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Having moved to the Netherlands from the US, I soon discovered this park. Having visited the original Disneyland, Seaworld, the now defunct Jantzen Beach (Portland Oregon), I quickly fell in love with the newly renovated Six Flags Holland (formerly Walibi Flevoland Park). The park itself is laid out nicely, not confusing to find your way around the entire park in a short period of time. The staff are helpful, especially if you are a visitor to the country and do not speak the native Dutch language. The park is devided into themed areas by Country that are in my opinion nicely done. You enter the park through Hollywood Main Street, with its small restaurants and shops. In this area is Superman The Ride, a extreme steel corkscrew coaster. The first time I rode this, I had no idea what I was in-store for! It begins by entering a tunnel where you come to a complete stop after leaving the station, then you are launched to 90 km/hour in 2.8 seconds to exit the tunnel and traverse the criss-crossing, looping track. This ride has one of the on-ride photo's so you can capture your experience after leaving the attraction. The ride is 27.5 meter high, 1000 meter in length and ride time is 142 seconds. Off to the right of this area is the Italy section, which has several family based rides, and La Via Volta - for those that have the Roller Coaster Tycoon game this is identical to the steel corkscrew coaster called boomerang. This coaster is 38 meter high, 286 meter long, and reaches a top speed of 78 km/hour through the 3 loopings, ride time is 104 seconds. Cue time can be anywhere from 10-35 minutes since this ride has only one train, but well worth a minor wait to experience. Straight through Hollwood Mainstreet you enter France which is purely family oriented with its antique car ride, small carousel, and giant ferris wheel. To the right of France is the Canadian Yukon area, and having moved from the Pacific Northwest I am partial to the pine and fir trees. Here is another somewhat family oriented area with a small twist - Crazy River. Its is called a water coaster in the park map, but I know it as a good old log flume. However, it is the longest and highest log flume ride in the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxemburg). Ride length of 524 meters twists and turns and yes even a couple reverse turn tables which add to the fun. Of course there are several family based rides as in all of the different areas of the park. From here you enter the Wild Wild West section that has several rides more in the adult range. The Tornado is about the mildest ride in this section of the park, a spinning wheel that has individual cars that can spin in 360 degrees. The Flying Dutchman Gold Mine is a classic mine car coaster. Even though its only 14 meter high it's 370 meter track takes you winding, dipping, and through tight crazy corners. I laughed the entire time I was on it actually having to catch my breath getting out of the car. And next to that is the Tomahawk! This giant centrifuge swings back and forth while gaining speed. Not one for those with weak stomaches! And next to this area is Bugs Bunny World, what park is not complete without a mini version for the truly little kids. A nice area to catch your breath and let the little thrill seekers have a little fun before its back to the rides they cannot go on! But there is even a roller coaster for the kids, I laughed the first time I saw it - RoadRunner Express a classic steel mini that has fast turns and corners. And from here you can go back to France or on to Italy. Forward from France is Sherwood Forest and this is what caught my eye after Superman did. I am partial to Robin Hood, having grown up in Portland Oregon where Jantzen Beach had one of the largest wooden coasters on the West Coast. Seeing Robin Hood as I walked through the park brought back found memories from my early childhood. Robin Hood has several good moments of air time, the first drop leaves your belly in your throat and for me I love the feeling of the wooden coasters as the trains roll through the track. It has double cue lines so when there are 2 trains running the wait time is not that bad. I had to wait once for almost an hour, most of the time the though the wait has been 15-25 minutes. I always go on this roller coaster whenever I visit the park, after all with its 32 meters in heighth, 1035 meters in length, and top speed of 80 km/hour it is what a classic wooden coaster is all about. And of course more family oriented rides, a up-dated version of a fun house called Merlin's Magic Castle, and as in all the different themed areas of the park multitudes of snack bars and restaurants. Through Sherwood's Forest is the Speed Zone where in 2002 Goliath opened! Goliath is the biggest roller coaster in the Benelux, It has several drops the first being 45 meters at a 70 degree angle with speeds of 106 km/hour. This has become my favorite ride to date because of the 1,214 meter track coupled with the sheer excitement and adrenaline that it produced in me the first time I rode it. I had never ridden a hyper coaster before going on Goliath, for those that have never experienced one I highly recommend them! And the last area of the park is Mexico where El Condor lives. From what I understand, this roller coaster was in the park when it was Walibi Flevoland Park. El Condor is a suspended looping coaster that is 32 meters high and reaches speeds of 85 km/hour while running through the various looping, corkscrewing, and barrel rolls. The park has in total 8 rollercoasters if you count Crazy River as one. I have been able to go on all of them in 1 day, that was a accomplishment in itself! If you are planning on visiting, I most definitely suggest this to be a 6-8 hour trip. Just to be able to fully enjoy all the different areas & attractions. It may not be one of the big parks in the world, but it sure is a great one to have a good time at!
For those of you relying on public transportation: from Amsterdam take the train to Utrecht (which wil probably be the intercity-train headed for Nijmegen, passing through Utrecht). Check the yellow signs with the blue print at the station. In Utrecht take a train to Zwolle that will also stop in Harderwijk (an intercity wil only stop at intercity stations, which Harderwijk isn't). Outside Harderwijk station you'll soon find the shuttlebus to Walibi World. (adding aprox. 20 minutes of travelime). Do a little math and check, but buying a so-called 'combi card' at the bus will probably be cheaper than a seperate returnticket for the bus combined with one of those five-euro-discount coupons applied to a ticket bought at the park.
