The Ram-a-Lama Coaster


The last day of my rollercoaster trip through France was to start with a bang. The roller coaster 1066 – not to be confused with the refreshingly charming Lager Kronenbourg 1664 – caught my attention a long time ago, when I saw the first pictures completely by chance on the roller coaster database Rcdb. It was clear, I would have to visit this place sometime. In the meantime, one or the other novelty was added in Festyland, but I didn’t know much about the amusement park, which was founded in 1989, until my visit.

On the outskirts of the small town of Carpiquet near Caen is the access road to Festyland. You can park your car in the car park directly next to the national road 814; the park itself is on the other side of this road and can be reached via a wide tunnel, which however has a simple corrugated iron look instead of the discotheque of Gardaland. The entrance area itself is inviting and immediately transports you back to the time of the Belle Époque. After a pleasant chat with the cashiers and equipped with the latest edition of the Festy Telegraph – the park’s rather elaborate guide to the amusement park – it was time to go exploring.

National 13 and La Tour d’Esnambuc

Past numerous children’s rides – including the National 13, which is unfortunately not named after the Périphérique of Caen, but after the road that leads to it – and the park’s cafeteria, you will immediately head for the park’s larger rides. The first stop is the small family free-fall tower La Tour d’Esnambuc, built by Zamperla. The ride on the Sky Tower offers a great view and numerous mouth changing hops, which should encourage especially younger park guests to ride it continuously.

Drakkar Express

I personally prefer to get my hands on a Soquet rollercoaster. It’s a good thing that the Drakkar Express has been smiling at us for quite some time now. The entrance of the ride is located in the elaborately designed Viking theme area, home of the park mascot and figurehead of the theme park. For this we turn left from the main path at the Chevauchée de Guillaume horse riding track.

The ride on Festyland’s oldest roller coaster begins with a left turn, after which the lift hill is reached after a straight stretch of track. Following the gradient of the terrain, the ride goes straight up. Here we enjoy the view of the surrounding area a little before we plunge into the valley. With momentum we now pass through a valley parallel to the main path, which has been beautifully set in scene with a small waterfall and a pond. Following the bend to the left, we climb a hill and plunge down again rapidly towards the ground. In Close Call with the vegetation on the left side we now pass through another hollow, where we also change direction for the first time. In a 270° helix adapted to the terrain, we gain some altitude, whereupon we cross the just completed route and immediately throw ourselves on the ground in a left turn. Now we race over a small hill at the back of the station, followed by the final helix in a shallow curve leading up and down. After a short climb the station is reached and the train is braked. A second round follows.

The Drakkar Express is a very nice children’s roller coaster of French design, but a little tamer compared to other rides of the manufacturer. The ride is great and can convince by its adaptation to the existing terrain. Unfortunately, the exit of the ride leads back to the main Festyland track, so that you have to walk around the final helix of the ride for possible repeat rides.


The next attraction on our circuit is the Air Race Miolnyr. This rollover ride made of 30t steel offers an exciting, slightly monotonous and absolutely dizzying ride with rollovers in a continuous loop. A great deal, for which the investment of one million Euro was absolutely worthwhile.

Niorty and Troll Roll

Next door, the children’s area of Festyland captivates in all its splendour. In addition to a small teacup carousel and a jump around featuring a frog design, this area is particularly impressive with its covered ball pool and the two novelties for this season. With the Rockin’Tug Niorty and the Troll Roll children’s railway, a really beautiful rides symbiosis has been created, which can rarely be found in theme parks. A really nice area, which will certainly appeal to the little ones.

Pirat’Ak, Cap’tain Roc and Le Grand Tournoi

Meanwhile, we return to the main trail, where we continue down the hill. Here you will find the Pirat’Ak rubber dinghy slide and the Cap’tain Roc boat swing, two classics that no French amusement park can do without. A little wilder, however, is the Disk’O Le Grand Tournoi. Pressure-packed and extremely fast, the disc takes you over the U-shaped track.


One level further up we meet more rides from Italian production. Apart from the chain plane Tourny and the Valhalla mountain and valley railway, the Eretic swing is particularly eye-catching. Typical for Zamperla, it offers a swinging ride with all kinds of airtime moments. Unfortunately, the Discovery type ride turns monotonously in one direction, which makes the ride not very diversified, although we are not on a HUSS swing. A pity!


So for the right shoot we have to go to another ride. Luckily there is a hydro lift from Zamperla in Festyland. Those who know these rides know what to expect here – everyone else will be absolutely surprised by the wild slide of this rafting ride: There are simply no comparable installations that get the hang of it.

