Theme Parks in France: Puy du Fou, Disneyland and Parc Astérix

Here’s a guide to my favorite theme parks in France – Puy du Fou, Disneyland Paris, and Parc Astérix. I’ve visited all of them with my two young kids, and I’m excited to share what we love about each one. Each park is unique, and I’ll explain what makes them special, how to get there, and more. Get ready for some firsthand tips to help you plan your own family adventure!

Which is better? That’s a tough one to answer. For me, Puy du Fou is the clear winner among theme parks in France because it’s so unique and mind-blowing. As someone who doesn’t enjoy even remotely scary rides, Puy du Fou was perfect. It has incredible theatre shows with special effects, offering a completely different, immersive experience. The park’s productions are enormous and of such high quality that they rival most theme parks in France and even many theatres around the world. You can’t help but be amazed by the sheer scale of Puy du Fou, and the astonishing entertainment it provides.

While Puy du Fou was my favorite among the theme parks in France, Disneyland and Parc Astérix were the highlights of our adventures for my two young kids. Both parks offer plenty of fun and are filled with exciting rides.  If you want the magic that comes with Disney, there is no better option than Disneyland. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of theme parks and interested in experiencing a bit of French culture, Parc Astérix is the perfect destination. Inspired by the beloved French comic book series “Asterix”, this park is immensely popular among locals.

1. Puy du Fou Theme Park

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Puy du Fou, near Nantes in France, is a unique historical theme park that immerses visitors in the extraordinary events of French history. With over 2.5 million visitors every year, it was twice voted “Best Theme Park in the World”.

Unlike traditional amusement parks, Puy du Fou focuses on grand theatrical shows rather than rides. Its historical shows vividly re-enact French history, from the Roman era to the 20th century, using remarkable special effects and truly touching storylines. It also offers immersive experiences where you get plunged into highly realistic sets such as a ship or underground war trenches.

As I witnessed the spectacular shows at Puy du Fou, I was left in complete awe, utterly speechless, and transported back to a childlike state of wonder. Did that really happen? Did that Viking shop just come out of the water? How did they do it? From the breath taking shows to the immersive experiences, Puy du Fou offers a journey through time unlike any other among theme parks in France.


Highly acclaimed shows include “Les Vikings” with a Viking longboat emerging from the water, and “Le Signe du Triomphe” featuring gladiatorial games. Another favorite is “Les Chevaliers de la Table Ronde” narrating the legend of King Arthur. “Le Mime et l’Étoile” was voted “Best Live Show in the World” in 2024. The story follows a Belle Époque gypsy artist and circus mime who falls in love with a famous actress.lls the story of a gypsy artist and a circus mime during the Belle Époque, who falls in love with the most famous actress of her time.

Throughout the day, visitors can take part in immersive walkthrough experiences as impressive as the shows. Highlights include “Les Amoreux de Verdun” recreating a First World War trench, and “Le Mystère de La Pérouse” an immersive maritime expedition.

Don’t miss the evening shows – they are truly spectacular. The CinéScénie night time show stands out for its exceptional fame. With over 2,000 actors and dancers performing on a grand outdoor stage, this show is a true spectacle.

While everything is in French, simultaneous translation headsets are offered, allowing you to follow shows in English. Unlike Disneyland, Puy du Fou is not open year-round; it operates daily only from June to August.

Read “Guide to Puy du Fou Theme Park in France” for tips on visiting one of the best theme parks in France.

How much time to spend at Puy du Fou

The show schedules and distances between them make it challenging to experience everything in just one day, especially when you’re travelling with kids. We stayed for two days and saw every show on offer, without feeling rushed.

How to get to Puy du Fou

By car

Puy du Fou is 1hr drive from Nantes and Angers, 2hr drive from Poitiers, and a 3hr 30mins drive from Paris.

By train

The closest high-speed rail station to Puy du Fou is Angers TGV. A train journey from Paris to Angers takes on average 1hr 30mins. You can purchase train tickets online here.

A shuttle service (up to 3 times a day) runs from Angers TGV to the Puy du Fou park, taking about 1hr and 20mins. It costs €16.90 per person one way or €33.80 return, and you need to reserve it in advance. You can check the latest shuttle schedule on the Puy du Fou website here.

By plane

The nearest airport to Puy du Fou is Nantes Atlantique Airport. You could take a domestic flight from Paris to Nantes, and then it’s 1 hour by car or by dedicated shuttle from the airport.

How much does it cost

Puy du Fou can get crowded, especially in the summer. Therefore, it’s better to pre-book your tickets. Doing so will save you 20% if booked at least 72 hours ahead. Except for the 90-minute night show La Cinéscénie and a kids’ carousel (€2 per ride), all experiences are included. You can buy a combined ticket, which includes entry to the park and the night show La Cinéscénie.

  • Adult: €44 (or €73 with the night show)
  • Children (3-12 years old): €31 (or €60 with the night show)
  • Children under 3: free

Is there a Skip-the-Line option?

