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Best Theme Park in Germany

Which do you prefer?


  • Total voters
    43

Will

Strata Poster
So, I had the immense good fortune to be at Phantasialand yesterday and it got me [over]thinking my opinions and their potential inaccuracy.

Long story short, I had one of those days at Phantasia back in 2011 - I was tired, it was busy and I was in a 'no mood' and possibly, when I've compared Europa with Phantasia, it's been 2014_Europa vs 2011_Phantasia, which is a little unfair, particularly with how much development has gone on at the latter since that time. My memories of Europa also all feature alcohol (mostly in moderation) which may cloud my judgement somewhat.

Obviously, other German theme parks are available, but I'd be surprised if anyone well travelled voted for a third party candidate, with the possible exception of Hansa Park.

As far as ride line-ups, there's not much to pick between - Taron & Mamba are world class (apparently) and a fair match for Blue Fire and Wodan, whilst FLY and Silver Star provide perfectly good back-up. If we ignore Crazy Bats, every coaster at PL is above average at best - Europa has a LOT of filler. On water rides and flat rides, Phantasia wins it, but they're edged out by Europa on dark rides (Maus is good but not all that re-rideable, the others are frankly falling apart)

Even speaking as an EP fanboy, anyone who says Europa's theming is better needs to go to Specsavers. Phantasia's coasters belong in an art gallery - in fact to me, this is where Phantasia are the architects of their own demise, as it's just not possible to build a coaster that's as good to ride as theirs are to look at. My best moments at Phantasia are spent with a fag and a coffee, just WATCHING, not riding. A looker, Silver Star ain't.

I eventually decided my verdict: Phantasia in Winter is the best park in Europe, nevermind Germany - but Europa is a park for all seasons. Phantasia is miserable if it rains or it's overly busy, while EP's crowd management and operations are literally second to none.
 
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Howie

Donkey in a hat
Europa Park is the easy winner for me. It's simply a much bigger park with a lot more rides and a lot more to see and do. That's it. That's the only reason I voted Europa... but it's the only reason I need. Phantasialand is fab, but you can knock that park out in a day, easy. I could spend a week at Europa Park and not get bored. In fact, I did once!
 
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nadroJ

CF Legend
Phantasialand by a country mile. For me it's always been quality over quantity. Europa has a lot of rides but with that comes a lot of chuff whereas for me Phantasialand has a lot of either 'best in class' or 'Top 3 in class'.

The theming in Phantasialand speaks more to me too as it has a higher element of fantasty. Europa is a bit more EPCOT.

That's not to say I dislike Europa, I've just never had a stand-out visit. I was very much looking forward to going in December just gone to see if my mind could be changed, but alas, COVID. It's certainly the more chill of the two parks and a place you need more than a day to explore because of the sheer size of it but I'm firmly a Phantasialand fan-girl.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
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I think they're both the best in different categories.

Phastasialand - Best individual rides with associated theming. Klugheim and Rookburgh spring to mind, but also Black Mamba, River Quest, Chiapas and Mystery Castle are masterpieces in their own right.

Europa Park - Best overall park. I love the much more 'open' nature of Europa. At times Phantasialand almost feels claustrophobic, whereas Europa park gives you whole acres of space to just slow down the tempo. They do also have some really solid coasters, and their hotel line up (in terms of breadth, both are probably about equal on quality).

Which one do I prefer overall? Probably Phantasialand. I think their ride line up is better, and I'll forgo the denseness for those experiences.
Which one would I most like to take my partner to? Europa, I think. It's a better overall experience for a novice.

Dunno - very on the fence. :D
 

TilenB

Strata Poster
Objectively speaking, Phantasialand has a fantastic ride line-up and the themeing of various areas is second to none when it comes to the parks visited.

