Walibi Belgium

Walibi Belgium
Previously known as *Walibi
  • Walibi Wavre
  • Six Flags Belgium (2001-2004)
Walibi logo.png
LocationWavre, Walloon Brabant, Belgium
Coordinates50°41′55″N 4°35′26″E / 50.69861°N 4.59056°E / 50.69861; 4.59056Coordinates: 50°41′55″N 4°35′26″E / 50.69861°N 4.59056°E / 50.69861; 4.59056
Opened26 July 1975
OwnerCompagnie des Alpes
Attractions
Total±50
Roller coasters9
Water rides3
Websitehttp://www.walibi.com/belgium/be-en

Walibi Belgium is a Belgian theme park located in Wavre, close to Brussels.[1] It is one of the largest theme parks in Belgium, attracting 1.45 million visitors in 2018 (including visitors to adjoining water park Aqualibi).[2] The park was originally called Walibi, then Walibi Wavre, and then Six Flags Belgium, until the current name was affixed in 2004.[3] Between 1998 and 2004, the park was owned by Six Flags, Inc[4][5] until Six Flags sold it to Palamon Capital Partners (which operated the park under its StarParks Group division).[6] Palamon sold the park in 2006 to Compagnie des Alpes, which has owned it since.[7] Walibi Belgium is the first of the Walibi chain of parks, and the Walibi name is a syllabic abbreviation of the three nearby towns in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant, where the park is located: Wavre, Limal and Bierges,[8]

History

Entrance of Walibi Belgium

The park was founded in 1975 by Belgian Eddy Meeùs under the banner "Walibi," using the local towns Wavre, Limal, and Bierges as a naming device, and adopting the wallaby, a macropod cousin of the kangaroo, as its mascot.[8] In its early years, the park featured a water-skiing area, which lasted until 1994.[8] In 1987, a waterpark, Aqualibi, opened next door.[9] The park had some Tintin rides from 1975 to 1995, when it lost the rights to the franchise.

In 1998, the park was bought by Six Flags, and the name was changed from Walibi Wavre to Six Flags Belgium in 2001.[4]

In 2004, Six Flags sold its European division to Palamon Capital Partners, a London-based investment company.

On 7 November 2004 Six Flags Belgium officially ceased to exist. Any references to Looney Tunes and DC Comics characters had to be removed before the beginning of the 2005 season. The park reopened its gates on 26 March 2005, bearing the "Walibi Belgium" name.

In 2006, the park was taken over by CDA Parks, a French leisure group. In 2017, the park announced a 100 million euro make-over, featuring a re-theme of 75% of the park and adding several new rides. One of them being an Intamin megacoaster.

From 2012 to 2014, the Aqualibi waterpark underwent a major refurbishment, costing €11 million (US$16 million).[10]

Rides

Present rides

The "Vampire" suspended rollercoaster at Walibi Belgium

Roller coasters

Name Type Year Opened Built By
Psyké Underground Shuttle Loop 1982 Schwarzkopf
Calamity Mine Mine Train roller coaster 1992 Vekoma
Vampire Suspended Looping Coaster 1999 Vekoma
Cobra Boomerang 2001 Vekoma
Loup Garou Wooden roller coaster 2001 Vekoma
Pulsar Power Splash 2016 Mack Rides
Tiki-Waka Bobsled Coaster 2018 Gerstlauer
Fun Pilot Steel roller coaster 2019 Zierer
Kondaa Megacoaster 2021 Intamin

Water rides

Name Type Year Opened Built By
Radja River River rafting ride 1988 Intamin
Gold River Adventure Tow boat ride 1978 Intamin
Flash Back Log flume 1995 MACK Rides

Thrill rides

Name Type Year Opened Built By
Dalton Terror Drop tower 1998 Intamin
Buzzsaw Top Spin 2001 Huss Rides