If you're going by car: don't take the driveway marked by the two Walibi's; the park entry is a bit further down the road.
here you'll find the schedual for the shuttlebus. The shuttles marked A, B, and C only operate on days when the park stays open longer.
After your first glimps of Goliath (green track with purple supports) and Xpress (Red track, blue supports) you reach the entrance. The music played over the speakers is a bit too loony-tunisch uppety to my taste, but the entrance area is the only place where you'll hear it. The place is nice and tidy... and quiet.
This is a feature of Walibi World that Walibi unfortunately can't advertise as though it's something to boast about, but for you, the visitor it actually IS a VERY good reason to consider the park over others. WW isn't pulling anywhere near the numbers a park of it's caliber should, and that means that you get the delightful experience of having to wait in line for brief periods at worst. So your moviecareer didn't take off, and you won't be renting a Six-Flags park for the day for yourself and some familly and buddies anyday soon... but Walibi World, at the moment can deliver an experience delightfully close to it.
Wherever the park might still be lacking in quality, it can ironicly make up for it in quantity. Each of it's coaster and rides are at your disposal virtually as if you owned them yourself, and that does add to the fun.
And if you're ride-hight and a coasterfan checking Walibi World out a.s.a.p. is recommendable. Walibi World plans to make it's park more accomodating to those under ride-hight (or 'becoming more family oriented' as they call it). There are thrillrides that might be going away. If, for instance, El Condor goes away, this season just might be your last chance to ride the world's first Vekoma Inverted coaster. Which can be a tad on the rough side, but is still an overall fun ride.
One coaster I doubt they'll ditch is Goliath. This Stengel-designed Intamin Junior Hypercoaster (reportedly one of Werner Stengel personal favorites) ranked #24 in the prestegious Amusement Today 2005 top 50 for steel coasters, and it's a work of art. There are of course those x-treme experience junkies who'll find it lacking in some regards, but truth of the matter is that Goliath doesn't have a dull moment, it's unadulterated poetry in motion and a blast to ride.
The fotoshoot, and I think that this is worth mentioning, gives you a very nice (seemingly from the front) picture. And as you can quickly take several runs on this gem of a coaster, Goliath is an excellent place to end up with perhaps your best looking rideshot ever. (those are 8 euros btw. but you get a very nicelooking large foldout paspartout with that, decorated with images from the original blueprints inside, and pictures of the coaster on the back. There's also a special e-terminal that allows you to e-mail an e-card version of the rideshot. I didn't check, but reckon that all rideshot booths at the park have both the extra-nice paspartouts and the e-mail terminal) Mine turned out fantastic.
But Goliath is at the back of the park. I heard that decission being referred to as 'putting a Picasso in the broomcloset', but I guess you could also call it saving the best for last. I can see where the broomcloset is coming from though. The whole section of the park that coaster is in, is reached by taking the path that goes around the right of the Mexican arcade/burgerplace, and at first glance it didn't look like a path to a parksection to me but more like a side-aley to a maintenance area or something. But once you round the arcade's corner and walk down it, you pass through Winner's Circle, a tentlike archway. Kind of a carnivalesque area where kids can buy tokens to play games and win cudly toys and stuff. After that it's Spaceshot (same kinda thing as Big Launch on top of the Vegas Stratosphere, and yes it's fun) the cart track (which costs extra by the way), G-force (not a thrilride as Walibi calls it, but more a physics-experiment to participate in for giggles) and Goliath beyond.
You don't have to postpone your thrills untill then though. Express can be found at the beginning of the park, gives a nice exciting launch into a double inversion, and a little scenic moment on top (which is not a bad opener for a parkvisit I guess) before sending you down again into a banked turn and one more inversion (corkscrew) for good meassures before the last turns climbs and drops take you full circuit. Nice opener to get into the coastering-mood. Rideshot.
Or otherwise, a modest stroll into the Italian themed area will take you straight to a Vekoma Boomerang coaster. Nevermind those complainers who are a little jaded from riding one coaster too many; La Via Volta is good oll' fun, and reverse inversions give a unique feeling.
Other coasters worth mentioning are Flying Dutchman. A pretty good wild mouse coaster.
And also in the back of the park is Robin Hood. For you beginning coasterfreaklets; this is a nice one to get you started, experience what drops and airtime are, practice the whole hands in the air thing etc. Surprisingly smooth and overal enjoyable woody. Very comfy seats. Rideshot.
For the kids there's the new Splash Battle ride, wich they'll surely enjoy on hotter days. A kiddy coaster. Different types of oldfashioned carousels/mery-go-rounds, a swinging ship, a steamtrain, a car ride, arcades with games. There's still work to be done for Walibi, but your kids definately don't have to get bored at this park. There's even staff in goofy looking cartooncharacter outfits to take your picture with.
There's a big ferriswheel in the centre of the park, which makes finding your way around easier. A nice logfume. A topspin. There's loads of stuff to ride at this place.
Available food in the park: among other things sandwiches, fries and burgers, pancakes, pizza. There's a slurpy-stand but you'll have to look for the word slushpuppies; same thing different name. Beer is also available in the park.
Walibi World can't quite compete with exceptional parks like Cedar Point or Six Flags Magic Mountain, but it's pretty damn good nonetheless, and it's (almost) ALL yours for 25 euros. No seriously folks. I think this park (right now) deserves at least 1.5 extra bonuspoints for being so conveniently quiet.
PS. on special 'newyearsday' event days, Walibi celebrates newyear smack in the middle of summer a couple of times, just for giggles. On these days the park is open till midnight.
--- This message was edited by on 30-Jul-2006 14:02:25 ---