A short visit to Bakken

A short visit to Bakken

The next day after our visit to Tivoli Gardens, Michael and I headed towards Klampenborg to visit the oldest amusement park in the world: Bakken. It was just a short visit, as Michael just had a few rides on his bucket list and was not particulary keen of a visit to this park when he could have spend the morning with his new love Vertigo in the centre of Copenhagen. Nevertheless, both of us got a Turband for unlimited rides.


Since the crowd was manageable, we could do everything without queueing, so that I could manage a lot of re-rides on some of my favorites, as well as give some attractions a second try. Although I have sworn never to ride Tornado again, I ended up joining the queue in order to give Michael a favor. At the end, we didn’t spun that much, so that the insanely wild ride was still manageable. It was basically just fine, even though I still find the layout with all its steep curves a bit too borderline. Yet, if you are prepared for them, it is just fine or if you are Nicolas Mayer (caruso at onride.de) and you like this kind of stuff.

Pictures Bakken

Closing Words

After a few rides on the other roller coasters of the park, especially on the old mighty Rutschebanen – which just ran great –, and a visit to the great Hurlumhej fun house, we headed for something to drink. As the prices at Bakken are overall a bit lower than in Copenhagen, you can have some good old Tuborg Classic for a reasonable price. Also if you want something to eat, Bakken is your place to be. On our way back, we stopped in one of the restaurants, where we had a great meal before heading back to Copenhagen in order to catch the coach back to Hamburg. It was a very nice weekend, although I don’t recommend in using the bus, when it doesn’t head for the ferry. It was a six hour long trip to hell and back.


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Plenty of new things in the East


The Freizeitpark Plohn, which originated from a trout farm with an attached restaurant in Plohn near Lengenfeld, had been on my must-do list for several years and was repeatedly considered in various excursion ideas before they were discarded. The decisive factor for this was the extremely positive reporting since the opening of the wooden roller coaster El Toro in 2009 and although Freizeitpark Plohn is hardly further away for me than Phantasialand in Brühl, I have never made it to the amusement park before.

After testing the local Allwetterbobbahn in nearby Eibenstock, I reached the parking lot at about 11 am and left it already half an hour later. I used this time in the queue in front of the only open cash desk before I was told that my bank card with PIN entry cannot be accepted here, but only one with signature. This is not my fault, it’ s the cash system of the park and therefore the park itself, I was told without even being told a reasonable alternative. In fact the not very friendly cashier basically meant that it was only me.

Extremely annoyed I drove to Lengenfeld to get some money at the local Sparkasse and then back to Plohn – after all there is a quite promising wooden roller coaster in the park and the way back would be 500 km long – where I had to stand in the queue again for another 30 minutes. Backed up by a deeply stupid comment I finally got into the Freizeitpark Plohn.

Freizeitpark Plohn

Fluch des Teutates

Thank God they are already working on a better entrance area at the Gaul village, hopefully with a better cash register system. In this area, next to the Drachenschaukel, a windshield wiper-like ride, which was not in operation, is the River Splash ride Fluch des Teutates by the manufacturer ABC Rides.

The trip in the round boats starts immediately with a slightly longer lift. At the top, you leave the lift in a right-hand bend and after a small straight section, a larger turn follows. Afterwards, relatively unusual for this type of ride, a small slope in lofty height under the lift hill follows. After another turn, but this time to the left, another slope follows immediately. Now, a downward helix on the right side of the slope takes up a lot of momentum. You leave this helix in a left-hand curve or rather in a left bend, which runs parallel to the lift for a short time, whereupon the final shot is initiated. This is followed by the return to the station.

The Fluch des Teutates is a nice ride, which can be put into a more than decent rotation with some weight shifting in the boat. But even without it, this was probably unintentionally possible for everyone without any problems at the beginning of the year due to a somewhat too rough paint on the deck. This was then sanded down and the ride was repainted with the correct paint, which is why the ride was out of order for a longer period of time this year.

