Astrid Lindgrens Värld (World), a small theme park in Vimmerby, Sweden, themed around the author’s tales such as Pippi Longstocking, reports an 18 per cent increase in attendance during its 110-day 2007 season.
Between May 16 and September 2, the number of visitors jumped to 425,000, up from 361,000 in 2006, itself a record year. Mikael Ahlerup, the park’s general manager, credits the jump in attendance primarily to the park’s investment in Vi På Saltkråkan, a unique dark ride from Sally Corporation (pictured), together with the additional emphasis on the work of Astrid Lindgren throughout the park.
“In my wildest fantasy, I did not imagine that we would have a summer like this,” Ahlerup says, “and a big part of that success was our decision to invest in Vi På Saltkråkan. To bring a new Astrid Lindgren story to the park and to do it in such a spectacular way has proven to be a very good decision.”
Vi På Saltkråkan takes visitors through scenes from a television series written by Lindgren, and first aired in the ‘60s. The series follows the adventures of a family who spend their holidays on Saltkråkan (Sea Crow Island). Filled with humour and delightful characters, it became an enduring success in its home country, and continues to be broadcast there to this day.
The ride built in its honour was officially opened on July 7 by one of the stars of the YV series, Louise Edlind-Friberg. In the ride she appears as both the young woman she was then and as she is today, reading her diary and narrating the story of the Melkerssons’ summertime adventures.
According to Ahlerup, because of the success of Saltkråkan and a new exhibit at Näs, the home of Astrid Lindgren, the decision has been made to keep the park open throughout September, and after that, on weekends under the name Playground Astrid Lindgrens Värld.