Europa Park Trip Report - April 2015 - Part 3

Europa Park Trip Report - April 2015 - Part 3

As we continue our tour around Europa Park, here we take a look at some unique dining concepts and attractions. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this Europa Park trip report if you haven't yet seen those.

Attractions in this area include a Russian Handcraft walkthrough which we didn't see,  'Sleigh Ride Snowflake' which is a winter themed ride which I only know about because I've retrospectively looked at the map, and Mir Space Station which is a space-themed walkthrough. The main reason for going to this area, however, is for yet another rollercoaster - Euro-Mir. Again, techno music fills the air as you go up a rotating lift hill that very much resembles Eurosat in the French area of the park. It is outside, however, that the experience changes as your cars spin constantly over the edge and spiral round the buildings in a somewhat unnerving fashion until you start dropping at high speed. It was an alright coaster but nothing exceptional if I'm being perfectly honest.

Food Loop:
This restaurant is located in between the England and Russian areas of the park, and I have decided to give it it's own section. Food Loop is a unique location that found us waiting about 15 minutes to get in - even during the low season this place was packed and it was one of the longest queues we waited in during our stay. Having seen, the size of the queuing area, I can imagine that the waits for this place can be over an hour in the busy periods.

The reason it is so popular is best this fast-food place is unlike any other in the world. On the way in, and once you have gone through a turnstile, each person in your party will be given their own Food Loop card to make purchases with. You are then free to choose a table and choose your seats. Each table seats up to 14 people and the likelihood is that you will be seated with other people you do not know.

As you go around you can instantly see the appeal of this restaurant - buzzing around overhead you will see food and drinks being delivered in the form of small packages going to the table that ordered the food.

Once seated you will notice that the table is adorned with several touchscreen computers which travel on a track. Here you can select your seat number, you place your Food Loop card on a scanner and then proceed to select what you will be eating. Everything from drinks, to starters, mains and desserts is available right here. Once you are done, you confirm, your selection and wait for your food to come.

A word of warning, however. As we all learned, what you should not do is order your meal, drink and dessert all at the same time. As all main courses are prepared in the kitchen, and drinks and desserts and simply kept in a fridge you will get your dessert before your main.

Within 3 or 4 minutes of ordering and the fascination of watching food being delivered to other tables, you will receive your first items. When they arrive at your table you will see that each item comes in a special pod and has a tag for the seat number it belongs to. You simply spin the turntable in the centre of the dining table and your food will spin round to your seat. Once you have recovered your food or drink, you continue to spin the turntable and the pod will automatically slide all the way round and drop into a container for easy collection by staff. Now that is German efficiency. Admittedly this is hard to understand, so here is a video showing it all.

If you are really lucky you might even get to sit at a table where the food gets delivered to you, after having gone through a 360 degree loop. 

Overall, the whole idea is really fun, but the prices are very expensive in my opinion. A 250ml drink (tiny), a main dish with beef (which was tasty but very small and I doubt was fresh) and a chocolate mousse dessert set me back €20. I ended up having to add a portion of chips as a side to feel at least remotely full. That added on another €3 or €4 to the bill. The main dish took 20 minutes to arrive too, and it came well after the dessert and drinks. You pay at the exit of the restaurant at the end of your meal. I am still unsure whether I'd call this a fast-food or table service establishment after all that.

I would possibly go back to show the place off to someone else, but I would order each course separately and maybe go for something most fast-food-like to get it delivered quickly. Having, compared it to the other restaurant I ate in at the park - a fast food place serving salmon in the Scandinavian area - Food Loop was twice as expensive. Apart from Food Loop food at the park was very reasonably priced when compared to prices at Disney and Park Asterix. There are better value places in the park for sure, but it was a unique experience.

The Historama:
Technically, this attraction is part of the England section of the park but I think it deserves it's own mini-section too. This attraction is located under the Food Loop restaurant and monorail station. Essentially, Historama is a clone of Disney's Carousel of Progress attraction but instead of telling us about the progress of the world, it tells us about the progress of Europa Park. It was actually very enjoyable with lots of special effects inside the theatre including theme park models which came out of the stage, and a totally unexpected mini indoor fountain show. Logistically the show works like Disney's ride with a rotating theatre but the seating here was much more comfortable and everything looks brand new.

Unfortunately, the entire show was in German. Considering there were screens on both sides of the room, it wouldn't have hurt to have one screen with English subtitles and another with French. On even having alternating shows in different languages like Disney does for Disney Jr and Stitch Live in the WDS Park.

This area of the park is very clearly modelled after the original Disneyland. There is a Jungle Cruise style ride with simple animatronics but with no onboard guide in the heart of the lagoon, called Jungle Rafts.

You will also find African Queen, another boat ride on the lagoon akin to the Mike Fink Keel Boats at Disneyland (which operated for a very limited time at Disneyland Paris too by the way) which has water canons on the side. There is also a water playground in this area, and a stream that just runs through the middle of the pathway which was a nice touch that made the area feel more real.

This area is beautifully landscaped and is a joy to simple admire. There is a beautiful bar here which is perfect for doing that - the kind of thing that is really missing at Disneyland Paris, a place to simply relax and enjoy the ambiance. The plagiarised name could have been avoided, however.


Coming up in Part 4 is a look at my favourite attraction in the entire park - and it is not the high-speed rollercoaster you are thinking of.


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