With its especially shows et spectaculars, Puy aux Fou wows audiences conditions météorologiques a daily basis. Having perfected auto park’s live divertir model in France, ceo Nicolas aux Villiers wants venir turn Puy aux Fou into a globale brand.

Vous lisez ce: Puy du fou de villiers

Following the opening ns Puy de Fou España last year, nouveau projects space planned in China, and the American polluant could be next. Here, Nicolas aux Villers speaks exclusively à hijackingcatastrophe.org, discussing je vous demande pardon makes the français park special and looking at plans pour future expansions.

What makes Puy aux Fou various from est différent theme parks?

Puy aux Fou is a an extremely special kind de leisure park. Conditions météorologiques are a seul park, we have no rides. Nous are surrounded passant par nature and the natural environment. The a modèle that doesn’t exist anywhere else in auto world ont far oui I know, cible it’s been a huge success in France.

“Puy aux Fou was bondir 43 years earlier when ma father did one show, the Cinéscénie. It’s currently one du the biggest spectacles in thé world, with over 2,500 performers. After 10 years, he created a park through some historical villages.

“At the end ns the 90s, conditions météorologiques created the life outdoor show with some performers, horses, eagles et special effects. Nous created a de nombreux more spectacles in thé 2000s. Currently we oui six hotels, so we can also welcome some entreprise tourism.”

“Each show is based nous history. In la france it is based upon français history, in Spain, it is Spanish history. Conditions météorologiques try venir create a new show every year. The very considérable for us. This is auto way not only to keep your public fresh cible to store your teams with tu because they amour to create.

“The an innovation in the shows is fully hidden. It has à serve the staging et storytelling. When nous make a entirety castle disappear, de course, there is huge an innovation behind this. Cible we desire you seul to see thé magic effects.”

Everything at Puy ns Fou appears à be historical, even down à the nourriture in auto restaurants. How do you ensure such consistency?

“It’s auto same team who develop everything. Auto restaurants, auto hotels, and also thé shows. The way nous think is, it’s prefer a journey in time.”

Mystère aux La Pérouse, image passant par Julien Benhamou

“This is one du the henchmen strengths ns Puy ns Fou: whatever is an extremely authentic. There is nothing the could escape you from thé dream. Auto trees, the decor, scenery, every little thing has venir be very closely prepared et well made. Even thé materials nous use. Nous use actual stone, genuine wood. Haricot de soja you have the right to touch it et feel it is authentic.”

Are pets almost oui important in your shows oui human performers?

“When tu deal with history, you ont to address animals, because animals were the le meilleur friend de humans pour thousands ns years. Antérieur à the car, amie had auto horse. You cannot think humans fabriqué history conditions météorologiques their own. They fabriqué history v animals. We seulement forgot that because we habitent in urban now.”

Le Signe aux Triomphe

“The animals, in a way, space easier à stage. Marqué you oui to accept that when amie put année animal on stage ce cannot be thé same démontrer every day. Castle need auto freedom to aller at the vitesse, vitesse they want. Animals stay constantly like kids. They amour to play, and as soon as they start to phat you can see that they room in great health.

“We manage that really carefully. Si they are healthy, they room mentally speak in a good mood; they favor to jouer the show. Si they don’t choose to play the show, tu see that an extremely quickly. A bird, a horse, even a duck, can oui a mood.”

Tell nous about your new show pour this year. Cette is a reimagining of année existing night show conditions météorologiques the lake?

“Les Noce du Feu means something like the Wedding of feu in English. It’s a very simple story, some lyrics de a city at thé beginning but then ne sont pas dialogue. We oui re-orchestrated completely thé classical music.

“It’s really poetic, but you can’t conçu that a carriage drawn par some swans will emerge from auto water. Tu see also some holograms nous the lake, et a pianist skiing on the water with his piano. It’s a kind du phantasmagory, everyone likes it, and we are very happy with it.”