Family rides

Name Type Year Opened Built By
Salsa Y Fiesta Teacups 2001 Chance Rides
Music Xpress 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge[11] train ride 1995 Severn Lamb
Tuf Tuf Club Bumper Cars 2001 Reverchon
Le Tapis Volant Flying carpet ride 2001 SBF Visa
W.A.B Cinema 4D 4D Cinema 2005 Sim-Exiwerks
Le Grand Carrousel Carousel 1990 Euro Sujets
Le Palais du génie Mad House 2001 Vekoma

Dark rides

Name Type Year Opened Built By:
Popcorn Revenge Interactive darkride 2019 ETF Ride Systems
Challenge Of Tutankhamon Interactive darkride 2003 Sally Corporation

Former rides

Roller coasters

Name Type Year Opened Year Closed Built By
Tornado Corkscrew with Bayerncurve 1979 2002 Vekoma
Jumbo Jet Jet Star 1978 1991 Schwarzkopf
Vertigo Mountain Glider 2007 2008 Doppelmayr
Grand 8 Zyklon Z47 1975 1983 Pinfari
Coccinelle Tivoli 1999 2017 Zierer

Thrill rides

Name Type Year Opened Year Closed Built By
Bounty Looping Starship 1993 2002 Intamin
Inferno Enterprise 1975 2010 Huss Rides

Family rides

Name Type Year Opened Year Closed Built By
Big Yoyo Paratower 1981 1998 Vekoma
La Grande Roue Ferris wheel 1979 2016 Vekoma


Events

Summer Nights

During 5 Saturdays in a row in July and August, Walibi Belgium has their late night openings. During those nights, the park remains open until 11:00 p.m. and offers additional entertainment. Each night ends with a firework show around the lake, sometimes with a themed show.

Halloween

One of the events the park is known for is Halloween, traditionally during the last weekends of October and autumn holiday in Belgium. During Halloween, Walibi Belgium transforms into hell on earth with scary entertainment and other festivities. The park started celebrating Halloween in 2000 on a small scale, leading it to be one of the biggest Halloween events in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Since 2008, Walibi Belgium introduced a storyline around the event which is still running in 2013. Every year, the story has an open ending, making visitors curious for the following year. This happens during a finale show, including special effects, music and actors. The park also creates scare-zones, zones in the park that get a Halloween theme. The park is also known for their number of haunted houses during Halloween. For 2012 and 2013, guests were welcomed in 6 different haunted houses spread over the park. The haunted houses the park offers are nowadays known for their often strange locations and aggressive and violent actors.

For 4 to 5 days, the park also has Halloween nights, with the park being opened till 9:00 p.m.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Walibi Belgium theme park looking to expand on the fun". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  2. ^ "Popcorn Revenge: Walibi Belgium's new dark ride". Blooloop. 2019-06-05. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  3. ^ "Walibi Belgium (Wavre, Walloon Brabant, Wallonia, Belgium)". rcdb.com. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  4. ^ a b O'Brien, Tim (January 15, 2001). "Walibi Wavre to become Six Flags Belgium; $30 Mil infusion planned". Amusement Business. p. 12. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  5. ^ Page, David (March 11, 2004). "OKC-based Six Flags sells Ohio, Europe parks for $345 million". The Journal Record. p. 1. Retrieved August 25, 2022.
  6. ^ Staff, P. E. I. (2012-12-30). "€155m theme parks thrill for Palamon". Private Equity International. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  7. ^ "Compagnie des Alpes Gains Ground..." www.eap-magazin.de. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
  8. ^ a b c Whitworth, David (2018-01-26). "Walibi Belgium". InterPark. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  9. ^ Times, The Brussels. "Walibi and Aqualibi undergoes €100 million investment to transform the theme parks". www.brusselstimes.com. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  10. ^ dt-admin (2011-05-05). "Aqualibi 2.0". Park World Online - Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News. Retrieved 2022-08-26.
  11. ^ Severn Lamb - Lincoln model Archived February 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine

External links

  • Walibi Belgium website
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