Ride Review – Taron
There’s an unavoidable sense of awe around this Intamin multi launch coaster, particularly if you enter it from the direction at which you can look down on most of it from above. Taron has the most ‘crossing points’ of it’s own track over itself, on any coaster in the world. I could stand and look at it for hours. How they fit all of this ride into one of the most immersively constructed lands out there defies belief.
Because you can just enter Klugheim as if it existed first, the section of Phantasialand that it is located in. It’s like a small viking town with shops, a bar and a cafe. All the while this dominating presence of a rollercoaster is just there, seemlessly integrated with it. And it’s not just the visuals. The noise that the launches on the ride make echo throughout the area with an almost vicious anger and it’s deeply satisfying to hear, even more so once you’ve experienced the ride.
That’s why we’re here though right? The ride. It’s amazing.
I have to admit though, I find it hard to comprehend and quantify the experience, so bear with me.
The trains are new ground for Intamin, in a way they emulate the Mack launch coaster, with a comfy lap restraint that comes in over your head, slightly raised seating that leaves most people’s feet dangling, though still with a floor beneath them and most importantly – a very open sensation, lots of room for the top half of your body to move around with relative freedom. This sensation is important, because of what Taron relies most upon.
Once you’re on board, the train pulls out of the station and onto the first launch track, teases you for a second and then fires away with a quick burst of speed into a sharp corner around some rockwork. There’s a lot of those.
From here, it’s the transitions that make up the majority of the ride experience. In the way that the track twists and turns around itself, more often than not the direction changes are very sharp and this is what provides the force of the ride. The near misses with the scenery can have you independently ducking and diving as much as the train.
The second launch is potentially my favourite moment on any coaster. The way the ride violently drops into it, at the bottom of a pit, is just so unique and satisfying. It’s already fast, but it’s about to get a whole lot faster. With no hesitation at all, you accelerate to what feels like a million miles an hour through the trench, with the train and seats vibrating and shaking beneath you with the raw power of the LIMs – the power that makes the wonderful noise that echoes through Klugheim. It’s nothing short of exhilarating. I find myself throwing my arms wide open and just screaming “AHHHHHH!” at this moment. That’s not a very me thing to do.
As a rule to myself, rides cannot be measured by single moments alone and this becomes Taron’s downfall. It has to be about the whole package for me. Launches aside, the rest of the ride is a good little sit down, a bit of tossing and turning, but it’s never truly intense and it never really excels at anything else in any particular way. I have never found any notable airtime on the ride and without any focus on that, I think having specific elements could have also helped to give it a bit more for me to rave about.
The trim brakes at the end of the ride also act against it for me. It contradicts what I said earlier about the wonderment of fitting everything into this land. They almost found design perfection, but they had to compromise somewhere to make it fit in a forced manner and it’s a bit of an anticlimax to an otherwise spectacular ride.
I love the music for Taron, it’s one of my most listened to soundtracks and hearing it in the ride area always gives me a buzz.
I despise the queue, it starts out great, meandering through rockwork and track supports but ends up in front of what looks like a multi storey car park with a massive section of cattlepen. As it was with other queues in the park, the guests are all overly packed into this tight space but this time they’re also always chainsmoking. A literal haze forms over the queue from the amount of smoking that goes on here and it puts me right off.
So that’s Taron, almost perfection. One of very few coasters in the world that has caused me to return to a park that had built no new attractions since my previous visit. The lure of a night ride is that strong.