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Bobbejaanland and Phantasialand (Aug/Sep 2016)

witchfinder

Member
My wife and I recently spent a week in Belgium, which allowed us to visit a couple of theme parks amongst other activities. Please excuse the mixed quality of photos - a combination of camera phone and 'proper' camera!

First up was Bobbejaanland on Monday 29th August. We travelled up from Brussels, which should’ve been an easy journey of just over an hour, but Sat Nav problems, crap traffic in Brussels and an unexpected rainstorm meant it was 45 minutes after opening time when we finally arrived. Our hope was that a weekday visit would mean less of a crowd, but one look at the entrance plaza dashed those hopes...



Luckily we had pre-booked tickets so didn’t have to wait too long to get in, so once we got through the gates we headed straight to the back of the park to ride Dream Catcher.



This was the ride my wife most wanted to try, as she loves Vampire at Chessington. We queued about 40 minutes, though when we joined the queue we had no idea how long it was due to the lack of info signs, and finally got on fairly near the front. And it was 'meh' really! Mostly just a load of helixes as you make your way back down to the station with a green lake below you. The swinging cars are a fairly unique touch but otherwise this isn’t much different to the more modern Vekoma SFCs. It sure could do with a clean-up or a new paint job too!





Next we walked around the lake in an anti-clockwise direction, passing the sadly closed Oki Doki, which looked like one of the best coasters in the park...



...and ended up at Bob Express, the park’s powered mine train coaster. There was about a 20 minute queue for this, which was better than expected. For the first time ever riding one of these types of coaster, I go to ride on the front row and sit in the train!



This one has a good layout that goes out over the lake and interacts with the adjacent log flume, and picks up a nice bit of pace on the final helix before the station. So I’d say it’s as good as the one at Alton Towers and better than the average powered family coaster.






Next we rode that log flume I mentioned (one of two at this park) which had an important warning about not using mobile phones from the 1990s... :--D



The ride itself was a typical 80s log flume, nothing spectacular but with just the right amount of splashing on a hot day.

Continuing our walk around the lake, but skipping a couple of rides for now, we ended up at Typhoon, the biggest and most thrilling coaster at the park. The queue had diminished to less than ten minutes (probably because it was lunchtime) so I took advantage of this. The missus skipped this one as she doesn’t like loops and is intimidated by the vertical lift hill!



It wasn’t too bad. A bit rough in places but I enjoyed it. I can’t explain why, but I do love the vertical hill/beyond vertical drop/loop combo on these Euro-Fighters. More from a standing and watching perspective than actually riding though.





Next up was lunch. Most places had huge queues but we found that the Desperado Grill has just opened, serving hot dogs with some nice German bratwursts in them. Add curry sauce and a beer for 6 Euros all-in and I’d say that’s pretty decent theme park food!



After lunch we did the rapids, which again didn’t get us too wet but had a fun layout – this was my first rapids with a whirlpool element which I thought was great.





Riding the rapids was also as close as I got to Speedy Bob, the park’s wild mouse coaster. Just didn’t have the time or inclination to ride this one given how busy the park was.



We then headed down to start queuing for Mount Mara, the VR coaster conversion of Revolution. As with all the rides in the park, there’s no indication of how long the waiting time was but we overheard somebody saying they’d waited over 2 hours (at least we thought that’s what they were saying in Dutch!) so we abandoned that idea. We did however notice that there was another queue for Revolution. It turns out they only run half of the ride’s massive train with VR on it, but more on that later...

Instead we tried the other ride in the same building as Revolution, Banana Battle. This was my first experience of a splash battle ride and we certainly got wet!





Fun ride though, but I wouldn’t do it on a cool day. Luckily the sun was out so we dried off reasonably quickly. Next we rode King Kong (or the train he was holding, more specifically) which was not particularly exciting but pretty unique as far as I know, and had virtually no queue all day! :)








Time for another coaster then - Dizz. I’d read that this didn’t have much spin to it compared to many of the other Maurer spinners. I noticed that the track is different to the others I’ve ridden, looking more like Vekoma track with a spine running down the middle. Could that be why it spins less somehow?



