Quite some coasters are being constructed in Europe this year. Time for another look at one of them, but this time let’s look at one that is opening in 2016! We went to Plopsaland De Panne to have a look at Belgium’s second wooden coaster that’s currently under construction by GCI: Heidi The Ride!
Before we have a look, let’s give a quick introduction about Plopsaland! At first sight, it may look like a park for children and in all honesty, it is very aimed towards families. The park is full of characters of children shows on Belgian television, as you can see on the banner on the entrance of the park, and all over Europe. It is owned by Studio 100, which also owns all the television shows. Their first show was Samson & Gert, about a fluffy dog and his owner. A funny show for children and fun fact is that the doorbell was always broken, so people had to knock on the front door. (That’s why when opening the new entrance, they put this door in front as a symbol of the park. However now it is in a very bad condition…)
It’s original mascot was King Plopsa, a television screen who’s royaly put to the side because of the many new characters. But wait, what is that next to him? This wasn’t there when the park opened? Let’s have a closer look!
I spot two coasters here! The red one is ‘De Vleermuis’ or in English: ‘The Bat’. They’re two Caripro Batflyers and they don’t make those anymore. The ride takes about twenty seconds, so maybe that’s the reason why! But enough about bats, let’s talk Heidi! Quite some space from the parking lot had to be used as you can see above. The total length will be 2,027.6 ft (618 m) and it will have an Out-and-Back layout.
Still quite some footers that are waiting for wood to be added!
Don’t worry, it’s are all ready to go, laying pre-constructed on the ground next to it! You should have smelled the wood, absolutely loved it. Here you have a clear view on the elevator of ‘De Vleermuis’.
Ah, finally! Wood that’s standing up. It seems as if they forgot to take away another light pole here! Plop the gnome, is stuck!
Now here’s were things get interesting. Imagine it passing by here at a top speed of 44.1 mph (71 km/h)? Let’s zoom in on that!
Yes, these are the kinds of turns that we like.
Oh, but we like this too! Hello, first drop! Highest point here is 72.2 ft (22m) which is not incredibly high, but they expect the coaster to be small but powerful. Hang on, the specs of the ride make me thing of another woodie by GCI… Ah yes, White Lightning at Fun Spot America in Orlando! Indeed, they will be quite similar but since there is an ocean between them, I don’t think regular guests will mind that. Theme park fans on the other hand, preferred them to put down a custom coaster and have a real eye-catcher like Toverland for example. Let us not complain as in Belgium, people are very happy to see a new wooden coaster. Especially smaller children who are too afraid to go on Loup-Garou, the other wooden coaster in Walibi Belgium, might dare to go on this one. In addition, this version of the White Lightning is made entirely out of wood, as where the original has a steel support structure 😉
We do miss a connection here, right? They still have some work to do! At the back you can see the log flume of the park ‘De Boomstammetjes’. It is one of the very few rides left since the conversion from Meli Park to Plopsaland in 1999/2000. We’ll talk more about that another time. According to the plans, it will not be rethemed for the Heidi area on which we will have to wait until 2017 as well. They decided to add the ride in two parts over two years (first year: the coaster and second year: theming) similar to Sky Scream at Holiday Park, another park of the group which is famous for the Intamin coaster Expedition Geforce.
Here another view on the first drop of Heidi The Ride. The rights of Heidi belongs to Plopsa since only a few years ago. It used to be a very popular television show in Germany. Studio 100 acquired the rights along with some other characters that used to be popular in Germany such as Maya The Bee, Wicky the Viking and Tabaluga. Below you can find a video introducing the character Heidi.
That was our first update on the ride. Keep your eye on the site if you want to see the rides completion. Opening of the ride is foreseen summer 2016!
Thank you very much for reading this new Heidi The Ride Update. Please keep in mind, all images found on this site, unless otherwise stated, are owned by European Coaster Kings! Sharing them is fine, but only if credit to europeancoasterkings.comis given!