Disneyland Parishttp://plusthekids.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/44/c2/35/553-Disneyland Paris-13-1434029763.jpg
There are actually two theme parks here - Parc Disneyland and the Walt Disney Studios. OK, so Disneyland is every child's dream.... well when I finally made it - as an adult - I have to say I was disappointed. Everything is so plastic and fake. But once I got passed that, it was all about the rides for us - so that meant that the Walt Disney Studios won out over Parc Disneyland because this was for the "big kids"....Our kids albeit a bit older, (9 and 11), were not sucked in by all the merchandising but there were soooo many small children who were in absolute awe of everything they could see, and yes it was a great spectacle.
We purchased tickets for two days through the internet thanks to the help of a french friend, through "Carrefour Spectacles". We did "1 Day 2 Parcs" tickets, and did this for both days, which meant we could go to either park on either day, and both on both days if we wanted to. We printed these tickets ourselves. We also booked a couple of months in advance so managed to get some sweet deals on both the parc tickets and TGV tickets.
We travelled from Avignon on the TGV. The train stops right at Disneyland (Marne la Vallée TGV - which is only one stop from Paris itself). We had accommodation booked a short bus ride from Disneyland (buses from the TGV station). Instead of taking the bus to the hotel we paid for a locker for the day. I can't remember how much but easier and cheaper than getting to the hotel and back. It was already 10 am by this stage, and we'd had an early start. We had suitcases and backpacks so managed to fit all in one locker - easy. They have a variety of sizes to choose from.
If you are not a fan of fast food, hamburgers and the likes, then take a packed lunch. This is the one time in France I saw western type food only! Don't forget your water, because you will need this too.
There are a lot of people - a lot! There is a big evening show at Disneyland and its amazing how many people there are around to see the light show on the Disney castle. Bare in mind that the Walt Disney Studios does close earlier than Disneyland. We didn't realise this and when on the second day we went back mid afternoon to return later, only to find we had only an hour left in Walt Disney Parc, so spent the rest of the evening at Disneyland.
Because our kids were a bit older and are thrill seekers we went spent most of our time at Walt Disney Studios because these places had the "not so tame rides"!
There is a "fastpass" system whereby you get a ticket for a ride during a certain time. You then turn up during the specified time and you get in a shorter queue. You can only get one fastpass ticket at a time. So the best idea is to grab a fastpass ticket for one ride, then line up for another ride so you don't waste your time. Otherwise you will be queueing all day, and lets face it thats no fun. We would end up finishing one ride, then going straight on another with no waiting.
There are not a lot of spaces to sit down, unless you are in a restaurant area.
There are maps with the days information on them. These are very useful.
Our accommodation was in Serris, which was 5 kms from Disneyland. The bus stops right outside Disneyland. The hotel was L'Elysée Val d'Europe and was great. There was even a big shopping area and restaurants all within walking distance from the hotel. A supermarche is also walking distance so easy to get a packed lunch sorted.
So my bottom line.... yes it is a must do if you have the time, however I do have to say that the theme parks on the Gold Coast are better and less crowded. Parc Disneyland is well suited to the younger children, (Buzz Lightyear and Space mountain our favourite rides), and Walt Disney Parc is definitely for the thrill seekers in the family. We all loved the "Tower of Terror" and did this more than once! It is very materialistic and full of merchandise. Fun for the kids and kids at heart, but no fun for the Art Gallery lover and those who hate crowds! My motto - make the most of it and enjoy.
- 6-9 years
- 10-14 years
Pros and Cons
- Possible to bring your own food
- Pram friendly