European Amusement Parks Invest Heavily in New Attractions and Shows

European Amusement Parks Invest Heavily in 
New Attractions and Shows for 2011


(April 26, 2011) - Amusement parks in Europe are investing more than 400 million Euro in 2011 in order to provide their visitors with new experiences. In addition to family attractions, roller coasters, shows, and special events, some parks will also add new themed areas.

"Despite less-than-favorable weather conditions, 2010 was a successful year for most amusement parks in Europe,” said Karen Staley, Executive Director of European operations for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). “Attraction operators are optimistic about 2011. With the proposed investment level and better weather, we expect it to be a good year."

Most parks added something new over the winter. Some of the additions were upgrades of existing attractions, but what is most striking is the many investments in new attractions, roller coasters, and shows. Some parks added completely new themed areas to the park. There is also an increase in the number of special events, concerts, and interesting exhibitions in the industry.

In 2009, IAAPA Europe mapped the economic effects of the European amusement park industry. The 320 parks surveyed in 19 counties, welcomed more than 150 million visitors. These parks provided 50.000 in direct jobs and a total turnover of 8.6 billion Euros.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), was founded in 1918, and is the largest international union in the world for amusement companies with a fixed location. The organization represents more than 4.000 attraction providers, suppliers and individual members from over 90 counties. IAAPA Europe has 800 corporate members. More information:

United Kingdom

Drayton Manor, Tamworth, Roller Coaster and Hotel
Named after the cartoon hero, the roller coaster “Ben 10 Ultimate Mission” debuts at Drayton Manor. Riders revel in the world of Ben 10 even before they get on the ride with queue-themed entertainment. Riders will experience a unique ride forward and backward with twisting turns and drops. The coaster will be part of a Cartoon Network Street, which will include a fully branded restaurant and shop. The park will also introduce a new family hotel just 250 m from the main entrance with 150 rooms including themed Thomas and Friends™ family rooms.

Pleasure Beach Resort, Blackpool, Themed Area
New for 2011 is “Nickelodeon Land” which represents Pleasure Beach Blackpool’s biggest investment in more than a decade. With 12 rides, themed around all of the well-known Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer, this six- acre area of Pleasure Beach provides excitement for all of the family.

Legoland Windsor, Windsor, Family Attraction
“Atlantis Submarine Voyage” opens at Legoland. It is the first Lego-themed underwater ride in the world. Families go on an exhilarating marine voyage inside eight custom-built Lego-themed submarines that hold up to 14 people. Visitors explore a mesmerising 1.000.000 litre ocean tank featuring more than 50 species of rare sharks, rays, and tropical fish.

The London Dungeon, London, Laser Ride
UK’s first 5D laser ride opens at London Dungeon. Completely disorientated in the dark and spinning at high speeds, riders will shoot it out with twisted, vengeful spirits, whilst facing their full destructive force. This is definitely not a ride for the faint hearted and those truly afraid should take the ‘escape door’ option!

Thorpe Park, Chertsey, Family Attraction
Thorpe Park is the place to get your adrenaline pumping in 2011. New this year, climb aboard a life raft and get in a spin on “Storm Surge”, the ultimate sky-high spinning water ride. Go round the twist and lose control on the jaw-dropping 20 m spiralling descent and try to stay dry while being in the line of fire from the water cannons.


Bobbejaanland, Lichtaart, Roller Coaster
2011 is the year of “Dizz”, a new spinning roller coaster developed for the 50th birthday of Bobbejaanland. A roller coaster ride where the cars drop from a height of 17 m and run along the track with speeds up to 55 km/h, through the trees and over the walkways of the park, all while spinning around themselves.

Plopsa Coo, Coo, Roller Coaster
Plopsa Coo, located in the Belgian Ardennes adds a spinning coaster. It is the first of this type of rollercoaster in one of the Plopsa Parks and is themed to the little adventurer Vicky the Viking.

Plopsa Land, De Panne, Family Attraction
Plopsa opens a whole indoor section in the main theme park, Plopsaland De Panne. Eleven new attractions, an Italian restaurant, and a Plopsa store will be located in a covered area of 5,000 square meters. The popular cartoon Maya the Bee is the theme of the new indoor area.

Walibi, Wavre, Water Park
Walibi has completely rebuilt its indoor waterpark Aqualibi with a number of new attractions includinga new zone for the small kids and new waterslides with and without rings. Aqualibi also has a complete new, contemporary look from the in- and the outside including improved cabins and changing rooms. Walibi reduced CO2 emission around 40% by using a number of new advancements including solar panels to heat the water. There is also a new attraction in the amusement park part: the new 4D movie “Rokken Roll”, which stars the characters of the park.


Djurs Sommerland, Nimtofte, Family Attraction
Djurs Sommerland presents the water coaster “Treasure Island” – which is only the fifth of its kind in the world. The 28-metre high roller coaster shoots through air and water at 70 km/h in a dramatic setting filled with sea monsters, pirates, and hidden treasures. Treasure Island is a world-class pirate raid for the whole family.

