Disneyland Paris turns 30!

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There has never been a better time to visit the magical theme parks

Why go?

Can you believe it’s 30 years since Disneyland Paris opened its gates? Travel to Disneyland Paris on the Eurostar couldn’t be easier, especially as it has recently reopened its direct service in each direction with a one-way journey time of just two hours and 49 minutes from London St Pancras.

Disneyland Paris is made up of two parks – Disneyland Park, home to the famous castle, and Walt Disney Studios Park – and they are right next door to each other, so it’s easy to hop back and forward between both during the day.

Following closures during the pandemic, both parks are now fully open and ready to party to celebrate the 30th anniversary celebrations. The iconic pink castle has been given a fairy-tale makeover and is looking prettier than ever before, with 41,200 sheets of gold leaf having been applied by hand. Mickey, Minnie and pals have all been decked out in brand-new iridescent outfits, while Minnie has her first-ever fancy trouser suit designed by A-list fashion designer Stella McCartney.

What to do

There is so much to see and do – where do we start? If rides are your thing, you will be spoilt for choice, but make sure you set aside time to ride the thrilling Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, both of which are in the Studios Park, where you will also find Crush’s Coaster, inspired by Finding Nemo and so much fun that you will want to ride it more than once! Plummet to the floor on the Toy Story-themed Parachute Drop, and make sure to experience the 4D world of Ratatouille as you chase through a giant kitchen!

Big Thunder Mountain can be found in the main Disneyland Park, which may just be our ultimate favourite, along with Pirates of the Caribbean and the haunted house of Phantom Manor. If you love the rides, we do recommend purchasing the Premier Access, so you can join the fast lane, beat the crowds, and get more rides done!

The new Dream…And Shine Brighter show, takes place several times a day on Central Plaza in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle. It’s a must-see and a great chance to spot all your favourite characters, including Mickey, Minnie and Daisy Duck in their shiny new outfits. This lively show features a mash-up of Disney songs, and we can guarantee you will be humming along and singing it for the rest of the day!

Disney Stars on Parade runs every day during the afternoon (weather permitting) and is another opportunity to see all the characters on themed decorated floats. Selfies are back and – even better – hugs have returned, too, so little ones can enjoy filling their autograph books once again.

Check out the new Gardens of Wonder installation of 30 Disney and Pixar kinetic art sculptures, which have been created especially for the celebrations. We love the Big Hero 6 and Princess Ariel, and they all magically come to life as you wander past.

Food and drink

Menus in the 59 Disneyland Paris restaurants have also had a 30th anniversary glow-up, with a new, specially created tasty gin fruity cocktail, Mickey-shaped pizzas, ice-creams, pretty 30th-decorated brightly coloured macarons, Mickey and Minnie-shaped cookies and waffles, all with that special touch and delicious taste. Fan-favourite treats, which you can normally only find at the at international Disney resorts, such as the frozen Pineapple Whip, Mickey ice-cream and turkey leg, will also be available to buy. We enjoyed steak and frites and, of course, the famous ratatouille at French restaurant Bistrot Chez Remy in Studios Park. The American restaurant Walt’s has recently reopened for the celebrations and features half a dozen themed dining rooms inspired by the six lands of Disneyland. The menu features founder Walt Disney’s personal favourite, an exclusive chilli con carne loaded with cheese and tortillas.

After Dark

The new Disney D-Light is part of the nighttime firework and illuminations show, and features larger-than-life projections of  characters and classic films on the castle walls. It also includes the most incredible first-of-its-kind drone show, which sees drones form a sparkling “30” in the sky above the castle as the new anniversary song plays in the background. It really is the perfect end to a magical day!

We stayed at Disney’s Newport Bay Hotel. It is just a 10-15 minute walk from both parks, and has an onsite swimming pool that the kids will enjoy after a busy day on the rides.

Need to know

  • Book with Walt Disney Travel Company International and enjoy a two-night stay at Disneyland Paris from £344 per person. Includes accommodation at Disney’s Sequoia Lodge with access to the Disney Parks for three days, plus return Eurostar travel via Lille. To book, visit Disneyholidays.co.uk or call the Disney Experts on 0800 169 0737.

  • Eurostar operates four days per week in term time (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), five days per week in summer holidays (Sat added), and daily during other school holidays direct to Disneyland from London St Pancras. Fares start from £39 one way for adults and £28 one way for children aged between four and 11; children under four travel free. Book at Eurostar.com

Words: Carly Honeyfield.

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