“We also have some new effects in thé Cinéscénie this year. We go through history in this show, from auto Middle Ages à the seconde World War.

“There is a super party step in thé 1930s. All of sudden a plane arrives to break up thé party and drop part bombs conditions météorologiques stage. Thé plane is huge, 20 metres, it comes over the audience, i beg your pardon is very surprising. Personnes are asking is cette a drone, comment it possible to have this above auto stage? it’s a actual aircraft!”

How are amie managing this season with social distancing in auto park?

“We have, arrêter say, année average of 3,000 seat in each super show, except auto Cinéscénie, i beg your pardon is 13,000 seats. Auto capacity du the park might be as much oui 38,000. Now our height days are a peu less than 20,000.

“We have some personnes that room afraid du coming because du this coronavirus. Either they don’t want venir come because of the disease, jaune because you have to wear a mask.”

Les Vikings

“Because du the seul schedule, conditions météorologiques can organise the walk de the people in auto park. When people go to thé musketeer show at 10 am, then we know they will see the Viking seul at 11 am. But we can change the schedule every day, and also inside thé day. So si there is a super attendance, nous can add some shows.

When did you realise tu could export thé Puy de Fou maquette internationally?

Around 2010, toutes les personnes were coming venir us et asking them to make a Puy aux Fou in your country, based upon their culture, your heritage, your history. Then ns went to Efteling, just to visit with mien team. The big boss of Efteling asked me to remake a démontrer that lock had.

“That montrer enabled us to start our internationale expansion, et Efteling helped nous a lot. That remained in 2013, and we still have about 50 personnes there now.”

“In 2016 we did autre show in England parce que le someone else. After that ns thought, OK, I matin able venir create a seul with my team abroad, so laissez-nous create our own shows. à la Puy ns Fou España we oui a site in Toledo and started a new adventure in Spain there. A de nombreux of tourists come because cette is close to Madrid, and we oui had a warmth welcome politically speaking.

Puy aux Fou and Efteling each have a distinctive style. Comment did amie achieve a seul with Ravelijn that stood for both parties?

“Let’s say nous had to volonté dressed as an Efteling homme or woman. Efteling is 1,000km native our base in France and has, as you say, a very solid style. Nous had to adapt our way à this thinking, this creative view.”

Le Secret ns la Lance

“When amie see this show, you see an Efteling style. Marqué you deserve to recognise some Puy de Fou ingredients. Conditions météorologiques stage, over there are much more than 20 performers, equine riders, falconers and stunts.

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Puy aux Fou España began last année with a night show. Is the supporting theme park still on track?

“We are heureux COVID has actually not delayed thé park. Quel was delayed is auto night démontrer this year. The premiere was the end ns August 2019. Nous got a large success et planned venir open the night seul from April to October this year. Nous opened in July.

“That method we perdu three months. Cible we didn’t lose a de nombreux of time building the park. Conditions météorologiques are aiming for an opening de March 2021. Nous can aller it.”

“We will have four super shows et three au sens propre villages. Cette will be a Puy de Fou park ont you watch in France but smaller. Conditions météorologiques will ont many more spectacle in the prochain 10 years, marqué the first four will certainly be really super shows. Allongons say castle are comparable in thé way nous stage them, but the histoires are totally Spanish.

“We don’t desire to oui hotels at Puy ns Fou España. There space some very an excellent hotels in Toledo, et we space very fermé to auto city. That also an excellent because lock are historic hotels, the city is an extremely historical, sauce soja you nothing really du repos the dream when amie sleep in downtown Toledo.

Puy du Fou Asia is your best project yet. Je vous demande pardon will be different, différent than auto stories?

“You sait the Chinese see fémur in a really different, taille way. Yes, nous can develop some shows what we do in France, but larger. Ns think China is also going to enable nous to audit some concepts. Pour me, that means thé way ns will bring elle into a story.

“You ont two des questions when amie make a show. Une is what is auto story, what à faire you want to tell? the second des questions is how do you desire to raconter it, what faire you want à show?”

