Attracting an astonishing 15 million visitors annually, Paris has long been established as the world’s premier tourist destination. From The Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower, the marvels of the Louvre to the majesty of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the French Capital boasts a seemingly endless variety of world-renowned sights, not to mention its fabled cuisine and feted romantic atmosphere. But while these attractions are an integral part of any trip to the City of Light, for families with younger members, a weekend in Paris would not be complete without one thing: Disneyland.
For almost a quarter of a century the resort has been thrilling both parents and children alike and with its continually expanding collection of rides and warm welcome from much-loved characters, the theme park is set to continue in its magical tradition. But even if your trip is but a short one – a weekend break or summer getaway – with just a little preparation, even the briefest visit to Disneyland Paris can produce memories that will last a lifetime.
What to Do
While it is unrealistic to imagine you can discover all the wonders of Disneyland Paris within just two short days, for those visitors willing to do engage in some pre-arrival planning, it is perfectly possible to take in the best the park has to offer without over-extending you and your family in the process. And whilst all Star Wars fans should make a point of stopping by the Jedi Training Academy, or music aficionados to the Aerosmith-inspired Rock n’ Roller coaster, there are just some rides in Disneyland Paris that cannot be missed.
Space Mountain: Mission 2
Stylistically, there can be few more recognisable sights in all of Disneyland Paris than Space Mountain: Mission 2. A distinctive blend of steampunk chic and hyper-modern artistry, the ride represents one of the world’s most spectacular pyrotechnic shows all while being whisked around hairpin bends and pulse-pounding plunges. Be warned however, Space Mountain is not for the faint of heart and be prepared for a rocking and rousing, but above all, exhilarating ride.
Disney Magic on Parade
There can be few things more assured of captivating the imaginations of children than seeing all their favourite Disney characters in one parade, an all-singing, all-dancing musical extravaganza that includes everyone from Micky and Minnie to Donald and Dumbo. The energy levels of the performers are extraordinary and whilst it might necessary to arrive early to claim the best vantage points, a carnival-like atmosphere is guaranteed.
Big Thunder Mountain
Without doubt Big Thunder Mountain is one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland Paris and visitors are advised to arrive early to avoid the worst of the queues or, yet most conveniently, purchase a FastPass and bypass them entirely. The ride itself is adrenaline-inducing, high speed adventure that harks back to the days of the gun-slinging West in what is assured to be the wildest train journey you will ever experience. Similar to the one in Orlando, there are many who insist the Disneyland Paris version is the best there is.
It’s a Small World
It is no exaggeration to say that It’s a Small World is nothing short of an institution at Disneyland Paris, with the French imagining of the classical musical boat ride strikingly more vivid than its American counterpart. A quite astounding level of detail has been applied to the attraction as visitors are submerged into a world of melodic enchantment, with a delightful array of characters serenading you from every conceivable angle.
Where to Stay
The success of your weekend vacation owes much to where you and your family decide to stay. While cost efficiency is of course an important consideration, with your time in Paris being limited to 48 fun-packed hours it is vital that your lodgings are situated close to where the action is. After all, who wants spend their holiday battling with the city’s notorious traffic or navigating Paris’ hectic metro stations? Thankfully however, Disneyland Paris offers some truly top-quality accommodation all within the confines of the park, ensuring that the excitement can begin as soon as you roll out of bed.
Explorers Hotel Algonquin
Arguably the best-loved hotel in the area, the family-friendly Explorers Hotel has a positively unrivalled selection of activities to keep the kids entertained, from a colourful play area to a water-slide equipped pool as well as facilities to ensure the smallest members of your tribe happy. The hotel’s variety of eating options range from the quick and simple to the much more refined and being only a short walk from all the fun of the theme park, it is good to know you are never far from bed when little legs do eventually get tired.
