Bellewaerde Park is a Belgian theme park, combining a zoo with an amusement park. The park is well known for it's beautiful nature. Bellewaerde Park is the oldest operating amusement park in Belgium, it opened in 1954 as a small bird garden, and it grew to a safari-zoo.
The park was originally founded by Albert Floorizone. He and his family ran the park until the early '90s, when the park was sold to the Walibi group, which on their part was sold to the Six Flags group in 2000. In 2004 the American company left Europe, selling some of their parks to Palamon, a British investment company. Since a few years Bellewaerde Park is part of the Grévin & Cie group (with parks like Parc Astérix), which is fully owned by Compagnie des Alpes.
In the 80s the focus moved from animal oriented park to amusement pleasure with attractions like Boomerang, the first Vekoma boomerang rollercoaster in Europe by the way. The park has several rides, of which Niagara, a spillwater ride, Los Piratas, a pirate dark ride and Benghal River, an Intamin rapid river, the most popular rides inside the park. Also worth mentioning is Houdini's House, a Vekoma mad house, where the magician Houdini plays his centre part. Always fun to do is Screaming Eagle, a so called shot 'n' drop tower from Huss.
In 2005 Huss introduced his first topple tower here: El Volador. Bellewaerde Park was the very first park in Belgium to introduce the Halloween event. It became a huge success. Since a few years the park is also opened for a few weeks during the winter season.
The park would like to be open throughout the entire year. Therefore the zoo-part of Bellewaerde Park is becomming more and more important. Several new animals are introduced on yearly base. Since last year the park has received their full membership to EAZA, which is a great accomplishment.