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Photo TR: Walibi Belgium 5/9/2021 - fixed photos


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This Saturday marked the day when Belgium finally started to open back up - Bars/Restaurants for outdoor seating, theme parks, etc.   I met up with a friend in Brussels to his favorite bar Dynamo and one of my favorite bars - Moeder Lambic.  It started a little rainy, but ended up being a great day to finally enjoy beer in terraces!

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Moeder lambic original in Saint-Gilles Brussels.   

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First draft Cantillon Kriek I've had in brussels in almost two years!

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Can't go to Moeder lambic without getting a vintage bottle of Cantillon.   Cantillon Gueuze with 7+ years is always beautiful.

Alright, on to Walibi! 

Sunday morning I hopped on the train down to my new home park   From where I'm living in Leuven, it's a whopping 20 minute ride!     After processing my season pass, I headed straight to the back of the park to Kondaa.  It was a bit cloudy early, with a little rain in the afternoon, but the sun came out for bits later.

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Entrance plaza.    

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They did a pretty good job with the theming.  It's no Taron, but it's more than good enough.   The coaster definitely 'pops' visually.

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The outer banked turn delivers.  I have only ridden a few RMC, but the airtime I would associate with this kind of element is more lateral airtime (with respect to seat position), where as this turn, the airtime is still perpendicular to the seat, while going through the banked turn.  And it's straight ejector air the entire turn.    It's killer.

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Of course the first drop reminded me a lot of Expedition GeForce, however I think this is slightly more forceful, especially in the back, as the train hauls up the lift hill.  

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The first airtime hill is classic Intamin, a good 3-4 seconds of sustained ejector air.   

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This hill did have a decent pop of airtime

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These final three mini-hops left me wanting more.  They definitely delivered floater airtime.  I just would rather one or two classic ejector bunny hops.

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Theming was plentiful.   The station was pretty intricate with a lot of stuff hanging from the ceilings and there was intense tribal drum music being played.  It was a good atmosphere.

My Thoughts:

I still don't completely have my head wrapped around the non-inverting cobra roll, I feel like it acts a bit differently depending on where in the train you are.   The transitions are really smooth and I think there's a little floater airtime as you hit the peaks.  Interesting element, but I'm not sure I'm completely sold, however it definitely is better than a regular cobra roll, and I'm probably just nitpicking.The following turns and airtime hills are really really good.   In general, all the valleys and turns pull pretty strong positive g's.  

I was slightly underwhelmed by the finish.  Basically from the double-down kinda of thing until the break run, there are all these quick little elements.   The train is still flying through here, however none of the transitions are as sharp and forceful as Taron, nor is there really any ejector air from here out, it's mostly floater air.  It could also just be it still isn't running as fast as it will once the weather warms up, I imagine just a slight increase could dramatically increase the airtime.    I guess my issue is I prefer the 'basic' ejector bunny hops you get on Expedition Geforce to the quick-punch elements in general.  Kondaa absolutely blows Taron out of the water though. 

The claim was also '15 moments of airtime', which I guess isn't inaccurate.  However, I'd count it closer to 11 or 12 moments, but that's in my 'ejector air fanboy' opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. There were a few moments I thought might be a tiny bit of floater air, but like hall of fame voting, if I have to think and don't immediately go 'Holy Sh*t!  Airtime', I don't consider it airtime 🤣.

I got maybe 7 or 8 rides in, a few in the back, middle, and 2 in the 2nd row.  Hard to say yet if I prefer front or back, the first drop is insane on the back, but I think maybe the finale is better in the front.  I was also really REALLY impressed with just how good the middle-of-the-train rides are.  My first ride I got stuck like dead center and was pleasantly surprised that the thing was still really intense, that usually isn't my experience.    All in all, I think it challenges Expedition GeForce as my favorite steel coaster (and maybe overall).     GeForce was my favorite coaster in Europe I'll need to wait to get to ride Untamed (hopefully) later this summer, but I think Kondaa makes a very strong case.  And GeForce is a hard one to unseat as it's exactly my ideal kind of coaster and I finally got to ride it two years ago, after almost a 2 decade wait, so it isn't entire objective.  I think I'll just need to make another trip out to Holiday Park to compare again. :) 

But then we do have the issue of reliability with Intamin....

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I spent about half the day at Kondaa and the ride went down 3 separate times, each time requiring evacing a train from the brake run and walking up the lift (manual override?).   It appeared there was a sensor issue that was causing the train to sometimes stop before clearing the first break run (at least I think).     I get it's opening weekend of a new ride, but 3 times is a bit much...

