Have you heard of the ‘other’ big theme park in Paris? Because, not only is it one of the most popular French theme parks (after DisneyLand Paris, of course) Parc Astérix is turning 30 this year and has pulled all the stops to celebrate in style!
Parc Astérix is based on the comic book series Asterix written by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny but, you really don’t have to be a super fan of Asterix to enjoy this themed park that opened in 1989. Located 35 miles from Paris and extremely easy to get to from the Eurostar station Gare du Nord or, Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in North Paris. It really is a park not to miss – and, one the whole family – young ‘Gauls’ and more mature ‘Gauls’ – will enjoy.
It is well known in France for its large variety of rides, 42 in fact – and it’s thrill-seeking rollercoasters including classic big dippers, a gallic bobsleigh and the inverted coaster Oziris (really, they need to seen to be believed!), water rides (be warned you will get soaked!), while also offering a large selection of gentler attractions, play areas, picnic spots around the lakes and fun activities for younger family members. There is also a dolphin and sea lion theatre with daily 20-min shows, Gauls v Romans arena shows and plenty of characters to meet-and-greet. Also, check out the animals from the comic book (Fauve de Bourgogne rabbits, Brahma chickens, Dwarf goats, etc.) in the Village Gaulois.
Split into historic themed areas inspired by the visual style stories of Astérix that include the Gauls, the Romans, the ancient Greeks and more recently the Egyptians. To celebrate its 30th anniversary it has just launched a new 4D immersive cinema attraction called “Attention Menhir” which allows spectators to become part of the story thanks to special effects using water, smells and interactive bouncy seats making viewers part of the action – watch out there may even be menhirs falling from the sky!
Also, new to the park is the L’Aérolaf located in the Viking area this is a new generation rotating bar that goes on a steady, 35 meters high journey, so you can enjoy your drink in the clouds with amazing views over the park. A unique and dizzying experience that is not for the faint hearted! Believe us we tried it…
The perfect theme park for all the family, as Parc Astérix really does cater for all and here is Juniors’ guide to visiting.
HOW TO DO: 72 Hrs in Parc Astérix
Travelling by Eurostar: From Gard du Nord station you need to take the underground train to the airport train stop (approx. 40 minutes and from 6 euro each) and then take shuttle. This sounds worse then it is as its literally taking a train from the station and then when you arrive you head up the escalator and outside and the shuttle is signposted well.
You can organise your visit from your mobile if you download the Parc Astérix mobile app. Here you get a park map in your pocket, queue lengths, show times, and more information on getting around. A Pass Rapid or, fast pass is worth it if you intend to try the more popular thrill-seeking rides. It allows you fast entrance queuing onto 8 rides – half of these are not suitsitable for young children (check the map for height restrictions and guidance). We visited in July and yes it was busy, but never overcrowded to make you feel like you can’t make the best of your day.
With small children: They do offer a baby switch so if your children are shorter than the minimum height, you can take turns enjoying the attractions without needing to queue twice. Pushchairs are also available to rent at the entrance to the park. There is a daily fee of €5, and you will be asked for a deposit of €50, which will be returned when you bring the pushchair back and, for little Gauls (as they refer to baby) there is plenty of baby facilities to warm up their meals or change them in peace.
Eating & Drinking:
There is plenty of restaurants offering table service (for a more formal sit down meal), self-service and all you can eat buffets. As well as themed fast-food places, pizza, sandwich shops and drink and ice-lolly carts dotted throughout the park. Prices are average and the food is actually very good. The sandwich bars offer a priced fixed menu that includes a sandwich (which being France is a delicious and filling baguette), snack and drink. Meals can be pre-ordered online, where there is special deals to help avoid queues and waiting times.
There is also plenty of places to have a packed lunch or a picnic, there is also plenty of seating throughout the park to stop for a drink.
Parc Astérix, Paris is open from 6th April 2019 to 5th January 2020, See more online and for special 30th Anniversary offers on park and hotel stays. Eurostar journeys start at £29 per person from London to Paris.
** With special thanks to Parc Astérix and Eurostar for supporting this visit for the Junior editorial team.