Until a few years ago, the theme park scene around Rome was lacking. It was nothing more than a goldmine of wacky worms. Then Rainbow MagicLand came along and raised the bar.
I visited Rainbow MagicLand on the same day as Zoomarine and Cinecitta World. While the other two parks were deserted, Rainbow MagicLand was packed for a 90s Dance Party.
For that reason, I'm thankful they offered a skip-the-line pass. It's worth noting the pass available online only lets you skip each ride once, but they offer an unlimited option at the park.
Rainbow MagicLand was my first experience with a parking procedure quite common for Europe. As opposed to paying when you enter the lot, you grab a ticket and pay at a machine on the way out. It wasn’t hard; it was just confusing at first since I had never seen it done that way for a theme park.
The entirety of my visit took place in the evening. Usually I love visiting parks at night. There’s something magical about a well-lit midway. However, that isn’t a thing at Rainbow MagicLand.
The park was so dark, myself and many others used our phone’s flashlights to navigate the pathways. Because of this, I have no doubt I missed a lot of details visible in daylight hours. That being said, the areas with sufficient lighting looked fantastic!
I started with Shock, the launched Maurer. To start, it's honestly shocking (pun intended) how smooth this ride is. Maybe it's the single cars, but if only Rip Ride Rockit was this smooth.
The initial launch is quite good. It takes a bit to reach it's top speed, but you really feel it when it does. And that's followed by the highlight of the ride, a massive camelback with some serious sustained airtime.
The rest of the first half is equally as intense. You have this funky hybrid turnaround/top hat that offers two distinct pops of air and lats as you enter and exit. That's followed by this ridiculous low-to-the-ground overbank that pulls some serious Gs.
After a pop of air into the MCBR, Shock loses something. The second half is really slow. But the ride does have one saving grace left, an awesome zero-G roll. This is one element I think is better with less speed.
I wouldn't mind to see Maurer bring something like Shock to the US. It may be short, but the first half in particular packs a serious punch. 8 out of 10
Another casualty of my night visit was Isola Volante, the flying island. I believe the park has a beautiful mountain backdrop. At night, these mountains were as invisible as a second train at Mt. Olympus.
One other issue with this flying island is that it didn’t rotate. Because the ride is located in the far corner of the park, only the side facing the park had any sort of view at night. 6 out of 10
I had a prime spot at the start, but figured I should switch with others. As expected, someone jumped on my spot. What I wasn’t expecting was for them to sit down with their back against the railing and whip out their phone. Why enjoy a view from 200 feet in the air when you can play Angry Birds?
One of my sister’s favorite shows growing up was Winx Club. I never watched it, but I was familiar with it. I never realized the show was all that popular, so I was stunned the IP had a whole ride themed to it.
The ride is essentially the Peter Pan ride system past a series of miniatures straight out of the Storybook Land Cruise. Every once and a while, this was broken up by a giant statue of a Winx girl. I’m guessing this ride opened as something entirely different and was overlaid with the Winx Club later? 6 out of 10
Across the way was Dune, the extended roller skater. Call me crazy, but I honestly prefer the smaller roller skaters. I find the original restraints more comfy and the ride to hold its speed better. 3 out of 10
Considering how hot Rome gets in the summer, it’s not surprising Rainbow MagicLand boasts a full collection of water rides. Arguably the most visually stunning is Nui Lua, their log flume.
The flume is built around a volcano. Heck it even erupts like the one at DisneySea! However, there is one major drawback to this visual spectacle. When the mountain is going to erupt, they cycle empty logs.
The flume itself was a bit of a letdown. The drops weren’t very good and the splashdowns were very abrupt. Speaking of the splashdowns, those won’t get you wet. But the turns sure will. 7 out of 10
In the span of a few hours, I realized Rome has a fetish for wacky worms. I’d say it was the adorable face on the lead car, but this was the first of the day actually themed to a worm.
