A day at Europa-Park
A day at Europa-Park
As a child there were few things I looked forward to more than summer vacation, long, warm lazy days where anything was possible. A favorite pastime was hitting up the local amusement park. The thought of getting up early, hitting the turnstiles with giddy anticipation as the park opened, hearing shrieks of sheer delight (or maybe terror) of riders swooping upside down on a roller coaster and smelling deep-fried goodness wafting through the air still makes me smile. As a parent, my kids have also discovered the love of amusement parks in the summer. In Germany, there’s one perennial favorite—Europa-Park Resort.
Located just outside the Black Forest in Rust, Europa-Park Resort is approximately two hours from the Kaiserslautern Military Community and two and half hours from Wiesbaden. It is the largest theme park in Germany and second-most visited in Europe, just behind Disneyland Paris. After visiting Walt Disney World in 1972, the original park developers were so enamored with the idea that they drew up plans to build their version. In 1975, the Mack family opened Europa-Park. More than 40 years later, it has become a must-visit destination with a theme park and adjacent water park.
Visitors can stroll through 15 country-themed areas and three fantasy-themed lands. There are attractions, thrill rides and tasty treats for children of all ages—even those who are kids at heart. Feel the rush as you zip through inversions and corkscrews on the Silver Star and Blue Fire mega-coasters for those looking for adrenaline. To escape the heat, splash down on the Poseidon water roller coaster or fly through famed landmarks of Europe on Voletarium.
For something different, check out YULLBE. This state-of-the-art virtual reality experience offers an incredible adventure, and visitors can walk through a room immersed in a whole new world beyond imagination. If the excursion leaves you needing a breather, take a break at one of the cafes or enjoy the revelry of Ed’s Adventure Parade, featuring the one and only Ed Euromaus.
One of the newest additions to the resort is a vast water park adjacent to Europa-Park. Rulantica opened its slides and pools in November 2019 and is a sight to behold (and partake in). With 12 different themed lands, 27 slides and access to indoor and outdoor areas, it’s easy to spend more than a day in this magical water world. Sail down steep chutes and wind your way through the lazy river. Jump through waves in the pool or engage your little ones in a fierce water battle on the playground. If you’re feeling more in need of relaxation, there are three sauna areas and a wellness area offering spa services and much-deserved pampering.
Know before you go
The Europa-Park Resort is open year-round, including both parks. Take advantage of the virtual queue at both locations by downloading the Europa-Park app. This cuts down wait times for the more popular attractions. Europa-Park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Rulantica is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online in advance. Check the website, www.europa-park.de/en, for the most up-to-date information on ticket prices, opening hours and COVID-19 guidelines.
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