Attraction Review - Bagatelle

The last stop of the trip was to head back to Parc Bagatelle to mop up a cred that spited us the last time we were there. Bagatelle is a theme park in Merlimont near Calais and has been open since 1955!

I actually think this park is a bit of a hidden gem, but I do have a history with it. I went on a Year 8 trip to Normandy when I was probably 13 or 14, and even back then I was big into theme parks. They mentioned we'd be stopping at a theme park and at the time the only French park I knew of apart from Disney was Parc Asterix. So I asked if we were heading to Parc Asterix and my teacher told me yes. So I spent the weeks leading up to the trip checking out the rides and getting super pumped to visit Asterix, even showing my classmates all of the fab coasters we'd get to ride. So imagine my horror when we pulled up at the gates of bloody Bagatelle!

I feel like my first visit was tainted by that disappointment but Conor and I visited the park back in 2015 and I found it was surprisingly fab! On that trip though the Vekoma Inverted Boomerang Triops wasn't running, so on this trip we made a special stop to run in and nab it.

We actually ended up having more time here than I thought we would. We rocked up around 2PM and, starving, we headed over to the canteen restaurant we remembered being good last time only to find the bloody place shut. Well, it seemed shut, the lights were off but there were people inside eating, but all of the doors were locked, so fuck knows what was going on there.

We did a loop of the park looking for an alternative, but seeing as it was a random drizzly Monday afternoon a lot of the food places were now closing up. Makes sense, but it's definitely a European park thing. Being a spoilt UKer myself I'm not used to this kind of thing so it put me in a bad mood that we couldn't even find as much as a bag of crisps to satisfy our hunger!

Annoyed, we decided to plough on and get the cred out of the way. So, I've been to three parks previously that had a Vekoma Inverted Boomerang, and every single time they've spited me, so this was a new for me type, yay! Operations were SLOW. We waited a long time for all of the rows to fill up. Again, because it was a dead Monday I don't begrudge it too much as it sort of makes sense, but I was gagging for the cred so it just made me aggy. Also, weirdly, I was told I had to tie my hair back under my coat ' 'for [your] safety'. I did it, don't have any problems following park rules but never been asked to do this before so seemed very strange!

The ride then. Erm...better than a standard Boomerang? Honestly, if you've ridden an SLC and you've ridden a Boomerang you can imagine exactly how this rides and that is precisely what it does. I did enjoy the face that you were facing the riders in the row opposite you and the lift hill with nothing beneath you is quite intimidating (reminded me of the Kumali lifthill actually) but yh, nothing really to write home about. Yay, cred achieved!

I do think Vekoma coasters look great though. I love the spiny track and adored the orange colour of this one. Why aren't there more orange coasters? They're fab, love the contrast against the surrounding greenery of the trees!

Weather was turning a worse shade of miserable at this point so we just went for a wander instead of riding more. The park is actually a lot ore beautiful than I remember it being - on a sunny day it would actually be quite stunning and it makes great use of the natural surroundings.

I wanted a go on Gaz Express, the final fabulous Soquet coaster of the trip. This is probably my favourite one too, because it has FIRE and a cool water effect. Weirdly, the coaster had these ball-busting restraints that had poor Conor yelping as the ride op came and did the bar checks. Why? What the fuck? None of the other Soquet coasters have these? Anybody know what they are?

I think Gaz Express looks really slick, I do kind of love the colour scheme even if it does feel a bit 'Walibi' to me. Similarly to Festyland, opposite Gaz Express the park have a new Zamperla Air Race and have rethemed some of the shops around it to match the aviation theme. The whole area is looking really great (even in the drizzle) and it's fantastic to see another 'smaller' park do so well with a newly themed area. Love it!

We jumped on the monorail for some respite from the rain and for a scenic tour of the park, had a mooch over by the rapids and then called it a day before heading on towards Calais. If the weather hadn't been so spiteful we absolutely would have spent more time here going on more rides, but we were both tired and the weather really wasn't helping so unfortunately it did put a bit of a dampener on the day in the end.

That's not to say the park isn't fab though! It's so easy to get being just an hour south of Calais so if you're ever in that neck of the woods I really would recommend making a stop to check it out - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Talk later xoxo,