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Europa-Park, 9th-12th June
Jayne
post Jun 14 2009, 7:12 PM
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!!!Lengthy report warning!!!

I'd not been to Europa since the famed free trip nearly 2 years ago, in which we only had just over 1 day at the park to explore. This time, we had near enough 3 full days to explore, more than enough time to go on everything I missed last time and the usual favourites.

We (AndyC, Tom, CJ, Graeme, Dan and myself) flew into Karlsruhe-Baden airport from Stansted (Ryanair), and we were greeted by a driver in Europa Park clothes and a Europa Park liveried VW people carrier. I was expecting a bog standard taxi driver but this was near enough having a chauffeur! We were staying in a log cabin in the Tipidorf. It wasn't ready when we got there but the staff happily stored our bags for us (there were no large lockers left, big enough to hold three little suitcases, so they stored them in a loft above the showers). We spent the day food/booze shopping, having a nice drink in the Hotel Colesseo courtyard, swimming, and a meal at the Apres Park Pizzeria in Rust village.

Wednesday was the first day on park most of us had print and go tickets and the staff didn't mess around issuing us with proper park tickets (NB they did not ask to see our ID/Card we had paid for). We got into the main street for 8.45 and waited with the rest of the guests for the gate opening a 9am. Blue Fire didn't open until midday, and we only found this out once we got to the queue entrance (possibly the only negative point of the whole trip)

Rides I did on Wednesday some of the other group members also rode Euromir, Eurosat and Silver Star once more as I felt ill towards the end of the day.
  • Euromir - ah I love this ride so much! Great to experience it again, in all its craziness!
  • Eurosat - I didn't remember much about Eurosat from my last trip, but my I'll remember it properly after this trip, so surprisingly forceful!
  • Silver star x 2- extremely smooth and floaty ride, beautiful! Queues were fast moving, no more that 30mins for normal seats, another 30 mins for front row.
  • Matterhorn blitz - hehe fun and quirky as always, another 30 min queue
  • Blue Fire - post midday, mahoosive queue for the new addition, about 1hr15mins for standard seats, and about another further 30mins for front row. The actual queue is so wide though, and there is no separate single rider queue until you enter the station building. I guess its only a British thing to define a ride queue as an ordely queue! Big scope for queuejumping here. Anyway, the ride station and ride area is no where near as well themed as the other rides in the park (its no Poseidon), but still very well organised and fast moving. We all seemed to approve of the auto bag lockers, that only opened one row at a time, and as you exited the station the back of the lockers opened so bags could be retrieved. Blue Fire had about 10mins of downtime whilst we queued.
    • Ride spoilers - The dark section wasn't very inspiring, although it did follow the theme of it being an energy laboratory. Waiting for the launch, the smoke goes up, and a horrible klaxon counts you down. Notably, this launch section can be viewed by non-queueing guests from a window in one of Iceland's themed buildings. The launch fires you off at a similar speed to Rita, although it feels less punchy (not sure if this is solely because its an LSM launch as opposed to Intamin's hydraulic launch, or the increase in height dampening it). The general ride experience is comfortable, floaty and enjoyable, with the rolls taking you by surprise on first ride, but I did not find it as thrilling as hoped/reported. You don't really notice the lack of over the head restraint unless you put your arms up in the air, and the lapbars clamp your legs in so airtime isn't felt in the same way as you would on Rita/Stealth/other launch coaster. The heart rate monitors are, at best, a bit of a gimmick, not hugely worthwhile as your heart rate doesn't drastically increase during the ride. And the on ride audio is not hugely necessary and didn't add to the overall experience. Maybe I'm being overly cynical, but granted, its a nice new addition with a new take on the launch coaster experience.
  • Football Scooter - dodgem fun! Too many people go for the ball though, so just concetrate on bouncing into your friends and forget about the actual aim of the ride!
  • Fjord Rafting - great rapids ride smile.gif
  • Abenteur Atlantis - I don't remember much about this from last time either although I do remember queuing for it. Think Duel with a joystick allowing you to move your car around 360. Very fun ride, although very easy to get a high score.
  • Cassandras Curse - Smaller mad house than Hex but with more effects. Great to hear people's reactions, lots of screaming by those caught out!
  • Poseidon - Amazing water coaster, love the queue and the theming, although on the first drop I always bumped into my co-rider and hurt my ear several times.
  • Pegasus - Hadn't been on this before, nice little powered coaster for families.
We then had dinner in the SWR3 Rock Cafe. Yummy and well priced sit down meal, main and a drink came in at about 10-13. Following this, me and CJ caught the EP Express to Colleseo (having to call the driver to ask us to pick us up was novel, it runs until 11pm for resort guests) and sat in Mille Miglia waiting for the others to finish swimming. The waitress recognised CJ from his last visit and she was extremely helpful. Cocktails were amazingly tasty as usual, although I restrained myself from having more than one this time.


Thursday's rides - Graeme and I spent the day together around the park:-
  • Silver star x2
  • Schweizer bobbahn - bit too short, I far prefer Blackpool's Avalanche
  • Slides in England - a "find" of the holiday, these slides were really tall and very fun!
  • Alpen express - one of my favourite mine-train themed powered coasters, which takes you through...
  • Zauberwelt der Diamanten - another "find" of the holiday, didn't realise you could walk through these diamond caves themed with little miners, dragon and twinkling rocks. Great little touch.
  • Wildwasserbahn - log flume that also goes through Zauberwelt...
  • Atlantica Supersplash - Again, a well themed queueline (30 min wait) but I prefer Poseidon
  • Euromir x2
  • Eurosat
  • Euro tower - great views of the park, wish it was bigger and that you could walk around it though.
  • Ciao Bambini - pure cheesy powered kids ride, but I defy anyone to not get Ciao Ciao Italia stuck in their head after going in.
  • Geisterschloss - Haunted House. After getting spat on by the animatronic that 'welcomes' you into the queue, the pre show (if they use it, they didn't on Friday) disorientates you (are you going down, are you staying still?) before heading onto the continuous circle of cars. Its packed with haunted animatronics and visual trickery but doesn't scare as much as some other haunted houses.
  • The Mack museum - above the shop in Italy is an exhibition about Europa Park and the Mack company. Loads of ride maquettes and hundred of newspaper clippings and awards about the company. Includes a huge Mack family tree on one wall, see who's next inline to inherit the empire!
  • Jungle Rafts - an open air boat ride through an African story. Looking a little tired but it was a nice way to waste 10 minutes.
  • Silvretta Nova Wave Swinger/Wellenflieger - Nice little wave swinger, mushroom themed.
  • Blue Fire.
Again, we had dinner in SWR3 Rock Cafe, having something different 2nd time round before spending the evening drinking what we had left at the cabins.


Friday -
  • Geisterschloss
  • Eurosat x2
  • Poseidon,
  • Abenteur Atlantis
  • Euromir
  • Wunder Der Welt laser show - lots of impressive laser and smoke trickery but quite short and not much of a story hanging it all together. Was a nice way to cool off away from the hot German sun though.
  • Pirates in Batavia - amazingly themed boat journey through highly detailed scenes and the Indonesian restaurant (past a show that was happening on the stage in the restaurant). Think I only saw one animatronic not working, and certainly no sign of a fire exit or enclosing building.
  • Ciao bambino
  • Silver star
Food in Mille Fleurs in France area, again meal price about 10 for a main and drink, although it is self service. Still very nice (for a theme park) Italian cuisine. We then had a quick dash buying souveniers before catching our taxi (again, posh driver and liveried people carrier) at 6.30 to the airport.

Overall - lovely weather, lovely park, lovely company, great holiday. Still felt busy at the park, but queues for all rides apart from Blue Fire were rarely more that 40 minutes, thanks to German ride loading efficiency and no rides being closed for a lengthy period of time. 3 days were plenty to do everything on park, granted we didn't see nearly any of the shows. Cabins were small but clean and all we really needed was a bed, so they did just fine. Showers were clean and I didn't have to queue, water was always a good temperature, and facilities were better than a British 3* hotel I recently stayed in. If you want Europa on the cheap, then the cabins are a great alternative to the pricey hotel and only 5 mins from the parkgates.


This post has been edited by Jayne: Jun 14 2009, 10:30 PM
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eyeamthu1
post Jun 14 2009, 9:02 PM
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Great report... sounds excellent. First 'so-so' review of Blue Fire I've read! But I'll be able to judge for myself in 2 weeks time smile.gif -- and talking of that, I may send you a PM with a few questions / insider-tips requests! But after my exams are done!


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Graeme
post Jun 15 2009, 1:28 AM
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It was a mercedes people carrier!!! Awesome time though smile.gif


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AstroDan
post Jun 15 2009, 7:09 PM
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Glad you guys had a good time! Sounds awesome (as usual). Shame you guys didn't rate BF - as above, first "so-so" reviews I have read across a fiew forums, but it isn't intense nor is the launch (LSM to blame) - I however found the airtime quite striking in parts, perhaps depends where you sit on the train. Theming isn't as good as Poseidon etc. but then if you saw Poseidon/Atlantica etc. during their first year or so, you'll see that they tend to add.

Great report, Jayne! Only one geeky snag - Pegasus isn't powered laugh.gif

Log Cabins are great and good value too - next time do check out shows. The 2009 Arena show is a sight to behold and has won numerous awards!

This post has been edited by AstroDan: Jun 15 2009, 7:10 PM


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