In 1981, Albert Uderzo visited Disneyland in Anaheim. Following the example of his longtime idol Walt Disney, Uderzo got the idea of a French park that would be themed after the universe of the iconic comic book hero he created with the late René Goscinny, Asterix the Gaul.
Following a few years of planning, market studies and designing, the Parc Asterix was built in Plailly (about 30 kilometers from Paris) and opened in 1989. As of 2018, it was the fifth most visited theme park in France with about 2 million guests.
Parc Asterix provides examples of:
- 3-D Movie: "Attention Menhir!", the park's first 4-D movie. Its story is based on Asterix and the Big Fight, and the CGI character models are those from The Mansions of the Gods and The Secret of the Magic Potion.
- Ascended Extra: Iris, the Egyptian hypnotist who only appeared as one of the twelve tasks in the 1976 animated film The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, got a whole ride themed after him, the steel-inverted roller coaster "OzIris". And one of the most spectacular in the park at that.
- Between My Legs: The entrance of the "Tonnerre de Zeus" ("Thunder of Zeus") wooden roller coaster is a colossal statue of the king of the Olympian gods, with guests walking in between his legs.
- Halloween Special: Starting in 2005, the park launched the "Druids Festival" every year in late October, which was renamed "Fear on the Parc Asterix" in 2009 and received a more straight-up Halloween theming.
- Impact Silhouette: A ballista display◊ alludes of such an incident with a Roman legionary (with just the outer layer of a wall, though, not going through).
- Mascot: Asterix, of course. The park's most famous representation of him has him sitting on a rock◊.
- Public Bathhouse Scene: The mad house type ride "Le Défi de César" ("Caesar's Challenge") has Julius Caesar recruiting new spies (the guests). The spies go through a Roman bath to rest at some point in it.
- Something Completely Different: The area named "À travers le temps" ("Through time") is themed after The Middle Ages and The Cavalier Years and has nothing to do with Asterix and the Roman era whatsoever. Among others, this is where the park's Haunted House, the "Transdemonium", is situated.
- The Theme Park Version: As with the comic books, the areas themed after ancient world settings are nothing but "Theme Park" versions of them, namely Celtic Gaul, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. And a bit of The Viking Age too.