The journey on Kaskade begins comparatively harmlessly. After a short bend to the right, the vertical lift of the ride awaits you, which takes you up quickly. Once there, the lift cage tilts forward and we immediately roll onto the water slide. With momentum we are now thrown into the first helix, whereupon we start to rotate constantly in circles. After a wild S-curve manoeuvre along the tower, we spin around in circles at an abnormally high speed, which makes the subsequent splashdown look like a game of Russian Roulette: you never know in advance who might be caught. A fun for the whole family! Now the quieter part of the trip follows, where numerous elements of a classic rapid river await us. In contrast to the prototype from the Italian Leolandia, the return to the station is a little more compact. You pass through a course full of hairpin bends and several zigzag straights before you are allowed to get off at the station, if you want to. Repeat rides are guaranteed.


Let’s get on to the roller coaster 1066, because the short train with the ram head is a truly remarkable ride. Built directly at the slope, this coaster uses it absolutely skilfully for its wild ride. Furthermore, the ride looks simply great due to the half-sided medieval scenery at the lift of it.

The journey begins with a right-hand bend leading into a tunnel. The ride begins with a right turn into a tunnel and is immediately followed by the ride’s lift, which takes us up quickly. Once at the top, we immediately descend the 17m high descent. On a steady slope we now race through the valley in a wide right turn. With momentum we then climb a hill, where a long downward helix awaits us. With full power we go through the following valley before we shoot up another hill. With a little bit of airtime we start the next shot. In a steep turn we make the last manoeuvre of the ride and rush through the deepest part of the ride. With a lot of verve we climb up the slope to the plateau, whereupon the braking distance of the ride already awaits us. Shortly afterwards we reach the exit position of the ride.

1066 is a very short roller coaster, but one with a very grand ride. The track is crossed with a lot of pressure and vigour. The ride characteristics are excellent. Here I would have liked to get on more often. Unfortunately, at some point the ride went into the lunch break and I had another destination on my list.

Pictures Festyland

Conclusion Festyland

Festyland is an extremely beautiful and harmonious amusement park, which looks a bit like a Zamperla Wunderland due to its many rides made in Italy; but as is well known, this is not a bad choice. Coupled with some rides from Soquet, it is an excellent family amusement park that can entertain you for several hours.

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Astérix est là!

Parc Astérix

Parc Astérix is available either in full or closed. Up to now I could always fully sign this statement, because every time I went for a roller coaster ride near Paris, the park was closed. It is in the nature of things that there are many other conditions besides this logical expression. However, it is also a fact that the amusement park, which opened in 1989, is one of the most famous European amusement parks and is therefore quite well visited. Astérix is also a very successful brand.

As a collector of the French hardcover books, I was very much looking forward to the visit to the Parc Astérix. After the second night in Champagne, I left for Paris after a short chat with the owner of the holiday home. But as the motorways were all overloaded, I reached the theme park via numerous national roads much later than originally planned. Actually, I had already wanted to buy the pass Saison Découverte online (reduced-price annual ticket with exclusion days), as it is cheaper than a two-day ticket, but thanks to shipping, the ticket would probably have arrived after my visit at home. So I had to pay the parking fee of 10€ at least once. As the queue at the annual ticket office was too slow for me, I bought a normal day ticket, which I later converted in Parc Astérix. Thanks to the data already entered online, this was also done in no time.

Le Défi de César

The first part of my three-day tour of the park is the Le Défi de César mad house. As candidates for the Roman intelligence service, we are to infiltrate the stubborn Gaul. All of Gaul? No, actually only the village of Astérix and Obélix. In order to prepare ourselves for this mission, Julius Caesar has set us several tasks.

In three pre-show rooms we are now guided through the attraction before the actual Mad House awaits us. In the first challenge we learn how important it is to wear the future work clothes – beards and Gallic braids – with dignity. The second challenge focuses on Gallic humour, before we turn to the magic of Gallic women and the musical arts of the bard Troubadix in the third challenge. This is exactly what happens in a Roman bath, which, to the song of Troubadix, no longer has control of its water masses and almost collapses. The final challenge is the crossing to Gaul. During this crossing we meet Astérix and Obélix in person, who noticeably enjoy turning the ship around its horizontal axis for a few laps. Shortly afterwards the ship sinks and an octopus attacks. We barely escape the beast and then give up.

The Mad House of the manufacturer Mack Rides scores above all by the inclusion of the well-known characters and by the inclusion of the future secret agents. Unfortunately, the experience gets very long, especially towards the end, so that repeat rides are not really recommended. As a unique happening, Le Défi de César should not be missed.

Romus et Rapidus

Only a few metres further on is the entrance to the Romus et Rapidus Intamin Rapids Ride. Once known as Descente du Styx, the rapid river has been entertaining park visitors since the opening year of the theme park. After an incident in 2006, when a boy fell out of a boat, the safety features were massively extended, giving it its current appearance. Since then, the boats have been much less free-flowing, but this is by no means a renunciation of the wild river ride. Romus et Rapidus offers a wild rafting trip with a large number of rapids and other obstacles, where water is always sloshing into the boat. A very splashing adventure.

