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Phantasialand’s Newest Accommodation: Hotel Charles Lindberg

by Wolf Tiemeier

 

Those who came to visit Phantasialand in Brühl five years ago first saw the building housing the indoor coaster. Behind it was the wide main entrance with the bridge and then the themed area, Deep in Africa. When coming to the park today, the huge, rusty facade of the Hotel Charles Lindbergh dominates the front view of the park. As an explorer or aeronaut staying at Charles Lindbergh, guests experience the steampunk-themed area Rookburgh in a completely different way from that of the normal park visitor. The day guest enters Rookburgh through a connecting passage of Alt Berlin through a tunnel with riveted iron beams, posters on the walls and a parked hot rod or from the Fantasy themed area through another access. However, in order to fully enjoy Rookburgh and its highlight attraction F.L.Y., one walks through the large hotel portal, which is opened by a uniformed doorman, past a metal roller conveyor full of suitcases, up to the check-in. There visitors get their aeronaut briefing and from that point on are members of the exclusive explorer society. Many walls in the Hotel Charles Lindbergh, in the bar 1919 and in the restaurant Uhrwerk are decorated with relics from ancient times. Among them are technical drawings of machines and flying apparatus, old advertising posters and photos of aeronauts around Charles Lindbergh from the beginnings of aviation. One last glimpse into the lounge, which is decorated in the style of the early years of the 20th century, and the adventure can begin.

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Photo by Wolf Tiemeier

 

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Photo by Sven Tiemeier

 

006 - SvenBy the time check-in takes place, guests are already fully immersed. Photo by Sven Tiemeier

 

However, before exploring Rookburgh, guest should bring their luggage to the cabins. There are five gates leading to five hotel arms with a total of 109 aeronaut cabins. They are purposefully furnished, but their berths promise a deep sleep. The cabins are spread over six levels and offer fantastic views of Rookburgh. Having found the appropriate gate, guests step out of the check-in area and climb the steel tower to the level of the registered cabin. There are viewing platforms at each level.

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Photo by Wolf Tiemeier

 

Presse_Rookburgh_HotelCharlesLindbergh_KabineThe rooms purposefully transport guests to another era. Photo Courtesy Phantasialand

 

Young aeronauts fly past in whimsical flying machines on the left and right. Sometimes slowly, then at high speed, they emerge from the fog of Rookburgh, glide past, ascend into the sky and immediately plunge into the underground in breathtaking flight maneuvers. They fly through tunnels under the buildings of Rookburgh, and their tracks cross several times until they mysteriously disappear again in the haze of Rookburgh. All that remains is the music, the steam from the factories and the stamping of the machines.

 

After the difficult ascent to the cabin, it is now appropriate to use the explorer vertical transporter (lift) to get to the boarding gate (park entrance) in Rookburgh.

 

Once out of the lift and after a short walk over steel grilles, one stands in the middle of the steampunk. This is now Rookburgh, a compact backdrop city of shops, residential buildings and industry. There are four centers of interest, all of which speak for themselves. There is the almost all-conquering Hotel Charles Lindbergh; the Zum Kohleschipper, an exclusive sandwich snack outlet, where pork neck or salmon find their way into the sandwich; Emilie's Chocoladen & Candy Werkstatt with sweets and handmade chocolate; and the restaurant Uhrwerk, with delicate homemade burgers, as well as pasta. The Uhrwerk is only available to park guests at noon. For explorer society members, however, it offers a sumptuous breakfast buffet in the morning and a great three-course menu on two floors in a cozy atmosphere in the evening. Tables with four tractor seats are inviting. The whole thing is accompanied by the noise of the passing flying machines, whose aeronauts dive in daring maneuvers to a water surface and are received there by some fountains.

 

037 - WolfPhoto by Wolf Teiemeier

 

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043 - WolfPhoto by Wolf Teiemeier

 

But Rookburgh offers much more. You can see balloons and airships in their docks, awaiting their passengers and an Airrail Company locomotive standing on a bridge high above the heads of the aeronauts. In front of the locomotive, the tracks have split and give the flying machines free travel. A whistle sounds and another aircraft is brought to the first launch, which shortly afterward searches through Rookburgh with screaming aeronauts

 

Typical stylistic elements of steampunk characterize the image of Rookburgh: wrought-iron railings, steel running grids, gears, steam-driven machines, boilers, pipelines. In many corners there is real coal, with which the steam engines are fed in the factory halls. A shovel cart that could easily have come out of a “Mad Max” movie often runs its engine to draw coal again. In the depths there is a conveyor belt in a coal bunker, whose transport chain is torn. But in all the bustle it is easy to find a place to stay in between.

