Review: Black Mamba

There’s no denying that Phantasialand put a lot of time and effort into the themeing of their rides and attractions. Take Klugheim, for example – a whole new themed area with 2 coasters in it, for which you can tell the area was specifically designed. But Phantasialand actually have experience in this aspect, and with that said I introduce you to Black Mamba, an inverted coaster opened in 2006 as the heart (and sole ride) of the new Deep in Africa themed area. If you want an idea of the scale of this project try this on for size: the whole thing cost 22 million Euro, and only half of that was on the coaster, with the rest going on the themeing and the area. Now that’s dedication.

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The big question, then, is was it all worth it?

Well, for starters, Black Mamba certainly looks impressive – the bits of it you can see, anyway. The way the terrain has been organised means that you don’t see a whole lot of the coaster before you actually ride it. In order to reduce noise (as Phantasialand is essentially located on a road in the middle of a town), most of the track is below ground level, and the track itself is also filled with sand, making the coaster fairly quiet and eliminating the ‘roar’ of some older B&M coasters. All this helps to add to the unpredictability of the ride before you finally make your way through the very long (and equally well-themed) queue line and get to brave it.

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From here, Black Mamba is a pretty exciting ride, featuring four inversions and countless twists and turns through the valleys and trenches that the ride is built around. The inversions come out of nowhere pretty much, so they take you by surprise, but the problem is they’re all in the first half of the coaster. This means that the second half of the coaster is all twists and turns, and if you didn’t know how many inversions the ride had you might be expecting another one to come along, and it never does. This is a little disappointing, as I feel they could potentially have done more with the track layout here. Similarly, the final brake run of the ride is in a pitch black tunnel. Some extra themeing wouldn’t have gone amiss here, particularly if you end up sat there for a while waiting for the train in front to depart.

Nonetheless, Black Mamba is a fun inverted coaster that keeps you guessing and will leave you satisfied, if not overwhelmed, by the end of it. Its location, themeing and design help make it an enjoyable and unpredictable coaster with enough elements to thrill you in the first half, even if it does peter off slightly after that. Black Mamba is, however, definitely worth a ride, particularly if you’re a fan of speed and thrills.

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See you around =] x x

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