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Amusement parks in France

Experiencethe life of an astronaut at Space City in Toulouse, the world of Walt Disney atDisneyland Paris or the future at Futuroscope, tour the whole country in a dayat France Miniature or dream of the past at the Puy du Fou Park… here France.frwould like to give you an idea of the biggest theme parks in France.

Futuroscope

10kmnorth of Poitiers, the Futuroscope theme park is all about multimedia, cinema,audio-visual and robotic technology of the future.

In July 2011, Futuroscope welcomed its40 millionth visitor since it opened in 1987- proof of its continuing success,with regular new attractions being created all the time. More than 20 years agothe architect Denis Laming conjured up all of the Futuroscope pavilions and theadjoining ‘technopolis', creating the contours of the amazing “city of thefuture” intended by the founders of the site.

Two of the most well-known structuresare the Futuroscope Pavilion, a sphere mounted on an upright prism, and theKinemax, which has been the new symbol for Futuroscope since 2003. The parkoffers lots of impressive 3D screenings in its gigantic cinemas: you can wanderthrough 900m² of interactive vaulted area and explore the most famous works ofthe painter Vincent Van Gogh, immerse yourself in the world of Arthur and theMinimoys (from the Luc Besson film) and marvel at prehistoric ocean beds, andmuch more.

Created in 2008, the “The Future isWild” attraction uses cutting-edge technology to create a possible scenario forhow species evolved from 5, 100 or even 200 million years ago. A number of the3D animations also have sensory, sound and olfactory effects: the new “TheLittle Prince” 4D immersive animation includes ground vibration, rain, clouds,smoke, jets of air, the sensation of falling and coloured soap bubbles… all ofwhich intensify sensation to give the impression of being in a dream.

Official site: http://en.futuroscope.com/ (External link)

The Astérix Park

Thevillage that is home to the indomitable Gauls, inspired by the famous comicbook, opens its doors to you in Plailly, in the Oise, thirty or so km fromParis.

Asterix and Obelix are there for you to have a greattime. Dancing, shows, stunts and surprises, and visitors can also hearCaconofix sing. There are five different worlds in the park to explore: Gauland the famous Gaul village, plus the Roman Empire, Greece, Vikings and Travelthrough time. Lots of different scenarios for you to experience: visitors canassume the identity of a Roman spy to infiltrate the camp of the indomitableGauls (watch out – intensive training!), weather a storm on board a swing boator embark a on a Viking Drakkar long ship. Actors, stuntmen, acrobats, animaltrainers, artisans, magicians and more are all there to surprise the visitor atevery turn. The Astérix Park is packed with breath-taking attractions: Tonnerrede Zeus, the biggest wooden roller coaster in Europe, the spectacular Goudurixserpentine rollercoaster, the Trace du Hourra, a vertiginous 900m descent, andthe Menhir Express (which floats) and more.

Official site: http://www.parcasterix.fr/en (External link)

Space City

If youwant to explore the famous 53m-high Ariane 5 rocket or set off in the Soyuzspacecraft, go to Space City in Toulouse. Authenticity guaranteed: visitors cango on board the MIR Space Station, an exact replica of the famous Russian spacestation used for ground testing.

Voyage into space with the manyattractions such as the Imax, a giant screen as high as a six-storey buildingthat screen films made in space, enter the depths of the latest generationplanetarium, with a 360° vaulted screen, or the Stellarium, a fascinatingastronomical simulator. There are a number of attractions for children, withtheir own Children's Base. And everyone will enjoy the thrills of theGyro-Extreme, a training seat for astronauts, plus the Moon Runner, a simulatorthat lets you try a weightless moon walk!

Official site: http://www.cite-espace.com/en (External link)

Disneyland Paris

It'sthe biggest theme park in France: Disneyland Paris, thirty km or so to the eastof the capital. The enchanted kingdom offers a wide choice of sensationalattractions, breath-taking parades and a fairytale backdrop.

The theme park is made up of five magiclands: Main Street USA, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland andDiscoveryland, where visitors might bump into Mickey, Minnie, Donald or one oftheir friends at any time. For people who love film, the Walt Disney StudiosPark, a theme park totally dedicated to lovers of film, lets you enter theglamorous world of cinema and television. A chance to see 3D attractions,fathom the mysteries of Disney cartoons and watch fabulous shows.

Disneyland Paris Official site (External link)

Vulcania

Vulcaniais located in the Auvergne Volcanoes Park in the heart of the Chaîne des Puysregion about 15km from the centre of Clermont-Ferrand.