I thought ops did a pretty solid job.  Two trains with very little stacking.   More often than not, the train was heading up the lift as soon as the other hit the break run.    There is also a single rider line, however they had it closed today.    

After a few hours at Kondaa, I headed to checkout the rest of the park and get the 'credits' 🤣

Next up was Tiki-Waka, just on the other side of Kondaa.

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Kinda fun Gerstlauer, but nothing too exciting.   Theming in the section was alright.  Definitely a 'premium' Six Flags kinda vibe, without the stupid marvel branding and adverts.  🤣

Then I headed to Calamity Mine, which was a pleasant surprise.  I wasn't expecting much, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable mine train.   Again, not at the level of the mine train at Phatasialand, but still pretty good theming.

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You actually can get a little wet here!  Don't think I've seen this on a mine train before.    Great view of Kondaa's non-inverting Cobra roll from the station and viewing platform above.

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Then it was time to actually get wet on Pulsar!  (I didn't actually get very wet, I got the lucky seat :) )  This was my first water coaster like this, I found the launch and forward/backward idea pretty cool and unique, though I probably would prefer a more traditional style with more theming.

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The next three credits were all about getting them over with and surviving 🤣.  Vekoma woodie, SLC, and boomerang.   Worst trio ever? 

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I don't think there are any real good ways to get photos of Loop-Garou.   I must say, I was actually a bit pleasantly surprised by Loup-Garou.  I was expecting a suffer fest with a boring layout, but it actually ended up being not 'that' rough (of course it had it's Vekoma moments...) and the layout was much more interesting.   I would actually ride this again, something I usually wouldn't ever say about a Vekoma woodie.   That said, this would be a perfect RMC project.... .... ....

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Next is arguably my least favorite roller coaster of all time - the dreaded SLC!    Vampire at least had some theming and very nice gardening and flowers, it looked way better than the typical parking-lot theming SLCs get.20210509_133901.thumb.jpg.40b309a7b7a6640c88ed80d73f9609a1.jpg

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As I was approaching, I was praying it had the vest style harnesses.... nope, the old sh*tty restraints.  Oh well.    I found the first half actually not too rough, the second half was typical jerky though.  Needless to say, I have no desire to ride this again.

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Last of the crappy credit trio Cobra.   Another problem with boomerangs, they almost always have similar crappy theming. 

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I forgot to take any photos of Psyké Underground, but I thought the theming was OK.   I hadn't ridden a Schwarzkopf shuttle looper in maybe over 2 decades and I think this was the first with any real theming.

 

I look forward to venturing down to Walibi on a semi-regular basis and see how Kondaa continues to grow on me.   Not having ridden a decent coaster in over two years prior to yesterday makes it hard to judge Kondaa without recent reference points.   I would say the rest of the park isn't really trip worthy, but Kondaa alone lives up to the hype and make Walibi Belgium a must visit.    

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  • Satchboogie3 changed the title to Photo TR: Walibi Belgium 5/9/2021 - fixed photos

Thanks for the report. Kondaa looks great. I'm looking forward to the outward banked turn on Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, too (looks like Intamin has a nifty new trick).

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Kondaa looks fantastic but I didn't realize it's only 165 feet tall. All of the construction pics and stuff that I'd previously seen had me thinking that it was over 200 Ft but regardless, looks like an amazing addition. 

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Thanks for the descriptive TR @satchboogie3, I'm really looking forward to riding Kondaa somewhere this or next year. I do have to mention the fact, that I'm a little disappointed by you mentioning the lack of ejector air during the last 3rd of the ride. Although some enthousiasts complaint about Untamed's airtime being too strong and abrupt during its second half, so maybe most people will prefer this kind off ending (you're in for something this summer that ride has impeccable pacing!).

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Great report! Although, I don't think I'd complain too much about a few short breakdowns of a giant new Intamin on opening day. That seems like par for the course! Especially after the year we've had!  

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Thanks for the honest review. I am always a bit 🧐 when enthusiasts declare a new coaster to be perfect in every way, so I'm really glad you took the time to tell us what left you wanting more as well as what you loved.

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33 minutes ago, SharkTums said:

Great report! Although, I don't think I'd complain too much about a few short breakdowns of a giant new Intamin on opening day. That seems like par for the course! Especially after the year we've had!  

Agreed.  I give Intamin a ton of leeway, I just couldn't help but laugh considering the reputation (compared to B&M) and my own experience with new intamin.    Big credit to Walibi and the Intamin crew for getting it back running very quickly each time.

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