EMEA Quick Takes | September/October 2021
Fårup’s New Order of the ‘Fønix’ in Denmark
Fårup Sommerland will welcome the fastest bird in Denmark’s forests when the “Fønix” (Phoenix) roller coaster takes flight at the park in April 2022. “The name is the obvious choice in these very special times, where, in a way, we as a park and a business are also rising from the ashes after a hard time with COVID-19,” says Fårup Sommerland CEO Niels Jørgen Jensen.
Jensen expects the Vekoma coaster, which costs close to 100 million Danish kroner, to “become an iconic landmark” for the park. “‘Fønix’ will sup-port our ambition to attract more guests to Fårup, both from Denmark and abroad. We hope to increase visitor numbers by at least 10-15%,” he says.
“Fønix” will arrive in a blaze of glory as one of Denmark’s largest, tallest, and fastest roller coasters, reaching top speeds of 95 kph. The ride will in-clude what is described as a new stall loop. In this new feature, the train enters into an overhead half loop followed by an inverted camelback where riders experience 2.5 seconds of weightlessness before entering the second half of the loop combined with a twist.
Guests will soar 40 meters above the park’s woodland. “‘Fønix’ will be the king of airtime in Scandinavia,” says Jensen. The ride includes 14 different airtime elements—such as drops, loops, and twists—giving guests the feeling of 9.2 seconds of weightlessness.
“With a capacity of 900 people per hour, we hope to give a lot of guests this experience next season,” says Jensen. Riders will need to be 120 cm tall.
“Fønix” is Vekoma’s fourth coaster for Fårup after “Saven,” “Orkanen,” and “Mine-Expressen.”
“This unique layout convinced us that this ride is the perfect match for the ambitions we have as a park,” says Jensen. Archifunture is helping Fårup’s team develop the ride’s elaborate theming.
Brighton Pier Group Shares Plans for Lightwater Valley
Brighton Pier Group PLC, which owns Brighton Palace Pier, is to redevelop the Lightwater Valley Theme Park in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, after ac-quiring it for £5 million this summer.
“While the park is over 50 years old, it is perfectly capable, with the right amount of creative input and dedication to detail, of providing visitors with as up-to-date an experience as any U.K. park,” says Anne Ackord, CEO of Brighton Pier Group. “We’re going to put a great deal of effort into de-veloping areas of the park which we feel have the best profit potential, such as retail and catering, as well as building on the strategy of attracting family visits.”
The company believes the boom in staycations is an opportunity to grow attendance and profitability.
At press time, Lightwater Valley’s new owners had yet to make a decision on its “The Ultimate” roller coaster, which remained closed over the summer.
“‘The Ultimate’ has an amazing history, and it’s 30 years old this year. We have to give a lot of thought to its future, but we currently have no intention of removing it from the park. It needs a lot of work to bring it back to its former glory, and it will have to pay its way to justify any investment,” says Ackord.