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Phantasialand Wintertraum

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Nothing staves off the Off Season Blues like a theme park trip in January. In 2016, it was my beloved Winter Efteling. Last year, I visited DLP Season of the Force (bleurgh). This year, I opted for something classier in the form of Phantasialand's Wintertraum.

I've always suffered from Phantasia-Ambivalence. I can't seem to see what everyone else does about this place. I think it's the inconsistency. I find the disparity between the quality of the new and old rides jarring. I don't understand how Efteling can have the fabulous Vogel Rock, but Phantasialand have the lousy Temple of the ****e Hawk.

Now, I know they can't transform every inch of the park into a Klugheim over night, but the rubbish areas of Phantasialand are like...really, really rubbish. They feel so disparately neglected it's unreal. I totally get how 'on paper' it is an incredible theme park. But I've just never...felt the magic? I've felt impressed, for sure. I can appreciate how elite their newer rides are in terms of both themeing and hardware. So I reasoned that maybe I need to see the park in all it's wintery glory for Phantasialand to 'click' with me.

With my Ryanair return from Bristol to Cologne costing a whopping £14.99, I had little to lose. Stayed at a cheap Air BnB that was a 15 minute walk from the park, nice. There's something incredibly novel about walking to a theme park on foot! Just popping down the road for some milk...and Taron. Arrived at midday and I've never seen Phantasialand so quiet. Pretty much everything was walk on. Now is the time to come to Wintertraum, people!

Opted for Chiapas first, just in case the temperature plummeted and it closed. You know what I love most about Chiapas? The insanely quick track switches. Especially the one where the dude blows smoke in your face. Makes me laugh every time!

Time for Taron next. Long story short, I was at Phantasialand with my new boyfriend (Rob and I broke up) My new boyfriend hadn't ridden a roller coaster for 15 years. He didn't even know what a launch coaster was. So obviously, I didn't tell him, and him being a Non-Goon, he didn't spend the entire queueline gazing at the track watching Taron go round. So he had no. idea. what to expect. Not a clue! Mwahaha!

He properly pooed himself when it launched. Oh god, I forgot how fun it can be to ride with unsuspecting non-enthusiasts! He basically grabbed my hand and crushed it, meaning I actually have a Taron-related bruise on my hand now. It was sooo funny! He didn't like "the bit where it felt like you were coming out your seat" though...boo!

Went for lunch in Rutmor's Taverne - the quaint, fantasy-themed pub-style restaurant complete with roaring fireplace. Okay. Maybe this is a bit magical? Ordered the Meat Platter for 17 Euros and was disappointed to find out it was just a selection of cold meats. 17 Euro's for essentially a Best Western Continental Breakfast! Not exactly the hearty food you want on a freezing cold day. At least the ambience was nice.

Maus Au Chocolat followed, the Shooty Dark Ride that favours men who possess a certain wrist dexterity ;) Needless to say, Marcus kicked my ass. As much as I enjoy the more unique feel of this ride, I find it get's a bit repetitive - would prefer a bit of variation between the shooting challenges. (One giant Boss Mouse to take down at the end would be good!)

Colorado Adventure was next, and I'm going to be controversial and say that this Mine Train is not all it's cracked up to be. Yes, we sat in the back. Yes, the dark section is quite exciting. But...that's it? It's not Gods Gift to Mine Trains. It's just slightly above average. I prefer the one at Walibi Belgium.

Side note: Phantasialand love a waterfall don't they! So many rides have waterfalls! I wonder how many waterfalls will feature in Rookburgh?

Faffed about on the ghost train (which has a lovely queue - but the animatronics on the ride itself are haggard.) Then it was onto Black Mamba. Always forget how much I enjoy this invert. There's some fantastic near misses in the front row, and it just felt relentless this day. Top ride. Might have to seriously reconsider how highly I rank Oz'Iris in favour of this absolute beast.

Onto Hotel Tartuff which was quite fun. I like the slide at the end. Then Winja's. Don't want to winj about it, but I always think I like this ride more that I actually do. I find the concept fascinating, and the trick track elements were so advanced for their time. But, boy is this thing joyless to ride! Probably one of my least favourite spinners, in fact.

And can we please talk about how UGLY Wuze Town is? It's so dingy and noisy and beige. Give me the indoor area at Plopsaland over this any day!

