After years of anticipation, this weekend the Belgian theme park Plopsaland De Panne takes the first step into the construction of their new themed area Circus Bumba. The new zone has been announced multiple years ago and was originally planned to open in 2020, but is now schedueled for 2023. Circus Bumba will be an indoor area, the second indoor area in the park after Majaland. This new zone will contain a restaurant and several rides, including a brand new dark ride. The zone will be constructed on the site of a former theater and restaurant, which will be closed from the 17th of January, marking the start of construction of the new zone.
Circus Bumba will be built on the north side of the park, right besides the existing dark ride Bos van Plop. The site is currently occupied by restaurant ‘Fred Kroket’ and a former theater, which both opened 21 years ago and are closed from this weekend onward to make way for the construcion. The new area, including the dark ride, is designed by Plopsa Group’s designer Piet De Koning. De Koning has been involved with the group since the beginning and has designed most of the attractions that the Plopsa Group has constructed in the last two decades.
The area is themed around Bumba, the main character of the TV-show with the same name. The show takes place in a circus, where Bumba is a friendly clown that goes on many adventures with his circus 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. Not many details of the dark ride are known yet, other than that it is very likely the ride will be aimed at children in the same age as the TV-show.
The Plopsa Group started running theme parks in 2000, when they bought former Meli-park turned it into Plopsaland de Panne. Ever since, Plopsa has owned a dark ride: the rethemed Meli-park dark ride which is known as Bos van Plop. Other dark rides of the Plopsa Group, Burg Falkenstein and Smurfenavontuur, came in later when the group acquired more parks. Howver, all these dark rides were already constructed before the Plopsa Group took over the parks. The construction of the Bumba dark ride therefore marks the first time Plopsa Group constructs its own dark ride from the ground up.