We have just returned from our most recent trip to Disneyland Paris, and it was the best visit yet. We found all of the staff to be superb, they were all very friendly, helpful, informative and generally quite chatty. The actors and actresses were also very friendly and interacted with everybody, we personally loved the pirates, they were brilliant! The rides that we went on were fantastic. We tried one of the newer rides, a 3D Ratatouille experience, and it seemed very state of the art. Conveniently, there was an actual replica of the Ratatouille restaurant from the movie right next to the right. As a 'single rider', you can get onto the ride in a shorter waiting time. We did this, but looking back I think the ride is more fun to experience together with others in your group (friends or family members etc). My personal favourite ride has always been Pirates of the Caribbean, and yet again it did not disappoint. Afterwards, we decided to buy a souvenir photograph, which was quite expensive but we were given a voucher with the purchase which meant all other photos we wanted to purchase that day would be at a reduced price, and it was a significant discount, especially if you plan on buying lots of photographs! Another highlight was Phantom Manor - the haunted house experience. Loved it! The Disney parade at the end of the day was fantastic, with actors and actresses going out of their way to include as many members of the public as possible. That was a great touch - very personal.
My family and I recently visited Disney land Paris on a four night, five day stay at their Davy Crochet ranch. The whole resort is set outside Paris, but is still close enough so you can make a day trip to see the city if you like. We drove and found it very easy to locate. There is also a euro star service that runs directly to the Disney parks, or you could fly and get a taxi to Disneyland which is the option my sister in law chose. If staying at a Disneyland hotel there are shuttle buses that run back and forth to the hotels which are a free service, but I am glad we drove as it provided us with a little escape from everything Disney. We found five days more than enough, and we actually decided not to enter the parks on the final day in favour of a detour to Paris. The main Disneyland Park is open from 10am-10pm, (this changes with the season) and the studios are open 10am-6pm. You do get 2 magic hours if staying in a Disney hotel and these are always 8am-10am. We booked our tickets through a package deal, but they tend to be around £50 per adult and £45 per child per day for access to both parks.
Disneyland is split into three different areas. They are all fairly close to each other, but we found with queuing for the gates and actually passing through it takes around fifteen minutes to get between Disney village, the studios or the main parks. Once you are in the parks everything is close together, but it is a fair amount of walking before you get there. We found the most popular rides and attractions had 2 hour waiting times, and even when we used our magic hours the lines were still up to 30 minute long. There is a fast pass service that allows you to book a time to go on a ride rather than waiting, but this is limited to a few rides and never really helped us.
This is free to enter and you do not need to be staying in the Disney hotels or have park tickets to visit. Made up of restaurants and shops this was where everyone tends to head in the evening for food. This is where Cafe Mickey is located one of the few character dining options, but there are a range of other restaurants available even a McDonalds. It is for shopping and dining so not overly exciting in the day, but at night time it seems to come to life and becomes extremely busy.
The Disney parks them self where all the main attractions are. This is where most of the fun takes place parades, the rides themselves and it is very magical. This is split up into different lands like frontier land, fantasyland etc. I am not going to go hugely into each area as there is just no point it makes it easier to find the ride you want from the map. You do get the information sent to you when you book at Disney so you can always plan you rides before you leave if you like. You have to show/buy your passes as you pass the gates as you would expect, and then you are lead down USA Main Street. It just reminds me of the Disney village as door to door is shop after shop. Depending on what direction you turn in it will leads you the different ways around the park. To be fair once you actually hit where the rides begin everything is fairly close together, even with the different sections they have. There is plenty to do for all ages, and this is where the different areas come in handy. Each area has a theme and usually suited more towards one age group.
**A young family's point of view**
Of course Disney will be different for everybody depending on who is going. At the time of visiting my children were all still very young. I have a five year old, four year old, 2 year old and my youngest daughter was just 9 months old. I was a little worried how much we would be able to do as the children are so young, but Disney do make sure there are attractions for everyone no matter how young. We found fantasyland was the best place for us as it had the sleeping beauty's castle for us to explore which my children were amazed about. It also has it's a small world which was the only ride my nine month old actually went on, the tea cups, carousel, Dumbo and many more. The shows were fantastic at holding their attention well and seeing their favourite characters come to life seemed to mesmerise them. While they loved the flashing lights and excitements of the parks, it was definitely the shows that captured their attention more, and these are the things they haven't stopped talking about since we were back.
There are baby changing facilities dotted around the park which comes in handy for when you need to get little one changed while out and about. We decided we would head back to our cabin for a few hours at the busiest times in the day so they could nap and have some down time. We found a quick nap in the middle of the day meant we were able to take advantage of magic hours in the morning where the park is only open to Disney hotel guests between 8am-10am. Also as Dreams was not on until 8pm this would make it a very long 12 hour day for younger children, or even longer in peak times when dreams is not on until 10pm. My soon to be three year old son has walked for the last year almost anywhere but he just found it all very tiring. Thankfully we had taken a pushchair with us so this saved his legs, but even my four and five year old would jump in the pushchair when he decided he wanted to stretch his legs.
