Day 7: Phantasialand and Aachen Ocher Bend
Before visiting Phantasialand, I knew just a few things about this park: That they have the best well themed B&M in the world, two spinning coasters that Elissa liked a lot, even thought she's not found of spinning coasters, something Michael Jackson related, a 65m tall frog hopper and that they have one ride where you get to shoot some mice in a bakery store. Shame on me! Phantasialand is sooo much more than that!
I parked my car in the Mystery Castle parking lot, but since drop towers scare the hell out of me, I decided to visit the park in a counter-clockwise direction, so Mystery Castle would be my last ride of the day.
I didn't ride the River Quest,it was really cold that day. Now I regret it. I would probably freeze to death, but after reading some reviews here at TPR, It was a ride I couldn't have missed. Well, I'll have to go back during the summer!
So I went directly to the end of the park to ride Temple of The Night Hawk. Again, it was... dark. A moving chair in the dark. Not Space Mountain, for sure.
The next ride was Winjas! I loved the "Winjas building", where you can see the cars spinning throught the track, but you can't tell if they are on the Fear side or the Force side. Winjas Fear is AMAZING, specially if you go backwards in the first two drops. It is something very unique, different from all the spinning coasters I've ever ridden. It was a very pleasant surprise! Winjas Force is not that good, it is a little bit rougher, but the track "stop-incline-go" at the end is soooo funny. Two thumbs up for Winjas!
Race for Atlantis is an Imax Ride very similar to Simpsons, the Ride at both Universal Studios. And I thought it was very, very good. Almost as good as The Simpsons. Place third on my list (1- Simpsons, the ride, 2- Back To The Future and 4- Spiderman).
My next ride was Maus au Chocolat, the best shooting ride EVER. It is a little bit too long, at some point I couldn't feel my arms anymore, but it was worthed. I scored 140.000 points, witch I thought was an amazing score until I was told that the best score was something like 710.000. Asians, probably.
After a brief lunch, Black Mamba! Before riding it, I thought "ok, it is just another B&M with a nice theme. I was wrong. Black Mamba is incredible! I had no idea that an inverted coaster could have so much air time! At one point my body was floating 2, 3 seconds in the air without touching the seat. I wanna say Black Mamba is the best inverted coaster ever built, but I have to ride Alpengheist once more before I make my final decision. And they say Nemesis is supposed to be even better (never ridden it). Anyway, Black Mamba makes the top 3 inverted coasters in the world, for sure!
After riding what could be the best inverted coaster ever, I rode the best mine train ever! Colorado Adventure! OMG, amazing. I just didn't understand what Michael Jackson has to do with this ride.
Phantasialand has a "Haunted Mansion" type of ride, but it is really bad.
So, time to face Mystery Castle. I asked one good friend of mine what was inside Mystery Castle before visiting Phantasialand. His exact words were: "it's a giant frog hopper". "But it is Intamin's?" "Yes, but it's not just a drop tower". Well, drop towers scare the hell out of me, and I'm really not found of Intamin rides (chubby people + Intamin rides never got along with each other), but I decided to give it a try. Mystery Castle is very different, very unique, and I'm very inclined to say that it's better than Disney's Tower of Terror. The layout is very interesting, with 48 people sitting around a "crazy scientist's office". Then, they shoot you up, down, up again, down again - at some point I had no idea if my body was going up or down - and then it pulls you all the way to the top, and drops. AMAZING. I rode it again, and again, and again.
Phantasialand is not a park with a lot of rides, but man, they really know how the make the best out of each one!
So far in my trip I found:
The Best Powered Coaster ever: Bob Express
The Best Shooting Ride Ever: Maus au Chocolat
The Best Spinning Coaster Ever: Winjas - Fear
The Best Mine Train Ever: Colorado Adventure
The Best GCI Ever: Joris en de Draak
The Best Drop Tower Ever: Mystery Castle
The Second Best Imax ride: Race to Atlantis
Top 3 inverted Coaster: Black Mamba
Aachen Ocher Bend:
Aachen is located 71km (44miles) away from Phantasialand, and lucky me, there was a fairly sized kermis (Ocher Bend) in Aachen that week, with a special extra something: It was Artistico's premiere!
Artistico is a 46m tall Mondial pendulum ride that looks like KMG's XXL, but with the seats facing outside. It is the first of it's king in the world, and it is very impressive. It's almost as good as MaxAir. Really. It is that good!
Ocher Bend also had the Booster Maxx (55m tall booster) ride. I must say, european boosters and american boosters are very, very different. American boosters are a fun, enjoy the view, ride, and Booster Maxx is more like "I'm gonna die here" type of ride. At some point it speeds so much that the seats don't even spin anymore.
I also rode a regular spinning coaster from Maurer, but after riding Winjas on the same day, it was just bleh.
That ended the first half of my trip. It was time to travel to Frankfurt for a few days.