The Djurs Sommerland on the Djursland peninsula has been on my agenda for several years. During this time the park developed as a kind of running gag between Hauke and me, because a visit was postponed, mostly based on the – nevertheless quite decent – distance. Since we hardly had the chance to meet each other within the last months, we decided to finally take the way.
Arriving at the park we unfortunately had to realize that the weather unfortunately does not show itself from its predicted side and will enrich us for some rainy hours. For this reason, the two main attractions in Djurs Sommerland couldn’t start right at the beginning, which caused a long queue at Skatteøen despite the empty park.
The roller coaster on Treasure Island combines the two main parts of the well-known water coaster layout from Europa Park, ironing out any bumps halfway through the ride and looking much more imposing, even though the ride is slimmer. The overall theming is also well done.
The journey begins, after a short speech by the skeletonised captain, the journey leads past an octopus towards the lift hill. Once at the top, there is a small gradient, which is followed by Poseidon’s notorious steep curve after the first block brake, but you can hold your arms up here without hesitation. After passing another block brake, the big gradient follows, whereupon a small hill initiates the first and only shot into the cool water.
Skatteøen is not particularly wet, but luckily not really dry either. Compared to the older model in Rust, the ride feeling on the track is much better, although the type of track system and the cars that go with it are by no means super-smooth.
In the same area there is also a Zierer Kontiki, a children’s log flume and an ABC Rides tower with tilting function called Sablen. This sabre offers a quite interesting and as usual satisfying ride. Just like its really free falling, and not tilting, brothers from the dungeons, the forces are quite pronounced. The tilting seems a little strange and to be honest only interesting from the outside.
Unfortunately, the flagship attraction of the Pirate section, Piraten, forms a self-contained unit in its own right, as it can only be reached via a separate path. Since its opening, Piraten has been the reason for amusement park enthusiasts to make their way to Djurs Sommerland, and not without reason, as this roller coaster, which looks pretty cute from the outside, has it all under control.
As soon as you have taken a seat in the four-part train, the ride goes rapidly upwards via cable lift and ends shortly afterwards in a powerful curve close to the ground. This is followed by a rather uneventful, even though quite steep, turn. On the following airtime hill you are lifted out of your seat by negative forces in a nice floating airtime, which is not offered on the next meters of the track. Now it goes a little bit wilder and the next three turns will be done in a brute way, which you won’t find so often. The airtime here is ejecting airtime at its finest and even Walibi Hollands Goliath is top of the class in its expressiveness, which is, among other things, due to the comparatively low altitude of these turns. A curve follows, whereupon two straight hills catapult you into the bar. Shortly afterwards the rapid ride comes to an end.
Piraten is without a doubt a great ride, although it is more recommended for fans of ejecting airtime. The ride is wild, powerful and fast and simply terrific.
Lilleputland is completely family-friendly, at least for families with small children. Besides various children’s carousels, there is another roller coaster called Karlos Taxi. This is a, comparatively wild, wacky worm from Visa SBF, where even some leg room was available. When asked where to sit, the operator even cleaned the benches from the accumulated raindrops.
Ørnen and Colorado River
Passing some restaurants and countless trampolines, the way leads to a rather remote area, where the Ørnen ride is located, as well as the Colorado River log flume. Where the first one is a very nice example of a Topple Tower, a ride that is a little more exciting, although not less spectacular, than the prototype ride from the Belgian park Bellewaerde, the second is definitely worth a ride.
The log flume from Interlink has three shots of different sizes. While the first downhill run only lets you get familiar with a few drops of water, the second downhill run can be described as very wet. Although this is the smallest shot run, one should think about the slope at the latest at the, practically non-existent, run-out area. Soaked it goes then up the third lift, whereupon one gets wet in the run-out area of the final gradient too, but not in the quantities of the probably meanest little shot of a whitewater course out there.
Rio Grande Rafting
If you follow the circular route, you will reach the Wild West, where the Rio Grande Rafting is waiting for you. This Interlink rafting ride is not only beautifully designed from the outside, but can also convince in the non-visible sections of the layout. As soon as one reaches the station, one notices the strange transport system, as instead of swimming, the boats cross the round station on rollers. The following journey can show some peculiarities and lets the passengers, compared to most of the European rafting rides, not get out drier than they got in.
Wild West Karrusellen
In addition to two bumper cars and an electronic horse track, the Wild West Karrusellen complements this theme area. This inconspicuous chain carousel made by Zierer can stand out from almost all other wave swingers of the manufacturer because this ride is quite fast and the ride program is outstanding. Unfortunately, however, this model does not ride through ice-cold fountains of water, as is the case in Chessington World of Adventures in England, as this would be legendary when ridding backwards. But even without this wish the chain carousel is surprisingly good due to its forward and backward ride, inviting to make some more rides.