Théâtre de Poséidon

The same could be said of the Parc Astérix dolphin show at the great Théâtre de Poséidon. But instead of Gaulish humour, a dull dolphin and sea lion show awaits us here, where the relationship between trainer and animal, as well as education about the animals, takes centre stage. If you are honest, the whole spectacle is like a journey to a time long gone and that’s exactly where we leave it.

Cheval de Troie

We experience a far more positive journey through time on Cheval de Troie, a flying carpet from Zierer. Although the ride on the Cheval de Troie is extremely short, it’s a real thrill – after all, the gondola has to accelerate accordingly to reach the peak of the ride in the shortest possible time. It’ s like a special kind of quickie.

Pégase Express

The queue at the Pégase Express turns out to be much longer. After a few steps in the station building of the Gare Montparnassos (hihihi), you can quickly get out into the fresh air again and walk over the dike of the Romus et Rapidus rapid river, from where you can catch a great view of the soon to follow trip, before returning into the building. Here you have to climb a lot more steps before you reach the station of the roller coaster. Theoretically, you will be let into an area in front of the roller coaster, where you can deposit your belongings – but if there is not much traffic, this step is not necessary and you have to take them with you on the ride.

From the station, we start with a small friction wheel lunch. The speed built up by this is, however, already reduced to a minimum on the following hill before it goes rapidly towards the first lift hill in a downhill leading Bayernkurve and a strongly inclined left curve. Quickly we reach the top of the first lift hill. In a curve we enjoy the view for a short time before the train plunges to the ground. With a bit of airtime we now whiz over a camelback and a total of three turns, before we approach the highlight of the ride via a kind of double-up. With a lot of speed we break through an advertisement in a beautiful steep turn, before we make another series of turns towards the second lift hill. Once arrived, we are quickly transported up the hill and then pushed into a raised temple hut.

The show programme for setting the course seems a little unimaginative and not very threatening; fortunately, however, we are quickly released from it by a friction wheel launch. Once again a short hill follows, which uses up all the momentum before we fall to the ground in a long curve. Backwards we go over hill and dale, or rather a rather wild ride with all sorts of hills close to the ground, small S-curves and tiny turns past the rapid river, back to the station building. Parallel to the first lift hill of the ride we reach the braking track after a short time. Here you roll back far enough before another switch can be set, which will let you go back to the station for the last few metres.

The Pégase Express is an extremely dynamic family roller coaster with some truly amazing ride manoeuvres and moments. The ride in Parc Astérix has a lot of momentum and in some parts is not very gentle with its passengers. Nevertheless, the ride remains family-friendly at its core, which is why Maman et Papa shouldn’t be completely overwhelmed, while the children are cheering with joy for the whole ride. Nevertheless, I left it at only a few rides – when there is no rush, the queue here is simply far too long.

Vol d’Icare

Before the Pégase Express was built, the largest family roller coaster in the Parc Astérix was the Vol d’Icare. Based on the layout of the (former) roller coaster Comets from the Danish amusement park Tivoli Gardens, the roller coaster impresses with a variety of enjoyable curve manoeuvres. But instead of a theoretical capacity of 1200 people per hour, the ride usually has a much lower passenger flow due to a modified train design. Here, instead of two people next to each other, a maximum of two people can sit behind each other per row. Although the staff visibly tries to fill up the trains quickly and send them on their way, you should always expect a longer waiting time.

If you could get a seat in the train after some waiting time, you just pull the bar – which can be adjusted by a rail in the centre console – towards you before you can start your journey.  After a short right-hand bend, the lift of the ride is already reached, which takes you up to a height of 10,7m. But there is no time to enjoy the view and so we soon fall down a steep curve. Due to the extremely compact construction of the ride, a very narrow and therefore very pressure-laden valley awaits us before we climb up the hill and down the valley in an equally narrow Bayernkurve. Immediately the first block brake is crossed.

In a rather wide right turn we now increase our speed constantly before we make our way to the second block brake after a rapid left turn. We then leave the second block brake in a left-hand bend, followed by a wide right-hand bend. With a good momentum we slam into another block brake and are slowed down almost to a standstill. Especially on the first ride this brake comes as a surprise, especially since we still haven’t reached the end of the ride. Very slowly we make another combination of right and left turn, whereupon another block brake is waiting for us. We reach the actual braking section of the ride after a short dip on this one. After a turn-around we reach the station building of the roller coaster.

Even if the Vol d’Icare sounds like a collection of block brakes with little track in between, the roller coaster is extremely entertaining, especially because of the first two sections. The ride is fun and encourages you to repeat rides if there are not many people queuing for it. It is a pity that there are so few examples of this type of roller coaster.

Hydre de Lerne

With the Hydre de Lerne another classic flat ride awaits us that should not be missed. This nicely designed monster, produced in Münsterhausen, offers an extremely fast and by no means short ride. Furthermore, the Polyp is one of the first rides made by Gerstlauer Amusement Rides.

