Disneyland Paris looks, tastes, and feels exactly like France. The distinction is hard to miss. Upon entering, you will be greeted by Mickey with a friendly bonjour. The French chateau, a spectacular interpretation of the fairy tale castle in Sleeping Beauty, is home to who you must now refer to as Belle au Bois Dormant.
And although Sleeping Beauty has been placed under a spell that put her in a state of perpetual sleep, over eleven million visitors have found a potion to break the curse and trooped to this 2,000-hectare site in the suburb of Marne-la-Vallèe to rescue the princess from the evil witch.
Inspired by Europe’s best loved tales, Disneyland Paris is Walt Disney’s gift to France and the rest of Europe. The young and those young at heart will find every inch of earth here a source of joy and thrill. This is where the stories of Blanche-Neige et les sept nains (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), the Mad Hatter’s Teacups, Peter Pan, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, and Sir Lancelot’s Magic Carousel all come to life. Here the day starts with once upon a time and, just like every fairy tale story, the experience always ends a happy ending.
Hours vary throughout the year, but most frequently are 10am to 7pm. See the official Disneyland website for ticket specials. During peak season, a 1-day park ticket costs 54€ for adults, 49€ for children 3 to 12, and is free for children 2 and younger.
The 5 Themed Lands
Designed after early 20th-century small-town America, Main Street, U.S.A. welcomes visitors to a Victorian-style boulevard complete with horse-drawn carriages and even barbershop quartets. Steam-powered railway cars travel from the Main Street Station and then pass through the Grand Canyon. The street ends at the central hub of the park with the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Frontierland will remind you of the Old West. On this leg of the adventure, expect to get lost in the wilderness and marvel at large rock formations. Bring your kids to the Critter Corral petting zoo. If you need to take a break yourself, stop by the Lucky Nugget Saloon, a show inspired by the cabarets.
If you are game for something exotic, check out Adventureland. The vibe here recreates lush landscaping. It is almost like a real jungle! Prepare to fight off swashbuckling pirates. And if you’re looking for a place to hide, try out the Swiss Family Robinson tree house.
In Fantasyland, every step feels like browsing through the pages of an endless storybook. Sleeping Beauty Castle serves as the main entrance to this land. Other notable characters from children’s books litter the playground with short plays and parades. On top of this, make sure to get some good photos of the impressive architecture. The marriage of fantasy and real traits of European villages has created a gorgeous number of attractions.
Leonardo da Vinci, HG Wells, or Jules Verne rule Discoveryland, a place for thinking and exploration. This place is packed with pure genius. But it is not just a museum that gives tribute to invention and imagination, it is something you can experience by capping the trip with your own intergalactic adventure on Space Mountain.