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  1. Here are a few more galleries from my visit to France earlier in the year. I’m heading away again on Friday so I’ll have a bit of time in transit to write some trip reports to go with all these. Walibi Belgium https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/walibi-belgium Went here last minute towards the end of my trip as a day trip via high speed train from Paris to Brussels. Actually a good park. Konda is 10/10 and feels like a spiritual successor to DC rivals. The Mack powersplash Pulsar is legitimately good. And their bobsled Tiki Waka had great theming that reminded me of crash bandicoots style. Walibi Rhone Alpes https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/walibi-rhone-alpes Biggest little park in the world, and a really attractive place. Has a good variety of attractions, the difference is everything is scaled down a bit, but still a lot of fun, particularly Mystic and Timber. Remains to be seen if their new Intamin hot racer is smoother than Big Dipper Parc Spirou https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/parc-spirou-provence Not a big park, and lacking in shade. Main thing I wanted to ride is their rollerball coaster, which is like a non flipping version of a zac spin. It broke down after I rode it, so the visit wasn’t wasted. Also had a few simulators, which did have quite funny films. The level of finish didn’t quite match other parks, it felt like a lot of it was slapped together from bunnings (or whatever the French equivalent is) Vulcania https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/vulcania Science museum with a roller coaster really. The quad bike coaster Namazu is quite good, maybe slightly less intense than Jet Rescue, and nicely integrated into the hilly landscape, plus a well themed drop track. Got to go behind the scenes The rest of the park has doco films on big screens, simulators of varying quality, plus a decent trackless dark ride about cultures that worship volcanoes. Wave Island https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/wave-island A quick hit here since it was across the road from Parc Spirou. Has a lot of stuff from Polin. Enormous freefall slides, an 8 lane racer, and a few raft slides (3 of which used master blaster sections) The feel was kind of this beach shack feel, and in this case the ‘slapped together’ style kinda worked and made it feel really laid back. Futuroscope https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/futuroscope Frances answer to Epcot, but the pavilions look cooler from the outside. The park opened with a number of screen based attractions in a quantity that would make Universal blush. Many of these have been switched out over the years, so many buildings are empty. The Intamin spinner Objectif mars looked visually sharp, but the ride experience was middle of the road and the dark ride section didn’t gel for me. On the other hand, Chasseurs du Tornades is the best simulator ive done, with a huge rotating platform in the eye of the storm, with heaps of wind and fog. The rabbids dark ride was LOL worthy, other things like the Robocoaster and flying theatre were solid too. More to come…..
  2. Parc Asterix Featuring Toutatis - 2/6/23 https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/parc-asterix Aside from Disney, if you’re a theme park fan in France you’ll probably want to visit Parc Asterix, about 60km north of Paris. This year seemed like a good time to visit with the debut of Toutatis, which was being massively promoted on billboards throughout the Metro system in Paris. It’s a great, but very busy part, that does a fine job of combining impressive rides (and there are heaps) with good theming. If you only have a day you can use their Filotomatix express pass option, and they also sell 1 shot passes too. The website suggests you need to download an app to use Filotomatix, which becomes an embuggerance because the app isnt available to non French Google/Apple accounts, however in the end you dont need to worry because you can use the system through a browser. The throughput on rides is good, but because the park is so popular it can get long lines. I did get a fair bit done from 10am till 7pm. Onto the rides. Tonnere 2 Zeus This ride feels like a distant relative to Ghostrider, fast paced and wild, though this one was revamped by Gravity Group rather than GCI. It also has a backwards row like on Leviathan, no charge and no real extra wait but I skipped over since they can be a bit much on a bumpy ride. The layout is good, first drop into a tunnel, a few hills and a double down with plenty of air. Highlights included a 90 degree banked hill (essentially half of a high 5 element) and a helix towards the end of the ride. OzIris Really good, with a layout that is more interesting than your average invert. Seemed to climb and dive much more steeply, so good variation between near misses at ground level/sense of speed, and flying high. Starts with a steep first drop that nests into the terrain a little, before whipping up into a dive loop, then an overbanked turn and a loop. After the loop it did something unusual where the track kept going downhill (imagine the first inversion on Viper SFMM in reverse), picking up speed through a tunnel, before an immelmann. Then comes another overbank turn and steep drop into a tunnel that goes ‘underwater’. The ride finishes in double, with a zero g roll, and an elevated helix, then a drop, another zero g roll behind the station (with a cool near miss with the edge of the building), and finally a forceful ground hugging helix. Overall, a dynamic ride! Goudurix Gout du Risque, the ‘taste of danger’. A bit of worry going into this one, since it's often regarded as one of the worlds worst coasters, but I found it on par with other Vekoma loopers (Like Blue Hawk at SFOG) and SLCs of the same age. Does have some real bumps at the bottoms of loops however. Features an interesting Butterfly element which is like a really disorientating pair of inverted top hats, a butterfly loop, and a classic double corkscrew (RIP Sea Viper) Menhir Express Mack log flume with a cool coaster style drop partway through. The station and splashdown area is really well themed, but most of the course is industrial style troughs and a couple of ‘sheds’ , so a mixed bag. Trace du Hourra Awesome fun. I love bobsleds, and this one is enormous, with quite long drops, and helices, including a few that get tighter as you go downhill, increasing the force. Bobsleds are thrilling in their own way because they do feel pretty out of control, so when you pick up speed you get this sense of nervousness…Is it going too fast for this turn coming up? Capacity is great too, they had multiple trains running and could get them loaded in under 30 seconds. Romus Et Rapidus Ok rapids ride. The station is well themed, but it mostly seems quite open and surrounded by grass and the huge holding pond, so felt a bit underwhelming thematically compared to the rest of the park. Managed to stay dry until a damn rouge wave came in through the side and got me right at the end. Pegase Express Cool concept. Mixed execution. The ride is a lot like Firechaser Express at Dollywood, with forwards and backwards portions. The ride is themed like an ancient greek rail network, where you ride through the sky on a pegasus. The station has hilarious station theming, with a departure board showing some strange destinations for trains. Starts with a gentle launch out of the elevated station, helix, drop, and finally the main lift hill. The main coaster has a series of rolling hills and turns, over the top of the rapids, its like a family version of ‘hyper coaster’ in terms of style. Its a bit plain and open like the rapids ride, especially since you are running along the edge of the car park. There’s a good diving drop through a billboard, and you come around into an enclosed dead end show building themed like a temple. Good idea for a theme, but it looks weird sitting up on unthemed stilts. The door closes behind you, and a projection mapped head of medusa comes to life and in a fit of rage, blows you out the temple backwards. From there, more hill and turns back to the station (quite a long backward section) till you reach the track switch at the end and return to the station. Oxygenarium This is a family raft slide, but with a fully sealed boat so you can ride it fully clothed. You wont get wet at all. The theming is fun, with huge oversized air pipes coiling around, and the sound of droning air blowers in the station. The lift conveyor has plenty of theming, with whirling gizmos, and enclosed tunnels with electrical arc effects and giant cables. The slide down is fairly short, felt shorter than mammoth falls, but foam pads on the slide cause the bottom of the raft to grip on one side, causing a bit of spinning. It all concludes with a helix, which you get a nice view of in the queue. The final splashdown leads to a slow, gentle drift back to the station. SOS Numerobis Run of the mill Zierer kiddy coaster. Le Carousel du Cesar Went on here intending to get in the giant Obelix, other passengers beat me to it, so I had to settle for a horse. Epidemaïs Croisière Quite a long tow boat ride through various static scenes from Asterix. I think this would have been one of the earlier rides at the park, and I guess you'd have to have a real appreciation for the comics to 'get' it. Vol D’Icare This is good. Design wise, it reminded me of a cross between a standard family coaster, and one of those Gerstlauer bobsled coasters, so lots of quick turns, sharp drops and so on. The vehicles are nicely themed as winged baskets, truly representing the flight of Icarus, and the ride itself is well themed too, surrounded by Greek ruins. Discobelix I was told this had a good effect of a flaming cauldron at one end, but sadly this was switched off first thing the morning. The station looks good, with the disko seemingly ripping through and knocking out columns. Le Defi De Cesar Oh boy, a madhouse, I love these. I think operations were pared back 'due to covid' and never fully reinstated, since it had several preshows, but on my ride they just took us in through the exit, did the ride, and out the same way. Either that or they plan to close it in the near future. Was a walk on compared to many other busier attractions. The story is that you have been recruited to Cesar's army, and are being sent out on a warship. The ride chamber is elaborately themed to represent this, with windows containing screens so you can see whats going on outside. You set off from the port, encouter Asterix and Obelix, and your ship is sunk, and this is where the ride starts tumbling around. I liked it, it was a creative way of doing a madhouse