New dark ride Op Reis met Bumba officially opens at Plopsaland De Panne

Op Reis met Bumba Facade
Façade of the Circus Bumba indoor zone (© Dark Ride Database)

Yesterday, one of Belgium’s major theme parks officially opened their brand new themed area including a dark ride. The new ‘Circus Bumba’ area, including the dark ride ‘Op Reis met Bumba’, adds a new indoor theme zone to Plopsaland De Panne. The zone comprises five rides aiming specifically at young children, the same target audience as the Bumba TV series. The park officially inaugurated the new zone in the presence of 1000 specially invited guests.

In Circus Bumba, guests can explore three new rides, of which the new dark ride Op Reis met Bumba is the biggest addition. Apart from the dark ride, the zone contains two flat rides: a balloon ride and a flying bus. Furthermore, the zone consists of two play areas, a new theatre for the Bumba shows, a new restaurant and a gift shop. The entire area measures 3000 m2 and marks an investment of €12,5 million.

The area is themed around Bumba, the main character of the TV show with the same name. The show is produced by Studio 100, the Belgian media company mother company of the Plopsa group. The show takes place in a circus, where Bumba the friendly clown goes on many adventures with his friends. The TV show is aimed at children aged 1 to 4 and is broadcast in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Canada. Following the series, the whole area is themed after a circus.

Bumba 02 Hal
View of the Circus Bumba hall (© Dark Ride Database)

A large part of the hall is used for the Op Reis met Bumba dark ride, which translates as ‘Travelling with Bumba’. Guests board the 4-person vehicles, delivered by Metallbau Emmeln, and take off on a journey to exotic and even under-water places. Each scene of the ride contains at least one of the series’ beloved characters, like Kiwi, Babilu or Bumba himself. In total, the ride contains 150 moving elements, among which 50 animatronics, all created by the Belgian studio Fisheye.

Op Reis met Bumba furthermore marks the first dark ride ever to be constructed from scratch by the Plopsa group: other dark rides in their parks already existed before Plopsa acquired the respective parks and had them rethemed.

With Circus Bumba, Plopsaland De Panne adds a second indoor area to the park, after Mayaland which opened in 2011. “Circus Bumba is completely themed after the world of our Studio 100 character Bumba, who is still very popular. By opening this indoor zone we want to fulfil the needs of our youngest audience. Apart from that, the zone is a perfect addition to the all-weather experiences we wish to create in our parks,” says Koen Clement, CEO Plopsa Group a.i.

Bumba 05 Onride
Scene of the Op Reis met Bumba dark ride (© Dark Ride Database)

The new zone opens after years of anticipation, being originally scheduled to open for the 2020 season. It takes the place of the former Bumba Theater and a snack bar, sitting right beside the already existing Bos van Plop dark ride. Both the theatre and the snack bar were taken down in January 2022, starting the construction of the Circus Bumba zone.

The zone was officially opened yesterday in the presence of 1000 guests, who all bought special tickets allowing them to participate in the Bumba Kids Parade. All children joining the parade received a special Bumba hat, making for a large parade with hats finding their way through the park following a music band and Bumba and Bumbaloo. After the parade reached Circus Bumba, a small opening ceremony with fireworks and confetti marked the official opening of the theme zone. After the opening ceremony, all parade participants were allowed inside the new zone for a preview day. Starting today, Circus Bumba is open to all park visitors.

Bumba 02 Ritentree
Entrance of Op Reis met Bumba (© Dark Ride Database)
Bumba 03 Wachtrij
Queue line for Op Reis met Bumba (© Dark Ride Database)
Bumba 04 Wagentje
Ride vehicle of Op Reis met Bumba (© Dark Ride Database)
Bumba 06 Onride
Underwater scene in Op Reis met Bumba (© Dark Ride Database)
Bumba 07 Onride
Scene in Op Reis met Bumba (© Dark Ride Database)