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  1. Hi one and all, I am just a lurker here really so you probably haven't seen me around before. I've recently returned from a trip I took to Phantasialand and have alot to share. It doesn't take much to make an impression to me, and I feel like the impression Phantasialand makes is incomparable. I hope, that it pretty quickly displays why it's my favourite park in the world. I'm not one for just concrete and thrills. The immersion this place delivers is un matched by anything I've experienced or seen. Everything feels so genuine and real. I'm gonna stop blabbing on and let the pictures do the talking for a bit. The park is breath taking. Unlike my home nations parks which seem to be descending steeply into decline, phantasia is maintained and propelled fantastically, with the recent addition of taron. The ride itself is very mediocre. The ride has some insane ejector, but that's it. It is one of the most unique steel's I've ridden, only comparable to woodies for me. I love Phantasialand because they openly admit they embody their rides into areas. They design the ride with the area in mind, not the other way round. There's no way the park would work if they worked the same way everyone else does. Their back to front attitude leads to some seriously immersive and breath taking theming. The reason why I love this park so much is because each area takes you 1000's of miles across the planet within the space of metres, and it does it convincingly too. This is my favourite theme park in the world, simply because it removes you from just that. It makes you a time & space traveller, like no where else can. ] thanks for reading (PS, my photo's don't do it justice. YOU HAVE TO VISIT!)
  2. 2016 has certainly been one of my best years for visiting new amazing parks, being lucky enough to visit Europa Park, Liseberg, Paultons Park and Drayton Manor (I suppose). This September though, things would become even more fantastic as I was to experience my first time. The first time I would be visiting Phantasialand. This is a park I've been wanting to visit now for a longtime, hearing how flawless the theming and attention to detail was here and the quality of the rides; at least most of them anyway. Berlin street is certainly a magical entrance into the park (at least once you escape the main road directly outside). Especially once you walk past the grand carousel and intricate street with themed food outlets whilst listening to upbeat dramatic orchestral music. It's almost like being in Disney. 2016 brings to the park a major new investment, Klugheim. A brand new themed area featuring two new roller coasters and two new food outlets. The headliner attraction of the new area is Taron. A multilaunch coaster from Intamin. Taron is certainly an amazing looking attraction and rides as good as she looks. From the momentum of the first launch to the twists and turns amongst moments of ejector airtime through the articulated rock work straight into that second launch. Taron may not quite be a Helix beater, but she is definitely a worthwhile addition to the park amongst it's tangled track, superb soundtrack right down to the brand new restraints which are significantly better to the Rita/Stealth ones. My only major criticism of the ride probably has to be the massive cattlepen, which resides at the back of the area and remains remarkably hidden. Raik is also a great junior boomerang and probably my favourite so far, putting Veloceraptor into a close second. The main eatery Rutmoore's Tavern is a great place to go for lunch too and serves some decent hearty meals. I had a pork knuckle meal served with salad and potatoes which was of very good quality. Certainly of the best park eateries I've visited and maybe only second to Polle's and Food Loop. Klugheim aside, there are plenty of other top quality attractions at Phantasialand. Including Chiapas, an amazing modern log flume with a steep drop, dark ride sections and superb theming. Nailed it! An amazing floor less topspin known as Talocan, which is almost like watching a show off-ride. Black Mamba, a superbly themed B&M invert which beats Inferno but Nemesis (on layout st least). Can't believe I didn't take any (poor) pictures of it. Colorado Adventure, a Vekoma mine train that features three lifts that never get boring. The forces from that twists and turns especially entering those tunnels is exhilarating to say the least. Safe to say my photography is not always acceptable. Winjas was a surprisingly good duel Maurer spinning coaster which features two tracks called Force and Fear. Fear was the favourite due to feeling longer as a whole. Maus Au Chocolate, an interactive dark ride where you shoot guns throughout different scenes trying to stop mice from infesting a chocolate factory. The smells were nice too and guns far better than those blocky things on Tomb Blaster. And no trip to Phantasialand would be complete without a ride on the classic River Quest. Honestly, these Rapids are crazy in the best way possible and make Rumba Rapids look like a slow carousel in comparison. Mystery Castle has to be one of the most mysterious rides in the park. This castle structure hides a number of massive drop towers which shoot up and down completely enclosed in the tower. David and I got the longer cycle (we