Everything after the lift was business as usual, but this one had a gratuitous pre-lift. It added zero value to the ride, but at least I can say I rode a “custom” wacky worm. 2 out of 10
Outside of Shock, the park’s most notable coaster was the indoor spinner, Cagliostro. I figured this would be your usual Maurer clone (like the one at Lagoon or Seabreeze) just inside a box. I was wrong.
I’d estimate the building is ~60 feet tall, so it was the right size for that off-the-shelf layout. But after a short lift, we went around a quick hairpin turn outside and dropped into a pit. What an awesome start!
The rest of the ride was a minimally braked coaster in complete darkness. Combined with the spinning, I had zero clue where I was going. I’m still confused why they erected this ride in a pit when it very easily could have fit in building, but it was a great fakeout for an enthusiast. 7 out of 10
After a laughably bad haunted walkthrough at Zoomarine, I found a very good one at Rainbow MagicLand in the Haunted Hotel. Part of it may have been the group I was with since they were terrified!
The detail on this haunt was top notch. While you got lost in the theming, a scare actor was ready to startle you from behind. It was the perfect use of misdirection.
The other neat thing about this haunt was the number of animatronics that got extremely close to guests. This is something that would never fly in America. 8 out of 10
Like the flying island, I imagine their drop tower (Mystika) would have been better in the daytime. Instead of seeing Italy’s natural beauty, I was treated to a bubble rave in the distance to the Numa Numa song.
The drop on this one started off very promising. The drop happened after a long hold with zero warning. And the moment of descent gave a great stomach drop sensation.
However, it was all downhill from there (literally). You know how Larson towers smoothly brake in a short distance? Mystika tried to do the same. Mystika braked in a short distance. Except you stop about 1/3 up the tower and the landing isn’t what I’d call smooth. 6 out of 10
I’d say that landing was the roughest ride of the day, but I still had the mine train to ride, Olandese Volante. It turns out this is a Vekoma mine train, but you could have convinced me it was from Golden Horse.
This thing tracked poorly. It had a horrid rattle throughout and it was one rough turn after another. I think it would have been ok if the vehicles were padded, but they weren’t. It was a shame since the theming around the ride looked fantastic. 2 out of 10
A ride with theming and no pain was the indoor shooter, Huntik 5D. The ride mixed physical sets with screens. The latter would have been excellent if they didn’t have some lag and frame rate issues.
The ride also threw in some motion simulator bits towards the end, which was a neat touch and something I wasn’t expecting. Ultimately, Huntik is an ambitious, but the execution is a bit flawed. 7 out of 10
Saving the two soaking water rides for the night probably wasn't the smartest decision. But since I toured the park clockwise, it just happened to work out that way.
Their splash boat, Yucatan, looked incredible. The lifts take place in this beautiful Mayan temple. While there isn't anything to look at inside the temple, the outside is so stunning that I can look past that.
The first drop on this one didn't do anything, but the second drop was good. It had some yank and dished out a little air. And the resulting splash got me soaked in the manner I enjoy, everywhere but my shoes. 8 out of 10
Rapide was a terrifying river rapids ride. Picture this. You're floating down a pitch black river. You hear a waterfall. But you can't see it until it's on top of you.
That's essentially what happened on Rapide. And it happened a lot since this ride had 7-8 waterfalls! While none of them are total soakers on their own, the cumulative sum sure is.
Ironically, Rapide was pretty light on the rapids but the waterfalls more than compensated. I also want to note I’ve heard this rapids ride was well-themed, but I couldn’t see anything at night. 7 out of 10
Shock is great, but it has one issue- capacity. For a park trying to attract big crowds, it's odd they'd have their star coaster only seat 6 people. Worried they’d close the queue, I got there an hour before close.
Fortunately, the standby queue shrunk significantly so I was able to get two more rides, waiting about a half hour each time. It appeared they kept the queue open until 15 minutes before closing.
There are definitely better parks in Europe, but those parks have been around considerably longer. That's why I'm really excited to see what this park does in the coming years.
Rainbow MagicLand already has some great ride pieces already- a star coaster, an awesome water ride collection, and some decent dark rides. So if they continue the same level of theming on future expansions, the park will only improve.