Europa-Park - June 2019

Discussion in 'Europa-Park Trip Plans and Reports' started by Alsty, 13th Jun 2019.

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  1. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
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    Favourite Ride:
    Shambhala
    So after spending a couple of nights at Phantasialand (which you can read all about here), we got on a train and made our way to the second park on our trip, Europa-Park.

    We arrived at Europa-Park on the Monday and we stayed for four nights, giving us three full days on the park. Over the course of the three days and four nights we covered lots of different rides, attractions, bars and restaurants. I will write a little bit about my experiences of the bars, restaurants and hotels in a separate post and keep this one purely about the park.

    First impressions

    As we were staying in the Bell-Rock Hotel they gave us a ticket which allowed us to have a wander around the park for the last hour of the day at no extra cost. We entered via the hotel entrance in Spain and had a wander around what would be our second home, taking in the sights and sounds of the park and trying to get some bearings for the following day. We quickly got lost and realised this place was massive. We did however manage to find the Irish pub and stayed in there till they chucked us out (typical British!).

    What we learnt from the hour that we wondered around the park was firstly, how beautifully it is themed with each area very different from the others, and secondly how big this place is. To do it justice you really need a game plan. We downloaded the Europa-Park app and added everything that we wanted to do as a favourite. I also got a list of recommendations from friends who had visited before. This then meant on the subsequent days as we walked through the park we could easily see which attractions were also in the same area, and hit those too.

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    The beautifully themed Swiss area

    So onto the rides... I don't intend to talk day-by-day and ride-by-ride as I'll be here all week, but I'll go through some of the highlights for me in no particular order.

    Atlantica Super Splash

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    Europa-Park does have a few water rides so there were lots of opportunities to cool down. Atlantica Super Splash is located in Portugal and was impressive to watch as the boats carved through the water.

    It's slightly odd as it goes up the lift then reverse drops the boat towards the second tower, which then forwards the boat again in readiness for the drop. It was on this section that I wondered what would happen if the boat was to stall as there was no platform at the lowest point of the drop here, but of course it did not and we made it to the second tower. We then turned around again and dropped, over the bunny hop and into the water. Although watching it off-ride reminded me a bit of Tidal Wave at Thorpe Park, it was actually nothing like it as although you got wet, you did not get drenched.

    Poseidon

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    Over in Greece is Poseidon, the water coaster. I can't remember if I've done a water coaster before so this was a new experience for me. It was pretty cool as it swapped between air and water, although the way it engaged with the lift was pretty jarring and it wasn't a particularly smooth experience. It was however nice to again cool off.

    Cassandra's Curse

    While over in Greece we decided to pop onto Cassandra's Curse, a Mack mad-house. I wasn't expecting much from this ride, and I was right to be skeptical. It was pretty awful as the way the gondola and the room moved was not particularly synced and the rotation speed was pretty high. I came off this feeling quite nauseous and sat down for 5 minutes before we moved on!

    Silver Star

    This B&M hypercoaster opened in 2002 and I was interested in seeing how this compared to Shambhala. First of all, compared to Shambhala it has a more classic seating arrangement of four seats side-by-side, whereas Shambhala has them in pairs in a sort of arrow formation which means the middle seats are more exposed. However as I rode Silver Star on the end seats each time it didn't make any difference to me.

    Silver Star's drop is not as high, only 220ft vs 256ft, however it was still high enough to give a nice view of the park and surrounding area. There was some nice airtime on the first drop but I hate to say it, it was a bit rough and juddery. I guess it is 17 years old and I should cut the old girl some slack. After the first drop we then went through several more hills, all of which gave pleasant floating airtime which was quite strong in places. To be honest it was actually much better than I expected, and it's better than Shambhala after the mid-course block as it doesn't let up. However out of the two I still prefer Shambhala.

    What I would say about Silver Star is that station is not very nice. It was complete chaos with people just standing around everywhere, and also it seemed devoid of any character. Shouldn't there be some music or something in there?

    Silver Star was also the only ride of the week where I got stapled. However that was only on one occasion and thankfully got to enjoy it as it was meant to be ridden the rest of the times.

    Wodan

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    This was one of the coasters I was most looking forward to on this trip. It's very imposing as you approach it, partly due to the scale of it and also the elaborate themeing around the entrance. The themeing through the indoor queueline was also very nice.

