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Rust, Baden-Württemberg, Germany 77977
|Owner||Mack Rides Gmbh|
|Opened||12 July 1975|
|Operating season||April to early January|
|Area||95 ha (230 acres)|
The park is home to twelve roller coasters, the oldest being the Alpenexpress Mine Train, where a powered coaster speeds through a diamond mine, – and the newest coaster being Arthur, a suspended indoor/outdoor powered rollercoaster and dark ride combination. Europa-Park has very high capacity rollercoasters and attractions meaning the park can accommodate up to approx. 50,000 guests per day. It counted just over 4.9 million visitors in 2013, generating an estimated total revenue of EUR 300 million p.a.
It is also the location of the Euro Dance Festival.
- 1 History
- 2 Accommodation and transportation
- 3 Open times and events
- 4 Themed areas
- 4.1 Enchanted Forest
- 4.2 Kingdom of the Invisibles
- 4.3 Children's World or Viking Land
- 4.4 Lands by country themes
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Background and founding
Europa-Park is run by the Mack family which have produced vehicles since 1780, circus wagons since 1880 and rollercoasters since 1921. Franz Mack (1921–2010) in 1958 took over the family firm, Mack GmbH & Co (now Mack Rides), together with his brothers. Together with his son Roland (b. 1949) he visited the USA in 1972 and was inspired to open a theme park in Germany, as an exhibition site for his company's products.
At first the park was planned to be located in Breisach. It was named "Europa-Park" after Breisach's nearby Europaweiher, a small artificial lake which commemorates a historical pilot poll in Breisach held in 1950, in which 95.6% of voters were in favour of European unification. The Breisach site was deemed unsuitable because of flooding hazard, and the project was moved some 30 km further north, where the Macks bought the park of the historical Balthasar castle in Rust.
The park opened in 1975 with an area of 16 hectares. It counted 250,000 visitors in the first year, 700,000 in the second, passing the million mark in 1978.
Themed areas and growth (1980s-2012)
The first country-themed section was "Italy", opened 1982. Like most of the original themed areas at Europa-Park, it was designed by Ulrich Damrau. The Alpenexpress „Enzian“ and Schweizer Bobbahn rides opened in 1984 and 1985, respectively. The "Europe" theme was pursued further with the opening of "Holland" (1984), "England" (1988), "France" (1990), "Scandinavia" (1992) and "Spain" (1994) sections.
By the year 2000, the number of visitors had risen to 3 million, and the hotels had been booked to nearly 98% of their capacity. The park opened during the winter season for the first time in 2001/2. The current logo was registered in 2003.
In 2011, there were 4.5 million visitors, and by 2012 the park encompassed an area of 90 hectares, featuring eleven roller-coasters, five themed hotels with a turnover of close to EUR 300 million and more than 3,000 employees. In 2012, Roland Mack announced investments in excess of EUR 60 million, the largest yearly investment in the park's history. The total sum invested in the park is estimated at close to EUR 700 million.
Recent developments (2015–present)
The park will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2015. Whilst there will be no major new attractions, the park have revealed they will be releasing a new 4D film based around the park mascot, Euromaus, and his friends. It will called 'The Time Carousel'. The park are completing a range of upgrades to existing attractions, including adding a dark ride portion to Whale Adventures, a complete refurbishment of Columbus Dinghy, new travelator between the car parks and main entrance, new parade and a brand new entrance for hotel guests.
For 2016, the park is developing a new range of children's attractions, believed as a new themed area 'Ireland'. Europa-Park released a teaser image in August 2015.
For 2017 and 2018 they have received planning approval to build a major water park, located 1 km (0.62 mi) away from the theme park, on the road between Europa-Park and the A5 Motorway. It will cost approximately €100 million.
Further hotels are also under consideration as the existing hotels run at 95% capacity. As the 5 hotels are all currently rated four star or higher, it is understood that the park may look into building a hotel with a lower star rating, perhaps near the Camp Resort, which will appeal to families and young people who are on more of a budget. Roland Mack has also stated he wishes to develop a high speed ICE rail link to make access to the resort easier.
The gourmet restaurant “Ammolite – the Lighthouse Restaurant" in the Superior Hotel Bell Rock in Europa-Park has been awarded a second Michelin star two years after opening. Thomas Mack, Member of the Executive Board of Europa-Park: "Chef de cuisine Peter Hagen has won the hearts of gourmet diners in a very short time with his great creativity and high level of discipline."
