Located in Lichtaart Bobbejaanland is the biggest theme park in Belgium.
The park was founded back in 1961 by Bobbejaan Schoepen, a Flemish singer, guitarist, and entertainer who enjoyed international popularity in the fifties and early sixties. From 1975 onwards Bobbejaan music shows and maverick management developed the park into a huge tourist draw in the Benelux countries. After the founder’s passing in May 2010 Bobbejaanland was sold to Parques Reunidos Spanish group and is now more a family park than a major theme park.
The old rides are fun but predictable. The new ones are very far from the competition in Germany or The Netherlands. It is also a bit sad that there are no reminders of Bobbejaan Schoepen left since the new owners took management. Bottom line: the park needs a new direction, badly!
Dispite all the predicaments and misfortunes the park still offers 50 attractions and several coasters, including the Revolution (a strange but fun dark indoor Rollercoaster, 1989), the Speedy Bob (roller coaster, 1998), Dreamcatcher (suspended roller coaster, 1987, previously known as Air Race), Dizz (spinning coaster) and the world’s second Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter roller coaster, “Typhoon” (2003/04), with a drop angle of over 97° (a roller coaster with a fourfold loop and a free fall). King Kong iconic ride, a damn good rapids ride (El Rio) and a Giant wheel were among our favorites during the October 2014 visit.
This is a cozy park with a nice “old” atmosphere. Family rides are fun and queues were very short. However, most of the rides and decorations are very poorly maintained and need badly for new layers of paint and replacements. Bleached statues that stand there for ages, decorations crumbling apart and moss all over the place can be really annoying.
During our visit in 2013 we fell that the park management is trying to improve things with deals like the intellectual property agreement for The Smurfs franchise.
Since then the park opened in 2015 an immersive Tunnel attraction called The Forbidden Caves where the riders are taken to a cave expedition in the Khyonesia rainforests, in Southeast Asia. On March 26th 2016 a brand new attraction VR attraction called Mount Mara, where riders get special glasses that make them feel like they are on a quad for a volcano eruption. The existing indoor roller coaster Revolution, opened in 1989, underwent a change of almost 1 million euros for that purpose..
Ticket prices are too high for an “old” theme park: 26€ is not worth it. Luckily you can find discounts everywhere. The return coupons are great value for money though. There are few shows and some food stands were closed during our visit. The parking lot is also poorly managed and for the size of it i think during peak summer months must be chaotic.
Bobbejaanland it’s a fun nice place to visit. For families. For the nostalgic theme park. But lacks a charming theme for children and world class thrill rides for teens.
By Carlos Canaes, Rita Moura, Paulo Vilarinho and Ana Alegria. Updated: 8/8/2016
Location: Olensteenweg 45, 2460, Belgium
Tickets: from 20€ (adults) online
Opens from April to DecemberTop Rides
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