline’s eyes and my God was it deeply unpleasant. It also took forever to get them out…
Thanks for reading, click here for day 8, where we’re disappointed by Lech Coaster while visiting the not so great Legendia.
The only other coaster of significance in Poland right now is at a new branch of the Plopsa (Studio 100) franchise and was conveniently located along our escape route out of the country and back into Germany, so it felt like a good opportunity to have a look.
Day 9 – Majaland Kownaty
Half the park is located inside this giant building, sharing that common indoor feeling found at several of their other properties.
In here is the first of two creds – a family Zierer. The narrow tunnels lead to a larger enclosed space within which most of the ride (a couple of Vikings and a bear) happens. The rest of the building contains a large number of family flat rides and the like. It all looks rather new, shiny and impressive, but that’s not why we’re here.
We’re here for Poland’s only actual wooden coaster. Sadly a (mirrored) clone of Heidi at the big boy Plopsa park, although today I was slightly less bothered by that fact. Due to various misfortunes we only got a single lap in at de Panne so it was nice to get a clearer impression of the ride, in another form.
I was impressed with the aesthetic of the station and ride entrance area. A bit of a mild spooky theme going on – Wilkołak means Werewolf as you can probably already see.
Inside the station looks good too and, though it looks like I didn’t get a shot of it, the same goes for the train which had a few more slash marks on it. I assume we’re the hunters in this narrative.
The same can’t be said for the rest of the ride as it unglamorously spends the whole layout outside the park perimeter in a wasteland with skips, a service road and an old caravan.
Maybe the werewolf lives there. It looks better without the scream shields at least.
I’m neglecting the actual ride review here but – it’s decent. Exactly how I remembered Heidi, a bit un-GCI, though that could be considered a good thing at least half the time these days. I consider it a watered down version of the baby Gravitys and I could happily ride it all day. Lots of fun little bouncy hills of all shapes, sizes and angles, with double ups and double downs in a simple out and back layout. Not much in the way of the signature twists and turns as it doesn’t ever carry the speed to pull this off, but the airtime delivers enough.
Construction – get excited.
Ended up on a socially distanced Disk’O just for something else to do, and they suck. Fun fact: even if you don’t acknowledge them as creds on coaster count, you still get the rare points for ticking it off, so obviously that was the real reasoning behind it.
The park had very little else to offer us and even with many rerides we didn’t last long, though it was a perfectly pleasant place to be.
The entrance to Legendia is a rather understated affair. A crude car park and a stroll past some abandoned buildings.
Day 8 – Legendia
I knew this was a city park but for some reason I expected more trees. I haven’t exactly looked at photos in detail in before (apart from the 1 we’ll talk about below) so I didn’t know that if you look behind yourself at any point – big ugly tower blocks. Early indications were also that the place was going to be a ghost town today. It’s like being back in China.
In the same manner, the tantalising view of a gorgeous looking cred across the lake does make up for this though. We opted for a leisurely stroll in the counter-clockwise direction, taking us past the slightly more themed but closed Zyklon Galaxi. I know there’s 2 of them here but that’s still a spite.
So the first cred of the day became this Soquet looper. I’ve since learnt that this ride is an old relic from the UK and was at one point tied to the TV show Gladiators, so I’ll be a little more lenient, but… why? The restraints are shared across two people. This bugs me because shoulder restraints are there for ‘security, comfort, peace of mind’ the usual rubbish, but if the 2 guests are disproportionate in size then that all goes out the window, like with a common lapbar, only that’s a benefit (unless you’re Thorpe Park), this isn’t. Meandering drop, two loops and we’re turning and we’re… turning some more.
Thankfully rides have come a long way since then, though perhaps not in the restraint department for some manufacturers. I’m finally here to judge this thing for myself, to ride without prejudice.
The preshow is a nice touch that I didn’t expect. A man rides a big bird while a woman looks on, just like we’re about to do. The station was always empty and only ever one train so didn’t get to experience it inverting over our heads, a feature I have often admired from afar.
Something else I’ve admired from afar is that first drop. Construction pics don’t usually get to me but I saw one of that vicious-looking beyond vertical twist when it was first craned into place and it stirred a reaction in me like few other rides had. This was the early days of the buzzing excitement around Vekoma’s new era – they’re changing the game (technically this started back in 2010, though it went rather awry and then most likely ended up better for it), but I remain a doubter.
Having now experienced every model they’ve opened since then? (checks) Yes! I get the sense that they’ve developed a knack for making rides that look amazing, but the actual experience just doesn’t match up. There’s a certain something missing, whether finesse or character, I haven’t managed to put my finger on it yet, but I’ll keep on trying them anyway – hopefully that Firestorm one next.
I’ve diverged a bit there with some spoilers for my review but the first drop was surprisingly unremarkable. The way the track folds under and away from itself actually detracts from what should have been pure violence. I wanted Expedition GeForce, Kärnan & DC Rivals to be quivering at the thought of this element but it felt like they used the auto-heartline feature in No Limits – it’s perfectly engineered for comfort, not thrill.
From there I will admit it’s a masterful layout. Bouncing between inversions, tight turns and airtime, most of which deliver. The water, the castle and the big nest are all great moments of interaction.
It was notably intense, to the point at which I’d have to think about pacing myself after several consecutive laps as I was beginning to see stars out of the first inversion. Generally I admire this trait in a ride – right now I can only name on one hand the other coasters that have done this to me (and it’s a motley crew), but to justify this the experience has to offer other things on top that make it worthwhile. I’m not sure Lech did.