Passing an animal enclosure, the trail now leads to the Plohnidorf, where a former carousel from the North German amusement park Heide Park, a dark ride and a roller coaster are located. The houses are decorated with jokes about the park’s own mascot and in numerous shop windows the pranks of Max and Moritz by the poet and illustrator Wilhelm Busch are told.


The family roller coaster Plohseidon is a Force 190 of the manufacturer Zierer, which was built over a water basin and has an imaginative underwater design. Here the design was perfectly adapted to the slightly stretched layout.

The journey begins with a shallowly ascending straight, which soon leads into a left turn. A small swivel to the right and a small straight line later the friction wheels of the lift hill take you up. You leave the lift hill in a shallow steep curve to the left whereupon the maximum height difference of about 7.5m is reached. In an upward helix, you pick up again in altitude and immediately change direction. In a bavarian curve you now go downhill, followed by the return to the station.

The family roller coaster Plohseidon is a nice roller coaster with a surprisingly fast layout, but with quite modest ride characteristics. Well, the kids probably won’t even notice it, but the ride feels like a relatively old ride of the same type.

Plohnis Tauchfahrt

In the immediate vicinity is the small dark ride Plohnis Tauchfahrt. Similar to the former dark ride Ocean of Darkness of the Dutch amusement park Attractiepark Slagharen, you will pass through a colourful underwater world. The plastic design is supported by some well integrated screens, in which the park mascot appears among others.

El Toro

Through a passageway you reach the Westernstadt, the western area of Freizeitpark Plohn and immediately stand in front of the wooden roller coaster El Toro of the American manufacturer Great Coaster International. Along the rear turn of the roller coaster you can reach the entrance of the wooden roller coaster, also coming from the other side. After a small ramp you’re immediately inside the station and have more or less free choice of seats, because there wasn’t much action here despite the ride’s only train.

After the train is finally cleared, the lift chain takes you up to a height of about 25m. With a lot of momentum you make the first descent, which is quite straight before it turns into a steep curve. In the valley you go under the lift hill of the log flume for the first time and change direction immediately. An upward leading left turn follows, but changes its direction relatively quickly. Now a wide bend leads the train to the lowest point of the layout, but even here you only stay for a short time. Over a hill, the train passes again under the lift hill of the log flume and shortly after through a curve parallel to the first drop. Now several hills follow, all of which carry you slightly out of your seat. Past the station you make a small detour and then a turn. With full speed you go down again and take a picture of the ride. The following hill initiates a right turn close to the ground with two hills attached to it. A last curve leads the train up to the brakes and back to the station.

El Toro is a really good roller coaster with an absolutely brilliant start, but a rather mild end. Although the wild bull could already convince at noon, it showed its full potential only in the late afternoon when the coaster is in its run-in condition and this invites, similar to the never full station of the visiting day, to constant repetitive rides. But when the crowd of the station did not allow a simple shifting anymore I left the ride, because the way from the exit to the entrance was not worth it anymore. El Toro is not Troy from the Dutch amusement park Toverland, but at least it is a very good wooden roller coaster and an enrichment without equal for the previously hardly known amusement park.

Westerneisenbahn and Westernrodeo

In the main street of the themed area is the station of the Westerneisenbahn, a round trip through the Wild West past the rides of the area and below the wooden roller coaster. Interestingly, the ride passes the entrances of the Westernrodeo, a break dance of the manufacturer HUSS featuring a long and varied, albeit slow ride, and the roller coaster Silver Mine and blocks it.

