Boudewijn Seapark, often still called Boudwejinpark, is a small theme park and animal park in Sint- Michiels in Bruges, Belgium It was named after King Baudouin.
In addition to attractions, the park includes a dolphinarium, an animal park, a skating rink and an expo hall.
Boudewijn Seapark opened its doors in 1963 under the name 'Boudewijnpark. The park dedicades its name to the former King Baudouin. The park is located around a small lake. At the time, the lake was called 'Cloedt's Well'. This is beacuse it was excavated in 1909 by R. Decloedt. It was not much more than a recreational park with a few football pitches, a playground, tennis court and a swimming pool with a tea house. The mayor of Bruges, Michel Van Maele, owned the small-scale park together with financiers. A tower building appeared at the entrance of the park. The building was soon given the name 'Hall Tower of Van Maele.
The early years Edit
In the 1970s, the city council acquired 2/3 ownership of the park, so the city was responcible for most of the costs. That is why they introduct a system where you could buy a seperate tear receipts at the entrance, which you could exchange for a ride on an attraction. The reciepts could also be passed on among family memebers and friends.
The park further expanded in the 1970s. In December 69, an indoor skating rink was opened, and a skating club 'Boudewijn Shorttrack club' was established. A pony ranch, miniature golf course and extra rooms for the guild of Saint Micheal were added.
In 1972 Boudewijn's famous dolphinarium opened its doors. Many believe that this was the first dolphinarium in Belgium, but this is not correct, as the first dolphinarium in Belgium actually opened in Wellen in 1968. At the time there were only 3 bottlenose dolphins in the dolphinarium. There was also a reptile zoo in the building. Beacuse the dolphinarium was on the other side of the street, visitors were forced to put a stamp on their hand and then cross to the street to the building.
In 1977, the park brought the Heirman clock to the park, an astronomical timepiece created by Edgard Hierman. The clock came from a dilapidated castle inSint-Niklaas.
The growth Edit
In 1988 the park got a golden oppurtunity. It was able to take over numerous attractions from the recently closed 'Europapark' in Benidorm (Not Europapark in Germany). The park took over the old-timers, ferris wheel(Explorer 2) and a haunted house named 'Castillo del Terror'.
But the park also experienced setbacks that same year as the dolphinarium burned out completely, killing the three bottlenose dolphins as well as burning down the reptile zoo. But the park did not stop there. Because 2 years later a new dolphinarium opened.
A lesser period Edit
In 1990, the park opened its new dolphinarium. This became the most modren dolphinarium in Europe at the time. There is a room for 1600 spectators.
Unfortunaly the park was not doing well, as it faced with fraud around combi tickets, complains from animal rights organization, competetion with other parks in the area, opposition from the residential area where it is located and lack of investment. The city council therefore looked for pasrtners to work with in order to make much needed investments.
In 2000, the park opened its coaster. Orca Ride from the german builder Zierer is a family coaster from the Tivoli model, decorated with polar bears and ice floes. The coaster was designed by Piet Deconink. The trains of the coaster are in the shape of an orca, hanse the name.
In 2001 the haunted house got through a makeover, the whole appearenced of the castle that was gripped by tentacles of an octopus. The anme also changed to 'Octopussy Castle'.
In 2002, the park was bought by Aspro Group, also known as Aspro Parks. This group owns 22 waterparks and animal parks in Europe.
The future Edit
Aspro Parks wanted to focus more on the animals and changed the name to 'Dolfinarium Brugge'. The park got a new entrance building, and the road between the park and dolphinarium was removed, so that anything forms one whole. Bu that was not a success.
2004 brought the well known name, 'Boudewijn Seapark' and got a rocking thug named 'Hurricane'.
In 2007 a new sealion enclosure and show was opened. The Heirman clock also dissapeared this year. Instead, a new 220-seat cinema appeared.
2009 brought the park's largest investment to date, 'Bobo's Indoor', an indoor playground of 2000 m². The hall was previously used as an indoor skate park. This allowed the park to remain open all year round. The area expanded upon in 2012 with the Climbing Tower and 'Bobo's Tower'.
For the park's 50th anniversary in 2013, the dolphin show got a new look.
In 2014, the park spend 1 million euros in a new water playground known as 'Bobo's AquaSplash'. The water playground is 1100 m² in sizw and contains 4 large slides and 4 smaller ones. This is the largest Investmant in the park. The dolphinarium was renovated again in 2015 for several months.
Bobo's Indoor Edit
- Ball pit
- Bobo's Tower
- Bumper cars
- Hopla KidsCorner
- Chail Mill
- Climb and Clamber
- Climbing Volcano
- Distorting Mirrors
- Bouncy castles
Boudewijn Seapark Edit
Other attractions Edit
- Bobo's AquaSplash
- Bobo's Minifarm(petting zoo)
- Dolfi Swings
- The Bouncer
- Kiddy Fun(playground)
- Small Scooters
- Large Motor Scooters
- Mini golf
- Mine Train
- Old Timers
- Horse Track
- Santa Maria 1492
- Sea Side(playground)
- Wave Swinger
The park offers 4 shows:
- The dolphin's show- Moana's Blue World
- Noctrune Aqua Show(during winter periods)
- Sea Lion Show
- Nordic Lagoon- open-air sealion show
- Ice rink(every winter period)
- Room Aubern Mayhem(Party room)
- Educational programs for schools
- SeaDreams(Cinema room).
The Dolphinarium is close to the entrance of the park and contains and educational cell information about the conservation of marine mammels and biodiversity. Furthermore there is a largen main basin with grand stand. In 2019, the dolphinarium housed eight bottlenose dolphins.
- In 1998 Studio 100 was interested in buying the park for 15 million euros and making it the first Plopsaland park. For this Studio 100 wanted a full control over the park, but this was still met with resistance from van Maele and his family, who still owned the park for a third. The deal was canceled and therefore Meli Park was taken by Studio 100 instead and turned into Plopsaland de Panne.