Geisterschloss

Discussion in 'EuropaStreet Discussion' started by AstroDan, 1st Sep 2020.

  1. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    For those unfamiliar with Europa-Park, Geisterschloss (Ghost Castle) is Europa-Park's ghost train omnimover ride and is located in the Italian section of the park. It shares many similarities with the Wicked Witches Haunt ride that burned down at Thorpe Park in the year 2000. It also hosts a stretching room pre-show, much like Disney's Haunted Mansion - but done to a lesser quality. The theming on ride is largely unique.

    Given that it is rumoured Geisterschloss is set to receive multi-year improvements, I thought I would start a new discussion topic for this classic dark ride, which originally opened in 1982!

    For 2020, the ride has received a new queue area with animatronic and it is believed that this is only the start of a gradual enhancement programme for the ride over the next few years. It is hoped that the improvements will eventually return some form of coherent narrative. Over the past decade or so, Geisterschloss has been nicknamed the "trash temple" - somewhere in which the park dump old theming, or whatever flight-of-fancy is currently dominating the marketing (be it Spook Me characters or Happy Family). The narrative of the Medici family, whose palace you are theoretically inside, has been lost.

    Personally, I would be delighted to see the ride gain from the park's new found ability to deliver really high quality indoor rides. Whilst Geisterschloss is only small, with some much needed love, the ride could really be improved.

    The reason I was spurred on to post this was the unearthing of a 1996 POV from the ride. My god how it's changed...!

    1996 POV:


    2020 POV (incl new queue):
     
    Last edited: 1st Sep 2020
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    Posted 1st Sep 2020
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  2. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    It's 4 years since my single ride on this and I don't really remember the content of the ride itself (beyond the lovely feeling of it being WWH), which is probably a bad sign for its quality.

    What I think I do remember, and I might be wrong, is that there is a simulated live hanging in the preshow?! I'm no prude but for a family ride that seems a bit much. I'm sure there's a better, more family appropriate, way to get a scare in there!
     
    Posted 2nd Sep 2020
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  3. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    There is a hanging, yes. Although, to be honest, the 1996 POV above demonstrates how much more sinister the ride used to be.
     
    Posted 2nd Sep 2020
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  4. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    I've often wondered how the ride fits into the buildings in Italy but never bothered to look into it, so I've done some googling and found this model:



    I don't know how accurate it is (the scale could be a bit off) but certainly seems about right and shows how well they pack a lot into what is really a pretty small space.

    EDIT:

    Or you could just look at the Fluchtwegplan I guess...
     
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    Posted 2nd Sep 2020
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  5. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Great image! The ride is absolutely tiny. But actually, the layout feels more interesting than it looks above.
     
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    Posted 2nd Sep 2020
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  6. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Indeed, I had never quite realised just how basic the layout is!
     
    Posted 2nd Sep 2020
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  7. Tim

    Tim TowersStreet Member

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    I also had no idea how small it is. I was certain they must have taken the ride underground like they do with Atlantis or Disney's Haunted Mansion.
    I didn't either realise there are 2 pre-show areas.

    For the rides future I think they have to do what they've done with the parks other major dark rides, gut it and start again. The 5 year plan concerns me because slowly tweaking over many years is how the ride ended up such a mess. They need a master plan for the whole experience to follow.

    The ride system is fine and can stay but I think the entire tone of the ride needs to change. Maybe look at Mystic Manor for a spooky but upbeat theme. Have the house owned by an italian art collector but all of his paintings come alive (making up the different scenes). That's just my idea but I think it's more appealing than the generic spooky (and frankly tacky) theme it has now.
     
    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  8. IanB

    IanB TowersStreet Member

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    As Rob and Dan have said, its surprising how basic the layout is, and just shows how the carriages moving can make the layout feel different.

    I would love to see Mack try and do something with augmented reality. I think the mix of real life themeing and virtual objects would work really well. Imagine a physical themed spider in the ceiling jumping out at you, and then lots of smaller virtual spiders jumping down, and running around the ride car.
     
    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  9. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    It definitely feels a lot longer than the plan suggests it is!
     
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    Posted 3rd Sep 2020
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  10. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I like this video which was posted earlier. All jump scares (obviously, you'd never get them all on the same ride):

     
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    Posted 6th Sep 2020
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  11. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    When I was there 2 weeks ago, it reminded me of just how mixed and random this ride is.

    The new indoor queue line bit is decent enough, the stretching room is fine although this year it was not operating due to Covid.

    On the ride, it has loads of other Haunted Mansion inspired elements such as the talking busts and the ball room which is actual spinning mannequins rather than using the reflection trick like Disney do. Everything else is just inserted at random. It's a collection of show pieces that have no relation to each other.

    The result is a humorous yet low quality experience, a bit like what would happen if a travelling fair tried to Disney up their old ghost Train and put it into a permanent building. It actually made me appreciate just how special, unique and high quality the original Haunted House at AT was and how little AT would have to spend to make it great once again.

    In fact, the incredible quality of EP's newer attractions really does feel quite jarring against their older attractions park wide now. Especially with Snorren Touren now open and Pirates of Batavia has reopened which I must say is now superior in quality to Pirates of the Caribbean at DLP.

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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    Posted 9th Sep 2020
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  12. BritishThemeParkArchive

    BritishThemeParkArchive TowersStreet Member

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    Geisterschloss is a very interesting ride, it has a strange history. It could be a classic but the original theme has become so lost through different revamps, it feels cheapened and random. I still think it's entertaining from a child's perspective, it's better than a ghost train and there's something still very detailed and cranky about it. I love it but it needs sorting out.

    Even that video above is after a lot of changes. The original concept was much stronger, themed around an aristocratic family in a haunted Italian palace (being in the Italy area). All grotesque and weird scenes, some based on Disney's Haunted Mansion but others very unique. It's hard to make out some parts now and feels like a lot of original stuff has been replaced by mass produced props?
     
    Last edited: 10th Sep 2020
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