Bellewaerde: Belgium’s Oldest Park

Welcome to Bellewaerde! Opened in 1954, this quaint Companies des Alpes park started as a zoo – it still hosts many exotic animals to this day.


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Taking the back entrance to Bellewaerde means being greeted with their most iconic ride: one of the very first Vekoma Boomerangs. More on that later!

Cute animals (and rides that sometimes look like animals) scatter the parks themed environs. Many of the usual suspects are here: Mexico, Wild West, Canada, Africa, and India. You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!

Bengal River Rapids sits centrally in the oblong park, not far from the main entrance.

Mexico is full of flamboyant rides, including the indoor/outdoor Huracan. The Zierer coaster begins with a lengthy dark ride sequence before poking around outside for a bit, then finishing with a forceful dark gravity sequence.

Obscure flat ride enthusiasts rejoice! The first (and possibly last) Huss Topple Tower is the the centerpiece for Mexico.

Canada is perhaps the largest of Bellewarde’s areas – the area alone would be a reasonably satisfying little park.

The new-for-2020 Wakala steals the show at Bellewaerde. Gerstlauer’s ultra-versatile family coaster system (might as well call it a “family Infinity Coaster” at this point) strikes again with a lengthy, scenic full-circuit shuttle coaster.

In a peculiar move, Bellewaerde opened a completely suspended pair of Wiegand Alpine (Sport) Coasters, called Dawson Duel. At $4M, it seems like an expensive choice considering its low capacity and lengthy walk to the station tower.

If you started your day in Mexico like we did, there’s no better way to finish your day than with a ride on Boomerang. While not the first ever manufactured, Bellewaerde’s was the first Boomerang to open to the public.

And so that wraps up our time at Bellewaerde – a picture perfect park for those seeking a textbook European theme park experience.

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