We took advantage of the hot weather in the beginning of September to take a look at the new Irish area in the ‘world best theme park’. Why? To discover all about there newest area: Ireland!
As usual, there were high expectations, but with quite a few question marks. It was the first time that the park took a classic area and re-themed it, instead of creating a new one from scratch. “Welt der Kinder” was poorly themed and desperate for an upgrade. It only contained some slides, a carousel and a few smaller ride. This explains the choice of completely re-thinking the area by giving it a new theme and adding some more rides. They took a risk by adapting a classic, but the least we can say is that Europa-Park won the bet and that Ireland is a 100% success.
The first impression is more than good: it’s the quality we are used to. Everything has been completely themed, decorated, with EP’s specific mix of highly detailed and giving it a realistic theme. The area has a magical atmosphere with a touch of humor everywhere. This is one of the best parts of this new area. As it is a kiddie area, there are a lot of pleasantly childish jokes in the theming. It has a lot of funny elements and brings you back in a childish state of mind made of joy, awe and innocence. The funniest part of it is the sheep figurines that are dispatched in the whole area and just make you feel good by watching them. And the theming is of course very cliché Irish. Theming wise, I think our opinion is clear. The feeling of an incomplete former area is completely gone and now replaced by the immersive delight from the incredible Europa-Park theming.
But now, let’s switch to what was certainly the most difficult part about this re-theming, integrating new rides without losing the achievements of the former area. And here again, the only thing we can say is, well done EP. There is just nothing to complain about, we just loved the new addition, and nobody is going to miss the old area, as everything what was there is still there in a different way, if not a better way. As it was the area of the park that was the most dedicated to the smaller kids, the big risk was to lose that purpose. But if the kids had fun in the Welt der Kinder, they will just love Ireland. Most of the rides have been kept, and just (greatly) re-themed, and the new additions are even better. Here’s an overview.
Something that was really missing in the parks in the offer for small children, was a kiddie coaster. The 13th coaster of the park is now here: the BA-A-A Express. It is a kiddie coaster from the highest quality, because even with it’s basic layout, it has excessive theming, and butter smooth, which cannot be said about most kiddie coasters.
One of the main rides in the area is this swinging ship, which is a nice surprise. As the park already has a regular one, this one had to bring something different. This Kontiki ride can be found in quite some parks but here it has a unique twist. The ride is completely indoor so no need to worry about bad weather. Even if it’s not a highly thrilling ride, it is very enjoyable, especially with children.
Old Mac Donald’s Tractor Fun
This cute tractor ride is the least interesting for us fans. This ride is made of some little tractors in which you can make a small tour. They’re very well themed the kids should definitely enjoy it, but it is very short as you just make a little circle. Besides that, the park has already quite a few similar rides in the park. Only difference being that this one is adapted for the smallest kids.
Tower Tow and Quipse Paddle Boats
These two popular rides for the very young remains the same, but where integrated in totally new theming with lots of rocks and an old castle tower in ruins. Both rides got a repaint too to better fit the new theming.
Unlike the two rides mentioned before, this flat ride received not only a new surrounding theming, but the whole ride got a new look, and the single boats of the carousel now have a new design that besser fit to the Irish theme.
Maybe the only disappointing change is that this ride got not a single change. The theming around it is completely new, but the ride is still located in a Viking style house and none of the ride elements where changes. Even if this theming is not completely out of the Irish theme, we can feel that it was not designed to fit with the rest of the area.
Limerick Castle & Paul’s Playboat
Looking to the other activities to do, the slides are gone, replaced by some other ones but very similar. To slide on them however, you need to climb up in an exciting beautiful old castle tower.
They also added a major addition making Ireland way better than ‘Welt der Kinder’, namely a giant indoor playground. Unfortunately, we regrettably were to old to enter… But just from what we saw, there is enough fun in it to keep children busy for a few days even.
The O’ Mackay’s Café and Pub
While the children are playing, adults can enjoy a pint in the new Irish bar. The bar immerses you in a authentic little Irish pub, with some good beer and whiskey to savor. As every detail is well thought, the pub is directly connected to the playground, so the parents can watch the kids while having a good time.
We’ve been very positive about this new area and with good reason: Europa-Park knows how to deliver. Of course, the thrill seekers have had nothing new since the opening of Wodan Timbur Coaster 2012, but Roland Mack will certainly have something for them in store for the upcoming years. But until that, let’s savor a good whiskey at O’ Mackay’s Café and Pub, and take a ride on the always mind-blowing Blue Fire Megacoaster.
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