We recently visited Europa Park, one of the most famous theme parks in the world. The park is considered the best theme park in the world by some enthusiasts. This report will focus on a collection of the best things to do and see at this diverse park. Of course, we will go into detail on the coasters they have on offer too!
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Europa Park is the biggest park in Germany, but located in one of the smallest towns. The town of Rust is home to the almost 1 million m2 footprint of the resort. This includes the main theme park, which receives almost 6 million visitors annually, 6 themed hotels, a camping resort and a waterpark. We visited on a Saturday, so the park was sold out. Therefore, it was very busy and impossible to social distance in the pathways at times. Nevertheless, the park handled guest safety very well across the park, in queue-lines and attractions and ensured regular disinfection of touch points and strict mask enforcement from staff. Ed Euromaus greets you as you drive into the main entrance…
And what a grand main entrance it is. Dancing fountains, hanging flags of all the European countries and vibrant, lively music. If you’re lucky enough you might see one of the characters dancing, perhaps even Ed Euromaus himself… from a distance of course.
As you enter the park you will be greeted with the German alley, a hustle and bustle of people. Shops, cafes, restaurants and kiosks all await you. Traditional German buildings encompass the Main Street and build the scene for the day ahead. The first major park attraction you encounter is Voletarium, a flying theatre. Top tip: Most people head straight to Voletarium in the morning, so the wait times can get pretty long. We recommend you secure yourself a “time ticket”, which will allow you to ride later in the day without waiting. The park was also trialling a virtual queueing system for some of the other major rides, which worked very well and allowed us to maximise our day in the park. Voletarium is a beautiful attraction, in which you feel like you are flying through a series of scenes filmed with a drone all across Europe. Several effects such as smells and mist enhance your journey, as well as a beautifully developed soundtrack. Unfortunately the water spray effects were turned off due to covid-measures.
It’s impossible to dive into detail about everything at Europa Park. So we take you from Germany straight to France. Although in reality you would walk through the Italian themed section at the park. The French area has been recently refurbished and therefore it was one of the busiest areas of the park, causing some bottlenecks. It features an observation tower, along with one of the park’s most well-known coasters: Eurosat- CanCan Coaster. Somewhat controversially, one could argue the design for this rollercoaster was “inspired” from Disney’s very own EPCOT. However, the recent modernization gives it a much more of a French atmosphere than the previous design. The coaster was also completely re-tracked, as well as receiving lots of new theming elements. In addition to this, a VR upgrade was also added during the ride’s refurbishment. This is called Valerian, inspired off the film, and features modern VR technology in which you board the train in your headset and can see others around you. It was a very intense experience, and also unbearably hot in a VR headset as well as a mask!
As part of the refurbishment and modernization of the French area, Europa park also refurbished an old dark ride and gave it a more fitting and quirky theme. This dark ride is called Madame Freudenreich’s Curiosités and is themed to a woman who makes her pet dinosaurs addicted to cakes. It’s a really fun ride, full of awesome animatronics and smell effects- one of the best dark rides in the park!
The first of the major coasters in the park, located in the French area, is Silver Star. This is a B&M hyper with enjoyable amounts of floater airtime, and small amounts of ejector. The sponsorship with Mercedes is somewhat random and the constant advertising is somewhat frustrating, but the overall theming is quite inoffensive for such an enjoyable rollercoaster. We personally believe Silver Star is a tad underrated- it’s not the best hyper but it’s a great coaster!
From France to Switzerland. The Swiss area of the park is arguably one of the most beautiful, featuring a quaint Swiss village with cobbled pathways, traditional Swiss buildings and little walkthroughs. As you walk through the village you will smell the amazing and distinguishable raclette cheese and will see Schweizer Bob-Bahn racing around the track. This is a Mack bobsled coaster where riders sit in a row rather than side by side. The area also features Matterhorn-Blitz, which is a Mack Wild-Maus. This has lovely theming but the layout is pretty dull, so not a coaster worth queueing up for.
