Our day at Futuroscope Theme Park, Poitiers
Futuroscope. Now how would I describe it? A theme park with a lot of virtual reality arenas and rides – all designed by people who may well have been under the influence of hallucingenics during the build and design phase!
On the way back home from our six week summer roadtrip, we decided to detour through France and meet up with friends who were staying at a beautiful gite in Ceaux-en-Couhe. Having four wild kids between us we were looking for a place that would keep them entertained and us able to catch up on our summer adventures. Enter Futuroscope!
As you walk through the main entrance of the theme park, there is a crossroad to take you over the bridge or to Futuropolis, a younger kids area. I was stunned by the modern feel, cleanliness of the park, the space and how carefully thought out each area was. It really wouldn’t be out of place in a Disney line up!
The carpark is huge and can hold thousands of cars even on the busiest days, and best of all – for us, there was a Futuroscpe kennel which meant we could drop Bert in for the full day (approx. 13euros per day) so he was being looked after whilst we enjoyed ourselves without worrying about rushing home for him.
We spent a lot of our time at the Futuropolis area as the kids were self sufficient and there was so much for them to do. They felt like mini-grown ups wandering around by themselves. Everything was tried and tested at least once..and hilariously, there are no attendants, so you have to just strap yourselves in and hit the buttons yourself to go. Health and safety, whaaaaaat!?
Sky swings, crashing boats (not for the weak necked), hamster wheels, drivers tests, floating rivers and apprentice firefighting challenges can all be found here.
There are 22 main attractions in the park, at the time we visited Danse with les robots and Arthur the 4D Adventure, were two of the most popular rides, so make these your first or last stops of the day. Other must-see/do’s is the raving rabbid ride and the l’extraordinaire voyage. The l’extraordinaire voyage was honestly spectacular; you sat in cinema style seats whilst you were taken on world travel flying from country to country – the simulator seats were amazing, as were the storyline – where else do you get spat on by a giant frog!? It was from there that we went to ‘Man on a train’ simulator ride, it wasn’t great – infact, it was utterly bizarre! – and both Stu and Joe got full on motion sickness from this. They had to sit out for about an hour until their brains caught up with their inner organs slowing!
Another area that the kids (and adults) loved was The Astra – this housed a huge indoor slide, timed laser challenge (proper Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment vibes), dance mats and a whole VR sports area. Stu enjoyed the skiing one, but after only just recovering from the show, wound up feeling motion sick again. He said the experience was totally worth the ick feel after.
We did take plenty of cold drinks and snacks with us, but later in the evening we opted to eat at La Crepe Volante, which served crepes, kebabs and burgers and were large portions at reasonable prices. Of course, there were the obligatory slush drinks too which stopped the kids energy flagging too much.
We stayed until the very end to watch the firework spectacular; here you sit on concrete seating in a crescent shape and get transcended into a magical world of laser lights and water – it was brilliant. The only problem was that three quarters of the way through the heavens opened and I mean poured, thunder, lightning the lot, so we had to abandon the show to make a mad rush inside.
Futuroscope wasn’t what I was expecting at all, I was pleasantly surprised. I left feeling as confused about what we’d witnessed as when we stepped through the doors – but, the park is spacious and clean and never felt overcrowded – for achy legs then there are plenty of benches and even giant bean bags for you to take a break on. If you are near Poitiers and fancy a trip into a heady VR multimedia, 3D/4D world then Futuroscope can’t be missed!