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Parisians, and Germans, and Belgians . . .oh My! bert does Europe with TPR!

link to DLP Day III: "https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/47615-parisians-and-germans-and-belgians-oh-my-bert-does-europe-with-tpr/page/6/#comment-1919321"

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This past June, I was able to - thanks to TPR, experience parts of Europe for the first time ever.

Anyone that knows me from here on the boards, knows that I tend to do pretty photo-extensive and detailed trip reports.  and I planned to do one this time too - I took over 5300 pictures.
But life got in the way, and unfortunately i've experienced some major trauma in the two months since the trip.   :(

At the urging of my therapist who has been encouraging me to "journal". . I'm going to go ahead and do this trip report - it SHOULD be done, as this was an absolutely amazing trip and I really want to share it with everyone!  

I can't promise it will be as detailed as I typically would be.  I can't remember the names of some of the coasters, or might mix up the order of things. . . but i will do my best and hope you enjoy!

this was an absolutely PACKED and awesome trip, and I expect this will take me a while to get thru. . but here's the first day.

and this is going to be the first (and hopefully one of the very few times) that I'll be a bit sad here. 
The first pic I'm going to share is of my Late Husband, Nick.
Its' the last pic I have of him healthy, as he dropped me off at the Austin airport at "are you're fucking kidding me?" early morning for the first leg of my flight:


eventually got boarded and was on my way to Newark.  Trip started out well. . with Stroopwafel and coffee!


at Newark I had an almost 7 hour layover.   It hadn't started out that way, but with the flights moving around so much between when I booked them and my actual trip?  yeah, eventually I just said screw it and took the long layover instead of trying to move everything around again.   Besides, they offered me a discount to get into the United Lounge. . not a great discount, but a discount.  so I took it and headed that way.

hey. . fancy schmantzy. . Newark all "decorated" for Pride Month.    um. . ok.


I spy Manhattan from the airport on my way to the United lounge


huh. . this is a little uninspiring.  I was expecting something more . . .  complicated than a Hampton Inn complimentary breakfast buffet.


ohhhhh. .  ^ is for the "suckers" who pop in for something quick, and don't follow the long narrow hallway back to the end of the concourse. . because if you do?  it opens up to THIS:

now that's more like it.


yeah. . I can kill 7 hours here.     time to nosh.

(hey, I'm a Jew, in Newark. . I can use "nosh" here)


and I can grab extra napkins to put into my bag, so I have them for the trip, since I like to have more than one with me when I eat :)



lovely view of Manhattan from up here in the lounge. . . better than the concourse.


I napped and charged my phone, and eventually my flight to Paris was ready to board - conveniently right at the gate below the escalators from the lounge.

I had booked an upgrade for the Newark-Paris leg, but on one of the many flight changes, they had switched me to a plane that didnt' offer that particular upgrade.  so they bumped me to (I think it's called) "Premium Plus"

not quite business class, but better than Premium, and the seats beyond those (Steerage?)


ooo. . wide and comfy. . I was the last row in the section with these comfy reclining seats.


a peek at what the folks in the section behind us got for a meal. . . not awful  (while the cart was stopped next to me)



and looks much better than the Lean Cuisine that the rest of the plane got.



but up here in "Premium Plus" ?   we got real silverware!


and, what I think, was Beef Bourguignon

all I know is that it was damn good. . .


view of the sun setting. . or rising. . I can't really recall at this point.   Must have been rising tho, because I spent day in Paris once landing.


but before landing, we got another meal service:  Peach/Hazlenut Crepes with fruit and granola yogurt & a croissant.   

they kept us stuffed on the plane!


due to delays, I arrived too late to meet up with the TPR group that was headed out for Paris Sightseeing, but AJ's plane had also had a bit of a delay and he kindly waited for me at the hotel. 
Rooms weren't ready yet, so once bags were stored, and he figured out the train route to take, we headed off to meet up with everyone at a small, but lovely park in the center of Paris called Le Jardin d'Acclimatation.



we arrived about two hours after most of the group that was with Robb & Elissa had arrived, and had already ridden most things, so AJ and I focused on the two coasters that he had really wanted to ride (I was fine riding anything. . at this point I had been up for almost 30 hours, so was just happy to get to meet up for some sightseeing).


the place is bigger than I had expecting, and if I ever go back will spend some time exploring, as it really was a lovely place


with a gorgeous Carousel up front. . but since we were running late, and coasters were more important at the moment?   just snapped a pic of it.

(the group had stopped to grab a snack, so AJ and I had about 20 minutes or so until they were headed out and we were determined to be with them when they did)




not very busy on this particular day. . but a nice assortment of family rides, and some small and powered coasters.








Pic courtesy of Brad Roach, I think?

it was a really fun Bobsled.


to ride the other coaster I wanted to go on, I think it was a spinning mouse?  I recruited Jon as well as Ian and his hubby to try and get some good spinning.


and here's Ryan and Andrew riding one of  the flats:


oooo. . Napkins!!!


someone was riding the carousel as we headed towards the front gates, so stopped to snap a pic of this fabulous vehicle, even tho she had chosen the pony to ride on



as noted, lovely landscaping


nice train.



the group as we were about to head to the Train Station. . pic Courtesy of Robb Alvey



with Elissa's excellent guidance, a few trains later we emerged from a station into the main square with the famous Arc de Triomphe


I couldn't believe I was here. . seeing things that I never thought I'd see in person.






this was just a quick stop - one of several - so we didn't cross the traffic to go under it, or into it. . .but what is that on top.  are those people?


yup!  you can pay to climb to the top of the Arc De Triomphe !   if in Paris ever again?  I might do that.


back to the trains, and a few more stops and changes, and we come out of the station and around the corner. . and . . .. wowza.





I knew I had a ticket to go to the top later in the trip (the 1st Sat at Disneyland Paris, actually). . but wow, this was still impressive as hell to see, even from this far back.





love locks are still a thing in Paris. . and the city seems to have accommodated the demand by putting up places for people to put them.



beware this dude with his mighty green snake!   

(there's a serpent there with him too)


pic courtesy of Elissa (thank you!  I sent this home to Nick and he *loved* it).


and one of my favorite pics, even tho I really look tired. . . Brad was experimenting with the zoom on his camera to get the blurred background and asked if I would be a guinea pig.



wait.. is this a statue of a woman holding birds, with birds on the birds?



yup. . LOL


the train station signs are pretty amazing in places. . and from the correct angle, look just monsterous.   LOVED them.


as we made the next stop and exited towards the Louvre, I snapped quite a bit of architecture pics.  

I think most all of these are parts of the Louvre, but my memory is a bit fuzzy.   it's all incredible tho.






Jungle Cruise has the backside of water?   Paris has the backside of the Louvre.

like a pervert, I was peeking thru windows.
(hey, we couldn't get in if we wanted to. . the lines were INSANE in the courtyard, and the tickets were sold out that day)






the famous courtyard glass pyramids.











and then we walked across the street from the Louvre and walked along the famous Seine... 

we were going to stop and grab a bite to eat at one of the many options/cafes

but first we were headed to the Pont des Arts bridge. . . which was once famous for the love locks on it (until the weight of them caused part of the bridge to collapse, and the City removed most of them from the structure itself).

but here it is from a distance, with Notre Dame Cathedral in the background (still under repair from that awful fire. . you can see the yellow crane in the pic below)






looking back at the Lourve archetecture










here's the famous Pont des Arts bridge itself.   the boards are very lose, and you must watch your step.  

no wonder the weight of the many locks caused issues!


but there are still some that put the locks on. . at the lightposts on the bridge


more architecture as we went towards Notre Dame and looking for food options.

at one point I knew what some of these buildings were. . but I'm not remembering now.  They're beautiful tho.










they say "when in Rome". . . .   but hey, I'm not in Rome, I'm in Paris. . so I'll pass on "Ass chef". . regardless if I might like it.



