Even though earlier this month word started spreading on Holiday Park’s (Germany) plans for a retheme for their 1987 dark ride Burg Falkenstein, the park kept a mystery as though what was going to happen to it. Until today, when a press release saw the light of day, explaining what those plans are and confirming the accompanying rumours. Burg Falkenstein will be closing its doors after 1 November and reopen in 2024 with a Smurfs theme.
Famous Belgian comic book characters The Smurfs, of which the Plopsa Groups recently got the rights to, will be taking up residence in the castle which is going to be completely transformed on both the inside and outside. The press release describes the new ride as follows: ”Experience an unforgettable journey through Smurfland and get to know the blue residents up close.” Accompanying the release is an artwork drawn by freelance Plopsa designer Kurt Heerman, showing the outside of the ride retrofitted with a Smurfs theme. The entrance sign simply reads ”Smurfs” and above, peeling out of a window, the series’ main antagonist Gargamel and his cat Azrael can be seen.
Steve van den Kerkhof, CEO of Plopsa Group explains: ”The idea of immortalising the Smurfs with their own attraction in the park is a logical step following the enormous popularity of the characters with parents and children. Many of today’s parents grew up with the Smurfs, and thanks to the a animated series, today’s kids are fans of the popular blue characters, too.”
Meanwhile, the park has some surprises in store for fans of the original Burg Falkenstein, which guests can experience until Tuesday 1 November, the final day of the summer season. A farewell ceremony is planned on Saturday 5 November which includes a backstage tour, for which a registration to be filled in via www.holidaypark.de/goodbyeburg is required to attend.
Furthermore, a total of 117 items, animatronics (manufactured by Hofmann Figuren) and other props (manufactured by Studio Hamburg), will be sold via open auction on a specially set up website. ”Fans of the Holiday Park and Falkenstein Castle will get the chance to put a piece of Holiday Park history in their living room”, the press release says. The collection ranges from small axes to an enormous dragon, all of which must be dismantled and picked up on the spot by their buyers.