The amusement park Bakken or Dyrehavsbakken is located at Jægersborg Dyrehave on the outskirts of the Danish capital Copenhagen. Similar to Vienna’s Wurstelprater, the amusement park, which is divided into plots and fed by various showmen, makes up only a very small area of the actual park grounds, which mainly function as a wildlife park and thus had its origins as a hunting ground. Historically speaking, the amusement park opened in 1583 is relevant as it is the oldest amusement park in the world. The easiest way to reach the amusement park is by taking the suburban train line C from Copenhagen Central Station to the terminal station Klampenborg, followed by a 10 minute walk.
Once arrived at the park, if you visit Bakken not only because of the numerous rustic restaurants and bars, you should buy a wristband. Most of the times, this is read out by a handheld device but also by stationary scanning stations and allows one 10 rides on each of the numerous attractions in Bakken.
If you have walked from Klampenborg Station the first attraction you will come across is the Intamin Minetrain called Mine Train Ulven. After the train has left the station with a full jolt due to the friction wheels, which are probably controlled by a trapezoidal trajectory of speed, a small drop is made to enter the lift. Once at the top, the track disappears in front of you and an incredibly steep first drop follows. Just as fast as it’s going down here, the steep curve goes up again and a left leading downward helix is attached. A little more leisurely we go through a constantly tapering Bavarian curve until we pass the station. A right turn above the first track meters leads the train into a downward helix below the lift hill. Parallel to the lift you pass two smaller hills before you enter the last downhill helix after a 270° turn. This is followed by the entry into the brake and the return to the station.
Mine Train Ulven surprises with its very strong start, but gets a little lost in the middle part of the layout until it goes into the fast end of the ride. As one of the few layouts of this kind from the manufacturer, the layout convinces above all by the comparatively intensive riding style, only the curves could have been a little more pronounced and less optimized.
Next to a 5D cinema, or rather exactly above it, there is the Crazy Theatre, an interactive theatre of the manufacturer Alterface in which the film Desperados is shown. Here you sit on a mechanical horse, which moves back and forth, and aim a pistol at various targets. At first, smaller practice scenes are shown, followed by a longer film scene. The interaction of the individual components is quite fun and can convince by the good quality of the film.
A few metres further on is the ghost train Spøgelsestoget. This is a quite old ghost train. As the inside of the ride is pitch dark, the ride is quite tense. The effects are all shown to their best advantage – also the newer ones fit very well into the ambience – and frighten you several times with bravura. So Spøgelsestoget is a real highlight in Bakken and therefore should not be missed by anyone.
Less cramped than most other rides in Bakken are the Schwarzkopf Monster Polyppen, which offered a good and balanced ride, and the boat swing Vikingeskibet Dragen made by Zierer. Here you sit, as on the Kalbfleisch-Boat Swings, back to back or in opposite rows to each other, but in comparison you have much more play to the bars and therefore a more exciting ride. Interestingly, the ship is not driven from below but at the side of the saber.
Since the 80’s the roller coaster Racing is located in Bakken, a Zierer Flitzer, which was previously on the road under the Bremen showman Robrahn at the German fairs during the early 70’s. With its age of 44 years it is the second oldest roller coaster in Bakken and is mostly still in its original condition.
After the obligatory lift ride, you make a series of right-hand bends that are continuously rejuvenating and always ascending and descending in the style of Bavarian curves, until shortly afterwards a major fall occurs and you pass the station at ground level. A bigger right turn leads you into the rear part of the layout and after a narrow turn you make the first change of direction. This is immediately repeated after a downward helix and the last right turn follows.
It is very interesting how much the original gondolas influence the ride, as although the installation is identical in construction to High Explosive of the showman Vorlop, the high gondola walls of the mine cars take a big part of the fun. At least, the little speedsters make the ride very funny, which is why I had the most rides here during my visit.