Instead, Brad and I went to a place specializing in Crepes and Galettes (funny enough we all ended up eating in places right next to each other)

interesting choices, but I ended up going for the Pedro Almodovar. . it was really really good.




and this tiny cafe had a steep (and open/easy to fall into) Murder / Sex dungeon!   

never in the USA. .it was awesome.


hey. . Capt. Jack Sparrow is selling chocolates at the Pirates Candies!


tho we ended up going into a place that sold other options - all looked and smelled amazing. . . .and Kristen and Sarah went into a place to get a fresh baguette

but how good does this look???


OMG. .looked amazing. . and I don't even like Meringue.


the proof of life pic I sent to Nick outside the Baguette place - I realized I had never sent a message home after landing, and Needed to show him that I had indeed found Robb and Elissa in Paris
(Kristen, Jere, and April too)


another of those amazing train station signs


and then we were off to the last stop today. . as everyone was pretty exhausted (and I had been up almost 36 hours at this point):  Notre Dame














Kristen tricked me into taking some baguette. . asking if anyone wanted to try.  But she had eaten the insides out, leaving the hard crust :)

it was ok. . it was still great, and I had a
baguette, in France, while looking at Notre Dame. 

so .. . . WINNING.


tho no trash cans anywhere . . so had to carry the bread scraps with me (or feed the birds. . which I did a little bit).





and with that, we headed back to the airport hotel, where my room was ready (and James had already checked in) so could crash after a long day.

tomorrow the actual TPR Europe trip starts!



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On to the official day one of the trip!

this was a packed day, out of the lobby and on the bus at 8:30am, driving from France to Germany (with a bonus surprise park along the way) and checking into hotel El Andaluz at Europa park post 7pm - too late to go into the park (closed around 6pm this day), but early enough to explore the hotel and surrounding hotels - which were all super neat.

so I will break up day 1 into two parts.

first off, let's have a look at the hotel at the Airport in Paris where we had stayed, Hotel Ibis.

it was very typical of a European Hotel (so I was told). . fairly small room, with two small single beds (with very thin mattresses).
oh, it was fine for staying in overnight, but glad we weren't here for multiple nights, as the beds were probably the most uncomfortable out of all the hotels we stayed in on the trip.   

But hey, at the end of the day?  I'm in Paris (at the airport, but in Paris. .so I'm not complaining!).


the view of the hotel area at this stop for the airport shuttles as we were walking to the bus that would be our main mode of transportation for this trip.    The Paris airport is HUGE!


on the bus!  and ready to go!

I think there were 36 of us, on a bus that sat 50?  so plenty of space to spread out and move around. . although I ended up sharing a row with my roomie James for the entire time we were on the bus thruout the trip (such a wonderful guy, and he put up with me as I got more and more stressed about what was going on at home during the trip.  Both on the bus, in Disney, and in the room).  

Really. . James is gold.


The TPR crew on official day one of the trip, as we're leaving the CDG airport in Paris.
Photo courtesy of Robb


this was on the window, and just cracked me up, every time i looked up at it. 
I mean, I know it's directing you how to use the emergency "crowbar" thing to break the window out in case of an accident. . but "Nooduitgang" makes me giggle.


some pics of the French Countryside as we began our trip!



windmills, windmills everywhere. . so many windmills.   

and really, rather soothing and pretty.



huh. . what's this?  empty parking lot?    Tho I really like how the shade for the parking is made from Solar Panels.
hmmmm. . what could they be generating electricity for?


this is a LOT of parking. . I feel like I'm Charlie on "Lost". . "where AREEEE we?"



I spot a roller coaster thru the trees!



yup, we're at Wallygator Parc in Maizières-les-Metz, Lorraine, France !

but ..why is it empty?  




wow. . this is Tuesday, and the park is not actually open!  

But Robb made some magic happen, and the park opened just for us on the trip for a few hours so we could experience their 3 big coasters:   Comet (a Vekoma Corkscrew), Anaconda (an infamously rough woodie) and Monster (a Raptor clone, relocated from Japan, but it runs with no midcourse).

OMG. .thanks Robb!   

(or should that be "thanks?". . a Vekoma and a rough woodie as the first two coasters of the trip. . . after they haven't been running for a few days since the park hadn't been open since Sat).

lol. .I'm teasing. . this was WONDERFUL!



a couple of folks from the park met us at the front, and along with a couple of operators - who led us from ride to ride to run them for us - we headed into the closed park!  



so strange to be walking into a closed park. . . it was eerily quiet, and such a gorgeous day.



I spy a carousel!


wow..another absolutely stunning Carousel.



2nd day in a row, I didn't ride tho. . as this wasn't what the operators and the park had opened for us to ride.    But it was so pretty I stopped to take a picture anyways, just happy to get to see it.


how about a picture of Erik taking a picture of Ian taking a picture of me who was taking a picture of them?

because?  why not?


the park is absolutely lovely. . there is some really nice theming thruout the park (which is odd because the theming is so nice, but then a lot of the rides themselves didn't seem to have much theming put into them).    But still  a lovely park.. . and this river cruise ride (which ended up being a very popular ride in most of the parks we visited) was very pretty, even with not a whole lot of theming.



oh, I spoke a little too soon. . . entering Jurassic Park..sorta


the dinos are part of the themed Raft ride, which has the rafts going thru a dinosaur enclosure while trying to survive escaped dinos.

it looked really well done, but as the park was closed today it wasn't operating.





I think this was a haunted house attraction?    the exterior was interesting. . .


but left me a little confused on what the theming/storyline was supposed to be.    Celtic spirits perhaps?


oooo..they have a Zamperla Air Race?   

I love the one at SFFT, although that one goes up.    this is a park that has a nice assortment of flats and thrill rides!


and then we came around the corner and this came into view.. our first coaster of the official trip:  Comet.

a Vekoma Corkscrew.  

the operators ran a couple of test trains while we watched nervously and took pics.



it sure LOOKS pretty. . .



Crossing Fingers and ready for a ride!
(pic courtesy or either Robb or Elissa)


whee!   front row!



know what? 

it was really . . . good ?  

OMG. .it was good!   I think I rode it three times before I stepped off to take some pics of my own.     Never thought I'd enjoy a Vekoma Corkscrew. . but maybe because it *hadn't* warmed up?  it was very enjoyable

the pics I took of it.. with the "Space Shoot" tower threading the needle






the park reps were really excited that we were enjoying ourselves. . and they offered to open up the Space Shoot tower if anyone wanted to ride for us, before we headed over to the next coaster.

i think there was complete agreement that, "yes, please". . .  so they tested it a few times, and opened it up for us to get a ride or two.





it was a really fun S&S Space Shot tower . . I enjoyed it.  and this one had a little bit of theming too.  I mean, not much, but a little bit in the queue and around it.

(pics courtesy of AJ or Brad, I believe in this case)





as we headed over to the parks woodie, Anaconda, we passed by this charming ride. .kinda like Moose on the Loose with Ponies.

the Park reps told me that this was the most recent ride to the park - although they were about to open up a new section with more family rides (that we later would be able to walk thru for a "backstage tour". .tho they asked for no pictures please.   But it had a cute mini log flume and a couple of nice family flats, and looked like a solid addition to the park)




going into the section where Anaconda is.. not sure what this "theming" was. .but it was interesting.


as was this.. .um. . ok?   LOL


and here is the official entrance to Anaconda



Ride sign. . and this just cracked me up. . the kids riding on the snakes back. . wheeee!   

and why are the snakes that make up the "N"s stoned?



oooo.. . the station theming was just so-so. .but wow, do I love these trains.

it looked like there was a lot of new wood on the track, and the park reps said they had done some retracking work.


