“Two well-known Belgian names are joining forces: a perfect match!” declared Bobbejaanland general manager Roland Kleve as he announced the park’s new inhabitants for 2014: The Smurfs.
The park in Lichtaart will welcome its new little blue friends as the result of an exclusive deal with IMPS. So, as from this season, Bobbejaanland will be the only amusement park in the country where guests can meet the popular characters on a daily basis as they participate in live shows and pose for photos with their fans. Founded by the late country music star Bobbejaan Schoepen and now run by Parques Reunidos, the park enjoys a rich history of live entertainment.
“We want to emphasise that nothing will change about the spirit that Bobbejaan Schoepen gave to the park: we will still be Bobbejaanland, and we do not plan to become Smurfland.” adds Kleve, a former Disneyland Paris executive.
The Smurfs, known locally as Les Schtroumpfs, were created by the late Belgian comic artist Peyo, and were the stars of an animated movie as recently as last year. The characters have previously appeared at theme parks in France and the USA. No Smurf-themed rides are planned for Bobbejaanland but, according to a park spokesperson, a big new attraction is on the way for 2015. The 2014 season starts on Saturday 5 April.