So here we go – the restraints. They don’t directly detract from the airtime moments – I still had full leg contact stopping me from flying out of my seat on that big hill towards the station and it was great. But. They encourage you to ride in a very specific position, there’s no real freedom of movement in the upper half of your body (something I value hugely on all of my favourite rides) and I find that to have a detrimental impact on what the coaster is capable of doing to the rider. Strong positives, a couple of negatives, very little in between.
I like it, I don’t love it, and my excitement for their upcoming projects has been massively reduced by this revelation, so hopefully they’ll now be a pleasant surprise. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Continuing on the loop we started to notice how the park is turning into a barren wasteland. Closed flat rides, the shells of former flat rides, fire damaged flat rides. Things don’t look encouraging.
The last cred was the other Zyklon Galaxi and I was wondering why they were being so keen in beckoning guests up the (7 person) queue to fill every car. The answer came hilariously in that our car, with only 3 people, didn’t have enough momentum to engage with the chain lift and we were treated to a little rollback and valley. The ops came striding over the grass and supports towards us with a look of ‘not this again’ and manually gave us a good running shove up onto the chain a second time. Crrrrr…BANG. “Eyyyyyy!” +1.
Struggling for things to fill the time, we hopped on the ferris wheel for some views. I spent a while imposing my own ideas on what rides should fill the vast empty spaces littered around the lake to help this place compete with Energylandia. Gravity woodie there, Mack launch there, custom raptor there – you know how it goes.
Behind that was the new-ish shooting ride Bazyliszek. Not the giant snake, the dumb looking chicken headed monster. I was hoping this was good, we needed to seriously up our dark ride game on this trip. The trackless aspect is entirely pointless other than to look cool in the station. Aside from that it’s a bit cardboard cutout, a bit screeny and sadly a bit below par for this sort of thing (though the queue is a decent effort). The dragon shooting one at Lotte World kept springing to our minds – it shares that same cheaper feeling, but it’s a lot better than this.
Almost forgot they had a rapids to do. But how could I?! It’s a Hafema. I loooooove them. Sadly the park has managed to suck the fun out of one of these too. ‘I think this one just goes round, bro.’ I can picture the scenario now – the Hafema salesperson arrives in the meeting room with a book as thick as the pages are wide and SLAMS it on the table. As they flick through the pages with excitement – “here’s all the weird and wonderful things we can do with water rides. You can have elevator lifts, you can have vertical drops, you can have people fearing for their very lives. Which of these take your fancy? How about all of them?” “No, we just want rapids.” “But this stuff is our speciality, we’re world leaders in innovation, it’s where we excel. This is why you chose us, right? This attraction can put you on the map again, it’ll make a statement to those louts at Energylandia, show them who’s boss, with their two rapids… the Italians? How poxy. And don’t get me started on Intamin, they don’t even know what size to make their boats.” “No, we just want rapids. We can say…” hands breaking from thoughtful pyramid to gesture a small rainbow, “new for 2020. People will come.” And Yaga Valley was born.
As there was still a HUGE amount of the day left and, though slightly discouraged, we had had our heart set on a few pseudo-night rides on Lech Coaster, we went to see what the hand stamp situation was, planning to kill some time elsewhere and come back for that. Sadly their policy is to give you a piece of paper that says you have to come back within 30 minutes and they were even reluctant to let all of us go out to the car at the same time.
With that bright idea shot down we went back to Lech to give it another few goes before leaving for good. I started off wanting to keep riding it, wanting to love it, wanting it to push my body to some sort of limit but we reached a certain point where I just had to say we’re not going to get anything more out of this and a tl;dr statement if there was any – ‘Let’s go get a +1 instead.’
And what a +1 it was. We drove past mountains and castles to arrive in front of what looked like a hospital. On closer inspection it was more like a retirement home and there was an actual dead body being wheeled out into a van to greet us as I cautiously trundled into what I assumed was the car park. There was one car.
But also this banner. It is the right place!
We headed round to the back of the building to find overgrown grass and an assortment of outdoor miniature railway tracks. The only person in sight was happily mowing away, he stopped upon seeing us and gave a friendly greeting, arms wide – “no speak English”. “Ah, hi, umm… Rollercoaster?” I happened to be wearing my Kärnan shirt on this occasion – it has a bit of coaster track on it and is great for situations like this. Instead of people thinking you’re just strange and lost, they know why you’re here, though they still think you’re strange. He threw a polite gesture towards the far end of a field, where some yellow track was winking at us. We’re in. It hadn’t yet clicked that this man WAS Park Kolejowy and as we headed off towards the ride, he went in the opposite direction. While we got stuck at a dead end behind some abandoned dodgems, he had actually been to get the key to run the coaster, soon catching up to us and escorting us to what could loosely be described as the platform.
We had expected some form of transaction to take place before this, but clearly enthusiasts don’t have a reputation for being petty thieves (just child abusers) and we were invited to sit straight on the ride and enjoy a few too many laps on this wonderful creation.
Staggering back out of the train from the adrenaline rush, Mr. Kolejowy declared “1 person, 9 zloty.” “Ah, umm… can we pay by card?” For what I’ll claim to be covid reasons rather than incompetence we didn’t actually have the cash. Had he required it I would have been happy to drive an hour to the nearest town to find a cashpoint because the man was a legend. Instead however, he gestured back towards the entrance and escorted us to a little wooden hut. Inside was a small shop and, of course, a card reader.
That’s right Plohn. A Polish man in a field has a card machine and you don’t. I thought I was over this.
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 actualwinged 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.