Over October half term we stayed just outside Paris with Al Fresco Holidays at La Croix du Vieux Pont.
When visiting Paris, there is one theme park that is always top of the list of must-visits – Disneyland Paris, but let me introduce you to another option – Parc Asterix.
If you have not heard of Asterix, he is one of the most beloved characters in French popular culture. He resides in a remote Gaulish village in the middle of the Roman Empire, with his best friend, Obelix and a series of humorous comics portray him as a diminutive but fearless Gaulish warrior living in the time of Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars.
Hubby and I have fond memories of reading these comic adventures as children and were keen to introduce Isaac and Eliza to the fun and the team at Al Fresco advised us to buy our tickets to Parc Asterix from Ticket Bar, to save around 50% on our entry price.
The journey to Parc Asterix took around 75 minutes from the La Crois du Vieux Pont and if you are staying closer to Paris, it is around 30km north of the city. It is very easy to find and is well signposted from the A1 motorway.
Like most theme parks it does cost you money to park on site – an extra €12, so do factor this in to your visit.
Don’t expect a Disney like welcome at Parc Asterix. It is showing its age in places and some of the facilities have seen better days, but don’t let that put you off visiting, it is lots of fun for all ages!
In fact, there were many reasons why we preferred it to Disneyland Paris.
Firstly, there were very few queues. Most kids rides had no queues at all which meant we easily got to do all the rides in the park for one day.
There are over 40 rides to try from gentle roundabouts and water rides, to exhilarating rollercoasters to rival those at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park.
There are also interactive shows on throughout the day, at various locations in the park, including a Gauls v Roman’s battle in the amphitheatre, magic shows, the house of fear and the kids favourite – helping the Gauls Approchethéorix hunt a goblin in the village area.
Although the show was in French, much of the acting was so inclusive that the kids instinctively knew what was going on and happily followed the actor around as they hunted for the mischievous goblin.
For older children and brave adults, there is a whole area dedicated to Halloween and Hubby bravely visited La Maison de la Peur (House of Fear) where he encountered vampires and the living dead. The kids and I just watched amused as hoards of teenagers ran from the house screaming in fear and excitement.
There was an area for you to walk through with live entertainers, which was also not for the faint hearted, although there was a clever traffic light system as you entered to tell you when it was safe to enter with children. If you were brave enough, you did get to see some very realistic zombie’s who burst into a brilliant rendition of the thriller dance.
For us, Parc Asterix felt very much like the Thorpe Park of old, where it is a truly family orientated day out.
Although there are a couple of areas dedicated to children’s rides, there are also three or four kids rides close to the larger rollercoasters, so you can keep the little ones entertained whilst waiting for older ones (or an adrenalin mad Hubby) to return.
Parc Asterix is also home to two themed hotels if you want to extend your stay.
We hope to visit Paris again very soon and would certainly go back to Parc Asterix in a heartbeat, only this time I want to do all the big rollercoasters!!
Have you been to Parc Asterix?