Inside Disneyland Paris

Inside Disneyland Paris

Make all of your little ones’ dreams come true with a sprinkling of Disney stardust

 

Disneyland Paris (disneylandparis.com) has been lighting up the little faces of globetrotting rugrats for 25 years, and is celebrating this milestone anniversary with all the pomp and pizzazz you’d expect from Disney.

 

Getting there

The Parisian outpost of Walt’s beloved theme parks is accessible from the capital within a mere 30-minutes, thanks to excellent train links and the Marne-la-Vallée station right on the park’s doorstep. With high-speed trains serving 54 French and international cities daily, France’s European neighbours are also well placed to join in the fun.

 

The major attractions

Disneyland Paris includes all of the concepts introduced 62 years ago by Disneyland California, so you’ll discover the magic of Main Street, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Discoveryland, as well as cult attractions like Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Phantom Manor, It’s a Small World, the Sleeping Beauty Castle and Space Mountain – France’s version of the rollercoaster happens to be the fastest of the five in operation in the world. It’s also the only one that goes upside-down.

 

With fairytale, fantasy and flights of fancy always at the forefront, Disneyland Paris safeguards every child’s imagination with only a single Mickey present in the entire park at all times, so that kiddies can really believe that the character exists. The park plays another game with its punters, too, by placing hundreds of Mickey heads hidden throughout in tiling patterns, on clocks, railings, doors, or even as ventilation holes.

 

Technical dreams

It’s not just about the world’s most famous mouse. Nor is it only about the most adrenalin-fuelled rides, the most advanced animatronics, the biggest stuffed toys or the sugariest psychedelic drinks. This is a highly technical operation that can’t help but bring out the geek in you. Who knew that Main Street uses a trick called forced perspective to create the illusion of a larger space? So, even though the castle seems distant when you enter the park, it’s actually only 100 feet away. The effect is achieved by the façades of the buildings along Main Street widening at one end of the street. Cleverly, when you go down the avenue in the opposite direction to leave the park, the exit seems closer. There’s also an elaborate soundscape throughout the park. Make your way to the ice cream shop on Main and you’ll hear piano lessons from the first floor, or to the well in Frontierland where you’ll hear the miners’ pickaxes down in the pits.

 

No expense is spared: the tops of the towers on Sleeping Beauty’s castle, as well as the rooftops of Small World, are gilded with 24-carat gold leaf. A true labour of love, the stained-glass windows of the castle were created by master glassmakers, employing the same techniques used during the Middle Ages.

 

A magical assault on every single sense, some parade floats even dispense scents as they move along their routes. Is it any wonder that this is the happiest place on earth?

 

Source: Condé Nast Traveller Middle East

 

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