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As a travel addict myself, few things in life excite me more than the prospect of traveling to new places.
I knew that Europa Park was “Europe themed.” (Ahem, the name kind of gives that away) There’s Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Russia, and 11 more countries to “explore” right in Germany’s largest theme park.
^Planning a Trip To Europa Park? Pin It!^
But what shocked me was just how much you felt transported to new lands at each turn. The world around you transforms as you really do feel like you are meandering through “Spain’s” cobblestone streets. You’ll be instantly craving a croissant in “France.” You’ll even wonder if you got lost in a fairytale book in the Grimms Enchanted Forest.
I literally found myself smiling as a lot of it felt REALLY real.
Whether you are going for 1 day or several, here are some Europa Park Tips and Tricks to help you make the most of your day(s) at one of the largest amusement parks in Germany (or actually, in Europe)
Know the Covid Regulations
As of the time of this writing, there were a lot of new Coronavirus rules at Europa-Park. I covered all the major changes and my personal review on how I felt the park has handled Covid and mitigating the risks here.
There are plenty of changes that you’ll need to be aware of though before even arriving at the park. For example, they are limiting guests so you’ll need to pre-book tickets and some things aren’t open as usual. Make sure you are up to date on any new policies so that you don’t get caught off guard.
A few of my personal top tips for Europa Park during Covid is:
- Bring Extra Masks
- Bring Hand Sanitizer
- Read What Europa Park is Doing For Covid Here
Book in Advance
As just stated, during Covid, you have to purchase tickets online and they are limiting the number of guests. Therefore, as soon as you know you are wanting to go, see if there are still available tickets and book in advance. In June, we saw that about 1 week out is about when there were no more tickets available, but I wouldn’t push it, especially during busy times, like August.
Download the App For Virtual Lines
This is a new feature and it was awesome!
After downloading the App and scanning your tickets, it allows you to reserve times for some select roller coasters.
It will offer you a time slot and then all you have to do is show up and walk RIGHT in with almost NO waiting time!
- You need a smartphone to download the App
- You can only queue up for only one ride at a time. This was a bit unfortunate because a time slot for a particular ride might not be for a few hours. By the time you get done with that ride, the next ride might have a really long queue as well. This just made it a bit inconvenient for backtracking in the park a lot. But, it was still worth it
- It’s free!
At time of writing, these are the Europa Park rides that have virtual lines (but I wouldn’t be surprised if more were added quickly)
- Blue Fire
Create a Game Plan Ahead of Time
If you are a hardcore theme parker, or, have kids, I HIGHLY suggest looking at a Europa Park Map ahead of time (or look at it on the App) and create a rough game plan.
Due to the virtual lines, it was a bit difficult for us because we found ourselves backtracking quite a bit just to have access to the virtual lines, and there is really no pre-planning you can do to avoid that since you don’t know when time slots will be available for each ride.
However, if you want to make the most of your day, take a look at the map and at least pick out a handful of rides that you know you absolutely want to do around the park. For example, you may not know what time your Blue Fire virtual line time will be until you are at the park, but if you have looked at the map ahead of time and know of 3-5 rides nearby already picked out, then you won’t be wasting valuable time trying to figure that out, regardless of what time you get for your queue.
I also find it helpful to know where you want to go to first before even arriving. Again, this is just so that as soon as you get there, you can take off running, as opposed to getting there, then taking another 10 minutes looking at the map deciding where to go and what rides to do first.
Eating at Europa Park
So some people complain about the prices at the park, but I have to say that I found them to be extremely reasonable (I mean, for theme park prices, that is!) I’m used to a meal at a theme park costing roughly half my mortgage payment but for a meal of a burger, fries and drink, it was approximately about 8 Euro. That to me is pretty standard “eating out” prices. You can grab a Schnitzel Sandwich or other similar on to go foods for about €3.50 as well.
What I did find expensive were the bottled waters ( €4ish). Disappointingly, I’m not sure if I found one water refill station and many bathrooms said that it was not drinking water. So, that is the one thing I say to definitely bring plenty of (especially on those hot summer days).
As we always like to save a buck (or in this case, a Euro), we still brought our own food for the day. We found a park bench and enjoyed people watching while nibbling on our own apples, cookies, and sandwiches.