Puy du Fou offers an Emotion Pass, letting you skip queues and get the best seats at major showss. It costs €21 per day and must be reserved with your entry ticket.

Where to stay when visiting Puy du Fou

You can stay at one of the six onsite Puy du Fou hotels, each with a unique historical theme. For example, La Citadelle resembles a castle from the Middle Ages, La Villa Gallo-Romaine takes you back to the time of the Roman Empire, and Le Camp du Drap d’Or features giant tents with four-poster beds and all modern facilities inside.

Alternatively, there are various accommodations available near the park, catering to a range of budgets and preferences, such as:

2. Disneyland Theme Park

Disneyland Paris needs no introduction as the most well-known among the theme parks in France, attracting over 10 million visitors each year. In fact, there are two parks in one – Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.

If you want the magic that comes with Disney, including the fairy-tale setting, princess experiences, and meet-and-greets with favourite characters, no other theme parks in France compare to Disneyland Paris.

In April 2014, Disneyland Paris announced a name change for Walt Disney Studios to Disney Adventure World. This change aligns with the ongoing expansion work to redefine the park’s identity. The name change accompanies the opening of World of Frozen, an immersive area dedicated to the Disney hit “Frozen”. The World of Frozen will border Adventure Bay, which will include themed gardens and a new “Tangled” attraction, Raiponce Tangled Spin.

What’s great about Disneyland is that it caters to every age, from children to adults. Disneyland is not just about rides – there are also shows, parades, and the excellent night time spectacular show on the castle featuring projections, lasers and firework. Among all the theme parks in France, Disneyland stands out for its many entertainment options – there is really something for everyone.

New shows and performances are introduced regularly, ensuring there is always something new to experience. The latest show at Walt Disney Studios Park is based on “Alice in Wonderland,” running from 25 May to 29 September, 2024. The 30-minute show runs three times daily and features an urban twist with BMX stunts, trampolines, singing, and dancing.


Disneyland Park is the heart of the magic, divided into five themed lands.

  1. Main Street, U.S.A invites visitors to a nostalgic vision of small-town America at the turn of the 20th century. This street is lined with shops and restaurants, leading up to the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle.
  2. Fantasyland, designed with younger visitors in mind, is home to beloved characters and storybook settings. Must-see attractions include “It’s a Small World,” “Peter Pan’s Flight,” and “Alice’s Curious Labyrinth”.
  3. Adventureland lets guests explore the world with attractions such as “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “Indiana Jones” and “Adventure Isle”.
  4. Frontierland showcases America’s frontier past with the thrilling “Big Thunder Mountain” roller coaster and the spooky “Phantom Manor”.
  5. Discoveryland immerses visitors in sci-fi adventures with attractions like “Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain” and “Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast”.

Adjacent to Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park celebrates the art of filmmaking and animation with plenty of its own shows and rides. The night time Disney Illuminations show is a spectacular blend of fireworks, light, and music so be sure to stay and watch it if you can.

Disneyland Paris is popular and often busy. If you have a choice, try to visit during the week and arrive early in the morning. Choosing a date outside the French school holidays will help you avoid the crowds. If you want to eat at one of Disneyland’s theme restaurants, make a reservation well in advance. Without a reservation, there are grab-and-go options around the park, ensuring you won’t go hungry during your visit.

How much time to spend at Disneyland Paris

You can see everything in two to three days, but even a day trip from Paris is great fun. Whether you make Disneyland your main destination or just a day trip from Paris, you’ll have an amazing experience.

How to get to Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is in Marne-la-Vallée, a suburb about 32 kilometers east of the centre of Paris.

By car

Driving to Disneyland Paris is straightforward and convenient. Located just 32 kilometers (about 20 miles) east of Paris, the resort is easily accessible via the A4 motorway. Follow the signs for “Marne-la-Vallée” or “Disney Parcs.” Parking costs €30 for the day, but guests staying at Disney hotels enjoy free parking at Disneyland Parks.

By train

Direct RER trains run regularly from central Paris (Châtelet-Les Halles, Gare de Lyon or Nation train stations), taking 35-40 minutes. Click here to book your tickets. Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station is just a 2-minute walk from the Disneyland parks. There is a free shuttle bus that runs from this station to all Disney hotels.

By shuttle

You can purchase a ticket to Disneyland that includes shuttle transportation. This package offers round-trip transportation along with an entrance ticket for either one or both parks. You can choose from five bus stops in central Paris: Eiffel Tower, Gare du Nord, Opéra, Châtelet, or Montparnasse.

By plane

Disneyland Paris is easily accessible from both Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) airports.

  • From Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG): The easiest way is to take the TGV train directly from the airport to Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy, which takes about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the Magical Shuttle, a dedicated bus service that runs regularly between CDG and Disneyland Paris.
  • From Orly Airport (ORY): You can also use the Magical Shuttle service to reach Disneyland Paris.

