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Alton Towers or Europa Park; which coaster-heavy European park has a stronger coaster selection?

Alton Towers or Europa Park; which coaster-heavy European park has a stronger coaster selection?


  • Total voters
    42

Matt N

CF Legend
Hi guys. Two European parks that have been quite heavily visited among CoasterForce's members are Alton Towers in the UK and Europa Park in Germany. The two parks are very different parks in many ways, but one way in which they are similar is that they both have pretty extensive roller coaster selections. Europa Park has 13 roller coasters and Alton Towers has 10, and both parks are among the most roller coaster-heavy theme parks in Europe. With this in mind, I thought it might be interesting to ask; do you prefer the roller coaster selection of Alton Towers or Europa Park? Which of these parks do you feel has the stronger coaster selection?

I thought this might be interesting to ponder because I don’t think the results would be quite as predictable as if I did a simple “Alton vs Europa” poll. If I simply asked “do you prefer Alton or Europa?”, I can sense that most people would vote for Europa, as it's generally a lot more revered than Alton Towers as an overall product. However, I think talking exclusively about the parks’ roller coasters levels the playing field a tad more. Roller coasters are widely considered to be one of Alton Towers’ greatest strengths at present, whereas they are sometimes considered to be a relative weakness of Europa Park.

I’ll get the ball rolling with my own opinion.

Personally, I'm actually not too sure. My pick could easily depend on my mood, I think, as both parks' coaster selections have points of strength over the other for me.

The points in favour of Europa are:
  • Europa's top 3 averages a little stronger than Alton's for me, with Wodan and Silver Star both being 10/10s and usurping any coaster at Alton for me and Blue Fire rounding it off at a solid 9/10, thus averaging a rating of 9.7/10 and a ranking of #9/111 overall. Whereas, only Wicker Man is a 10/10 at Alton for me and Oblivion and Nemesis are both 9/10s, so Alton's top 3 averages a rating of 9.3/10 and a ranking of #11.7/111 overall for me.
  • Europa has more coasters to pick from.
The points in favour of Alton are:
  • The mean rating and ranking of the overall selection at Alton stand slightly higher for me. Even including Octonauts, Alton averages a rating of 6.6/10 and a ranking of #43.1/111 overall for me, while Europa only manages a rating of 6.3/10 and a ranking of #44.9/111 overall even with me not having ridden Ba-a-a Express (Ba-a-a would probably drag the average down further if I had ridden it).
  • Among the non-kiddie coasters, I don't think Alton has anything I rate quite as lowly as Poseidon or Euro-Mir. Although as said above, that could be offset by Europa simply having more coasters.
Tell you what, I'll try and determine a victor by doing a like-for-like comparison of my #1-9 ranked coasters (all of the ranking spots that both parks can fill with a non-kiddie coaster) at each park and see which one wins the most comparisons:
RankingEuropa Park CoasterAlton Towers CoasterWinner
1Silver Star (10/10, #3/111 overall)Wicker Man (10/10, #8/111 overall)Europa
2Wodan (10/10, #6/111 overall)Oblivion (9/10, #11/111 overall)Europa
3Blue Fire (9/10, #18/111 overall)Nemesis Reborn (9/10, #16/111 overall)Alton
4CanCan Coaster (8/10, #24/111 overall)Rita (8/10, #26/111 overall)Europa
5Pegasus (7/10, #29/111 overall)Thirteen (7/10, #31/111 overall)Europa
6Arthur (7/10, #32/111 overall)Runaway Mine Train (6/10, #40/111 overall)Europa
7Alpenexpress (7/10, #39/111 overall)The Smiler (6/10, #42/111 overall)Europa
8Schweizer Bobbahn (6/10, #44/111 overall)Galactica (4/10, #77/111 overall)Europa
9Atlantica SuperSplash (4/10, #73/111 overall)Spinball Whizzer (4/10, #85/111 overall)Europa
So that actually returns quite an emphatic win for Europa Park, with Alton Towers only winning 1 out of 9 comparisons. However, you only need to look at how closely matched some of the rankings are to see how the winner could quite easily be determined by my mood on a given day.

I'll vote Europa for today, though I think it's quite a close call. But which park do you think has the stronger coaster selection?
 
Last edited:

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
For me... I look at Europa and think that it's (currently) a "3 serious coaster" park... SS, BF and Wodan. I look at Towers and see at least 5 "serious coasters." Although you have them low down, Smiler is a record breaking Gerst... And Galactica is a massive B&M.

Or another way that I could look at it is re-ridability. If I was a local regular to Europa, I'd only regularly ride the top 3 on my visits... Missing most of the rest as 'filler.' (I do have a soft spot for Arthur though.)

