Sunday, November 29, 2009

How Disneyland attractions inspired parks around the world - Part Two : Europa Park's Pirates in Batavia

In the part two of this articles series we will have a look to how Pirates of Caribbean inspired the Piraten in Batavia attraction at Germany's most popular theme park: Europa-Park.

Europa-Park is run by the Mack family which have produced vehicles since 1780, circus wagons since 1880 and rollercoasters since 1921. The park was opened in 1975 to act as a showcase for many of their different ride models - for example, the Wild Mouse roller coaster. Although the park "borrowed" many ideas from Disney parks - beginning by Epcot's Spaceship Earth ball design - Disney is sometime interested by MACK ride systems for a Disney attraction. Recently, Al Weiss, Philippe Gas - DLP chairman - Georges Kalogridis - now at the head of DLR - were at Europa Park for a secret meeting as i told you in previous articles.

At Europa-Park, guests who ride the Piraten in Batavia attraction (Batavia was a city in the Dutch indonesia colony and is known now as Djakarta) can "witness the attack of wild pirates on a southeast Asian Dutch colony in 1619, which has been reproduced to perfection. Already in the entrance area, you are taken to the Far East and put in the mood for the adventures yet to come. You pass by sceneries with Dutchmen who are far away from home, and suddenly – a deafening cannon shot. Here, you won’t have a chance to get bored! Then, you start an adventurous boat trip through the exotic world of the seaport Batavia in the former colony Dutch East India. Become a witness of the pirates’ attack on a peaceful colony!"

Does this synopsis of the ride sounds familiar? Well, although Piraten in Batavia took a lot of its inspiration in Disneyland's attraction - as you will see on the video below - the quality of the audio-animatronics is not as good as the one designed by WDI. But thanks to the lighting and decors, may be the guests don't see the difference...which i doubt.

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Picture: copyright and

Youtube video: copyright Alexhardrock whom i thanks a lot


Teevtee said...

Nice articles...

is there a way to shut of this annoying "snowfall" effect. it is HORRIBLE and makes reading the blog almost impossible@

Anonymous said...

I think it's cute.

Luxe and Vintage said...

Thanks a lot for your email !
It works very well now^^

Luxe and Vintage :)

Anonymous said...

c'est plutot pas mal par rapport au "Los Piratas" du parc Bellewaerde en Belgique !

john321 said...

I've visited this attraction on my last trip to the park a few months ago.

It is one of the more blatant copies of the original ;).

Now I wouldn't go as far as to call every dark-ride featuring floats a Pirates copy, but this one has many things going for it:

- The setting of course, hey; Pirates in Batavia!
- The scenes, some of them seem to be one-on-one cheapo copies, including stuff on fire ;).
- We have a drop at the beginning, not as frightening as the Pirates versions though ;)
- Hey, there even is an indoor restaurant integrated into the attraction, only not at the beginning, it is right at the end! And, you conveniently pass trough it as you leave the attraction.

Nevertheless, I had a good laugh while riding it. This attraction is so wrong, if you know the original, it is hard to stop laughing (so yeah, it had some redeeming quality for me ;):

- The animatronics seem all to be from the puff-and-click type. Whereas Disney animatronics are almost silent, everything here seems to be driven by hi-pressure pneumatic puff and clickety stuff. So the universal background-sound in this attraction is pfffftt-clickclick-pffffttt. The result is also very robotic, robotronics would be a better name ;).
- The ceiling effect (the stars and the projections) doesn't really work for me. You should try to keep the ceiling as dark as possible to avoid spoiling the effect. This way, the fake ceiling is very obvious.
- The largest part of the attraction takes place in a large open space inside the show building with very little segmentation between the scenes, this spoils the effect as you can easily see what is coming 'miles' ahead. It essentially destroys the remaining immersion there was left.
- The projected fire; it looks obviously 2D and projected by some DLP projectors. The much more complex way of using a combination of projections, wind and cloths used by Disney is far more convincing.

Maybe the next part can be about the Haunted Mansion or Buzz Lightyear clones to be found at the same park? :)

OTPN Administrator said...

I really love Europapark, and I enjoy Piraten in Batavia, but as you said, the quality of the audio-animatronics is very low... Sometimes they make me laugh..but I still enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Hong Kong Disneyland will ever get a Pirates of the Carribean? I guess not before Shanghai Disneyland will have one as your article reported. Even Japan's Dreamland in Yokohama copied the Disneyland Pirates attraction before Tokyo Disneyland was built in 1983. Dreamland closed up in 2002 after Tokyo Disney Seas opened.

Alex said...

You should mention one thing though -
the new boat designs of this ride in Europa Park is way more elaborate than anything Disney ever had. Why does Disney have that cheap plastic look anyway?

(you should post a picture of the boats in the blog)

Alain Littaye said...

If i had one i would post it with pleasure, anyone have a picture of the boats?

Alex(hard)Rock said...

I thanks you!
that you post my video on this Blog :-)

Alain Littaye said...

My pleasure, Alex!

musicvideosipodtouchiphone said...

Hong Kong Disney Fireworks are good