beyond the usual "the room is magic and turning upside down" type storyline. La Rivière d'Elis Pleasant little onion boat ride through some gardens, with quite an elaborate stone mountain as the centerpiece. Always amazes me to see minor rides like this in Europe with theming budgets bigger than some of our local major rides. Main basse sur la Joconde (Hands off the Mona Lisa) TIL That the Mona Lisa is called Joconde. An awesome, big stunt show. Some villains steal the mona lisa whilst it is being shipped in a high security van at a port. Four bumbling policeman fail to stop the theft, and spend the show chasing the villains. A witness to it all, a tradie painter tries to help out too. So the whole show is about the painting changing hands between the three, with cartoon style fighting and action, for example one of the villains escapes down a sewer, a giant round style cartoon bomb is tossed down a manhole behind them, boom, and then the painting pops with a "whooop" sound effect, up out of the hole and is caught by one of the good guys. Well choreographed, and some good practical effects like entire buildings being blown apart too. L'Aérolaf It’s best described as a floorless observation tower, inside a fancy looking steel frame. It's technically not an upcharge, but before you board you buy a drink/snack to take on the ride, and these are priced much higher than the rest of the park. I did it anyway since you get good views of the coasters at this end of the park, and quite a generous amount of time at the top, a good 5-10 mins. Attention Menhir ! I dont speak French but this was a good show. The preshow is at a campsite where Romans are plotting an assault on the Gauls village, you can see the shadows of the characters in the tents plotting. You then move into the main 4d show, which is a hilarious cartoony battle between the Romans and the Gauls, with plenty of giant rocks and arrows flying about in 3D. The show used a technique i have never seen before where actual lasers are projected onto the screen, so they could do stuff like stars flying when characters fight, or hypnotic rings around eyes when they were angry / ‘powering up’. L'Aventure Astérix Short walkthrough with some sculpts of the Asterix characters and some history about the creators. A highlight was a model of the park, with pointer showing which comics each attraction was based upon. Toutatis Top 10 ride here! The well themed station building sits under an earthy mound, decorated with carved standing stones. Inside the building, things look even cooler, with load area sitting in a dome shaped chamber, with light pulsating between the gaps between stones. At the front is a carved face of Toutatis, with eyes that glow with energy each time a train dispatches. The trains are very open and comfortable, with elevated seating and an overhead lap bar offering a great feeling of freedom. A short drop leads out of the station into the first launch in a well themed trench evoking memories of Taron , which offers a good kick of speed. Numerous overhead walkways provide great views for bystanders, as well as a few head choppers. All those coasters that have below ground sections in concrete trenches that resemble a dirty motorway underpass, take note! A turn to the right out of the launch leads into a unique take on a Zero G Stall. This one is more like a barrel roll that switches directions halfway through, providing a bit of hangtime. A wide turn and a dip down leads into a bunny hop that has been tilted to the left, a miniature version of the outward banked turn. It’s all very unique and sets the tone for the ride ahead. The train effortlessly turns onto the launch track, and it is here where things become wild. Normally multi pass swing launch coasters cop a bit of flak. After all, you are taking what was a 2-3 second period of extreme acceleration and dragging it out over a longer period and distance. Not necessarily that satisfying for those who want to be pinned against the backrest. Toutatis changes all this, with 2 short banks of LSMs in valleys, with an extended speed hill in between. Quick punches of acceleration and positive g’s alternate with negative g’s on the hill. It transforms the launch into something else akin to a bucking bronco, becoming wilder on each pass. This launch is also well themed, with giant logs forming head choppers The high speed track switch means there is no pause in the pacing, so on the backwards trip you are sent up a straight reverse spike, offering great views of the layout ahead and floating airtime. With the 3rd launch you are sent up over a top hat, cruise over the apex, before descending into a beyond vertical drop. Again, more airtime. A high speed turn leads into my personal favourite element, a Zero g stall. The sensation of travelling upside down, floating in your seat for close to 3 seconds will never get old. A long ground hugging u-turn has a “speed hump” halfway through the turn lifting you out of your seat. From here there is a bit of classic Intamin, with an ejector airtime hill, and a snappy S curve. Next comes a wave turn, with floating ‘sideways’ airtime combined with the sense of being pushed outwards off the track. Diving down of the wave turn is another low to the ground high speed turn that passes around the queue area, transitioning directly into a barrel roll that tries to dunk you out of the train with a