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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Of wind gods, pharaohs and lateral rollovers


The amusement park Belantis near Leipzig is not the best park in Germany if you believe the reviews of various forums, it is considered poorly equipped both in terms of number of attractions as well as planting and can hardly please anyone. In fact, the Saxon Terra Mitica is good for a surprise or two, which is why the park as a whole could convince me in its entirety.

Due to a car that broke down after a construction site, in which the previously two-lane A9 changed back to three lanes only to be reduced to a single one, a completely unnecessary traffic jam was created, which meant that a visit to Belantis was not possible until around 3 pm. In the remaining two and a half hours the time was only just enough to explore the park, despite the already reduced rush at the rides. It remains a big mystery why the rides are closed half an hour earlier than usual, despite an opening time until 6 p.m.

Tour of the park

Fluch des Pharao

Starting counter-clockwise, you first come across the most famous ride of the amusement park, the Hafema Splash Ride Fluch des Pharao. Although the ride looks like a log flume, it is very special in many ways. Just like the Van Edgom Kongo River ride from the Zoo Safari Park Stukenbrock, the ride offers rubber boats, which adapt to the ground due to their flexible material and are also a little more agile. Although the river ride does not offer extraordinary airtime moments as the Congo River does, it does offer a whirlpool as you can find it almost exclusively at the rafting rides of the same manufacturer.

After boarding the boats and lowering the completely unnecessary sidebars, the journey can begin. Passing the desert-like landscape, the river leads the expedition through some bends towards the biggest pyramid of Europe, inside of which unfortunately only a small stage set and the vertical lift is waiting for you, in which you enter and exit in an interesting way sideways. Arrived at the maximum height level, the 26m high shot ride goes down rapidly in order to get completely soaked in an untypical way. The degree of wetness can be compared with a better Shoot the Chute, like Cataratas Salvajes from the Spanish Parque Warner or Tidal Wave from the English Thorpe Park.

The trip through the whirlpool followed in complete surprise, at the end of which, fortunately, no wave front was waiting for you, as in the Hafema Rafting El Rio of the Bobbejaanland. Shortly afterwards, the trip towards the station follows, where the neighbouring waterfall also moistens the passengers of the boat a little.


Drenched and a little bit freezing I went to the greek themed area of the park, where beside some Heege products and the long boat trip ride of Odysseus the Gerstlauer Sky Roller Götterflug is located. Unfortunately, the prototype of the interactive equipment for side rollovers is often operated incorrectly, so that a boring excursion ride in lofty heights takes place. As a student of mechanical engineering with a working knowledge of physics and a constant urge to press things or flip levers it is of course easy to find out the right technique to perceive the world in circles. However, curious people with a longing for an exciting ride will soon realise that a constant interplay of the wings hardly leads to a proper result. All that is needed is a little wind and the release of the gondola brake in order to stay in a permanent rollover before the final position.

A good 90 seconds and 96 rollovers later, the first ride was already over and the thesis that the wind is just awesome is quickly put forward, because unlike the Sky Fly products, this one actively intervenes in the pleasure of riding and facilitates the formation of rollovers rapidly and to such an extent that one can get a little sick. Like at the Air Meeting in Nigloland, France, the system makes you addicted within a short time, but unfortunately it also bruises quickly, which is especially noticeable if you have more than just one ride the following days.

From the Greek themed area it is only a short way to the Middle Ages. Passing one of the most beautiful backdrops of the German park scene we head towards a castle, where a bobsled roller coaster from Gerstlauer and a small Vekoma Mad House share the place. Compared to the variation with a log flume, as you can find it in Erlebnispark Tripsdrill and finally in the Wild- und Freizeitpark Klotten, this structure looks less naked and altogether rounder.

Verlies des Grauens

The queue of the Verlies des Grauens starts quite unusually for a dungeon on the roof of the castle. Through a staircase you will descend into the dungeon, where the preshow is already waiting for you. The dark sheriff has claimed the castle for himself and subjugated the land, full of lust for power he has stolen Merlin’s crystal and it’s up to the intruders to get it back before they figure out how to use it.

In the main chamber a dragon, the sheriff’s pet, is waiting for you and it becomes a little bit more incomprehensible, because there is actually too much talk. The music during the ride is well composed, but is constantly disturbed by the story in its effect. The chamber is small, but therefore effective and well designed.

All in all, Verlies des Grauens is a good witches’ swing, which could have been better with less story. The dragon is absolutely unnecessary and only brings more hustle and bustle into the main chamber, which at best should concentrate on the fight between Merlin and the sheriff.


