Phantasialand - 2020: Rookburgh Launched Flyer and General Discussion

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Sam, 30th Sep 2014.

  1. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    Going back to the 1986 video, the Chinatown footage appears to show the Feng Ju Palace building (or at least, a very similar building in the same location). Is the current building a recreation of what was there before or did they somehow manage to fit the ride into an existing building?
     
  2. CSLKenny

    CSLKenny TowersStreet Member

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    That was the Tanagra Theatre which housed animatronic shows until it was destroyed in the 2001 fire. Feng Ju Palace was then built on its location as a replacement opening in 2002.
    http://phl-infos.de/frontend/ehemaliges/shows/tanagra-theater/
     
  3. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    Were the coaster any good, the ones that were destroyed in the fire?
     
  4. Matt Creek

    Matt Creek TowersStreet Member

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    Don’t think either looked like anything to write home about. They both look old and dated even in the POVS.


    Had the fire not struck I still think both rides would have been removed eventually, especially given how brutal the park are with redevelopment.

    Depending on current situations now, China will likely be the next area to be redeveloped with the imminent demolition of Geister Riksha and most of the food stalls probably. The park could really do with a “signature” dark ride and that’s the best place for one!
     
  5. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

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    Both coasters would have been appropriate for the time when they opened in the 70s, but I can’t imagine either would have seen it through to the mid-late 2000s, given the size and space they occupied and how much technology and the general market had progressed since then.

    Bare in mind that Gebirgsbahn opened the same year as Europa Park, but by the time it burnt down they had opened the likes Poseidon, Euro-Mir and Sat, Schweizer Bobahn, and Matterhorn Blitz.

    Not only that but coasters such as Silver Star, Expedition GeForce, Winjas, Colossus (Thorpe - Heide had already opened Colossos a few weeks earlier) and Air were all roughly 12 or less months away from opening at the time of the fire, so both coasters were horrifically outdated and had had their moment. The fire merely bought forward the inevitable and accelerated the park’s redevelopment.
     
  6. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Dare I say it, but I think the fire may perhaps have been one of the few times in a theme park’s history where a tragic event that was terrible at the time may actually have proved to be a blessing in disguise in the long term.

    Now I’m not suggesting that the fire was a good thing at all; it’s always terrible when something like that happens. But think about it; the coasters were allegedly quite outdated when the fire occurred, and had they not burned down, the park likely wouldn’t have built River Quest, arguably one of the most highly acclaimed water rides in the world, as bear in mind that they already had Wuze Town under construction for 2002. The insurance money the park likely gained from the fire allowed them to construct River Quest in unison with Wuze Town, and they likely wouldn’t have had the budget to do that otherwise. And in the long term, most seem to far prefer River Quest to what it replaced.

    So while the fire definitely wasn’t a good thing at the time, it may have proven to be a blessing in disguise in the long term.
     
  7. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

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    I’m not sure I would wholly agree. Yes, it allowed projects like River Quest to go ahead, but I think that would have happened irregardless. The park was really just beginning their modernisation period at that point, with Mystery Castle opening a couple of years earlier, so I think it’s safe to say that replacements were imminent.

    While I don’t have any hard evidence to hand, I do remember reading in the past that supposedly Wuze Town did have some cuts made to it as a result of the fire (I’m sure I remember reading something about a projected sky and clouds above the wild mouse turns).

    Equally, let’s be honest and say that as great as River Quest is as a ride, the theming was certainly... Not as plentiful as would probably have been expected, given the standard to which Wuze Town and Mystery Castle were being completed to around the same sort of time. It’s only recently with Klugheim that the ride was given any real on-ride theming in an attempt to make it less of a concrete jungle.

    The same really for Feng Ju Palace, it’s well presented in terms of the building and decor, but the ride experience is lacklustre at best. I’m sure with more time and money a much better job could probably have been done with it, to include more impressive preshow(s) and storyline.

    I doubt very highly that the insurance payouts on two 30 year old coasters would be that significant, and I think that probably shows in some areas of the replacements that were built. I think the park were perhaps stretching themselves a little bit too far.
     
  8. CSLKenny

    CSLKenny TowersStreet Member

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    ^ Pretty much as Ian said they did stretch themselves too far.
    The fire cost 38million DM of damage, the park was closed for 15 days afterwards as flammable material across the park was removed, 2 million euros spent on fire safety measures, start of construction on their 1st hotel (Ling Bao) postponed and the opening of Winjas & Wuze Town pushed back to 2002 (with cuts & fire safety changes + although I believe technical issues with Winjas was also a significant factor too).

    They set about wanting to replace what was destroyed as quickly as possible. Putting out the tenders for a Mad House and Rafting ride.
    Mack's NeXT's Patrick Marx actually shared an interesting Intamin concept recently for River Quest.


