It seems more and more families are taking holidays or short breaks together. Grandparents may be taking their grandchildren with them on a short break away, giving mum and Dad a welcome break or they are combining family holidays across three generations.
These multigeneration breaks away have lots going for them, but one of the BIG questions is where to go that will appeal to all. Walt Disney had a fabulous vision all those years ago and today the Disney magic still appeals to all age groups. Disneyland Paris is the nearest destination to get to from the UK, either by Eurostar or by car.and they are currently celebrating their 20th anniversary. I went with my wife and one of my two daughters and her partner, both in their early twenties, to see how things have changed and if the Disney magic is still there for visitors of all ages.
It was my fault; I should have taken more notice of the signs at Crush’s Coaster. Climb aboard a turtle shell and into the underwater world of Nemo for a lovely themed ride – or so I thought! In reality this is a high speed roller coaster where the turtle shells twist and turn at the same time in opposite directions. After what seemed a very long time hanging on for dear life, I finally made it through the East Australian current. I vowed never ever to venture on this ride again. But I probably will, this is Disney after all, full of happy endings.
Twenty years ago Disneyland Paris opened its gates for the first time and this is still France’s number one tourist attraction.
Accommodation on site ranges from the grand Disneyland Hotel to the Santa Fé with its New Mexico theme. The Santa Fé consists of blocks of 2 storey hotel rooms with about 8 rooms per block. Rooms are basic, which is reflected in the price, but clean with all modern facilities. The hotel is quite a walk to the main Parks although there are regular shuttle buses, however these do get rather busy at peak morning and evening times. The Disneyland Hotel by comparison is luxury. Large comfortable rooms and it’s situated right by the Disneyland Park gates. There are other excellent mid-priced, themed hotels onsite – New York, Sequoia Lodge and Newport Bay Club. Disney have also partnered with 7 other hotels which, whilst not on site are fairly close by. We stayed on the Admiral’s floor at the Newport Bay Club, all the style and charm of late 19th century New England right on the waters of Lake Disney. The nautical blue and white rooms are very comfortable and especially welcoming after long days in the parks.
Disneyland Resort Paris is big and as you would expect full of white-knuckle roller coasters, lovely themed rides for children of all ages, some great shows and parades featuring the ever popular Disney characters. There are now 2 parks here, the original Disneyland Park with Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Peter Pans Flight to name but a few, and the Walt Disney Studios with its famous Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Studio Tram Tour and a spectacular car stunt show. You’ll need a few days to explore it all.
As you get older, invariably the white knuckle rides somehow don’t hold the same attraction for someone in their teens or early twenties, and I must admit for certain attractions I was perfectly content just to stand and watch! When it’s a choice of being hurled in your seat at 4G or beating a hasty retreat to the nearest café or shop I know which I’d prefer.
SO WHAT’S NEW FOR THE 20th ANNIVERSARY
Disney have been regularly adding to their attractions and the last few years has seen the introduction of some excellent new rides. Buzz Lightyear has landed in the Disneyland Park; located next to Space Mountain, the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast is a super interactive ride for all ages – save the toys by blasting the evil Zorg with your laser guns – great fun! Head off to the Studio Park to find Cars Race Rally. Inspired by the film Cars, guests of all ages can climb aboard for a zany spinning ride on the famous route 66. This is a well thought out attraction and you could easily imagine you’re in Radiator Springs.
All the Disney characters are here in Paris, and now, apart from seeing them on the fabulous Disney Parade floats, you can meet them in person at various times and locations across both parks. The eerie Tower of Terror towers over the Studio Park. Step inside the abandoned Hollywood Tower Hotel and back to 1939. Travel to the top of the elevator shaft and prepare yourself for a mind blowing adrenaline rush as you are dropped faster than the speed of gravity! Not for the faint hearted! Toon Toy Story Playland is also new and here you’re shrunk to the size of a toy! There’s the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop, a super Slinky Dog Spin ride and Andy’s RC Racer. Great family fun.
SPECTACULAR NIGHT TIME SHOW
For their 20th year Disneyland Paris has introduced a night time spectacular show. This show is really sensational featuring lasers, special effects and lots of fireworks on and around Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. This is definitely a show not to be missed.
So, after experiencing the popular 3 night four day package, I found that Disneyland Paris remains a super, fun destination for all ages and one to definitely consider for a multigenerational holiday…. the magic continues.
For more information visit www.disneylandparis.co.uk