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WATER PARK: Rulantica

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Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 1/2020 vom 16.12.2019

It took 23 years for the development of the idea, an intensive planning phase of a whole six years, and 26 months of pure building time, before finally, on the 28th of November the attraction opened at a cost of 180 million Euro, the largest investment ever made since the existence of Europa-Park. The result is however less a water park, and much more a water-experience world!

Artikelbild für den Artikel "WATER PARK: Rulantica" aus der Ausgabe 1/2020 von Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition. Dieses epaper sofort kaufen oder online lesen mit der Zeitschriften-Flatrate United Kiosk NEWS.

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There were several opening ceremonies during the more than four-week trial period; here the most spectacular evening for the 70th birthay of Roland Mack

The main problem for years was how many square metres should be outdoor, and ...

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... how many must be indoor for a profitable operation in Germany with mostly short summer periods. The solution for the Mack family was a water park with a total area of 32,600 m² containing an 11,000 m² sized shellshaped main hall, where most of the 25 attractions are located, and an 8,000 m² sized outside area for summer operation.

The chosen theme probably causes both astonishment and enthusiasm at the same time, the park having orientated on Disney’s Blizzard Beach Waterpark. In very warm Florida, visitors meet up with a snow-covered skiing world, which in Germany seems perhaps a little icy. In this country, those hungry for water fun experiences expect a stereotypical tropical ambience that is contrary to the surrounding, cold (winter) landscape. Michael Mack: “Right from the beginning, it was very clear to us that we didn’t want any palms. The northern hemisphere is better suited to us in the Black Forest, better than a Hawaiian or the tropic theme.”

A balancing act that functions as there are no glaciers, ski runs or Ice-Bobs as in Florida, but an imaginative Nordic experience world, convincing with a lot of wood and jagged rock formations. Another difference is pointed out by Senior Consultant (and earlier water park operator) Chip Cleary: “Normally a water park stretches out on a plain area. But we didn’t want to organise everything on just one level, but realized a multilayer construction.” And actually visitors do enter the park from above, a number of attractions run on various levels, and the “Komfort Hyddas” that can be booked at a surcharge, are located in an exclusive location.

During the day the unusual theming is convincing, but in the evenings a completely different world opens up to the visitors, as it’s then that the Nordic design appears in the background. Fantastic lighting that is multiply reflected in the water dominates the scene … a sea of colourful lights that makes the Erdinger Weißbier or the cocktail at the “Skogbar” taste even better.

The impressive size of the Rulantica water park including the themed hotel

With the theming as a unique selling point in Europe, the new water experience world shines supraregionally. And naturally the water park, eagerly awaited for a long time, will be an important and successful Second Gate at Europa-Park, together with the contributions of the six park owned themed hotels opened all year round, with a total of 5,181 beds. However, the indoor water park market in Germany is doing rather well, and to develop an even more powerful beacon effect, which the unique Europa-Park has done for decades now, a really spectacular attraction was required that exists nowhere else in Germany or even Europe. Such a sliding option is offered by both the parties concerned as well as other manufacturers. Perhaps such an option is already in the pipeline; in any case phase 2 is already in planning, which could well emerge directly near the Rulantica-hall. Initially though the park explicitly wanted no extreme thrill rides on offer, but particularly attractions ideal for the typical Europa-Park public – families with older children and young persons. And also without any further extension stages: Rulantica is a complete, all-embracing and convincing indoor water world right from the start, which leaves noting to be desired for water slide fans as well as family guests to Europa-Park. Improvements therefore are not necessary, actually quite the opposite: Already four weeks before the official opening everything was completed so that an extensive trial operation with a total of 10,000 bathing guests could be under - taken. In addition to the wave pool “Surf Fjørd”, the 250 metres long lazy river “Snorri‘s Saga”, the wild river “Vildstrøm” in the outside area, and the kiddie land “Trølldal”, there are 17 family slides as well action packed slides.

Whilst the Canadian manufacturer ProSlide delivered the GFK for the large tube slides, the German firm Aquarena manufactured two freefall slides together with the AquaRocket, as well as all other body slides. Additionally, the complete planning including the steel construction, German approval procedures, the complete build up, and the total kiddie area including theming was taken over.

The author of the Rulantica novel: Michaela Hanauer

The mascot Snorri is everywhere as a supporter and even connects the water park with the Europa-Park

The double free fall slide „Dugdrop & Vildfål” is the most adre na line rich slide on offer

The attractions are apportioned in nine theme lands, which merge together seamlessly. In frosty “Vinterhal”, the spectacular “Vinter Rytt” (a 125 m long and 15 m high “TornadoWave”) leads past the frozen sea snake Svalgur. Up to four persons glide upwards on an almost vertical wall in a tube. On the “Stormvind” (a 130 m long and 15 m high “Cannon- Bowl”), the ride begins in the double tubes directly with a drop into the depths, and ends in a huge maelstrom. “Svalgur Rytt” is a rafting slide with 4- passenger tubes (a 207 m length and 19 m high “Mammoth”), and “Två Fall” can be conquered in 2- person tubes (a 130 m long and 15 m high “Pipe - line”).