But having last visited both parks on the same trip in 2016, I found myself enjoying Europa Park much more, spending the entire 9 hours running around the place and barely having time to sit down for a portion of fries during the course of the day. While with Phantasialand, I remember getting to the park after opening (since I stupidly overslept) and not even bothering to stay until closing, despite loving the hell out of their shiny new coaster. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but at least compared to EP, I felt the staff was relatively rude in general and often made me feel uncomfortable visiting the park by myself (honestly one of the few parks so far where I had that feeling), while I never had that feeling in Europa Park.
 

Indy

Mega Poster
Phantasialand certainly has the better ride collection. As much as I enjoy Europa's rides, they don't have anything to compete with the 1-2-3 punch of Taron, Black Mamba, and FLY. Nevermind the quality of other rides such as Winjas, Maus au Chocolat, and Chiapas. Phantasialand's theming is also absolutely incredible. However... it's discontinuous. It is crystal clear where the lands transition to one another. You can almost draw a line where Mexico transitions to China Town. Furthermore, don't be surprised if the food stand in China Town is selling pizza or sausage.

This is where Europa differs. It is a vast park full of themed areas and they transition seamlessly into one another. And if you go into a shop in one of the stores in a given land, it's going to be selling items from that land. While the ride selection is collectively not as good as Phantasialand, there is never a lack of attractions to experience. I've been to the park multiple times and still haven't experienced everything. I feel like there are all sorts of hidden nooks and crannies waiting to be discovered and enjoyed at Europa. It's one of the few parks where I'm actually content not constantly riding, whether it is enjoying a meal in a hut in Switzerland or relaxing with a beer in the biergarten. I absolutely love the place and am able to truly relax and escape when I'm there.

So, for me, it's Europa.
 

Sandman

Giga Poster
Phantasialand is my favourite park.
Europa Park is the best theme park.

Even with Phantasialand being my favourite, there are plenty of days where I'd take a weekend at Europa over Phantasialand.

Why is it a better park?

Firstly, size and overall magnitude. Once you hit Rust, you are in the firm grip of Europa Park. You can feel it; sense it's presence before you even enter the park.
Phantasialand's surroundings feel a bit murky in comparison.

Once you enter Europa Park, you've got such an array of attractions to choose from. Whether you're with your mates, your kids, or your nan. You will find something to suit more or less everybody. And not just one or two measly rides before you've ran out of steam. Bucket loads of rides, to the point where you don't actually know where to start/end. This only adds to the immersion, because there's nothing worse than feeling like you've done a park in an hour or two. As much as I love Phantasialand, you will often find yourself circling back to the same places numerous times, wondering what re-ride will be next. This doesn't tend to happen too often Europa. It's huge size and numerous themed areas make for an awesome adventure, even if you ride absolutely nothing.

Credit at this point to Phantasialand. Their coasters absolutely batter Europa's selection. But solely focusing on this simply reduces what should be a much broader discussion about theme parks to coaster debating. We can surely all agree that Phantasialand has the better cred selection. It's not like Europa Park have an abysmal selection either, truth be told. Nothing (to me) is groundbreaking, nothing world class. But all good, solid, fun, safe options.

Phantasialand's coasters also win on the theme/aesthetics department. To be fair, they probably beat more or less all other theme parks at this. Taron, Black Mamba and F.L.Y all have absolutely incredible surroundings. The water ride 1-2 punch of River Quest and Chiapas, again both considered to be some of the best water rides ever made. Another 1-2 punch in terms of flats with Talocan and Mystery Castle. Show me a park with a more refined, quality based ride line up. You can't. Let's be honest though, Europa Park is utterly gorgeous... perhaps just not as bombastically as Phantasialand. It's sort of like comparing the beauty of the Alps with the wild acid infused visuals of the Las Vegas strip at night.

In terms of rides though, Europa Park outdo Phantasialand for family based attractions. I would say quite easily both in terms of quantity and quality.

