Guest blogger Sara has put together this fab guide to Disneyland Paris for us.
Disneyland, located in Marne-la-Valleé, just 20 miles east of Paris, is not just for children – at 26, I absolutely love it. Many people have the misconception that you must have a child with you to enjoy the park. Well I say no you don’t!
Another misconception many people have with regards to Disneyland is that it is only one park, boy are they wrong. In fact Disneyland Paris consists of two separate parks right next door to each other – Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. Disneyland Park has roughly 14 million guests a year and has over 15,000 staff known as ‘cast members’.
The Park consists of 5 different lands each with their own theme, rides, attractions and character meet and greets. There’s so much to see!
MAIN STREET USA
This is the main shopping area to Disneyland, themed to the 1920’s this area has influences from flapper and ragtime years. It’s also the home of the main station of the Disneyland Railroad. There are different railroad vehicles that you can travel on up and down the street, going past 10 different cafes and restaurants and 14 different shops! You’re spoilt for choice here!
Each cafe has its own theme within the main theme of the land; by far the best has to be the Cable Car bake shop. On my last visit we would stop In here every few hours to rest our feet, grab a much needed drink and a pick me up of delicious cakes!
For me, a must buy from these shops are the famous Mickey and Minnie Mouse ear headbands, at roughly €12 each they are a must buy and something you will wear most of the time you are in the park.
Themed after a 19th century mining town, this is the home of 10 attractions, including Big Thunder Mountain (by far one of the top five rides within the Disneyland park) the Phantom Manor and Woody’s Roundup village. This area is converted into Halloween land in October to celebrate Halloween and hosts ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ character meet and greet during the Christmas period.
Restaurants and refreshments can be found in up to 5 different locations in FRONTIERLAND with the Silver Spur Steakhouse being the most notable, a table service restaurant where main meals start at around €25.
Like Main Street USA, FRONTIERLAND has shops that sell themed products, as this is themed like a mining town, Toy Story Woody products can be bought.
Themed on exotic locations such as the Caribbean, the Far East, Africa and Asia. This is the land to go to if you want to meet Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, any character from The Lion King and Princess Jasmine and the Genie.
This land has 5 main attractions, Adventure Isle, Le Plage des Pirates, Le Cabane des Robinson (Swiss Family Treehouse), Le passage Enchanté d’Aladdin (Aladdin’s enchanted passage) and Pirates of the Caribbean. Pirates of the Caribbean was voted the top attraction in a list of top 5 rides within the Disneyland Park so it’s well worth queueing for if needs be!
Within this land there are 8 different places to grab a bite to eat, main meal or a drink. I personally have not yet tasted the delights of ADVENTURELAND and look forward to trying the Hakuna Matata Restaurant on my next trip.
Here shops include products based on the Pirates of the Caribbean movie (which was based on the ride and not the other way round as many people believe), African artefacts and East Asian treasures.
Themed on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and marking the centre of the Park, this fairy tale village is my favourite land in the whole of Disneyland. Keep your eyes peeled here as it’s the best place to meet Princesses.
It’s home to 18 attractions including the famous Mad Hatters Tea Cup ride, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth and the well known Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Fantasyland is home to another of the top 5 attractions in Disneyland – Its A Small world Boat ride. Good luck getting the song out of your head afterwards!
Fantasyland is home to some of the gentler rides within the park and so if you are not a big ride fan I would suggest you start out small ( like I did) and start with Le Carrousel de Lancelot (Lancelot’s Carousel), Blanche-Neige et Les Sept Nains ( Snow White and the seven dwarfs) and Peter Pan’s flight.
Here there is a specific ‘Meet Mickey Mouse’ area in which you go behind the scenes of a theatre and meet Mickey in his dressing room. A must do attraction for all, regardless of whether you have children with you or not!
Fantasyland is the home to 8 different eating places and has the one place that all little princesses go, L’Auberge de Cendrillon. A character dining experience with many Princes and Princesses. I am yet to try this restaurant but definitely look forward to meeting many princesses there in an upcoming trip.
Fantasyland is again home to many shops where your little prince or princess can buy a costume, wand or tiara!
Themed in the visions of great explorers such as HG wells and Leonardo De Vinci with Jules Verne most featured. Here you will see a great steampunk theming – by far one of the best themed areas within the park.
With 10 different attractions there is definitely something for everyone here. Gentle but fun rides such as Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast is a must go for anyone with a competitive side, I lost the first time I went on this ride but won by quite a lot the second, third and fourth times!
If you’re a Star Wars fan like myself, this is the land for you, with the soon to be refurbished Star Tours ride and the newly added Jedi Academy, it is here that you should be able to meet Darth Vader, Storm Troopers and Mickey and Minnie dressed in their Star Wars gear. It’s brilliant!
For me the main attraction in this land had to be Space Mountain: Mission 2. This is an enclosed roller coaster going at 44 mph.
There are 4 eating places here. Fast food is the main option for many in the park, so why not pick up a Jedi burger from the Café Hyperion.
Shops include Constellations (at the exit of Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast) , Light Speed Photography and Star Traders where you can find anything to do with Star Wars including building your own light sabre and soon to be available build your own droid.
There is so much to see and do in the Disneyland Park but it is possible to do the whole of this park in half a day if the queues are not too long.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!