Asterix, Obelix and all their friends invite you to their village located in Plailly, north of Paris. Parc Astérix, whose theme is inspired by the comic strip created by Uderzo and Goscinny, is one of the most popular theme parks in France. Opened in 1989, Parc Astérix offers attractions for all thrill-seekers, as well as shows for the whole family. In 2019 and 2020, Parc Astérix is the second French theme park in terms of attendance, behind Disneyland Paris . In this article, we will discuss the history of Parc Astérix, its most emblematic attractions and we will give you some advice on how to organize your stay in this park dedicated to the famous comic strip.
The history of Parc Astérix
It was in 1981, after visiting the Disneyland park in California, that Albert Uderzo imagined the establishment of an amusement park in France, on the theme of his famous Gallic character. In 1985, Parc Astérix SA was founded, headed by investors such as the Havas, Barclays and Accord groups. Initially, Parc Astérix was to be located in the town of Melun-Sénart, but it was ultimately the town of Plailly, located 30 kilometers north of Paris, which was selected and construction work on the park began in summer of 1987. 155 hectares are dedicated to the establishment of the park which, geographically, is found 10 kilometers from Charles-de-Gaulle airport. An interchange is created to link Parc Astérix to the A1 motorway and a shuttle service linking up with line 7 of the Paris metro is set up. Parc Astérix is designed to accommodate 15,000 people a day and no less than 2 million visitors are expected for its opening year in 1989, as at Europa Park. At the time, Parc Astérix was made up of 5 themed areas:
- The Via Antiqua
- The village of Asterix
- The street of Paris
- dolphin lake
- The Roman city.
The opening of the Greek zone in 1994 confirms the success of Parc Astérix. In 1995, the new attraction “le menhir express” increased park attendance by 15%. With such results, the American press highlights the resistance of Parc Astérix, against its competitor Disneyland Paris, which is posting heavy financial losses. In 1996, Parc Astérix welcomed 1.7 million visitors and in 1997, the famous “thunder of Zeus” attraction attracted 1.9 million visitors. Parc Astérix SA, a victim of its own success, was listed on the stock market the same year.
The 8 universes of Parc Astérix
Parc Astérix revolves around 8 universes, more and less related to the comic strip of the famous Gaul. These universes mix different characters from comics and ancient mythology.
- Via Antiqua : located in the heart of Parc Astérix, Via Antiqua brings together the shops and restaurants of the site and its decoration echoes the countries traveled through in the adventures of Asterix, such as Gaul, Belgium, Germany, Rome or even Europe. Egypt. The Via Antiqua is also strongly reminiscent of the famous Main Street of Disneyland Paris .
- The Roman Empire : formerly called “Roman city”, this area is entirely decorated on the theme of the Roman Empire and offers 5 attractions and a show.
- Ancient Greece : Initially, Ancient Greece was a short journey before becoming a full-fledged universe on the theme of Greek mythology. 7 attractions are installed in this area.
- The Vikings : this universe surrounds the large lake of Parc Astérix, formerly called “the lake of the dolphins”. Vikings host 6 attractions.
- Through time : formerly known as “rue de Paris”; this universe retraces the life of the Middle Ages and its knights. There are also craftsmen at work, such as a stone sculptor, a blacksmith, a potter or a master glassmaker. This universe hosts 5 attractions and 2 shows.
- Gaul : this universe also called “welcome to the Gauls” is home to the 16 huts of the village of Asterix. In this space, it is common to find the characters of the famous comic strip who lend themselves to the games of selfies and souvenir photos. Gaul also hosts 12 attractions and 2 shows.
- The forest of Idefix : formerly called “forest of the druids”, the forest of Idefix hosts 5 attractions specially dedicated to children.
- Egypt : this universe which extends over 2.5 hectares is devoted to ancient Egypt and hosts 2 attractions, including Oziris, the park’s most expensive attraction in terms of investment.
The best attractions of Parc Astérix
Parc Astérix has 42 attractions, 7 of which consist of roller coasters and 6 of water attractions. The thrill rides are:
- Oziris : this inverted roller coaster transports you, feet in the void, 40 meters high, at a speed of 90 kilometers per hour. Loopings and twists follow one another in the heart of the park for maximum sensations!
- The galley : embark on an adventure aboard a boat that rocks as if you were in the heart of a storm at sea. Sensitive souls refrain !
- The flying chairs : installed on chairs, this attraction makes you turn and fly 10 meters high.
- La trace du Hourra : Bobsleigh enthusiast, the trace du Hourra is a family attraction that simulates sliding at 60 kilometers per hour. It is one of the highest bobsleighs in the world and the fastest in Europe.
- Le Goudurix : this attraction is a big 8 made up of 7 loops that propel you at 90 kilometers per hour, up to 36 meters high. Le Goudurix offers the best view of Parc Astérix.
- Tonnerre 2 Zeus : a wooden roller coaster on a 1.2 kilometer course. This new version of the “Tonnerre de Zeus” now offers a 90° inclined bump, 2 high-speed turns, 2 new bumps causing passengers to take off from their seats, a tunnel with special effects and, for the bravest, the possibility of do the attraction “upside down” by getting into the last inverted wagons. Extreme sensations guaranteed!
The best attractions at Parc Astérix for the whole family are:
- SOS Numérobis : this family attraction in the form of a small roller coaster with wooden carts simulates a delivery train in ancient Egypt.
- Menhir Express : board a giant menhir for a refreshing 5-minute journey with 2 dizzying descents. It is the ideal attraction during the strong summer heat.
- The big splash : an aquatic circuit of more than 600 meters on the heights of the rock of Asterix. With a splashy finish.
- Pégase Express : this attraction accessible to the whole family is the most breathtaking roller coaster in Parc Astérix and unique in Europe with its reverse gear.
- The flight of Icarus : this attraction simulates the flight of a bird aboard a small roller coaster. Accessible to children over 1 meter accompanied.
- Discobelix : this attraction simulates a discus throw at the Olympic Games. Installed on board a cupola rotating on itself, the platform also slides on a rail going from top to bottom.
A few tips for organizing your stay at Parc Astérix
To fully enjoy your trip to the land of the Gauls, we advise you to stay in one of the 3 hotels accessible from the park. Hotel car parks are free and the stay allows access to the park 30 minutes before it opens. Book your stay and benefit from an attractive rate on the price of your ticket with a hotel + park stay offer.
- Hôtel les Quais de Lutèce : this 4-star hotel has 150 air-conditioned rooms in the heart of the Gallic forest.
- Hôtel les trois hiboux : this 3-star family hotel is located in the middle of nature and has 150 rooms with terraces and balconies.
- Hôtel la Cité Suspendue : in the heart of the forest, this 3-star hotel is made up of small hamlets mounted on stilts and has 150 rooms with terraces and balconies.
Parc Astérix closes its doors every winter, except for the Christmas holidays, and starts its new season in the spring. This year, the park will open its doors on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Opening hours, prices, season pass, reservations… are available on the Parc Astérix website www.parcasterix.fr