statue underneath as a near miss, immediately leading into an overbanked turn. The ride finishes off with a double up. That last sequence is pretty rapid fire, so its quite an unhinged feeling finale. Operations on the ride are solid. A countdown screen in the station helps operators keep an eye on the time, and it was not uncommon to see trains loaded and checked in 30 seconds flat. Overall, it’s an incredible package of the ride. It offers all the sensations a coaster fan would love, it’s full of variety with not a single repeated element, it’s got the theming, it’s got the comfort and it’s got the operational efficiency. Closing thoughts, it's worth a whole day, and maybe even half more if you want to take in more of the park and do re-rides. Would highly recommend doing it with an express pass. The French really do have a great sense of humour, and it shows through here. And some of the in between themed areas are incredible actually. Would have liked more time to explore them, and perhaps eat at the giant fruit restaurant, or the circus restaurant... And a lot of the smaller attractions I'd totally come back and do since they seemed to have a bit of love in the theming department too, rather than merely being filler. More pics here https://www.parkz.com.au/search/photos/location/parc-asterix
  3. I visited France back in June and visited a few parks over the course of 3 weeks. Might as well get one of the easier ones out of the way, with Walt Disney Studios. https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/walt-disney-studios I had a two day pass which was the right amount of time for Disneyland Park / Walt Disney studios. But for the purposes of this TR I'll just go attraction by attraction rather than a recount of both days. Getting to the park is easy, about 40 mins from Central Paris on the RER, then through the security checkpoint into Disney Village and the two parks. When you arrive, the main street is actually a sound stage, with plywood sets forming the shops and restaurants. Crush's Coaster Recommended to start on this one since it draws long queues. I frequently saw it reaching 120 minutes. It was broken down when I arrived, so I hung around for 20 mins and got on as soon as it opened. Really good! An indoor marina themed station (complete with seagulls chanting "mine") leads into a short lift hill, a couple of turns outdoors before heading back into the building. From there are a few dark ride scenes where you are going with the sea turtles to ride the east coast current, a jellyfish field, and finally a lift hill in the hull of a ship with sharks chanting "fish are friends not food". From there it's into a very dark show building with the standard Maurer SC2000 layout, with a few scrims with projected flowing bubbles to simulate riding the current. Much darker inside than scooby. The coaster is zippy and good fun. My only criticisim would be that too many coasters at Disney Paris rely on being in a big dark room with a few effects. Avengers, Crush's and Space Mountain all rely on it, so thats half the coasters. A tip, the single rider queue time lies. I saw it advertised as 50 mins, walked in and there were 3 people waiting, so it was more like 5 mins! Worth using since there is nothing worth seeing in the standby queue. RC Racer Similar comments to the one in HK. I really like these compared to the spinning halfpipes because the beyond vertical spike creates this great sensation where you are floating, but also being forced forward in your seat (much like the beyond vertical drops on GL/Abyss), combined with the launches picking up speed. Again the single rider queue is the way to go. Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin Missed the one in HK so did this because it has a short queue. Most gentle matterhorn ride ever lol, but the theming looks great. Not sure who makes it, but I suspect Intamin because it looked like the cars actually run on Intamin track. The theming is great, with a pile of dog toys on a bowl as a centerpiece. Ratatouille Hmmm, a bit underwhelmed by this one sadly. I love trackless and 3D dark rides, so was really looking foward to this, but it falls a bit flat. The vehicles can spin, but cannot do the full range of motion like you get on rides like Spiderman or Planet of the Apes or the Justice Leauges at Six Flags. You ride in large rat shaped cars that seat 6, and scurry around through the kitchen, being chased by angry kitchen staff, with a mixture of oversized sets (including going under a stove, into a fridge, through the wall cavities), interspersed by scenes in front of giant screens. For some reason I thought that despite the reduced range of motion the vehicles would still maybe scoot around a tiny bit on the spot or rotate a bit from side to side in front of the screens to give a little feeling , but nah you're just parked there in front of a giant screen for 30 seconds watching a giant movie, with things popping off but it feels strange and muted without any movement. The best part probably is the giant sets. A nice touch is when you are under a giant waiters trolley, and as you roll fowards the castors either side of you rotate as well. In this area they had a food festival going, with very permanent looking stands selling food from different regions of France. I tried this cheese and potato thing but it was a bit pungent! Spider-man WEB Adventure Ok, so it