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Disneyland Resort Paris

Disneyland Resort Paris is a theme park in Marne-la-Vallée , near Paris. It is run by Euro Disney SCA, a corporation 39% owned by The Walt Disney Company. Construction began in 1988 and the theme park complex officially opened as "Euro Disney" on April 12, 1992, but attendances were disappointingly low. Furthermore, the theme park faced protests by those who thought a Disney park in France would harm French culture.

In October 1994, Euro Disney changed its name to "Disneyland Paris," and later to "Disneyland Resort Paris." By 1995, Disneyland Paris started to attract more visitors and what began as a near failure for the Walt Disney Company became more successful.

Disneyland Resort Paris is between the original Disneyland and the much larger Walt Disney World in size. Disneyland Paris has five major sections: its version of the Disneyland theme park (Magic Kingdom, essentially); the Walt Disney Studios Park, a theme park similar to Walt Disney World's Disney/MGM Studios ; its version of the Disney Village; the Disney Hotels area; and Golf Disneyland.

The park is easily reached by car; near Paris, large billboards guide visitors. The park also has its own train station where the TGV (named Thalys when coming from Brussels) stops as well as its own RER (commuter train) station, so visitors to Paris can easily take the RER straight to the park. (However, the park lies outside of the central Paris metrozones. Therefore, a slightly more expensive ticket is needed to avoid a fine and to exit the station.)

The main theme park in the resort is Magic Kingdom which is made up of five lands whic are:

  • Mainstreet USA
  • Fronteirland
  • adventureland
  • Fantasyland
  • Discoveryland

However Guests choose to explore Disneyland Paris their visit will begin here on Main Street USA. After passing through the gates in front of the Disneyland Hotel guests enter the Fantasia Gardens. Here real topiaries in the shape of characters from the film Fantasia, Surround beautiful streams and ponds.

Many of the pathways in the gardens are formed from bricks that are engraved with the names of past guests along with the date of their visit. The "Disney Promenade" is always growing as new guests leave their name on a brick as a reminded of their magical trip.

Once through the Fantasia Gardens guests pass under the Disneyland Hotel. Here they can purchase their passports which give access to all the rides and attractions within the park (with exception of the shooting gallery and games arcades). Then venture onwards through the turnstiles and into the Magic Kingdom.

The first sight which greets guests here is the Disneyland Railroad Station. From here trains leave at regular intervals for trips around the park. Passing under the railroad tracks leads into Main Street USA.

Here guests are transported back in time to a recreation of a turn of the century small town American street. Based on Walt Disney's own memories of growing up around this time in Chicago Illinois Main Street USA is beautifully detailed in every aspect.

At City Hall near the entrance of Main Street USA guests can collect a guide of the park and an entertainment schedule, this lists the times of the parades and shows taking place on the day of their visit. Back on the street, Horse drawn street cars and even a police paddy wagon are just two of the forms of transportation which offer a ride the short distant up the street to Cental Plaza. But the best way to appreciate the beautiful detail of this area is on foot here every trash can, Street lamp and drain cover look authentic and the beautifully sign written billboards advertise everything from Coca Cola to Vacations.

Amongst the many shops on Main Street the most notable include, the Emporium which is the parks largest boutique offering a huge range of theme park souvenirs, Harrington's that specialises in fine china and Disney collectibles, Whilst Disney Clothiers has a great range of clothing for the whole family. There is even a barbers shop nearby where guests can enjoy a trim or traditional shave by one of the excellent barbers. Eateries on the street range from Casey's Corner where guests can enjoy a famous foot long Hot Dog, To "Walt's" one of the parks most elegant establishments where fine cuisine is served in surroundings which play homage to the life of Walt Disney.

Running behind the shops on either side of Main Street USA two covered arcades offer shelter on inclement days. Along the left hand side as you enter the park guest can explore Liberty Arcade. Here pictures and artefacts trace the history of the Statue of Liberty whilst a tableau recreates the dedication of the statue. Discovery Arcade on the opposite side looks at inventions and the way in which they shape our life including some posters illustrating how visionaries of the past envision the future we are now living in.

At the furthest end of the street guests arrive at the very heart of the park "Central Plaza". Situated here are the gateways to all of the other lands at Disneyland Paris. Guests may choose to enter the wild west, Outer space, the deepest jungle or the pages of a story book.

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45