Anyway, due to the lack of intense spinning my wife finally agreed to ride one of these. I thought it was quite fun as it swooped through the trees and out over the lake, and it was certainly less rough than Spinball Whizzer when I rode that earlier this year. She didn’t like it though, but not because of the spinning – it was the exposed style of the cars she didn’t like!





So with only Revolution/Mount Mara left coaster-wise, we decided to leave that until the end of the day and instead take a ride around the park on the Monorail, which allowed some more photos to be taken…





We got off at the station near the rides we had skipped earlier in the day, and started with Indiana River, the indoor log flume. Again we had no clue how long the queue was, since it began outside, but it ended up only being around 15 minutes. We really enjoyed this one – it had some great theming (by this park’s standards) and the final drop in the dark was quite intimidating. Definitely the best water ride in the park!





We then had a ride on the Wild West themed dark ride/shooter, El Paso, which was equal parts awful and brilliant…







Then we jumped back on the monorail to complete a full circuit of the park, ending up back at the station nearest to the Revolution building with around half an hour to go until closing time. This station has all the models of the park’s main rides on display, which is quite cool.











So that just left Revolution. As I mentioned earlier, the train for the ride is split 50/50 between VR and non VR riders, and the queue for the VR side had long since closed but was still much longer than the non-VR side.

Revolution end-of-day queue


Mount Mara end-of-day queue!


We ended up on the last train of the day for the Revolution half of the coaster, after which I think they filled all those seats with VR riders to clear that queue faster. I think it’s a great idea to have two separate queues and I’m hopeful that other parks that are insisting on putting VR on their coasters adopt this approach.



As for the ride, well, it’s certainly unique! There’s not much for non-VR riders to see apart from a few flashing lights and the weird projection on the roof of the building, and the ride itself is rather boring on the way up, whilst the journey back down was fairly quick without doing anything spectacular. I can imagine this one works pretty well with the VR to be fair, which is based on a journey up and down a volcano. Bit of a shame we didn’t have chance to try that, but at least I got the cred!



So that was Bobbejaanland. Final thoughts – quite a fun family park, with a layout that is fairly easy to navigate. There are no really great rides, but plenty that were fun and quite unique, and the food we had was tasty and reasonably priced. All in all we had a fun day but the crowds were annoying and we missed a few rides because of them, though it wasn’t as bad as we first expected.

The biggest issue was the fact they give no information about what the queue times are anywhere in the park, which is really frustrating. There were also lots of people smoking all over the place, including in queues, which is disgusting for a family park and was not discouraged by any of the staff. Also the parking fee was a bit rich (I think it was 8 Euros) and the only place you could pay it was two places inside the park which made it mayhem at the end of the day, especially if like me you forgot to pay it before walking back to your car…

Next up Phantasialand, which is in a completely different league! :--D
 

ThomVD

Active Member
Good report! I find Bobbejaanland one of the blandest and atmosphere-less parks around. Really don't like it.

witchfinder said:
Next we walked around the lake in an anti-clockwise direction, passing the sadly closed Oki Doki, which looked like one of the best coasters in the park...

Funny how you say that, I actually thought it was the second best coaster in the park, behind Revolution. It's quite fun and relatively intense for such a small coaster. Every other coaster is just crap.
 

TilenB

Well-Known Member
Great report! Despite park looking a bit crap, this made me quite excited for the trip I'm taking on Friday. :)

Poslano z mojega ONEPLUS A3003 z uporabo Tapatalk
 

witchfinder

Member
I would agree the park is a bit bland and lacking atmosphere (and lacking any great coasters) but the selection of other rides is quite interesting and varied. If it's a warm day then the water rides provide plenty of fun I think.
 

witchfinder

Member
So on to Phantasialand. This trip was on Thursday 1st September, and we drove over to Germany from Belgium with no traffic problems, making the journey in around 2 hours. Once we got through the gate with our discounted tickets, our first stop was the ride times display board to get an idea how busy the park was. With the exception of the Klugheim rides the waiting time was 10 minutes or less across the park (which had already been open an hour) so with the sun shining as well we were set up for a great day!

