NEDERLANDS // ENGLISH
What is Parc Astérix?
Parc Astérix, a.k.a. the theme park we always see while driving to Disneyland. Since I’ve had quite a lot of annual passes for Disneyland Paris in the past, I’ve seen Parc Astérix a dozen times. And although I always take a look at that beautiful B&M lift hill next to the highway, it’s been a long time since I’ve visited this park for the last time. That’s why we decide to plan another trip to this Gaulish place on July 20th 2020. And to make things even better, we also booked a stay at the park’s newest on-site hotel.
Do they have roller coasters?
Parc Astérix’ most beautiful area is the Egyptian-themed land, which is home to the wonderful OzIris. Two minutes full of g-forces and B&M goodness, that’s what OzIris is all about. This coaster is a surprisingly intense combination of powerful inversions and curves. Besides, OzIris’ lay-out features some unexpected elements and high speeds are maintained until the final brake run. Only one minor downside should be mentioned: there’s a constant rattle which is rather unusual for a relatively young B&M. It’s not overly bothersome, but some of the older inverted coasters are considerably smoother than this one. Nevertheless, OzIris is still my favourite French roller coaster and it may even be in my European top ten.
Another park icon was opened in 1997. It’s called Tonnerre De Zeus and it’s one of the few remaining CCI wooden coasters in Europe. Tonnerre De Zeus was one of the company’s absolute masterpieces: it’s got a total length of over 1.200 metres, it’s 30 metres tall and it reaches speeds of up to 85 kms/h. I remember it as a rough and horrible ride from my previous visits, but today’s experiences are a lot better. Thanks to huge re-trackings in the past few years, Tonnerre De Zeus has become just as awesome as it was during its early years. It still has that intense and shaky feeling every wooden coaster needs, but it’s enjoyable. Great ride.
OzIris and Tonnerre De Zeus are the eye-catchers, but there’s more. There’s Pégase Express, which could be described as the European answer to Dollywood’s amazing Firechaser Express…
… there’s Goudurix, a Vekoma multi-inversion coaster that causes more headbanging than a heavy metal concert…
… and then there’s La Trace du Hourra, one of the largest Mack Bobsled Coasters in the world. The funny thing is that it’s themed to prehistorical caves rather than Olympic bobsleighs.
Parc Astérix is known for its original theming. That’s noticeable in the park (the log flume is themed to menhirs and the mad house is designed as a rocking ship), but also in the resort hotels. The newest hotel is called Les Quais de Lutèce and it’s shaped as ancient Paris. With this new hotel, Parc Astérix proves that it’s playing with the big boys nowadays. Phantasialand and Europa-Park have stunning resort hotels, but Les Quais de Lutèce is definitely on the same level.
Is Parc Astérix worth visiting?
I used to wonder how a theme park like Parc Astérix manages to survive. It is in direct proximity to Disneyland Paris and the park isn’t that well-known to the international audience. However, Parc Astérix is definitely worth visiting and the French seem to love this place. It’s easy to tell why: the park offers a world-class B&M and a sensational classic wooden coaster, they have a ton of cool water rides and there are quite a few shows. Furthermore, the park and its hotels are designed cleverly and if you look closely, you’ll find a lot of hilarious details. The park would definitely benefit from another major coaster (an Intamin Blitz Coaster is planned for the near future, yay!), a new dark ride or a thrilling flat ride, but the current ride selection feels very complete nevertheless. Parc Astérix is undoubtedly one of my favourite European theme parks.
What are your thoughts on Parc Astérix?
Did you ever get the chance to visit this wonderful French theme park? Would you rather pay a visit to Disneyland Paris or Parc Astérix? And would you consider staying at one of the resort’s hotels? Share your opinion in the comments section below.