General Information Walygator Grand Est


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Theme Park:Walygator Parc (since 2007)
Walibi Lorraine (2003 - 2006)
Walibi Schtroumpf (1991 - 2002)
Big Bang Schtroumpf (1989 - 1990)
Address:Voie Romaine
57280 Maizières-lès-Metz
https://www.walygatorparc.com/de
Operated by:Aspro Parks

Monster • B&M Inverted Coaster • Walygator ParcWalygator Grand Est in Maizières-lès-Metz, Lorraine is one of the biggest theme parks in France. It started as Big Bang Stroumpf – a theme park dedicated to the Smurfs – and later became part of the Walibi Group. After some years the park was sold to French showman, who started to expand the park’s portfolio rapidly by placing many used rides into the park. Nowadays, the park is operated by the Spanish theme park operator Aspro Group.

The park features a lot of family-friendly rides and quite large roller coasters, e.g. the wooden roller coaster Anaconda or the giant inverted coaster Monster (s. picture). The park also offers a lot of shows and entertainment during the year.

As the park currently only operates during the french school holidays and on weekends, make sure to check the date of your visit in advance.

Fun Fact #1: The roller coaster Monster was once operating as Orochi in the Japanese theme park Expoland in Osaka.

Fun Fact #2: The park features its own train station. You can reach the park with the TER and even safe some money if you present your train ticket at the ticket booth of the park.

There’s a monster in Maizières-lès-Metz

A year ago, during Easter, Thomas, Marcel, David and I went to Maizière-lès-Metz to visit the Walygator Parc. The weather was beautiful. The queues were well filled, basically a perfect day for a visit to the park, but unfortunately the reason for our visit – the B&M Inverted Coaster Monster – decided to stop working at that time. Since the park itself really wasn’t bad, our journey was worth it.

A year later, in the worst weather conditions of April, another attempt was made to get a ride on the former Expoland ride Orochi. We had a restful sleep and left the hotel slightly too early; we arrived at the parking lot an hour before the ticket booths were even opened. We had to wait for a while, but during this time the parking lot stayed more or less empty.

Just before the opening of the park, tests were carried out so that we could expect the park to eventually open. From experience we headed directly towards the roller coaster Monster, even if one or two rides on Anaconda would have made sense, as we first had to wait for 12 passengers in the station.

Gradually our co-passengers started to arrive and as we were the first ones, the first ride of the day took place in the front row on the sister ride of Cedar Points Raptor.

The ride in the first row is rather smooth, the forces in the looping, the quite high located Zero-G Roll and the Cobra Roll are hardly noticeable. Also the highly praised second part of the ride after leaving the former block area is comparatively harmless, as neither the corkscrews nor the helices at the end of the ride manage to build up enough pressure. In the back row the forces are way more pronounced. Where the first part of Monster can clearly convince, one is now pulled in the corkscrews and the helices at the end of the ride.

The monster itself is a good ride, but the layout is unfortunately not Batman La Fuga or as Jan would say it is not Nemesis. It doesn’t matter where the ride has been built, or how it is painted, as the ride itself is fun, it just lacks extremes. The forces themselves make the ride family-friendly, which is why it is a great addition to the park’s portfolio.

After a round on Family Coaster, the park’s Wacky Worm, Jan went on to discover the park. Passing the former Smurf Village we went to the space area of the park, where the S&S Space Shot Dark Tower is still not completed this year, the Schwarzkopf Orbiter Südseewellen performed a decent, albeit quite monotonous and not too fast ride, and the Vekoma Hurricane Walycoaster waited for passengers.

The Vekoma ride, which has been in the park since 1989, is one of the best vekoma rides still running with an Arrow train. Although the latest generation of Vekoma trains can be regarded as truly ingenious, they simply cannot match the timeless design of Arrow. The ride is not bad at all and free of any rattles, but for time reasons we only did one ride.

One of the park’s flagship attractions is the Terror House, a maze. Usually a long queue is formed relatively quickly at this ride, if there are other people in the area. However, the really creepy one is not the Maze that shines through some brilliant butcher’s rooms at the beginning of the arrangement of confusing corridors, but the Fun House that has to be completed before. The Terror House itself is quite big, the interior consists mostly of plain rooms with animatronics, there is also a frightener that tries harder than the lost pirate crew from the Lüneburger Heide.

The park’s rapid river Rafting is located in the direct proximity of the maze. Built in 1989 by Soquet, this rafting ride is dedicated to the journey of Odysseus and has been superbly staged. Remarkably strange, as well as capacity reducing, is the handling of the boats, which are practically operated in a train system. A further curiosity are, similar to the log flume of the park, the different boats in use.

Passing the always broken HUSS Topple Tower Tang’Or and one of the children’s areas of the park, we reach the lake, where a very strange Schwarzkopf monster is located. Normally the excenter lifts after some time and creates the wave movement of the ride, but as this feature is currently broken you circle more or less fast at ground level. Luckily it’s not difficult to get a good spin on the ride, but the fun is reduced.

Passing the teacup, the wave swinger and the way too long and way too slow boat ride, you reach the log flume Riviére Sauvage. This ride, built by Soquet, is simplistic and features only a few bends and just one drop. Enough to get you perfectly soaked.

