Saturday, April 17, 2010

Walygator park

13 April 2010

Up and down and all around

This was supposed to go up days ago, but the attachments were too large so I removed them, expect pictures in batches in the next few days.

The original plan was to leave at 6 and stay all day. Good thing we didn't, because the park opens at 11 anyway. The train from Metz to Maizieres les Metz takes 12 minutes to arrive and costs only 3 euros. I had to stop and wonder if I'm really in second class while on the thing. Some hotels I've seen look worse than the train did.

Once in Maizier les Metz, where is the park? A few questions asked and answered got us walking along the highway. I'm not sure how long that took, but it took plenty. We were the second group of people in front of the park, so we just waited and waited. At 10:30 the ticket booth opened, where i got a lovely white square piece of papers with some unimpressive black letters printed on it, the kind of thing you can do at home on your printer and they won't notice any difference.

The mascot is obviously a gator, and his name is Waly, rather reminiscent of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon, but it's none of my business, I was there for the rides, which I'll get to in a moment. First the overall theme of the theme park: there isn't much of it. Some lizards, pirates, more pirates and a few crocodiles and such. Next the rides in the complimentary map order:

Dark Tower
The first thing you see when approaching the park is this huge tower. I figured it's one of those things that launch you up and let you fall. I was right. Unfortunately the ride was closed at the moment. One interesting thing is that the ride had both "Dark Tower" and "Dark Dog" written on it in different places.

Waly Coaster
The first proper(to be read: not a cheap carnival deathtrap you rode in when you were 8 cause you didn't know better) roller-coaster I've ever been in. It's orange, blue and has a loop and 2 corkscrew-type things. Wiki mentions it has a top speed of 56 Km/h and a top height of 24 meters. It also comes equipped with a scrap-statue central piece(nothing to do with gators of course but I loved the look of it). Think I rode this around 8 or so times, I loved it. The only nasty thing about it is this one sharp curve, where if you're not careful you can wake up with a chinfull of shoulder protector.

A wooden coaster. A huge tall monstrous coaster. Wiki claims it reaches 90 Km/h and has a height of 36 meters. The initial climb seems to take forever, and the initial descent pushes your stomach into your lungs. It's extremely fun, fast, noisy and shakey. It vibrates so much that the platform you're waiting on for the ride to stop shakes. The shaking is worst in the front, and barely noticeable in the back. After feeling my heart pummeling my lungs to death because of vibration alone I moved to the middle. There weren't many people riding so I assume it gets more comfortable with a full train.

One thing I liked is that at one point it takes your picture. You may see it for free or buy one copy for 7 euros, 2 copies for 12 or keychains for a sum I forgot.

I went on this ride about 8 or so times also.

Caribean Boat
One of those big swaying boats, the only ride I got off of more relaxed than I got in, and it would seem it's also a good place for lads and lasses to shout at eachother and exchange "oe"s and "uo"s as one or the other reach the top - assuming they're on different ends.

Le Marais aux Alligators
Some water, some bridges and some stepping stones. I wasn't aware this was an attraction, but the map seems to think so.

Waly Boat
The middle of the park has a lot of water in it, and some slow moving boats are pulled trough it. Didn't go on this ride because it seemed to take a long time, it was raining and I was wet enough from some of the water rides.

Le Mistral
The one ride I didn't enjoy. Being whireled trough the air at great heights while being suspended in a form of babyseat held by chains that creak at my weight (and I'm very skinny) is not exactly my idea of fun. Others seemed to enjoy it though.

La Riviere Sauvage
Due t the rain I only went on this once. Big log, big height, a lot of water. It would be great fun if it would be summer and warm, but it wasn't, so it was only normal-fun. This ride also comes with a picture, and one of the sources of went pants for the day.

Le Village des Pecheurs
I don't remember seeing this one.

A merry-go-round with musical instruments instead of horses. Didn't ride it because there were more exciting things to ride.
Tea Cup
Didn't want to ride this originally because it was pink. It proved to be more fun than I expected. Not much to say about this one: you're in a teacup, which can spin around, and it's on a spinning platform with 3 other cups, and the platform is on a larger spinning platform.

The greatest source of wet pants for the day, because I went multiple times. There are round 6 person rafts which get sent trough a simulated river. Being engineering students we were moving around trough the thing trying to set the centre of gravity of the thing in such a way that we'd get wet less. This eventually led to the raft speeding up and we actually caught up to the raft in front of us to the point where the two bumped. Great fun, went multiple times.

La Mini-Ferme
Ponies, and rabbits and various types of birds. Think this is what you'd call a petting zoo. Half was closed at the moment because the season just startedd and they were having "technical difficulties". One of the birds did look a bit shortcircuited.

A bird shaped spinning ride. Closed for the moment

Waly Twister
Seemed like an average merry-go-round so I didn't go.

One of my favourite rides. A octopus which span you around in complex patters. Great fun, and sounds like a washing machine during spin cycle.

The Terror House
Unique in all of France, or so it was advertised. I've never been in one so didn't know what to expect, so I can honestly say it was the best horror house I've been in. 2 rooms to it: the first a dull maze, the second a gory silent hill-like well.. bigger maze, with masked looneys running trough. Apart room some clumsy timing on the props some of the stuff managed to get some decent reactions out of me(even the second time). Also it's for people of ages 14 years+ only.

Grande Roue
A ferris wheel, about as tall as the Anaconda. It spins you around 4-5 times, and then stops. The view is pretty good, not much else to add.

I've seen this one but haven't been on it, thought it was for lil kids only. It seems to be a course with merry-go-round horses on it. Not sure.

Sheriff Academy
Interactive projector fun. You get seated on a moving horse type chair and given a gun(if you're short you get given a cart and a gun) and you're supposed to shoot the bad guys projected on the wall. It's pretty fun, and not as easy as it sounds considering the chair moves like a horse and there are about 10-15-20 other people shooting at the same things.I managed to use my sharpshooting to land 3rd place once (yes you get scores, and pictures too I believe)

One of those spinny rides with a joystick that takes your ship up and down. Only diference is that the ships were swapped out for robot pterodactyls. Mine almost shot me out of the seat a few times by violently shaking up and down when I wanted it to go up(maybe I wasn't pulling the joystick all the way, maybe I had bad luck, who knows). It's a good thing I was wearing a seatbelt.

The Monster
Half built, half in pieces around the Anaconda, it's 2010's coming attraction. It was previously named Oroichi I think and comes from a now-closed park called Expoland in Japan. It's supposed to be Europe's largest inverted coaster. I plan to come again once they open it, make sure it doesn't crash and once the line to ride it won't be 20 minutes long.

Pirates Splash
A diving show with pirates, a phantom and flames. Was rather entertaining.

Kiddy rides
The map lists a total of 18 rides, out of which I went into the monorail, the Aquachute(inflatable boat+waterslide=fun carrying inflatable boat to the top of the ride=less fun) and a smaller version of La Riviere Sauvage because I wasn't aware they were for lil kids. The people in charge of the rides didn't stop me so oh well.

There's a train station right next to the park called Bahnfof, one station away from Maizieres les Metz. And that's it about coming back.

ps: it's late, I'm tired, so Ii'll skip re-reading, correcting and making sure this makes sense

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