Rust, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Europa-Park is the most popular theme park in Germany. Having well over 4 million visitors in 2009, it is the most popular seasonal theme park in the world and is only behind Disneyland Paris (which opens year-round) in Europe. Europa-Park is located in Rust, in south-west Germany between Freiburg and Strasbourg. The park is split into fifteen different areas, mostly named after European countries or regions. Europa-Park is run by the Mack family which have produced vehicles since 1780, circus wagons since 1880 and rollercoasters since 1921. The park was opened in 1975 as a showcase for many of their different ride models - for example, the Wild Mouse roller coaster. The park has twelve roller coasters.
Opened in Germany in December of 1975, Europa Park has grown into not only the largest amusement park in Germany, but also one of the largest and most popular amusement parks in all of Europe. Europa Park, which is owned by the Mack family, serves as a showcase for many of the rides designed by the family’s company, Mack Rides. Due to this, a large majority of the park’s ten roller coasters and five water rides are built by the family. However, Europa Park does host a few exceptions like the B&M designed hyper coaster Silver Star. A main reason for this addition is the fact that Mack Rides does not currently offer a hyper coaster model.
Europa Park is themed and split into fifteen separate areas, most of which are regions or countries in Europe. The regions that Europa Park offers are Adventure Land, Children’s World/Viking Land, Germany, Russia, Italy, France, Scandinavia, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Greece, England, Austria, and Iceland. Each one of these separate regions offers several attractions and its own special theme.
Europa Park’s oldest standing coaster, which was built in 1985, is the powered coaster known as Alpenexpress[/i]. This coaster, which resides in the Austria section of the park, stands just less than twenty feet tall and has a top speed of twenty-eight miles per hour. Since it is a powered coaster it means that the train receives electrical power that powers the train throughout the whole layout of the ride. The Mack family didn’t rest on their first addition to their park, and in the following year they added another one of their company’s models to the park.
Europa Park added another Mack Rides model in 1986 known as Schweizer Bobbahn. This bobsled model coaster, whose name means “Swiss Bobsled” in German, is one of only twenty-five bobsled coasters in the world. As its name would suggest, Schweizer Bobbahn is located in the Switzerland section of the park. This coaster, standing at sixty two feet tall, earns its classification as a bobsled coaster due to the fact that it does not run on a traditional track like most coasters. Bobsled coasters instead run in a trough so the train is free to move within the trough creating a ride similar to a bobsled.
It would be a few more years before Europa Park got back into the ride addition scene, but they rose again to add another Mack Rides model in 1989. Eurosat[/i], a fully enclosed indoor coaster, opened in the France section of the park. Eurosat features a spiral lift to save space inside of its building, which is a large geodesic sphere structure similar to the famous sphere at Disney’s Epcot which houses Spaceship Earth.
After the addition of Eurosat Europa Park would take a long break until the next coaster was added. Europa Park got back down to business in 1997 with yet another Mack Rides addition. Euro Mir was opened in the Russia section of the park and it represented the park’s fourth Mack Rides coaster. Euro Mir was Mack Rides first example of their spinning coaster, in which a train is free to spin as it travels through its track.
Two years later the Mack Family decided to showcase another of their company’s rides with Matterhorn Blitz. This wild mouse coaster features a vertical lift and is housed inside of a themed building located in the Swiss section of the park along with Schweizer Bobbahn. Other than its vertical lift, Matterhorn Blitz is the same as all of the other Mack Rides large park wild mouse models out there.
Europa Park didn’t waste any time to add their next Mack Rides coaster. Opened in 2000, Poseidon is a water coaster that features coaster style track and elements along with splash down elements of a traditional water ride. As of today, Poseidon is one of only 33 water coasters in the entire world. Located in the Greece section of the park, Poseidon features Greek theming such as a Trojan Horse and the station is located inside a recreation of the Greek Acropolis.
Two years later Europa Park would open their first coaster designed by a company other than the family owned Mack Rides. In 2002 Europa Park debuted Silver Star, a Bolliger and Mabillard hyper coaster. Standing at nearly 240 feet tall and featuring a drop of almost 220 feet, Silver Star was and is the tallest ride at Europa Park. This coaster calls the France section of the park its home. Silver Star is sponsored by the automobile company Mercedes-Benz, and the ride’s hall contains a full size replica of a Mercedes-Benz Formula One car. The ride’s hall also houses a coffee shop, a gift shop, and a small-size museum.
In 2005 Europa Park got back to its usual Mack Rides additions with the opening of another water coaster. This ride, known as Atlantica SuperSplash, is much different than the park’s other water coaster Poseidon in the fact that it features turntables that change the car’s direction. Instead of turning like normal coaster cars, this ride’s cars are turned by two turntables that are separated by a dip that the car travels backwards through. After the turntables, the ride goes through a double-dip drop and then has a splashdown before returning to the station. Atlantica SuperSplash is located in the Portugal section of the park.
Europa Park got back to business quickly with the addition of yet another Mack Rides coaster in 2006. The family coaster Pegasus opened in the Greece section of the park. This family coaster was the first of the Mack Rides YoungSTAR model coasters in the world. Standing at just under fifty feet tall, Pegasus is a ride targeted at the whole family.
Fans would have to wait three more years until 2009 for the park’s next Mack Ride’s addition, Blue Fire Megacoaster. This ride, which features four inversions and a linear synchronous motor launch represented a large jump in the technology brought to us by the Mack Rides company. Blue Fire Megacoaster starts off with a sixty-two mile per hour launch and then heads straight into a huge overbank turn before its layout featuring a vertical loop, twisted horseshoe roll, and an inline roll. The large amount of innovation behind this coaster made it one of the more hyped coasters in the history of Europa Park when it opened.
Present Roller Coasters (12)
|Arthur – The Ride||Mack Rides||Suspended||2014||Open|
|Atlantica SuperSplash||Mack Rides||Water||2005||Open|
|Blue Fire||Mack Rides||Launched||2009||Open|
|Euro Mir||Mack Rides||Spinning||1997||Open|
|Matterhorn Blitz||Mack Rides||Wild Mouse||1999||Open|
|Schweizer Bobbahn||Mack Rides||Bobsled||1985||Open|
|Silver Star||Bolliger & Mabillard||Hyper||2002||Open|
|Wodan Timbur Coaster||Great Coasters International||Wooden||2012||Open|