My husband and I recently celebrated our 25th anniversary with a 16-day trip to Europe. Our original itinerary included visiting England, Belgium and The Netherlands, but this plan quickly changed when we realized how easy we could include a stop in Paris. The European train system makes it fast and easy to get around. Disneyland Paris was on the top of my list of things I wanted to do.
Disneyland Paris is located about 35 minutes from Paris, France. It has two parks (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park) and an area with shopping and restaurants (Disney Village). All areas are within walking distance of each other, similar to Disneyland in California.
Walt Disney Studios Park is comparable to Hollywood Studios, with Rock n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Other attractions include Ratatouille: The Adventure, Crush’s Coaster and Toy Story Playland. Touring this park can be easily done in a few hours. It is separated into four areas: Production Courtyard, Backlot, Toon Studio and Front Lot. Near the exit of Ratatouille is an excellent gift shop where you can purchase Parisian inspired items.
Once you have enjoyed, Walt Disney Studios Park, just follow the signs to Disneyland Park. It is set up similar to Magic Kingdom and has five lands: Adventureland, Frontierland, Main Street U.S.A., Fantasyland and Discoveryland. The major difference is the park does not flow as well as Magic Kingdom. We found ourselves at many dead ends.
Disneyland Park is very impressive. The attention to detail is superior to other Disney Parks that I have visited. From the addition of a dragon’s lair, with dragon, underneath the castle to unique spins on the their version of the Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. There is so much to look at, take your time and enjoy all the wonderful details! At the time of our visit the park was beautifully and uniquely decorated for Halloween.
Many of the rides are very similar to the Disney World versions, such as Disneyland Railroad, Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain, Peter Pan, Dumbo, Tea Cups, “it’s a small world”, Star Tours, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor (Haunted Mansion). Big Thunder Mountain was more thrilling and longer at Disneyland Paris and was located on it’s own island. Very cool! Phantom Manor was themed with more detail and is more impressive looking, as it is located on a hill.
There are many attractions located in Paris that are not at Walt Disney World. My favorite was Le Pay des Contes de Fées, a boat ride through miniature scenes representing well-known fairytales. A few of the models you will see are: The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. It is an attraction for all ages. So cute!
Getting to Disneyland Paris is very easy. It is on the RER-A line and can be picked up in Paris. Just take the train to the Marne-la-Vallee/Chessy Station, which is located at Disneyland Park. You can purchase your return tickets to Paris at this station when you arrive. Once you arrive at the station, it is 2-minute walk to the parks.
If you want to stay “In the Magic”, there are several Disney resorts located near the parks but Disneyland Hotel provides the closest access to everything. It is located literally right outside the entrance to the Disneyland Park and 2 minutes from the train station. Several other Disney hotels are also available nearby and can be reached by free shuttle or an easy10-15 minute walk.
FastPass is available at each park and works like the old Walt Disney World system. My Disney Experience is not available. Wi-Fi is not available at the parks, but is available at the hotels. Check with your cell phone carrier about an international data package.
Disneyland Paris was a highlight of our European vacation. With its close proximity to Paris, it is definitely worth a trip.