RULANTICA Waterpark Review 2020

Rulantica is the latest waterpark to open in Europe, which is already full of a vast selection of parks, so where would Rulantica fit in? A second gate at the famous Europa Park in the form of a waterpark had been rumoured for a very long time, and finally in 2017 an announcement was made and construction work started on this monstrous project due to be one of the most immersive waterparks ever created. Rulantica finally opened on 28th November 2019 and we had the painful wait until the beginning of January for our first visit; in this time we had heard multiple thoughts from people we know that visited, some had fairly mixed reviews, so would Rulantica live up to the hype for us?

Europa Park theme park & Rulantica waterpark are located in the town of Rust in Germany, close to the French border. It’s within easy driving distance from multiple airports, though some public transport options are available, and people even drive all the way down from the UK using a ferry or Eurotunnel crossing. We flew from London Gatwick to Basel airport, even though this airport has a Swiss name, it is actually physically located in France, and has exits on either side for Switzerland and France (and Germany). There are multiple hire car companies to choose from, and ensure you pick the rental location as the French side, and inform the company in advance the intention of going into Germany, this should not incur any other charges. We chose to hire with Sixt on this occasion which went smoothly, and the drive to Europa from the airport is approx. 1 hour.

Europa Park have been extremely clever with Rulantica and have created a whole story and brand that creates so many opportunities for them. There is a website dedicated to explaining the backstory taking you on a visual journey with the kind of sights you can expect to see in the waterpark (https://explore-rulantica.de/en) which we recommend you check out. The main mascot of the Rulantica brand is Snorri, a six legged octopus who is a friendly character and features prominently in marketing and even has his own attractions about him, including a brand new one in Europa Park itself!

Snorri Touren is a brand new dark ride opened in the Scandinavian area of the theme park which is a fitting location due to the roots of the Rulantica story. This family attraction takes you on an expedition around the fantastic world of Rulantica in an inflatable boat and see the different themed areas of the magical island. The ride combines screens and physical sets very well to create a fun ride experience, including a surprise finale! Riding this will definitely get you in the mood for Rulantica to explore all the lands of the water world.

“A blend of Scandinavian style, Nordic landscapes as well as imaginative designs and mystical scenes creates a unique and impressive atmosphere in the Rulantica indoor water world. 25 attractions, including 17 slides for young and old, promise pure water fun for everybody. In the 32,600-square-metre indoor park as well as in the adjoining outdoor area, water-lovers can look forward to nine exciting themed areas throughout the year”. The Rulantica experience starts from outside the waterpark with the Hotel Krønasår next door and surrounding theming before heading into the waterpark building. The entrance process consists of checking in, where you receive your Rulaband which is used for your locker and all payments inside the park; this is then paid upon checking out the waterpark. We think this is a great convenient system and works as intended. The changing rooms have a nice touch of themeing and set the excitement before stepping foot into the waterworld, jaw-dropped in awe.

Rangnakor is the Viking themed area which is dubbed the city on stilts. This imposing corner of the waterpark features four waterslides, along with great viewing platforms overlooking the rest of Rulantica, and plenty of relaxation areas including the paid-extra Comfort Hyddas. Dugdrob & Vildfål are the trap door waterslides that certainly provide a nerve wracking and thrilling experience; what’s unique about the setup of these slides is that the drop capsules to start the slide are facing each other and you’re released at the same time, this creates a great duelling element and get to see the facial expressions of the other rider. We would have loved to see a bit more themeing in the queue and ride start area as it was mostly black walls, we feel there is the potential for a lighting and sound sequence in the area as the riders are dropped into slide. Odinrås Hugin + Munin are the fast pace racing slides, which is ridden on a double rubber ring, but can be used by 1 or 2 persons. This slide was a great surprise for us, as we weren’t expecting much from it, but had lots of fun moments, especially the multiple sections which open up to show the other parallel slide to see who’s winning!

