An O.D. Hopkins Wonderland

Wonderland Amusement Park

I would never have dreamed that the Wonderland Amusement Park would become my first amusement park in the USA. Few amusement park enthusiasts are familiar with it, but it is still of great importance to the industry. The former water ride specialist O.D. Hopkins was able to present his first ride here and with the Texas Tornado there is also a roller coaster from the same company in the park, which for many years even belonged to the best roller coasters in the United States. Accordingly, the park is actually a must-do, but unfortunately the city of Amarillo is off the beaten track.

Full of anticipation for the opening of the theme park in the evening I left the Palo Duro Canyon State Park in the late afternoon only to stand in front of closed gates. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one there and more and more people are joining me. In fact, I was only a little lost in the opening hours, which is why I had to wait here for half an hour.

Even before the cash desks are occupied, the staff already start their work at the gate by serving all those who have obtained their tickets in advance. You can also buy tickets from them. I waited a little (as I didn’t want to wait close in a closed off area till the gates would open) and bought my ticket from a charming, albeit toothless old lady.

The park itself consists basically only of a Midway, where the rides are arranged to the right and left. At both ends of the way the park spreads out a little and forms with the corner around the chain plane Fiesta Swing almost an enclave. Basically, the Wonderland Amsuement Park is a classic Luna Park.

Accordingly, the entrance fee to the amusement park is quite low. The rides can be paid by the use of tickets or you can buy a wristband for unlimited rides. But here in the park there are two different variants, namely the WOW Pass and the Coca-Cola Ultimate WOW Pass, which includes mini golf, the free fall tower Drop of Fear, the roller coaster Texas Tornado and one ride on the dark ride Fantastic Journey.

As I would notice later, this wristband system is an absolute nonsense. Although I have noticed in the research for the report that I could have played minigolf for free, the surcharge is hardly worth it if you can already see from the outside that one of the main attractions would not be in operations on the day of visit.


Therefore, I was in search of a better mood. Practically, there’s a ride that creates a great smile without any effort: a HUSS Rainbow. I always liked this ride, when it was still in my home park. At every visit to the Heide Park, I rode it at least twenty times. After an incident at the Swedish amusement park of Liseberg, most of the rides disappeared in Europe. The Rainbow of the German Showman Klinkerfuß and the one at Serengeti Park have been preserved for some time, but since four years none of these can be found in Germany. Fortunately, the Rainbow of Serengeti Park can now be found in the Polish amusmement park Legendia.

Here in Wonderland Amusement Park the ride has been running since 1999. Unfortunately it looks a little bit run down. The ride is still a lot of fun. Due to the unnecessary seat dividers and the use of belts, the charming sliding from one side to the other one within the two-seater is no more.  Only the generous gondola decoration made in Germany reminds us of the former ease of the ride.


Things look much better with the all American classics, which were really in good shape, e.g. the Eli Bridge Scrambler named Scrambler. Compared to the English version of this true RCT classic, the ride in the American original is even more rustic. Who needs modern hydraulic bars when the ride itself is purely mechanical and all movements are controlled by only one motor? You can also just have a door, which you secure with a pin. Sure, the handling takes significantly longer, but who cares? It’s still the original design, like the ones in your grandparents time. Overall, the Scrambler is a great ride!


Our next stop on our park tour is the wild mouse Cyclone. But don’t panic, Cyclone is not a wild mouse of the 90s. The company Mack Rides was at the time of construction still completely new in roller coaster manufacturing and the Maurer AG knew nothing about their BHS takeover. Instead, this steel mouse comes from Miler Manufacturing. It was built in 1960 and since 1968 you can ride the ride here in Wonderland Amusement Park.

As soon as we have taken a seat in the car, the journey starts immediately. With outstretched legs we quickly climb the lift of the ride. After reaching the top, we immediately take the first corner, whereupon a few longer straights and wide curves are added for us to get used to. In a series of tight hairpin curves, we are pressed four times into the side wall of the car.

With momentum we enter a tight bend, which also drops slightly in the middle. After that we hit the big drop of the course in a double-down. With a lot of drive we then go to the second level of the roller coaster. After a very funny turn we are taking another straight in a sloped position. This is followed by the double ascent and descent, known from many Wild Mice, which is also visually impressive due to its location just slightly above the park’s log flume. In the front area of the course we now cross the station in another sloped straight. Two more ascents and descents await us. Thereby, we get dangerously close to the just route above us, which is a brilliant moment as we are also experiencing some airtime. Our excursion to the third level of the mouse is only of short duration. After a short left turn we immediately turn ourselves into a helix that also heralds the end of the ride. In a longer straight, the brakes are reducing the speed of the car till we reach the exit position of the ride.

