Europa Park opens Europe's largest flying theater attraction

June 2, 2017, 11:33 AM · Germany's Europa Park — the most-visited theme park in Europe not named "Disneyland Paris" — has opened the most expensive attraction in its history.

Voletarium is a flying theater attraction that takes riders on a fanciful tour above Europe. Accompanied by symphony orchestra soundtrack and filmed with Red Weapon cameras at multiple locations across the continent, the Holger Tappe film takes visitors on an adventure engineered by characters Eckbert and Kaspar Eulenstein, who wished to fly across Europe one day.

Locations include Venice, the Aletsch Glacier, Norwegian fjords, European Parliament in Strasbourg, and — of interest to stateside Disney theme park fans — Neuschwanstein Castle and the Matterhorn.

Matterhorn, from Voletarium

Ten of the 15 scenes are filmed, while five include animated imagery. FWIW, I think it's refreshing that MackMedia acknowledged that it used animation in the production of Voletarium. I think a lot of visitors who see these types of films — notably Disney's new version of Soarin' — are curious about which scenes are "real" and which are CGI. For Voletarium, the animated scenes are the Eiffel Tower, Neuschwanstein (both of which appear in the new Soarin', too), Scho¨nbrunn Palace in Austria, Dutch tulip fields, and Spain's La Mancha. The rest of the film is the real deal.

Europa Park said that the attraction can accommodate 1,400 guests per hour across its two theaters. The park is selling timed-return ride reservation tickets to the show, as an alternative to the standby queue included with park admission.

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Replies (9)

June 2, 2017 at 12:55 PM · So they basically copied Disney
June 2, 2017 at 3:31 PM · How much did Voletarium cost Europa Park to build? Could Knott's Berry Farm license the technology to produce a similar flying theater attraction based on America west of the Rockies? How many people would love to see Knott's Berry Farm take over the California/western theme that Disney is abandoning?
June 3, 2017 at 4:15 AM · Personally, if I live in Europe and visit a theme park, I don't want to see more of where I live. I want to see things and places that I may never see in real life, eg Hawai, the Amazon. I could say the same if I lived in the states - at a US park I'd want to see other countries on such attractions.
June 3, 2017 at 4:56 AM · They may have copied Disney, but appear to have actually improved on the concept. If Disneyland Paris had its own soarin attraction I'd agree and say it was a poor choice for a big investment. Parks like Europa park and Efteling keep investing big, increasing attendance, and in turn improving profits. All this leads to a better guest experience. Disneyland paris needs to take a leaf out of this particular book.
June 3, 2017 at 7:59 AM · These kinds of rides have a place in every theme park, and I wouldn't be suprised to see Six Flags copy them for their chain in a few years.
June 3, 2017 at 9:36 AM · Flying theaters were all over IAAPA last fall. So, yeah.
June 3, 2017 at 9:55 AM · I don't see how they improved on the concept, can anyone explain? The picture looks exactly like Soarin. Now, Avatar's Flight of Passage seems to have vastly improved on the concept.

Six Flags could have their own, maybe with a CGI DC theme. But they already have VR on their coasters, so a flying theater may be a letdown, except for people who can't ride coasters.

I know what would be a great concept, have the theater in a complete sphere, with the seat arrangement hanging from the ceiling like a pendulum, which would swing and turn and rotate within that sphere and the movie would be projected on the whole inner side of the sphere. Disney could do this with Spaceship Earth, although you would probably have to have multiple theaters.

June 3, 2017 at 11:03 AM · Nah, you just do one in the top half of the sphere, and a second theater in the bottom half for everyone who wants to ride upside-down. (Stupid... or brilliant?)
June 5, 2017 at 1:39 PM · Just rode the new ride at europapark. While I feel they rushed the opening a bit (some very apparent construction problems) The ride is a new experience for Europeans and equals Disney and Universal rides.
Europapark has come a long way since its early Disney copycat rides. Arthur is an example of a ride that Disney and Universal should take a close look at.

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