NEDERLANDS // ENGLISH
What is Europa-Park?
Europa-Park… what should I say about it? That it’s one of the world’s greatest theme parks? Well… it undoubtedly is. I’ve been visiting Germany’s largest theme park multiple times a year since 2000 and the park has never failed to amaze me. Every time I step through those gates, I’m surrounded by theme park awesomeness and a pure vacation feeling. Theming at Europa-Park isn’t on Disney level and you’ll definitely find more breathtaking roller coasters in other European parks. Also, some shows are rather boring, especially because they’re almost completely in German. However, no other theme park in Europe manages to perform so excellently as Europa-Park in general. The park is well-known for its incredibly high ride capacity, a large variety of food offerings and several beautiful on-site hotels.
Just like any other theme park in the world, Europa-Park is currently operating under strict coronavirus measures. And although the park hasn’t lost its typical charm, it’s kind of strange to see such drastic safety measures in a theme park. Face masks are now required in all the queues and rides, most shows are cancelled and the park’s famous flexible closing times have been temporarily discontinued.
Do they have roller coasters?
Europa-Park is divided in 15 different areas, most of them representing a European country. These themed sections offer rides, shows, national cuisine and even some local crafts. One of the nicest places is the Greek area, which is dominated by water roller coaster Poseidon. Despite its rattly coaster part, this ride is one of my favourites at Europa-Park. The landscaping around Poseidon is wonderful and the ride’s station is simply stunning. Other must do’s are Eurosat Can Can Coaster (a great indoor coaster that’s themed to Paris and the Moulin Rouge) Euro-Mir (a unique Mack spinning coaster featuring an unforgettable soundtrack), Arthur (a very cool dark ride/coaster built by Mack Rides) and Silver Star, a B&M that used to be Europe’s tallest and fastest roller coaster. Although the ride feels less intense than you might expect, it’s still a great experience. You should definitely try the front seats for the smoothest and coolest ride.
The most popular area at Europa-Park is without a doubt the Icelandic section. This popularity is mainly due to blue fire Megacoaster and Wodan Timbur Coaster, the two best roller coasters at Europa-Park. Blue Fire is a surprisingly smooth launched coaster, manufactured by Mack Rides. The best part of the ride is the final inversion, which literally tries to throw passengers out of their seats. The neighbouring Wodan is a 40-metre tall GCI wooden coaster with great theming. Although the lay-out may seem quite short, this is actually my preferred GCI in Europe. The ride is a little bumpy, but high speeds and plenty of near-misses make up for that. Wodan is awesome!
My personal tip: try to plan your first visit to Europa-Park in summer. Their winter event is magical, but Europa-Park actually feels best in sunny, warm conditions. This is mainly due to the enormous amount of water-based attractions. The park boasts many boat rides, a classic log flume, a splash battle, a great rapid river in the Scandinavian section and two (!) thrilling water coasters. Atlantica SuperSplash, Poseidon and Fjord Rafting get very long queues during hot summer days and there isn’t any fast lane option. So if you’d like to visit these attractions, I’d recommend to ride as early as possible. Wodan and Blue Fire tend to have long lines as well, but they have a single rider option which may be advantageous. Note: the single rider options are (temporarily) removed because of the coronavirus and they’ve been exchanged for a virtual queueing system.
Europa-Park usually builds at least one new ride per year and that’s not any different in 2020. After opening the cute Scandinavian dark ride Snorri Touren during the 2019-2020 winter season, the big novelty of the summer season officially opened on July 28th 2020. I’m talking about Piraten in Batavia, which isn’t exactly a novelty in the most literal sense of the word. The previous version of Piraten in Batavia was lost in a huge fire in 2018, but Europa-Park immediately decided to rebuild this huge dark ride. The outdoor facades were completely renewed and modern technologies were implemented to give the ride a fresh touch. May I praise the Mack family for this splendid new version of Piraten in Batavia? The scenes are incredibly detailed, the soundtrack is wonderful and the queue is stunning. We had to wait 45 years, but Europa-Park finally has a world-class dark ride in its portfolio. Amazing attraction!
Is Europa-Park worth visiting?
If you ever get the chance to visit Europa-Park, definitely do so. This park will not disappoint and despite the current pandemic, I’m pretty sure that the park will continue to invest in a bright future. Europa-Park has been my favourite European theme park for the past 20 years and I’m quite sure that this won’t change any time soon. The park isn’t perfect; there are weaknesses. Dark rides are so-so, some staff members may seem a bit rude and copying Disney isn’t the thing you’d expect from a park with 5 million visitors annually. But the strong points make up for them by a big margin. There’s a large number of great attractions, ride capacity is at its maximum, the overall level of theming is good and most food offerings are delicious.
What are your thoughts on Europa-Park?
Do you think that Europa-Park is the best theme park in Europe? Or in the world? Is Wodan the best roller coaster ever built by GCI? And don’t you think that the Europa-Park Hotel Resort looks better than almost any other theme park hotel on Earth? Share your opinion in the comments section below!