Located at the edge of the park is the wooden roller coaster Anaconda, which was once again voted the worst wooden roller coaster in the world. The coaster doesn’t offer airtime, crosses the tops quite slowly and needs extra weight on the Morgan-built trains, but it’s definitely not the worst wooden coaster in the world. As a wooden coaster, Anaconda delivers a solid ride. The speed, the height, as well as the out & back layout are actually pretty good and worth a ride.

The Walygator Parc is not a bad amusement park, but also not a very good one. This year the expansion madness of the French showman brothers Claude & Didier Le Douarin continued and so they now present a new children’s land with rides bought by the fairground and simply put up. However, what became of the planned Wild Mouse is hard to say, also it is very likely that the park will not paint its Inverted Coaster for the time being.
 

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A day in Walygator Parc

On Easter Monday David and I originally wanted to go to Phantasialand, however, the park hadn’t yet closed its Maus au Chocolat competition and the entrance fee of 37€ wasn’t worth it in regard of the expected crowds. Therefore we searched for alternatives and somehow we settled on the idea to visit France to see the Monster of Walygator Parc in action.

Once arrived at the park we had to go to the ticket offices. This took some time, as the park unfortunately only has a small number of these. At the entrance most of the people waited on the the left side of the entrance. With our walk directly to the other side, we saved a lot of time.

The park, formerly known as Walibi Lorraine/Stroumpf, has been run by a French showman for some years now, which is why a lot of novelties moved to the park area, but also a lot of trashy rides has gone into the park. Thus, the park has a certain charm that is worth discovering.

The rides portfolio is quite respectable, you can find some classic rides as well as the worst wooden coaster in the world – at least if you believe this year’s Wood Coaster Poll. We went into the coaster with the lowest expectations, after all we were all familiar with Efteling’s former wooden coaster Pegasus and were positively surprised. Anaconda is just fun, even if you don’t have much speed on the hills. The descents are even better. The ride doesn’t beat you up nor rattles, yet it was described by some coaster fans as a massive physical injury…

Since we are all interested in roller coasters, we drove the most gentle of all Wacky Worms soon after. We managed to create a good atmosphere on the Family Coaster, which probably caused confusion for some passers-by.

Thereupon, we wanted to continue our journey towards the monster and therefore took a ride on the Waly Twister with us. Unfortunately, as with almost all flatrides in the park, it was operated on a budget. In the meantime we observed how the Monster had to be evacuated.

Instead of waiting, we decided to take a closer look at the rest of Walygator Parc. Thus we went to the Vekoma Hurricane Waly Coaster, which also was surprisingly good. Moreover, it was nice to sit in an Arrow train again, which unfortunately are getting rarer and rarer.

One more surprise came to us in the theatre of this section, where we watched a magic show. In three languages they presented a mix of magic and comedy on a stage that could convince solely because of its lighting technology. The magician, apparently having a dog fetish, presented many tricks that worked according to the same scheme, but this was well covered by her immense bust size.

The next highlight of the park was the Terror House. I must confess that I am not a fan of such attractions and have no idea what Halloween is all about. But as the other guys wanted to take a walk through the Maze by all means, I couldn’t say no after all. A positive note is that you were sent in small groups of 8 people through the Maze, which led to a slightly longer waiting time.

Before you were allowed to enter the Maze one floor lower, you had to conquer the real terror: the Funhouse. You were sent through narrow corridors with various bizarre funhouse elements and numbers on the wall, which might also be found in Bobbejaanland. The only thing missing here would have been some clowns and the creep would be perfect.

On the lower floor there are some interesting rooms and effects, especially the butchery scene at the beginning has already given a girl in our group the rest. Instead of cheering her up, however, her boyfriend told her how funny the whole thing was and how much fun he had with it. Dulled as you are by some horror movies I found the rest very nicely done and quite amusing. The walk through the rooms of the maze took quite some time and showed off the park’s overall quality of doing stuff nice, when on a budget.

In the immediate neighbourhood of the horror maze you will find the park’s rapid ride, which tells you the story of Odysseus and his ten-year odyssey. As only eight boats were in use on Rafting and the loading system is more than strange, we had to wait some “trains” until it was our turn. The rafting itself is really impressive and has a wonderful wetness level, as you can get pretty wet by the waterfalls.

In order to be able to really get soaked in Walygator Parc, there is also a wonderfully designed Soquet log flume Revière Sauvage in Walygator Parc. In contrast to the one at Walibi Sud Ouest (formerly Walibi Aquitaine), there is even an outflow in the boat and the ride comfort is much better. The degree of wetness is quite good for just one drop.

As the main reason for our visit was still missing we lined up at the Monster. We were already in the station and had to wait only one more lap for our journey in the front row, however, the train braked A little bit too strongly and the whole ride went down. It took about an hour until they were ready to start a test run, but even there the train braked too hard. As we wanted to go at least once we had to wait. Since the ride operators for the day were dismissed at some point, our hope for a ride fell apart and we left the park.

Nevertheless, the day was not a disappointment, as we got to know a nice French theme park. Especially the design in the front area of the park can even blow you away and the shows are even recommendable. The rides of the park are great, even if the HUSS Topple Tower always stands still. Walygator Parc has a good mix of roller coasters and the world’ s worst wooden roller coaster, which is truly worth a ride.

When the Wild Mouse roller coaster arrives in the park next year, Walygator Parc will see me surely again. And I will start my day on the Monster, as I would love to ride this roller coaster at some point.

 

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