Last week we visited Bobbejaanland in Belgium, a park with a fun collection of classics and modern thrill rides. Like many European parks, Bobbejaanland has a well-rounded lineup offering standout attractions in each category. Let’s take a look at what this charming Belgian park has to offer!
– In the past, many of our images have been posted, featured, and shared on forums, social media platforms and websites around the web. We work hard to provide the coverage that we do, and we encourage our audience to share our content and use our images, BUT ONLY IF proper credit is given to thecoasterkings.com. Thank you! –
Bobbejaanland was founded in 1961 by famous Flemish country artist Bobbejaan Schoepen and opened as a show venue. In 1975 Bobbejaanland transitioned towards becoming an actual theme park and has been one ever since. In many ways this feels like a Belgian Dollywood (which, coincidentally, also opened in 1961 as “Rebel Railroad”), except Bobbejaanland’s country-music-star-turned-rollercoaster-tycoon identity well predates Dollywood’s 1986 relaunch. The original overtone of the themes are definitely American West/Frontier in a truly European fashion, making Bobbejaanland so charming. There are, however, more themes to explore throughout this 30 acre theme park!
Let’s start with one of the newest areas of the park: Land of Legends. This area launched in 2019 alongside Fury, the park’s newest thrill coaster. The area is a partial redesign of the area housing Typhoon and Sledgehammer, which were added in the early 2000s. The area takes the four elements (water, fire, earth, wind) and has an attraction for each. The water section features a well-themed water play area, fire is occupied by the Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster: Fury, earth is home to the Giant Frisbee: Sledgehammer, and wind is home to Typhoon, one of the very first Gerstlauer Eurofighters. With the launch of Land of Legends came quite some theming, including new theming, landscaping, and paint for the pre-existing attractions. You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
Typhoon is 25.7 meters tall and features a signature beyond-vertical drop at 97 degrees. The ride occupies the former lot of a Schwarzopf Looping Star, which is why the vertical loop on Typhoon features Schwarzkopf-esque bracing to pay homage to the previous looper in its spot. The ride layout is unique and, while a prototype layout, has not been seen since. While the ride’s a bit rough around the edges (I mean, which Eurofighter isn’t?), I truly enjoyed the layout of the coaster. It has some very intense positive Gs and some surprising lateral moments. The layout is rather lengthy and features four inversions and two major helices. What I enjoyed the most is having one of Gerstlauer’s oldest looping products located next to one of their newest. You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
In 2019, Bobbejaanland added their newest thrill ride: Fury. This 43m tall Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster reaches a top speed of 106.6 km/h! While an Infinity Coaster looks similar to a Eurofighter on paper, the layout is very unique and is filled with great airtime and inversions. However, what makes Fury standout on a global scale is riders’ choice of riding forwards or getting to vote to ride forwards or backwards using buttons on the restraints. Fury‘s swing launch and swing brakes offer great hangtime moments at the beginning and end of the 600m long coaster. – I personally loved Fury when navigating its twistiness backwards, as it’s simply so unique, though the ride is equally as impressive when you ride it forwards. You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
The next area of the park we’re headed is called Adventure Valley and is home to some of the most unique rides in Europe. Banana Battle is an indoor splash battle themed to a jungle, while King Kong is the infamous flatride where a giant animatronic gorilla shakes a wagon.
What we came to the themed area for, however, was Revolution. Currently also called Mount Mara because of the VR that was previously offered (not currently). Revolution has the World’s longest roller coaster trains with a whopping 30 cars holding up to two passengers each. Revolution opened in 1989 and is a truly relic of the 80s. This unique Vekoma Illusion coaster features a circular (somewhat) lift hill through an open showbuilding with a screen on the ceiling depicting illusions. After the lift hill a series of drops and turns navigating around the lift hill are accompanied with special effects. The coaster is strange but a total vibe and one of our favorites in Europe. Don’t miss this Bobbejaanland legend.
Also in Adventure Valley is the Mauer Spinning Coaster: Naga Bay. Naga Bay opened as Dizz in 2011 but has since be reimagined to fit in with the area. The ride’s dark green and gray aesthetic lends itself very well to the edge of the lake that it’s on and makes for a stunning looking spinning coaster. While Naga Bay may not be immediately on top of a coaster enthusiast’s priority list, the 17m tall ride seriously surprised us. Ferocious spinning and wonderful pacing, Naga Bay offers thrill and scenic views. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was how much of a punch this spinner packs! You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
A good park needs dark rides and flumes, Bobbejaanland has several of those. With its true American West focused past, the park’s shooting dark ride is themed thereafter. The El Paso Special is a decent sized dark ride taking you through the wild west, though it gets quite gruesome. Right nearby is Indiana River, the park’s 100% enclosed log flume. This jungle themed flume features three drops, an array of effects and theming and simply can’t be missed. It’s incredibly unique and definitely a Bobbejaanland staple. You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
Next up is Oki Doki, the park’s custom lakeside Vekoma Junior Coaster, one of the first to use the new style restraints! The coaster is an overflow of the clown-themed Kinderland (indoor kiddie area). Oki Doki‘s pacing and size make it more of a family coaster than a kiddie coaster. We were pleasantly surprised with the airtime you get on the first drop in the back of the train! You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
Ready for some more Bobbejaanland classics? Bob Express was added in 2000 and is a MACK Rides Powered Coaster. The train-themed coaster became an instant classic as it navigates around the park’s classic log ride. For a powered coaster Bob Express is quite long and unique, and has a gorgeous location overlooking and crossing over the park’s central lake. The coaster and the log flume are a true power duo.
Of course there’s more to Bobbejaanland that’s actually western themed. A giant area in the back of the park is home to an entire village and accompanying rides such as the park’s massive river rapids named El Rio, as well as their wild mouse Speedy Bob. The highlight attraction for us was Horse Pedalo, a lift hill powered, horse-bike coaster from Vekoma providing awesome aerial views of the area and neighboring Dreamcatcher. You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
Speaking of Dreamcatcher, remember those airplane-trains for your suspended coasters in Roller Coaster Tycoon? They existed! Dreamcatcher used to be called Air Race and featured the iconic trains. In 2006 this Vekoma Swinging Turns coaster retired the Arrow airplane trains in favor of new Vekoma floorless trains that allowed riders to enjoy the water below the coaster tracks, as most of the coaster is located over a lagoon. They recently repainted Dreamcatcher a stunning sleek black/dark gray. The coaster’s layout features some great swings as well as an impressive collection of helices. We really enjoyed our ride on this more streamlined version of an Arrow suspended coaster. While I say this a lot, as the park’s oldest coaster, this is yet another one of those Bobbejaanland staples that you come to Bobbejaanland for! You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
To wrap up this look at Bobbejaanland in Belgium, I want to reiterate how well-rounded the experience here is. They’ve got some classic and notable modern thrill rides, as well as some heavily-themed attractions. The park’s staff was an absolute pleasure everywhere we went. Bobbejaanland has a history of lots of colors and themes in one park, but the overall experience and aesthetic have been streamlined to a point where there are clear themed areas and ideas. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the park and it certainly should be on your to-visit list!