No Disneyland for me
Before I had kids, I swore up and down that I would never ever take my future children to Disneyland; despite the fact that I begged my own father to take me to Disneyland as a child. – Oh how quickly we forget.
My Disneyland abstinence lasted several years until my two sons turned five and six. I still remember the look on their faces when we arrived. It was like they had won the lotto. As I watched them gush with raw unadulterated joy, any and all my reservations and aversions towards taking them to Disneyland melted away. My pocket book felt differently.
History Repeats Itself: Old Habits Die Hard
A decade later I have a third child, a little girl. (yeees so happy)
When my daughter turned 5, we were living in France and it never occurred to me that she might also want to go to Disneyland until one day she just did. I think some of her classmates at school went to Disneyland and told all the kids at school how amazing it was. So once again I am faced with the pressure to take not just my daughter but my sons to Disneyland. I resisted for a while but it is hard to resist my daughters pleas and my then teenage boys seemed to want to go just as much as my daughter.
This time I didn’t have such an averse feeling towards taking the kids to Disneyland. Maybe it was because it was Disneyland Paris? Maybe because we didn’t make it an annual thing? Who knows. In any case, I kept an open mind- here are the 10 things that turned me from a semi-hater to semi-lover of Disneyland Paris.
By the way, if you are planning to go, you should buy your tickets to Disneyland Paris online and save yourself the headache and time of waiting in the long lines with antsy children. With that said, here are my 10 reasons why you should go to Disneyland Paris…
10 Reasons To Go To Disneyland Paris
Even If You Think You Will Hate It
1-It will Make Your Kids Super Duper Happy
Let’s face it, your kids are going to love it. A day of eating junk food, seeing cartoon characters come to life, riding fun rides and seeing cool shows. What kid would NOT like it?
2- Would You Not Go See The Eiffel Tower?
Would you want someone to tell you that you can’t see or visit the Eiffel tower? Didn’t think so.
In 2010, Disneyland Paris received over 15 million visitors, surpassing the Eiffel Tower as the most popular tourist attraction in Paris? It is also the fourth most visited theme park in the world.
So in essence, if you don’t go to Disneyland Paris, it would be like not going to see the Eiffel tower.
At least that is how your kids might feel.
3- The Rides
If you enjoy theme parks and rides, Disneyland Paris has a lot of them. From age appropriate rides for little toddlers to the scariest of roller coasters. Here are just a handful of some popular ones:
- Space Mountain 2: An updated version of the old ride.
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror:
- It’s A Small World
- Phantom Manor
- Star Tours
- Big Thunder Mountain
4- Jump To The Head Of The Line: The Fast Pass
If one of the reasons you don’t want to go to Disneyland Paris is because of the long lines, there is a solution.
You can always take advantage of the FREE FastPass system. A fast pass allows you to bypass the long line.
All you have to do is find the fastpass distribution area near the entrance of the ride you want to get on. Swipe your park admission ticket at one of the machines and receive a free faspass ticket with a designated time. When you return at that designated time, you will bypass the bulk of the queue. (only good for certain popular rides and some restrictions apply- of course)
If you have some money to burn, you could get the VIP fastpass which is like the Fast Pass I mentioned above on steroids.
A VIP fastpass ticket will grant you unlimited FASTPASS use. (some restrictions apply)
All you have to do is book a room or suite at one of the following hotels: Disneyland Hotel Castle Club, Hotel New York’s Empire State Club, a suite at the Newport Bay Club or Sequoia Lodge.
Then use the fast pass all day at any ride that accepts the fast pass.
6- Fun French Exposure + bargaining chip
If you’re kids are worried about visiting a foreign country or whining about the trip then taking the kids to Disneyland is a sneaky way to get the kids excited about a trip that they might otherwise not be so keen on taking.
7- It’s familiar but foreign
The over all look and feel and many of the rides are similar to the Disneyland in the US but there is a definite French Flair to it.
For instance, the ride announcement will be in French and english and a few other languages.
There are food carts selling fun treats unique to France like Crepes.
8- You will be able to communicate
If you don’t speak French, you will still be able to communicate relatively easy.
There are menus, maps and even signs written in French AND English. Many of the park cast members also speak English because they are recruited from all over Europe and the world.
9-It’s smaller and very doable in a day
One of the things I hated about Disneyland in the US is it was huge. Overwhelmingly huge.
Disneyland Paris is smaller, slightly more manageable and doable in a day with some planning.
10-What’s the harm in it or Why The Hell NOT?
Sure it’s cheesy. Sure it’s not really culturally “classy” but if you have kids who are dying to go or even a grown up kid who wants to go, they will worship the ground you walk on if you take them to Disneyland Paris.
What’s the harm it it anyways?
I know part of my own resistance had a lot to do with how other people POO POO the idea of going to Disneyland Paris when you are in Paris.
“You went to France and visited Disneyland Paris???????”
PFFFT! As if going to Disneyland will lower your social status or make you less classy.
Stop caring about what other people will think.
The worst that could happen is you waste some time and money while your kids, your friends or spouse have the time of their lives.
Who knows you might have a great time too or at least enjoy watching your kids have a great time.
If you have a week or more in Paris and have kids or people who you are travelling with that want to go, I say GO For IT.
Go check out these personal accounts from other people who actually went to Disneyland Paris and see what they thought about the park.
p.s. The best times to visit Disneyland Paris is on weekdays outside public holidays and school vacations.