What is Gardaland?

As one of Europe’s premier tourist destinations, Lake Garda draws big crowds during the summer season. That’s why this is the ideal location for Italy’s biggest theme park: Gardaland. The park is owned by Merlin Entertainments since 2006 and the group added quite a few attractions over the last decade. I’ve visited the park multiple times and I’ve had mixed experiences. How does the park perform during a pandemic? Let me put on my face mask and I’ll find out.

Do they have roller coasters?

One of Gardaland’s best rides is without a doubt Raptor, the world’s first B&M Wing Coaster. Despite its rather limited track length (770 metres), this coaster is thrilling, incredibly smooth and themed very well. Another highlight is Oblivion – The Black Hole, a Dive Machine that opened in 2015. The ride experience is similar to most other European vertical drop coasters, but the original decoration is a big plus. Be sure to ride it in the back seats for some of the best airtime you can experience in Europe.

Gardaland offers a total of eight roller coasters: those two B&Ms mentioned above, some basic kiddie coasters, two standard Vekoma coasters, a mine train ride themed to a snowy expedition and a weird thing called Sequoia Magic Loop. This is a so-called Screaming Squirrel built by S&S, but it’s closed during the coronavirus period. I don’t regret this decision, as the ride is literally worthless. The experience is painful, the location looks odd and capacity is dramatically low. Definitely one of the worst thrill rides in Europe.

What’s unique?

Summers can get hot in Italy, so Gardaland provided a few ways to cool down. The park’s main water rides are called Fuga Da Atlantide and Jungle Rapids and they both look stunning. Especially Jungle Rapids shouldn’t be missed, as this is one of Europe’s nicest rapid rivers. Other must do’s include the underground dark ride I Corsari (which recently deserved some well-deserved TLC) and a Flying Island with some splendid views of the park and Lake Garda.

Is Gardaland worth visiting?

Overall, I had a very enjoyable day here at Gardaland. However, there are some imperfections. A few areas aren’t themed as nicely as others and you’ll notice that there are a few uninteresting, outdated attractions. Merlin parks are also known for their sneaky ways to sell FastLane tickets. Those Express passes aren’t used during the pandemic and this obviously has a positive impact on the regular queues. Oddy enough, it even seems as if the overall capacity is higher during the coronavirus. I don’t remember Gardaland as a high-capacity park, but the Gardaland I experienced in August of 2020 barely had any lines. I never thought I’d say this, but the corona version of Gardaland is actually the best Gardaland I’ve ever seen. Hooray for corona?!

What are your thoughts on Gardaland?

Do you like Gardaland’s unusual theming? What would be your favourite attraction at this Italian theme park? And do you agree about the fact that Sequoia Adventure is worthless? Share your opinion in the comments section below!

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