The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 14

From Paris to the Loire Valley, and everywhere in between, how to live like a millionaire in Nice on a budget, French island hopping, a fairy tale chateau and Monet's Garden in Giverny. Everything you want to know about France and more.

There are 22 main

There are 22 main attractions in total and lots and lots else to explore. You really do need two days or a pair of long distance walking shoes and a sense of endurance. In one day we managed about 13 of the main attractions as well as the night show but we barely stopped for a breather. The timing of the night show varies according to light conditions. Put on by the Cirque du Soleil, on our visit this involved a 2CV driving on water, a sound, light and para-technique display, a giant hologram, a moon and a massive firework display. I didn’t quite follow all the details of the story which seemed to be broadly along the lines of giant hologram boy meets girl, puts girl on the moon and then runs into trouble, and we’d surrendered our headsets by then. But hey, I don’t think the detail was that important. For tamer rides you can travel through time with the Raving Rabbids whilst sitting on a toilet, experience the Ice Age, dive to the bottom of the ocean with Jacques Cousteau and discover a tiny microscopic world and the inside of a spider’s web. There are also live shows including the iMagic show which we missed because of timings, and the Mysteries of the Cube which involved some risky gymnastics. “Not quite what I was expecting” as my daughter said, more or less summing up the whole day. In my admittedly very limited experience, French theme parks are in a league of their own (just think of Puy dy Fou for a start) and Futuroscope is no exception. It wasn’t what I was expecting and I generally dread the idea of long queues and lots of people but the park is spacious and even includes giant bean bags for you to take a break on. I saw elderly couples on their own enjoying the rides and all the staff are really helpful and nice. The park is also easy to navigate (if big and a good day’s walk).

TOP TIPS FOR A FAB VISIT Try and avoid peak times, in particular the first three weeks in August. A “Pass Premium” at 15€/person gives you priority to all the simulators in the park plus a discount in all the shops. If you’ve only got one day (there is a hotel if you want to stay), it’s well worth it. Apart from feeling extremely important, you save time on queuing and can squeeze more in! Get a map with a timetable on it available in English at the gate. Some of the big attractions have a last show at 4pm and you don’t want to miss them. The English headset is free with the ticket and worth-while. Bring your own headphones or pay 1€ per pair. It’s one of those places that if you’re in the area or anywhere close (I was nearly a 2 hour drive away but it was still well worth it), a visit is a must. Like I said, stomach churning at times for the wimps amongst you, funny, odd, exciting, peculiar, surprising, informative and a totally bonkers way to spend a day. I’m already planning my next trip back and the kids are still buzzing! Directions and prices There's an English language website: with a map of the park and directions. it’s well sign posted for miles around. Parking is easy but paid and there’s also a TGV train station. Book on line or buy at tickets at the gate. Prices vary and also include “breaks” for 2 or 3 nights. A basic family ticket for 4 for one day, booked up to 7 days in advance is 34€/person (check to verify prices in case of change. Some rides have minimum height restrictions although I saw what looked like very young children on quite bumpy rides. The late night spectacular is fantastic but beware getting stuck in the car park with the crowds. Get your seats early at the top of the auditorium, close to the exit and leave 5 minutes before the end. You'll get a unique viewof the finale firework display and you drive straight out of a still deserted car park. At 10pm or later and with a long drive home, that makes all the difference. The worry with some theme parks is that eating there will leave you close to financially destitute but actually we had an evening meal for 4 at just over 43€. My kids had burger in a pancake followed by chocolate in a pancake and couldn’t have been happier. And for the grown-ups, carafes and half carafes of rosé are available too.

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