Day Nineteen: Parc Asterix and more Disneyland Paris!
OMG! Tonnerre De Zeus is BACK!!!!
Wow, I couldn't believe it! A woodie that was firmly in my top 5 (or at least in my 'A' category) from '97 - '00 fell SHARPLY in 2002 when it was performing terrible. It was rough, sluggish, and overall just a huge let down.
I'm happy to report that today Tonnerre De Zeus was BACK to it's old self!
In fact, after riding it, it easily plants itself into the top of my "A" list along side other woodies such as Balder, Pheonix, Colossos, and Raven. It was THAT good! Crazy airtime all over the place, insane laterals, it was running FAST like a bat out of hell. I'm not sure what was wrong with this coaster in 2002, but I'm happy to see that it's back in top form now! It might not be quite as smooth as when it first opened in 1997, but it certainly is NOT what I would consider 'rough' or 'sluggish' like it was in '02.
As for the rest of Asterix, well, the place totally rocked today! The day started off with a little bit of rain, but cleared up by mid-morning. It seemed like it kept the locals away, because there wasn't a queue more than 10 minutes long for any ride all day!
That meant as many rides as possible on the awesome running TdZ. It also just confirmed my thoughts one more time on what a completely stupid time of year the ACE ECO trip was planned. I mean, let me just go on a rant here for a second....
On the ACE ECO trip in 2002, just about every park visited we were met with HUGE crowds, school group outings, hour long queues for most rides, etc, etc.... We were lost on many occasions for hours at a time, missed out on ERT, and even lost out on some ERT due to ACErs who were too big to fit on coasters trying over...and over...and over again! If you can't fit, DON'T RIDE, and stop wasting our time!!!
After that trip we thought for sure "Wow, if this is an organized group who have hired a professional company and there were so many things that went wrong on that trip, how the hell can we ever do things on our own?"
Well, what we realized is that it was a lot easier than we ever could have imagined! And oddly enough, not many people on that trip saw the mess we did. I guess our standards must be set a bit higher. Gee, so we want to go to parks when they aren't crowded, and we don't like to get lost on the way to parks. Why is that such a big deal?
Had someone actually done a little research like we did, they would have found that the middle to end of July is *NOT* a good time to go to Europe theme parks!!!
On our trip, none of the parks we have visited have been crowded, we never got lost, not once, we have not missed out on any coasters, and we have actually gotten MORE rides in during this trip than we did during ANY ERT session during the ECO trip.
The moral of the story....let Robb & Elissa plan your coaster trips!!!
Ok, rant over....back to Asterix.
The park was great. No crowds, TdZ was amazing, the bobsled was fun as always, the log flume was nice and wet, Elissa got her kiddie coaster credit that was closed during the 2002 trip, and we got in more riding in the 5 hours we were there this year than we did during the ECO trip being there almost all day with an hours worth of ERT. Go figure!
Asterix has always been a favorite of mine as the park is VERY clean, well kept up, and nicely themed. I've visited the park about 10 times since 1997, and I'm glad this visit can wipe out of my mind the bad visit I had in 2002.
After Asterix we headed back to Disneyland Paris for the last few hours of our night. We spent most of the time just taking photos and shopping, but we did grab a couple more rides on Rock N Roller Coaster and Space Mountain: Mission 2.
We went back to the hotel, packed up most everything, and then went to what is the last dinner for the group together. That's right, this is the end of the trip.
However, this is not the last Photo TR as we'll do one more when we get back home with a little 're-cap.'
It's been an amazing trip so far, and now after having done Japan in October and covering most of Europe this trip, with both trips being flawless, maybe it's time we take the next step and start doing group trips. I think we've got a good shot and being able to do them right! We'll see.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who has read these reports for the past three weeks. This has seriously been some of the best times of my life, and I'm really happy I've been able to share it with everyone and see the great response on the boards. It's really made the trip for me being able to share it with all of you! And it's been so great being able to meet all these people for the first time! That made the trip really special. So.....
Onto today's photos!