I was ready. .and prepared myself for a rough ride. . it wasn't warmed up, and had a reputation for being rough.
(camera out with permission, since the park was closed, and they told me I could take a picture before they sent us out as long as camera went back in my pocket before we pulled out)



here we go. . .TPR is about to do Anaconda at Wallygator!



whee!!  another one that shocked me.   Not only was it *not* rough, but it was actually pretty smooth in places. 

it wasn't an exhilarating thrill ride, but it was a pretty wonderful family woodie. . I enjoyed it.   (and I think I rode this 5 or more times while we were over here).

pics courtesy of Robb or Elissa


look at those smiles!   you can tell the retracking work they did was a great job.





after multiple rides on Anaconda, we headed to the parks main attraction, Monster.. . the Raptor clone from Japan (it's so pink!!!!!). . . but with no midcourse.

remember what I said about weird/no theming in this park in places. . well. .that was pretty fully on display here.

I was surprised to see it just plopped in a field.


tho it seems to have a racecar on it. . . for some reason?  the racing theme is not anywhere else in the queue. .which is pretty generic, to be honest.


tho the amount of warnings are impressive.

and we had a wonderful time making up what some of the warnings were for.  (myself and a few others had time to giggle on this, as I knew it would be too intense for me - I mean, Raptor is too intense for me - so I knew this would be one and done for me at least. . and it was.

But I liked it a lot too.


after my 1 ride. . it was starting to get warm out here in the sun :)



so I went downstairs under the loading platform in the shade to take pics of others enjoying riding this over and over.







I was ok in the shade. . .making up restrictions for why folks couldn't ride.



after Monster, we were led to a restaurant that they opened for us, and we got sodas and ice cream (yay!). .as noted it was a warm day. 
I got put on napkin distribution duty (yes, some of them made it into my bag, but I did have them later for when someone needed them, so it all worked out).

I'm not really sure what ride this is. . but it's very pretty, and has lots of lights on it.    bet it's beautiful at night!


and I was SO excited to see a Sea Storm . . I love these and they're so rare in the States.

I came to find out, not so rare in Europe, and pretty much every park had at least 1 (a couple of them had 2 - standard, and kiddie), most of them direct "out of the box" theme and all.

but yes, I rode them ALLLLLL

still I was thrilled to see this one here at Wallygator, even if it wasn't open for us today.




but while we were breaking for Ice Cream, the reps asked if anyone was interested in G-Lock.. the Zamperla Air Race.   

again, it was, I think, 100% from everyone, "yes"  

So we headed over that way, and they cycled it, and the operators opened it up for us!


whee!!!!    I think this pic is from Brad, but not 100% sure. . might be AJ.


and there is a little bit of theming outside this ride.. .I mean. .it's a rocket!

(and a trash can)


after our fun rides on the Air Race, it was time to head back out. . . we still had a bit of a drive to get to Europa. . and this had turned out to be a wonderful stop (thank you again, Robb for making this happen). . so we started towards the front gate.

(oh, I should mention here that due to a conversation that Smisty had with the park reps. . so I heard. . she was gifted a wheel from Monster. . and then they gifted TPR with 9 more wheels, which were given out by Kristen at the end of the trip.  Luckily I didn't "win" one, so I didn't have to schlep back a wheel thru TSA in my luggage. . LOL).    But thanks Smisty. . she really is quite the awesome person!  (who also asked about being able to buy something at the park. . and so they opened up a gift shop for us on the way out too!!!).

anyways, here's the river boat ride from a different angle as we headed back to the bus:




the front section, as we headed out. . the shop at the far front on the right is the one they opened for us.


swag I bought?

a shirt for Nick (that he sadly, never got to wear, but as it's a Large - they didn't' have medium - I gifted it to our friend Sean who loves theme parks. .and Nick would have wanted him to have it.


the XXL gray one I got for me (I always get XXL so if Nick threw it in the dryer the shirts won't shrink so much I can't wear them. . .something I suspect I'll be doing for years to come anyways)


and the hot pink (of course) Wallygator magnet, that's on the fridge.


and with goodies purchased, and a pic taken by the park to commemorate TPR coming to visit (I don't seem to have a copy of that, or would share), we headed back to the bus, and made our way towards the Rhine River, and Germany. . we were due at Europa Park this evening.

to be continued. . . . .

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part II, continuing on to Europa park:

So back on the bus, and we raced a French train to IKEA. . .  wait. . we're not going to Sweden on this trip!


but the French Countryside is absolutely lovely








and before we knew it?  we were driving parallel to the Rhine River. . ready to cross over from France into Germany.



hmmm. . appears the boarder is down to one lane here at the crossing (over a dam)


a look at a closed dam gate. .


and an open one. . exciting, I know!



it wasn't as pretty as I had expected the Rhine river to be. . .but I must admit, it was very exciting to cross a river I had only ever read about in books.


I have no idea what this sign means. . maybe the name of the township we passed thru once crossing the border?



but this one I get. . . .this is actual border between Germany on the left, and France on the right.  

Managed to get a perfect picture as we passed it :)



signs, signs, everywhere a sign, no idea what any of them mean, but I'm glad our driver (who was an awesome guy - even if not Franklin) did!



and soon enough we pulled up in front of the incredible El Andaluz (themed to a Spanish Villa).. which would be our home for a few nights.

it's one of several heavily themed hotels on property, and this one is conveniently located right next to the "Resort Entrance" gate, and also connected via underground tunnels and walkways to the other themed hotels by here, mainly Hotel Colosseo (themed as a Roman coliseum)

it's also (apparently) conveniently located next to the monorail which will bring you around to the front gates of the Park. . . but that's something I never managed to do during our visit!    There is simply SO much to do at Europa Parc, that I never had time to take the monorail, or even go out the front gates.  (but why would I when the Resort gate is right by the hotel. . literally).

tho I DID take the shuttle bus (conveniently located just outside the hotel) to go to visit Rulantica. .the giant indoor waterpark, that we were invited to check out during our visit

anyways. .the hotels are all pretty heavily themed. . even the statues out front moved, and interacted with guests coming in.  Impressive as hell.




Elissa went and checked us all in, and came back out with room keys and entrance tickets (and other assorted goodies). . here's what the Europa Park tickets look like.


the rooms at El Andaluz vary greatly, might just have one bed, and some bunk beds on the wall. . or two small beds. . or two queen size beds.

it was just luck of the draw what room you ended up with. . . but James and I got a lucky straw and not only ended up with a very large room (two queen beds):


with a huge bathroom:


but also?  right on the corner of the hotel. . . literally directly overlooking the Resort Guests Entrance to Europa Parc!

that's the Resort entrance on the left of the yellow tent.



we had a great view of the main Monorail too.. even if I didn't get to ride it around the park, I still go to see it in action (very much looks like Disney's, tho I haven't seen those in years)


we were only the 2nd floor, so looking out of our room the other direction - towards the front of the hotel.


and a view looking straight out. . at the monorail track (and of course, I didn't wait for a Monorail to be on it. . but still. . . look how lovely this is!)


all settled in, we headed down to the lobby to meet a group of TPR trip participants to see what we could do about dinner, and explore the hotel (s)

the chandelier in the main lobby is super impressive.


hell. the whole lobby is impressive.    It really is quite immersive.




walking down some of the hallways to check out the restaurants available here. . . 

as noted. . heavily themed!


even the toilets are themed, with piped in creaking sounds, and clanking of swords. 


yes, this is still inside our hotel!   one of the eateries has outdoor seating options among the rooms/wings.


we checked out the Brazillian style meat buffet in El Andaluz, but decided to skip it because we were eating there as a group the next night.  And the Tapas restaurant looked good. . but let's head over to Colosseo to check out the options there, since they are supposedly very good Italian food offerings.


a Model of the hotel theming in the tunnel headed over there from El Andaluz



coming out to the front entrance of Hotel Colosseo


yup. .heavily themed here too. . . cool manikins guarding the front entrance.


and bewbs. . I mean. . art. . .



stepping out into the main Courtyard of this hotel is impressive as hell.

