Coo’s gone! One of the many statements made at Phantasialand.
If we thought De Panne was hard to get into, it wasn’t even the worst of the Plopsas for having an awkward calendar, running weekends only and having sporadic blackout dates for total takeovers, Plopsa Coo suddenly became unobtainable mid-trip. This meant that a day that was originally billed to be boring +1s for the sake of a Plopsa card was freed up for some unfinished business.
Starting with a Eurodemption casualty from last year.
Day 22 – Fraispertuis City
And what a glorious day for it.
After almost two weeks without riding a Soquet, it was good to get reacquainted with the French classic.
#1 Grand Canyon was most notable for having hilariously violent braking on the ‘mid-course’ and the fact that the layout has been extended since the original design. Bonus helix!
Another park with coasters all the same colour. Another Zierer Tivoli. This time a small called #2 Ronde des Rondins.
And of course their signature S&S El Loco, #3 Timber Drop.
Rode smooth, I still kinda like them for their quirky elements. Not bad at all, if you get the restraints just right (years of Slammer experience finally paying off).
Highlight of the park is this monster though, the Golden Driller.
A massive Intamin drop tower with a vast array of seating/standing options. I love how the guy is still wearing his hat in each, no fear.
Warmed up on the sit down tilt, which was really good, then went for the standing tilt, which is apparently the tallest in the world for that specific configuration. I thought I had no fear either when it came to drop towers these days, though it was triggered by something unexpected. Once you get to the top there’s a camera thing on a stick pointing at you from above. For some reason clocking that, rather than something in the far distance, then noticing what it’s attached to suddenly made me appreciate the full extent of what was about to happen, far too late. Which made it all the more fun of course. Love a good stomach plummeting drop.
The park obviously have a thing for drop towers as well, as they also have this vicious little Le Cactus. One of those teasing bouncy numbers that violently chucks you forwards at the last second of the cycle. Terrifying.
With that it was park complete, time to grab some crêpes for the road. Felt good to finally dust off Fraispertuis, yet another one of those parks that kept meaning to happen but never did. It’s a great little place, though wouldn’t be much cop if ridiculous drop towers aren’t your thing, other than the +3.
On a personal note it’s a shame I now feel like I don’t really have anything left to do in France though except wait for Asterix to step the game up, twice over.
We were now geographically as close as we were going to get to revenging that silly Swiss Chocolate Museum that also never happened. Time for another stupid drive to Lucerne I guess…
The place, officially, is the Swiss Transport Museum.
But we were here for their dark ride – a shipping container on a scissor lift.
Or maybe that was just the weird means of getting to the right floor, complete with themed screens.
The actual Swiss Chocolate Adventure ride is a fascinating use of trackless vehicles as a ‘virtual tour’ of Lindt’s chocolate making process. All the audio is in German, but they provide you with little handheld walkie talkie type devices that can shout whatever language you like right into your ear, provided you don’t get distracted easily or push a wrong button.
It’s really long, thankfully, goes on for around 20 minutes in total and travels between a combination of just screens with narration.
Rooms with physical sets.
Rooms with layered rotating cutouts of cows.
Rooms with mesmerising mechanical devices stirring up chocolate that may or may not be real.
And, most importantly of all, a room where you drive up to a nozzle that shoots out a load of free chocolates (wrapped) at you.
It’s nothing thrilling obviously and there wasn’t even much in the way of groundbreaking information from an educational perspective. People farm beans, we buy them, we squash them, chocolate.
I liked watching the system go to work mainly, the positioning of all the different places you need to get to in the right order is a little all over the place, so there’s many an opportunity for cars dancing around each other, queueing up or getting stuck and plenty of second guessing as to what’s coming next.
We had a weird interlude, for want of a better word, where it just went round and round the warehouse looking outer area for a bit, gold disco lights flashing and music blaring. My best guess is either a cover story for an interruption in operation or it simply broke itself and thought that was the most fun way to compensate – I’m inclined to agree.
I had a lot of fun with it, but by no means would I recommend going out of your way for this thing, especially not to the extent that we did. If you’re in Switzerland, give it a passing thought, but it ain’t no Cadbury World.