Silver Mine

The Silver Mine is a Flitzer roller coaster made by Zierer, which is similar to the ride High Explosive which travels in this country under Vorlop. Started under a German showman in the 70s, it emigrated quite quickly to America, where it entertained its passengers in the Adventureland amusement park in its original design until 1990. In 1996, the ride presented itself as Rioolrat in a new look and with new cars at the Dutch amusement park Avonturenpark Hellendoorn. These cars in the form of a canal rat were also used on the mouse roller coaster of the Spielerei Rheda-Weidenbrück, but here they were still used in combination with the originals. The ride lost all of its fun in 2000 when it was equipped with mine cars and presented itself to the public. It’s a difference like day and night when you ride the minimalist racers or when you constantly bump into the high walled cars during the ride, as it is the case here.

Wildwasserbahn mit Geisterbahn

On the other side of the spacious course is the entrance to the log flume Wildwasserbahn mit Geisterbahn, although the Geisterbahn (ghost train) part probably only really shows up on Halloween. After leaving the station, the canal leads the boat through a small themed passage towards the first lift hill. Once you reach the top, the first shot of the ride takes place, which can be a little bit moistening. After a turn and a right bend you leave the plateau and curve a little bit in zigzag movements through the tree tops and over the second slope until after another right bend you reach the second lift. At a lofty height you make another turn whereupon you slowly but surely approach the big descent. Without much fuss it goes down the slope at the end of which the cool water is waiting for you. This is followed by the return trip to the station of this rather neat log flume.

Holzmichl-Villa and Crazy House

At the exit of the log flume there is interestingly enough a small bumper car and above it the Geistermühle (ghost mill), which has some vibrating plates, distorting mirrors and many bad jokes.  Above the log flume there is also a special attraction. Next to Germany’s largest tree house with the slide Wilde Sau, there is the Holzmichl-Villa and the Crazy House attached to it. Contrary to my previous presentation of Freizeitpark Plohn, the number of amusement elements is unfortunately quite manageable.

Miniwah und das Geheimnis von Gold Creek City

In a former riding and show hall, whose show was probably cancelled due to horrendous GEMA fees, the roller coaster Miniwah und das Geheimnis von Gold Creek City is located since this year. A good ten years after the last Powered Coaster of the manufacturer Mack went into operation in Europe, an equally impressive ride including a regular multimedia show and a spectator stage is presented here in an impressive setting.

Miniwah and the secret of Gold Creek City is a really good powered coaster. The general design is surprising, as well as the fast riding, in this very compact layout. Even the first, slowly driven round with its sightseeing like character is enough to find the ride good.


As convincing and harmonious as the western city is, the oldtimer park on the other side of the path with its lake stage and smaller attractions for children is just as unattractive. This is also where the last roller coaster of Freizeitpark Plohn is located, the children’s roller coaster Raupe, a Big Apple made by SBF Visa featuring the well-tried layout.

Freefall im Urzeitdorf

Adjacent to this area is the fairytale forest with some hidden carousels and nicely designed fairytale scenes. If you follow the paths you will find yourself in Dinoland, the most remote part of the Freizeitpark Plohn. Here you will find, besides the Floßfahrt durch die Urzeit, the rather nicely operated Family Freefall Tower Freefall im Urzeitdorf of the manufacturer Zierer and a pedal boat rental.

Pictures Freizeitpark Plohn

Conclusion Freizeitpark Plohn

Freizeitpark Plohn is without question a good amusement park, it just lacks a little bit of professionalism. It’s a bit strange when you have hardly any food left in the park at shortly after 2 pm, no more coffee and cake at 4 pm and instead you are about to complete and concede the checkout. Beside the generally unmotivated and unfriendly staff, the experience at the cash desk joins in and creates a somewhat unsatisfying picture of the amusement park, which is generally very much praised – I am a customer and I am willing to spend money, so please take it and don’t constantly refer me back for avoidable mistakes.


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The charm of the old amusement park


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.

Mine Train Ulven

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.

Crazy Theatre

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.

Polyppen and Vikingeskibet Dragen

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.

Taarn Gyset

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.

Vilde Mus

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 Vandrutschebanen 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.

Sky Roller

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.

Pictures Bakken

Conclusion Bakken

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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