We ventured back to what’s perhaps Germany’s most impressive theme park: Phantasialand. Home to highly-detailed multi-level themed worlds in a rather small concise park. Let’s take a tour around Phantasialand and see how our impressions have changed since our previous visits.
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There’s no denying that Phantasialand is one of the prettiest parks around. This isn’t usually due to natural beauty as world-building is the main gig for the park. However, the China area has some beautiful mature foliage.
Let’s head over to the Africa section of the park, home to the 2006 B&M Inverted Coaster: Black Mamba. This Inverted Coaster just hits different. We remember liking it a lot on our last visit, but it really stood out this visit to us as one of the best coasters in the World. The ride has some amazing pacing, incredible theming and integration, and is an overall very satisfying experience. In a park that’s home to rides like Taron and F.L.Y., it’s nice to have a headliner with quite some foliage as part of the ride’s theming and landscaping. While there are several great queues at Phantasialand, Black Mamba‘s really stood out this time for us.
New for us on this visit was Crazy Bats, the third incarnation of the Space Center/ Temple of the Nighthawk Vekoma coaster. While it wasn’t on the priority list for the day as we’d ridden it as Temple of the Nighthawk before, the queue was decently short and we suddenly had the urge to reride the coaster we dub as “Temple of the Lift Hill”. This coaster is 1175m long and features three lift hills. The coaster easily operates three trains while having a decent wait between trains entering the station, it’s that long. However, the ride really doesn’t do much. They took of the VR due to COVID-19 restrictions and now the ride is experienced in pitch darkness. Having said that, we actually enjoy the ride. The layout is unpredictable and the pacing is pretty solid. There aren’t too many forces but at least the ride is lengthy. The coaster runs like a dream and to be fair, instead of it being demolished, I would love for Phantasialand to keep it but add an insane amount of theming inside the show building to bring it to the standard of their more recent coasters.
While the park’s Big-3 new coasters usually take the coaster enthusiasts attention, we must give a shoutout to Colorado Adventure, which may easily be considered the best mine train on Earth. This 3-lift hill Vekoma Mine Train is integrated with Chiapas (water ride) and features several different spaghetti-bowl sessions, gorgeous theming and rockwork, and has some solid forces. For Alex and I personally we consider it a Top 3 ride at the park. It was even better than we remember from previous visits.
Phantasialand is one of those parks where best-in-class rides are the norm. Colorado Adventure, Winjas Fear & Force, Taron, Black Mamba, F.L.Y. are all considered by some to be the best coasters of their type. Chiapas is no exception to this rule. Chiapas is themed to the Mexican region with which it shares a name, and is a marvelous high-end Intamin flume with a lengthy layout featuring backwards drops, switch tracks and a spectacular finale. Don’t ask me exactly how the layout is configured because that is a mystery. The rockwork, theming, soundtrack, and overall ride experience are top-notch. On this trip we walked through and around the ride (public midway that was closed last visit) and it made us appreciate the ride even more.
Taron is perhaps the reason most enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to Phantasialand nowadays, but to be fair, Taron did not amaze me the way it had in the past. I must admit the presentation, integration and overall aesthetic of the ride is absolutely magnificent, but the ride experience itself is not entirely my gig. I love a coaster with some variation and I feel like Taron‘s layout, while handsome, lacks variation. Filled with decent airtime and lateral transitions, the ride doesn’t have any other highlight elements. The launches are solid but I just crave an inversion in a ride as long as Taron. Admittedly this opinion has grown even stronger ever since Universal Orlando Resort’s Jurassic World: VelociCoaster has opened, which has a much more varied lineup of elements including inversions, airtime, drops, and similar theming. Having said that, there truly are no terrible rides at this park. Taron is still one of the most impressive launch coasters ever built.
On to Phantasialand’s newest World-class addition, the Vekoma custom flying coaster, especially pioneered for the park: F.L.Y.. The new-for-2020 coaster is located in a new themed land named Rookburgh, which is one of the most impressively laid out themed lands in the World. The area is home to a hotel, a candy shop, and a dine-in restaurant. They still managed to also weave a giant queue through the land. Typical Phantasialand magic! – As for F.L.Y. itself, it’s a lengthy coaster with a revolutionary boarding process where guests board the seat directly in front of them, then the seats and track will rotate 90 degrees post-dispatch. F.L.Y. is also the World’s first launched flying coaster, adding to the immense thrill.
Speaking of the Berlin area, we finished our evening with the park’s amazing ice cream at the park’s center plaza, which is one of our all-time favorite theme park snacks.
Visiting Phantasialand is always a pleasure, and despite the heavy crowds and longer-than-usual wait times, we still got all coasters in and got some rerides on the favorites. We’re already looking forward to our next visit. Phantasialand truly has the best of the best, all crammed into a small park. It’s impressive, and while I am sure it’s already on everyone’s to-visit list, it truly should be.