Attraction Review - Parc du Bocasse

For the final part of our trip we were making our way back up to Calais, hitting up some of the smaller parks on the way. On the agenda were: Parc du Bocasse, a small family amusement park in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy and Parc Bagatelle, a slightly larger park close to Calais.

Up first, Parc du Bocasse. I wasn't really sure what to make of this place as there isn't a huge amount of information about the place and park websites tend to exaggerate what's actually in the parks when they're on the smaller side. What I DID know is that this place had +3 creds, so good enough for me!

When we pulled up I was pleasantly surprised at how new and refreshed the entrance area was. The park is a little strangely laid out - it clearly used to be all on one side of the road with the car park on the other, but they appear to have ran out of room and started expanding on the other side of the road into the car park. You can clearly make out what used to be the old entrance plaza and is now being used as an information centre, but the new entrance area is lovely - a bright and fresh wooden entrance building with a cute statue/fountain of the park's mascots and a gift shop.

To the right, there's a fairly substantial looking log flume under construction, complete with elevator lifthill and what appears to be a few turntable elements - fun! I did a quick search and the concept art shows the lift concealed in a dystopian concrete slab, but luckily from our visit it looks like quite a bit of effort is being put in to theming it up really nice, complete with rockwork and a crashed plane!

Actually this whole area is part of a recent 'Jurassic' themed expansion to the park, including the spinning wild mouse Jurassic Twister and one of those 'dig for dinosaur bones' attractions that wasn't quite ready yet. The whole area looks to be shaping up really well and I always enjoy seeing smaller parks making fun and solid investments with great attempts at theming. Go Parc du Bocasse!

We bailed on the spinner at this point, it had a fair queue and it'll be a cold day in hell before I willingly wait for one of these things. We instead ventured over the bridge to do some exploring. At this point we noted it was bloody freezing! Not the best weather for a theme park, especially when you're not dressed for it. We gritted our teeth and headed for the first indoor attraction Pirate's Plunder, and what I assumed to be a 4D cinema.

WRONG! It was one of those fab ride-on-a-horse-and-shoot-stuff rides! I don't think I've ridden one of these since Bakken in 2009! For those who don't know, this is kind of a weird mash up between a shooty dark ride and a 4D cinema (only this one wasn't in 4D). It's a simple set up: ride a horse thing, shoot silly animated skeleton pirate, get points. They're just so much fun I don't understand why more parks don't invest in them, they can't be expensive! The best part too is that a camera takes a pic of the person with the lowest score and shames them. It's fab!

Next up it was time for a cred - a kiddie coaster called Gonzales by a company called L&T Systems who I've never actually heard of (but apparently I have ridden a few of them, seems their main trade is kiddie rides). More substantial than a Big Apple and actually being ridden by adults to minimise the shame factor. One and done!

We had a wander through the park - a lot of the rides are more for a younger audience. There's a cute farm themed area with a classic tractor ride and a cycle monorail. It's all really bright and colourful and cute! Such a shame about the crappy weather as we probably would have stuck around to ride  few more of them out! One thing we did ride was probably the world's smallest boblsed. It little just went down and around a corner and that was it! Still fun though, even if it did last all of 3 seconds.

Next up, I'd heard a few things about some ridiculous dark ride that I just had to see for myself. In the middle of the park in a giant green box with terrifying mannequins dressed as bee keepers (?) is Apiland. I'm going to try my best to explain this to you, but it really must be seen to be believed.

Imagine a series of neverending rooms, filled with hundreds and hundreds of animatronic bees. And by animatronic I mean hundred of flapping wings all out of sync that creates a symphony of compressed air noises. Combine this with loads of really bright clashing colours, a soundtrack that sounds suspiciously like it was stolen from Efteling and some screens that may or may not be working and you're on to a winner. Oh, and the soundtrack is built into the ride vehicles and intermittently cuts out or distorts.

Altogether this ride is excellent. It's absolutely HUGE and every time you think it's coming to an end you realise there's at least three more rooms to go. And when I say hundred of animatronics I mean HUNDREDS! I'd love to know how many there actually are, it's kind of obscene. I'd even go as far as to say you should make an effort to visit Parc du Bocasse just to ride this thing, we had so much fun!

Over at this side of the park there were a few more 'thrill' rides - a shot and drop tower, a rapids and the park's biggest coaster Train de Mine - the third and final Soquet of the trip! It looked like there'd be a lot of gross transitions on this but actually as it turned out this was super fun to ride: great speed and enjoyable transitions all round! Annoyingly the weather really took a turn for the worse so we decided to make our way out of the park and nab the Jurassic Twister cred on the way out.

Jurassic Twister looks very cute. Like I said earlier, the effort put into the theming is great and the area itself is adorable, but the coaster. My god, spinning wild mouse coasters aren't the best anyway but this one barely did anything. I don't understand how we got such a rubbish spin - maybe it's something that will loosen up with age? Meh. Creds in the bag, we had a mooch in the tat shop and left the park.

Such a shame about the weather on the day as if it had been warmer/less drizzly we absolutely would have spent more time at the park. The areas are well themed and pretty, there's a good mix of attractions for all ages and the newly developed areas look amazing, can't wait to see what comes of the log flume attraction!

Talk later xoxo,