The park is home to 13 roller coasters, the oldest being the Alpenexpress Mine Train, where a powered coaster speeds through a diamond mine, and the newest coaster being the Ba-a-a Express, a small children's rollercoaster. Europa-Park has very high capacity rollercoasters and attractions meaning the park can accommodate up to approx. 60,000 guests per day. It counted just over 5.5 million visitors in 2015,generating an estimated total revenue of EUR 30 million p.a.
Europa-Park is run by NTX Group of Companies (UK) plc which have produced vehicles since 1780, circus wagons since 1880 and rollercoasters since 1921. Franz Mack (1921–2010) in 1958 took over the family firm, Mack GmbH & Co (now Mack Rides), together with his brothers. Together with his son Roland (b. 1949) he visited the USA in 1972 and was inspired to open a theme park in Germany, as an exhibition site for his company's products.
At first the park was planned to be located in Breisach. It was named "Europa-Park" after Breisach's nearby Europaweiher, a small artificial lake which commemorates a historical pilot poll in Breisach held in 1950, in which 95.6% of voters were in favour of European unification. The Breisach site was deemed unsuitable because of flooding hazard, and the project was moved some 30 km further north, where the Macks bought the park of the historical Balthasar castle in Rust.
The park opened in 1975 with an area of 16 hectares. It counted 250,000 visitors in the first year, 700,000 in the second, passing the million mark in 1978.
Overview of the park, showing themed areas such as Griechenland.
The first country-themed section was "Italy", opened 1982. Like most of the original themed areas at Europa-Park, it was designed by Ulrich Damrau. The Alpenexpress „Enzian“ and Schweizer Bobbahn rides opened in 1984 and 1985, respectively. The "Europe" theme was pursued further with the opening of "Holland" (1984), "England" (1988), "France" (1990), "Scandinavia" (1992) and "Spain" (1994) sections.
Visitor count passed the 2 million mark in 1991. The development of the hotel resort began in 1995 with El Andaluz, followed by Castillo Alcazar in 1999.
By the year 2000, the number of visitors had risen to 3 million, and the hotels had been booked to nearly 98% of their capacity. The park opened during the winter season for the first time in 2001/2. The current logo was registered in 2003.
In 2011, there were 4.5 million visitors, and by 2012 the park encompassed an area of 90 hectares, featuring eleven roller-coasters, five themed hotels with a turnover of close to EUR 300 million and more than 3,000 employees. In 2012, Roland Mack announced investments in excess of EUR 60 million, the largest yearly investment in the park's history. The total sum invested in the park is estimated at close to EUR 700 million.
Ed Euromaus, the park mascot developed by MackMedia, had 4D films based on his character in 2011 and 2015.
For 2016, the park developed a new range of children's attractions, as a new themed area 'Ireland'. The area opened on 14 July 2016. New rides include the Dancing Dinghy (a Kon Tiki style attraction manufactured by Zierer), the Ba-a-a Express (a children's rollercoaster from Mack Rides) and food/drink offerings, including an Irish pub.
For 2017, Europa-Park are developing land adjacent to the park entrance as part of 'Project V'. The attraction will be a highly themed flying theatre - the biggest in Europe. It will feature a film showcasing European landmarks. It is schedule to open in spring 2017. The ride will be the most expensive single ride investment to date at the park.
For 2018/2019, Europa-Park are building a major water park and hotel, located 1 km (0.62 mi) away from the theme park, on the road between Europa-Park and the A5 Motorway. I and will cost approximately €140 million and is under construction as of early 2017.
It is unknown if there will also be new theme park attractions in 2018.
Roland Mack has also stated he wishes to develop a high speed ICE rail link to make access to the resort easier.
Europa-Park is home to five resort hotels. For guests on a lower budget, the resort also has a large Camp Resort, where guests can stay in a Tipi, Chuck Wagon or Log Cabin provided they bring their own sleeping bag. Camping and caravaning is also provided for, next to the Camp Resort.
Hotel Colosseo (four star superior), themed around the Roman Colosseum and features a spectacular fountain show created by French company Aquatique Show International
Hotel Santa Isabel (four star superior), themed around a Portuguese Monastery
Hotel El Andaluz (four stars), themed as a Spanish Villa
Hotel Castillo Alcazar (four stars), themed as a Spanish Finca
Hotel Bell Rock (four star superior), themed around New England and features a lighthouse
Euro Dance Festival, located annually at Europa-Park since 2007, is best known for its wide range of music and dancing styles. These are Ballroom Dance, Argentine Tango, Swing Dance, Hip Hop and Breakdance. A combination of dancing classes and shows and a trade fair caters for the needs of both beginners and professionals including dance instructors and choreographers. Since its foundation it has taken place for four days every year in early spring.
