Comparing Three French Theme Parks – a Review

Comparing Three French Theme Parks - a review on Falcondale Life blog. Disneyland Paris, Parc Asterix and Puy du Fou comparison. What rides or attractions are there and how to plan a visit.

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Over the last few years our family has visited three theme parks in France – Disneyland Paris, Parc Asterix and Puy du Fou. We get asked so many questions about these visits, people are really curious! I’m going to compare each park using these five questions:

Comparing Three French Theme Parks - a review on Falcondale Life blog. Disneyland Paris, Parc Asterix and Puy du Fou comparison. What rides or attractions are there and how to plan a visit.

Disneyland Paris

Comparing Three French Theme Parks - a review on Falcondale Life blog. Disneyland Paris, Parc Asterix and Puy du Fou comparison. What rides or attractions are there and how to plan a visit. Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

1. What kind of experiences are there at this park?

There are thrill rides of all levels. A few rollercoasters were far too big and scary for me personally. The many gentler rides are made thrilling without being thrown around thanks to the lights, sounds, visuals and characters. Superbly inventive experiences are everywhere. There are also cinema or theatre based experiences. Meeting the Disney characters is a feature of your visit and there are at least two parades to watch.

2. To which family members will it appeal?

It’s clearly aimed at younger children but I was surprised that I enjoyed it immensely. It was perfection for my 6 year old daughter. Now my children are much older they have stopped asking to go back. So many rides are set up for even numbers – two or four people – it would be a challenge to get round with two adults and an odd number of really small children.

3. Is there a language barrier at this park?

Definitely not a problem for us, it’s very English.

4. How long should we allow to see it all?

At least 3 days for the whole thing. We just managed to see every single thing in 4 days with a lot of queuing.

5. How do I organise a visit?

Book during one of the offer periods in autumn or January. Eurostar or air travel can be included but it’s an easy drive with a cross-channel ferry like Brittany Ferries or DFDS. Staying at a Disney hotel allows you into the park two hours early. Plan something to do while queueing. I painted the girls’ nails which kept them amused.

Parc Asterix

Comparing Three French Theme Parks - a review on Falcondale Life blog. Disneyland Paris, Parc Asterix and Puy du Fou comparison. What rides or attractions are there and how to plan a visit. Water ride.

1. What kind of experiences are there at this park?

Thrill rides of all levels, and more rollercoasters at this park. Also there are water rides and the chance to get splashed. There are a few characters to meet in Asterix’s village and a few shows like the Dolphin display.

2. To which family members will it appeal?

This is definitely one for the teens, tweens and young adults and is not so appealing to under 6s.

3. Is there a language barrier at the park?

Yes a bit. All the safety signs are in French but thankfully they are fairly simple or obvious. Most staff speak a little English. The Dolphin show was completely unintelligible to me with my schoolgirl French.

4. How long should we allow to see it all?

One long day will get you round it all.

5. How do I organise a visit?

There’s an English version of the park website for advance online tickets. Book a hotel independently. Nearby in Saint-Witz there are many budget hotels which exist just for the benefit of Park Asterix. Driving is easy and there are bus connections Charles de Gaulle airport.

Puy du Fou

Comparing Three French Theme Parks - a review on Falcondale Life blog. Disneyland Paris, Parc Asterix and Puy du Fou comparison. What rides or attractions are there and how to plan a visit. Roman arena.

1. What kind of experiences are there at this park?

This is a theatre theme park where you go from one show to another to sit as a spectator. History and fables are the themes of all the shows. The special effects are a big deal. It’s like being on a film set with fire, magic and furious action scenes. Some “shows” involve walking from one room to another. There are no characters to meet.

2. To which family members will it appeal?

It is family friendly and there are lots of children. My teenager had the time of her life and is itching to go back. There were coach-loads of adults of all ages at this park who were visiting without children.

3. Is there a language barrier at this park?

Not if you use the translation headsets, which are excellent. All performances include a lot of speech and it’s impossible to follow if you can’t understand it. Most, but not all shows, have a translation.

4. How long should we allow to see it all?

One very long day should be enough but don’t arrive later than 10am. They change the schedule of performances every couple of days so it’s impossible to find out what time all the shows will be before arriving. Don’t arrive too late or you’ll have to miss one show out.

