Disneyland Paris. Theme Park in Paris, France

Disneyland Paris

Theme Park in Paris, France

Disneyland Paris Photo © Loren Javier

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Disneyland Paris

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EuroDisney - Disneyland Paris
EuroDisney - Disneyland Paris. Photo by Lisa Solonynko
Disneyland Paris is a theme park in Paris, France. Being one of the most visited attractions in Europe, it is popular with both adults and children. The resort comprises of accommodation, rides and an entertainment district with shops and restaurants.

Disneyland Paris, originally called EuroDisney, is located in the suburbs to the east of Paris. The resort covers 20 square kilometers and has potential for future expansion. All needs are catered for, with facilities including on-site hotels, two theme parks, a golf course, shops, restaurants, and entertainment.


The Walt Disney Company had ambitions of developing a European resort since 1972, following the successful launch of Disney World in Florida. After further success with the opening of the Tokyo Disney Resort in 1983, a list of potential sites was drawn up the following year. The shortlist comprised of two locations in Spain and two in France. Although Disney bosses liked the climate and proximity to the coast at both of the Spanish sites, it was discovered that both had shallow bedrock, meaning that construction would be very difficult.

The Parisian site at Marne-la-Vallée (Wikipedia Article) was decided on, predominantly because of its accessibility. The location was deemed to be a maximum 4 hour drive for around 68 million people and up to a 2 hour flight for another three hundred million potential visitors. A letter of agreement was signed by Disney and the French government in 1985, with the final contract being signed in 1987. Construction began in 1988, and the resort was opened to the public in April 1992.

Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park is the heart and soul of the Disneyland Paris resort. Divided into five themed regions, this is where rides can be enjoyed and Disney characters met.

Main Street

Casey's Corner - Main Street - Disneyland
Casey's Corner - Main Street - Disneyland Paris. Photo by Tom Bricker
The entrance leads visitors onto ‘Main Street, USA’, the first region, which is a wide promenade full of eateries and the City Hall information center. Near the park entrance, the Disneyland Railroad, which runs around the perimeter of the park, can be taken from here to any of the other regions. Horse-drawn streetcars can be taken for a ride down Main Street from near the entrance, and a little further along, Main Street Vehicles offers rides in classic cars and other old vehicles.


At the end of Main Street is the spectacular Sleeping Beauty Castle, which for many people is an iconic image of Disney. The pink turreted castle marks the start of Fantasyland, and visitors can venture inside it, where the story of Sleeping Beauty is beautifully retold through stained glass windows, wall hangings, and the architecture itself. Be warned that the dungeon below the castle is home to Merlin’s very large dragon!

Other attractions in Fantasyland include Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and It’s a Small World. The latter is a tranquil boat-ride around the world, during which dolls serenade visitors with the famous “It’s a Small World” song. Having been featured in the film The Lion King and The Muppet Show, the song is widely known and translated. The attraction and song have been parodied in television programmes including My Life as a Teenage Robot and Family Guy.

Disneyland Paris 2014 - Disneyland
Disneyland Paris 2014. Photo by Darren


Disneyland Paris -
	Discoveryland - Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris - Discoveryland - Disneyland Paris. Photo by Tom Bricker
Adjacent to Main Street and Fantasyland, Discoveryland has a retro-futuristic theme. Attractions include the interactive Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, where Toy Story fans can help Buzz by zapping enemies from their Star Cruisers. Visitors can drive around the Autopia track in 1950's cars before embarking on the thrilling Space Mountain: Mission 2 roller coaster. This ride features futuristic styling and music, and takes visitors on a memorable ride through space. Fired from a cannon, a train is propelled further than the moon, and its occupants will see a comet, asteroid fields, and a supernova during their epic journey.


Frontierland -
	Disneyland Paris
Frontierland - Disneyland Paris. Photo by CetusCetus
Between Main Street and Adventureland lies the fantastic Frontierland. Whilst exploring this Wild West region, visitors can test their quick-draw skills at the Rustler Roundup Shootin’ Gallery, sneak their way through the haunted Phantom Manor or simply relax on board the superb paddle-steamer named the “Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing”. Younger visitors will have a great time in the Pocahontas Indian Village playground, and everyone can refuel at the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue or the Mexican-inspired Fuente del Oro Restaurante. The highlight of Frontierland is Big Thunder Mountain, a runaway mine cart roller coaster that races through the tunnels and rivers of the region’s central island – not to be missed!


Visitors can experience the exotic jungles of Adventureland. Inspired by pirates and explorers, some of the most famous Disney attractions can be found in this region. Adventure Isle is a great place to start exploring. Divided into two islands, visitors can wander the idyllic Swiss Family Robinson tree house and Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship, as well as hunt for the hidden treasure within Spyglass Hill.

DLP Oct 2009 - The Jolly Roger and Skull
	Rock at night - Disneyland Paris
DLP Oct 2009 - The Jolly Roger and Skull Rock at night - Disneyland Paris. Photo by PeterPanFan

The Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride takes visitors on a spectacular journey over the Blue Lagoon, through a shipwreck and into a fortress, where the activities of the pirates are witnessed. The boat then descends a waterfall, that was created by a cannonball, before its occupants find themselves being shot at by the fighting soldiers and pirates. Next, the boat takes its passengers through the town, featuring a pair of dueling men, before entering the arsenal. After the supplies are ignited, the boat drops down into the darkness, emerging in the skeleton-filled grottoes. Beyond another shipwreck, the boat reaches the dock where visitors can disembark and peruse the pirate-themed gift shop. The Pirates of the Caribbean films are based on this fantastic attraction.