As a regular to Alton Towers I still regularly ride all but Octonauts, Spinball, RMT, Rita and to some extent Thirteen (although I do tend to ride Thirteen every other visit or two.) That leaves WM, Nemesis, Oblivion, The Smiler, Galactica as somewhat 'must do's' on every visit.

However, like for like, give me Wodan over Wicker Man, Blue Fire over Rita, Arthur over RMT and Schweizer Bobbahn over Spinball any day... So who knows... 🙈

Phantasialand and Energylandia's top 3s annihilate both parks...
 

Nitefly

Giga Poster
Europa, quite easily… even if Alton had ‘old Nemesis’.

IMO strength of the collection is mostly dealt with by the strengths of its headliners (top 2/3) - no need to look beyond that.
 
I've still not managed to go to Europa (bloody finances and children get me down) but I would still suggest that Europa has this and fairly easily. Disappointing for me given that AT is only 90mins away. My vote in this goes against my usual guide of only voting for things I've done but it has to given the overwhelming evidence.
 

Will

Strata Poster
Obviously Blue Fire and Wodan are better than anything at Alton. Except Nemesis. Nemesis has re-opened and really complicated the issue.

I'm going to abstain - and fight stats with stats. An average score isn't going to work here, as both parks have several 'meh' coasters - and that's not including Baa Express, a cred which continues to evade me. In reality, Alpenexpress utterly devours RMT though, no arguments on that one.

EDIT: I've just realised that if you ask me again in a fortnight, I'll have no choice but to change my vote.


Alton Towers​
Nemesis Reborn​
12/07/2000​
10​
Europa Park​
Wodan Timbur Coaster​
20/04/2014​
9​
Europa Park​
blue fire Megacoaster​
29/08/2010​
9​
Alton Towers​
Oblivion​
12/07/2000​
8​
Europa Park​
Silver Star​
18/07/2008​
8​
Europa Park​
Pegasus​
18/07/2008​
7​
Alton Towers​
Wicker Man​
24/04/2018​
7​
Alton Towers​
Thirteen​
20/03/2010​
7​
Alton Towers​
Galactica*​
12/10/2002​
7​
Europa Park​
Arthur​
27/10/2014​
6​
Alton Towers​
Smiler​
02/06/2013​
6​
Europa Park​
Eurosat​
18/07/2008​
6​
Alton Towers​
Spinball Whizzer*​
27/03/2004​
6​
Europa Park​
Atlantica SuperSplash​
18/07/2008​
5​
Europa Park​
Alpenexpress Enzian*​
18/07/2008​
5​
Europa Park​
Matterhorn Blitz​
18/07/2008​
5​
Europa Park​
Poseidon​
18/07/2008​
5​
Alton Towers​
Runaway Mine Train​
1995​
5​
Alton Towers​
Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure​
21/03/2015​
4​
Europa Park​
Euro Mir​
18/07/2008​
4​
Europa Park​
Schweizer Bobbahn​
18/07/2008​
4​
Alton Towers​
Rita*​
02/04/2005​
4​
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Obviously Blue Fire and Wodan are better than anything at Alton. Except Nemesis. Nemesis has re-opened and really complicated the issue.

I'm going to abstain - and fight stats with stats. An average score isn't going to work here, as both parks have several 'meh' coasters - and that's not including Baa Express, a cred which continues to evade me. In reality, Alpenexpress utterly devours RMT though, no arguments on that one.

EDIT: I've just realised that if you ask me again in a fortnight, I'll have no choice but to change my vote.


Alton Towers​
Nemesis Reborn​
12/07/2000​
10​
Europa Park​
Wodan Timbur Coaster​
20/04/2014​
9​
Europa Park​
blue fire Megacoaster​
29/08/2010​
9​
Alton Towers​
Oblivion​
12/07/2000​
8​
Europa Park​
Silver Star​
18/07/2008​
8​
Europa Park​
Pegasus​
18/07/2008​
7​
Alton Towers​
Wicker Man​
24/04/2018​
7​
Alton Towers​
Thirteen​
20/03/2010​
7​
Alton Towers​
Galactica*​
12/10/2002​
7​
Europa Park​
Arthur​
27/10/2014​
6​
Alton Towers​
Smiler​
02/06/2013​
6​
Europa Park​
Eurosat​
18/07/2008​
6​
Alton Towers​
Spinball Whizzer*​
27/03/2004​
6​
Europa Park​
Atlantica SuperSplash​
18/07/2008​
5​
Europa Park​
Alpenexpress Enzian*​
18/07/2008​
5​
Europa Park​
Matterhorn Blitz​
18/07/2008​
5​
Europa Park​
Poseidon​
18/07/2008​
5​
Alton Towers​
Runaway Mine Train​
1995​
5​
Alton Towers​
Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure​
21/03/2015​
4​
Europa Park​
Euro Mir​
18/07/2008​
4​
Europa Park​
Schweizer Bobbahn​
18/07/2008​
4​
Alton Towers​
Rita*​
02/04/2005​
4​
Really? I didn't have you down as a Blue Fire fan... I thought it was average at best, more Icon than Helix, and certainly not a patch on modern Intamin multi launch coasters... It's definitely better than Alton Towers launch offering though. 🙈😂 Oh I dunno, maybe I missed something, maybe the weather didn't help, maybe I'll enjoy it much more next time... I did find it considerably better on the front row.

