So as previously mentioned, Phantasialand added two brand new roller coasters to its lineup with the opening of the new Klugheim themed area in 2016. Raik is the family coaster to go alongside the more extreme Taron, but is no less popular, and also has 2 records of its own (longest and fastest family boomerang in the world). The question is, is the ride experience anywhere near as good as Taron?
The first thing I want to say before I start this review is that I really liked Raik. I think it’s a nice coaster, and anything that goes backwards always gets bonus points in my book cause I think it’s an awesome sensation that really adds to a roller coaster. The themeing of Raik is great, and I particularly like how the two hills intersect and interact with the lift and first drop of River Quest, which you can see in the shot above. So the experience itself is generally a good one. The problem I can see arising with Raik really comes from what and where it is, rather than how it rides.
Raik is tucked away in a corner of an area that is completely dominated by Taron, so much so that if you didn’t know it was there and just saw the train going past, you’d probably assume it was the same coaster. This isn’t helped by the fact that it uses a very similar colour scheme, and so the only way you’d really notice the difference is if you stopped long enough to notice the different track structure and train designs. The other main issue with Raik concerns its queue length. Due to its design, it can only ever run with one train and a maximum of 20 people at a time. This means that queues get very long because of its proximity to Taron, location in Klugheim and the fact that it’s another new record-breaking coaster.
The issue here is that I can see a lot of people being rather disappointed having just waited 45 minutes with what the actual experience of riding Raik turns out to be. You go up a hill backwards, go forwards for about 20 seconds then repeat in reverse and that’s it. It’s not exactly the twisted mess of Taron that seems to go on for ages, and in actual fact it’s the shortest coaster at Phantasialand by a long, long way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an enjoyable ride, and it is appropriately advertised everywhere as a family coaster. I can just see it ending up leaving some riders wanting a little bit more, particularly if they’ve already done the same amount of queueing for the much more intense Taron.
If you’re visiting Phantasialand for the first time, or you have younger children in tow who aren’t quite tall enough for Taron, Raik is a nice fun ride that you will enjoy. But if you want my personal advice, you’re better off taking them on rides like Colorado Adventure or Temple of the Night Hawk that last a whole lot longer for a much shorter queue. Raik is fun, just make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for before you commit to waiting 45 minutes for a less than 1 minute ride.
See you around =] x x