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 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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