I decided on a short break in France around my birthday – because who wants to work on their birthday, right? My plan was a day at Parc Astérix and a day at Parc St Paul, then a flight back home. Unfortunately I messed up Parc St Paul and turned up to locked gates – it was open on the day I had originally planned but not on the actual day (I moved everything back a day to get an early enough flight to be able to collect a hire car….)
Anyway on to Parc Astérix. I went for the Filotomatix Illimité, which is their unlimited fast track, unsure as to how busy it would actually be – but this was my first ever visit to Parc Astérix and as I was going on my own, I didn’t want to be spending any time stood in queues. It turned out to be a good call as the park was rather busy, queues for some of the larger coasters consistently at 1-2 hours for most of the day.
Unfortunately I seem to have lost all the photos and videos I took after 2:30pm, not sure how as they aren’t in the recently deleted folder, but we’ll just go with what I have still got.
I really enjoyed Parc Astérix, no doubt this was helped by the fast track, but I thought there was a good selection of coasters. Stand out for me was Oziris, a B&M invert with enough ride time to be able to run a three train service – I think this is my favourite invert so far. Toutatis was also brilliant, which is their latest Intamin launch coaster. This sends you out of the station, launches over a couple of airtime hills towards a large top hat, but you don’t make it over this – you roll back, reverse launch over the airtime hills (backwards airtime is so weird) and up a spike. Then you drop down and launch even faster over the airtime hills and up the top hat, this time making it over. Following this is a decent length of track with inversions, hang time and air time. Especially good was the despatch times – they have a target of 50 seconds to unload, load, check and send the train and were managing this in as little as 35 seconds at times.
Another coaster, not quite as fun to ride but great to watch and it’s a classic – is Goudurix, a 1989 7 inversion Vekoma MK-1200. This had the expected head banging against the OTSR but wasn’t too bad if you keep your head back.
Tonnerre 2 Zeus is their woodie, which was retracked and reprofiled a while back and now runs Timberliner trains. They left part of the old track with one of the old PTC trains standing which is a neat thing to look out for while on the ride. It wasn’t the best woodie I’ve been on – fairly lacking in air time, although that could have just been bad luck on how it was running on the day, however it was a bit better near the back. The back row of this coaster faces backwards, this was certainly an “interesting” experience, I quite enjoyed it actually.
Overall I had a really good day here and can’t wait to return next time I’m in France. Unfortunately I’ve used up most of my holidays off work now (at the moment I have 10 days left and 5 of those have to be used over Xmas) so it’s likely to be next year that I can return.