IAAPA Previews 'Kondaa'
In 2014, Walibi Belgium started formulating a masterplan to revitalize the entire park. This plan went into effect in 2016 and has continued onwards. Some may say the redevelopment plan has reached its climax with the opening of “Kondaa,” a brand-new mega coaster model built by Intamin Amusement Rides. “Kondaa” is one of the Benelux’s highest, fastest, and longest steel roller coasters. The new ride opened to praise for its many airtime moments and a selection of fresh elements, some new to mega coasters.
“We hope to attract a new kind of public to the park,” Jean-Christophe Parent, director of Walibi Belgium, tells the IAAPA News blog. “We already have a wooden coaster, an inverted coaster, a launched coaster. But what we missed was a roller coaster with a lot of airtime moments. ‘Kondaa’ is a real airtime machine. We also focused on the evolution of technology and computer calculations to create track elements which are original and innovative.”
The addition of “Kondaa” will empower Walibi Belgium to attract more guests from not only Belgium, but Europe as well. Jean-Christophe told me that guests who visited the park five years ago, won’t recognize the park today.
“‘Kondaa’ will lift Walibi to another level and will cement the reputation of the park on a national and European level,” he says. With the addition of the sleek new coaster, Walibi Belgium hopes to eventually welcome 1.8 million visitors annually (adding in attendance from the park’s second gate, the Aqualibi water park). “Although this will take a bit longer due to the pandemic,” Jean-Christophe believes.
While “Kondaa” is certainly an eyecatcher and the main draw for many guests this season, it’s not the only new thing Walibi Belgium has in store for 2021. The “Exotic World” area of the park, opened in 2018 with the debut of Gerstlauer’s family coaster named “Tiki-Waka,” also expanded. “’Kondaa” joins an African-inspired restaurant named Nsoso this season. Hungry guests will be surprised by the authentic feel of the restaurant, as Nsoso will feature 90 handcrafted and painted terracotta pieces and a huge wooden table stretching 3.5 meters in diameter. A childrens ride named “Kondaala” was also re-located within the park to accompany “Kondaa” in the newly developed area of the park. A new restroom facility and gift shop—where you can find 67 different new souvenir items—complete the new 4.5 hectares.
Since the new area is a separated from the rest of the park by the naturally winding River Dijle (that divides the park in two), a darker and sinister theme was chosen to accommodate the feeling you’re in another world. It’s a stark contrast from the colorful Exotic World. The backstory of “Kondaa” and “Kondaala” refers to a snake-like monster, tamed by locals, which was thought to have disappeared … only to return to Walibi Belgium this season.
Those brave enough to take a ride on "Kondaa"–or those interested in seeing how Walibi Belgium transformed a quiet corner of the park in "the place to be"–can visit the park for themselves on the first day of the IAAPA EMEA Spring Summit. The summit includes a visit to Walibi Belgium and other Belgian attractions during this three-day event. Attendees will participate in networking opportunities, behind-the-scenes-tours, and a presentation by Walabi Belgium's own Jean-Christophe Parent.