The music at Plaza Mariachi has faded away. A scorching heat poises over the village. Some lonely crickets are chirring in the distance. The village is deserted. Located directly at the marketplace, the imposing walls of the illustrious winery of the Gonzales family raise to the sky - yet only a shadow of their former gorgeousness. What has happened? - Some strange stories are told about the disappearance of the landlord and his son. Rumours - gossip - old legends. Nobody knows exactly, what has happened, but everyone has his own explanation for the occurrences. One thing is for sure, so they say: Tlalocs wrath has been evoked by old Gonzales. And he has fallen victim to the raging god; together with his son and heir and his whole estate - eternally lost and forgotten in the realm of Talocan.
There are always fanciful stories between mysticism and dream to be discovered at Phantasialand. In 2007 another story is added. Talocan is the name of the new attraction, which takes its visitors on an adventurous trip to Mexico. This gentrifies the formerly in 1995 expanded themed area of Mexico and builds the perfect passage to the 2006 park expansion 'Deep in Africa'. A lot of praise for 'Deep in Africa' came from the critics for the new attraction 'Black Mamba' and the high grade of theming in the area with the authenticity to the black continent. This high grade of theming and details of the new area at Phantasialand, which builds this special ambiance, should be found at the new attraction, too. To accomplish this goal, original Mexican props and customary objects d'art and artefacts - like old historical trolleys and 2 metre-high amphorae have been imported to the park near Cologne.
It was a big challenge for the designing of the attraction, due to restrictions in noise control and the particular position of the attraction between the three themed areas of Mexico, Alt Berlin and Deep in Africa. When approaching from the main entrance over the street of Alt Berlin, the construction looks like a simple two-story building on a hill with a spiky roof on top of it. Looking from within the Mexican area, the visitors get a fascinating sight over a new built marketplace with the impressive winery of the Gonzales family. The winery also builds the entrance to the ride. But the most imposing panoramic view of the attraction can be found on the way to the area of 'Deep in Africa'. The visitors get an unobstructed view inside the giant Aztec temple which is sacred to the god of Tlaloc and builds the heart of the attraction itself.
Phantasialand for its 40th year season presents as a European premiere a Suspended Top Spin of ride manufacturer Huss (Bremen, Germany) in 2007. In contrast to the classic Top Spin, 38 passengers are seated back to back on this floorless version of the ride. On a height of 18 metres, it offers the same swinging fun ride, going upside down, as it is on the predecessor of this kind of ride.
Building the fifth release of this type of ride, Talocan is far more different to its relations in Asia and the United States. The other editions of the ride stand barely naked in the parks, but Talocan is built inside a whole Aztec temple and reminds more of the Giant Top Spin version at King's Island amusement park.
The experience of Talocan begins much earlier than the main ride on the Suspended Top Spin starts. From the Plaza Mariachi the park visitor first looks at the premises of the winery-family Gonzales. On the first floor, the façade is violently pierced by a stone statue of a feathered Snake - a symbol of the Aztec god of Quetzalcoatl, who has the power over the rain together with Tlaloc. If these cracks running over the façade would be real fissures, one would be concerned about the stability of the whole building. But you can reassured enter the winery through the huge gate. Nicely themed old carts, wine casks and frescos of grapes can be found on the way inside the attraction. The path leads through an opening at the end of a tunnel into daylight again and ends up directly in front of the ride. The construction is said to be a machine from hell, which only purpose is to catapult its passengers directly into the realm of Tlaloc. Thanks to the surrounding scenery, no one of the attendees doubts the truth of the legend. Wafts of mist immerse the remains of the Aztec temple into a mystical atmosphere. Two huge sun stones frame the devil's machinery. Skulls border the queue line, apparently proving the numerous victims, which should have propitiated the god of rain. At the centre of the temple, the grotesque graven image of Tlaloc watches over his kingdom.
A deep humming sound through the fogged air and whispering voices of a bygone language announce the awoken wrath of the gods. The cantilevers of the machine begin to move, the beam with the passengers begins to swing and series of geysers shoot out of the ground. The first passengers get in contact with the wet element. The brake of the passengers' tray is released, an epochal orchestra tunes in and the ride gets going. Obviously it's not only the rain that is ruled by Tlaloc. Huge sheaves of fire shoot out of the graven image and the ruins of the temple. Inside this inferno of water, fire and mist, the Top Spin endlessly circles around , turning its passengers upside down, throws them near the walls of the temple and let them feel the heat of the fire. After some 80 seconds, the fracas comes to an end. Under the thunderous laughing of Tlaloc, the geysers rise for a last time and together with five huge explosions from all fire sources, the ride comes to its averting finale.
When the willing park visitor gained an insight into the ride itself, the path queue line follows into an old storage room of the winery. This is said to be the place, where all began. A stone skull can be spotted on the wall. The skull was discovered during the expansion of the storage room, giving the wrathful Aztec god the opportunity to regain the power over mankind. The waiting passengers are separated in two groups of 19 persons each. Heavy wooden doors slowly open and give way to the ride. Now, you're at the same location, where Pedro Gonzales and his son disappeared. Will this be the same fate for all passengers? Will we also start our journey to the realm of Talocan? The view inside the nebulous pit is becoming more and more impenetrable. The park guests outside the temple appear to be ghosts from another world. Is this still Phantasialand or are we already at Talocan? No one of the passengers seems to know the answer, and again, the well known voices announcing the ride start sound through the air. And it begins...
|Manufacturer:||Huss Park Attractions GmbH|
|Weight :||80 tons|
|Max. G-Forces:||4 G|
|Special:||Fog-, water-, fire-|
There are a total of three different ride programs for all kind of target groups. The ride program used at the moment can be described as suitable for the whole family. Fans of the Top Spin rides on funfairs with manual controls may be disappointed of Talocan, if they expect a wild ride. But the ride program on Talocan clearly outstands on other park versions of this kind of ride.
At the end of the day, it can be noted, that the investment of 7.5 million Euros (figures according to the park) should pay off. Compared to the former Condor ride, which was circling at the same location the year before, a crazy Aztec adventure awaits the park guests. Well, sometimes it's hard to tell, whether the passengers or the spectators have more fun with Talocan. Visually very impressing and a ride program not to be sneezed at, Talocan is a successful balancing act between thrill attraction and show program for the whole family.