Hellendoorn, The Netherlands
“Cosy family-style theme park”
Avonturenpark Hellendoorn is a medium-sized amusement park in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It appears to be in the middle of nowhere, but this location actually adds to the overall atmosphere. The park is situated in a dense forest and nature plays a quite important role. Hellendoorn isn’t a thrill destination. If you’re only interested in big roller coasters or thrilling flat rides, it might be better to skip this park. However, if you’re looking for an inexpensive day out with the entire family, this could be the place you need.
As I mentioned, the park doesn’t feature crazy B&M machines or thrilling Intamin coasters. Hellendoorn’s biggest thrills are a Top Spin, a classic Enterprise and Tornado, a standard Vekoma roller coaster with two inversions. The ride is 30 years old and it looks somewhat dated, but the experience isn’t bad at all. I even expected this ride to be a lot rougher than it was. Unfortunately, theming is nonexistent and the station is located in a tent. Change is on its way, though: the ride will receive a major makeover in 2021.
The park’s other roller coasters are one hundred percent family-friendly. I’m talking about Donderstenen (which translates to Thunder Rocks) and Rioolrat (Sewer Rat). Donderstenen is a standard ride without special elements, but Rioolrat is a unique indoor coaster. The queue is elaborately themed and the ride appears to be faster than it actually is. Although the entrance is somewhat hidden and queues get long (due to a very limited capacity), you definitely shouldn’t miss Rioolrat while visiting Avonturenpark Hellendoorn.
Most of the attractions at Hellendoorn are rather standard. There are loads of family-friendly flat rides, a classic log flume and the park’s high diving stunt show is quite good. The most unusual attraction might be Discovery Club, an interactive dark ride themed to a haunted laboratory. Inanimate objects come to live in this mansion (copyright Lord Henry Mystic) and passengers are asked to hit those objects with a laser gun. Honestly, Discovery Club isn’t on the highest level of dark rides, but it’s considerably better than most dark rides in medium-sized theme parks.
Another not to be missed ride is Sungai Kalimantan, a rapid river with an Indonesian theme. This is the biggest attraction of Hellendoorn and it’s very popular, but the queue moves rather quickly and the ride doesn’t disappoint. It’s not wet at all, so you could even ride Sungai Kalimantan during Spring and Autumn.
WORTH A VISIT?
If you’re able to enjoy the familiar atmosphere of smaller theme parks, Avonturenpark Hellendoorn truly is a hidden gem. As I said, this park doesn’t feature mind-blowing rides or shows. But still, I had a wonderful day here. Staff are friendly, the entrance fee is reasonable and despite the fact that we visited on a very busy day, queues didn’t get too long.
Photo Gallery 2019
Would you like to ride a Dutch version of Mystic Manor? Are you interested in a roller coaster that’s themed to a sewer? And are these smaller parks your thing? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.