Licht! Kamera! Aktion! Rethink visits Movie Park Germany

Count Dracula, Death, and Frankenstein's Monster menacing the turnstiles at Movie Park Germany

Count Dracula, Death, and Frankenstein's Monster menacing the turnstiles at Movie Park Germany

On September 26, 2014, Scott Ault, Josh Updike, John Rust, Lisa Levy, and yours truly began our last day in the Netherlands. After meeting with vendors, we kicked off our working tour of Europe with a stop at Movie Park Germany just across the border in Bottrop. 

The park opened in June 1996 as Warner Bros. Movie World Germany on the site of four previous parks: Bavaria Filmpark Bottrop (1992 - 1993), Das Neue Traumland (1986 - 1991), Traumlandpark (1977 - 1985), and Kirchhellener Märchenwald (1967 - 1976). In 1999, Warner Bros. sold the park to Premier Parks who continued to license the Warner Bros. brand. In 2004, the park was acquired by StarParks (Palamon Capital Partners), ending the license with Warner Bros. and leading to the name change. Intellectual properties from 20th Century Fox, MGM, and Nickelodeon have since been added to the attraction mix. In 2010, Palamon Capital Partners sold the park to Parques Reunidos.

Under threatening skies, we embarked on a whirlwind tour of the park, which was decorated for its Halloween Horror Fest Sweet 16 event.

Studio gates decked out for Halloween Horror Fest Sweet 16

Studio gates decked out for Halloween Horror Fest Sweet 16

Entrance plaza with "Horrorwood" overlay

Entrance plaza with "Horrorwood" overlay

The Movie Park Germany experience begins on the Hollywood Street Set.

Hollywood Street Set

Hollywood Street Set

An Emporium of Ice Age merchandise

An Emporium of Ice Age merchandise

Backpacking in the park

Backpacking in the park

Crazy Cops Action Stunt Show

Crazy Cops Action Stunt Show

First on our agenda was The Lost Temple, which had just opened that summer. It is a 3D immersive tunnel ride with an elaborate queue. The story goes that we're joining "a renowned archaeologist 700 meters under the earth on a surprising, action packed expedition in a long forgotten world." The attention to detail in the queue is impressive.

Archaeologists' camp in the queue for The Lost Temple

Archaeologists' camp in the queue for The Lost Temple

Approaching the excavation site

Approaching the excavation site

An expedition vehicle in front of the excavation site

An expedition vehicle in front of the excavation site

A dig with unearthed fossils

A dig with unearthed fossils

Somebody left in a hurry!

Somebody left in a hurry!

A caged dino in the exit queue

A caged dino in the exit queue

On to Nickland where the Nickelodeon characters come to life in a variety of colorful rides. This, the first Nickland in Europe, opened in 2007. Featuring some 16 attractions, it is one of the largest Nick-themed lands in the world.

Fairy World Spin

Fairy World Spin

The Backyardigans Mission to Mars

The Backyardigans Mission to Mars

Dora's Big River Adventure

Dora's Big River Adventure

(L to R) Lisa, Scott, and John talking in front of the Splat-O-Sphere

(L to R) Lisa, Scott, and John talking in front of the Splat-O-Sphere

Splat-O-Sphere in flight

Splat-O-Sphere in flight

From Nickland, we arrive at the Ice Age Adventure, a boat ride through the world of Twentieth Century Fox's Ice Age characters.

Ice Age Adventure

Ice Age Adventure

Scrat's nut

Scrat's nut

Iced-over entrance to the Ice Age Adventure

Iced-over entrance to the Ice Age Adventure

Streets of New York is home to Van Helsing's Factory, an indoor roller coaster set in a 1950s hot rod garage. This ride opened in 2011, replacing the Gremlins Invasion dark ride, which ran from 1996 to 2004.

Streets of New York looking toward Van Helsing's Factory

Streets of New York looking toward Van Helsing's Factory

Next up, Santa Monica Pier. This themed area opened in 2007 on the site of the demolished Cop Car Chase dueling coaster, which originally opened as the Lethal Weapon Pursuit in 1996.

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

The reason I don't swim in the Pacific

The reason I don't swim in the Pacific

Santa Monica Wheel with the High Fall in the distance

Santa Monica Wheel with the High Fall in the distance

Crazy Surfer -- crazy fun!

Crazy Surfer -- crazy fun!

As the rain began to fall, we made our way back through the park to the exit.

Exiting through the studio gates

Exiting through the studio gates

From Bottrop, we drove to Brühl for an overnight stay at Phantasialand.