Fårup Sommerland, Blokhus, Water Park
The Danish amusement park is expanding its waterpark with two new attractions. A new family water slide with rafts holding up to three people will take riders through dark tunnels, turns, and a sudden drop with a big splash into the landing pool. In addition, a new water play fortress featuring plenty of play opportunities will entertain guests of all ages.

Tivoli Gardens, Kopenhagen, Museum/Exhibit
For the first time “Titanic - The Exhibition” is coming to Denmark. This exhibition tells the epic story of the disaster and offers a unique opportunity to meet a selected group of individuals who were on board the doomed cruise liner. The exhibition offers a rare glimpse of life on the cruise ship. Visitors view reconstructed suites, read letters from victims, and see priceless original artifacts from the sunken ship.


Särkänniemi, Tampere, Cinema/exhibit
Särkänniemi Adventure Park presents the new Planetarium show “Black Holes”. This immersive digital theater programme incorporates some of the most intense three-dimensional visual effects ever created. In the aquarium visitors can now explore the wonders of Lake Tanganyika, one of the largest and deepest freshwater lakes in the world. In the new tank they will have a realistic view of this unique ecosystem.


Futuroscope, Poitiers, Show/Cinema
“The 8th Continent” is a new interactive theatre at Futuroscope. Installed on dynamic scooters and equipped with laser pistols, the challenge is to destroy the waste monsters which threaten our oceans. The 4D Theatre features a new film called The Little Prince. With 3D projection and special effects, visitors experience an extraordinary journey alongside the prince and his faithful friend the fox in search of their delicate friend, the Rose.

Le Grand Parc du Puy du Fou, Les Epesses, Show
In the year 300 Gallic prisoners were sentenced to win the Circus Games. In the highly charged atmosphere in the stands of Gallo-Roman Stadium, the skies darken as the cruel Roman governor appears and a gigantic red canopy slowly closes over the spectators. With this dramatic back drop the Circus Games begin! The new show “Triumph’s Sign” takes place in the Gallo-Roman Stadium. The show draws its inspiration from authentic circus games in the Gallo-Roman period and to produce this magnificent show on stage it takes 80 actors, 45 horses, eight big cats and around 60 other animals.

Le Pal, Dompierre-sur-Bresbe, Roller Coaster
The spinning coaster “Le twist” has a height of 21 m and a length of 462 m. Two 16-seat trains run with a speed of a maximum of 70 km/h through loops, a horse shoe, S-curves, and camelback humps. The layout of the track is integrated in the existing park area and the coaster experience is designed for families.


Europa-Park, Rust, Family Attraction/Restaurant

The Enchanted Forest takes all guests back to their childhood memories. The smallest visitors go on a gondola tour, passing Pisa, Venice, and Florence, in the new kids’ attraction “Piccolo Mondo”. With the rollercoaster restaurant “FoodLoop” Europa-Park opens the first loop restaurant in the world. On stainless steel tracks, the food and beverages speed directly to the visitors´ tables.
From Whitsun 2011, the suspended Monorail “Volo da Vinci” makes the dream of flying come true! In Leonardo da Vinci’s ingenious flight machines, guests will hover high above the Italian themed area.

Hansa Park, Sierksdorf, Roller Coaster

Hansa Park introduces a new roller coaster challenge. The attraction will carry riders off into the legendary world of the Vikings. “The Snake of Midgard” will be the theme park’s sixth coaster and can be enjoyed by passengers taller than 1 metre. The entrance area and unique theme world “The Hanseatic League in Europe” will continue to expand with buildings from the Belgian Hanseatic city of Bruges. Furthermore, the Dutch Hanseatic city of Groningen will be featured.

Heide Park, Soltau, Roller Coaster
Heide Park presents Germany’s first dive coaster:”Krake”. Strapped into a floorless vehicle, riders ascend to the top (41 m) of the lift hill and then vertically drop into the jaws of the Kraken. Through the darkness of the shipwreck they will be hurled back above the water’s surface.

Holiday Park, Hassloch, Family Attraction
In November 2010 Plopsa took over Holiday Park and is now the second park of the Plopsa company outside Belgium. Holiday Park is the 7th largest park in Germany. In 2011 The park will introduce characters like Maya the Bee and Wicky the Viking in 2011.

Movie Park, Bottrop-Kirchhellen, Roller Coaster
In June, the park celebrates its 15th birthday. As a part of the celebration, the park will introduce the indoor coaster ”Van Helsing’s Factory“ for visitors older than 12 years. After a vampire hunt they can relax in the new restaurant “Van Helsing’s Club”.

Phantasialand, Brühl, Family Attraction
Phantasialand opens a new unique interactive fun ride in 3D: “Maus au Chocolat”. In addition, the park offers a new wave swinger on the Kaiserplatz, another new family ride, as well as the new ice show “Relight My Fire”.


Gardaland, Castelnuovo di Garda, Roller Coaster
Italy’s first winged roller coaster opens this year at Gardaland: “X-Raptor”. Starting from an underground lab, the predator-themed train soars 33 m over a setting devastated by the winged creature. Courageous riders experience a feeling of extreme flight with breathtaking speeds and three inversions avoiding many obstacles along the 770 m long track.