believe) whilst Lou watched as she doesn't like drop towers. Better than Chessington. One of the park's older rides is Geister Riksha, a Chinese themed ghost train attraction. It is pretty dated in parts, but definitely upheld much charm throughout the ride. Amongst the great theming and rides alongside it, the park's shows should not be ignored. We decided to watch the Ice Show which featured a college style theme. The costumes and mixture of music made for a great watch. Especially when one of the dancers seems to resemble TPM's very own Liam-T. Whilst this place has so many good rides, it does have quite a share of not so good rides however, like this (supposed) splash battle, Wakobato. This ride is so close to houses, you may as well be in their back garden. Honestly, what's the point in this ride? You don't get wet, there's no scoring system, the theming is repetive. There is literally no point in this ride existing. The Hollywood tour certainly hasn't aged well as is very dated in places. The Wizard of OZ and Kong sections really look worn and creepy in some ways too. Feng Ju Palace (theming aside) may be the worst madhouse I've been on so far. What's the point of that pre-show? It was honestly just like watching a boring stretched out version of Street Fighter. And Nighthawk, was just strange in one of the dullest ways possible. Three lift hills going around in complete darkness. Only real positives were the station looked nice and the lift hill lights were acceptable. Final Thoughts Phantasialand is a truly magical and immersive park, adding plenty of intricate between the different areas, whether that be the African or Mystery areas. Klugheim is well and truly an amazing area and certainly one of the best themed areas in Europa (let alone 2016). Taron is an amazing attraction and certainly the new signature ride the park deserves. Of course like every park, there are down sides. For example some of the park's older rides are looking particularly worn and dated compared to it's recent stuff. Take Hollywood and Nighthawk for example, it almost feels a different park when you compare them to something like Chiapas or Maus Au Chocolate. However I've heard they are on the chopping block anyway. A nice modern dark ride or two and a modern dark ride coaster would fit this park perfectly. The final question-does it beat Europa Park? Phantasialand really did blow me away and is one of the most parks I have ever visited. Unfortunately though, it doesn't quite beat Europa Park (though it is close). Europa for me is such a vast sized park that there's literally tonnes of things to do yet feels very relaxed regardless of busyness. The complimenting themed areas and its updates to rides new and old may also help it greatly here. Europa are also pretty relaxed when it comes to safety, to the degree they don't check every ride and allow filming (if equipment is secure). At Phantasia, they are very strict on this, to the level where even Go Pros are banned on all rides including the likes of Maus Au Chocolate. As a result I was told off on the Hollywood ride, let alone a coaster. Rant aside, it's a minor set back, but at the end of the day I go to parks to get immersed and enjoy rides. Not make POVS or YouTube hits (even if it seems like it). To wrap this up, Phantasialand is a park everyone needs to visit. It has some greats rides and theming and is pretty easy to get too as well from Cologne Bonn Airport. Two days should be enough for most, but it could be stretched to three quite easily. Favourite ride of the trip. Taron of course.
  3. Germany trip - Part 3/3 From 19th May to 25th May 2016 With Loose Steele Bluth Parks visited: Hansa Park, Heide Park, Phantasialand **Photos to be added at a later date** See parts 1 and 2 for Hansa Park and Heide Park Days 4, 5, and beginning of 6 were spent at Phantasialand General points ⁃ Park open 9-6 (Rides open either 9:30 or 10, and queues close at 17:45) ⁃ All rides were walk-on during the visit, so I won’t review rides in any particular order ⁃ Stayed in Hotel Ling Bao which was beautiful, although because it was quiet there was little dining choice (unless you love expensive buffets!) in either hotel after park close ⁃ The park was smaller than I expected, and incredibly themed to Disney standards (Better than DLRP probably ha!) ⁃ Good ride reliability! Saw Chiapas down once and the Mine Train was closed in the afternoon due to wet weather on the first day, but otherwise I don't think I saw a ride down Kulgheim As I’ve stated in the Phantasialand topic, this area is beautiful and looks so incredibly ready to open, but there are many buildings hidden away that are in the process of being built. The fact is the area is incomplete and having built two attractions which interplay with theming and landscaping so much, Phantasialand have been extremely clever to test that the actual rides work before completely closing up the area with restaurants etc. Nothing worse than building an entire land and a rollercoaster needing to be ripped out of it to be repaired before opening. Didn't take pictures of the area as a load of higher quality ones have been posted on the forums before. Anyway onto the other rides - I will do a short review of rides as it seems to be a well-visited park Black Mamba It's like Phantasialand saw Nemesis and were like 'we want a