Have you already booked your tickets for the Puy du Fou or are you hesitating to do so? To better plan your stay, discover the shows. They made us want to and we were not disappointed! Discover our ranking of the best shows in the Parc du Puy du Fou.
To make this ranking, you must know that we have seen all of them except “Les Noces de Feu” and “Les Automates Musiciens”.
I choose to keep the French words in the names. I think it makes it easier for you to find them in the park.
1. La Cinescénie
- Duration: 1h30
- Theme: History of the Vendée
The Cinescénie is simply the biggest night show in the world. It is developed by the Puy du Fou, but it is not inside the park. It is accessible from the outside and you need “Cinescenie” tickets to attend it.
It takes place on Friday and Saturday nights, starting between 10 and 10:30 p.m. depending on the date.
I’ve already written a great article about the Cinescénie. To summarize, this 1.30-hour show gathers more than 2500 actors on a 23-hectare stage. Several areas of scenery are worked on and your eyes try to not miss anything.
The scenario written by Phillipe de Villiers tells the story of the fictitious Maupillier family from Vendée. You will see scenes from the Middle Ages, the Revolution, the Vendée civil war, the two world wars…
You will discover emotion and action, with dancing scenes, stuntmen on horses, pyrotechnics, fireworks…
At the end of the show, no one is afraid to stand up and applaud. The Cinescénie is a show that impresses young and old alike. It is to be seen at least once in its life.
2. Le Dernier Panache
- Duration: 34 minutes
- Theme: The story of François-Athanase Charette de la Contrie
When you look at the rankings of the best shows at the Puy du Fou, Le Dernier Panache is never in the first positions. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed until I looked at the schedule for my visit.
However, both Amelie and I loved it. It mixes a moving story and rich scenario, with the use of technological equipment.
It is an indoor show. You enter a very large room resembling a movie theater. Sitting (comfortably) in your seat, you witness scenes telling the story of the life of François-Athanase Charette de la Contrie, better known by the simple name of “Charette”.
An officer in the French Navy, he returned to France during the Revolution. Faced with the genocide in the Vendée, he could not stand by and led the revolt.
The room has 360° sets and large projection canvases. More concretely, some scenes are traditional sets with actors. At other times, the canvases are the center of attention. At the end of each scene, the stage rotates so that a new decor is seen to another part of the stage.
Awarded “Best World Premiere” and “Best European Premiere” in 2016, it doesn’t leave you indifferent. You are never bored and learn more about an important part of the Vendée history through one of its heroes.
3. Les Vikings
- Duration: 26 minutes
- Theme: The Viking invasion
This show has a lot of actions. A traditional village celebrates the wedding of Sybele and Alderic. Everything is beautiful until the invasion of the bad barbarians.
The actors playing the Vikings succeed perfectly to give the feeling that the warriors of the North must have given at the time. All dressed in black, violent, they arrive to invade the village.
A drakkar (a Viking’s boat) emerges from the water to the sound of drums, the village is in flames and swords clash.
I won’t spoil the scenario any further. We attended this show twice because we liked it so much.
4. Le Bal des Oiseaux Fantômes
- Duration: 33 minutes
- Theme: Aerial ballet of birds
The Birds’ Ball has a storyline, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter and I can’t even remember it all, even if I saw the show less than a month ago…
What you have to remember about this Puy du Fou show is that you will see hundreds of birds up close.
When you enter the stands, you have the choice between sitting in one of the two big stands or taking a seat in the center of the stage to be in the middle of the birds.
Then, falconers fly a wide variety of birds. Eagles, falcons and vultures are the most impressive. They fly very close to you as the falconers stand at the bottom of the stands, at the top and even in the middle.
Regularly, spectators lowered their heads because they felt like the bird was going to hit them. We have seen vulture shows before, but we had never seen a show where the birds and the falconers are so numerous and so close!
5. Le Signe du Triomphe
- Duration: 35 minutes
- Theme: Roman circus games
This is an iconic show of the Puy du Fou. It is often the one put forward to illustrate the park. It takes place in a huge, magnificent arena. It does not have the charm of the real Colosseum, but its design is remarkable.
The scenario was revised in 2022. The changes did not convince Amelie who had already seen a previous version because it was less immersive in the world of gladiators.
The basic scenario is the following: the Gauls converted to Christianity rebel against Roman paganism and want to convert them. To punish them, the Roman emperor decides to have the leader of the Gauls compete in the circus games. If he wins, he will be allowed to live.
This story shows several circus games such as gladiator fights or chariot races. But the new scenario goes further and is more complex. Indeed, the center of the arena gradually takes the shape of a huge… boat!
The Sign of Triumph remains a great moment, but some ideas like the proselytizing very (too) present in most of the Park’s shows does not seem natural in this one. Moreover, the good Gauls against the bad Romans, it would deserve more nuance.
6. Le Secret de la Lance
- Duration: 29 minutes
- Theme: The Hundred Years War
As native Orleanians, we could not but like this show. Indeed, the show begins with the departure of the warriors to help Jeanne d’Arc to save the city of Orleans from the English invaders.
