Europa-Park announced in September that they would retheme their semi-dark ride ‘Dschungel-Floßfahrt‘ (Jungle Rafts). The boat ride on one of the lakes of the park had been the target of controversy over negative racial stereotypes. The park announced on Twitter today that the ride will operate one more week, resulting in a closure on January 9th. The refurbishment and retheme will take over a year, says Europa-Park spokesman Engelbert Gabriel to German newspaper Badische Zeitung.
Dschungel-Floßfahrt is located in the Adventure Land-theme zone. The tow boat ride takes riders through an African settlement with a cave and various wild animals. The ride opened in 1975 when Europa-Park itself opened its doors. The first version of the ride was just a trip over the lake. Europa-Park added a cave with pirate animatronics in 1978 and renamed the ride to Finnische Floßfahrt. The ride got renamed to its current name when the scenes were rethemed to the African jungle in 1992 which also saw the addition of the African village on the lake. The ride was refusbished once more in 2000 with new interior scenes. The animatronics were manufactured by the German Hofmann Figuren.
The park has stated that they are refusbishing the ride to get rid of the negative stereotypes. It is not sure to what extend the ride will be rethemed and if the new version will qualify for a seperate entry in the database. The park will also close two other attractions next week: Flug des Ikarus and Traumzeit-Dome. They will be replaced by a new themed zone that is supposed to open in 2023.
This article was updated on January 3rd. The previous version stated the ride would reopen in the 2022 season, but the refusbishment will take at least a year.