Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Sam, 30th Sep 2014.
Indeed, and just behind Wuze Town is Wuzeball, which you might be getting confused with @Matt N.
Ah right, thanks for the clarification guys!
The thing about Phantasialand demolishing old rides for new blockbusters is that all their old rides are completely charmless.
I thought Silbermine was fairly interesting. The final scene was huge and I'll always remember getting jump scared by the collapsing tunnel. It's the only omnimover that's managed to surprise me.
But I do agree, looking back at Phantasialand 20 years ago it seems to be mostly filled with fairground rides or Disney rip-offs. Today's line up is far more unique.
Ahh Wuzeball. How I miss thee!
No I think that's in the Fantasy area?
Yeah, a lot of their old rides are both interesting and ambitious, but all (including Silbermine) are just totally charmless for some reason that I can't put my finger on. It's weird - Geisterschloss and Geister Rikshaw are very similar really, both of the same era and similarly dated now, but Schloss is charming and Rikshaw isn't, even though Schloss has had more recent additions.
I'd actually go as far as saying that most of the rides in the park are pretty charmless - but their newer rides are such spectacular blockbusters that it doesn't really matter (same at IOA). The most charming things they've ever built are really Chiapas and Klugheim - the newest things - which is really unusual in any park.
Rikshaw to me has always felt very sterile, and very 'dead' (not in a way that helps the theme!), and I think the main reason is the lack of any decent audio. There are of course sound effects etc., but the whole ride is just so quiet, it doesn't immerse you. Same was definitely true of Silbermine. This, for me, is where the charmlessness comes from.
Which ride is most likely to be removed next then? Geister Rickshaw it seems most people are saying?!
Thing about removing Rikshaw is it really wouldn't give much real estate to develop, as it's primarily underground, unless of course they kept the space and used it for a replacement attraction of the same size/style
Just add laser guns and a new soundtrack!
Realistically though the actual ride system could be modernised and then all the show scenes replaced, as a concept its a good idea and keeping a dark ride feels OK, but yes the ride just felt a bit weird. I also felt like it couldn't quite decide if it was a chinese theme or a ghost theme as it didn't seem quite committed to either well enough
What is Wuzeball, again? I remember being told, but it still confuses me?
Agreed. Certainly comparing Europa to Phantasialand EPs rides have a charm to them Phantasialand just can't seem to capture. My enjoyment for Silbermine was based on a single ride, I can't imagine ridding it over and over like we did with Madame Freudenreich Curiosités (Geisterschloss is ok but I still find it lacking).
I also agree with the rides at IOA, although hadn't realised why at the time.
For Rikshaw I'd keep the China area as it is, gut the show building (Maybe the ride system, not sure) and do something new down there. The best part about the ride was the surprise that it's in a massive cavern under China and I don't feel that needs to change.
However I also notice Phantasialand are moving away from animatronic based rides and towards thrills and spectacle, so they might not want a dark ride to replace Rikshaw. In which case who knows.
It's the prototype Intamin Zacspin, located just behind the Wuze Town area. There's not a whole lot of info on it online and Phantasialand simply refuse to acknowledge it. It's had a very troubled history and opens once in a blue moon. A handful of enthusiasts report having seen it, or even got into the queue line for it to just break down, though I'm not sure if anyone on here has actually ridden it?
I'd be surprised if that's not the next thing to go really, although I don't think the footprint is particularly large so not a lot they can do with the space. I've only seen it through an emergency exit when getting evac'd from Winjas.
Geister Rikscha's replacement is pretty much a given. Its been strongly rumoured for years and with reusing the underground showbuilding plus extending it under the current station and Colorado Adventure queueline should it be relocated around to the front under the maintenance shed (the space that's currently Geister's exit) - it opens up a space similar in size to Mystic Manor. Plus if it spreads over two levels should the above ground bit be more than just queue space even more room for some kind of substantial dark ride.
Plus a China development can also make use of the remaining Silbermine Hall section (either a seperate new addition or link it up for more space if they dig up that street). There's plenty of potential there.