5. How do I organise a visit?

Buy advance tickets from the park’s own website which can be viewed in English. There is sometimes a late-night show, tickets for that are sold separately. Puy du Fou is near Cholet and is one hour’s drive from most coastal resorts in the Vendee. We stayed nearby for two nights just to visit the park.

Future theme park visits

Next on my list of French theme parks is a more science based experience at Futuroscope near Poitiers, but I think my daughter will take us back to Puy du Fou before that! Have you ever been to a French theme park? Please tell me something about it in the comments below.

Read my previous blog post about France by clicking here

Read another of my recent travel blogs by clicking here

Lou Messugo

23 Comments

  1. 20th June 2017 / 2:20 pm

    This is a really useful post for visitors weighing up where to focus their holiday….My husband and I are not into theme parks at all much to the annoyance of our children and Disneyland is pretty much my nightmare destination! However I think I would actually enjoy Puy du Fou and I genuinely liked Futuroscope, being so educationally based. Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance

    • 21st June 2017 / 10:19 am

      Puy du Fou definitely has a different appeal, and like I say, plenty of adults even visit without children. I’ve heard challenging things about the language barrier at Futuroscope so I will have to investigate that more before our next trip to France. Thanks for your comment!

  2. 12th June 2017 / 10:07 pm

    Interesting post, we’re going to France next summer so will bear this in mind! My 5 year old is quite keen on the idea of Disneyland but I’m a massive grump with a secret loathing of most Disney films so I’m torn!!

    • 15th June 2017 / 11:41 am

      Before I went to Disney I was very anti-cheese and I was worried it would all be so saccharin sweet. I was surprised how much fun I had there.

  3. 12th June 2017 / 6:18 pm

    Our granddaughter will soon be at an age where she’ll start to enjoy such outings, thus giving me a perfect excuse to enjoy them myself. Thanks for the very informative review of three that all look tempting in different ways.

    • 15th June 2017 / 11:41 am

      I hope you’ll have the chance to take her somewhere fun!

  4. 11th June 2017 / 2:45 am

    I’m a Disney fan. Thanks for your thoughts about the other parks. At least now we know what to expect.

    • 15th June 2017 / 11:46 am

      Glad you like it – I think sometimes a straight comparison can help a lot.

  5. 10th June 2017 / 5:51 pm

    I go to France a lot & haven’t been to any of their theme parks – now I have Sophie it would an amazing holiday, thanks for the info as I had only heard of Disneyland! x

  6. 10th June 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Oooh these sound great. I’ve only been to one French themepark (if it still even is open!) Futuroscope? Something like that? A science themed park. We went on a school trip as part of our French Exchange and I remember it being such a fun day out. And I learned a lot of French too!

    • 10th June 2017 / 1:05 pm

      That’s where I want to go next! I mention it at the bottom of the post.

  7. 9th June 2017 / 9:13 pm

    I’m going to sound a little bit dim now but I didn’t think of France as having theme parks then when I saw the first was DLP I though ‘duh!’. For some reason I thought theme parks were a UK and US thing, no idea why!

    • 9th June 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Haha we need to show you a few more then! There are some amazing ones around Europe.

  8. 9th June 2017 / 9:12 pm

    They are very different experiences aren’t they? We went to Disneyland Paris and my 5 and 3 year old loved it. I’d like to go to Puy du Fou

    • 9th June 2017 / 9:32 pm

      I’m sure you would love it and the children too when they are a little older.

  9. 9th June 2017 / 11:11 am

    oh wow thank you for that, we are hoping to take the girls away next year to disney!

  10. 9th June 2017 / 7:56 am

    Wow, what a comprehensive review of all three parks! I’ve only ever heard of Disneyland Paris, but the other two look amazing – my boys would love them!

  11. 8th June 2017 / 11:27 pm

    Woah! A theater farm park sounds so insanely cool and I do love theme parks in general. I like the sound of futurescope!

    • 8th June 2017 / 11:30 pm

      Puy du Fou is extremely popular, people who have been do rave about it. I bet you’d love it!

  12. 8th June 2017 / 10:59 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever been to a theme park. Would kinda like to go to Euro Disney one day.

  13. 8th June 2017 / 9:27 pm

    I really want to take Erin to Disney next year just before her third birthday!

  14. 8th June 2017 / 9:08 pm

    We lived in France for 14 years and went to Puy du Fou six times and Disneyland twice. We loved both but Puy du Fou is so unique. We love it there. We never visited Asterix but drove past it many times. Hopefully one day, this is a really interesting post thank you

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