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Thursday, April 04, 2013 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks and Magazine.

Easter at Europa-Park

The Golden Goose
The start of this year's season is without a doubt one of the most difficult ones in the history of amusement parks in Germany. Due to the unfavourable weather conditions, numerous parks could not open in time, whereas others experienced enormous difficulties in whipping their main attraction into shape. Given these circumstances, it didn't seem to be a good idea to spend both Easter holidays at Europa-Park to view the second expansion stage of Grimm's Enchanted Forest.

So, what's to tell? In spite of minus temperatures in the early morning and rather misty weather on Sunday, all rides were operating around noon – including the outdoor coasters Blue Fire and Silver Star. Thanks to the park's own App, that amongst others informs about the current waiting time, it was way easier to keep track of possible downtimes or closings – one cannot praise Europa-Park enough for managing to create a nearly smooth day, despite the weather, but that is just by the by way. In the following lines it's all about the fairy tale forest …

A multi-stage expansion plan had been taken up for the 2011 season with the aim of substituting the fairy tale alley by a new fairy tale forest as another theme area. The first stage of this transformation had been rung in two years ago: Surrounded by Europa-Park's old stock of trees, the picturesque Sleeping Beauty castle with two floors and two stair towers came into being on an area of 160 square metres, followed by a 60 square metre witch's cottage representing the story of Hansel and Gretel, as well as a giant fairy tale gallery with a bunch of exhibits and the interactive Grimm library.

Impressions from the fairy tale forest

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  • Märchenwald<br />
  • Märchenwald<br />
  • Märchenwald<br />
  • Märchenwald<br />
  • Märchenwald<br />
  • Märchenwald<br />

Six new tales

Welcome to the fairy tale forest!
As a fitting tribute to the 200th anniversary of the first edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales, this season a total of six more stories by the famous brothers will find a place in new houses in the Enchanted Forest. 13 animated figures dancing to the signature tune of Laurel & Hardy in the show Die Goldene Gans (German for The Golden Goose) will make visitors smile, and Doctor Know-all should be able to answer almost every question in his interactive factory. Further new attractions are Rapunzel, observing visitors from a tower when they hit the right tone upon playing a magical glockenspiel, The Valiant Little Tailor and the donkey known from The Wishing-Table. A prince holding a shoe in the middle of an inventive photo-point will delight little girls that have always been dying to become Cinderella once in a lifetime.

This second stage of construction not only provides new fairy tales, but also forms a coherent overall picture. The theme area's picturesque houses fit beautifully into the old stock of trees, and the horticultural design with flowerbeds and lamps, that look as though it has been lifted straight from a fairy tale, also plays a part in creating a truly fabulous atmosphere. As soon as spring time arrives in Germany at last and a lush canopy throws shadows across the scenery in summer, it remains to be seen whether or not a real jewel had been created that sticks to Europa-Park's tradition on one hand and takes its visitors back to childhood memories on the other. Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm would be proud of the way their legacies are made tangible.

© parkscout/AF

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