The last stop on my journey through France lies directly on the route to the ferry port of Dieppe and thus directly on my way back to England. In the small village Le Bocasse you will find the amusement park Parc du Bocasse. As so often in France, the amusement park has developed from a small restaurant. As early as 1967 the gastronome Jacques Chabaille put up some playground equipment, which was then supported by some bigger rides and the park’s first roller coaster in the 80s. When Max Chabaille took over the amusement park, not only the park grew, but also the target group of the park. In 2015, the park expanded its grounds, so that a new themed area including an entrance area could be created.
And through the elegant wooden gate we enter the amusement park. Right at the beginning of our tour of the Parc du Bocasse, we immediately notice the new orientation of the park, which is really worth seeing. Instead of alot of smaller additions, the park went bigger and more substantial. Not only do the rides here look excellent, they are also much larger than in the rest of the park.
The first one is the log flume Splash-o-Saure by the French manufacturer Soquet, which is more reminiscent of the ride Mami Wata from the Austrian amusement park Fantasiana Erlebnispark Strasswalchen and could therefore have come straight from Hafema.
After leaving the station, you quickly reach the first lift, which takes you up a few metres. When you arrive at the top you are turned around on a turntable in the direction of the descent, but you leave it backwards. Well moistened, you now bob along the canal for a few bends until you reach the central tower of the ride. In here you will find the vertical lift of the ride, which will take you up to the starting point of the big drop. Without any great skirmishes you go down immediately, whereupon a quite decent shower is waiting for you. After another bend you reach the station of the ride again. With a bit of bad luck you can get drenched by another boat – very similar to the old log flume Wildwasserbahn II of Heide Park. You leave the ride via a footbridge past the run-out section.
The Splash-o-Saure is a really good log flume. It is really nice to see more and more new rides from Soquet in the recent years. But before I get all sentimental, let’s take a look at an older ride from the same manufacturer, which is located on the other side of the park, which is divided by a road.
The Parc du Bocasse also has a classic Train de la Mine. The variant here, however, has a very remarkable helix right at the start of the ride, which makes the ride stand out a bit. The course is then skilfully and fluently initiated by a beautiful steep curve. On the following hill we change the direction of the ride for a short while, whereupon we enter another downhill helix. After two full turns we leave this helix again and immediately dedicate ourselves to a little bunny hop. After a tight turn below the first helix we immediately approach the terrain and follow the course of a small hollow. After a straight line and a left bend we reach the final curve of the ride, whereupon we immediately find ourselves in the station of the roller coaster.
The Train de la Mine is a very nice family roller coaster, but it lacks the more daring moments of other Soquet roller coasters. Nevertheless, the ride is a lot of fun and has an optical highlight and a really nice start due to its high-mounted helix.
As the French round boat slide rafting Colorad’Eau next door was unfortunately not in operation at the time of the visit, we will now turn our attention to the rides next to it. They are all made in Italy, and this also applies to almost the entire area of the park. The more exciting rides Electro Spin and Flash Tower are from Zamperla, other rides are mostly from SBF Visa.
In fact, the Parc du Bocasse offers an exceptionally large collection of smaller children’s rides. These are now gradually being integrated into the park’s theme-based activities, and some of them are certainly worth seeing. The small roller coaster Speedy Gonzales, which has a very compact layout in the shape of an eight, is still completely without design.
In the back corner of the Parc du Bocasse amusement park, we then come across other fairly large rides, such as a Rockin’ Tug and a boat swing. There is also a simulator, as well as an interactive theatre by Alterface. Instead of the well-known western shooting, we go on a treasure hunt with a Jack Sparrow blend and get rid of skeletons. Terrific fun!
But the biggest surprise of the amusement park awaits us in a small hall marked Apiland. What looks like a museum about bees from the outside, turns out to be a lovely dark ride inside, which just doesn’t want to end. The ride is simply outstanding for a theme park of this size.
On the way to the exit we take the roller coaster Jurassic Twister with us, which rides like any other Zamperla spinning coaster. Shortly afterwards I’m sitting in my car again and leave the Parc du Bocasse in a very good mood. French family parks simply have what it takes 😉.
A little later I am already on the ferry to England, whereupon my journey through France comes to an end. It was nice; but it was not cheap either. However, the French amusement park landscape is definitely always worth a visit. With a few exceptions, the parks are all great, the public is usually very pleasant and the rest of the country is also very relaxed; you just shouldn’t be so fooled by French people abroad. In any case, come and visit them, it’s worth it.
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