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3 days at Phantasialand - Day ???: Somehow, forgetfulness

Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
Been wanting to go to Phantasialand for four years, and for all of 2023 I had every opportunity in the world to go, but just for some reason had it nearer the bottom of the priority list. For every wacky worm I rode on my quest for United Kompletion, the louder the echos of "GO TO PHANTASIALAND" became. For the beginning of January 2024, I had a Netherlands trip planned where I had two days at Efteling and one day at Toverland planned out. In a coaster group chat I contemplated replacing one of the Efteling days with Duinrell, primarily to ride Waterspin, until I got yet another loud request to just god damn go to Phantasialand instead. Ten minutes later, tickets for Hotel Charles Lindbergh and flights to Cologne were booked. Now or never.

So I flew smoothly from Stansted to Köln Bonn Flughafen, before grabbing a (slightly delayed) Deutsche Bahn train to Brühl with a change at Köln. And just outside Brühl train station was the Brühl bus station coupled with about five hundred others all with the same destination in mind. We had a quick double-check on Google to see when the PHL Express would be running, Google said 10.23, we said ok. 8 minutes before its scheduled arrival one of us decided to cross the road and take photos of the nearby UNESCO building, where a loved-up couple passing by asked them to take photos of them in front of the building. At this exact moment, the bus arrived as a grey van hid the bus from their view. I ran across to alert them.

An absolute sea of people all trying to get on, zero regard for personal space or queuing (obviously, I did the same). Just like the Underground, fight for your life to get on. Seconds before boarding, our efforts were in vain, wait for the nächster Bus.

Next bus wasn't for either 30 or 60 minutes. Couple taxis were sitting outside. "How much for Phantasialand?" 22 euro. Got in.
Wasn't a good sign of things to come with crowds when we saw the ocean of heads at the bus stop, also wasn't a good sign when Mr. taxi driver started commenting on how many cars there were. It was a sign of extreme crowds, but we move into the Charles Lindbergh hotel.

Caught my first ever glimpse of FLY in real life walking through the entryway, made our presence known, come back at 3.30 and have some FLY fast tracks. Rides weren't open yet so walked up the stairs to get the ever-famous photos from those angles, and while this is nothing new, it feels good saying "I took this photo on MY camera".

Enough faffing, let's go #248 FLYing, the queue of which had already built up significantly.

The (Charles Lindbergh) fast track queue starts by walking down one of two staircases into a room where you get your wristband into a mandatory locker and put everything, absolutely everything, into it. Yeah. These fast tracks are powerful, but only had six (now five) - one provided per person for each day, all given to you when you make your presence known. The person I was with didn't want to ride due to the sheer length of the coaster, so the rest went to me.

Had so much in my pockets the whole damn jacket just went in the locker. And with my only possession now being a wristband, it was now time to embark on what the Airrail Company had to offer to me. The room goes from orange to blue, and off we go into a little dark ride section. You whizz past some scenes, adverts for Rookburgh aerial equipment, past some sort of aircraft docking place, then the seat rotates and off you go.

The whole thing is a super smooth if not very intense experience, and airtime on a flying coaster is a fantastic feeling but sadly it's difficult to get room between you and the restraint for that to be consistently effective. I really didn't have much to say about the ride experience after just one go, and almost refused to have a formed opinion on it because I just... did not know what to say about the ride. All I knew was "I'm on FLY", "Rookburgh is utterly beautiful" and "looking up still gives the same neck problem that I know Galactica for but unlike that ride looking down was perfectly fine".

Head empty, not sure what to think of it, I'll come back later.

Entering Klugheim now, for #249 Taron which I was so excited to ride. It had a stupid queue of over an hour, so I entered single rider queue (which also had a stupid queue of over an hour and in fact was slightly longer than the main queue's time). But else, I was on and oh it felt so good to finally hear that dispatch music in-person, and hear the "BRRRRT" of those ever-famous launch sounds, and being surrounded by rocks, in a trench, and being on some massive double-launch Intamin coaster, etc etc etc.

And yes, it's quite intense, but certainly has a couple moments of 'waiting for the next bit to happen' but for every one of those moments, there's about 10 other moments of insanity with beautiful lateral whips when you twist from left to right and vice versa. There's some very well-executed near miss moments that really did cause me to throw my hands down for a bit, and we're only in the first half.

The second half throws you harder and further as the train literally vibrates from the power of the LSM launch. After a couple twists you're tossed into a brutal overbanked turn that dives down into yet more chaos, into some twists and more twists. A notable trim signifies the ending of the ride, but thankfully it ends on a high as the hill after provides some good air with a positive-heavy ending.