Wear Quick Dry and Breathable Clothing
Even if you aren’t planning on doing the water rides, you’ll want breathable, even preferably quick dry clothing. Once you get hot and sweaty, thick clothing is just going to make you more miserable. Wear clothes that will dry quickly either from sweat or from water.
While you are at it, if you are wearing tennis shoes, pack an extra pair of socks. Wet socks and walking can make anyone miserable. Throw in walking all day in wet socks and you’re sure to win the crabby award.
I wore super comfy walking sandals. I have worn these while sight seeing for hours and so I know they are comfortable and will withstand a 10 hour amusement park day and will dry if they get wet.
Use Your Tourist Tax For Parking
If you are staying in the Europa park city of Rust, then you’ll have to pay a tourist tax of 1 Euro per adult per day. You can get a few perks from this though, for example, one free day of parking at the park.
Other Parking Tips
But if you can avoid it, don’t park at the actual park. The line to get into the parking lot was at a standstill traffic for as far as I could see. If you are staying in Rust, you’ll be better off walking to the park than waiting in the looooong line to even just get into the parking lot!
If you have to park on sight though, make sure that you include a parking pass at the time of booking (online) so that you don’t have to wait in a long line at the end of the day to pay for parking.
Get There Early. Stay Late. And Other Line Timing Tricks
Whether you are getting in 30 minutes early because you are staying at the hotel, walking in from Rust, or driving, plan to be there a few minutes before opening. If driving, this means getting there substantially early to avoid traffic jams.
By being one of the first in the park (and with a game plan) you can head straight to the rides you really want to get on and have lower wait times.
We also found that wait times near closing where minuscule. The same ride that took over 30 minutes to get on had almost no line half an hour before closing. We were able to knock out ride after ride right at the end of the day because so many people had already left.
If you can avoid eating between the usual lunch rush hour(s) (Approx 11am-1ish) then you might have a better chance at lower wait times as well, since everyone else is taking their mid day break and lunch at this time.
Use the Monorail and Express Trains to Zip Around
There were a few times where our group split up to do different activities or we needed to get across the park for a Virtual Line reservation quickly. While the monorail only has 3 stops (Luxembourg, Iceland, and Spain), you can definitely use it to at least get CLOSER to where you need to be and save on quite a lot of walking.
Alternatively, you can use the EP Express train to zip around even faster.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
This is probably an obvious. You are at an amusement park where you already know that you’ll be on your feet for most of the day. We all had step monitors and we were averaging around 18,000- 20k steps for the day (that’s roughly 10 miles/16km!)
For some reason, if my feet get cold, I get cold. If my feet get hot, I get hot….and cranky. So, I opted for a pair of sturdy and comfortable walking sandals that I’ve tried and tested on trips throughout Europe and Asia that I knew would last me the long day.
Staying at the Park vs Off Site
I was actually really shocked that the park hotels weren’t absolutely insanely expensive. I mean, still pricey? Sure. But there were plenty of rooms that weren’t completely gasping worthy when I saw the prices, like other Amusement Parks I’ve been to (cough, Disney).
Depending on how long of a stay you are planning on or the goal of your trip, staying at the park hotels really do have some good perks.
- Special Entrance only for hotel guests (aka shorter entrance lines)
- Access to the park 30 minutes prior to general opening time
- Free Pools and Saunas
- Free Fitness areas
- You can go back to your hotel mid-day and be able to re-enter the park
- Free parking at hotel parking lot
We personally chose to stay off site though in Rust. As a group, this just made more sense so that we could all stay together and hang out in a common space. This is also substantially cheaper as well when with a group.
From our AirBnB, it was about a 20 minute walk to the park entrance but only about 10 minutes from the exit. We didn’t have to deal with parking and we also had a fantastic place to stay!
Click Here To See Booking.com options or see what AirBnBs are available
When To Go To Europa Park
Everyone will have differing opinions on this. However, if you can avoid when school holidays are (typically August) for both French and German school kids, you should. Late June in Germany is one of my favorite months for weather. It’s warming up but not too sweltering and there tends to be less rainy days, where May and even early June can be a crap shoot with weather (could still be cold, could definitely be rainy). July and August are going to warm up but with that, you also will have to fight more crowds.
Saturdays are obviously going to be busy but oddly enough, research shows that Mondays are often the next busiest days at theme parks. Some people say that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays are good days to aim for.
