On the trail of the discogods on Chiapas

Preface

If you are not a student from Lower Saxony, it is actually a crazy idea to work for a well-known car manufacturer in Wolfsburg during the semester break and move into your accommodation in Hanover. Accordingly, I had to buy a ticket and since the Deutschlandpass was cheaper than the regular commuter ticket, I was able to travel quite a lot through Germany, even though Brühl turned out to be the longest distance at the end. Since the opening of this year’s novelty at Movie Park Germany was still in the dark and the wooden roller coaster Bandit is mostly operated with only one train on Sundays, for the first time I took the ICE to Cologne and then the RE to Brühl. Due to delays of the train I reached Phantasialand around noon. I paid the high admission price without resistance, as the new modern log flume Chiapas attracted all my attention and the admission price to the Wintertraum event at the end of the year was included. The general changes within the park were once again of a positive nature, which somehow justified the admission price beyond these points.

Phantasialand – Chiapas

Since the demolition of the two rather mediocre or bizarrely barren log flumes Stonewash Creek and Wildwash Creek the park lacked a possibility to take a shower outside the rafting ride River Quest or at least to get a little humidification during the hot summer days. Contrary to the general trend, the decision was made to build a new water attraction of the same type of ride. Of course, Phantasialand did aimed for a sufficient number of new records and a decoration that is second to none.

This alone does not of course speak for the quality of the ride, but Chiapas is a genuine eye-catcher, even if the infrastructure around the ride is a bit suboptimal. The entrance to the queue is a bit hidden, as long as you don’t know that most of it is below the ubiquitous bridge. While the waiting area of the normal queue was already full, the single rider queue led one to the division point, where unfortunately the handling of single drivers turned out to be unsuitable for re-runs.

Finally divided to one of the boats you have to sit down on your place in some way – an admittedly rather difficult undertaking, which was always easier on other log flumes in spite of the narrowness of the boats. However, the general riding comfort turned out to be higher, at least if not a Dutch idiot with his mobile phone camera creates a POV and leans backwards. I would have liked to do without the resulting headache during the first descent.

The ride on Chiapas

The ride starts after some bustle through the canal with the first lifthill, which is much faster than the friction wheel lift of the roller coaster next door due to the technology used. By interacting with Colorado Adventure, this short passage can be quite remarkable. Shortly afterwards, you are already on the excavation site. Immediately the first shot follows and with some luck the first wave sweeps over the occupants of the boat. Shortly thereafter, the first switch follows, whereby the backward journey starts relatively rough. Now, we bob a little through the vivid scenery of the ride until we reach the real highlight of the ride and pay homage to the disco gods, as it is the case with the Feng Ju Palace; the following slope is then quite humane. Rather quickly, we are transported by another switch to a parallel route, whereby the direction of travel is again directed to the front. After another lift, our way continues under the open sky until, after some time, we reach the next lift hill and approach the (from the outside) sensational looking shot. Arrived at the highest point of the ride, we now go down fairly steep and fast. Under the bridge, we continue our way to the ground until, as a Germany-wide novelty, a small hill follows. After a last splash the way back towards the station follows.

Conclusion Chiapas

Chiapas is indeed Phantasialand’s greatest log flume and definitely the most advanced of its kind, but is it the best of its kind? The answer to this question is relatively simple, as it is not, but it is by no means at the average level of its predecessors and can compete throughout Germany. Valhalla from the Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the Rio Bravo in Parque Warner Madrid, however dominate the competition in Europe. Chiapas scores with its original design and the very enjoyable ride, which definitely makes repeat rides worthwhile, as long as it’s not that crowded and River Quest has more people in the queue.

Colorado Adventure

But not only Chiapas can convince with its high quality construction, Colorado Adventure also profited from it at the highest level. Not only does all the new wood have a wonderful effect on the roller coaster, the new paintwork is also highly convincing. Compared to Temple of the Nigh Hawk, the ride is now the better enclosed roller coaster on some sections of the track and invites to many, many, very many rides throughout the day at Phantasialand.

 

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A roller coaster ride in Phantasialand

Phantasialand

Due to a competition with a low participation for the attraction Maus au Chocolat, which had not been opened yet, Phantasialand gave away several tickets for this year’s season. Since the time of my last visit in 2009 a lot has changed, for example the old Schwarzkopf dark ride Gondelbahn has been demolished. In addition, many new children’s rides from Zamperla have moved into the park, the neighbours have found a reason to complain – about the whisper-quiet water attraction Wakobato – and an extension is still far in the stars because of some environmental activists.

The first impression from the old entrance, which now only serves the shuttle guests, is quite nice, even though Main Street used to look nicer. The now present space looks quite strange at Phantasialand and the construction sites don’t fit into the ambience. A similar situation exists with the huge passage from Berlin to the fantasy area.

Fröhliche Bienenjagd

As one of the newer attractions, the Fröhliche Bienenjagd (Happy Bee Hunting) in particular was a good investment. From the outside, the ride can be quite inconspicuous, but this perception changes during the ride at a stroke when the car first dashes over the small hill. The corners of the mouth distort and a wide grin appears.

