The Flight of the Fēnix

The changes of Toverland

I haven’t been to Toverland for a long time. A lot has changed in the time since my last visit. There is now a new themed area with roller coaster and boat ride, and a brand new entrance area called Port Laguna. This connects the themed areas to each other and serves as a sympathetic hub to return to in the afternoon for the cliff diving show. It’s a very quiet area, which is very much in keeping with all the hustle and bustle in the rest of Toverland.

This also eases the situation in the first hall – the former entrance area – which a full-grown amusement park fan doesn’t really get to see any more, unless he or she really wants to ride the Toos Express (formerly Boomerang) or the dinghy slide. So this is an opportunity for Toverland to transform the hall even more into a toddler’s paradise in the future.

Meanwhile, the second hall also saw some thematic changes. The log flume became Expedition Zork (although nothing has really changed here) and the Woudracer Bobkart ride was redesigned as the new Maximus-Blitz-Bahn and made weatherproof by adding a roof over the outdoor track. In addition, the ride has been given a new queue, which is now themed after an Austrian inventor. Fittingly, there is now also a beer garden, which, however, mainly serves local beers.

In the outdoor area, the new roller coaster Fēnix is hard to miss. Together with the quiet (yet impressive due to its indoor part) water ride Merlin’s Quest, it forms the Celtic-like themed area Avalon.


Once you have left the queue, which is well worth seeing, behind you and decided which side to take, the ride on the Fēnix wing coaster can start straight away. In a right-hand bend, the Firebird first leads us through a dark hall, which also houses the roller coaster’s maintenance track. Above this, an ice dragon gives us a nasty look and fogs us up a bit. Shortly afterwards we climb the ride’s lift.

Having reached a height of 40m, we can enjoy the view for a while, because unlike other wing coasters, we don’t immediately turn around our own axis, but first ride through a wide right turn. However, it happens here too, as it does on most wing coasters, and we tackle the dive drop. Here we first turn upside down before we plunge to the ground. We now pass the first valley with full force and immediately fly over an airtime hill. After a second valley with a lot of pressure we turn direction in a quite high Immelmann, whereupon we make a right turn and enter a curve close to the ground. We then remain there for a few seconds, with a fair amount of blood pumping into our legs. But far before we reach the critical values, we already climb a zero-G roll and are turned very smoothly around our own axis. Back on the ground, we quickly pass under a footpath before gaining some height in a left turn. We immediately lose this height in a right turn before we reach the starting height for the braking section in a gentle bend. Shortly afterwards, we enter the large station hall again.

Fēnix is an extremely entertaining wing coaster that knows how to surprise with its close-to-the-ground manoeuvres. It is a little different from other roller coasters of its kind, but that is by no means a mistake. Instead of long, drawn-out inversions, you mainly go through curves close to the ground, which leads to a lot of pressure in your feet. However, you are still far away from grey out and other discomforts, which is one of the main criticisms of the ride.

Another point of criticism – and here I agree with each of the critics – are the incredibly steep stairs on the ride, which is especially evident in the exit area of the ride. For sure they were designed according to the current standard, but it turns out that Dutch stairs are basically ladders deep down. Apart from that, Fēnix is of course a great addition to Toverland.

Pictures Toverland


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A spooky evening in Toverland


After we left the Fort Fun Abenteuerland around noon we went on our way to Sevenum, but not without a visit of the Sternrodler and, due to the changed route through North Rhine-Westphalia, the Alpine Coaster at the Alpincenter Bottrop. In the meantime we were almost one hour off schedule, but luckily Toverland decided to bring forward their first Halloween weekend, which allowed us to visit the park for 5 hours and some rides on DesTroy.


Unfortunately, this created a great unknown to me in relation to Toverland, because the park had waiting times outside the Bobkart Woudracer. Instead of the usual “We stay at Troy from 12 o’clock until the end of the park” this meant a waiting time of about 5-10 minutes between each ride on the wooden roller coaster, which fascinates me every time anew.


