EP + Phantasia Trip review


TS Member
Have just returned from a 6 day trip to Germany to take in two days at both PhantasiaLand & Europa Park. Suffice it to say it was a brilliant trip & both parks put the UK park offerings to absolute shame. But each park had very slight issues.

PhantasiaLand is a very compact park, so they have to build upwards / downwards to fit rides in, which makes for very interesting rides. The theming is exquisite & beyond Disney in quality – you only have to look at all the extra bits they have added that add cost, but nothing to the ride experience.

The only breakdown on the entire trip we encountered was on F.L.Y. – and it was handled in a shocking manner, even Merlin would have done it better (probably). We had put our stuff in the lockers & were waiting for the “security check” when the ride went down. After 15mins there was an announcement [in German, which I understand] saying the ride was down – I think most people had figured this out. 15mins later the second announcement went out along the lines of “we have no timescale for resolution, please leave the area”. No sniff of an exit / fastpass pass for those who had all but been about to board the ride. We went to Guest Services to complain about the total waste of 55mins of our day and got issued with Fastpass passes for F.L.Y. (and we were far from the only ones in the Guest Services line complaining about the breakdown & the way it was handled).

Other than the above, PhantasiaLand was excellent (I have been twice before). How they call Colorado Adventure a “family” coaster is beyond me – it’s great, but extreme in places. Talocan runs on German Fair type settings – extreme, so great! It’s just a great park – the only non-ride niggle is the queues for food, some of their outlets just cannot cope at peak times.

A 400km drive south followed, taking in an Alpine Coaster on the way, then arrived at our hotel near Europa Park. The friend I was travelling with was a German park virgin & big Disney fan. PhantasiaLand had already blown him away & just on entering in the Chinese section near Mystery Castle he’d already said “this is better than Disney”, so I knew that Europa Park was only going to impress further.

Europa Park did not fail to please. Spotless park, perfect theming, rides run with German efficiency – no queues over 25mins, often far less. 9am-6pm ride operation, on relatively quiet days. The only niggle was that on day 1 they stopped Wodan at about 9:15am to add an extra train – the same on day 2 but at 9:30am. If you are needing the extra trains so soon, just open with them from the word go, I fail to believe that Europa’s maintenance was running behind schedule. Never queued more than a few minutes at most for food at Europa Park.

That is really all there is to say about Europa Park – a pretty much faultless experience. I have no problem in paying €54 a day for this kind of experience. We got over 20 rides each day, mostly on the big coasters, so you felt you had got very good value for money.

We stayed in 3* hotels to keep the cost down. Found a great one in Bruhl for PhantasiaLand – only about 8mins walk to Bruhl Mitte station where the PhantasiaLand shuttle bus goes from (& also the train to Cologne for evening food & drink). Stayed near the Autobahn for Europa Park, but a great hotel with two good restaurants nearby. Used Ryanair so we could fly into Cologne & out of Karlshrue-Baden, both from/to Stansted. One-way car rental was a bit more expensive, but it was worth it to avoid hassle. I would repeat this trip again tomorrow.


TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
The Wodan thing is weird. Unless it's a *really* quiet day, they ALWAYS add the third sometime between 9.15 and 9.30am, causing a 5-10 minute operational delay.