2nd October 2006

Our intrepid tour organisers were unable to organise any exclusive ride session at Phantasialand, but they did arrange for us to be escorted back to their new coaster for the first ride of the day. The loss of Steinwasen Park earlier in the week meant that there was extra money to be spent, so everyone was assigned eight paid line jumping coupons to allow us to maximise what was to be limited time in the park. Unfortunately, the staff on Black Mamba (#915) got it into their heads that those wanting a front row seat had to use one of those coupons, even though those of us who were waiting had entered the line through the regular public queue and not the special fast pass entrance. They refused to allow us board without using passes; instead, they allowed people from the row two queue to take the front seat on one occasion, and then proceeded to let the next front row go out empty. Some loud and angry exchanges in German followed the second incident, with some of our club members pointing out the fact that this was a public queue. It did work, eventually, but wasted a perfectly good twenty minutes, a full fifteenth of our designated park time.

Black Mamba

An interesting question was raised by the ethnicity of the staff in question; the park has managed to staff their entire new themed area with dark skinned staff wearing African clothing. One can only speculate as to how many dark skinned people speak fluent German and live in Cologne. At any rate, does it qualify as discrimination to only hire Africans for an African themed area of a theme park? Answers auf einer postkarte, bitte.

Moving on to the coaster itself, there have been a number of comparisons between this ride and Nemesis, as both are the same type of ride dug into a large hole in the ground. There is no question that this new model is a good ride, but it feels far less forceful than its older brother. There is only one place in the entire course where riders feel pinned into their seats, and that is in the vertical loop. With that in mind, Black Mamba wouldn't make my top ten. On the other hand, if the theming were absent, it probably wouldn't make my top fifty.

With the new ride out of the way, we performed a whirlwind tour of the rest of the park; Colorado Adventure, Mystery Castle, the River Quest, Winjas, and Temple of the Night Hawk. It is less than ideal to race around a park, but with limited time availability and fast pass coupons it seemed like the best use of our time. This brought us to a little after noon, and a decent meal seemed like a good plan, as there wouldn't be much opportunity for one later on. We ended up at the same Chinese as my last visit, and, wonder of wonders, they now had English menus. Perhaps someone in Phantasialand reads my ramblings?

After lunch we used our remaining fast passes to reride Black Mamba, there being just enough time for three circuits. Then, with the firm cliche of all good things must come to an end, we retired to our coach for the journey to Dusseldorf Airport.

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