We just got back from our first trip to Disneyland Paris, fulfilling one of our lifelong dreams. We’ve always wanted to explore all the international parks, and with Disneyland Paris being so close to other places that interest us, it topped the list. The park is smaller than the stateside Castle parks, but truly beautiful, (THAT CASTLE THOUGH), and the perfect destination for anyone who already has an interest in visiting Europe (and who wouldn’t?!). We think that right now is the perfect time to be planning a trip to Disneyland Paris, and Europe in general. The euro is lower in comparison to the dollar than it’s been in years, making it a more affordable time to go than ever. Anyone who has read our blog knows how much we love lists, so we’ve compiled a list of five reasons that Disneyland Paris should be on the top of your Disney bucket list!
1. The Castle
It’s hard to imagine a prettier Castle than the one at Disneyland Paris. It’s like the Imagineers who designed it combined everything good about California’s Castle and Florida’s Castle to make what we believe is the most elegant, picturesque castle of all. It has all the charm and pink color of the California Castle, with the height and grandeur of the Florida Castle. Plus, this Parisian dream of a Castle has a moat around it, the ability to go to the second floor to look out over Fantasyland, and a dragon underneath the Castle depths.
2. Disney Dreams
Disney Dreams is the nightly fireworks show at Disneyland Paris, and it’s one of the most stunning nighttime park offerings we’ve seen. Disney Dreams combines fireworks, fountains, and Castle Projections to tell the story of Peter Pan trying to reunite with his shadow–and of course his shadow manages to make his way through classic Disney stories and music during the chase. It’s a breathtaking show and although it’s partially in French most of the show is in English.
3. The Ratatouille Mini-Land
In the Disney Studios Park next door to the Paris equivalent of The Magic Kingdom (or as they call it, ‘Parc Disneyland) is a new Ratatouille Mini-Land. It is incredibly detailed, where the streets of Paris, the way it’s imagined in the classic Pixar film, come to life. This land includes the new Chez Remy Restaurant, which we will have a full review of later, and a Ratatouille Ride, which is innovative because it’s one of the first Disney dark ride to run on a trackless system, and is definitely worth checking out.
4. Phantom Manor
Disneyland Paris’ version of the Haunted Mansion is called Phantom Manor, and in our opinion, it’s the best version we’ve seen. When you approach Phantom Manor, the house gives off the feeling of being an abandoned Frontier house, with eerie, overgrown brush and foliage in the courtyard. The ride was actually inspired by the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Novel, but given a Western twist to fit inside Frontierland. On the whole, the ride is much darker, and scarier than the United States’ counterparts.
5. The Beauty
Disneyland Paris is truly a beautiful park, especially in parts of Main Street and Fantasyland, where it takes on an almost ethereal quality. This is one of those Disney Parks where you could be content to just walk around for the day, without even riding rides, and just enjoy being there.
BONUS: The Balloons
Guys – I know that this couldn’t make the list, but can I just spend a minute on how awesome the balloons that they sell at Disneyland Paris are? (Yes I can, because it’s my blog.) They sell Mickey, Minnie, and Winnie the Pooh Balloons that are exclusive to Disneyland Paris that we became COMPLETELY obsessed with. I will neither confirm nor deny that we spent the better part of our day balloon stalking, then the better part of our night dancing around Main Street with our balloon after we finally broke down and spent the seven euros on our own Mickey-shaped balloon.
We hope our list does its part in helping convince you of why your next trip should be to Disneyland Paris (we didn’t need much convincing – we were sold the second we saw pictures!). We think you’ll love it as much as we do.