I mean, I loved our rooms, and very much enjoyed our hotel. . but this one is incredible too. 
(and there are people sitting up there in the section of the Colosseum ?   wow.. will have to check that out later for the view)

most of the group came over here to check out dinner options. . just like Disney tho, most everything here was booked solid (or had a long, long wait). . I guess when the park closes between 6-7, the restaurants are gonna get full, since all the guests staying are back from the park.



so we headed back to the Tapas restaurant in El Andaluz, as that one we had checked out earlier and didn't have any waitlist.

we joined a group from the trip of 7-8 people, and really enjoyed the meal, as well as getting to get to know everyone.

we were seated in a covered "patio/greenhouse" section of the restaurant.


with nice views of the surrounding hotel while we ate. 
(El Andaluz interior courtyard, gardens, and pool in the back there)


interesting "rural" chandelier. . not sure if it was wood, or animal horns. . but I think horns?


the menu, which I wish I had a picture of the inside of. .as I know the offerings all looked really good, and i know I really LOVED what I got.  

But I can't really remember exactly what it was.  (no big worries tho.. of course I took pictures)


the group at our table. . .

. . .and going back to *edit*. . because just noticed that Jon had his wallet open, and dont' want anyone to zoom and get his personal info. . LOL


I do recall this was a Terrine of tartar, tomato, figs, and nuts. . it was really good.


Jon got tomato jam crostini, I think.



A few folks ordered the Tapas dinner, which served between 2-4, so multiple folks shared.   I tried a few things after everyone was full, and it was all excellent.


my main was, I believe apricot stuffed duck?

i think?    I do remember that it was a LOT of food, and I shared some of it with others, and that it was so good.


with sauce poured.


full, fat, and happy, several of us headed back over to Colosseo to check out the bar that infamously has a jail cell in it.

But before we tried to go there, we stepped back out into the courtyard.

WOW. . absolutely stunning at night.


a pic I took to send home to Nick.   he thought we had gone to Italy. . LOL. . he didn't really pay attention when I gave him details . . but he said it looked like I was having fun.  and I was.


in the elevator on the way up to the bar, I snapped a shot of the restaurants/amenities offered at the on site hotels. 


and in the lobby of the Speakeasy themed bar. . . spy vs spy?    Italian Gangsters?   who knows. . probably iconic film stars, but I had no idea.

I took a pic of them because. . .


awwwww. . the bar was closed.

Not sure why, the hours on the door said it should be open, but again it was a Tuesday, so maybe short staffed like many other places are these days.


undeterred (Ryan really wanted a beer, as did Ian). . we headed back down to the lobby to check out the gelato stand (I was so full, couldn't even consider it), and the downstairs hotel bar to get drinks.

but first, I looked up in the lobby and saw this.    wow.


the main lobby bar at Hotel Colosseo


we got beer and/or drinks, and headed over towards the massive staircase that would bring us up to where we saw people sitting earlier.

crossing the courtyard over there tho, we passed the lighthouse from Hotel Bell Rock (one block over, and themed to New England) all lit up.   Very pretty.


a climb up the steps and we got to experience the cool breeze and great view.. sitting on the steps and drinking.

LtR:  Andrew, Jon, Ian, me. . . . I think James and Ryan were sitting on the other side of me.


as noted. .what a lovely view:


we finished our drinks, and headed back down to the bar to return the glasses. . and tho it was a consideration to maybe get another?  it had been a really long day, and we had to get up tomorrow for early entry (and ERT rides on Can-Can Coaster, and Silver Star before park open!). . so we said our goodnights, and headed back to El Andaluz and our rooms to crash.

what a great start to the trip!

oh, and on the way to our room in El Andaluz. . spotted this art. . . so a perfect way to end official day 1. . with some classy nudity!




next update will be in the next few days (I hope) and will be day one of Europa Parc.

hope y'all are enjoying following along.



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Day two of the trip!   Full day at a park that moved to #1 on my "Bucket List" - after I was able to go to Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea (and Fuji Q) in 2019.

Part 1 of 2 (or maybe 3) of DAY ONE at Europa Park. . and spoiler. . it still was not enough!  Holy Crap I loved this place.

Peeking out our window, to remind myself that we're right next to the park entrance!


but first, we headed down to the lobby restaurant for breakfast.

without even meaning to, I ended up having my morning Meal in Germany being VERY Jewish (LOL) with lox/capers on bread, pickled Herring, and an apricot tartlett. . . 
you can take the Jew to Germany, but he's still gonna eat a Jewish breakfast 😛


and look!   an extra napkin to put in my bag. . . (a napkin advertising Rulantica, Europa Park's gigantic indoor waterpark - attached to one of the resorts - that we were invited to check out later tonight after park close)


after a filling breakfast, we headed to the lobby to meet up so we could enter into the park with a guide and head over to some morning ERT before the park opened to guests.

this painting is hanging in the lobby of our hotel. . it's the Park's founder: Franz Mack  (yup. . of Mack rides fame, which is why the park has so many Mack created (and high capacity) Mack rides)


then we followed our guide out the main lobby and around the corner to the Resort entrance.

look. .there's our room on the 2nd floor corner right there!


walking into the park is a truly immersive experience. .it's SO well themed.    I mean. . EVERYWHERE.


and there are rides/attractions everywhere too.    

like this indoor Music Express type ride, that went crazy fast!


and right next to it?  I full size Indoors SeaStorm. . themed to . . Christopher Columbus!


but we bypassed all these as we wormed our way towards the center of the park. . passing really nicely themed attractions on the way to our goal. . .   ERT on EroSat: CanCan Coaster!



what a lovely park!  and we weren't even very far into it!  (this was a slow moving "boat ride around the lagoon" that many parks had. . . this was on my list for tomorrow, as well as the slow moving overhead monorail inside the park).


this is the "fairytale section". . . it was a large, very well themed section with TONS of interactive scenes to explore.

actually, most of the rides had either a "Dark Ride" section, or an interactive element.  Something very cool to see in unexpected places.   As well as the CRAP-TON of Dark Rides that Europa Park has scattered all over the layout.   I loved this park.

tho the Fairytale Section not so much. . as on this first day, we hadn't quite figured out the layout (Maps are for wusses apparently, so we ended up wandering thru this section multiple times in error. . . tho always found something interesting to look at/interact with)


even the toilets are well themed!


oooo.. "Arthur". .I've heard stories about this WTF ride. . and it was absolutely on my list. . but for now, we just passed by the entrance on the way to Eurosat: CanCan coaster.




oooo. . . dang it. .i *was* going to ride this Carousel. . it's been days since I'd been on one 😛 
would come back to this.


I couldn't tell you the "Countries" in this park if you paid me (there was just too much, and rides/attractions *everywhere*) . . . but everything was so well identified, even with the manhole covers.


giant sneakers.

for some reason?  


and blue sheep. . . by the train. . . again, for some reason?   

but look how lovely this park is!


rounding the corner tho? 

yes. .here it is. . .a view I'd only seen in photos, and other's trip reports.   

blown. away.

and we hadn't even gone on it yet!




test vehicle. . .I hadn't realized this was a "coaster" with a full train.   For some reason, I always thought it was little 4 seat trains. . I was really pleasantly surprised when we hit the station, and realized it was a regular coaster.


tons of theming as we breezed thru the empty queue.

ERT - baby!




and the park (and Robb & Elissa) surprised us by announcing we'd get a couple of rides on it, and then the park would turn on the lights, so we could ride it seeing the track!

I have to say. . I LOVED it with the lights on - I have no idea how they crammed that much track inside that ball.   But holy hell. . with the lights off?  this coaster is stupendous.

the blasting loud CanCan music, and the black-light reflective props you zoom by (and thru. . and under - those kicking legs!!).   

a top 10 coaster on this trip for me. . loved it.



sitting behind David in Row two is our Bus Driver. . a very, very cool dude (Franklin is cool too. . but this guy was cool, and European!)


