Walibi Belgium had a special campaign running in 2009 and 2010 called the Big 7. Seven rides that were unique for the park in Belgium. A fun marketing idea which we want to continue on. But years have passed and now, Walibi has more to offer then back then. Experience the New Big 7 of the park right here!
The Original Big 7
The original Big 7 were the following:
– Loup-Garou/Weerwolf: Only wooden coaster in Belgium
– Challenge of Tutankhamen: Unique interactive laser game
– Dalton Terror: Highest drop tower in Belgium
– Radja River: Longest Rapid River in Belgium
– Vampire: Most inversions in Belgium
– Flash Back: Only splash with forwards and backwards drops in Belgium
– Calamity Mine: Wildest Mine Train
For other countries they may seem a bit unimpressive, but in a small country like Belgium, they were very effective. The campaign itself was a success in times of new rides.
The New Big 7
We are now in the year 2016 and this calls for an update of the Big 7. To remain with seven rides, we will replace two rides. The first one is Calamity Mine (a Vekoma Mine Train coaster). It’s a unique ride in Belgium, but it is not as good compared to Big Thunder Mountain and Colorado Adventure in neighboring countries France and Germany. The second replacement is Flash Back (a Mack Flume Ride) since Walibi Holland has an identical version with different theming. They deserved their spot in the past for sure, but now we have two exiting replacements. Let’s go through the new Big 7.
Length: 1,035 m (3,395.7 ft)
Height: 28 m (91.8 ft)
Speed: 80 km/h (49.7 mph)
New Big 7 title: First, highest and longest wooden coaster in Belgium
Belgium had to wait until 2001 for it’s first wooden coaster. It was under the reign of Premier Parks which wanted to expand the attractions offered at Six Flags Belgium (the name of the park at the time). Loup-Garou in French or Weerwolf in Dutch is still one of the most popular attractions of the park. This werewolf woodie is one of the three Vekoma ones that were built.
2) Challenge of Tutankhamon
Constructor: Sally Corporation
Feature: Trackless Ride System
Special: Different ending possible
New Big 7 title: Unique interactive laser game (and among many fans best dark ride of Belgium)
Challenge of Tutankhamon is one of my personal favorites. An exclusive ride for the park which was the last addition of Premier Parks before they pulled back out of Europe. It is the perfect merge between a classic dark ride and an interactive one. A lot of shooter rides have these board like theming and targets to aim at instead of real animatronics. Here, this is not the case at all. The scenes are very immersive with all kinds of effects. At the end, you either end up in the treasure room or remain cursed forever… So yes, there is more than one ending! Also the trackless system is no where else found in Belgium!
3) Dalton Terror
Height: 77 m (253 ft)
New Big 7 title: Highest drop tower in Belgium
At the time, Dalton Terror was the highest drop tower in Europe. The contract had been signed just before Premier Parks took over the park. It remains one of the biggest thrills in Belgium. Until recently it was themed after ‘de Daltons’, which are four criminal characters from the Lucky Luke Belgian comic series. These fictional outlaws were on each of the seats but are now replaced by a cowboy sticker since the licence for the characters wasn’t renewed…
4) Radja River
Length: 600 m (1,969 ft)
New Big 7 title: Longest Rapid River in Belgium
Radja River is an icon for Belgian theme park enthusiasts. Opened in 1988, it was one of the largest rapid rivers at that time in Europe. It includes a tunnel, a wave segment and downward splash. Next to that it has some nice rock work all along the ride.
Since this year, the boats received an update. The circular middle bar has been removed and now each boat has handles instead. This creates a large open space in the middle which seems a bit odd. Yet, in this rapid, it’s much safer as before the bars were a bit far away and the ride can get very bumpy.
Length: 689 m (2,260.5 ft)
Height: 33.3 m (109.3 ft)
Speed: 80 km/h (49.7 mph)
New Big 7 title: Most inversions in Belgium
For many fans this is a standard coaster, for the Belgian crowd it’s one of the most spectacular coasters in the country. The only inverted coaster with inversions, the inversion record and a totally shaken experience. It was added after the success of Condor in Walibi Holland. Personally, I would prefer to change this one in the future for a more impressive inversion coaster in the park.
6) Psyké Underground
Length: 220.1 (722 ft)
Height: 42 m (137.8 ft)
Speed: 85.3 km/h (53 mph)
New Big 7 title: Only Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop in Europe
Psyké Underground, formerly known as Sirocco and Turbine, was closed when the Big 7 campaign was running. That’s why it wasn’t included at that time. There is a lot of history surrounding this ride, but the most famous fact was that the train got stuck in the looping in 1997. The launch was not powerful enough and guests got stuck for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Two years later, they covered up the looping since neighbors were complaining about the noise which left only the two sides open. From 2009 till 2013 the ride was SBNO (Standing But Not Operating). After that it reopened in its current state Psyké Underground, no longer launched by a flywheel but now with LIM technology delivered by Gerstlauer. For those of you who never experience this type of ride: it’s all about the looping!
Length: 217 (711.9 ft)
Height: 45 m (147.7 ft)
Speed: 100 km/h (62.8 mph)
New Big 7 title: Only Powersplash in the world and the fastest ride in Belgium
We already talked about Pulsar in World Premiere Event article but we can’t get enough of this ride. The coaster/water ride/shuttle/thrill ride is only found at Walibi Belgium. This time we rode front seat and I enjoyed it the most. You have a clear view, a lot of airtime and not too wet. If you want to be wet by the impressive splash, back seat or on the sides is your place to sit.
An interesting part about of the ride is the system that creates the splash after the third drop. Many have wondered how exactly it works. In our video below, you can clearly see how in only six seconds, the whole splash area gets filled up easily!
There you have it! The new Big 7! What better way to end with our own Big 7 video?
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