This past Wednesday, in honor of Gioia’s last days in the Netherlands, we rented a car and drove to WalibiWorld. This is about as close as you can get to a Six Flags (my own personal favorite being Six Flags Great Adventure, in my lovely home state of New Jersey, which boasts the most rides in any single amusement park in the world [as of 2006]).
Actually, WalibiWorld used to be called Six Flags Holland, but then it was sold to the group that owns the Walibi amusement parks and they gave it a facelift and called it WalibiWorld. The place is split up into themed regions like Italy, France, Mexico, Sherwood Forest, etc.
From a design standpoint, the park has nice facilities and is laid out fine. It’s a bit small, but then, you’d expect that in Europe. It was one of the hottest days of the year though, and that was a bit tough. What was more annoying than the heat though were the number of rides that broke down as we were waiting on them.
Out of five different roller coasters we went on, three of them broke down. Normally this was only a ten or fifteen minute delay, but still, 3 out of 5!? Come on. That says a lot about your maintenance investment and naturally makes a body a bit worried about their safety investment as well…
Overall, the place was a bit of a disappointment. Two of the roller coasters just banged you around a lot and were only good for inducing headaches. WalibiWorld’s claim to fame, the Goliath, was actually the best ride of the day, but we did it last and only got to ride it once due to poor scheduling.
It was a great rollercoaster though with a fantastic drop (near vertical) at the beginning, carriages that have no sides so that you feel really exposed, and a few humps that really throw you out of your seat. It was fairly long and one of the nice things about it is that nearly the entire time you are really speeding along, there’s hardly any part of it that slows down, so you really feel like you’re getting a full three minutes of thrills.
The food was terrible and overpriced, but that’s the same all over the world. I think we were among the oldest people there, but it was the middle of the week so that’s to be expected.
One of the highlights of the whole day though was when Ian and I paid fifteen euros to be strapped into these harnesses, winched up about five hundred feet, then just DROPPED. We went straight down for a few seconds until the centrifugal force whipped us in a long arc over the park, and then we spent the next few minutes making big lazy swings over a pond and the platform they winched us up from. It was really a lot of fun.
Strapped into the harness, up in the air, surrounded by nothing but air, it was pretty damn frightening once I got up there, but I hardly had time to say to Ian, “Damn, we’re really high up,” before the drop came and I was screaming like a baby. Fun fun fun.
All in all I’m very happy to have seen WalibiWorld. We had a fun time and it’s something that you should do anywhere you spend a summer.