Austria + Germany 08/16 – Fantasiana + Freizeitpark Ruhpolding
The park website for Fantasiana having bold claims of being home to the best dark rides in Europe caught my attention during the planning of this trip, although it was a little out of the way.
The journey down into Austria was somewhat stressful due to the fact I forgot to research any implications of the country border crossing here and many signs along the autobahn were giving indication of a permit or sticker being required for driving on their neighbour’s roads. I became sure that at some point I was just going to race up to a toll booth type situation and have to have an awkward conversation complete with language barrier about how much I had messed up.
Luckily after much German sign scrutinising there was a break off point in the centre of the road, before we reached the border, that sold the stickers on the spot for no more than a few Euros.
Day 3 – Fantasiana
The entrance to the park takes you past an indoor walkthrough section with fairy tales in display cabinets. A very common theme in this part of the world.
Sindbad’s Abenteuerreise was somewhat more scare orientated compared to the adventures that I had imagined and the result was a rather loveable and quirky ghost train type experience.
The queue had this bloke waffling on about something while water gushed from his mouth and that was only the first of many delights.
My first experience with a Pax coaster and visually there’s something off about it. The hideous shaping makes for a great ride though, supplying vicious airtime way beyond what anyone would expect for something this size.
He’s definitely not ducking there is he? The clearance in parts seems way off for standard regulations and that’s part of the charm – I like a bit of real peril with my rides.
Knightsride Tower was running on a time slot basis. This was a really good attraction as well.
The queue had smoky animatronic dragon and spiders.
The ride that followed was a very interesting drop tower sequence compared to other rides of this ilk, utilising various positions to present you with actual dark ride scenes, along with good music and bonus effects.
Although the drop itself was short, it was well timed and packed a punch.
Mami Wata was yet another hit, squeezing a good amount of fun into a tiny space with the use of turntables and elevators with the signature craziness of a Hafema build. The ride also comes with its own ImaScore CD, which was instantly purchased and remains one of my favourite theme park tracks.
They had a train with some dinosaurs, all the rage these days.
They even booked a band for the day.
Killed some time with re-rides until after lunch, when Castle Dracula opened. This was a scare attraction that started out with a solo trip through a mirror maze and then became many animatronic and effect based scenes. It acted as though it was quite an intense experience for a very family orientated park, with a couple of groups leaving the queue prematurely during the warning announcements. This seemed a little unnecessary from my assessment of the inside, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
While the bold claims on the website may not be fully true, Fantasiana is definitely a little gem of a park with some very good attractions as well as probably having the nicest atmosphere of the whole trip.
Satisfied with the success of that find, we raced back over the border for this jolly fellow.
This park is hidden away deep in the woods somewhere, filled with lots of play equipment, plus more dinosaurs and fairy tales of course.
It is also home to a small Gerstlauer shuttle coaster, which is somewhat of a rare breed.
Gipfelstürmer is very good fun for its size, the flat section of track at the top of the reverse spike lift hill means that the back seat gets whipped forwards into the first drop with quite a jolt.
Another snappy twisted hill moment also means there’s a few more forces going on compared to the Vekoma equivalents.
It has a great name to say as well.
No, that’s a crane in the background, not another cred unfortunately. The park were building a water slide or something.