NEDERLANDS // ENGLISH
Most big European theme parks have an established name within the business. 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, Blackpool or Alton Towers are some of the best choices. You’re also in luck if you love Scandinavia: Northern Europe offers some 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 is only four years old, but it already features 12 different roller coasters, including Europe’s tallest and fastest Mega Coaster. What’s Energylandia’s secret? And is this place as awesome as coaster enthusiasts think it is? I’m about to find out. After spending the morning at the bizarre Zatorland, we’re heading to Energylandia. Lots of billboards show the right way, so it’s practically impossible not to find the park. According to the photo below, it’s actually easier to ride Hyperion than to get a Big Mac.
Despite our late arrival at 2 PM, lots of visitors are still arriving at Energylandia. We’re getting a little worried that the park may be super crowded…
The park entrance looks like a Playmobil castle, doesn’t it? It’s not that beautiful, but it’s a gate. And if everything goes right, we only need to see it twice a day.
Poland is a relatively inexpensive country. Food and drinks are surprisingly cheap and the same goes for theme park tickets. A 2-day pass at Energylandia costs about 50 euros, which is the same as a single day admission at other big European parks.
Energylandia wants to be an East-European alternative to Disneyland. That’s why they have a… parade! Don’t expect too much, because most of the parade can be seen on the picture below.
I usually love Disney parades, but Energylandia’s version seems a little less interesting. Maybe we should ride some roller coasters instead of watching that dull parade?
Hyperion lies right next to Energylandia’s entrance, so it’s difficult not to go there after we’ve entered the park. And there’s some very good news: despite those big crowds at the parking lot, the current wait time is less than 10 minutes.
Theming isn’t one of the park’s big strengths. However, they managed to create a surprisingly cool queue line for Hyperion. I actually liked the futuristic setting a lot.
Most rides at Energylandia use some kind of automatic pre-grouping system. This may look bizarre at first, but it works relatively well. At Hyperion, you get to choose between several different lines. Number 1 is the front-row queue (very popular in Poland, so your wait will be considerably longer. The front seat experience is definitely worth the extra wait, though), number 2 is the single rider queue (I wouldn’t recommend it. There’s hardly any difference in queue time and you’ve got very limited possibilities when it comes to seat selection).
Queue number 3 is the line for everyone else. If you’re hoping for a back seat ride, just pick one of those two lines on the right-hand side.
As you may have noticed, the queue and the loading platform are nicely decorated. The ride’s soundtrack is a little too short (and that gets rather annoying for those queueing) but overall, Energylandia did a great job theming this steel giant.
And suddenly we’re climbing to the top of Europe’s tallest lift hill. With a height of 77 metres, Hyperion is slightly taller than PortAventura’s Shambhala and Silver Star at Europa-Park.
Yesterday, I defined Lech Coaster’s first descent as one of the best in Europe. Today, however, we get the next best thing. This 82-metre drop is so steep that it creates some insane airtime in the back seats. With airtime this strong, we just have to rely on the quality of Intamin restraints…
The second hill creates some breathtaking airtime and the turnaround is a great moment as well. The only element which isn’t that thrilling is this fourth hill. It’s just too stretched out to create any sense of airtime.
Hyperion ends with some low to the ground action. These final curves are pretty intense and they conclude the ride in a great way.
Why Energylandia added a cheap splash? I have no clue, but this doesn’t change the fact that Hyperion is an amazing roller coaster. The ride is fast, intense, beautiful to look at and extremely fun to ride. Thanks to the nonexistent queues, we’re about to experience it again and again and again.
We queued less than 10 minutes for our first and second ride on Hyperion. At the same moment, the wait time for the nearby Energuś Roller Coaster is approximately half an hour. Crazy Polish people…
Frutti Loop is another simple kiddie coaster which should be ridden for our coaster counter. It’s always a strange feeling to be standing in a queue full of toddlers and their parents…
The most dedicated coaster count enthusiasts always pick the front seats, apparently.
The smallest roller coaster at Energylandia is Circus Roller Coaster. This dragon-themed powered coaster is literally one of the most boring amusement park experiences of 2018.
Already getting tired of those simple family roller coasters? Then I’ve got some bad news for you: Energylandia is full of these funfair-style coasters.
As you can see, Mars is themed to scary green aliens. That’s an original theme for a family roller coaster but unfortunately, some of these monsters have already lost a few limbs. That’s why I’ve got my doubts about the quality of theming at Energylandia.
Although the trains look like they belong on a Mack spinning coaster, Happy Loops felt just like a boring funfair attraction. Only ride this thing if you really need the coaster credit.
Energylandia consists of more than just coasters. The park also offers a total of 2 (!) Splash Battles…
… and some of the weirdest, most pointless plastic theming I’ve ever seen.
Don’t get me wrong: this is all quite cute, but I wonder how it looks like in 10 years.
In Poland, people seem to prefer clear, logical names for theme park rides. That’s why the attraction below is called Magic Flying Sightseeing Train.
They even have a second Magic Flying Sightseeing Train at Energylandia!
Although Mater is present (just like those penguins from Madagascar) you shouldn’t get too excited. No, there are no Polish versions of Cars Land or Radiator Springs Racers at Energylandia. Not yet.
Despite the lack of themed lands and elaborate decoration, some parts of the park look rather nice.
The Vekoma Junior Boomerang – which was, surprisingly enough, named Boomerang – is one of the few themed coasters.
The ride itself is smooth and it creates some good g-forces. I generally don’t like coasters travelling backwards, but this is a perfectly fine family ride.
Next up is Viking Roller Coaster. The loading platform, which was integrated in a viking ship, is a nice touch and that dragon looks pretty impressive. That sounds promising for the actual ride, right?
