“If you’re driving back to England via the West Coast of France and Normandy, you must go see the Puy du Fou night show” – recommended Isabelle.
I met Isabelle at a stable in La Camargue (South of France) after an incredible 2-hour horse ride in beautiful wilderness and beaches.
I rarely dismiss a recommendation and with a name like Puy du Fou (Hill of the Fool!), I couldn’t ignore it. And gosh, am I glad I didn’t!
GET ME A TICKET!
I looked it up online (www.puydufou.com/en/la-cinescenie-0) and thought: WOW, get me a ticket!.
For some reason, I didn’t pay much attention to the daytime programme of the Grand Parc and focussed on booking myself in for the evening show. The Cinéscenie. Tickets were sold out ages ago, but I didn’t give up. I created an account with a French ebay-equivalent called Le Bon Coin, and checked daily until I got one. I was so happy I snoopy-danced!
CAMPING AT PUY DU FOU
I arrived at Puy du Fou the day before my show date. The 3 campsites nearby were all fully-booked. Of course, being a spontaneous traveller, I hadn’t planned ahead. As a last resort I drove to the gigantic campsite at Puy du Fou and it turned out to be the best option!
A friendly, serviced and spacious camping area right on site (https://www.puydufou.com/en/camper-van-site) where 100s of other vanlifers awaited to see the best shows in the World.
I settled in nicely, knowing I had a whole night and day before the show. That evening I could hear some of it and saw the stunning fireworks from my van. If I were excited about seeing it before, now I couldn’t wait any longer.
THE GRAND PARC AND SHOWS
Around 3pm the next day, I took a stroll in the direction of the Grand Parc entrance to find a place to eat. Still clueless of the park’s magnitude and what it offers (https://www.puydufou.com/en/spectacles).
I was practically on site so the only restaurants were inside. At the ticket office I was told I could still go in and make it to a few shows until 7pm-ish. My intuition said “YES, go in!”.
I bought a last-minute day ticket and spent the rest of the day working through the programme, hopping around the huge park from one incredible show to another. As happy as a fool. Feeling high and emotional like a kid.
This is no ordinary theme park with rides; it is more of a giant park of theatres taking you back through history, traditions and time . Wonderful.
NATURE AND ANIMAL WELFARE AT PUY DU FOU
The Grand Parc of Puy du Fou is an unbelievable place. It is very green with plenty of space to walk around nature, through entertainments and live recreations of old medieval villages.
The shows I saw (I managed 6!) were all mind-blowing, with amazing structures and stages, fantastic acting, acrobatics and stunts, fights, fire shows and special effects. They brought tears to my eyes.
I felt particularly emotional during the Dance of the Birds of Prey. I am a huge fan of eagles and stokes, so this spectacle was very powerful and special. But I felt a little torn too. Many animals take part in the shows. Puy du Fou is said to home and care for around 1500 animals.
I don’t support the use of animals for our entertainment so I was worried about contributing to it. I was reassured that all animals are loved and well taken care of and they do appear to enjoy playing their phenomenal contributions to the shows. Especially the horses and dogs. I also noticed how well connected the birds and carers seemed to be, from the eye gazing and smiles. But I am aware this is not Freedom.
I am hopeful that Puy du Fou acts more like an enjoyable sanctuary for these wonderful beings, than an abusive entertainment place. They promise to care for their animals and they are committed to a number of wildlife conservation programmes (https://www.puydufou.com/en/our-promises).
Camping at Puy du Fou was very handy. I could easily return to my van in between the visit to the Grand Parc and the night show, taking time to reset and put some warmer layers on.
I never dreamt of seeing anything like Cinescenie in my lifetime. It is simply the biggest and most striking theatre stage and show one could ever experience.
Outstanding. From its breath-taking grandeur down to the smallest of detail. A spectacular and intricate collaboration between super creative and talented humans (many young ones too), and adorable and very cooperative animals, all in a gorgeous setting of nature, lakes and castles.
A story beautifully presented with technical genius, stunning light-shows (including images projected on the buildings, windmills and water jets!), and gorgeous fireworks.
I totally get why the Puy du Fou (Hill of the Fool!) won best theme show in the World !
Trusting that their commitment to the environment and animal welfare is genuine and real, I highly recommend you all put it on your bucket list!
I messaged Isabelle to thank her for the amazing tip and to let her know I made it happen.
It’s wonderful what you can attract into your life when you stay open to new connections, new adventures and dare to be a little playful. 🙂
Happy Me at the end of a TOP Day!