The first time I went to Euro Disney was back in 1992. I was there with my brother and gained so many awesome memories. Now, some 25 years later I decided to go there with my mother to finally get in the Christmas mood, and for sure this was the right remedy. Now, 25 years later, I am back to re-live and discover this magical kingdom, and I was not disappointed, even my mother of 71 years old had a splendid time.
The main park
Disney Paris is a fantastic theme park for children, but the array of different attractions and things to do reach out to a wider audience regardless of age. Age is merely just a number, and wherever I looked, I noticed everybody was smiling and otherwise spending a great time with their friends and family.
It was at the beginning of November, and the entertainment team had already begun to decorate for the Christmas period, which added to whole Disney experience.
The park consists of Fantasyland, Discovery land, Frontier land, Adventure land and Discovery land. You enter the park under the beautiful and picturesque Disney Hotel via a long strip of turnstiles below the hotel, which leads you into a big Victorian courtyard with lots of shops. Here, you can pick up a copy of the daily program and extended information about the resort. You then proceed to walk to under the Main Street Station where a cute mini-sized train will bring you to the various lands. From Main Street USA you can see the castle right down the middle. It is here the Disney Magic Parade takes place, which is loud, bubbly and fun, – but BE warned, packed with bystanders.
Walt Disney Studios Park
You exit the main theme park under the Disney hotel, which leads through a beautiful labyrinth garden with fountains and music. If you continue straight ahead, you will notice a big round square where the public train station of Marne-la-Vallée is on your left-hand side, just straightforward you will find the complimentary shuttle buses to any of the Disney hotels and on your right-hand side the Disney Studios Park. Having a background in television and cinema, I found this of keen interest. Nevertheless, it felt a little like the Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, but without the “huge backlot soundstage drive around” experience. You enter this park through a big soundstage-like building with restaurants and souvenir shops known as the Studio Gates. When you exit, you will see LA styled Palm trees (if that exists) and a water tower, which is a symbol of Hollywood film studios dating back to the golden age, plus a beautifully sculpted water fountain depicting Mickey and “dad” Walt Disney. You will explore countless of movie props on the 1940’s inspired street.
- The Toon Studio – Very informative, about the animation process since the beginning till modern times. I have a good friend who took a considerable part in the Sleeping Beauty and The Lion king cinema busters.
- The Backlot offers the Rock and Roller Coaster, which is the fastest ride at the resort. Do not miss this ride. The other unique effects attraction known as Armageddon is a walk-in feel “museum”. When visiting the Backlot, I highly recommend the Stunt Show, who does not like a good old car chase and see how stunts are performed? Do not forget the Ratatouille ride! Gosh, it was one of the best!
- The Production yard – I took the Studio Tram Tour, which gives an insight to the backlots, soundstages, props and special effects. It is quite short but quite entertaining. Unfortunately, I missed the CinéMagique, which is a live performance about the past century of moving pictures. However, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror did not fail to disappoint. Again, an attraction you must tick off when there.
The Disney Village
You will find a large Disney souvenir shop upon entering this area, a cinema complex, games centre, various different themed cafés and lots of restaurants. It is open until 23:00. It will be fully packed within a few hours before the park closes. It is a fun area, and it is also here the famous Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show takes place. If you walk to the end of the Village, you will see a big lake and Hotel New York.
My opinion and personal experience
My personal experience with the Disneyland Hotel, the food and park attractions.
I had booked two nights at the Disneyland Hotel, which is situated right at the entrance gates of the central theme park. Before getting into the actual hotel complex area, I had to go through security where guards checked my car and booking references. Then, again, upon entering the hotel lobby another obligatory security check where our luggage went through X-ray. Security is of high-level at this hotel and just something one must deal with.
The hotel itself is beautifully decorated, clean and the room is what you would expect from a high-end hotel. However, the service getting our luggage transported from my car to the room was slightly slow, but given the number of guests present nothing which interfered with my stay. The staff is very welcoming and did everything to meet my demands. The beds are super comfortable too.
- The “check-in” went smooth, and I received my entry cards to the park and another card, which I could use inside the park, subsequently add to the final bill payable at the Hotel reception. Any souvenir purchased inside the park will be delivered directly to your room upon request. The concierge and reception service is excellent, and I was handed many fast-track passes to skip the queues inside the park.
It was quite lovely to walk around the different themed “lands” to gain an overview of the central park before other visitors arrived. Thus the atmosphere is so much more fun when there are a lot of people around. Regardless of age, everyone is in a great mood and how can you not be? It is a magical place, and for a brief moment, visitors are sharing a good time with each other. The park is spotless, and although entirely artificial, one still gets impressed with the settings and ambience. The staff is amiable and catering. The Disney Village have some fun cafés and restaurants, – like Starbucks, McDonald’s and the usual suspects when it comes to fast food chains, however, I recommend the Rainforest Café, as I like this concept a lot, but the menu should be upgraded. I will also suggest the Annette’s Diner. The staff is serving your order on rollerblades – respecting the 50s style. I enjoyed a creamy milkshake there before attending the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show with Mickey and Friends.
The Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show with Mickey and Friends
Before the show begins and you are seated, you will enter a saloon where a country music band perform a selection of country songs. Meanwhile, you are placed into one of the four groups, which will compete against each other in the second phase of the show. This is probably the most famous and only dining show with live specially trained live animals. I was sitting in the first row and had a fantastic view. It was so much fun, and the performers were just outstanding, the waitresses were very attentive to deliver all drinks and food. You get a welcome drink and soon after enjoying a tasty BBQ dinner. Again, an experience, I highly recommend.
I wanted to dine at the “Blue Lagoon”, which is now named Captain Jack. A restaurant situated inside the “Pirates of the Caribbean boat rides.” I suggest visitors book their table in advance, as it one of the most visited seafood restaurants in the park. I opted for Captain’s Menu, which consists of a starter, main course and dessert and priced at 55,99 Euros without any beverages. I had the following
- Marinated shrimp, squash, papaya, and avocado salad with mint and citrus
- Grilled beef tenderloin, smoked spiced pepper glaze, wild-caught king prawn, pea pods, onions and peppers.
- Fried bananas in vanilla ice cream.
Due to a strict code of standard concerning temperature control, every dish is prepared to be on the “safe” side. I asked for my tenderloin to be cooked “rare/medium” but in received my steak slightly on the “well-done” scale. Nevertheless, you are paying for the experience of being in the Disney atmosphere. I was not expecting a three-star Michelin Star course, but there is, indeed, space for improvements. My overall culinary experience was above average, however, could improve in certain aspects.
- The Belgium waffle served inside Fantasyland (the mill) was horrible, – like eating cardboard and the coffee nothing to write home about either. The service was atrociously slow and topped with a bad attitude. Suggest, a bad day?
The breakfast buffet at the Disney Hotel, and also at the Hotel New Port Bay Club were impressive and on par with some of the best and most sumptuous hotel breakfast buffets in the world. The service and presentations were immaculate. It was the absolute highlight within the realm of Disney restaurants. I wonder, how I did not manage to induce myself into a culinary coma?
Value for money?
Various hotels are offering different services, price ranges and plans. If accommodation is not required, you can just purchase park entry tickets based on your needs. However, regardless of how you allocate the costs, it will not be cheap. Think about the service, cleaning, security, fixed costs, maintenance, employees and future developments – I guarantee you this does not come cheap for Disney either.
Yes, it is value for money!
I am sure you will find a way for you and your family to enjoy a stay there.
Hope my review helped you!