Holiday Destination - Disneyland Paris
PUBLISHED: 00:00 27 October 2013
Tony Greenway and his family took off for the enchanted kingdom of Disneyland Paris. Was it a little bit Mickey Mouse and too Goofy for words?
When I asked Betsy, my five-year-old, how many points she would award our break at Disneyland Paris, she said: ‘A million, billion, gazillion.’ Meanwhile, her 11-year-old sister, Ella, gave the holiday a very respectable nine out of 10. ‘I would have given it 10,’ she explained. ‘But it lost a point because we didn’t stay there long enough.’ You get the gist. They loved it. The quickest way to get to the resort is by Eurostar from St Pancras because the train drops you right outside the main gate at Marne la Vallée, so that’s what we — myself, my wife, Ella and Betsy — did. We stayed at the Newport Bay Club, a hotel so large it took us 15 minutes to walk to the front door from our family room, which I have to say looked tired and in need of more than a little Marry Poppins-style magic.
The hotel was just 10 minutes from the Disney Village with its shops, cinema, fast food joints and, of course, Disneyland itself and Walt Disney Studios. Once inside the main resort, your teeth start aching with the cavity-inducing sweetness of the replica of a US main street; the Sleeping Beauty castle; spinning tea cups, carousel and Dumbo ride.
Disneyland looks particularly magical at night and the parades, with all the characters on illuminated floats, are undeniably spectacular. But if you want to get a good position, be prepared to bag a spot early.
Pretty much every restaurant serves up a variation on burger and chips and prices aren’t cheap. There are a few in-park eateries which serve decent buffet food — but get there early because, unlike your stomach, they quickly fill up.
Still, you don’t go to Disneyland for the food. You go for the rides, all of which are top-notch, especially if you get a queue-beating early pass from your hotel.
The whole Disneyland experience isn’t supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. But for all its faults I still loved it.
Yes, the food was fast and the queues were slow, but when the parades went by, the girls waved at the characters and the characters waved back. The looks on Ella and Betsy’s faces when that happened were worth the price of admission alone. They were shrieking, dancing and delighted, all at the same time. In short, they were spellbound by Disneyland. Which is why I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.