I even got to share a bunch of rides with him thruout the trip.   such a great start to the day!


it was starting to get overcast, and there was some rain coming in (Andy !!!!!!). . . . so we quickly moved on to the other coaster on our Morning ERT:  Silverstar  (a B&M Hypercoaster). . which for some reason has the Mercedes Benz logo on the side of it?

yeah. . I still don't quite get that, unless "Silver Star" is some nickname for Mercedes?






it was good, tho not my favorite, and we got a few rides on it before the rain started pelting us on our ride (the queue started to fill up with the park guests while we were riding, but they kindly kept one of the 3 trains running just for TPR, so we got to move around and ride in different spots every time we came back around the station).

such a great experience, and one of the many reasons TPR trips are so much fun.   Not to mention the incredibly fun, no-drama, folks that are on the trips!

three out of 4 TPR trip participants give SilverStar two thumbs up!


after our rides, the rain really started to come back in, so the group headed up to CanCan Coaster to meet up with our guide.  They wanted to do a special presentation on the park, the new rides coming, and Rulantica, for those of us on the trip who were interested.




of course I was interested (as were a bunch of the folks on the trip), and so after meeting up, we went into a conference room, where we listened to a pretty neat presentation about the park, and Mack Rides.   

added bonus, it POURED while we were in this room for about an hour, so tho it would have been awesome to spend that time in the park?  this was a way better choice, as it was dry, we got snacks/drinks, and for this gay man?  Eye candy to look at 😛


as the rain stopped, and the presentation ended, we dispersed into the park for the rest of the day . . but first, potty break in the conference room area, where it was quiet (general guests not allowed up here).

I loved this poster hanging over the toilet in the men's room, so snapped a pic.

a bit risque (and a bit racist). . but it certainly was eye catching!


peeking out the window to confirm the rain had stopped.. and yep, good to go.

again, can you believe this is a Theme Park???




we were close by, and we knew capacity was not fantastic (tho it really was very high capacity. . everything is relative in a park where every ride is very high capacity). . . so we headed to Matterhorn Blitz, the Mack Wild Mouse.

that is hidden deeply among the trees, so much you can't really see the layout




it hand't really opened yet due to the rain, so the line was a little misleading. . but it did move pretty fast once they started sending trains.




and yes, there's lots of stuff to look at in the queue as well. . animatronics, and all kinds of cool stuff




it's SO fast in this section, I couldn't get a clear picture. . LOL. . .trust me, I tried!


oh..and there's a "Dark Ride" section of the queue. . LOL. . lots of moving figures!










after we knocked out the Wild Mouse, it was time to use our first quick queue, that we had booked for Arthur.


are those the trains?   yup. . . three "cars" of 4 seats across, that spin and move in different directions during the ride.


and it's got a dark section, as well as an outdoor section.




ok then. . . this way!


those blurs are the trains spiraling over the center of the entrance/exit section of the ride. . .








this ride lived up to EVERY "WTF" review it's ever gotten.    

If Wodan wasn't in the same park?  this easily would have been my #1 here at Europa.  

I absolutely adore this ride, and I think I rode it 8 or 9 times during our two days at Europa Park -- giggling like a loon every time.

it took me a few rides to sorta figure out the story:  you're shrunk down, and befriend bees. . and fairies (?) and fight spiders, and an alien guy, that you push the interactive buttons on the trains to blow up his mirrors, and if you do, your row of seats spin around and you face other riders. . . or something like that.

as I said. . . WTF, and absolutely BRILLIANT.

and it's got fairies . . . 😛


this was a kiddie powered car ride, that there was absolutely no way an adult could ride (sadly). . but look at the amount of detail in this thing. . wowza!






and yes. . back thru Fairytale section. . again. .  .as Arthur is at one end of it.

Snow White.  .


even the train crossings are themed to flowers over here. . .


and here comes the train!  

NEVER in America. . the train just goes thru the park, and they expect people to just *not* get hit by it. . because they dont' expect people to be morons and to pay attention.

very pretty train too.




the slow moving boat ride around the lagoon doesn't seem super popular. . but the water effects are pretty neat, and as noted, was on my list to do tomorrow.


back in Fairytale land. . .Hansel and Gretel vs the Witch


poor Hansel. . .   how are these German Children running thru the scenes/houses not traumatized.   The interactive stuff was so cool, but it's basically all "Haunts for kids".



did they just kill the witch?   yes, yes the did!    (and she screams in agony when you push the button as she's burned alive). . LOL

But really, why am I making this face?


Yup. .this is why.  FINALLY:







even got my Roomie James to share a rocking gondola with me :)




actually, the whole group I was with rode the Carousel. . and right next door was the powered cars, which we all lined up to ride next!


you can see the remnants of the rain from earlier, but it never really rained again today, and it ended up being a perfect day.

(the operator saw me take this pic, and encouraged me to film/take pics while driving)




again.. this is in the middle of a theme park!   I had to keep telling myself that, as it seemed so unreal.



this is the infamous "Roller Coaster Restaurant". .where the food is delivered to your table by swirling tracks.

we had heard the reviews that it's way more spectacle than "good food". .and besides, it was booked SOLID. . . so didnt' get a chance to eat there (besides, was saving room for Raclette instead) . . tho did get to see inside while on the in-park monorail the next day.


a random gate in the park, between "lands". . I think this was going into "Russia" (over by Euro Mir) 


but before we went into EuroMir - which had a bit of a line anyways, some coffee was wanted/needed.   So while some of the guys did that? 
I convinced James to go with me to knock another "Bucket List" attraction at Europa Park off my list:



ok. .I don't know what it's really called. . but might as well be called that.

No line either 😛


very icy, and "cold" themed, but the a/c was not on in here. . LOL  .  we sweat a lot on this first ride
(tho when I did ride it again the next day, the A/C was blasting cold). . . still. . lovely, and as noted, bucket list ride for me:










Celine Dion ???


just LOOK how thrilled we are. . . .  :)


by the time we finished. . EuroMir was calling to us.

we had ERT on it tomorrow morning, but why wait?






it's mighty "Disco-y" in here. . . and *everything* you've ever heard about the Disco Lift Hill is true! 


a wonderful ride, it starts off a bit meandering, but then it really gets going - especially if you end up going down the big drop backwards, and there's no way to really know which way you'll end up facing, as the cars spin while it travels!




not sure what this was advertising, other than build your own car (must be based on a cartoon in Germany?) . .but a cut out photo op?  

Of course!


such cool manhole covers all over the park


we then headed into the Netherlands, for this specifically.

you would NEVER know it burned down recently, and they completely rebuilt it.  Its truly an amazing feat.



yup. . lots of animatronics again. . . and a hell of a long queue. . but lots to look at as moving/waiting.




such as bewbs.

not just any bewbs tho.



hmm.  . I approve.















again. .this all burned down!  how the heck did it come back so brilliantly?












with some really great lighting effects too. . very, VERY Disney-esque. . but different.


oh. . ok, not SO different. . but the restaurant is at the END of the ride. . so there.


and right outside?   another SeaStorm.

yes, we rode it. . tho this one was a Junior Version. .that didn't have the spinning boats.   It still was fun tho.

as were the waffles and donuts we got over here for a snack after Pirates.



and that's a LOT of pictures.. so will  try to come back in the next day or so and finish off day one at Europa Park.

lots lots, more to do still on this first day!

Hope you've enjoyed following along!


to be continued. . . .





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I really think Europa is such a great resort.  What a wonderful TR!!! And yes, the management was very nice to us (and nice to look at!)  We bought a stuffed version of the pirate otter from the ride and he now happily lives in our bedroom. 

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Europa Park, Day 1 continued . . .

after snacks at pirates. . we headed over to the Greece section.

I had no interest in the Atlantica Supersplash over in the Portugal section, as that is the exact same design as the Journey To Atlantis ride at SeaWorld San Antonio, so i've ridden that tons of time (and honestly don't think it's worth the line, just for that short backwards "coaster" section).   I don't think anyone in the group I was hanging around with wanted to ride it anyways. 

but we all were interested in what was over here in Greece:  Poseidon: the Water Coaster:

(and oh, look, I actually did get a picture of Sliver Star - in the back on the right. Funny. . thought I had missed it).



saving the best for last tho, we went to hit the other attractions in this section before heading to Poseidon
(and they have construction walls over here, for the new coaster being built that was part of the presentation, but I dont' think I actually did get pics of those).

