The French comic book series Asterix (or The Adventures of Asterix) were first published in 1959 in France and are still phenomenally popular to this day. The stories of Asterix, the plucky Gaul, who defends his village from Roman occupation were written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. Since they were first published they have racked up sales of 380 million books and been translated into 111 languages.
In France, Asterix is a French icon.
Located in Plailly in the Hauts de France, Parc Astérix is just 40 minutes from Paris. It’s so close that it can be visited as a day trip from Paris with kids. If you really want to make the most of it, however, I recommend an overnight stay. More on that later…
This guide will cover all you need to know about visiting this excellent French amusement park including how it compares to Disneyland Paris, how to get there, where to stay and why the Filomatrix fast pass is well worth the money.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Park Asterix for the purpose of this review. All opinions are entirely my own. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.
The Asterix comic books
Table of Contents
I grew up reading the tales of the diminutive but clever Asterix and his enormous sidekick Obelix who is never seen without his little dog Idéfix (Dogmatic in English).
The Asterix stories are set in a 50 B.C., when France was invaded by the Roman Empire and Julius Caesar was in power. All of France has been occupied by the Romans apart from the village where Asterix lives. Their druid Panoramix (Getafix in the English version) has created a magic potion that gives Asterix and the villagers temporary super human strength, allowing the village to hold out against Roman occupation.
I loved the stories but even if you are not familiar with the comic series, Parc Asterix is still very much worth a visit. It’s an authentically French theme park with some excellent rides and a wonderful dose of nostalgia.
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Asterix Park home to 42 attractions spread out across six different worlds all relating to the comic books. The six zones all have a variety of rides for different age groups.
Ancient Greece – home to the excellent Pegasus Express rollercoaster
The Roman Empire – which has a large theatre where shows are performed throughout the day. This is also where you can see Roman soldiers “training” at various points throughout the day, which is always good fun.
The Land of the Vikings – home to rollercoaster rides, a swing boat and a Viking playground.
Via Antiqua – located at the main entrance this is where you’ll find the majority of the shops and where you can have your photo taken with favourite characters from the comic books.
Egypt – home to the exhilarating (and terrifying) Osiris
The village of the Gaulois – home to characters from the comic books as well as Le Grand Splatch, one of the best rides in the park.
The best rides at Parc Asterix
One of the best things about Parc Asterix is that it really is a family park with rides to suit all ages. There are some gentle themed rides and playgrounds for younger children, a large variety of roller coasters for thrill seekers and some brilliant water rides that everyone will love (providing they don’t mind getting wet!).
Access to rides is dictated by height. You can check the park’s app to see what height restrictions there might be. There are also measuring charts at the entrance to most rides.
Some of the most popular rides include:
Le Grand Splatch
Located in the Gaul zone this is easily one of my favourite rides in the park. This water ride includes two big drops, one from 11m high. You can bring raincoats or ponchos with you (and lots of people do) but half the fun is getting wet, right?! A coin-operated full-size dryer (the “Sechez-Vous” machine) is located near the exit to help you dry off.
Tonnerre de Zeus
The Thunder of Zeus is a 1km-long wooden roller coaster that is rickety, thrilling and has some seriously tall drops!
Obelix can often be seen carrying around a menhir (a large, manmade upright stone) but he has too many to deliver to Parc Asterix so visitors are welcome to help him out on this ride. This is your traditional log flume and it is very good fun with a very “refreshing” drop at the end.
This is another water ride but you are less likely to leave absolutely soaked. This is a fun ride for the entire family to enjoy together.
Probably the most hair raising and terrifying ride in the park is Oziris, an inverted roller coaster. Expect loops, twists, hairpin turns and drops all at breakneck speed!
There are a handful of smaller, more child-friendly rollercoasters in the park including this one, which sits next door to Oziris in the Egyptian zone.
La Trace du Hourra
This is a fun, family-friendly bobsled roller coaster located in the Gaul section.
One of the most popular attractions in the park is Pegasus Express, a twisty-turny rollercoaster with a surprise half-way through!
Another popular ride is Goudrix, a steel roller coaster that held the European record for the greatest number of inversions when it first opened in 1989.
Les Espions de Cesar
This is one of our favourite rides for young kids. Sit in a Roman soldier carriage and glide gently on rails above the park.
New to the park is this 4D film that screened in a new cinema. Expect complete immersion in the world of Asterix and Obelix with noises, movement, wind, water and even smells.
Forest of Idefix
This area has been specially designed for young children and has play areas and gentle rides.
Shows at Parc Asterix
Regular live shows take place daily at Parc Asterix Paris although fortunately the dolphins shows and shows with sea lions are no more. Check the schedule on your app in advance.
The Parc Asterix App
The Parc Asterix App is easily the best way to navigate the park. As well as the map the app gives detailed information on each ride including height requirements and the wait time. Some of the most popular rides can have lengthy queues and the app can help you organise your time in the park. The app also details your restaurant options and you can order online.
If you haven’t purchased the Filotomatix (see below for details), the app allows you to purchase one off ‘jump the queue’ tickets if the line for your favourite ride is just too long.
