Sorry this trip report might be a week late, so here's a nice big photo update for y'all!
Having never been to a Disney park before, I really wasn't sure what to expect when I got there. Sure I'd seen all the adverts and promotional material, but it's gotta be seen to be believed.
Mark & I left London Waterloo Internation Rail Station at 09.39hrs, on the Eurostar bound for Marne-La Vallee (Disneyland Paris). The train journey was very fast - no delays, and in less than 3 hours going at speeds that would make Kingda Ka blush (nearly 190mph for long periods!), we had made it to Marne-La Vallee.
The station is literally on the doorstep of the resort. We handed our bags over to Disney Express (they took our luggage to the hotel we were staying in) and in less than 5 minutes after leacing the train, we were inside Walt Disney Studios. In ten minutes we met up with Chaz, Kaz, Katie & Aidan, and we were just in time to watch the Disney Cinema Parade (I think it was called that).
Straight after it finished, we went to Rock N Rollerocaster, and only queued for 10 mins before boarding the superstretch limo! The pre-show was awful - I know I've not seen the one in Florida, but even I could tell that this was awful. Probably simplified for all the French visitors who come to the park - Aerosmith were still speaking English of course.
The ride was really good fun. The launch did die out halfway down the runway, but the stage effects and neon lights were all working very well - and even for a Vekoma ride, it was pretty damn smooth! Katie didn't like the idea of the launch - it was very loud combined wiht all the sound effects, so she stayed away for today.
The Motor Stunt Show was unbelievable. I just wish I'd caught some more of it with my camera. The fire effects and the technical skills required to drive those supercars boggle the mind. My only qualm was that it took a while to set up each series of stunts. But with perfectionists like these guys, you can't afford not get everything perfectly positioned every time.
The Armageddon Special FX ride was very unsuspecting. I wasn't prepared for the smoke effects coming from everywhere, and the fire just inches from my face was a real adrenaline rush. Liek the stunt show, it did take a while for everything to run its course, but it was worth the wait. After a few rides, it became a bit predictable - so I wouldn't recommend queuing for a long time if you've already done this ride.
We then over over to the main park, for a bit of Space Mountainage before the day was out. We also were bent on getting It's A Small World out the way. However, fate intervened. After two goes on Mission 2, my cellphone went AWOL. Naturally I wasn't best pleased, and spent the next hour barring and reporting it. A bad way to end a positive day. But as for the ride, it looked fantastic. First ride was in the front seat. Quite smooth for a ten-year old Vekoma. I couldn't say the same about anywhere else on the train - it wasn't smooth in the slightest! The launch gave a surprising kick because you're fighting gravity more when you launch uphill. The projections were a little cheesy, but looked stunning. The last section of the ride is very favourite. After the mid course lift hill (This really threw me as I didn't even know the ride had one, I thought that I was weightless for a few seconds) the train dives thru a cutback and into a neon red tunnel. See the pictures below to see what I mean.
So despite one lost phone, I had a good time on my first day. After the park closed, Mark & I picked up our bags from the baggagerie and went our room. The rest of the night was spent in the hotel bar listening to an Eagles cover band with a drum machine! 8)
First impressions are:
1) The cultural power of Disney is almost impossible to resist.
2) Mrs Incredible's pole dancing skills ain't bad! Disney certainly pushed the limits with this one! (See photos).
3) Don't drop your phone on Space Mountain. It ain't coming back...
Day Two & Three to Follow soon...
The first thing you see when you emerge from the station!
Lights, Camera, Action! We're in the studios!
Little did Mr. Incredible know, his partner was having a go at adult entertainment.
Told ya. But those kids on the other side surely aren't old enough!
Tinkerbell's latest trick was waving her wand and conjuring jumbo jets out of nowhere.
'Ear 'ear, what's goin' on 'ear?
The Stunt Show. Vauxhalls never looked so good!
Yes, the red car is jumping in reverse. Sort of...
Sorry Mark. Maybe next year...
Left to right - Mark, Chaz, Aidan (in buggy), Kaz, Katie, Brush with arms, Me.
On Saturday May 28, the 6 of us headed out from Disneyland to Parc Asterix, getting the Airport Express from our hotel to Charles De Gaulle, and then getting the bus to Parc Asterix from the Airport.
We got to the park at about 11ish, and it was already packed. Asterix is huge in France, and the queues on the rides were looking fearsome. The hot weather meant that all the water rides had big queues, so we were pretty pushed for what we were gonna do in the limited time.
First ride of the day was Trace D'Hourra. It's a bobsled Jim, but not as we know it! The ride's story is that of a caveman, who discovers the noble art of walking. He runs down a hill shouting "Hurrah!" - and the bobs follow his course between the boulders. This is easily the best bobsled ride I've ever been on - a crazy thru-put, a wild first drop and a great theme make this coaster a real winner. The lift hill is so long, they put a second train on at the bottom before the first one has reached the summit!