Rivière d’Elis and Discobélix

Past the leisurely boat trip Rivière d’Elis we are now drawn to Discobélix, a Disk’o Coaster from Zamperla. Larded with fire and water effects, the ride convinces especially from the outside. For the passengers themselves, it is unfortunately a little monotonous. Admittedly, the ride is certainly chic and the ride across the water is an extremely nice feature.

Tonnerre de Zeus

Now we come to the wooden roller coaster Tonnerre de Zeus. The camera-shy Woody, who is remembered by many fans mainly because of his entrance gimmick, has made it to the top of my list of favourites without much effort. How? Let’s take a closer look right now.

The journey begins with a short right turn out of the station. We immediately reach the lift hill and a little later the starting height of 30m. After another bend at a lofty height the train rushes over a CCI typical and much too narrow hilltop towards its fate. Exposed to light airtime we do the same and race mercilessly towards a tunnel that is much too narrow. With a lot of pressure and shake, rattle and roll we cross the first valley. Thereupon we shoot up a hill, which at the same time initiates a change in the layout. We quickly sink down before we are torn out of our seats again and get closer to the ground. Over a camelback we then cross the lift structure of the wooden roller coaster and approach the main element of the roller coaster, a 572° helix.

Here we will spend some time together over hill and dale. There is a constant up and down, sometimes the track is very steep and runs through its own structure. An awesome part! It suits quite well that a number of small hills are waiting for the passengers, which of course transport them out of their seats. Once again a turn follows with an included dip, which once again skillfully pushes us into the side of the car. With momentum we also leave this curve manoeuvre over a brisk Airtime hill, which is also followed by others. Inside the helix we now cross another turning curve before we slowly make our way back to the station. Over a right turn the track slowly nestles up the lift hill. But shortly before reaching the station the train roars over a hill and disappears into a forest after a left turn. Here we make a lap in a 256° helix, whereupon the braking section is reached and soon the wild ride ends.

Tonnerre de Zeus is awesome! The ride offers a great pacing, peppered with some really great airtime moments, which are not as crazy as with the sibling Megafobia in the Welsh Oakwood Theme Park, yet they appear more often. Furthermore the ride is hardly lacking in lateral forces, which especially in the insanely constructed helix in the middle part of the ride cause a broad grin on the passengers’ faces. The great first drop into the narrow tunnel, as well as the extremely long ride duration are further points why you simply have to love this ride. A terrific thing and a must-do for every roller coaster lover.


We will now find out if this statement can be applied to the looping roller coaster Goudurix. The former inversion record holder has been smiling at us from far away for quite a while. The ride built by Vekoma is indeed quite an ordeal for many people – especially for those who are a bit taller – and they experience it as an unparalleled torture. Parc Astérix is well aware of this, which is why the ride has already been redesigned. However, that was several years ago and you didn’t read many opinions during this time, so I was very excited about the trip.

After a short dip out of the station we soon reach the lift hill, which takes us up to a worrying 36m. At the top we quickly cross a hilltop, followed by a wide left turn. With increasing speed we approach the actual first drop and fall directly towards the ground without any mercy. With full force we are pressed into the car in the following valley before we shoot up the first inversion figure. In the Butterfly we see the world upside down twice, while we have to endure quite strange rail inclinations. In between, the element is also amazingly powerful, offering the passenger an interesting interplay of forces. Also in the following valley the G-forces do not get weaker, just good that we are already on the ramp to the next inversion figure.

Quite quickly we turn to the right and find ourselves once again upside down. Without compassion we once again rush towards the ground and continue to be under pressure. What we have just experienced follows in reverse order and after the fourth headstand we find ourselves on a ramp leading downhill. With momentum we approach the only real loop of the ride, which is a bit shallower than expected. On the following hill we can now take a deep breath for the first time. In a long curve we take another turn, only to experience the world in a corkscrew two more times overhead. In the flow of the corkscrew a classic Bayernkurve is added, whereupon we soon reach the braking section of the ride. Interestingly enough, there is a small gradient, followed by a longer straight line past the storage track of the ride. A small gradient later we find ourselves in the brake track which is parallel to the station. A short turning curve later the ride is over again.

Wow, what a ride! Goudurix is certainly not gentle with his passengers, but unfortunately I didn’t get to experience the much-vaunted blows and strong vibrations. Even after several rides in a row the enthusiasm about the powerful inversion slingshot from Vekoma prevailed. I am well aware that Goudurix is not to everyone’s taste, but just for the butterfly element right at the beginning of the ride it is worth to experience the roller coaster at least once.

La Galére and Transdemonium

We end our tour of the lake with a ride on the La Galére boat swing, which is typically French and very atmospheric, before turning to the medieval theme area of the Parc Astérix. Here, we are immediately greeted by the eerily beautiful dark ride Transdemonium, whose entrance, in contrast to the dominant exit portal, is somewhat inconspicuous.

