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Kondaa: Benelux’s tallest and fastest roller coaster launching at Walibi Belgium

Walibi Belgium will launch the most important investment in its history this weekend. Named Kondaa, it’s the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the Benelux.

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The €25 million project, featuring a ride system from Intamin, a creator of record-breaking amusement rides, is the highlight of the park’s newly expanded Exotic World. 

Passengers on the 50m-tall attraction will reach a top speed of 113km/h. During a ride time of one-and-a-half minutes, they will experience 15 moments of airtime and g-forces of 4.5. 

Featuring 1.2km of track in total, the first drop is a steep 80 degrees. Two 24-seater trains are in use. No other mega coaster in the world has as many ride elements or moments of airtime.

Kondaa will be available to the public when Walibi Belgium reopens this Saturday, May 8. However, staff of the park in Wavre, near Brussels, were treated to preview rides this Thursday. 

“It’s impressive!” said Vanessa Crocco Villarroel, Reception Coordinator. “You have the impression that during the entire ride you barely touch your seat.”

Kondaa – all about the airtime

For Walibi Belgium Director General Jean-Christophe-Parent, the record-setting new coaster rounds out his park’s thrill offering. 

“Our attractions all offer different sensations. For example, we have inversions, freefall, launch… but airtime; we missed that. Kondaa is a real airtime machine! A totally new experience for our visitors. I am already looking forward to their reactions on Saturday.”

Kondaa is the fourth new coaster to be added to Walibi Belgium as part of a €100 million masterplan by operator Compagnie des Alpes. Since 2016, new rides have appeared including Pulsar (Mack PowerSplash), Tiki-Waka (Gerstlauer Bobsled Coaster) and Fun Pilot (Zierer Force 190 family coaster). With the reintroduction of a Zierer Tivoli next year, the park’s total coaster count will be 10. In addition, the first Popcorn Revenge dark ride from Alterface debuted in the new Karma World zone in 2019.

With Kondaa and other additions for 2021, Exotic World now totals 4.5 hectares. Those too small or timid to sample the Intamin thriller (minimum passenger height 1.3m) may wish to try Kondalaa instead. This Zamperla Barnstormer has been re-sited from another area of the park, and extensively re-themed. 

Exotic World – more immersive for 2021 

A beautifully themed new restaurant called Nsósó will serve fried chicken to guests within Exotic World. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this will operate as takeaway only for the first few weeks of the season.    

The new look area of the park is accessible via two attractive bridges. Twenty tonnes of steel, 350 tonnes of mortar and 90 cubic metres of wood were used in the theming of the area. Meanwhile, as many as 16,000 plants and trees have been added to help further immerse guests into the “lost territory”. 

“If you look at Exotic World, three years ago there was nothing except Challenge of Tutankhamon,” Compagnie des Alpes Project Manager Julien Simon told blooloop recently. “Today, we could almost put a gate in front of this area and sell it as a separate ticket.”

Over the past five years, around 75 percent of Walibi Belgium has been refreshed, including the adjacent Aqualibi water park. By the time the site’s transformation is complete in two years’ time, management hopes to attract as many as 1.4 million annual guests. 

Meanwhile at Plopsa 

Such an attendance would give Walibi the potential to reclaim the title of Belgium’s busiest theme park. Those bragging rights currently belong to Plopsaland De Panne, which also reopens tomorrow along with Plopsa Coo elsewhere in the country. However, all the parks are operating under reduced capacity this year, between 25 and 35 percent in the case of Plopsa’s sites. This, of course, is due to the pandemic, which delayed the start of the season.  

New for 2021 in De Panne will be another impressive roller coaster. The €17.5m Ride To Happiness, Europe’s first Mack Xtreme Spinning Coaster, has been created together with the world-famous Belgian music festival Tomorrowland. The attraction is expected to open in July, the month the festival usually takes place. 

Already, Plopsaland guests can stay in the very first Plopsa Hotel, which is due to open today, May 7.

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Owen Ralph

Owen Ralph

As a Lead Features Writer for blooloop, Owen brings with him two decades of experience covering the amusement and attractions industry for trade publications, including World’s Fair, Coinslot International, Kirmes & Park Revue and Park World, where he spent 15 years as Editor. He is currently a member of the IAAPA EMEA Education Subcommittee.

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