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Disneyland Paris was opened in 1992. It is situated about 45 minutes away from Charles De Gaulle Airport.
Eilidh our newly 4 year old, had been desperate to see the Disney princesses and with her being near her birthday we decided that we should book and go over the weekend of her birthday.
Many companies do package deals to Disneyland Paris and we chose to go with Thomas cook signature as they seemed to give the best deal pricewise as well as good flight times. As it happened we got free child places as this seems to be an available offer which DLP offer between January and April each year.
We chose to stay at the Hotel New York. This hotel is based on things to do with the Big Apple. You have an American type check in and the Restaurants are the Manhattan and the Parkside Diner. There is a Bar and a shop too on site. I will write more about the hotel in another op.
The hotel was situated about a 7 minute walk from the parks. To get to the parks there was a bus service, but we didn't use it as we preferred to walk to the parks through the Disney Village.
This is a delightful part of Disneyland Paris. It is an area which comes to life at night. In the Disney Village you will find, The Rainforest Café which is a restaurant which can be great fun with tropical storms, The monkeys playing and the elephants making a noise. There is also a shop attached to the Restaurant.
Hurricanes Night Club is also here for over 18's only. McDonald's can be found behind the night club. There is also the Steakhouse Restaurant, King Ludwig's Castle, Planet Hollywood, Cafe Mickey's, Annette's Diner, New York Style Sandwiches and Les Snacks! These are all the restaurants and takeaway places in the Village. The restaurants tend to do it on a first come first served or if you have made a reservation they will take you. If they are quiet you will find that you get a table right away. If not they normally give you a time to come back and seat you as soon as possible after that time.
The shopping in the village is excellent, but you find that most shops stock the same things as in the parks. You have the choice of the Disney Store which is massive and has EVERYTHING under one roof! Hollywood Pictures has mostly things from all the films. Disney Gallery has some of the most gorgeous pictures ever, as well as latest figurines and Disney themed gifts for home. Team Mickey has all the clothes you can imagine for children and adults alike. World of toys is just that, it has all the toys which you can buy as well as the costumes and sweets!
There is also a cinema and there is a Buffalo Bill Wild West Show which is a meal with a show included! This costs 52€ for
adults and 31€ for children ages 3-11 years! We've never made this so I can't comment on it!
Not far from the Disney Village is the New York Hotel. In front of the hotel in the winter months there is a skating rink which is open for a couple of hours at a time 3 times a day. We never got round to skating but it looked like fun. You can rent skates at a building next to the rink!
The Disneyland Park has lots of different area's but the main feature is Sleeping Beauty's Castle. The Castle in every Disney Park is the first thing to be designed and everything else is designed around the castle.
MAIN STREET USA. Once you have walked under the Disneyland Hotel and under the train Station Arches you hit Main Street USA. This is a recreation of a small Town in the USA at about the early 1900's. The music here is off that time period and gets you in the mood for Disney. Most of the shops up here are where you can buy everything you can imagine from Disney. There is also a bake house and a deli shop where you can get cakes and sandwiches.
There is 4 other area's in the park where you find all the rides.
These are: Frontierland FantasyLand AdventureLand DiscoveryLand
FRONTIERLAND: Recreates the WildWest.
In this area the following Attractions can be found:
CRITTER CORAL RAILSTATION® DEPOT POCAHONTAS INDIAN VILLAGE BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RUSTLER ROUNDUP SHOOTIN' GALLERY THUNDER MESA RIVERBOAT LANDING PHANTOM MANOR LEGENDS OF THE WILD WEST
ADVENTURELAND: As it says Advetureland.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: Small water boat ride, may scare small children. ADVENTURE ISLE PIRATES BEACH LA CABANES DE ROBINSONS INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF PERIL LE PASSAGE ENCHANTE D'ALADDIN
FANTASYLAND: Ideal for everyone of all ages taking you into childhood and Disney Magic. Le Pays des Contes de Fées: Casey Jr., Le Petit Train du Cirque: Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin it's a small world Disneyland® Railroad Fantasyland Station Alice's Curious Labyrinth Mad Hatter's Tea Cups Dumbo the Flying Elephant Peter Pan's Flight Le Carrousel de Lancelot Pinocchio's Fantastic Journey La Tanière du Dragon Blanche-Neige et les Septs Nains La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant
DISCOVERY LAND: Looking to the future and new discoveries which have been made!
