Bellewaerde is keeping the gates firmly locked until April 1, but that doesn’t mean they are in hibernation. The park is bustling with activity. Spread across six construction sites, they are building two new animal enclosures, a playground, two new attractions and a revamped self-service restaurant.
An investment of 17 million euros is planned for the development and construction of all this. The largest investment in 1 year for Bellewaerde Park.
New family attractions
During a site visit to Bellewaerde, we feasted our eyes on the various construction sites. It is one crane after another and trucks drive back and forth to deliver building materials, decorative pieces and attractions.
Next to the Screaming Eagle, the park’s shot-and-drop tower, we find the construction site for Psssht Station. This attraction takes visitors on a revolving car. For now, only the operator’s booth and the queue could be seen. These are constructed entirely of wood in the style of the park’s Canadazone.
It will certainly be a nice filler for family members who do not (yet) dare to venture on Screaming Eagle of Niagara.
Hampi and Hampi Playground
The site visit took us through the wooded path below and beside Wakala to the India zone of the park. There, a truck was ready to deliver Hampi. The Zamperla-themed Nebulaz attraction lets visitors spin up and down as the entire structure rotates on its axis.
The name Hampi comes from an Indian village best known for its many ruins and temples. So this fits ideally with the park’s already existing India zone.
Next to this attraction, Hampi Playground will be erected. A temple like structure with an area of 400 square meters.
New animal experiences at Bellewaerde Park
Anyone who visited Bellewaerde before knows that in addition to its attractions and natural beauty, the park also has a wide range of animals.
During the many investments, they also pay attention to that and bring the animals closer to the guests than ever before.
Lions & tigers from ground level, from the sky and via train
For years you could admire the lions and tigers of Bellewaerde from the Bengal Express. A little train that takes you on a trip through this animal enclosure.
Until last season you could also see the animals from the paths of the park but now they are expanding that experience! On the one hand through many large windows that give you a glimpse into their indoor and outdoor enclosures, on the other hand through a large walkway that takes you across the tiger enclosure to a temple from which you will also be able to admire the lions.
Whoever thinks of the Savannah at Bellewaerde immediately sees zebras and giraffes but unfortunately also high wooden fences. The park is doing something about this this season by replacing the fences with a large walkway and natural separation with water. This puts you a lot closer to the animals and gives you a better view of the vast Savannah.
By the way, the old stables of the elephants, giraffes and zebras have been completely razed to the ground and replaced by a new indoor enclosure. The Savannah already looks a lot more imposing and also more attractive to just stand and marvel at the animals and go exploring on the walkway towards the Mirador which stands in the middle of the animal enclosure and gives you a 360 degree view of the surroundings.
The new investment also takes sustainability in consideration. In Savannah, for example, 30 wells have been drilled to a depth of 100 meters. This allows the indoor enclosure and the renovated restaurant to be heated and cooled in a sustainable manner via geothermal energy.
The Kings Table
Although they can already present an impressive list of novelties with the new rides, playground and revamped animal enclosures, Bellewaerde Park decided to also renovated the main restaurant of the park
The self-service restaurant Carousel was (partially) demolished almost immediately after the park closed in November. The dining room and the self-service area were demolished and are now almost completely rebuilt.
The building has a castle-like appearance from the outside and there will be various decorative elements to evoke a medieval atmosphere.
Along the inside, people are still busy dressing and decorating the restaurant. Whereas in the previous version of this restaurant you could eat in a large, open dining room, they now chose to divide it into seven different zones:
- The Bell Tower
- The Market
- The Wine Cellar
- The King’s Banquet
- The Fabric Market
- The Store
- The King’s Buffet
The decor will vary by zone. For example, at The Wine Cellar you can eat in wine barrels, at The Fabric Market you will be surrounded by colorful fabrics and at the Kings Banquet you will eat in the main hall of the castle.
We are already looking forward to sitting down for one of the Flemish classics they will serve here.
The park plans to open the novelties during the opening month(subject to change of course). If you want to take a look at the many novelties yourself, you can do so from Saturday April 1, 2023. The most recent opening calendar, tickets and season tickets can be found at bellewaerde.be/park.