France 07/19 – Walibi Rhône-Alpes

Day 2 – Walibi Rhône-Alpes

Another scorcher of a day found us caught up with hilarious car park antics in which 50% of the locals would outright ignore the staff directing them into parking spaces and do their own thing, mess it up because it was a tight squeeze, then speed off in disgust only to instantly get stuck behind pedestrians heading towards the entrance.

With that fun out of the way we headed in to the great 40th birthday present that this park decided to give themselves.

#1 Mystic

Mystic is a very pretty ride to be around.

I like the detail of the little cemetery entrance to the area (complete with mist) and the station looks amazing.

Inside is cool as well. The return of the themed bookcase baggage holders. Front of the trains with their voodoo dolls are also a joy to behold.

First impressions in the front of the train were really good. The twisted, almost-vertical drop kicks ass and you’re thrown into a weirdly shaped top hat reminiscent of Lost Gravity.

Only some zero-Gs in the world are beautifully executed. This is one of them.

Then you dive loop past the turntable and station into a weird airtimey banked corner (which is even better backwards).

And up into this ridiculous thing. Perfectly on my limit of upside down-ness to be in hysterics and clapping rather than holding my head and shouting. Love it.

Backwards from there is really cool but a little too short and ends on my only real gripe with the ride in that it brakes a little too harshly on the backwards pass of the turntable. Seems like it would have been easy for it to shuttle back into the dive loop a bit more for that last little kick, but it falls short of that and then you’re done.

Proper good stuff though. Gerstlauer are definitely on the up with these things.

The park was beginning to fill a bit and we only (if we were being sensible) had half a day to avoid another chunnel mishap so it was time to mop up the creds.

#2 Coccinelle

Coccinelle lives on here after Walibi Belgium spited their own. Such a good name for the English to say.

Bypassed the Boomerang queue as it looked deeply unpleasant.

#3 Timber

Straight to the other main event then. First thing I notice upon entering the queue is that the audio shouts TIIIIIIIMBERRRRR! as the train takes the drop. Nice.

Baby Gravity Groups always pack a punch and this one is no exception. Every one of its hills was properly chucking me out of the seat in a joyous fashion and it was nice to see the variety of some little twisty banked ones as well in such a tiny layout.

Problem is that it feels short. Really short. It enters the return run section of the layout and you start to really get into it thinking ‘oh yes, here we go.’ Then it trims in a double down and ends abruptly. Hilariously abruptly. We just burst out laughing at the unexpectedness.

For me, both Twister and Wood Express had that feeling of the ride going on really long for how tiny the drop is, and you admire them for it. Somehow they didn’t manage that here. But the sensations it does give are amazing and potentially the strongest of the three.

Woodstock Express was a sufferance being the longest queue of the day. Turns out I’ve never done one of these Zamperla versions of the standard wild mouse before so that was the slightest of upsides.

#4 Woodstock Express

It’s just a poorly built copy of the standard layout really. The shaping is off in a lot of places and what happened to the usual big airtime at the end here?

The Boomerang queue was now slightly less unpleasant but still very slow and filled with sunburn. They’ve got the weird metal lap bars on this one, but apparently it isn’t done by the same people as the one at Wiener Prater (the one I kinda like).
Instead these are virtually impossible to climb into. I spent the first 15 seconds trying to manouevre my foot in between/over/round the bars while my friend was about to be trapped in the airgate. Makes getting into Colossus look easy.

#5 Eqwalizer

After somehow contorting into the contraption, away we went. It takes more tactical bracing this way – tightly gripping the handles in front to stop yourself falling stomach first into metal and to stop the handles themselves destroying your legs. If you can put up with all that it’s a slightly better Boomerang experience, but it still isn’t really enjoyable. Apparently it was meant to have raving soundtrack like Speed of Sound as well, but it didn’t at this time.

With not long left in our day we thought we had to be a bit tactical with rerides, starting with another go on Timber in the back which was even better. Luckily the queue boards were wildly overestimating and both major attractions had actually quietened since earlier. Either people finish with this place very quickly or it had just got too hot and they had given up/gone to the water park.

So we ended on with several almost walk-on goes with Mystic, which also felt even better in the back. Then on the last lap I got stung in the lip by something while travelling at around50Mph. Worth it.

Sadly it was then time to leave this great little park, which seems really up and coming with their lineup now containing a very solid one-two punch. Could have stayed on them all day, but unfortunately it’s just too remote a location to allow for that with the time we had. Walibi as a chain do seem to know what they’re doing these days.

A grim 7 hour drive followed and then for the first time we actually got put onto an earlier chunnel instead of getting stuck in Burger King for 4 hours. Amazing.
I might just slither again before the year is out.

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