UPDATED: Retrospective: Theme park season 2020

Updated on the 16th of September 2020, it’s now at least 99% less negative!

Earlier this year, I had lost hope for theme parks this year. I have only visited a single park since, only a few days ago, but that’s enough reason for me to update this post.

My last experience in a park was completely different - one that was more about enjoying the rides itself and the experience of being away for a day - and hopefully, that’s something that I’ll be carrying around with me for the rest of my life.

Cancelled plans

I had several plans this year: my first time going to Disneyland Paris, but due to obligations elsewhere that had to be cancelled. Later in the year, we would be going to Europa-Park, but due to Covid-19 we were forced to cancel our booking at Europa-Park.

A bit of a background

In the edition of last year, I talked about some basic terms used by theme park fans.

If you need a refresher, you can read my report from last year.

Visited parks in 2020

I visited 2 different theme parks this year.

  • Efteling (Netherlands)
  • Bobbejaanland (Belgium)

Of those parks, I consider the Efteling my absolute favorite park. Bobbejaanland has got quite a bad reputation, but it’s a nice little park that just needs a little bit more love, but that love is slowly being given to the park over the last few years.

Last year, Fury got added and the park had a huge overhaul - even soundtracks by IMAscore and retheming the biggest thrill attractions located next to it, which really did wonders for the place.
This year the little beach area at the Indiana River attraction got overhauled and looks a lot better.

The staff of Bobbejaanland is also extremely friendly (this is also the case at Efteling, which is known for it).

Here is the breakdown of parks per country.

Amount of visits to each park

Oh boy, the only reason that I got to be 4 times in the Efteling is mainly due to being there on New Year’s Eve, staying there for a few nights and going one last time with a friend.

Would I have known, I would have gone a hell of a lot more.

The other visit, to Bobbejaanland, was in September so I didn’t go to parks for over 6 months.

Overnight stays in 2020

Sometimes, theme parks are too far away to stay for a single day, or sometimes a special event requires you to be there quite early (like the Walibi Holland Community Day) and since my girlfriend isn’t easy to get out of bed.. staying at or near the park is handy.

I booked 3 accomodations this year, in 2 different parks, all at vastly different price points. We only went to the Efteling, the other overnight stays got cancelled - only one due to Covid-19!

  • First overnight stay this year was in the last weekends of the Winter Efteling. This was mainly due to a friend that wanted to experience the Winter Efteling for the first time. Eventually, that friend decided not to join us, her (at that time) boyfriend fell ill during the weekend. I had a nice stay with my girlfriend in a way too big accomodation.
  • The second overnight stay that we had planned (we booked it in early 2019) was Disneyland, it was to be my first visit to Disneyland. Due to a course of my girlfriend, we weren’t able to go and had to cancel.
  • The final overnight stay that we had planned, mainly to replace our cancelled Disneyland trip, was a stay in Hotel Kronasar in Europa-Park. This got cancelled due to Covid-19. The worst view we had was at Phantasialand, where we had a great view of the parking lot. Can’t have everything, I guess.

Since we only got to stay at the Loonsche Land, it is hardly fair to call something the best here.

We did however get the accomodation that was furthest from the entrance, so we did walk a lot there.

New attractions this year

None. I had planned to do several this year, but in the end I wasn’t able to do any of them (yet).

The ones on my list:

  • Wakala (Bellewaerde)
  • Max & Moritz

Since I didn’t do any of them (yet), I hope to do them next year. Hopefully.

ERT on coasters

When parks aren’t open, you can’t have ERT.

Distances to parks

This is the distance to each park in kilometers.

Since I did move, the distance to the Efteling and Bobbejaanland changed. If I go to the Efteling again, I’ll add another bar for the Efteling with the new distance instead.

Most frequently done attractions in 2020

These are the attractions with my highest-ride count in 2020. Due to the limited amount of parks and rides done, this is far from a good result.

This is my top 5 for this year:

The most rides on a single attraction that I have done in a day is 8 on Baron 1898. I’ve also done the “Bootvaart” in Bobbejaanland way too many times. It’s nice and romantic with the girlfriend.

Last chances to ride…

No attractions that I’ve done closed this year.

My favorite attractions in 2020.

Since I only have a meager amount of rides to choose from:

  1. Fury
  2. Baron 1898
  3. Fata Morgana

Least favorite attractions

Sledgehammer in Bobbejaanland. It’s not that it’s a bad attraction, it just terrifies me to sit in an attraction like this and the spin around at the end makes me sick.


No plans yet, but I will keep you posted.

Amount of steps taken in each park.

I would make a fancy graph here stating how many steps I did in each park, but… no point in doing that.

In total, I have taken 80084 steps this year in the Efteling. The one visit to Bobbejaanland totalled 16652 steps.

Yours truly, Kevin

All pictures are taken by myself.

Posted on Tuesday, 2 June 2020