Mirabilandia, Ravenna, Roller Coaster
In June 2011, Mirabilandia brings “Max Adventure Master Thai”, a new double roller coaster with an original Thai atmosphere, designed for entertaining children and adults together.

Rainbow MagicLand, Valmontone, Theme Park

Italy’s newest theme park, Rainbow MagicLand opens its doors this spring. The park will host 35 themed attractions that offer thrills to the more daring, excitement to children, and dream atmospheres for all. The most amazing of these include the only indoor spinning coaster in Italy, a launch coaster that reaches almost 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds, an interactive dark ride and much more. Included in the park as well is a whole section for the youngest visitors, the “Pixie Village”.


Dolfinarium Harderwijk, Harderwijk, Show
Dolfinarium offers a new show with a new character, Spetter. The show, full of black-light and special effects, guarantees an exciting, amusing, and moving event for the whole family!

Efteling, Kaatsheuvel, Show
Efteling opens the doors to the magical city “Raveleijn”. The imposing city forms the setting for a spectacular show about five children who grow up to ride horses. They need each other and their special talents to confront the city’s oppressive ruler. The five or six performances each day feature horses and ravens. The enormous open-air arena offers seating for 1,200 guests. The performances can also be enjoyed from the galleries (terraces) of the restaurant “Het Wapen van Raveleijn.”

Slagharen, Slagharen, Show
Slagharen theme park and resort, adds two international shows to their programme. They include The Mentalist Sudesh and a special act from Hungary featuring the Wheel of Adventure. Several restaurants and shops have been refurbished as well.

Toverland, Sevenum, Theming
Toverland will have been open for 10 years in 2011. Visitors enter a re-themed indoor hall named “Het Land van Toos”. In June there will be a special anniversary weekend with many activities. In 10 years Toverland grew from a fun indoor park for kids to a great theme park for the entire family. A new logo, website, a corporate design and an upgrade of character Toos Toverhoed are also part of the park’s anniversary season.

Walibi Holland, Biddinghuizen, Roller Coaster and Rebranding

Walibi, the main character, can be seen in a new fantasy world with a newly themed rollercoaster “Speed of Sound,” two new thematic areas with 10 thematic attractions, new shops, new shows, and entertainment. In the new show “Rockstar, the final battle,” Walibi with the W.A.B band will battle against his brother and his band called The SkunX.


Isla Mágica, Seville, Family Attraction/Cinema
Isla Mágica introduces two new films in the Dimensión 4 Cinema: “El Principito” and “Sinfonía de Peces”. “Bumper” a virtual roller coaster is the new production at the “Cinemoción” cinema. Two new rides also debut, “Los Bucaneros” (a splash battle) and “El Templo del Terror” (dark ride). The roller coaster “Jaguar” has a new train design with a more flexible harnesses and better visibility for the guests.

Port Aventura, Salou, Kids Area
“Sésamo Aventura” is the new area for families in Spain’s biggest amusement park. It offers plenty of attractions and entertainment with the world-famous characters from Sesame Street in a complete new section of Port Aventura. Guests can also have their photo taken with Elmo and his friends.


Furuvik, Gävle, Roller Coaster/Family Attraction
“Furuvik Rocket-Ready for Launch” is the name of the new family roller coaster which will debut this year. Two more family attractions, the “bee-bee” and a swing ride, will bring fun for all ages. Together with a big facelift of the amusement part of the park and a great concert program with international stars Furuvik presents many highlights this year.

Kolmården, Kolmården, Family Attraction
The Wildlife Park gondola, “Safari”, will be a unique and thrilling adventure that takes visitors through Kolmården’s Safari. It brings them as close as possible to animals from around the world including lions, bears, and wolves.

Liseberg, Gothenburg, Thrill Ride
Liseberg Tower, with a height of 146 meters above sea level, is to be transformed into Europe’s tallest freefall attraction. The new attraction, “AtmosFear”, will be riders’ wildest dream or worst nightmare.

Astrid Lindgren’s World, Vimmerby, Sweden,
In Vimmerby, Astrid Lindgren opens a brand new Ronja the Robber’s Daughter themed area. The story about Ronja was the last big story Astrid Lindgren wrote. A fort that splits in two pieces during a thunderstorm, walls that lower into the ground, and robbers on horseback are a few parts of the new experience.

Gröna Lund, Stockholm, Dark Ride/Roller Coaster
The attraction “Blå Tåget” offers a new experience, with new high-tech techniques to scare the riders! “Twister”, the new wooden roller coaster, will be located down by the waterfront and take the riders over the ghost train building and both over and under the “Jetline” and “Kvasten” roller coasters.


Editor’s Note: Every effort was made to ensure the information included in this release was accurate at the time of publication. For the most up-to-date information, including the opening date of the new attraction, please visit the attraction’s website listed with each entry or contact the facility directly.

The IAAPA Europe Economic Impact Study (with an overview per country) can be found at:


For more information, please contact:

Karen Staley                                                  Jakob Wahl
Executive Director, IAAPA Europe                    Programme Manager, IAAPA Europe
E-mail:                              E-mail:
Phone: +32 492 72 02 68                                Phone: +32 492 72 02 67