The inclined track of Formule 1

Parc Saint Paul

The origin of the Parc Saint Paul theme park dates back to 1978 when a small excursion destination with pony rides, boat hire and a restaurant was created on the outskirts of the village of Saint-Paul. Five years later the showman André Campion bought the site. He put a good twenty rides in the park and christened it by its now well-known name. In 1999 his son Gilles Campion took over the business. He then developed the park into a theme park. Where previously you could enter the park for free and had to pay for individual attractions, henceforth there was a uniform admission price. In the following year the Wild Train, the park’s first roller coaster, was launched. Since then, the amusement park has been characterised by an interesting selection of rides without neglecting its main target group: families with small children.

On the way to the entrance we already notice a number of children’s carousels and family-friendly rides. Most of these are from the SBF Visa Group and are of recent production. But the real attraction in this area is the staff, who not only control the entrance, but who are also available for photos. In the beginning I thought the staff was on stilts, but I was surprised to meet 2m20 tall people. One of them is Monsieur Brahim Takioullah, with 2m46 the second largest person in the world.


The first roller coaster on our round course is the Aérotrain. This roller coaster from Vekoma was previously located in a shopping centre in Portugal, where it was operated as Montanha Russa until 2013. Thanks to its location and the resulting course above the visitors, the coaster is quite high. Fortunately, Gilles Campion was looking for a kind of monorail for the Parc Saint Paul, so that it could also be viewed from above, when Cedeal Rides presented him with this used ride as a proposal.

The ride on the Aérotrain begins with a short left-hand bend where the friction wheel lift joins the ride. Once you reach a height of 11m, you descend immediately. The short descent immediately changes into a left-hand bend followed by a right-hand helix. Over a very long left-hand bend we slowly increase in height again, before we reduce it again in another helix. After a longer straight line there is only a short left turn before we reach the station again. Another lap follows before the ride ends.

Even if the Aérotrain is not as fast as the air-cushion train that gave it its name, the ride is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The ride is generally shallower than most roller skaters, making it an ideal entry-level roller coaster for the smallest park guests.

Arche de Noé

The Arche de Noé, a swing boat made by Metallbau Emmeln, is a little more exciting. This was designed to match the theme, which is why you can discover numerous animal sculptures on and around the ride. The ride itself is also very convincing with its smaller airtime moments.

Aqua Splash

Just as convincing is the Aqua Splash dinghy slide from the same manufacturer right next door. Meanwhile, we follow the path along the large lake, where some of the park’s pedal boats and the Mississippi steamship are located. Passing numerous playgrounds and a trampoline hall we reach the second roller coaster on our loop.

Mini-Mouse Cartoon

Mini-Mouse Cartoon is a very family-friendly roller coaster where a train is pushed through a series of hairpin curves. On the connecting straights there are also smaller hills, similar to those of a Wacky Worms, which loosen up the ride a bit. The ride itself, however, is very gentle. Depending on the rush you make several laps through the layout.


Right next door is the Téléphérique, a seemingly harmless rail-guided cable car. But appearances are deceptive, because if you have had the idea of riding the ride with a backpack on your back, the centrifugal forces take over and you have to hold on tightly to avoid falling down. A very interesting play equipment and an even more interesting grey zone count.

Maison Foldingue

After I missed the Crazy House built by Preston & Barbieri in the Japanese amusement park Yomiuriland and in the Italian Mirabilandia due to a lack of language skills, I could finally test this bizarre ride. But the jokes and special effects of the Maison Foldingue are not really worth mentioning, as well as the ride’s sequence. A bizarre idea that will certainly go down well with children.

Souris Verte

Just like the children’s song of the Souris Verte. In the Parc Saint Paul, however, the green mouse embodies a spinning coaster made by Zamperla. Unfortunately, the ride through the familiar layout does not involve a major rotation of the gondola.

Tour Descente Extrême

Since the Wild Train roller coaster lacked the train, I unfortunately could not test this roller coaster. But next door there is another product of the former Russian company Pax, the Tour Descente Extrême, which was just waiting to be tested. The 40m high freefall tower offers a very bizarre ride, because before you can fall you are pulled forever through the magnetic brake, which takes up about half of the tower.  Because of this circumstance, the braking is also extremely rough. Ça me plait beaucoup! With the best will in the world I didn’t expect such a fall coming from Pax, it is grandiose. However, the ride itself takes its time, so it’s no wonder that you can’t find so many tower rides made by Pax.

