Germany’s top theme park Europa-Park revealed this week that more than four million people passed through its gates this summer – one of the most successful seasons in the park’s 36-year history.
Europa-Park is found in south-west Germany outside the town of Rust, in between Freiburg and the French city of Strasbourg. It is themed around different European countries and regions, with 15 sections representing one of these. It operates a summer season, between Easter and the start of November, and a winter season, which takes place from the end of November to mid-January.
Europeans taking cheap holidays in Germany with their families have been flocking to the park, with the site’s four themed hotels proving especially popular. Sources said that the hotels’ occupancy rates were greater than 95 per cent overall in 2011.
Extra capacity is already being developed, with the construction of a new four-star hotel, due to open next July. Before that, in March next year, the theme park is opening a new attraction – a wooden rollercoaster in the Icelandic-themed area.
Europa-Park managing partner Roland Mack said that much of the success was down to the fact that many visitors were returning to the park several times in a year, adding: “More than 85 per cent of our visitors are repeaters. This is the best acknowledgment for our concept.”
Disneyland Paris remains by far the biggest theme park in Europe, in terms of visitor numbers and area covered, but Europa-Park is close behind, especially if these latest figures are anything to go by.
According to the most recent comparative figures, from 2009, the third most popular European theme park is Efteling Kaatsheuvel in the Netherlands.
Here’s Europe’s top ten theme parks by visitor numbers (2009):
1 Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris, France – 12,740,000
2 Europa-Park, Germany – 4,250,000
3 Efteling Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands – 4,000,000
4 Tivoli Gardens, Denmark – 3,870,000
5 Liseberg Gothenburg, Sweden – 3,150,000
6 PortAventura, Spain – 3,000,000
7 Gardaland, Italy – 2,900,000
8 Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, France – 2,655,000
9 Alton Towers, UK – 2,650,000
10 Phantasialand Brühl, Germany – 1,950,000