It would be wrong to say that DesTroy is the best wooden roller coaster in Europe, but it is absolutely right to say that the ride is convincing in any weather conditions. No matter if it’s almost summerly Easter temperatures, coldest winter weather or now rainy autumn weather, the ride just makes you feel good and you can stay troy. Night rides on DesTroy are also highly recommended, because even though the ride is phenomenally well lit on Halloween, outside of any measurable competition, you won’t notice a thing during the ride. It’s different at the Alton Towers amusement park where the night rides on the roller coasters feel like daylight, thanks to the flood lights.

Djengu River

Just as well lit as DesTroy is the certainly really stylish Magical Vallei theme area, whose splendour could only be guessed at in the evening hours and which can also be seen in the stations of the large-scale attractions. The Hafema rafting course Djengu River runs past two children’s rides and a lake with a fountain show. This is the newest ride of its kind so far, which unfortunately, similar to the ride in the Erlebnispark Tripsdrill, does without any highlights during the ride and sends the boats through the canal relatively fast.

Even though I find it very welcome to see Hafema alive again, it’s a pity that they didn’t use working gimmicks. On the one hand the milder route is explained by the target audience of the park. On the other hand the standard of comparable rides in the Benelux countries is much higher.


When the French amusement park Le Pal presented the first Mack Spinning Coaster of the latest generation, the mere sight of the layout made you want to go to this corner of France and test the ride there. Unfortunately, a roller coaster of the same layout opened a year later with the Dwervelwind, giving priority to Toverland due to its proximity.

Although the ride was launched last season, it now shines in all its glory after work on the surrounding themed area has been completed. It seems that all eyes are drawn in its direction, which is not only due to the sweeping curves.

After the train has left the station and climbed up the lift, a small curve in the airy height follows and the wild ride can begin. The ride continues smoothly down the valley where you are pushed into the train and then change the direction of the tracks in a high Immelmann Turn. Once again at ground level the train goes straight up again to make its turns in a wonderful sloping position. After a downhill left turn you do a short zigzag curve combination and then another curve in the shape of an 8. This turns into a few smaller detours, which at the same time mark the end of the funny, fast, not at all powerless, but unfortunately too short ride.

The ride on the Dwervelwind is a great pleasure, which can only be increased by sitting opposite each other in the cars and trying to interact with each other during the ride. The comparison with the existing Mack’s counterpart in Rust is, not surprisingly, in favour of the newer ride. However, the ride lags a little behind the outstanding spinning coasters Sonic Spinball and Dragon’s Fury from Maurer Söhne, which are especially trumped by the often represented distinct rotation of the cars. Nevertheless, the ride has one fundamental advantage, namely capacity, which means that waiting times here will probably never be too long, and one or the other repeat ride is guaranteed.

Conclusion Toverland

Toverland has developed very well over the years and often shows what a theme park has to be like nowadays. This can be seen not only in the excellent quality and choice of attractions, but also in the way they organise their events. Along with the extended opening hours for Halloween and the outstanding lighting of the wooden roller coaster Troy, themed figures, numerous artistry and bloody much fog went into the event, so that one was wonderfully entertained on the paths and in the halls. Unlike other events of the same kind, no one even tried to lure monsters by means of horror mazes, even though theoretically there is a natural maze in which you could scare yourself. Thus, the focus was on the scarezones, where much more importance was attached to the charisma of the actors than to the targeted frightening, unless you were coming straight from Djengu River towards DesTroy.

Shortly before Toverland closed its doors for the evening, all participants gathered in front of the entrance to say goodbye to the crowds of visitors. One would think that this would be the best way to end an all-round successful event. During the following traffic jam to get back down from the car park a specific entertainment of the waiting people would have been a good idea.


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A magical land in February


On my way back from France towards the most beautiful Hanseatic city in the world, after a short sightseeing tour of the city of Cologne with obligatory (once and never again) ascent of the Cologne Cathedral, I went with David and his little brother towards the Dutch theme park Toverland in Sevenum.

Thanks to the Korting voucher there was a lot going on in Toverland, but not so much that one had to wait somewhere, except for the Woudracer. Most of the attractions were running since the beginning of the park, only a few of them changed every half an hour this time. The area around Troy was supposed to open between 12 and 17 o’clock.

