Home » Visiting Germany’s Largest Amusement and Water Park With Kids: Europa-Park Tips

Visiting Germany’s Largest Amusement and Water Park With Kids: Europa-Park Tips

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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

In case you are new to our blog, welcome!  You’ll soon learn we are HUGE fans of Disney.  We’ve visited every Disney park in the world and find ourselves in some Disney park or another at least once a year.

However, we currently live in Portugal, and Disneyland Paris isn’t the best in the world (although they are improving!).  It’s still better than no Disney, but sometimes we’d rather wait to go to Disney World.

On a bit of a whim, we decided last summer to see if there were any other big amusement parks in Europe we should go to.  We went to Tivoli in Copenhagen, rumored to have inspired Walt Disney. We also found a fabulous park that is now on our favorites list: Europa-Park.

Europa-Park’s staff in costume adds up to more-like Disney vibes!

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Opinions shared are my own, and I only endorse products I support. By clicking on any of the links below, I may get a small commission if you purchase at absolutely no additional charge to you. I appreciate your support.*

Is Europa-Park Like Disneyland?

In a sense, yes.  

In other ways, no.

The main difference is nostalgia If you grow up in Germany, watching German cartoons you can see around the park, I imagine the nostalgia runs deep.  However, as foreigners, we didn’t feel any of that. 

You’d be surprised at how much nostalgia plays a part in the Disney experience.

Outside of childhood memories, Europa-Park is better than Disney parks in a few ways:

  • It’s cheaper.
  • Queues are shorter.
  • Food selections are better (it IS Europe, after all).
  • Europa-Park boasts 13 rollercoasters!  Some are for children, but many are thrilling for adults.
  • On-site accommodations are fantastic and within a 2-minute walk of the park.  Whereas outside of the central Disneyland Paris Hotel, it’s hard to find accommodations nearby.
  • No security to get into Europa-Park.  Just a ticket check-in.
  • More playgrounds, including some incredible 3-story slides that we loved!  Pair that with reclining seats for parents, and we were hooked.
You can enjoy not just the amusement park but also the waterpark. Our boys are hooked!

How Are Europa-Park and Disney Similar?

Like Disney, Europa-Park has done an incredible job with the level of detail.  The park impresses with its cleanliness, transporting you to another magical world.

The parks mirror each other in many aspects, such as:

  • Indoor and outdoor rides.
  • Several sections with themes.
  • Rides, while under different names, are very similar.  Each park has its unique rides.
  • Plenty of restaurants and fast food options to fuel your day of fun.
  • Shows throughout the day.  However, these are probably off your list unless you speak German or French.
  • If you stay on the property, you can get early entrance.
  • Rideshare is available on all rides.
  • Season offerings, like Christmas.
Baby Switch is available at all attractions. If your child is too small to go on the ride, this pass will let you ride separately

What Are Some Of The Big Differences Between Europa-Park and Disney?

  • Fireworks.  As fast as I know, Europa-Park does not offer nightly fireworks.
  • Europa-Park is accessible by train from hundreds of European cities.  We love this!  Check out our experience with the Eurail pass here.
  • The staff at Europa-Park are not as friendly as the cast in Disney.  Especially when they learn that we cannot speak French or German.  
  • Instead of being divided into themes of different movies, Europa-Park is divided into parts of Europe. We loved this too! Visit the France section for an eclair, and then head to Switzerland for the Top of Europe ride! Sounds cool, right?
Wondering where to go next – France? Switzerland?

Rulantica, The Biggest Water Park in Europe

Despite living in Portugal, we don’t have any waterparks close to us in Lisbon.  The southern part of Portugal has some fantastic water parks open in the summer, but in the winter, we were thrilled to find the largest water park in Europe: Rulantica.

On our last trip, we visited Rulantica only one evening and craved more time here.  With dozens of water slides, tube rides, several water playgrounds for younger kids, a lazy river, and a wave pool housed in a massive indoor complex, there is something for everyone!  Parents can relax in the cabanas or lawn chairs.

In warmer months, there are many more outdoor waterslides available as well.  

Breaktime from walking. There are many good food choices in the park

Tips For Visiting Rulantica With Kids

  • You can rent towels for an extra fee or bring your own.
  • Lockers are available and come with admission.  You’ll also receive a bracelet at check-in that will open your locker.
  • Your bracelet will be linked to your credit card. You’ll be able to limit or eliminate how much children can charge on their bracelets. 
  • We don’t drink alcohol, but a swim-up bar is right in the middle next to the wave pool.  It’s a great place to relax!
  • Showers are available in the locker rooms.
  • The changing areas are co-gender.
  • You can stay at Hotel Kronasar for direct access to Rulantica.  However, tickets to the water park are not included in your hotel accommodation.
  • There are many parent loungers/relaxation stations.  If you have kids that know how to swim, enjoy some relaxation while they’re in the pool!

How To Get To Europa-Park

We believe flying to nearby airports and taking a train to Europa-Park is the best option.  The closest airports are:

Strasbourg – which is 50mins away from Europa-Park.

Basel – which is 1hr 4mins away from Europa-Park.

Zurich – which is 2hrs away from Europa-Park.

Stuttgart – which is 1hr 54mins from Europa-Park.

You can also fly into these airports and rent a car. However, within the park, a car is not necessary.  There are shuttle buses between hotels and between Europa-Park and Rulantica.

Train travel is also a great deal! On long-distance trains, the Deutsche Bahn, travelers aged 15+ can take up to 4 children until 14 years old free of chargeRead more information about the offer.

Some of the Europa-Park characters
Source: Unsplash

Hotels Near Europa-Park

  • Hotel Casa Rustica is just a one-minute drive to Europa-Park (walking must be a better choice!). This charming hotel has an onsite Italian cuisine restaurant.
  • Hotel Restaurant Schiff, located near the airport and provides a complimentary breakfast buffet. Most of their rooms have a terrace. Some also have bunk beds for big families!
  • Hotel Restaurant Engel offers a family room for those traveling with kids. This hotel features German cuisine.

Is It Worth It To Stay On Property At Europa-Park?

Absolutely!  While the on-site hotels are more expensive than staying in Rust, the town around Europa-Park offers many benefits.  These include:

  • Early entrance to the park.
  • Delicious and varied restaurants.  Our favorite restaurant had a play place in the back!
  • Easier access to the shuttle buses to get to different parts of the park.

We loved our stay in Hotel Bell Rock.  We had a double-story room that we all enjoyed.

Enjoy your visit, and let us know what you think in the comments!



Traveling to Germany by plane? Check out great deals from Booking.com, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, or Expedia

Find a hotel in Rust for your family from Expedia, Booking.com, or Vrbo, (we also love Tripadvisor and Hotels.com)

Discover more of Germany through fun activities from GetYourGuide, Airbnb Experiences, or Viator

Need to rent a car? Visit Expedia Cars

Get insured while traveling with World Nomads

Want to have a photo shoot while traveling? Check out flytographer!

Capture your best memories in Europa-Park as we do with a GroPro, Sony camera, or our favorite drones: DJI FPV, Air, and Mini

Check out your travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!

Additional Reading

13 Fantastic Things to Do In Bergen, Norway With Kids

Seeing Northern Lights In Kiruna, Sweden And Staying In IceHotel With Kids: All You Need To Know

9 Wonderful Things To Do In Kraków, Poland With Kids


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