Theme Parks are more than just roller coasters, but it is undoubtedly the roller coasters that attract the most visitors and attention. So in this series we’ll change Theme Park World into Coaster World where we review a specific roller coaster each time. For this article we head to Parc Asterix, located near Paris, who opened their new family coaster Pégase Express this summer.
Parc Asterix is one of Europe’s best theme parks and has proved to be a smart and regular investor. This June they opened their newest roller coaster Pégase Express. Pégase Express is the newest roller coaster for the park since they build Oz’Iris five years ago. Pégase Express is a family coaster manufactured by Gerstlauer and fills in the coaster line-up of the park perfectly.
With Oz’Iris and Goudurix, Parc Asterix already had two thrilling roller coasters so the choice for an extra family coaster is easy to understand. Pégase Express fills the gap between Tonnerre de Zeus, who can look too impressive for some of the younger children, and Vol d’Icare which is a pretty calm family coaster.
Let’s talk about the speed. Pégase Express has a top speed of 52 km/h (32,3 mph) which is good for a family coaster. There are faster family coasters out there but there are slower ones as well. So for speed Pégase Express gets two stars out of five.
Now when talking about length, Pégase Express scores very good. It’s simply the longest family coaster in the world! With a track length of 928 meter (3.044,6 feet) it beats other family coasters like Dollywoods Fire chaser express, which is the same type of coaster from the same manufacturer, and Disney World’s the Seven dwarfs mine train. With a ride time of 3 minutes Pégase Express delivers a long and very fun ride. This means a well deserved 4 out of five stars for length.
Most family coasters aren’t remembered because of a great first drop. Some of those have a good one, but Pégase Express isn’t one of them. The lift seems long but that’s because it goes up a hill, a hill where the first drop is built on too. So for that reason, Pégase Express only gets one star out of five for its first drop. We are more exciting about the turns Pégase Express has to offer. The ride stays low against the ground and has multiple turns switching each other rapidly off. For the turns we give out 2,5 stars.
Besides the lack of a first drop, the lack of any bit of airtime is also a bit disappointing. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a very fun coaster to ride but a bit of airtime is also welcome on a family coaster. Pégase Express delivers poorly on this part, so a one star for airtime is the result. What didn’t let us down was the smoothness and comfort of the ride. Gerstlauer has a bit of a reputation by some coaster enthusiasts for building shaky coasters but none of that on Pégase Express. The roller coaster is brand new and it rode very smoothly. For that, we give it 4 stars for smoothness/comfort.
Being a family coaster, Pégase Express isn’t a quite intense roller coaster. But it isn’t a family coaster meant for the smallest of children. As said before, it fills in the gap between Tonnerre de Zeus and Vol d’Icare perfectly. Pégase Express features two launches, one of those backwards who weren’t as forceless as they seem on the POV videos. Don’t expect a thrilling intense ride experience on Pégase Express, but it delivers more than you might expect. Pégase Express deserves 2,5 stars for intensity, which is pretty good for a family coaster.
Now Parc Asterix is known for their well theming. They won’t just plant a ride in without any theming around it. The way they themed Oz’Iris is a beautiful example of how to theme coasters right. They delivered again with a beautiful station for Pégase Express and a new cozy square in front of it. The theming of the ride itself is a bit down the level we expect from Parc Asterix. The theming in the temple is fine, but outside one funny billboard there’s no theming during the ride itself. The same can be said for the very long queue that just wanders through some trees in a grass field. What’s there is beautiful, but we think Parc Asterix could’ve done more. For theming we give out 2,5 stars.
So that gives a total score of 2,5 stars for Pégase Express! A good score for a family coaster, knowing it can’t really rate high on speed or intensity as more thrilling roller coasters can. It’s a great addition for the park and yet another reason to visit Parc Asterix.