At least when you ride the Drachenritt, you should not miss the dragon. The Gerstlauer ride is the most beautiful of its kind with Thor’s Hammer from the Danish Djurs Sommerland, but it also has a really good course and not only a Wetten Dass…? sign as a special feature of the ride, as you can experience in the adventure park Tripsdrill on the G’sengte Sau.

After climbing up the lift hill, a surprisingly steep first descent follows, which at the same time ends in a bend. This drop is something special and is only beaten in its perfection by the Big One from Pleasure Beach Blackpool and the Haßloch expedition GeForce all over Europe. A short drive up is followed by some powerful mouse bends, which with the right riding partners could end up in a proper torture game. A block brake is followed by a downward helix with a subsequent upward helix, which then leads into a terrific airtime orgy. A further downward helix and a short tunnel ride round off the pleasure. After a left turn into the light, unfortunately, the speedy ride comes to an end.

Belanitus Rache

A little hidden and only accessible via the queue of the Drachenritt, the most beautiful theme area in Belantis stretches along the lake with the prairie of the Indians. At the end of the area in Fort Feuerwasser is Belanitus Rache, a HUSS Frisbee of the old design. So that smaller children can also ride the ride, it offers two ride programs with separate queues, which is a good choice because the full-grown ride program is really something special.

The frisbees with inside looking seats are quite powerful in their ride, as long as they are handled properly or better said not at all. Normally, ride programs in amusement parks are almost never perfect, but since the showman Robrahn hardly ever uses the potential of the ride outside the Bremen Freimarkt, these versions are much better, despite the lack of announcements. Although Belantis version is not as insanely powerful as La Maquina of the Spanish Parque de Atracciones de Madrid, it is completely convincing due to constant changes of direction and the length of its ride. Those who like the big HUSS versions of this ride should definitely be cured of their delusions by one of the small installations.

Unfortunately, the prairie of the Indians is a dead end, but a direct connection to the roller coaster Huracan would be commendable. It’s one of the few real problems of the amusement park Belantis, because where it would be worthwhile to go straight ahead, for example, the path meanders leisurely back and forth. As a result, there are either trails or traffic jams and both could be prevented by a better infrastructure.


On the way to the big roller coaster in Belantis you have to cross three different themes. Here you will meet the park’s HUSS Condor, whose design with gondolas in dragon design is quite successful. The Drachenflug, like other rides of its kind, not only looks impressive from the outside, but can also offer a good ride experience.

Piratentaufe and Santa Maria

In the spanish looking area Coast of the Discoverers there is an ABC Rides tower with tilt effect, where the queue alone provides for sufficient leaning. The actual ride on the Piratentaufe is quite convincing and can provide one or two laughs.

It is a little different with the Santa Maria ship swing, where the laughter fades very quickly. The ride offers a pretty nasty shock, which I never noticed on any other HUSS swing boat before. Stupidly the outermost place towards the shore is closed for people who want to set sail.


Although Belantis has always expanded with smaller installations and can show the latest novelty with the Dancing Pavilion, it is the Huracan roller coaster that attracted most attention. This ride is considered to be famously infamous, which is said to be the result of one or the other hit. Starting with the, but quite strangely shaped, Cobra Roll, which was the only element that was negative by one hit during the ride at Alton Towers The Smiler, I was prepared for the worst and was quite surprised.

After the car has left the station, it slowly picks up speed and then brakes rather rough. Shortly after that the car hacks into the driver and it quickly goes up the lift to complete the steep gradient even faster. What follows is quite reckless, because it goes up quickly only to beat up its passengers even faster. Where the Zero-G Roll is still bearable, the following Cobra Roll is much worse than expected. The following speed bump is quickly passed and you have a short break which is best used to keep your head as rigid as possible between the restraints, because the entry into the downhill bend is anything but smooth. Two corkscrews that are not exactly polished and intertwined are luckily leading into the final of the circuit.

Although the train looks so promising, the ride, unlike what you are used to from Gerstlauer, is absolute grits. Although Typhoon from the Belgian Bobbejaanland and Saw – the ride from the English Thorpe Park were similarly brutal in the meantime, there were measures for both rides that had a positive effect on the ride. Something similar should be done urgently, at best one should reconsider the type of trains on the layout, which would at least lead to a significantly higher capacity.

Pictures Belantis

Conclusion Belantis

Belantis is, with the exception of its alleged main attraction, a really good park, which reminds one of a Scandinavian summer land by many points. Outside of its rides, the offer is varied and available at every corner, there is actually only a swimming pool missing, which could suit the park quite well. The general design in Belantis is outstanding and can be really seen in its entirety, moreover Belantis is really well planted with greenery, what is often missed in other fully developed parks which opened lately.


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