Before visiting Phantasialand I had read and heard a lot about Feng Ju Palace. As a Madhouse I was obviously interested to ride it, but I was also intrigued by the storyline, and the fact that one of the oft-remarked things about it is that the pre-show doesn’t feature any dialogue in order to cater to multiple languages. I was excited to see how well it was executed – so much so, in fact, that when we entered the park through the China Town entrance, it was the very first ride we went on.
Feng Ju Palace is very nicely-themed, as you would expect from a Madhouse attraction. And I can safely say that the martial arts and elemental pre-show was every bit as exciting as you might expect it to be. It could be argued that maybe it dragged on a bit longer than was entirely necessary, but then again there was only one pre-show in this attraction. It’s not uncommon for Madhouses to have two or even three pre-show areas to go through before the main attraction, so by making this one sufficiently long they allow enough time for the ride to complete its sequence and everyone to get out, so I shouldn’t complain too much.
The ride itself was good fun, featuring a much more satisfying ride sequence than Villa Volta which we had ridden the previous day. One thing which would have been even better would be if the member of staff that came in to tell us to watch out for the lowering lap bars hadn’t been there – she was the only staff member we saw throughout the whole ride, and it would have been a little more effective and spooky without her. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the ride for the most part – I was a little disappointed with the finale, which was shorter than I had anticipated and made use of a horribly unthemed white sheet on the floor, but on the plus side at least this one had a finale, and it did bring the story to a nice conclusion, helped by the soundtrack and the ride experience.
Overall, then, I liked Feng Ju Palace. Did it live up to my ridiculously high expectations? Not quite…but then, I suppose, not every Madhouse can be a Hex now can it? Feng Ju Palace was a fun and intriguing ride that made good use of suspense, an exciting pre-show with some cool special effects, and an entertaining and mystifying illusion coupled with a good ride sequence. It’s certainly a quality dark ride and I would definitely recommend a visit during your stay in Phantasialand’s China Town.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your stay here at Along for the Ride.