The Taarn Gyset is a Double Shot Tower from S&S located in Bakken, which is characterized by its low height and the nevertheless extraordinarily pronounced airtime, triggered by the second shot down. The ride is quite funny, but sadly also a rather short one.
The Vilde Mus roller coaster, which will open in 2012, is, as the name suggests, the newer standard model of the Wild Mouse from Mack Rides. Although there was no actual rush, many children preferred to claim an entire car for themselves, which artificially created the longest queue in the park. Interestingly, the ride itself resembles much older rides like the remaining side of the Speedy Bob from the Belgian Bobbejaanland.
With Hurlumhej there is a little treasure in Bakken that is really worth experiencing. In the history of the origin of the complex, obviously, a lot of Hansen Rum was drunk, that is why a giant bottle adorns the front of this amazing walkthrough. In the interior, one then comes across to a perfect symbiosis of the Crooked House and a Fun House, whereby the elements of the Crooked House are more distinctly present. Due to the more than elaborate arrangement in the style of an old ship, one actually gets a little seasick and therefore leaves the amusement complex by staggering a little. If each walkthrough would be like Hurlumhej, then every installation would be worth a visit, as such a perfectly arranged scenerey is something one unfortunately does not find very often. Even bigger installations as the Hotel Tartüff of the theme park Phantasialand do not surprise as much as this one, especially as one really does not oftenly come across to a crooked house nowadays.
After I already had the pleasure to do a Speed Flip in the Funland Amusement Park on Hayling Island I was very curious to see how the Moser Rides product would show up here. In contrast to the traveling ride in England, Extreme has a very strange ride program where you basically go full throttle at the beginning of the ride and then slowly reduce the speed until the end. In addition to the modest ride cycle, which does not show the potential of this machine, the ride also offers very minimal restraints onky, which are unfortunately a bit too uncomfortable.
In a small alley leading to the amusement park’s car park is Mariehønen, a small Tivoli ride from the manufacturer Zierer. The ride on the smallest roller coaster in Bakken is a very solid one, but becomes noteworthy by a break on the lift hill after the second round, as this is where you take a little stop to wave to the outside visitors. After the children have now waved extensively, the friction wheels start to work under full load, which doesn’t sound very nice with regard to the engines, and you now complete the last laps.
The Vandrutschebahn log flume is an interesting ride with a surprisingly long course with two downhill runs. The entry takes place on a small turntable whereupon the boat is released into the channel. On the way to the lift you spend some time in the current canal before you quickly go up. During the following shot run, which leads to about half of the starting height, one is already well moistened. Now one spends some time bobbing criss-cross through the layout just before it goes down quite fast on a long straight line and after another curve the second lift hill follows. At the top of the hill you will find the narrowest curve ever built into a log flume which could not be ridden without additional equipment. Compared to a Mack Rides installation, where two turntables would be used, the boats of this Reverchon whitewater ride are pushed through the curve by a lateral driver using a turntable. The boat will corner like crazy at the canal before it is pushed into the second shot. When you reach the bottom you will be completely soaked by the spray. If you are not laughed at by a little boy, who is doing a lap on the Svanebanen – a monorail above the water ride – it is a wonderfully refreshing fun in Bakken.
The Safari interactive dark ride is small, but very attractive. Armed with pistols and in small jeeps, the tour takes you through Bakken’s green hell, past numerous animatronics on two levels. Although you don’t trigger any effects and only try to get the highest possible score, the ride is very nicely arranged.
Not quite as old as the roller coaster of the same name from the nearby amusement park Tivoli Gardens, the Rutschebanen presents itself to its passengers at only 83 years of age. The technology and trains, on the other hand, are much younger and were purchased during the modernization, which also made the accompanying brake service personnel redundant. The Dutch company KumbaK did its best to maintain an authentic ride feeling without taking too much care of the wooden structure. They installed brake modules on the track where the brakeman would probably have braked, although I doubt that the train would have sneaked into the station like that. The trains are now similar to the wooden coaster Stampida from the Spanish Port Aventura, but consist of cars for two people each.