At some point on the second half of the ride I had that "I'm on Taron" feeling like with FLY, but this time it was far more of a "Oh my Word I'm on TARON!!!" feeling, a feeling I've never really gotten on any other ride before. We hit the brakes, that ride was good. Wasn't sure if it was a Helix beater, I decided Helix was better. Taron and FLY sit nicely next to each other, and that was it for now.

For this visit I was going by "what do I want to ride the most first?" rather than "get all the creds!" and I think this was the way. For this reason, Chiapas - DIE Wasserbahn was next, a log flume in winter with practically zero queue (not a surprise). It was an awesome log flume, and predictably one of my new favourites. I'm still doubting myself on whether I enjoy it more than Flumeride, but I think Flumeride gets extra unfair points because I think I'm holding some sort of sentimental value towards it.

But something I noticed is that with Chiapas, the drop almost feels like a bit of an afterthought compared to other flumes that we're oh so used to back in the UK. In my home country you spend the whole water ride anticipating the big finale drop. It's constantly in view, it's the only thing you're ever allowed to look at, it's permanently in view all the time and there's nothing you can do about it. Tidal wave (Thorpe), Log flume (Great Yarmouth), Stormforce 10, Supersplash (Tusenfryd) just to name a few. But with Chiapas, the huge massive drop is something that you never see on-ride until you're going down it. The fun, playful theming with its upbeat tunes makes sure to distract you from its 3 big drops and I love it to bits. And it made me realise how I didn't realise how much theming adds to a water ride. You completely forget about the drops (I did), because you're just taking in the visually pleasing surroundings instead.

And the drops were great too. We're now 3 for 3 on rides that have the UK sitting painfully embarrassed, can we make a fourth with Talocan? Spoilers, yes.

I LOVE TOP SPINS!!!!!!!! That's it. That's what I'm going to say. Top spins are by far my favourite type of flat ride. Ever. I love them to bits. Talocan specifically has some utterly stupid intensity going on with its flips, combined with the backdrop, water effects and fire effects and simply banging soundtrack. It feels so, so complete as a ride just like literally everything else here. I still miss Rameses Revenge to bits even if its cycle was a little lacklustre compared to this, Avenger was great in the meantime but didn't have the raw power of genuine Huss, and skipping Blast at Walibi Holland due to going too hard with Untamed had me kicking myself, so this top spin fix was much-needed.

Big, big, big fan of Talocan and I still long for a more local top spin to pop back up as I stay excited for whatever my next one will be. We're now 4 for 4 on rides that have the UK sitting painfully embarrassed, can we make a fifth with #250 Black Mamba? Spoilers.... yes.

But before Black Mamba, we checked into our room to find out that the heating wasn't working. A call was made with a technician who came to our cabin and told us yeah, we've been having trouble with this room, here's a plug-in heater that'll get the job well done for you. This served its purpose pretty well, until a few minutes later another call was made. It was from the hotel check-in desk. They were saying about a last-second cancellation of a room whose heating works, do you want to move to that cabin and have better views of Rookburgh because we're extremely nice people who love everyone? Yes, yes, of course. We'll come back in a little. Now, back to Black.

I went into Black Mamba thinking it'd be a lower tier invert because apparently it rattles and has no forces and the corkscrews having no 'snap' to them takes away from them way too much for the ride to be properly fun? No, wrong, the entire ride goes hard the whole way through. After being oh so used to Nemesis Inferno not doing anything to me on my recent Thorpe visits, I was surprised to see this punch on every element the whole way through, with even the drop and the loop wowing me. The zero g roll was awesome too, and while you definitely really notice how the corkscrews don't have that snap to them, I'm able to look past it. Then the helices happen, and these have some real force to them which ends the ride out with a bang.

Black Mamba is a fantastic terrain invert, and has earned the top spot of my favourite roller coaster by B&M. We're now 5 for 5 on rides that have the UK sitting painfully embarrassed, can we make a sixth with #251 Colorado Adventure? Spoilers........ yes.

But before Colorado, this was our time to make the move into our new room where we were given the key to our new room and showed exactly where it was by extremely nice people who loved everyone. Just before we made the move, suddenly Puls von Rookburgh was happening and we had that epic high-level view of it... but after that was done, back to Colorado.

Seriously, yet another hit. Colorado Adventure doesn't even have any UK competition, and the best it has is some powered mine train. We were fooled into thinking this ride had assigned seating, but was the only coaster of the trip where we were able to pick our own rows (outside of separate queues for the very front on Taron & FLY). We just knew to go for the back, and this turned Colorado Adventure into from a silly mine train into something truly special. You get yanked over the lifts and over all of the hills, and with it now being much darker outside you truly had no idea where you were going. It was truly chaotic, and bundles of fun.

