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Photo TR: Halloween in Europe


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Hi All,

 

Finally I have gotten around to starting the trip report for Halloween 2013. Better late than never...

 

Hol Ger and Bjorn took all the photos, so I was volunteered to do the trip report.

 

In 2012, Bjorn and Hol Ger and a bunch of other TPR people visited England to do the Halloween events at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. I found out about this after the event and moaned. (British are good at moaning!)

 

In 2013, Bjorn and Hol Ger invitied everyone to a Halloween event in Belgium. Most people dropped out and it ended up being just myself, Bjorn and Hol Ger.

 

I decided to catch the EuroStar from London to Brussels. London is a short train train ride away. Unfortunately the night before the trip large storms swept across England and took down the over head power lines for the trains. When I got to the train station there were no trains running to London. I asked a member of staff and was told there would be no trains that day and he had no idea how I would be able to travel to London. I went back home and checked the EuroStar service and it was running to schedule. Luckily I had left myself a lot of spare time and caught a taxi to London. (Top travel tip: Better to be an hour early then 5 minutes late) The taxi cost £65 and there was no guarantee that I would make it in time. The taxi arrived just in time and I managed to catch my EuroStar train.

 

Met Hol Ger in Brussels and we drove out into the middle of nowhere to stay the night at Bjorn's house. We went to the local town for a few Belgium beers.

 

The following morning we all managed to get up early and took the long drive to just outside Paris for the first park of the trip Parc Asterix.

 

We have arrived. The park map.

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Asterix looks down upon us and the crowd of people waiting to get in. It was a busy day.

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Some of the theming in the entrance plaza.

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Me and Hol Ger waiting to go in.

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Most people rushed off to ride OzIris. We decided to do the other rollers coaster first.

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First coaster of the trip, Vol D'Icare

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Not a two thumbs up ride but I was relieved to ride a coaster after the transport problems of the day before.

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The horror!!! This is a Halloween trip report after all...

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But first, the wooden coaster, Tonnerre de Zeus.

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You enter between Zeus's legs.

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Thankfully his modesty is intact.

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For a large wooden coaster it was not anything special.

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Time to face our fears, Goudurix!

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Arrrghhh!!!

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The ghost train of past riders who did not survive!

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The Halloween theming was quite sparse but impressive in a few places.

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The haunted dark ride.

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What I deserve after this trip report....

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The rapids ride was strange. It started off like a normal rapids ride and then drifted very slowly back to the station. Our boat got stuck.

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It caused a long queue.

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I have always wanted to ride a carousel in Obelix's butt.

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Stay tuned for part 2 of Parc Asterix...

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Parc Asterix continued...

 

We had an average pizza for lunch.

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Le Défi de César, the very heavily theme Vekoma mad house.

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The queue lines has entertaining inventions.

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In the first room you stick your head into a hole and a camera takes your picture and amusingly converts you into a Roman. These pictures are then used in the next room and placed on various marching legionaries.

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Nice rack Hol Ger.

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In this room an animatronic César briefs you. (In French, so I have no idea what he was on about!). The room rotates.

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In this room a holographic Asterix and Obelix brief you.

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In this room you charm the Gallic girls with fountains.

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The ride itself was a standard Vekoma mad house themed to a boat with lots of plasma television to enhance the experience.

 

The next coaster, Trace Du Hourra.

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A long bobsled and my favourite coaster of the park.

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The coaster weaves in and out of the rocks.

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The next coaster, OzIris.

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A very nicely themed area.

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Loop de loop.

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Take the tunnel.

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But first, we rode, SOS Numérobis. The Zierer family coaster.

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No pictures of the family coaster, back to pictures of OzIris.

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Looks like a great coaster...

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Close to the ground..

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Good interaction between the elements...

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A few inversions...

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Even more Parc Asterix next...

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More Parc Asterix...

 

The queue to OzIris was heavily themed.

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Interesting things to keep us entertained while we waited over an hour.

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Annoying the wait time signs were wildly over optimistic.

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Has anyone got this credit?

