St. Margarethen im Burgenland, Austria
“One of Europe’s best themed family amusement parks”
It’s perfectly possible that you’ve never heard of Familypark and that’s okay. The park is located in Austria and this country is not the ultimate roller coaster destination. Austria has no great theme parks like the ones in Germany and it also lacks the impressive B&Ms you’ll find in Spain and the United Kingdom. Apart from the world-famous Wiener Prater, Austrians should be happy with regional amusement parks. Familypark, which used to be known as Familienpark Neusiedlersee until 2014, is one of those regional parks.
According to the Roller Coaster Database there are four coaster credits waiting to be ridden. However, two of them are actually not worth to be called a roller coaster. One of them is so small that you could simply stumble over it and another one is a simple Butterfly. For those who don’t know that model: a Butterfly is literally nothing more than a swing. Not a must for me.
Fortunately, the other two coasters are more impressive. And that applies to both ride experience and decoration. One of those roller coasters is Rattenmühle, a Bobsled Coaster built by Gerstlauer. Don’t be fooled: this type has nothing to do with bobsleds. It’s just a crazy name for an extended version of a classic Wild Mouse. Despite its strangely chosen name, this is actually one of Gerstlauer’s nicest coaster models. These rides are characterised by smooth courses, curvy layouts and lots of fun on a limited surface. Rattenmühle meets all these requirements and it’s therefore a great coaster. Besides, the track was beautifully integrated in a forest and the station looks stunning. Good job.
The fourth roller coaster is called Götterblitz and it’s also the largest one. Please don’t expect too much from it, because this is a YoungStar Coaster, similar to Pegasus at Europa-Park. Thanks to an extra helix, it’s slightly longer than the German version, but the ride experience doesn’t feel that different at all. The first drop is great and the curves contain more power than you might expect, but it remains a roller coaster dedicated to families with children. Familypark once again created a lovely station and the track winds through a beautiful area.
Familypark’s theming level is surprisingly high. One of the nicest themed (but rather odd looking) areas is the Märchenwald. Just like Efteling and Europa-Park, Familypark has its own fairy tale forest. Obviously, the Austrian version doesn’t even come close to Efteling’s famous Fairy Tale Forest. Even the questionable Märchenwald at Europa-Park is themed in a better way, but the atmosphere is just right here at Familypark. That atmosphere is partly generated by not-so-fashionable Hansel and a Little Red Riding Hood which appears to live in a red lights district.
In my opinion, the most interesting part of Familypark is the so called Abenteuerinsel. This zone is built in a Mediterranean style and it contains most major attractions. Here, you’ll find a water playground, a water slide, a swinging ship, Götterblitz and one of Europe’s most beautiful flat rides. It’s called Leonardos Flugmaschine and it’s a Sky Fly manufactured by Gerstlauer. This ride type is always a hit for spectators and as a passenger, you’re able to make the ride as intense as you prefer. However, it must be said that most of these attractions aren’t themed exceptionally. Familypark proves that things can be done differently: Leonardos Flugmachine is a stunning ride. It would fit perfectly within the Italian quarter of Europa-Park and it would even look great in the Venetian zone of Tokyo DisneySea. I know that’s a bold statement, but this is literally one of the most amazing flat rides I’ve ever seen.
WORTH A VISIT?
Familypark isn’t that famous. I can even imagine that many European amusement park fans have never heard of it. That’s understandable – it’s not a thrilling park, to say the least – but Familypark has surprised me in a positive way. It’s clear that park designers pay a lot of attention to overall atmosphere and detailing. That results in a beautiful park and some standard attractions are decorated very convincingly. This theme park near the Austrian Neusiedler Lake actually has better theming than many bigger, more frequented theme parks in Europe. Do you have some spare time during a city trip to Vienna? Or are you in desperate need of Austrian coaster credits? Then a visit to Familypark isn’t a waste of time.
Photo Gallery 2019
Is this one of the most underrated European family parks? Would you consider visiting Familypark during a trip to Austria? Is Götterblitz a fine signature roller coaster? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.