G-force on a log flume? Airtime on river rapids? Phantasialand is not messing around.

Before I discuss each attraction, I just want to say that the entire park is absolutely stunning. Every inch, corner, roof and footpath of the place is fully themed, fully immersive (they even hide (most of) their speakers!) and you really get the feeling that no expense has been spared and that the place is really cared about and well maintained.

Colorado Adventure

Looking like a proper runaway mine train (the coasting type, not the powered type) giving me strong Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 vibes, deeply integrated with rock work and Mexican theming, I thought this would be a good ride to start the day and build up that adrenaline for the bigger rides. I’ve heard it’s got a surprising kick towards the back, so to the back I headed and thrilled I was. This coaster really picks up speed around its drops. It’s a great length, featuring 3 lift hills and at one part has you thrown around with quite some velocity in the pitch black for what feels like forever. The dispatching is also insanely fast on this. 

Raik

I thought this was such an underrated dark horse of a ride. Even though this markets itself as a tamer kids ride, maybe slightly disregarded by a lot of thrill-seekers, I thought it was pretty thrilling (on the back row, at least). The station looked excellent, really atmospheric and with satisfying light sequences that change colour as the train leaves and passes back through the station before weaving its way around the beautiful Klugheim area. I actually thought it was one of the nicest executed rides at the park (they were all tremendously well executed, but I supposed I expected less from this and for it to be more of a ‘filler’). I was surprised at how fast it went, it absolutely roars around the track so much so that I kept genuinely mistaking it for Taron in the corner of my eye!

Photography by The Theme Park Company

Winjas

These spinning coasters come as a duo, one named Fear and the other named Force. I was keen to ride both, but I was only able to ride Force due to Fear being closed. I didn’t know what I was expecting but I certainly wasn’t expecting what I got. A selection of super quick and aggressive moving tracks, randomly punchy airtime hills and slanted switch tracks made us all laugh and scream all the way around. This ride certainly has character – a bit of a mischievous and aggressive one (in all the best ways). After riding it both facing forward and facing backward, my favourite was definitely to start facing forward as nothing beats being lifted up into that room and the doors opening to reveal that unexpectedly steep first drop in front of you.

My only gripe with this is the confusing cattlepen of a queue line, it’s pretty easy to miss at what point you’re supposed to split left or right for Fear or Force, and it’s also not at all clear which side takes you to which ride (obviously on your second time you would know to go the other way). Maybe that’s the idea, that you don’t know which you’ll end up on on your first time. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Photography by Josh Shaw

Chiapas

Being the world’s steepest log flume, I was very intrigued to get on this. Who knew there could be G-force on a log flume? This ride is not messing about, fast lift hills and switch tracks throw you around and take you on a journey of nervous laughter through a selection of rather weird and amusing scenery and rooms. A backwards drop takes you past a bizarre fiesta of Mexican skulls having some sort of rave that provides a moment of levity before the panic of being drenched resumes on the other side. Oh, and that drop is steep. Borderline hypercoaster in a boat.

(Bottom) Photography by Josh Shaw

Chiapas water boat splash after big drop

River Quest

Being accustomed to the Alton Towers’ rapids, I wasn’t expecting this at all. Who knew you could get airtime on river rapids? This thing relentlessly throws you around a series of weirdly shaped and surprisingly steep drops and it’s all wonderfully petrifying. I certainly enjoyed the more daring and free nature of these rapids in contrast to the health and safety gone mad situation we seem to be having with rapids in the UK. In terms of soakability, it’s a russian roulette depending on what seat you’re in.

(Bottom) Photography by The Theme Park Company

Talocan

This is easily one of the most spectacular rides I’ve ever watched. Flame bursts and fountains in perfect sequence to excellent music, a narrative, and impressive rock work? Sign me up. However once I got on, I absolutely hated every second of it. I won’t say any more, I just found the restraints deeply unforgiving and didn’t particularly enjoy the feeling of being spun so forcefully that I thought blood was coming out of my eyes.

Black Mamba

I’m not a big fan of B&M inverts, I think they look great, but the constant downward force nature of them makes them not my favourite type of coaster to ride. We were lucky to get front row on this, and whilst I did enjoy it by all means, it was never destined to be up there for me with it being a typical B&M invert. I will say however that it easily has the best queue line and station theming I have ever seen in my life. The station is unbelievably atmsopheric, so dark it’s almost difficult to walk to your airgate, which are all separated with tree trunks (?), and the roof covered in wooden spears and rope as far as you can see (which isn’t very). The dispatch sequence also pleased me greatly, every time a train sets off, the station drops to pitch black and (very) loud African drumming music sends you off, what an absolute joy sequence and great way to get the adrenaline pumping. You also re-enter the break-run in pitch black which is pretty disorientating.

Mystery Castle

*Non-spoiler section*

This was one of my very favourite attractions at the park, genuinely competing with Taron for me. I’m a big fan of dark rides, spooky themes and unexpected thrills, so this was the perfect cocktail of an attraction. Walking down the queue path towards the tall tower of the unknown, standing over you intimidatingly. Ride system aside, the way it is orchestrated and the integration of it with the timing of lights and sound make this an absolute joy sequence unlike one I’ve ever seen before. 

*Spoiler section* (skip this if you’re planning to go, it’s way more fun as a surprise!)

This ride features 2 different sequences depending on what time of day it is (which I’m not personally a big fan of, as I believe everyone should always have as similar an experience as possible to others on a single attraction), however I tried both and really, sequence 2 is just sequence 1 with an extra ‘trick’ section before it. I wasn’t sure exactly what this ride was going to entail, and walking into the room of seats lit by a creepy cyan light and people in black robes had me genuinely nervous.

The most haunting and pleasantly traumatising part of this ride is not only the feeling of dropping for what seems eternity in the pitch black, but how it first launches everyone all the way to the top of the castle (first launching quite slowly then speeding up half way up to take you by surprise), then holds you at the top floating out of your seat and shines weird blue lights and lightning bolts on you, giving you a moment to look around and realise the ridiculous situation you’re in, everyone sat around a room screaming for their life with nothing but pitch black beneath you, before the lights go off and it pulls you all the way back down. I also really loved the use of evil laughing sounds, wind generators and dark corridors and actors in the queue line.

(Bottom) Photography by Josh Shaw

Taron

I was very aware of the fandom that surrounds this coaster, many people having it as their number 1 and most having it in their top 5, so I tried to go on it with no expectations. I must say after my first ride, I rolled back into the station very thrilled and very mind-blown, but also with a teeny tiny feeling of ‘I don’t get it’. It was an extremely good and fun coaster, but I felt like I wasn’t quite understanding what was SO god-like about it that everyone raved about. But the whole ride was a blur. After my second go, that all changed and I enjoyed it 100x times more than the first go. By my fourth ride, on the back row, I was speechless. I ended the day with a lucky front row ride, a damaged throat from screaming all day, and Taron being firmly one of my favourite roller coasters I’ve ever ridden.

P.S. I can’t seem to figure out if the second launch sound is a speaker or something on the train/track (or a bit of both?), let me know if you know!

I'm off to Europa Park next week, will that top this?