La Pomme

Much more common, however, are roller coasters of the Big Apple type, also known as La Pomme in France. The local one comes from the Turkish company DAL Amusement Rides Company. One of the most striking features of this ride is its very present and inviting decoration, which adds a lot to the ride.

Past the Grande Roue Ferris wheel and the P’tits Lapins, we are now drawn to the rear of the park. In a mansion and its forecourt, we find many shops, the main gastronomy of the Parc Saint Paul, as well as the place of the wave swinger Chaises Aériennes, which was not yet set up at the time of our visit.

Château Hanté, Parcours 3D, Miroirs Magiques and Toi aussi deviens un Géant

Of the four walkthroughs Château Hanté is the most convincing. With its huge collection of animatronics and absolute darkness it is more frightening than many ghost trains in Germany. The Parcours 3D, on the other hand, is too short to really notice it. The Miroirs Magiques mirror cabinet and the crooked house Toi aussi deviens un Géant complete the offer.

Dino Splash

Right next door is the elaborately designed log flume Dino Splash by the manufacturer Interlink. Even the queue of the ride is surprisingly appealing and gives hope for an exciting ride.

The ride begins quite quickly with the ascent of the first lift hill. At the top we roll through a narrow left turn, before the first shot is already waiting. Over a striking double drop we descend at high speed and with shallow airtime. Well soaked we race through the run-out section before we are braked a little in the following right turn. Over a straight with some white water and a waterfall on the left hand side we are now heading for the second lift. This takes us up to 11m, whereupon a right turn follows. Shortly after that we descend the second shot with its significant dinosaur back wheel. Here we will get a proper shower, whereupon we spend the rest of the ride completely soaked. After a longer straight line past the front we reach the station of the ride and get out of this really great log flume happy and satisfied.

Safari Trip

While wood for the Wood Express roller coaster was stored in the Teen’s Party hall, park guests romped around on bumper cars, a carpet slide and the Music Express Safari Trip. The latter offers a really nice ride due to its forward and backward ride. What’s unpleasant, however, is that the carpet slide seems to be free of fools; here the park audience showed its most unpleasant side. In general, I noticed this rather negatively during the whole day, as especially a Moroccan family and birthday group really misbehaved and had to be constantly rejected by the park staff – who really acted exemplary.

In general, the staff at Parc Saint Paul is very friendly. For example, when I got stuck in the lift of the roller coaster Formule 1, as the ride unexpectedly had an emergency stop, they informed me about every step until the ride was running again. Even after the ride they apologised for the inconvenience and brought me my rucksack, because in this case I had to leave the car in the actual exit area and not in the station.

Formule 1

The ride on the somewhat different Wild Mouse Formule 1 from the manufacturer Pax begins with a very, very steep ascent, which is immediately followed by a pronounced pre-drop. Quite quickly we race through a hollow before we start the big shot ride. Over a narrow hilltop we shoot towards the ground and are lifted unexpectedly out of our seats. Over an extremely airy double-up we are then lifted up again. Following a narrow curve, the first block brake is already waiting for us.

Now the hairpin bends follow. These, however, also have a very special feature to offer. The entrance to these is always inclined outwards, while the exit is inclined inwards. A pretty wacky affair. After a total of five bends this section is over again and we enter (still inclined outwards) a U-turn. This is followed by several ups and downs, which once again lift you out of your seat. After another block area the ride becomes a bit more leisurely and so we drive across the ride with several right/left swivels. After a longer right bend, the ramp then joins the braking section. After passing through the exit area, you will reach the station shortly after and can get off the car.

The ride built by Pax was the reason for me to go to Parc Saint Paul some time ago. As there are rumours that the ride will be closed soon, a visit was unavoidable. I didn’t care if the wooden coaster Wood Express would open sometime during the season. Pax comes first. As expected the ride on Formule 1 is brute, bizarre and superb. The airtime on the ride is unparalleled and the mouse curves are simply brilliant. A really beautiful and interesting ride.

Pictures Parc Saint Paul

Conclusion Parc Saint Paul

Parc Saint Paul is a very strange amusement park. It seems conceptless and gossipy. On the other hand, however, it offers many interesting rides that are not often found in this abundance. Only the rides built by Pax are worth a visit. But I doubt whether I want to go back to the park so quickly. As the only park of my trip, the park could not really convince me. This was mainly due to its rather antisocial audience.