Wodan is superb though, my 3rd favourite woodie 😍 For some reason I always forget how much I enjoyed that coaster...

And what do you mean you're going to have to change your mind in 2 weeks? You heading over for Voltron's launch? There's a potential that will change my vote too... 🤞
 

Will

Strata Poster
I don't think even the most ardent of fanboys will be able to claim Nemesis, Oblivion and Wickerman are a better trio than Voltron, Wodan and Blue FIre.

I usually roll my eyes at people ranking coasters they've not ridden - but I think that one's a pretty damn safe bet.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
Interesting! I wasn’t expecting such a whitewash in favour of Europa Park, as while I thought they had a fantastic selection, with one of the strongest top 3s of any theme park I’ve visited, I was under the impression that that was more down to my own taste, and that people generally thought of Europa as having quite a weak coaster lineup.

I’ve often heard people say that Alton Towers has “the best rollercoaster lineup in Europe”, whereas I’ve often heard people describe Europa’s coaster lineup as “quantity over quality” and “lacking any kind of killer instinct ride”.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
I don't think even the most ardent of fanboys will be able to claim Nemesis, Oblivion and Wickerman are a better trio than Voltron, Wodan and Blue FIre.

I usually roll my eyes at people ranking coasters they've not ridden - but I think that one's a pretty damn safe bet.

Swap Blue Fire for Silver Star... You've got one of the top 5 'top 3's' in Europe... (Hopefully, assuming Voltron is as good as it looks.) I don't think any fanboy (even me) would claim that Alton Towers top 3 comes close to being one of the top 5 in Europe... What muddies the water is what sits below... Alton Towers still have a massive B&M, 2 intamins, and a record breaking Gerst, as well as some filler... Europa Park just have Blue Fire and some more Mack filler for their showroom.

Interesting! I wasn’t expecting such a whitewash in favour of Europa Park, as while I thought they had a fantastic selection, with one of the strongest top 3s of any theme park I’ve visited, I was under the impression that that was more down to my own taste, and that people generally thought of Europa as having quite a weak coaster lineup.

I’ve often heard people say that Alton Towers has “the best rollercoaster lineup in Europe”, whereas I’ve often heard people describe Europa’s coaster lineup as “quantity over quality” and “lacking any kind of killer instinct ride”.

That's pretty much my view, and one I've also heard a lot of people say before, so the results here are quite surprising. But I guess some of you just rate family coasters a lot higher than me. Look at how high some of you rate Pegasus... You have it beating Thirteen, Galactica and the Smiler!!! Will has it beating Galactica, Thirteen, Smiler, Rita and Wicker Man. 🤣 It's fun enough, but I wouldn't have even ranked it, instead grouping it in with the rest of the family 'filler.'

I had to rewatch the Pegasus POV to make sure I was remembering it correctly, and hadn't missed something... Yes I was, and no I hadn't 😂 😂 😂

 

Will

Strata Poster
It was ranked together with the '7s' - Pegasus is one of my favourite family coasters, probably better than Thirteen to be honest and I'd love to see more Youngstar models around (and Soquets, for that matter) - but I'll confess it doesn't belong in the same ballpark as a night ride on Wickerman.

I think Voltron will fill the 'killer instinct' void - but Wodan and Blue Fire stil both rank among the top ten non B&Ms in Europe for me :)
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
It was ranked together with the '7s' - Pegasus is one of my favourite family coasters, probably better than Thirteen to be honest and I'd love to see more Youngstar models around (and Soquets, for that matter) - but I'll confess it doesn't belong in the same ballpark as a night ride on Wickerman.

I think Voltron will fill the 'killer instinct' void - but Wodan and Blue Fire stil both rank among the top ten non B&Ms in Europe for me :)
Yeh it's definitely fun, but It didn't really hit for me as much as you guys, I think because I did Pégase Express for the first time the day before, which is leagues ahead of Pegasus in my opinion.

I agree on Voltron... Fingers crossed. Are you not a fan of Silver Star?
 

Will

Strata Poster
Nothing wrong with Silver Star, it just doesn't have the 'oh, my ****ing God, WOW' factor that usually comes with that ride type.
It's better than Goliath at La Ronde, for instance.
 
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