Parc Astérix is a theme amusement park in France, based on the stories of Asterix (by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny). Situated approximately 35 km (22 mi) north of Paris, 32 km (20 mi) from Disneyland Resort Paris and 20 km (12 mi) from the historic Château de Chantilly, in Plailly in the département of Oise, it opened in 1989. The park is operated by Compagnie des Alpes.
It was largely funded by the Barclays financial company, with 20 other investors including Compagnie Générale des Eaux, the Havas group, Union des assurances de Paris and the Picardy region. It cost 850 million French francs to build, and it created 1200 jobs. The location was chosen due to the transport network - a private interchange connects it with the A1 autoroute and a shuttle service connects it with a line of the Métro. Jack Lang, then Minister for Culture, opened the park on 30 April 1989 after two years of work. The opening of Disneyland Paris in 1992 impacted greatly on Parc Asterix - attendance fell by 30% and revenue fell by 19%. In 1997, Parc Asterix recorded 1.9 million visitors. In 1999, Parc Asterix recorded 2 million visitors. In October 2005, Parc Asterix ran 'la Fête des druides' (the festival of the druids), as a 'thumbing of the nose' at Halloween. In 2007, Parc Asterix opened for the first time in the Christmas holidays. In 2009, for the 20th anniversary of the park, Parc Asterix opened during the weekends in September and October and ran a Halloween event called 'Peur sur le parc Astérix' ('Fear at Parc Asterix').
There are many attractions and shows including:
- Tonnerre de Zeus, a wooden roller coaster, built by Custom Coasters International (1997).
- Goudurix, a large steel multi-looping coaster, built by Vekoma (1989).
- Oxygénarium, a Spinning Rapids : large, twisting water slide with round inflatable dinghies (1999).
- Transdémonium, a ghost train filled with special effects (2003).
- la Trace du Hourra, a 900m bobsled roller coaster, with cars that reach 80 km/h (2001).
- la Galère, a swinging ship (1989).
- Menhir express, a Menhir-themed log flume ride with a 13m high final drop (1995).
- Grand splatch, Shoot-the-Chutes (1989).
- Romus et Rapidus, a river rafting ride (1989).
- OzIris, an inverted roller coaster, built by Bolliger & Mabillard (2012)
- Le Défi de César, a mad house (2008)
- Le Delphinarium, a dolphin enclosure, one of the largest in Europe.
In July 2004, an 11 year old boy was struck by lightning at the foot of the Tonnerre de Zeus. The park had continued working despite weather warnings. On the 5th of July 2006, a 6 year old Belgian child drowned on the ride La Descente du Styx, sucked in by the pumps at the deepest part of the ride.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parc Astérix.|
- Roffat, Sébastien (2007). Disney et la France: Les vingt ans d'Euro Disneyland. Paris: Editions L'Harmattan. p. 124. ISBN 978-2-296-02989-7.
- Roffat, Sébastien (2007). Disney et la France: Les vingt ans d'Euro Disneyland. Paris: Editions L'Harmattan. p. 122. ISBN 978-2-296-02989-7.
- Parc Astérix official website (some parts require Adobe Flash. In French, with some English translations)
- Parc Astérix fan club website (Forum in French but with photos and videos)
- Parc Astérix on rcdb.com
- Parc Astérix in Czech language