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Versailles musical water show

I'm considering buying tickets to the musical water show at Versailles for sat. morning june 20 th. Has anyone every been to it? Is it worth it? Do you get to see a lot more of the gardens and will it impact my time for visiting others areas of the park. I have been to Versailles twice before and I just love it. However I have not been to the grand trianon or the farm and wondered if I need to allow more time for that.

Posted by
20293 posts

We went a couple of years ago. I must say I was not impressed. The highlight at the end was at one of the fountains down the hill on the left if you are looking at the palace from the gardens. Canned music and the "show" only lasted 15 minutes at the most. I thought that maybe they would have all of the fountains running at once. In retrospect, that probably is impossible as it took the flow of an entire river to run the fountains back in the 1700's. They turn various fountains on and off at different times. It gets fairly crowded. We had a Museum Pass so we just had to pay the supplement to enter the gardens.
Biggest problem is the lack of restrooms. Imagine going to Yankee Stadium and finding they only had a 3-stall ladies loo for the whole place. We ordered lunch at the outdoor cafe and my wife left for the bathroom. After 15 minutes, the food came out. I waited another 15 minutes politely for her return, then with the food getting cold, I caved and finished my lunch. Finally she returned after another 15 minutes fit to be tied!
Yes, touring the palace and the gardens and the the Trianon and the farm, it was a full day.

Posted by
1265 posts

Sue, I have to agree with the previous poster. I did enjoy walking thru the garden, I thought the fountain show was just ok. I also enjoyed the Grand Trianon and Marie Antoinette's farm. I would plan on spending the whole day at Versailles.

Posted by
3391 posts

I will be the voice of dissent here!
I love the fountains turned on! When we went, they were on for over an hour...yes, the canned music was a bit much but they are doing their best! From an engineering point of view, they are a marvel. The fountains are completely gravity-fed from a huge tank hidden to one side of the chateau. They leave them on long enough so that you can get around to all of them and see them in their full glory. At least that was our experience when we were there.
You should definitely take the time to go out to the Petite Hameau and Grand Trianon - a fun way to do this is to rent bikes from the rental kiosk near the Grand Canal. You can also ride out into the palace grounds, which are extensive. I love the wheat fields and riding through the woods farther out where no one goes. Or you can take the little tram that runs around between the more far flung sites around the palace grounds.

Posted by
10344 posts

Well, just so you're not expecting the Bellagio water fountain show (the Las Vegas one).
:-)
I mean, even the Sun King didn't have that kind of electronics or plumbing at his disposal.

Posted by
30 posts

Thanks everyone. I will try and battle the crowds and see the sat morning garden show.

Posted by
4535 posts

I think it is worth it; after all, they were designed to be fountains and not just sculptures. But know that there are large crowds that gather around each fountain. The music is cheesy sure, but so what?

They are not all turned on at once. It is my understanding that this is pretty much impossible, not to mention expensive. In fact historically, they were turned on only as Le Roi passed by them. And there are so many and so far flung, there is no need to turn them on at once.

So you need to plan enough time to visit the various fountains as they are turned on. You may not need to see all of them, but if you have been there before and have favorites, then check the schedule for when those will be operating.

Only the formal gardens are ticketed during fountain days. The rest of the gardens are still free and relatively empty of people as you get further out. So by all means plan some time in for the Trianons and Hamlet. Those are very much worth the effort to get to them.