This for us was really hit and misses. We met some wonderful staff who was happy to help us whenever we needed. Disney state you can approach anyone wearing a Disney badge and they can point you in the right direction and would be happy to help. What we actually found was a lot could be rather rude. Especially when entering the parks. As we had pushchairs we had to wait for a member of staff to open the gates for us to pass through rather than the turnstile. 9 times out of 10 they would only let my husband and I pass through making my four and five year old stand in the queue without us, or push them through ahead of us. This spelled panic for me as we were in a park with hundreds of people and they were making my two young children wait at the other side for us. At one point we complained about it and the cast member told us to keep an eye on our children instead of moaning. I was so annoyed how we could keep an eye on them when they were being ushered to another queuing system to us. After asking for his name to make a complaint he began telling us how he didn't care what we thought not matter how much we had paid to come to Disneyland Paris. Not one of our best experiences, but generally the staff was happy to help.
For us again this was disappointing. We had booked two character interaction meals to make sure we would come across some characters, but in the park they seemed to be lacking. I'm not sure if it was because it was so cold around the parks while we were there but the only place we came across characters was in the parade, but as they pass so quickly and are mainly on floats there is no chance for spending some time with them. The only place we came across organised meets was in the studios. We found each day it was the same characters Minnie mouse, Goofy and Pluto. As we had already gained there autograph at Cafe Mickey we decided against the half an hour wait to meet them to go on the rides instead. I thought we may have just been unlucky but speaking to our neighbours at the ranch this was their fifth time visiting and they confirmed this week was very poor for meeting them.
**Dreams and parades**
As my children are still young they were absolutely blown away by the parades. You do have to get there early to get a good spot, but we found around ten to fifteen minutes was enough notice to see the parade clearly. You can find out the times of the parades on the Parks program which you are given when you first arrive. There are a number of different parades. The mini 20th Anniversary train runs three times a day, and like the title it is mini lasting only minutes but it still has the wow factor. The main parade was just amazing. The floats have so much thought and effort put into them, and no matter who is your favourite Disney character this is the place to see them. They manage to fit so much into a 20 minute show and each time it was flawless. There are your favourite characters on the floats, but there are also some characters that walk up in front of their float so they can interact with the children. On one of the days my children were dressed up in their costumes and the characters started bowing to my little girl as she was wearing a princess dress. There is also a parade in the studios, but to be honest we only caught this once and it was not as impressive as the others.
The dreams show really is amazing. I was a little unsure if I would enjoy it as I was expecting so much from the hype and publicity it gets, but honestly it made our stay. We found you needed to leave a good half an hour before the show to get a good spot but it is worth making the effort. Every single person in our party, and standing around us stood opened mouthed for the whole of the show. The lights and laser show is just magical and I could watch it over and over again. My children have not stopped talking about the big movie on the castle since we returned, and is the first starting place whenever they talk about our holiday. It was by far our favourite attraction, and while I do not want to go hugely into I will say if you are visiting make sure you make time to see it.
Once you have your park tickets all of the rides and shows come included in the ticket price so there is no need to pay extra for anything entertainment wise. There are of course hundreds of shops selling merchandise and this is where your money is mainly spent. That along with food and refreshments it can add up to a small fortune on top of your initial outlay for travelling, hotels and parks. Some bits were not as bad as we expected, for example a lot of the toys available in the shops were very similar to the prices we have paid at home for them. Toy story play sets, dolls, Cars toys were all around £18 which is exactly the same as what we paid at Christmas for similar toys. Clothes for us seemed hugely inflated. We paid close to £20 for Disney character hats, and looking at some of the jackets they were around 80 Euros. While they were different styles to what is available here the quality did not seem any different, and to be honest there was no chance I was paying that when for £30 you could buy the same style here.
There is a great choice of restaurants but with one problem. The food seems to be the same all around the park, and most of that available is junk food. For a restaurant with table service you are generally looking at around 35 - 50 euro's per adult and around 20 - 30 per child. The cheapest meal we had was a light lunch at Earl of sandwich coming in at 50 euro's for two adults and three children for a toasted sandwich each and a drink. Drinks are 4 euro's for a soft drink and the choice for children is very poor. Usually the only alternative to fizzy pop was orange juice, and even then half the restaurants added half sprite and half orange juice. We purchased the half board plus vouchers beforehandas Disney push these as a better way to dine to be honest I wish we never bothered. Each time we used them the staff sulked as if it was a huge hassle, and we still found ourselves paying 40-50 Euros on top for drinks and extras. If we were not using these vouchers I would have been more inclined to complain, and to be honest probably would have visited McDonalds instead. (Half the time McDonalds would have been better quality!) Most of the restaurants rely on fast food to make up their menus, so I'm not sure we would have noticed much difference apart from the price tag.
I would recommend Disneyland to anyone with young children as it has built such amazing memories for them. The magic it has over children is breath taking, and watching their faces light up made my week. I do think it is overly expensive for what is actually a theme park but it was worth every single penny in my eyes. It is not a relaxing holiday where you will be sitting around enjoying the sun, but it is filled with lots of walking but also lots of adventures. It can be extremely pricey once you factor in the extra costs around the parks but as for most people it is a once in a lifetime trip it is worth it. There is something to do for everyone and I would return again, but maybe when the children are older and we have seen more of the world first!
This isn't a review - more of a "Top tips survival guide"
1) During summer months make sure that you have remembered to take the sun cream with you. (sounds obvious i know, but we left ours at the hotel and rather studpidly thought we'd buy some more. At £22 for a small bottle of factor 30, my husband was sent back to the hotel, complaining bitterly, to go and get ours.)
