Europa Park sets attendance record as it looks toward expansion

January 11, 2018, 5:41 PM · Germany's Europa Park is reporting that it set an attendance record in 2017, with more than 5.6 million visitors coming through the gates last year.

The Mack family park last summer opened Europe's largest flying theater attraction, Voletarium, which the park said helped drive higher attendance in the late summer months. Comparing Europa Park's reported number for 2017 with the 2016 TEA/AECOM Theme Index report, the German park had a slight increase over the previous year's attendance, which placed it 20th in the world and second in Europe, after Disneyland Paris and ahead of Walt Disney Studios Paris and Efteling. Relative to the American parks, Europa Park's visitor numbers would place in the attendance chasm between Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld Orlando.

Unlike those other parks, however, Europa Park is not open year-round and is closed from now through March 23 for its traditional winter downtime.

CanCan Coaster concept art

For 2018, Europa Park is rebuilding the Eurosat Mack Rides roller coaster than runs in the park's iconic geodesic dome. (The one that makes it look like Europe's Epcot doppelganger.) The park is rebuilding the track and installing new trains, while giving the entrance a Moulin Rouge-style overlay, as the park renames the experience the CanCan Coaster. The park also is adding a second station to the coaster, with a shift track, to accommodate the use of its Coastiality virtual reality option on the coaster.

Beyond the changes in the France section of the park, Europa Park has started construction its second gate, the Rulantica water park that will open in 2019. The new park will feature a 32,600-square-meter indoor area that will be open year-round, as well as 17 water slides, Germany's biggest wave pool, and a "Mystery River" — all with a Nordic theme.

Here is the backstory video for Rulantica, from Europa Park:

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January 11, 2018 at 10:30 PM · Number 2 park on my bucket list, behind Tokyo Disney Resort. Will get here someday!!!

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