Disneyland Paris

The Disney site in Paris is not on the scale of the Orlando development and it is tempting to think that if you have been to Florida then a visit to Disneyland Paris might not be worth your while. This is not a cheap place to go and there is less on offer than in the US but it is still Disney and no other organisation can serve up the feel good factor as well as they do! If you can’t afford a trip to Orlando or you are in Paris and feel like a bit of fun then this is a great place to go for all the family.

 

The Parisian site includes two theme parks, a golf course, six themed hotels and a Disney village complete with shops, restaurants, bars and a cinema. It is tiny compared to the enormity of its American cousin but there is still plenty to keep you entertained for several days if you have the time. Visiting in peak periods can  be very costly but there are some great deals to be had in the winter months with hotel packages including entrance tickets coming in as low as 25% of the summer prices. You don’t get the wonderful warm weather of Orlando and so dress accordingly in the winter. The last time I visited it was -10 degrees and snowing, all very festive but I was freezing in and my allegedly figure fixing jeans which were hidden under salopettes and a ski jacket! Check out the weather and dress accordingly!

 

The Magic kingdom park is similar in layout to the Orlando incarnation and hosts many similar attractions. The super-headliner rides are Space Mountain ( a very different and more extreme ride than its Orlando counterpart), Big Thunder Mountain Railway, Indianna Jones and the Temple of Peril and, of course, Pirates of the Caribbean. These are supplemented by Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast and many Disney favourites that the kids will love. There is the daytime parade to enjoy which is always a highlight and the grand finale each evening is Dreams, a mind boggling riot of projected images, water effects and fireworks which form a joyful jaunt through your favourite characters and films.

The Walt Disney Studios Park next door is really quite small and is a bit thin on major attractions. The ones it does have like the Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster are fab but on quiet days there really isn’t enough in this park to fill a long day. Crush’s coaster seems to attract an enormous queue no matter how few people there are around and the Toy Story area which is a recent addition is great fun for kids but lacks the impact of a major ride. Ratatouille, a major new attraction which is rumoured to be something incredible in the making, is under construction as I write this. This is a ride which is much needed to beef up the park and I am sure there will be more additions in the future.

After a busy day in the parks the Disney Village is a great place to walk around and to pick up your souvenirs. The new store at the entrance has improved the retail offering no end and there are some very good restaurants to enjoy. Both the parks and the village are walking distance from the hotels and there are also shuttle busses to help you if have had enough walking for the day. A little way from the parks you will find a shopping mall and a factory outlet centre which you can reach by train from the station at the entrance to the parks. The Golf Course on site is also worthy of mention if you fancy a round. There are 27 holes to enjoy and the course is very attractive and well maintained.

 

Disneyland Paris may not be quite as spectacular as the Orlando site but it is still a wonderful place to visit and you can easily spend three or four days here without running out of things to do. If you don’t want to break the bank, visit off-peak and watch out for the many special offers advertised throughout the year.