Belgian parks win big at awards


Many Belgian theme parks and animal parks have scooped up prizes at the annual Diamond ThemePark Awards, with Paira Daiza even being named the best zoo in Europe.

Parks from the Low Countries have featured at the awards for many years, but for this 8th edition awards for Europe-wide parks have also been up for grabs. A jury of experts and 35,000 theme park fans chose Pairi Daiza as Europe’s best zoo. The Hainaut-based park grew from a bird sanctuary to a fully-stocked zoo where you can see pandas, koalas, orang-utans and white tigers. The animal park also won other awards such as Best Animal Park in the Benelux, Best Habitat in the Benelux for “Gorilla Volcano”, and Best New Habitat in the Benelux for “Orang-utan Flower Temple”.  Planckendael also received a special award for Most Beautiful Birth.  Antwerp ZOO was awarded the Education Award from Belgium for its Centre for Research and Conservation.

Belgian theme parks also won various awards. Walibi Belgium ended up with no less than 8 awards, including the prize for best theme park in Belgium. It also received the Spotlight Award for its multi-year plan in which 100 million euros have been pumped into the park. Plopsa went home with five awards. Plopsaland De Panne won most child-friendly park and Plopsa Indoor Hasselt was named best kids’ park. Bobbejaanland and Bellewaerde also won two awards each.