On good friday, michael mensinger, as manager of the "freizeit-land geiselwind", wanted to visit the park as in the past years, the starting signal for the new season was given again. In view of the early easter date this year, however, he was already concerned in advance whether the weather would be suitable for a visit to the leisure country at least for a few days.
But he had not expected it to be so bad with snow, frost and ice on the small ponds in the countryside.
"We had to postpone the start of the event to easter monday, 1. April, postpone", michael mensinger explained in a conversation with our editorial team.
There are several reasons for this: some animals have not yet been able to move into their enclosures because of the cold, and there are also technical problems with some of the rides, mensinger noted. The flamingos are already eagerly waiting in their winter quarters to be able to be outdoors again, but their pond is freezing over and so they could not be fed either. At temperatures below zero, mensinger cannot operate the roller coaster either.
The cleaning and maintenance work, in which 40 people are currently involved in the 40-hectare park, is also running under difficult conditions this year.
The ice had to be removed from some of the water basins with great effort so that they could be resealed and painted. A lot of work is involved in cleaning and especially in removing the many leaves; because the leisure land is overgrown with many trees and thus actually has a real park character.
In the dinosaur house, daniel huscher from kitzingen, who is working in the leisure land for the first time, is installing new pumps and lighting fixtures. The acrobatic artists are also busy with electronics in their tent. Animal caretakers martin wursching and birgit scheuring performed a special task a few days before the opening: they ringed eight storks with colorful rings. "If one of them runs away, we can quickly bring the stork back to its appropriate enclosure to its patner", explained martin wursching.
But not only the 40 employees of the leisure land were busy on good friday with the most diverse work (during the season 80 people work in the leisure land) the eight women of the association for local conservation and horticulture geiselwind decorated the easter fountain. After the words of the 2. According to renate mahr, the association has been carrying out this work for over ten years, as they have a very good relationship with michael mensinger. Edith gegner, marianne wittmann, andrea lohmann, christa durr, irmgard mahr, anneliese glaser and christa mahr took part in the event. "As a thank you there is coffee and cake and hopefully also a free ride in the roller coaster", said anneliese glaser laughing.
While some of the animals are still in their winter quarters, waiting for the first day out, some of them are already ready to welcome visitors. A peacock showed itself in a great pose, and there are already offspring among the goats. Most of the kids are born in may, according to mensinger. The chickens also brave the cold, but try again and again to catch the one or other ray of sunshine for the auarmen. No problems with the cold have the monkeys, because they grow a thicker coat in winter. The swans are not happy with the weather, because their waters are still mostly frozen over.
1969 opened with many animals
The geiselwind leisure park has around 500 animals. The animals were the main attraction when the park was opened in 1969. Even today, the many four-legged friends and the lively animals are the unique selling point of the recreational area in geiselwind. Michael mensinger is visibly proud. The many trees with ponds and streams also provided a good contrast to the many technical features of the rides.
This year, the season is themed "let yourself be inspired". Michael mensinger reveals that many smaller and coarser ghosts will be on display in the leisure land. Every year, his company conducts a survey to find out what the motto of the next season should be, and last year the clear vote was "ghosts" please. In a coarse ghost train, therefore, not only electric dolls will be up to mischief as a special attraction. Michael mensinger has hired real actors who can really get on the visitors' nerves. "But we don't want to present gory ghosts, because we don't want to scare the little children", michael mensinger emphasized during the tour. Under the motto "ghosts there will also be a ghost hunt (ghosthunter) as a new entertainment offer with fast-paced acrobatics and great comedy. In the 4D cinema, it's up close and personal to elvira, the princess of darkness. "Pure excitement, mensinger comments.
He himself is always enthusiastic about his leisure country. "It's a great job to be able to work here", he explained in an interview, even though the working hours are eleven hours a day, six days a week, during the season. He takes one day a week off from work. He is fascinated by nature, the varied work and the many people he comes into contact with. He hopes that there will be many visitors again this year.
Record after the turnaround
In 2012 there were 300.000 guests. The record is half a million, when a large number of visitors came from eastern germany after the fall of the wall. Mensinger likes to visit other amusement parks. He knows all of the 30 or so in germany from his own visits, and he hasn't missed any in europe either. He was almost bowled over by the recreational facilities in the U.S. But what he likes best is the leisure land in geiselwind – his personal home with all the animals, artists, helpers and local associations.
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