TRAVEL: A SUMMER GUIDE TO EUROPE'S THEME PARKS

NO 4: DISNEYLAND PARIS, FRANCE

Our adventure weekend started as we boarded the Eurostar at Waterloo Station. My children thought the tunnel was "really neat" and were almost uncontainable by the time we popped up in France.

We opted to stay in the centre of Paris through fear of Disney overload. The park has over 50 attractions in five themed "lands": Fantasyland, Discoveryland, Frontierland, Adventureland and Main Street USA.

The following morning inside the grounds, Lewis and Craig could be seen darting from one thing to another squealing with excitement. They recognised all the life-sized Disney characters who were meeting and greeting the tiny clientele, filled up an autograph book and queued an epic length of time for a photo opportunity with Mickey Mouse.

Smaller children will enjoy the themed Disney rides such as Peter Pan Flight, Pinocchio Ride, Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean and Small World.

Dare-devils should head towards the serious rollercoasters - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, with its terrifying "loop the loops".

Our family favourites were Honey I Shrunk the Audience, the latest attraction, and the racing cars of Autopia, one of the oldest rides. We also enjoyed Crescendo, which is best described as a Cirque du Soleil on water.

By evening we were expecting our children to be as tired as we were, but no, they were still raring to go. Solution? One of the park's evening dinner-shows. Our Wild West choice came with cowboy hats, chicken, ribs, corn on the cob and apple pie.

During the meal the audience was split into groups, each encouraged to cheer for its team of cowboys. This proved worth the effort as the boys instantly fell sleep on the return to Paris.

Best for: Children aged two-plus. Many of the bigger rides have height restrictions.

Worst for: Those who don't like queuing. Try to avoid weekends and school holidays when queues are up to 90 minutes long.

Admission price: Adults pounds 23, children pounds 18.

Opening times: Year-round, from 9am-8pm from 1-9 July and 9am-11pm during school summer holidays.

Food and drink: Children's menus from pounds 3.50, burgers from around 90p, soft drinks from pounds 1. I recommend the Rainforest Cafe and Annette's Diner. Adults who want to eat out alone should try Planet Hollywood or the Steak House in Disney Village. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show costs pounds 34 for adults and pounds 20 for children aged three-11.

Don't miss: Main Street Electrical Parade every night from 10 July till the end of August, followed by Tinkerbell's Fantasy in the Sky fireworks, and the Disney Parade every day at 3pm.

Best for adults: Take time out to explore Paris - a Cityrama Tour includes all the major sites and lasts around two hours (cost: FFr150, children under seven go free). Visit the real Notre Dame cathedral so the children can see where Quasimodo was said to have lived. If the weather's good, a great place for a picnic is the Jardin des Tuileries.

Getting there: You can either take the Eurostar direct from London to Disneyland, or if you opt to say in the centre of Paris, the cost of a one-day pass valid to Marne la Vallee is pounds 11 for adults with a 50 per cent reduction for children under 12. Disneyland is situated in Marne la Vallee, a 40-minute train journey from the centre of Paris. Trains run every 10-15 minutes.

Sample package price: A three-night stay at Libertel Terminus Nord costs from pounds 235 for adults and pounds 110 for children aged two-11. That includes return Eurostar from Waterloo. Cresta Eurostar

(tel: 0161-929 0000).

Further information: Contact Disneyland Paris (tel: 0990 030303) and the French Tourist Board, 178 Piccadilly, London, W1V 0AL (tel: 0891 244123, calls charged at 60p per minute).

Rating: 7/10

The author travelled with her two children, Lewis, seven, and Craig, five.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

    The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album