I love Northern Europe. The atmosphere is laid-back, people are friendly (sometimes stunningly beautiful, as well) and amusement parks are pretty awesome up there. After visiting great places like Liseberg, Tivoli Gardens and Gröna Lund, I really wanted to experience more unique city theme parks. That’s why I travelled to Helsinki in June 2015. This Finnish capital is blessed with fine architecture, beautiful views and Linnanmäki, the place where locals get their coaster thrills. Linnanmäki lies within walking distance from the city centre, but it feels very different compared those other city theme parks I mentioned above. I don’t know why, but the atmosphere is a little less cheerful than at Gröna Lund or Liseberg.
As a coaster fan, I’m interested in credits. And I’m in luck, because Linnanmäki offers no less than 8 rollercoasters. The oldest operational coaster is Vuoristorata (which interestingly is Finnish for… Rollercoaster!) and it’s nearly identical to Rutschebanen at Bakken. Just like this Danish sibling, Vuoristorata features a brakeman. This means that the track isn’t fitted with brakes, but braking is executed by a staff member in the train. Can you imagine being in a rollercoaster all day and getting paid for it? Best job ever? However, Vuoristorata turns out to be a rather slow coaster without thrills.
To make up for Vuoristorata’s lame ride, Linnanmäki offers a great variety of other coaster types. They have a Maurer SkyLoop, a unique (and very soaking) water coaster built by Premier Rides, a Zierer indoor coaster and a powered coaster manufactured by Mack Rides. Another Mack ride is Tulireki, a so-called E-Motion coaster. Please avoid this coaster at any cost, because it’s evil. Mack is perfectly able to build smooth rides nowadays, but this is clearly an exception. Also, you shouldn’t ride Kirnu, an Intamin ZacSpin. I really don’t see what theme parks like about these rides: they’re short, uncomfortable and capacity is dramatically low. For balance purposes, I’m accompanied by a good-looking staff member during my ride, but that’s the only nice memory this coaster type will ever give me.
The best attraction in the house is surprisingly Salama, a Maurer spinning coaster. Just like Winja’s Fear & Force, Crush’s Coaster and Tarántula, it’s very smooth and lots of fun. The ride is built right above the park’s rapid river and that looks rather odd, but I really enjoyed Salama’s intense curves and sudden drops.
Linnanmäki is a must do if you’re ever planning a trip to Helsinki, but I wouldn’t travel all the way to Finland just for this park. Although some parts are nicely decorated and you’ll discover a good variety of rides, Linnanmäki really lacks a stand out rollercoaster. Most rides are quite simple and I didn’t get an unforgettable coaster experience today. Let’s hope that Linnanmäki will order a thrilling B&M, Mack or Intamin rollercoaster soon.