There was only one place to start – the new Klugheim area, and Taron, which already had a 50 minute queue. As you’ll already know, the theming of this area is phenomenal, and with the coaster hurtling past every couple of minutes the queue line kept us interested.








If I’d managed to ride the other two coasters at Bobejaanland then Taron would have been my 100th cred, but that honour would have to be bestowed upon another coaster later on. There was a separate line for the front row, which appeared to be pretty empty, but actually it was closed off, with all the queue going through the ‘other rows’ line, so we just had to ask for the front row when we got to the front of that line.





So how was Taron? F**king awesome! The first launch is intense, and there are moments during the first phase of the ride where you feel like you could be thrown out of the train at any second, but that’s just the starter. The main course comes with the second launch, which was literally breathtaking, and as the train speeds through the Klugheim area, criss-crossing itself, it feels like it lasts for ages. Sadly all good things must come to an end, but even then there is the last airtime hill to send you on your way happy. Well, I was happy – my wife was somewhat overwhelmed by the experience and burst into tears – she’d ridden Rita and Furius Baco earlier in the year with no issues, but the forces exerted by Taron combined with the airtime had terrified her. Of course, for most of us that is precisely why it is so good!

I was already thinking that this was my new Number 1 coaster, but decided to hold off my decision until I could grab another ride later on. Needless to say I would be using the single rider queue for my next ride!





So after a sit down to recover from Taron, and taking plenty of photos of it in action, we moved away from Klugheim for now and into the rest of the park.

Next up was Colorado Adventure. Once again the theming on this mine train was spectacular, and yet like most of the rides here, what you can see is only half of the experience. We boarded the train in the middle (no back row for now, after my wife’s recent airtime experience!) and were both surprised by just how intense the ride was for what is marketed as a family mine train. Despite having watched the POV for it, I’d forgotten about the dark section, so that took me completely by surprise, and the final helixes before the return to the station were thrilling.

So yeah, best mine train I’ve ridden to date, but you guys knew that already didn’t you? :wink:








With the temperature increasing, it was time to try one of the water rides. Unfortunately River Quest was closed, so that just left Chiapas, which is no bad thing. Aside from the Klugheim rides this was the longest queue of the day at around 25 minutes, but well worth the wait for what must be one of the best water rides in the world, theming and thrills wise.










I believe this picture is obligatory for any Phantasialand trip report! :lol:


That brought us to lunchtime so we headed over to the Munich area and grabbed lunch, which turned out to be bratwurst again (or currywurst in my case) and was certainly better than average theme park food.



For dessert, what better than some chocolate? Maus au Chocolat to be precise! We absolutely loved this dark ride/shooter, from the theming to the amazing smell. It is a little unbalanced gameplay-wise, with the chance of racking up a massive score right at the end if you spot the right targets, but I won so I’m not complaining too much.








We then headed over to the African area so I could get my 100th cred – Black Mamba. This was pretty much a walk-on for all but the front row, which I did queue for first time around.


(Yes, I forgot to write 100 on a bit of paper so this was digitally added afterwards!)

Once again it goes without saying that the theming around the ride is superb, and the ride itself was excellent too. I found it particularly forceful on the back half of the train, which I rode second time around, and came off feeling a bit wobbly-legged after two rides in less than ten minutes. Definitely a top ten ride for me, although I still think Nemesis is still a better B&M invert.







Three coasters down, four to go, and three of those were quite close together so that’s where we headed next. First up was Temple of the Nighthawk, which had no queue at all. What can I say about the world’s longest indoor coaster? It was long. And dark. And that’s about it. The theming in the queue line and station was great but once the ride started there was nothing. This thing is surely crying out for a VR upgrade or at least some kind of video screens in there that would make the experience more interesting. It didn’t seem a bad coaster but with no frame of reference when it is doing its thing, it felt rather boring.