2) Take your own bottles of coke and water. (We got a case of coke and water from our local cash and carry and took it over with us.) Then to keep it cool fill the sink with cold water and leave the bottles floating in it.
3) If #2 isn't an option - take a WIDE neck sports bottle with you (it will be easier to fill it from the plentiful water fountains if it has a wider neck)
4) Take fruit and healthy snacks with you. (Disneyland is full of greasy fried food and snacks - which is fine once in a while - but unless you want to look like an extra from Dumbo, then not great for a whole week. We took boxes or raisins, dried apple slices, apricots etc...)
5) Prioritise the rides you really want to go on, and use the Fastpass system as soon as you enter the park. The Peter Pan ride especially requires speedy action - leave getting a fast pass until 1pm and the day's allocation is most likely to have gone already!
6) If you have young children - plan to see a show during the day - it will provide an opportunity to sit down whilst keeping your children occupied.
7) Want to meet lots of Princesses? Hang around the entrance to CJ Le petite train du Cirque, at about 4pm on Friday. We happened to be in this area, when a fanfare sounded and Cinderella, Ariel and Eric and Snow White and her Prince appeared through the nearest gate. The look on my 5 year old daughter's face when Snow White grabbed her hand and walked down the street with her was amazing! I don't know whether this happens on a regular basis - but if you're there at the right time - who knows....
8) The parade starts out of the gate to the right of "It's a small World" - it's not too crowded here either, and is conveniently close to toilets (handy when you have a 3 year year old - who "gotta go - now! mommy."
9) If your French isn't fluent - then speak to the cast members in English, if you try French they are likely to talk back in French - tricky if it's been a while since secondary school. My daughters were gob-smacked to hear Snow White whittering away in French - i started to translate for them, when Snow White, in an American accent declared - "oh Gee, your English - you should have said..."
10) If you want Jack Sparrow's autograph - employ a two pronged attack strategy! He is very much in character and will only stay in one spot for a short period of time before doing the "Sparrow arrogant shuffle" and walk off in a different direction. Position two people either side of his hang out, at some point he will make a point of barging through the crowd and heading for a quieter spot, hopefully the spot where your partner is.....(it worked for us)
11) Got a child who is too short for a ride, but wants to go on it? Get the Cast Member at the entrance to measure their height and tell them no. Somehow it was easier for our 3 year old to accept when it came from someone else (kids!)
12) You gotta check out Stitch LIVE - well worth the wait!
13) Snow White and the 7 dwarves is a dark and quite sinister ride. Best avoid this one of your children dislike the dark or are sensitive. It focusses very much on the evil queen.
14) Children like dressing up? Go to Woolworths first and buy Disney dressing up costumes. Take them in your suitcase and then your little ones can dress up, without the need to go over the limit on your credit card!
15) The Hakunna matata chicken restaurant is good value for money. They do a family bucket chicken meal - afterall it is a holiday and a bit of a junk splurge wont kill you.....
16) ENJOY YOURSELF!
We travelled by coach to Disney Land Paris which took approx 10 hours. We stayed in a hotel on the outskirts of the park and there were regular buses that took you back and forth to the park.
We had a two day pass which I think was all we needed as the parks were not as big as I thought they would be.
We went in November so it was out of season, so we didn't have long to queue for the rides for very long but the queues to have your picture with Mickey Mouse etc were very long we just gave up!
As we went near christmas every so many hours by the entrance they would start playing a christmas song and snow started falling! It was obviously fake snow and I could not see where it came from! It was amazing how they did it! The children that were around us loved it!
The parades that went through the park were a lot of fun to watch with all the disney characters on different themed floats!
The cafes and shops etc were very expensive and put us off a little bit, but the surrounding hotels, bars and cafes etc were just as expensive so we didn't buy a lot of gifts to take home!!! Luckily we stopped at a supermarket on the way so we had some drinks in our room to have rather than paying the silly prices in the bar!
By the entrance is a train station which you can go into Paris but when we went was when the train staff were on strike so we couldn't use this facility.
I think it would be difficult to spend a week there, 3 days is more than enough as the parks are not as big as you would expect and there isn't as many rides as you would think.
I did enjoy myself but its wasn't as good as i thought it would be!
It is hard to describe the magic you feel when you are at Disneyland Paris, or just how much I love the place but I will give it a try! I am also reviewing Disney Studios as part of this as the parks are next door to each other and really are part and parcel of the same thing.
I have been 4 times and I have enjoyed each visit even better than the last. I first went with my mum when it had only just opened and I was about 14. Back then there were not as many attractions as there are now but it was still an awesome holiday. I have then taken my son 3 times, once when he was 2, then when he was 5 and more recently when he was 14. I am telling you this to demonstrate how it really does appeal to children of all ages.
There are plenty of rides that the entire family can go on, whilst they do focus on the younger ones, being gentler rides, anyone would be captivated by them as you sail through Neverland or visit Snow White. My own favourite family type ride is A Small World in which you sail round in a boat and go through all the different countries, it has a theme tune being sung all the way round which some may find annoying but I love! Also for the younger ones in your family, you can hire buggies (perfect if you don't want to have to trek yours all the way there) and there are plenty of baby changing facilities, places to warm up milk bottles etc.
The parades are just lovely and again anyone would enjoy these but especially so for the little ones who still 'believe' in Mickey! They are full of songs, colourful scenes and loads of Disney characters.