Probably the most typical theme area of a Danish amusement park does not turn out to be as absurdly racist in Djurs Sommerland as it was in Sommerland Syd, for example, as Afrikaland here hardly serves any clichés from times long past. Beside two carousels you can also visit the Jungle Safari theme ride. In two coupled banana-shaped boats, you will pass many originally designed scenes in which monkeys play the leading role. Even though the animatronics are older, they are still interesting to look at, such as the giant King Kong towards the end of the trip.
The Vandland, the large water park in Djurs Sommerland, should not be left out, because it complements a visit to a Sommerland on the one hand, and on the other hand the slides here are very good. As soon as you have come to terms with the more open-minded Danish culture, as there are fortunately no changing rooms, the fun can begin.
As soon as you have left the changing room you are in front of a large play structure with a bucket. To the left of this is the impressive Polin slide The Wave, where you can swing from side to side in a double tyre at a good speed, the small wave pool Honolulu Bay, and the inconspicuous slide Waikiki Surf School, where you lose control quite quickly. On the right hand side you will find a slide tower, where the tube slides are especially recommendable, as well as the tire slides Black Hole and Wild River, which both wind their way down an artificial mountain massif. But here, the Black Hole got stuck as the weakest slide, whereas the Wild River is really true to its name. The sloping positions that one reaches here and the wave fronts in which one boards in are really fun and guarantee one or two repetitions.
The roller coaster Thor’s Hammer was the first bigger roller coaster in Djurs Sommerland and offers a very nice design and a very funny layout, which many people might know from the Erlebnispark Tripsdrill.
The journey begins with a downward curve, after which an outward helix is completed. This is followed by four powerful hairpin turns, which are perfect for torturing your neighbour a little before you go into a helix combination. The following camelbacks are quickly completed and can lift you a little bit out of the car before you enter a final helix combination, whereupon the end of the ride is approaching.
In Mexicoland you can find since last season the Zierer Flying Fish Solguden, where you have to move your car up or down according to a song, otherwise the sun god takes revenge on the passengers. Although it rained all day long, it was impossible to follow this song, so every jet of water was taken along. If you believe the Danish song is hard to understand, you are mistaken, the directions to follow can be guessed well. The soundtrack of the installation is pretty good and can be heard throughout the whole area.
The roller coaster Juvelen is this year’s novelty of Djurs Sommerland and at the same time the only roller coaster in Europe where you get two times potential energy by a launch. The interesting aspect is that there is no braking in front of the second launch and therefore the ride flow is not unnecessarily interrupted.
After you have taken a seat on your quad the track leads into a preshow room where you can think about all kinds of things. The show itself offers good ideas for this, which of course cannot be understood without a knowledge of Danish and therefore has a lot of room for interpretation. On the other hand you can also think about whether such a friction wheel launch can convince at all, here I spontaneously thought of Alton Towers roller coaster Th13teen and its friction wheel sprint back into the station.
While the launch needs a little bit of time to accelerate to the car at the beginning, it is very powerful especially towards the end of the launch, which is further enhanced by the fact that the backrest is almost missing. This is followed by a right-hand bend close to the ground and a hill where you only take off gently, whereupon the powerful spectacle begins. In the form of a Bavarian curve, the train makes the first left turn, whereby the radius also becomes smaller and smaller. A right turn close to the ground around a stone arch follows, whereupon the direction changes rapidly and a half upward helix is completed. Back at ground level, the second launch follows and this one picks up incredibly strong, now the speed is at its highest level and a left turn close to the ground is now rapidly passed. Another change of direction follows and is emphasised by a rock structure with a waterfall. Shortly after, the direction is changed again and another bavarian curve is made, whereupon a high turnaround takes place. The following curve ends in a higher hill, which results in a turn close to the ground. Now two unusually curviless hills follow, the latter being the second highest elevation of the layout. Another combination of curves forms the end of the ride.
What you have experienced in the last 90 seconds can hardly be put into words, especially not when it rains, because this layout is truly amazing for a family roller coaster. While the first launch seems to be halfway normal, the second one is a big deal, which other roller coasters should measure themselves against. The pronounced forces in the curves, the length of the ride, and the high speed make Juvelen a roller coaster you should not miss. The predicate family roller coaster is at least excessively understated, only the height restriction of the passengers can remind of it. The jewel of the park is definitely the best ride on site, as well as the best launched coaster on the continent and in my opinion the best roller coaster continental Europe has to offer, after all the best ride is still in England.
Pictures Djurs Sommerland
Conclusion Djurs Sommerland
Djurs Sommerland is a park that really surprised us. There is hardly any other amusement park where the offer is as good as here, which is mainly due to all the different play activities between the rides. Here you can really discover something at every corner, like for example the quite well hidden Tarzanland. The roller coasters are all on a pretty good level and the rides, even though standard, are somehow special. Because of the great offer even a day with really bad weather becomes one of the best ideas you could have made on that day.
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