'Ireland' to open as a themed land at Germany's top tourist attraction
Europa Park's 'Fairytale Oasis'
Move over Main Street USA. Ireland is getting its very own themed land at Europa Park, Germany's No.1 tourist attraction.
Ireland, an expansion of Europa Park's 'Children's World', is billed as the attraction's 14th themed land and a major new arrival for 2016.
Within "an idyllic little fishing village" setting, visitors will be able to enjoy the children’s swingboat Dancing Dingie, ride the kids' rollercoaster Ba-a-a-Express, or take a trip on a tractor at Old Mac Donald's Tractor Fun.
Described as a "fairytale oasis" on its website, the themed land was inspired by Irish attractions ranging from the Rock of Cashel to Johnnie Fox's pub.
Other highlights include Limerick Castle, a covered play area, and "a new gastronomic offering" billed as The O’Mackay’s Cafe and Pub. A new shop dubbed Shamrock Gifts and Treats and a new show "are sure to entice visitors," it adds.
"With authentic, detailed design, visitors of all ages will be able to discover the most beautiful side of Ireland," the Park continues.
"Ireland is well known in Germany," said Jakob Wahl, Europa Park's Director of Communication. "We thought we would give it a nice touch having it as a land here, and its beauty and landscape gave us possibilities to be very creative."
'Ireland' will officially open in late spring, he confirmed.
The Park's design department visited Ireland on a research trip, he added, taking in locations ranging from the Rock of Cashel to Dublin's Docklands, Galway, Sligo and Kerry. Pub visits included Johnnie Foxes, The Brazen Head and The Temple Bar.
"They got lots of inspiration!" Wahl says.
'Ireland' - artists' sketches. Courtesy: Europa Park
Almost five million people visit the 95-hectare park in Baden-Württemberg every year, with five themed hotels and over 100 attractions among the draws.
Customers can experience 14 European countries "in a single day", enjoying "detailed architecture, authentic vegetation and customary cuisine".
13 rollercoasters and other rides also feature, as well as the world's first Michelin-Starred restaurant in a theme park (the two-Star Ammolite).
Europa Park's summer 2016 season runs to November 6th, with prices from €44.50 for adults and €38.50 for children. Infants under four go free.