The idea of the Parc des Mini Chateaux is like France Miniature outside Paris - to show scale models of places tourists might like to visit (chateaux of the Loire Valley in this case). Unlike France Miniature, Parc des Mini Chateaux is fairly small which does make it a little more manageable with small children (and it is really a childrens' attraction rather than an adult attraction).
However, the Parc is now in great need of some money spending on it and whilst the concept is fun, it really is not good value for money at all. It is located outside Amboise so you do need a car to get there. The individual ticket prices are very steep: in 2011 €9.50 per child and €13.50 per adult so about €46 euros for a family of four. For that you get to walk around a fairly small area with models (in varying states of repair) of the most important chateaux in the Loire Valley.
There are train tracks for model trains but very few of the trains work now (they did when the Parc was first opened but the last time we went none of them were running) which the children find very disappointing. When the Parc was first open there were recordings for some of the chateaux to listen to as you walked around (eg the sound of a pack of dogs at Cheverny which has in real life a pack of hunting hounds), but these no longer work either. There is a very small children's play area with a tiny, sorry-looking labyrinth. There used to be a look out post from which you could survey the whole Parc from above but last summer it was closed as it was in bad repair. In theory there is also a cafe and restaurant but it is never open.
There are dressing up costumes at the entrance for the children to borrow (for free - you just need to leave an ID card or passport as a deposit) and the kids love these but they could all now do with replacing or at least a good wash. My children used to like coming here but last time even they admitted that it wasn't very good now and we are not planning to go back.
In summary, it was never anything exceptional but the children did have fun here - unfortunately, it is all now in such bad repair and the ticket price has risen to what I consider a ridiculous level for such a poorly maintained attraction.
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