wasn't until shortly before I went on this trip I found out they built an Avengers campus at WDS (For some reason I thought it was just Rock n Roller coaster being re themed with other stuff coming later)....Cool, means I don't feel guilty about skipping DCA! This is another 3D dark ride, with vehicles that track the movements of your hands and allow you to shoot webs. Can tell you ahead of time there is nothing special enough to see in the standby queue, so by all means do this with single rider...You still get to see the preshow either way . The ride is themed like an old brick warehouse that used to be "Stark Motors" that has now been taken over by a tech startup called the "World Engineering Brigade" . The preshow is set in a research workhop and uses a few layers of scrims, and has Peter Parker showing you his new spiderbot . The spiderbot is able to mine materials and 3D print it's own replicas, which sounds cool until they start cutting holes in the walls and replicating out of control. That's where you come in to start hunting them down before they replicate into the millions, by blasting them with webs just like spiderman. The ride reminded me of a long lost relative of toy story mania, with large back to back vehicles travelling in front of game screens. The bits in between were probably better themed, and in this case yes they did take advangage of the spinning of the vehicle to get a bit of wild movement between scenes. I've heard this ride bagged out a bit, but I had a great time. The graphics and the gesture tracking was super crisp, and each scene had heaps of ways you could interact with it, eg shoot webs at the spiderbots, or you could fling a web at an oil drum, then sweep your hand a across and cause it to fling across the room and cause a massive explosion. Avengers Flight Force This was a rethemed of Rock n Rollercoaster, with a snazzy, but perhaps sterile queue set in Avengers HQ. Think lots of stainless steel and chamfered panels, like an Apple store without the wood. Simple storyline, some missiles have been sent towards earth by the bad guys, all the other avengers are busy with other missions, so its up to you to help Captain Marvel and Iron Man by flying in a manner that draws the missiles away from earth. There's a really good Iron Man animatronic in the preshow. Another touch I liked is the pulsating lighting tubes throughout the queue that all go haywire from the power surge when the ride launches. The coaster, again, excellent, with flashing red lights on the launch, followed by 3 inversions taken smoothly in the dark, with the odd curved screen with the two heroes shooting beams etc in the battle. The finale is a huge panoramic screen where you see the baddies missiles blown up in a spectacular green explosion, coupled with a cresendo in the music, all at full speed, before finally hitting the brakes. Pym Test Kitchen Forked out for Sit Down Meal for a change. This restaurant was a buffet with novelty food items that were either bigger than smaller than normal. The theming reflected this. Eg for burgers, you could get sliders, or get a slice from a burger the size of a hubcap. There was a bit of scientific mixed in too, eg blue coloured salad dressing, things in test tubes, this really nice lemon dessert that had an crystaline atomic structre pattern on the top etc. 49 EUR, ouch! Tower of Terror This thing is wild. I've done other TOTs in Cali, Florida and Japan but this one has the best most intense ride cycle and its not even close! Right from the first pushback, you are rocketing to the top forcefully. No slow lifting floor by floor, just several sustained ups and downs, all the while a creepy girl at each floor tells you "not to scream, it will only make it worse". I get the feeling Europeans are a bit tougher in terms of thrills, so they get a better cycle as a result. The queue is the same as the others. Gorgeous. Cars Road Trip Urrrgh. This is unashamedly a filler while they build the Frozen area. It was the studio tour, it has been cut short due to construction work in the park, and they kept the catasrophe canyon bit, and stuck it in with this utterly rubbish road trip thing where you look at 3D props of roadside landmarks. Think lame stuff like a giant spanner, billboards, the Tyre-ful Tower. But then the catastrophe canyon bit is ham fisted too becasuse they took the tanker that blows up and put a cars face on it, so you're literally watching a setient tanker getting burned alive with a look of mild concern. Walk on queue said it all. Tapis Volants You know, out of all the Disney rides I've never done one of these Dumbo/Orbiter type things, time to rectify that. It's themed as if Alladin is being filmed as a live action movie. You can move the carpet up and down with a little lever in front of your seat. Supposedly the other lever makes you tilt back and forth, but despite reaching back and trying it did nothing? The viewing area was nice too. Cars Quatres Roues Rallye. Same sort of ride as Patricks Jellyfish Frenzy, a figure 8 motion demolition derby, but with Cars theming. The queue predates cars land, so it's like a mini mish mash of Radiator springs. Despite having two of the rides installed side by side it still must get long queues. Final thoughts The park is pretty good, though a lot smaller than every other Disney Park. The offering is about 1/3 of Disneyland next door. I did appreciate the thrill rides here, probably the most 'intense' lineup of any Disney park. Perhaps what it lacked was strong themed zones. The whole front of the park is this open bitumen area with a lot of plain looking studios and food trucks. The bits around Avengers Campus, Ratatouille and Toy Story felt immersive, but then the rest of the park is a bit mish mash. Perhaps once frozen is finished it will feel a bit more consolidated. At the moment, even the orignal DCA is better! The park seemed popular, with crowds and 30-60 min waits all day. As always, photos are here. https://www.parkz.com.au/search/photos/location/walt-disney-studios