The morbid puppet theatre should not be omitted in any case, because the atmospheric mixture of surreal scenes, appropriate sound system and variable ride dynamics is convincing all along the line. It is a beautiful ride that is able to capture the spirit of historical ghost trains. That alone is a great art. Combined with some great scenes, above all the horse skeleton carousel, the Transdemonium has quite a high show value. The end of the ride reminds me of the former and also great ghost train Over the Hill from the English amusement park Adventure Island and therefore did not really come as a surprise to me. Nevertheless, a great ghost train, which you should not miss.

Les Cheveaux de Roi

Passing a burger stand and a small café, we are now drawn into the courtyard of the castle, where we take a ride on the horse carousel Les Cheveaux de Roi before changing to the French themed area. In another hall, two dioramas reflecting life in Paris in the 17th and 18th centuries will be performed. During my visit, I was unable to understand why there is an unused queue in the middle of the hall. In general, the area looked neglected, which could also be due to the fact that the large show arena next door is not used during the low season. As I was able to research, the aforementioned queue is, however, even then only used for the Maison de la Peur during the Halloween season.


Back in the daylight, we immediately devote ourselves to the air cure on the Oxygénarium round boat slide. This Spinning Rapids Ride from Whitewater West has been providing a good spin and an occasional shower since 1999. If you know Störtebekers Kaperfahrt in Hansa Park, you will also enjoy Oxygénarium, although the track has far fewer curves. The design of the ride is just as convincing as its integration into the surroundings, as even from the queue it is hardly possible to see the track. Above that the queue offers an excellent view of the roller coaster OzIris, which we will get to later. Accordingly, an absolute must-do for every amusement park fan at Parc Astérix.

Chaises Volantes and Nationale 7 

After a ride on the Attraction à Sensation in this area – the wave swinger Chaises Volantes – we dedicate ourselves to the French national road. The vintage car ride Nationale 7 takes us on a rather long stretch of road past several lovingly and humorously designed scenes. Thanks to its location, it is quite possible to overlook the ride.

Menhir Express

Far more dominant in this respect is the log flume Menhir Express. Passing the tea cup ride Les Chaudrons and the cog ride La petite Tempête, the route takes us once around the entire ride before we reach the entrance of this ride from O.D. Hopkins. As a fan of the manufacturer’s Shoot the Chutes rides, I have been looking forward to experiencing a log flume from this company in Europe for some time. But it almost never came to that. In the report on Walibi Rhône-Alpes I already explained the single rider policy of the Compagnie des Alpes, but this was the first time that they wanted to deny me a ride completely. Especially in the Parc Astérix – where I was always put in the boat with other people – I was very surprised. There was no sign at the entrance of the attraction. In the end I was able to join the following family, but unfortunately also only after further inquiry. As I said, at all other water attractions of the CdA the whole thing went much less problematic.

After all the unnecessary stress, the cooling down came at just the right time. After the menhir has left the station, you bump a little in an S-curve towards the first lift. At the top there is a faster passage consisting of several right and left turns, before you slow down a bit and rush through real white water. After several bends you reach a tunnel, where the first shot of the ride is hidden. With momentum you go down immediately and up again just as fast. After a camelback you reach the exit section, whereupon a larger amount of water pours over the passengers. On the way to the next lift the rapids predominate and water is constantly splashing into the boat, before a cave is reached at some point. This leads one through a seemingly switched off revolving tunnel, as well as a water fountain tunnel similar to the one of the Gruffalo River Ride Adventures in the English amusement park Chessington World of Adventures.  Back in the fresh air, the second lift hill of the ride awaits us. In lofty heights, we will now dawdle through the canal for a few more metres before the second ride awaits us. Although the smaller downhill run is usually the wetter one, you will also have a good shower on the big one. Completely soaked, we return to the station.

The Menhir Express is a log flume that really lives up to its type designation. The ride is fast, very lively and absolutely wild due to the rapids. The two shots are almost superfluous if they weren’t also absolutely brilliant. The degree of wetness is, as is typical of O.D. Hopkins, extremely high and yet I would have loved to go on one lap after the other. It is a real pity that there are so few log flumes of this character in Europe. Whitewater West would certainly be happy about new orders.

While we just had a view onto the menhirs, we can also slowly take a look at the home village of our favourite Gauls. It is situated in the middle of Parc Astérix and offers the ideal opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the area. There is also a small show arena around the Troubadix tree house, which serves as a stage for a pet show in summer. The animals themselves live in the village and are even more likely to excite the children than the eerie Meet & Greet characters. In this respect there is really room for improvement, because frightened children can be found on every corner.

Épidemaïs Croisière

Directly adjacent to the Théâtre du Barde is the dark ride section of the Épidemaïs Croisière boat trip. This leisurely cruise takes us on a journey through the famous comic strips. In the individual scenes we meet a variety of characters, as well as a Roman garrison, which is of course reduced to rubble.

