When my friend heard that we were to spend the weekend in Lyon during the Toussaint holidays, she asked if we were heading to Mini World Lyon, to see the Harry Potter Lego® exhibition: « L’expo-dont-on-ne-doit-pas-prononcer-le-nom » . . . and that got me wondering if I would be able to fit in a visit to our already busy weekend in Lyon, as I have two little Harry Potter fans!
As Mini World Lyon is located on the outskirts of Lyon, in Vaulx-en-Velin, I decided to leave our visit until the end of the weekend: the surprise icing on the cake!
[ NOTE: Mini World Lyon kindly offered tickets for the MBFF family, but all opinions in this article are our own! ]
What is there to see at Mini World Lyon?
As its name clearly states, Mini World Lyon is a mini world (!): an imaginative miniature world set across 3000 m², and the largest animated miniature world in France!
You’ll find different miniature worlds, permanent and temporary, to visit here; each is designed with wit and with a nuanced touch. If you look closely, you’ll find famous people, references to TV and film, cartoon characters, and also « Où est Charlie ? » is hidden throughout the 70,000 inhabitants!
- mini worlds: town, mountain and countryside – 70,000 hours of work were required to build these first 3 worlds of Mini World Lyon . . . you’ll be treated to so many wonderful, imaginative – and humourous at times – scenes, including the Tour de France, a ski resort, a city sports centre. The different worlds alternate between night and day, allowing you to see each scene in a different hue . . . And also, every hour is a light show recreated by the team behind La Fête des Lumières! Over the festive Christmas period, the mini worlds sparkle with added lights in the Village de Noël . . .
- « Chérie, j’ai rétréci Lyon » – the 4th world is dedicated to the city of Lyon, its different quarters and its now world-famous Fête des Lumières! You’ll find recreated in mini form: (1) Vieux Lyon, Fourvière & Saint-Jean: Colline de Fourvière, Cathédrale Saint-Jean, the Roman ruins; (2) Part-Dieu, Le Parc de la Tête d’Or and the Quais du Rhône, with its swimming pool; (3) La Presqu’île: the Place Bellecour and the Fresque des Lyonnais . . . in all, 1000+ buildings and 35,000 inhabitants!
- Mini Marseille – if you are familiar with this beautiful coastal city, then you’ll appreciate its new mini world!
[ for more information about the permanent mini worlds, see here ]
LEGO® Harry Potter – l’expo en brique : « L’expo-dont-on-ne-doit-pas-prononcer-le-nom » (⇒ 10th May 2020)
This is a temporary LEGO® exhibition at Mini World Lyon. You’ll find Hogwarts, the majestic Scottish castle which doubles as a school for young wizards (600,000 LEGO® bricks alone), the Hogwarts Express, the quiditch stadium, Diagonal alley, Platform 9 3/4 and all the paraphernalia: brooms, the golden snitch, etc . . . There is also a LEGO® brick workshop set up for children to construct their own little creations! (NOTE: this exhibition was created by Use The Bricks, and has no link to the LEGO® brand).
[ OÙ EST CHARLIE ? while you are at Mini World Lyon, you can look for Charlie! If you find his hiding places and let them know in the boutique at the end of your visit, then you’ll be rewarded with a prize! ]
The story behind Mini World Lyon
I loved reading about the origins of this unique space on the website: one Sunday in 2012 Richard Richarté, today the director of Mini World Lyon, was having a little clear up of his garage . . . there he found a box of miniature model sets and he asked his daughter to help him build them together. As they constructed the models together, and he witnessed her enthousiasm, an idea began to take shape; he searched on the internet and found a video of Miniatur Wunderland, the largest animated miniature park in the world, located in Hamburg. The following weekend, he departed for Germany to visit the park, and he was blown away by what he saw. He realised that there was no such park in France, and decided to set up his business, convinced that it could be a successful project. He set up the company in 2013, and surrounded himself by a skilled and dedicated team in Vaulx-en-Velin to kickstart the project [ to read the rest of the story, head here ].
choosing the right logo:
We didn’t have time to visit the 3D cinema on our visit to Mini World Lyon, but it is included in the price of your ticket. Two or three films are shown in 3D, in alternance, throughout the opening hours. You are advised to only take children 7+ years, as there could be scenes that frighten very young viewers.
MBFF’s experience at Mini World Lyon
When I arranged our visit to Mini World Lyon, I truly thought that I was organising a special treat just for the boys, and that we – the parents – would be tagging along . . . I never realised how much the parents would LOVE it! In all honesty, before our visit, I hadn’t read up much about this mini world, and so I wasn’t aware of the hours of intricate detail (and humour!) put into the models. I could have honestly spent hours there (preferably on my own!).
There is a restaurant on-site at Mini World Lyon, called La Place, where you will find cantine staples: burgers, paninis, pasta, desserts . . . It is immersed into the atmosphere of the world, with colourful lights projected on the walls.
Alternatively, you have options nearby, in the shopping mall Carré de Soie: website ;
🌳 Le Parc de la Tête d’Or – we have now visited this enormous park in Lyon twice, and both times LOVED it! It truly feels like the lungs of Lyon and there is so much to see and do there: 🦒 Zoo de Lyon (a FREE zoo located within the park, and with an African plaine!) and deer park; grass for running; playgrounds; a botanical garden; a manège; a boating lake . . . This park was created in the 19th century, « pour donner de la nature à ceux qui n’en ont pas » / highly recommended for families! / address: 69006, LYON (6è arrondissment) / getting there & the various access points: see here / website and FB page programme zoo & jardins botaniques;
Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (MACLyon) – which puts on the Biennale de Lyon every two years / website / address: 81 quai Charles de Gaulle, Lyon;
Le Planétarium de Vaulx-en-Velin – astronomy and sciences of the universe! / website / address: Place de la Nation, Vaulx-en-Velin;
Skate Park Carré de Soie – there is a skate park just opposite, in the Hippodrome de Lyon! / address: 1 avenue de Bohlen, 69120 Vaulx-en-Velin;
address: Mini World Lyon, Pôle du Carré de Soie, 3 avenue de Bohlen, 69120, Vaulx-en-Velin; getting there: https://miniworldlyon.com/comment-venir; website: www.miniworldlyon.com and FB page;