Movie Park Germany Review, Parques Reunidos Movie Theme Park | Universal on a Budget

Movie Park Germany is a theme park near Dusseldorf, Germany. This park has had a turbulent history. The park has closed a few times and has had an identity crisis, as the park has changed owners and names a half dozen times. Now the park has a clear vision as a movie studio theme park, and it feels like a Universal park on a budget. Find out why in this review. Now get ready for a carousel of ownership and name changes. This park originally opened in 1967 as Kirchhellener Märchenwald. This wasn’t a conventional theme park. Rather it was

a fairy tale forest with some interactive displays. The park was sold in 1976 to the Rosenberg family. After closing for a year, the park reopened as Traumlandpark the following year. Under this ownership, the park started to add amusement rides, including a few coasters. The Rosenbergs went bankrupt in 1985, causing the park’s closure. But it was sold to two former employees and reopened in 1986 as Neue Traumland with all-new rides. After just a few years, the park was sold to Bavaria Film. The park was closed yet again and completely remodeled. It opened in 1992 as Bavaria

Filmpark, but the park closed after just one year due to poor attendance. After seeing the success of the Universal parks, Warner Brothers was intrigued by

the prospect of a theme park filled with their IPs. Warner Bros. had some experience in the theme park industry since they had been leasing the rights to the Looney Tunes and DC Superheroes to Six Flags. So in 1994, Warner Bros. purchased Bavaria Filmpark and spent 2 years completely renovating it. The park reopened in 1996 as Warner Bros. Movie World Germany and saw much greater success than the site’s past iterations. Families

praised the park for its theming. In 1999, Premier Parks acquired the park. Shortly thereafter, Premier acquired Six Flags. Premier kept the Warner Bros. Movie World name, but they shifted the park’s focus from families towards teenagers and thrill-seekers. This led to an attendance decline and the park was sold to Star Parks in 2004. This was the same group who owned the Walibi parks for a while. This led to the park being renamed Movie Park Germany, and the name has stuck ever since. The park also had to remove all their references to Warner Bros. IPs. Many rides

were simply renamed while others like the Batman simulator were completely changed. Then in 2010, the park was acquired by Parques Reunidos, who has operated the park ever since. Their 12 year ownership has been the longest time period that this park has gone without changing hands, so the park now has a clear vision forwards. Movie Park Germany feels like the cross of a Six Flags park and a Universal park. The rides built during the Warner Bros. regime feel closer to a Universal park. These rides are themed to the nines with pre-shows and giant animatronics. The rides

added during the Premier and Star Parks days weren’t as extravagant. Some didn’t have any theming and were just stylized to their respective area. Others just had 2D cutouts along the course. Fortunately, Parques Reunidos has matched the same level of theming and care that Warner Bros. originally put into the park. The 3 coasters they’ve added since their acquisition of the park have highly-themed queue lines and dark ride sequences. And they’ve even refurbished some of the older dark rides too. Overall this park looks pretty good. I love the entry plaza. You enter under a picturesque archway a

la Universal Studios. Then you have a beautiful fountain in-front of you and Star Trek is framed perfectly with it. It makes for quite the arrival experience. You also have two rides in this area that are easy to miss. The park layout forms a giant T. It’s not my favorite set-up since each side forms a dead-end, but it’s easy enough to navigate. Then Hollywood Street Set functions as the park’s Main Street and it reminds me of the entry midway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I really like how it looks with the shops and theaters. It connects you

to the rest of the park, which forms a narrow strip in both directions. The one new area built fully by Parques Reunidos looks great. And that would be Federation Plaza. It’s small, but you have the iconic Star Trek theme blaring and buildings straight from the film. Operation Enterprise is the lone ride here, but oddly enough you can’t see it from the area. This is next to the laziest area in the park, Santa Monica Pier. A few rides are placed by a small pond, but it has zero theming. You just have some off-the-shelf flat rides. I’d

love to see this land overhauled in the future to match the theming standard of the rest of the park. Old West feels like your classic Six Flags western section. The section by Bandit looks great. That coaster serves as the perfect backdrop with its brown structure and there are some nice stores and shopfronts with the western aesthetic. I hate how MP-Xpress looks though. It was shoved next to Bandit with zero theming and the ride is ugly and rusted over. I know this ride was supposed to get a refresh at one point and it can’t happen soon

enough. Streets of New York used to be Gotham City. The urban feel works here, especially since the rides in this section are well-themed. The largest area is Nickland, which is a colorful children’s and family section. This used to be a Looney Tunes land, but now it feels like an outdoor collection of the rides found at the Nickelodeon Universe theme parks. Just beware in summer since this section has almost no shade. The finally section is really awkward in Adventure Lagoon. There’s no lagoon nor cohesive theme. It doesn’t feel like a themed area. Rather it feels like

