Saturday, April 17, 2021

Hard hat tour of Rulantica & Krønasår

by Martin Palicki

Rising out of the fields on the edge of the town of Rust, Germany, a new hotel and indoor waterpark are taking shape. Krønasår, a hotel themed as a Scandinavian museum, recently began welcoming guests at the end of May. Behind it stretches the indoor waterpark Rulantica, connected physically and narratively to the hotel. As the story is told, the Krønasår museum was gifted a selection of artifacts by various seafarers who claimed to have visited the mythical island of Rulantica. After a great deal of research and effort, the museum decided to purchase the old “fish market” across the bay and turn it into a large (and hopefully expanding) recreation of Rulantica. It just so happens that guests wishing to visit the exhibit are best served by bringing a bathing suit.

This storyline is flexible and allows for future expansion of the park under the guise of creating new exhibits. It also relieves designers from having to explain why an island exists under a roof. According to Rulantica Operations Manager Kevin Kruschwitz, it also allows his staff to be modern in appearance and wear things such as smart watches and sunglasses. They are, after all, not historical residents of Rulantica, but present-day museum docents.

It also was important to Creative Director Chris Lange to not create a waterpark similar to others in the area. As Lange said in an interview for InPark [“Designing Rulantica,” issue #74]: “I did not want to do a sunken city, but knowing that we had to include some element of water I thought we could integrate a ‘shipwreck beach’ concept…We did not want to go with a tropical or pirate theme as those have been done many times. So we created this mystical, hidden island of Rulantica located in Scandinavian waters.” Keeping in line with that concept, and with the environment created at Europa-Park, Lange designed Rulantica with small walkways, plenty of plants and trees, and a general cozy atmosphere.

Day guests will exit their cars in the parking lot with hills and trees blocking their view of the park. Once they follow the path through the hills, the Krønasår hotel appears on the right, with Rulantica behind the façade of an old fishing village on the left. The hotel was designed as a noise barrier for the waterpark, situated between it and the town of Rust. As the park extends beyond its current walls, the hotel is designed to expand also, providing that continuous sound barrier, as well as added capacity.

The harbor area between the two is created to be a fun space where day guests waiting to enter the park will be entertained. When finished it will include animated objects and interesting scenes to observe.

The hotel is connected to the waterpark by a walkway on the second level. Hotel guests use this to gain entry to the park, while day guests arrive on the ground level. According to Kruschwitz, this was designed to allow hotel guests to have special access without making it obvious in front of the other guests. The same is true for the park’s private rental cabanas, which will be themed like houses in the wooden stilt fishing village. They will be located on the balcony level of the park in order to be less obtrusive.

Rulantica will take a lesson from long-operating Europa-Park and plan new attractions every year. With the extended permitting process required in Germany, the park already has the next phase of expansion approved, but Kruschwitz wants to listen to guest feedback to see what matters most to them. “For instance, our initial thought is to keep the family together as much as possible in this hotel and waterpark, so for Krønasår, we opted to not include a wellness and spa area, as that is typically an adults only area,” said Kruschwitz. “But we are happy to add that if people request it and feel that it is missing.”

On opening day, the park will have two towers of waterslides, at opposite ends of the park, with the majority of the slides working their way outside the building. This was designed to create two major points of interest and draw people in different directions, while keeping the main park space open and visible from just about every vantage point. This also builds on a Europa-Park lesson to mix different types of attractions together, avoiding clumping all the thrill rides in one spot but instead mixing family-friendly rides near the more aggressive attractions. That way the family can stay close together.

One iconic family attraction will be the lazy river, which encircles the park and includes an extensive underground tunnel section that helps tell the story of the park’s new mascot, Snorri. Additional attractions include a wave pool, a total of 17 waterslides, an activity pool and more. For those wanting a bit more sunshine, an outside pool with swim-up bar and action river are also available.

Themed areas of the park are as follows:

  • Skip Strand: Anchored by shipwrecks, this area will primarily house the wave pool and activity pool.
  • Rangnakor: Rulantica’s old fishing village will consist of huts and buildings perched up on stilts. With a distinct Scandinavian feeling, this is where the cabanas will be located.
  • Vildstrøm: The outdoor section of the park will allow guests to float through an action river and relax in the sunshine.
  • Trølldal: Inhabited by mystic creatures from Scandinavian folklore, this area of the park will focus on kid-friendly attractions.
  • Lumåfals: A man-made grotto is home to mermaids and mermen that used to guard Rulantica. The lazy river and wave pool will provide views of this area, which is anchored by a giant floor-to-ceiling video wall (which when not being used to project images of a waterfall can be used for movie nights).
  • Skog Lagoon: Designed as an oasis, the relaxation pool will be surrounded by pine trees and rocky outcrops. Whirlpool seats and a swim-up bar will be key elements of this area.
  • Vinterhal: Representing the frosty northern parts of Rulantica, the icy structures present the perfect opportunity for some waterslide fun.

When the park opens, guest will utilize an RFID band ticketing system, and day guests will be encouraged to purchase their tickets online prior to arriving. According to Rulantica Front Office Supervisor Julian Oszwald, the bracelets will be used for entry, locker access and can also be used for shopping or dining purchases.

Rulantica’s Julian Oszwald (l) and Kevin Kruschwitz (r) with InPark Publisher Martin Palicki

Europa-Park hotel guests will get to use a towel for free, but day guests will need to either bring their own towel or purchase one at the park. Rental towels will not be available for day guests. Lockers will be available essentially for free. They will cost one euro but that euro will be given as a credit to use within the park’s retail outlets.

While Krønasår’s guests can walk from the hotel right into the park, guests from other hotels on property will rely on a shuttle to transport them back and forth. Hotel guests will also benefit from a one-hour early entry into the park.

Europa-Park has invested around €180 million to build Rulantica, Krønasår and related infrastructure. Rulantica is scheduled to open on November 28, 2019. For more information, visit https://www.europapark.de/en/rulantica/rulantica-new-europa-park-water-world

Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki owns and publishes InPark Magazine. Started in 2004, InPark Magazine provides owners and operators the perspective from "in"side the "park." Martin has also written for publications like Sound & Communications, Lighting & Sound America, Attractions Management and others. Martin has been featured in Time Magazine, CNN.com and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

Related Articles

Latest Articles