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Le King et la Foire du Trône


Originally it was not planned to visit the Foire du Trône on a Thursday. However, as the French train company SNCF was supposed to go on strike the next day and it was therefore unclear whether and how often the Paris regional train RER would run to and from Torcy, I simply moved the planned visit to the French capital one day forward. Since it should remain dry until the evening, my first destination on this day was the Bois de Vincennes and with it a visit to the Foire du Trône.

Foire du Trône

The funfair officially opens at 12 o’clock. When I entered the square an hour later, there was naturally not much going on. Here and there there were some groups of visitors, but there was no trace of the showmen. Sometimes you didn’t even find them during the whole day. Good, in the evening it should rain. This might be reason enough for a French showman to stay away from work, but it casts an unnecessary shadow on this big event. Imagine such behaviour at a large funfair in Germany, at some point nobody would ever go there again.

Without being able to leave a great deal of money on the Foire du Trône, I was nevertheless happy to have some rides on rides that I had already had on my to-do list for some time. Only the main reason for the visit – a ride on the infamous Le King roller coaster – was to take longer. The start was made by the Jet Star roller coaster of the showman Montalétang.

Jet Star

This chic little darling from Schwarzkopf spent years in Holly Park, France, before it finally closed its doors in 2014. Prior to that, the Jet Star had stood for 24 years as Cortina Bob under the showman Steindl in Vienna’s Prater, before he ordered the Megablitz from Vekoma. In fact, the ride is the first Jet Star produced in Münsterhausen.

The ride begins with a short right-hand bend, which is immediately followed by the ride’s lift. At a height of 13m, we then pass through a rather wide bend, with the words Jet and Star on our left, briefly interrupted by the Olympic Rings on our right. With momentum we now rush down the first slope and it’ s steep! The bob-like sitting position does its best and thus provides the first moment of surprise of the ride. We whiz through the valley at full speed and immediately throw ourselves into the steep curve close to the ground, which revolutionised the roller coaster world at that time. Just below the lift hill we finish our ride and immediately start a longer ascent. Now on the second level we follow the track before the first gradient, before we say goodbye to the right and enter a Bayernkurve via a small gradient. Over hill and dale we now turn left along the front of the ride. In the following valley there is a short change of direction, whereupon we go through the back of the ride a third time. After a short left bend, we fall to the ground once more, whereupon we ride for a very long time through a right bend close to the ground, which tapers to an upward helix towards the end. This is followed by a short dip and an equally short ascent before the final downward helix awaits us. With momentum we then reach the brakes, which bring us to an unexpectedly gentle stop.

After having already tested two of the later City Jet rides, I was very excited about a ride in an original Jet Star and was very positively surprised. The ride on the meanwhile 50 year old roller coaster is simply a lot of fun due to its racy curves and the straight drop at the beginning of the ride. The ride characteristics are still indisputably great, a real Schwarzkopf roller coaster. It’s just a pity that you can’t find a roller coaster of this series on German fairs since a very long time. I would have liked to ride it much earlier. Accordingly, I would like to thank Mr. Montalétang, who recognised the gap of the Jet Star of showman Lapère at the Foire du Trône, which moved to Babyland-Amiland, and was able to close it seamlessly. A really cool move.

La Pomme and 1001 Pattes

On the way to the Jet Star, the worm of the Big Apple La Pomme of the Pouget Groupe was already smiling his way through the course, while his colleague 1001 Pattes of the showman Perc was still wrapped up in the children’s corner on the other side of the Foire du Trône. Interestingly, one worm stopped running after the other one finally revealed himself to the public in the late afternoon. Strange, but still CC+2; it’s fine with me.

Crazy Mouse

The prototype of the Reverchon spinning coaster shows itself to its potential passengers as new. The roller coaster Crazy Mouse of the showman family Degoussée not only looks good, but also performs well during the ride. As usual from the manufacturer, the second part of the ride resembles a wild merry-go-round, which becomes more and more intense in the hairpin curves. So far, so good. While after the last curve the brakes are already waiting for the passengers, the prototype goes one better: There is a bonus dip! Although this is also the end of the ride, it’s definitely a cool gimmick.

Infernal Toboggan

Another ride that started early was the roller coaster Infernal Toboggan by the showman Lapère/Roopers. This SDC Galaxy, which was built for the Belgian showman Bufkens sometime in the 80s, has been in the hands of the showman family Lapère since 1997. The ride through the compact layout with its tight support structure and seemingly endless helices scores above all through a tunnel that covers the complete second exit including the ascent. A nice ride, even though the coaster itself has seen better times.


