Europe 08/21 – La Récré des 3 Curés, Kingoland + Luna Park La Palmyre
The initial plan for Ange Michel redemption was to add it onto today’s already stacked line up, this meant today we’d have to get extra fruity.
La Récré des 3 Curés
Which was why we were knocking on the door of Récré 3 at opening.
La Récré des 3 Curés is yet another small family park that I’d never heard of. This time I felt extra stupid though because it turns out that the park opened a brand new custom Gerstlaurer Eurofighter last year and I managed to completely miss it.
It’s name is Vertika and after a brisk scenic walk to the back of the park we were now standing in the shadows of the beast waiting for it to open.
At exactly 11 a friendly member of staff opened the queue and it was time for the first “major” coaster of the trip. So how was it?
It was great! You’ll never find me getting too excited for a Eurofighter but this is certainly one of the best that I’ve ridden. It’s smooth, forceful, snappy and has some good airtime moments.
4 rides back to back, with every intention of riding again if we weren’t in a rush is probably the strongest compliment that I can give Vertika.
Can I just say before we move on, olive green supports and bright red track shouldn’t work, but it really does.
Whilst clearly not up to the standards of 1066, Grand Huit still offered a fun time, this time devoid of the Soquet shuffle but only because I was sharing a deep seat with Heartline.
With that our time at La Récré des 3 Curés had come to an end and although it was brief it was certainly enjoyable. The park looks nice, the staff are friendly and Vertika is great, what’s not to like?
2 hours from Récré 3 was the next park of the day, Kingoland, a small park that was, at least in the case of today, hot as hell.
Avoiding sunburn as best we could, we first ventured over to Apollo Steamrocket, the World’s most heavily themed Zyklon Galaxi.
The queueline had multiple intensely themed walkthrough sections and the ride station was also heavily themed.
I still don’t know what to think of it honestly. Yeah it’s great that the park have gone to the effort of making the coaster look nice but also it really feels like time and money wasted going to this extreme on such a underwelming throw away coaster.
It became apparent once we reached the very much unthemed final 40 minutes of the Apollo Steamrocket queue that Ange Michel would not be possible today and I began looking for possible alternatives almost immediately.
With that unpleasantness out of the way we knew we needed to cheer ourselves up with some more Soquet goodness, so we headed over to Speed Chenille.
Speed Chenille swaps the Soquet standard deep seats with padded benches with no restaints and then sends you flying around swooping bends and an airtime hill multiple times at speeds which feel too fast for the set up, it was pretty great.
Next we headed to Kingoland’s only dark ride, Old West Shooting, it was nothing special but it did get us out of direct sunlight for a couple of minutes.
The final attraction on our must ride list was Gold Rush.
This Pinfari Mini Mega Coaster had only been installed at the park last year and both looked and rode like it was brand new. I was not at all ready for this thing to be butter smooth. Did it make it a decent coaster? Not at all, but I’m not complaining that I came off bruise free.
Thankfully we could now get back to the car, out of the sun and head to our replacement for Ange Michel.
I had found a funfair nearby that officially didn’t open until 8pm but they promised that “some attractions” would be open from 4 which was perfect timing. They had a couple of coasters and I assumed, being their star attractions, that they would be the ones to open at 4, little did I know…
After getting lost several times we finally rocked up at the funfair, which was twinned with a sketchy looking supermarket.
There was absolutely no activity at all visible from outside of the fair, so we ventured in. Inside all we could find of life was a few other groups of people walking past clearly closed attractions and getting annoyed, this may have been a waste of time…
To add insult to injury we next tried to get some snacks from the nearby supermarket. It was in a state of disrepair, had a rather interesting smell to it and worst of all had almost nothing worth buying.
Heartline’s wife comes up to me, “the staff keep staring at me”, “nah surely you’re just being paranoid” I replied, but no it became clear when we got to the cashier that she was right and a whole new saga was about to begin.
The saga of the medical mask, a statement and frame of mind that would end up haunting us for the rest of the trip, we just didn’t know it yet.