    Obviously Hafema got the job but the original theming plans were too much for what the park could afford in the midst of everything and theming, and effects including more waterfalls, were greatly reduced leading to the affectionate nickname 'Multi storey parking rafting' until the ride's refurbishment alongside Klugheim - with a refresh of the queue in 15, additional theming in 16 + 17. (Of course there still is the new entrance to come but that appears to have fallen off the radar - whether it is a case spreading costs and it will be done with the China Project, pushed back for cost reasons, or priority given to fixing the technical issues* its been suffering the past couple of years who knows). *Both lifts finally work again this year!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A company called NOB Décor created the original concept for Feng Ju Palace called ‘Thunder Temple’. In this concept, the story and design would have revolved around five gods (representing the five Chinese cardinal points or elements) that lived and ruled in harmony until a sixth god came along and abducted one of them. The other four gods then set out to rescue him.
    The preshow would have had a similar set up to the (god-awful) one that exists today with the four statues (gods) in each corner. However the actual show was allegedly going to be one of the most innovative and spectacular mad houses ever featuring water, fog and laser effects. The large pots in the centre of the room were originally intended for catching water from the rain effects (A thunder storm would have been simulated). Today the middle pot simply houses the projector for the current show’s finale.
    [​IMG]
    Again it was too ambitious and costly for the park in this time period - the story and effects were cut leaving us with the low budget version we have today. However hopefully the upcoming modernisation of the China area will also include refurbishing Feng Ju, as Klugheim included River Quest.
     
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  9. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

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    The best industry news of the season! :tearsofjoy:

    Now if only they could bring that trick-track into action... I know full well we’ll probably never see that happen
     
  10. Tim

    Tim TowersStreet Member

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    Did Wuze Town replace anything significant? If not you could say the fire was the first time Phantasialand removed a major section of the park (although unintentionally) and replaced it with a major new development. It might have started the trend we see today where they are unafraid to demolish major sections of the park and beloved old rides for really big redevelopments. Not many other parks do this, perefering to build the new over or through the old. Maybe they are afraid to do it as it would significantly reduce their ride line up but Phantasialand know they can work around it.
     
  11. CSLKenny

    CSLKenny TowersStreet Member

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    Yes and no I guess. The process of removing old things for new development has been going on since the 80s - the park's first rides the Oldtimer cars and Western Railway were removed for the Space Center (later Temple + Crazy Bats) and Hollywood Tour development and Galaxy (later Race for Atlantis) replaced the Oriental restaurant beside 1001 Nacht. Wuze Town replaced the Hawaii Restaurant that had been there since opening day.
    But you could argue none of those attractions were as significant/major as the 2 Schwartzkopf coasters. Sooner or later though with the space limits and struggle for expansion, fire or not, I can't imagine history playing out any differently in the park's redevelopment. There's no other way.
     
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  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Having wanted to visit Phantasialand for years and then finally making it last year, Wuze Town was definitely not as grand as I was expecting. I thought it would be a lively building with two coasters and lots of life to it, but the building felt kinda empty really.
     
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  13. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

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    It’s an odd one, in that it would be wrong to call it unthemed, but unless you walk through the doors to see Tittle Tattle Tree running while a couple of Winjas cars are rolling around the helix it doesn’t really make you go “Wow!”.

    I can’t really put my finger on what it is about it and I don’t know exactly how you can fix it. It could simply be the fact it’s an indoor area. I’m yet to be totally blown away by one. But then again it does have the glass dome which makes it feel a little less boxed in.

    Very strange!
     
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  14. Islander

    Islander TowersStreet Member

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    I think it's just too big, with too little in it. To me it's always felt incredible under-utilised. I'll get shot down for this... but it's always reminded me of like an abandoned shopping mall lol - would be excellent if there were little shops, cafes etc. in it, with Winja's whizzing around as it does.
     
    Last edited: 4th Jun 2020
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  15. CSLKenny

    CSLKenny TowersStreet Member

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    ^Totally agree. The sort of spatial wizardry seen in areas they've built since is totally absent. Really food outlets (restaurant, cafe, takeaway stuff like the Crepes + Flammkuchen of Klugheim), other small attractions and seating areas. Instead there's just dead corners and nothing of interest except Winjas + Tittle Tattle Tree/no reason to stick around inside there. The kids area upstairs is just awkward and out of the way and dead feeling most of the time.
    Of course it is one of the most profitable areas in the parties and events they regularly host in there but for the normal daily guests it misses out on its full potential.

    A refresh of its theming by Universal Rocks along with additional and improved elements is bound to come eventually as was done with Black Mamba between 2014-19. But I'd go further add more seating, F&B outlets, remove that bloody kids area and relocate it somewhere else (a new indoor kids area might be a difficult wish given space in the park but... eh) and then put in that top floor a Snorri Touren esque kids/family dark ride attraction (given that understandably replacements of Geister and Hollywood would be headliners this could be a nice simple filler dark ride for the line up - entrance from the outdoor kids area using the right round tower and exit through the stairs down in the middle of Wuze Town).

    Would help address a few issues and improve the line up imo. Also I just really f***ing love Snorri Touren - more of that kind of stuff please in the world.
     
  16. Tim

    Tim TowersStreet Member

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    There is also the playground in there but it's location is really weird. Isolated from the main room.
     
  17. Burbs

    Burbs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Wuze Town is odd, @Ian and @Islander sum it up well. It feels strange and dark... the plaza area outside the front of Winjas is just so dim and barren.
     
  18. Pleasure Beach Valhalla

    Pleasure Beach Valhalla TowersStreet Member

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    Winja's are definitely better than Spinball Whizzer and Dragon's Fury in terms of theming and probably experience even the Dragons is better than Spinball.
    Edit: @Burbs you're correct about that because it's a very overlooked area from what I've heard.
     
  19. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Isn’t Wuze Town also where Crazy Bats/Temple of the Night Hawk is?
     
  20. CSLKenny

    CSLKenny TowersStreet Member

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    No. It's the building directly beside the hall that houses Crazy Bats, Hollywood Tour and Fantissima.
     
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