I could go on but I'm already bored of my own writing. I'll just quickly add that:

Europa Park hotel selection > reasonable gap > Phantasialand hotels.
Europa Park hotel bars > vast gap > Phantasialand bars
Europa Park food > gap of epic proportions > Phantasialand food

On that latter point, I took a non-goon foodie friend (who is usually incredibly critical and pretentious) to both Europa and Phantasialand a few years back.
Every time I have seen him since, he's fondly reminisced about Europa Park's baked goods and Hotel Colosseo's pizza and wine.
That's when I knew Europa Park was probably the best European park for me to take my non-goon accomplices in future.

I haven't even been back since Rulantica opened, but surely that strengthens Europa Park's position as Germany's premier theme park.
 

CanobieFan

Giga Poster
With my minimal experience in German parks, a grand total of 4....Tripsdrill, Holiday Park, Phantasialand, and Freizeitpark Klotten. Phantasialand is the clear winner although it does kill me that I've not visited Europa (but not without at least trying!)
 

StevenX

Roller Poster
Europa for me. I found Phantasialand really disappointing and highly overrated and I struggle to see what others see in it. This was before Taron's opening so I may well feel different now, having said that. It was a nice enough park, I had a good day, but I was definitely severely underwhelmed given the way people talk it up. it has a slightly odd collection of unique attractions, but they're often not particularly fun despite their quirkiness. Winjas is a food example of this - great on paper, but a really stunted jumble of elements. Chiapas is... Fine. I don't understand the love for it.

I'd much rather spend a day or two at Europa. There's much more to see and do there and I think there's a better variety of attractions. Again, this is based on my pre-Taron/FLY visit to Phantasialand. But certainly at that time, Europa was the more pleasant park with the better line-up.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Europa is the clear winner for me.

Phantasialand’s rides are mostly strong with spectacular theming, but as a whole park it is a little claustrophobic. Such perpetual theming and the abundance of buildings surrounding walkways is a little… intense / urban. It’s definitely fun, but it’s not really a ‘relaxing’ park. It demands an assaulting busy march through the offerings.

Some areas and rides (such as wuze-town, the Asia area, crazy bats, the sad tatty carousel, the mouse ride that goes on forever and the awful broken splash battle) look very tired compared with their newest and best. I’m admittedly bemused as the only other park that comes to mind when I describe such lopsided-ness is…. Paultons Park.

Europa is a much more rounded experience. Huge, but tranquil. Easier on the mind and less exhausting. Mostly very pretty with its beautiful flowers, although points deducted for the dull mascots and unwelcome sponsorship. Some thrills, nothing groundbreaking… but more importantly a wonderful collection of twee and silly family attractions and other rides, including (as an indicative example) a whopping 3 ‘log flume style’ water rides. Add that quaint ‘Efteling-like’ storybook-vibe into the mix, plus that charm and appeal of ‘World Showcase’ at Epcot… all in you get a park that pretty much delivers on everything you could reasonably want.

I’d love to get back there 😍
 

Heth

Mega Poster
It's a tough and close one.

Phantasialand has higher highs in terms of coasters, but also has some duds.
EP has quantity of rides, some if which are great.

However, I do feel that EP is a more enjoyable day out. Phantasialand is excellent, but it can easily feel hectic or stressful when the crowds are too large. EP on the other hand is a well rounded park with loads to see and do and feels a bit more chilled.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
I haven't been to Europa yet (still! Thanks Covid!), so I guess I can't really comment.

But I'll add two things...
1. Phantasialand is my favourite, and it'll take a heck of a lot to top it for me. But I acknowledge it has its flaws, and whilst I enjoy the compact nature of it, I get it's not for everyone.
2. Can we just take a second to appreciate the quality of German parks. You have two behemoths in Phantasialand and Europa Park. But you also have the likes of Movie Park, Heide Park and Hansa which - whilst far from perfect - all have their highlights. And then you have smaller parks along the lines of Tripsdrill, Holiday Park, etc which again have some noteworthy elements to them.
Obviously the parks are well spread around the country, and the western and central parts are lacking in quality and quantity arguably, but still. The Germans have a good thing going with their parks.
 

