Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands
“Holland’s most thrilling amusement park”
After being named Flevohof, Walibi Flevo, Six Flags Holland and Walibi World, the Netherlands’ premier roller coaster destination is now called Walibi Holland. This park attracts approximately 850,000 visitors per year and most of them are thrill seekers. Since its Six Flags era, the park has been home to quite a few coasters. The latest addition to the park’s impressive lineup opened in 2019 and it was built by Rocky Mountain Construction. Needless to say… Walibi Holland is a must do destination for coaster enthusiasts.
Untamed is Walibi’s newest showpiece. This hybrid RMC replaced Robin Hood, a Vekoma wooden roller coaster which has entertained guests from 2000 until 2018. Well… maybe ‘entertained’ isn’t the right word, since Robin Hood became pretty rough during the last few years. That issue has definitely been fixed, but Untamed is more than just a smooth coaster. It also consists of incredible airtime, power and heavily banked curves. RMC’s layouts always look a tad unnatural, but they feel like they’ve been designed by the gods. When I first looked at those two first inversions, I wondered how on Earth such an element could feel comfortable. But at the moment I rushed through that so-called double inverted corner stall (exotic names for coaster elements… another RMC specialty), it provided some of the craziest coaster satisfaction ever. This is largely due to Untamed’s comfort; there are very few coasters of this caliber that float through their course with such smoothness. Untamed is a hype and I had expectations, but the ride didn’t disappoint in any way. Awesome!
Walibi Holland has been home to Goliath since 2002. This Intamin Mega Coaster has been a fan favourite since it opened. With over 1.2 kilometres of track, a height of 46 metres and a top speed of 105 km/h, it’s quite an impressive ride. Still, Goliath turns out to be a bit disappointing today. Don’t get me wrong: the first drop is fantastic, the ride offers some amazing airtime and the Stengel Dive is wonderful. But unfortunately, the second part of the layout is a little forceless. Whereas Untamed literally keeps going until the final brake run, Goliath loses its pace much faster. I’d like to praise the ride’s crew for their incredibly fast dispatches, but one ride is enough for me today.
One single ride on Goliath is enough. One single ride on the nearby El Condor is too much. This Suspended Looping Coaster looks nice. With its bright colours, the ride perfectly fits within the Mexican themed square. Yet, El Condor has been known as a torture machine for many years now. This was the prototype of the SLC, one of Vekoma’s most successful coaster models ever. I haven’t ridden any version that was really enjoyable, but I remember this one as the worst of them all.
Ever wondered how Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster looks like in daylight? Xpress – Platform 13 provides the answer because it has an identical layout. This Dutch version isn’t themed to music, though. Platform 13 tells the story of a creepy, abandoned metro station. The walk-through towards the station is pretty amazing and the platform itself is nicely decorated as well. It’s just a shame that the actual ride isn’t themed at all. This dark theme begs for a total indoor experience with music and frightening effects. In reality, we end up riding a rather rough roller coaster in the open air. That doesn’t necessarily make Xpress a bad ride, but it feels like a missed opportunity to me.
Walibi’s Boomerang is themed elaborately and the kiddie coaster is necessary for a full coaster bingo, but these rides don’t deliver must do experiences. Lost Gravity, however, should not be missed. This unusual roller coaster can be found in an area that I would define as urban trashy. It looks peculiar, to say the least, but it works effectively here at Walibi. This is not Efteling or Disneyland, where theming makes up 80 percent of the overall experience. This is Walibi, a park which still primarily focuses on hashtag youth. In this specific case, however, those hashtaggers have to settle for a rather mediocre roller coaster ride. Lost Gravity features a fantastic first drop, some good airtime and a brilliant near miss with a water bomb, but the last part of the layout is pretty uninteresting. Besides, the ride is considerably rougher than I remembered it to be. Don’t get me wrong… I don’t hate Lost Gravity and I really enjoy the ride’s unusual look. But if you’re hoping for a world-class coaster, it may cause some disappointment.
Walibi Holland is at its best on a warm summer day. I realise that this applies to every theme park on Earth, but Walibi really lacks some indoor experiences. The only indoor ride is a mediocre mad house; all other rides take place in the open air. Besides, the park offers a good amount of water-based attractions. There’s Crazy River (a log flume with three drops and an invertor), El Rio Grande (a beautifully integrated rapid river) and Walibi is home to the world’s first Splash Battle as well.
WORTH A VISIT?
Untamed is probably Europe’s best amusement park novelty of the year: it’s simply awesome. But how awesome is Walibi Holland? Is this the Netherlands’ best day trip? Unfortunately it isn’t, in my opinion. And this may sound strange, but Untamed is partly responsible for that. Although Walibi Holland is trying to put itself on the map as a family-friendly destination, it primarily remains a park for thrill seekers. Five of its seven roller coasters feature inversions and the park’s only family roller coaster is just ridiculously small. I don’t want to claim that Robin Hood was an essential roller coaster for Walibi, but at least it aimed itself towards a broader audience. Since Robin Hood has been transformed into a thrill coaster, the water rides are the only remaining attractions that can be enjoyed by the whole family. So is Walibi worth a visit? Yes, but only if you’re in search for spectacular roller coasters.
Photo Gallery 2006, 2016 & 2019
What’s your favourite roller coaster at Walibi Holland? Is Untamed the best ride of the year 2019? What would be an ideal future addition to the park’s attraction lineup? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.