  4. Even though Parc Saint Paul is less than 2 hours away from where I live, I somehow never bothered to visit the place. After several delays and figuring out a public transportation/uber strategy to navigate in and out there, it was finally time to discover Parc Saint Paul and its reported quirkyness The entrance sets the tone with a plastic-y gate that wouldn't feel out of place at a fairground. The Campion family - who founded the park and still operates it to its day - were originally fairground ride operators which explains the very funfair look of most scenery there, as well as the nature of the rides. Started the day on Aérotrain. The ride op which was actually very warmful and friendly, was the most remarkable thing about my experience on this tame Vekoma kiddie. It makes for some nice parking lot mini-skyline, but of course I forgot to take a picture from that angle Toilet humour. Next was the local shameful cred, Pomme (apple in French). Actually make that 2 shameful creds! Never seen this sort of hairpin style kiddie before. It's obviously fairly uneventful, but the tight hairpin turns actually deliver some soft laterals which are rarely found on the usual kid-targeted coaster. There is actually a lot of trees around the paths, which alleviates the whole tacky scenery and basic, flat pathwork of the park. Since I didn't really research into the park, was surprised to find some sort of authentic village houses around the chairswing area. They look nice enough even though they feel too realistic to fit the otherwise carefree, fun atmosphere of Parc Saint Paul. But anyway, moving on to the main draw! Wood Express is really fun! There are so many little pops of ejector air taken at a good speed thoughout the layout. It doesn't provide much if any laterals at all unlike its older French cousin Timber at Walibi Rhône-Alpes, but I found the Parc Saint Paul woodie to be smoother. Also, the second hop on the double down midway through is remarkably strong! Like all other hills the airtime is very short, but it is definitely felt there in particular. Since chest-belt GoPros are accepted here - as with most smaller French parks - I took the chance to use my camera and test its 4K abilities. Parc Saint Paul clearly made a very clever move buying Wood Express. It's a lovely ride for the whole family, but thrillseekers will certainly enjoy the fun, airtime-filled experience. I'm very pleased to see another nice new ride in France, we're truly in a good phase after years of frustrating stagnation Next door is Formula 1, my first Pax coaster :eek: The Russian manufacturer has a reputation for making wonky rides, and this one surely has its share of weird transitions! Tbh, I didn't find F1 to be really rough. It has quite intense moments, especially the main drop which is quite sudden. The bad banking and above all horrible restraints prevent me from truly enjoying this however. Still something very unique and worth trying at least once though! Ending the cred with another fairground-ish coaster. Une Souris Verte is your typical Zamperla spinning wild mouse. After trying the horrible SBF equivalent (with OTSR...) this one feels like a relief. It's still a very mundane experience. Piece of trivia: Une Souris verte is actually named after the eponymous folk song for children. The sign above actually displays the lyrics! But wait, isn't there another cred here? That's correct, but Wild Train is SBNO for the year. Shame as it was reportedly the better Pax of the two at Parc Saint Paul. Oh well... Make of that what you will 😛 Tried the drop tower. The ascend to the top is actually, really, really slow! The ride's not very tall, but the drop itself is decent I guess. With all the main trill rides ticked off, it's time for some re-rides on Wood Express! Luckily the line, which went up to 30 minutes before, ended up shortening to a 5 to 10 minutes wait at the end of the day. Kudos to the good ride employees who kept the ride running and often tried their best to fill up empty seats Ended up with 11 rides on Wood Express eventually - and it was consistently fun! I found the front row better, but the difference is very slight anyway. Parc Saint Paul was fun! Obviously it is mostly about Wood Express from my enthousiast perspective, however the rest of the park has decent enough filler to keep me interested for a short day. The employees are friendly, and the place overall has a warm, unpretentious atmosphere. It does lack the charm of other French parks (Le Pal and Nigloland come to mind in particular) and I would not want to revisit any time soon, but the good dynamic of the park has to be acknowledged Next on my trip schedule is Holiday Park, where I return for a +1 kiddie cred and more Expedition GeForce bliss!