In the same series, another SDC classic started up in the afternoon. After having already tested a Centrox of the same manufacturer or at least a Spanish copy at a Spanish funfair, I was now very excited about the ride on a Galactica/Moonraker – because the basic ride sequence of both rides differs from each other only in one important detail. Basically, both rides are a slightly more modern round-up, which is ridden in a sitting position and is equipped with shoulder restraints. The rotation of the gondola can therefore be variably controlled; but in general the ride is quite fast and powerful. The maximum inclination of the boom is similar to that of an Enterprise, so the ride is quite steep. The difference between both carousels is an additional function in the ride. While the nacelle of the Centrox can be moved into the horizontal position via hydraulics, the whole centre boom of the Moonraker can rotate 360°. However, this is done at a moderate speed and not against the direction of rotation of the disc, which is why there is no luffing effect similar to that of a hully gully. A third version of this ride was intended to combine the two functions, but was never built.

Although I was the only passenger during the second trip of the day, the ride on the Moonraker was really successful. The ride and the staging of it speak for themselves. The additional rotation of the boom is a welcome addition to the grandiose, albeit somewhat monotonous, pressure spectacle. It is nice that even today a showman takes the time to keep an 80s classic alive.

Le King

Le King, la montagne russe 100% français, was built by Soquet, like many other fairground coasters in the country. Most of these were looping coasters that eventually found their way abroad. Le King is different. The layout of the roller coaster, built in 1995, is very similar to the Alpina Bahn, but also sets many own accents. The intricate layout with its many steep curves promises an exciting ride, which is also advertised on countless screens. As a roller coaster fan you are of course aware of the ride’s style. It is not without reason that it is considered one of the most terrible Adrealin rides in the country, after all the shoulder bar contact is supposed to be guaranteed as high as the share of French components. And yet the train is extremely comfortable. You sit very freely. The shoulder restraint gives you a lot of leeway to the right and left; contact with it seems to be rather distant. But then the journey begins.

After a short S-bend along the sidetrack we are constantly pushed up a ramp towards the lift hill at the back of the ride. This brings us up to the starting height of 26m. After a short pre-drop we fall down a steep curve without great expectations. This is a very decent ride, but the further we go towards the valley, the more the train is inclined. In fact, we can see the approaching disaster mercilessly coming up. The moment the train starts the next ascent, we get wiped out. The following ascent with an integrated change of direction, on the other hand, is again going quite well. Arriving on the next hilltop, we have a short moment to somehow cling to the stirrup, because the next steep curve is already waiting for us. Once again we drive through the following valley with a much too high cross slope, whereupon the contact with the stirrup is established. Over a longer ramp we reach the first block brake of the ride.

Past the King logo we are pulled down once more in a curve. Here one of the worst parts of the layout awaits us. After a proper clamp, it goes up again rapidly. Following a short dip we rush down another curve against our will. Fortunately, the slope in the valleys is now a little less steep, but a series of wild curve manoeuvres awaits us now. Over several hills with integrated turns we now ride criss-cross through the ride before we dive into a tunnel. Through several containers we now go at full speed over smaller ascents, as well as a left/right turn, before we come back to daylight. After another right turn we reach the braking section of the ride and soon the station.

Le King is actually a very passable and funny roller coaster, if it weren’t for these terrible valleys. Without the constant contact with the shoulder restraints, the roller coaster would be extremely entertaining. The ride itself is quite smooth and the layout with its many curves, funny dips and the extremely fast tunnel finale is a bit strange, but not bad at all. Basically, it’s what you would expect from an oversized Soquet roller coaster. The strokes on the other hand don’t really fit to it and make you forget about any repetitive rides. Quel dommage.

Pictures Foire du Trône

Conclusion Foire du Trône

That’s it from the Foire du Trône. As mentioned at the beginning I could not ride very much on this visit. At some point I didn’t see any reason to want to ride anything anymore, although at that time the Mondial Power Maxx swings up, as well as the HUSS Pirate directly on the main row. Shortly after one of the two tagadas opened its daily business, I left the Foire du Trône.

In general, I found the Parisian funfair to be very unorganised. There is no round trip, in many places there are several rows parallel to each other. I would recommend a visit only in the late evening or at the weekend, otherwise you will find yourself in front of closed rides. Why the rides start around noon was not clear to me.

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