If your children want to meet the characters they are generally only wandering around the park for short periods of time here and there, the reason being that they tend to get mobbed by groups of children (and parents!) wanting their autograph & a photo and it all can get a bit chaotic. So, the best plan if your child wishes to meet a specific character is to check the leaflets available at the park entrance to see their designated meet & greet times where you can go & queue up to meet them at a certain time & place. Whilst the queues for this can be long (especially for Mickey Mouse) it is nicer in the end as you can get a professional photo done as well as being able to take one yourself and your child gets a couple of minutes with the character focussed on the them, rather than being pushed around by a group of other children! Seeing my son meeting Tigger & Eeyore when he was 2 was one of the loveliest things ever, I've never seen him look so happy and in awe!
For older kids there are loads of big rides, one of the more recent is the Tower Of Terror which is simply fantastic! There is the good old Big Thunder Mountain, the spooky Phantom Manor, the fast and furious Rock & Roller Coaster and the exciting Space Mountain to name just a few.
Another ride worth a mention is the Studio Tours tram ride based in Disney Studios, which is based on various film sets, you go round on the tram and are shown various special effects which are just amazing and scarily real.
I could go on all day about the rides but in fairness there is so much more to Disney than that. It is impossible to describe and list all of the attractions on here but to highlight a couple there are the caves and shipwrecks you can wander through in Discoveryland, the cartoon drawing classes you can take part in at Disney Studios and the Alice in Wonderland Labrinth in Fantasyland. Also, just wandering through the parks is great in itself. The place is kept absolutely spotless, the streets and pathways are constantly cleaned and everything is maintained to the highest possible standards. Everywhere you look there are things in line with the theme of that particular area of the park, for instance on 'Main Street' which leads up to the castle and houses many shops and eating places, as it is themed to be like and old American street you will find a pretend barber shop, filled with everything just as you would expect it as well as a City Hall.
Sleeping Beauty's castle is beautiful, worth having a wander underneath it where you will find the dragon which protects it and you can also wander part way up the castle.
There is music piped through the park at all times to get you in the Disney spirit, which it really does, and this adds to the magical feel. In addition, I have been in the winter once - at New Year - and they had covered things in pretend snow and even had pretend snowflakes fluttering down over main street.
The only partially negative thing I will say about Disney is the cost, however, I do believe the cost enables it to be such a perfect place when you get there is obviously no expense is spared on creating the attractions, keeping the place clean, maintaining the attractions etc. In essence, you get what you pay for. I have never felt like I have paid over the odds as it clearly cannot be compared to a day out at Alton Towers! If you want to do it as cheap as possible then you can either go by coach and stay in a hotel just outside Disney resort (rather than one of the actual Disney hotels) or drive there and stay at Davy Crockets Ranch which is within Disney and is self catering. Again, you will get what you pay for in terms of ease and access, if you fly & stay in a Disney hotel it will cost quite a bit but it will be a shorter journey & you will have easy access to the park (as well as a lovely themed hotel at which Disney characters come to meet and greet in the mornings, saving the huge queues at the park). So it is just a case of weighing up how much you are willing to pay. Food in the park is not cheap, though currently this is partially due to poor exchange rates as my last trip there was considerably more costly than my previous one a few years ago. If you want to do it as cheap as possible look for the buffet style restaurants around the park and stay clear of Planet Hollywood, the Rainforest Cafe etc which are located in Disney Village. Disney Village is just outside the main theme park and is open later into the evening, there is a disco, a wild west show, a couple of bars and various shops and eateries. This is the only place where alcohol is served throughout Disney, you will not find beer being served anywhere in the actual theme parks. There is a McDonald's - again good to know if you are trying to save money - a Starbucks and my favourite eating place there; Annette's Diner. If you can afford a bit of a blow out (as it is not by any means cheap) I would well recommend this American themed diner, including huge tasty burgers, milkshakes, fantastic desserts and ice creams and waiters / waitresses on roller skates! If you are lucky enough to be there when it is not massively busy then you may also get chance to witness the waiters & waitresses dancing on the tables to something like Jailhouse Rock and encouraging the kids to join in with the dancing, such fun!
In short, I would recommend that absolutely anyone should take a trip to Disney at some point in their lives, which I'm sure the Paris one does not compare to the Florida one I can certainly say it is better than the California one and it is certainly much more affordable than both. You will never regret the money you spend on going to this magical place.
As you walk under the pink Victorian chateau style Disney Hotel and into Mainstreet USA, you begin to feel the Disney magic infect every fibre of your being. Mainstreet USA is as it sounds, a slice of Americana, with old fashioned shops, boutiques, deli's and coffee shops lining the boulevard. Paddy wagon's and carriages drive up and down Mainstreet, taxiing people from the bandstand near the Disney Hotel up to Cinderella's castle. The gift shops are obviously quite expensive, but there is a lot of exclusive merchandise not to be found anywhere else. I personally love Casey's Corner, the baseball themed hot dog vendor on one of the corners of Mainstreet. The hot dogs are tasty and fresh, with delicious gooey cheese melted on top. There is not too much to do on Mainstreet other then shopping and eating, although it is the main parade route. There are a number of parades that make their way down Mainstreet each day, and the character express comes down once an hour, featuring a selection of great characters dancing and singing to a catchy (if somewhat irritating) tune. However Mainstreet is the entrance to the four lands that make up Disneyland Paris.
Fantasyland, which lies straight ahead, just go through Cinderella's castle!
