Posted on 10 March 2009 by Dan Johnson
France’s most visited attraction is Disneyland Resort Paris, which is popular both for families staying at Domaine de Dugny or Croix du Vieux Pont in the heart of France, and with families stopping over on the way to or from destinations further afield.
The following article was written by travel journalist David Powell, who describes the magic of a recent visit.
Recently Disneyland Resort Paris welcomed its 200 millionth visitor, certainly an achievement that reflects its status as the most visited tourist destination in Europe. Since opening in April 1992 it’s interesting to see how the resort has grown in size. To quote one of Disney’s many facts and figures – it is now about 1/5th the size of Paris itself! I decided it was time to produce an update on what the UK visitor can expect.
Disneyland Resort Paris is big and as you would expect, full of white-knuckle roller coasters, lovely themed rides for children of all ages, some great shows and parades featuring the ever popular Disney characters. There are now two parks here, the original Disneyland Park with Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Peter Pan and Dumbo, to name but a few, and The Walt Disney Studios Park with its famous Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Studio Backlot Tram Tour and a spectacular car stunt show. You’ll need a few days to explore it all.
So what’s new? … Disney have had a policy for a number of years of regularly adding to their attractions, and the last year or so has seen the introduction of some excellent new rides. Located next to Space Mountain, the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast is a super, interactive ride for all ages, based on Toy Story 2. Your mission is to become a Space Ranger and save the toys by blasting the evil Zorg with your laser guns – great fun!
Head off to the Studios Park to find Cars Race Rally. Inspired by the Disney/Pixar film Cars, guests of all ages can climb aboard for a zany, spinning ride on the famous Route 66. This is a well thought out attraction and you could quite easily imagine you’re in Radiator Springs. The new Crush’s Coaster is situated nearby based on the film Finding Nemo. Climb aboard a turtle shell and plunge into the thrilling underwater world of Nemo and his friend Crush, with sophisticated lighting, sound effects and imaging technology to create a wonderful whirl through the East Australian current. Don’t be fooled like me, by the colourful, relaxing Nemo graphics and sound effects – this is a high speed thrill ride and you need to hold on tight!
Disney introduced their newest and biggest attraction in 2008. Towering over the Studios Park – the awesome Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Guests entering this run down hotel are taken by elevator to the 13th floor and dropped at what seems faster than the speed of gravity! This ride has already become one of the Parks most favourite attractions.
There are numerous fast food outlets spread throughout both of the Parks, so you’re never far from a hot dog and french fries. If however you feel like a family meal out in the evening then Disney Village is your best bet, although it needs to be carefully budgeted for. For example the Steak House were charging €25.50 for a rump steak, €21.90 for a lasagne and a pint of 1664 would set you back a hefty €7.50.
Two restaurants I would suggest for a family meal are Annette’s Diner, where the staff race around on roller skates, and the iconic Planet Hollywood. Planet Hollywood turned out to be a great fun experience. With music dvd’s playing on large wall screens the atmosphere was electric, with most of the diners singing along to the occasional James Brown or Abba track. The food was of a high standard and the service excellent. Great value for money and a superb way to finish off a busy day at the Parks. On the way out check out the celebrity hand prints on the wall!
It’s Disney’s attention to detail that makes this an amazing experience. There’s something happening all of the time, from appearances by favourite Disney characters, to well produced shows, fabulous parades and fireworks like only Disney can put on. The management of Disneyland Resort Paris are continuously working on new attractions and experiences for the future, for now this remains a great family theme park and a could make a good day trip destination whilst on your siblu holiday.
David Powell – travel journalist