In 2012, after 11 long seasons since their last roller coaster installation, Parc Asterix (Plailly, France) opened OzIris, an Inverted Coaster. This ride went in a new area of the park located near the Trans’Arverne (Zierer Medium Tivoli Coaster) and the Oxygenarium (WhiteWater West Industries Ltd. Spinning Raft) and was the first major park expansion in 5 years.
Julien Bertevas, designer at la Compagnie des Alpes (owner of Parc Asterix), was the person in charge of the project and they looked at various products from B&M. A Dive Coaster would have involved the lake and this was not a direction they wanted to go. So, it was either a Flying Coaster or the Inverted Coaster and the Inverted Coaster won out, even though the theme is flying. Originally, B&M had proposed doing a modified version of Patriot, but Julien and his team vast roller coaster experience (he has been on over a 1000 roller coasters) won out and he challenged B&M to come up with a completely unique layout.
The story here is that we are visiting a new temple created in Egypt by Iris, a famous magician who was outsmarted by Asterix the Gaul. OzIris was the chosen name of the attraction. This is a contraction of “Oserez-vous affrontez Iris?” in the same way someone would text it.
For those not familiar with Asterix, he is a small warrior from Gaul who lives in a village of Armorica 50 years BC with his friend Obelix. The village druid is called Panoramix brews a Magic Potion and it gives its drinkers temporary superhuman strength. The Magic Potion and Asterix wits allow the village to “successfully resist the might of the Roman Empire”
In the “Twelve Tasks of Asterix” movie, Asterix and his companion Obelix have to successfully conquer 12 tasks in order for Julius Caesar to surrender Rome to the Gaul’s. The fifth task involved successfully resisting hypnosis from Iris, a famed Egyptian magician. In the movie, the first thing we see is a stone door with a glowing eye that glows along to the dreaded words of Iris. By Osiris and by Apis. You have turned into a (insert the animal the person wants to become) and this forms the basis of the new attraction.
The new Temple was built on a strip of land near the main Highway that goes by the park. Trans’Arverne/Periferix was renamed and rethemed to SOS Numerobis, the hapless Egyptian architect from Asterix and Cleopatra. After entering the waiting line, we go around an oasis and then enter the huge Egyptian temple. It is divided in 4 main rooms and the first one is a brilliant representation of “Relativity” from Dutch Artist M.C. Escher. Relativity depicts endless staircases that go in every direction, defying the laws of physics and this was a great way to enter the Temple. It shows the power of Iris.
New entrance for the Egypte area. The brown trough is from the Menhir Express O.D Hopkins Log Flume. Flex provided us with this picture.
Flex provided this great shot of the new entrance of S.O.S Numerobis.
The Relativity room.
The second room has many paintings and statues depicting Iris successful spells and it is full of great puns, Easter eggs and hidden references. We then enter a sarcophagus and explore Iris laboratory, filled with papyrus and other artifacts. The last room is the loading station, an airy room with fresques painted on the ceiling.
Two of the second room word puns in French. “Quendiraton” is phonetically writing in the style of Asterix Qu’en dira t’on?, which means “what will they say about it” and the description mean scribe and critic, which is very appropriate. “Amonbofis” (to my son in law) was one of the secondary villain in the Asterix and Cleopatra movie.
Par’isilton, muse of Anti-aging potions.
Faux-fire is used indoors to illuminate the second room.
A sarcophagus in Iris laboratory.
Some of the items in the Laboratory.
In the last room, even the security harness and seatbelt are the subject of a pun. N’oubliez pas votre pectoral de securite can be translated to “Don’t forget your security pectoral” it is sponsored by King Carabiner (Roi Mousketon).
In this fresque, Iris mentions he has to improve the “Montagnes d’Horus” for not being sufficiently flippy. Montagnes d’Horus is how you would write Montagnes Russes (Roller Coaster in French) if you pronounced it really fast.
The flight plan of Iris spell. This fresque is litterally the layout of the ride.
The loading station of the ride.
The ride color scheme is the same as Montu, which is funny considering both have an Egyptian theme. After the ride operators check the restraints, the train is dispatched and goes right by the same door that we saw in the movie and hear the same spell. This effectively hypnotizes us and turns us into birds; the ride represents our not so graceful flight around Egypt.
The eye and saying that hypnotize us.
The ride starts with a 115 feet tall lift hill and this marked a first for Inverted Coaster: this was the first one not to have a pre-drop and we immediately drop down the steep spiraling drop to the left. The train then immediately rises up into a 96 feet tall Dive Loop (half Flat Spin into a Half Loop), the first one on an Inverted Coaster. The train does not lose speed and whips around a tall banked curve to the right. The train goes through an 82 feet tall vertical loop and then dives below grade in a themed tunnel. B&M through in the middle of the small drop a second angle change and this make the descent more exciting than it appears to be from the outside. The train then exits in a 72 feet tall Immelmann and rises up to a big right hand turn.
Flex shot this great picture of the OzIris lift hill.
The first ever Dive Loop on an Inverted Coaster.
The train going through the first Overbanked Turn.
After the Overbanked Curve, the train flies over a stone field.
Flex shot this unique picture of the ride’s first three elements.
The train then goes through the Vertical Loop. The train then go through the tunnel and is flipped around in an Immelmann.
The train then dives into this stone tunnel after the Vertical Loop. Flex shot this picture.
The Vertical Loop and the beautiful landscaping under the ride.
The second Overbanked Curve, which leads to the second big drop.
The train then drops down in what is effectively a second first drop into an underwater tunnel and it rises up in a unique Zero-G-Roll/Flat Spin hybrid maneuver. An elevated spiral slows down the train a little and it dives back to the ground and go through the Zero-G-Roll, the final inversion. The incredible placement of that element means that riders on the left side of the train will feel like their feet will hit the Temple. A rising spiral and hidden curved drop concludes the 3280 feet long flight.
The tunnel that goes under the pool in front of the ride Temple.
A nice overview of the ride loading station and the drop under the pool.
A stone Eiffel Tower was built in front of the Pool.
The ride fourth inversion, the hybrid maneuver. The 270° Spiral is in the background.
The park acknowledged they had a capacity problem and to this end, they ordered OzIris with 3 8 car trains. This was interesting given the ride average length and absence of mid-course brakes. 3 train operations was very difficult and the ride now runs two trains on average, but having the third means that no matter what, two will always run. It is also a stroke of genius in case the park move to year round operation and they need to do annual maintenance on a train during the season.
Flex shot this picture of the loading area of the station.
One of the ride’s three train.