Disneyland Paris is the most visited theme park in Europe and, if not the most, one of the most famous in the world. The home of Mickey Mouse and all his friends is located 32 kilometres from Paris and occupies an area of 22 square kilometres. And Disneyland is made up of just one park... if not two. Plus a leisure area and restaurants. It can almost be considered as a city in itself.
The first and best known park is Disneyland Park. It is the one with most of the attractions and the main symbol of Disney, Sleeping Beauty Castle. Walt Disney Studios is the other park, based on the world of cinema and television and all the characters born from its animation studios. Finally, there is an area reserved for nightlife called Disney Village.
What can you see and do if you buy tickets for Disneyland Paris? Read on and find out in this "virtual tour".
1. Stroll along with Disney characters on Main Street USA
Main Street USA is the first of the 5 areas that make up Disneyland and the one that welcomes us to the park. A wide avenue inspired by Walt Disney's birthplace, Marceline in Missouri, full of shops and restaurants. At the end of the avenue and presiding over the park we find Sleeping Beauty's castle. The symbol of Disney.
It is common to see some of the most famous characters such as Mickey, Pluto or Donald strolling along its streets and ready to take pictures with all those who ask for them.
Main attractions on Main Street USA:
- Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station An authentic steam train that we can take to go around the park or to get closer to other areas of the park.
- Main Street Vehicles A classic horse-drawn tram and classic cars that travel the streets of Main Street.
- Discovery Arcade A small museum that houses models of early 20th century inventions, original posters drawn by early Disney artists and many other curiosities.
2. Travel to another galaxy at Discoveryland
After walking along Main Street Avenue, we can start by discovering Discoveryland. This Disney themed area offers us a trip to another galaxy through the world of Star Wars, or by the hand of Buzz Lightyear or even dive into Captain Nemo's submarine. If you are looking for space adventures and hyperspace speed, this is the area for you.
Main attractions at Discoveryland:
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast: The Toy Story astronaut takes us on a two-person spaceship equipped with laser guns to defend us from the threats that appear on the ride.
- HyperSpace Mountain The fastest roller coaster in the park simulates the experience of getting into a Star Wars fighter and travelling at the speed of hyperspace.
- Les Mystérs du Nautilus: A recreation of Captain Nautilus' submarine that plunges us into the depths where a surprise awaits us.
3. Feel like a Disney prince or princess in Fantasyland
We leave space travel behind to enter the world of fantasy, dragons and Disney princes and princesses. Fantasyland makes adults relive their childhood and children live the most authentic Disney experience. Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan are some of the characters that live in this area of the theme park.
Main attractions in Fantasyland:
- Sleeping Beauty Castle: Disney's best known attraction is this castle where a dragon guards the sleeping princess on top of this impressive castle.
- Lancelot's Carousel The classic merry-go-round but with 86 horses of all sizes and decorations.
- Alice's Curious Labyrinth We can get lost in Alice's Wonderland maze while the water fountains jump over our heads as we find our way out.
4. For the more adventurous: Adventureland
If you want to feel like the pirates of the Caribbean or like Indiana Jones in one of his adventures, in Disney we find the land of Adventureland. An area where we are transported to the deserts of Africa, passing through the jungle and reaching the Caribbean. This area has a magnificent setting with pirate ships, caves, trees with houses on their tops, hanging bridges and many more things to discover.
Main attractions in Adventureland:
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril Join Indiana Jones on one of his forays into a temple on this roller coaster only suitable for the bravest.
- Pirates of the Caribbean A journey through the Caribbean full of treasure and pirates in a boat on the water.
- Aladin's Enchanted Passage A haven of tranquillity amidst so much adventure. This beautiful passage tells the story of Aladin and Jazmin with three-dimensional paintings and their famous songs in the background.
5. Travel to the Wild West in Frontierland
The Wild West also fits into Disney's worlds. Frontierland offers a trip through the typical American western full of cowboys and Indians and towns with saloons and haunted houses. We will also have the opportunity to travel around a lake aboard an authentic steamboat. A real experience for lovers of the old west.
Main attractions in Frontierland:
- Phantom Manor A haunted mansion inhabited by ghosts that fully immerses us thanks to some very successful effects and holograms.
- Big Thunder Mountain A wooden roller coaster through a gold mine with a dizzyingly long ride.
- Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing: A boat ride on the lake that travels through Frontierland as the Mississippi steamboats once did.