It was almost time for our dinner reservation, but there's always time for one more ride on FLY. I still think this is a remarkably difficult coaster to talk about, I still don't really have the words to say about it. Somebody said that you get used to FLY after about four rides on it, and multiple people shared that view, so I wasn't going to worry about it. However, I will say that this night ride was beautiful. I got that feeling of "true immersion" that I've only ever experienced on two other rides, where I genuinely questioned if I was even at a theme park. It's a feeling that simply captivates you, and it briefly becomes the only thought in your head. It's an unreal feeling every time it happens, and I always welcome it when it comes along.

After that, we had a stellar three-course meal, where we were invited to just... wander around Rookburgh freely after the area had closed to non-hotel guests. Obviously FLY was closed, but being able to simply walk around with the music going on in the background was a surreal feeling that I loved so much. At around 10pm the music cuts, leaving you to walk around in complete silence. Just you, a few others, and the huge structures of Rookburgh. I don't know who came up with the idea, but I thank them so much for it.

Then it was lights out back in the cabin, where we slept like an aeronaut. Impressed with what we got done for being on four hours of sleep, I guess we stayed alive based off pure adrenaline alone from the simple idea of being at Phantasialand. Be back tomorrow.
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Hyper Poster
It’s great to read about you getting to these places @Rob Coasters - you’re really getting a good selection under your belt now!!! :cool:

What a ~year it’s been for you 💪

I’m looking forward to that Energylandia blog already ;)

… maybe even Cedar Point? Make it happen!

Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
Woke up at stupid o clock in the morning the next day in order to appreciate the sunrise views which... did not happen.

After that failure we had an excellent quality breakfast and started the day with a front row ride on FLY. I didn't find front row to be awfully different from the other rows I'd tried, and for the time being had absolutely no preference on what row I preferred. After my front row ride, I used another fast track for a ride immediately after as the queue had built up.

I'm still a little lost for words on the whole ride and can't really explain why I like it so much. Time for a ramble.
In my eyes, one of the most important things in the roller coaster community is the ability to justify why you think something. If you're able to do this, then you can have the most 'out there' opinion in the world, and as long as you're able to say why you think that way, then I can say 'yeah, sure, I believe you'. If you sat me down and told me why Ice Mountain hands Ride to Happiness's arse on a silver plate well enough, I might leave that conversation thinking "huh, he might be onto something". And that's the magic of roller coasters.
But FLY is a complex mechanism. FLY basically goes against everything I like in a coaster (provide an out of control experience; FLY's experience is very controlled) and it lands in my top ten. But why? Why do I like FLY so much? I can't think of a straight answer other than...

...the vibes. FLY is a vibe. Simply put, it's vibes. I like being on it, I like looking at it, I like being in its presence. Can that be enough reason for a ride to be one of my all-time favourites?

Writing about this ride is extremely difficult for me. Time to cred up the rest of the park.

Colorado Adventure is a fantastic mine train, and has earned a rightly spot in my top twenty. We're now 6 for 6 on rides that have the UK sitting painfully embarrassed, can we make a seventh with #252 Winja's Fear?


This spinner had a characteristic thump that I was all too familiar with after my most recent ride on Dragon's Fury back in Chessington. That ride made me forget its incredible, versatile layout and only allowed me to focus on the headache I was getting from its unorthodox tracking. Today I realise this trait isn't exclusive to that ride.

Winja's Fear has some quirky tricks to it, starting with a funky elevator lift into some quick drops & turns with the thump being very present. We come into a hairpin section, and when you're duelling the other side it really feels like a mirror being held up to you. The iconic helix happens, then a wicked banked turn before we're in darkness as we come through the second trick. The second trick is a tilt track. While I'm sure it's a cool visual spectacle from offride, I didn't gain much from it other than "we're looking down, and now we're looking up". Some more layout, then the brakes before my favourite trick and one that's never mentioned - a quick jump as the track rapidly does a short bounce as we're still moving. I thought this was very funny.

Winja's Fear has a fantastic ride hidden under its headache-inducing track-manoeuvring skills. How does #253 Winja's Force hold up?

Much smoother, but much worse layout ending much faster and doing much less (while still having the three tricks). So Fear has the superior layout but makes my head go ow. Force doesn't do that, but the layout leaves a lot to be desired. I prefer Fear, but not by the landslide that other people hold it by.