Through the really stylish children’s area La Fôret d’Idéfix, with its beautiful selection of children’s rides, we now move on to the Théatre du Panoramix, which was used for the show of the magician Crypto on at least one of my visiting days. This was unfortunately mystical nonsense and not very entertaining, but it is interesting to see what a variety of shows and a multitude of performances Parc Astérix puts on depending on the crowd. It is also impressive that Parc Astérix has its park plans reprinted every day. Not only are the daily shows and performance times in the plan, but also information about the weather and other information. Such a service is really not often found.

Gaulois-Romains: Le Match

Past the famous carousel Le Carroussel de César, where you can take a seat in the middle of Obélix, we are now drawn to the Roman arena, where Gauls and Romans compete in Gaulois-Romains: Le Match a more or less fair competition. In three rounds of competition, the show is about nothing less than the future of the Gaulish village, and the whole of Rome resorts to unfair means, which can even give the audience a nasty surprise. For example, I was allowed to give an interview to a recorded soundtrack, how wonderful! The whole show is of black humour and the performances of the dancers and acrobats are really breathtaking. In the meantime, there is also a brilliant halftime show with advertising sports, which you will certainly not see anywhere else. But for our Gauls it doesn’t look good at all, only good that towards the end Idéfix gets into the arena with the magic potion and the Romans get a good beating as a result. A great and above all entertaining show that should not be missed.

Also not to be missed is the gastronomy of Parc Astérix. It is really damn good. In addition to the typical theme park dishes, Parc Astérix offers a wide range of wild boar dishes and other delicacies. Personally, I’m really fond of Burger Italy with rocket and pesto, which is why I scheduled the third day in the park only for lunch. The alternative would have been a visit to the nearby amusement park Mer de Sable, but I decided not to do so. But at least the annual ticket was worth a little bit more and the Zierer waltz ride will not run away from me that fast.

Le Grand Splatch

The next attraction on our park tour is the park’s Intamin Spillwater. The entrance to Le Grand Splatch is located below the track of the elevated railway Les Espions de César, which offers a good view of the Gallic village and the children’s area of the Parc Astérix, and is sometimes quite interesting. In fact I walked too far the first time, because I thought the entrance was not at the Astérix rock but rather near the station. So I quickly marched back and through the quite spacious queue to take a seat in the next boat.

The lift takes us quickly up to the top, where we accelerate in a tight curve, which then immediately turns into the first shot of the ride. Slightly moistened, we now bob through a canal for a few minutes and are constantly surprised and entertained by small to large water effects. At some point the second shot of the ride appears in the form of a double drop. Depending on where you sit and how the weight is distributed in the boat you can leave the trip halfway dry or completely soaked. I won’t become a fan of the double drop ride at Intamin Spillwaters – in this respect the single drops are somehow more impressive – but I will always be a fan of Le Grand Splatch. The ride is very unique and entertaining.

La Trace du Hourra

If the layout of a roller coaster gets its own backstory, then Trace du Hourra is the place to be. The story takes place at a time when man has not yet walked on two legs. One day a caveman learns that very thing and screams Hourra loudly to tell his friends about the discovery. The path he took between the mountains is the route of La Trace du Hourra. But before we can have the pleasure of a ride on this bobsleigh run made by the manufacturer Mack Rides, we first have to stand in line for quite a while.

At some point the time has come and the journey can begin. In a left-hand bend we leave the station immediately and soon climb the only lift hill of the ride. After a short straight line at a height of 31m, we immediately descend steeply, whereby the swing of the bobsleigh in the first 270° helix is already very pronounced. Now we make the first change of turn and immediately take a wonderful left curve. This is followed seamlessly by a downward helix to the right. With a shallow rumble we tackle a gradient and then cross the first block brake of the ride. After a narrow left-hand bend, we now swing upwards in an ever-tightening right-hand downward helix. With momentum, we climb another ascending slope. After the second block brake, we now circle a little above the heads of the waiting people in a left-hand bend, before we pass them directly in a 270° helix. After a left-hand bend close to the ground we reach a long ramp, which then leads us into the braking section of the ride. This is followed by the return to the station via several stopping positions.

La Trace du Hourra is a decent bobsleigh run with a beautiful start and an extremely impressive height. The ride is enjoyable, although I personally prefer other bobsleigh runs. However, I have only ridden the ride twice, as the waiting time at the ride was always too long. At Trace du Hourra, a visit is recommended especially in the early hours of the morning, as you can still walk straight through to the station.

S.O.S Numérobis

The smallest roller coaster of the Parc Astérix theme park is located in the Egyptian themed area. On S.O.S Numérobis the smallest park guests are offered an exciting ride through a layout in the shape of an eight. Depending on the rush, two or three laps are ridden on this medium-sized Tivoli coaster.


