Europa-Park and 35 years of success: how do they do it???

I have just returned from yet another spectacular event at Europa-Park, the first IAAPA Spring Forum. Preceded by some IAAPA committee meetings, the event offered again a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the perfection and hospitality for which the Mack family has become known throughout the years. And it remains mind-boggling: how do they do it? Year after year of record-breaking attendance, major additions and award-winning productions. Don't they ever make mistakes?

By Jeroen Nijpels

Related: 10 years to Orlando or not to Orlando – is that a question? / IP & Theme Parks: here to stay? /   World first: "FoodLoop" at Europa-Park

Well, not that I can see. On average, I visit the park about twice a year, sometimes privately, sometimes to attend an event like last week, and once to organize an event there myself, like last December, when Hester Kloosterboer and I organized the first Focus on YOUNG event abroad (more of those to follow!). And each time, the team at Europa-Park manages to exceed my already high expectations.

europa-park germany major theme park roller coastersTake last week for example. One of the very few flaws I could find in the resort over the past years was the lack of a decent wireless or high speed internet in the hotels.

Once, I heard a rumour that it was actually a policy, because the management thought that it would be better if the guests wouldn’t spend all that much time in their hotel rooms, but better in the park. This is a good point in itself. Nevertheless, every time the feedback form landed in my e-mail box after another visit, I had to fill in that the resort could improve in its internet access. Apparently I was not the only one because when I checked in last week in the magnificent Colosseo Hotel and asked about the internet, I was provided with a little private WLAN router to take to my room, connected it to the internet connection in the room and was enjoying a private wireless network with the best possible connection imaginable. So not only did they listen to the guests and acted on it, but they also did it better than anybody else. And believe me, with on average 150 nights a year in hotels, I know what I am talking about. And the best part of it: it was completely free! 

Then on a less personal note, take the newest restaurant at the park as another outstanding example. europa-park germany major theme park roller coasters and amusement park ridesThe FoodLoop restaurant (see image right) has been pretty well covered in both trade and general press. How many parks can create such a buzz just for opening another restaurant in the park? And what is it all about? Just a very elaborate way to deliver food, drinks and souvenirs to the guests. But what a way…! Loops, curves, lifts, rotating platforms. Probably the only thing missing is an LSM launch for the food , but somehow I am sure that Thomas Mack has already come up with something along these lines.

During the IAAPA Spring Forum, the Mack family also showed a model of the new hotel, the fifth one on site, the New England themed Bell Rock hotel, set to open summer 2012 (see below). I can’t wait to book one of the individually themed suites in the lighthouse that forms the landmark building of the hotel. I just hope that I will not have to wait until the summer of 2012 for my next visit to the park!

Now tell me, Blooloop community: what in your opinion is not right about the park, or otherwise try to answer my question at the beginning of this blog: How do they do it?

mack family europa-park germany major theme park roller coasters