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Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | This article is listed in the sections Magazine and Amusement parks.

Europe's Best Inverter?

OzIris at Parc Asterix
For years guests of Parc Asterix near Paris have been waiting for an Egypt themed area at the French theme park. Although the Gauls' adventure in Cleopatra's empire is still one of the favorite stories of the famous comic book series, there was no reference to the land of the pyramids with the exception of a small szene in the boat attraction "Epidemaïs Croisière" - until now!

Interestengly, the new rollercoaster "OzIris" is not based on the 1963 comic book "Asterix and Cleopatra", but refers to the animated movie "The Twelve Tasks of Asterix" from 1976 in which Julius Caesar challenges the Gauls to prove their divinity. One of those challenges leads Asterix and Obelix to Egypt where they have to resist the power of the hypnotist Iris. The new inverted coaster made by Bolliger & Mabillard and competing with fan favorites "Nemesis" at Alton Towers or "Black Mamba" at Phantasialand is named after this magician.

Pictures of OzIris

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Meet Iris!
The Egypt comic theme was realized stylistically confident and offers a lot of little gags. If you take a closer look to the stone obelisk placed before the entrance area and its engraved hieroglyphs, you might notice references to video game classics like "Space Invaders" or "Pac Man". The waiting area with its allusions to modern time – for example a painting of a mummy named "Par'Isilton" looking in a mirror - is a prime example for the special sense of humor of Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny who created Asterix and Obelix a long time ago. So guests have a lot to discover when waiting for a ride with "OzIris".

Flight of a Bird

The story of the rollercoaster whose name is a pun with hypnosis and the Egypt god Osiris leads into the temple of Iris who wants to turn people into flying birds by hypnotising them. Exactly this flight is what the ride is supposed to simulate. According to the park "OzIris" is 40 metres high and has a top speed of 90 km/h, giving guests the experience of loops, an Immelmann and two zero-g-rolls. Although most of the track can be seen from the main plaza in front of the coaster, the sequence of the different ride elements takes guests by surprise, especially a tunnel with finely misted water and near miss effects.

"OzIris" is quite powerful and pure fun. Without any doubt the ride is intense, especially in the last row, and offers a consistently high speed – but it doesn't exceed the upper limit of what physically may be possible. Besides "Tonnerre de Zeus", one of the world's most famous woodies, Parc Asterix now has a new steel rollercoaster flagship probably being the best inverted coaster of Europe. And with the lovingly design of the whole Egyptian area the park sent a remarkable signal to the competition at Disneyland Park which hasn't build a new ride for years.

© parkscout/MV

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