September 24, 2017

6 Reasons to Make a Side Trip to Disneyland Paris

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disneyland paris3It’s April and that makes me think of Paris. I mean really, who doesn’t think of Paris in April? My older girls, Clare and Kate, were there with me last July (not April, but close enough) and we took the opportunity to spend the day at Disneyland Paris for Clare’s 10th birthday.

I’ll be honest, Disneyland Paris was not originally at the top of my list of what to do and see during our week in Paris. The Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Sacre Coeur were all calling my name, but I was glad we made the trip to Disneyland Paris during our stay. Here are six reasons why you should go, too.

1. Kids Need a Break.  Before we hopped a plane to France, my husband picked up the book, Paris with Kids, which highlights 65+ fun family activities in Paris. There are so many amazing museums, gardens and historic attractions, but little ones need a break every few days, and Mickey Mouse was the key. The girls recharged at Disneyland Paris and we wrapped up our trip with art museums and cathedrals.

2. It’s Super Easy to Get There. While Disneyland Paris is outside the city limits of Paris, it couldn’t have been easier to get there by way of the Metro with a transfer to the RER A train. It took us around 45 minutes to get there from the Odeon stop in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.

3. The Fireworks Show is Fantastic. Since Cinderella’s castle is at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, we found that Sleeping Beauty’s castle was the centerpiece of Disneyland Paris. We found a great spot in front of the castle to sit and watch the “Disney Dreams” fireworks show, but you do need to get a seat early, and be warned that during the summer the show doesn’t start until 11 pm since the sun sets so late.

4. You Can Visit Two Parks in One Day. Before arriving at Disneyland Paris, I didn’t realize that Walt Disney Studios Park was part of the larger park. Since both are scaled down versions of their U.S. counterparts, it was easy to visit both parks, watch the parades and see the fireworks in one day, and we didn’t even arrive until late-morning. Plus, it’s only $13 more for a ticket to visit both parks.

5.  It’s Fun to Compare Rides to Those in the U.S. I loved that some rides had the same names, some had French names and some had different names altogether, like Phantom Manor (aka Haunted Mansion in the U.S. and Japan). I also loved that on the It’s a Small World boat ride, the United States is represented by cowboys (including a saloon), Hollywood and the Statue of Liberty. 🙂

6. It’s a Great Escape. Just as kids needs a break from the arts, culture and history, so too do parents and it’s nice to escape to the land of princesses, parades and Peter Pan at Disneyland Paris. Let your  mind wander and be free as you ride the rides, watch the shows and enjoy the wonder in your children’s eyes as they bask in Mickey, Minnie and Daisy.

One tip if you plan to visit Disneyland Paris: plan to go in the middle of your trip. Particularly if you go in the summer, it will be a long day and a very late night, so you’ll want to visit the parks during the part of your trip when you’re well-rested and have already visited many of the must-go sites, like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. For more planning tips and advice, visit Theme Park Insider to read their article on planning a trip to Disneyland Paris.

Disclaimer: I received three complimentary one-day passes to visit Disneyland Paris with my girls. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. 

Photo Credit: Topalaska

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