Disneyland Paris, the perfect holiday destination for kids of all ages!
My Husband, not being one with a head for roller coasters, or any fast moving rides for that matter, was never too keen on the idea of a trip to Disneyland Paris, as he felt that all he’d be doing for 3 days was standing around holding bags while the rest of us had fun. How wrong he was!
Getting to Disneyland is simple, with a range of flights from Dublin to Paris available, and then a shuttle transfer direct from the airport to Disneyland. The transfer takes about 40 minutes.
Our hotel, the 3* Explorers hotel is located in a row of hotels, 5 minutes by complimentary shuttle to the gates of the parks. The hotel, which has a pirate theme, is really laid back and family friendly, perfect for kids from babies to teenagers. The rooms were standard, with a double and 2 single beds, and separate bathroom and toilet.
The hotel also has a good size pool with 2 water slides and a pirate ship! The best feature of the hotel was the kids play area. It’s a large area full of climbing frames, slides, rope swings and ball pits, and is only accessible through the pizza restaurant, so it makes it the perfect place for the family to sit down in the evenings, enjoy dinner and let the kids work of steam while the parents enjoy a relaxing drink, safe in the knowledge that the kids can’t leave the play area undetected.
Disneyland is made up of 2 theme parks, Disneyland itself, and the Walt Disney Studios. Outside of Disneyland is the Disney village full of shops and restaurants, ranging from McDonalds to Planet Hollywood, there’s even a cinema and a nightclub, so you’ll never be short of something to do in the evenings. The biggest attraction in the Village is Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, which leads you on a wonderful interactive journey of how the West was won. Buffalo Bill’s is on every evening and includes dinner (a mix of Mexican chili and bbq) but is very popular so try to book in advance.
Inside the 2 theme parks a world of wonder awaits. Disneyland is separated into 5 “lands”, each with a different theme. Make sure you pick up a park map at the entrance as this will show you exactly where all the rides are, as well as give you an idea of the type of ride it is, so you can decide if it’s suitable for your family. You may not want to bring your 5 year old on a roller coaster, and your older children may not want to “waste time” on a carousel! Main Street USA is the first land you come to when entering the park, and is mainly shops and restaurants. This is also the main parade route. You can expect to rub shoulders with the likes of Mary Poppins on Main Street! The other lands are all themed – Discovery, Fantasy, Adventure and Frontier land.
There will also be another information leaflet available at the entrance, detailing all the shows and parade times, as well as the full time table for all the meet and greets with Disney characters. These can vary from day to day so be sure to check the times and dates properly.
Walt Disney Studio’s is the newer of the 2 parks, with new rides being added all the time. Again you can pick up maps and show times at the entrance. The Studio’s offer something for all the family from Aladdin’s Magic Carpets for the youngsters, to the amazing Aerosmith Rocking Roller Coaster. The tower of terror is good for anyone with a head for heights, and offers amazing views over Disneyland, which you can enjoy for about 5 seconds, before you get dropped 13 floors!
It’s very easy to get lost in the magic of Disneyland, and not get around to doing everything you want to do so what I’d recommend is bringing the maps back to the hotel with you on the first day, and planning your route for day 2. Plan your day so that you are not backtracking and spending half your day walking from one attraction to another, maybe prioritise the rides so that you get to go on all the big, Disney exclusive rides, and then if you have time, you can go back and go on the likes of the Carousel.
Of all the rides in Disneyland and the Studios, the only ones my husband didn’t go on were the roller coasters and the tower of terror, and we’ve also been back to Disneyland since then and are currently planning our 3rd trip!
On our second trip we stayed in the Disney New York hotel, and even though it was a higher grade hotel than the Explorers, and was within walking distance of the park entrance, we’ll be going back to the Explorers for visit number 3. Having a family friendly environment, for me, wins every time.
– Eleanor, Travel Consultant & Big Kid