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There’s a fresh look this season at Holiday Park in Germany with the arrival of a new themed land dedicated to children’s TV character Maja the Bee and, just as importantly, a new entrance area. The improvements are part of an ongoing €25 million investment by Plopsa Parks/Studio 100 since the Belgian firm acquired the facility from the Schneider family in November 2010. Here Holiday Park manager Bernd Beitz, who has guided the venue through the transition, explains how Studio 100’s intellectual properties are now leading the park’s development


MAJA LAND I


Holiday Park is the place to Bee!


started at Holiday Park in 2002 as an assistant to the operations manager, and one year later I became the operations manager. So I know the park as a family-operated business, and now as part of a group. It is very interesting to see it from both sides. Plopsa tried to work as much as possible with the people who were already here. That way we combine the experience of 12 years of Plopsa in Belgium and the Netherlands with some employees who have 30 years’ history here in German theme parks.


Maja’s Blütensplash, by Zierer


Immediately after Plopsa came in, we started taking down the really old parts of the park, like buildings that were not really in the style we would like to offer to the customers anymore. For the 2011 season we added five small rides, the type of rides you could put in over one winter without much planning, because there wasn’t much time for ordering attractions. We put in Flip der Grashüpfer (Filip the Grasshopper) by Metallbau Emmeln, Blumenturm (Flower Tower) by Zierer and Die Frösche (The Frogs) by Zamperla. We also added a children’s driving school in front of the Wild Mouse and rethemed the oldest attraction in the park, the Anno Tobak canal boat ride, as Tabaluga’s Adventure. Five rides in one season is quite a lot, but the real investment was this winter with Maja Land and the new entrance. The entry to the park used to be on the main road. This meant to get from the parking lot to the front gate you had to walk along the street, which was not so nice with all the traffic. So we moved the entrance and created a kind of


Holiday Park manager Bernd Beitz with Maja the Bee


Main Street with shopping, games and food, as well as some fountains we already put in last year. This area, now known as Fontänenplatz, is connected to Maja Land. You can see when people arrive that haven’t been to Holiday Park for a while; they really stop and look. I think you can clearly see that this is of a different quality to some other parts of the park, which we will continue to improve in the coming years.


Flowers and fountains Maja Land covers 15,000 square-metres and features 11 rides and attractions that can entertain up to 2,500 guests an hour. This area, which sits to the right of the new entrance as you enter the park, used to be called Blumenpark (Flower Park), one of the original areas of Holiday Park. It was really just a zone with flowers, nature, a restaurant and some smaller attractions but it was a little bit old; the restaurant had been closed for several years. As we were lacking children’s rides, and because Maja Land had already been a big success as in indoor attraction at Plopsaland in De Panne (Belgium), we decided to do it here, only outside. The new area has been designed by Piet de


Konnick, art director for all the Plopsa parks, and was built in-house over a five month period. As you would expect, there is lots of theming with many flowers. It will look even more beautiful in the years to come when the real plants and landscaping are fully-grown. We didn’t really have to think hard about what rides to choose because we already knew what was popular from De Panne. Maja’s Blütensplash (Zierer Flying Fish), Blumenturm (Zierer Family Freefall Tower), Verrückter Baum (Zierer Kontiki), Die Frösche (Zamperla Jump Around), Schmetterlingsflug (Zamperla Flying Bikes) and the leaking bucket feature are all the same as De Panne. Plopsa works a lot with Zierer, it has a good experience with their rides and their support, and both Plopsa and Holiday Park already have some very nice rides from Zamperla.


The Mini Cars (Ihle mini bumper cars) and three little Zamperla rides – Willie’s Flossfahrt (raft ride), Bienchenwirbel (spinning cups) and Lara’s Marienkäferflug (flying beetles) – were already at the park, but we rethemed them. The Grasshopper ride also exists in De Panne, but with rabbits, and we gave


28 AUGUST 2012


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