One of several parks across the world, this Disney theme park is a delight to visit. It is one of the more recent additions to the chain of Disney parks, and is the closest one to the UK, making it much easier to visit than any of the others. With this world of adventure so close by, how can you resist taking a trip across the English Channel to Disneyland this summer?
Disneyland Paris is in fact made up of two separate parks, and visitors can use their ticket to enter either park, but a separate ticket is needed for each park. The main Disneyland Park features rides based on the classic films and was the original, while the newer Walt Disney Studios Park features more rides based on recent films and experiences related to the production of the films, such as special effects and stunt shows. The majority of this article will focus on the main park, since this is the one I visited when I was in Paris recently.
The park is made up of 5 different areas, each based around a different theme, and naturally some areas will appeal more to certain people than others. The first is Mainstream USA. This is made to look like the central street of a small 20th century town, with traditional Victorian houses and shops running along either side. This area of the park does not feature any rides, but makes up a large segment of the parade route and is where most of the generic souvenir shops can be found, and in reality one could spend a whole day just perusing the shops along this road. The second area is Frontierland, and this is made to look like an old western neighbourhood where cowboys and native Americans would have once roamed. The highlight of this area for me was Big Thunder Mountain, which may have been my favourite ride in the park. This rollercoaster was fast and unexpected and with some of it in the dark, you never knew what was going to happen next. The third land was Adventureland. Designed to look like the exotic loactions across the world, this area is home to Indiana Jones’ Temple of Peril ride and the Pirates of the Caribbean flume. The latter was my personal favourite from the area, since it fully immersed you into the world of the pirates with the use of incredible effects and amazingly realistic animatronics. Since the film was based on the ride itself, the famous characters of the ride have not yet been added to the ride, but they may be coming later this year. The next area of the park is Fantasyland, perhaps the most well-known. This part of the park features rides based on the classic Disney treasures. It’s a small world, one of the oldest Disney rides is an absolute must, even if the song gets a bit annoying after a while, and most of the rides here are enjoyable, purely for the memories they bring up of watching the films as a child. The final area is Discoveryland. I think that this was my favourite part of the day. Space Mountain is probably the most exciting ride in the park and is many people’s favourite, but personally I particularly enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear ride where you are given a blaster and must try and hit as many Zurg symbols as possible on your way around. This was a lot of fun for the whole group I went with and we really enjoyed spinning the cart around to hit as many as possible. Star Tours, a Star Wars simulator also was fun if you want to a less conventional Disney experience, though the commentary throughout the ride is all in French.
At the centre of the park is the famous Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and this is a nice little place to have a look inside, especially if you’re going with young children. The parade takes place every day and is a great opportunity to see the characters if you’ve spent the rest of your time on rides, but if you’re a big fan you’d better get there quick because spectators gather around the parade route pretty quickly. The Disney Dreams night-time spectacular is also a wonderful way to end your day. I cannot recommend enough taking a trip to Disneyland Paris over the summer, especially since it’s so easy and close by, and if you really want to have a good holiday, consider spending a couple of days in a Disney hotel so that you can experience both of the parks and everything else that the Disney village has to offer.
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