“This is heaven for your credit counter, but theming is limited”
Most big European theme parks have an established name. Looking for a weekend full of magic? Disneyland Paris is the place to be. A high-quality trip close to my hometown? I’d pick Efteling or Phantasialand. Searching for a few days full of thrill and coasters? Then Europa-Park, PortAventura or Alton Towers are some of the best choices. You’re also in luck if you love Scandinavia, as Northern Europe offers iconic amusement parks full of typical charm. These parks have one thing in common: they have all been there for quite a while. Most parks started small, but they’ve become some of the continent’s most beloved holiday destination over the past few decades.
Nowadays, however, one notable newcomer is trying to claim its place at the top. In the Polish city of Zator, the brand-new Energylandia is quickly expanding. The park only opened in 2014, but it already features more roller coasters than any other theme park in Europe. What’s Energylandia’s secret? And is this place as awesome as coaster enthusiasts think it is? I’m about to find out.
My most recent visit to Energylandia took place in 2018. Zadra and Abyssus weren’t there yet, so the park’s main draw was Hyperion. Hyperion lies right next to Energylandia’s main entrance, so it’s difficult not to go there after entering the park. My first impressions were good: the station is beautiful, there was a rapidly moving queue and the trains are comfortable. But how about the actual ride? Well… Hyperion may not be the smoothest Intamin coaster, but this doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great thrill machine. The ride is fast, intense, beautiful to look at and it contains some of the best airtime in Europe. Thanks to nonexistent queues, we were able to experience it again and again and again.
Vekoma seems to be Energylandia’s favourite coaster manufacturer. The Dutch company was responsible for Roller Coaster Mayan (an extremely smooth SLC), Energuś Roller Coaster (standard Junior Coaster), a family-friendly Boomerang and Dragon Roller Coaster. This is a Junior Suspended Coaster, similar to Orkanen at Fårup Sommerland. It’s one of the few rides at Energylandia that received decent decoration and the ride experience is lovely. Dragon Roller Coaster is the most perfect family coaster at Energylandia, but the wait is usually long because of the low capacity. It’s therefore recommended to ride Dragon as early as possible.
Dragon Roller Coaster is wonderful, but it’s not the best Vekoma coaster at Energylandia. Until the day Abyssus opens, this honour is reserved for Formula. This is a Space Warp model that opened two years ago. With a track length of 560 metres, a height of 25 metres and a top speed of approximately 80 km/h, Formula is everything but huge. However, the actual experience is fantastic and it even reminds me of Lech Coaster at Legendia. The initial launch may feel a little too soft, but the smoothness, the intensity and the layout are remarkable. This is a very solid roller coaster and it would be an ideal addition for every medium-sized theme park.
The SBF Visa Group is mostly known for its generic, cheap-looking family coasters. Energylandia offers a sampler of the manufacturer’s catalogue. We were able to ride several SBF rides and honestly… I was not impressed. These rides are very simple and Energylandia didn’t go all the way when it comes to theming (that’s an understatement). The worst ride is Viking Roller Coaster, an SBF Visa spinning coaster. Seats and restraints are uncomfortable, the ride is painful and capacity is dramatically low. Weak experience.
Junior Boomerangs, funfair-style spinning roller coasters, slow-motion free fall towers, water rides and standard SLCs… Energylandia has lots of rides, but not many of them really stand out. Another example of typical Energylandia theming is the facade of Monster Attack. This interactive dark ride looks like it’s been designed by an 8-year old, Halloween-loving child. The inside is just as underwhelming as the outside and the ride is terribly boring. Please skip this attraction, unless you’ve got a thing for weird dark rides.
Energylandia makes clear that Polish people adore funfair-style roller coasters, meaningless parades and pointless theming objects. Besides, they also seem to have a thing for water rides. Energylandia built a kiddie log flume, a regular log flume, two splash battles, a miniature rapid river, a normal rapid river and a shoot-the-chute. We didn’t visit these attractions, so I can’t tell you about the ride experience. However, it immediately became clear that theming is extremely limited. Jungle Adventure (the rapid river) should rather be called Concrete Adventure and Anaconda (shoot-the-chute) looks stunning on the park map, but there’s hardly any decoration in real life.
Intamin is responsible for two of the park’s tallest and most popular attractions. They didn’t only create Hyperion, but the Swiss also built Speed Water Coaster, which is similar to Divertical at Italy’s Mirabilandia. It seems as if they wanted to combine the best part of some Europa-Park attractions here. They took Matterhorn Blitz’ vertical lift, Atlantica’s big drop and they also added Poseidon’s coaster sequence. This results in a unique and quite fun experience, but the big drop should’ve been slightly steeper. By the way: we rode Speed twice in the second last row and we got wet, but not soaked. This was exactly the kind of wetness we needed during the hottest hours of the day.
It’s practically impossible to name every ride at Energylandia. The park adds multiple new attractions per year, but the quality isn’t that high. This also applies to decoration. It seems as if Energylandia executives adore random objects. Volcanoes, random hanging sharks, Tow Mater trucks… whenever they see something they like, they just buy it. The result is a rather chaotic park with many different styles and levels of theming.
WORTH A VISIT?
Honestly… Energylandia isn’t the best amusement park in Europe. Not at all. This is the right destination if you’re searching for quantity, but the park has a cheap, funfair-like atmosphere. Decorations are simple and it just doesn’t feel as if the park was designed for eternity. There’s no perfect holiday vibe like at PortAventura and I miss cute themed lands like those at Europa-Park. Energylandia is really lacking a soul. At this time, I don’t feel like I should be visiting the park yearly. However, thanks to Energylandia’s ambitious future plans, this opinion may change quickly. The park is facing a bright future full of iconic roller coasters, so I’d love to know how this place will look like in 20 years from now.
Photo Gallery 2018
Is this Europe’s most legendary roller coaster destination or do you prefer another park? What’s the best ride at Energylandia? Should the park plan a major makeover, to increase the theming level? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.