terrain-y inverted B&M too'. First ride on it, I was incredibly impressed by the theming and winding queue line through Africa, with plenty of views of the coaster itself. The ride itself underwhelmed me a little, I think I expected something more from it, as I had heard such good things before riding. A second ride later in the day on the back row showed that it maybe just needed some warm up time; being dragged round the first drop/turn and into the loop was incredible. Whilst the helixes towards the end of the ride bored me on my first run, I was disorientated and felt a lot of force on them the second time. Overall incredibly well themed, and a lovely B&M invert! Wing's Fear and Force So even after RCDBing these maurer spinning coasters a long time ago, I had luckily forgotten any of their surprises before riding them. First ride was on fear facing backwards SPOILERS Fear - Facing backwards was just incredible; the surprise of the elevator lift hill tilting before being released straight into an airtime hill just had me laughing from the get-go. The visually stunning aspect of the ride is an interacting segment of wild-mouse sharp turns and circles around a ride in the middle of a central hall; this leaves you disorientated (spinning coaster eyyyyy) and too distracted to think what's coming next. Brake-run into immelman and then onto a trick-track section. Even when you think the ride is over there is a hinge-drop track. It is just a ride that is full of elements which make it a truly interesting and disorientating experience without being overly gimmicky (because these are all hidden). I am a massive fan of spinning coasters, so that probably makes me rate them a lot. Force - Disappointing compared to its sister coaster, force does not seem as forceful or long, although I preferred the trick-track element on this side. Once again it's a ride full of surprises during the first ride, and Not ashamed to say these were the most re-rided of any ride on our visit, I just fell in love Temple of the Nighthawk Having read about the past of this ride, it's just so difficult to see why it was ever turned into a jungle-themed ride which just meant the stripping of theming throughout. The ride is just dull and long, but I'm sure for the younger among us is pretty terrifying flying through the dark. Hollywood Boat Ride Guilty pleasure of the trip - The first drop and Frankenstein scenes were particular highlights Maus Au Chocolate Having been on Toy Story Mania, I was interested to see how this would compare. One thing which is welcome change was the amount of physical sets in between the 3D shooting show scenes, as TSM is mostly black space, although I understand they are stylised differently, it was nice that the ride had a backstory as to the need to shoot the mice who have run amuck in a bakery! The guns were a little temperamental at times, but I did really enjoy this ride, and the chocolate smell which is pumped into it. River Quest Oh my god what is this ride, you literally get so wet and almost fall out of the boat. I understand the need for the 1.4m height restriction... Mystery Castle Even though the park was dead, there were 2 actors roaming the queue line at most times and scared me always. First time I thought they were animatronics as they repeated a small sequence of movements, then they would lunge at the un-expecting! The ride was just hilarious, I was shocked at the sheer force of the ascent to the top, and the two cycles which were used almost at random were just as confusing. It's kind of easy to see why there aren't any more Intamin Bungee drops in the world, but I did really enjoy it, and the first bounce is always quite forceful. Talocan Prime example of what theming a ride can accomplish. Talocan is a top-spin, and yet the most incredible ride in the park. Fire, water, music, and timing creates a visually stunning but also intense ride experience. Loading soundtrack also got stuck in my head, another IMAScore success. Chiapas! Phantasialand was first on my radar since the construction of this beast of a log flume. Intamin has basically redesigned the classic log flume with faster lift hills, quick forwards-backwards transitions, and steep coaster-like drops. Not much I want to say except that the music was catchy and got stuck in my head as early as the second ride. It is well-paced flume ride with good theming, music, drops, and a disco room. Only negative would have to be the boats, as I managed to get some incredible leg cramp which made the ride hard to enjoy. I also suffer problems getting in and out of the boats on Dudley-Do-Right's RipSaw Falls, so this may be a personal problem rather than anything else. It was all the hype. More Went to the Ice Show, but as with Europa Park's entertainment I don't really 'get it'. It wasn't even in german, but the whole story was about a girl who was hated in high school until she got a make-over from the popular kids - Are we not past this kind of awful storyline by now? Mine train was great, Feng Ju Palace (Vekoma Madhouse) was terrible, The chinese-themed ghost train was hilarious, and I'm sure there's more to talk about... The park was just incredibly well themed, the attractions were very re-ridable, and I hope Taron and Raik follow on from the park's other attractions.
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