10 Tips from an Expat to Survive Germany's Biggest Theme Park—Europa Park
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
We visited Europa Park over a 3-day weekend, as well as Strasbourg, Gertwiller, Monkey Mountain and Colmar.
When we arrived at our hotel last night, Eugene welcomed us and we filled out a sheet of paper indicating our breakfast order for the morning. He advised us to try the fruit salad, because his mom makes it and it’s very good. When the fruit salad arrived in the morning we thought, “what’s so special? It’s just cut up fruit in a cup...” But, then we tried it and I have to say, it was excellent fruit salad. Eugene no lie.
Where to Stay Near Europa Park
We enjoyed our delicious breakfast at La Toscana. They normally have a shuttle that will take you to the park, but it’s not permitted to operate right now due to Social Distancing requirements and COVID-19.
We ended up driving to the park, which was actually great because we could get there a little before they opened and stay as long as we wanted.
It was only €7 to park all day at the park.
Typically, Europa Park has 50,000 daily attendees and it’s common to wait an hour or two for a ride, especially the popular rides like Wodan and Blue Fire.
Europa is currently limited to 15,000 people admitted per day.
I think the longest we had to wait in a line the entire day was maybe 20 or 30 minutes?
The park was so empty! At times we were the only people in line for a ride. Once, we didn’t even have to get off the ride. We straight went for a second round through because there was no one waiting to get on it.
It was a weird feeling to walk around an empty theme park. At times it felt like something was wrong. We did have to wear masks the whole day, which was pretty hot, but at least we could take them off walking around the park where we could safely social distance.
Immediately when we arrived, we darted to the rides at the back of the park that typically build up long lines. We waited maybe 2 or 3 minutes and rode Blue Fire and then Wodan. I was NOT expecting the Wodan coaster to be so fast! It’s a wooden roller coaster and I just thought, okay this looks old, it’s probably not that exciting... but it ended up being our favorite!
10 Tips for Enjoying (& Surviving) Europa Park
1. Download the EuropaPark app before you arrive: Check out the map before you go to the park. The app will show you the wait times for all the rides throughout the park as well as how far it is to get to each one from where you’re standing. The most popular rides have virtual lines, so while you’re in line for one ride you can queue at a another, kind of like a Fast Pass. We made sure we were always in a virtual line and got to go straight on to rides without a wait! You can also filter by ride type to find roller coasters, family-friendly rides, or rides with baby switch. (Europa Park has several rides with baby switch where parents can come through the line together with an infant or child who is too young to ride and switch off at the front of the line to ride. )
2. Buy your parking pass in the app first thing or at one of the kiosks: You can pay for parking in the app, or at the kiosks as you enter the park. Do this at the beginning of the day, so that you don’t have to stand in long ines as you exit the park at the end of the day when you’re tired. This is also the time to visit souvenir shops, as there will be huge lines at the end of the day with everyone exiting the park. Social Distancing means only a couple people can be in the shops at a time, and you’ll find yourself waiting in line for 30 minutes just to get into the gift shops.
3. Access the free Wi-Fi areas in the park: don’t drain your data!
4. Plan on buying 1 meal and 1 or 2 snacks in the park: One of the fun things about Europa Park is that each area of the park is a different European country. This means each area of the park serves different types of food specific to that country. We found food prices to be reasonably priced. (Of course, they were more expensive than the grocery store, but not as outlandish as most theme parks) To eat at the restaurants will be a bit more expensive, but there’s lots of snacks that are a couple euros. We ended up eating breakfast at our hotel, brought lunch with us in our bags and some snacks (you can take food into the park) and ate dinner at The Food Loop Restaurant. At this restaurant your food gets delivered to you on metal coaster tracks, right to your table! It was fun. If you’re a fan of Rube Goldberg Machines, this place will be right up your alley.
5. Carry a little water, but not a lot: you can fill up water bottles everywhere throughout the park. Don’t waste money buying water in the park, just bring a water bottle. Save weight in your bag and just fill it up when you need water.
6. Don’t waste your time on the VR Coasters: You can pay extra to ride two VR rides inside Europa Park. We rode one of them and found it wasn’t worth the extra money you pay. The rides are extremely short and the VR quality is quite low. The rides also made us extremely motion sick.
7. Bring a couple ziplock baggies or a small dry bag: There are some fun water rides at Europa Park, and it’s easy to get wet on them. Stow away a couple zip locks in your bag for your phones or other electronics to keep them dry while you ride these rides.
8. Carry a small bag: Many of the rides have a spot where you can stow your bag while you ride. It’s nice to have something small like a fanny pack or small backpack.
9. Things worth bringing: sunscreen, chapstick, moisturizer/small lotion, deodorant or deodorant wipes to refresh yourself throughout the day (it’s hot and you’re walking around a lot), water bottle, ziplock baggies, band aids, power bank, sunglasses, face mask and an extra face mask (in case yours comes off on a ride), motion sickness medicine (if you’re like me and need it...), euros to get food/souvenirs, something to do while you stand in line (book, game, etc.) we love playing Heads Up on our phones, and hand sanitizer.
10. If you’re gong to play them, then play the carnival games at the end of the day: I watched several people win the giant stuffed animals at the beginning of the day... and then have to cart them around the park all day. Not fun.
End the day in France with your feet in the water: There’s a lighted fountain show in France. It’s an excellent place at the end of the day to sit down, put your tired achey feet in the cold water, and take a breather! After walking all day, your feet will thank you.
You can find all the information you need about getting to Europa Park, buying tickets, current regulations and restrictions on their website.