And it’s all exciting in the city “Rangnakor” as well: In the case of “Dugdrob & Vildfål”, the trap door opens and guests fall in a freefall (two mirror image 110 m long and 19 m high “AquaRocket” slides with horizontal loopings). Another speedy slide duel is guaranteed on the “Odinrås” with the parallel running attractions “Hugin” and “Munin” (a “Duelling Pipeline” each with a 134 m length and a starting height of 19 m).

Even the smallest bathing guests are offered a type of kidding-racing-slide: Already from the age of 3 years, the kids can experience the “Schabernakker” double slide (each 23 m long and 3 m high). Further kiddie slides are the open “Tommelplums” (15 m long) and the pipe slide “Kullerbuller” (10 m long).

„Snorri’s Saga” is a cozy lazy river and „Vinter Rytt” is the most spectacular water slide in Rulantica

A real meeting point is the attractive pool bar in „Skog Lagune” (f.l.): Michael Kreft von Byern, Chip Cleary, Roland Mack, Rick Hunter, Jeff Janovich, Rainer Braun (rear) and Charles Botta

The 450,000 m² sized extension area, where the new hotel and the water park are situated, is around two kilometres away from Europa-Park and is for the first time not in the city district of Rust. This means that the whole resort ist spread out into two different, but very close working small communities.

Although not a single tree had to be felled, compensatory measures were undertaken. The energy and water management is also exemplary: A photovoltaic system generates 1.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, and the water for the pools is fed from the park’s own well, which is of bathing quality but not suitable for drinking.

Less environmentally friendly on the other hand is the uninspired shuttle bus service between Rulantica and Europa-Park. Here there could have been a continuation or an additional loop to the “E.P. Express” monorail – or even the first step for a cableway that perhaps later, as planned, would lead further over the Rhine to France.

Even Rulantica is not Germany’s largest water park, but it is one with the most water slides, and the only one with fully themed attractions! And more: With its unique and continuous overall theming on the one hand, and the wide-range choice of various slide types on the other, the park is clearly playing in the European champion league. One must sincerely congratulate the Mack Family!

The fact that Michael Mack in particular uses various narratives to connect some attractions with a type of overall theming was known at the very latest since the opening of the “Voletarium” (a Brogent flying theatre) in 2017. However, with the Nordic saga “Rulantica”, a new dimension has been reached. The fantasy world of Rulantica was created long before the first excavator rolled in. Authoress Michaela Hanauer tells of the mermaid Aquina and her sixarmed octopus friend Snorri, and the youngster Mats in the 240-page fantasy novel of the same name (in German only).

The big „Surf Fjord” is the center of the water world

The Nordic-mystical theming and the characters in the Rulantica water park are all completely based on the story in the novel. But another ride (more about “Snorri Touren” in this edition), and the “Rulantica Musical” at Europa-Park also use this storyline. Thomas Mack: “There’s no other theme park in Europe that attaches so much importance to original musical compositions.”

“Rulantica Musical” at Europa-Park also use this storyline. Thomas Mack: “There’s no other theme park in Europe that attaches so much importance to original musical compositions.” attraction with ‘Yullbe’ technology from Mack NeXT.” There’s not a lot of information available about this attraction, nevertheless it will apparently be equipped – with a small technology backpack, VRhelmet, hand and foot tracker – where up to 50 guests will be able to experience this new type of ultimate virtual reality. Two large rooms are available for the attraction at Rulantica.

The most fun slide is the „Odinrås” racing slide

A Rulantica day ticket costs around 40 Euro. The tickets must be reserved online before visiting under tickets.rulantica.de as the capacity is limited to 5,000 guests daily or alternatively a maximum of 3,500 gain entry at the same time. Around 700,000 visitors are expected annually.

The water park is connected directly to the new 4 star superior hotel “Krønasår – The Museum-Hotel” by a bridge. Overnight accommodation prices are orientated on both other water park premium resorts in Germany (which are Therme Erding and Tropical Islands): For example, a 4-person family overnight stay including water park cost almost 400 Euro for a weekend in May.

Jürgen, Michael, Roland und Thomas Mack in „Trølldal” (from left) / photo below: Roland Mack „delutes” the Rulantica bathing water with a small bottle of holy water

Photos: Europa-Park Frank Lanfer Dr. Thoma