The famous Oise amut park plans to invest 20% of its turnover in the coming years to transform itself, with its sights set on the objective of three million annual visitors.
Like those of the architect Numérobis, responsible for the lightning construction of a palace by Cleopatra, the workers of Parc Astérix would not mind a little magic potion. New attractions, restaurants, musicals, parades, haunted houses, hotels… Construction sites are multiplying in the Plailly amut park (Oise), which plans to invest mively over the next five years to transform itself. By 2028, a four-hectare area of the park will have been completely rebuilt.
The Gauls could have rested on their laurels, having already just inaugurated the Toutatis Festival in the spring, a thematic zone worth 36 million euros – a record investment since the opening of the park in 1989 – crowned with the eponymous roller coaster which combines all the superlatives : French speed record, European record for the number of accelerations, world record for the number of “air times» (the moments when we take off from the seat). A real success: this season, Asterix broke its absolute attendance record with 2.8 million visitors, consolidating its place as the second French park behind the giant Disneyland Paris (15 million in 2022) and outpacing Puy du Fou (2.6 million in 2023). That’s 60% more visitors than ten years ago. So the park does not intend to stop there and is refining its “ten-year master plan», Reports its general director Delphine Pons. On average, 20% of turnover (170 million euros in 2022) will be reinvested each year.
A new attraction in 2024
The program is already busy for 2024, the year of the 35th anniversary of the site and, happily aligned with the calendars, the 65th anniversary of the Gallic hero. The Tour de Numérobis, a new family attraction, will take visitors on flying chairs 40 meters in the air. The Grand Splatch, an emblematic aquatic attraction from the beginning, will be rethemed in Revenge of the Pirates, featuring the unfortunate sailors who revolt, tired of being sunk with each album in the comic strip.
A Hispanic float will enrich the parade. This Halloween, the most daring will be able to scare themselves in a new haunted house.Gallo-Roman», after the success of the one already built this fall. And, the highlight of the show, “It’s madness», the first musical comedy featuring the Gallic heroes of Goscinny and Uderzo, will be performed five times a day from March 30.
Objective: three million annual visitors
Birthday gifts worth ten million euros, underlines the park, whose rest of the roadmap is starting to become clearer. In 2025, in the Gaul thematic zone, a new large-scale family attraction will replace the legendary Nationale 7, closed at the beginning of November. Parc Astérix still jealously keeps the details of this project a secret, but “it will be an attraction where visitors will be transported», slips Guy Vel, deputy general director, who promises new sensations and “sharing» since the pengers will be seated there face to face.
The following year, two attractions “for children” and one “very large restaurant» will expand the Greek zone. Then in 2027 and 2028, the entire Rue de Paris area, a little old-fashioned and unrelated to the world of Asterix, will be demolished to be replaced by new attractions, restaurants and shops, on a “from the comic strip“.
Gargantuan investments but necessary to keep the park attractive in the face of tough competition in the sector. A few dozen kilometers away, Disneyland put two billion euros on the table in 2018 for a major development plan. Guy Vel’s sights are on the milestone of three million annual visitors. To absorb them, in addition to the increase in reception capacity made possible by the new features in the park, Asterix is banking on the gradual expansion of its opening schedule.
Extension of length of stay
In just a few years, Parc Astérix has already begun to change, riding the excellent dynamics of the sector since Covid-19. Turnover has doubled in six years. Visitors come from further afield, including from abroad (15% in 2023). The park also hopes to capitalize on the Olympic Games next summer and its proximity to the capital, thanks to advertising campaigns in English aimed at tourists ping through Paris. “They will need to entertain themselves between the tests, underlines Guy Vel, and the most French park is Asterix!»
Spending per visitor is also increasing and stays are lengthening thanks to the development of the site’s hotel capacity, increasing from 100 to 450 rooms in five years. A fourth hotel is planned for the end of 2026, “on a theme inspired by one of the journeys of the Gallic heroes“.
Parc Astérix is the flagship of its owner, the Compagnie des Alpes, which also has Futuroscope, the Walibi parks and the Grévin museum under its wing. The Gallic recipe, based on mive investments and an extension of the operating season, the group applies to all its other parks, and it pays off: +5.2% of visitors over the last season, i.e. 10 .6 million cumulatively across all group sites. To the point that, for the second consecutive year, the turnover of the leisure parks activity of Compagnie des Alpes (526 million euros for the 2022-2023 financial year) has exceeded that of ski resorts (489 million euros), the group’s historic activity.