Since it was a first for David’s brother in the park we left him the agony of choosing the attractions. At the end of the day Toverland was able to convince him, as he was still haunted by a Schloss Dankern Dejavu when entering the park.


Starting in the second hall, the Wiegand Bobkart Woudracer, which had no queue in the early opening hours, was the first to be given a ride. Irritated by the yodeling sound of the other passengers (even if they were coming from the tape), David’s brother, too, was racing down the track at full throttle.

Booster Bike

In order to keep up the speed rush, a motorbike ride on rails was targeted. Contrary to the copies of Intamin and Zamperla, Vekoma has set value on a relatively true body posture for its Booster Bike. The ride is great fun for a family roller coaster with a launch as powerful as the one of Europa Park’s roller coaster Bluefire and can convince with its combinations of curves. The only thing that minimally reduces the fun is the lack of airtime on the last hill.


As the temperature outside was approaching freezing point, the log flume Backstroke was visited. Extreme soaking if you like, because no matter where I sat I was the only one who got wet. The ride through the metal channel is not the most beautiful of its kind, but due to its special features it is quite convincing.

Villa Fiasco

After a round of Zierer Kontiki we headed towards the first hall, but before that we stopped at the Villa Fiasco. This Fun House is one of the best of its kind and no matter when we came the Ride-Op was happy. He was also a bit surprised when David walked through the house in a speed run.


Once again in the first hall, the children’s roller coaster Boomerang was visited. The way too steep curves still ride themselves a bit strange, but the coaster is still in a class of its own and always worth a lap.


The rides of the Zamperla company in this hall had a long cycle, but when you ride the wave swinger you wish that this one would finally come to an end. The tea cups spun very well, contrary to David’s opinion (very similar to the tea cups from the Zoo Safari- und Hollywoodpark Stukenbrock, as well as the tea cups from the Movie Park Germany and Hansa-Park).

Aqua Snake

The rubber dinghy slides can still get you soaking wet, even if it’s only me who’s been hit. I feel a little sorry for the staff at this ride, after all, they have to lift the boats themselves into the starting boxes all the time, which was solved better at other rides of this manufacturer.


In addition to the many amusement options for small children, there is also an interactive house in this area where you can trigger some effects armed with a magic wand. After a while, the salami spell gets on your nerves, but it is still an attraction worth trying out.

I think the redesign of the first hall is a very laudable project, especially since it still looks like a cheap children’s play hall at first glance. In comparison to the second, much more open hall, as well as to the outside area, there is a clear difference in quality.


Speaking of outdoor areas, here you will find the log flume Backstroke, the above mentioned Vekoma Motorbike Launch Coaster, a horse carousel, a boat swing, an electric horse track, a high ropes course and the wooden roller coaster Troy.

Survival Parcours

If you are used to high ropes courses from Hansa-Park and think the shorter high ropes course from Toverland is easier, you are mistaken. Here you can spend half an eternity until you have climbed the course. For David himself the whole project was finished quickly, but his brother and I did the whole route. We had to do this one, as you can’t just turn around after the first exercise.


In contrast, the electric horse race track was a piece of cake. In the latest extension of Toverland, you can see a certain preference for products from Metallbau Emmeln, who were already present in the park with their teacup/giant wheel/lookout tower combo Twist ‘n’ Shout. The Scorpios boat swing from the same company may be a bit narrow, but it offers funny water effects, a good onboard sound and lots of airtime. The fact that this is only achieved with a wheel as drive is a masterpiece.


The real highlight in Toverland, however, is the wooden roller coaster Troy, which came to a halt in the meantime because of a lost cap and the resulting failure of the lift. Without this ride you would leave the park quite fast, because you would lose the desire for further rides quite fast. However, since Troy allows you to easily stay seated for 40 laps at a time without suffering a blackout or other physical damage, you spend a few more hours in the park.

The ride turns out to be wild, sometimes a bit aimless and at the beginning quite intense (especially the first curve). However, it is always very smooth. The music in the station can drive you crazy after a few laps, but it fits perfectly to express the mood of this ride and luckily there are several tracks.


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