Europa-Park for the win
Europa-Park for the win
When my husband asked what I wanted to do for my birthday this July I instantly blurted out, “Going to that big water world at Europa-Park, and then taking you on the Woden!”
You see, my husband hasn’t been to Europa-Park yet, and I’ve been a couple of times. In fact, it is my favorite amusement park in Europe (so far). My teenagers and I love to ride all the coasters, VR experiences and water rafts. We even took my parents during their visit last year, and they enjoyed the plethora of calmer train, boat and gondola rides, and sitting with a pint above the Fjord Rafting rapids laughing at all the riders as they got drenched.
There are ten European country themed areas at Europa-Park, with each highlighting multiple dimensions of culture. For example, the Icelandic area (my favorite) has the jet-start Blue Fire Megacoaster themed around geothermal energy, the extreme wooden Woden coaster featuring Viking mythology and a cute downtown seaport area complete with the Whale Adventures boat ride that allows you to spray water at fellow riders. Restaurants stick the themed, as well. Our favorite is the Taverna Mykonos in the Greek-themed area; the food is tasty and a good deal since portions are large and shareable.
If you go, be sure to download the Europa-Park app for your phone. It can give you the most essential information: current wait times at rides. My kids love using the app and running across the park to catch a short line on their favorite rides. This may not be essential in winter, but summer crowds can get large. Europa-Park is open year round, so take advantage of American holidays to visit.
The small town of Rust, Germany houses Europa-Park and is surprisingly well stocked for such a tiny place. It is full of apartment rentals (ferienwohnung), small hotels and pleasant restaurants. We’ve always found a great deal on accommodation in town within walking distance of the park entrance. Europa-Park also offers six themed hotels and a campground. We’ve never splurged on the park hotels, but guests get benefits like early entry to the park and a dedicated entry gate away from the main entrance.
Rulantica is Europa-Park’s newest project. Opened in 2019, it is a massive indoor/outdoor water park on the outskirts of town. Themed around Scandinavian mythology, it’s a Viking-style water world. For relaxation, the fun Snorri’s Saga lazy river travels around the park and through glowing mystical caves. On the extreme end of things are the 17 slides, including the Vikingløp, the largest speed slide in Europe. The water park also has the Hyggedal sauna, an adults-only clothing-free area with an additional entry fee.
Rulantica and Europa-Park have separate ticketing and currently no combination tickets. I recommend one long, busy day at Europa-Park and a second day enjoying the water at Rulantica. A bus runs between Europa-Park and Rulantica but staying in town puts you within walking distance to both.
Tickets are available for purchase on the Europa-Park Resort website; they can also be purchased on site, but with a surcharge. I recommend booking hotels and tickets early to take advantage of deals.
I’m already looking forward to my next trip!
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