Review: Maus au Chocolat

Anyone who’s been to the Disney parks in Florida or California over the last half decade has probably experienced the joy of standing an a seemingly never-ending queue for the Toy Story Midway Mania! attraction. This ride is unique and enjoyable thanks to its blend of interactivity, 3D imagery and unpredictability. So when I heard Phantasialand had their own version of this style of attraction, but with a completely unique and different theme, it jumped up towards the top of the list of attractions I was most excited about riding.

Maus au Chocolat is set inside a chocolate factory that has a rodent problem. You’re tasked with getting rid of the rodents and, to make things more interesting, you’ll score points for every one you take care of. In a nice touch, though, you’re not blasting them with rodenticide or putting bullet holes in the little critters – instead you’re equipped with chocolate piping guns to blast chocolatey goodness at the mice. I have no idea how this is supposed to help with the problem, but that’s the story anyway, and I think it’s a fairly neat idea. But how does it play out as a ride experience?

By and large, Maus au Chocolat is great fun. The 3D effects are pretty nice and the whole building is chocolate scented to add that extra touch of realism and immersion. It’s also a good length, meaning you get a lot of game for your queue time – which actually to be honest wasn’t very long when we did it. You get narration throughout the whole thing as well – I don’t speak the language so this just sounded like some crazy chocolatier yelling at me in German, but funnily enough this seemed to work, and it was actually quite a cool touch. And of course, this being an interactive dark ride helps to add to the fun of it as well as the competitiveness as you can compete with the person sitting next to you and the other guests in your vehicle to see who can splat the most mice.

Sadly, though, I have a fair few issues with the execution of this attraction. I thought there were times when the weapon and the screen weren’t lined up properly, so I’d be trying to hit a low or high target and nothing would happen. I thought the fact that every mouse had the number of points it was worth written below it kinda spoiled the realism of the whole thing, as did the fact that they simply disappeared with no real animation when they were hit. Logistically the ride could run better – there were times when our game time in a scene had ended and we had to sit there for a few seconds while the next scene became clear. I can understand this, as Phantasialand clearly don’t quite have the same budget as Disney and so can only afford one track, but it was still a bit of a shame as there was literally nothing to look at while we were waiting. The cords on the weapons were also a little cumbersome, which unfortunately made them somewhat painful to use over the course of this fairly lengthy attraction.

But I digress. None of these were enough to spoil the attraction as a whole, and I quite enjoyed my experience through Maus au Chocolat. I don’t think it’s something I’d want to do more than once in a day, mainly due to the potential for blisters if you hold the weapon cord as pointlessly as I seem to. But it is nonetheless a fun, quirky, and relatively unique attraction that is definitely worth a go if you get the chance to visit Phantasialand, and especially if the queue is short as it was for us.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your stay here at Along for the Ride.

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