The Filotomatix – the fast pass at Parc Asterix
If you’re pressed for time If you’re pressed for time or you’re visiting Parc Asterix during peak times then I highly recommend getting the Filotomatix. Like other theme parks with fast pass options, this queue jumping service comes at a cost but you do have various options available. The Filotomatix is available for 10 major attractions.
Unit: As mentioned above, this is when you just can bear to wait an hour to go on the Oziris roller coaster. The one-off purchase costs 6 or 8 depending on the ride.
Bronze: Your phone pings you when it’s your turn to go on the ride 15
Silver: Your waiting time is halved for the 10 included attractions 29
Gold: You are allowed to jump the queue one time for each attraction 39 (35 if you purchase online)
Unlimited: You have unlimited access to the 10 rides and can jump the queue each time. 89
We used the Gold Filotomatix pass and we were able to enjoy all the most popular rides as well as many of the smaller ones.
Parc Asterix Tickets
There are various ticket bundles available (and you can see those options here). A simple ticket costs 45 for children aged 3 – 11 years old and 53 for anyone aged over 12 years old. Offers are often available so do check the website before booking.
Les Quais de Lutèce
Parc Asterix is home to three on site hotels; Parc Asterix is home to three on site hotels; Les Trois Hiboux, La Cité Suspendue and the Quays of Lutece that opened in 2020. We stayed in Les Quais de Lutece and it was excellent.
This four star, award-winning hotel is themed around the city of Lutetia, as Paris was known under Roman occupation.
Walking into the hotel is like walking into the Asterix comic books themselves. The main reception resembles an old warehouse and leads onto what has been designed to resemble the old quays, connecting both banks of the Seine as they would have done in Roman times. A river runs through the middle and buildings created to mimic those that you see in the Asterix books line each side. These are where you will find the hotel rooms and the main hotel restaurant.
The rooms are really well appointed and can sleep families of four and families of five. You have to book your time slot for the buffet breakfast and dinners at the hotel restaurant, which looks like a Gaul dining hall. The food is surprisingly good with a wide selection of choices.
There were hot options for breakfast, including pancakes and sausages, as well as a range of fruits, cereals, breads and cheeses. The dinner buffet induces a generous seafood selection, a salad bar and a choice of cold meats and cheeses. The hot buffet offered pasta, meatballs, park and various fish options.
As with the other hotels in Parc Asterix, staying at Les Quais de Lutece gives you early entry to the park. You can walk into the park from Les Quais de Lutece. All hotel guests are allowed into the park 30 minutes early, meaning that you can get on the most popular rides before anyone else is even allowed in.
The hotels rooms are well appointed and very comfortable. They can sleep from 1 to 5 people meaning that a family of five, like ours, can all fit in one room comfortably.
Food at Parc Asterix
The food at Les Quais de Lutece was very good but the food offered within the park itself is not quite so impressive. Most of the restaurant and quick bites food kiosks serve fast food. Le Restaurant du Lac is table service and has a bigger menu.
You can bring in a picnic and drinks with you, which does help with costs.
Currently, in order to visit Park Asterix you need to show the French ‘Pass Sanitaire’ (“health pass”) to be allowed into the park. As of September 30, 2021 this is requirement for anyone aged 12 and above.
The health pass shows that you are fully vaccinated or that you have a negative Covid-19 test less than 72 hours old or proof of recovery from Covid-19. If you don’t have any of these then do not worry because Parc Asterix have a tent near the main entrance where you can go and get a PCR or antigen test performed. The tests cost 20 and results are with you in 15 minutes.
Within the park itself, everyone aged 11 and older must wear face masks. For more information see the park website.
When is Parc Asterix open?
Park Asterix is open daily from 10am to 7pm during peak season; 10am-6pm during off-peak season. The opening times vary according to season and it is best to check the website for details before visiting.
Parc Asterix is not open year-round. It is open daily from June to August and at other times of the year it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Check the website carefully as opening days and times vary during the off-season.
The park does host special themed events around holidays such as Halloween.
How does Parc Asterix compare to Disneyland Paris?
Admittedly this question is a little hard to answer because if you love all things Disney then you’ll probably prefer Disneyland Paris to Parc Asterix.
However, there are several reasons why I think Asterix the Gaul trumps Mickey Mouse.
The first is that Parc Asterix is wonderfully, glorious French. This is an amusement park dedicated to one of the most popular comic book cartoons of all time. A day spent at Parc Asterix is decidedly more ‘French’ then a day spent at Disneyland.
The second is time. If you have days to spend at a theme park then Disneyland Paris will work for you. If you are short on time, however, then Parc Asterix can be enjoyed in a day. It might be a long day (so consider spending the night in one of the park’s hotel) but it will be a very fun day.
And finally, cost. Parc Asterix tickets start from £39 for an adult and £36 for children if booked seven days in advance. Ticket prices on the day are £45 for an adult and £39 for a child.
At Disneyland Paris a one-day dated ticket starts at £49.14. A one-day undated adult ticket starts at £90.09.
The Fast Pass at Disneyland Paris will cost between £7 and £13 per person, per ride. At Parc Asterix, a one-off fast pass (Filomatix) costs between £5 and £7 per person, per ride.