Ever wondered what Disneyland would be like if it was in Silent Hill? You’d be slaying zombie princes and headless knights instead of dragons.
When I was a kid, the only amusement/theme parks I knew existed in the Philippines were Enchanted Kingdom and Star City. Honestly, I grew up with not much interest on this kind of thing. It’s not that I’m a dull or boring person (well, I am, most of the time. HAHA), but I’d much rather spend my money on other things. But since I was not the one who pulls money from the pocket then, I didn’t have the right to complain, and I didn’t have that much choice but to join my family on theme park outings. It was fun, though.
Then later, popular places like Skyranch in Tagaytay, Manila Ocean Park in Pasay, and Kidzania in Taguig got to the scene. These recently developed amusement parks are in a healthy and good competition that people have more choices during family day or whatever occasion they are celebrating.
In the past few months, we’ve heard, seen, and read so many articles and posts about Fantasy World. It drew a lot of attention when people started calling it the “Disneyland of the Philippines”. It is only quite recently that it grew popular, but as a matter of fact, Fantasy World has been there since 2001.
How to Get to Fantasy World
There are several options on how to get to Fantasy World depending on where you’re coming from. We tried both Nasugbu and Lipa routes, and both have its own advantages and disadvantages. It just boils down to what other places you are considering to include in your 1-day itinerary.
From Manila (via Nasugbu)
- Ride a bus going to Nasugbu, Batangas. Ask the conductor to drop you off at the “boundary”. There are several bus lines to choose from such as Crow and DLTB. Tickets cost only about 170 pesos each. (Php 170)
- From the boundary, ride a tricycle for 10 pesos. Ask the driver to take you to the where you can take a Lemery-Boundary jeep. (Php 10)
- Ride a jeep and it will drop you off at the entrance of Fantasy World. (Php 15)
Total: Php 195 one-way
- Shorter route
- Lesser fare
- Near Tagaytay and Caleruega
- Heavy traffic in some parts of Dasmariñas, Cavite
From Manila (via Lipa)
- Go to Jam Liner bus station. You can choose from two branches – 1) in Timog Avenue in Quezon City; and 2) the other is in LRT Buendia in Pasay – and look for the bus with “Lemery” signage. Trips to Lemery are available as early as 4am, and a bus departs every hour or depending on the number of passengers. (Php 186)
- Alight at Lemery Jam Liner bus station.
- Look for a tricycle to get you to the jeepney terminal going to the “boundary”. Beware, however, some tricycle drivers might offer to take you directly to Fantasy World in a very steep price. (Php 10)
- Just take a jeep. (Php 32)
Total: Php 228 one-way
- No traffic
- Longer route
- Higher fare
Disneyland of the Philippines
Situated along Diokno Highway in Lemery, Batangas, Fantasy World is a medieval-themed park that was once owned by a Japanese business man. It was believed to have been “abandoned” due to low funding. It is now currently run and maintained by the homeowners association.
If you are fond of fairy tales, stories of princes and princesses, and kings and queens, the place might leave you in awe of the view upon the entrance where you are welcomed by 4 castle-like structures in a quadrangle. But there is so much more to Fantasy World than just the castles. For instance, they have mini-rides that I’m sure were once working. Now they just serve as big interactive installation arts where you can get your hipster photos taken. The place gives you a mixed feeling of being in a fantasy kingdom and being in an eerie abandoned place (Disneyland x Silent Hill much). Like a lost Alice.
There is a mini rollercoaster that resembles a dragon; a mini ferris wheel that consists of 8 colorful cabins. To the right, you will find a swing ride – imagine a smaller version of Enchanted Kingdom’s Flying Fiesta – also in different colors.
Aside from these, you will also find a maze garden and one of Fantasy World’s popular features – the treehouse. There are two treehouses connected by a hanging bridge. Don’t worry, the bridge is well-maintained, so it’s safe to cross. Go climb the top and you will be rewarded with panoramic views of Taal Volcano – a view that will make you feel like the ruler of the land. “Everything the light touches is your kingdom.”
Many say that this place is considered the Disneyland of the Philippines, but personally, it is far from that. The place is small. I honestly think the place should be visited as a side trip, like after the family heard Sunday mass at Caleguera, or after a picnic in Tagaytay, as there is not much to do and see here aside from taking photos. No wonder this is one of the popular locations for pre-nuptial or birthday photoshoots. We actually witnessed one who will be celebrating her 18th birthday, and another one taking Game of Thrones-themed pre-nuptial photos. The couple wore Jon Snow and Daenerys costumes (made us wonder if the couple were blood-related. Ooooh, plot twist! Anyway, seven blessings to the soon-to-be wedded couple). Their costumes and theme suited the place. I think the place would be enjoyable mainly to kids once it starts operating again.
Tips on Your Tour in Fantasy World Batangas
- Eat before you visit Fantasy World. Bringing of own food is not allowed since they already have a canteen which is a bit pricey, and the service is very poor. The experience was very frustrating. I cannot recall how many times we had to follow up on our orders.
- Go in a group. Entrance to Fantasy World costs 1000 for a group of 10. The bigger the group, hence, the lesser the cost.
- Most of all, you can go first to Taal and then visit Fantasy World in the afternoon. The natural lighting in the afternoon gives your photos a more eerie feel to them.