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 © Therme Erding
© Therme Erding

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 | This article is listed in the sections Water parks, Magazine and Interviews.

Galaxy 2.0 - quo vadis?

Already in the beginning of 2011, Europe's largest thermal bath complex near Munich reported to extend its water slide park GALAXY Erding by the tower GALAXY 2.0. In spring 2012 it was supposed to feature another eight unique high-tech water slides. Instead, new plans caused a great deal of confusion and surprise. In an extensive conversation with Jörg Wund, CEO of Therme Erding, parkscout gets to the bottom of GALAXY 2.0.

 © Therme Erding
© Therme Erding
Jörg Wund
Parkscout: How far has GALAXY 2.0. proceeded?

Jörg Wund: The new expansion work with a dozen new slides is still in the draft planning stage. We took notice of our tens of thousands guest's wishes for a hotel where they can stay several days. For that reason we gave priority to the family hotel first.

Parkscout: Which attraction, or rather water slide, has been the most difficult in terms of technical or logistical challenges.

Jörg Wund: Building High-Fly, a water slide reminding of a ski jumping hill, was quite a suspenseful undertaking. Many guests wanted to experience the flight, but were unaware of the excessive forces that occur when landing. Only very strong and athletic sliders can handle these well. Given the relatively small area, the planning and construction was a real challenge. About every slide had been structurally completed, and after that, the metal dome was completed.

Parkscout: What new attractions are you particularly proud of?

Jörg Wund: "Space Glider” with two lanes leading upwards and "Magic Eye”, the longest connected water slide in the world, are the highlights of GALAXY; not to forget the first double-lane speed racer in the world that guarantees Formula-1-feelings "Speed Racer”. Another special attraction is the lift that takes visitors to the 25 metre high starting point, although the lift technology is burdened with the indoor water park atmosphere.

Parkscout: The trend is towards looping slides and, by now, double looping slides. Why hasn't there been any attraction of this kind yet at Erding?

Jörg Wund: The answer is simple and clear: we have too many guests. Only 30 can experience these slides per hour, with over 4,000 pool guests, the waiting time would be unbearable. Therefore, when designing GALAXY 2.0 we definitely focus on new capacity again. Special light barriers allow several guests to slide down a body slide with a slight time lag.

Parkscout: Will the new slides be accessible to all? Women mustn't enter the turbo speed slide "X-treme-Faser” with acceleration of 3 g-force, due to an increased risk of injury!

Jörg Wund: Creating attractions for each and every guest has always been our goal. However, speed slides not only ask for restrictions in terms of age, but also in terms of body weight. Regrettably, a few women experienced difficulties with maintaining their body tension until the final part of "X-treme-Faser”. That's why we set up this restriction – for security reasons.

Sliding fun at GALAXY Erding

Parkscout: Water slides of today are becoming more and more extreme, fast and, therewith, dangerous. They cause wounds more and more frequently. What new slides might cause most bruises?

Jörg Wund: Children are still getting most bruises when running or slipping out, or from our wild river. I guess the funnel slide and the space bowl will be responsible for bruises in future.

Parkscout: GALAXY has varied slides requiring very different age and weight restrictions. How does it work precisely to make sure that these are obeyed at each attraction.

Jörg Wund: Unfortunately, it only works with tried-and-trusted means, such as scale and additional staff. You will find various positions where there are more supervisory staff than actually stipulated by the German Technical Inspection Association (TÜV).

Parkscout: What kind of tests does a new installed water slide has to undergo before it can be put into operation eventually.

Jörg Wund: TÜV is involved in planning and supervising the construction work of the slides. All of them will then be thoroughly tested by our team and TÜV. If everything turns out to be fine, it will be accepted. Sometimes modifications had to be carried out before guest may experience the new slides in the end.

Parkscout: Do you test all new slides yourself?

Jörg Wund: Yes, sure thing. Almost all slides I tested first, often even before the staff of TÜV did. When GALAXY was inaugurated in 2007, we did so in municipal water of 12 degrees – something like this remains engraved.

Parkscout: In order to create the perfect holiday experience for those visiting Therme Erding, plans already exist for a resort complex starting with a hotel ship in 2013. Are there any more details on that and how did the idea come about of copying MS Victory as an hotel ship?

 © Therme Erding
© Therme Erding
Artwork Galaxy Beach Hotel

Jörg Wund: The expansion of the theme world Erding has been made in two steps. The first construction phase began in September 2012. A wave pool, surrounded by a new family hotel, creates space for the urgently needed water surface, and the 90 accommodation units provide the long-awaited accommodation facilities. The hotel is themed to Lord Nelson's flagship "HMS Victory”, the rooms are designed as captain cabins and the sophisticated controllable waves of our giant new palm lagoon round off the holiday experience. The second construction phase is all about health and recuperation. It gives adults the opportunity to feel pure relaxation. A thermal bath for visitors ages 16 and over, a new sauna garden and a four-star hotel with congress centre ensures that we remain the market leader throughout Europe.

Parkscout: Please dare to take a look into the crystal ball! Where do you see GALAXY in 10 years?

Jörg Wund: GALAXY is sure to continue being Europe's biggest water slide paradise, if not the most varied in the world. More than 40 slides and a couple of world firsts will shape GX 4.0. The whole thermal resort will then give room for up to 14,000 guests a day and for over 2 million a year, from which – according to our estimations – 8 % will stay overnight.

© parkscout/SN/AF

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