One of the most thrilling rides at the resort is the famous Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril roller coaster. Visitors pass through the archaeologists’ camp and climb the stairs to the temple entrance before boarding a mine cart. As the cart winds around the temple, it clears debris out of the way and knocks artifacts back into place, but then it loses control, taking its occupants on an exhilarating ride.

Walt Disney Studios Park

The second park opened in 2002 is mainly focuses on show business, movies, and production. Providing fascinating insight into the secrets of animation and special effects, the park is divided into four zones. These are called Backlot, Frontlot, Production Courtyard and Toon Studio.

Highlights include the Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic, in which visitors can experience a disastrous journey that detours through Catastrophe Canyon, and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror drop-ride, set in the faded glamour of the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Learn some tricks of the trade at the Art of Disney Animation attraction, or watch the jaw-dropping Motors…Action! Stunt Show Spectacular.

Disneyland Paris
	20th Anniversary Train Station at Christmas! - Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary Train Station at Christmas! - Disneyland Paris. Photo by Tom Bricker

Parades and Shows

At certain times of the year, there are delightful parades through the parks. The parades consist of musical processions filled with colorful floats and classical Disney characters, and each last, approximately, twenty minutes. Spectacular stage shows are also featured intermittently throughout the year. There are parades and shows during special seasons like Christmas, or for celebrations such as anniversaries. Visitors can check the times of any scheduled events by referring to the 'Disney Park hours and show times' section of the official Disneyland Paris website. This website provide details of events over the upcoming three months, and also gives information about any attractions that will be closed for maintenance.

Special Events

In addition to the parades and shows, there are seasonal events throughout the year at Disneyland Paris, so it is worth checking the official website before booking to avoid missing out by a day or two. Special events can include themed festivals such as for Halloween. This type of event will often run for about a month. Fireworks are held in early November each year, and there may be special events for St. David's Day or St. Patrick's Day.


Disneyland Paris has seven on-site hotels, including the self-catering Davy Crockett Ranch. The five-star, Disneyland Hotel, overlooks Disneyland Park, while the four-star Hotel New York boast skyscrapers with a 1930's art-deco style and the largest swimming pool on the resort. The three-star hotels are the Newport Bay Club, which is situated on Lake Disney and sports a New England theme, and Sequoia Lodge, which is inspired by the wilderness of America’s national parks. Stay in the Wild West at the two-star Hotel Cheyenne, or at the desert-themed Hotel Santa Fe, also two-stars.

Hotel Disney | Eurodisney | París -
	Disneyland Paris
Hotel Disney | Eurodisney | París - Disneyland Paris. Photo by Alberto Rojo Sampedro


After a day at one of the parks, unwind in Disney Village (Wikipedia
	Article), which is the entertainment center of the resort. Here, shops, restaurants, bars, cinemas, and shows can be found to cater for every requirement.

How to Get There

Disneyland Paris is situated twenty minutes from the center of Paris.
  • If flying to Paris, there is a shuttle bus that takes visitors from the airport directly to the resort.
  • If travelling by train, get a connection to Marne-la-ValléeChessy (Wikipedia Article) station, which is a two-minute walk from the entrance of the resort. If driving, take the A4 motorway and the resort will be well signposted.

Other Walt Disney Resorts

Magic Kingdom
Disneyland Paris is among the five Disney resorts with theme parks around the world.

The first two to open were in the United States. Disneyland in Anaheim, California opened in 1955, while Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida opened in 1971.

The Disney resorts in Asia are the Tokyo Disney Resort, Japan, which opened in 1983, and the Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, which opened in 2005. The Shanghai Disney Resort, China, is planning to open late in 2015.

Disneyland Paris was the fourth resort, opening in 1992.

Things to See Whilst in Paris

Don’t miss out when visiting Disneyland Paris! Be sure to allow some time for sightseeing in Paris, the romantic capital of France.

Visit the Eiffel Tower, stroll through the Champs-Élysées or view the Mona Lisa at The Louvre. Take in the awe of the architecture of the Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur, and marvel at the Arc de Triomphe.

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Author: Ruth Hayward. Last updated: Jan 27, 2015

Pictures of Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Panorama - Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris Fantasyland Panorama - Photo by CetusCetus

Fantasyland - Disneyland Paris
Fantasyland - Disneyland Paris. Photo by Andrew Poole

Disneyland Paris Castle - Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris Castle - Photo by David Jafra

Phantom Manor - Disneyland Paris - Disneyland Paris
Phantom Manor - Disneyland Paris - Photo by David Jafra

Disney Dreams! - Fountains, Fireworks, and Lasers! - Disneyland Paris
Disney Dreams! - Fountains, Fireworks, and Lasers! - Disneyland Paris. Photo by Tom Bricker

Space Mountain: Mission 2 - Disneyland Paris
Space Mountain: Mission 2 - Disneyland Paris. Photo by Tom Bricker


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