Frontierland, which is the first land on the left, through an old Western fort.
Discoveryland, on the right, past the waterfall towards Space Mountain.
Adventureland, the second land on the left, near Cinderella's castle, through Aladdin's bazaar.
Fantasyland is exactly what it sounds like, it is filled with Disney princesses and allusions to all the magic moments from Disney cinema. It is the land with the most rides, and also covers the most space. It is really designed for the younger traveler's, and is the only land without a rollercoaster. Ride's such as Dumbo the flying elephant are quite tame, but good fun, and the Mad Hatter's Tea Cups is a great homage to Alice in Wonderland, which is a film that makes many appearances throughout the area. You actually spin very fast on the tea cups, so be careful not to ride straight after breakfast! There is also a maze made of hedge's, a replica of the Queen of Hearts maze in Alice in Wonderland. at the centre is the Queen of Hearts castle, and from the top are great views of the park. Throughout the maze are cards for photo opportunities, and a pop-up mechanical Queen of Hearts! There are also story rides for Pinocchio, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Peter Pan. Of these Peter Pan is definitely the best. You climb into a pirate ship, and swoop through the ride, seeing classical images from the film recreated. The bit where you fly over a miniature London complete with Big Ben is amazing, as is Neverland.
Frontierland is as built for boys as Fantasyland is built for girls. The theme is the Wild West, and every budding cowboy and Indian is welcome! Through a well designed fort with jail for great photo opportunities lies a dusty and sparse land, with relatively few rides. There is a large man made lake, on which paddle steamers trundle around, and can be boarded for a small fee. The steamer is fantastic, offering great views of otherwise inaccessible parts of the land, including an old robotic man and his dog fishing off the porch of their wooden lake house. Old Faithful Geyser is recreated, and is great fun to watch. In the middle of the lake sits Big Thunder Mountain. Beware, the queues for this ride can be monstrous! The ride is a fin child friendly coaster, a runaway mining cart takes you around a windy track at speeds of just over 30mph. There is a nice adventure playground, complete with teepee's round the corner, and not far from a large performance area, where play's are staged daily. There is also a good fast food restaurant called the Lucky Nugget Saloon, which serves great BBQ style food, and seats you in an authentic barn. There is even live country and western music performances! The other highlight of Frontierland is the Haunted Mansion,which inspired the Eddie Murphy film of the same name. The haunted party of ghosts and ghouls is fantastic, and the room that feels like it is dropping you into the bowels of hell is an awesome touch. They let too many people on at once some times, and it can feel quite claustrophobic at first, when in the waiting area, but when aboard the ghost train you feel fine again. A personal highlight is the haunted mirrors, that when you go past, makes it look as if a ghoul is clinging to the back of your carriage!
Discoveryland is the place for little scientists, with great rides like Buzz Lightyear's Laser Blast (a drive through Quasar with a real competitive element), The Orbitors (Similar circular and up and down motion to Dumbo ride in Fantasyland, only this time in Rocket ships), and Space Mountain. Space Mountain is the parks signature ride, and is the best in the main park. The queues can again get colossal for this ride. The ride is not that fast, only about 30mph, and is slower then Big Thunder Mountain, but it feels much faster! You blast off from a 45 degree angle, and hurtle into corkscrews and loop the loops! The height restriction make it for older kids and adults, but it is great fun! M only two complaints are that I didn't feel strapped in enough (though that may be down to my scrawny build then the ride itself) and the photographs are at the beginning of the ride before you really get going, and look a bit tame. The blasting off can be heard throughout the park, and the smoke drifts across Discoveryland, making Space Mountain feel lie a truly epic experience. there is also a half submerged Nautilus submarie from Jules Verne's Ten Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Jules Verne's design influence is everywhere in Discoveryland, not least in the giant zephyr sticking out of the Futuredome, where burgers are available, and an indoor theater is located. I watched the Lion King get performed brilliantly on the stage, and between the performances there are classic Disney cartoons on the many TV screens, featuring Mickey and the gang. The food is here is excellent again, and fairly priced, and if you go in December as I did, you will be grateful for a warm place to sit with hot drinks and hot food! My favorite ride in Discoveryland though was the Star Wars simulator, inside the giant X fighter! The build up features great characters and drones going about their work preparing for launch. The ride lasts a good few minutes, and with the twists and turns of flying through some of the iconic scenes of the first movie, including the approach and destruction of the Death Star, this is a ride that made me feel more queasy then Space Mountain! There is also the Honey I shrunk the Audience experience, with headphones for different languages, and a great 3-D, audience interactive experience. When the dog sneezes water is blown in your face, and when a miniature rat escapes, air is blown against your leg to feel like a rustling rodent! With films like Avatar taking 3-D into another stratosphere this may seem quite dated, but it was iconic when new in the early 90's, and is still great fun today!