Hollywood Tour

The off-the beaten track located dark ride Hollywood Tour should separate itself from the old-fashioned theme, which is hardly recognisable during the ride. However, the ride is still more exciting than Pirates in Batavia at Europa-Park, where you can take a nap for 2/3 of the 20 mins journey. Still, there is so much more potential in this ride that can be used; a look at the current state of the ride is too much of an effort and should be avoided by any means.

Temple of the Nighthawk

One floor above the Hollywood Tour you will find the Vekoma roller coaster Temple of the Nighthawk. Unfortunately this roller coaster could hardly reproduce its once fast past ride. If you ride through the pitch dark with its constant changes of right and left curves at a snail’s pace, you can definitely do without the ride despite its outstanding length. Efteling’s Vogel Rok shows how intense comparable rides can be.

Winja’s Fear and Winja’s Force

Next door you have the choice between two mediocre spinning coasters, one of which is rather bad and the other simply better in almost every respect. Of course we are talking about Winja’s Fear and Winja’s Force. If you have to queue here for more than 30 minutes, only a ride on Winja’s Fear is worthwhile, as the layout tends to approach the top-class spinning coasters Dragon’s Fury and Crush’s Coaster due to its choice of elements. Only the special elements make the rides on both tracks an experience that you should – if still unknown – experience.

Race for Atlantis

If you walk up the hill, the first thing you encounter is the simulator Race for Atlantis, the highlight of which is the safety rap of the preshow if you are guided into one of the cabins at all, as the staff often forget the passengers. The simulation itself isn’t very worth mentioning, which is a shame, as the way the movie is shown has a lot of potential.

Talocan

The HUSS Suspended Top Spin Talocan is quite stylish from the outside, but always has the problem that more people watch than ride and therefore stand gawping in your way. The ride itself is balanced, intense and can score with its rollover series, which fortunately are longer than with an older Top Spin. You get the better – and also more stomach-friendly – ride on the spectator-directed side, as the wall doesn’t constantly rob you of your orientation.

Stonewash Creek and Wildwash Creek

If you enjoy the water, you can use two water playgrounds, the multi-storey rafting ride River Quest, as well as the two log flumes Stonewash Creek and Wildwash Creek. The left side of both rides has a much too short outlet, while the other side can be surprisingly wet. However, both rides are very in need of restoration and thus it wouldn’t be really surprising to see both rides soon levelled to the ground.

River Quest

With a little luck, the Hafema raft ride can make you more wet than the two log flumes together. However, if you are really lucky it can happen that you get soaked down to your underpants. But if you are damn very lucky, it can also happen that you are temporarily flooded with so much water that the other passengers in the boat cannot even see you for a short time. Amazingly, the shoes stayed dry, so there was no danger of catching blisters or other unfavourable stuff.

Mystery Castle

In order to get dry again, a trip on the nearby freefall tower can be taken. Unfortunately, the ride which is located in a high masonry does not offer, what it should offer. Basically, Mystery Castle is just a very loud elevator in a building. There is a lack of forces which prevents the ride of being as awesome as other Intamin installations worldwide.

Silbermine and Geisterrikscha

The Silbermine and Geisterrikscha dark rides were unfortunately not worth mentioning this time, although the Silvermine had no reputation to defend, as the ride is generally considered to be boring and, above all, lengthy. In the case of the Geisterrikscha, some of the scenes were literally made worse. If you don’t want to renew the entire ride, you should make sure that the charm of the ride is not damaged by your actions.

Feng Ju Palace

In the Feng Ju Palace – the Vekoma Mad House from Phantasialand – nothing wanted to run as it should. The projection towards the end of the ride missed the intended surface and was shown on the still spinning drum. At the end of the actual ride, this mistake caused the doors to be in a rather awkward position. After some time the drum was brought back to its starting position and the doors opened.

Black Mamba

It remains a mystery how the newspaper Bild titled the roller coaster Black Mamba as a crash-coaster, as the death of the person last Saturday was not caused by an accident, but by the carelessness of the victim. Despite all attempts to experience a crash by ourselves, the Black Mamba offered the solid ride for which it is well known. Since remaining seated in spite of empty seats is still not allowed and the queue is simply too long for such undertakings, we did not make many rides.

Colorado Adventure

One or two rounds – this time with remaining seated – were instead taken on the park’s showpiece roller coaster, the Colorado Adventure. The right side of the train became compulsory for friends of water sports, as it was not spared by the waterfall of the third lift. The strangely banked curves and the generally high speed make the ride one of the best of its kind, even though the back cushion is still not very comfortable.

Tikal

This year, in addition to a good and, above all, fast wave swinger made by Zierer, which also offers a wonderfully refreshing ride, two children’s free-fall towers from the same house were able to move into Phantasialand. Even if the size is deceptive, both towers of Tikal, as well as almost all children’s rides in Phantasialand, are very convincing. The ride is very surprising and unlike elsewhere it is very dynamic.

Conclusion Phantasialand

Phantasialand is a recommendable amusement park if you either have too much money or just won a card somewhere. Unfortunately, most rides are not worth mentioning anymore. It is also astonishing that several construction sites exist until the high season. Thus, there is unfortunately the hint that there are also other amusement parks in the vicinity of the city of Cologne that do a lot better than the park in Brühl. Phantasialand currently invests a lot, so the future remains open.

 

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