Date of stay: June 2012
Tour or pre planned: Pre Planned
Visiting a Disneyland resort is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 8 years old and in June 2012 at the age of 30, my wish finally came true. The build up was huge and I could not wait for the day to come. As they say, it’s the happiest place on earth!
Our visit was sponsored by Disneyland Resort and the following review will give you a good insight to Disneyland Paris and how to get there from the airport and city centre.
Disneyland Paris is made up of two parks, The Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. There’s also Disney Village for shopping, dining, cinemas and much more, here you’ll also find Planet Hollywood. Entry for one day to both parks costs €74 euro’s per adult and €66 per child. My advice would be to purchase tickets online and look for any special offers.
Getting to the park is fairly easy from Charles de Gaulle airport via the TGV train which takes about 10 minutes and you can take the RER A trains from central Paris stations. Click on the following link for directions – 'Getting to Disneyland Paris'.
As our time was limited in Paris, we headed straight to Disneyland from the airport. We had our luggage with us, so thankfully the “Marne La Vallee Ches” train station (the Disneyland Paris station stop) has luggage lockers on the upper level. Look for the signs marked ‘Consigne automatique’, it translates to left luggage lockers in English. These cost roughly €8 euro for up to 24 hours. The locker was big enough for two (2) large suitcases and two (2) small bags. Taking the train from the airport is one of the fastest and most direct routes (refer to the link above for more information on "how to get to the Disneyland Paris").
The programme guide will list daily tour timings for both parks. Within the Disney Park you have Adventure Land, Frontierland, Main Street USA, Fantasy Land and Discovery Land. When you buy or pick up your tickets you will be provided with a map of the grounds.
VIP fast passes give you access to the fast pass line, which is generally A LOT shorter than the normal queue. This is only available on the rides marked with the fast pass logo or as marked on the park map. During peak times, it will save you hours queuing. You can get the fast passes from City Hall within the Disney Park. Alternatively, if you don’t want to pay the extra for the VIP fast pass, you can walk around to all of the fast pass rides and request a fast pass ticket. You will be allocated a time to come back to the ride and gain access to the fast pass queue. That service is free.
We visited Frontierland first and I noticed the large rock formation that looked like the Grand Canyon (Big Thunder Mountain) in the middle of the lake. Going around Thunder Mountain was the runaway mine train. (see video footage below)
The first ride we went on was the Phantom Manor (here you encounter restless spirits of the ghostly bride). From there we headed to the Roundup Shootin Gallery, where I tested out my aiming skills and shot at a bunch of targets. I decided that I had to give Big Thunder Mountain a go, so we used our fast pass.
Our top five rides were:
- Big Thunder Mountain (Runaway Mine Train)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- It’s a small world (Sail around the world) click on the following link to see our video footage "It's a small world"
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
If you want to get around the Disney Park the fast way then catch the Disneyland Railroad train. This takes you around the whole park stopping at each land. 2012 was Disneyland Paris’s 20th anniversary. In celebration of this milestone, Disney Magic Parades were held throughout the day. This provided a chance for the kiddies to meet all the Disney Characters.
Walt Disney Studios Park
After leaving the Disney Park, we made our way to the Walt Disney Studios Park. The Hollywood Tower (The Twilight Zone, Tower of Terror) is a pretty crazy ride just inside the park. It’s an elevator ride that plummets faster than the speed of gravity. I could not bring myself to do this but if interested you tube it and you’ll get the gist.
Again to celebrate the anniversary a Disney Stars n Cars parade was held in the main street.
The Walt Disney Park has a bunch of rides like the Rock n Roller Coaster, Armageddon (unfortunately this was closed), Studio Tram Tour which takes you through an action packed film shoot and RC Racer where you travel at dizzying speeds in Andy’s racing car.
Points to highlight:
You can experience Disneyland Paris in one day if you plan what you want to do and see, but this all depends on how busy it is. To fully experience the fun and thrills allow at least two days for both parks. Disneyland opens at 10am and closes at 7pm, times vary depending on the time of year. Luggage can be stored in the luggage lockers at “Marne La Vallee Ches” train station, Disneyland does offer a luggage service but this is within the park and costs a little more than the train station lockers.
All in all we would recommend visiting Disneyland Paris. It’s so easy to get to from London via the Eurostar train network or from CDG airport. You can even stay at the Disneyland Hotel onsite but book well in advance. Younger kids will have an absolute blast with all the Disney Characters.
Enjoy Disneyland Paris and if you have any questions please feel free to post a comment below.
Would you recommend this destination: Yes
Overall rating destination: 4 out of 5
By: Nick & Jackie