Three indoor coasters in a row, it's time for #254 Crazy Bats my first ever virtual reality roller coaster. You definitely know that this is... older Phantasialand, but is it still good?
The virtual reality shows that these bats really are crazy I guess but I'm not sold on the whole virtual reality on a roller coaster thing. It makes the multi million euro technology of a theme park attraction feel like a two pound arcade machine - seriously, that's exactly what it feels like. It's fun, yes, but the missed potential of just having physical theming props is quite there.

I will say the ending is great though. If you know you know, if you don't it's revealed through a mirror that you're a girl bat with long blonde hair. The crazy bats featured throughout the film go insane trying to give you all the gifts in the world, they get rejected, ride's over mate go outside.

Didn't love it didn't hate it. It very much exists as a roller coaster. This park has better rides.

#255 Raik followed, and what I thought was going to be another run-of-the-mill +1 honestly ended up being a very enjoyable family boomerang. Had a lot of fun on it.

Taron next. And this time the line was at around 45 minutes, yet single rider was almost walk-on. Putting two and two together, it took me a while to tear myself away from this ride. The relentlessness of this coaster is insane, and it truly feels like every sequential ride on this thing feels like it just keeps on getting better. I can forgive its few moments that miss the mark, because there's oh so much that goes on with the ride and oh so many highlights. The airtime, the positives, the lateral snaps, the vibrations from the power of the second launch, the simple sound of it. Taron is getting dangerously good, and I'll be back for it later in the day.

Uhhhh, Mystery Castle wasn't very good. I was expecting a lot more of it, but it really wasn't much more than "shot & drop tower in the dark". I tend to be a huge fan of these types of rides, but this one went on forever and wasn't hitting at all. Some effects in the tower would have been nice, but this is the first true dud of the trip. And I may be flamed for this, but I don't find the building very attractive visually either. I'd like to see improvements with this ride.

Chiapas - DIE Wasserbahn was next, and great company with a water ride massively ups your enjoyment of it. We had some extremely passionate Germans behind us who were loving every second of this ride, and we were too. It was great, truly great.

And another lap of the incredible Talocan, of course. Just as forceful as ever.

And a return to Black Mamba where I got two more rides in. You can really feel the lack of a snap in the corkscrews which is very not like this manufacturer, they very clearly are missing it, but thankfully the rest of the ride is simply put awesome.

Well, it's black out. It's Taron time. And to say that it's sped up over the course of the day would be an understatement. This ride has become utter chaos. Apparently there was someone screaming "WHAT THE F**K! WHAT THE F**K!" throughout the entire course of my ride further back in the train, and I understand their feelings. It was showing no mercy. It's better than Helix. And then I rode it again.

It's getting worryingly good. It's better than Storm. And then I rode it again. And it kept getting faster, as the night kept getting darker, as I gained less of a clue where I was going. My hands started to freeze up as we hit the brakes from them being in the ice cold air so much at such high speeds.

And eventually, I hit the brakes and I had decided "this is better than The Ride to Happiness". There's one more hurdle now, and it keeps getting better.... I rode it again...
...and right there and then, I hit the brakes with tears in my eyes. Hands absolutely frozen solid, taking minutes to type one sentence on my phone. The message being "it's better than Untamed". Yes, Taron is my new favourite roller coaster.

It may have a couple spots where you wait for the next bit to happen, but the highlights are so overwhelmingly good that you can just forget about those. The airtime that throws you so hard out of your seat, the positives so strong I cannot keep my hands up, the laterals so snappy I become a right angle on most turns. The darkness, the launches of red, the soundtrack, the near misses, the waterfall, the everything about it. Soon enough I'll be the one shouting "WHAT THE F**K!" across the course of the coaster. Its speed is unreal, and from offride it looks alien how fast it goes.

There were fireworks (unfortunately it paused operation during them), then I rode it some more until we were forced away by our dinner reservation. Just like FLY it's impossible to put into words just how much better this roller coaster gets from daylight to night time.

We had a look around beautiful Berlin at night, had our dinner, then it was time for the nightly wander around the empty Rookburgh area coupled by just a few other people which was really the best possible way of ending out the 'big day'.

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My 50something previous trip reports couldn't prepare me enough for this park, and especially Taron and FLY. These rides are sensory overload in the best ways possible, and I hope you can forgive me for my struggles.


Hyper Poster
Did you get to ride Mystery Castle in the morning? There are two different cycles.

The morning cycle is much shorter and much better, IMO - it accelerates up (which was a bit of a shock as I had no idea) and drops down, can’t be much more than a minute in duration. The longer cycle sort of faffs around not really adding anything.

