Europa Park Magical Winter | Favourite Moments

Europa Park Magical Winter | Favourite Moments

I’ve seen many photos and videos from my friends who have visited the Europa Park Magical Winter event. They’ve all told me their Europa Park Magical Winter favourite moments, and I’ve been very envious of them. In 2019, I finally made the trip over to Europa Park for their winter season – and in particular for New Year. Plus, it gave me a good rollercoaster fix during the closed season! Europa Park Magical Winter is open daily from 23rd November 2019 to 6th January 2020, with park hours open from 11am till at least 7pm (the park does extend their hours during busier periods – latest close we had was 8.30pm!)

I highly recommend everyone planning a trip to Europa Park during the winter months. It may be cold and selected rides are closed but with so many rides and attractions at the park, you will still be able to fill up your time – especially with Rulantica, the brand new, immersive water park next to Hotel Krønasår. As I am writing this, I’m already wanting to get myself back to the park as it was a wonderful way to end 2019. So, here are my Europa Park Magical Winter favourite moments.

europa park favourite moment christmas tree lights

Favourite Moment #1: Christmas Tree Lights Switch On Show

One of the best ways to end an incredibly cold day at Europa Park is the Christmas Tree Light On show. This ran from around 6.30pm each day and is located near Historama and Euro-Mir in Russia/Luxembourg. I loved watching this show and seeing all the park mascots in their winter outfits.

europa park favourite moment bellevue big wheel

Favourite Moment #2: Bellevue Wheel

So, what do you do when the weather is freezing cold and incredibly misty/foggy? Why, you go on a Big Wheel right? There were blankets available which were very much needed as we travelled upwards towards the top. The views were… invisible however it was highly amusing hearing the sound of Wodan going round the track and you couldn’t see anything.

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Favourite Moment #3: Batavia in Ice

I was stunned at the sheer beauty of the ice sculptures. They were all themed to the new Piraten in Batavia ride which will be opening this year. My favourite sculpture of the entire set was of the ride logo (as shown above). There are some incredibly talented people in this world who are able to make art from ice. It’s incredible how they have the ability to craft out the key details without any mistakes. I would love to have the creative talent to do that myself!

europa park favourite moment rollercoasters in the fog

Favourite Moment #4: Rollercoasters in the Fog!

Am I the only one who enjoys the delights of rollercoasters in adverse weather? There’s always a strange new atmosphere in theme parks when the weather is not sunny. Whether it’s raining, snowing, misty, it can be a right laugh! One of my favourite rollercoaster moments on this trip was riding Silver Star in the fog. Baring in mind, we all decided to get a front row ride. There’s nothing more ‘scary’ than the coaster track disappearing over each airtime hill. By the end of the ride, my face was frozen, my bum was cold AF but I came off cry laughing.

europa park favourite moment log fires

Favourite Moment #5: Log Fires

Have you ever been to a visitor attraction, scare event or theme park, and they have open log fires burning away? Whilst you may be wandering around in the cold, nothing beats the feeling of walking up to an open fire to keep warm. It was particularly noticeable in Gardaland and Europa Park that you were able to add logs to the fire if they were dying out – something that you wouldn’t get here in the UK! It’s pretty much a staple part of the winter season.

Are you planning a trip to Europa Park in 2020 to experience Rulantica and Piraten in Batavia?

What are your favourite moments at Europa Park Magical Winter?

Have you ever visited Europa Park for their Magical Winter event?

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

NYE Trip Highlights | Favourite Foods

NYE Trip Highlights | Favourite Foods

During my NYE 2019 trip to Italy & Germany, I will admit I indulged on a lot of scrumptious food at Gardaland and Europa Park. There was a lot of choices available. It was almost a challenge in itself to pick what I wanted. I haven’t written about food as a blog post on here since it’s always been a bit of a trigger subject for me. However, I am going to make an exception this one time. Why? Because I wanted to give you an idea into some of the delicious dishes you can enjoy. So, let’s dive right into the highlights of my favourite foods:

Merlin Stube | Gardaland

There may not be a large choice of food here but what they do provide is made to order and very high-quality for theme park food. From chicken legs to schnitzel, there’s a good range in my opinion. You have the choice of sitting in a tiered style inside the building or enjoying the Italian sunshine outside. Due to it being busy, our group decided to sit outside on the park benches – yes, it was cold outside but with the sunshine, it still felt somewhat ‘warm’. Plus, it’s in a nice location to people watch. Prices at this restaurant are what you expect for theme park food, might be somewhat pricey to those on a smaller budget – some dishes ranged from €14 to €18 however you get a sizeable plate of food and one drink (soft drink or a pint of beer).

