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Re: The Graf family around the world - Trip Reports

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:00 am
by Canobie Coaster
I definitely need to ride Expedition GeForce at night someday. With all the trees next to it, the ride must be almost pitch black.

Great report!

Re: The Graf family around the world - Trip Reports

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:40 am
by Pedrinho
Yes, and you have to add the fact that during the halloween season the park is open until 11 pm and the coaster is located above the rapid river, giving some nice, natural fog effects!

Re: The Graf family around the world - Trip Reports

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:27 pm
by Pedrinho
Photo trip report from Europa Park, Rulantica, Freiburg and Straßburg, January 10th to 14th 2020

After we had a really tough December with illness, family in hospital and no Christmas or New Years feeling at all due to this, we decided to make our long planned short trip to Rulantica, the new water park that belongs to Europa Park. We went with my best man and his fiancée.
Due to Sarah's pregnancy we only planned for one day at Europa Park. The second day we went to Rulantica. On the third day, we visited the Schauinsland near Freiburg and on our way home we made a stop in Straßburg and visited the European Parliament.

We stayed at Kiefer Apartments for the second time. If you plan to visit either Europa Park or Rulantica and don't want to stay onsite, we very highly recommend Mrs. Kiefer's apartments. They are a five minute walk away from the park, you'll get free parking and the apartments are huge, clean and cheap.

We went to Europa Park on Saturday 11th. As Rulantica was already fully booked for this day, we expected an also full park, but it was nowhere near crowded. The longest wait we had was for our night ride on Wodan - 25 minutes. Weather was perfect - especially for mid-January.
After we entered the park, we first separated. My best man and me went to the coasters, his fiancée went with Sarah and Paul for the smaller things Paul could do. As it was my best man's first visit to the park, all coasters were new for him, why it was cool for me to see his reactions. We had a 15 minute wait for Eurosat CanCan Coaster in the front row. It was very good, perfectly smooth. I kind of miss the old "effects", but I'm also good with the new setting. He liked it pretty much.
After that, we went to Silver Star. Also a 15 minute wait for the back row (front would have been plus another 15 minutes, so we skipped that). It was running pretty good. In April, with really warm weather, we had two terrible rides and skipped it for the rest of our stay. This time there was no rattling and strong airtime. Seeing that it was the second to last day of their season, it was running awesome. I love the Europa Park maintenance crews.
Our next coaster was Euro-Mir. Back in the days, it was one of my favourite rides at the park. Now I hate it. I was so glad the effects (music and spinning cars) on the lift were working again (which didn't in April), but the first drop with all the rattling, shaking and banging it has was only the start of a terrible ride. I'm pretty sure this was my last ride on this coaster unless someone I really trust tells me different things. It's shocking for me to see, that this piece of scrap metal is eight years younger than the perfectly smooth old Eurosat they tore down in 2017.
Now our stomachs and spines needed some rehab, so we went for a walk to Scandinavia. I could explain some interesting facts to my best man and we enjoyed the incredibly nice decorations they made for the Wintertraum. The park was so peaceful and pretty, so very different than in the summer.
Next on our list was Blue Fire. A 20 minute wait was proclaimed on the entrance. In reality we waited six minutes plus one train for row 2, which is always a good alternative against ten to fifteen more minutes for row 1. As my friend was really blasted by the ride, we invested the saved time for a second ride in the back row and I told him to ride on the left side, the best seat if you ask me. There's this awesome hang time on the first overbank and this sudden acceleration when the train drops down from it. And, of course, this pop of ejector air you get out of the MCBR!
Hyped up as we were we took Wodan as our last ride before lunch and got on row two after a 15 minute wait. Wodan was really hauling and provided a stunning ride. My friend decalred it the most intensive ride he ever had on a coaster.
We met the girls and Paul for lunch in the pub in Ireland. We got told that they did numerous kiddie rides without waits and Paul also tried out every single bobby car. We had a very good lunch, not to believe this was park food! We strongly recommend to get lunch there to everyone visiting the park.
After lunch we did the Old MacDonald's Tractor Fun, which Paul loves very much. My friend convinced his fiancée to do the Ba-a-a-Express and she really enjoyed it. Now they have a credit I don't have! But I want to wait to ride it with my kid(s). Now Paul was done for the day, so he took a nap in the hand cart an we went to the ferris wheel, which provided a pretty good view over the park. I went dark now, so my friend and me wanted to do a final ride on a coaster and, after my recommendation, we decided to do a night ride on Wodan's back row. We had a 25 minute wait, but it was well worth it. I love the disorientation you get on Wodan in the dark. It really reminds me on Mystic Timbers, but Mystic Timbers is a bit more aggresive and the feeling at night is even more out-of-control.
We rejoined with the others and took a slow walk home through the nicely lit up park. As Paul woke up again, we made a stop at the sleigh ride in Russia. I love his looks while being on this ride.
After a little snack I convinced the others to do the Voletarium. It was my plan to leave this for the very end to get them a incredible last action before leaving the park for the first time. It was one hour to park close, but there was no line at the Voletraium. We got seats in the middle of the top row and even if I knew every single thing that came on the screen, it was still awesome. But the most awesome thing for me was the looks of the other two when the curtain opened and the cart went outside. I won. They were baffeled! So we ended our visit there, went home and to dinner.

