I’m excited to bring to you photos of the very first park of our Coaster Crew Norden Adventure! Bakken is located just outside of Copenhagen in a town called Klampenborg and it has the distinction of being the world’s oldest operating amusement park. Linda, I have watched so many videos about this place and it was one of the most anticipated stops on the itinerary – it did NOT disappoint!
After our inaugural breakfast with the group (we sat with Pam!!), we boarded the double-decker coach bus for the first of many drives. The excitement was palpable. Well, maybe not Henry’s excitement. He pretty much kept up the general demeanor of a prison warden the whole time, like he was being assigned to sit on a bus with coaster delinquents, making sure no one set off fire crackers in the bus bathroom or ate a tuna fish sandwich on the sly.
We sat adjacent from Justin, who was giddily telling me and the couple in front of me (Marie and Eric) his made-up, inappropriate limericks and jokes. He…was a real source of entertainment for some, but not for all.
I also met Josh and Nick that day, but I don’t think they liked me because I’m a woman who deigned to butt into a conversation about a coaster in South Korea that I have ridden and was just trying to make a connection, but it’s fine. I’m used to being a broad at the sausage party. And the coaster community is just basically a whole ass sausage factory. The older people were a lot more welcoming anyway, so I got over it pretty quickly (LOL as I stayed up until 1AM wine-drunk and ranting to Janna about it).
I believe the weather was in the high 60s that day, maybe pushing 70, and sunny AF.
Right off the bat, I was ENCHANTED by Bakken. It was small, festive, quirky. It definitely didn’t feel like an amusement park by American standards at all, but if I were pressed to compare it to something here….Knoebels? Because while Bakken had a small ride collection, including several coasters, it also had an abundance of restaurants. And I’m not talking like the shitty Six Flags fare we have all come to accept in the States, but legit, nice, sit-down restaurants. If I lived nearby, I could see myself wanting to frequent it for not just the rides (Bakken has a pay-per-ride option!), but even just for a date night (LOL when I imagined this, it was not Henry on these dream dates with me, but the silhouette iPhone emoji). Ugh, I loved the ambiance here SO MUCH.
I mean, would ya LOOK?!
OMG this was one of the best mine trains I have ever ridden. I guess I was expecting some janky death trap, being in the oldest park in the world, but it was fantastic.
Rutschebanen (literally “roller coaster”) was on the anticipated list for me even though it was recently refurbed so that the need for a brakeman was no longer a thing. But it’s still notorious for having a tunnel that is straddled by a giant wooden cutout of a naked lady, so you’re, you know, passing between her legs. It’s amazing and I was so giddy when we got to the part!
I heard a lot of the enthusiasts in our group saying that they were disappointed with this coaster, but I was fully entertained! Look, sometimes a coaster just needs to be a basic fun time, OK? And this was that for me. (Even though I stapled myself BADLY both times we rode it!)
Dude you guys, one of the people in our group, Johnny, films POVs for YouTube. Chooch and I took the back seat, but Henry was like, “ME BIG SHOT MAN, ME WAIT FOR FRONT SEAT” and Johnny asked if he could sit with him. Chooch of course was like, “LOOK, HE MADE A FRIEND” and we were braying over this like the fucking assholes we are. I was talking to Johnny on the way back to the bus (after we ditched Henry and left without him because he was trying to be COOL GUY again by telling some of the younger guys where the gift shop was) and he had me scan his QR code so I could subscribe. Of course I was screaming last night when he posted his POV of Rutschebannen!! HENRY IS SO EMBARRASSING!
I love this video though because I get to see Coaster Crew people! And at the end, after the awkward silence as the train sat on the brake run, that’ Justin asking Johnny questions from the line!
Guys, hoo boy. Tornado was…something else. I have watched plenty of videos about this so I knew going in that it was going to be crazy, but that it would be even CRAZIER if you can get the ride op to send you in something called BOOST MODE. From the reactions I have seen on YouTube, this is not for the faint of heart. I’m not enough of a coaster nerd to really understand this, but the coaster itself is a spinning model, right? And there is something that the ride op can do where he reaches under the car and — disables, maybe? — a magnet, resulting in an uncontrolled, chaotic spin session. I mean first of, even without boost mode, you’re launched over a lift hill and that alone made me feel like I was being decapitated by the over-the-shoulder restraints.
PAM AND KEVIN ON TORNADO. Who is Kevin, you might be asking? He was another single traveler in our group and he and Pam just kind of organically paired up that day as riding partners, and it just stuck! The number of times I yelled, “THERE’S PAM AND KEVIN!” throughout the trip, you guys, it was a lot. I was always so happy to see them!
Anyway! This was our first time riding it that day and Henry was being a big sissy and said he didn’t want us to ask for boost mode. So, Chooch and I got back in line later that day, but the line was a lot longer than it was when we rode it earlier, so we were concerned about that because we still wanted to explore other parts of the park.