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The front row queue was very long and we decided it was not worth it. Even though the park was very busy they were not running single rider lines. After a three train wait for the second row, I noticed there was a spare seat in the front, so I jumped in. I was feeling guilty until I found out that Hol Ger and Bjorn both got front seat rides as there was a party of two followed by a party of four who would not separate.

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One area of the park had Halloween theming.

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First horror maze.

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Spoiler Alert!! This was a weird maze. You entered in large groups (15ish) and walk though an Egyptian museum. Finally you enter a large room with a sarcophagus in the middle and a mummy stood to one side. The lights go darker, the sarcophagus opens, smoke billows out and the mummy wakes up and chases you from the room.

 

The scariest part of the maze is that the exit is by Goudurix.

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The next horror maze was a psychedelic maze where you wear strange glasses. It was my favourite maze.

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The last maze was a standard horror maze with unrelated scenes and a few live actors.

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The last room has a chainsaw guy who chases you out. This makes a nice scare zone but does spoil the ending of the horror maze.

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We did see the horror film which was not worth it. The film was designed for a 4D motion theatre. This was a standard 3D theatre with no additional theming.

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We rode, LOxygenarium, a long rapids ride.

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A fantastic day at Parc Asterix. No five star attractions that would tempt me to return and if I did return I would probably not return during Halloween. I would go on (hopefully) a quieter day.

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Nice report! I would like to bring something up though concerning Tonnerre de Zeus...

 

For a large wooden coaster it was not anything special.
No five star attractions that would tempt me to return

 

I'm not too surprised that you didn't have an amazing ride on TDZ, as I've read nothing but reports (on French coaster forums and Parc Asterix fansite Potionmagix) of it becoming a shadow of its former self in the past couple of years (the reports started in the 2012 season). The park does not maintain the ride properly, and Compagnie des Alpes isn't interested in investing money to take care of rides. Sure, they've invested in some nice attractions like OzIris, the return of a shuttle loop in Psyke Underground, and Huracan, but they never have really invested in taking care of rides that much.

 

A lack of proper retrackings over the years, no grease except for a 3m long straightaway near the station...it all adds up to not only make the ride rougher, but much slower than it used to be. What was once 77 seconds from the first drop to the brakes is now 88 seconds or more, with much of the airtime and out of control pacing (which it was praised for in years past) in the second half gone.

 

It's really a shame to hear all this about Tonneere de Zeus becoming a sort of "French GhostRider" in the past few years. GhostRider got rougher and slower much quicker due to year round op and lack of maintenance in Cedar Fair's Kinzel era, while Zeus managed to hold up for the 2000s. It was one of the main reasons I have wanted to visit Asterix, which I'll finally do this summer...it's just not going to deliver a great ride unless it has downpoured or something. Parc Asterix as a whole looks very nice, but it's sad that it has lost the good Zeus.

 

I made a post a while back in the Parc Asterix thread about this, which has hard proof in the form of quotations (with crappy, but understandable, google translations) from some French coaster forums, as well as mounted POVs showing the slowdown of the ride. Link below.

 

http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=26595&p=1358771

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I'm not too surprised that you didn't have an amazing ride on TDZ,

A lack of proper retrackings over the years, no grease except for a 3m long straightaway near the station...it all adds up to not only make the ride rougher, but much slower than it used to be. What was once 77 seconds from the first drop to the brakes is now 88 seconds or more, with much of the airtime and out of control pacing (which it was praised for in years past) in the second half gone.

 

Sorry to hear about this happening.

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  • 1 month later...

Finally got around to posting the next bit.

 

The following day we went to Walibi Belgium.

 

The ride line up on paper does not look very good as it mainly consists of Vekoma rides but there was a couple of very nice surprises.

 

Walibi Belgium had put a lot of effort into Halloween. The place was covered with cob webs and pumpkins. There were 6 mazes, a zombie bar and wandering around were a larger number of scare actors.

 

It was very busy that day but we had already decided to buy RIP passes. These wonderful things allowed skip the queue for all 6 mazes, a cocktail at the zombie bar and 5 fast pass tickets for any other attraction. Totally worth the money.

 

The only downside was that the sun did not go down fast enough. On that day during the week the park closes at 18:00 and scare zones are not as effective during the day.