The Wild Mouse coaster Cyclone is a true representative of an unfortunately much too rare roller coaster species. The American steel mouse comes astonishingly close to its wooden siblings and simply inspires with its many slopes and strange curve manoeuvres. Strangely, that there aren’t any helices being build in modern Wild Mice apart of the Bobsled Coasters by Gerstlauer…

Big Splash Log Flume

Right next to the steel mouse is the Big Splash Log Flume, which is a true budget version of the very popular Arrow logflume rides. A drop, a few curves and a very small footprint were the cornerstones for the most exciting career in the entertainment industry. O.D. Hopkins, who had previously only manufactured and marketed chairlifts, soaked the world.

The ride on the Big Splash Log Flume is relatively dry. Nevertheless, it is definitely a highlight not to be missed.

Fantastic Journey

If you are a fan of dark rides, don’t miss out a ride on the Fantastic Journey. The self-construction by the park founder Paul Roads is characterised by a multitude of great design elements and ideas, some of which have been adopted by friendly park operators from their ghost trains. The heart and soul of the park owner is truly noticeable. The numerous black light scenes, the strobo-aluminium foil room with Alien or the colliding bus at the end of the ride are just a few examples of the adventures waiting within the ride. Sadly, you can only ride the ride once with the more expensive wristband…

Mouse Trap

The big Pinfari roller coaster Mouse Trap has also been in Wonderland Amusement Park for some time and makes a very good overall impression. The ride on the big Zyclone with a front length of 64m thrills its guests by a multiplicity of slopes and helices, whereby the very high and quite slow middle part of the ride, as well as the very high end of the ride, are a little atypical. However, the ride in the tripartite trains is a lot of fun.


Right next door you can drive a true American classic, a Tilt-a-Whirl. The US version of the waltzer is characterised by its rotating seating shells and distinctive valleys, which get the wagons going and put a big smile on the cheeks of the passengers.

Rattlesnake River Raft Ride

Opposite the Mouse Trap roller coaster is the access to the Rattlesnake River Raft Ride, an O.D. Hopkins rafting ride. As with the logflume, this is the manufacturer’s prototype. To my own surprise the trip started as soon as I took a seat in the round boat as there are no belts and other safety features. The trip through the canal offers some rapids and splashing elements. But you don’t have to worry about the ride through the waterfall, here in the Wonderland Park there is only a garden sprinkler. Overall, the ride is quite interesting and worth a visit.

Pipeline Plunge and Thunder Jet Racers

Equally interesting is the American version of the dinghy slide. The Water Coaster (funnily enough a trademark of WhiteWater) Pipeline Plunge offers a very refreshing (and very wet) ride through numerous curves and turns. In addition to that, you’ll also be racing down over a few jumps. Be sure to try it out! If you are also a fan of water trips from O.D. Hopkins, there is no way around this ride.

One ride that I would have liked to try out is the almost inconspicuous looking Thunder Jet Racers (also from O.D. Hopkins). This dinghy slide offers a race on two tracks located side by side over a straight line on the ground. The dinghy are accelerated by a strong stream of water. Unluckily, this ride is for younger park guests only.

Fiesta Swing and Drop of Fear

Behind the Thunder Jet Racers there is a small park area offering the Chance Yo-Yo Fiesta Swing, a small baloon ride and one of the entrances to the free fall tower Drop of Fear. The former travelling free fall tower offers a total height of 200 ft and therefore a fantastic view at the region. None of the four lanes were in operation that day and it didn’t look like it would change in the near future. As the Drop of Fear is one of the few rides covered by the more expensive wristband this was very disappointing. I also wanted to try this rare Moser Rides free fall tower for a long time…Nevertheless, there is still hope as the ultramodern lighting system on the tower is quite new. Funnily enough, you can use the tower to display greetings and birthday wishes for a small fee.

Pirate, Himalaya and the Texas Intimidator

Friends of good rides are well served in the rear corner of the amusement park. The HUSS Pirate, the Reverchon Himalaya or the Moser Flipping Action Arm Texas Intimidator are all worth a try. The Texas Intimidator offers a beautiful and thrilling rollover ride on a minimalistic footprint and therefore should not be missed.


The Hornet roller coaster also has a very small footprint. This Vekoma MK-700 roller coaster can look back on a proud past as it was the first of its kind. In 1988 it saw the light of day on Boblo Island near Detroit, where it was covered by a hall. After the closure of the amusement park, the ride moved to the amusement park Six Flags Astro World near Houston, where the ride was named Mayan Mindbender. After this amusement park had to be closed as well, the ride found its new home in the Wonderland Amusement Park, where it was not enclosed again.

That move actually suits the ride quite well, as the layout resembles that of a Zierer Flitzer, which you can normally find outdoors. The differences in the layout are actually rather small; the Vekoma variant has a more pronounced urge to go up- and downhill, which is especially apparent in the middle part of the ride (where the Flitzer just speeds through the curves). Thus, after climbing the lift hill, we are directly drawn into a Bavarian curve that tapers off and that at some point merges into the big drop of the layout. With a lot of momentum we pass the station before we make our way through the rear part of the ride. Shortly afterwards we change direction and race towards the ground again. Here we quickly change direction for another time, whereupon the brakes are coming closer and closer.

