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Updated by Colleen Lanin on Dec 02, 2016
Headline for Disneyland Paris with Kids – A Disney Park with a French Accent
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Disneyland Paris with Kids – A Disney Park with a French Accent

I had no intention of going to Disneyland Paris when I started planning our most recent family trip to Europe. I assumed it would be a waste of precious time in Paris since we had already been to the Disney parks in Florida and California. My 15- and 8-year-old daughters, however, were of a different mind set. They started negotiating for a day at the Parisian Disney park as soon as they learned we would be spending our spring break in France. Eventually they persuaded me and I discovered that it is a great



Accessibility from Central Paris

Accessibility from Central Paris

Disneyland Paris is located in the suburbs but is easily accessible by RER train from central Paris. We boarded a train in our St. Germain-des-Près/Latin Quarter neighborhood and just over half an hour later were disembarking at the Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy station outside the entrance to the Disneyland Park.I loved seeing the park’s signs in French—this one is for The Seven Dwarfs’ Cottage – games and clothes


Smaller, more manageable size

Smaller, more manageable size

Disneyland Paris consists of two parks—Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. As we were only there for one day, my family decided to limit our visit to Disneyland Park rather than rushing to try and squeeze in both. This park is similar to Magic Kingdom in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim but on a smaller scale, which made it much easier to see everything in one day.We visited mid-week in March and the park was not at all crowded. Line-ups were practically non-existent and we were able to experience the rides quite efficiently. There seemed to be more of an off-season than there is at the North American parks as some of the restaurants weren’t open and the park closed by 6 p.m.Crèpes for sale at Disneyland Paris—you won’t find that in Anaheim


European charm

European charm

Although Disneyland Paris is quite similar to the North American parks, there were cultural differences such as food carts selling crèpes that would never be seen in Orlando or Anaheim.The park had many of our family’s favorite rides, such as Peter Pan’s Flight and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as attractions that we were not familiar with like Aladdin’s Enchanted Passage. Some of the rides, such as Phantom Manor or It’s A Small World, were different enough from their North American counterparts to make an interesting comparison. I hate roller coasters and I was talked into riding Casey Jr. thinking that it would be a cute little ride like the version in California, only to discover that it was a kiddie roller coaster that left me screaming from start to finish.The Casey Jr. Train (roller coaster!) at Disneyland Paris

English widely-spoken

All of the Disney castmembers speak fluent English, so there is no need for visitors who speak only English to worry about communicating. We speak French, but as a second language, and the cast members that we interacted with switched to English as soon as we were having any difficulty. Disneyland Paris is a popular spot for a mini-break for many Europeans, particularly the Brits, and cheap package holidays at Disneyland Paris are readily available. As a result the park has a bit of a cosmopolitan feel where one hears many languages spoken throughout the park.My daughters in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland Paris

If you have time to stay overnight then you will find that there is a lot more to explore in the resort area. There are seven Disney hotels on-site, ranging from the luxurious Disneyland Hotel to the Davy Crockett Ranch where guests stay in woodland cabins. Each hotel has its own theme designed to represent a particular region of the United States. Resort guests enjoy perks such as Extra Magic Hours (to enter the parks before non-hotel guests) and shuttle bus service.The Disney Village area has a selection of cafés and restaurants including chains such as Rainforest Café, Planet Hollywood and Starbucks. The village also boasts a number of entertainment options like Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show featuring Mickey and friends, live music, a sports bar, a cineplex and IMAX theatre, and an arcade.Disneyland Paris is now celebrating its 20th year as a great destination for European family getaways or as a day trip for anyone spending family holidays in Paris. A day at the park provides a nice break from the city when kids are suffering from sightseeing fatigue and the park provides more of a cultural experience than one would expect. At the end of our outing I was happy that the girls had convinced me a jaunt to this European amusement park would be a worthwhile experience because our family truly had une journée fantastique at Disneyland Paris!


Would you take your kids to Disneyland Paris? Let us know in the comments!

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About Lisa Goodmurphy, The Spunky Travel Mama

Lisa Goodmurphy is a lawyer turned family travel writer and a mom of two daughters. She grew up in small town Northern Ontario and now resides near Toronto, Canada. Badly bitten by the travel bug years ago, she considers herself fortunate that her family is equally enthusiastic about her mission to explore the world—one trip at a time. Lisa shares her travel adventures on the blog that she founded in 2011 and now contributes to many online media publications as well. You can read about her family’s travels on her blog, Gone with the Family, on Google+ or on Twitter as @GoneWithFamily.