Plopsaland De Panne is located in Belgium near the border of France. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Calais (France). Calais is home to the Ferry Port & Eurotunnel Terminal which can be boarded from Dover & Folkestone respectively in England.
Our trip involved visiting Walibi Belgium, Efteling & Plopsaland De Panne over 3 days.
We travelled early morning on the first day driving & via the Eurotunnel which was very convenient & quick (35 minute) journey from England to France. The drive from Calais to Walibi Belgium was approx. 2 hours 30 minutes. We based ourselves in an apartment for both nights between Antwerp & Turnhout which was approx. 1 hour from Walibi Belgium, and approx. 1 hour from Efteling in The Netherlands. Plopsaland De Panne was about 2 and a half hours away from our apartment but perfectly located just off the main road on the way back to Calais. After the fun-filled day at Plopsaland De Panne & Plopsaqua, it was then a short 40 minute drive back to the Eurotunnel Terminal in Calais.
We pre-booked our return journey at fixed timings. You are advised not to arrive more than 2 hours before the booked time, but must arrive at least 45 minutes before. The Folkestone Eurotunnel terminal is easy to find with its own junction off the motorway.
Upon arrival you check in at the self service entrance where the registration of the car is read and the screen shows your booking. At this point and to our surprise we were offered an earlier journey time at no extra charge which we accepted, and then a hanger is printed out to display in your car with a letter allocation.
You then proceed to a service station like area where you park up and can visit the food and shop facilities. Large screens show the departures which are linked to the letters. When your letter is ready to continue the screens direct you to proceed to passport control & security where you drive through and get checked by staff in booths. After this you follow signs depending on low (car) or high vehicle where you then line up in batching awaiting the next instruction to board the Eurotunnel shuttle train. At this point there are toilets and a snack van, but only minimal time will be spent here and there are no instructions or indications as to when you’ll next continue with the journey so always be ready.
The next step is proceeding and boarding the trains, the train for cars has two levels which you’ll be directed into one of them on the side of the train, the upstairs is reached by a ramp inside the train. You’re then parked up in single file through the train with some simple instructions given and then you’re ready to relax for the short 35 minute journey. Once at the terminal in Calais, there’s a short delay for safety checks before disembarking the train and follow the roads straight out onto the main road network. Remember to drive on the left, and research accessories and the highway codes of the different countries you may be visiting; the road system seamlessly continues across the borders between France, Belgium & Netherlands.
The park is currently celebrating 20 years since opening in 2000 and you are introduced with an unusual entrance featuring a partial opened door and then the ticket booths and entry point into the park.
Featuring themed areas like Wickeland & Mayaland, the park boasts a wide range of fun rides & attractions.
K3 roller skater coaster is their latest coaster based on a popular show in Belguim. This roller disco themed coaster is full of bright colours and catchy music featured on the show and seemed popular with its target market! This retheme opened to the public in 2019 and with continuous expansion, we hope to see other revamps and rethemes throughout the park on the same level.
Anubis: The Ride is a launched steel coaster manufacturered by Gerstlauer that opened in 2009. Based on an old TV show house of Anubis, the ride building has been themed like the castle that features within the show. With this being one of our favourite rides within the park, the launch is surprisingly powerful accompanied by a fun layout.
Heide The Ride is a family wooden coaster which opened in 2017. Based on a character known as Heide, this ride whips round twists, bends and tunnels with a quick pace. Even though the ride had a delayed opening due to an environmental and noise pollution check, the ride seems to be popular with many guests of all ages!
Superslash is a super splash water ride which opened in 2006. In a pirate themed area, the ride is pretty short but with a powerful drop. You are taken up in a lift which is based in the tower of the ride before plunging around 30 meters into the lake.
The park is constantly developing and we can see works going on during our visit. The log flume based ride next to Heide The Ride is currently undergoing a retheme. With this due to open shortly, it looks like it’ll be a big hit again with the Belgian family market. They are also currently building a hotel for 2020 which can also be seen being constructed between the theme park and waterpark.
PlopsAqua is a relatively new waterpark by Plopsa. This highly themed waterpark requires a seperate ticket and is next door to the theme park itself. The theme inside was based on a winter Viking vibe in the main area. Featuring 3 large waterslides, rapids and a kids waterplay area which also features 3 further slides along with two pools, jacuzzis and a great lighting package to make the place look incredible!
Our favourite parts within the waterpark would be the Sky Drop slide which you stand in a capsule as the floor drops you into the waterslide. The disco slide also is pretty different allowing you to pick songs like thriller with flashing lights as you slide down a fun flume.
The rapids were one of the best features within PlopsAqua. Based on going down the winter mountains, you go down sections of body rapids at some speeds with an option of different routes. This even had a hidden polar bear model with sound effects as you passed it on your journey
Overall, Plopsaland is a great quirky theme park which isn’t located too far from the UK. We can’t wait to hear back in the near future to see the new hotel & rethemed log flume along with any other developments.
To book tickets, you can purchase these via the Plopsa website which you can find by clicking the image below.
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