This initial situation allows us to see knights marching with banners, but also to witness stunts on horseback. It is impressive to see the actors perform acrobatics on horses launched at full speed.
Then, when the knights are gone, the drama occurs. The castle is attacked. Sword fights punctuate the show, but the surprise goes much further.
A big wall is lowered, the castle in the background comes closer and animations take place there. This show is a perfect example of the ingenuity and richness of the Puy du Fou’s decors.
7. Mousquetaire de Richelieu
- Duration: 32 minutes
- Theme: Cloak and dagger adventure
This is the first show we attended. It is near the entrance of the Park in a large building.
While the theater is doing a performance of Le Cid, Spadassins are coming to capture the lead actress. Her lover, Bouton d’Or, hides among the audience and will do anything to rescue her.
This story introduces many famous historical people like Corneille, Cardinal de Richelieu, the Musketeers…
Several scenes are sword fights. Horses are also featured with equestrian parades.
Not very sensitive to the activity, I didn’t like the long dance scene that animates the end of the show. It takes place in a beautiful environment and the partial flooding of the stage is nice. However, flamenco over several minutes, I don’t get it.
In most parks, this show would be in my top 3, but this is the Puy du Fou! There is so much quality that you must be selective.
8. Les Amoureux de Verdun
- Duration: 15 minutes
- Theme : The trenches of Verdun
Les Amoureux de Verdun is the only show without stands and actors in my ranking. It is part of the 4 immersive shows of the Puy du Fou.
The immersion is total. You enter a trench and all along your walk, you live in the hell of the First World War. Through letters written by a soldier in love, you face the reality of war.
Sounds of shells resound, a doctor treats seriously wounded, alarms warn of the arrival of the Germans, the Poilus (the nickname of the French soldiers during this war) shoot back and fire… Then, at the end, a moving scene occurs. It is Christmas, the soldiers do not shoot anymore to respect this sacred day.
The duration of 15 minutes is estimated because you move at your own pace in the trench. When there are few visitors, the walk is pleasant. When the park is crowded, it becomes slow and long, and the noise becomes difficult to bear.
This is my favorite immersive show, but I wouldn’t recommend it to claustrophobic people…
The other Puy du Fou shows
Les Noces de Feu
It is not included in my previous ranking because I did not see it. It’s a pity because this show seems impressive. It takes place at the end of the day at 10:30 p.m., but only on days without Cinescénie. Fountain and light shows embellish the movements of dancers present in the middle of the lake.
Les Grandes Eaux
This show lasts less than 10 minutes. It is a ballet of fountains. The water jets represent artistic movements.
It is not extraordinary like the one at the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas, but it is pleasant. Some of the benches are in the shade. So it’s an easy opportunity to breathe and relax between a few steps.
Le Mystère de la Pérouse
This immersive show tells the story of a scientific expedition requested by Louis XVI. The navigator Jean-François de La Pérouse goes on an adventure and crosses Cape Horn, sails to Alaska.
In addition to a soundtrack that narrates the story, you enter rooms that interact as a very cold room to recall Alaska, water flowing in the holds to mean the imminent sinking …
La Renaissance du Château
You enter a castle in small groups. In each room, an actor brings the era to life for you. From the Italian artist with his fake accent to the King and Queen dancing for you, there is a real variety. The actors speak French, but even if you don’t know the language, you enjoy the show.
Some of the rooms, such as the hallway surrounded by armor, are magnificent. You end the tour on a so-called relic, Jeanne d’Arc ring. Nevertheless, this ring acquired at an auction is not unanimously accepted and its authenticity is questioned by many historians.
Le Premier Royaume
Le Premier Royaume tells the story of Clovis. You listen to an epic that speaks about mythology, fights and offers magnificent scenery. As it is an immersive show, you move at your own pace. The tour lasts 15 to 20 minutes.
The experience is very interesting, but my favorite immersive show is still the Verdun trench. I recommend that even if you feel rushed by the people behind you, take the time to listen to the soundtrack. This will ensure that you follow the story.
Les Chevaliers de la Table Ronde
This is the only show that really disappointed me. It retraces the legend of King Arthur. The universe is well known to the public: the quest for the Grail, the Knights of the Round Table, the Lady of the Lake …
The highlight of the scene is the water basin that comes to life. However, the 17 minutes of the show are short, especially compared to the waiting time to access it, and not much happens…
Le Grand Carillon
A small show taking place in front of a row of wooden benches, Le Grand Carillon is a concert. A musician plays an instrument to make the 70 bells ring. During this time, two acrobatic comedians perform some acrobatics and humorous scenes.
Le Bal des Sapeurs
It’s a small show without pretension. It takes place in the ” Bourg 1900 “. Children, actors and dancers, play a funny little show. A car is on fire and the whole village, including the firemen, try to put it out.
Les Automates Musiciens
This show, like Le Bal des Sapeurs, comes to life in the “Bourg 1900”. I can’t give an opinion on it because I haven’t seen it. Musical automatons come out of the windows of the set and play popular songs in France.