5 Things I'd Change About Phantasialand

Having returned from yet another visit to my favourite theme park in the world, Phantasialand, I am once again reeling at the near perfection of the place. In a world where a lot of theme parks are derivative and either stacked with IP or take 'inspiration' from one another, every time I leave I am blown away at just how special and unique Phantasialand is. The place oozes originality and works to inspire awe from every facet, from immersive hotel experiences to coasters that are equal parts thrilling and themed - it really does have it all. 

Or does it? Often I am blinkered by my fangirl goggles when it comes to Phantasialand. Having visited the park consistently for coming on fifteen years now I've watched the very fabric of the landscape change and grow with investment after investment of world-beating new attractions. Which means that whilst a lot of the park is nigh on perfection, it's also had the adverse effect of really casting a spotlight on the areas that need bringing in line with the rest of the place. Here's five things I'd change about Phantasialand. 

And to caveat, this is naive, uneducated, blue sky thinking, unhindered by the realities of planning permission, aggy locals, parks budgets and timelines etc. Join me as a I dream, for just a sec. 

OK let's start off big. With eight coasters of varying size and variety, I do think that actually, the park's coaster offering is solid. It doesn't feel like it's lacking anything in that department, with everything from great family coasters to intense, excellently themed thrill coasters, it's 10/10 no notes. But the dark ride line-up is a different story. 

Don't get me wrong, I adore Maus au Chocolat and its quaint whimsy, and Geister Rikchsa's unhinged popping animatronics and non-sensical narrative, but the park is missing something we've seen very much on the rise in other parks and that is a thrill-lead dark ride. But I'm not talking something heavily screen-based like something you'd find in Universal Orlando - but something with more animatronics and gorgeous set dressing and theming. The park used to be wall-to-wall animatronic-laden dark ride and show experiences, so it's very much in their bones to be able to deliver something like that and I feel like it would round off the attraction line-up to near perfection. 

I very recently tweeted that I hope the park never touch Wuze Town, and by that I mean the essence of Wuze Town. That sensation you get just by being in there that feels like waking up from a dream you can only half remember. I have no idea how they've managed to capture that, but they have and it's special so we can leave that well alone. 

But, being in there I feel like there's things we could do to elevate it. To further perfect something that's already close to it. I'm talking closing off some of the more open areas, replacing some of the tatty and sun-washed fabrics, adding animatronics and moving parts. Something I've praised lands like Rookburgh and Klugheim for is the way the theming feels like the lands are lived in, which subsequently leaves us guests feeling like players in an RPG. Phantasialand don't tell us the story, they simply give us the landscape and let us have our own adventure. That's half-way there in Wuze Town but they really upped their game with more recent additions and I feel like some of those learnings need to be leant to bringing this liminal fantasy land in line with the rest of the park. 

I know, collectively we all agree that the main entrance of the park is wildly at odds with the thematic aesthetic of the inside of Phantasialand. I also know we all know the park are incredibly limited for space in the immediate area for parking and the like. So my suggestion is bulldoze the whole thing as it is. Rebuild the main entrance into something worthy of calling itself the gateway to the best themed park in the world rather than somewhere that feels like a teenager is going to push his mixtape on me. Create something the House of the Five Senses would be jealous of. 

And, instead of having car parks on site, have a park and ride system somewhere nearby instead. Build a big ol' ugly mega multi-story car park in the nearby area and run cool themed busses to and from this to protect that bubble of immersion. Honestly, exiting the fantastical worlds within the park gates to immediately be hit with ugly urban 70s style architecture is a jolting slap to the face and not fair to the experiences the park has to offer, especially if you're not luckly enough to extend your stay at one of the Resort hotels. 

As previously mentioned, Phantasialand has a historical love story with animatronic laden dioramas and fairytale scenes, and over the years as bigger and better ideas have come along those have now largely disappeared from the park. I know Efteling is only down the road and they're arguably the best in the business at the whole fairytale forest thing, but given Phantasialand's experience with the artform and their now serious wealth of knowledge with developing their own themed worlds and stories, I think they could give them a serious run for their money. 

As much as I adore the park, given the limited space to work with, every inch of the park is wall to wall packed with incredible theming, kinetic energy, gorgeous soundtracks and the sound of guests enjoying the whole thing. What it lacks is respite from that - somewhere to just take a beat and recover from the overwhelming awe of the place and I feel a revived Marchenwald in the modern Phantasialand style would be the perfect remedy to balance this. 

And finally, the merch. My god the merch is, for lack of a better word, appalling. As mentioned, I've been visiting the park for almost fifteen years at this point, and I kid you not they're still selling a lot of the same things they were back when I first darkened their doorway. It's just...crap. It's nonsensical. It's tat nobody in their right mind would want - obsessed with dragon characters in a way that the rest of the park doesn't seem to be. It needs a serious overhaul - gotta throw the whole Haus of Dragons away and start from scratch. As much as I love laughing at how crap it is, I would love to spend more money with the park on things I'd actually like as mementos of my visits to my favourite park in the world and I know I'm not alone in this. 


So, what do you think of my ideas? Anything else you'd suggest? Anything I've suggested that you disagree with? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,


  1. Just back from a 2-day trip which included a night at the Charles Lindbegh Hotel so enjoyed reading your blog. I agree with most of your points though my own wish is that the park might get a wooden coaster - something like Wodan or Leviathan. I'd also like them to convert the now defunct Hollywood tours into something like Fatima at Efteling.
    The merch is pants! My main bugbear with this park is lack of free wifi. I had to go to the hotel to use wifi. Another gripe I have is the queue times do not get updated frequently so they are useless as a guide. Food offering around park is excellent and the Charles Lindbergh hotel is on another level. I've never had such an immersive experience as I did while staying there. Love the 1919 bar and the adjacent restaurant.