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Schloss Balthasar | Europa Park

Okay, as someone who isn’t that well researched on Europa Park restaurants, I had no idea this existed yet have had pictures taken outside the building! I’d probably put this up there as one of the higher-end restaurants at the park but honestly, I was super impressed with the high-quality food – it was incredibly filling and delicious. Considering this was the second medieval-themed restaurant we went to, you know Europa Park takes the upper hand when it comes to theming. Alongside the ornate building, the plate setting on the table was incredibly fancy. Sometimes the little details make all the difference to the dining experience. Prices vary from €15 to €28, you can choose from Steaks to Salads. Plus I’d highly recommend the Kaiserschmarrn for dessert – yummy!

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Captain’s Finest | Europa Park

I heard a lot of good reviews of Captain’s Finest from my friends. They were not wrong about how incredible the dining experience was. I am not 100% into my fancy restaurants so I was a tad nervous about how I dressed and my overall table manners. Silly, I know but I always want to make a good impression. I didn’t need to worry as the staff were incredibly friendly and the food was exceptional quality. About 95% of the group went for the Steak, which was cooked to perfection. I opted for the cheaper option with the Cheeseburger – not my preferred dish but it was incredible. The meat was cooked exceptionally well, plus there were so many fries. That was a downside as I would’ve loved to have enjoyed one of their many desserts. Maybe next time! A superb meal was the perfect way to end our trip to Europa Park.

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Seehaus Restaurant | Europa Park

If I hadn’t gone on this trip, I don’t think I would have discovered the amazing selection of cakes on offer here in Seehaus Restaurant. I have a very sweet tooth so this was like heaven for me – fellow cake lovers, take note and make sure you visit here on your next trip to Europa Park. Cake prices varied from €4 to €7 so pretty affordable in my eyes. Again, Europa Park is showing us how amazing their food range is on park. This was the perfect place to sit down away from the cold and enjoy a sweet treat paired with a warming hot drink. We visited here on New Years Day where temperatures had dropped to around -4°C so VERY COLD!

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Fjord Restaurant | Europa Park

Anyone looking for a sizeable Salad dish, Fjord Restaurant is the place to go! The food options here are very nautical based so plenty of fish dishes including your trusty Fish and Chips. I opted for the Chicken Salad and it did not disappoint. I wanted to stay away from ‘something and chips’ so this was the perfect choice for me – plus I wanted to feel slightly healthy. This is a self service restaurant so you can pick what you want at the food station on the ground floor. I also grabbed a small Blackberry crumble for my dessert which was delicious. They do have a separate bakery station so you can grab a slice of cake if you wanted to.

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What is your favourite restaurant in Europa Park or Gardaland?

Do you have a favourite food at Europa Park? Or indeed at Gardaland?

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

Packing for my New Year holiday

Packing for my New Year holiday

I’m heading off to Gardaland and Europa Park this Thursday to see in 2020 – my first time abroad during this period. It’s certainly going to be a new experience for me having always stayed in the UK and avoided booking travel during the Christmas holidays. There’s a lot of things I am looking forward to experiencing including Europa Park’s Winter Season event and my first ever visit to Gardaland. So what exactly am I packing for my New Year holiday?

I am travelling with RyanAir using hand luggage only. Sounds like an impossible task right? Not really if you plan well when it comes to your clothes and toiletries. Not gonna lie, I’ve travelled using hand luggage for various trips to Europe in order to save costs on luggage, and sometimes travelling light can save you a lot of hassle. Whilst some people might wonder how I do it – whether through the fact I am a woman, or some people might call me crazy in general and can’t fathom the thought of travelling hand luggage only. I’m here to tell and prove to you it can be done.

packing new year holiday passport

So what exactly am I planning to take?

