Saturday, May 18, 2024

PGAV Destinations and Mack Solutions celebrate opening of Rulantica waterpark

St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations is celebrating the grand opening of Rulantica, Europa-Park’s largest single investment in the company´s history.

Spanning nearly 351,000 sq. ft., the $200 million Rulantica serves as Europa-Park’s first indoor waterpark and revolutionizes the European waterpark industry in design, guest experience, thematic storytelling, operations, and functionality. Rulantica is estimated to attract more than 600,000 guests annually, boosting Europa-Park’s yearly attendance to six million visits.

“Adding a second gate waterpark to one of Europe’s greatest theme parks has been in the making for 20 years,” said PGAV Destinations vice president and project lead, Jeff Havlik. “The Mack Family and Europa-Park Team are phenomenal attraction partners to work with – creative, driven, and focused on authentic storytelling. It was an honor to partner with them on refining the initial master plan and developing the Rulantica indoor water park further through Concept Design.”

The richly-immersive and deeply thematic attraction welcomes guests into the rediscovered, ancient Scandinavian land of Rulantica, a colorful and thrilling world. Europa-Park’s second gate focuses on the overall guest experience right from the start, introducing nine settings, complete with 25 water attractions, retail, restaurants, and swim-up bars. Swimmers can explore immersive grottos, wave pools, waterfalls, adventure pools, obstacle courses, family raft rides, hybrid slides, and more as they uncover the mysteries of Rulantica.

Attraction Highlights

Frigg Tempel: A large, outdoor, heated pool offers refreshments and smoothies at the Tempel Krog swim-up bar.

Lumåfals: The centerpiece colorful grotto and waterfall featuring an expansive wave pool and Lumålunda restaurant. This zone serves as the home of the sea people and guardians of Rulantica.

Rangnakor: An elevated and exciting “village” to explore, complete with slides, cabanas, sofas, Skal Bar, and Snekkjas snack outlet. As the home town of the Nordic natives of Rulantica, this deeply-thematic town sits high on stilts, giving exceptional views of the entire waterpark.

Skip Strand: A deeply thematic playground and adventure pool featuring a shipwrecked schooner and steamer, waterslides, obstacle course, and a variety of nets, ropes, and masts to explore.

Skog Lagoon: A tranquil oasis surrounded by pine trees and cliffs, with bubble loungers and the Skogbar swim-up bar.

Snorri’s Saga: Single or double tubes carry families down this lazy river, which meanders through many of the park’s thematic areas.

Trølldal: Inhabited by the native little trolls of Rulantica, this is a fantasy water playground with climbing structures, shallow pools, and slides for younger guests.

Vildstrøm: A turbulent and exciting outdoor, heated river with various guest-selected routes for calmer or more adventurous waters.

Vinterhal: This mystical ice palace offers a variety of slides that send guests splashing past the frozen sea serpent Svalgur.

Building Anticipation

Ahead of the waterpark opening, Europa-Park built anticipation with the opening of the Krønasår Hotel in May, where guests could watch construction in real time and learn about the new destination. Uniquely themed as a Nordic natural history museum, the 4-star superior hotel immerses guests in exhibits featuring artifacts and treasures from the magical island of Rulantica.

One week before the debut of Rulantica, Europa-Park also unveiled a new dark ride called Snorri Touren, which introduces Snorri the octopus – Rulantica’s mascot and guide.

Leap in Design

Many waterparks throughout Europe offer a variety of standard waterslides without a thematic story or immersive design, and don’t necessarily blend smoothly with their parent park, if they have one. Rulantica was carefully designed with both thematic story and parent park blending in mind, dedicating its design to the small, winding pathways and authentic stories that are the hallmark of the widely successful Europa-Park.

“In Germany it is difficult to get permits for fiberglass slides – it takes two years,” said Mack Solutions’ Matthias Lange. “So many other operators don’t want to go through that process, which is why you see so many steel slides in this part of the world. We wanted to bring in the unique experiences and slide components that fiberglass offers, so we took the time to go through that process. In Rulantica you will see a lot of slides not often found in European waterparks. We have family raft slides, hybrid slides, and more.”

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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