“Great family theme park with a distinctively Danish atmosphere”
Greetings from Aalborg, Denmark. If you search for this city on a map, it may seem a little remote. However, thanks to a direct flight connection between Aalborg and Amsterdam, we got here pretty easily. The main reason for coming here is Fårup Sommerland, one of the country’s best-known amusement parks. At our arrival, we immediately notice that Fårup Sommerland is a little different than most other theme parks. Since the admission gates lie in front of the parking area, we actually enter the park with our rental car. That’s unusual, but it’s also pretty handy if you like to drop your jackets during the day or if you want to get the picknick you brought. Another advantage of this unique parking location: we get to park our vehicle right next to some beautiful coaster tracks. That’s a nice way to start our day, if you ask me.
Fårup operates a total of 6 coasters during our visit in 2017. The trip’s first credit is called Pindsvinet. Please don’t expect a huge thrill while riding this coaster, because this kiddie ride is very small and also kind of rough. Luckily, a better ride is waiting just around the corner. Orkanen is the park’s signature family coaster and it looks absolutely stunning. Clear blue tracks are shining in the morning sun, the station is beautiful and the recently opened Fårup Hotel acts as an amazing backdrop. The ride itself is convincing as well: especially Orkanen’s first drop, the underwater tunnel and the following turnaround are surprisingly fun and intense. The only negative aspect of Orkanen is its limited capacity. Due to the lack of a brake section, it can only run one train. That’s not a problem on days with average crowds, but I can imagine long queues during the busier times of year.
Next up is the neighbouring wooden coaster Falken. The operations are similar to Orkanen’s: there’s one train and the ride is managed by only one staff member. Therefore, the line moves pretty slowly, but we hope that Falken will provide as much fun as the Vekoma we’ve just ridden. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong: Falken features some good drops and it caters to the airtime lovers, but the turns are just way too rough. The final helix is particularly shaky and this painful curve takes away every sense of joy. Beautiful ride, very mediocre ride experience.
More family fun is guaranteed by Mine Expressen and Flagermusen, rides which are respectively built by Vekoma and Reverchon. Both rides are hidden in the woods and that delivers some unexpected fun. However, you must not expect amazing thrills. These rides can easily be described as ‘a classic Vekoma coaster that can be found at almost every European amusement park’ and ‘a painful funfair coaster with spinning cars’. Nothing special, but these rides seem to work well for the Danish audience.
This is a quite family-oriented theme park. However, there is one area where the rides are more spectacular. The main draw of this area is Lynet, one of the very few Danish inversion coasters. Unfortunately, it’s not constructed by B&M or Intamin. Instead, Fårup Sommerland opted for Gerstlauer, a German manufacturer which often delivers rattly, uncomfortable coasters. Lynet isn’t any different: curves are quite rough and the restraints are too obstructive to be pleasant. On a more positive note, the initial launch is surprisingly powerful and the second hill creates a great amount of airtime. Overall, this coaster isn’t too bad. You just shouldn’t ride it too often, as it’s able to create a major headache.
Water plays an important role at Fårup Sommerland. The park is home to a small-sized water park (included in park admission, by the way) and there are a ton of boat rides. Whether you like a canoe, a small motor boat, a rowing boat or a pedalo… they’ve got them al. These are the things that give Scandinavian amusement parks their distinctive flair. The Danish don’t necessarily ask for the most thrilling, record-breaking rides. Instead, they just want a day of fun for the entire family.
More water-based fun can be found at Fårup Rafting and Træstammerne, a rapid river and a classic log flume respectively. They aren’t particularly tall or unique, but both rides are fairly long and they have been nicely integrated in the natural environment. Fårup Rafting can hardly be seen from the pathways, which certainly adds to the excitement once on board. Although decoration has been limited to an absolute minimum, this is a very solid attraction. The fact that we exit this raft ride almost entirely dry seems a good thing with temperatures around 20°C. Unfortunately, the log flume gets us soaked anyway. Træstammerne offers three drops and the second, smallest splashdown happens to be very wet. So please skip this one if you’re afraid of water. Due to the lack of theming, this ride is kind of uninteresting anyway.
If you’re searching for dark rides, you’ll be disappointed at Fårup Sommerland. At first, we guessed that Ræven’s Hule was some kind of haunted house, but it isn’t. In fact, there seems to be a spooky fun house behind this facade. It’s a pretty decent walk-through and the crooked room is a true brain teaser. Right next to this attraction, the fun continues with an outdoor maze and an obstacle course. This kind of infill attractions would be ideal for every amusement park on Earth, but for now it remains a typical Scandinavian thing. Also very characteristic for this part of Europe: grass fields filled with trampolines and huge bouncing pillows.
WORTH A VISIT?
Orkanen turns out to be the only ride at Fårup Sommerland which is more than just fun. You’d therefore expect my overall opinion to be moderate, but it isn’t. Although most rides are quite mediocre, the atmosphere in this park is beyond amazing. Fårup Sommerland is all about unique experiences which can’t be found at most other European parks. It’s not only about coasters and water rides, but those canoes, mazes and free-to-use barbecues add to the experience as well. Fårup’s biggest strenght is actually the fact that it’s different. This is nothing like Europa-Park, PortAventura or other well-known places. I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere here at Fårup Sommerland.
Photo Gallery 2017
Would you book plane tickets to Aalborg right away, just to visit Fårup Sommerland? Is Orkanen one of Europe’s most perfect family coasters? Share your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of this page.