Accommodation and transportation
Among other features, in 1990 the park installed a monorail.
Europa-Park is home to five resort hotels. For guests on a lower budget, the resort also has a large Camp Resort, where guests can stay in a Tipi, Chuck Wagon or Log Cabin provided they bring their own sleeping bag. Camping and caravaning is also provided for, next to the Camp Resort.
- Hotel Colosseo (four star superior), themed around the Roman Colosseum and features a spectacular fountain show created by French company Aquatique Show International
- Hotel Santa Isabel (four star superior), themed around a Portuguese Monastery
- Hotel El Andaluz (four stars), themed as a Spanish Villa
- Hotel Castillo Alcazar (four stars), themed as a Spanish Finca
- Hotel Bell Rock (four star superior), themed around New England and features a lighthouse
- Features
- Guesthouse Circus Rolando
- Europa-Park Camp Resort and Tipi Village
- Santa Isabel Wellness and Spa
- Colosseo Wellness and Spa
- Boston Red Socks Fitness and Spa
- Europa-Park Golf
- Magic Cinema 4D
- Confertainment Facilities
- Europa-Park Dome
Open times and events
Euro Dance Festival, located annually at Europa-Park since 2007, is best known for its wide range of music and dancing styles. These are Ballroom Dance, Argentine Tango, Swing Dance, Hip Hop and Breakdance. A combination of dancing classes and shows and a trade fair caters for the needs of both beginners and professionals including dance instructors and choreographers. Since its foundation it has taken place for four days every year in early spring.
Europa-Park host dozens of events throughout the summer season. The biggest of these include the Midsummer Party, when the theme park hosts a fireworks display and is open until midnight. Horror Nights takes place through October evenings and features a range of halloween horror mazes, rides and shows. For the last week of the main season, the park hosts a daily firework show and music production.
- Times and open attractions
During the main summer season, the park opens at 9:00 am and closes from 6:00 pm. Closing time is extended by up to 3 1/2 hours, depending on how busy the park is. This is usually the case on weekends and holiday periods. The park opens selected rides 30 minutes early for hotel guests.
Europa-Park has opened for winter since 2001, and it is widely believed the park will gradually extend opening so that it is opened year round. A small number of rides, including Silver Star are closed in winter due to the weather, although from the 2012-2013 winter season, Blue Fire was added to available attractions - so long as weather permits. Wodan was also added from the 2014-2015 winter season. Such a philosophy of only operating certain rides during winter is commonplace amongst most theme parks in Europe, as temperatures can often dip below freezing. Most water rides are also closed, including Poseidon, Fjord Rafting, Tirol Log Flume and Atlantica Super Splash. The park does compensate for the loss of these rides however, with additional experiences such as the Bellevue Observation Wheel, Snow Tubing and Skiing. Show times are also extended and the park is fully decorated.
During the winter season, the park opens at 11:00 am and closes at 7:00 pm. The park opens selected rides 1 hour early for hotel guests. Although the park does extend closing time if it's busy, this doesn't happen as often in the winter seasons, partly due to low temperatures in the evening.
- Dwarf City – Kids fairytale ride.
- Hansel and Gretel House – Walkthrough
- Grimm Library
- Sleeping Beauty Castle – Walkthrough
- Witches House – Walkthrough
- Hydroelectric Power Station – Walkthrough
- The Golden Goose - Animatronic Display
- Dr Know-It-All - Walkthrough
- Frau Holle - Animatronic Display
- Rapunzel - Animatronic Display
- The Little Tailor - Walkthrough
Kingdom of the Invisibles
- Arthur in the Kingdom of the Invisibles (Arthur - The Ride) - suspended dark ride/powered rollercoaster (new for 2014)
- Poppy Tower - a Zierer family free fall tower (new for 2014)
- Muls-Muls Carousel - a Zamperla Jump Around (new for 2014)
- Selenia's House - walkthrough (new for 2014)
- Minimoys Village - themed area (new for 2014)
- Minimoys play area and slides - interactive play area and slides (new for 2014)
Children's World or Viking Land
- Giant Slide Labyrinth
- Viking Boat Ride
- Viking Ship
- Dino Merry-Go-Round – A carousel ride
- Open air children's theatre – Show venue..
