On the 11th of May, 2017, we visited Walibi Holland in The Netherlands. Thibault, Lukas, Bo and myself had all been there before, but this would be our first visit as a group. We were seriously afraid that we chose a bad day to go though: it was a Sunday, the weather was unusually nice and practically all finals were over. And then, after a three hour drive, we drove past Goliath’s first helix onto the parking lot.
Imagine our relief when we saw that the park’s Main Street was almost empty twenty minutes before opening. At around 9:40 am, our car somehow was the eleventh one there. The tone for the day was set. There were no crowds, we could do everything we wanted and the longest we waited for was 15 minutes. In this trip report we elaborate on a few do’s and dont’s for your visit to Walibi Holland during calm days. Off we go!
This goes without saying, but be early. Please don’t be that person who wants to sleep in, aims to arrive at the park 5 minutes before opening and then gets stressed out about the crowds (even there are no significant crowds). We all know someone like that, right? Instead, be early, go for a coffee before opening and discuss your game plan with your friends. Early birds get the worms and it’s so much more fun to start the day if you’re relaxed.
If you’re not sure if it’s going to be a busy day and whether to buy a fast pass or not, simply ask park staff at the entrance about their expectations for the day. They can see the number of presale tickets that have been sold on the website, which naturally is a pretty good indicator for that day’s crowds. The kind lady at the entrance told us they didn’t expect big crowds, so we didn’t have to cop those fast passes.
Goliath first, Lost Gravity second
Once you’re in the park’s main hall, you’ll have to wait for glass doors to open. Meanwhile, it’s already possible to join the line for one of the park’s roller coasters: Xpress Platform 13. I recommend you skip this one for now (although that waiting line is the most fun one in the entire park), so you can head straight to Goliath once those glass doors finally open. That’s what we did as well.
We were in Goliath’s first ride of the day. A kind employee allowed us to remain seated once we saw that there still wasn’t anyone waiting after our first ride. We rode Goliath backseat two times before 10:15 (and we’d be able to ride it a lot more if we weren’t in the back). We all absolutely love Goliath. The ejector airtime, the unique Stengel dive, the low-to-the-ground helixes and the last few bunny hops are a golden combination that every roller coaster fanatic is looking for. On a side note: front seat is pretty great as well, however it seems that the front has shorter airtime bursts. We prefer the back seat here.
Up next: Lost Gravity, which is the park’s newest roller coaster. Built and opened in 2016, this new Mack Rides ‘Big Dipper’ type still tends to draw larger crowds. And rightfully so: what a coaster! I recommend you sit in one of the outer seats, especially the left one. The feeling during the first drop and the banked top hat were simply amazing. It felt a little bit rougher than I expected it to be though, but that feeling went away after riding it a few extra times. If there’s no crowds, try every seat. It’s worth it.
After you’ve ridden Goliath and Lost Gravity, it’s time for the other coasters. I won’t recommend a specific order to ride them in, but keep in mind that Robin Hood, Speed of Sound and Condor aren’t that smooth anymore. As a matter of face, we chose not to ride Condor at all. If you’re someone who often struggles with nausea or motion sickness, you might want to take that into account.
Don’t forget the other rides
After we did all roller coasters multiple times, we grabbed a bite to eat and decided to do some other rides (as in, not roller coasters). I won’t bore you with all the details, so I’ll stick to one sentence per ride:
- Space Shot: Walibi Holland’s launch tower which seemed to break heavily at the top.
- Crazy River: after some technical issues we got pretty soaked on these rapids.
- Tour des Jardins: perfect way to calm your stomach after riding Speed of Sound or Robin Hood.
- Walibi Express: ideal way to see some other perspectives of the park while taking pictures to put up on your roller coaster blog.
- Crazy River: because log flumes are always nice, whatever weather it may be (although that day’s tropical temperatures certainly helped).
- NeuroGen: a brand new experience that opened earlier this year. Read this post for more on that!
Ride all the roller coasters again
If you like eating ice cream, you can’t say no to more ice cream. Same goes for roller coasters if they’re right in front of you. Enjoy all the steel in the park (and wood, but talk to me after RMC retracked Robin Hood please) while you can without having to wait.
Do things you wouldn’t otherwise
If you don’t have to stress out about which rides you can or can’t do because of large crowds, you have more time (and inner peace) to do some things you may not have done otherwise. Some examples:
- We got offered tickets to NeuroGen when walking to Drako. Truth be told: I hadn’t been following what NeuroGen was, and I didn’t really read about the attraction when I went online to buy tickets the day before. Bo and Thibault sat this one out while Lukas and myself got in line. After a short wait, Lukas got admitted to the hospital. I followed a mere two minutes later. I won’t elaborate on NeuroGen here (read this post instead), but I recommend not going in if you’re faint-hearted, easily scared or have been in a heavy car accident before. However, I am so happy I went in (which I would not have done if the park were crowded) and I’m honestly still thinking about the attraction days after our visit. Mission accomplished, Walibi!
- Frozen Cola. Yes, frozen Cola! The sun was burning all day long and temperatures averaged around 28° Celsius (which is like 82° F). We’re not really used to that in Belgium or The Netherlands, so every form of refreshment was welcome. Close to the Crazy River, there’s a vending machine that sells bottles of Cola which freeze once opened. Needless to say, the feeling of drinking ice cold Cola on a day like that came close to being dragged in that Stengel dive in Goliath’s back seat. Pure joy.
- Take some time to enjoy the park itself. Lay down in the grass, take a seat on one of the benches in a ‘less popular’ area of the park and take the train for a lap around the park. As mentioned before, I’ve been in Walibi Holland before, but this time I noticed beautiful areas and parks I hadn’t seen before. Shame on me.
In short, so far I’ve really enjoyed every visit of mine to Walibi Holland. I often get asked by friends which parks I would recommend for people who want something different than the usual visit to Walibi Belgium or Bobbejaanland but who are not quite ready yet for the ‘real deal’ like PortAventura or Europa-Park. Walibi Holland always provides a nice day out and it is a must visit if you haven’t been there already!
And oh, while strolling around the park, we saw park staff with a map on the grass field near Lost Gravity. We know that Walibi Holland has big plans for 2019. Could these two facts add up? 😉