Right after we got in line, this one guy that I recognized from my FAVORITE coaster Youtuber’s, El Toro Ryan, videos got in line behind us with two other guys. I figured if anyone would know about boost mode it would be Mark and this IS SO DISTURBING and makes me look like a fucking creepy freak, but I knew that he had been to this park before (BLAME YOUTUBE). So I turned around and asked, “Is boost mode worth standing in this line for?”
“Oh, they won’t do boost mode anymore,” he said sadly. “We tried.” And I do remember seeing comments on someone’s YouTube channel from locals who were saying the same thing. I was both disappointed and relieved! Anyway, Mark ended up talking to us the entire time we were in line, and he was beyond nice! I was so happy to be talking to another Coaster Crew person, you guys have no idea! Anyway, he even gave us tips on how to hold the restraint so that the decapitation sensation didn’t happen again.
THANKS MARK IT WORKED!
Anyway, Chooch and I rode with two young girls and while I didn’t notice the ride op doing anything untoward beneath our car, it really felt like we had boost mode?! I mean, it felt like we were riding a completely different coaster from earlier, and I was SCREAMING. I mean, it was horrific, the spinning was unhinged, but I was also laughing hysterically. Even the girls were like OH MY GOD as the coaster came to a stop on the brake run and we all just sat there stunned and bonded over the shared trauma.
I did hear later on that SOME PEOPLE in our group ALLEGEDLY did get boost mode so maybe we did?? I’ll tell you one thing, if that WASN’T boost mode, then I don’t think I want to ever get it. Because whatever we had on that ride was pushing the limit for me, lol.
This is where their clown lives!! Sadly, his first performance of the day was scheduled for the exact time we had to be back on the bus and I was more crushed about this than Boost Mode: Did We or Didn’t We.
And now please enjoy a series of photos of Chooch and me getting that kiddie coaster cred:
Trolls are big over there.
YEAH. BOI. Pistachio for me. I can’t remember if I even looked to see if there was a licorice option, now that I think about it!
Ahhh, this was my indoctrination into Living That Licorice Life. I had been telling Henry for months that aside from the amusement parks, I was most excited to eat all of the fucking licorice on this trip. My love for licorice happened by accident several years ago when I went to Jungle Jims in Cinci and brought back the motherlode of foreign candy for my pumpkin of international candy horrors at work. One of the things I bought, unbeknownst to myself, was SALTY LICORICE (actually from a Danish brand, if I remember correctly). Everyone fucking hated it except for Glenn and me. Actually, I’m not even sure I liked it but I became addicted to the palette trauma and ate them until I got sick, and then bought more bags on Amazon.
I didn’t know at the time about the salmiak phenomenon in Scandinavia and Finland, but once I started researching for this trip, I was like, “OH SNAP IT’S ON.”
So, this was my first Danish licorice purchase! Henry and Chooch chose some non-black licorice flavs, but I was like, “Salmiak me, please.” I started noshing immediately, and of course while we were in line for this one indoor shooter ride, a couple from our group got in line with us and started talking to us; I was CONVINCED that my teeth were coated in licorice tar, so I was trying to talk without moving my lips too much. They ended up still talking to us throughout the entire trip (Dawn and Robert! Two of my faves, honestly) so I guess I didn’t scare them off by recreating the “Francis Chews Trick Gum” scene of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure:
An OK wild mouse. I’ll remember it as the first time we talked to Alex from South Coasters! He sat in our car with Chooch and we briefly chatted afterward – just a really nice guy and he always said hello to us after that.
I wonder what they had at the American Diner…
Um…this was the SLEEPER HIT of Bakken for me! Actually, it was one of my favorites of the whole trip! Looked like it would be something similar to the Spider rides we have in America, but holy shit, this thing was psychotic. It had a wicked spin, and then what I referred to as “the bonus round” once the ride came back to the ground and you’d think the cycle was over, but then it started doing another round of chaotic Scrambler-like spinning on the ground! I was laughing like a hyena and even Chooch was screaming, “How is this so good?!”
LOVE ME A DARK RIDE.
First #carouselfie of the trip! Also, this carousel doesn’t really stop moving so people just wait to jump on?? I was like, “Where is the line?” and Henry was like, “Um, I think you’re just supposed to run onto it?” It was actually kind of terrifying.
Super small, but it got the job done!
Chooch got his own ice cream later because he was waiting in a long bathroom line apparently when we ordered our ice cream earlier. He got this cute character cup, but then realized almost every park we went to have their own versions so now we have like, 4 of them.
One of the things we quickly learned was that a lot of buildings in Denmark had grass on the roofs. Very enchanting!
We left around 3pm to make our way back to Copenhagen so that we could be let loose in Tivoli Garden, but not before our bus driver nearly took out a bunch of cars in his attempt to drive our doubledecker coach bus down a very narrow, definitely not made for a tour bus, road. More like, lane
Bonus: The houses near Bakken were $$$$$$$.