A park full of bees

Parc du Bocasse

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.

Train de la Mine

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.

Electro Spin and Flash Tower

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.

Speedy Gonzales

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.

Pirate’s Plunder

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.

Jurassic Twister

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 😉.

Pictures Parc du Bocasse

Conclusion Tron-Tron-Trône

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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Visiting the little prince

Parc du Petit Prince

After the Futuroscope near the French city of Poitiers quickly developed into one of the most successful theme parks in the country, the Grévin & Cie Group planned a similarly oriented park in 1993, where the theme “Man and Nature” was to be dealt with in various pavilions (similar to a world exhibition). It was not until 13 years later, and now under the Compagnie des Alpes, that the Bioscope near the French city of Mulhouse was put into reality with the help of public funds (which brought the park into criticism quite early on). Unfortunately, the number of visitors did not meet expectations, so that after only six years CdA sold the park to Aerophile SAS, a manufacturer of captive balloons and other observation flights. They redesigned the park around the stories of the author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, whose great-nephew and estate administrator first gave them the idea. Since the summer of 2014, visitors have been able to experience the world of the little prince up close in the Parc du Petit Prince.

The Parc du Petit Prince describes itself as the world’s first and only flying park, which is probably mainly due to the two captive balloons and the Aérobar. Interestingly, this was usually done by the simplest means, e.g. the impact crater in the centre of the park, around which the Parc du Petit Prince is arranged in several circles, was supplemented by the asteroid B-612, i.e. the home of the little prince.

Les Chaises Volantes and Courrier Sud

We now start our round in a clockwise direction, where we are immediately greeted by the wave swinger Les Chaises Volantes from Zierer. This is the first classic ride was the first flat ride of the park and was installed here for the reopening of the park. Directly next to it is the Courrier Sud, an interactive walkthrough where you have to answer various questions by standing on the corresponding field on the ground or, later on, by using your hands. In Bioscope’s time, this attraction was known as the Planète Party, which describes the actual game inside a little better. A great game!

If you follow the paths, you will soon find yourself in a short cul-de-sac, where you will find the Volcano, a covered children’s playground with various bouncy castles, but also this year’s novelty Le Serpent and the Petit Train station.

Le Serpent

The ride on the roller coaster Le Serpent begins with a small right turn, after which the 9m high lift hill is quickly climbed. After a short straight line at a lofty height, the train plunges down a right turn. After a flat hill there is now a wide left turn, which crosses under the lift towards the end. This is followed by a slightly undulating right turn, where you enter an oversized tree trunk. You leave the tree trunk under hissing of a snake and immediately find yourself in the braking section of the roller coaster. After another short right turn the station follows. However, for the time being you only cross the station. In the following second session you will get to know the snake that gives the roller coaster its name and all kinds of water mist.

Aérobar du Buveur

As the two captive balloons had to stay on the ground because of the strong wind, we only had the Aérobar du Buveur, i.e. the air bar of the drunkard, left to observe the park from above. This is a very interestingly constructed observation tower, where the passengers sit around a table with dangling feet. As an interesting gimmick, you can and should take drinks and food to the top, but there is no obligation to do so.


In the former Bioscope Pavilion Métamorphose, during a film screening, you can observe the various stages of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. There are also several butterfly houses in the immediate vicinity. On the wide meadows at the rear of the park, the park also has several animal enclosures and a dovecote. The animals are presented at regular intervals, but have plenty of room to retreat if necessary.

Planète Sous-Marine 4D

The Planète Sous-Marine 4D features an interactive theatre by the manufacturer Alterface, similar to the Desperados ride at the Danish amusement park Bakken, where you can sit on moving vehicles and shoot at the screen with pistols. Interestingly, the original film has already been reworked slightly to take into account the characters from the Petit Prince universe, but the realisation is not yet 100% ideal.

