The Futuroscope, one of the most interesting french theme park located at only 90 minutes by train from Paris, announced yesterday an important news for the park which might also be a not-so-good news for Disneyland Paris. The park announced that the Futuroscope Supervisory Board gave its green light to a investment plan of 46 million euros for the renewal of the contents in the next four years of five of the park pavilions: the Image Studio, the Kinemax, the Solido, Imax 3D and the Magic Carpet.
From the start Futuroscope pavilions architecture always looked great ( see above and below ) some looking like giant crystal rocks in which the sky reflects, wonderfully... and some of them could even make jealous the architects of Epcot’s future world. But the problem has always been with what was shown inside. At the start the Futuroscope was a huge "IMAX show room" where all the different IMAX techniques were shown to the visitors. Back in the 1990's it worked great, but now guests are asking more than a simple movie as good as it can be, and these 46M € surely will help the Futuroscope to do these enhancements and bring to the original pavilions something more exciting.
To come back to the announcement the agreement for the 46M € were discussed in a public meeting last Friday, December 20, and was vote unanimously by the majority and the opposition. The region general council, as owner of the park, agreed to support 8M Euros. Dominique Hummel, CEO of the park, stressed the importance of the commitment of the Compagnie des Alpes: "The air hole that we had in 2013 has lead us to build a multi-year plan. The contractual commitment of Compagnie des Alpes was 10 million euros. With this plan of 46 million euros in four years, it goes beyond. "
The Magic Carpet attraction "will be transformed in a new major thrill ride" and they have plenty of room in this one to create something great. So far the “magic carpet” pavilion was inviting its audience on a poetic and ecological odyssey that couldn't be seen anywhere in the world but at the Futuroscope, in a theatre that boasts the Double Imax format. In the upper area, nearly 250 seats in tiered rows face a giant 672 m2 screen. In the lower area, a second inclined screen, 748 m2 large, stretches out beneath the spectators' feet. Two films were projected simultaneously from two projection rooms equipped with IMAX technology, one in front and one underfoot, that let the audience fly with the birds above the whales and dolphins.
But the theatre itself is huge and for instance they could easily built a "Soarin'" attraction in it if they want. It's even surprising that the Futuroscope don't have yet a Soarin' ride as it would fit perfectly with the rest of the park. Disneyland Paris always has the project to bring Soarin' to the Walt Disney Studios and they're lucky that no other competitor in France didn't built yet a ride with the same technology. But it may not last forever...
However the biggest danger for DLP comes from the 46M € investment amount. At DLP, considering WDI prices they almost can't built nothing with 46M € but at the Futuroscope where the budget for a new attraction is around 10M € they can build easily three or four rides, one per year, and for this amount they even can build great rides. Next year DLP will have the opening of the long awaited Ratatouille ride but so far nothing new is scheduled for the years after 2014 and the fact that the Futuroscope, DLP biggest competitor in France, will have the funds to build new rides each year is no good news... all this relative speaking as the Futuroscope had last year 1.7M visitors only, so they won't take a lot of guests to DLP anyway.
Pictures: copyright Futuroscope