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Puy du Fou is the best theme park

THE VENDEE theme park Puy du Fou has been named the world’s best theme park by the American Themed Entertainment Association, which chose it from 700 parks and shows in 40 countries.

The park is the first French park to win the Thea Classic, the industry equivalent of the Oscars, and judges said it was a “unique” destination with the Puy du Fou Grand Parc being recognised as well as the long-running Cinéscénie night-time spectacular.

Marketing director David Nouaille said the judges had “discovered us late and found it was like no other park in the world. The mixture of spectacle, history and nature is totally original – conceived by ourselves, created by ourselves, staged by ourselves and presented here only for our visitors. We do not sell our attractions to other parks round the world – we keep them for the people who come to the Vendée.”

Including the large nature conservation area, the 300-hectare park, at Les Epesses, between La-Roche-sur-Yon and Angers, employs 1,000 seasonal staff plus 3,200 volunteers for the Cinéscénie, show which this year marks its 35th anniversary. It was the first show to be created for the park when it was founded in 1977.

Puy du Fou draws 1.5 million visitors a year and Mr Nouaille said the aim was not to draw hundreds of thousands more visitors as they recognise that too many visitors would lessen the experience. However, it would allow them to continue to expand and offer visitors a bigger and better experience. In addition, it would give the teams a boost.

Last year a poll for Journal du Dimanche named Puy du Fou as the French people’s favourite park.

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