L'Arcade des Visionnaires Le Visionarium Orbitron - Machines Volantes Autopia Les Mystères du Nautilus Space Mountain - from the Earth to the Moon Honey, I shrunk the Audience Star Tours™
There are a few restaurants here, but we only ate at videoapolis and Bella Notre as we preferred to go back to the Disney Village for eating at night times! The videoapolis was counter service you could get hamburgers etc here! We combined watching the Mickey's Show time show while eating lunch. A show which lasts approximately 25 minutes. Get there early for the seating as it soon fills up. We got our table before queuing! Bella Notre had pasta, pizza and salad options but was extremely busy when we were there. A family who were leaving gave us there table and cleaned the high chair. If you can it is advisable to eat before 11.30am and after about 1.30pm.
Another Show we went to was Mickey's Wonderland! This was situated in a theatre right at the back of frontierland. We got lost finding it. The shows were both in English and French and kept the audience captivated! I think the Winter wonderland show was due to change at the end of February!
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS
Opened in March 2003.
The attractions which can be found here are:
Art of Disney Animation Animagique Flying Carpets over Agrabah Studio Tram Tour: Behind the scenes Moteurs.....Action Stunt Show Armageddon Special Effects Cinémagique Disney Studio 1 Television Production Tour Rock'n'rollercoaster.
There are a few restaurants but mostly just counter service meals are available! We didn't manage to visit here as Eilidh wasn't interested and got very upset when we tried to go there! My friend said it was very good when they went!
Disneyland Paris is great for a short trip. But if you have ever been to Florida, you will find that the Disney magic atmosphere isn't as great in Paris! I think the French try a bit too hard but they don't have the American way putting the magic in to it. Most people do speak English over there.
One major problem with going to Paris is unlike Florida you can't go down town and eat for cheaper. You can only really eat in the restaurants round the resort. We budgeted for 600€ for the 4 days for food but a lot of places do set menu's so you should be able to work out upfront how much a meal will cost. There is a wide variety of places to eat and you are sure to find something which will suit everyone.
If you are celebrating a birthday while you are there, for 18€ per person you can book a table at plaza gardens for an afternoon teaparty. You get a birthday cake, the birthday or adult gets a bag full of goodies and you get cakes, cakes and more cakes! The characters also came round and character meal or tea parties are the best way
Pictures of Disneyland, Paris, Paris
Eilidh and Minnie
to get autographs and allow your child to meet the characters. Beware as both children did get freaked out by some of the characters but as long as you take over and hug the character they usually realise and move on to the next person.
You can meet the characters around the park and in some of the hotels. One problem I found is that Europeans never seem to want to wait their turn and quite often tried to jump in front of us while we were waiting patiently! I learned to be as rude as them in order to ensure we weren't pushed to the back! We did however meet lots of characters in FantasyLand and Tweedledum pinched Murray's buggy and ran off with him so beware. We also met Mickey Mouse who was in his car driving round FantasyLand and he stopped and gave us all a big hug as well as a wave.
The toilets are at nearly every restaurant so if you need just look for an eatery and you will find the toilets nearby. The Toilets are clean and are well looked after but if you go at a busy time you do find that you need to just grab a toilet when it comes free as people don't seem to queue. Baby Change facilities are run by Nestlé. I didn't use these as the way that we worked everything Murray was changed in the hotel as I was more comfortable with this! But while waiting on the parade we found a lot of parents seemed to use it!
If you want to get a good view of the parade the best thing to do is arrive at least 45 mins before hand so that you get a good space. We would book it with the buggy and one of us sitting there to allow our space to be kept. Lots of people try to push in at the last moment with no concern for the young children who desperately want to see Mickey too. A great view we got was from the castle forecourt. The characters took the time to wave at us too.
The weather wasn't that great while we were there in January but when we went in September we had a ball and the weather was warmish! The good thing about the 2 times of year we have gone is that it has been quiet that we have hardly had to queue apart from Fantasy Land which is full of little children eagerly awaiting their rides! Fastpass has been introduced and we did this for Snow White, Peter Pan and Space Mountain but on most other rides which offered it, we found you could just walk on. Eilidh's favourite rides were Small World and Star Tours. Star Tours was a mummy and Eilidh ride as Murray was too small, but it is possible to do a baby switch and you need to speak to the staff on the ride to find out how it works on each individual ride.
Personally Disney Paris is great for a short break but roll on going back to Florida as the Magic is well and truly there! It's great for a weekend or even a midweek break and if you go between January and April kids go free. That saved us a lot of money. If you go and book in a hotel you get your park passes included otherwise you can buy them for 1 day passes or 3 day passes. I forget how much they cost now, but they weren't too bad for this sort of attraction. Also decide possibly how much money you want to spend as Eilidh would have taken everything home had she been given the chance.
I visited a few years ago and loved it. Maureen x x
t_winkle23 22.09.2004 15:27
I went last year and wow! I'm a huge Disney fan, really daft but I felt like crying when I saw Belle walking around the park. (Reminds me of my wedding day). My Husband and I plant to go back next year for a little longer than 3 days next time. Lovely review - magical. Kim x