Futuroscope theme park in Poitou-Charentes make for a brilliant day out or short break.
Top tips for a visit to Futuroscope
Try and avoid peak times, in particular the first three weeks in August.
There’s a “Pass Premium” available for 15€/person which 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 (there is a hotel if you want to stay), it’s well worth considering. Apart from feeling extremely important, it means you save time on queuing and can squeeze more in!
There’s a really clear map with a timetable on it available in English at the gate. The timetable changes according to the time of the year or week and it’s worth studying it before you set off. Some of the big attractions have a last show at 4pm and you don’t want to miss them.
The English headset (without headphones) comes free with the ticket. Although it doesn’t always work brilliantly, it’s worthwhile. Bring your own headphones or pay 1€ per pair.
Some of the 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 if you don’t want to get stuck in the car park with the 5,000 other people who also stay late to watch it, leave just before the end. Seats at the top of the auditorium are closer to the exit. Make your escape 5 minutes before the show finale. The result is a unique viewing of the end of the firework display and being able to drive straight out of a still deserted car park.
The worry with some theme parks is that eating there will leave you close to financially destitute but actually you can eat here at a reasonable price (An evening meal for 4 was just over 43€ 2017). Admittedly it was in a slightly strange crepèrie which appeared to have had an unusual encounter with a 1950s American salon. But burger and panacake fans will love the choices. And for the grown-ups, carafes and half carafes of rosé are available too.
Directions and details for Futuroscope
Futuroscope has an English website en.futuroscope.com with a map of the park and directions and it’s really well sign posted from miles around. It’s just to the west of Poitiers on the A10 (exit 28). Parking is easy but paid and there’s also a TGV train station.
You can book on line or buy at tickets at the gate. Prices vary and also include “breaks” for 2 or 3 nights.