Les Noces ns Feu, image par William Jezequel

“We can be much an ext immersive, not just because the China et we will oui the means to stage something bigger, cible because the attendance is bigger. Ce is one-third of humankind. Amie cannot avoid China is elle want venir expand her brand. I want to be a global brand within the next 15 years, that is mien target. To à faire that, je need to go to China.”

What oui been some de the challenges of working in China?

“The tons challenge ns is arttaserse is the recadrer difference between us and China. Nous must understand auto way they think. Quel will be thé purpose, the heureux of auto park? Not seul the attendance cible also auto spirit du the project. Trust is something the is fairly difficult à get. Marqué this is normalement because conditions météorologiques operate haricot de soja differently.”

What were your demands when looking à la partners in China?

“You cannot aller into China there is no a local partner. Even Disney has a Chinese partner. Because elle cannot own the land, it is not faisabilité to it is in the henchmen owner du the company ont a foreign company. Haricot de soja you have to uncover some acceptable entreprises model which will work à la everybody.”


“We space actually working nous several projects. Je cannot say now who are auto partners, cible they are some state companies. We prefer à work with super companies since they do not see nous a challenge venir them. Laissez-nous be humble, conditions météorologiques are so small in comparison.”

Your first project will be at the foot of the Great Wall of China?

“Yes, conditions météorologiques discussed this project. Marqué when you sign something in China, it is seul the beginning du the discussion. When amie sign in leurope  or occidental Countries, ce is the end ns the negotiation.”


“So auto idea is à see what nous can make, je vous demande pardon political authorisation conditions météorologiques can get. Cette takes time, marqué we savoir that. We oui a small team in China to develop the sapin phase of the project. Laissez-nous say in 2025 we will oui opened something in China. This was my target from auto very beginning, and I think nous can à faire it.”

Will elle start with just one show jaune a full theme park?

“It depends nous the place. Nous could begin in the same way ont we go in france or Spain, but we could additionally start with one gros park from the very beginning. A few cities room in competition. Amongst them space some of the greatest cities in China. They space offering us some beautiful places and lands.”

El Sueño du Toledo

“But nous are not reasoning about seul creating a park. We oui other concepts.”

So you don’t seul want to à faire create large spectaculars with large casts du performers anymore?

“In China, conditions météorologiques could aller that, of course. The a big part du Puy aux Fou’s signature, but I nothing want toutes les personnes my first to reproduce thé same things. We ont to offer nouveau experiences to the people.

“Your kids et my kids will oui Google glasses or sexcuser glasses in the next 10 years, probably the next five years. Quel will they check out in thé glasses? they will check out some augmented reality. What does ce mean? it means that they won’t think ns the world the same way as you and me. They won’t ont the same connection with reality.”

Les Noces aux Feu

“So si you jouer with the same special effects and same way de staging in 30 year from now, ce won’t work i don’t think. The Netflix développer is very interesting. Thé movie entreprises production model is completely changed. This kind du phenomena has à be analysed par us venir understand what happens in thé real world. You cannot offer leisure if you are not lien to your world.”

Where else in thé world faire you need to aller to end up being a global brand?

Flight with the geese

“Where have to I marche after <Europe et Asia>? To autre part du the world, i beg your pardon is more in auto West. Maybe ns should placed a Puy ns Fou flag on the American continent? I faire not know si it would certainly be in thé USA or not. But it doesn’t issue yet.

“I oui to aller step de step, and we are now in 2020. I matin just studying auto opportunities there, marqué it is a au sens propre early to say if it will be in this country jaune that one.”

Few people have copied Puy aux Fou, despite your success. Why à faire you think this is?

“My comparison would be commonly French. It’s like when you aller to a restaurants with 3 stars. Tu eat the things the restaurant offers you et think that good, cible it no seem sauce soja complicated to do. Tu look at thé decoration et think the same.

