Puy du Fou secures visitor experience across 740-acre theme park with Genetec Security Center.
Puy du Fou is France’s second-largest theme park, welcoming over 2.5 million visitors annually. Its main event showcases 1,200 actors, hundreds of horses, and 800 fireworks on the world’s largest stage. Behind the scenes, security operators monitor 60 attractions over 740 acres to ensure smooth and safe visitor experiences.
Protecting crowds at a busy theme park
At Puy de Fou, the security team needed a solution that could help them centralize video and access control to protect and manage the lively and demanding environment. The theme park relied on the expertise of their integrator, i3S, who proposed Genetec Security Center.
Security Center provided Puy de Fou with the building blocks to expand its security systems. In 2016, 120 cameras were connected to the Omnicast video surveillance system within Security Center. As of 2023, operators monitor 490 cameras and 80 access control readers from the platform.
Installing Genetec Omnicast and Security Center allowed the team at Puy du Fou to enhance image quality and expand visibility. Now, they can better protect crowds, efficiently coordinate shows, and streamline the entry and exit of talent and contractors.
Expanding capabilities with a flexible platform
With an open architecture platform, Puy du Fou was able to connect a wide range of cameras and technologies within Security Center. Part of this included expanding the surveillance system with flying drones. Since the drones are invisible to the naked eye, they’re also used to carry set props during night shows. Nighttime show managers monitor live video of the performance using Axis infrared cameras connected to Genetec Omnicast.
In 2018, the Puy du Fou added access control capabilities by deploying the Synergis access control system of Security Center. HID, Mercury, and Axis readers were integrated within the platform and today, employees use HID MiFare Desfire badges with encryption keys (STid reader heads) to open doors.
Mathieu Naulin, Security Director of Puy du Fou explained, “Genetec Synergis makes it easy for us to control access. We can manage individuals or groups, temporarily or permanently, as well as specific doors. It offers us true flexibility. We are not locked in by rigid architecture, as before."
The platform’s flexibility also allowed the theme park to roll out a QR code issuing solution to better manage access given to suppliers or subcontractors. This was integrated within Genetec Security Center using the QR code Manager SDK.
Now, when accessing the park for the first time, vendors and contractors can simply scan the QR code that was sent to them beforehand. “This QR code system saves everyone time and makes entry and exit more fluid,” said Naulin.
Unifying intrusion and intercom in one view
When Puy de Fou is closed during the winter months, the team still uses Security Center to manage site security. They easily oversee access to the site and regularly monitor restricted areas, including the fireworks powder storage.
The team is also using intercom and intrusion detection functionalities within Security Center. Today, they manage about 12 Aritech intrusion detection units and 40 intercoms on the Commend VirtuoSIS server all from a centralized platform.
The Puy du Fou security team also uses the Genetec Mobile app. This allows them to easily manage security on the go from their mobile phones so that they can be more responsive to incidents.
Enhancing the guest experience with a scalable platform
Over the years, the team has kept expanding the number of cameras across the park. As a highly scalable platform, Security Center has not only accommodated this growth, but the platform has also helped them find new ways to enhance the guest experience.
“Each new camera installed allows us to improve visitor satisfaction,” said Naulin. “It’s a question of security, of course, but also of the quality of our shows. Every year, Puy du Fou adds new attractions, all monitored in real time by a stage manager. The stage manager operates around 20 cameras to monitor the performance and ensure everything runs smoothly.”
The right solution for IT and security teams
While all security data was previously held on four physical servers, this information is now stored on ESX servers in two separate locations at Puy du Fou. According to Mathias Jauffrit, Technical Operations Director for Services and Hospitality, this has simplified their deployment:
“We don’t have to worry about which data, especially camera data, is stored on which server. It’s dynamic, and we simply go through the Security Center platform to access it. It’s much easier and has freed up time for the technical teams.”
Video streams are also sent to multiple workstations via a fiber optic network deployed by Puy du Fou’s IT team. The modular design of the platform allowed the team to set up VLANs in Multicast to broadcast the images. These dedicated networks reinforce cybersecurity and prevent delays.
Replicating success across the globe
Puy de Fou is looking to replicate the success of its physical security system in future projects. Their trusted integrator, i3S, is currently working on designing and implementing a security system for Puy du Fou España, in Toledo, Spain.
Jean-Marie Laurent, Commercial Director at i3S explained, “We have been working with Puy du Fou for many years and deeply understand their needs and expectations regarding physical security. Puy du Fou has asked us for another Genetec unified security platform in Toledo, based on the same model as in France. They want to guarantee the same level of service."
Moving forward, Puy du Fou will continue to expand internationally. Two large immersive shows will soon open in Shanghai, China, and in Tennessee, USA, with plans to open four parks by 2030. Having a robust, scalable and open platform such as Security Center can help them ensure guests from all around the world always have a safe and memorable experience.
“Over the years, the team has kept expanding the number of cameras across the park. As a highly scalable platform, Security Center has not only accommodated this growth, but the platform has also helped them find new ways to enhance the guest experience.”