How much does it cost

The cost of tickets to Disneyland Paris varies depending on the type of ticket and the season. A one-day dated ticket starts at around €56 for children and adults if visiting one park. If you want access to both parks, prices start at approximately €81 for children and adults. These prices can be higher during peak times such as holidays and weekends.

For multi-day tickets, the cost decreases per day the longer you stay. Multi-day tickets automatically include access to both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.

Flexible undated tickets are also available, allowing you to visit any day within a year, but you must book your visit date in advance. These tickets start at €97 for children and €105 for adults for one park, or €122 for children and €130 for adults for access to both parks​ .

Children under the age of 3 enjoy free entry to Disneyland Parks.

Is there a Skip-the-Line option?

The Disney Premier Access pass lets you skip lines at popular attractions through a dedicated fast lane. While not ensuring immediate access, it reduces waiting time by allowing to join a shorter line with other pass holders. You can buy the Disney Premier Access One, which lets you skip the line one time for a single attraction, or the Disney Premier Access Ultimate, which allows you to skip the line one time for each available attraction. These passes can be purchased directly via the Disneyland app.

Where to stay when visiting Disneyland

If you’re coming to Disneyland just for a day, you can easily stay in Paris and take the train there and back. If you’re staying for longer than a day, then consider staying at one of the official Disney hotels, or choose from many hotel and Airbnb options in the nearby area. Here are some suggestions for places to stay:

3. Parc Astérix

If you enjoy theme parks and are looking for a taste of French culture, Parc Astérix is a great destination to explore. Located about 35 kilometers north of Paris, Parc Astérix offers a distinctively French alternative to Disneyland. Opened in 1989, it’s based on the famous French comic book universe of Asterix and Obelix, created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. This series, familiar to any French child of the 1980s, follows the adventures of Gaulish warriors Asterix and Obelix and their fellow villagers during the time of Julius Caesar.

The hugely popular and charming park takes these beloved characters as the starting point for an epic selection of thrill rides, family-friendly shows, and other attractions. It is particularly celebrated for its fine selection of roller coasters, boasting more than many other theme parks in France. The park feels authentically French with its strong French identity and humor, making it a standout among theme parks in France.

Most French people are familiar with the comics and will find the characters of Asterix recognizable. If you’re a fan of the cartoons, you’ll love it. Even if you’ve never read the Asterix comics, you won’t feel out of place, as the park experience is primarily about the rides.


The park is divided into six themed areas: Gaul, The Roman Empire, Ancient Greece, Egypt, the Vikings, and Through Time. There are 50 attractions and shows, catering to thrill-seekers with spine-tingling roller coasters such as “Pégase Express“, “Goudurix“, and “Oziris“.

Parc Astérix also features “Toutatis“, France’s fastest attraction, a steel roller coaster reaching 110km/h and towering 51 meters high. There is also “La Revanche des Pirates“, an aquatic course where the whole family gets splashed with water.

For toddlers, there are multiple playgrounds and age-appropriate attractions conveniently located on one side of the park.

One of Parc Astérix’s advantages over Disneyland Paris is the generally smaller crowds, offering a more relaxed experience. Unlike Disneyland, Parc Astérix is not open all year round. It is open daily from June to August, and on select days during other times of the year. Check the schedule before visiting to make the most of your time at one of France’s most unique theme parks.

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How much time to spend at Parc Astérix

One day would be enough to enjoy the key attractions.

How to get to Parc Astérix

By car

Driving to Parc Astérix is straightforward and convenient. Located just 35 kilometers north of Paris, the resort is easily accessible via the A1 motorway. Follow the signs for “Parc Astérix”. The parking costs €20 for the day.

By shuttle

There is no direct train from Paris to Parc Astérix, but a convenient shuttle bus, either BlaBlabus or FlixBus, departs regularly and takes about an hour to reach the park.

How much does it cost

Parc Astérix ticket prices vary. Standard “Liberty Flex” tickets cost from €62 for adults (12+ years) and €54 for children (3-11 years), while children under 3 years get free entry. Special offers include dated tickets, which are often cheaper when purchased at least seven days in advance for a specific date. A dated “Futé Ticket” costs from €51 for adults (12+ years) and €48 for children (3-11 years). Click here to book your tickets.

Is there a Skip-the-Line option?

Parc Astérix offers several Filotomatix passes that allow you to skip the queue although there may still be a waiting time of about 10 minutes. Pass prices range from €15 to €45 daily, depending on the level of access you prefer to book.

Where to stay when visiting Parc Astérix

If you’re planning to stay overnight at Parc Astérix, there are several convenient options available including three on-site hotels:

In conclusion, the variety of theme parks in France offers something for everyone, from the historical reenactments at Puy du Fou to the magical experiences at Disneyland Paris and the uniquely French thrills of Parc Astérix. I thoroughly recommend exploring each of these theme parks in France with your family and friends!

Have you visited any of these theme parks? Share your comments and feedback below.

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