    As with most coasters at Europa-Park you don't particularly get a choice where to sit, so I never managed to get in the back row. However I did still get some great rides on this coaster. Initially it wasn't quite what I was expecting as I thought it might be a bit of an out-and-back style woodie, however it is nothing like this and instead dives from corner to corner weaving through the 131ft tall structure. Once I had ridden it a few times I was in love with it and would say this is my number 1 wooden rollercoaster and my second favourite coaster of the Germany trip (behind Taron).

    Blue Fire

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    A nice Mack launched coaster. I'm not sure of the statistics but it felt a quicker launch than Icon and I would say I prefer Blue Fire to Icon as the layout is a bit more inspired. However I wasn't convinced by the last inversion which felt a little bit rough - not enough to complain about, but just noticeable when compared to the rest of the ride. It was a good coaster and I particularly liked the second inversion which was really pleasant, however of all the coasters at Europa-Park I would say this is my third favourite behind Wodan and Silver Star.

    Voletarium

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    This is the second flying theatre I have done, the first one being Flying Dreams at Ferrari Land. The first thing to say about Voletarium is the incredible queueline which is like walking through a museum. The film was really pleasant and much better than Flying Dreams, going from country to country seeing lovely landscapes and mountains, before ending up back at the park (perhaps a bit of a clichéd ending).

    I do however feel that having a Eurowings aircraft flying through the middle of one of the scenes was a bit much. Europa-Park is actually very subtle with most of their sponsorship but this one moment stood out for me as being a bit too "in your face".

    Euro-Sat CanCan Coaster

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    I didn't know what to expect from this. I had seen construction updates and read comments from people comparing before and after, but I experienced this as a complete virgin. I have to say first of all that the exterior of Euro-Sat was incredible and really stunning visually, along with the themeing in the entrance to the queue lines. The station was also really nice and the trains comfortable.

    It has a spiral lift to the top, then it makes its way diving through the course interacting with various themeing elements and music which I think did add to the experience. As a newbie, I thought the coaster itself was good and it didn't feel slow or over-trimmed to me. However I did think it was a bit sparse and could have benefited from more props, themeing, lighting etc... I guess I was expecting something really immersive, and it is not that...

    Madame Freudenreich Curiosités

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    Madame Freudenreich Curiosités on the contrary is immersively themed and is perhaps one of the maddest things in the park(?). It basically involves getting on a gondola which takes you through various scenes of dinosaurs getting themselves into all sorts of predicaments. The finale in particular is so bizarre yet also so cute and adorable. This is certainly a ride with charm and is well worth riding.

    Euro-Mir

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    I didn't really know what expect with Euro-Mir. I had heard it described as a marmite coaster, so was wondering whether I would fall into the love or hate category. We joined the queue which cattle-pens underneath the space station above your head, but thankfully the queue moved quickly and we were soon on the ride.

    We ended up facing backwards as the train left the station and soon found ourselves spiralling up the top. This reminded me of the Black Hole but with cheesy trance music instead. As we reached the top and left the building, the track was reminiscent of a wild mouse as it zig-zagged back and forwards, and at this point I realised just how high up we were and how exposed I felt in those cars. As we were approaching the drop the cars rotated and we ended up facing forwards, as the train then dived and started racing through corner after corner. It felt quite intense and by the time we reached the brakes, I was glad to get off and was grateful we had been going forwards. The girl on the car in front who was facing us looked particularly unwell and didn't hang around when the lapbars released! I think I could tolerate this coaster forwards but remain unconvinced about it going backwards and did not attempt it on this visit.

    I think it was Diogo who said you'll never confuse EuroMir and EuroSat after you've ridden them. He's right.

    Schlittenfahrt Schneeflöckchen (Snowflake Sleigh Ride), aka Bench

    It was obligatory to ride this. I have nothing else to add.

    Arthur

    Again this was another novel ride. I had avoided watching any on-ride videos before I visited the park so it was all completely new to me, and actually I thought this was really clever. The ride is beautifully themed and is also technically really impressive how it all works, moving from scene to scene and rotating each car at precisely the right time.

    I had been informed there was bad language on this ride when it enters the urban scene... however I listened very carefully but couldn't hear it. I guess that means I need to ride it more!

    While talking about Arthur, it seems only fair to mention...

    Grimm's Enchanted Forest

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    ... which is located just outside of Minimoys Kingdom. This area is themed to fairy tales and so as you'd expect, has some pretty crazy things. My favourite in particular was the gnome using the urinal :smile:

    Other stuff

    I appreciate I've written enough already, so I'll just quickly cover a few other things I liked:

    The El Barón show at the Spanish Arena. This was really impressive with lots of battles and fights while racing around the arena on horseback. Some of the stunts were really impressive and it must have taken years to practice them.