two rides- albeit highly themed ones- randomly plopped back there. While I love what Parques Reunidos has done from a theming perspective, I am not a fan of their operations. Movie Park suffers from two pitfalls the chain is know for- staggered ride openings and one train operations. Several rides open late, particularly those in the back sections like the Old West. Then almost every ride will close early. From my experience, most queues seem to close a half hour early. But a few rides, most notably the water rides, tend to close even earlier. So don’t save your most

anticipated ride until the very end of the day just in case it closes earlier than you anticipate. The most frustrating experience I had at this park was back in 2019. The queue lines were set to close in 20 minutes. I was hoping to get one more ride on High Fall before hopping in line for Time Riders. High Fall was a total walk-on, so I seemed good to go. However, the employee let me know he was going to wait until he either had a full load or the queues closed, whichever happened first. Then the coasters do

not have the best capacities. The junior ones only have one train, which is understandable. The adult ones all have had 20-40 minute waits. Several adult ones have short trains such as Van Helsing’s Factory and Movie Park Studios. Then the adult ones that have long trains like Star Trek, MP-Xpress, and Bandit have run just one train in all my visits. This has caused them to build up some waits even on quiet days. All my visits have occurred on summer weekdays, so maybe they will run two trains if you go on a weekend. What I cannot fault

are the operators working the coasters. They bust their buns to load and dispatch them as quickly as possible. This at least keeps the coaster lines moving at a steady rate. How much time you need depends on your interests. I know a lot of coaster enthusiasts, myself included, make this a half day park. It’s possible as you long as you only care about the main rides and can avoid all waits. If you want to see the shows and have a more laid-back day full of rerides, you’ll want to give yourself a full-day. One of the most

helpful tools when touring this park is the Speedy Pass system. If you visit on a busy day, you may want the unlimited options which cost between 20 and 80 Euros depending how much of your wait you want to slash. Of those tiers, I recommend the Silver option, which cuts off 50% of the wait. A few rides take 15 or so minutes from the merge point anyway- such as Star Trek and Movie Park Studios- so it’s the smartest option. If you visit on a quiet day, you may want to consider the single shots. For 5 Euros,

you get instant access to a ride. This is the approach I used this past year. I would rope drop Van Helsing’s Factory. This indoor coaster routinely gets the longest line in the park. You then should hit Star Trek Operation Enterprise. This is the park’s best and most popular ride, but it should still be a near walk-on. You then want to head back to the Old West to hit MP-Xpress if you really want the credit. That one is usually ready to go a half hour after opening. This is right next to Bandit. You want to be

one of the first people on Bandit when it opens, which is usually an hour after opening, since that coaster usually gets a lengthy line fast. This approach will allow you to ride the four busiest coasters with minimal to no wait. You may encounter some waits on the opposite side of the park, so that’s where those single shots can come in handy. Now let’s talk about that ride lineup. Movie Park Germany has 8 different roller coasters. You have one junior coaster, four family coasters, and three thrill coasters. I think their family coaster offerings are exceptional, but

the park’s thrill coasters are a bit lacking overall, especially since two of them are pretty bad. The best and most thrilling coaster here is Star Trek: Operation Enterprise. This Mack multi-launch coaster doesn’t have the most kick on the swing launch sequence, but the elements around it are great. I love the twisted spike. It’s full of hangtime and super disorienting. Then the main layout has three inversions chalk full of hangtime and some airtime moments too. And if you’re a Star Trek fan, you’ll be geeking out from the props in the queue line and the replica of

the Enterprise bridge. But check out my review for the full play-by-play. Then you have the gauntlet of pain in the Old West with MP-Xpress and Bandit. The latter has been called the world’s worst wood coaster by some. I don’t think it’s that bad. This is RCCA’s take on the classic Coney Island Cyclone. It’s not excessively rough minus two valleys. But instead of offering killer airtime and laterals of the original, it’s a slow and poorly paced mess as I cover in my review. If this park ever RMCed this ride, it would elevate this park to a

whole new level by giving them the signature thrill coaster they deserve. MP-Xpress is vile. I honestly don’t recommend riding this invert. This is among the worst Vekoma SLCs. It’s an intense blur of inversions, but it will smash your head mercilessly. The park has two of the best indoor coasters you can find. Van Helsing’s Factory is a Gerstlauer bobsled. The ride has modest height and speed, but it has some deceptively wild moments. The standout is this unbanked hairpin turn before the second half that folds you over the seat and it’s immediately followed by a sudden drop

