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Wow. Europa Park is how you run a park! Extended openings till 7 when the longest queue is like 20 minutes, throughputs meaning your queue barely stops moving, rides hidden all over the place and so m

Did someone say epic interaction?

Europa-Park is a multi day resort with absolutely LOADS to do. I would suggest starting with Matterhorn Blitz, as it's the lowest throughput coaster on park (about 960pph). However, if it's not school

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I thought I would summarise my findings re: the new attractions/changes for 2015 along with the general state of play at the resort.


I spent 4 nights at Hotel Castillo Alcazar in a Comfort Room, which meant that we effectively had 2 bedrooms adjoined with a larger bathroom and separate WC. All in all, it was excellent - as was the breakfasts in the hotels, which are wonderfully varied - smoked salmon, masses of cured meats, a range of cheeses, hot breakfast with bacon, sausage, eggs, has browns, meat loaf along with cereals, a range of breads, pastries, yoghurts, fruits - the list goes on. The new bar extensions at Bar Colosseo and Bar El Circo were also welcome, more seating is very important as the hotels were sold out every night of my stay. Drinks remain amazing in the bars, with over 130 separate cocktails available, for example, at Bar Spirit of St. Louis in Hotel Bell Rock! No pre-mix rubbish here, either!


To the park:


New hotel entrance is a welcome development - it was being freshly painted on our first morning admission but has doubled the number of turnstiles compared with 2014. Much better. The theming is an extension of the Spanish area and is a delight.


Kolumbusjolle (Columbus' Dinghy) - the seastorm - is like a new ride foe 2015! The queue has lovely projections and some animatronic features with great music and new lightning. The ride, well... you'd never think it was a refurbishment. It's completely changed. The boats are tastefully decorated with new lights, every boat has a button to make a cannon noise and the rotation is now controlled by the rider - meaning you can make it as crazy (or not) as you wish. Projection mapping on the walls adds to it - with the walls slowly collapsing through the ride. Strobe lights, twinkling stars in the ceiling and new fountains in the middle. Honestly, for what is/was a throwaway ride... it makes me realise why I love EP so much! No other park would do this to such a small attraction...!


Here comes my first (and possibly only) negative - changes to Wodan. Whilst the park have kept the queue and theming in very good order since the ride opened, they have now added a corporate partnership with a local firm, Mustang Jeans - who are based in the region. I don't object particularly to their brand and they have added a few tasteful signs in the queueline... but the staff no longer wear the wonderful Wodan themed uniform. They now wear jeans, trainers and a grey Mustang t-shirt with a Wodan logo on the front. A shame, because they don't look very smart or professional at all. I think this change has only come about in the past few days.


Beautiful Europe is the new 360 overhead cinema experience which I believe is temporary for the 40th birthday year. Overall, I don't really see what purpose it serves - especially given how expensive and high quality the cinema is. The bean bags to lie on are lovely but the film is all a little bit random. It's basically the parks way of saying 'thank you' - as that is what is stated at the end, it's all very nice I suppose and certainly inoffensive. The screen is amazing.


The Time Carousel is the sequel to the Secret of Balthasar Castle in the 4D theatre. I didn't think it was possible for the park to have a 2nd custom movie made that was better than the 1st but it is! You meet Gustav Eiffel in Paris for one, and the tower is half built. Quite amusing. There's also plenty of references to Mack Rides and the history of the company. It was just great! Well worth seeing in the beautifully designed Magic Cinema.


This years Mercedes exhibition in the Silver Star Hall is based around City. Highway. Off-Road. They have the 4x4 used in Jurassic World on show for guests waiting to ride Silver Star, which adds to the otherwise plain queueline.


There is a new beergarden in Austria, which is great because there are now two of them in the park at opposite ends of the park. The weather was so good last week that we just had to sit in the 24C heat drinking a beer and eating pig knuckle or roasted chicken and chips!


The all-new Europa-Park parade for 2015 has a wonderful new soundtrack composed by Hendrick Schwarzer (Wodan theme, Europa-Park Suite). The floats are slightly smaller than the old but this means they can navigate more pathways. Overall it's far more interactive and frankly Farage's worst nightmare - it's a celebration of the park and a celebration of European integration. Really lovely. Takes place daily at around 2.30pm via a selected route which is indicated on the park map.


