Walygator Parc

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Walygator Parc
Entrance of Walygator Parc.JPG
Location Maizières-les-Metz, France
Coordinates 49°13′31″N 6°09′22″E / 49.2253°N 6.15611°E / 49.2253; 6.15611Coordinates: 49°13′31″N 6°09′22″E / 49.2253°N 6.15611°E / 49.2253; 6.15611
Owner Aspro Parks
Opened 1989
Operating season April–October
Area 42 ha
Rides
Total 39
Roller coasters 4
Water rides 5
Website www.walygatorparc.com
Status Operating

Walygator Parc is an amusement park located in Maizières-les-Metz, Lorraine, France. Since its opening, back in 1989, the park has taken on a variety of names; successively Big Bang Smurf, Walibi Schtroumpf (Smurf), Walibi Lorraine up to its present name Walygator Parc.

History[edit]

First designed within the extant halls of Sacilor's Laminoir by the Leisure division HHCP Architects in Maitland, Florida, the theme park was named The New World of the Smurfs, or Le Nouveau Monde des Schtroumpfs. After a decision was made to abandon the mill, the park was re-designed by Grady Larkins and eventually opened up on May 9, 1989, as Big Bang Smurf. Built on the site of the former steel mills of Sacilor, the park was then managed by Sorépark, a company headed by Pierre Jullien. Construction costs topped €110 million.

  • In 1991, the park, on the verge of bankruptcy, is taken over by Walibi Group. An orange kangaroo is brought alongside Peyo's little blue men: Walibi Schtroumpf was born.
  • In 1998, parent Walibi Group is bought out by Premier Parks. At this point, the land on which Walibi Schtroumpf sits, totals 162 hectares of which only 42 are in use.
  • In 2003, Walibi Schtroumpf becomes Walibi Lorraine and the Smurfs characters are removed from the park.
  • In 2004 Six Flags (Premier Parks' successor), which had ownership of the park since 1998, divests itself of its European operations (apart from Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid, which was sold back to Time Warner and renamed Parque Warner Madrid in 2006). The park changes hands to Star Parks, of London-based Palamon Partners.
  • In 2006 Star Parks, in turn, sells the park to brothers Claude and Didier Le Douarin. Around the same time, the Walibi brand is sold to French leisure giant Compagnie des Alpes. The new management team is left with no option but to adopt a new name.
  • In 2007, the park opens its doors under a new name: Walygator Parc.
  • In 2010, the park opens a new roller coaster, "The Monster", an inverted roller coaster by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard. The ride had previously anchored Expoland in Japan, and is a clone of Raptor at Cedar Point.
  • In 2013, the park, once again on the verge of bankruptcy, is sold to a group of investors made of Jacqueline Lejeune, Franck Déglin and Francois-Jérôme Parent.
  • In 2016, Jacqueline Lejeune and Franck Déglin sell Walygator Parc to Aspro Parks.

Coasters[edit]

Name Restrictions Type Maximum height Length Maximum speed Manufacturer Built Duration Image
Anaconda > 120 cm Wooden roller coaster 36 m 1200m 90 km/h Bill Cobb 1989 2:30 Anaconda-2.jpg
Comet > 120 cm. Steel roller coaster 24m 590m 65 km/h Vekoma 1989 1:25 Waly-coaster.JPG
Family Coaster > 85 cm
when accompanied by an adult
Kids' roller coaster 4m 132m 15 km/h Pinfari 2007 1:30 Family coaster.jpg
The Monster > 140 cm. Inverted roller coaster 40m 1200m 90 km/h Bolliger & Mabillard 2010 2:28 Expoland.jpg

Other attractions[edit]

Name Type Manufacturer Built Informations
Accrobranche Tree climbing 2013
Caribbean boat Pirate ship Huss Rides 1992
G-Lock Air Race Zamperla 2014
Longchamps Pony trekking Soquet 2008
Mistral Swing ride Zierer 1992
Space Shoot Space Shot S&S 1998 SBNO from 2010 to 2012
Südseewellen Orbiter Anton Schwarzkopf 2011

Water rides[edit]

Name Type Manufacturer Built
Aquachute Descent inflatable boat Van Egdom 1991
Rafting River rapids ride Alsthom and Soquet 1989
Rivière sauvage Log flume Soquet 1992
Splash kids Log flume for kids Zamperla 1989
Waly boat Tow boat ride Mack Rides 1989

Location[edit]

The park is located 15 km north of Metz, at 47.15984 N,2.988281 E.

Gare waly.jpg It is served by the eponymous SNCF station.

External links[edit]