We treated a friend of ours (and ourselves) to a trip to Phantasialand for his 30th birthday, because what better way to celebrate adulthood then to act like a kid in an amusement park!
Phantasialand is located in Germany, not far from Köln (Cologne), which means it’s about a 2,5 hour drive for us.
The park has 2 hotels: Hotel Matamba (African theme) and Hotel Ling Bao (Asian theme) that have direct entrances to the park, no need to wait for shuttles and take 15 minute drives, just walk from the hotel into the park!
We stayed at Hotel Ling Bao, the rooms have a double bed and a bunk bed and a bathroom with shower and toilet.
We made reservations for dinner at Bamboo restaurant which was described as “European/Asian buffet”. The buffet was nice: there was sushi, different kinds of noodles, vegetables, meat,… 28 euro per person is a bit overpriced though, but these places always charge too much in my opinion…
Breakfast (which was included, unlike dinner) was also at Bamboo restaurant, once again plenty of choices from eggs to cereal to fruit and cheese: definitely something (well several things) for everyone.
The hotel even had a pool, great for those who still have some energy left after a day in the park!
Now let’s get to the exciting stuff… the rides! The park consists of 6 different parts: Chinatown, Mystery, Deep in Africa, Mexico, Berlin and Fantasy.
Our entrance to the park led to Chinatown (duh), but this part doesn’t have any thrill rides. It mostly is a square with some places to eat and some attractions for the younger visitors.
The weather was beautiful: no rain and plenty of sun so it was the perfect time to try one of the water rides. We made our way to River Quest in the Mystery area. There was a long line but it went very smoothly and after putting on our rain jacket (we came prepared!) we hopped into one of the round boats, ready for our first ride of the day. We got soaked… we got soaked through and through. The rain jacket couldn’t save me from all the water that got onto my legs. There were little booths where you could get dry (for 2 euro) but I just let the sun do its work.
Next in the land of Mystery was Mystery Castle, which is a “free fall” drop in a tower. This is not my kind of ride, so I passed on this one. Those who did go on it weren’t very impressed and said The Tower of Terror at Disneyland Paris was much better (which I did go on and regret to this day….).
We continued our tour of the park and ended up in Mexico. This is home to a classic ride that everyone enjoys: Colorado Adventure, a fast paced mine train. What can I say, these rides are so much fun! You can compare it to Big Thunder Mountain in Disneyland Paris. This is a ride the whole family can enjoy.
We wanted to try Chiapas next, the newest addition to Phantasialand: a 6 minute log flume ride with the world’s steepest drop. However, when we got there, it was closed and they said it would open an hour later. So time to move on and look for another ride. We bumped into an entrance to Talocan, not knowing what it was and after glancing around the corner I immediately knew I wasn’t trying this one. It’s a top spin ride which makes you spin like a trillion times, it looked terrifying! My husband loves these so he was the only one to try this one and really liked it.
Our next destination was Deep in Africa, home to Black Mamba, the only thrill ride in this area. I only had the guts to go on this one the second day… But I did it, yay! It’s an inverted rollercoaster which I had never been on before but it was awesome!
Berlin is more a central square than an area filled with rides. It’s mostly rides for kids and places to eat. The main entrance to the park will bring you here. We did see the Pirates in 4D show here, which I thought was a waste of time but the others seemed to enjoy.
At the far end of the park lies Fantasy. Here we really wanted to do the Winja ride, but we started calmly (we just had lunch) with Race to Atlantis, a simulator ride. It wasn’t bad, but in the same category The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood is waaaaaay better.
Most of us really loved Crush’s Coaster at Disneyland Paris, one of the coolest rides I have ever been on, so we were excited to try Winja’s Fear and Force. Actually, they are 2 rides: Fear and Force. We had no idea what the difference was but at the and of line you had to choose… The cars are the same, but there are 2 tracks, what’s going on there? We chose Force the first time. This one is most like Crush’s Coaster, a lot of spinning action! However, the visuals at Crush’s Coaster are at a much higher level and that adds so much to the experience.
We went back the next day (first thing in the morning because it’s at the far end of the park and these rides are superpopular) and tried Fear. This a totally different ride, with less spinning but some crazy drops! We immediately went back for a second time on Fear, but this time we sat the other way around (if you look at the single cars you’ll understand). This ride is crazy and the less you know about what’s coming, the better!
Our next stop in Fantasy was a big disappointment: Temple of the Night Hawk, “the longest dark rollercoaster”. Yes, it’s dark and long. And boring.
We like a bit of competition so we went on an interactive ride “Wakobato” where you have to shoot water at targets. Maybe we got this all wrong or it didn’t work, but this was not what we had in mind. We blasted our water pistols at the targets and nothing happened…
By this time Chiapas had been open for a while and we decided to get in the long line and see what the fuss was all about… When it comes to water rides this one is much better than River Quest and less wet. Such a great ride, worth the wait. That steep drop is awful and amazing at the same time. Tip for this ride: if you’re not in a big group take the single rider line. They try to fill up all the boats (6 people) and you’ll be able to enjoy this ride twice as many times without all the waiting.
The second day (well, 1/2 day) we went back to the rides we loved (Chiapas, Black Mamba, Winja, Colorado Adventure and Talocan for my husband) and used our Quick Pass. We each got one Quick Pass at the hotel and used it for Colorado Adventure. As I said, this is an attraction for everyone so you get long lines there. For most rides that work with the Quick Pass system this means you can use the exit as an entrance. There are some rules and exceptions when using it (for example: you can’t choose a first row seat at Black Mamba, which also has a separate line by the way) but it’s definitely fun to be able to avoid the lines.
That being said: the lines, even if they were long sometimes, all moved very quickly.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Phantasialand if you’re in the area. Fun rides, not too much merchandising, a lot of places to eat and lovely hotels with direct access to the park!
If anyone has any recommendations for fun parks and crazy rides, both in Europe and the States, please let me know!