by Joe Tracy, editor of Theme Park Magazine
(there is an Editor’s Note at the end of this article)
Fluch des Pharao (Curse of the Pharaoh in English) is an Egyptian-themed boat ride at BELANTIS in Leipzig, Germany. BELANTIS originally opened on April 5, 2003, and Fluch des Pharao was one of its main attractions on opening day.
Fluch des Pharao starts with guests walking through an Egyptian tomb in the pyramid to an outdoor queue where they board a rubber boat to explore the Tombs of the Pharaoh, including ancient art and treasure. Just don’t wake the Pharaoh or you will trigger his curse!
Fluch des Pharao (Curse of the Pharaoh) Ride Video
This ride video was shot in 2019 by YouTube channel PARALAX’s motley video world. It includes the queue and the ride. In the latter parts of the ride, a picture-in-picture is shown to give you both the on-ride and external video at the same time.
Fluch des Pharao history
BELANTIS is a 74-acre theme park in Leipzig, Germany. It has more than 60 attractions and rides that are split among eight themed areas of the park. The building of BELANTIS began in the Fall of 2001 and the park opened in March 2003. Fluch des Pharao, located in the Valley of the Pharaohs, was an opening-day attraction and considered the best ride at the park. The pyramid housing the attraction stands at 102-feet tall.
Instead of logs, Fluch des Pharao uses boats that take guests on an expedition into a mysterious pyramid. The boat passes a statue head and explorer tapping into a wall. Unfortunately, the tampering has unleashed the curse of the Pharaoh! The boat is lifted vertically and spit out of the pyramid into an 85-foot drop at 45 miles per hour. But that’s not the end! A unique ride element – a “whirlpool” swallows the boat and the adventure ends.
In its early days, the ride used fiberglass boats but soon thereafter evolved to rubber boats.
Fluch des Pharao was built by HAFEMA Water Ride Systems. HAFEMA rides can be found in several countries, including the United States. The Coast Guard Academy boat ride at LEGOLAND New York was created by HAFEMA and SB International.
In February 2018, BELANTIS was acquired by Parques Reunidos which owns 60 other assets including theme parks, water parks, animal parks, and entertainment centers.
Many describe Fluch des Pharao as having great scale, but flat theming, an area where the ride can be vastly improved.
Fluch des Pharao Info
Year Opened: 2003
Ride Time: 5 minutes
Capacity: 8 people per boat
Ride Type: Boat Ride / Water Ride / Splash Ride
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When I was young, I always dreamed of building my own theme park simply called “Fun Land” (zero creativity points, but keep reading). I remember buying a notebook to sketch out my ideas. The centerpiece of the Fun Land Theme Park was a huge pyramid. But the inside of the pyramid held several secrets, including a roller coaster ready to sweep you up into a new adventure.
The coaster would go through several Egyptian scenes, including tombs, and after triggering a curse would race to the top where the coaster would “break” through the wall near the top of the pyramid and barrel down the backside of the pyramid. So when you entered the park, you wouldn’t be able to see the roller coaster track since it was behind the pyramid. From the front, it just looks like a towering pyramid from Egypt. And it’s the front where you enter.
That’s why I was personally excited about Fluch des Pharao being featured in today’s “Ride the Rides...” it takes me back to my childhood and that idea that once consumed my mind.
I would personally love to see Fluch des Pharao themed a lot more, along with an engaging story, but am thrilled to see a glimpse of my childhood dream come to life.