There is a massive development of the splash battle taking place, which will open in the summer. It will be called Whale Adventures: Northern Lights and feature 2 dark ride portions, new theming, animatronics and a new ride entrance bridge - rather than the old one at the back outside Wodan's exit which is a little quiet. It's a lot more substantial than I expected and I look forward to seeing what they do.


The observation tower Euro-Tower has also been extensively re-themed, with a new steampunk/Parisian queueline and setting, new plaza outside and a new fountain. It looks much more French now and fits in wonderfully. The gondola has also been re-done in a nice style. Very classy!


On to the shows, which have also been changed entirely for 2015. My favourite was the Gods of Greece - this year's ice show. It was totally different to the previous ice shows I have seen at EP and had all manner of special effects. The basic story is that Medusa wants to ruin the 40th birthday party at EP. How dare she! The Return of the Black Knight was also good in the Spanish Arena. The park have abandoned stupid effects and instead focus on jousting and more traditional fare. It was great. Eight horses were used in all, which is far more than previously. They have had to build a new stables behind the Arena to cope. Of course, even though it's not in the park - it's still themed and you can see it from the Atlantica lift hill. The Europa-Park musical Spook-Me is also on for part of this season (it's not showing in the main summer holiday) and now has English subtitles to everyone can understand. It's a little bit Beauty and the Beast, a little bit crazy and a little bit delightful. It's nice to see EP tackling a new kind of show - and the audience response at the end is very positive. It has been getting standing ovations at times. The final show we saw was White Balance. By no means poor, but certainly the weakest of the 4 we saw. Some great dances though which involved lasers. Typical variety stuff overall which I guess just wasn't my scene as much as the others. Further shows this year include Let's Celebrate EP and the High Dive Show, but these both start next month. There were also loads of other smaller shows, but we didn't see these.


The park generally was running extremely well - throughputs on some rides were above what is advertised on the website. Wodan was achieving almost 1,300 per hour, Blue Fire 1,500, Silver Star 1,600 and Arthur now seems capable of over 1,200 - which compared to what it was getting in 2014 is most encouraging. Europa-Park continue to set the bar for the pace of operation on their coasters. Absolutely impeccable. Closing time was extended to 7.30pm or 8.00pm on both of our days with queues peaking at 45 minutes for Wodan and Arthur - everything else less.


The floral displays in the park this year are also better than ever. You cannot turn a corner without seeing a lovely range of flowers. The gardening team do such an amazing job it has to be said and it isn't something that is picked up on by enthusiasts much - but it's another reason EP is top of the pile.


So, overall - the park is better than ever. With over 5m guests last year, it's no wonder that people keep flocking back. I genuinely don't know if I will ever find a better park; to me the place is just spot on. Whether it's beer, wine, food, rollercoasters, live entertainment or culture... it's just wonderful. Not to mention every penny spent stays inside Europa-Park as a family business. Marvellous!


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The only justifiable issue I can see with Europa-Park is that if you go to parks simply for an adrenaline hit, you will be left feeling cold as only a couple of rides really dabble into 'thrill' territory. Of course, most people know it's a family resort before they go.

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Saying the 'n-word' is more offensive than saying nigga in my opinion, because you're deliberately avoiding saying it like its a taboo. If knowledge serves me right, it was originally created as a greeting until it was soon used by white people as a deragatory term. I don't see a huge problem with them using it if it's not being used deliberately offensive, but then again others may say different.

Apparently there is also a difference between the a spelling and er, but that's only going from what I've been told by a friend.

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Yup, it's slightly ironic that the vast majority of people who get offended aren't even black nowadays.

Any of you with an evil streak that have younger siblings or family under 6 or so, point to Niger on a map and ask them to pronounce it, sit back and wait form the **** to hit the fan.

Like most words it's only offensive depending on the context of it's use, the word fat can be deeply offensive to some people, but you don't see supermarkerts using an alternative on their packaging.

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