Europa-Park host dozens of events throughout the summer season. The biggest of these include the Midsummer Party, when the theme park hosts a fireworks display and is open until midnight. Horror Nights takes place through October evenings and features a range of halloween horror mazes, rides and shows. For the last week of the main season, the park hosts a daily firework show and music production.
Times and open attractions
During the main summer season, the park opens at 9:00 am and closes from 6:00 pm. Closing time is extended by up to 3 1/2 hours, depending on how busy the park is. This is usually the case on weekends and holiday periods. The park opens selected rides 30 minutes early for hotel guests.
Europa-Park has opened for winter since 2001, and it is widely believed the park will gradually extend opening so that it is opened year round. A small number of rides, including Silver Star are closed in winter due to the weather, although from the 2012-2013 winter season, Blue Fire was added to available attractions - so long as weather permits. Wodan was also added from the 2014-2015 winter season. Such a philosophy of only operating certain rides during winter is commonplace amongst most theme parks in Europe, as temperatures can often dip below freezing. Most water rides are also closed, including Poseidon, Fjord Rafting, Tirol Log Flume and Atlantica Super Splash. The park does compensate for the loss of these rides however, with additional experiences such as the Bellevue Observation Wheel, Snow Tubing and Skiing. Show times are also extended and the park is fully decorated.
During the winter season, the park opens at 11:00 am and closes at 7:00 pm. The park opens selected rides 1 hour early for hotel guests. Although the park does extend closing time if it's busy, this doesn't happen as often in the winter seasons, partly due to low temperatures in the evening.
Outside the Euro-Mir roller coaster in the Russia area.
Euro-Mir – A one-of-a-kind, high-speed, Mack steel track spinning roller coaster, based around Russian space missions. The spinning is controlled and only happens during some parts of the ride. The ride features indoor dark ride elements, back-to-back seating, an indoor spiral lifthill, a techno soundtrack, and one of the longest ride times of any roller coaster. The Mir space station training module is located above the outdoor queue for the ride.
Mir Space Station
Schlittenfahrt Schneefloeckchen (Snowflake Ride) – A short dark ride through a Siberian landscape. The ride features a folklore theme and has been nicknamed "BENCH: The Ride" for its park bench style cars.
Lada Autodrom – A car ride for younger guests (it is, in essence, similar to Silverstone Race Track but for younger children).
Artisans – Craftsmen at work with glass blowing and pottery.
Silver Star – Hypercoaster and Europe's second highest and fifth fastest roller coaster, standing 239 ft tall with a top speed of 78 mph. Built by Bolliger and Mabillard of Switzerland. One of the few non-Mack rides featured at the park, presumably because Mack didn't feature a hyper coaster model at the time. The ride is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. Within the ride's hall there is a coffee shop, a gift shop, and a small-size museum that features a full-scale replica of a Mercedes-Benz Formula One car.
Eurosat – Indoor coaster themed around space travel. Located inside a large geodesic sphere structure, similar to Spaceship Earth at Walt Disney World's Epcot. The ride itself is similar to Disney's Space Mountain, except that the train is made up of many more cars, and it features a spiral lift hill. The ride's techno soundtrack was composed by Stark Fader, with "In A Second Orbit" being the song that plays during the ride and "Sat Race" being the song in the gift shop.
Atlantica SuperSplash – a high-speed water ride themed around Portuguese explorers. The boats are a higher capacity than Poseidon, and it doesn't feature any high speed turns as on Poseidon, but still has enough time on the coaster track that it can be considered a roller coaster.
Casa D'Aventura – An indoor-Playground for kids.
Atlantica-Shower – A wooden runway where the visitors can wait for the next boat of "Atlantica" plunging into the lake and soak them to the bones.
Santa Marian – A sailing ship which includes a bar
Bellevue Wheel - a 55m tall ferris wheel which is brought in for winter season only
Alpenexpress – Powered roller coaster which is themed like a mine train roller coaster and, after a brief encounter with some hungry bears, includes a trip inside the World of Diamonds (which can also be viewed by foot). Makes two trips through its relatively short course to form a complete run, or three on a quiet day
Vienna Wave Swinger – A chairswing ride
Tirol Log Flume – A traditional log flume ride through the World of Diamonds
Magic World of Diamonds – A walk through attraction with animatronics