We went on a Sunday because that was our only choice and it was busy, but that is just part of going to an amusement park!
What To Bring
- Extra face masks
- Extra socks (wet socks can make anyone miserable!)
- Sun hat
- Plenty of extra water
- Snacks for mid day hangry moments
- Umbrella or rain poncho
- Stroller for kids (more on this next)
- Phone for photos and the App for virtual lines
- Some people wear their swimsuits under their clothes
Tips and Tricks For Europa Park With Kids
Use the Baby Swap!
I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a hush hushed secret thing because I don’t see anyone talking about this and there are NO signs that say, “This way for the Baby Swap Tickets” but these were GOLD!
If you are at Europa Park with young kids and are not utilizing these, you are missing out. They are for parents of families with small children who can’t ride the bigger rides.
Here’s how the Baby Swap works:
- When you enter the ride (don’t wait until you get to the ride itself. Most will have a main entrance to the ride), ask for a Baby Swap ticket here.
- You go through the ride and then whenever your partner is ready, instead of your partner now having to wait in the full line for God knows how long, they get to completely skip the lines!
Here’s How To REALLY Excel With the Baby Swap
Use the virtual lines when applicable so the first parent doesn’t even need to stand in line, either! Ask for the Baby Swap Ticket and then the second parent jets right on through as well! One ride can take less than 15 minutes for both parents!
But wait, there’s more! (said in my best infomercial voice)
Bring along a friend. Ok, maybe this is cheating a bit, but oddly enough, the Baby Swap pass is good for two people. Obviously both parents can’t come at once, so you and your friend do the line and go first. Then, you go get your kids and it’s your partner’s turn but since the pass is good for two people, that means your friend can go AGAIN!
How To Enter the Rides For Baby Swap
As I said, there are NO signs or really any instructions or directions for the entrances for Baby Swap passes.
After you the first partner has the Baby Swap Pass (from the front entrance of the ride) then the other partner can go.
If there is a virtual line at that particular ride, you can just go to that. However, some don’t have virtual lines yet, so you actually awkwardly go to the exit of the ride. You’ll feel like you are breaking major rules as you clearly cross the “No Entry” signs and you salmon your way upstream from the people leaving the ride.
But once you get up to the employees, just flash your pass and they’ll let you right on! Bam!
Look Up The Rides, Ages, and Height Ahead of Time
Depending on the age of your kids, this may or may not be an issue, however, it was for our group.
My poor toddler. He just wants to be a big kid!! And unfortunately, he’s just like his mama who LOVES adrenaline, meaning he wanted on those rides!!! There weren’t a ton of “rides” that he could go on though, so it was sometimes tough balancing adult adrenaline rushes with kid’s rides with squirmy toddlers. However, there were still several that he could partake in (sleigh ride, carousal, a car drive, a few rafts and boat rides, etc).
If you’ve got a kiddo under 3, I highly recommend looking up with rides they can go on ahead of time and circling them on the map so you have them at the ready.
Another restriction is 100 cm and 4 years old. Luckily, my other kiddo is 4 and juuuuust right at 100 cm. Phew! He was still limited on some of the bigger rides, but this opened up quite a few for him. This was the first time he had ever been on a “real roller coaster” and I thought the Europa Park rides did a phenomenal job of having ones for all ages. Sure, there were the “kiddy” rides, like the up and down airplanes, or a boat that just goes in circles, but some of them were legit, harnessed roller coasters that weren’t TOO scary but not too timid, either!
YES. BRING THE STROLLER!
If you’ve ever seen pictures of me traveling with my kids, you probably have noticed that I never, and I mean NEVER bring a stroller. I always baby wear. Even my 4 year old has a hiking pack. I personally just hate pushing around strollers but a theme park is different.
And even if your kids are out of stroller days, consider bringing lightweight travel or umbrella stroller (This is the one I use for travel). A long day at a hot park where you are walking all day, are overstimulated, and hungry can make anyone cranky, especially children.
We brought our Tula and our stroller and both were used almost constantly between the 2 and 4 year old. The nice thing about a stroller is that you can always shove all your food, stuff, spares, and waters in there rather than lugging it around on your back.