Then we did Periferix, a little kiddy coaster with a vicious first and last drop! Navigating our way around the park anticlockwise, we came up to L'Oxygenarium - a giant water slide with 6 seater circular rafts! I think it's made by the same people who built Diablo Falls & Blizzard River at Astroworld & Six Flags America respectively. Incredibly the queue was really short, so we made our move. We crested the hill, and then started spinning at what I would dsecribe as "fairground Waltzer speed" all the way down the huge slide - the force was enough to pin us back into our seats!
After that crazy ride, we got lunch and headed across the park to one of the newer attractions, Transdemonium - a ghost train which left everyone a little confused. That said, some of the imagery was really good - the ghosts on the carousel were quite haunting!
We then made out minds up to go on Goudurix. It was right next to Transdemonium so it was the logical next step. Now this ride looks really good, and has a couple of insane inversions. I really wanted it to be great! But we are talking about a 16 year old Vekoma looper. So the story was:
Lift hill, drop, butterfly (AARRGGHH!!!) batwing (EEEOWWW!!!) loop (OH MY GOD!!!) and a double corkscrew (AMBULANCE!!! HELP!!!). We got into the train station very concussed!
After the Vekoma treatment, we headed over to Tonnere De Zeus, but calling in on Vol D'Icare (Tivoli) and a magic carpet ride on the way. The Tivoli coaster was good fun. Lots of helixes and twists to keep us happy. The magic carpet was a different story. I was expecting a ride pretty much like Quantum at Thorpe Park - floater airtime, and some decent Gs. What we got was ejector airtime and ridiculous Gs! This is how magic carpets should be run everywhere!
The queue for Zeus had been over an hour all day, so we decided we had to ride before we got our bus back. We got in the queue - which took 75 mins to get round from the back to the front. It seems like the French don't really believe in queuing and we saw one kid ejected for jumping in line by a huge security guard.
As we were going around, we could help but notice a couple of things. One - the amount of poeple queuing. This ride had the biggest line in the park, topping 90 mins at some points. And for a wooden coaster, this is a great achievement in the face of the steel giants. Two - whenever a train pulled into the brakerun, the ride nearly shook itself to pieces! The whole brake zone was moving a good 6-8 inches! Coasters always need some give in their structure so they don't snap, and this shake rattle & roll only added to the excitement!
Normally I'm very stubborn about queuing for long periods of time. But for Zeus, I didn't care. Every step down the line was one step closer, and after 75 mins, we finally boarded in the second to last carriage. Everyone was cheering and shouting as the train pulled out of the station. Apparently the lift hill is only 98ft tall, but it felt a lot lot bigger! As the train rounded the turn at top of the hill, the drop became very very steep.
We were whipped down the mighty first drop into a tiny tunnel - if we weren't strapped in, we'd probably be halfway to Paris by this time! The ride just became a blur of non-stop speed, turns, and general mayhem! Zeus must have been a really bad mood to create a coaster this forceful! When we hit the brakerun the whole train erupted in a roud of applause for what must surely be one of the best woodies in Europe. Here's to CCI - gone but not forgotten!
By the time we had got off, it was time to go home. We had missed only 1 credit which we couldn't find anyway, so that'll be something to look for next time I visit. And there's all those lovely water rides to do still! And a pirate boat. And a Dolphin show. In fact, there's still a lot to do when I go back!
General Impressions of Parc Asterix were:
1)Theming is very detailed. Beats Disney hands in a lot of places.
2)Queuing is a little anarchic at times. Especially in station areas. There's no one to count how many people are piling into the loading zones.
3)Zeus - great coaster, bad location. The park need to build a walkway directly across from Goudurix, as the whole area is a bottleneck and needs a relief route.
4)Don't visit this place on a Saturday. It's a NIGHTMARE!
That's not a blurry photo. That's heat haze!
This is only half of the queue line.
Hurrah! This is more like it!
It's a long way down...
Now that's what I call fast loading.
Check the guy in the third car. Trace Du Hourra is so fast, his t-shirt melted to him.
Boarding the Oxygenarium.
It's a neurosurgeon's dream!
On closer inspection, that just doesn't look right.
Brace!! Brace!! Now!!
Last inversion. You could hear the sigh of relief!
So near, yet so far...
Finally in line! Here's Zeus's awesome house.
And here's a shot taken from his laundry basket.
Vin Diesel enjoyed ihs fron row ride!
Zeus calls in the thunder. We said our goodbyes and ran for it!
Nice TR, Looks like you really had a nice time. minus the lost phone :?. you showed some really great photos.
Don't visit this place on a Saturday. It's a NIGHTMARE!
I visted on a saturday (last month) and it was'nt bad apart from Zeus which was 30mins whille everything else was walk on like Goudurix (wish it was the other way round)
The magic carpet was a different story. I was expecting a ride pretty much like Quantum at Thorpe Park - floater airtime, and some decent Gs. What we got was ejector airtime and ridiculous Gs! This is how magic carpets should be run everywhere!
That carpet runs on acid i'm sure. Was all other the place when I rode that due to high lap bar shame it was short, I'm sure chessie's one was'nt like that back in the day's :shock:
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