MestnyiGeroi

Giga Poster
Since Spielpark Yabadoo is inexplicably not among the voting options … I have voted for Phantasialand over Europa, although it is extremely hard to pick as each has its superlative aspects.
 

Will

Strata Poster
As a child, I never understood why the Small Faces cried because Itchycoo Park was 'all too beautiful'.
I caught myself crying twice on Wednesday, because I have the emotional range of a primary school child.

On a more cheerful note, the on-park food options are better at Phantasialand, but the 'burger of joy' at Bar St Louis remains the best thing I've ever eaten at a theme park. Uhrwerk was good, but the bread is weird. Also, Phantasia has all the random sweet options around the park, which, like the rides, all look better than they actually taste ;)
 

Peet

Giga Poster
For me it's all about the coasters, everything else is secondary. These 2 parks both have 3 "top tier" kind of coasters, and my ranking of them would go something like this:

1. Taron (P)
2. Wodan (E)
3. FLY (P)
4. Silver Star (E)
5. Black Mamba (P)
6. Blue Fire (E)

Therefore I'm going with Phantasialand.

Actually next on the list would probably be Winjas and Colorado, they're better than any of the family thrill level coasters at Europa.

Both wonderful parks though 🙂.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Phantasialand, no contest... Better coasters, better water rides, better flats, better theming, better food... All IMO of course.

What a 1 - 2 to have though, kind of wish I lived in Germany. You'd be forgiven for thinking my above answer indicates that EP isn't very good, but you'd be so wrong that it's ridiculous. EP is an incredible park, beautiful on a grand scale, and much more 'naturally pretty.'

You're right though Will, Wintertraum is THE time to visit. Summer time can be horrendous. I was having this conversation with Ben yesterday. The park is just busy enough to provide a great atmosphere without being overbearing, like it can be in summer. I would even be tempted to pick a trip to EP in summer over PL due purely to crowd management.
 

Will

Strata Poster
What a 1 - 2 to have though, kind of wish I lived in Germany. You'd be forgiven for thinking my above answer indicates that EP isn't very good, but you'd be so wrong that it's ridiculous. EP is an incredible park, beautiful on a grand scale, and much more 'naturally pretty.'
I was chatting to Jordan while having my lunch at Uhrwerk and decided I'm actually glad I don't live there, because then PL, EP, Efteling and co. wouldn't feel so special and I'd start noticing little details that annoyed me, same as I do at Alton.

It would be like having a takeaway every night or marrying your best friend - either would wear thin in time.

Then again, Nick, you're a lot easier to impress than me ;)
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
I was chatting to Jordan while having my lunch at Uhrwerk and decided I'm actually glad I don't live there, because then PL, EP, Efteling and co. wouldn't feel so special and I'd start noticing little details that annoyed me, same as I do at Alton.

It would be like having a takeaway every night or marrying your best friend - either would wear thin in time.

Then again, Nick, you're a lot easier to impress than me ;)
Yeh I’ve never subscribed to the ‘being edgy and negative’ for effect thing…

Although your wording is debatable, you do have Vampire, Mamba and Wodan in your top ten!!! And really enjoy caged animal parks… So maybe the phrase is ‘impressed by different things to me.’ ;)
 

Will

Strata Poster
Although your wording is debatable, you do have Vampire, Mamba and Wodan in your top ten!!! And really enjoy caged animal parks… So maybe the phrase is ‘impressed by different things to me.’ ;)
It's not my fault Taron's layout is about as exciting as the topmost section of the M5 ;)

...and this is a whole different debate, but I DO like parks to be one or the other; I'm always conscious at Drayton, Mingo etc. that it can't be great for animals having noisy rides (sometimes even firework displays) as their next-door neighbours.
 
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