Trip Planning 2022: Information, advice and questions!

Burbs

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Iron Gwazi
You learn something new every day. I thought the direction you face in the last part of the ride was completely random and the buttons nothing more than something to make the kids riding think they're doing something.
 

IanB

TS Member
Ok, I managed to find it (in German) on the EP Board. I remember another post with 8 total combinations, but this one lists 5, with the source as the park's official social media page. Translated:
Now I know why we always ended up going backwards :) Little ones just kept pressing the buttons :)
 

djtruefitt

TS Team
I always assumed it meant something by pressing the buttons, as sometimes the final you just go round forwards yet other times you get a bit more of a wild ride, but I just assumed if you did nothing it went forwards and if someone pressed it then it went backwards
 

Maelstrom

TS Member
Currently heading back to the UK via Paris after doing EP and Phantasialand via train. Planning on writing something up in more detail in the next week or so, but give me a shout if you need a hand with anything. It's not really THAT much of a pain to book, fairly easy with English booking websites for all trains available :)
Will be interested to read your report as thinking of doing something similar next august. Was looking at possibility of flying to cologn or Düsseldorf, then couple of days at phantasisland, train to Europa, then after 4-5 nights at Europa train to Paris, maybe Disneyland a few other bits while there and then flight back from Paris.

I did Europa for the first time back in 2019 and although don’t speak any German managed the bus and then train from Baden-Baden airport and return on train to basil airport again via train, was all straightforward, so feel confident doing a bigger trip.
 

Harv

TS Member
Hi all, just wondering if anyone here has made the trip to EP from Berlin via rail before and if so, where they'd recommend changing trains? And also, if I stay on EP property, is it likely I'll be able to leave my luggage at the hotel even before check-in while I hit the park? Thanks so much in advance, if anyone is able to answer!
 

AstroDan

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Hi all, just wondering if anyone here has made the trip to EP from Berlin via rail before and if so, where they'd recommend changing trains? And also, if I stay on EP property, is it likely I'll be able to leave my luggage at the hotel even before check-in while I hit the park? Thanks so much in advance, if anyone is able to answer!

Hi!

I took a direct train from Berlin to Offenburg then changed for Ringsheim and subsequently the shuttle bus.

It was a great experience.

Yes, you'll definitely be able to leave your luggage.

Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
 

Nick🎢

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Spinball Whizzer 😒
Will be watching this thread like a hawk. We have been trying to work out the logistics of doing some German and Dutch parks by train / bus for a while.
 

AstroDan

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Will be watching this thread like a hawk. We have been trying to work out the logistics of doing some German and Dutch parks by train / bus for a while.
DB Navigtor app is the single most useful app to have on your phone if you're doing a mostly German rail/bus trip.

Sent from my SM-G991B using Tapatalk
 

Craig

TS Administrator
Head over to Deutsche Bahn's site (or use the DB app if you're out and about as Dan said) and you can plan a journey from any location within Europe. For example, I can plan a trip from my hometown right through to the front entrance of Europa-Park:

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As you can see, you've even got platform numbers where they're already booked in, and transfer times can be amended too. The downside is you can't book the whole journey with Deutsche Bahn online (only the German legs), but the above timetable will help you make your bookings. Likewise you can't book the whole journey on Eurostar's website, so they have to be done separately.

In addition, different train companies put their fares on sale at different times. German fares go on sale 6 months ahead, French 4 months ahead. Eurostar's fares can go on sale about 11 months ahead. So while you could book a journey on Eurostar's website from St Pancras through to a French station or some main German stations like Cologne or Frankfurt, they'll only be available once their tickets are on sale - when the cheapest Eurostar fares have gone.

The way I did it this year is to book as soon as tickets went on sale for each operator, you can usually set alerts on operator's websites to get a reminder. I was travelling from London>Paris>Europa-Park>Phantasialand>Paris>London. So I booked the Eurostar first along with my German fares, then booked my TGV train and Thalys train (Belgium's high speed operator who does a Cologne>Paris train) later. In terms of booking, I'd recommend following websites:

UK: Any UK website of your preference. I used LNER for the rewards points on my route
Eurostar: Their official website
France: SNCF Connect, the official English website (You can also book Thalys trains on this site)

A note on Eurostar trains. In an ideal world for my trip, I'd have probably travelled down into Paris, done Europa-Park, moved onto Phantasialand then got the Eurostar back from Brussels Midi. However, Eurostar's stupid booking system wouldn't have classed this as a return - you must leave from the same station you arrived at. Eurostar's return fares are far cheaper than a one way fare, hence the trip back to Paris to head back to London. Hopefully this will change as Thalys has now merged with Eurostar, so their journey options on the continent with the same operator are far more varied. But as it stands that's how things are.