 

At the end of the day we did the Zombie Dinner. This was an additional fee and will be covered in a later part of this report.

 

Onto the photos...

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Containers in the entrance decorated with blood and posters..

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Overall theme being a Zombie out break in Russia.

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The picturesque lake in the middle of the park.

You can see Psyke Underground in the background. The enclosed shuttle loop coaster. More on that in a bit...

The island in the middle has the Zombie bar. More on that later...

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Argh the horror!! First credit of the park a Vekoma boomerang.

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I found it to be a good boomerang with plenty of room in the trains.

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Horror Maze Project Z. Not open yet... Have to come back later.

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Fun for the kids, looked nice from the outside. Notice even here on the path were bails of straw with pumpkins.

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Next coaster, Psyke Underground. An indoor LIM powered Schwarzkopf shuttle loop.

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The empty queue first thing in the morning.

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Posing on the test seat. We are not in the car as it was full of water. It was a good fun ride. I found it more disorientating than the standard Schwarzkopf shuttle loop, especially in the back.

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This used to power the coaster but now it uses LIM. We forgot that and stood here a while waiting for the coaster to be launched. The coaster launched and the wheel stayed still. Doh!

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Next was 'Challenge of Tutankhamon'. A shooting dark ride.

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I want my mummy...

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Cool Halloween props.

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Next credit, Calamity Mine. A standard Vekoma Mine train.

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There seems to be a lot of people over there...

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This is the queue for Calamity Mine. The queue used all of the extensions and still spilled out into the plaza. We skipped the queue as we had the RIP passes.

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One of the scare zones. Shame the sun is out..

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Insomnia. A good horror maze.

Using the RIP pass we skipped straight to the front of the queue by following a path next to the building and then through some curtains into a dark room. As we had come straight from the daylight we could not see a thing. We were concerned that we were in the wrong place. I jumped before entering the maze as a voice came out of nowhere asking to see our tickets.

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Mad House 3D.

 

Continued....

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Arghhh... Zombies.

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Graveyard around Mad House 3D.

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Mad House 3D was a semi 3D psychedelic muli coloured maze.

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It was good but the one at Park Asterix was better.

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I think we have left Bjorn too long in the coffin...

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He's behind you...

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Next credit Loup-Garou / Werewolf. This was a great fun Vekoma wooden coaster. Not a lot of airtime, but a fast non brutal ride. Notice the queue going outside the queue area. RIP Pass saves the day again.

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Arghhh... An SLC.

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Why do Vekoma SLCs look so pretty but ride like rubbish...

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People in pain...

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It looks great...

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Vintage car ride with pumpkins..

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and cobwebs...

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Lots of pictures of Loup-Garou from the big wheel.

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A full car park in the background..

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Overview of this section of the park.

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Back to Loup-Garou

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Continued.....

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877932676_2013-10-30-WalibiBelgium-048.jpg.bf3a7803e2bfbddb137dc754059d80e9.jpg

Me with horns from Psyke Underground.

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Enjoying the view on the big wheel.

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Even more pictures of Loup-Garou.

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Where too next???

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Next ride was Gold River Adventure, rethemed for Halloween to Zombie River.

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Pretty.

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Spooky.

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Skulls on sticks,

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Very atmospheric with the setting sun. Would of been even better in the dark.

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Enjoying the cruise.

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It was a bit of shame that the boats were so close together as you could see the boat ahead of you and it spoilt some of the scares. (Not much they could do about this without halving the throughput)

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Zombie in the hut..

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Extra passenger on the boat.

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One Zombie distracts you while the other jumps out. These Zombies are sneaky blighter's.

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Next Horror Maze, Virus Z1. Themed to the out break of the virus. They supplied the medical masks.

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Another scare zone.

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Death from above.

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Cute bunny rabbit getting torn apart by a scary woman.

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The sun is shinning, why so sad?

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Clowns are scary.

 

Continued...

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2147308844_2013-10-30-WalibiBelgium-065b.thumb.jpg.e6b2b9f0de9cf49a70b3be3ccc0af999.jpg

Lots of scare actors wandering the park.

