Over the last decade or so, Halloween has become big business for European theme parks. Large-scale events initially started in US theme parks, but their success quickly led to massive growth across Western Europe. Over in Rust, Europa-Park is no exception to this. Whilst Traumatica, the park’s dedicated Halloween event provides the hardcore scares, there’s also plenty to see across the theme park during the day.
Toward the end of the September, hay bales, dedicated theming and thousands of pumpkins are brought into the park to transform it into a Halloween lover’s dream. Of course, there’s also the biggest pumpkin of them all, as Eurosat’s dome is also dressed for the occasion.
We took a trip to the park last weekend to give you a taste of what to expect if you do visit over what is one of our favourite times of the year.
Even before entering the park, there’s a hint of what to expect, with the park’s entrance plaza fountain now featuring mummies. After passing through the turnstiles onto German Alley, you’ll be met with pumpkins, hay bales, corn plants and of course Halloween music.
And speaking of Halloween music, one song which could be considered the park’s anthem for this time of year is Tom Waits’ ‘I’ll be gone’. Love it or hate it, you’ll find it stuck in your head after heading into the park!
Over 180,000 pumpkins are brought in to decorate the whole park for Halloween – one for every person in Swansea! You’ll find them in all shapes and sizes pretty much everywhere you look around the theme park. The gardeners have even used some to create some impressive characters with them too:
As well as pumpkins, the park use 3,000 hay bales and 6,000 corn plants! You’ll also spot a few set pieces around the park, along with corn monsters and even more pumpkin characters!
It’s not just theming changes that take place, there’s also some attractions unique to the park’s Halloween event. For younger guests, check out the ‘Let’s Halloween’ show in Italy with the park’s mascot – Ed Euromaus. Don’t miss the evening Halloween parade (17:30 every day) featuring spooky floats and a dedicated soundtrack. The Ice Show also sees a spooky re-theme with ‘Surpr’Ice in the Haunted Castle’. And finally, don’t forget to check out ‘Spook me!’. This immensely popular musical show is now in it’s final year, so don’t miss it if you’re heading over in the coming weeks!
Elsewhere, there’s some attraction changes too:
- Pumpkin Coaster – Eurosat receives a Halloween revamp every year to the Pumpkin Coaster, complete with spooky audio – a version of CSO’s ‘He’s Been Waiting For The Storm‘. With it’s impending refurbishment over the winter season, it’s your last chance to ride in it’s current form.
- Griezelkopjes – Over in the Dutch area, the park’s teacups are plunged into darkness for a spooky upgrade to the family ride.
- Pirates In Batavia – Just across from the teacups, the park’s boat ride has some special Halloween dialogue from the characters throughout the ride. Although you’ll need to brush up on your German to understand it!
- Feria Swing – Flight of the Vampire – One of the park’s older flat rides, the Feria Swing runs backwards in a unique change to it’s usual operation.
- The Mine of Hephaestus – The mazes aren’t just reserved for Traumatica! The park bring us a day maze every year, and this year’s is based over in the Greek area. The ride is suitable for those over 12 years of age, and is included in your admission.
- Queen’s Diamonds: The Curse Of Baron Williams – So it’s not the biggest attraction on park, but the park’s laser maze also receives a spooky Halloween theme.
- Krümel-Troll – This sinister looking food and beverage stall in Russia serves up Halloween treats.