Scandinavia's biggest summerland
Once there were 2 visionary men, who in 1981 looked out over a piece of flat land in Djursland in East Jutland and saw within a summer land filled with happy and playful guests. Today Djurs Sommerland is Scandinavia's largest Summerland and an amusement park with international prestige and recognition.
Success from the start
Many people probably laughed when Ole B. Nielsen and Børge Godsk Jensen came up with the idea of an activity park in Djursland in 1981.
At that time the concept of a Summerland was far from established among the general population. However, Ole B. Nielsen and Børge Godsk Jensen sensed that something was about to happen. Danes were increasingly demanding a wider selection of holiday and leisure activities. At the same time, East Jutland was experiencing an increasing flow of tourists, and they lacked an option for days when the weather was not good enough for bringing time at the beach - a place where the entire family could enjoy fun experiences.
First season exceeded all expectations
So the pair of friends started to search for a suitable piece of land for an activity park. The dream was a place in the southern part of Djursland but this wasn't feasible. The choice, therefore, fell to the area in Nimtofte in the middle of Djursland. This location later turned out to perfectly fit Djurs Sommerland's future development with its focus on new rides and expansion.
In 1981 the success criteria were to be noticed. Their greatest expectations were therefore exceeded when the turnstiles revealed then Djurs Sommerland had 100,000 visitors by the end of the first season.
"The interest was overwhelming. At the time the concept of entertainment by keeping active was a ground-breaking idea. Activities such as archery, rowing in small boats and obstacle courses characterized the offer. In popular terms: no pain, no gain. This was the driving concept for Djurs Sommerland throughout the 1980s," explains managing director, Henrik B. Nielsen.
From physics to mechanics
However, the park's guests demanded faster and newer rides. Larger, mechanical rides were, therefore, a natural part of the summer land's experience.
"Previously we had one single mechanical ride, but from the start of the 1990s, there was a clear expectation of more, larger and slicker rides. The concept of what a summer land should provide became wider. A new experience dimension was added," says Henrik B. Nielsen.
Colorado River opened in 1991, while the first larger roller coaster was Thors Hammer, which was built in 2002.
From ride to an integrated experience
The 1990s were also the decade in which the brothers Henrik B. Nielsen and Michael B. Nielsen took over the helm from their father, Ole B. Nielsen, and since then the amusement park has gone from strength to strength. Djurs Sommerland was constantly extended throughout the 1990s and 2000s with more and more rides, while at the same time the park has performed targeted work to give the rides an extra dimension.
"In addition to keeping our finger on the pulse and understanding the public's expectations, it has been important for us not just to set up a new, large ride but also to include it within a larger story. We would like to give guests an experience in addition to just butterflies," explains Henrik B. Nielsen.
The park was therefore divided into 9 different themed areas each with their own consistent appearance.
The first areas were Sommerland and Vandland, followed by Afrikaland, Mexicoland, Cowboy- and Indianerland, Piratland, Vikingeland which opened in 2014.
In 2015 Bondegårdsland opened with 10 new rides.
In 2019 Wild Asia opened which is the park's newest area and became the 9 themed area.
The themed decoration of the park also means that each ride is simultaneously built into a narrative. For example, the public does not just experience a shiny metal construction when they get on board the popular Skatteøen water coaster, but rather a complete Pirate's Castle where you have to find the Skeleton Captain's treasure. The same applies to Juvelen which is built into an extensive Mayan universe.
Throughout Djurs Sommerland visitors experience changing atmospheres as they move between the smart, decorated rides, restaurants and play areas in the park's different areas.
Denmark's largest roller coaster
Djurs Sommerland's development has proceeded at full speed ahead since 2008. The park was extended with a new, large Piratland where the main attraction is Denmark's largest and fastest roller coaster, Piraten.
Piratland doubled in size in 2011, when Djurs Sommerland presented the greatest innovation in a Danish amusement park at that time: Skatteøen, which is North Europe's largest water coaster.
In 2013 Mexicoland was extended by 12,000 square meters with Juvelen, which is Denmark's longest roller coaster and Europe's only double-launch coaster.
In 2017 yet another big rollercoaster was built - DrageKongen, the fastest and longest Family Suspended Coaster en Europe.
in 2019 Djurs Sommerland invested in Tigeren, Denmarks' biggest Gyro Swing. It also became Djurs Sommerlands fastest and highest rides in Djurs Sommerland's history.