This past spring I had the pleasure of visiting Europa-Park in Rust, Germany. I toured the park with press representative Noel Ebhart (see photo on page 31). He gave me information about Europa-Park’s origins and plans for the future, took me to several key attractions and even arranged an early morning visit to the maintenance shed for the Blue Fire Megacoaster.
We saw the maintenance staff completing their morning checks and then got to take a test ride before the park opened to the public. It was clear that Noel was every bit as much of a theme park fan as I am.
Time and again I meet people working in this industry who are not just professionals, but also enthusiasts. I think it’s beneficial to an industry when the people invested in seeing it flourish are truly motivated to achieve excellence.
As my example illustrates, we typically think of folks who love roller coasters as the prime example. But people are passionate about all sorts of themed entertainment, and waterparks too. Each year at the World Waterpark Association (WWA) conference I see countless vendors and operators that truly love what they do.
When a team can harness that passion and combine it with clear vision and a sufficient budget, amazing projects emerge. In this issue, we talk about several projects that fit into that category. Europa-Park’s Rulantica waterpark is one to keep an eye on. It’s a showcase for how folks who love themed attractions, waterparks and attention to detail can collaborate to create something special.
Don’t forget to look for copies of InPark at the fall trade shows including IAAPA Expo Europe (September 17-19 in Paris), WWA (October 7-10 at the Walt Disney World Resort) and IAAPA Expo (November 19-22 in Orlando). I’ll be at all of them to, so be sure to stop me and say hi to a fellow enthusiast.
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