The awakening of a monster in Gröna Lund brought us to Stockholm this year. In the subways, the park found something lurking that guest can now enjoy at the park. We’re of course talking about Europe’s newest B&M: Monster!
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Let’s start off by saying that Stockholm is a gem. It was my first visit and it’s unlike any capital I’ve visited in Europe. Impressive buildings and architecture, lots of water and so much to do. What of course caught my attention as well is a collection of towers visible from loads of corners of the capital.
Yes, we’re talking about Gröna Lund! Never before did I arrive at a theme park by boat. Especially just docking underneath their newest ride. We had to choose between a morning, afternoon or evening visit. However on our selected Friday, only afternoon and evening were offered. Be prepared for quite the price though, especially post-covid.
The park has a road running right through the middle of it, dividing the park in two sections. We entered via the main entrance area which has a collection of small rides for kids and families. Once you cross the bridge however (which is filled with theme park fan frames), that’s where the thrilling fun begins.
For a newbie, it takes a few seconds to discover all the different roads to attractions. Yet, due to the small size of the park, you should be able to quickly figure out its structure. You can also lead yourself by looking at the different towers!
Of the four, there’s one we skipped: Katapulten. Personally I’m not very fond of S&S towers and seen that they have competition of two Intamin towers at this park, I didn’t ride it. The most thrilling tower was Frit Fall. A classic Intamin Drop Tower but with both a regular side as a floorless and tilting side.
The more unique tower was of course Ikaros! The gimmick of falling flat faced down isn’t the most thrilling in my opinion but such a unique and wonderful experience nevertheless.
My favorite part of the ride is the giant rotating sun on top of the tower. From over the whole city, we could see the actual sun reflect in it which is such a cool effect.
The final tower, Eclipse, is a giant Star Flyer. What all the different towers have in common is of course the view, but on Eclipse, you really get the time to enjoy it. As I’m into heights, I’ll rarely skip one and this one is one of the best I’ve done for sure.
Coasterwise, we had two unfortunate closures. One expected: Insane. They used the entrance of the ride as an information point for guests. It looked as if the ride would never reopen for but then just recently, they announced it to be open for the Halloween season. The other closure was more painful: Twister. Both on Thursday and Friday it didn’t open, the two days of our visit. Of course in the weekend it reopened, so it was even more painful to pass by. Still, not worth another full entrance price to just go and get the credit. A good reason thus to come back in the future.
Each bigger coasters that I could ride each had something to my liking. Kvasten for example, not my favorite layout but I quite enjoyed the witch theme of the ride. Really family oriented yet it brings a nice kinetic to that side of the park.
The classic Jetline is such a gem. I did prefer my front seat rides the most but what’s not to love about this Schwarzkopf coaster. Especially at night, I love how the first drop tunnel lights up as you go through.
Vilda Musen also quite surprised me. When you look from the distance, the track makes you think it’s a spinning coaster. But no, this wacky Wild Mouse felt unique and has a fun factor.
Before we talk about Monster, I do want to highlight some other topics about the park. To start with: the dark rides. Technically there’s two classic ones and a funhouse. Blå Tåget is a classic ghost train ride full of surprising effects. I’m not the kind of person that likes to be scared like that but we did like our ride! As for the other dark ride, Karlekstunneln, it’s too dated for me. It didn’t help that I didn’t grasp anything of the story during this indoor boat ride for kids.
The funhouse however, wow what an experience. It is throwback to the past but filled with unique experience I had never done before. I didn’t know much about it, so I’ll keep it as a surprise just like it was for me. It also ends with a bang! So definitely do not skip it!
One thing that bothered me about the park: there’s zero merch. Well, you have some park lanyards with candy but other than that, nothing. For a park with such iconic rides, that was a bit of a shame. Especially after what I had seen at Liseberg. So also for there brand new ride, I couldn’t find anything.
Speaking of which, let’s talk Monster! First of all, the fact that this park built a B&M coaster is pretty much insane. Still, I haven’t seen the park before they built it and they did a splendid job integrating it as if it’s always been there. But I can imagine that it came as shock for many due to the small size.
The Monster queue isn’t all that special but the entrance does shine and lure you in. Once you go down two board the ride, you enter a polish subway station. I loved the brownish shiny tiles on the walls and also a giant classic clock. Front seat had a longer queue area which wasn’t full usually. Sometimes they assigned seats and sometimes we could choose, so we chose to start with front.
It had been quite a few years since I had done a new B&M Invert but I loved how Monster has the classic restrains. Going up the lifthill, I enjoyed the slight theming and then the view emerging once you got higher. The drop is right next to the water with it’s already iconic support structure! Just look how small I look compared!
The drop takes you down a small green area to jump right into the first Zero-G Roll. That’s when you really start twisting between the different buildings of the park.
The second inversion really felt a bit flat for me, one of the places where I felt my issue with this ride. Due to the compact layout they had to built, they didn’t really have room for the elements to shine. The design focused more on fitting the ride than focusing on the riders experience. That being said, I loved the ride.
After the third inversion, you have the small helix to take you back towards the station with a little airtime element to hit the final brake. But it’s a downwards one! That and the huge support structures show that B&M has more flexibility than we thought. Seeing that type of ride at the park felt very special.
As you may have read in our latest Phantasialand article or podcast episode, Sean and Alex really rank Black Mamba high. For me however, I can enjoy it’s intensity and theming but if you’re not riding front, there’s really not much to look at. Of course an issue common to all the inverts, but you can see very limited do to the narrow trenches of Black Mamba. Here, Monster has the opposite: not as intense but you have a lot to look at, while maintaining a narrow feeling. That’s why I personally rate it higher.
By the way, our first visit was actually during a special nighttime event. Night Rider lets you enter the park at 9pm45 in the evening where you get a bracelet. It lights up synchronized with the light show of the park. After a special opening ceremony, you could enjoy most main rides of the park in the dark and play games everywhere.
On top of that, they had dj’s, lights and lasers everywhere. They also added extra entertainment in the streets all in a 80’s retro theme. A real party at the park with a relaxed vibe and making its iconic rides shine.
By the way, we were there the same day Abba announced a new album. Part of the announcement was held at the park so the stage still stood in front of the Wave Swinger! My my!
Night rides on Monster and Jetline were amazing. Especially the new Invert has such a cool lighting package underneath the train which you have to see. But also Ikaros in the dark, with the city center view side, stood out. Last but not least, the lighting on Eclipse made for quite the spectacle.
Gröna Lund felt a bit like an oddball for me. A typical Scandinavian city park with rides squished right next to each other. Fortunately we had low queues but that also made us leave the park early eventually. The park didn’t become a personal favorite but don’t get me wrong, I really loved the setting, the vibe and the ride collection. Especially with the addition of Monster, you really have something to look forward to. Stockholm as a whole is a must visit destination and Gröna Lund is the cherry on top for theme park enthousiasts!