 

With a loud hiss, a boiler discharges its steam onto the frightened aeronauts who are flying just overhead. It does this at regular intervals as soon as another aircraft appears near it. The whole of Rookburgh is filled with the sound of stomping machines with their tirelessly working gearboxes and pistons, the shouting of passing aeronauts, the noise of F.L.Y. aircraft and the music especially composed for this subject area. Steam rises from lattices that are in the ground and spreads throughout the subject area. At dawn, Rookburgh is bathed in magical light with its buildings, steel engine halls and docks and shipyards of the airships. This can best be enjoyed from the windows of the Uhrwerk or, better yet, from a viewing platform of the Charles Lindbergh.

 

050 - SvenF.L.Y. dominates the entire Rookburgh area. Photo by Sven Teiemeier

 

054 - SvenPhoto by Sven Teiemeier

 

As a rule, the attractions are first built, then the topic area follows. However, since Rookburgh as a whole is very complex, F.L.Y. and the buildings were built at the same time. Rookburgh and F.L.Y. are so closely intertwined that they had to be constructed level by level. This means that the lowest point of F.L.Y., the station, was first built, and as the rail went to the surface and grew in height, the hotel and Rookburgh were also built.

 

But the star of Rookburgh's attractions is undoubtedly F.L.Y., which occupies almost the entire themed area. The latest generation flying coaster built by Vekoma has two world records. F.L.Y. is the longest flying coaster and the first with two launches. Thrill seekers probably like the numerous points of a near miss and airtime on this coaster. The flying machine flies sharply past the hotel roof, walls, machines and projections of buildings. Yes, even the second launch, which spans several levels, encourages the young aeronauts to offer a wave from the observation deck.

 

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Photo by Wolf Teiemeier

 

016 - WolfOpen for meals during the operating day, Uhrwerk caters to hotel guests in the morning and evening. Photo by Wolf Teiemeier

 

RestaurantUhrwerk02Photo Courtesy Phantasialand

 

Following a day in the park, aeronauts return to the hotel. After the end of dinner in the Uhrwerk, they visit the hotel's bar, 1919. It is reserved for explorer society members only and boasts tasty cocktails and 15 varieties of international craft beers. In this cozy environment, sounds of rock music from the ‘80s complement a game of pool billiards or darts. 1919 also serves another purpose. If the coaster trains need maintenance, they are positioned above the 1919, the glass roof opens, the pedestal with the pool table is moved and the train is transported down by a crane through the bar and fed to the workshop. Steampunk technology
at its best!

 

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Bar1919The hotel’s bar has exceptional detail. Photo Courtesy Phantasialand

 

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Photo by Wolf Teiemeier

 

F.L.Y. is addictive and Rookburgh is an experience. Phantasialand has managed to dedicate a walkable and experienceable theme world to steampunk. Fantastic!

 

An overnight stay at Charles Lindbergh is strongly recommended. At first glance, it is expensive, but there is a list of advantages. A second day is not to be ruled out. For one night, guests get two boarding passes (admissions) per person for Phantasialand, which allows access to the park and preferential access to Rookburgh at any time without waiting. One boarding pass is for the day of arrival and the second is for the day of departure. There is also a quick pass per day for F.L.Y., along with a fantastic aeronaut briefing folder with logbook (information about the stay in Charles Lindbergh and Phantasialand), postcards, park map and hotel map with Rookburgh. Also included in the hotel stay is a three-course evening meal (without drinks) and a morning breakfast buffet in the restaurant Uhrwerk, exclusive access to the bar 1919, the irreplaceable view by day and a dreamlike illumination of Rookburgh at night, hotel access to Rookburgh, free wifi, free parking and free luggage storage.

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Dramatic lighting enhances the night ambiance in Rookburgh. Photo Courtesy Phantasialand

 

 

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