When new developments for attractions are involved, one thing is particularly important to us: combining absolute ride enjoyment with extraordinary theming, to create a unique overall experience.
“We want to provide our guests with the highest possible comfort and the best experience,” stresses Sebastian Jonas, project developer and quality manager of Phantasialand. “For this we create whole themed worlds with attractions embedded in them and do not only build attractions with a bit of theming.”
This only succeeds if at Phantasialand we deal intensively with each detail right from the start.
“In the course of new projects we develop quite precise specifications which we pass on to the manufacturers. This then affects every single aspect of our project such as the capacities of the ride, the look of the tracks and also the ride figures of the route layout,” is how Sebastian Jonas describes this approach.
As with all our projects, from the earliest development phase on, we had quite a specific idea of what the roller coaster had to be able to do: route lengths, tracks, train design, thematic embedding and above all ride enjoyment – we worked all that out right down to the smallest detail to create an overall experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Extraordinary in really all elements.
Here the layout of the track forms the key basis for absolute ride enjoyment. Therefore for Taron we set a very crucial requirement right from the start: the ride must have a perceptible sense of the dramatic. We wanted to create a ride experience with its own dramatic arc that rose continuously with full dynamic range up to the finale. For this we specified the ride elements of the route such as S-bends, airtime hills, overbanked turns as well as special changes of direction and changes of speed as, on its way through the rocky landscape of Klugheim, Taron is to offer an enjoyment factor that carries on, keeping a surprise in store right to the end.
The start-up was also just as important to us: Taron should provide enjoyment from the first second! We were therefore particularly keen on a very strong launch. For this Taron needed a drive superbly equipped for the two catapult launches. That only the most up-to-date and high-performance technology might be used for this was therefore crucial for the realisation of our aims. Taron should be powerful, more intensive than any other multi-launch coaster and enormously fast.
The same applied also to the tracks. To meet our demands for a particularly delicate “track framework”, for us only a very special track could be used in Taron: a 3-belt track. Only its slender aesthetics could meet our visual expectations. In addition it appeared that production in accordance with the new Eurocode 3 standard was able to further thin and clearly optically enhance the track framework. That such a track profile was thus used for the first time for us was therefore a clear factor in ensuring the harmonious integration of the roller coaster into the Klugheim themed world that we wished to achieve.
As that too was certain for us right from the start: Taron’s uniqueness arose primarily from the seemingly effortless thematic embedding of the roller coaster into its powerful surroundings. Being able to harmonise all details perfectly with each other was therefore of great importance to us. And that really means all details, even the ride’s supports. Even these could not just be a square “standard model” but had to be round to likewise be able to fit aesthetically into the overall picture.
The train had of course also to comply with this creed. As an elementary component of the ride with Taron, ride enjoyment, comfort and design must seamlessly merge together in it. So here too we had specific ideas on all details – from the seat position and the straps right to the materials – from which a completely new train had to be custom-built to fit in with the themed world.
That was also the keyword that was decisive for creating Taron and thus for the choice of our partners on this exciting journey: custom-built, as in the end, to create the roller coaster that we had designed so individually down to the very smallest detail, we needed a manufacturer to support us that wanted to meet the challenges of our special requirements with just as much passion and enthusiasm as us and was able to turn our innovative plans into reality.
We found this partner in the Liechtenstein company Intamin. With its special drive it was able to ensure a catapult launch that would make Taron into the multi-launch coaster with the most intensive LSM launch in the world. In addition, with great openness and immense knowhow, it was willing to implement every idea in accordance with our requirements. This also meant that they enabled us to jointly develop a completely new train – the “Phantasialand train”. This willingness was a decisive criterion for us in the selection of the partner and the prerequisite for working together.
Intamin carried out all our requirements down to the last detail. From the essential dramatic development of the route to guaranteeing winter performance so that Taron can still function perfectly even in severe frost. To ensure this, the ability of operating the ride at up to -10°C outside temperature was essential – instead of the mild 8°C, usually common for attractions. A very large difference, yet no problem for Intamin to implement. With much commitment and great skill, they caused Taron to come into being just as we had imagined it. Their tortuous and really extraordinary track layout with all our figures and specifications is in our eyes a real masterstroke on the space available. They had the tracks cross over an incredible 116 times – a world record in itself – and have at the same time created a unique roller coaster closely packed into the mighty cliffs that completely merges into the overall theme. Here time and time again the positioning in the middle of Klugheim presented new challenges to the roller coaster experts. The particular space situation, the complete integration into the themed world and our specific demands on layout and ride enjoyment constantly required new ideas and creative approaches. Not entirely easy but all the more attractive for that: Taron was never just an everyday “off the peg” project but required a lot of skill and innovative spirit from all those involved.