France 06/18 – Walygator Parc
Had these parks on the cards for what feels like forever now, but never quite got round to it. They were always toeing the line between too much of an effort to drive and not worth the hassle to fly.
Even after making the effort and getting up at 4am (nutters), life was against us as 90% of the roads on the way to the Chunnel were closed. Made it there 1 minute later than ‘check-in’ but were lucky enough to keep the time slot.
Many hours later…
Day 1 – Walygator Parc
Car park was surprisingly empty, though I do believe it never gets that busy here. Figured it should be an easy job and headed for food first rather than creds. Queued more for the food than any of the rides and then it took about 20 minutes to get a signal on the payment card reader. The staff were friendly, so no harm done. Croissants for breakfast. Baguette for lunch. Doing them proud.
Rides then. Started strong on the faithful family ride. Classic wacky worm but with bonus Walygator face on the train and a rotting apple to decorate. Effort.
Less effort went into the big boy it seems. Temperatures in the high 30s (°C) and no roof on the station wasn’t the best of combinations, but there was never more than a trains worth of queue.
This was my first of the ‘big’ B&M inverts and you can definitely feel the difference in the way it’s all spaced out. Rather than the consistent flurry of forces there’s pauses, strange transitions, extended straights while the train sorts itself out for the next element. Which was weird, but I kinda liked it. Adds a bit of character.
The elements themselves were great. A forceful loop, air-time out of the zero-G, hugely snappy (but never ear-punchy) cobra and corkscrews, and a killer helix to finish (which hilariously makes every single person in the train shout ‘AHHH’ in unison). I imagine the lack of mid course braking helps that second half of the layout a lot. Great stuff.
Bog standard Vekoma looper was bog standard. The layout that inspired so many Chinese classics.
Which leaves L’Anaconda. Expected one of two things going into this, it was either going to be be horribly rough or horribly boring. Managed to not quite achieve either.
The layout is almost pointless, but the train bounced along in a mostly rhythmic and amusing fashion. On the more pronounced moments I could feel just my heart bouncing up and down, but I’ve felt worse sensations on rides. The locals love it, for reasons unknown, and it got a round of applause on return. Normally that’s saved for something particularly special, but who am I to judge?
I lied about the food queue being the longest. The water rides were hugely popular given the weather, but the queues were a good excuse for a bit of shade.
The dinosaur themed rapids is a weird one. Only ride I’ve seen other than Valhalla that has 2 different types of boat in active service. Layout was decent fun and the typical waterfall section was probably the most wet in recent memory with the boat actually ploughing straight into it, rather than teasing along side it as per the usual design.
The Jurassic Park theme was playing here in full force, but there weren’t that many dinosaurs. It’s only Walygator, we’ll let em off.
Speaking of Valhalla.
The log flume was somewhat shorted than expected, comprising of a single drop.
Managed to last until the end of the day (without even noticing the time fly by) by spacing out the intense laps on Monster and I didn’t mind the park as a whole, as it has a certain crummy charm about it. They were announcing the live progress of the French team in their world cup game while guests were on the rides, to the sounds of cheers or groans, so they know how to crowd please.
Spotted this on the way out, which I thought was a very nice touch. They’ve got a bit of a museum building with some park history.
A B&M wheel, not for sale.
I remember him.
Walibi Schtroumpf. Gotta be the best Walibi park name.
Monster was relocated from Japan. No mean feat for a ride of that size.
Many people were gathering outside the park and sweating profusely in preparation for a semi-marathon.
The car at this point, perhaps falsely, reported the outside temperature at 50°C as we got back in for another couple of hours drive to the hotel.
Who were the real nutters here?