Le Petit Prince et la Cigogne and L’Aviateur vous raconte

The neighbouring Petit Théâtre hosts two puppet shows during the season. Le Petit Prince et la Cigogne focuses on the park’s younger audience, while L’Aviateur vous raconte is also dedicated to older audiences.

La Tyrolienne and Le Petit Prince 3D

Past the cable car roller coaster La Tyrolienne, which was still in maintenance at the time of our visit, we were drawn into the park’s huge 3D cinema, where the worth seeing film Le Petit Prince 3D (among others also in German) is shown.  Together with the main character of the park and his best friend the fox, you travel around different planets in search of his rose.

Atlantique Sud

Next to the cinema hall, the log flume Atlantique Sud by the French manufacturer Soquet is currently under construction. This is characterised by a single, but quite high shot and promises a wet and cheerful ride.

Labyrinthe de la Fontaine

Right next to it is a rose garden, as well as the maze Labyrinthe de la Fontaine, in which you can not only lose your way mercilessly later on in the tour, but also get the fountain at the end of the path running by entering a solution word. The individual components of the solution can be found under the statues of each person from the corresponding universe. Here it is recommended to have actually read the little prince at some point.

The small fun house Vol de nuit, the children’s carousel Aérousel, and the trampoline hall Trampoline Park in the entrance building sometimes complete the park’s offer. And this is, without exaggerating, simply great.

Pictures Parc du Petit Prince

Conclusion Parc du Petit Prince

The Parc du Petit Prince is an extremely professional amusement park, where you can look forward to the future with justifiable anticipation. At least we had a very successful afternoon here, where we even had a very short time to get everything done in time, as there seems to be another surprise at every corner. The entrance fee of the park is very fair, so a visit is recommended without any restrictions, but you should spend a little more time here and if necessary read the book before, it’s worth it!


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Under Shock in the Rainbow Magicland

Rainbow Magicland

The Rainbow Magicland is once again one of those theme parks designed on the drawing board, where the initially expected visitor numbers cannot be linked to reality and will probably never come together in the future. The operating company Alfa Park probably had similar experiences with Miragica, which opened two years earlier, so that some projects were probably saved from realisation. In 2011 the theme park, which is based on children’s series by the Italian animation studio Rainbow, opened and what looked very promising from the vastness of the Internet already turned out to be untenable by visitor reviews in the second year of operation of the park.

I don’t like to hide the fact that Rainbow Magicland lives up to its bad reputation; after all, we expected nothing less. As soon as we enter the car park, the previously consolidated picture is confirmed, as a large part of it has been taken over by nature in the meantime. But that doesn’t matter, because you can’t expect visitors here anyway, so without hesitation we went into the park to let the playful, meanwhile very run-down decoration take effect on us. While the Cinecittà World has been built with quality in mind right from the start and the park looks as if it had only opened yesterday, Rainbow Magicland looks like a fairytale park opened in 1970; only with the one, but very fundamental difference that in an old fairytale park there is often a very high level of attention to detail.


But what the park hardly lacks is an extensive range of rides and so we headed straight for the launch coaster Shock, built by Maurer. With its unparalleled forest of pillars and the very present location directly at the central lake of the Rainbow Magicland, the ride is an extraordinary eye-catcher, which in combination with the very impressive water spectacle forms a harmonious ensemble.

The trip begins with a short dip out of the station. This is followed by several ascents and descents in a slight serpentine movement, which are all interrupted by a short block brake section in between, probably simulating the darkride part of the ride. After having passed this unharmonious curve, the car falls down another slope and is accelerated in the following launch section. The car then goes over a hill in which it takes off quite well before it hits the ground for the first time from a lofty height. Very powerful and with a breakneck speed you cross the following valley. The main element of the ride is the non-inverted loop, where you shoot up a loop, but without standing upside down. On the top of the hill you experience another airtime moment of the very first order, just before the car bends to the left again and plunges into the depths. At the lowest point of the ride you experience once again an exemplary power play, which is soon topped by a brilliant steep curve. After a curvy ascent you reach a block brake and lose some energy, so that the next curvy shot is quite comfortable. In a light Bayernkurve a long corkscrew is introduced, where you are allowed to hang in the bar a little bit before the braking distance is reached.