Symbolic of its powerful mineralarchitecture, the Vulcania cone rises up in the centre of the Park like avolcano – as if the last to appear in the Chaîne des Puys. Most of the park ishidden underground. A place for both learning and leisure, Vulcania giveseveryone a better understanding of how volcanoes and our planet work. The majorsuccess of Vulcania is that people can experience science for themselvesthrough sense and feeling, whilst remaining true to its aim to teach. Childrenand adults alike can enjoy the thrilling attractions: Magma Explorer -move like magma to the molten core of the volcano and watch the lava as itsurges and rises; the “Angry Earth” - experience the force of the elementsas they are unleashed in a room fitted with moving platforms and feel thevibrations of the earth; Earth Machine - an amazing journey amongst authenticlava flows to explore the origins and mysteries of The Earth; the “UnveiledPlanet” - a compelling virtual journey showing you all the landscapes ofearth from space - especially volcanic regions… and lots of other attractions.The 57-hectare site has panoramic views and discovery trails allowing visitorsto get the most from this unique environment. Vulcania also offers the chanceto explore a magnificent region: the Auvergne, its amazing landscape, with anexceptionally rich natural and architectural heritage, all in the heart ofFrance.

Official site: http://www.vulcania.com (External link)

Puy du Fou

ThePuy du Fou is not just famous for its sound and light shows, especially thefamous Cinéscénie and its 1,200 actors on a 23-hectare stage, but a number onetheme park destination too.

It is located in the hedged farmland ofthe Vendée region, near Les Herbiers and Cholet and an hour from Nantes andAngers. The park puts on lots and lots of amazing shows in the heart of ahundred year-old forest: roaring battles, with Vikings attacking an ancientvillage with thatched roofs, magnificent raptor flight displays in the Dance ofthe Phantom Birds, swashbuckling shows with the Richelieu Musketeers … Animalsare everywhere, to the delight of children and adults alike. The park also letsyou step through the gates of time and wander through an authentic medievalcity, a magnificent eighteenth-century village and a Belle Epoque town from1900. At night, a fantastic symphony of water and fire – so romantic – lightsup the old Puy du Fou lake. New for 2012: the Imaginary World of La Fontaine,an interactive experience in the extraordinary La Fontaine Gardens – very 17th century, the Grand Siècle. Surroundedby animals from the celebrated Fables and talking trees, the statues suddenly cometo life and there is one surprise after another as visitors pass by.

Official site: http://www.puydufou.com/en (External link)

La mer de sable

In theheart of the Ermenonville Forest in the Oise, La mer de sable (The Sea of Sand)and the amazing natural setting take visitors on a conquest of three worlds ofadventure: the Gates of the Desert, the Time of the Pioneers and the Conquestof the American West and the Jungle.

This is the ideal theme park for anouting with the whole family. With 26 attractions of all kinds and vividlyreal adventures: fantastic horseback riding and burlesque shows,horse-riding stunts and aerobatics, acrobatics, shows and adventures. Visitorscan set out to conquer The West and cross untamed rivers. In addition to theacrobatic prowess of the park performers, visitors will love the backdrop –worthy of any great western. Ranch, saloon, sand on the ground, cactus and, asyou approach the village, the Cheyenne River rapids - a gigantic canyon, plusother unforgettable attractions. The Sea of Sand also has Jungle and Safariworlds and suspended bridges to delight visitors.

Official site: http://www.merdesable.fr/en/ (External link)

Marineland

Forpeople who love to watch the aquatic ballet of dolphins. Marineland in Antibes,on the edge of the Mediterranean on the Côte d'Azur, founded as far backas1970, quickly became the number one place to go – a pioneering marine park.

It is home to killer whales, sharks andsea lions. This is the place where Luc Besson filmed a number of scenes for hisfilm The Big Blue, released in 1988. At Marineland,children and adults alike can get close to the marine mammals. The programmeincludes lots of killer whale, dolphin, sea lion and bird (raptors and parrots)displays, magnificent aquaria (tropical fish, sea horses, marine turtles,etc.) and a veritable zoo of marine creatures: sea lions, seals, Steller's sealions, pelicans, pink flamingos, penguins, rays and polar bears... The sharktunnel offers a unique opportunity to get close to these ferocious beasts – 30mlong, it crosses a giant aquarium filled with around 2 million litres of water.The marine park is actually part of a bigger complex that also includes: theAqua-Splash water park; the Little Far West Farm, an animal park (farm animals)with lots of games for children; Adventure Golf and three “Jules Verne” crazygolf courses.

Official site: http://www.marineland.fr/page-_en.php (External link)

France Miniature

“Tell me a story about France…”. 10minutes from Versailles or 20 minutes from Paris-Porte d'Auteuil, FranceMiniature takes you around France in giant steps.

The whole country has been transferred onto a map covering 5 hectares ofland, where the public can explore 116 replicas of the most beautiful monumentsin France and 150 model landscapes that are 1/30th actual size. This is the biggestminiature theme park in Europe. Marvel at the most beautiful sites of France ina single day: the most beautiful monuments of Paris all in one place, Versailles, the castles of the Loire,the volcanoes of the Auvergne, Conques Abbey and the Arles Amphitheatre, gothicand Roman architecture, Normandy pastures and the Mont Saint Michel and so on.

Official site: http://www.franceminiature.fr/en (External link)

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