Attraction Review: Phantasialand Wintertraum


Following Winter Efteling, Wintertraum was probably my most wanted theme park event in Europe, so I was absolutely buzzing when we pulled up. That is...until we hit about 20 mins of traffic on the motorway junction leading up to the park, which was quickly realised was entirely because of the event. Shit. This is going to be busy! We even ended up in the overflow car park (which backs onto some allotments at the end of people's gardens - stark reminder of how close the park is to the surrounding houses!).


Phantasialand always has this weird thing I find - no matter how busy the place gets, since Klugheim and Taron have been on the scene they seem to be the only rides that garner any sort of a queue. And today was no different - we ended up in the park around 11.45AM and by this time Taron had an 80 minute queue, but pretty much everything else was on 15-20 mins. Not bad!





We had a bit of a mooch to start with to check out some of the Christmas decorations. I loved the piles of real snow, and we figured they must replenish this at the end/start of every day because by the end of the first day it was absolutely trashed? I absolutely love little touches like this and it's one of the reasons Phantasialand is so great - can you imagine any other park in the world going to that effort? Nope, me neither.





Also the Phantasialand dragons seem to play a large part in the Christmas decs - each area has a cluster of baubles featuring each land's dragons! Also, each land has their own style of Christmas decorations in general, the first of which we got to enjoy was Fantasy and Wuze Town as we headed over to check out Winjas.









I always adore this area, for some reason it reminds me of NeverEnding Story or Return to Oz or something, it's kind of nightmarish and strange but in a fantasy style? It's really hard to explain but I reckon you guys know what I'm trying to get at.

Winjas had like...a 20 min queue? The whole cattlepens before you reach the stairs into the station was full but the operations on this ride are obscene so it moved super quick. Winjas, as always, was fun. I do hate that they force you to take your bag on with you depsite having a bag rack in the station, I'm always slightly paranoid mine is going to pop open and send all my stuff flying, so I always find it hard to fully let go and enjoy the ride fully. But I still love it, easily the best Maurer Sohne spinner in the world.





We hopped aboard the Hollywood Boat Tour for a quick jaunt into the movies next - which was walk on. I love the crusty old animatronics and scale of this ride - and I'm acutely aware that any ride on this thing may well be my last as it's easily on of the older attractions in the park.



Done with Wuze Town we wandered back through Berlin and over towards Chiapas. Yep, despite it being about 3 degrees and River Quest being closed, this Intamin log flume was going strong and churning out the boats, so we decided to give it a ride! The thing was walk on, because only mad people like to do log flumes in freezing cold weather, and because we didn't get too wet on our first round we decided to reride (we didn't even have to leave our boat!) This time we got pretty wet so sacked off a third go and went in search of Taron.




Oh damn, how I love this coaster. I always take ages to actually get into the queue for Taron because I'm way too busy taking pics and stuff. Usually I would say wait until the evening to ride Taron - it really is a coaster that warms up towards the end of the day and you'll likely be disappointed if you did your first ride any earlier, but at this point I couldn't contain my excitement any more.



















Taron always lies about how long its queue is by the way - it reckoned 50 mins but we would have only waited 30 if we hadn't opted for a front row ride (a must for me!) And as suspected, it was fun but nowhere near peak Taron. It was incredibly cold though - especially that second launch. It really wanted you to feel every bit of the ice in the air!




On this trip we finally got to eat at Rutmor's Tavern in Klugheim! Every time we've visited the park this restaurant has either been closed or full with a huge wait, but seeing as we had two days we decided to wait it out this time. When you go in it's easy to see why the wait is so long - there's only about 10 tables in the entire place! The decor is amazing, I felt like we were dining at Winterfell and the open fireplace was very welcoming considering the weather! We had a huge platter of meat, cheese and bread - it was so filling! So glad we finally got to enjoy this place, it's fab!





















It was getting dark now so we wandered over to Mystery Castle for a ride via China to check out their Christmas lights. Easily the best in the park, especially if you do what we did and wander into the gardens of Hotel Ling Bao. Wow. Absolutely incredible - thousands and thousands of white lights smother the already beautiful courtyard. Absolutely amazing!






We got the long cycle on Mystery Castle, yay! One of my favourite things to do at Phantasialand is stare directly at the ceiling as you launch up on Mystery Castle, it really heightens the terror for me! I'm really not a fan of drop towers but Mystery Castle rides like a frog hopper going through an emo faze so it's right up my street. Love.










Time for the first of the two shows at Wintertraum - Tiempo de Fuego, a projection mapping and fire show on the Chiapas theming. We arrived about 30 mins before to make sure we had a front row view, grabbed some nachos and a drink and waited. My god - this show is absolutely incredible. The projection mapping is absolutely beautiful and very unique, the IMAscore soundtrack is obviously banging and then the fire. Oh good lord - so much fire! I was expecting like a little bit here and there but this is like a full of Aquanura but with fire instead of water. It's bloody fantastic, definitely a must do if you visit Wintertraum.

Time for some night rides! First up, Colorado Adventure. We always ride back row for extra madness, but riding this thing in the dark is next level, off the scale insanity. Especially as riding with Conor who is a fair bit bigger than me means my lapbar is pretty much redundant and Conor has to physically hold me in the seat to stop me floating away to my doom. I love it, easily the best Runaway Train in the world.



We realised at this point that we hadn't even set foot in Africa yet, and we'd never actually done Black Mamba in the dark before so we gave it a whirl considering it was walk on, yay! I think between this area and Fantasy are my favourite Christmas decorations of all time. I love non-traditional Christmas lights and the colour scheme of the lights in Africa up against the majesty of Black Mamba really did something for me. Wish we had more time to just mooch around and soak it all in.












Day two was essentially a mash up of re-riding our favourites, as well as a few goes on Maus au Chocolate which we didn't have time for on day one! I loved all the little Christmassy touches on this ride like mini Christmas hats on the mice and Christmas clothing strewn around the physical sets. Again, it's those smaller touches that make Phantasialand such an incredible park.

Unfortunately the big show, The Magic Rose - Spirit of Light, was cancelled on our visit due to the poor weather (I say poor, it was snowing so I guess you could say that's an extra touch of wintery magic!) Frustrating because we arrived an hour early to get the best spot which ended up being a waste! Never mind, I'm sure we'll be back at some point.















Wintertraum is everything I wanted from a Christmas/Winter event. The spectacle of all of the Christmas decorations and how each area has their own unique style just shows the extra thought and effort put into this event. Nothing beats rides in the dark so there's the extra joy of that and then to top it all of you have all of the amazing smells and tastes of the food and drink available in Berlin, all set off to a Christmassy soundtrack! Easily the best Christmas event I've ever done at a theme park (and I've been to Disney World's!) I highly recommend considering Wintertraum for winter 2018, you will not regret it!



Have you visited Wintertraum? What did you love about it? Let me know in the comments and we can have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

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