Attraction Review - Familypark

Because of course I can't go to another country and only go to ONE park, we tacked on Familypark as well! Located about an hour south of Vienna, Familypark is a gorgeous little, you guessed it, family theme park packed with unexpectedly well themed attraction and beautiful landscapes.

Like many European theme parks, there's a great balance of rides and what I'd call 'play' attractions - I'm talking water play areas, tree forts, fairytale forest walk-through bits, that kind of crap. The difference is, I was expecting...I don't know, something a little rough around the edges? The thing with these kinds of smaller parks is that they do try and they do look pretty, but they don't tend to have huge budgets to things do sometimes end up looking a little less polished than say a Merlin park. Think something like Bagatelle, a park that uses trees as theming because they can't afford to make the real deal look good enough.

Well, Familypark kind of blew me away on that front! It wasn't as stunning as Tripsdrill or Efteling, but my god the standard was just so much higher than I thought it would be! The places is buzzing with construction (and not in a bad way) - it seems they're constantly investing and the newer areas really are something special. Yes the older bits like the Fairytale Forest are looking slightly dodgier, but not unkept so it just serves the charm that classic rides always seem to bring.

So, our day then. As always, memory of a goldfish here so things might get a little fuzzy in the middle! We arrived on a stunning Sunday in April, so unsurprisingly the car park was fairly rammed! It's a quaint setting, think the Sound of Music and you'll get an idea of what we're looking at here. The entrance is a quirky fairytale castle that wouldn't look out of place in Sprookjesbos and you're instantly met with a weird clown animatronic that cycles over the entrance plaza. Fab!

The first area just beyond the turnstiles is clearly the older part of the park. The rides are all kind of piled on top of one another and everything feels miniature. This just adds to the folksy charm of the place though, the trees consume everything and cover up and wear and tear and just makes the park feel magical and alive!

As there were only two creds to be had here (despite Coast2Coaster boasting four - more on that later) so we had plenty of time to faff around and enjoy the silliness. First up we stumbled across a water play area similar to the one at Toverland. I love these things - why is messing around with water so fascinating? This place even had a hidden dragon living behind a waterfall - how fab is that?

We had a little 'ooh' and 'aah' in the cave and then meandered around to some pirate cannons. That's one of the things I loved about Familypark - loads of nooks and crannies for exploring. You don't just have to have loads of rides to be a fun day out! And omg, the cannons interacted with a boat-on-a-rope below you: when you set off the cannons it triggered water explosions in the water surrounding the boat. Awesome.

Next up we headed over to what I'm assuming was the Ancient Greece themed area, but...with crocodiles? I'd seen one of this mini-croc log flume things before at Weymouth Sealife, but this was themed much nicer! I resisted the urge to shame myself and just took pics instead. Stunning little area though.

Finally it was time for a cred. Keeping with the Ancient Greek theme, Gotterblitz is a Mack YoungStar Coaster. I like to think of these as the next step up from a Vekoma Rollerskater - still smooth as butter and floaty, but slightly taller with a more intense first drop. The trains on this are really cool though - remember what I was saying earlier about the theming being a lot better than expected? This is the kind of thing I mean! Around the back of the coaster there's a sandpit filled with silly swings and hammocks and flying carpets, so we faffed on those for a bit before going to stare helplessly at Herkules.

Sigh. First spite. Stupid Coast2Coaster counts this when it labels Familypark as +4 on the map, but bloody LOOK AT THE THING. It's not just a case of too-shameful-to-ride - you actually wouldn't physically we able to fit in the thing! We all got a slushy and stared jealously at the small child taunting us by getting the cred. What a dick.

Floaty drop-towery thing next. Never usually do these because the queues are usually obscene, but this one was walk-on and the sun was blazing so we fancied a bit of a refresh. Perfect opportunity to get a bit of a better view of the park too! It's just so pretty!

The guys were itching to get on the Leonardo Da Vinci themed SkyFly, so we minced over there next. This is easily the best themed one of these in the world. The whole area is dedicated to making this ride a centrepiece, and there's a pseudo-Renaissance feel to the surrounding theming. Not a tacky fibreglass figure in sight - just pure class! Honestly, I don't rate these much to ride as I'm quite short and find the arms uncomfortable to work, so prefer to just observe. They're AMAZING spectator rides though, it's hilarious watching everyone trying to spin then hearing everyone cheer when they finally get the hang of it!

Familypark really is a park of two halves, and by midday we'd conquered the first half. Over to the older side of the park next, where like I mentioned earlier lots of construction was taking place and clearly newer attractions had just opened which is always awesome to see! The middle of the park is super cutesy - like a farm with a real petting zoo, slides, tractor rides and BRATWURST GRILL! We grabbed a sausage and a beer and cuddled some fluffies before meandering over to the next cred - Rattenmuhle.

Rattenmuhle is a Gerstlauer Bobsled and translates to 'Rat Mill' - it's literally themed to an old barn overrun with rats! Seriously can't get over the cuteness of this park. Also, why are these attractions always so well themed? G'Sengte Sau, Thor's Hammer, Drachenritt - they're all just so epic looking, and this is no exception! Wonder why? Anyway, Rattenmuhle is loads of fun. The tight twists and turns and super slick transitions you'd expect from a Gerst Bobsled and the way the track weaves in and out of the trees looks super immersive and fun. You can get really close to the track so have a great view of any friends and family riding.

After this the cred anxiety was well and truly quashed, so with all of the coasters under our belts we went in search of some of the quirkier attractions. These included a dark-ride-in-the-light themed to woodland animals racing and a drop tower themed to a scarecrow that swayed from side to side between drops! Different.

We had a quick jaunt throw the mini-Fairytale Forest and laughed at some of the dodgier looking models. Why is there a giant rabbit? Who knows...

Finally we thought we'd give the Butterfly a go before heading out. I don't count them, but always ride them just in case I have a change of heart. Like most things in this park, it was very well themed and sat snugly surrounding by water features and trees. Just no unnecessarily pretty! I always forget that I hate these, they're actually quite brutal and forceful. Stupid ride. The are fun to watch people shit themselves on though, so there's that!

And with that, our day at fabulous Familypark was over. What a hidden gem! If you ever find yourself in southern Austria I really work recommend popping into this park - especially if the weather is as dazzling as it was when we visited. Great rides, a beautiful setting and spot on food, what's not to love?

Thank you so much to Familypark for having us and I hope it's not too long before we're next able to visit.

Talk later xoxo,