There’s always room in hell for a badly behaved person,
just as there’s always room in the mire of mediocrity for another run
of the mill coaster. Dæmonen goes to show that if you build it they
will come; and if they come it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve
built a good coaster.
That said, Dæmonen is definitely better than nothing, and
certainly better than what came before it, Slangen, a Zierer coaster
that was a living, breathing example of average personified.
It seems an unlikely undertaking to replace a tiny,
non-descript family coaster with the notoriously lumbering steelwork of
a B&M coaster, yet Tivoli Gardens have somehow managed the
impossible and crammed a thrice-looping floorless coaster into what was
a tight fit for even a small family coaster.
Dæmonen is up there with the likes of The Big One and
Nemesis in terms of coasters that are that shouldn’t be – rides that
are built in the face of adversity, using awkward situations to bring
out the best in their respective designers.
A few manufacturers were invited to put a square block
through a round hole in fitting the largest coaster in Denmark into an
unfeasibly small plot of land with Intamin and Maurer Söhne both vying
for Tivoli’s money, but Tivoli Gardens eventually choosing the
expertise of the notoriously prestige manufacturer, Bolliger and
Notorious not only for build quality, B&M have also
earned a reputation for a softly-softly approach to ride design. While
Intamin push the envelope so far that it drops off the edge never to be
seen again, B&M get nervous sticking a stamp on it.
In a park bathed in maroon hues and trimmed with gold, a
B&M somehow seemed the obvious choice for manufacturer. Classy,
elegant and at the same time graceful, Dæmonen’s deep red track
threads its way through the various lakeside pagodas that litter the
back end of the park.
Dæmonen is tiny. B&M have never been known for
enormous coasters, but at just over 90-feet tall, it is their smallest
coaster yet. Less Beelzebub, and more a little baby, it is hard to
resist the temptation of grabbing Dæmonen by the cheeks, craning your
head towards it and speaking gibberish as you wave a rattle in his face.
A pint-sized coaster calls for pint-sized rolling stock,
with Dæmonen offering two six-car trains, at least two cars less than
most similar coasters, yet still seating a decent 24 people per ride.
Dæmonen’s queue is little more than a staircase that
climbs up between the ride’s final brake-run and the track returning
to the station. Recorded announcements in both Danish and English take
the provision of not only taunting you with choice ride stats, but going
through basic safety information, as well as reminding people how to
unclip their seatbelts upon their return.
The station is uncharacteristically dull for Tivoli in the
form of an open-sided building with a corrugated roof. The roof is gold,
though, so it’s classy as tin roofs go. I suppose.
Loading is supremely straightforward considering the ride
has no floor. The golden train confidently enters the station, briefly
slows to a nervous crawl before stopping, and a metal floor swoops from
under the station platform, neatly flattening out underneath riders’
suspended feet before the overhead restraints unlock.
Once seated, the process reverses, with the floor parting
and receding like the Red Sea before the train is advanced onto a
particularly steep lift hill.
Not a moment later, you’re looking down on traffic,
albeit from the moderate height of 92-feet, before peeling into a
left-hand 180-degree bend, swooping suddenly to the right into an
elevated carousel turn.
360-degrees later, the preamble ends as 48 dangling legs
and accompanying torsos are pulled groundwards as the train drops
80-feet down a straight drop and into the first of three inversions; a
vertical loop, briefly dipping below ground before swooping up through
this moderately-sized loop.
Not wasting a second, the train drops out of this, and
climbs immediately into an absolutely miniscule immelman, starting with
a half-loop, swooping out to the side as it exits and curling around the
front of the vertical loop at the front of the ride in a particularly
No time to regain your composure as the train fights
against gravity, soaring skywards and elegantly rolling through an
inline twist, probably the smallest camelback inline twist ever forged
Smooth and surprisingly forceful for Dæmonen, you are
pulled to the side, before exiting into a swooping turn that briefly
follows the line of the lift, before breaking away into an
anti-clockwise turn, swooping through a vague s-turn between a forest of
The final turn dips and abruptly climbs onto the brakes,
giving a few riders a neat little pop of airtime, before the train stops
and makes its final advance into the station.
So is Dæmonen fiendish fun for all the family? Or is it
the work of Satan himself? Well, truth be told; neither.
Excuse me as I reach for my thesaurus, but I need more
synonyms for the word ‘average’. Dæmonen is nowhere near a bad
ride, definitely not, but it hardly sets the world alight.
One of the biggest problems seems to now be a perennial one
with B&M – it is utterly forceless.
Nemesis goes to show that you don’t need to be battered
black and blue to have a forceful ride, but B&M’s aforementioned
softly-softly approach is becoming softer and softer.
The argument of course is that for that people don’t want
to have blood rushing to the head/legs, then this makes a thrilling
coaster more accessible, but by having a smooth and forceless ride, you
remove any form of character and feeling of speed and aggression that
should be associated with such a large ride.
This isn’t to say there are absolutely no forces. The
first drop is actually fairly decent, and the inline twist is good, even
if not up to B&M’s normal standards.
Elsewhere, though, there are plenty of elements that look
to be a riot, but unfortunately are just a peaceful protest.
The vertical loop, for example, is terrible. This is the
one area I thought the ride would deliver, offering a
negative-to-positive-g contrast as it plunges from the straight drop
into a small loop.
But in fact, the pacing is comparably pedestrian. No real
hang time, but at the same time, no real bout of gs, either at the top
The immelman is equally disappointing. At the size of a
croquet hoop and a suitably skewed looking exit, it had the potential
really disorientate riders, but in actuality it feels so calculated and
smooth that I can’t understand how such a small element doesn’t feel
commanding in any way.
Dæmonen also has bizarre pacing in the form of a slow
start, three inversions back-to-back and then a slow ending.
The back seat seems to wake a few of the earlier and later
turns up from their slumber – the swoop into the carousel turn is a
good example, and the final slalom into the brakes at the end of the
But despite this, the niggles remain. The beginning
especially is disproportionately dull, and although this could be put
down to showmanship, there really is no excuse for the fairly flat
finale to follow the three inversions.
Riding Dæmonen, you get the awkward feeling that the
inversions were a must, even if it meant getting to and from them meant
needless meandering. While the inversions are undoubtedly the ride’s
highlight, you cannot escape the uncomfortable feeling that everything
before and after serves only to pad out and already short ride.
While we pick holes, it is important to remember just how
much of a difference Dæmonen has made to Tivoli Gardens. The coaster
helped Tivoli achieve record attendance in 2004, and despite being,
well, boring, seems to be a popular coaster nevertheless.
So, is it worth making any graven images or taking the
lord’s name in vain to afford yourself the opportunity to shake the
hand of this Danish Demon? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t
necessarily mean that you need to live life as a pillar of virtue, as Dæmonen
is a fairly good coaster.
But, if you do love thy neighbour, at least you can carry
on safe in the knowledge that there are far better compact roller
coasters for you to enjoy without having to visit Copenhagen for Dæmonen.
19 December 2005
used with permission from Coastersandmore
▪ A quality ride in a quality
▪ Nice and smooth, and not too terrifying
▪ Interesting layout with original start
▪ Slow beginning
▪ Slow ending
▪ Not particularly fast middle
▪ Terribly forceless