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.
The Movie Park Germany experience begins on the Hollywood Street Set.
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.
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.
From Nickland, we arrive at the Ice Age Adventure, a boat ride through the world of Twentieth Century Fox's Ice Age characters.
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.
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.
As the rain began to fall, we made our way back through the park to the exit.
From Bottrop, we drove to Brühl for an overnight stay at Phantasialand.