With its magical animations and delightful storybooks about beautiful princesses, singing teapots and flying carpets, a family train ride to Disneyland Paris can be the perfect form of escapism…
t is amazing to think that Disneyland Paris is 20 years old. I can still remember begging my parents to take me there when it opened in April 1992. Disney plan to commemorate this milestone with The Disney Dreams show which plans to dazzle guests after dark with thousands of lights, colours and magic, with never-before-seen special effects, Disney Magic on Parade aims to be even better than the current parades. With new music, new floats, new choreography and new characters, it hopes to provide guests with a completely fresh experience. As the 20th anniversary celebrations commence, one thing is certain – Disney is timeless and conjures up great memories in people of all ages – including ‘all grown-up babies’ like myself…
Where to Stay
There are 7 Disney Hotels to choose from. With different themes ranging from Wild West to nautical, there is a hotel to suit different tastes and budgets. Disneyland Hotel is situated at the Disney Park so the perfect choice if you want to be within walking distance. Apart from the Davy Crockett Ranch, the other hotels all provide a free shuttle bus to take guests to and from the parks. The journey only takes a few minutes and the busses are regular and great for buggies.
This is the main park where most of the rides are and where the Disney parade takes place. Main Street is themed as 1900’s America and leads on to the four different areas, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Discoveryland. Of these areas, Fantasyland is the most suitable for younger children.
Disney Studios Park
In this park you get to go behind the scenes and learn the tricks of animation. Although it’s more suited to older children, there are some fun areas for little ones such as Playhouse Disney Live and the Flying Carpets over Agrabah ride.
Centrally located between Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park and the Disney Hotels. It has an array of bars, restaurants and gift shops. Treat your tots to a character meal at Café Mickey.
Disney for Babies
Baby Care Centres – for nappy changing and feeding are available in both parks.
The Baby Switch service is designed for parents who want to ride attractions that are inaccessible to tots. One parent can ride first then take baby while the other has their turn, without having to wait in line a second time. Buggies can be hired from both parks. There is also a baby sitting service available in most Disney hotels, so you can enjoy a drink or a meal while your children sleep.
Best attractions and Rides for Tots
In Disneyland Park
It’s a Small World, Mad Hatter’s giant tea cup ride, Dumbo the flying elephant
In Disney Studios Park
Animagique: Dumbo, Jungle Book, Little Mermaid, Lion King encounters scenes and Playhouse Disney Live on stage!
Disneyland Paris, 77700 Chessy
District: 77 – Seine-et-Marne
Train: RER: Marne la Vallée – Chessy
Tel: 0 825 30 60 30
Disney Travel Tips
• Use the Disney Express Luggage Service so your luggage is delivered to your hotel. You can also use this service on departure so your luggage is waiting for you at the station.
• Purchase half board meal vouchers before you travel. These can be used at a number of restaurants in Disney Village and also Disney hotels.
• Disney fancy dress; Get your little ones kitted out before you travel. Princess dresses and Buzz Lightyear and Woody costumes are available in many supermarkets, online retailers such as Ebay and the Disney Store. www.disneystore.co.uk
The Mills Family Review of Disneyland Paris
Melanie and Phillip Mills took their 3 year old son Alexander to Disneyland Paris as a birthday treat. They travelled by Eurostar and stayed at Disney’s Newport Bay Hotel.
Mum Melanie said, “We enjoyed the good range of rides and events that the under 3s could enjoy. Fast track tickets are very good time savers, it would be be brilliant if this was available on all the rides.”
“We treated Alexander to a themed lunch with the characters. We found our table location determined whether we had the best access to Disney characters. Some of the characters came over to our table and interacted with us whilst others walked around the restaurant.”
Travel by Eurostar?
Overall it was a good experience, we would have loved a direct Eurostar train on our outward journey
Staying at a Disney Hotel?
Breakfast at The Newport Bay was a bit basic but we were pleased with the range of children’s leisure facilities
Favourite attractions at the parks?
It’s a Small World
Alexander’s favourite moment?
Operating the carpet on The Flying Carpets Over Agrabah ride
Family’s favourite moment?
Watching the Disney’s Once Upon a Dream parade
Tips to other families?
If you want lots of meet and greets with Disney characters, make detailed enquiries as to where you can meet the characters prior to your trip