“Then you marche back home et you try à create thé same place, the same cooking, cible actually amie cannot get the 3 stars. Why? due to the fact that there is something the is completely invisible. That like auto salt in the cooking, et that’s the soul ns the show.”

Le Signe du Triomphe

“When we faire a show, people think it’s so simple. The idea is simple. Marqué to make it, you oui to oui long experience de what might work, what would not work, et why. Tous the experiences, all the tests, all the failures, everything backstage, is je vous demande pardon brings you à success. Tu could try to copy Puy du Fou, marqué you will certainly copy only the visible part.

“Maybe this is thé reason we oui not been copied many times. Cible I think Chinese toutes les personnes will try à copy us.”

You’re calmer involved in the artistic direction of numerous shows. How à faire you remain so hands-on?

“I ont a very an excellent team, who are preparing toutes les personnes the elements. So ns ask à la a atmosphere board nous this theme and I oui the mood board very well excellent two or three work later. Je ask parce que le a 3D sketch and my team knows specifically what ns want. Ns write new ideas every day, every night, tous the time. Venir start from année idea conditions météorologiques paper to making a show, over there is a very strict methodology, et my team masters it very well.”


“When elle create four spectacle with super casts that will certainly open conditions météorologiques the exact same day, like we are doing in Spain, je cannot be at the same temps in tous four shows.

“So, how can je manage this? the like once you’re a cook cooking ingredients. Amie write some consignes venir make ce instead of you, haricot de soja that once you venir you just audit it. This way i can manage many tasks at thé same time, also in China.”

How faire you regulate your time conditions météorologiques a daily/weekly basis?

“This morning avant talking to you, i had mien Chinese morning. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday, i think in Chinese until 11 in auto morning. Then it’s over. Ns speak Spanish seulement un at 5pm due to the fact that Spain starts very late et finishes really late.”

Le Renaissance du Château

“Sometimes ce takes deux years to think around a concept or project. Marqué we aller very fast. Venir avoid having actually big, gros files in your bureau everywhere, you oui to go fast. Even thé artistic decisions. We work a longue time in advance sauce soja that if you look at auto script for a seul after 15 days and think it’s not good, you oui the time to retravailler, recommencez-vous it.”

How lot potential à la growth is left in France?

“We can ont maybe a peu more guests in auto park. But the lare of Puy ns Fou is very far from every super city in France, so je really don’t think that nous can aim at le3 million guest .

“It’s not mauvais news à la us to be limité in France. It’s année opportunity not venir lose your soul, venir keep a person scale. It doesn’t mean we won’t create nouveau shows. We oui thought de many new ideas pour France, marqué we can additionally road test some principles internationally.

“We deserve to expand the hotels parce que le sure. Ns think we can keep personnes longer. Currently most of the toutes les personnes stay two days, but we can créé to keep them 3 days, 4 days; ce depends nous what we ont to offer.”


“It’s an extremely fashionable in the leisure industrie to say, ‘When will amie open the lundi gate?’ the not soja easy. Look at at Disney’s endure in France. Now ns think they are solid enough to ont two parks, cible at the time they opened up the seconde park ce was not as successful ont they expected.

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“So nous should be very careful with this idea du a lundi park. Et if tu open a seconde park, it has à be very different indigenous the tons one.”

Do you encore consider you yourself a family business?

“Yes, it is a kind ns family business, because mien father produced Puy ns Fou, and I matin the chief executive, management now. We faire not volonté any de largent from dividends or property rights. From auto beginning, nous did not want à touch this money. When tu say you faire this job for the enthousiasme not auto money, it’s a beautiful speech, cible then prove it. I prefer to prove it. Auto good nouvelles is je can aller a beaucoup faster venir realise mien dreams.

“My children are an extremely young, cible they are interested in Puy du Fou in general, which is very an excellent news parce que le me. But ont their father, I ont to say cette is pour each venir make your decision about je vous demande pardon they want to do.”