6. We go inside the Disney Studios. Front Lot
We change parks and enter Walt Disney Studios. Front Lot is the welcome area to this park, consisting of 4 different areas. This area, decorated as if it were a film set, anticipates what we are going to see in the whole park and starts to immerse us in the world of cinema and television.
Main attractions in Front Lot:
- Disney Studio 1 It has the same function as Main Street in Disneyland Park as a welcome street to the park. It recreates a Hollywood promenade with shops and restaurants and a very cinematic atmosphere.
- Place des Fréres Lumire: This square is named after the Lumiere brothers, who invented cinema and who are also of French origin. It gives access to Disney Studios and is crowned by a statue of Mickey Mouse in the film "Fantasia".
7. A look at the other side of the screen. Production Courtyard.
The translation of this area is The Production Yard. An area that reveals to its visitors the secrets and the work behind the famous Disney films. The Disney Channel studios in France are here and are 100% operational. In its attractions we experience the magic of cinema in a unique and unrepeatable way.
Main attractions in Production Courtyard:
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror A huge tower that hosts a terrifying experience backed by the big Hollywood media.
- Studio Tram Tour: Beheind the magic: A train ride through a movie studio with all kinds of sets and special effects. The attraction culminates in a sequence called "Catastrophe Canyon" which is a first-person special effects extravaganza.
- Marvel: Super Heroes United: Fans of Iron Man, Spiderman or Captain America will especially enjoy this show with Marvel characters and spectacular special effects.
8. The action goes beyond the screen in the Back Lot
In the Back Lot there are three attractions, or rather 2 shows and 1 attraction, where the action is the protagonist. If you've dreamed of experiencing a car chase with explosions or surviving the apocalypse, this area will fulfil your fantasies.
Top attractions in Back Lot:
- Moteurs Action: This show stars car and motorbike piloting specialists who will delight the audience with chases, jumps and explosions on two and four wheels.
- Armageddon: Special Effects: A special effects show in which you experience Armageddon on board a spaceship.
9. The home of cartoons: Toon Studio
Toon Studio is dedicated to animation. As well as enjoying our favourite Disney and Pixar characters, we can discover the work behind films such as Toy Story, Frozen and Cars, among many others. Its attractions and shows give us the opportunity to see the secrets and skills of Disney animators.
- Mickey and the Wizard: This show is a must on your visit to Disneyland. Through the eyes of Mickey Mouse and a magician and accompanied by a high quality animation, it takes us on a journey through some of the most mythical scenes in Disney's history.
- Art of Disney Animation: In a building in the shape of the wizard's hat worn by Mickey Mouse in the film "Fantasia" there is a small museum that hides great gems such as some of Walt Disney's original drawings.
- Toy Story Playland: A small area within this zone dedicated to the Toy Story films and which makes you feel like a toy thanks to a very successful setting.
10. To eat and rest after a fantastic day: Disney Village
When the Disney Park closes for the night, the fun doesn't stop. There is another area called Disney Village with more than 20,000 square metres where there are restaurants, live music, a multiplex cinema and themed shops open until late at night. The ideal place to dine, stroll and enjoy in an area that also has its own attractions.
Top attractions in Disney Village:
- Panoramagique: A large hot air balloon that offers spectacular views of the entire Disney complex. It can hold up to 30 people and operates from 9:00 in the morning until 23:00 at night, depending on weather conditions.
- Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show: A show that mixes the figure of Mickey Mouse with the old west while you can enjoy a good wild west style dinner.
Quick tips to enjoy your visit to Disney
Enjoying Disneyland attractions and Disney shows is not always easy. Queues, crowds and a very large park can mean that if we are not prepared we do not enjoy the experience as much as we should. Here I share with you a series of tips for visiting Disney parks that, from my own experience, may be very useful for you:
- Plan your tour in advance. You don't want to waste time deciding which direction to take if you want to see everything Disney has to offer. To do this, get a map, there are hundreds on the internet, and choose the route you are going to take.
- Disneyland Paris has its own App that you can download to your smartphone for free and which contains all the information you need, such as a map of the park, show times, restaurants, etc.
- Bring comfortable shoes and clothes for the whole day as well as some warm clothes. Even in summer at Disneyland Paris it is easy to get dark in the park and it can get chilly.
- Disneyland Paris is huge and can last for several days. But if you want to make the most of it, I advise you to go early in the morning even before the park opens and don't leave until closing time, especially if you are only going to Disneyland Paris for one day.