    The Ed's Party Parade over in Luxembourg. There's not as many parades at theme parks these days but Europa-Park still do one. There were lots of floats, dancers, jugglers and other cool things. Rather unfortunately I managed to capture a video of one of the unicyclists falling off his bike :laughing: however he did quickly get back on. To be fair, not many of us could ride a unicycle, never mind ride it while also skipping... crazy skills.

    The Panorama Train. A really pleasant way to get around the park, as this place is massive.

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    O'Mackays Café and Pub

    The O'Mackays Irish pub, the Bavaria-Baden Biergarten and Kaffi Hús were lovely places to relax and take a break from the intense heat. In fact there were so many places where you could pause and take stock.

    Things I didn't like

    Over the entire holiday the temperatures were averaging at 30ºc every day. One thing we discovered in Germany is that water seems to be hard to come by - they don't have water fountains, not many shops seemed to sell bottled waters or soft drinks, and those that did were charging €3 for a bottle which was more expensive than buying beer. As much as I like to knock a few pints back it got a bit too much and so by the end of the week we were taking a bag with our own water onto the park. However I do think this is a cultural thing, and to be fair I don't think Germany normally gets hotter than the Mediterranean.

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    Skull toilet brush, anyone?

    Merchandise... sorry but it's just not that good. I wanted to buy loads of tees, magnets and mugs but the choice was actually really limited and so only got a couple of small items. I would have liked to support Europa-Park but they need to provide a better choice of merchandise.

    Final thoughts

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    Obligatory fanboy pic

    So after waiting years to get to Europa-Park, I can finally say I see what the fuss is about. This isn't a park with the most thrilling portfolio of rides. In fact you might say that Alton Towers or Thorpe Park has more thrill rides. However Europa-Park offers something different. An experience; a place where you can just go and relax, enjoy the surroundings and just have a really nice time.

    There's so many things to do that we still didn't manage to cover everything in the three days. Some things I would like to reride, and other things I'd like to take a bit more time to enjoy such as the food offerings at this park. They are nothing like the F&B you get at the "UK's number 1 resort".

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    The other thing I will say about Europa-Park is that it's a pleasure to be there. You feel like a valued guest and you don't feel like you're being ripped off at every corner. The lack of Fastrack also means everybody is treated fairly and so the whole experience is just more pleasant. This is a park that I just can't wait to get back to!

    Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed :)
     
    Last edited: 13th Jun 2019
    Posted 13th Jun 2019
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  2. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    Awesome review! It's rare to get a newbie to the park these days, so nice to see a review that I agree with from a fresh pair of eyes.

    Except of course...

    Terrible way to brush aside the greatest dark ride in Europe
     
    D4n, Robert Jones, skyscraper and 3 others like this.
    Posted 14th Jun 2019
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  3. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Great report! We discovered Europa Park from reading this forum and had our first trip in 2015, loved it so went back in 2018 and have now booked our first Winter season visit in December this year, I can’t wait to get back!

    Totally agree about the merch, the range didn’t do much for me either, and yes the Silver Star Station is a bit chaotic, compared to the super organisation of the rest of the park it’s a bit of a free for all. We have always had music in the station though - but if you had heard the music you might decide it’s better without :p.
     
    skyscraper and Burbs like this.
    Posted 14th Jun 2019
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  4. SirDossa

    SirDossa TowersStreet Member

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    Great read Alsty and I'm glad you had such a great time! I can't wait to get back to Europa Park again.

    With regards to the on board audio profanities on Arthur, maybe they have changed the soundtrack or removed the bad language since my visit in April last year? They were clearly audible during the rides I had on Arthur then. Or maybe messrs Snoop Dogg and Dr.Dre have taken offence to being featured on the ride and are taking legal action against the Mack Family :D
     
    skyscraper likes this.
    Posted 14th Jun 2019
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  5. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    The uncensored version was definitely still there when we visited a fortnight ago so it's not gone anywhere yet :p
     
    SirDossa likes this.
    Posted 14th Jun 2019
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  6. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Location:
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    Favourite Ride:
    Shambhala
    Yep, Dr Dre ft Snoop Dog was definitely still played, I just didn't hear anything naughty. I'm obviously too innocent ;)
     
    GeorgeT and SirDossa like this.
    Posted 14th Jun 2019
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  7. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Location:
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    Favourite Ride:
    Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
    Great review - thanks for putting together something so detailed as it's always fun to read new people's thoughts!

    :)
     
    Posted 3rd Jul 2019
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