Just as general manager Thorsten Backhaus was announcing the opening of Excalibur – Secrets of the Dark Forest at its entrance, the last employees were sneaking out of the ride’s exit with vacuum cleaners and paintbrushes.
“We have really put the pedal to the metal to present Excalibur to our guests before the May holidays,” commented Backhaus. “All those frosty days really didn’t make it easy for us, but now the time has finally come.”
Some guests may remember the water attraction as Mystery River or The Neverending Story, one of the parks oldest and most popular attractions. More than 900 litres of paint, 2500 metres of cable, 200 new lights, and more than 150 new loudspeakers have been used to create the story in a construction phase lasting several months, following a planning period of about one year.
“Almost 100 people from Movie Park and other partner companies were involved in the project.” said Backhaus. Enchanted forests, dark caves, and dangerous sea monsters line the path guests take to search for the missing sword, Excalibur.
There are twelve new scenes with a total of almost 400 new props, and Backhaus surmises that: “The ride’s characteristics have stayed the same, but we have rewritten the story surrounding the ride. I’m sure we’ll be able to inspire all the generations with this exciting world of knights and magical beings.” Nearly 13,000 hours of work have been invested in the project, and 15 new special effects and projections to programme 25 new music files have been added.
One of the most anticipated moments during the construction phase for the general manager was letting in the water once all the new elements were in place. “We really wanted to know what it was like not just to walk through but to ride through again. It took days to reach the attraction’s full water level.” Which is no wonder, as the ride requires more than four million litres of water! However, the wait was well worth it, as Backhaus commented: “The first impression was priceless.”