Unfortunately, Viking Roller Coaster is the worst coaster at the park. Seats and restraints are uncomfortable, the ride is painful and capacity is dramatically low. What a weak experience.
Junior Boomerangs, funfair-style spinning roller coasters, slow-motion free fall towers, shoot-the-chute rides and standard Vekoma SLCs… Energylandia has lots of rides, but not many of them really stand out.
That Vekoma SLC is called Roller Coaster Mayan and it’s located at the back of the park. The station and the sign at the entrance look quite nice, but I’m not a huge fan of the colour scheme. Supports, track and trains… everything has been painted in bright red.
The station isn’t exactly on Disney-level, but I appreciate the fact that they added some theming to this standard roller coaster. Besides, the ride itself is pretty good. Roller Coaster Mayan features a modern train type that seems to be running considerably smoother than most other versions.
The best thing about Roller Coaster Mayan is the ride’s staff: they work incredibly fast. This is a popular roller coaster, but thanks to its crazy capacity we never encounter any lines. Possibly the best SLC operations I’ve ever seen.
That bright red SLC is part of a South-American themed area of the park. Unfortunately, theming is rather limited at this time. Especially the splash ride could use some extra decoration, if you ask me.
On the park map, Anaconda consists of Mayan temples and some impressive rocks…
… but in reality, this is just a simple shoot-the-chute ride like you’d find them at a Six Flags or Cedar Fair amusement park.
Roller Coaster Mayan was surprisingly fun, but Energylandia has another red Vekoma coaster which turns out to be even better…
Formula is a so-called 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.
In the past, Vekoma was often considered as a manufacturer of standard, rather mediocre roller coasters. Luckily, times have changed. Nowadays, the Dutch company is able to create great rides both for thrill seekers and families. Thrill seekers will especially love Formula, families may prefer Dragon Roller Coaster.
Dragon is an inverted family coaster and it’s identical to Orkanen at Fårup Sommerland. Everyone who has visited this Danish park will know that Orkanen is pure perfection. The ride is quick, curves are forceful and those trains were made in heaven. Of course, the same is true for Dragon Roller Coaster. In my opinion, this is even one of the park’s very best rides.
The main drawback of Dragon Roller Coaster is its capacity. Just like its Danish sibling, this ride has only one train. Popular coasters with one-train operations… that can only mean one thing: long lines. That’s why we visit Dragon right after park opening on Tuesday morning, when it’s literally a walk-on. Later during the day, wait times of up to 45 minutes aren’t exceptional.
Energylandia executives adore random theming. Volcanoes, random hanging sharks, Tow Mater trucks… whenever they see something they like, they just buy it.
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 cheap-looking as the outside and the ride is terribly boring. Please skip this attraction, unless you’ve got a thing for weird dark rides.
Talocan at Phantasialand is one of the best looking flat rides in the world, right? Energylandia seems to agree, because they’ve built their own (slightly smaller) version. Unfortunately, they forgot to add all the details that make Talocan awesome. There’s no fire, no water and no brilliant soundtrack. What remains is an extra-small top spin between 3 walls. It’s hilarious and sad at the same time.
During our two days at the park, queues really weren’t that bad. Hyperion, for example, has relatively long lines in the morning, but it gets a lot quieter in the afternoon.
Today, I learned that Polish people adore funfair-style roller coasters, meaningless parades and pointless theming objects. But there’s more: they also have a thing for water rides. That’s probably why Energylandia built a kiddie log flume, a regular log flume, two splash battles, a miniature rapid river, a normal rapid river, a water roller coaster and the Anaconda ride mentioned earlier. Searching for ways to cool down at Energylandia? I’m sure you’ll find them.
The park’s rapid river is known as Jungle Adventure, but hey… where’s the jungle? Although the ride seems fun and pretty long, theming is once again very limited.
The most thrilling of all water rides is Speed Water Coaster, which is similar to Divertical at Italy’s Mirabilandia. It’s also one of Energylandia’s most popular attractions, with queues of up to 40 minutes during this sunny afternoon.
Energylandia made an effort to provide decoration for this recently opened attraction. The station was (moderately) themed to pirates and the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean is played throughout the queue. It’s nothing extraordinary, but it’s better than nothing I guess.
It seems as if Energylandia 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. Luckily, that coaster part is considerably smoother than the one in Southern Germany.
In my opinion, Speed is a unique and quite fun experience. The big drop should’ve been slightly steeper, though.
Personally, I hope that they’re adding some extra pirate theming to the ride soon. It’s a fun water coaster, but it could use some extra rocks and decoration.
We rode Speed twice in the second last row. We did get wet, but not soaked. Exactly the kind of wetness we needed during the hottest hours of the day.
Speed Water Coaster, Dragon Roller Coaster and Formula were great roller coasters, but only one can be the best. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Energylandia’s best ride is without any doubt Hyperion. During our total of 7 rides, I notice that the difference between front seat and back seat rides isn’t that spectacular: Hyperion is awesome, regardless of the row you choose. However, I did notice that seats on the outside provide a slightly rougher ride experience. The difference isn’t enormous, but I definitely prefer to ride in one of the middle seats.
Let’s be honest… Energylandia certainly isn’t the best amusement park in Europe. This is the right destination if you’re searching for quantity, but the park has a certain cheap, funfair-like atmosphere. Decorations are simple and it just doesn’t feel like this park was designed for eternity. There’s no perfect holiday vibe like at PortAventura, I miss cute themed lands like those at Europa-Park and Energylandia lacks 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 and I’d love to know how the place looks like in 20 years or so.