Thrills on wheels: check out Germany’s theme parks


School is out and summer has arrived. So, what now?
Before the boredom settles in with those dog days of summer, check out Germany’s take on amusement parks. From an afternoon spent with Shrek to a Lego lover’s paradise, these fantasy worlds will satisfy thrill-seekers of all ages and tastes.

Movie Park Germany

Explore Bikini Bottom, take a wild water ride with Dora the Explorer and meet Sponge Bob for an afternoon of fishing at Movie Park Germany. This park, in Bottrop-Kirchhellen, features characters from Nickland, Ice Age and Shrek, as well as other movies and television shows.

In the Wild West section of the park, saloons and barber shops create replica of a Hollywood movie set. The park also includes several shows, such as the X-Men Revenge action show, and the Character Show, in which the Nickelodeon stars perform on the Hollywood street set and pose for pictures.

The park is open in July from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 25 to Sept. 4. Entrance prices run from €28 for children ages 4-11 and €33 for adults.  
For more information, including extended opening times and prices, visit www.movieparkgermany.de.

Europa-Park
Europa-Park, located in Rust, about 175 kilometers southwest of Stuttgart, is divided into 15 different areas, mostly modeled after European countries. Each has appropriate architecture, vegetation, food, shopping and attractions; visitors can ride a London bus ride in England, or face Poseidon on a water ride in Greece.
The park is home to 10 roller coasters, including its latest attraction, the Blue Fire Megacoaster. It also has musical, laser and ice shows, and a 4D cinema. 

The park’s newest addition is the “FoodLoop” restaurant, where guests can watch their food and drinks loop around from the kitchen to individual tables on a winding steel track.

There are also carousels, bumper cars, a beach playground and a water world for youngsters. The park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Nov. 6, with extended hours during the peak season.

Entrance prices range from €32 for children ages 4 through 11 to €36 for adults.  
For more information, visit www.europapark.de.

Tripsdrill
Tripsdrill is the oldest amusement park in Baden- Württemberg. The park is located in Cleebronn, just 30 kilometers from Ludwigsburg.  
In the past 80 years of operation, the park has developed into a major tourist destination with 100 different attractions. Tripsdrill contains water slides, carousels, dancing tea cups and more.

The “Vinarium,” or wine cellar, and wine museum, where visitors can taste local wines, symbolize the park’s main theme: wine production.  After tasting the wines, visitors can also take a spin in the “Lustige Weinberg,” a vineyard keg ride.
The main attractions, however, are the Mammoth roller coaster, the largest wooden roller coaster in Germany, and a wild water rafting tour. For those who want to take a break from the crowds, a 47-acre wildlife park is located next to the amusement park.

Prices start at €19 for children age 4 to 11 and €23 for adults.  The park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, visit www.tripsdrill.de.

Legoland Germany
More than 50 million individual Lego blocks were used to build Legoland Germany. Rides and attractions, as well as one of the largest Lego stores in Germany, await the visitors. 

This year’s latest attraction is the Star Wars Miniland area, which displays scenes from the Star Wars films and animated series using 1.5 million Lego bricks.
The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m. in July, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in August. Entrance prices cost €33 for children ages 3-11 and €37 for adults, but visitors can save money by booking online.
For more, visit www.legoland.de.