There’s a monster in Maizières-lès-Metz


A year ago, during Easter, Thomas, Marcel, David and I went to Maizière-lès-Metz to visit the Walygator Parc. The weather was beautiful. The queues were well filled, basically a perfect day for a visit to the park, but unfortunately the reason for our visit – the B&M Inverted Coaster Monster – decided to stop working at that time. Since the park itself really wasn’t bad, our journey was worth it.

A year later, in the worst weather conditions of April, another attempt was made to get a ride on the former Expoland ride Orochi. We had a restful sleep and left the hotel slightly too early; we arrived at the parking lot an hour before the ticket booths were even opened. We had to wait for a while, but during this time the parking lot stayed more or less empty.

Just before the opening of the park, tests were carried out so that we could expect the park to eventually open. From experience we headed directly towards the roller coaster Monster, even if one or two rides on Anaconda would have made sense, as we first had to wait for 12 passengers in the station.

Gradually our co-passengers started to arrive and as we were the first ones, the first ride of the day took place in the front row on the sister ride of Cedar Points Raptor.

The ride in the first row is rather smooth, the forces in the looping, the quite high located Zero-G Roll and the Cobra Roll are hardly noticeable. Also the highly praised second part of the ride after leaving the former block area is comparatively harmless, as neither the corkscrews nor the helices at the end of the ride manage to build up enough pressure. In the back row the forces are way more pronounced. Where the first part of Monster can clearly convince, one is now pulled in the corkscrews and the helices at the end of the ride.

The monster itself is a good ride, but the layout is unfortunately not Batman La Fuga or as Jan would say it is not Nemesis. It doesn’t matter where the ride has been built, or how it is painted, as the ride itself is fun, it just lacks extremes. The forces themselves make the ride family-friendly, which is why it is a great addition to the park’s portfolio.

After a round with the park’s Wacky Worm, Jan went on to discover the park. Passing the former Smurf Village we went to the space area of the park, where the S&S Space Shot Dark Tower is still not completed this year, the Schwarzkopf Orbiter Südseewellen performed a decent, albeit quite monotonous and not too fast ride, and the Vekoma Hurricane Walycoaster waited for passengers.

The Vekoma ride, which has been in the park since 1989, is one of the best vekoma rides still running with an Arrow train. Although the latest generation of Vekoma trains can be regarded as truly ingenious, they simply cannot match the timeless design of Arrow. The ride is not bad at all and free of any rattles, but for time reasons we only did one ride.

One of the park’s flagship attractions is the Terror House, a maze. Usually a long queue is formed relatively quickly at this ride, if there are other people in the area. However, the really creepy one is not the Maze that shines through some brilliant butcher’s rooms at the beginning of the arrangement of confusing corridors, but the Fun House that has to be completed before. The Terror House itself is quite big, the interior consists mostly of plain rooms with animatronics, there is also a frightener that tries harder than the lost pirate crew from the Lüneburger Heide.

The park’s rafting ride is located in the direct proximity of the maze. Built in 1989 by Soquet, this rafting ride is dedicated to the journey of Odysseus and has been superbly staged. Remarkably strange, as well as capacity reducing, is the handling of the boats, which are practically operated in a train system. A further curiosity are, similar to the log flume of the park, the different boats in use.

Passing the always broken HUSS Topple Tower Tang’Or and one of the children’s areas of the park, we reach the lake, where a very strange Schwarzkopf monster is located. Normally the excenter lifts after some time and creates the wave movement of the ride, but as this feature is currently broken you circle more or less fast at ground level. Luckily it’s not difficult to get a good spin on the ride, but the fun is reduced.

Passing the teacup, the wave swinger and the way too long and way too slow boat ride, you reach the log flume Riviére Sauvage. This ride, built by Soquet, is simplistic and features only a few bends and just one drop. Enough to get you perfectly soaked.

Located at the edge of the park is the wooden roller coaster Anaconda, which was once again voted the worst wooden roller coaster in the world. The coaster doesn’t offer airtime, crosses the tops quite slowly and needs extra weight on the Morgan-built trains, but it’s definitely not the worst wooden coaster in the world. As a wooden coaster, Anaconda delivers a solid ride. The speed, the height, as well as the out & back layout are actually pretty good and worth a ride.

The Walygator Parc is not a bad amusement park, but also not a very good one. This year the expansion madness of the French showman brothers Claude & Didier Le Douarin continued and so they now present a new children’s land with rides bought by the fairground and simply put up. However, what became of the planned Wild Mouse is hard to say, also it is very likely that the park will not paint its Inverted Coaster for the time being.
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