Overlooking the idyllic setting of Lake Disney, Sequoia Lodge is the perfect retreat for those who aren’t prepared to waste a second of the weekend in Disneyland Paris. The hotel boasts a wealth of kids-minded facilities including pool, games room and perhaps most remarkably, regular visits from a host of Disney characters. The menu has also been developed for younger palates and staff at the hotel pride themselves in making sure the little ones are entertained. There is however more than enough to keep the grown-ups content and the Redwood Bar can be particularly inviting after a day exploring one of Europe’s largest theme parks.
Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne
One of Disneyland Paris’ more unique hotels is the Hotel Cheyenne which transports visitors back to the days of the Wild West, with shoot-outs between cowboys and Indians not an uncommon sight around the hotel grounds. The staff are always sure to greet visitors both young and old with a friendly “Howday, partner” while during the busiest times of the year, special performances are held to keep children regaled well into the evening. For the more economically-minded parents, this is a perfect point from which to start your Disney adventure although make no mistake, this is one of the best and most entertaining hotels the park has to offer.
Where to Eat
Amid all the fun of a weekend break at Disneyland Paris, it can be difficult to get children to stop and refuel for lunch. Thankfully, with an assortment of dining options scattered throughout the park, all of which offer a great kids selection in a visually enthralling setting, kids can be persuaded to pause the adventure for long enough to savour a bite in any of these charming restaurants.
Blue Lagoon Restaurant
Situated right beside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, the Blue Lagoon restaurant offers all the swashbuckling excitement of the Hollywood blockbuster with diners able to watch the initial portion of the ride float by on the peaceful waters of the lagoon. In keeping with the exotic setting, fish is the order of the day at the Blue Lagoon Restaurant but regardless of what food you have a hankering for, the chefs at one of Disneyland’s most celebrated bistros are sure to rustle up something delicious. It is undoubtedly one of the more expensive restaurants in the park but offering an experience like none other, it really is worth visiting at least once during your weekend break.
Named after the famed creator, Walt Disney, Walt’s Restaurant is the embodiment of everything great about American dining, but now amid the opulent yet cartoonish surroundings of this quintessentially Disneyland experience. The menu consists of every conceivable American favourite, from burger and fries to the famed Buffalo wings, all done just the way you like it. Besides the food however, one of Walt’s main attractions is the décor, a striking setting in which to enjoy a meal and a fine tribute to the man who gave the world such happiness.
Of all the hugely distinctive and entirely unique restaurants that Disneyland Paris affords, few of them can compete with Inventions. As the name would suggest, the restaurant pays homage to the likes of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla with some of the most illustrious and frankly bizarre human creations decorating the ceiling and walls. The food proves to be equally imaginative and with its generously proportioned buffet selection, you are sure to leave satisfied.
How to Get There
Located 32km to the east of the city of Paris, it is important for visitors to remember to arrange transportation to the theme park before arriving. Fortunately there are a number of options available to you on this front and it is worth considering what is best for your family, both in regard to price but also convenience.
Disneyland Paris lies an approximate 45 minute bus journey away from both the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. Tickets are available from easyjet.com or vea.fr but it is worth bearing in mind that these are not cheap and it can be as much as €70 for even small families, with delays likely during peak times.
A quicker option is that of the train and which guarantees a journey of 12 minutes from Charles de Gaulle Airport. This too however is expensive (approximately €65 per family) and with not only luggage but kids to keep an eye on, this can be a cramped, crowded and downright stressful means of getting to the theme park.
With only two days of vacation to work with, it is important that you and your family spent as much of it as possible soaking up the pleasures of Disneyland rather than on frustrating bus journeys or arduous train trips, particularly when there are children eager to be entertained.
And that’s exactly how Taxileader.net hopes to help.
You and your family will receive your own specially-trained and ever-courteous driver to greet you at Charles de Gaulle, Orly or Beauvais airport, assuring a speedy yet safe arrival to your destination. The journey to the theme park will be quick, all while you relax in one of our spacious and fully air-conditioned vehicles, nothing to concern you except the passing Parisian landscape and the fun of the weekend ahead.
For your peace of mind, get a FREE quote for your next trip to Disneyland Paris here!