Futuroscope is an amusement park beside Poitiers in the middle of France. It’s more techno, 4D simulations and visual effects than fast rides but you sure do feel as if you’ve gone fast even if you haven’t.
We’ve been a couple of times – when the kids were 6, 10 and 12, and again just recently when these now kinda big teens were almost 12, 15 and 17.
Some of the old rides remained favourites – Arthur’s 4D Adventures and Dance with Robots – but there were some new ones – Discover Vienne (this area of France, at high speed and jumping off trains!) and Cosmic Collisions where I learnt more about how the Earth and moon were formed in 20 minutes that I have in the last 45 years.
This time we took our campervan and it was great! There are hotels and the like around, but there’s nothing like nipping out the park across to the parking area for a spare jumper or a cup of tea. You can come and go as many times as you like, there’s an ultraviolet light stamp on the back of your hand. The park opened at 9 – we were about first in – and we strolled back over to the van to sleep after it closed following the pretty spectacular light show (which I think is the best bit of the park) at 9.30pm (times vary).
The campervan area is great value for money – 7€ for 24 hours from 8.30am to 8.30pm, or 3€ overnight from 5pm to 8.30am (there’s a late less-than-half-price pass for the park too if you only want to wander round for the last few hours).
The park itself is usual pretty expensive park prices – not far off 200€ for a family of 5. Unless you have a UK Tesco Clubcard….. And then you can get in free if you collect vouchers!
There’s an area for younger children, more like a play park with water slides, and the park provide covered or open picnic areas and don’t get all antsy about taking food into the park like some do.
There are even animal care facilities if you’re travelling with a pet – they didn’t specify which kind of pet – cats and dogs are fine, maybe other animals are too. That’s 5€ for your pet croc for the day during park opening times. You can pick up warm croissants and baguettes from the animal centre reception in the morning – or you’re right next to a massive Auchan supermarket if you need to top up on groceries. We avoided all restaurant queues by arranging meals back at the van.
There are waste water drainage facilities and you can top up 100L of water or 1 hour of electricity for 2€. The parking area is fenced so pretty secure, but the entrance isn’t manned or locked.
Our top tips would be to go outwith school holiday time or weekends if you can – the queues can be long. And take earphones if you don’t speak French – you can borrow translation sets (for free I think) which operate at some of the attractions and plug into any earphones.
Whilst the park doesn’t have the same high speed rollercoaster rides as its bigger cousins, it’s well maintained, well organised, friendly and the light show at night is the best I’ve seen.
You don’t even need to be visiting Futuroscope to stop at the overnight parking area – it’s a great overnight en route from north to south or east to west in France – and its massive, they surely don’t ever run out of space.