14 April 2005

Liseberg (Gothenburg, Sweden)

 

Wendy & Ben Easton
Ben & I had a great day at Liseberg.

Nice to see those we know and meet new folk.

I have a particularly champion bruise and lump on my arm from the Kanonen restraints. Absolute agony, but Ben found them OK.

We were thrilled by Balder, being relatively new to Coasters and only my 3rd Woody I was particularly taken by the Air time, what fun.

Martin Porter
Think everyone must still be recovering from the long long day yesterday. (I didn’t wake up til about midday today as I only had extremely minimal sleep the night before). I enjoyed Liseberg very much; thought Kanonen was very good, but I did feel a little nauseous, but that could’ve been due to the severe sleep deprivation. I thought Balder was brilliant though, having been my first ride on that coaster. The airtime was amazing. Suppose some people might not think it runs like a conventional woodie though.

David Ellis
Wow! Just got back from a terrific day at Liseberg. I never thought I would ever go to Sweden for a day trip. I never thought Liseberg could offer more hospitality than they have on the Scandi Trips.

WRONG on both counts!

Today was a very memorable day because, after all the recent discussions about the external perceptions of the ECC, everything that happened today is because of the perception Liseberg has about us as a group of coaster enthusiasts. It is almost inconceivable that any park anywhere in the world could have done more for a group of coaster enthusiasts than Liseberg did today.

Where do I start? Free and exclusive invite to the Press “launch” of the new Kanonen coaster. Free park entry. Providing a coach to transport us free from the airport to the park… and back again. Free bar and food. Free goodie bag, with baseball caps, press release etc, 3 hours exclusive riding on Balder and the new Intamin launched coaster Kanonen. Exclusive use of cameras and camcorders on ride (secured with tape…which is very sensible on these two rides!). All this for 81 people!

This sums up all that is good in the ECC, and how the external perception of us in Scandinavia has developed, through a lot of hard work by ECC monkeys and terrific goodwill by the parks. That’s not counting the special offer of free entry all season to Liseberg just by showing your ECC membership card!

It’s time for bed… so in brief a quick summary of Kanonen. Excellent launch, which catches you unaware no matter how well you think you are ready for it (and I saw at least one person wearing their camcorder eyepiece IN their eyes as the launch threw the camcorder backwards!), a top hat which the train only just manages to survive, lots of twists and turns with “Stengel”-style swaps in direction (as on Expedition GeForce), a vertical loop that just appears from nowhere and a slow in-line twist (very similar to those on Colossus at Thorpe) which cuts through the vertical loop. All in all I loved the ride. It was perfectly paced in my opinion…any slower and it wouldn’t make it over the top hat…any faster and the twists and turns would be hard work. It probably isn’t a ride that many people with ride over and over again (although I did) but a great ride nonetheless. Balder has developed a bit of a squeak this year…but still has airtime supreme!

Despite running perfectly well when it opened early afternoon, by teatime and after a little rain it had taken about 10 seconds off its ride time…what a superb way to spend a day out.

Two top coasters, one top park, top staff, top hat…top fun!

Olof Sornmo
Thanks for a wonderful day at Liseberg! Although me and my cousin had to leave rather early, we really enjoyed the event a lot!

I found Kanonen to be a bit better than I thought it’d be, especially when riding in the rear. The launch was way more powerful than I expected, the top hat and the little camelback after it was also magnificent.

A big thanks to Liseberg, and the Club, for making this possible!

Malcolm Marr
This was my first day trip to the continent, and from the responses of friends and family, Sweden isn’t the usual place to go to for just trips like these but until Calais gets a theme park I’m going to be making more trips like this. The overall cost of the trip was less than a similar trip to Blackpool; whether that’s praise for the airlines or a complaint directed at the state of our railways is a different debate.

Anyway, the new ride is a superb addition for the park and is a nice complement to Balder, although they would have a nice play on words if they’d called it “dash” (“balderdash” you cry). Because the ride is compact, there is no let up between elements which can make the ride disorientating e.g. there is no approach into the loop; you turn out of the mini-top hat straight into it. Similarly you don’t do a full twist through the roll, the banked turn into it is its beginning and the exit of the twist leads into the turn out. This is the first of the new-launch coasters I’ve been on and this has quite a kick but I understand it’s actually the slowest of them all; I can’t wait to try the others now! My only complaint is that the restraints are a little strange with these unecessary curved bars that seem to serve no purpose other than to smash into your neck.

Nine observations made during the day.

1) If you’re going to film the ride, do not hold the camera directly in front of you as the launch will do its best to drive it into your face much to the amusement of people watching.

2) Similarly if you’re filming from the front row, do not hold the camera in front of your throat, that can hurt too.

3) Do not ignore the “keep your head back against the headrest” message unless you have years of headbanging experience (Darren Hoy should be OK).  It will be thrown backwards no matter how hard you try to resist, and I tried believe me.

4) If you’re going to film out to the side of the ride, don’t lean your head out because not only will it get snapped back, it’s likely to get snapped around the side of the headrest much to the amusement of the people waiting in the brake run.

5) Forgetting to take your baseball cap off sees it leave your head within one second of the ride launching.

6) Of all those members who tried riding with their eyes closed, 100% of them cried “ow” on the turn immediately following the loop. Don’t do it unless you can handle a heavy blow to the left side of your neck.

7) The promotional pack makes a deal of the drop from the top hat being over the river, but I never noticed we were over water; instead I was more distracted by how close the top spin was to the ride. Whilst not “drop tower – coaster @ Gronalund” close, they are near each other.

8) If you want a cheap fumble from the female ride op, board the ride with a bumbag around your waist which she will attempt to remove for you. Just don’t shout things out like “I can’t get it out” as she reaches down between your legs as to do so will only make the people watching from the queue line think you’re being a bit pervy. I will avoid naming the long haired bit part actor who did this.

9) On previous trips those in the trains have always high-fived the people waiting to ride as their train left the station. But for some reason no-one did this on Kanonen. I hope we’re a little bit friendlier towards each other when we come to ride Rita in the summer 😀

When I wasn’t repeat riding Kanonen, there was a little distraction next door in Balder which was running just as well as I recall. However it was running extremely quickly when it started to rain. You know it has to be quick when the ride op tells you it was quick when you return to the station. On a number of occasions I almost lost my jacket, but then I did have it flying out like a cape.

Our esteemed, but sllightly mad chairman also came up with an idea for a future event. You repeat ride the woodie and every time you come into the station you are given some out of date frozen lamb joints and a rock that you have to carry for the next lap. You’re also given a broken circuit board you have to fix before you return to the station. So perhaps on the next Scandi trip you’ll be able to take part in the “older colder shoulder boulder holder solder Balder challenge”.

A big big big thank you to Lasse and Liseberg for the amazing hospitality and great day.

 

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