After the train has left the station, the route takes a left turn towards the cable lift. Here the train hooks up and is therefore carried up the wonderfully sloping and crooked lift hill very quickly. Once arrived at the top, one can enjoy the view in a small turn until it immediately goes down. Only at a nice speed one drives through the valley and quickly climbs up the other half of the lift. Up here, one passes another turn at a leisurely pace, but then the train rushes over a double shot. With clearly pronounced forces, one completes the following valley. A camelback follows before one makes the next turn at a higher level. Now parallel to the station you repeat the same game again, on the following meters you are not allowed to turn right according to the signs and disappear into the tunnel of a woman. Here you go down once more and over another hill before returning to the station.
Rutschebanen has an absolutely great layout, but unfortunately the wrong trains or better said the wrong restraints for this. Unlike Stampida, where I find the trains quite good, the restraints over here do not sit on the pelvis, but on the stomach. Due to the double shots, the bar is so unpleasantly tightened that one wishes the old trains back. Whereby the ride is actually exactly like Grand National from Pleasure Beach Blackpool, thus quite compatible for a wooden roller coaster of this age.
The rotating gondola roller coaster Tornado, however, is not very well tolerated by people with balance problems. For all the others, a ride on the roller coaster in Bakken might be enough to cause some really serious problems in the first place, because the true madness from the house of Intamin is not infamous for nothing.
It is not for nothing that the ride begins with the advice to press your head against the headrest, because after a curve the car enters the lift slightly turning. Due to the sudden acceleration, the rotation becomes more pronounced before the chain reaches an insane speed on the straight lift top. With full force you are now thrown down the first steep curve, mostly underlaid with a loud crackling of the passengers. Turning wildly, one now completes a harmless turn on the hall floor and leaves the hall in an upward curve. Next, a horseshoe-shaped curve combination and a jagged S-curve combination is completed relatively quickly before the descent gets steep and fast once more. Below the hall ceiling you pass a block brake without a noticeable reduction of speed, after which it goes downhill again in a steep curve. Since there have been enough harmless changes of direction so far, the following one is done much more abruptly, but in return the following curve is not as tight. A last steep turn initiates the return to the station and beats everyone up again with full force. Shortly afterwards the brakes are reached and you can finally take a deep breath.
Tornado is by far the most intense roller coaster in Europe or better said in the whole world, because what you experience here reminds you of bodily harm, it’s even more fun to get your nose broken by a stranger in the Hamburg S-Bahn, because you only notice it afterwards. But Tornado could be a quite good roller coaster, if you had left out the steep turns or if the average speed of the layout hadn’t been set so high from the beginning by the insane lift hill. I spent a total of two rides on this ride and that’s enough for me for the next years, as Tornado is simply the craziest roller coaster I’ve ever ridden so far in my life.
Also crazy, but in a positive sense, is the Gerstlauer Sky Roller, where you can interactively influence the ride by adjusting the position of the wings on the seats. As often seen on similar machines of the manufacturer, you have to show the audience what you can get out of the machine or in other words how to adjust the wings to create a rollover. In contrast to the Götterflug from the amusement park Belantis you are unfortunately not supported by the wind during the ride and therefore you have a more even ride which does not automatically make the world appear in circles. A positive aspect of the Sky Roller is the much better capacity compared to the supposedly more exciting Sky Fly. Also, the first revision of the ride is now much more sophisticated and technically simpler, but this means that the gondolas no longer run completely over each other.
The amusement park Bakken is, as also the Prater in Vienna, a great place to have some hours of good fun. Due to the low international share of visitors, the public is much more pleasant than in the Tivoli and generally enjoys themselves away from the rides in the park’s countless restaurants and bars, creating a thoroughly pleasant atmosphere on the grounds.
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