Vinterhal is the beautiful ice palace section of the waterworld which is home to the biggest and best slides the park has to offer. The facade of the whole side of the waterpark and on the slides that form part of it looks truly incredible. Unfortunately the queueing area behind it could be much improved, as it largely features black walls and ceilings; there is a big opportunity for more physical themeing and video screens to be incorporated to make the queueing experience more enjoyable and up to Europa standards. Svalgur Rytt is the large family rafting slide which is meant to be riding through the body of the snake; it’s quite tame but has a great length and is enjoyable nonetheless. Stormvind & Två fall are rubber ring slides for 1 or 2 persons and feature a high speed descent with plenty of twists and turns, Stormvind even includes a bowl style element. Isbrekker is nestled perfectly underneath one of the other slides and gives a great up close view of the giant dragon; this is one of the most fun slides, side by side racing down a short steep drop before flying into the splash pool several meters below. Vinter Rytt is arguably the signature ride at Rulantica; taking a ride on a 4 person raft before plunging down a steep drop, to go straight back up into a near vertical wall experiencing zero gravity momentarily before carrying on down the rest of the slide, a real highlight!

The waterworld is home to two large children’s areas, one solely for children and the other that big kids (like ourselves) can take on too! Trølldal has an impressive level of themeing with kids getting to climb up and walk around a network of tretop pathways, including many water features and small waterslides; this area is only suitable for younger children. Skip Strand is the other area suitable for the whole family which is based around a sunken ship, and looks really authentic. The boat includes 3 small but fun slides, one enclosed in a tunnel, one wide multi person slide, and a mini drop slide. There is also a mini assault course on the water where you can challenge your friends to race across the floating logs and cargo net!

Other areas of the indoor waterworld include, Lumåfals, Skog Lagune & Snorris Saga. The main central area of the waterpark is named Lumåfals and features the visual masterpiece that is the virtual waterfall which is a backdrop for the Surf Fjørd; a sizeable wave pool which is a staple attraction at any waterpark, and this one doesn’t disappoint with pretty frequent and forceful waves. Skog Lagune is the peaceful pool area in the waterpark, it’s surrounded by towering trees and includes various bubble jets, seats and  a pool bar! Snorri the mascot has a whole attraction based around him which takes the form of a lazy river floating around the waterpark visiting multiple areas with many visual effects and hidden areas; we feel this attraction could have included some water effects to keep things a bit more interesting, but it was still an enjoyable journey.

Rulantica also has an outdoor area and attraction which are nicely heated in the winter and will obviously be perfect for the summer! Vildstrøm is the outdoor slide which takes you on a fast and turbulent journey down a series of rapids, with multiple routes; these types of attractions are very popular in Europe, and you will be familiar with them if you’ve visited Center Parcs in the UK. The slide itself was really enjoyable, but sadly the themeing didn’t quite live up to the concept and looks a bit bare with minimal rockwork and trees, nothing that can’t be fixed over time though. Frigg Temple is the outdoor relaxation area with deckchairs, a sizeable pool with multiple features and even a pool bar. Whilst we were visiting we were lucky enough to experience the temporary party event which was put on for the busy Christmas period. A marquee was placed over the pool bar area, a lighting package was added and a variety of house and techno music was played, along with a special winter party bar menu. We absolutely loved this and hope similar things return again to create party vibes at the pool bar.

Rulantica also has an outdoor area and attraction which are nicely heated in the winter and will obviously be perfect for the summer! Vildstrøm is the outdoor slide which takes you on a fast and turbulent journey down a series of rapids, with multiple routes; these types of attractions are very popular in Europe, and you will be familiar with them if you’ve visited Center Parcs in the UK. The slide itself was really enjoyable, but sadly the themeing didn’t quite live up to the concept and looks a bit bare with minimal rockwork and trees, nothing that can’t be fixed over time though. Frigg Temple is the outdoor relaxation area with deckchairs, a sizeable pool with multiple features and even a pool bar. Whilst we were visiting we were lucky enough to experience the temporary party event which was put on for the busy Christmas period. A marquee was placed over the pool bar area, a lighting package was added and a variety of house and techno music was played, along with a special winter party bar menu. We absolutely loved this and hope similar things return again to create party vibes at the pool bar.

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