Recently the semi-dark ride Dschungel-Floßfahrt (Jungle Rafts) has seen some controversy over negative stereotyping. While Europa-Park claims to had already planned to re-imagine the classic tow boat ride some time in the future, they now confirmed this will be done next year. It is possible the increasing amounts of criticism that has prompted the park to shift the refurbishment to 2022.
Dschungel-Floßfahrt is set in Adventure Land and takes riders via small boats through an African settlement, cave and various wild animals. As reported on by Parkerlebnis.de, the complaints mainly stem from dated, racist representations of the African people as well as the ”romanticization of colonial history”. Europa-Park has been said to take these accusations very seriously, which at first meant the replacement of some of the figures but to no avail.
It’s not the first time this ride would be rethemed. It originally opened in 1975 together with Europa-Park itself as just a trip over the lake. In 1978, it was renamed to Finnische Floßfahrt with the addition of a cave with pirate animatronics. This changed in 1992 when it was rethemed to the African jungle. In 2000, the inside of the cave changed again and the African village on the lake was added. The animatronics were manufactured by the German Hofmann Figuren.
It is not yet known what Europa-Park has in mind for the re-imagination. It is also not yet know when in 2022 Dschungel-Floßfahrt will close, but the refurbishment will supposedly take about a year to complete.