“One of Europe’s best roller coasters was placed in a zoo!”
I’m not a zoo lover. So if a zoological park really wants to become a part of my bucket list, they’d better start adding some roller coasters. Theme parks like Bellewaerde, Wildlands Adventure Zoo and Busch Gardens Tampa seem to understand, but this technique is also known in Scandinavia. Four years ago, I had never heard of a place called Kolmården. Nowadays, however, it seems an unmissable stop for every coaster enthusiast travelling to Sweden. Thank you, Rocky Mountain Construction.
Our first stop of the day is Bamses Värld, which translates to Bamse’s World. Bamse is a Scandinavian cartoon character that is known as the world’s strongest bear. Bamses Värld consists of several kiddie rides and some pretty solid decoration. Bamses Värld is a must do if you’re looking for Kolmården’s coaster bingo. The area is home to Godiståget. This Zierer coaster opened three years ago and it provides a smooth, family-friendly ride experience.
Kolmården has become an essential Swedish coaster destination because of Wildfire. The ride opened on 28 June 2016. That’s only one day before Taron’s inauguration at Phantasialand, so it was a pretty awesome period for European coaster fans. Just like Phantasialand’s signature roller coaster, Wildfire received great reviews ever since. Wildfire is the first Rocky Mountain Construction installation east of the Atlantic. It’s also one of RMC’s biggest coasters: the lift hill is 56 metres tall and the total track length is 1,265 metres. Just like most RMC coasters, Wildfire delivers a very intense ride. It’s full of forceful curves, snappy inversions and sudden airtime hills. The best parts of the coaster are the giant zero-G stall and the third inversion, which is taken surprisingly rapidly. Wildfire is totally out of control, but in the best possible way. These kinds of coasters make me happy.
Kolmården has a total of three roller coasters. Wildfire is obviously the highlight, but the park’s family coasters often have longer lines than their RMC brother. This zoo mainly attracts families with young children and they seem to prefer Vekoma’s junior coaster Delfin Expressen over Wildfire. Doesn’t seem logical to a coaster enthusiast, but hey… I shouldn’t complain about Wildfire’s short queue.
One of Kolmården’s main draws is a dolphin show called Life. The enormous theatre is beautiful, but the performance didn’t wow me. The story line is about mankind’s bad influence on the environment (not the message I want to get during a day at a theme park) and they made some weird musical choices. It’s a little strange to hear soundtracks of movies like Shrek, Superman and Titanic during a dolphin show…
The most convenient way to watch animals at Kolmården is the park’s famous Safari ride. It’s located at the back of the park, on top of a hill. It takes some effort to get there, but it’s definitely worth it. Safari is a cable car that lasts approximately 30 minutes and narration is provided in each cabin. Just like Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Kolmården’s Safari brings us very close to some exotic animals. However, coaster enthusiasts will also appreciate the fact that the cable car provides unbeatable views of Wildfire. By the way… I recommend riding Safari early in the day. It’s an extremely popular family attraction, so queues may get rather long.
WORTH A VISIT?
It’s hard to describe how huge Kolmårdens Djurpark actually is. It’s even harder to describe how beautiful the park’s scenery is. This place looks amazing and this is undoubtedly one of the nicest animal parks I’ve ever visited. I’m still not a zoo-loving type, but I enjoyed this day a lot. Wildfire offered some incredible thrills, the Safari ride is unique and the park provides a wonderful summer feeling. This obviously isn’t the best theme park in Europe and I’m not sure if I would plan a second visit, but I’m glad we came.
Do you like zoological parks? Don’t you think that every zoo on Earth should add a RMC coaster? How many times would you ride Wildfire? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.