By Osiris and by Apis, look at me…

Iris – the hypnotist from the movie The Twelve Tasks of Astérix – invites you to group therapy in Parc Astérix and we are there live on OzIris. Once you have taken your seat, the happening can start immediately. “Par Osiris et par Apis, vous êtes maintenant des oiseaux. Oui, des oiseaux!” sounds from the loudspeakers as we leave the station bird-free and climb up the 35m high lift.

As soon as we reach the top we fall like a bird that has just left its nest, unstoppably and unbelievably steeply towards the ground. With momentum we rush through the first valley before we turn right and climb a dive loop. Once overhead we descend skillfully into a rather narrow valley. With full speed we climb up again to take the path towards the loop in an over-banked turn. Once more our feet stretch towards the sky before we fall into a deeper lying valley and feel a short airtime moment. In a professional way we now turn our direction in an Immelmann. After a second Overbanked Turn we plunge into a fog-flooded underwater tunnel in front of the impressive domicile of our trustworthy hypnotist.

Back in daylight we are immediately rotated once around our axis in a zero-G, whereupon a 270° helix awaits us. After a short moment of catching our breath we fall to the ground once more. Directly behind the temple complex the second Zero-G Roll of the ride awaits us, which this time spins us clockwise. This is followed by an upward helix close to the ground, which pumps the blood into our legs one last time. Below the lift hill we will now once again see the direction of travel, whereupon, after a quick dip and a short ascent, we already face the braking distance of the ride. After another bend we reach the station, whereupon the next passengers are already invited to the session with a spirited “Au suivant”.

OzIris is without doubt a magnificent roller coaster. The choice of ride elements is as successful as the staging of the ride and the associated theme area. Everything is just right at first glance. One could take a deduction for the location directly at the motorway, but on the other hand this is also an ideal advertisement for the Parc Astérix, which will soon be allowed to have a much higher ride. Nevertheless, OzIris remains a really great ride, which you will quickly learn to appreciate thanks to the single rider entrance on the left side of the temple.

Pictures Parc Astérix

Conclusion Parc Astérix

In addition to all kinds of comic references, lots of black humour and a really chic design, the theme park of the indomitable Gauls offers above all a magnificent portfolio of rides, which is rarely found in such abundance. The roller coasters of Parc Astérix are good to very good because of the bank and the water rides are the crème de la crème in European comparison. The offer is supported by a variety of shows worth seeing, which are shown depending on the rush. I at least felt very well entertained on all three visiting days, even though I had originally planned only two. Thanks to the low crowd, a visit during the Easter holidays is highly recommended.

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Italian Miniatures and Rollercoasters


The history of Leolandia starts 45 years ago, when the entrepreneur Guido Pendezzini presented his miniature park under construction, modelled on the Dutch miniature park Madurodam near The Hague, to the public. However, the park was not officially opened as Minitalia until three years later. The centrepiece of the park, which has also been a prominent feature of the park’s official name for a very long time, is the Italian-style miniature village Minitalia with its replicas of striking Italian buildings and towns. In addition, the country was presented with smaller regional stands and even back then some rides were offered.

In 1997 Pendezzini sold his park to the Triberti and Fabbri families, who, as showmen and manufacturers of amusement park equipment, had considerable experience in this field. They developed the park into an amusement park and operated it as Fantasy World Minitalia until 2007, when the Zamperla family, also an amusement ride manufacturer, took over the park. Since then Leolandia has been regularly expanded and supplemented with products from the company’s own catalogue.

Twister Mountain

A prominent example of this is the Twister Mountain spinning coaster, which is perfectly placed directly at the exit to the park, next to the already oversized park sign, to attract customers of the hypermarket opposite to Leolandia. However, this is only the small version of the well-known funfair model based on the layout of the French manufacturer Reverchon.

After leaving the station you climb the 10m high lift hill. At the top, you pass through two hairpin bends at a rapid pace, whereupon the first descent is already waiting. Above the station you pass through a block brake and shortly after that, halfway parallel to the lift hill, the second major shot of the ride. Without any strange bumps in the ascent you reach the other side of the roller coaster. In the next brake the rotation of the car is released, whereupon the next four hairpin bends are passed with surprisingly much momentum. Without a bump, the return to the other side of the ride follows and finally, after another hairpin bend, the brake track.

Although the Spinning Coaster variants by Zamperla are not considered to be very spin-friendly thanks to their optimised carriages and therefore usually miss their target, the Twister Mountain offered us a solid, albeit quite short, ride. The comfort in the gondola is unfortunately not quite as high as with Reverchon, but in theory the ride offers better restraint, especially for smaller children, thanks to the single bars.

Electro Spin and Donna Cannone

Just as solidly we were entertained by the Mega Disk’o Electro Spin and the Flash Tower Donna Cannone. While the Disk’o offered intensive spinning action, the pulley tower could convince with surprising airtime at the upper turning point. Unfortunately a launch from the cannon is not simulated.

