TPJThemeParkJames

Gardaland

Castelnuovo del Garda, Veneto, Italy

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.

Opened19 July 1975
SeasonApril to October
OwnerMerlin Entertainments
Websitewww.gardaland.it
Nearby Movieland Park (2 miles)
Ai Pioppi (114 miles)
Mirabilandia (149 miles)
Fiabilandia (169 miles)
Oblivion: The Black Hole, with Lake Garda in the distance

Oblivion: The Black Hole, with Lake Garda in the distance

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.

Attractions

Oblivion: The Black Hole

Oblivion: The Black Hole

Vertical Dive Coaster

Raptor

Raptor

Alien themed B&M Wing Coaster

Jungle Rapids

Jungle Rapids

Whitewater rapids ride

I Corsari

I Corsari

Pirate themed indoor boat ride

Mammut

Mammut

Mine train ride through a snowy landscape

Sequoia Adventure

Sequoia Adventure

S&S Screaming Squirrel

Blue Tornado

Blue Tornado

A rough headbanger Vekoma SLC rollercoaster

Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain

Double corkscrew rollercoaster from Vekoma

Fuga da Atlantide

Fuga da Atlantide

Nicely themed super splash ride

Ramses: Il Risveglio

Ramses: Il Risveglio

Dark ride through an Ancient Egyptian tomb

Flying Island

Flying Island

Scenic observation ride giving views over Lake Garda

Videos

Gardaland 2015