1st stop was "Curse of Cassandra" - a really cool Madhouse. 
before this trip, I never had ridden any type of Madhouse, and this being the first one, I was really super impressed with it.   

But like SeaStorms, and slow boat rides around lagoons, it seemed that *every* park had it's own Madhouse.. so I ended up riding 7 or 8 of them during the trip. 

Curse of Cassandra was a pretty good one, and if I'm recalling correctly, the "benches" had moving parts in them to indicate creatures/bugs moving beneath you as the whole room spun.    I enjoyed it.

but only got a picture of a statue outside it.


we then walked around the Poseidon lagoon area to head to Pegasus - a powered junior coaster.

but managed to perfectly capture the big monorail passing by (reminding me that I hadn't ridden it yet, and sadly never got to it on this trip. . . even tho it passed right in front of our hotel room!).




as noted, Pegasus is a junior powered coaster.   it reminded me a lot of the Flight of the Hippogriff, tho maybe slightly more exciting in the layout.


the entrance certainly is more interesting.


not just a horse's ass. . you enter under a Trojan Horse's ass. . .



and the train certainly is pretty exciting. . .at least the front car.



for some reason, the queue is themed around an Archeological Dig. . .complete with animatronics. . . and holding up of Medusa's head (ok ???). . . LOL



but yeah, the trains sure are pretty!




tho I had to laugh, in that the kids who were lined up to ride in the Pegasus front car?  yeah. .they can't see ANYTHING. . . LOL


great view of the "coaster section" of Poseidon next door from Pegasus' loading area tho




again. . as with every other section of this park, the theming is pretty immersive.

this was the way to get to the Poseidon queue. . .I don't have any decent pics, so won't share, but we did get more than a little "moist" on the splashdown section.


and tho I bought the picture and we're mostly smiling (this is the presplashdown), I must admit that the coaster part of the ride, was quite a bit jerky. 

it wrenched my back a good bit, and I did have to get into my travel medical kit to take some Aleve after. . . . but overall it was fun, if a bit painful.  
(so no, didn't ride it again on this visit)

good pic tho.

clockwork from front left:  Andrew (happy Bday! today), Ian, John, Ryan, Jon, and me.  (and two other folks park visitors in the back seat)


we had another pass for Arthur, so we headed back thru fairytale land. . but first we had to move out of the way for some street entertainment rolling thru (I believe this was passing thru the England section)?


she comes out and fluffs a pillow. .that fills the air with foam.

the kiddos were having a BALL underneath  playing in the foam coming down.


back to the weirdness that is Arthur.

WTF are these?  I dunno. . but I like them.   I really, really like them.


a little blurry, but coming into the loading platform from the dark section.


and the folks pushing the buttons and discussing why they didn't turn around as the other cars did (I'm assuming that's what they were discussing, and the answer is that you have to all hit the buttons to break the alien's mirrors if you want the car to flip around backwards. . I think?   who knows!  but it's brilliant).


exiting the ride, there were lifesize fairies !!

OMG. . am I gonna pose with them?


what do you think??


(as Elissa put it when i shared this pic:   "Nightmare fuel"


a Rastafarian bee. 

why?   Arthur !!!


we were starting to get a little hungry, so we headed over to Switezerland (just LOOK how lovely)


.. . but first, stopping in France to get a fresh Baguette.

why?   RACLETTE of course!

yep, it was time to finally try the famous Europa Park Raclette.





OMG. . looks amazing.




oooy, and gooey, and so, so good. .     slurp!!!


the view we had while eating.




the Swiss Bob Run - a bobsled coaster, that actually has a pretty steep "roller coaster" style drop, hadn't been running all day. . but while we were eating, we heard the unmistakable noises of a chain lift.  

So after we finished our Raclette, we headed down the street to check out if it was open. 

But first. . . .



yes!  not only was it open, but it had *just* opened. . whatever they had been working on (we saw guys on the chain lift earlier) they had gotten it going.   So the line wasn't bad at all..maybe 10 minutes.

lots of interesting wood carvings in this queue:








yeah. . I took this picture for the uniform.

(I'll be honest. . .we all have our types, and this is one of mine. . so yes, this counts as eye candy too.. . tho the uniform IS rather cute)

Ian and I actually spent a lot of the trip sending each other pictures of "interesting" things we saw in the parks. . . but I won't share most of those. . LOL 
Naughty Naughty, but still. . just some clean fun for the most part.




I actually thought this was a real guy in the operating booth. . but when we got closer?  nope, Europa Park found a way to squeeze an animatronic in, even in THIS open queue. .


James got to ride without someone sitting in his lap!


so did Ian and John. . .tho I think that Andrew and Ryan had to share one, if I'm recalling? 
(I know we teased them about having to share on one ride. . was it this park guys?)




after a GREAT ride on the Bobsleds, we made our way back to France for quick queue on EuroSat: CanCan Coaster - yes, we liked it so much, the rides this morning weren't enough, and we used quick queue to ride it again.

after our ride, it was noticed that there was . . . SOMETHING. . . right next door.    We weren't sure what it was, but it seemed to be a dark ride with really no line, so we hopped in the queue.

HA!  this made me laugh. . . . and it gave a clue that this ride had *something* to do with Dinosaurs.




ok.. yes.   it's a WTF animatronic Dinosaur ride.. that seemed to be about a little old lady who collects dinosaurs, and is throwing a birthday party for one of them

yeah. . that really is what it seemed to be about.

it was so messed up. . and OMG. . so amazing.   Absolutely loved it. . think I rode this stupid thing 4-5 times as well. . it was so good!   and the section with the bees?  has pumped in Honey smells!






are those little dinos using a litter box?  (complete with dino poop in it)?

why yes, yes they are

told you. . amazeballs!




what's this?  a kitchen.

oh my. .they are baking a cake for the dino birthday party!














and you can see the vehicles here too.. . omnimover, like Haunted Mansion. . . it was so great




after a ride (or maybe two?) on the Dino Birthday ride, that I never got the name of, but per Wiki is called: Madame Freudenreich Curiosités

we headed over to Silver Star, to attempt to get a ride or two more on it (if I recall, it wasn't an option on the Quick Queue choices, so we were going to just wait in line). . but as we got in line, it promptly went down for mechanical issue.   we waited a little bit to see, as B&M typically come back up pretty fast . . but when they started to flush out the queue, we decided to instead head over to the Italy Section to try and ride Ghost Castle - a dark ride "inspired by" the Haunted Mansion

(as you can see, the sky had started darkening again.. so perhaps Silver Star went down for lightning in the area?)

we didn't do the 4d theater here, but there was a nice little back alley shortcut we took near it to get to Italy.


ok. . it's an arcade. . with 3 games in it.

but how cool that two of them are Pinball Machines. . and the third is a PacMan that plays all versions of the PacMan games?


and you come out from the alleyway right next to Ghost Castle . and the store sold a lot of really cool stuff.   But I was determined not to fill up my suitcase completely on the 1st big park of the trip (tho I couldn't help myself later). .so passed on much of the "horror" merch. .even tho I liked a lot of it.


wow. .the Italy section is really lovely too!   That shouldn't surprise me. . but every section of this park being so gorgeous continued to surprise me over and over.


and of course. . there were bewbs.


ok.. time for Ghost Castle.





with Pirates!   


see. .there's pirates. . it's not too much like Haunted Mansion

















although there are some very obvious "lifts" from the classic Disney Ride (something true in almost every "haunted" attraction at any park we went to). .there was actually a lot of really unique set pieces in here, and I really enjoyed the ride.    This is another Dark Ride at Europa that I went on multiple times.

and damn, if this isn't really well done.  Even if a heavily "inspired" by bit?  SO well done.



