David and I wanted to go to Phantasialand on Easter Monday, but the park had not yet closed his Maus au Chocolat raffle and the price of 37 € is not worth the expected crowd. That’s why we were looking for alternatives and somehow we got used to the idea to travel to France to count a certain monster of a roller coaster, which unfortunately did not worked out as planned.
A crazy ideas needs to have some more people involved. This is why Thomas and Marcel accompanied us on our little trip to the french town of Metz. After a few kilometres, which was just a slightly longer trip on the autobahn, we found ourselves at the free parking lot of Walygator Parc.
Arrived at the park we had to get tickets first. This has taken some time, as the park has unfortunately only a small number of cashiers. Interestingly, most of the people were waiting on the left-hand side, so you were basically the next in line, if you just have waited slightly more on the right-hand side.
The park formerly known as Walibi Lorraine, Walibi Stroumpf and Big Bang Stroumpf (Big Bang Smurf) has been run for several years by a French showman, which is why many novelties moved to the park, but also quite a lot of somehow trashy rides. Nevertheless, the park is quite charming.
The park’s portfolio is very impressive, next to some truly classic rides you can find the “worst” wooden roller coaster in the world – at least if you want to trust this year’s wooden coaster poll. We did not have any expectations, after all we knew all Efteling’s former wooden roller coaster Pegasus, and were pleasantly surprised. Anaconda is just plain fun, even though the ride does not offer any speed on top of the hills. Some onrider we met in the waiting area of the coaster Monster described the coaster as a massive personal injury, but we could not understand why. The coaster was quite smooth and the train did not beat the passengers at any given moment.
Since we are all coaster enthusiasts, we went on the Family Coaster. It is the most gentle of all Wacky Worms all of us had ever riden. We managed to celebrate a small party whilst riding, which probably caused confusion for some passers-by.
On our way towards the Monster we boarded the Waly Twister. During the ride, we saw the Monster being evacuated. Instead of waiting we decided to take a close look at the rest of the park. So we moved towards the Vekoma Hurricane Waly Coaster, which was also surprisingly smooth. In addition, it was nice to once again sit in a train build by the manufacturer Arrow, which unfortunately are becoming increasingly rare.
Another surprise came to us in the theatre of this area, where we watched a magic show. In three languages they presented a mix of magic and comedy on a stage that was featuring some great lighting. The show magician presented many tricks that all worked the same, but this a minor matter.
Shortly after we walked into another highlight of the park, the Terror House. I must confess that I’m not a fan of such scare attractions and Halloween is nothing I would ever celebrate. However, since the others desperately wanted to wander through the Maze I could resist any longer. Due to the smaller group size of maximum 8 persons, we had to wait slightly longer.
Before being let down to the floor containing the maze, the real terror had to be conquered: the Funhouse. Here you were sent through narrow corridors with various bizarre fun house style elements and randomly placed numbers on the wall (quite similar to Bobbejaanland). Since there were no clowns, the horror was not yet there.
In the lower floor there are some interesting rooms and effects, especially the slaughter scene at the beginning has already given a girl in our group the rest. Instead of encouraging her, her friend told her how funny it was and how much fun he had in. Appart from that, I found the rest to be very nice and quite amusing. Even if there is one live actor with the obligatory chainsaw at the end of the walk through, it was a great experience.
In the immediate vicinity of the horror maze you can find the park’s rafting ride, which tells the story of Odysseus and his ten-year odyssey. Since only eight boats were in use and the loading system is more than strange we had to wait a few “trains” before we could board the ride. The ride itself is really nice and should not be missed.
There is also a wonderfully designed Soquet log flume within the park. In contrast to the ride in Walibi Sud Ouest (formerly Walibi Aquitaine) you can find a drain in the boat, which makes the ride more comfy and so much better. For just one drop, the ride offers everything to soak its riders.
Since we still lacked the main reason for our visit, we went once again to the Monster. After some queuing action, we found ourselves in the station of the ride and just had to wait one more lap for our ride in the front row, but the arriving train slowed down too much and the whole system failed. It took almost an hour before the first test drive, but once again the train slowed down too much during the break run. Since we absolutely wanted to ride the ride at least once we had nothing to do but wait. After four hours, even the ride operators left their ride and we finally moved on.
Nevertheless, the day at Walygator was not a disappointment as we explored a sympathetic French family park, which you could visit more often. The design in the old parts of the park is just great and even the shows can be recommended. The rides are all great, even trough the park’s HUSS Topple Tower is not operated anymore due to its numerous technical difficulties. The park boast a great mix of roller coaster and even the world’s worst wooden roller coaster is still a ride you should not miss.