Adventureland is my favorite land, somewhere for everyone! This is a land filled with Pirates and explorers! It's main inspiration comes from films such as the Junglebook, the Lion King and Peter Pan. There is a lagoon featuring Skull Rock, which lights up at night, and can be explored to the depths of Davy Jones locker. In the lagoon is the floating ship of Captain Hook, which can be explored, and is great for those Kodak moments. Ride wise, Adventureland is quite sparse, focusing on the fun of exploration over waiting in line. For instance you can climb up to te Swiss Family Robinson's treehouse, and cross ropbridges suspended perilously high up! There are however two notable exceptions. The first is another rollercoaster, possibly my least favorite. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril rollercoaster is brilliantly themed, and built like a rickety old wooden rollercoaster. There is a huge loop the loop, but once around the very short ride and you come to a stop. It is far too short, but there is a reason for this. It used to go round the loop twice, once backwards, but thanks to the amount of whiplash suffered by riders, it had to be stopped. A massive shame, but safety must come first! the other ride in this lush leafy area is Pirates of the Caribbean, which inspired the recent film trilogy starring Johnny Depp and Keira Knightly. This is perhaps my favorite ride in the whole park! A water ride which takes you through the heart of the Blue Lagoon restaurant, past the diners, and onto a great mechanical story, featuring two big watery drops! You may get a bit wet on this one!
There are more rides that I haven't mentioned, such as It's a Small World, which will leave you humming all day, and is masterpiece of animatronics, located in Fantasyland. There are ice cream stalls, and a wonderful little restaraunt supposedly belonging to one of the mice from Cinderella, with her carriage parked in the garden. There is an outdoor theater just off Mainstreet USA, where characters pose for photographs, and small performances, such as weddings of prince's and princesses are held. There is Disney Village, and the Disney studios, but they need a review of their own! Some of the rides also take photographs, which are available for purchase afterward in a range of sizes with a variety of deals. The rides are Big Thunder Mountain, Buzz's Laser Challenge, Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean, and it is definitely worth a memento of these rides, but they can be expensive.
Disneyland is a magical place for people of all ages, and you can't fail to be swept up in the beauty and atmosphere. It's a place where outside problems don't exist, where you can go and forget your troubles, at least for a little while.
Disney Land Resort Paris,
I have only been here once about 2 years ago but i am due to go again in march so when i get back ill be sure to update my review as i will be much more up to date when i return, but for now ill review my first experience here.
So Disney Land Resort Paris currently has two themed parks, Disney Land Park and the newer edition Walt Disney Studios Park, both of these parks are packed full of attractions, rides, and helpful friendly caring staff and the whole thing comes together great to try and make your holiday a truly magical experience.
There is also the Disney Village which consists of shops, restaurants, cafe's, bars and a night club so there's something for every one to enjoy really.
The hotels are all themed and local to the park, the cheaper ones are very basic but they still contain everything that you require on your holiday and lets be honest you arnt really going to be in there much are you.
Everyone who is anyone knows what Disney is about, and Disneyland Paris is no exception. With that in mind I decided that you don't need another rundown of the attractions in the park, but that it would be more useful to offer some tips and advice for getting the most out of your day / trip, based on my recent and not so recent experiences. So here are my tips:
For Getting There:
-If you are on a package holiday - you'll no doubt be staying in the complex itself and so will have free shuttle buses or a short walk to the park.
-If you're coming from Paris - the cheapest and easiest way is to go by train. Take the RER A line (the red one) from Les Halles or Nation metro stations. Make sure you check the train times and if there are any expected problems on the train lines the day before you go. The last couple of times I've been, there has been strikes and work on this particular lines that has meant sporadic services limited to early morning and late night trains.
-If you are staying in Paris - there is a promotion going on at the moment which gets an adult entry to the parks for the price of a child, saving you about 8 Euros per person, if you buy your tickets from the hotel you're staying in. You put a deposit on your ticket at the hotel and they give you a slip that you take to the ticket office in the resort and exchange for a proper ticket on payment of the balance. It was an easy and cheap(er) way of paying, we found.
-If you're only there for a day - it is unlikely that you'll be able to get around both the Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios parks in one day, so it would be better to pick which one you want to visit and just pay for one park entry. Don't be fooled by the extensive advertising for 2-park entry, it is possible to pay for just one park and it is about 12 Euros cheaper.
-If you go to Walt Disney Studios - it closes earlier than the other park, but you are then able to go into the other park for free for the rest of the day. This means that you will get maybe a couple of hours in Disneyland Park and you will be able to see the final parade, even if you haven't paid for entry to that park.
-Don't eat between midday and 2.30pm - that is when the queues are at their longest. We ate at around one o'clock and spent almost an hour queuing for food which, when you consider how long you get in the park against the entry costs, is a spectacular waste of money!
-Take a picnic - there are plenty of places around the park that you could eat it, both indoors and out. There are also lockers just inside the entrance to the park where you can keep things for a charge. Even with this charge, you'll save a fortune - don't expect to get a meal (even from a fast food stall) for less than £10 a person.
-Book in advance - if you are planning on having a sit down meal in one of the restaurants, then book ahead to avoid long waits. This is especially important if you're planning on having one of the Disney characters join you for your meal.
For Thrill Seekers:
-Walt Disney Studios Park - is full of white knuckle rides including the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror which will have you plummeting the tall building's floors in a matter of seconds, and the Rock n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, which is a loop-the-loop ride that is accompanied by the sounds of the rockers themselves.
-Disneyland Park - is a much more family orientated and tame affair. But that's not to say that there is no thrill seeking to be had here - aside from Fantasyland, each of the lands has its own white knuckle ride, including Indian Jones' Temple of Doom (Adventureland), Big Thunder Mountain (Frontierland) and Space Mountain (Discoveryland).