Italy has another Dark Ride: PIccolo Mondo . . .

Sadly, this was by far, the worst ride in the park.   And it was slightly racist. . I mean, think of the most stereotypical "Italian" things you can think of. . now put them all into one ride.

yup. .they made Pizza.  Yup. .they twirled big Mario-mustaches. . Gelato.   Gondolas.   just awful. . . and boring.


but at least the gondola you ride in has a parrot on the back "steering" you.








they're happy because it's over. . .LOL 

yeah, this is, I think, the only Dark Ride in the park that was one and done.


It was getting late with the park only being open about an hour more, and we hadn't even made it over to Iceland yet. . the whole section that has Blue Fire , and Wodan. . so we headed over that way, determined to use up our remaining quick queues on those rides.

so we headed that way. . and found ourselves in. . . Amity ?   (new England)?   no idea.. LOL. .this section isn't even listed on Wiki entry, so can't even look it up.   There was a giant shark hanging for photo ops (that I think I took a pic with the 2nd day) . .

it was beautiful tho. . and we discovered a little restaurant "hidden" behind a quick serve counter that we utilized for lunch the next day to get away from the crowds and have a relaxing meal.


this is over the rapids ride. . . which we'd ride the next day.

and yup. .it's an animatronic!




We rode Blue Fire with the quick queue. . I liked it for the most part.

the dark ride section prior to the launch is really fun, and unexpected (tho it shouldn't have been. . EVERYTHING seems to have a dark ride section here). . .and it has a bunch of really fun airtime, in particular that spectacular loop.    But it also has a heartline-roll type of hangtime element 2/3rds of the way thru that I absolutely *hated*

I know you aren't going to fall out of the restraints, but it takes that roll with so much hangtime, it's just not my cuppa tea. . . sorry.   

so Blue Fire was good. . but not in my top coasters here.



holy hell, I loved this coaster.

I think I rode it easily 10-12 times during our visit (including many rides during ERT on the 2nd night).   SUCH a good coaster, and way way up on my top 10 (probably ranked around #2 or #3).

So much airtime, and laterals, and so smooth. . just brilliant.  

and the theming. . wowza










Wodan and Blue Fire are so close to each other. . you're able to get lots of pics with trains on both from the exit platform. . so if you'll indulge me here:














after a couple of rides on Wodan (I think we used our last two quick queues there), we headed back across to the "New England" section. .as we had heard there was something there not to miss.

coming back from the Iceland side over the rapids, I spotted another fun animatronic.   There's cool stuff all over this park.


ohhhh. .the inpark monorail comes over here too?  yeah, *definitely* riding this tomorrow.


and here's what we came back for.

Robb had told the group that there was a hidden dark ride that we should not miss.

I was convinced he was just messing with everyone, to try and get us to go on something awful. . but you know what?  he was 100% correct. .this was SO good.    Yeah, it was basically just an advertisement for Rulantica masquerading as a dark ride, but it pulled out some really neat tricks, and made it well worth the while to ride on  (think i rode it three times?).

As Albert put it:  "that's the best commercial I've ever ridden!"

"Snorri" is the baby octopus mascot of Rulantica. . hence what I assume this ride is called: "Snorri's Tours"



I won't spoil the surprises.. but will just say.  If you get a chance?  ride this thing.

it really is "hidden" in a basement, and I'm glad Robb flagged it for the group, otherwise would have missed it!













and the gift shop at the end? 

O. M. G.   pregnant "Barbie" mermaid?  

you bet your sweet ass I bought this and hauled it home.

(I sent this pic to Nick and told him I  bought it. .and his response was "of course you did"    
that's a fond memory of my Husband. . and it made me smile to type this)

and yes.. her stomach DOES come off, and there's a baby mermaid doll in there!


the park was starting to shut down as it was close to 6:30 pm, so we headed towards the resort gate. . stopping to snap a few pics of Blue Fire's loop as we passed by it:






and Wodan's quick queue entrance as we passed


and the Splash Battle ride - that I never bothered to go on (not a fan of these, and these too were in most of the European parks).
they sure are photogenic tho.





but we had to make our way out to the Hotel. . as we had to go back to the room to change - most of the TPR group was headed over to Rulantica to check it out, as the indoor waterpark was open until (I think) 11pm.

so. . . looks like there is going to be a Part III (tho shorter than parts 1 and 2) as I took pics at Rulantica too.

so see you real soon to complete day 1  (really?  this is only day 1????).   





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Europa Park, Day 1, part III  (Rulantica!)

so after getting back to the room, and changing to swimwear. . we headed out to the shuttle bus stop, and took the short ride over to Hotel KRØNASÅR - which is themed to a Museum of Natural History   (and also contains the connected "Rulantica" - a HUGE indoor/outdoor waterpark that Europa Park is continuing to add on to.

it's also very heavily themed.  I wasn't sure I was going to actually swim, as I'm not a waterpark fan. . and once I saw the actual inside of the park?  yeah, I kept my phone/camera with me, and decided to just take pics rather than get wet.




the lobby here is quite impressive!    and this sea-creature skeleton?  really cool.




up the stairs and across the bridgeway gets you into the main Rulantica lobby.    But before we head down to the entry booths, let's check out the really neat models they have on display here. . . (honestly worth the trip over here just to look at these, even if not a waterpark fan)


I believe this is a model for the reimagined Pirates


a peek inside EuroSat  (pre CanCan coaster overlay)




a super cool model of Wodan. . . with Blue Fire cutting thru it on the end there!


Atlantica Supersplash. . and how it interacts with Wodan at the turnaround.


after drooling over the models, we went thru entrance, and down into the locker rooms - you walk thru the locker rooms (which are huge. . and turns out there are two completely separate ones, so really pay attention where you put your clothes, or good luck finding your locker after a few cocktails (as I found out later.. . LOL).

then you pass thru the shower rooms, and bathroom areas. . and you come out into the main atrium of Rulantica.



a photo op?  where I can put my face in Snorri?  don't mind if I do!


the main Wave Pool which is the center of the indoor section of the waterpark.


big ol Dragon-slide on the left. . along with one of those "we're gonna fly off it!" triangle shaped tornado type slides.


outside is a whole other section with a play area - and they are building more slides over there too.


and on the right are the big bars/food areas. . as well as the lazy river, a "rapids" river, and more super steep hidden slides.


and just beyond the wave pool (between the wave pool and the outside sections). . . water obstacle course.   That many on the TPR trip braved (Robb put up footage on their insta) . .but only the super light (ie: skinny) folks made it across the floating islands easily.   

as I was nursing a bad ankle on this trip (injured it ~1 month prior to going and still had a brace on the entire trip). . I didnt' even attempt.  but was fun to watch others wipe out.


stepping out back - as it was SUPER humid in there, as one would expect an indoor water park to be. .

what's this?   oooo. . they are smart!   big outdoor bar by the kids play area outside.

the options all look pretty good. . and they were.   Tho all came from a machine, that seemed to mix all from the same spout (so I do wonder if some of them might taste off if it "bleeds" some of the other mixed drinks coming thru).   


still. . what I got (and I can't recall. . tho I had 3 of them, and yep, was feeling it by the time I left. .LOL), but it was GOOOD.


drinks in hand, started to explore the outdoor area.. .







here's the map . . everything in the "triangle" is indoors.  and they are adding new stuff both to the left and the right of the outdoors area at the bottom of the map.
as you can tell, they have a lot of room for expansion and new attractions here.


yeah.. you are gonna get WET at Rulantica. . .everything sprays and shoots water!


something new that was just about to open. . .as super splash battle crossed with a Tilt a Whirl looked like to me.


huge, and looks like it's a TON of fun.   pretty close to being open, but wasn't open yet on our visit.

new concept from Mack rides:


sand volleyball, and more room for expansion.  
(it was already close to 9pm I think, and just look how light it still is.)


back inside, to meet up with some TPR folks, and James and Ryan wanted to ride the Dragon Slide




theming everywhere. . and so well done. .this was over the lazy river.

and just to the right here, was a lagoon you could leave the lazy river to hang out in. . as it had a swim up bar with in-pool seating.





if you went up a few levels, was a large restaurant/bar that overlooked the entire indoors area.


and also had these really rather cool "clear sections" of the steepest "drop" flumes. . so you could watch the riders zoom by while you relaxed with your drink or food.


yeah. .it was a hell of a climb on the stairs to get up to these flumes. . but those that rode them said it was well worth the treck up there.


the bottom of the steepest "tube" slides




James and Jon enjoying the slides. . .




and a blurry pic. . but probably THE most thankless job in Rulantica.