  5. Futuroscope's manager, Dominique Hummel, has recently announced the construction of a major roller coaster at the park for 2019. The coaster would cost 22 million euros, theming included, which would be the biggest investment of the park for a long while. Source in French: http://www.centre-presse.fr/article-558530-le-futuroscope-attend-pesquet-loeb-et-une-montagne-russe.html Additional info surfaced on the dedicated Futuroscope fan: - The coaster's height requirement will be 105 cm or 42 inches - It will be themed to a space adventure - Will have both indoor and outdoor sections - One of the element would be a freefall drop section of track. Source in French: http://www.forum-futuroscope.net/t829p30-projet-de-coaster-sur-l-espace-au-futuroscope-fin-2019 Very interesting news. Futuroscope has never been coaster-focused. In fact, they only have one roller coaster and it's just a Sunkid Butterfly. But they have a strong financial momentum. I'm very curious how the regular Futuroscope audience will react to this departure from their usual style. It is a fascinating gamble that could well expand the park's reach. Futuroscope is one of the largest French amusement parks and is located near Poitiers, in the western-ish part of the country. It generally has a 2M visitors attendance.
  6. Before making it to Plopsa/Efteling, I made a little stop in Northern France to get some creds at Bagatelle. Not the best first impression tbh, but this is actually the worst looking part of the park - perhaps along with the Triops zone. The core of Bagatelle is quite pleasant to walk through however. Triops is actually the original Invertigo. After its troubled start at Liseberg in 1997, it moved several times and landed here. Reviews generally regard this model better than the regular Boomerang, and after 3 laps (both ends and a middle row), I ended up with the same opinion. A bit jolty and rattly at moments, but the comfort is still significantly improved upon the overused brother. As a result, I was able to enjoy the surprising intensity of this shuttle coaster design a lot more. The OTSR are excessively bulky imo, but the face to face seating is a really cool idea and fits well the backwards/forward Invertigo experience. Gaz Express sounds suspiciously similar to Pégase Express at Astérix. However, this one is a 1987 Soquet family coaster which underwent several name and theme changes. I actually quite like the new scenery. It is light-hearted and fun, coupled with some striking fire effects. That raised a little my expectations, but the ride itself is rather underwhelming now that I've been on more modern and exciting family coasters. Still a great fit for the park nonetheless. Famous Jack looked like the dreadful Viking SBF spinning wild mouse at Energylandia. Thankfully this one doesn't have OTSR! Still a very uncomfortable and unenjoyable coaster however. Bagatelle is a decent place. Good compact thrill coaster, decent family rides and the park is mostly pleasant with the scenery. There's some dated and/or out-of-place stuff like the Wacky Worm (ugh), but I still had a good time there. With some smart investments they could easily overcome their flaws
  7. Hi there! My home park, Astérix, has soft opened its new-for-2017 attraction, Pégase Express. It is a family coaster in the mould of Firechaser Express (Dollywood) with a Greek theming. We've got a fresh on-ride POV that I wanted to share: And some pictures in addiction showing the ride: Sources: Fans du Parc Astérix, AlpinaCoasters, EDB Attractions I haven't watched the POV yet - and won't until I get to ride this! It's an opportunity not to get spoiled for once
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