Lands by country themes
- Elf Ride – A boat ride with a dark ride section
- Eden Palladium - A fully restored 1909 salon carousel (new for 2013)
- Vintage Cars – A car ride
- Panorama Train – Also has stations in other areas
- EP-Express – A monorail. Also has stations in Greece, Spain and Hotel Resort
- Balthasar Castle
- Castle Gardens
- Dancing Fountains
- Old 99 – A tracked ride with a circus theme, including a climatic encounter with a jazz band of garish animals
- Puppet Boat Ride – Circular boats travel through scenes of puppets moving
- Antique Rides – Small old fashioned rides for younger children
- Hello/Goodbye Euro-Maus – Meet and greet Europa-Park mascots
- Black Forest House
- Franz Mack statue – memorial to the founder of Europa-Park, who died in 2010
- Euro-Mir – A one-of-a-kind, high-speed, Mack steel track spinning roller coaster, based around Russian space missions. The spinning is controlled and only happens during some parts of the ride. The ride features indoor dark ride elements, back-to-back seating, an indoor spiral lifthill, a techno soundtrack, and one of the longest ride times of any roller coaster. The Mir space station training module is located above the outdoor queue for the ride.
- Mir Space Station
- Radio Telescope
- Schlittenfahrt Schneefloeckchen (Snowflake Ride) – A short dark ride through a Siberian landscape. The ride features a folklore theme and has been nicknamed "BENCH: The Ride" for its park bench style cars.
- Lada Autodrom – A car ride for younger guests (it is, in essence, similar to Silverstone Race Track but for younger children).
- Artisans – Craftsmen at work with glass blowing and pottery.
- Open air puppet stage – Show venue.
- Piccolo Mondo – A dark ride celebrating Italian culture with a family-friendly theme.
- Geisterschloss (Ghost Castle) – A spooky dark ride with inspiration from Disney's The Haunted Mansion.
- Volo da Vinci – A suspended pedal-monorail attraction based on Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine offering charming views of the nearby area. Manufactured by ETF Ride Systems.
- Carnival in Venice – An electrical bird animatronics display.
- Open air stage – Show venue.
- Teatro dell'Arte – Show venue.
- Silver Star – Hypercoaster and Europe's second highest and fifth fastest roller coaster, standing 239ft tall with a top speed of 78mph. Built by Bolliger and Mabillard of Switzerland. One of the few non-Mack rides featured at the park, presumably because Mack doesn't feature a hyper coaster model. The ride is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. Within the ride's hall there is a coffee shop, a gift shop, and a small-size museum that features a full-scale replica of a Mercedes-Benz Formula One car.
- Eurosat – Indoor coaster themed around space travel. Located inside a large geodesic sphere structure, similar to Spaceship Earth at Walt Disney World's Epcot. The ride itself is similar to Disney's Space Mountain, except that the train is made up of many more cars, and it features a spiral lift hill. The ride's techno soundtrack was composed by Stark Fader, with "In A Second Orbit" being the song that plays during the ride and "Sat Race" being the song in the gift shop.
- Universe of Energy – A dinosaur themed dark ride also inspired by Disney, here Ellen's Energy Adventure in Epcot.
- Euro-Tower – An observation tower.
- Magic Cinema – A large 4D cinema venue currently showing "The Time Carousel", a custom film made for the park.
- Open air stage – show venue.
- Fjord-Rafting – A river rapids ride through caverns and waterfalls
- Sunken City "Vineta" – A small walk-through indoor display
- Vindjammer – A swinging ship ride
- Rocking Bridge
- Cable Ferry
- Norwegian Stave Church
- Andersen's Fairy Tale Tower
- Fishing Village
- Atlantica SuperSplash – High-speed water ride themed around Portuguese explorers. The boats are a higher capacity than Poseidon, and it doesn't feature any high speed turns as on Poseidon, but still has enough time on the coaster track that it can be considered a roller coaster.
- Casa D'Aventura – An Indoor-Playground for Kids.
- Atlantica-Shower – A wooden runway where the visitors can wait for the next boat of "Atlantica" plunging into the lake and soak them to the bones.
- Santa Marian – A sailing ship which includes a bar
- Columbus Dinghy – A Seastorm ride which travels backwards and forwards
- Feria Swing – A spinning, high speed carousel ride.
- Adventure Playground
- Panorama Train – also has stations in other areas.