Time to look at what the Russian area of the park has to offer. This is often criticized as one of the more dated areas of the park. It’s home to a pretty major centerpiece of the park- Euro Mir. This is a Mack Spinning coaster with a spiral lift and controlled spinning of the cars. To be honest, we quite enjoy this coaster. The lift hill is quite monotonous and takes a long time, but the layout is fun and very intense in the last section. The theming around a Russian space station is quite nice, but a bit dated in places.
On the topic of the park’s major coasters, the Iceland themed area contains the two most well known coasters in the park. The first is the park’s GCI wooden rollercoaster, Wodan. This is considered one of the best wooden rollercoasters in Europe. Safe to say, it does not disappoint. From the extensive Norse themed queue line, to the intensity and fast pacing of the layout. We recommend the front row on this coaster. From start to finish this coaster is pure intensity, thrill and a load of airtime. Beware the GCI roar!
The other staple coaster for the park is the Mack Megacoaster, Blue Fire. This coaster receives quite a lot of criticism for its lack of intensity, but we quite like it. It’s very graceful from the LSM launch to the way it whips you gently through the inversions. The inline twist at the end packs a punch! We unfortunately weren’t fans of the new queue line, which was pretty much a switchback surrounded by huge screens.
Keeping with the Scandinavian theme, the park also has its very own Scandinavian area. In a recent tragic accident in 2018, this area of the park burnt down, and has now been rebuilt and shines in glory more than ever before.
The rebuilt themed area features a brand new dark ride, called Snorri Touren. This is a cute and quirky themed experience where the mascot, Snorri, takes you on a journey through Rulantica. The dark ride features an awesome utilization between animatronics and screens.
Keeping on the topic of the fire, we move to the Holland area of the park. This houses the brand new for 2020 rebuilt Piraten in Batavia dark ride. The closure of the original dark ride was the cause of the fire so it was really emotional to experience the rebuild of the classic attraction. This rebuild is a massive improvement of the former and takes you on a journey through Batavia.
In the Holland area there is also a brand new shimmering restaurant, Bamboo Baee. We had our lunch here, and you can overlook riders traveling on their journey through Batavia, and they also host a show in the restaurant too. The food was delicious! However, this brings me onto a slight criticism I have of the park…
Whilst our food in the new restaurant, Bamboo Baee was phenomenal, unfortunately this seems to be the exception, not the rule for Europa Park. The food in the EP resort hotels is exquisite, but comes at a hefty cost. The park food is very hit and miss, and can also be very pricey. We recommend eating in the Bamboo Baee or the Seehaus restaurant, both of which we think have good quality food for an affordable price. We visited on a very hot day, and aside from Carte Dor or Magnum, the park lacks an interesting range of ice cream, although they do offer a wide variety of drinks and cocktails around the park. I opted for a Snorri themed Calippo..
Speaking of the hot weather… This brings us onto the topic of water rides. The park has a wide variety of water based attractions, including a log flume, river rapids and two water coasters. The most prominent of these attractions is the Mack water-coaster, Poseidon, located in the Greek area. This attraction features very detailed theming and a long and enjoyable layout, coupled with a cooling down at the end for the warm weather days!
Moving from Greece to Austria. The Austrian themed area features the Tyrol Log Flume water ride, as well as the Alpenexpress mack mine train. Both of these pass through a beautifully themed walkthrough through a diamond mine with an animatronic dragon as the centrepiece. The walkthrough features lovely scents and lighting and you can watch the log flume and the coaster pass by in the immersive atmosphere.
Wrapping up our day at Europa Park it was time for a ride on the last notable coaster in the park. This is part coaster, and part dark ride, and it’s called Arthur. It’s based off a film rather than a European themed area but fits in well with the enchanted forest area of the park. This ride features a mixture of animatronics, lighting, smoke effects, music and fast paced coaster section to make the perfect coaster-dark ride mix. As you can probably tell, we really like it!
That’s all from us at Europa Park. It’s a huge park and isn’t one worth rushing. Therefore, if it’s your first time visiting we definitely recommend at least two days on resort. There’s so much to see and do outside of the rollercoasters including a whole host of dark rides and smaller attractions, a fairytale forest and various shows to see. It’s one of our favourite parks and every visit is just as magical as the last visit. We loved seeing all the new developments from the French area, to the new Scandinavia area and Piraten in Batavia. We can’t wait to see what the park has in store for the future.