with an ejector pop. And along with those thrills, this coaster also has some theming during both the ride itself and the queue line. Movie Park Studios is the newer of the two. The queue features all sorts of Easter Eggs for the park’s history. Then the ride itself is an Intamin multi-dimensional coaster with a backwards bit and a launch. The coaster section is pretty tame, but the strong theming start to finish makes it a memorable experience. The other two family coasters are in Nickland. One is Ghost Chasers, which is a Mack wild mouse. It has the

usual blast of laterals in the first half and some weak airtime in the second half. Jimmy Neutron’s Atomic Flyer is a Vekoma suspended coaster. The layout is pretty tame, but the ride is very smooth and I love how open the restraints are. Then for the youngest guests, you have Backyardigans: Mission to Mars, which is an off-the-shelf Vekoma roller skater. It’s gentle, but comfortable even for adults, which cannot be said for all junior coasters. Water rides are another thing this park does well. There are two standouts that feel more like dark rides. These aren’t soakers, so

you want to ride these regardless of how you traditionally feel about water rides. Area 51 is an Intamin boat ride through a mountain. You pass some grand alien set-pieces. I was in awe how expensive some of the scenes were. The drops on this one are super shallow, but that’s fine because of how strong the theming is. Excalibur is an Intamin rapids ride. As a rapids ride, it’s pretty poor. The rapids on this one are super tame and I barely got more than a sprinkle. However, this ride excels if you view it as a dark ride.

You have some giant rock statues and figures as you move through the layout. Another notable water ride is Dora’s Big River Adventure. This Zamperla flume looks cool as it works its way around a mountain. The drops are ok, but know that you’ll get drenched on this one. The tunnel after the first drop reflects the splash back at you. Another drencher is SpongeBob Splash Bash, which is a cartoony splash battle. Then you also have Pier Patrol, which is one of those rare Zierer water whips. Moving onto the dark rides, Movie Park arguably covers this category better

with their coasters and water rides. But you still have some stragglers. Time Riders is a very jerky motion simulator. I do like the visuals and there are two really cool pre-shows leading up to the main event. It’s especially funny since you can tell that the 2nd one used to be the Batcave when this was the Batman simulator. I can’t speak to Lost Temple since this 4D motion simulator has been closed in both my visits, but I’ve heard it’s not particularly good. Finally you also have a 4D theater showing some Looney Tunes skits. Most of the

flat rides at this park are aimed towards kids and families, so they’re understandably in the Nickland and Santa Monica Pier sections. But you do have two notable ones for thrill-seekers. High Fall is a terrifying 20 story tall Intamin drop tower. This ride features stand-up floorless seating like Six Flags Over Georgia’s Acrophobia. This leaves you extremely exposed when you drop and that plunge is exhilarating, offering a good freefall sensation. I do wish this ride still tilted, but that function has been disabled or broken for quite some time. NYC Transformer is a Huss top spin, which is

a ride type that’s becoming rarer and rarer. You get hangtime on the slow flip and then you get a series of faster and forceful flips. I’ve focused on the rides in my visit, but I’ve heard this park has a stunt show that should not be missed between the action-sequences and car chases. My visits have only been in the summer, but I’ve heard this park has an excellent Halloween event, so this may be the best time to visit if you’re a local. I also can’t speak too well on the food since I’ve prioritized rides during my

time at the park. So do I recommend Movie Park Germany? Yes I do. It’s not one of the top tier parks in both Europe and Germany, but it does a lot of good things with regards to theming. There are a handful of great attractions here that would fit in at a Universal park. Their top coasters and water rides blend engaging ride systems with wonderful theming to deliver a full package experience. I think this park does a really good job for families now, but for thrill-seekers, I just wish there was another quality thrill coaster or two

to compliment Star Trek. And I also wish this park had better operations, both with regards to opening times and capacity. But this ultimately is a solid park. If you’re a coaster enthusiast trying to pair this park with another, you have a quite a few options nearby. Schloss Beck Freizeitpark is literally a half mile down the road. Then another park I’ve paired with Movie Park before…if you have a car…is Toverland. That’s roughly an hour away. So those are my thoughts on Movie Park Germany, the movie themed park near Dusseldorf. What are your thoughts on this park-

whether it be the rides, theming, or operations? Let me know down below. If you enjoyed this review, I’d appreciate it if you gave this video a like and you considered subscribing since there will be a lot more roller coaster and amusement park videos here at Canobie Coaster. Thanks for watching!

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