- EP Express station.
- Hotel Resort – access is available here to Hotels El Andaluz, Castillo Alcazar, Santa Isabel and Colosseo.
- Flamenco stage – show venue.
The Netherlands / Holland
- Rocking Bridge and Chute
- Piraten in Batavia – A boat ride, indoor pirate dark ride featuring a drop and multiple effects. Based on Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Red Baron – A carousel ride
- Peter Pan – A carousel ride
- Mini Scooter – A kiddie bumper car ride
- Koffiekopjes – A spinning coffee cup ride
- Bouncy House
- Ball Pool
- Children's theatre – show venue.
- Bamboe Baai stage – show venue.
- Matterhorn Blitz – Wild mouse roller coaster featuring the largest drop of any wild mouse in the world and a rocking vertical lift. Themed around a Swiss farmhouse.
- Swiss Bob Run – A bobsled roller coaster, and one of the few ones of this model to feature a regular style drop. This was a world's first when it opened.
- Jungfrau Gletscherflieger (Jungfrau Glacier Flyer) – A high speed spinning plane ride
- Swiss Village & Valasian Parlours – A recreated Swiss street with shops and restaurants.
- Cassandra's Curse – A madhouse type indoor illusion ride with special effects.
- Pegasus – Family coaster cleverly themed around an archeological dig
- Poseidon – High-speed water coaster with incredibly detailed theming, such as the Trojan Horse, and the station being located inside a recreated Acropolis temple.
- Atlantis Adventure – Interactive dark ride
- Greek Village Mykonos
- The Flight of Ikarus – A balloon ride
- EP Express station.
- Ice Arena – Show venue.
- Silverstone Race Track – A go-kart ride through English gardens
- The British Carousel
- Crazy Taxi – A demolition derby carousel ride
- London Bus – A magic carpet ride
- Arena of Football – A football exhibition, sports bar and Adidas shop
- Soccer Scooter – Dodgems ride located in the Arena of Football
- Queens Diamonds – Laser experience
- Europa-Park Historama – A multimedia journey into the history of the park with special effects.
- Historama Museum – exhibition about the history of Europa-Park and Mack Rides.
- Monorail – Transport ride to Iceland.
- Panorama Train – Also has stations in other areas.
- Globe Theatre – Show venue.
- Food-Loop – Restaurant featuring an immense diorama of a miniature rollercoaster on which the food is served.
- Alpenexpress – Powered roller coaster which is themed like a mine train roller coaster and, after a brief encounter with some hungry bears, includes a trip inside the World of Diamonds (which can also be viewed by foot). Makes two trips through its relatively short course to form a complete run, or three on a quiet day
- Vienna Wave Swinger – A chairswing ride
- Tirol Log Flume – A traditional log flume ride through the World of Diamonds
- Magic World of Diamonds – A walk through attraction with animatronics
- Wodan Timbur Coaster – wooden coaster built by Great Coasters International featuring a heavily themed, detailed queueline.
- Blue Fire – launched roller coaster with several inversions, onboard sound and unique restraint system. Includes various headchopper effects and a dark ride section with a variety of special effects.
- Whale Adventures Splash Tours – Splash Battle Interactive water ride with animatronic theming and themed fishing port.
- Gazprom Hall – Exhibition hall featuring interactive exhibits about the world of gas supply. Comprises a café-bar, toilets and conference facilities.
- Viking Village – featuring history and information about Viking expeditions.
- Litill Island – Interactive water playground sponsored by Hansgrohe.
- Monorail – Transport ride to the Historama in England.
- Iceland Museum – viewing area for the Blue Fire launch zone and other Icelandic artefacts.
- Icelandic Village – A range of shops, catering outlets and games units.
- "Global Attractions Attendance Report 2011" (PDF) (in German). TEA. 2012-05-00. Retrieved 2012-06-01. Check date values in:
- "Kernels - January 2010". Park World Magazine. 24 December 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "Da Vinci Flight at Europa-Park". Park World Magazine. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Europa-Park.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Europa Park.|
- (English) Europa-Park (Official English Site)
- (German) Europa-Park (Official Site)
- Park location via Google Maps
- (English) UK web site for Europa-Park Breaks
- (German) Terenzi Horror Nights Site
- (German) Europa Park Fans Forum
- (Croatian) Europa-Park Fun page (Fun Croatian Blog)