by J Webber
Die-hard Disney fans know nothing compares to visiting a Disney park that’s different from the one you’re used to. That feeling that everything is familiar yet new is what causes attraction fanatics to crisscross the globe in search of the latest rides, coolest hotels and can’t-miss castles.
If you have never been to Disneyland Paris – or better yet, you still call it EuroDisney – there is plenty more at the French park than what you may be envisioning. Planning a trip to the City of Light and wondering if Disneyland Paris is worth a visit? Let’s just say it is the only place in the world you can eat dinner at a Mickey Mouse rodeo and experience “Ratatouille” in real life.
As Disneyland Paris just celebrated its 25th anniversary, here is a primer on what this European park even is, and why you should absolutely go if you get the chance.
Sleeping Beauty Castle
Disneyland Paris is home to two theme parks – Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park – as well as multiple hotels, entertainment offerings, and restaurants. It is remarkably close to the Paris city center, making a trip to Disneyland extremely easy via suburban commuter trains or car. In terms of design, Disneyland Park is similar to Disneyland and Magic Kingdom back in the states, but there are plenty of differences. Disneyland Paris’ stunning Sleeping Beauty Castle has to be seen to be believed. Not only is there a moat in front used for nighttime entertainment, but there is a dragon living beneath it.
Beloved rides are different at Disneyland Paris, too. Space Mountain goes upside-down, the Haunted Mansion is known as the more frightening Phantom Manor and It’s A Small World has additional scenes.
Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups
Unlike the stateside parks, Disneyland Park is weather-proof. Two walkway arcades parallel to Main Street, U.S.A. make it easy to navigate in inclement weather and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups are somewhat enclosed.
Rock n’ Roller Coaster
There is no Hollywood Studios at Disneyland Paris, but there is a Rock n’ Rollercoaster, featuring the high speeds and Aerosmith beats you know and love.
Walt Disney Studio Park
Walt Disney Studios Park is Paris’ answer to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but it is distinctly different from the Walt Disney World park. Here, Hollywood Boulevard is indoors and located within Disney Studio 1 – which is a mock movie sound stage.
Ratatouille: The Adventure
Disneyland Paris is home to two Pixar attractions that don’t exist anywhere else, The “Finding Nemo” – themed Crush’s Coaster and Ratatouille: The Adventure, both at Walt Disney Studios.
Evening Fireworks at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris’ entertainment options are delightful, even if you don’t speak the language. CinéMagique at Walt Disney Studios Park is a Martin Short-fronted spectacular, and Disneyland Park’s evening fireworks show is extraordinary.
Disneyland Paris has seven hotels in total. The most noteworthy is Disneyland Hotel, a beautiful rose-colored Disney resort just steps from Paris’ take on Downtown Disney. Americana plays a big part in the design of Disneyland Paris’ hotels. Disney resorts like Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, Hotel Santa Fe and Sequoia Lodge are deeply influenced by U.S. national parks and Southwestern styles. The East Coast is on display at these Disney resorts, too. Disney’s Newport Bay Club has Cape Cod written all over it, and Disney’s Hotel New York is styled after the skyscrapers lining the Big Apple. Most Disneyland Paris hotels are walking distance to the entertainment, shopping and dining at Disney Village.
“Do not go where the path leads, travel instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” @wbbrjp