“You’re not wearing a mask” the haggard woman said to Heartline’s wife, who was wearing a mask, the very same as Heartline’s infact. The 4 of us entered a hilarious stand off of pure confusion, that only ended when fed up she left the store and the cashier finally continued with our transaction.
Let’s get out of this hellhole…
As we still had time to kill until tonight’s Summer Funfair opened, we went on a rather fitting pilgrimage.
On mine and Heartline’s very first Eurotunnel trip to France, we were flicking through channels in the hotel and landed on Fort Boyard, an insanely entertaining game show that takes place in a real fort off the west coast of France. We were hooked straight away and now try our best to watch the show whenever we can.
Today we had the pleasure of seeing where the magic happens with our own eyes and it was moving, massively helped by the beautiful sunset.
Luna Park La Palmyre
Reignited, we now made our way to Luna Park La Palmyre, our first ever French Summer Funfair and we were excited about what we’d find when we got there.
These kind of ‘parks’ generally start operations at 7pm and then stay open until 2 in the morning, so even with it now being almost 10:30 at night we still had plenty of time to explore.
Upon entering the atmosphere was absolutely electric and I completely forgot that I’d been awake for 14 hours. There were thousands of people, countless attractions, enough lights to rival the sun, pounding music and something happening wherever you looked, this might not be for everyone but I was loving it.
Speaking of loving it.
Jet Star is one of only three operating Schwarzkopf Jet Star 1s in the World, it was my first time experiencing one and I was not at all disappointed. After me and Heartline wedged ourselves into the single car we were taken on one hell of a ride.
Jet Star delivers what Schwarzkopf does best, brutally crushing positives and vicious changes in direction, all while being as smooth as glass. It took my breath away both literally and figuratively, honestly scared me in places and was the perfect start to what would be a great night out.
While Heartline and wife rode the Thriller haunted house I soaked in the atmosphere of the place and was reminded of a time long ago when Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland used to be good.
Next up was Le Dragon, a Wacky Worm, but it’s a dragon. The operator ended up giving us 6 laps I think. I spent all of them trying to see where the final coaster of the park was, in the sea of lighting packages, smoke machines and vicious looking flat rides.
In the end we did find it though.
Even though my mind was perfectly awake, buzzing even, my body was tired from the days events, this perfectly worked in the favour of Wild Mouse, which was a standard spinning mouse affair. When you’re tired and it’s dark suddenly spinning around on these things becomes 10 times more intense.
I forgot to take a photo of this one, so you’ll have to picture it yourself. You can decide if it was a Reverchon, Zamperla or an exciting exotic brand, I honestly cannot remember, it was fun though.
Mega King Tower
Despite it now being almost 11:30 and us having a 2 hour drive to tonight’s hotel, we just couldn’t turn down a ride on Mega King Tower, the massive drop tower ride that was our beacon for finding the park earlier.
My research leads me to believe it is manufactured by Funtime, one of my favourite drop tower manufacturers, and stands over 260 feet tall. All I can tell you for sure though is that it scared me to death on both the cycles we got on it and that the drop itself is fantastic.
Heartline had read on the Dark Ride Database that a ride named Le Splash at one of the Summer Funfairs had a so called dark ride section and he really wanted to verify this for himself. While walking past tonight’s Le Splash we noticed that it did have some kind of indoor section to start the ride off, this lead to us needing to ride and comedy ensuing.
We boarded our boat, me in front and set off into the great unknown. The indoor section would end up being filled by halloween props and lasers, a dark ride it was not, as for hilarious, it certainly was.
Maybe it was the excitement and electricity of the fair speaking but I really enjoyed the following log flume. Not because it was good but because it was just fun getting into perilous situations with my friends. The highlight of which was the final drop where ejector airtime led to the World’s most brutal water braking, sending everyone behind me violenly launching into my back.
Our first Summer Funfair had been great and we were looking forward to the many more than we had planned for the trip. All we had to do now was stay awake on the almost 2 hour drive to the hotel.
Thankfully we’d be staying in many B&B hotels while we were in France. Thanks to their machine based check in system you could show up at anytime and still get in, a real life saver.
Thanks for reading, click here for day 4, where we finally visit Ange Michel, as well as L’Île aux Géants and Futuroscope.