The holiday resort of Ingoldmells is mainly characterised by its numerous holiday parks; after all, the first Butlin’s Resort in the country has been located here since 1936. In order to expand the resort’s offerings, the Fantasy Island amusement park was built in the 1990s, including a large indoor area with an arcade and a bowling alley. Since 2016, the park belongs to the Mellors Group, England’s largest fairground operator.
The Rhombus Rocket powered coaster was the theme park’s first roller coaster. As was often the case at the time, the roller coaster was paired with a log flume to place two of its main attractions in the smallest possible space. The interaction with the log flume is still the ride’s greatest charm today. The otherwise very family-friendly ride by WGH Transportation convinces with its long helices and the big dip just before the station entrance. As is often the case on a good powered coaster, you ride the layout several times.
Volcano, Sea Storm and Magic
The Rhombus Rocket roller coaster is surrounded by some wonderfully designed rides. In addition to a typical English Twister, the Sea Storm ride and the classic Magic formerly owned by German showman Ludewigt, the Space Shot Volcano by S&S, which shoots out of an artificial volcano, is particularly impressive.
The indoor area of the Pyramid is the big flagship of Fantasy Island theme park. Around the Mystical Dragon Mountain, which houses a really fast dinghy slide, there are numerous really nice attractions here. The cute oldschool themed ride Seaquarium and the brand new interactive dark ride Harrington Flint’s Island Adventure’s stand out positively. But a ride on the monorail Toucan Tours or the flying theatre The Guardian should not be missed. In addition, the Pyramid features the Jellikins Coaster, a roller coaster for very young park guests, which is a rather uncomfortable experience for most adults due to its enclosed cars.
Until a few years ago, the entrance to the Millennium roller coaster was located directly in front of the pyramid. Nowadays, the waiting area is inside the pyramid, which on the one hand offers a clearly immersive experience, but on the other hand comes with the circumstance that you now call a largely unused station your own. Due to the lack of separation between entry and exit, one is held back in a small area until the last passenger of the roller coaster has passed it. Only then is the ascent into the station via the exit of the roller coaster.
After entering the station, the train is quickly dispatched and sent on its way. Having reached a height of 46m, we immediately descend the first drop to the left. After we have smoothly passed the first valley, we immediately go through an unusually high loop – for an MK-1200. After a long straight, we skilfully change our direction in a sidewinder, but not without completing an oversized Bavarian curve above Ingoldmells Market – Europe’s largest weekly market. After a short climb, we plunge down once more and immediately into the ride’s second loop. The rest of the way around the pyramid is a little more relaxed as we glide over several hills before we move on to the grand finale. In a helix we are pressed into the seat for one last time before we reach the braking section of the ride and our ride soon comes to an end.
Millennium is one of the greatest roller coasters by Vekoma. Although the layout is not quite as imaginative as more modern rides from the manufacturer, the huge MK-1200 can convince with its pressure-rich elements and its fantastic ride characteristics. This ride is simply smooth.
Family Roller Coaster and Wild River Rapids
On the other side of the pyramid, the big roller coaster Odyssey is joined by the small family roller coaster Family Roller Coaster and the water ride Wild River Rapids. The Spinning Raft from Reverchon is hit or miss, because the ride can very well get you soaked, but the likelihood of that is low.
Originally opened as Jubilee Odyssey for Queen Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee, the ride is the tallest inverted coaster in the world to date at just under 51m. However, the ride, which was built directly on the North Sea, was rarely operated by the previous owner of the amusement park due to the high wind load, which gave the ride a questionable image. With the change of operator, the Odyssey also picked up speed again.
After leaving the 50m-high lift hill behind, the ride goes very steeply back down to the ground. With a lot of pressure we pass the first valley, whereupon a huge loop awaits us. Immediately afterwards, we shoot up a huge Cobra Roll, which turns us upside down two more times. In a very unusual way, we change our direction of travel once again in a huge turn. As if that wasn’t enough, a sidewinder follows immediately. We then circle the exit of the Cobra Roll in a large helix. Far from the ground we glide through a dip before we are turned upside down one last time in a corkscrew. With plenty of speed left, we reach the braking section of the ride and soon the station of the roller coaster.
Odyssey is a really strange roller coaster. The size of the ride speaks for itself, and the unorthodox layout is somehow appealing, but the rough ride characteristics don’t really make it fun to ride.
Pictures Fantasy Island
Conclusion Fantasy Island
Fantasy Island is a thoroughly nice amusement park in a more than strange place. The large selection of rides and the very high quality are surprising and leave a very positive overall impression. Especially the attractions inside the pyramid stand out positively due to their immersive design. The rides outside the pyramid, on the other hand, are more classic and convince with their unique layouts.
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