I'd also really recommend booking first class for French and German trains where the jump in price isn't too much, and Comfort Plus on Thalys where possible. We paid 6-8 euros for each leg on the French and German trains, for Thalys an extra €15. You don't get full service or anything, but the larger seats and as a result quieter cabins are far more comfortable so well worth it!
 

Plastic Person

TS Member
Hi all, just wondering if anyone here has made the trip to EP from Berlin via rail before and if so, where they'd recommend changing trains? And also, if I stay on EP property, is it likely I'll be able to leave my luggage at the hotel even before check-in while I hit the park? Thanks so much in advance, if anyone is able to answer!

As well as the aforementioned options cited by EP master @AstroDan you can also take a night-train from Berlin in the direction of Zurich, which passes through Freiburg, from which you can then take a local train to EP with relative ease. This gets you to the park and/or hotels for opening. Nightjet operate the service.

I prefer this personally, as it takes the best part of the day to get to EP from Berlin in the North (a while different Germany), whereas on the Nightjet you can score your own car with beds if there’s more than three in your party. The attendant brings along coffee sometime just after six, just as you spot Silver Star on the horizon.
 

Llama

TS Member
Hi!

I took a direct train from Berlin to Offenburg then changed for Ringsheim and subsequently the shuttle bus.

It was a great experience.

Yes, seconding this, it's very straightforward and generally pleasant. From Berlin main station to Offenburg it's one train lasting about six hours. Then usually you have a half hour layover at Offenburg before the train to Ringsheim departs, and the Offenburg station is manageable in size so a half hour is more than enough time to make the connection without stress, barring any delays of course. Then from Ringsheim you take the bus straight from the station to the front door of the EP hotels.

The timetable for the bus from Ringsheim to the EP hotels is linked to the arrival times of the trains at that station; for example, if trains from Offenburg and Freiburg arrive at Ringsheim at 19:28 and 19:32 respectively, the bus is then scheduled to leave from Ringsheim at 19:40.
 

Craig

TS Administrator
While I'm at it, here's the journey details and cost per person for transport on our trip earlier this month. We could have done this cheaper by:
  • Using TGV OuiGo - The budget option against InOui which would take a little longer and save around £15
  • Knowing the details of the €9 pass before booking our German trains would've probably saved a few euros as the Ringsheim to Offenburg leg of the trip would've been covered. Worth noting you can also buy another Europass 24h Family for this leg of the trip too, which would cover your bus from resort and the regional train.
  • Avoiding using first/comfort/Standard Premier we'd have saved another £35 ish. But...despite being northern @Dave and I are snobs when it comes to travel 😂
Note: We had the monthly German €9 railpass for German regional travel, which is no longer available as of next month. You'll need to replace this with a Europass 24h Family which will cover 2 people travelling from Strasbourg right through to the bus to Ringsheim for about £6 per person (€14.50 total cost).

RouteCost Per Person
Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris (Standard Class)£39
TGV InOui from Paris to Strasbourg (First Class)£35.13
SNCF TER train from Strasbourg to Ringhseim - Strasbourg to Kehl leg of the journey£3.36
€9 DB railpass covering local&regional trains/trams/buses in Germany£7.56
ICE trains Offenburg to Cologne (First Class) and Ringsheim to Offenburg travel on regional trains£30.12
Thalys Cologne to Paris (Comfort Class)£45.65
Eurostar Paris to St Pancrass (Standard Premier)£59
TOTAL£219.82

£220 sounds like a fair bit, but when this covers all transport throughout our whole journey once we left London, it was a damn good deal. Things would've been a little cheaper on Eurotunnel with a full car, but as a smaller group, it was a nice change to the norm and gave the car a break from having 2000+ miles put on the clock. Avoiding the airports lately is another huge plus, and adding in transport and car parking soon ups the cost of a relatively cheap flight anyway.

Not sure I'd recommend dragging luggage around during Europe's record breaking heatwave mind, but you can't account for the weather!
 

jimmyshoey

TS Member
Hi everyone – first time poster with a question I hope hasn’t been covered already: age restrictions.

I’m planning a family visit and my daughter will easily clear the 1m height restriction, but won’t have turned 4 years old on the planned visit date. Is the accompanying age restriction shown for many of their rides heavily enforced? Is ID required if needed? Massive thanks in advance.
 

venny

TS Member
I’ve not got a great deal of experience with this as I’ve always been over 4 on my visits 😁

That said though, whilst I’ve seen height checks very often, I’ve never noticed age checks.
 
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