It is Europe’s happiest place on Earth and we spent three days and four nights spell bound by the magic and wonder of Disneyland Paris.
Situated just a short drive from Paris, Disney provide shuttle buses to and from the Park Entrance. If, like us, you were lucky enough to stay in the beautiful Disneyland Hotel then you can enjoy the benefit of being positioned right outside the entrance to the park. Disney run an Express Luggage service which we took advantage of. This meant that once we arrived at the station our luggage was transported to our Hotel and we were able to head straight to the park, meaning more Disney time!
The Hotel was superb and was full of the timeless charm associated with the Disney brand. The rooms were exquisite and came with all the usual additions to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Our deal didn’t include Breakfast, though it wasn’t a problem as there are plenty of places in the Park to pick up some food.
The Paris Resort is split into two differentiating Theme Parks, Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios. Our first day started by visiting the Disneyland Park. This is the more traditional of the two, featuring the iconic Disney Castle, this one is themed off "Sleeping Beauty", the rides include: Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (formally Space Mountain: Mission 2), Big Thunder Mountain, Indiana Jones™ and the Temple of Peril, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Autopia® and so much more!
We headed to Discoveryland and Hyperspace Mountain first and it was brilliant. Being launched to a galaxy far, far away was thrilling and is definitely one for the thrill-seekers. Afterwards, we slowed things down with Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. This attraction is so much fun as you traverse around shooting at aliens, sadly I didn’t get the highest score.
Heading away from Discoveryland and back to Main Street U.S.A, we rode the iconic Disneyland Railroad. This is great for getting around the park and seeing as much as possible. It lasts about 20 minutes, though is brilliant if you have small children. There are also Horse-Drawn Streetcars and is Vintage Cars, which are a return to quainter times.
Just off of Main Street U.S.A is Fantasyland. It is here where Sleeping Beauty’s Castle can be found. A major hint when visiting the Castle, is venture underground and the La Tanière du Dragon. Here you can tip-toe through the dark dungeon and witness the defeated Dragon chained to the rocks. Many guests don’t know this exists and it is a hidden treat.
Staying in Fantasyland, there are numerous other attractions, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, It’s a Small World, The Gallery of Beauty and the Beast, Lancelot’s Carrousel and our favourite, Peter Pan’s Flight. The latter is not to be missed!
Heading further afield to Frontierland, Disney’s famous Big Thunder Mountain stands as a centrepiece. Based on the original in America, it exudes nostalgia whilst providing thrills and spills. For something more thrilling, then head to Indiana Jones™ and the Temple of Peril. Here you climb into mine carts and hurl through the ruins of an ancient Temple. This one isn’t for young children but if you’re into big thrills then look no further.
Over in Adventureland is where you will find another iconic ride, Pirates of the Caribbean. There is no better time to ride this attraction, as last year it received a facelift including a brand new female hero! Once you've finished gallivanting with Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew of miscreants, then head over to Pirates’ Beach. This was a surprise find and is great for all the family, including youngsters as they explore the caverns of Skull Rock.
If, like us, you’re exhausted after all the rides, then there are many places to refuel and rest. From eating like a Cowboy at Cowboy Cookout Barbecue in Frontierland, to dining on Royal Ice Cream like a Prince or Princess at Fantasia Gelati, there is no excuse to not stuff your faces. Café Hyperion was our favourite, it is absolutely incredible, and the food was delicious.
Before our day in the park came to an end we experienced the wonderful parade and the spectacular Disney Illuminations Show, which was the perfect way to finish the first day.
Our second began with visiting the Walt Disney Studios Park. This meant a separate ticket, though through our package both parks were included. Similar to Disneyland, the park had so much to do. With attractions including, Crush’s Coaster®, Ratatouille: The Adventure, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™, RC Racer and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, we were spoilt for choice.
For the thrill-seekers, The Twilight Zone's Tower of Terror is a must as it sends you plummeting 13 unlucky floors. Crush’s Coaster® takes riders through the East Australian Current with our favourite Turtle, Crush and spins you in every direction. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith launches riders to speeds of 100km/h in less than 3 seconds and RC Racer hurtles you up and down a 25-metre high half-pipe coaster. You’ll have no excuse to not scream!
For all the family there is just as much on offer. From Flying Carpets Over Agrabah® or shrinking down to the size of Remy the Rat in Ratatouille: The Adventure, to going behind the cameras and seeing how films are made with Armageddon: Les Effets Spéciaux and the Studio Tram Tour®: Behind the Magic. The Tram tour is a must do and is a brilliant experience!
For dining at Walt Disney Studios, you have so many places to choose from. Disney Blockbuster Café is brilliant for pizza and pasta, but our favourite was Bistrot Chez Rémy. Designed as a traditional Parisian Bistro straight from the Pixar classic, you can feast on the best French cuisine. The magic twist is that it is all from a rat’s eye view! It is highly recommended reserving a table, as the Bistro can get very busy.
Our second day ended watching the brilliant Stunt Show Spectacular which was phenomenal.
Our third and final full day was spent visiting the Disney Village. It is an entertainment district like no other, from Concerts at Billy Bob’s, Gaumont Cinemas, Sports Bar to PanoraMagique, where you can lift off in one of the world’s biggest hot air balloons, Disney continued to deliver.
There is also so many places to eat, including our favourite restaurant in the whole of Disneyland Paris, Café Mickey! How awesome it was to dine with Chef Mickey and all his friends, it was wonderful.
Disneyland Paris is full of magic and with parks staying open until 11.00pm (8.00pm for Walt Disney Studios) your days are full of fun and magic. The rides are excellent and although queue times can be long, Disney have their "FastTrack" system in place, where you can scan your admission ticket for a time slot to return to the attraction of your choice and beat the queues!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Disneyland Paris and couldn’t believe how much we experienced in three days! We travelled to space, vanquished Dragons, smuggled with Pirates, explored ancient Temples, dived under the sea, plummeted 13 floors in an elevator, rocked out whilst soaring at 100km/h and most importantly, met Mickey Mouse! And we loved every single second of it!