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Park People


please! Presented with the accolade at IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando in November, Puy du Fou is the first European park in 20 years to win the Applause Award. “Puy du Fou is more than a simple theme park,” said the Applause Award judging panel. “It brings French history to life through art and theatre for an international audience. The combination of the park’s long history and the authenticity of its shows offer its millions of visitors a profound and emotional experience each year.“ Initiated by the Swedish amusement park Liseberg in 1980, the Applause Award has been made on an biannual basis ever since. Previous winners include Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Opryland, EPCOT, Knott´s Berry Farm, Europa-Park, Efteling, Universal Studios Florida, Cedar Point, Silver Dollar City, Hersheypark, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Islands of Adventure, Xetulul, Dollywood, and Ocean Park (Hong Kong). Judges on this occasion comprised Andreas Andersen (Liseberg), Bob Masterson (Golden Planet Leisure), Peter Herschend (Herschend Family Entertainment), Sascha N Czibulka (Intamin), Tim O´Brien (Ripley Entertainment), Amanda Thompson (Blackpool Pleasure Beach), Ira West (Ira West Inc), John Wood (Sally Corp) and Michael Mack (Europa-Park).

three, it’s quite easy to fly them together, but we will have 50 drones flying in the sky at the same time with heavy payloads, and they must be able to fly in the wind and rain. That’s why we created our own drones. They will fly automatically and have their own “brain” so that they can make decisions and leave the choreography and go “home” if their motor or battery is not working well. We say that Cinéscénie has 1,600 performers – as from June it will have 1,650!

Why did you chose to work with Efteling on the Raveleijn show as your first show outside France (launched in 2011)? The Efteling park is perhaps closest to the Puy du Fou concept because it’s very family orientated. They have some rides but also some shows, and it’s an old park which has a very long experience based upon the legends of the Netherlands. The second reason is the show we thought of matched exactly the vision of the manager there, and there is a very nice arena building where it is playing. When there is a good fit like this, everyone can work together.

Tell us more about the projects you are working on in the UK, Russia and China In the UK it will be a big night show at Barnard Castle in the north east of England. It will be very close to the Cinéscénie concept, lasting around one- and-a-half hours but a bit smaller with around 400 people on stage, and an English story of course. It will be just the show at the beginning, after that maybe we will set up a park and we have already designed something for our English partners. In Russia what we are creating is a park in the south of Moscow. It will have to start with a few shows, a village, a small park to start with but getting bigger year after year, based upon Russian history, myths and legends.

In China, the idea that we are discussing is more

of a French concept. You can’t go to China as French people and do a show about Chinese history,

Raveleijn at Efteling was Puy du Fou’s first show outside France

In between the shows, Puy du Fou visitors can browse its historical villages

because they will laugh at you. We also don’t need to teach them anything about creating big shows, because they are very good at that themselves, and very good artists. So it will be more of an exotic concept, like a window on France, offering the Chinese people a taste of the country in one or two days. Both the Russian and Chinese projects won’t need any volunteers; everybody will be paid.

What’s new for 2015 in France? As well as the drones in Cinéscénie, we will launch a new show based upon the First World War, Les Amoureux de Verdun. It’s obviously a very sensitive subject, but I think we have the right angle. It will be a story of two lovers; where a woman is writing a letter to her fiancé who is a soldier, and we will follow this man in the war. And we have another night show whose name is Le Orgures des Feu (Organs of Fire), where we are introducing some new ideas and special effects. We are improving and investing in all the shows. Le Secret de la Lance



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