This is the third time that we've been to Futuroscope, the last time was about 10 years ago and maybe 5 years before that. It does appeal to all ages and the group this time were our 8 year old grand-daughter, her mum and dad (in their 30s) and my husband and me (about to hit 60). We arrived a bit later than planned, about 11 am and stayed until the end of the light show about 11pm.
RIDES: We did some of the new rides like the Cretin Lapin and Arthur 4D, which were good but more cartoon Disney style than futuristic. We also did some old favourites, like the ride through the Vienne which has been updated by adding imagery to the side walls as well as the main screen and is still fun and exhilarating. There are good effects within the rides that I won't detail because knowing in advance would spoilt the effect. Dances with Robots looked fun but not quite what I had imagined it would be. You sit in a chair and a robot arm takes your chair through its paces, can't last longer than 60 seconds and the queue was nearly an hour. Still I chose not to do this one and there is a nice viewing gallery to watch others while you wait for your team. There are lots of play places for children with slides etc. and some water based activities like big wheeled pedal cycles and water fountains that looked fun. The light spectacular was well worth waiting for and was a different show to the one we saw previously. It's amazing what can be achieved with light and water, plus some images and even a few fireworks.
QUEUES: Most of the rides we went on had queues of about an hour, although the queuing was undercover and had many different ways of entertaining you along the way, it still meant that we spent about 5 or 6 hours in a queue. Although the day we went was a Friday after a Thursday French Jour Ferié (bank holiday) so many French take a 'pont' – bridge between that and the w/e, so it was very busy.
FOOD: You are allowed to take your own food in and there are some picnic places, but we didn't want to be carrying that kind of stuff all day. You can leave the park and return later, so it would have been possible to return to the car and get food but it was a long walk. So … we stopped in a snack bar about 3pm and got drinks and a filled baguette. However, one big, no, huge downfall was they didn't have a single item that was vegetarian and my daughter got nothing!! She was not happy. Later, about 6.30pm we found a nice restaurant, checked the menu provided for veggies and went in. It was a lovely place with very friendly and hard working staff. We even got a 10% discount for arriving before 6.30pm. We mostly chose from the set menu options plus drinks. COST: Park entry was a whopping 200 Euros! There are ways to reduce this e.g. booking on-line at least 3 days before hand could have saved us 40 euros and sometimes you can get discount vouchers at the tourist offices for 4 Euros off per person. Slightly cheaper for over 60s at 39 euros each compared to 42 for other adults. You can also pay an extra 15 Euros per person to fast track the queues, which we didn't understand at the beginning, might have been a good idea, but would we have paid another 75 Euros for the five of us – I don't think so. Disabled also seem to get priority and you can even borrow a wheel chair at the park, which we did for my 80 year old mum when we visited about ten years ago. It is also possible to arrive after 5pm and only pay 20 Euros each. However, several of the attractions are closed by then and others close as the evening goes on. My biggest annoyance was having to pay extra for car parking! It's not the sort of place you can easily get to on foot, although there is a railway station nearby, I think. So an extra 7 Euros for the car seemed an insult. If you are planning to stay until the light show ends it is well worth paying the parking charge when you buy your tickets as that saves queuing to pay when you are leaving and probably quite tired. Our snack cost about 35 Euros (4 people) and our very nice dinner was about 110 Euros (5 people) including 2 large glasses of expensive beers at 5.50 each.
SUMMARY: A good outing, there was lots that we didn't manage to do and maybe (especially with a child with you) a two day park ticket with overnight in one of the nearby hotels, would be a good option.