Friday, February 10, 2017

Futuroscope Trip - Day 2

Day 2 of Futuroscope started with French Breakfast.  It was included in the hotel stay.  We headed over to the restaurant to find trays of bread and chocolate croissants, an option of coffee or hot cocoa, and a couple of stations with fruit and cereal.  Oh, how I do miss American breakfast with its eggs and bagels!

Immediately after breakfast, we entered the park and headed directly to the Lapin Cretin ride: The Time Machine.  We weren't allowed to take pictures, so this is the best I've got.  Alex and I in the dark, before the ride starts, wearing our 3d glasses.  The next picture is in a cafe in the park where they have the time traveling washing machine, built by the rabbits, on display.

Calmly sitting on toilets before Alex freaks out

The time traveling washing machine

When the ride first started, something whacked our legs from under the seats.  The seats being shaped like toilet seats.  Because Lapins Cretins.  This freaked Alex out.  He thought he had been shocked.  I think there were just brushes or something under the seats to help out with the "4d" experience.  The rest of the ride he was on edge, not really enjoying it.  It was really well done though with different scenes and different "4d" effects.  Overall, I'm kind of getting tired of the rides where you get wet when one of the on-screen characters sneezes at you or exhales through their nose.  I wanted to go again, but the boys weren't sure, so we continued on.   

After finally completing the activity of going on a ride (the rabbit one), we found the boys' favorite place in Futuroscope, The Arena.  It had all types of entertainment including some PS3s.  The boys played Lego Batman or Lego Avengers or something.  

Knowing what children like on vacation, video games are provided

Fortunately there were other non-video games including "Mind Ball."  This is the one where you put headbands on and they read your different brain waves, translating them into signals that move a foam ball.  

Who will be more focused and move the ball with THEIR MIND?

Will tried the super steep slides.  It is interesting because Alex tends to be the kid who takes more risks.  Except when it comes to heights.  Will tried these two slides, but there was another that didn't have any curves that he opted out of.  Alex spent his time doing a race where you push a button, then run really fast while it measures your speed with radar.

Really tall slides

Alex also tried the Reaction Time game, but was slightly short for the higher buttons.

I dragged the boys away from all of the excitement of The Arena so that we could see more of the park.  We went into The Robot Dance Party viewing area.  You may recall that when we were in Denmark at Lego Land, the kids, especially Will, loved riding on the giant robot arms.  However, these giant robot arms were not programmable, so they weren't as interested in riding on them.  We watched the exciting DJing of Martin Solveig as the robots moved around during the music.

It's Martin Solveig!

Robot Arm Dancing

After watching robots dance, we headed back into the cold outside.  The boys got to do some of the rides in the play area.  Oddly, most of them were not monitored by park staff.  You stand in line, then go find a seat on this tower, making sure to responsibly buckle your seatbelt, then you pull yourself off the ground, using the rope, as the silver post slowly rotates around.  Fortunately, if you let go, you don't crash back to earth, but only slowly descend back to the ground.  The kids enjoyed this.  Alex even tried it by himself.

 The next ride was the best.  Like the pulling yourself up a post ride described above, it also did not have any attendants.  It was a sitting zip line.  But it was kind of tricky for the person sitting in the swing to actually push the start button.  This is the video of Alex activating the ride for Will.

One of the rides had a touch of DaVinci, looking like something out of one of his sketchbooks.  In order to get your part of the ride off the ground, you had to pedal as it spun around.  

Some of the rides realated to water were closed.  But, the one where you ride a giant tricycle on a pond was open.  As you can see, there are clear regulations related to your security when you are riding on the water bikes.  Like most things, we sort of got the gist of what it was saying in French, but really didn't completely understand.  Fortunately, this was enough for us to ride the ride without incident.  :)  We figured out how tall we needed to be.  Alex was not tall enough to ride on his own, so I ended up pedaling him around.  We also divined that he needed to wear a life jacket while on the bikes.  Good to Go!  What?  There are 10 other guidelines? Meh.