On Sunday, 12th, we had tickets for Rulantica. As Rulantica was also fully booked on this day, we expected mayhem. But no, the whole visit was very good. If you are managing your sliding times by checking the screens, you'll have no problem riding everything you want multiple times, even on a fully booked day. I can't remember all the pseudo nordic names. As I also don't remember any order in which we did the attractions, I'll just tell you how we found them:
Snorris Saga: The lazy river. I goes through the wohle park, has a big tunnel with video screens, where the story is told. Very nicely themed. You've got tubes for two and Paul was able and allowed to sit between us. We did it dozens of times, one time we did four spins in a row. Really peaceful, the zen moment of your Rulantica day!
Wave pool: Standard wave pool, but it was interesting to me that there were three "areas". In the shallow (sha-la-la-la-low) even Paul was able to enjoy the pool. He's 20 months now and cannot swim. But he had so much fun there. I liked it. Im the middle of the pool are huge breaking waves. It's good that it's not too deep over there. But if you go to the very front, the amplitude of the waves may be up to four feet, but they aren't breaking anymore so you're just swimming up and down.
Slide ship: In the middle of the park are two ships. One has three family slides which are pretty fast, but just good for the wohle family. Even pregnant Sarah could do them without a problem. On the other one is a parcours where you can "walk over water", some swimming and moving platforms.
Free fall slides: Those went to be one of our highlights in Rulantica! Sadly, the green one broke down and never reopened, but compared to the only other drop slides I ever experienced (Cedar Point Shores) it was very stunning, disorientating and just good!
Wild river: Not as good as in the Center Parcs we have been, but a nice addition.
Double tube racing slides: A really good addition. Two almost identical slides, two people per tube. On both tracks there's an airtime bumb shortly after the beginning and a double down at the end. Very much fun.
Steep face slide: Kind of our highlight of the day! Four people per raft and after the stunning drop we went almost to the top of the wall on both rides giving an awesome airtime moment for the rider on top and a lot of Gs in the pullout. I highly recommend this!
Family raft slide: There's also a similar long family slide which is pretty fast an fun. My advice would be to ride it when the line is less than ten minutes. More is too much.
Jumping slide: My first time on a jumping slide. It was good - not more, not less. Solid attraction.
There was another racing slide we didn't do.
At the children's area there were quite many little attractions, but we could't do most of them because Paul was still too young.
The biggest letdown in Rulantica was the food. It was ba far the worst food I ever at Europa Park. It was just the bad side of fast food, like Mc Donald's in cheap. In no way recommendable. The second thing that needs improvement are the family changing rooms. They are bigger than the normal ones, yes. But we are two adults with one kid, the minimum requirement for a family room, and there was hardly enough place for us. Not imaginable for more people.

On Monday, 13th, we took a trip to Freiburg. We went to the suburb of Horben and took the lift to the summit of the Schauinsland and walked to the very top. Great views if the weather is on your side. Highly recommended if you are at Europa Park and want to do something different, do that! The city center of Freiburg is only ten minutes away, so you can easily end the day in the bars there.

On Tuesday, 14th, we drove home and made a stop at the European Parliament in Straßburg. You can visit it for free and were able to attend the debate. It was pretty interesting!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed our trip report. Here are some photos of our tour: