You might have noticed on my social that I’ve been away in Phantasialand for a few days. It was my first time there EVER, so I thought I’d cobble together some of the details of our trip. If you’ve never been, it could start as a good reference point. Just remember – this is what we did. There are lots of different routes, transfers, places to stay. and rides to go on. Jordan at Cupcakes and Coasters was our guru on this trip – she’s got lots of posts to read about it. As well as digging around her archive, my coaster geeks mates on Twitter were super helpful too.
How we got there
Phantasialand is closest to Cologne Bonn Airport. We flew via Ryanair from Stansted. It’s possible to go there and back in a day. There are flights most days early in the morning, and then later in the evening. We were staying over, so we took the early flight on a Monday morning. This gave us almost a full day on park Monday, and a full day on Tuesday too. You can get to Phantasialand from the airport in various ways. There are public transport links. It’s only a 25 minute car journey, so Mrs H booked us a private car transfer via ZipTransfers. it was more expensive than public transport, and not too different to a taxi. I don’t like faffing, so it was nice to get to the arrivals hall to a man holding a sign saying ‘Kip Hakes’ and being whisked off in a shiny Mercedes.
Where we stayed at Phantasialand
Phantasialand has two hotels on site. One is the African themed ‘Hotel Matamba’ and the China themed ‘Hotel Ling Bao’. Both are on the edges of the park. We stayed in Matamba, you can pay a bit extra for a room with a park view – we did, and the view was INCREDIBLE. Our room overlooked the garden area of the hotel, and we had a view of the first inversion of Black Mamba.
Both hotels are exquisitely themed, they have REALLY run with the theme. There aren’t any vinyl wall printings here. It all looks incredible.
Lots of the wayfinding around the hotel is painted directly onto the walls, in a sort of ‘cave painting’ style. You really don’t feel like you’re in a hotel in Germany, you could genuinely be in the middle of Africa.
Staying in Matamba you get ERT on both Taron and Raik for 30 minutes after the park closes. As a hotel guest you also get one fastpass per person that can be used on one ride out of a selection of six. There are lots of hotels in and around Cologne you could stay at. Obviously you wouldn’t get the ERT. The onsite hotels aren’t cheap, but they are worth every single penny. Both hotels have two restaurants, an à la carte and a buffet. We went Buffet in Matamba the first night, and à la carte in Ling Bao the second. The à la carte selection was limited to us veggies. The ‘Vegetarian Starter’ actually contained fish, so – erm, it wasn’t really. The buffet in Matamba was pretty damned good for vegetarians.
The breakfast buffet in Matamba was fantastic too. You can pick up a ‘full English’ if you fancy, plus there is a seemingly endless supply of, well, everything breakfasty. The Ethiopian pancakes are delicious – try those.
Let’s talk about RIDES
Aside from picking up a few recommendations, I went in pretty much blind to all the rides. I’d heard of Taron, and that was it. I could have plowed through lots of on-ride videos on YouTube. I could have obsessed about the right ‘order’ to take the park on in. We didn’t do that. We just wandered around and enjoyed it, There are plenty of rides for the whole family. Some are incredible, others are pure ‘W.T.A.F’ – these are, in my opinion ones to try. I’ll keep the descriptions brief because I don’t want to ruin any surprises. So, in no particular order –
Taron – This is the BIGGY. It’s got TWO launches. Imagine RITA – Queen of Speed, but longer, better and less restrainty restraints. If you’re staying in the hotel and get ERT, then you’ll be able to ride it multiple times. The front row is brilliant, the back row is amazing. It’s not for the feint of heart. It’s probably my favourite coaster ever.
Maus-Au-Chocolat – This is, i suppose a ‘dark ride’ you have to wear 3D glasses, and actually, that’s all I’m going to tell you. Please, try it. It’s a wonderful, wonderful, family ride!
Winjas : Force & Fear – These are two indoor, spinning coasters. In the station the queue-line splits off into a Force side and a Fear side. Try both of them. We favoured ‘Fear’, both are different. Do yourself a favour and don’t watch any POV videos. Let it all be a surprise! Each ride is slightly different based on the way the carriages spin, much like Spinball Whizzer and Dragons Fury. It’s blumming great!
Wellenflug – I’m not usually a massive fan of Wave Swingers (like Monkey Swinger at Chessington) they make me a bit giddy. The Wellenflug has fountains that are timed with the ride, they give you a great ‘near miss’ effect for a foot soaking. Also they have a few ‘two seater’ seats, which are great if you’re a couple, or taking a little one on.
Chiapas – Log Flumes are a dying breed in the UK. Chiapas is one of the best I’ve every ridden, there are multiple drops, and.. Well – it’s bloody mental. We didn’t get soaked, although the water in the boat DRENCHED my shoes. I can’t say much without giving stuff away. Give it a ride though, you won’t be disappointed.
Hollywood Boat Tour – This is WTAF in ride form, give it a go. You’ll leave feeling a bit baffled.
Mystery Castle – An inside drop tower ride, over 60m tall. You actually get a better (longer) ride after 2pm. It’s a lot of fun.
Raik – It reminded me a lot of the ‘Velociraptor’ at Paultons Park. It’s intertwined with Taron too. Nothing too crazy, and pretty short, but very enjoyable all the same!
Black Mamba – Yaaaaaass! Long and relentless, this B&M inverter won my heart. Make sure you queue for the front row, there’s some cracking views and lots of ‘fuuuuuck we’re going to hit a wall” moments.
Geister Rikscha – A bit like the Hollywood Boat Tour – it’s a little ‘WTF’. if you remember the Wicked Witches Haunt – it’s got a real vibe of that. I was largely on a nostalgia trip and partly confused. It generally is walk on. so give it a go!
Night of the Terror Hawk – The world’s longest indoor rollercoaster – it is in complete darkness and has a bit of a feel of the Black Hole / X : No Way Out. No less than three lift hills, it goes on FOREVER.
Colorado Adventure – A simple ‘Runaway Mine Train’ you’d think. You’d be wrong. It’s FIERCE. Make sure you don’t miss it!
This isn’t ALL the rides, not by a long shot, but these ones stood out to me, and should definitely be attempted. Hotel Tartüff is a cool little fun house attraction. Just be SUPER careful in the mirror maze section. Mrs H walked into a sheet of glass and ended up with a bloodied and bruised nose. it kinda took the fun out of it all.
A quick note about tickets. There don’t appear to be many discounts or 2 for 1 floating around like you get for Merlin Parks over here. However they do (currently) run a ‘Pay Once – Enjoy Twice’ scheme. You can get your day ticket swapped for a new ticket valid in April, May, June and September. So we paid for tickets on the Monday, and swapped our tickets for return tickets on Tuesday.
There you go – a fairly comprehensive beginners guide to Phantasialand. I’ve filmed two days worth of vlogs which I’ll stick in the Video Blogs playlist soon. If you’ve got any questions, just drop a comment below!