Europa-Park in times of Corona

Translations: de

The Corona lockdown had also affected Europa-Park. Thanks to Covid-19, the park was not allowed to start the summer season on 28.03.2020 as planned.

Since 29.05.2020, the park is open again, with some conditions. The operators had used the time of the lockdown to come up with a comprehensive package of measures and introduce them.

Is a visit to the park worthwhile despite the measures? I was there on Sunday (31.05.2020).

I have an annual pass or club card for Europa-Park. Actually, you are allowed with this card at any time in the park. If not Corona would be. The first measure of the park: You have to book your tickets in advance for a special day. As a club card holder, you are allowed to book a ticket once a month without extra costs.

After the online store was activated, however, booking was an adventure. In the meantime, however, the rush and the associated problems in the online store have subsided.

The parking lot is now occupied with greater distance, which is also possible due to the fact that currently only a maximum of 10,000 people per day are allowed in the park. That sounds like a lot. But the park is 95 hectares (95 km²) and normally has up to 50,000 visitors on peak days. So the people spread out well and you can stroll through the park in a very relaxed way. That was very positive for us.

Of course, increased attention is also paid to hygiene. Lanes, surfaces and railings are cleaned regularly. Mouth protection in indoor areas, waiting areas and on attractions is mandatory. Distances must be kept and are controlled. So you feel well protected. I feel less protected in a supermarket.

Additionally, there is an app called Distance Radar. While I was able to install this on Android, my friend could not find it in the iOS appstore. The app uses Bluetooth to measure the distance to smartphones in the area. If one is too close, then there is a warning and one enters the red zone. If you keep enough distance, the score increases and you enter the green zone. In the green zone, you have the chance to get an express ticket every hour - this allows you to get past queues and onto trains. However, since the app has pulled heavily on my not full battery, I had deactivated it.

The next app, or rather an extension of the previous park app, is the Virtual Line - a virtual queue. You log in with your smartphone and are notified when it's your turn. Then you just walk up to the ride, show your ticket and you can get in the short queue.
At least that was the plan. The first time we tried, we were not notified and were 30 minutes late. We were kindly let in anyway. On the second try, the info came - but in the meantime, I guess the system broke down and the park switched back to the classic queues.
Actually, I like the idea, but here the park must (and certainly will) still work on stability.

The biggest measure to protect against Corona, however, is the occupancy of the attractions. Groups are separated by empty seats as much as possible. For this purpose, only every second row is occupied at most. However, this reduces the capacity of the rides. There are fewer people in the park, but the waiting times are still extremely long. Bluefire, Wodan and Arthur over 90 minutes, CanCan coaster mostly at 30-40 minutes, Euro-Mir 30+ minutes. Silverstar at 30+ minutes.

We hardly ever rode any big coasters. Instead, we walked and leisurely munched our way through the park. Great in the weather, too.

For us, the day was great and we felt safe. However, the mask gets on your nerves pretty quickly, as it does restrict breathing (and scratches my 3-day beard). However, if we had paid the normal price or even spent our vacation there, we would have been upset. The wait times were just too long.
The ideas of the park are good, but the implementation needs to be improved. Especially the Virtual Line could also be a model for after Corona. Nevertheless, it is remarkable how well and quickly the park has adapted to the situation.

Would you go to a theme park? What do you think of the measures?

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