Sunday, 31 July 2011


Phantasialand is another amazing themed park that I don't have much recollection of from the 2004 trip. I'm putting this down to the excessive amount of jagermeister that we consumed in the park hotel the night before.

We were allowed into the park before it opened to the public for some Exclusive Riding, the extent of which we did not know. We started the day with a request to acknowledge Gottlieb Loffelhardt's death with another 1 minutes silence. However we chose to celebrate his life with 1 minutes cheering and clapping instead, and it worked.

The park has a wonderful two-storey carousel at the end of it's Main St. equivalent.

The street itself is beautifully themed and compact and better themed than its Disney counterpart.

The first ERS was the new Dark Ride attraction. Maus in der Haus which you can translate quite easily I'm sure. (If you can't it's "Rodent Within the Confines of a Domestic Apartment").

The theming in the queue line is amazing, and theming is something that Phantasialand has in spades. The attention to detail is top-notch and wanting to avoid using too many superlatives and sounding like an X-Factor judge on final's night I'll just say it's very good.

The ride itself is a shooting game ride similar to Toy Story Midway attraction at those Disney Parks that has it, with a series of 3D screens into which you shoot and interact with via a gun on the cart. On this version of the ride you're shooting mice with a cream gun.

From the excellent start to the day the ERS was to continue with us being taken into the Winja Village to ride the two spinning indoor coasters there.

This attraction gave me bad memories from the last time I rode it where I stumbled in the exit path spraining my ankle and I had no choice but to sit the ERS out to recuperate Wolverine style. I was a little more careful this time and survived the ERS with ankles intact.

The rides are fun and whilst not strictly duelling, they do offer an exciting ride as you try to clock the other car.

Photography of the ride however is not easy due to the ride being enclosed and sunlight streaming down from a central window. Still, whilst others rode and rode, I tried to do what I could with the lighting challenges.

I also took the opportunity to dry some of my wet clothing by hanging it amongst the themed washing already in place. Can you see what items are mine?

A weird looking spin ride not far from the Winja Village. Even the catalogue rides are uniquely themed.

I hope these bird boxes are all occupied, I'm sure it would introduce an amazing community atmosphere to the local wildlife.

Mystery Castle is the parks indoor drop tower rides. Yes, that's correct indoor drop tower and plural noun. It works extremely well as you take part in a laboratory experiment that has you shooting up and down the castle walls whilst other participants do the same around you. However in 2011, I think the economic crisis had caused cuts to the experimentations as our ride program was way shorter than that in 2004 when the country was booming.

The mine train coaster is still one of the better ones out there, despite still having it's Michael Jackson moniker. The Shamone coaster (as those of us who rode it in 2004 labelled it) has 3 lift hills and a lengthy circuit. It used to have a really dark indoor section but over the years has gotten lighter, much like Michael Jackson's complexion.

The beautifully themed Chinese theatre, which if you take the time to walk into includes a Madhouse attraction. No not a budget clothes store, but one of those spinning illusion rides like Hex at Alton Towers. (That joke will likely only make sense to brits)

The cool waveswinger back at the end of Main Street. Unlike the ride at Chessington, these fountains don't get you wet.

I'd heard that there was a part of the park that had been themed to look like a popular Manchester club from the 1980s, but when I found the Hacienda I discovered it was nothing more than a Mexican restaurant. Ah well.

Now this is either a Chinese martial artist demonstrating his neck strength by using it to bend a spear, or it's Siamese twins joined at the umbilical cord. I'm not sure which .

Nice little touches that I didn't appreciate the last time I'd been here but since being to the Forbidden City in Beijing. These little animals adorn the temples out there too.

Heading into the African section now to ride the best coaster in the park.

Now I thought the idea of having kids play drums to the African musicians and singers was a great idea but I couldn't help but think that the park wouldn't put a white member of staff into this role. Is it racist or theming to put the black staff into the Africa section? I don't recall seeing any anywhere else in the park.

Despite sharing it's name with a sex toy Black Mamba is an excellent B&M Inverted coaster and I actually preferred the layout to Nemesis. I think we stayed on this ride for a good chunk of the afternoon.

The Africa section also has a really well themed (there I go again) Top Spin ride with fire effects.

Christian Farla is a ridiculous looking magician who has a show in the park that is actually not bad at all. The illusions were impressive despite me being able to figure most of it out. The park also gave us priority seating for this show so it gave some of us a good chance to meet up and relax. I think he's from the Netherlands and when he's not doing tricks here he's doing things like this.


and I thought I'd end the report with a view of the rather nondescript entrance to the park. It's located in the middle of the town and so doesn't get the benefit of a glitzy entrance like most parks. It's easy to miss if you're driving past.

Phantasialand is a stunning park and I think the hospitality they showed us here was second-to-none. In fact we'd gotten feedback from some of the German members that they'd never seen so much given to any coaster club before.

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