Shock surprised! Especially in comparison with the other X-Car Coasters the ride is convincing all along the line. Here, the bar does not pull on the body unpleasantly during the ride and exceptionally allows a very free ride without the urge to leave the ride on the fastest way. The curve radii are also very wide, so that the massive car hardly feels the need to bump over the track. The strong forces and distinct airtime make this ride the best roller coaster of Rainbow Magicland and one of the better ones of the country.

Isola Volante

In the immediate vicinity, the Vekoma Sky Shuttle Isola Volante transports its passengers towards the sky, while the view of the park, car park and the nearby designer outlet Valmontone is not very exciting; however, the technology itself is worth experiencing, above all because of the easier implementation compared to the competing product.

Planeta Winx

Rainbow’s most famous children’s series is probably by far the Winx Club, which was primarily designed for little girls and even has its own magazine on the magazine shelves here in Germany. Although the Castello du Alfea, a large building complex with a 4D cinema, is dedicated to the series, halfway to the artificial castle is the dark ride Planeta Winx. Similar to the Disneyland classic Peter Pan, you fly through the series’ sceneries. The ride itself is nicely designed and from time to time you will meet the main actors of the series, who always introduce the scenes from their element.


Directly opposite is the roller skater Bombo, part of the series Monster Allergy, a co-production with ZDF, which runs on the Kinderkanal and has no special drawing style; accordingly, the standard model from Vekoma fits in quite well. After a short bend and the following lift hill, you immediately take a steep bend with a subsequent upward helix to the left, complete a short valley and then go through a wide right bend near the station. Over a hill you cross the course of the track that has just been cleared, whereupon you descend a little in another helix. A left turn follows, whereupon the braking section is waiting for you. After one lap the ride is already over. Despite the modern train, the driving characteristics are not the best.

Maison Houdini

If you follow the tour, after a few metres you will come across the Maison Houdini, a modern witches’ swing from Vekoma, which, for whatever reason, was built underground. The main building, as it appears, contains only the preshows of the ride and the lift that takes passengers downstairs. A few meters further on, there is a second building in a similar style, which contains the lift, which transports the passengers back up. In between there is a square with skylights and ventilation shafts, under which the actual ride is located. Since the ride opened quite late we could not test the Mad House; the idea of the underground attraction is great, but the implementation is space consuming and probably also quite cost-intensive, the gained space also defies any logic and aesthetics.


Adjacent to this is the children’s area of Rainbow Magicland, which belongs to the second type of modern children’s paradise in amusement parks. Compared to the nicely designed areas in Gardaland or Port Aventura, everything here stands quite naked on a concrete slab. In doing so, an attractive overall design as well as any vegetation was avoided. Unfortunately, the local Big Apple Amerigo was not supposed to open until late afternoon, so that we had to do without a ride in order not to throw the rest of the day overboard. I don’t really know why this simple children’s roller coaster is the only ride in the park that opens so late.


Past the Battaglia Navale, the nicely designed Splash Battle by Preston & Barbieri we went to the freefall tower Mystika by SBF Visa. This Italian manufacturer is known for its toddler roller coasters and lots of junk, which is mostly ordered by park managers without any experience; the best example is the Ankapark (Wonderland Eurasia) currently under construction near the Turkish capital Ankara. Also in Rainbow Magicland they probably wanted to offer a big freefall tower, but at the same moment it was not allowed to cost anything. Otherwise the tower with a total height of 70m, of which at least 50m already serve as braking distance, cannot be explained. The drop itself is bad, in addition there is a very unpleasant restraint system installed.


With the right seat you have at least a view of the two neighbouring roller coasters, whereby the entrance to the spinning coaster Cagliostro is closer. Admittedly, you can’t see much from the spinning coaster outside the abstractly designed hall. Inside, too, you’re really only looking at darkness, although all efforts in this respect were ruined by the outside turn.