Leo Coaster

The other attractions of the rather sparse Expo 1906 area are a cogs ride with a king kong look, a fire fighting carousel, a wave swinger and the small children’s roller coaster Leo Coaster. This roller coaster comes in the standard version of the manufacturer, i.e. oval-shaped with a helix in the middle, but has comparatively good riding characteristics.

Mondo di Peppa Pig

With the Mondo di Peppa Pig, an attempt was made last year to establish a toddler area in the park based on the English model. However, what in England ensures that Paultons Park is only known as Peppa Pig World and provides it with masses of visitors, seems a little unlovingly put up here. Although there is the possibility to look at the original house of the main protagonists of the series and to take a photo with the actors, the merchandising sales seem to be the only basis for this area.

Il Trenino

The whole thing continues with the Masha e Orso (Mascha and the Bear) show and the train ride Il Trenino by Thomas & Friends. Admittedly, a train ride with Thomas and his friends is always a good idea, as you can see at Drayton Manor in England, but outside of the shape of the train there is no reference to the series.


In the rear part of the Leolandia park, right next to the miniature village Minitalia, there are several animal enclosures, most of which show indigenous farm animal species. The enclosures are sufficiently large and resemble a farm. Unfortunately there are some smaller aviaries with parrots next to them, which is a great contrast to the newer looking farm area.

The Cowboy Town forms the western part of the Leolandia, where the combination of log flume and powered coaster, well-known from the Wunderland Kalkar, is presented. In addition, there are several round and high rides in this area, including the very uncomfortable kite flyer Wild Avvoltoi, as well as a larger show stage.

Gold River

After leaving the station of the log flume Gold River, the boat bobs a little through the channel and after a longer S-curve and a short left turn you reach the first steep lift hill, which takes you into the equally steep shoot. After a good moistening you are released into the channel again and cross a larger right-hand bend to climb the second lift hill at a 90° angle to the first shot. Typically Zamperla, the second downhill run is no less steep than the first one, so that one is led quite abruptly into the second run; here too, the wetness of the downhill run is within a pleasant range. The return journey to the station follows.

Mine Train

Above the log flume is the access to the Mine Train roller coaster, whose course runs mostly over the fairway of the Wild River. After a somewhat longer ascent with a slight left bend, which is climbed quite leisurely, a rather long right turn follows. The first increase in speed is in the downward helix to the left. Immediately afterwards, the waterway’s channel is crossed at a dizzy height in a right-hand bend. In a slightly larger downward helix you now circle the second shot of the log flume, followed by a rather wide right turn, which immediately closes the course. The train then races through the station and completes another, rather leisurely round.

Although the track of the roller coaster from the Wunderland Kalkar was built much more compact it is clearly the better roller coaster of this quite special combo. The Mine Train from the Leolandia, however, crosses the track a little bit too slowly and unfortunately also very jerky, so there is no fun to ride on.

Rapide di Leonardo

Opposite it is the round boat slide Rapide di Leonardo, an Italian interpretation of the popular River Splash rides by the manufacturer ABC Rides with a very special twist. After leaving the station, you immediately make a small right turn and enter the vertical lift, which brings the boat into position, holds it and lifts it up without any technical control frills. After you have been quickly transported upwards, the basket tilts forward and the boat rolls out of the lift. You are now thrown into the first helix at full pelt, whereupon the boat is immediately set in rotation. After a few meters you make an S-curve combination around the tower, which makes the boat turn at a breathtaking speed. This speed increases in the following downward helix and lets you play Russian Roulette during the following shot. After the soaking, the boat goes through a 180° turn, where a round and spinning cannon apparatus fires water at the passengers at regular intervals. The return to the station now features some elements of a rapid river, such as a waterfall that turns off and various rapids. It is the much quieter part of the ride, which allows you to put what you have just experienced into words and makes you wonder why Zamperla has not been able to sell another ride of this kind. The Hydro Lift at least is an unparalleled fun machine and wins every prize for the best dizz with ease.

Riva dei Pirati

The visually most convincing theme area at the Leolandia is the pirate area Riva dei Pirati, which consists mainly of children’s rides, but which is presented in a great design. Besides the good ship swing Galeone and the beautiful Splash Battle Mediterranea, you will find the prototype of the Stand-Up Disk’os Surf’s Up Scilla e Cariddi. Although the ride through the long gondola is a bit rough in parts, the Floating Airtime is worth an experience, so it is a pity to find only a small version of this ride. Unfortunately, the restraint system charges you a little bit statically, so you can get a little shock at the exit.

Pictures Leolandia

Conclusion Leolandia

Leolandia is a really nice theme park with a pretty good idea right from the beginning of its existence. The Minitalia is quite nicely realised and can keep you busy for a few hours, compared to the Legoland parks around the world. At the same time this miniature outdoor wonderland offers a wonderful view of the corners of this charming country, which you would like to see in real life. The quality of the theme park is, with the exception of the Expo 1906 area, very high and is further underlined by the matching workers’ uniforms, divided according to the theme areas of the park.

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