Gardaland, owned by Merlin Entertainments, is a major theme park set beside Lake Garda in Northern Italy, and has a number of large attractions, including the recently added Oblivion: The Black Hole dive coaster.
|Opened||19 July 1975|
|Season||April to October|
|Nearby||Movieland Park (2 miles)|
Osteria Ai Pioppi (76 miles)
Adventure Park Cimone (86 miles)
Mirabilandia (108 miles)
Fiabilandia (136 miles)
Gardaland is one of the largest theme parks in Italy, and sits on the eastern shore of Lake Garda. Although the park does not actually touch the waterfront, there are some beautiful views of the lake and mountains beyond from the top of some of the park's tallest rides.
The park is well themed, with several distinct areas including a medieval castle, wild western town and a fantasy kingdom. The pirate land is perhaps the most enveloping, with a port and full sized pirate ship docked close by. Guests can climb aboard the ship, which hides a superb dark ride. It is easily missed, but well worth seeking out.
Gardaland has a number of rollercoasters. Most notable are Raptor, a great Wing Coaster from B&M; and Oblivion: The Black Hole, a B&M Dive Coaster that borrows its name from Oblivion at Alton Towers in the UK, which is also owned by Merlin Entertainments. Gardaland's version features floorless trains and a much longer layout than its namesake.
Other rollercoasters include Mammut, a long Vekoma mine train; Sequoia Adventure, an S&S Screaming Squirrel which places riders upside down for extended periods throughout the ride; and Blue Tornado, a horrible rough Vekoma SLC.
UK theme park visitors will be used to Merlin Entertainments' parks feeling under-invested in, given that Merlin has quite a monopoly on major English theme parks. Gardaland feels different, with some great rides (especially the more recent installations), a pleasant atmosphere and some nicely themed areas.
Vertical Dive Coaster
Alien themed B&M Wing Coaster
Whitewater rapids ride
Pirate themed indoor boat ride
Mine train ride through a snowy landscape
S&S Screaming Squirrel
A rough headbanger Vekoma SLC rollercoaster
Double corkscrew rollercoaster from Vekoma
Nicely themed super splash ride
Dark ride through an Ancient Egyptian tomb
Scenic observation ride giving views over Lake Garda