Europa Park: Ed & Edda’s Magical Journey

Produced by Europa-Park

The Look Club
6 min readJan 27, 2024

Experienced at Europa-Park in Rust, Germany ~ 2024

The Experience & How it Works:

At the venue, you put on a VR headset and find yourself in a virtual Europa-Park with Ed & Edda who enlist your help. This is a free-roaming VR experience during which you can walk around the physical space in which you’re doing the experience and, by doing so, can move around the virtual space of the VR world. The experience uses standalone VR headsets with inside-out tracking, so there are no cords hindering your movement.

Why it’s Interesting, IMHO:

It’s interesting to see VR experiences becoming attractions at theme parks. Also, despite being a free-roaming VR experience, the YullbeGo system is able to be set up and broken down in minutes.

Initial Impression & Critical Discussion:

From the moment you enter, Europa-Park is in trouble and Ed & Edda enlist your help. At the same time I was orienting myself to the story and scene, I was also distracted by the red grid beings wandering around the space; it turns out that these are the outlines of other people who are doing Yullbe VR experiences in the same vicinity as you. (These people may or may not be doing Europa Park: Ed & Edda’s Magical Journey; if they are, they are in another instance of it—e.g., it is not a multi-player experience).

The purpose of these red grid shapes is to alert you to where other real people are standing so that you don’t bump into them. From a through-put perspective, this is very clever and not overly obtrusive. At the same time, there are moments this feature presents a challenge. Certain sections of Europa Park: Ed & Edda’s Magical Journey require you to step somewhere very specific or to follow a very narrow path (that feels high up on the edge of a cliff). It can be a bit tricky when, in these moments, someone else is standing right in the middle of your path. In theory you could just walk around them, off the side of the cliff, since in reality the floor is there, but the VR is so compelling, our minds fight very hard to keep us from doing this!

One of the key game mechanics of this experience is that the participant is to use a magic wand to enchant umbrellas so that they fly into the air and the participant can use them as stepping stones to reach the desired crystal fragment up on a rooftop. This works fairly well and also presents some confusion. The first time you enchant an umbrella and step on it, the umbrella ascends toward the crystal. It then stops and you are told you need to enchant another umbrella. The implication seems to be that you will step on that one and then ascend further, then perhaps enchant a third umbrella to get you the rest of the way. However, this is not the case. The second umbrella adjoins the first and when you step on it, simply stays put. It seems to merely form a platform by combining with the first umbrella. Then you’re told to enchant yet another umbrella, which does the same thing: extend the platform. Finally, you’re instructed to step on Ed’s umbrella, which takes you the rest of the way to the crystal.

The functionality of the umbrellas is inconsistent and creates confusion. If umbrellas can ascend, why do they stop part way? If Ed’s umbrella can take us all the way to the crystal, why didn’t we just step on his in the first place and ride all the way there? And why can Ed’s umbrella ascend all the way and none of ours can?

Back to the experience itself, even though we finally reach the crystal, the evil creature snatches it away before we can get our hands on it. Ed then instructs us to go through a wormhole to follow the evil creature. Once we find it again, he tells us to hand him our magic wand. We do, and then he shrinks down the evil creature so that we can bat at it and try and grab it with our bare hands. The change of scale is a very cool use of VR and provides an exciting and unexpected perspective. The frustrating thing is, once you succeed in taking down the creature, Ed retrieves the crystal and reconnects it to the wand.

Since the goal presented to us at the beginning was to retreive the crystal and that is what we are trying to do, it feels very unsatisfying to not be able to complete our mission ourselves and tohave someone else do it for us. It felt like when a parent asks you to do something and then, impatient, just decides to do it for you after all. It seems unlikely that the goal of the creators of the VR experience was to make the participant feel impotent and unfortunate that a couple of small choices take away from the agency of the participant and lessons their level of satisfaction.

It’s likely the reasoning for the removal of agency has to do with the fact that the participant will need their hands free to take down the shrunken evil creature. As a result, they have the participant give the wand to Ed. That being said, there are no doubt other ways to support the necessary functionality and also allow for the participant to have agency and get to enjoy the feeling of satisfaction that comes with finishing their quest themselves.

The opening scene of Europa Park: Ed & Edda’s Magical Journey.


  • Listen Carefully. There’s dialog at the beginning that will explain the situation and tell you what to do.
  • Don’t be Afraid. Sometimes it will feel like you are hundreds of feet in the air or on the edge of a cliff, but in reality, you’re still on the floor.
  • Regard the Red. When you see red grid lines, avoid them. This means there are other people standing in that spot in the real world.

Experiential Viewpoint Expression (E.V.E.):

Embodied, 1st person visual, 1st person narrative, participant, mortal.

Interestingly, Ed has deity experiential POV. He seems to have this agency as a result of the magic wand that you had been using and then gave to him, which raises a question as to why the participant doesn’t have the opportunity to play with deity experiential POV.

Story Anchor:

When an evil creature turns the park’s guests into ghosts, you need to follow Ed & Edda to retrieve the magical crystal fragment from a rooftop, and then just before you do, the evil creature flies off with the crystal fragment.

Pillars of Game:

Voluntary Participation — check!

Goal — to return the park’s guests to their human form by retrieving the crystal fragment.

Rules — you can move around the space, grab things, and use a wand to conduct magic.

Feedback — objects react to your touch or magical impetus.

Conclusion: This is a game.

Who Should Experience This?

Kids and families who are curious about VR and/or fans of Ed and Edda. Individuals who have a fear of heights may find certain sections of the game challenging, but it’s perfectly safe and completing the experience may help people start to overcome those fears.



The Look Club

Eve Weston and Jessica Kantor created The Look Club to discusses immersive media through their site and reviews of immersive stories.