Friday, September 17, 2010


Today was the day the kids have been waiting for. Since the planning of this trip began we knew we'd make the trip to Playmobil fun park. The kids have seen all the pictures on the website, have been planning what toy they'd like to get in the gift shop, and Carter literally asked "Are we going to Playmobil now?" while we were still in the Munich airport.

First of all, I DID NOT get sick on the train!! I was careful to eat more breakfast, ride in a forward facing direction, and look out the window. It was a much more enjoyable trip this time.

Playmobil lived up to all the hype. Full-size models of the playmobil toys for all to climb, jump, slide, etc on. The favorite for most was the Pirate ship. However, the castle, adventure, and wild west areas ranked high as well.

About the park: its a really cool playground on steroids. This IS NOT a theme park. No rides, no lines, no fast passes. Just come in an play in different areas. For example, we've been places with water tables and various things to float and play with. At playmobil the area is Noah's Ark with animals and an ark to play on, and a huge area of water tables full of any and every playmobil toy that might float. Seen parks with castles? How about a castle with dungeon, throne room, a working well, walls, cannons, and a hall of mirrors. Then we went inside the "HOB" for lunch. This is where they set themselves apart. Prepare yourself, I was amazed and I have to share.

First of all really cool bathrooms. Kid sized vessel sinks, toilets, and a 360 degree glass elevator to ride back and forth. Then we went into the buffet/restaurant area. We knew the kids meals were reasonable and the food wasn't bad, but we were still impressed. The kids got a main dish (chicken nuggets and fries for our younger 2, pasta with tomato sauce for our older 2), a yogurt, a drink, and a playmobil figure for 4,70 euro. Tim had an authentic German meal of sausage, sauerkraut, and black forest cake for desert. He'd been planning to try something along these lines for a few days and took advantage of the 4,90 price today. I had a hard time with my German and wound up ordering the most expensive meal- Steak with onions and tomatoes and potatoes 7,90 euro. I felt bad but those feelings ended the minute I tasted it. It is easily the best meal I have had in a LONG time. When have you gone to an amusement park and had AMAZING food for a reasonable amount of money? It has never happened to us. We are used to paying a fortune for burgers and hot dogs. We ate today for 35 euros and I had a diet coke (a splurge here) so thats just a few euros more than a normal meal at McDonalds here. We ate on china plates with nice silverware. They have you pay a deposit on your dishes, but in the end there is no mountain of packaging to cram into a trash can. You simply return your tray of dishes and receive your deposit. They let the kids keep their cups! I can't get over it. Who would have thought I'd report the best food so far came from a theme park.

So, having enjoyed our wonderful meal we moved to the indoor play area. Here all the playmobil toys are available for play. Granted its a great marketing tool, but our kids had a blast! Katey loved the dollhouses and princess sets, Matthew and Carter couldn't decide between the Vikings and the Pirates. Laurel played with all three. They would have spent hours playing there if we'd had the time. They moved on, under duress, to the indoor play equipment and thoroughly enjoyed that as well.

We saw the second half of the park after lunch. A lot of this portion of the park was designed for a warm summer day, but the kids still had tons of fun. They floated boats at Noah's ark, groomed horses and milked cows in the barnyard, climbed all over an octagon rope massive play structure, then threw balls at targets in the saloon and panned for gold nuggets in the wild west. With that we were off to the exit and the gift shop.

Many reviews complained of the exit through the gift shop, but there are two doors clearly marked (albeit in German). One set of doors allows you to pass through the lobby only and then on out into the sidewalk outside. You could avoid the store if you choose. We did not. The kids enjoyed picking out their promised toys. Carter and Matthew both picked out things from the pirate theme, Katey got a princess castle, and Laurel got a vet and dog set. They all were thrilled. It was one of those "only on vacation" kind of things. Its not the norm, but it was a planned treat. However, I again have to give them kudos because the toys were not "theme park" priced. Several sets were actually cheaper than on amazon and in the stores here. The headquarters of playmobil is in Zirndorf (where we were) and this was similar to a factory store in the US. Katey enjoyed more time with a dollhouse available for play and the boys had fun playing with RC vehicles. We stayed until closing and then did the reverse bus, subway, and train ride home. It was a really fun day. Here are the pics:

In the pirate play area

Tim relaxes while the kids play in Adventure Land

Laurel had to have her picture made with the dog figure

The wild west

The throne room (Katey had just fallen down for the third time today!)

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