She stood at the end of the slide catch pool. . and squeegied back in all the water that sklooshed out all over the area after every batch of tubes cam crashing down.  
she looked miserable. . but repeated this every 15 seconds or so. . .


a peek at the indoors kiddie section that's to the right of the lazy river entrance.


which is this middle ramp down. 

yeah. .it can get a bit confusing. . especially after a few drinks!    LOL


this seemed to be the entrance to a great hall / party room that can be rented. . . loved the design here.


the giant screens behind the eating area (connected to the "fast food" option. . pizza/italian stuff.  

rather soothing.  and occasionally an octopus (or Snorri) or some Mermaids would swim by and stop to interact with those sitting at the tables and eating.


at the top of the wave pool.. looking out.   

I was getting tired - it had been a full day, and was ready to head back to our hotel, so started making my way back to the dressing rooms. . tho I hadn't realized there was more than one.  
and it took me an EMBARRASSINGLY long time to figure out how to get back to the level of dressing rooms that we had come in at, and where my locker was so I could get my shoes and shorts back on over my swimsuit (that I had put on just in case I decided to swim).


Eventually tho.. I did find the locker, got changed, and visited the gift shop (which is where I bought the pregnant mermaid dolls, after eyballing them a few hours earlier in the gift shop from the Rulantica ride in Europa Park itself).

I wandered around the hotel a bit, and had an offer to join Jon and Ian for burgers, but I really wasnt' that hungry (still very full from the awesomeness that is Raclette). . so decided to head back to our hotel.

this statue is out front of the Hotel KRØNASÅR


why is the naked woman carrying a horse on her back?   I dunno. . .


oh. .this explains it.

tho I was a bit too buzzed to really understand it.. reading it now from the pic is the first time it makes sense!   LOL



it started to drizzle a bit again, while waiting for the shuttle. . but eventually it came, and I snapped this pic from where it dropped me off at our Hotel Andaluz.




exhausted. . I went up to the room and took a shower (that humidity in Rulantica really did a number on me. . stinky!). . and decided I did want to eat some of the snacks I had packed, before turning in to bed.

it was close to 10pm, and I had an exhausting, fun filled day.    And tomorrow was gonna be day two at Europa - with still a TON of things I hadn't done yet.

James came in around this time, and I climbed into bed while he was in the shower.

it wasn't too late, but we had a full day tomorrow, and i wanted to be refreshed and ready!



to be continued with Europa Park day 2 (sometime next week).




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Not trying to hijack the thread whatsoever, just wanted to post 2 quick pics of the room at Hotel KRØNASÅR because I thought it was really interesting! We stayed there a few weeks ago.



... and more bewbs! ;)

Rulantica's outside rapids River is absolutely insane. It's probably my newest favorite non-water coaster waterpark attraction. Lying on your stomach and what feels like gliding on ice is awesome. The one big drop in the middle after the split on the right straight into a turn/wall was my personal favorite!

All the stairs there were brutal,  I felt like I was going to drown on the drop slide slides because I didn't wait to catch my breath after walking all the steps. Really bad idea. lol

Anyways, thanks for taking us along! Looking forward to more!

Edited by anonymouscactus
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7 hours ago, anonymouscactus said:

Rulantica's outside rapids River is absolutely insane. It's probably my newest favorite non-water coaster waterpark attraction. Lying on your stomach and what feels like gliding on ice is awesome.

You're supposed to lie on your back...but most people don't.

Pro tip: don't do that if you're slightly heavy. Making ground contact with your butt does not hurt nearly as much as getting hit in the solar plexus by an underwater obstacle. Ugh!

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On 10/1/2022 at 8:02 AM, anonymouscactus said:

Rulantica's outside rapids River is absolutely insane. It's probably my newest favorite non-water coaster waterpark attraction. Lying on your stomach and what feels like gliding on ice is awesome. The one big drop in the middle after the split on the right straight into a turn/wall was my personal favorite!

I'm just glad that more of these are showing up. When I was a child, the only place I can think of that had this type of attraction near us was Center Parcs.

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Great TR so far, I just want to note a few things you seemed to be wondering about.

That European Union sign that you saw crossing the Rhine River that said Allemagne was "Germany" in French. I'm not sure why it was in French instead of "Deutschland" but my guess was it was put up by France on the French side of the border and it looked like it was double-sided with France on the other side. Europe has been in a drought this year (it only rained two nights on my 3 ½ week trip in (July/Aug) so the Rhine River is much lower than normal and Rhine River cruises even had to be cancelled. I think the more picturesque part of the Rhine is north as this is in southwestern Germany. I crossed by train from France to Germany and the Rhine looked similar to this.

The giant shoes in the United Kingdom part of Europa Park are football (soccer) cleats and that building by it is a football (soccer) themed bumper cars where there is an inflatable ball in the middle and you try to bump it to one of the goals at each end to get points. I tried it on the 2017 Oktoberfest TPR and it was fun trying to figure it out. Definitely a unique twist on a bumper cars ride. The ride and building is also sponsored by Adidas (a German company) I believe.

Mercedes Benz (another German company) is the sponsor of Silver Star and they have a Formula Racing exhibit by the queue so that's why you see their logo plastered there. That area of Europa Park used to be Monoco which is famous for its Grand Prix race, but they recently incorporated it into France so Europa no longer has a Monoco area (at least according to the park maps). Europa still has a tiny Luxembourg (which I stayed one night in right before arriving in Germany) area which houses the FoodLoop restaurant and a stop for the smaller inner monorail.

The Whale Watching splash battle ride you skipped has an indoor dark ride section and interactive targets you can hit for cool effects so its not just a generic splash battle ride and you don't get too wet. All the water rides at Europa had long lines when I went in August except for this one so it was nice to cool off but not get soaked. I also did find that random Snorri dark ride promoting Rulantica nearby as I saw people standing in line for it and when I found out it was a ride with a 10-15 minute wait I decided to try. It reminded me of a cross between The Little Mermaid at DCA and Nemo and Friends at Epcot but definitely better than the latter. 

I really wanted to go to Rulantica but it was sold out when I went. Europa wasn't part of my original trip plan but it was near the travel loop I was doing (Paris -> Bruges/Brussels -> Luxembourg -> Zurich) so I decided to include one day. My original plan was to do Europa until 6PM closing and Rulantica from 7-10PM with their night ticket but it was sold out by the time I was going to pull the trigger. All the hotels were completely booked in Rust too so I had to stay in Freiburg which is a 30 min train ride away but it ended up being a bigger city with more than I expected. It worked out for me as Europa ended up extending its hours to 8PM on the day I went so I got to get on a few more rides on the busy day I went (14 rides total). I wouldn't recommend only one day at Europa Park for a first time visitor but one day is better than zero days for a return visit. I'll eventually have to return to Europa for a longer visit for the new Czech Republic area and coaster and Rulantica. 

This trip looked like a lot of fun and I recognize a lot of people from the NL/Poland/Sweden trip I was on in 2019. The timing just didn't work out for me as I had a wedding to attend in Brittany, France in late July so I had to plan my trip around that. Still I was able to hit up Disneyland Paris/WDS, Parc Asterix, Plopsaland De Panne, Walibi Belgium, and Europa Park on my own among other things. 


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