Next up was Winjas: Fear & Force, or in my case Force and Fear, as that’s the order I rode them. The wife didn’t fancy these two after her experience of Dizz at Bobbejaanland, so I grabbed a Quickpass for these even though the queues weren’t too long. The advantage with that was that I went in through the exit of one, rode it, then came out of the exit and went straight on to the other, getting both creds in under ten minutes! :--D






Of the two I’d say Fear was the better, as it has better drops, but both rides were good fun and with the elevator lifts and tilting track, I think they’re certainly the best of the Maurer spinners.







So that just left one coaster, but before that we had another ride on Maus au Chocolat (I won again!) and Chiapas, which we used the other two QuickPass rides on. This time around the ride stopped just before the final drop, and by the time it got going again there were three more boats stacked up behind us, which was interesting!

That well-known picture from the reverse angle, taken from the Quickpass queue... :--D



We headed back to Klugheim and got in the queue for Raik, which was around 20 minutes. If anything, the theming in the queue for this ride is even better than for Taron, especially the station which has a cool glowing 'clock thing' that changes colour when the coaster is on the move.





The ride itself was a great family boomerang, much like the one at Paultons but with what felt like a slightly longer course, a bit more airtime and more speed on the return journey. Also it has the advantage of interacting with Taron!









With plenty of time left, I was planning to take another ride on Taron and joined the single rider queue, but it seemed quite long so I figured it may be better to wait until around 5pm, when the park would presumably start to empty. So I left that and we rode the Chinese Ghost Train, which was a nice, slow sit down and otherwise rather odd. Then I went for a solo back row ride of Colorado Adventure, which was fabulous, with plenty of airtime and lots of being thrown around the seat!

We then headed back to Taron and I joined the SRQ again which was exactly the same as it had been last time I tried. The main queue time had actually increased from 25 to 50 minutes in the last half hour as well so my earlier decision wasn’t such a good one. After a 40 minute wait in the SRQ I finally got my second ride, and fluked the front row again, this time sitting in the seat my wife has occupied first time around.

Woah! I could see why it had terrified her. The front left seat had a moment round one of the early bends where I felt like I was going to be thrown across Klugheim’s medieval landscape! Once again though it was a phenomenal ride and cemented its place as my new number one.





I’d have loved to try a back row ride but sadly that was my lot as the park was close to closing when I got off. That meant I also missed out on Mystery Castle, but overall it had been an awesome day at an amazing park, with great weather too.

Final thoughts – the park is brilliant, efficiently run and the theming is the best I’ve seen on my limited travels so far. The ride line-up is superb but for me it didn’t quite top PortAventura as far as the coaster line-up, and I found the park quite hard to navigate at first due to how compact it is, so those factors make it my second-favourite park to date.

The only negatives for me were more inconsiderate idiots smoking in queues and also the free-for-all self allocation of seats on Colorado Adventure, which saw people aggressively pushing past us to get to a certain seat, when it would still be 3 or 4 trains before they’d actually get on the ride! I also didn’t get the chance to ride River Quest, Talocan and Mystery Castle so that just gives an excuse to go back sometime... :--D

Thanks for reading! :)

Bonus random park pictures:

















Even the toilets are impeccably themed in Klugheim! =D>
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
Your wife sounds absolutely adorable bless her!

Such a strange combo of parks: Bobbejaanland, one of the worst parks in Europe and Phantasia, one of the best!

Looks like you guys had an awesome time.
 

witchfinder

Member
nadroJ said:
Your wife sounds absolutely adorable bless her!
She is. And also, this time last year about the scariest ride she'd been on was Vampire at Chessington. This year she's ridden Nemesis, Rita, Air/Galactica, Furius Baco and Taron and even enjoyed some of them! :--D

nadroJ said:
Such a strange combo of parks: Bobbejaanland, one of the worst parks in Europe and Phantasia, one of the best!
Yes, well we chose one each. She liked the look of Bobbejaanland due to the suspended coaster and the Western theme, and I wanted PL for obvious reasons... I don't think Bobbejaanland was that bad as a park, just a **** selection of coasters.
 

peep

Well-Known Member
Nice trip report! Glad you loved Phantasialand, such an incredible park.

Bobbiejobbie is a weird one, like you say, not a bad park, just a bad selection of coasters.
 
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