Comparing Three French Theme Parks

Compare French theme parks Disneyland, Parc Asterix and Puy du Fou. Which park has rides and attractions to suit your family? How to plan a visit. Comparing three French Theme Parks on Falcondale Life blog. Image description: The castle at Disneyland, the Roman arena at Puy du Fou and blog title. Over the last few years our family has visited three French theme parks – 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:

    • What can we do at this park?
    • Who is going to enjoy it?
    • Can we get by in English?
    • How long should we spend here?
    • How do we visit?

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.

Disneyland Paris

1. What can we do at this park?

There are thrill rides of all levels at Disneyland, and plenty of them. A few roller-coasters 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. There are boats and a train to ride. A big feature of your visit is the chance to meet the Disney characters. There are at least two daily parades to watch.

2. Who is going to enjoy it here?

It’s ideal for younger children but everyone is catered for. It was perfection for my 6 year old daughter. Now my children are much older they have stopped asking to go back. I thought it was going to be cheesy but there was so much to do and a great atmosphere. I would go again. 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. Can we get by in English?

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

4. How long should we spend here?

To see the whole thing you need at least 3 days. We just managed to see every single thing in 4 days with a lot of queuing and early starts.

5. How do we visit?

Disneyland is to the east of Paris and you can travel direct by Eurostar. It’s a 30 minute transfer from Charles de Gaulle airport. Self drive by crossing the channel with DFDS and it’s under 3 hours drive from Calais. Book tickets during one of the offer periods in autumn or January. Staying at a Disney hotel allows you into the park two hours early. Tip: Plan something to do while queueing. I painted the girls’ nails which kept them amused.

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.

Parc Asterix

1. What can we do at this park?

Here there are thrill rides of all levels, and more rollercoasters at this park. Also there are water rides and the chance to get splashed. If you’ve been to Legoland Windsor, you will have been on a few similar water rides, so if you liked that, you will like this. They are not the same, and there are many new things to try. In Asterix’s village there are characters to meet and a few shows like the Dolphin display.

2. Who is going to enjoy it here?

This is definitely one for the teens, tweens and young adults and is not so appealing to under 6s. The village on site is the only place you can meet Asterix and Obelix so if you’re a fan of the cartoons, you’re going to love it. If you’ve never heard of Asterix, you won’t feel out of place as the park experience is mainly about the rides.

3. Can we get by in English?

It’s just about ok. All the safety instructions are in French but thankfully they are fairly simple or obvious. Most staff speak a little English and will be happy to help you. The Dolphin show was completely unintelligible to me with my schoolgirl French. You may feel like you are the only English people there, but more people are discovering this park is such a good alternative to nearby Disneyland.

4. How long should we spend here?

One long day will get you round it all.

5. How do we visit?

Parc Asterix is to the north-east of Paris. Driving is easy at 2 hours 20 minutes from Calais. There are bus connections Charles de Gaulle airport which is just 20 minutes away. There are bus connections to Paris and Lille. 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.

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.

Puy du Fou

1. What can we do 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 stories are mainly about the history of Christianity in France and the celtic nations, but it is delivered as a historical theme or even Arthurian legend. 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. There are lots of animals in the shows including vultures and lions. Puy du Fou is actually the second most popular of the French theme parks after Disneyland.

2. Who is going to enjoy it here?

It is family friendly and there are lots of children. There were many coach-loads of adults of all ages at this park who were visiting without children. My 14 year teenager old had the time of her life and is itching to go back.

3. Can we get by in English?

If you use the translation headsets you can follow every word of the shows. It is a good system and worth the money. 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. Many staff speak English and there are plenty of other visitors from the UK and other countries.

4. How long should we spend here?

For the Grand Parc 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. Arrive in good time or you’ll have to miss one show out. There is also an evening performance “La Cinéscénie” by separate ticket which finishes very late.

5. How do we visit?

Puy du Fou is near Cholet in western France and is one hour’s drive from most Atlantic coastal resorts. We stayed nearby for two nights just to visit the park. Transfers from airports and rail are over an hour away, so a car is easier. There is a camper van park on site. Buy advance tickets from the park’s own website which can be viewed in English.

More French Theme Parks

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

#AllAboutFrance
Follow:

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.