After the lift hill and the already mentioned detour out into the daylight there is a steep curve towards the hall floor after a gently descending straight section. Hereupon the car shoots up an Immelmann turn, whereupon the following valley and the ascent to the block brake is made in a wonderfully sweeping S-curve. After the block area, however, not much happens. Over wide curves you cross the whole hall and then approach the ground. In pure zigzag manner a straight section is taken, whereupon you are again at the front end of the hall. After another short curve you reach the second and larger lift hill of the ride, which brings you back to the station level.

Cagliostro is a nice spinning coaster, at least in the first part of the ride, but then it loses all inspiration and comes crawling towards the end of the ride like no other coaster of this type. Probably a more elaborate design with larger scenes was intended here, because there is still enough space in the hall, but without all this the ride with this layout is quite senseless and not very exciting.

Huntik 5D

Right next to the Gran Teatro, where the musical Romeo & Juliet by Gérard Presgurvic is shown in a 35-minute performance, is the dark ride Huntik 5D, based on the series of the same name. As seekers, we join the team around Dante, Lok, Sophie and Zhalia to fight against the organisation. For this we use guns to shoot our way through elaborately designed scenes with successful animatronics and well embedded screens through hordes of titans. What is confusing, however, is that our team also uses titans and these appear on the screens at the end. If you are not familiar with this series, this is rather unnecessary, as it spoils the otherwise perfect impression. The series reference is very well done, but you don’t have to know the series to enjoy this great shooting darkride from Alterface. Huntik is definitely the best ride of the Rainbow Magicland and one of the best dark rides of this kind in Europe.

Yucatan and Le Rapide

At least from the outer facade, the Spillwater Yucatan presents itself to its passengers on an equal level. With its two shots, the water ride is one of the driest rides of its kind in Europe; however, there is something for the eyes, especially during the second turn. If you want to get wet, however, you are in good hands at the neighbouring Rapid River Le Rapide. Here too, the design is impressive, which is why the ride is one of the best of its kind in Europe.

L’Olandese Volante

The last remaining roller coaster is the L’Olandese Volante, i.e. the Flying Dutchman; appropriately built by the Dutch roller coaster specialists Vekoma. The ghost ship flies noticeably and now even with VR glasses over the track of the standard model based on the prototype Calamity Mine of the Belgian amusement park Walibi Belgium.

The ride begins with a right turn and the following lift hill, which unfortunately takes you up in a very straight line, just like in Gardaland; nothing remains of the accentuated cross slopes of the original in this version. At the top, the train immediately throws itself into a left helix and alternately into three 180° curves before reaching the first intermediate brake and the second lift hill. This hill is also passed just as trivially as the first one. At the highest point of the track you cross a short hill and immediately approach the ground again in a wide right helix. In a left-hand helix you build up again in metres of altitude before you take it down again in another downhill helix. After a further left turn, you immediately reach the braking distance and shortly after that the station.

When Rainbow Magicland and Vekoma were looking for a way to square the circle on this ride, they succeeded. There is simply no other way to explain this bumpiness – unusual even for the manufacturer – which the train reproduces to its passengers over the entire track length. Well, even Mammut in Gardaland was not really smooth, but L’Olandese Volante simply tops everything in this respect. I have rarely ridden such an unpleasant roller coaster, which is why I really have to advise against a ride on this coaster.

Pictures Rainbow Magicland

Conclusion Rainbow Magicland

The Rainbow Magicland blinds like no other park with its opulent, but already quite disintegrating facades, but it can also show some rays of hope. Apart from the dark ride Huntik 5D and the roller coaster Shock, Rainbow Magicland lacks some highlights that encourage you to take more than one ride. With the extremely ugly children’s land and the Big Apple, which was closed until late afternoon, the park also offered a low light par excellence. It is no wonder that the park is the way it is.

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