Before I even start getting the suitcase open and chucking clothes into it, I actually plan out my outfits for each day of my trip. This not only helps me to avoid overpacking but it actually helps when I am out travelling. Ever feel stuck trying to figure out what outfit you want to wear each day? You won’t have that issue any more! I will write down my list using the Notes app on my iPad. With this trip in particular, there’s going to be lots of theme park days so obvious choices will be t-shirts, leggings, shorts/skirts etc.

Mix and matching outfits is the key part to packing light with hand luggage. I also have a few evening meals planned so nicer outfits are required, whether that is a nice top paired with leggings or a nice dress with tights. Ensuring outfits are easy to fold and don’t take up too much space, like thin cotton t-shirts or dresses, will really help to ensure you can take the basics with you without weighing down your case.

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Top Tips:

#1: If you can make some outfits split into multiple uses like transitioning from daytime to evening, this can really help with space.

#2: Packing cubes. If you haven’t used these before, buy some from Amazon – they are not even that expensive, but please give them a go. They have changed the way I pack my suitcase for any future trips. They really help to utilise the space in your case better – ideal for hand luggage trips.

#3: Having a designated travel outfit can really help avoid overpacking. Wearing bulky items when travelling will save you lots of space in your case – this includes hoodies & coats.

#4: Toiletries & make-up? Try to take the bare minimum and avoid anything that is liquid based. That 100ml limit and one liquids bag can be a pain in the arse but you can make it work – stick with eyeliner pencils, lipsticks, powders etc.

packing new year holiday europa park logo on floor

My packing list as follows…

Clothing

  • T-Shirts x5
  • Jeans/Jeggings x1
  • Shorts/Skirt x2
  • Leggings x1
  • Dresses x5 (Including NYE dress!)

Layers & Necessities

  • Underwear x9
  • Bra x1
  • Thermals x1 (Top & Bottoms)
  • Tights x2
  • Socks x4 (Thick socks mostly cause who wants cold feet when walking around a theme park?)
  • Scarf, Hat, Gloves
  • Leather Jacket (Evening purpose)
  • Superdry Jacket

It’s pretty basic but it’s amazing how I can fit 9 days worth of outfits in my carry-on suitcase without going over the 10kg from RyanAir. It’s not magic, it’s practical and sensible packing!

Have you travelled abroad only using hand luggage?

How do you pack? Do you create a list?

Do you shove everything in and hope for the best? What works for you?

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year, see you all in 2020!

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

June Road Trip | Best New Coasters

June Road Trip | Best New Coasters

I had quite a short hiatus on my blog during the summer. However, I went over to Germany in June to explore some new parks as well as visit some old favourites. It was a fun trip, to say the least. It provided some incredible views across the German Bavaria area. I cannot get over how gorgeous Germany is as a country. These road trips that we plan are one of the reasons I love travelling. You really get a chance to explore more than just the theme parks. I have major wanderlust! I wanted to reflect on some of the best new coasters that I got to experience on this trip. Also highlighting some of my old favourites that I couldn’t wait to re-ride.

FREISCHÜTZ | BAYERN PARK

In a weird way, I really enjoyed this coaster at Bayern Park. The park itself was a surprise in terms of how beautiful the surroundings were. There were lots of unique and gorgeous German details that you don’t tend to get with the mainstream parks in the UK, for obvious reasons. Not only was this coaster my 350th cred. I also enjoyed this ride even if it is the biggest coaster in the whole park. This Maurer X-Car Flying Launch coaster provides some great elements of hangtime and a fairly punchy launch. Okay, the X-Car designs aren’t the most comfortable or easiest to get into. Despite all that, this is by far the best coaster at the park!

FEUERDRACHE | LEGOLAND DEUTSCHLAND

What, one of the best coasters I did was at a Legoland? Yep, this is by far my favourite of the Dragon coasters I’ve ridden. Out of Windsor, Billund & Deutschland. Being a Zierer coaster, I was sceptical over how good this ride would be. What ticked the box for me was that fun little drop before the lift hill, after the indoor dark ride section. I’ve never seen a POV of this ride. Of course, this means I didn’t expect the unexpected. This then took you into the fun coaster you can see from the park. If you are heading off to a Legoland park abroad, make sure to visit Legoland Deutschland and experience this coaster for yourself.