Pro Tip: I didn’t see any issues with this and plenty of people left their strollers unattended, but bring along an easy to use bike lock if you are worried about your stroller while you are on a ride.
Bring a Swimsuit For The Kids
There are a few water areas for the kids, such as a HUGE splash park that the kids will love as a break during the hot summer months. Instead of them walking around in soaking wet clothes for the rest of the day, have their swimming suits on hand.
Do As Much Kids Stuff As Possible Early
While they are still fresh and eager, get in some of the bigger rides. That way, if things go south with moods later on in the day, you will have gotten in some of the best the park has to offer.
We also LOVED the Enchanted Forest area and the ARTHUR ride. There is an entire indoor section that is a kids dreamland there, especially for the younger kids.
Afternoons are good times for shows if needed where they can just sit down and not have to worry about being in the sun or walking as much.
Bring ALL The Snacks
Every veteran parent knows that on days like this, you should pack enough snacks to feed an army. No. Several armies.
Obviously don’t bring along things that could melt (aka chocolate) but we found things like fruit bars, actual fruit, crackers, etc were all great for grab and go distractions when a kid (ok, or adult) was getting Hangry.
Pack Your Own Lunch
While the prices could be much worse, if you’ve got a family, buying food on site can add up quickly. You are allowed to bring in your own food and drink, so take advantage of that and have a fun picnic lunch at one of the playgrounds.
Remember There Will Be Meltdowns
Just go with the flow. Don’t try to overdo it and if you see one of your kids on their way to meltdown city, adjust course. Maybe you stop and eat. Maybe you find a playground (there are several throughout the park) for them to have some time on. Maybe you put them in the stroller for them to get a quick snooze. It’s sometimes hard as a parent when you just shelled out a lot of money for a park pass and you want to get in as much as possible, but remember they can’t go go go as fast and as hard as you. Take it easy with them and follow their lead.
FAQs About Europa Park
Where Is Europa Park?
Europa Park is in Rust, Germany in the state of Baden-Württemberg and about a stone’s throw from the France border.
Europa park is about
- 1 hour 45 minutes from Frankfurt
- 2 hours from Stuttgart
- 50 minutes from Strasbourg (France)
- 4 hours from Munich
When Is The Best Time To Go To Europa Park?
I personally think June and September are good months to go to Europa Park, especially if you go during the week. In June, you should have pretty good weather, give or take. Avoid July and August if you can because that is when France and then Germany ha their school holidays so it can be quite packed. September kids are back in school, so it can be a nice time to go as well, especially if you don’t plan on too many water rides if it is cooler.
I thought this was a really handy tool to help gauge good days to go Europa Park.
Can I Bring Food Into Europa Park?
Absolutely and I actually recommend it to help save a few bucks.
How Many Days For Europa Park?
This is going to depend entirely on you. You can do Europa Park in just 1 day or can stay for multiple.
We personally only stayed one day. With two little ones, any more than that and I was afraid the exhaustion and over stimulus would have just resulted in a bunch of crabby pants! However, I will say, we didn’t even really make a dent in the park and there was so much more that we could have done. However, for our family and situation, we had a really great balance of kiddie rides and all the major adult rides. Could we have done more on following days? Sure. But I also didn’t feel like we missed on TOO much.
On the other hand, our friends stayed three days and loved it. They did Europa Park on the first and third day and did the Rustlantica Aqua Park in the middle. They went back and did more kiddie rides on the third day, taking it slow and easy and were really glad they had all three days to fully enjoy all the parks had to offer.
How Much Are Europa Park Tickets?
Our tickets in 2020 were $55 per adult, $47 for the kids, and under 4 was free. You can check current prices here
Are There Europa Park Discounts?
It’s hard to find legit Europa Park coupons or discounts. There are a few like senior citizens, ones for people with disabilities, and discounts for groups over 20 people.
Sometimes there are also discounts for booking ahead or for certain periods of time.
You can see if they are running any official discounts or specials here.
What Time Is Europa Park Open?
Europa Park is open from 9am-6pm (7pm on Saturdays and Sundays) in the summer and from 11am-7pm during the winter.
If you are staying at the hotels, you can enter the park 30 minutes before it is open to the public (IE: 8:30am in the summer)
Are you heading to Europa Park soon? What questions do you have that we can help you with so you can have the best and most fun-filled day(s) possible?