I think this one means you should try to not fall into the pond...

Alex was way wiggly on the bike.  He was sitting behind me.  So I wasn't able to take a picture of him, but I was able to carefully pull out my phone and take this crooked picture of Will.  Alex managed to stay still enough during the picture taking and I did not drop my phone into the water.  Yea!

Biking Will

The boys had suspected that there was something I was not telling them about the park.  They thought that there might be an arcade somewhere, but they couldn't figure it out from the map in French.  We wandered back past the large horn...

Alex, once again expressing himself

...and found the arcade.  The boys were super excited as we can't find the local Toulousian Dave & Busters and they spent some time playing the games.

Look, actual air hockey

Where else can we play Mario Cart?

They took time to create custom racing faces for Mario Cart.

Their last bit of arcade fun was playing all of the pinball machines.  I think their favorite was the Star Wars one.  At one point, Alex's ball got stuck and there weren't other balls coming out.  So, I did what anyone would do... I bumped it with my hip.  But it may have been a little too hard as the machine showed !Tilt!  That's not all.  Being a Star Wars pinball machine, it also gave me a lecture with Yoda saying, "Anger leads to hate, hate... to suffering."


Throughout the day, we did go to many of the IMAX and "4d" showings.  Of course, we weren't able to take pictures inside.  Here are the ones that we saw:

Ice Age: No Time for Nuts - This was about the squirrel animal in Ice Age who has found some sort of time traveling nut.  He travels in time while water and balls are thrown at us.  

Dynamic - This one was rougher than some roller coasters that I've been on.  It was some sort of virus destroying mission, I think.  Our seats were very bouncy and wacked us back and forth.  Alex and Will enjoyed it.

Dynamic Vienne - This was very strange.  It was about a guy who was getting married, but he ended up on this adventure in the woods with a weird talking tree who kept sneezing on us.  There was a part where we were in a race car on a track that then went off-track and through tiny streets in a French village.  I had to close my eyes.  It was TOO real.

Preview Waiting Show before Dynamic Vienne - This was a screen that had water poured in front of it, a tank with 60,000 litres, they said.  It had lights and lasers displayed with it.  It was super cool.  They did some neat patterns and some stories about people.  

The Extraordinary Voyage - Kind of like the "Soarin'" ride at California Adventure. 

Cosmic Shocks - In French, it described how the moon may have been formed with an asteroid hitting the earth.  It also described many other craters and impacts on the earth and in space.

The Exploratorium - This one played a movie that featured Jacques Cousteau's son.  Which was weird.  When I was growing up, all movies that were about ocean life were made by Jacques Cousteau.  And now I was in the middle of France, watching a movie about the ocean, with his son in it.  

The Invisible World - I think this was Will's favorite.  It showed things that were too fast, too slow, or too small to experience without the magic of video recording.  Things like bees flying, plants growing, or carbon particles being moved around.

Tiny Giants - This was about small animals, in the forest, in the desert.  They were just going about their daily task of finding food and taking care of their babies.  And they would be attached by owls or scorpions, or their own kind who were trying to eat them or steal their food.  Fortunately for the kids, no tiny cute fuzzy animals were actually eaten.  But it was kind of fascinating to watch a mouse kill a scorpion and bring it back to his family as food.

When our time was up, our day was not over.  We still needed to catch our train home.  We walked back over to the Futuroscope Station bridge, witnessing the super moon over Futuroscope.  

We got snacks, found our super short first train which went from Futuroscope to Poitiers, and successfully made the connection.  

Waiting at the empty Poitiers Station

The platforms were cold, but we managed to make the next connection also at Bordeaux.  Our final arrival was at 1am into Toulouse.  Both kids had fallen asleep by then, Will for longer than Alex, so they were super groggy as we caught an Uber home.  

Interesting trip.  The boys say they had fun.  And maybe they even learned something.

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