Visiting a Disney park in another country with another language can be a bit daunting, especially if it’s your first time in Europe. This guide is here to make things a little easier for you. Disneyland Paris was the fourth Disney resort to open and was formerly known as Euro Disney. It is located in Marne-la-vale, a small yet quaint suburb of France’s capital, Paris. The resort has two theme parks, seven resort hotels, a Disney Sprigs-type shopping complex called Disney Village and a golf course. Disneyland Paris is a mix of classic Disney theming with more advanced park attractions. You can find all the classics such as Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean and park exclusives such as the highly popular Ratatouille attraction in Walt Disney Studios Park.
The first thing you should know about Disneyland Paris or Parc Disneyland is that even though in scope it is a very large park, there are not many attractions in the park. For example, some classic attractions are not present such as Splash Mountain. If you are looking for a park with a copious amount of attractions, Disneyland Park might not be the place for you. That’s not to say there are not many ways to entertain yourself while you are there.
Disneyland Park is one of the most visually stunning theme parks in the world. It is a very open park, with many places to explore. Walk-around attractions are a big thing at Disneyland Paris. For example, there is a replica of The Nautilus, the submarine from the live-action film, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. There is also Aladdin’s Passage, a walk-through of the 1992 hit film. The main park has a very distinct feel from the rest of the resort. It feels more casual. You see fewer families rushing and more adult couples sitting down and having coffee. There are great attractions at this park. For example, the coveted second mission of Space Mountain; Space Mountain: Mission 2, now transformed to a Hyperspace Mountain. This attraction is very different from other versions of Space Mountain. You are shot through a cannon to a fast adventure through space with a corkscrew and a full loop. Other must do’s are Phantom Manor and Big Thunder Mountain, with a wonderful new dynamite scene. Definite FastPass options are Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Peter Pan’s Flight.
Walt Disney Studios Park
This park is the love child of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s California Adventure. Don’t let the park’s small size fool you. There are some great experiences to find at this park. Ratatouille: The Adventure is an amazing park exclusive! It is a trackless dark ride that shrinks you to the size of a rat and zooms you through a French kitchen. It is a marvel of new ride technology and is a must-see. This park also has other great rides to offer such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roll Roller Coaster. Another great park exclusive is Crush’s Coaster, a spinning coaster that puts you in a turtle shell while you adventure your way through the sea. A must see is Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic. Based on the Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s classic, this tram tours you around sets of movies and also has the famous water scene. There are great opportunities to meet some great characters like Spider-Man, Mickey Mouse and others. My recommendations for fast passes are Ratatouille and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Some palates do not enjoy theme park food, but surprisingly, both parks have higher quality food than you may enjoy in Walt Disney World. There are some great quick service meals at the park. One of my favorites is the Jedi burger at Café Hyperion or the hot dogs at Casey’s Corner. If you are looking for a heavily themed restaurant Cowboy Cookout Barbecue is a great option. Pastries are another great option. You can usually find them on Main Street, U.S.A. and if you want an authentic French experience, you can get a crêpe in Fantasyland.
Fireworks, parades & shows
Both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park have an array of wonderful shows and parades. One that stands out the most to me is the show at the Toon Studio area of the Walt Disney Studios Park called Mickey and the Magician. I was completely blown away by not only the quality of this show but also the acting and dancing of the company. It is something you have to experience for yourself. Some other shows that are great to see are Marvel: Superheroes United, and Mickey Presents: Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris. Disneyland Park has a great parade called Disney Stars on Parade. A must see is the fireworks show at the castle called Illuminations, a show mixing fireworks, projections, water elements, and pyrotechnics. It is a spectacle to behold.
Is it worth it?
To answer this simple question, yes. If you have the possibility to go to Disneyland Paris, you definitely should. Disneyland Paris has something to offer for every member of the family, from the teen obsessed with Marvel and Star Wars, to the parents, to the small child obsessed with Mickey Mouse or princesses. With a casual flair, Disneyland Paris makes a great one or two-day visit. It has excellent service with cast members who genuinely care about their job and creating a magical experience for guests. If you are apprehensive about not being able to communicate because your French is a little rusty, don’t worry. Most cast members speak solid English and are always willing to help. The European Disney resort has everything you want and more so you should definitely check it out!