May as well continue with the less good stuff and get Temple and Hollywood out of the way. I ride them in hope that it will be my last time to ride them because they will be knocked down soon. Fingers crossed.

In all of our faffing about with crap rides, we missed the Ice Show, which I wanted to see. Damnit. Marcus ate exactly one million Churros and we grabbed some re-rides on Taron and the Garden Centre themed boomerang - Rake. Then we got a spot for the Fire / Projection Mapping show on by Chiapas. Don't ask me how, but for a fire show this thing left me cold. It felt very much like 2 shows plonked together - some projection mapping, then some pyro. It was pretty bombastic and everything, but I like my theme park shows as sappy and heartstring-tugging as possible, so this didn't really do it for me. It wasn't very captivating. (I'm genuinely starting to wonder if anything will ever beat Toverland's Discover Your Own Fear show)

Speaking of captivating...we wondered round China at night. Aaaaaaah! Here it is! This is where all the magic is hiding! The delicate music. The abundance of fairy lights. The waterfalls of light. Oh my! I became a living, breathing Heart-eye Emoji. We asked the security guard to let us stroll around Ling Bao gardens as well, which was equally as stunning. It's kind of hidden away behind the gift shop, but it well worth doing! So beautiful.

We were going to re-ride Taron one last time before the closing show, but it broke down. Then it started snowing. So we rode Black Mamba in the snow, in the dark. Such a great moment!

Rushed over to the ice rink for the closing show Fireworks bonanza....which got cancelled. Bit of an anticlimax. But it was nice to be in Phantasialand in the snow.

So....is Wintertraum really "Europe's premier winter event?" In my opinion...no. It doesn't have the magic of Winter Efteling. The snow and the giant baubles look kinda tacky in the daytime. It's great that most of the rides are open, and the fairy lights are very pretty, but overall it just felt like something was missing. Maybe the fireworks would have been the icing on the cake, who knows. I left a tad disappointed. But the main thing is, I got my roller coaster fix! Roll on the Open Season 2019!
 
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HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
It's Liseberg Phantasialand, so yes.
I've always suffered from Phantasia-Ambivalence. I can't seem to see what everyone else does about this place.
Yes.

Colorado Adventure was next, and I'm going to be controversial and say that this Mine Train is not all it's cracked up to be.
Yes.

And can we please talk about how UGLY Wuze Town is? It's so dingy and noisy and beige.
Yes.

Did Taron really break down? Or were they doing the spitey thing of closing it really early for the fireworks (that didn't happen).
Great write-up as always.
 

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Did Taron really break down? Or were they doing the spitey thing of closing it really early for the fireworks (that didn't happen).
Great write-up as always.
Thank you! It did indeed break down, there was a full train of people sat on the brake run for a while and they evacuated the queue.
 

Chris Brown

Mr CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Excellent report as ever, I must admit I'm one of the Colorado fan boys but I've not ridden any of the other highly mine trains. The one at Gardaland felt much much rougher than Colorado even though its much newer not sure if its just a bad egg. I've always thought the indoor section of Wuze is cool, I like the aesthetics of the atrium with the spinners surrounding you but agree the colours are rather drab, its also impossible to get a decent photo in there as the lighting is always really poor. Never been tempted by Winter events but after seeing a few reports popping up I may have to sneak onto the Phanta live this year!
 

JoshC.

Active Member
In all of our faffing about with crap rides, we missed the Ice Show, which I wanted to see. Damnit. Marcus ate exactly one million Churros and we grabbed some re-rides on Taron and the Garden Centre themed boomerang - Rake. Then we got a spot for the Fire / Projection Mapping show on by Chiapas. Don't ask me how, but for a fire show this thing left me cold. It felt very much like 2 shows plonked together - some projection mapping, then some pyro. It was pretty bombastic and everything, but I like my theme park shows as sappy and heartstring-tugging as possible, so this didn't really do it for me. It wasn't very captivating. (I'm genuinely starting to wonder if anything will ever beat Toverland's Discover Your Own Fear show)
Interesting - one of the things I love about the show how it is very much in two halves.

You know there will be fire, so the projection mapping show builds up to that. You get the storyline come through, and it builds up to it to the point where you just want fire, and lots of it. I do agree that it's perhaps a bit too much fire, though.

I guess equally I hate the sappy theme park shows, which is why most of Phantasialand's shows aren't for me. So it's refreshing to have something a bit more up my street there too.
 
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