Parc Saint Paul
Parc Saint Paul was one of those parks where I was genuinely terrified my GPS led me the wrong way. Even when I was 1 minute from my destination, I saw no signs of a park. No rides visible, no signage, nothing, nada, zip. But in Google Maps I trust and it found this park beyond the endless farmland.
I could have easily spent a half day at Parc Saint Paul, but I only had 2 hours. With an afternoon flight, it was the only way to squeeze the park in without sacrificing time at the other parks. Ultimately I was ok with that since my priorities were Wood Express and the two Pax coasters. Anything else would be gravy.
Thankfully lines were on my side. I only waited in two all day- Wood Express and security. The latter was actually the fault of guests. To be a guard at this park, I think you must be a minimum of 90 inches. No that's not a typo. The guards are taller than NBA players! So not surprisingly, guests posed for pictures.
I started with gravy. En route to the main course, the wacky worm was loading. I couldn't say no to those big googly eyes. I was optimistic this one would be as surprising as the one at Nigloland, but Pomme wasn't close. This one actually had working lap bars and brakes. 2 out of 10
I popped my Pax virginity with Wild Train. Before RMC took the coaster community by storm with transitions so effed up that they're awesome, there was Pax. When I originally booked this trip, I wasn't expecting Wild Train to be anything more than a lawn ornament since it was SBNO all last year. But it reopened this year much to my delight.
The first drop was certainly wild. It was steeper than you'd think and very reminiscent of Skull Mountain's. While the rest of the ride never came close to replicating that level of airtime, the subsequent turnarounds had solid laterals and the final two hills had some decent floater air. It may look like a family coaster, but it sure doesn't ride like one (as long as you ride in the back). 7 out of 10
The other Pax coaster is best described as the child of a wild mouse that gets drunk with a RMC. Formule 1 is the living embodiment ot Pax and I'd really like to know what they were thinking when they designed this contraption. It just doesn't look right.
It begins with what may be the steepest non-vertical lift in existence. The first drop didn't do much, but the second drop had a good pop of air. But it's easy to forget about this part because of the third drop. Holy Schilke is that drop crazy. It was El Toro Rolling Thunder hill levels of airtime.
But it's far from a one-trick pony as that's followed by a screwed up double up. Most double-ups aren't overly steep. This one has like a 60 degree angle of ascent. This creates some wild airtime on the first part and a gentle pop at the top. The fun then continues with the outward banked turns. These are taken so slowly that you are pinned to the side of the car.
Then it's back to the airtime. You have a strong pop off the hairpin turns and then a little hill with sustained ejector air. It's the perfect finale to one heck of a bizarre coaster. This is undoubtedly the best wild mouse because of its raw, untamed nature. 8 out of 10
There aren't many reports from Parc Saint Paul, but the few out there all mentioned Wood Express opening late. With limited time, this was a big concern of mine. Prior to my visit, I messaged the park and they assured me the coaster would open with the park. This was a half-truth.
The coaster was running; however, not to regular guests. A lucky group seemed to be having ERT on it. Everyone else was held back at the entrance while the same group kept reriding it over and over. Having an ERT session during normal park hours was odd, but something I understand. I just find it hard to believe that the park didn't know about it the day before when I contacted them.
This was certainly a complication.
I doubled back to ride the spinning mouse, Souris Verte. This one was heavily braked, but I got some great spinning thanks to a solo ride. I even got a good pop of air on the final bunny hill. 5 out of 10
After the Dinosaurs Alive ripoff at Nigloland, I found a Jurassic Park River Adventure ripoff at Parc Saint Paul. Dino Splash was a fairly compact log flume decked out with a dozen dino statues and extensive rock work. It was far more than I expected from a small park.
The first drop was a double down with a surpirse pop of air. That seems to be the theme with Parc Saint Paul. The final drop wasn't anything special, but it did do something. It sent a Jurassic sized wall of water into the boat and got me soaked. 8.5 out of 10
It also looks like the park is extending the dino theme as well to the nearby Disko coaster currently under construction.
At this point I saw Wood Express had new riders, so I made my way over there. I think a quarter of the park did the same as it boasted an astronomical (by this park's standards) 15-20 minute wait. I was only able to ride it twice for this reason- once in the front and once in the back.
Wood Express is a mix of taller camelbacks (taller being 25-30 feet tall) with floater air and little speed hills with ejector pops. Every single hill on the ride delivered some sort of airtime. The frenetic nature of the ride makes it feel way faster than it actually is.
These Gravity Group compact woodies are airtime machines. This one doesn't have the brute intensity of Mine Blower, but it compares favorably to Roar-o-Saurus. 8.5 out of 10
Wood Express's line grew further, so I decided to finish my visit by completing the loop around the park. This led me to the Chateau Hante walkthrough. I was expecting some type of ride, but instead I found a walkthrough.
There were no scare actors, but there were a dozen scenes. About a quarter of them had terrifyingly loud jump scares. I'm not sure if they were all supposed to activate, but not knowing whether or not they would made it scarier. 6 out of 10
I've seen the next ride listed as a coaster on some sites, but I think that's a stretch. Telepheriques looks like an elongated version of a swing you'd find at the local playground. It was a 100% unmanned, do-it-yourself attraction you'd never find back in the US and it was deceptively dizzying.
The ride never travels faster than 5 mph. If you lean forwards, you can pull yourself forwards a bit faster. Because you're literally on a circular disk attached to a rope, this will cause you to spin like a top. I bet you can guess what I did. 6 out of 10
I also tried this weird looking volcano slide (Escala'Gliss) I often see in Toverland TRs. Those with big feet may have an advantage elsewhere, but they're SOL trying to climb this thing. The footholds and handholds are fit for an elf. I went with the ninja warrior approach and tried to run up but failed miserably. Still it was fun to try since this is another never in America attraction.
I also made sure to ride this sad, sad kiddie coaster. I figured I'd be the only adult without a kid shamefully riding this coaster. However, due to a full train, I had to share my seat with another adult who interestingly also did not have a child. I suspect he may have been with the group riding Wood Express in the morning. Just a hunch. 1 out of 10
On the way out, I grabbed a quick lap on Aerotrain, the park's roller skater. This one has a custom layout since it was relocated from an indoor park, but ultimately I think I prefer the more compact original. This one had a little yank on the first drop, but did nothing else of interest. 3 out of 10
It was definitely tempting to squeeze in an extra reride or two on Wood Express or Formule 1, but I would have missed my flight. I arrived at the airport 3 hours in advance, but that still almost wasn't enough time. It was one wait after another (returning the car, check-in, passport control, security). I had longer lines there than at Disneyland.
Parc Saint Paul is an interesting park. For a smaller park, it has a boatload of coasters. But beyond that, it has a nice wooded setting and an undeniable charm. Next time in Paris, I'll try to give this park the half day it deserves.