For Avoiding Queues:
-Fastpass - is a relatively new service offered by both parks that allows you to visit the most popular attractions and jump the queue. All you need to do is swipe your entry ticket for a Fastpass voucher that tells you what time to return to the ride. You then return at your allotted time, use the Fastpass entrance, present your ticket and, hey presto, you're in without the hours of waiting! You can only have Fastpass tickets for one ride at a time though, so use them wisely!
-Leave the parades - if you aren't bothered about seeing the parades, then this is a perfect time to head for the popular rides as there is hardly anyone who isn't at the parade! If you don't want to miss them though, it's still possible to take advantage. If you position yourself in the spot on the parade route that is closest to your favourite ride and leave just as the parade is ending you'll get there before the masses return. It is a bit of a mad dash, but it is worth it to be right at the front of that queue with no waiting!
-Avoid Main Street USA - this is the most popular area for shopping as it is right near the entrance to the park, so you don't have to carry bags around with you. But, they don't sell anything here that you won't be able to find anywhere else in the park, so have a look at the other shops, where you'll be able to shop much more peacefully that the bedlam that is Main Street USA!
-Pre-order your shopping - if you shop before 3.30pm, when it is much quieter, the shops will pack your stuff away and have it delivered to your hotel (if you're staying in the Disneyland Resort) or have it ready for you to pick up later (if you are staying elsewhere). This is an excellent thing to take advantage of if you are planning on getting some souvenirs.
So, there you have it, my advice for getting the most out of your trip to Disneyland Paris and making sure that it does remain the magical trip that it should be!
The first time I visited Disneyland Resort Paris was the summer of 2007, by accident! I booked a 2 night city trip with my girly friend and we was just supposed to be in Paris the whole time, the first day we went around Paris and did the regular tourist things, visited the Eiffel tower and so on, anyway...by the end of the day, we were a bit dissapointed - is this really it? So, for the next day, I decided to go and find out where might Disneyland be :)
After hours and hours of taking different trains and constantly getting lost for some reason ,we arrived at the Marne La Vallee train station, made our way up, and through the security to the gates of Disneyland Park - we fell in love with it from the first sight! The gates alone looked like something from a faiytale! (well, it was a hotel as well, but we didnt know it then, lol) So we made our way in and walked up to the Sleeping Beautys castle, took a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain, flew to space on Space Mountain : Mission 2, ate at Cowboy Cookout Barbeque, watched the fabulous Once Upon a Dream parade....
And then we discovered the Walt Disney Studios..!
Aerosmiths Rockin Rollercoaster (I nearly died on it the first time - I really hadnt been on anything this fast and rapid before in my life!), Cinemaqique, Crushs Coaster...
The most important thing about Disneyland is the atmosphere, its something that the other themeparks just dont have, Disneyland Paris is a very special, magical place that has been close to our hearts ever since...and it always will be.
So much to see and do, whatever you think of Disney as a commercial empire, you cannot fault the service of the staff and the magical feeling that being surrounded by Disney coming to life brings.
There's now 2 parks, the main one and the Studios park. We headed to the Studios first, and found enough there to occupy us for a whole day. Tower of Terror is here, which was amazing. Use the Fast Track system for as many rides as are available. This saves you waiting for the most popular rides and gives you a time to return to near the front of the queue. While you're waiting for your time slot, go on rides that have shorter waits. There's always something to see in Disney queues, anayway. You will end up walking around more though from one zone to another and back!
ALWAYS allow time for the parades, they're so good, just get a good spot a bit earlier than it starts. If you're there for more than one day, use these times to go on busier rides!
Son was just 4 at time, and just able to go on most rides - I think only Space Mountain and Rock n Rollacoaster were the ones he could not have gone on, but we didn't miss them.
I went to Disneyland Paris with my husband as part of his birthday celebrations - I wasn't really sure at the time how much we would both enjoy it as I had not been there since I was in school and back then there was only the one main park and my husband had never been - however I knew there were few coasters to go on and so we were looking forward to these. The one we were probably most looking forward to going on was the Aerosmith Rock and rollercoaster as this seemed to be the one that was rated the highest in terms of being the best coaster there.
Which park is it in?
The Aerosmith rock and rollercoaster is located in the Walt Disney Studios park and is then located in the 'backlot' area of the park. Fairly easy to find as the Studios park is just next door to the main Disneyland park.
What kind of ride is it?
The ride is a full on rollercoaster that has everything adrenaline junkies look for in a ride and then some more! The ride is styled to be a long stretch limo with about 12 carriages each fitting two riders in. The ride starts off by blasting riders from a still position to a fast launch down a long straight track and then straight into a loop. The carriages go from 0-60mph in less than 3 seconds. This isn't the fastest coaster in the world of it's type but, it is still a brilliant launch off!
So what makes it so special?
Well the ride is so popular because of the whole elements of it - of course they could just have the ride blasting you off in this amazing launch and lots of loops twists etc and that would still be a good coaster but, to make it even better they add other elements to it to make it more fun! To start even the queue line has something different going on such as the Aerosmith sound studio you have to walk past which is made to look like the band are talking to you! Then the ride carriages all have individual speakers in them which mean rather than hearing everyone else scream you are listening to a bit of rock music! Then the actual ride is inside in the dark with lots of neon lights and funky colours. All of this combined makes the ride even better than just being a normal coaster in the dark!
The ride is of course restricted to those over a certain height which is 1.20m and of course being a fast coaster with all these elements the ride is definitely not ideal for those who have heart problems or pregnant ladies. Wheelchair users can go on the ride but, new restrictions mean that cast members (staff in the park) are not allowed to help those riders getting in an out of chairs and therefore to ride you must have somebody with you who can help you get in and out of your chair and onto the ride.
