Top 9 Theme Parks in France

France is best known for Disneyland Paris, of course. But the country has many other wonderful theme parks and amusement parks. Let’s round up the top nine best theme parks in the country.

01 of 09

Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée

Disneyland Paris
Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

With nearly 10 million guests per year, Disneyland Park is one of the most popular theme parks in the world, the highest attended park in Europe, and the most visited destination in France. It follows the classic design of the original Disneyland Park in California and shares many of its lands and attractions, including “it’s a small world,” Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Main Street U.S.A. It also features unique elements, such as the launched coaster, Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, and its take on the Haunted Mansion, Phantom Manor. Fans consider Disneyland Paris to be the most beautiful of the Disneyland-style parks. Located about 20 miles from Paris, it’s easy to get to the Disney resort by train as well as by shuttle from the city’s airports.

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02 of 09

Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée

Cars ride at Disneyland Paris

Disney

The second park at the resort, Walt Disney Studios Park is considerably smaller than Disneyland Park. Themed to movies and television, it includes attractions based on “Cars,” “Ratatouille,” and “Toy Story,” as well as it own version of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. In 2022, a new Avengers Campus is set to open and will feature a Spider-Man Web Slingers ride along with an Iron Man makeover of the Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster. It has some compelling reasons to visit, but, because of its size and number of things to see and do, Walt Disney Studios Park takes only about half of a day to experience (as opposed to the full-day needed to fully appreciate Disneyland Park).

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03 of 09

Parc Astérix in Plailly

Parc Asterix ride

Compagnie des Alpes

With more than 2 million visitor annually, Parc Astérix is only behind the Disney parks in popularity in France and is among the top ten most attended parks in Europe. Themed to the the popular Astérix comic books, it includes plenty of their whimsy and humor, along with their characters. Parc Astérix does not offer any sophisticated dark rides like those found at Disneyland Paris, but adrenaline junkies can experience some wild roller coasters and other thrill rides. For example, the steel coaster, Toutatis, will climb 167 feet, include three inversions, and deliver loads of airtime when it opens in 2023. There are also rides geared to young children and families. Park Astérix is located 20 miles north of Paris and can be reached by shuttle bus from the city.

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04 of 09

Puy du Fou in Vendée

Le Signe du Triomphe at Puy du Fou Theme Park
Puy du Fou

Puy du Fou does not offer roller coasters or any other mechanical rides and is not an amusement park or a theme park in the traditional sense. Instead, the focus is on grand-scale, over-the-top shows filled with spectacle. One of the highlights, Le Signe du Triomphe (Triumph's Sign) takes place in a replica of the Roman Coliseum and features gladiator fights, chariot races, wrestling with wildcats, and parades of exotic animals. There are also presentations based on the Renaissance, the Belle Epoque, the 17th century, medieval times, and the modern era. Visitors can explore period villages and gardens as well. Puy du Fou caps each evening with La Cinéscénie, a wildly ambitious production filled with synchronized fountains, digital projections, and over 2,500 actors. The park bills it as the world’s biggest nighttime show. Puy du Fou is about three hours from both Paris and Bordeaux.

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05 of 09

Futuroscope in Chasseneuil-du-Poitou

Futuroscope near Poitiers
Futuroscope

Known for its modernist buildings, Futuroscope combines sophisticated, story-based, Disneyesque attractions with some high-thrill rides. Among the highlights are the flying theater presentation (like Disney’s Soarin’), The Extraordinary Journey; the coaster-based attraction, Destination Mars; and Arthur, the 4D Adventure (based on the animated character). The park presents a crowd-pleasing end-of-the-night show, The Key to Dreams, that features projected imagery on water screens and dancing lights. Futuroscope is just outside Poitiers in western France.

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06 of 09

Le Jardin d'Acclimatation in Paris

The Jardin d'Acclimation carousel

The Jardin d'Acclimation

Dating back to 1860, the lovely Jardin d'Acclimatation has been a beloved Paris attraction for generations. Its stately, manicured gardens have always been at the heart of the park. In 2017, the Jardin began an ambitious refurbishment project to restore and enhance the property. The park also features a variety of rides and attractions, including four roller coasters. Built in 1900, its double-decker carousel is one of the most celebrated in the world. There are also a number of free play areas, shows, a display of honeybees, and restaurants to discover. The Jardin d'Acclimatation is in the Bois de Boulogne area of Paris and can be reached via the metro.

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07 of 09

Parc Le Pal in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Besbre

Le Pal amusement park in France

Le Pal

As much a zoo as an amusement park, Le Pal has many animal exhibits, including lions, alligators, and chimps, as well as shows featuring sea lions and parrots. It doesn't skimp on the rides, however, and offers five roller coasters, including Yukon Quad, a launched model that hits 56 mph. Other attractions include two log flumes, a train ride, a Colorado River-themed raft ride, and an African safari jeep ride for children. There is also a 3D cinema. Located in the center of France, Le Pal is about two hours from both Lyon and Dijon.

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08 of 09

Walibi Rhône-Alpes in Les Avenières

Walibi Rhône-Alpes amusement park in France

Compagnie des Alpes

Walibi Rhône-Alpes is one of France’s biggest and most thrilling amusement parks. Among its five roller coasters is Mystic, which includes a vertical lift hill, climbs 102 feet, hits 53 mph, and offers three inversions. Walibi’s wooden coaster, Timber, delivers 11 airtime moments. Other highlights include the 50-meter-tall swing ride, Hurricane, the Gold River raft ride, and the Bambooz River log flume. A small water play area, Fermeture Aqualibi, offers slides and other ways to get wet. Located in the southeastern part of France, shuttle buses are available from Lyon, Chambéry, and other cities.

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09 of 09

Parc Bagatelle in Merlimont

Roller coaster at Parc Bagatelle

Parc Bagatelle

A popular, longstanding, seasonal amusement park, Bagatelle has been entertaining visitors since 1955. It offers a wide variety of rides and attractions, including five roller coasters. The most thrilling ride is Triops, a suspended looping coaster that includes three inversions and delivers 5Gs of force. There is also a log flume, a river raft ride, and a swinging boat ride. Bagatelle also offers spinning rides and other attractions for younger kids. The park is in northern France and is accessible by train as well as car.

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