Also, I think I need to get a night ride on Taron. Everyone who rates it highly seems to emphasises the night rides - I’ve been to the park 3 times and it’s never exceeded the ‘good’ category for me… but I’ve never had a night ride either. Steel Vengeance only took the top spot for me because of night rides and the insane ‘through the structure’ visuals, so I’m open to the night rides changing my mind.
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Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
Did you get to ride Mystery Castle in the morning? There are two different cycles.

The morning cycle is much shorter and much better, IMO - it accelerates up (which was a bit of a shock as I had no idea) and drops down, can’t be much more than a minute in duration. The longer cycle sort of faffs around not really adding anything.

Also, I think I need to get a night ride on Taron. Everyone who rates it highly seems to emphasises the night rides - I’ve been to the park 3 times and it’s never exceeded the ‘good’ category for me… but I’ve never had a night ride either. Steel Vengeance only took the top spot for me because of night rides and the insane ‘through the structure’ visuals, so I’m open to the night rides changing my mind.
I rode mystery castle once at around 4pm and got the longer cycle!

also yes - I am not alone in thinking Taron at day and Taron at night are two completely different rides. It checks out that the people I know who find it overrated rode it in the summer and not during winter!


Roller Poster
Nice trip report and congrats on your new number #1.
Nightrides on F.L.Y. and Taron are always something special for me. I can travel the world and visit as many parks as I want, but coming "home" to Phantasialand during Wintertraum and getting on both of these nightrides is always my highlight of the year.

Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
Our final day begun with yet another quality breakfast, and we had four rides on our to-do list before making an early exit for some city exploring in Koln before making our way to the airport. 4 FLY fast tracks were still in my inventory, and as the person I was with was still hesitant to ride due to its length, all of them were mine.
It had started snowing on this morning, which gave me a forever-elusive snow ride on a roller coaster, my first ever. The snow was there, but wasn't significant enough to actually affect the ride, plus the fact that the trains were suspended below the track, so didn't actually affect anything, but the novelty was nice.

The great @Matt N had made an excellent thread about my FLY opinions, and me and him are interested to see if anyone else is unable to put their finger on why exactly they like a specific ride. I can safely say that after my four almost-consecutive rides, I still cannot form a proper opinion on this ride. I have eight rides stacked up on this thing and if you asked me for my thoughts I'd say "I like being on it, I like being around it, not sure why, not sure what else to say. It's my sixth favourite roller coaster ever out of two hundred and fifty five". FLY, you are a confusing kind of beast, and I love you.

Ride two on our to-do list was none other than Geister Ricksha. This omnimover-type dark ride... isn't... good... but passed the time for a bit.

Ride three on our to-do list was one more ride on Colorado Adventure, again in the back row. This time was running a little slower than our wacky cartoonish night ride back on day one, but it was still good fun.

And ending the day, of course, with one final ride on the awesome Talocan.
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And that wrapped up Phantasialand as we bought most of the stuff in the merch store, waited out for the shuttle bus, then took the train out to Koln Hbf. If you couldn't tell, Phantasialand is by far my new favourite theme park. Some extremely high quality food - some of the best I've ever had in a park, the best theming I've seen in a park, my favourite roller coaster, my favourite flat ride, my second favourite water ride. The dark rides, they need some work, but everything else has created a thunderous shake-up in all of my other rankings. There's a few notables that we never had the time for such as Adventure Trail, Hotel Tartuff & Feng Ju Palace (Feng Ju Palace was actively skipped and I have no excuse for skipping the other two). But you just know that I will return here.

All of the city exploring that we did in Koln was looking at the 500ft cathedral which is an eye-wateringly tall height, stumbled across members of the local church publicly reciting hymns of some sort, then returned to the airport.

And that's that.

Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
Day ???: Wait

Hold the phone for a second. Re-reading through this, something isn't right. Something feels... missing.

That's right. I've forgotten to document one of the rides I did.

So Maus au Chocolat gets its own post.

It's a super fun shooting dark ride, with a unique shooting mechanism that can most certainly be likened to... certain movements, if in the hands of a certain funnyman. The general ride is quite whimsical, the kind of ride where nothing else matters for four minutes, just shoot the everloving hell out of some mice who want to steal all of the chocolate you have. The "DREI, ZWEI, EIN!!!!" before the ride transitions into the next scene was memorable and fun (low bar?).

I do get that it gets a little repetitive near the end, for the last couple scenes I was thinking 'another one?' but I always respect when you get some worth out of your wait time.

It's no Kinetorium, but still ultimately a decently enjoyable shooting dark ride.

Is there anything else that I forgot?