We definitely found this to be our favourite ride in the whole of the resort! We love our fast coasters and this was the best by far - there are other coasters that we also loved but, this just has it all and is also the longest coaster out of the coasters that the resort has which is why else we liked it so much - of course the queues can get quite long for this ride so I would say to definitely get a fast pass on it which any guest can do who has an entrance ticket which will cut your wait time down to at least half of what is displayed on the normal queue time. Also if you do want to ride this and you are at the park for opening I would suggest going to this ride first as that way you'll get on within minutes as there are always two carriages on this ride. In fact when we went on this ride we did it first thing and because the queues were still not big we managed to get on three times in a row in less than 40 minutes for all three.
I totally love this ride and would even actually go as far as to say that the one here in Disney Paris is better than the version they have in Florida! Highly recommended.
The first time we went to Disneyland as a family we had my then 5 year old brother with us who before we went had high aspirations of all the big rides he was going to go on, including Big Thunder Mountain, I always thought I was the wimp of the family, who wouldn't go on anything, but when we got there he cried so much during the first ride of Thunder Mountain, that he wouldn't go on anything else!!!!!
Until we found this ride, Its a Small World After All...this is a boat ride which is inside, it takes you around a selection of "rooms" on the boat, at around 5 mph, nice an relaxing, and there are small moving figures of children from all the continents and countries in the world with models of their famous landmarks, whilst the song "Its a Small World" plays...over and over again...in different languages as you go round.
Now the first few times, this ride was nice, it was cute and it was lovely to get out of the freezing temperatures of outside when it was New Year, BUT, one day, it was raining out, there was no queue, and so we sat on the ride for 8 times, now seeing as this ride lasts around 10 minuutes...this is a LONG time to sit on the ride and listen to "It's a small world afterall, it's a small world afterall, it's a small world afterall, it's a small small world"....over and over and over and over again!!! Infact I think this ride should be used as a form of torture for terrorists!! It would be very effective I am sure!!!
The ride is lovely for kids, and is nice when you go on it once or twice a day, but that day when we were on it 8 times, I just wanted to just out and drown myself in the water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The rock 'n' rollercoaster in Paris is in Walt Disney studios next to the disneyland park. The ride was created in Paris after the success of the original ride with the same name in Disney world.
The ride is based on an Aerosmith video. The queues are set up as if you are queueing for an audition and as you enter the the ride you walk into the recording studios which is decorated with posters of famous acts signed to labels owned by Walt Disney. The next room you go into you can see the members of Aerosmith finishing recording a song. Their manager comes in and shouts that they are late for a gig. The lead singer apologises to everyone on the ride saying sorry they are having to leave, but sorts you all out with back stage passes for the gig and puts you all in a vehicle to take you there. The vehicle is essentially the rollercoaster and this is where the fun begins. The rest of the ride is fast and is you getting to the gig on time.
The ride itself is fun and full of sharp drops, speedy get aways and of course very loud music. The rollercoaster has been labelled, smoother and less jerky than similar extreme style rollercoasters by critics.
Overall I had a great time on the Aerosmith ride. Im not a huge fan of their music but that didn't matter, it was very enjoyable anyway. If you enjoy fast rides where loud music heightens the experience and enjoyment then this is for you.
This is a great ride! It really actually epitomises Disneyland because it's so happy and so uniting. In it, you travel on a, I have to say, lovely little boat which holds about 6 people, so it's great fo families. You journey to many different coutries who are all united by the song 'it's a small world' and are all so happy as they dance and sing! It's very idealistic, but you emerge from the ride feeling refreshed and happy also!
There are no dips and it goes nice and slowly and so it is ideal for anyone, no matter what their age, which is again, one of the greatest features of Disney.
It is quite a popular ride, but I have been in both summer and winter, and as I remember, the queues are never too bad for this, possibly because the boats hold quite a few people and are quick and easy to load. Speaking of the boats, they are simple and easy to get into, but I can imagine that some elder people if they have difficulty walking may possibly have slight trouble with them, however the staff at Disney are always so nice and helpful and so I don't doubt that they would be only too happy to assist anyone having difficulties.
Finally, the music is very catchy, but it will probably stick with you all day! It goes on and on and is very repetitive, but that's why it is so endearing. This ride will be one of your highlights at Disney, I'm sure! : )
I have just taken a trip to Disneyland Paris with my son (he is 6 months) and extended family. Typically this ride was the hit of the trip with my little boy because it's my least favourite!
Even though it was our British half term the parks had some quiet days and whenever we went on this we didn't have to queue. You ride in a boat and float past the model buildings and people that represent the countries of our small world - their national dress and most famous landmarks. The UK is quite near the beginning and if you're Welsh like me you can see the Wales doll on the moon! Of course the biggest display is for France and it's gorgeously silver/gold and glittery.
My son was transfixed. He couldn't decide where he needed to look next. The best for him was the entrance and exit which has blue lighting and he got really excited. He also loved watching the fountain and the ducks (!!) at the end of the ride as you queue to get off your boat.
You do need to go on this ride more than once to see everything because I can guarantee that everytime you will see something you didn't last time. The downside of this is that song - man does it stick in your head even when they sing it in a different language.
It's a great ride for children though.