Rising from the ashes, Fønix at Fårup Sommerland spread its wings for the first-time last week. We kindly got invited by the park to experience the ride and have a look behind the scenes. What a new addition for the park and Europe! Read more about our experience and discover the whole park and its cute atmosphere, including the other major coaster: Orkanen and Lynet.
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We started our trip at Billund after which we had a delicious lunch in Århus. While traveling for coasters, you need at least a glimpse of the local environment. When we arrived at Fårup Sommerland, we received a warm welcome by the park and fellow enthousiasts. The walk towards the coaster gave us an immediate impression of the park as it pretty much consists of a long lane with some side areas. Nevertheless, the walk surprised us by how fun the park looked.
At the very end, we saw the Fønix rising from the treetops. The beautiful green colour blends in nicely with the atmosphere. Here Niels Jørgen Jensen, CEO of the park, greeted us before we could go and ride the firebird. Two of the three inversions quite catch your attention right away, especially the one that goes through the station. A trick also used on the most comparable coaster in Europe: Lech Coaster at Legendia. Even though you easily parallel the two, we soon learned that they differ quite a bit.
The station lit up well due to the sunshine, we got lucky! The reflection in the golden/red banners of the coaster made us even more excited. Let’s ride!
After leaving the station with a small drop and turn, you go up the lift hill. In recent years, most new coasters usually have a launch. So, it felt good to have that excitement again on the lift hill for a brand-new ride.
We won’t describe the entire layout but highlight the major elements. After releasing you into the drop, you go into a brand-new element: the dive loop stall. Personally, I love this element a lot due to its hangtime!
Then that twist to the other side happens so fast, you just got to love it. It also becomes clear that the focus of the ride goes towards airtime. Not powerful ejector but enjoyable and exciting to ride the coaster right away again after leaving the station.
The best parts however for me are the inversions. The heartline role comes in second and you absolutely fly through it. Very powerful and exciting!
The third and last one takes you over the station and as we passed by several times, you really hear the people scream going in. You end with some small airtime hills before twisting back towards the brake run. It definitely made it into the top 20 European coasters for me.
The CEO explained to us why they chose Fønix. “Since 2013 we haven’t invested in big new coasters. We felt we needed something really big to go to the next level with the park. We can see from our colleagues and competitors what really counts. This level of investment is going to give the potential to attract more guests.”
Of course quite some constructors build rollercoasters but it came as no surprise that Vekoma built the ride. “We have a good relationship with Vekoma. They recently built Saven and our suspended coaster Orkanen. They proposed this ride and it was pretty obvious that we could do another partnership for this ride. We rode Lech coaster beforehand and could see that we could do something really special with that type in Fårup.”
We did notice throughout the park that they lack a bit of music. Also the rollercoaster Fønix did not play any. But Marketing Director Rasmus Mortensen reassured us: “The sound system didn’t delivered in time but it will have music soon. We worked with the same people who made music for our autumn light event and the people loved it. That’s why we chose the same composers.”
After a delicious meal, we got the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the ride. They kindly invited us in the maintenance station and even underneath the actual station. You noticed the high quality that Vekoma now delivers with their new collection of rollercoasters, including this Wildcat model.
We ended the day with some delicious drinks with a stunning local Gin Hass. If you haven’t tried it and you like a nice cocktail, definitely try it out. All you need is a slightly spicy gin, mango sirup and a lemon tonic. We did not spend the night at the Fårup Hotel so unfortunately, we can’t review it but as we spent some time there, we did notice a strong family focus.
The next day, we could go into the park early to ride Falken and Orkanen! Let’s start with the wooden coaster built by S&S, a rare sight in Europe. Beforehand we heard some shaky reviews but surprisingly we quite enjoyed our ride. The out and back structure didn’t surprise us with any special elements, but we rode it twice in a row and didn’t mind. A very family-oriented ride.
Orkanen, the Vekoma Suspended coaster, looks stunning on the small lake in front of the hotel. Eventhough the same layout can be found in other parks, here it demands the attention as a major coaster for the park. A smooth experience and a wonderful family experience.
In this area we can also find the waterpark. Closed obviously because of the cold weather (yes, the sun shone but we still only had about 4 degrees Celsius/ 39.2 Fahrenheit). It looked to have a nice collection of slides for the summer however, including a looping slide.
Another noticeable attraction in this area is the midget golf island. Included in your park entrance, you can have a swing even after opening hours when you stay at the hotel.
When walking through the food, you notice that they have quite the food offering everywhere. Waffle sticks, churros, delicious pita, loads of ice creams… you name it. From what we’ve tasted, we really enjoyed every bite we had. Including our waffle with banana and ice cream!
As mentioned, the park radiates a unique woodland atmosphere. Personally a favorite of mine so I really fell for it. Each ride relies on that team without it feeling redundant as sometimes can be the case for western themed parks. Take Saven for example, the other recent coaster by Vekoma. A Family Boomerang which blends in nicely within the area.
Another noticeable feature of the park that you rarely see are the numerous boat attractions to go onto the water. We chose one of them, the Fårupbådene boats. At first, we didn’t know how we would go forward but eventually we got the hang of it. Here’s Emma and her sister Rosie touring the water!
Other water rides include a logflume and a rapid river. Fårup Rafting built by Bear Rides takes you on a ride through the forest. You even encounter a skull! Always fun to ride these rides.
Even some classic rides surpised us like the Nøddesvinget. We could believe our eyes that after some rounds forwards, the ride stopped and started spinning backwards! Be aware that if you feel dizzy after such a ride, don’t go into the funhouse. X takes you underground near bugs and special walkthrough elements. The finale will turn your head almost upside down so be prepared for that!
The other major coaster at the park got built by Gerstlauer. Yes, time to talk about Lynet. Having a similar one near one of my homeparks, I got quite curious to compare the two. But after riding it, I had a hard time to do so. Although both Lynet and Anubis feature the same type of cars, launch you into a tophat and have some inversions, that’s where the comparison ends.
They both do very different things. Lynet has a lower height but feels a little bit more outstretched while remaining compact. That helps it to attain a fast pacing and some nice airtime moments. It did feel more unique and a less standard layout. But that Anubis launch and top hat remain two powerful advantages for the Belgian coaster.
Still Lynet surprised the whole team and we congratulate the park for now having such a wonderful collection of coasters with the addition of Fønix. Each major coaster stands out with their own touch. If this park didn’t catch your attention before, now it should. Make the trip to the north of Denmark for a unique forest adventure that awaits you.