Oct 232023

Guys, this is it. We’ve reached the last part of the Coaster Crew portion of our Scandinavia & Beyond coaster trip. I was so excited to get to Stockholm, but hoo-boy was it bittersweet!

On the drive to Grona Lund from Kolmarden, I was whisper-hissing back and forth to Chooch from across the aisle of the bus because we HAD to give away some of the chocolate he won at Liseberg. I mean, it was either that or bring upon extreme diarrhea trying to eat it all ourselves rather than try and fly home with it in a few days. That giant box had FOUR DOUBLE-LAYERED boxes inside of it. So much chocolate. And you guys, it was GOOD chocolate too. I think I mentioned this already but when I looked those assortment boxes up online, they sell for over $30 a box.

And we had FOUR of them.

We kept two for ourselves and I passed around the other two to everyone on the bus because I am apparently the spokesperson of our family. Chooch REFUSED to initiate this chocolate-sharing experience. Some of the REALLY COOL GUYS were sitting in front of me and I was SWEATING. Aside from Mark and Hunter, I didn’t really make much contact with these guys so I was like, “ARE THEY GOING TO SNEER AT ME AND BE LIKE WHY WOULD WE WANT YOUR CHOCOLATE, LADY?” But no! It was the opposite! I tapped one of them (Jeremy I think?) on the shoulder and said, “Hey, do you guys want to take some of this and pass it around? We can’t take all of this home with us!” and they were like “YES PLEASE YAY CHOCOLATE!” I gave the other box to the guys behind me (who I was shipping so hard, btw) and they each selected a piece and passed it back like you normally would, while the cool guys in front of us were taking this VERY SERIOUSLY, reading every description, discussing amongst themselves…Chooch texted me and was like, “Good one, they’re never going to pass it on.” They did though and we STILL ended up having some chocolate left in one of the boxes.

It was so fun though, hearing everyone being stoked for surprise bus chocolates.

This is why I love group trips! We gotta start doing these more. There are benefits to also traveling solo / without a tour group, but being on this bus with these amazing people really made me sentimental. I loved the organized group trips of my youth, like when I met Olivia, had my first Older Man Crush, and made possibly my first Frenemy, Steve.

We took this group picture as soon as we entered the park and I was like, “Goddammit, don’t cry.” Also, another picture where the Oh Honestlys are not together, LOLOLOL. Seriously, we probably were known behind our backs as the Family Who Was Always Fighting, lol. (To be fair, we actually did not fight that often!) But I think this is a true testament to how comfortable we had become with the group that we didn’t need to be attached to each other like lemmings like we usually are at home.

Coaster Crew: Norden Sub-Crew 4L.

But yeah, Grona Lund, baby! I have watched so much YouTube content of this place over the years that I truly built it up so much in my head. Did it live up? Actually, although it was SMALLER than I imagined, it was more magical than I could have dreamed. It’s located on one of the many archipelagos of Stockholm! One of the ways to access it is by ferry, which we would actually do the next day because there were other things we wanted to do on this particular archipelago (a word that will never not be difficult for me to say, spell, remember. Pretty sure I called it an archbishop at one point).

Views of Monster, the new B&M invert, as soon as you enter. Cameras out: Thoosies gon’ thoosie.

One of the many little alleys of Grona Lund. And more chocolate roulette!

I think there are THREE drop towers here. Insane.

Our first credit was Vilda Musen – Wild Mouse! The people in front of us are Lucas and his friend whose name I never learned but they were sitting on the bus facing us on the way to Kolmarden and coughed the whole time and I’m 100% sure they got me and Chooch sick. Anyway, we rode this with them (I can’t remember how we got separated from Henry – OH I KNOW it’s because we told the ride attendent there were two of us and she sent Chooch and me on the same car as those two and we left Henry behind hahaha) and I said, “Hey it’s our first time riding together, you guys!” and they were like, “Mm heh.”

My giddy charm didn’t penetrate everyone on this trip, sadly.

Ew, I took this for Corey and I don’t think I ever sent it to him but we HATE Machine Gun Kelly and I wanted him to see that he performed there a month prior to us visiting. Ugh. Grona Lund actually holds some pretty amazing concerts. My Chemical Romance even played there!

Oh real quick another fun fact about Grona Lund that I didn’t know until I watched Airtime Thrills’ Kolmarden vlog, but they were actually the park in talks with RMC but since they didn’t have enough room to spare, they BOUGHT land in Kolmarden and had RMC build Wildfire there. In case you were wondering how a zoo in Sweden randomly became home to one of the best coasters in the world.

You know, it might come up one day. At a brewery trivia or something. And then you might win a giftcard to said brewery because that was the question that propelled you to first place. So, you know where to send the THANK CARD. (Or maybe not. But I will give you my address if you ask because I like getting mail.)

(Maybe I’ll just give you Janna’s address because I have been muy paranoid lately.)

Henry and his new family.

The Wild Mouse was pretty good but also scary because these ones always terrify me because of the jankiness. But real talk, if you can see that blue track that interacts with the Wild Mouse track, that belongs to Jetline, a coaster that’s currently standing-but-not-operating (SBNO) because of a fatal accident that occurred literally about a month or two before our trip. Never want to hear about anything tragic happening in a place meant for people to have fun. I don’t know what happened. I tend to cover my ears and sing the LA LA LA song rather than face reality, but man my heart goes out to her family. I think she was a mom there with her kids?

I actually hadn’t heard a thing about this at first but my sister sent me a link to the article and was like DON’T RIDE THIS WHEN YOU’RE THERE. :/

The facade a Kvasten (The Broom), a Vekoma suspended family coaster that was actually a real fucking delight! From the creepy witch hunt station to the smooth ride experience, I highly enjoyed this one! Henry didn’t ride it because he’s a little bitch and thought it was going to be like a shitty Vekoma SLC, so his loss.

Grona Lund is so goddamn charming, I can’t.

The station for Monster was impeccably themed! Also, it was pretty much a walk-on all evening.

House of Nightmares was an upcharge haunted walk-thru – of course we did it. It was decent! Better some of the ones over here that we go to during haunted house season, honestly, and I feel like it was only an extra $5 for each of us? I know it couldn’t have been that much if Frugal Henry opted in.

Basically, this joint has facades on lock. I really felt like I was in another land. I mean, I *was* in another land to me, but you know what I mean. The whole park had fairy tale vibes. Not quite Grimm’s but a similar feel, if you know what I mean? You smrobly don’t and that’s OK.

OK but pretend like you knew what I meant up there and now apply taht aesthetic to the dark rides here at Grona Lund because holy shit. HOLY SHIT. I wish I was still a member of the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts club so I could tell them all about these dark rides of Scandinavia and Finland at their next meeting j/k they didn’t have meetings when I was a member, just events at various parks where the group leader acted like he had no idea who I was even though we interacted with each other for years on Facebook and we visited his home haunt one October?!?

He’s no Tim, that’s for damn sure.

Looking at these photos has me nearly in tears. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel the Grona Lund vibes.

I wish the front of my house looked like this :(

And I wish all of the ceilings in my house looked like this. :(

This is Jetline :/ (The blue track.)

Us having no idea what we were in for.

Us coming out with lots to think about….More on this one later – I have pictures and some video too I think which I’ll put in PART 2 like that’s actually enough to entice you to come back for seconds.

Honestly though. You can keep your shooter dark rides. I want more vintage dark rides like these, please. I wish Kennywood hadn’t:

  1. let Le Cachot burn down;
  2. turned Gold Rusher into a dumb shooter ride;
  3. ruined the Old Mill repeatedly

Come on, Kennywood. Give us an old-ass Sally Darkride with pretzel cars and a musty water smell.

Post-faux-chicken nuggets. I was annoyed because Grona Lund had legit restaurants, but we ate at one of the fast food type of joints probably because Chooch was crying about it. Also, he was probably quoting Mark here for the thousandth time, saying, “Guys, I’m going to marathon Insane all night.”

Insane, by the way, was one of the most fucked up coasters I’ve ever ridden. It’s an Intamin Zack Spin, and well, it was Insane. Plus, I had to pee AND ALMOST PEED MY PANTS ON A COASTER FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, AT THE AGE OF 44.

Which, you know, would make just as much sense if I were 4. I can barely sneeze or, I dunno, do jumping jacks without the risk of peeing my pants these days.

The view from the chicken nugget place. Grona Lund, you da best, girl.

OK, second part forthcoming! Keep prolonging the inevitable, Erin! The trip came to an end, it’s BEEN DONE. Move on with your life. Shit.


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