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New for this year, Villa 13, as seen from the queue to the rapids ride.

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This is a house owned by Walibi Belgium converted into a horror maze.

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An extra fee was required but it was included as part of the RIP Pass.

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A very good horror maze with:

- Lots of scare actors. (Almost too many, as every room had at least one scare actor and after a while you walked into a room expecting scare actors.)

- Small groups (Five people in our group)

- Video projections.

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Final horror maze, Project Z.

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This was my favourite horror maze.

SPOILER: The main reason for this is that you go around the maze on your own. The maze was an obstacle course featuring tunnels and slides. At one point a scare actor stood right in front of me shouting. I had no idea what he was on about. Eventually I realised he was holding a pair of safety goggles that he expected me to put them on. Around the next corner it started to get a bit windy. At the end of the next corridor was a big industrial fan and you had to fight your way into the wind. Half way down this corridor (while I was busy fighting against the wind) a scare actor jumped out on me. (I almost **** myself)

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He has seen better days.

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Time for a drink at the Zombie bar. The girl kept turning around and telling us off for not dancing.

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Dancing in the bar.

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Time for a cocktail. (Actually, a plastic cup of wine, water or coke) I think they could have been slightly more inventive with there choice of cocktails.

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From the Zombie bar you can see a horror lurking behind the trees.

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It is horrible.

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Bjorn getting attacked by a Zombie.

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Very atmospheric.

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Zombie bride.

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Obligatory scare actor with chain saw.

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Sad scare actor as he does not have a chain saw.

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Hol Ger I am not sure if he likes having his photo taken.

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I was right.

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Running in the wrong direction.

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The lighting made the theming even more impressive.

 

That its for Walbi Belgium day time. When there are a few comments, I will (eventually) post some photos of the Zombie dinner.

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  • 6 months later...

There was not any comments but I will post the rest of the photos from the Zombie dinner anyway!!

 

Zombie dinner was an additional charge but (obviously) included food. As we visited during the week the dinner was after the parks rides closed.

 

WARNING SPOILERS: For anyone planning on doing this dinner I would recommend not reading this report.

 

As the park was closing we gathered outside the Russian themed building.

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Bjorn meeting one of the locals entertaining the queue.

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Time to head inside.

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Some of our hosts borrowed a camera and did a selfie. Very cool!!

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Selfie with Bjorn.

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During starter the curtains around a square stage in the middle of the room fell down to reveal a street dancer. Pretty good but not as good as people seen in TV talent shows.

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This was followed by a poll dancer

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Bjorn and Holger supplied a lot of poll dancer photos I have picked just a couple.

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Bjorn enjoying a beer.

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Another selfie.

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A Russian (ish) style dance with audience participation.

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Holger enjoying the main course. It was very good! The meal was a set meal, pasta, chicken and a tomato sauce.

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During dinner a projection effect on the stage showed a vortex which occasionally morphed into a scary face!

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Half way through dinner, there was an attempted break in by the zombies. The hosts protected us and walked around telling everyone to remain calm and enjoy our meal. (They told us this in Belgian, which I do not understand, so the affect was even better for me). The back lit screens were very effective.

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The zombies tried to break in through the main door. Lots of rattling. One Zombie did break in and was caught by a couple of the hosts and placed in a cage near the stage. The Zombie was taunted for most of the night.

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Zombie attack repelled, back to the show with some magic tricks.

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Bjorn joining in with some dancing.

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Desert, which was very good!

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The main host of the event was a drag queen. He/she spent the whole night drinking the bottle of vodka (water) and was flirting with a number of guests. He/she took took to the stage and sang a version of 'The show must go on' by Queen.

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As the song came to an end the Zombies broke into the room. At first a couple... The hosts tried to repel them...

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Then some more... The host were starting to be over run...

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Then a lot more... Too many !!! (Probably most of the Zombies from the entire park!)

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The lights failed and the hosts told us to run for our lives!!!!! The mood was slightly dampened as they told us to ensure we grab our coats and all our belonging first, but it was very effective!

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Not next (this) year but I would like to go back to Walibi Belgium's Halloween event! It was very good!

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