EUROSAT CAN CAN COASTER | EUROPA PARK

Okay, you could say I’m cheating by saying that this is a new coaster. Especially as the layout is exactly the same. The experience is completely different, and I am living for this new style. I was nervous when the retheme was announced. Boy, I didn’t need to be. The Can-Can retheme fits perfectly with the France area. I love how the Mack’s continue to surprise us all. The homage to the original EuroSat coaster around the queue line, the original theme in the lift hill music, this left me with a huge smile on my face. It may be a complete re-track but it’s still the same fun coaster we all remember and love. Minus the crazy brakes at the end – BRAAAAAAAAAKES!

Honourable mentions need to go to some of my old favourites that I was super excited to get back on including:

blue fire megacoaster europa parkBlue Fire @ Europa Park

expedition geforce holiday parkExpedition GeForce @ Holiday Park

karacho coaster tripsdrillKaracho @ Erlebnispark Tripsdrill

wodan timbur coaster europa parkWodan @ Europa Park

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

My Favourite Woodies

My Favourite Woodies

Since us UK geeks are getting incredibly excited about the Wicker Man opening next weekend (although some have been lucky enough to ride it already!), I thought I would dedicate a blog posts to the other woodies I have ridden. My first real memory of woodies was back in 2002 when I went to Florida and rode Gwazi… yeah, that ride was interesting to say the least. Now that I have ridden a good few woodies that are absolutely great, here’s a list of my favourites.

 

Wildfire | Kolmarden Zoo

My babe! This ride is just fab and you really need to get yourself to Kolmarden just for this. Wildfire ticks all the boxes for me. The inverted zero G stall element is my favourite part of the ride, quite simply for the fact I was like “What the hell?!” when I first rode it. The ride has everything you need for a thrilling coaster that is fun for all the family and I think the on-ride photo above proves that!

 

Troy | Toverland

This used to my all time favourite woodie before Wildfire came along, but you cannot deny that this is still a favourite among the theme park community. I heard great things about this before I even ventured to Toverland in 2013 and yep, it did not disappoint. The sheer speed of the ride is enough to keep me wanting more – especially if its a hot day.

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Tomahawk | PortAventura

Awwww, Tomahawk was a beaut to ride. I can’t really explain why I prefer this over Stampida. I think it’s the fact that the ride is so fun to ride and you got some real good airtime!

 

Joris En De Draak | Efteling

Joris is another favourite of mine, not quite at the same level of Troy and Wildfire in my opinion but I won’t turn down a ride on it when visiting Efteling. For some people, they do rate Joris over Troy. For me, Joris is more family orientated and with the racing element, it adds to the fun of the ride – especially when you are on the winning train!

 

Twister | Grona Lund

Grona Lund is insane enough with the whole compact nature of the park but Twister… Despite the fact that it doesn’t look like much, I really enjoyed the ride! Don’t be deceived into thinking it won’t be thrilling because of how small it is, honestly it is worth the queue! Plus, you might find a few recognisable images of woodies in the queue line.

 

White Lightning | Fun Spot Orlando

Go to Fun Spot on a quiet day and you can just re-ride White Lightning. Those bunny hops give you plenty of airtime – like seriously. I honestly would return to Fun Spot just to ride White Lightning again.

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Wodan | Europa Park

Okay, I have to say that I have ridden Wodan when it was running ‘slow’ and didn’t rate it highly. However, like with all coasters, when they have been operating for the whole day and if it’s been a hot day, Wodan pretty much packs a punch. I didn’t think it was going to show me that it can be just as good as Troy but it did. Don’t judge the ride if your first ride is slow, wait until the end of the day and it may just surprise you!

 

Megafobia | Oakwood

Probably one of the most iconic woodies we have in the UK (or Wales to be exact) at the moment. I can now see why all the geeks rave about this ride, especially as John Wardley designed it too! Back row is insane on the ride, I just wish it was closer to home so we could all give it more love.

Despite not being a huge lover of woodies, I have ridden a few that have shown me that they can be fun and thrilling. Maybe my early memories of Gwazi put me off for a while! Here’s to next weekend where I get the chance to ride The Wicker Man. Hope to see a few of you there!

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS