From Mickey to Moana - A Review of Disneyland Paris
With the latest Disney princess hitting the screens, there never has been a better time to visit Disneyland Paris. In December of 1985, Disney's CEO signed a letter of intent with then-
French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius to build the Euro Disney project in Marne-la-Vallée, France. On March 24, 1987, Eisner and then-Prime Minister Jacques Chirac signed an agreement stipulating that construction move forward. On April 12, 1992, the Euro Disney Resort opened. Since opening day the resort has undergone several name changes, welcomed a second park, and dealt with some vexatious financial moments. It has persevered, however, and to this day remains one of the top tourist destinations in all of Europe. It is smaller that the US versions, but quirkier in many ways that isn't necessarily unexpected for the French version. My family and I visited over the summer and thoroughly enjoyed the 25th Year Celebrations, got excited by the rides, got a little bored queuing to meet princesses, wowed by the fireworks and ultimately thoroughl
y enjoyed ourselves.
When to go
The Disneyland Paris brochures say "With magical attractions, shows and parades open all year round, it's always a great time to visit Disneyland Paris". That said, the number of visitors fluctuate during the year and during the week. The number of visitors is lower mid-week and reduced out of key holiday periods. Low guests mean shorter waiting times but there may be fewer scheduled shows and events during these periods. The weekends have extended hours and more scheduled shows and events.
As with any holiday destinations, the summer is always pretty busy. If you have pre-school children, try and go outside of UK - and French - school holidays.
One other consideration is the weather. Many of the attractions are outdoors and the weather in northern France is similar to the UK. Wandering around outside may be less appealing in the depths of winter, especially with little ones.
Where to stay
There’s a huge variety of accommodation and it’s worth hunting around for the best deal, or at least let me do that for you. There are seven themed hotels and nearby partner hotels you can stay at, all connected to the parks by a free shuttle bus. This gives you plenty of options to rest your weary feet. We stayed at the Magic Circus, which is one of the partner hotels.
How to get there
There are lots of options to travel including Eurostar, the ferries, Eurotunnel and shuttle buses from the airports. Let me help you find the best option for you and at the right price.
How to get through the Park
There are two main strategic approaches to navigating the park. There is going with the flow, where you take in the sights, no pressure, no hassle, just spontaneous fun. The alternative is to plan. Decide which rides you’d like to try in advance, arrive very early and avoid bottlenecks by strategically timing your route. Your call!
Food is expensive. So you either prepare for the expense or bring packed lunches.
Shopping is an experience in itself. Be prepared to visit a different shop, selling slightly different merchandise on every corner.
The following is my best opinion on the best rides:
- Space Mountain is best for older children
- t’s a Small World – a classic for the whole family, this mini-cruise celebration of nations reopened in December with new songs and surprises
- Peter Pan’s Flight – pirate ships whisk you through the Darling househo
ld and up to the skies
- Space Mountain: Mission 2 – a superfast rollercoaster with three inversions
- Big Thunder Mountain – a runaway gold-rush train ride with great special effects
- Jedi training academy – perfect for young Padawans
Walt Disney Studios:
- The the ?Twilight Tower of Terror? elevator shaft drop in an old Hollywood hotel blew us away' Photo: Disney.
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – a lift shaft drop through an old Hollywood Hotel
- Rock'n’Roller Coaster – Aerosmith-inspired rollercoaster with surround-sound rock
- Ratatouille – a hilarious family interlude for the whole d
The best way to book
You could shop around for the best deals, or you could contact me at Inspire Your Travel where I will do all the leg work and get you all the discounts!