Quantity Over Quality - The Energylandia Problem


As a self-confessed cred fiend, when poring over Coast2Coaster trying to decide where my next big coaster trip should be you can bet that my eye is always initially draw to the purple pins - eg locations with ten creds or more. Because of course, the more creds the better, right? Well, as I've grown older and wiser in my cred-hunting days it's become more and more apparent that those purple and red pins are catfish, they look attractive on the surface but once you dig into the detail you realise that most of the coasters listed and either complete rubbish or so forgettable one wonders what the point in their existence is in the first place. In my experience, this was most poignant on my visits to Energylandia, so I wanted to expand a little on this today. 

Firstly, let's explore the benefits of having a lot of creds. It's a great marketing claim to be able to say 'most rollercoasters in the area' or 'most thrilling park' based on some kind of metric associated with the quantity. And of course, visiting a park like that for the first time, especially if you're a family of non-enthusiasts, the prospect of just so many rollercoasters to enjoy is a tantalising one. Pay just £30 and get to enjoy all of these rides over and over again? It feels like you're spoiled for choice which again, is a very appealing prospect, especially when it comes to tempting people to visit. I get it. 

BUT, I feel even as a non-enthusiast, once you're in the place and start riding the coasters surely it would quickly become apparent that a lot of this stuff is just crap? And sure, many families (especially with younger children), won't particularly care for the quality as long as it leaves a smile on the kids' faces, but then I would argue audiences that fall into that category would be just as satisfied with a visit to a local funfair (and probably for half the cost). Those who pay attention to such things would surely quickly start to feel a little ripped off. Yes, there are tons of rides here, but when over 75% of them are not very good, it begs the question: what is the point?

What is the point of having multiple similar family sit down coasters dotted across various corners of the park? What is the point of having a Big Apple and a Go-Gator style ride just a few steps away from one another? It starts to feel a bit like the backgrounds in an old Scooby-Doo cartoon - copied and pasted over and over again to save time and money. It's lacking in imagination and any thought for guest experience and all about how things appear on paper. 

It leads to disappointment and dare I say even boredom whilst you're at the park. To turn the corner and find yet another family sit down coaster instead of say...an interesting flat ride, or a dark ride, or a water ride, or a nicely themed restaurant, or literally anything else? I understand having two of the same ride type next to one another to improve capacities for example, but to have essentially the same coaster copied and pasted across every corner of the park to make some kind of point and fill some space is utterly bizarre to me, especially considering what else that money could be spent on. 

And it makes the rides forgettable. When you have so many similar rides inside one park our memories find it hard to separate the experiences and they end up meshing into one bland, unimpressionable ride, which essentially nullifies the existence of the things in the first place. 

I'm not saying I wish Energylandia had less rides, I just wish it weren't so obvious that they were clearly just buying whatever they could get their hands on in an attempt to grab some on-paper claims to market the place. In reality the park has some excellent, world-beating thrill coasters in Hyperion, Zadra and Formula and some really fun family coasters too with Boomerang and Dragon Roller Coaster. So I ask again, with such a solid line-up of fantastic coasters to do more than their fair share of heavy lifting in terms of painting Energylandia as a must-visit attraction for families in Poland (which I very much believe it is) then why bring down the overall quality of the place by also having the poor quality/repetitive rides in there too?

For me it's like this: if you had a budget to stick to for a dinner that would more than cover the cost of enough gourmet dishes to serve your guests, why would you choose to spend half that budget on supermarket-own-brand economy products to fill the space at the table? All you end up with is a strange mix of palettes and balance of quality that delights in some areas and disappoints in others. 

This isn't to say I didn't enjoy my visits to Energylandia - I very much did and it bears repeating: Hyperion and Zadra are two of my favourite coasters in the entire world. But the experience of the park left me cold and frustrated and I came away feeling the budgets could have been better spent elsewhere, especially when riding my third sit-down, unthemed family coaster of the day. I'm very excited to see Aqualantis and Abyssus, set to open this year. With a company like JoraVision attached I'm really intrigued to see how the end product looks as we know their theming is usually wonderful, and I'm glad to see that with each new project more attention appears to be paid to such nuances, but for me the park has a long way to go in terms of figuring itself out, but it's a journey I'm excited to watch and support with each new addition. 

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Have you visited Energylandia? What did you think of the park? Is it better to have more coasters or fewer but of higher quality? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,

2 comments

  1. I've worked there. They are trying to make the old part of the park look better themeing wise. Ive hesrd that they want to make one of the kids coasters indoors

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  2. One honorable mention of the coasters would be "Rollercoaster Mayan", probably one of the best SLC's out there, it was actually a lot of fun!
    But I agree, most coasters at Energylandia are forgettable...

    Greetings from Germany!

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