Imagine that you're saddled up to the bar in a lush, bamboo-adorned Asian restaurant. Great windows look out across rice paddy fields at sunset as you savor the exquisite tastes of the region, immersed in a luxury setting. But wait... once everyone' finished with their sampling of small bites, something very unusual happens when your chair pulls away from the bar – as does every other diner's – as one-by-one, the seats themselves turn and glide away through previously unseen door and into a new world entirely...

Europa Park in Rust, Germany (near the border with France) might not be a park on your bucket list... but maybe it should be. For real theme park aficionados, Europa Park is probably best known for one of a few things: first, it's the theme park owned by the Mack family, whose Mack Rides company supplies coasters and flat rides to parks around the globe (like Epic Universe's new Starfall Racers)... but only after they've been prototyped at Europa Park. Second, it's the park that stole Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Award from Cedar Point back in 2016 and has held onto it since. 

Image: Europa Park

And finally, yes, Europa Park is the park with its own "Spaceship Earth" (though it contains a spinning family coaster themed to the Moulin Rogue. Don't ask.) But increasingly, global theme park fans are recognizing the Europa Park deserves a spot atop their bucket lists... and for those seeking one-of-a-kind experiences, there's no better example of Europa Park's innovation than EATrenalin, a high end restaurant-dark ride located at the resort.

Diners begin in the "Lounge" scene – a futuristic golden space where they can mix, mingle, and enjoy appetizers of crispy duck, tamarillo, and black truffle. Then, in an ornate ceremony, their carriages deeper into Eatrenalin are revealed: comfortable "Floating Chairs" (yes, a new Mack trackless system) equipped with a small side table and a larger coffee table. 

Image: Europa Park

Once "boarded," the ride-through restaurant experience begins. In some scenes, the floating chairs regroup in sets of four like a conversation pit; in others, they pull up to larger, shared tables. The two hour experience is a high end one, designed for ages 14 and up only. 

The experience within is mysterious – out of the eleven rooms that encompass the Eatrenalin dining experience, only two allow photography – the "Ocean" room where guests are surrounded in light, sound, and projection while they dine on zander fish and umibodo, and...

Image: Baierl + Demmelhuber

... the aforementioned "Umami" room, where they eat dim sum, nigiri, and a handful of Japanese delicacies. Beyond that, rooms like "Universe," "Discovery," and "Taste" offer teases of incredible setting and surprise moments...

Many parks might call their dark rides "multi-sensory," but so far, Eatrenalin's the only one to include taste.

Opened in late 2022, Eatrenalin isn't cheap – it's €255 per person. (For comparison, that's just a little cheaper than Walt Disney World's elite, fine-dining experience, Victoria & Albert's.) But of course, the all-inclusive experience bring not just an extraordinarily high end, eight course menu of food and drink, but an elite "dark ride credit" that few on Earth have earned. 

Image: Europa Park

So what do you think? Does Eatrenalin sound like an experience worth saving up for? If money were no object, would you try out this ultra-elite dining experience and a one-of-a-kind multisensory dark ride? And more to the point, doesn't this feel like the kind of innovation that would've made sense at EPCOT? Will Disney create its own high end dark ride restaurant? We'll see... 


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