The days of animatronic heavy dark rides are over anyway even take Symbolica in Efteling there aren't that many actual full animatronic figures in it compared to the older rides. There was an interview with Eric Damen from Phantasialand's creative team after Taron were he spoke about this and how they are always looking at options for modern dark rides, especially after the success of Maus au Chocolat in 2011.
Phantasialand definitely isn’t the worst for dark rides but not the best either. When you compare them to parks such Efteling and Europa, they seemingly lack charm, appear dated and less looked after in comparison. The Hollywood scenery looks like it is about to collapse at times!
Riksha I have something of a soft spot for because the below ground setting makes for a mysterious and unique setting, although it is definitely dated in it’s current format and is almost forty years old!
Assuming China is the next area to be redeveloped, Riksha will likely be completed gutted leaving an open space. The food stalls and remains of the Silbermine building might also get demolished leaving ample space for development.
A new dark ride would be a great fit for the area, which with creative design and newer construction techniques could theoretically be noticeably bigger than Riksha with remaining space maybe utilised with food outlets and a support attraction.
I wouldn’t say dark rides are fully moving away from being animatronic based, but rather we are seeing fewer (yet better quality) animatronics in those that do. I’d like to see Geister’s replacement focus on an attraction like that.
For me really the whole dark ride debate comes down to how the screens are applied. I have no issue with the idea of screen and projection technology being used, but too often now I think it’s seen as a cheaper alternative to doing anything else. Just plonk riders in front of a big screen and hope for the best.
A good dark ride should blend the two. You should never feel like you’re watching a screen. It’s where rides like Mystic Manor and Forbidden Journey really excel. Projections and screens are worked into physical sets or layered on/into physical props (see Mystic Manor portrait gallery or finale scene). Maus au Chocolat also does this well in some places where you have the silhouettes of the mice and Oscar being thrown onto walls in the transition scenes.
What does worry me to some extent is we haven’t really seen Phantasialand tackle animatronics in any detail since Hollywood Tour really. The only ones I can really think of are the professor in Mystery Castle’s left batching room, the gods in Feng Ju, the drummer in Chiapas’ Fiesta Cave and a couple of moving props like the wobbling stack of cakes in Maus. Let’s be honest, none are particularly amazing (the professor is probably the most sophisticated they’ve ever done!). I fear they could go one of two ways; either they completely shy away from anything more impressive than they’ve done recently leaving us with a screen-heavy ride, or they try to include more animated props but they look a bit naff compared to the quality that you see from the like of Sally.
It’ll be interesting to see how they tackle it, and I’m sure knowing the standard the park build attractions to they will try to do the best they can, but I do have some reservations.
I have done Wuzeball - once - back in 2009. The issue with it being that there's simply no way of showcasing it given the fact they ensure you have nothing on you when making your way into the backstage area. In fact, quite honestly, I don't know if it's even still there. I haven't heard of anybody who has been on it for 3 years now.
To be honest it was never really meant to be a thing - more a co-incidence that they ended up keeping it. It was pretty rubbish by all accounts.
This is the ride before it was moved into Phantasialand:
I am glad they didn't keep that colour scheme, that would have made it stick out like a sore thumb.
Phantasialand had a much more ramped development than many enthusiasts seem to realise, which River Quest's opening state suggests (you'd have never known it was like that now!).
The park seemed to always have that big scenic adventure style in mind but has just kept getting better at doing it over the years, and going more for fast thrill rides as the hardware (and leaving behind the Disney copying like all European parks started out with).
But they've grown so quickly in a small space that the oldest rides stick out out, unlike Europa Park that manages to juggle everything in such a huge park. I love classic dark rides but I thought most of Geista Ricksha was boring, it stays all on one level and has no variation. Friends tell me Hollywood Tour is a weird theme but strangely nice, I never found the entrance to ride it myself!
I think phasing them out is the right thing to do when the park is going from strength to strength, with new ideas. Still with so many dark rides on the chopping block, I think they could do with a new one eventually. Not so much an Eftelingy Disney style one because that's not really Phantasialand's thing, but a modern and thrilling dark ride?
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