The Hornet roller coaster is a great family coaster, but it is a bit weaker in comparison to the much older Flitzer. Unfortunately, the Vekoma ride is a little inert due to its long train and the up- and downhill leading curves. Friends of light lateral Hangtime will definitely have their fun, as the actual target group (young kids) already does.


Probably this will be also the case with the small SBF Visa roller coaster, which is currently being built behind the roller coaster Hornet. The Compact Spinning Coaster Spin-o-Saurus was purchased from a park in Florida. Unfortunately I couldn’t test this ride for you – like the HUSS Airboat, which was lying around in parts right next to it.

Shoot the Chute

As a fan of the O.D. Hopkins water rides – who would have guessed it – a ride on the Shoot the Chute had to be done. The splashing boats are just one of my favourite rides and therefore I looked forward to apply the push method learned in Japan once again.

Since I was the only passenger the ride could start immediately after free choice of place. With a total height of only 40ft the ride belongs to the rather smaller representatives of its kind. But that does not mean that it is not just as wet. Also the generated wave is just as stunning. Simply, a great ride!

Since the ride ran in two-boat operation, the second boat had to be sent off first before I could get off the ride. After saying goodbye to the operator, I made myself  on the way to the bridge to take a picture of the plunging down boat and head into security shortly after. So far so good, but Wonderland is just mean and puts a zigzag barrier in your way. In short: I was drenched.

I wonder why no other amusement park came up with the idea. The way the bridge was built, almost every former passenger will get drenched a second time. Soaking wet, without any photo and absolutely happy I spend my time at Wonderland Amusement Park until closure. Since my hotel for the evening was based in Wichita Falls, I had to change in my car. A hotel in Amarillo would have been a good choice. Thanks, Hopkins 😀 .

Texas Tornado

The biggest highlight in the park is the double looping roller coaster Texas Tornado, which can absolutely inspire with its differently constructed inversions. As so often in this theme park this roller coaster comes from O.D. Hopkins. This makes it one of only seven roller coasters ever built by the manufacturer. Of course the prototype is the one in Wonderland Amusement Park. But the train comes from PTC, which normally only build trains for wooden roller coasters – so what should go wrong?

In the test phase, where the original Hopkins trains were still used, things actually went wrong. First the train didn’t manage the Double-Up element after the first looping, whereupon the exit of it was moved some feet in the height. After this change, the train didn’t made it through the second looping, whereupon the second loop was massively reduced in size. The actual appearance of the two consecutive loops, however, was to be retained, which is why both loops now look the way they do today: they are pretty wacky.

Before we go on the ride, a short hint for all those who want to venture the ride at some point: Fat people will not fit in the coaster. Even I had the pleasure to fix my safety belt with an extension, even though I never had any problems with the usual used belt lengths on any other roller coaster. Also you only gain a few inches with the belt extension. During the second ride I managed to close the buckle without the extension. I gave up the first try after I have already changed the seat (they all are very tight).

In addition there is another rather big problem, as the first ride on every roller coaster in the park has to be done fully occupied. Since not everyone in the park has the more expensive wristband, you can sometimes wait a very long time for your ride. All attempts of animation didn’t help, which is why the visit only pays off on a day when there is a lot more going on in the park.

If, however, a journey is made, it starts immediately with a left turn out of the station. The chain lift brings you up to a height of 80ft, whereupon we dive down to the ground. With full speed we pass a long straight, in which a small bend was built in. Shortly afterwards we see the world go upside down for the first time and expose ourselves to very high G-forces at the same moment. With full force it pulls us into the looping, over the apex and into the elevated exit of it – what a great fun. In a Double-Up element you gain a little height, but unfortunately no airtime is offered. In a steep turn we pass under the Shoot the Chutes and once again experience very high G’s. After a hill the second looping follows and with it another acquaintance with the strong forces of the ride. Shortly afterwards we dive into a tunnel. Here we drive with full speed over another bend, before we head back to daylight and cross the park’s rafting ride Rattlesnake River Raft Ride in a longer straight. Shortly afterwards the ride ends at the station.

The Texas Tornado is a bomb of a roller coaster that you should definitely have experienced. The coaster offers a great ride and nearly endless pressure. Beyond that, the ride just looks stunning in its white-red-blue colouring. Basically, it’s no wonder that the roller coaster was one of the best of its kind in 1985 and still has some fans today. The double looping was on everyone’s lips back then and Hopkins planned a flawless ride that still stands out today.

Pictures Wonderland Amusement Park

Conclusion Wonderland Amusement Park

Wonderland Amusement Park is a good family-owned regional theme park with the charm of an old Luna Park. Although not much has been added over the years, the park offers a variety of really good amusement rides. The close friendship with the water ride specialist O.D. Hopkins led to a very large collection of water rides, all of which can convince. Also Wonderland Amusement Parks offers a lot of prototypes, which makes the park even more special. For me the park has been on my bucket list for a long time and I am happy to have visited it.

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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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